Anti-smoking ban readers, take note
There's an intriguing item in the Wall Street Journal today, headlined, "Do Broad Smoking Bans Cloud Belief of Risk?," referring to a story in New Scientist magazine. Here's the executive summary from the Journal:
Antismoking campaigners warn as little as 30 minutes of exposure to cigarette fumes can do measurable damage to a nonsmoker's cardiovascular system -- and can even raise a nonsmoker's risk of suffering a fatal heart attack to the same level as a smoker.
Such dire warnings have helped fuel widespread public-smoking bans in recent years, but tobacco researcher Michael Siegel of Boston University says the claims are largely distorted, New Scientist's Jim Giles reported...
He worries far-reaching bans could undermine the public's trust in research on secondhand smoke...
Let's just note here that New Scientist, published in the U.K., is not exactly a peer-reviewed scholarly journal -- and frankly, the Wall Street Journal tends to choose items for columns and blogs such as "The Informed Reader" that reinforce the paper's editorial page views, which make your arteries harden as you read them.
Still, the item resonates here in Olmsted County, one of the hotbeds (or ashtrays, depending on your point of view) for antismoking laws in Minnesota.