Thursday, 16 September 2010

More junk from Jill?

Jill Pell stormed the world in 2007 by announcing a 17 per cent fall heart attack admissions to Scottish hospitals which she attributed to Scotland's smoking ban in enclosed public places, implemented in 2006. The story got global coverage and hasn't stopped being talked about since ... although I do wonder if it might be muted since they claimed that heart attack admissions dropped in England by only 2.4 per cent (this story was not taken seriously either because the figures didn't fit routine statistics).

Now Jill Pell, backed by a team at Glasgow University, is telling us that childhood asthma hospitalisations have fallen away since the smoking ban too.

This is nonsensical to many, simply because the only public enclosed places that children attend with any regularity never encouraged smoking in the first place. Pell's explanation of a stupendous drop in child asthma cases of nearly one-fifth, that parents 'smoked less' or banned smoking in the home is not believable. For this to make any difference we would have to see residential streets lined with smokers during every commercial break. And we just learned yesterday that smoking cessation targets are not being met.

In any case, there is an inverse correlation between smoking and asthma. Asthma increased in a period over the last generation when the popularity of smoking was unquestionably declining.

As with the heart attacks, we find the startling drop in hospitalisations never took place. Chris Snowdon on Velvet Glove Iron Fist takes  up the story (comments are worth reading too); Simon Clark at Taking Liberties  also comments.


handymanphil said...

Would it be advisable that Jill Pell be prescribed 'scapolomine'-just in case she does have a grain of truth in her scabby carcasse?

Michael J. McFadden said...

Junk from Jill eh? Love it! Goes right with "Wastings from Winnie The Poo" (That's Winnickoff of thirdhand smoke fame who's now claiming also that "Millions in Public Housing Are Threatened by Second Hand Smoke!"