Opinions

Smoking not a killer

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The Truth:

Les Hagen, an executive director of Action Smoking and Health stated on Jan. 23 in a letter to the Calgary Herald that 1,000 people a year die from second-hand smoke in Canada. The next day MP Dave Rodney (Calgary-Lougheed) reported in a letter to the Herald that the number is 350. "The truth" is that zero people die worldwide from SHS each year.

In 1998 the World Health Organization published the largest study on SHS and lung cancer. It concluded that there was no association between SHS and lung cancer. A SHS study by the German airline industry arrived at the same conclusion.

University of Chicago Hospital health studies chairman John Bailer dismissed any link between SHS and heart disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found no association between SHS and asthma among children ages 4-16. Don't believe it? Then tell me where are all the childhood asthma cases from the '50S, '60s and '70s, when smoking indoors was commonplace and enjoyed by many more people than today.

In places that have SHS bylaws bars and restaurants report a 35 to 100 per cent drop in business. Want proof? Call Pucks in Edmonton. Wait, you can't because they're closed with a loss of 18 jobs. Although you can still call The Moose Factory Restaurant, who has reported a 35 per cent decrease in sales since the bylaw went into effect. Edmonton bingo halls have reported a loss of 50 per cent in revenues and they are run to benefit charity.

In a debate over individual liberties, petitions, political correctness, fabricated and propagandized science should play no part, unless we live in a world ruled by Nazis. Who, by the way, was the first government to enact anti-smoking laws.

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Comments

What garbage! In 2002 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggested that non-smokers who were exposed to second hand smoke were 20-30% more likely to develop lung cancer. SHS was also linked to causing various other forms of cancer.

I'm not surprised the German airline industry didn't think there was a link between SHS and cancer given that they probably have been forced to pay out for cabin crew member who have developed cancer from working on planes before smoking inflight was prohibited.

Smoking in not just a nuisance but a definite health hazard for people working in settings where they breath SHS.

If Ireland's workplaces can go smoke-free than so can Calgary's. Few other people enjoy a pint and a smoke more than the Irish but all their businesses haven't gone bankrupt because of their smoking ban.

Restricting smokers is not a violation of their rights. Yes, we do live in a free society but when your actions hurt the people around you it no longer becomes your right to do that action. Smokers are weak and need to stop crying about everyone trying to help them live longer. In addition, it would be nice to lessen the strain on our health care caused by smokers.

I do not smoke myself but I like this article and however having the right of choice is one of our rights. If someone decides to smoke around me, I couldn't really care.
My dad smokes and I do not have asthma, can run long distances, and so far have not been deemed anywhere unhealthy. I have not seen a smoker that is weak and have not heard one smoker complain or ask to get help to live longer. The only ones that do get on my nerves are the ones that sue the tabacco companies because they think this is the cause to their problems, when infact it was their own fault.

Smoker shouldn't be shunned for smoking. People have been smoking since the early 1700's and no one seemed to have a problem. Heck, in that case we should ban alcohol because it helps provoke abuse in some husbands towards their wife and kids, microwaves because the radiation may kill someone who is hanging around it or someone with a pacemaker is nearby, white out or markers because the fumes were toxic, or even better motorvehicles as there is a possibility you might hit someone and kill them...

Anyone who complains about smokers are week and I'm tired of them hearing them complain just so they can live longer.

^^ But smoking appears to hurt your cognative and language skills...

Ok
Those that don't believe that second hand smoke is not a killer should at least provide the ACTUAL NAME of the studies that prove that it is.

Wake-up people and smell the SHS... sorry the coffee. These bans are unwarranted and they only have political and financial interests. Document yourselves accordingly before sheepishly agreeing with whatever you hear from gov't and anti-smokers.

If the gov't was telling you the sky was falling would you look up and verify for yourselves or would you just cover your head so that you don't get hurt?

Why do people trust gov't only when it suits their needs? Yes SHS is an annoyance but it is NOT a health hazard.

"In debates over individual liberties, fabricated and propagandized science should play no role."

Taken right off Fox News' website. Well done, I'm sure they're a reliable source of information.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26109,00.html

A thousand people are claimed to die in Scotland AND in the UK (with ten times the population of Scotland). A thousand seems to be one of these magic numbers. They are all guesses and there are disturbing disparities between them.

Claims that exposure to SHS increases the risk of smoking-related diseases increase by 25% are inaccurate. Risk is not the same as incidence. There may be 25% more exposed non-smokers than non-exposed ones getting ill, but the difference between them is highly unlikely to be attributable to tobacco smoke. No biological pathway has been demonstrated between SHS and any of these conditions.

Congratulations on your article.