Real Texas Freedom

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Real Texas Freedom

Press Release
For Immediate Release: December 5 , 2005

Do Smoking Bans cause a 27 to 40% drop in admissions for myocardial
infarction in hospitals?

December 5, 2005

Antismokers claim that studies have shown that bans bring about an immediate
and drastic decrease in heart attacks among nonsmokers exposed to smoke at
This claim was never true to begin with - the cited studies never separated
and analyzed nonsmokers as a separate group - and it has now been pointed out
in the pages of the BMJ that even the claim of saving lives among the
combined population of smokers and nonsmokers might be worthless.

While many making that claim may have believed their information to be
accurate, it is now obvious that its basis has been thrown strongly into question.
As Jacob Sullum noted in a December 1st reaction to the announcement, "An
effect this dramatic (i.e. an immediate and pronounced drop of hospital
admissions for heart attacks) should have been noticed all over the country..."

Just a week before the Chicago Aldermen were due to vote on a citywide
smoking ban, two independent researchers working together, David W. Kuneman and
Michael J. McFadden, unveiled a new study covering a population base roughly
1,000 times as large as the previous town-based studies. The new study
indicates strongly that rather than a 30% decrease in heart attacks, statewide
smoking bans seem to have literally NO EFFECT AT ALL on heart attack rates.
Incredibly the data even indicates that California's statewide heart attack rate
went UP by 6% in the first full year of their total smoking ban!

The data for the study and the basis of its design have been backed up and
expanded by well-known antismoking researcher Michael Siegel who has come out
in support of the researchers' approach as providing "compelling evidence that
brings into question the conclusion that smoking bans have an immediate and
drastic effect on heart attack incidence." His observation is echoed by
researcher Kuneman who asks, "Ever wonder why you didn't hear about post ban
heart attack declines in New York City? Or in Minneapolis or Los Angeles? Now
you know!"

On December 4th the British Medical Journal entered the fray with the online
publication of a Rapid Response by Mr. McFadden outlining the new research
and posing sharp criticisms of the earlier studies and of the refusal of the
authors of those studies to respond to previous criticisms and questions.
McFadden points out that the data in the Kuneman/McFadden study are fully open
for public examination and far less selective than the data in the earlier
studies and notes with pride that he and his co-researcher have been quick to
respond to all queries posted about their methodology on Dr. Siegel's web blog.

He also poses the wider ranging question of whether studies commissioned by
the "Antismoking Industry" should begin to receive the same cautious reception
accorded those commissioned by "Big Tobacco." The current study, as well
as an earlier one by the duo, were unfunded and neither researcher receives
grants for their work from either interest group. Kuneman sharply asks the
question, "Why the difference between the studies? For one thing we weren't
dependent on antismoking-targeted grants!"

At this point there appears to be very little, if any, real scientific
support for the claim that protecting nonsmokers from normal levels of exposure to
secondary smoke prevents any heart attacks. And it is this claim that has
always provided the impressive numbers upon which ban advocates have pressed
legislators to pass smoking bans.

Without those numbers proponents of extreme bans are left with little other
than the widely discredited EPA figures relating ETS to lung cancer and a few
isolated instances of hospitality workers who have come to believe that their
own cancers were caused by working in smoking establishments. Samantha
Phillipe, editor of the longstanding newsletter, notes that
while it's always a cause for sadness when someone becomes ill that it's even
more sad when they are misguidedly advised to blame family and friends for
their illness.

Without a compelling body of scientific evidence backing them up, smoking
bans are an unnecessary and overbearing intrusion of government into the spheres
of free choice, private property and free enterprise. And the
Kuneman/McFadden study points up just how uncompelling even some of the strongest and most
publicised evidence actually is.

2)Mike Siegel's blog analysis and followup comments:

3) BMJ Response:

4) Jacob Sullum's REASON column:
_Hit and Run_


Press Release Approved by Samantha Phillipe
The Smoker’s Club, Inc.
PO Box 814
Center Conway, NH 03813

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of
web page:
_ (
Email:_ Cantiloper@aol.com_ (


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