Monday, 9 May 2011

Filtration aided by nanomaterials will make smoking safer

This is real harm reduction. The Royal Society of Chemists reports a recent study finding that nanomaterials can be used in filtering to reduce significantly the toxins inhaled by smokers.

Isn't it fantastic how scientists can put their minds to solving a health problem? Or a social problem?

We can guess what the response of the tobacco control community will be. The same as it has been to the ventilation/air management issue, and radio-controlled tobacco vending machines. 'We are not wholly persuaded that the proposed mechanism is entirely foolproof' (col. 23117), said Ross Finnie MSP of radio-controlled vending machines. (Most of us don't believe that the proposed tobacco display ban is entirely foolproof either.)

Sheila Duffy, paragon of scientific objectivity, mentions the 'discredited and expensive solution of ventilation'. The word 'ventilation' is hyperlinked to a web page of the Department of Health in Colorado, effectively an opinion piece on myths about secondary smoke, and it includes the efficacy of 'ventilation' as one of the myths.

Presenting a health service information sheet as any kind of evidence to support her cause, as if it  demonstrates scientifically the eternal and complete ineffectiveness of any kind of air cleaning system, shows only contempt for her readers.

The only right answer for people like Ms Duffy is compliance with the wishes of ASH Scotland. This applies to the whole anti-tobacco movement. Scientific methods to make smoking less dangerous are a dangerous distraction from the prohibitionists' goal of cessation.

Belated h/tip to Juliette Tworsey.


Anonymous said...

This may make smoking safer for smokers, but will second hand smoke still remain the killer that it is ?
What do people care if smokers die ? It is the millions of innocent non-smokers that are dying and the only way to prevent this is to force smokers to quit.

Anonymous said...

May I also draw Ms Duffy and the Scottish Government's attention to the recent dictate from Armando Peruga, programme manager of WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative, advised health professionals “to be independent and guided by scientific evidence.”

Bill Gibson said...

In response to the first comment read this link

Anonymous said...

SHS a killer, NEVER.

Belinda said...

'millions of innocent non-smokers': if this were true it would have been diagnosed in many individual with certainty, not just guesswork. Take someone who has died of heart failure, lung disease, or anything else and there is no way of ascertaining that secondary smoke was the cause. There are so many factors at play that ascertaining the actual trigger is simply not possible in many cases. Ever heard of old age?

If you have a plan to force smokers to quit, get in quick and you might beat ASH Scotland to the next round of funding. They have failed to stem this 'preventable' tide of deaths at a cost of millions.

Alternatively, accept that harm reduction is the future. Damage limitation. Perfection isn't of this world. To err is human, to forgive divine. Science, if we let it, will keep attempting to correct the errors of humankind and improve on its innovations, however you like to look at it.

The air, and life in general, is full of shit than can make you ill. If you think only secondary smoke can kill you, you are indeed an innocent non-smoker.

Bill Gibson said...

A Conference date for the diary