Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban

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I'm too busy right now to write anything. So here's an empty thread for you to talk among yourselves.

I think the CATCH debate may have come to a halt for the time being. Rich will be busy. And Chris indicated in an email a day or two back that he might have made his last submission. And I'm in process of moving.

Apologies if I've not replied to emails.

Hopefully it'll start up in the New Year, there's some really interesting stuff coming to light and more people are joining in.

Good luck with the move Frank, hope it all goes to plan.

Frank,you wouldnt be moving to the netherlands would ya? Ehh!

1)I'm sorry I came to this discussion late
2) I'm sorry Chris won't be participating anymore(true? or just not submitting). I would have enjoyed discussing these issues with him.
3) It's a busy time for all right now (the holiday season) but I would enjoy continuing the discussion if anyone has new/alternate ideas about causes of LC.


It is regrettable that there are not more people joining and adding their thoughts.

Perhaps a closer investigation of various industries could provider alternative causal factors for the increase in lung cancer.
One example might be the work force working with chromium. Although chromium III is too big to enter the nucleus of cells; chromium VI, however, is small enough to do so. The reduction of chromium VI produces a very unstable intermediate, chromium IV, which is thought to be responsible for DNA aberrations.
Adding to this the unknown factors of biological variation we might begin to see a number of factors necessary for the manifestation of any cancer.

Apologies for forgetting to mention the reducing agent for chromium VI - it was ascorbate (vitamin C).

That was interesting. I don't know much (yet) about chromium -- but I am aware of a suggested arsenic/LC connection. And then there's this:

Dietary B vitamin intakes and urinary total arsenic concentration in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort, Bangladesh.
Argos M, Rathouz PJ, Pierce BL, Kalra T, Parvez F, Slavkovich V, Ahmed A, Chen Y, Ahsan H.

Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC2007, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

PURPOSE: The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the effects of dietary B vitamin intakes on creatinine-adjusted urinary total arsenic concentration among individuals participating in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort in Araihazar, Bangladesh. Arsenic exposure is a major public health problem in Bangladesh, where nearly 77 million people have been chronically exposed to arsenic through the consumption of naturally contaminated groundwater. Dietary factors influencing the metabolism of ingested arsenic may potentially be important modifiers of the health effects of arsenic in this population.

METHODS: Daily average B vitamin intakes from a validated food frequency questionnaire and laboratory data on drinking water and urinary arsenic concentrations among 9,833 HEALS cohort participants were utilized. Statistical analyses were conducted using generalized estimating equations incorporating knotted spline linear regression.

RESULTS: Increasing dietary intakes of thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine were found to significantly increase urinary total arsenic excretion, adjusted for daily arsenic intake from drinking water and other potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that higher intakes of certain B vitamins may enhance the excretion of arsenic from the body. This study offers new insights into modifiable dietary factors that relate to arsenic excretion and thus provides potential avenues for the prevention of arsenic-related health effects.

So perhaps smokiung (through niacin content?) serves a chelation purpose? Just a thought.



"I don't know that much about the great London smog -- but I would think that it wouldn't be a really important epidemiological factor for explaining differential LC rates unless it was affecting smokers unequally with non-smokers. That is, it wouldn't account for different rates of LC if everyone was experiencing the same fog (although it could account for a general increase - which may be important if you don't think there were real differences). Or are you making a case that some group of people smoked more because of this smog?

Or is the argument simply that Doll (who was working there) had reason to point the finger elsewhere? (That is, it's simply an argument about Doll's motivation?) Can someone clarify this point for me?"

If you didn't see or smell these toxic monsters from the 60's and before, it will be hard to explain.

London Smog

"From the start of the 20th century, the landscape of London was blighted by thick smog. The word ‘smog’ described the city’s characteristic blend of fog and smoke caused by industrial flues and domestic coal fires. The smog was also referred to as the capital’s ‘pea-souper’, and Charles Dickens described it as ‘London’s particular’.

The worst affected area of London was the East End, which had the highest density of factory smokestacks and domestic chimney pots. The low-lying geography of the area encouraged the smog to settle. To a large extent, Londoners tolerated the unpleasant effects of the smog as the cost of the city’s economic growth, but conditions became intolerable in the 1950s."

People were so used to breathing this toxic brew,it was considered normal.

The death rate was lower and more spread out, and it was only when they ran out of coffins in 1952,that people in authority began to realise that they were in the middle of a major disaster.

The Killer Smog in Donora, 1948

"A murderous villain terrorized the town of Donora during the last week of October 1948. The silent killer took the lives of 20 people and left thousands of others in its wake. The killer came in without warning and vanished in a puff of smoke.
On the western bank of the Monongahela River lies the small town of Donora. In 1948, the town was home to 14,000 residents, 6,500 whom worked for the area’s two mills, the American Steel & Wire Co. and Donora Zinc Works. Unbeknownst to the majority of the residents, the factories that sustained their livelihood would also be the cause for illness in a large majority of the town’s population and even death for some.

On October 27, 1948, thick, opaque smog began to cover the small, flat river town. “You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,” said resident Bill Schempp in a 1998 Tribune-Review article by Lynne Glover. Schempp described the scene as something “out of this world.” He would recall to David Templeton in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “if you chewed [the air] hard enough, you could swallow it.”
Within 24-hours of the smog’s arrival, police began to receive an alarming number of calls about residents who were having trouble breathing. As time progressed, the calls got more serious. Soon, those with existing respiratory problems began to die and those who were not sick began to feel the effects of the unusual fog.

"While the temperature inversion is blamed for being one cause of the Donora disaster, emissions from the city’s mills is said to be another. The exact amounts of toxins in the air during the incident are unknown. In “The Donora Fluoride Fog: A Secret History of America’s Worst Air Pollution Disaster,” Chris Bryson explains that the records containing that information are missing from the U.S.

Public Health Service’s archives, and that U.S. Steel is blocking records similar in nature."


Boston December 30th 1959

Lung Cancer Cause
"A man who has devoted his scientific career to a study of the causes of cancer warns that air pollution is a more important factor than cigarette smoking in the increase of lung cancer.
He is Dr, Wilhelm C Hueper, chief of the environmental section of the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, and he makes the significant observation that the upsurge in lung cancer first was noted between 1900 and 1920, several years before the practice of cigarette smoking was widespread.
Boston, having one of the most serious air pollution in the entire United States, cannot fail to be impressed - and disturbed - by Dr Hueper's findings.

We have always suspected that there was a connection between our contaminated air and the fact that tuberculosis is more prevalent in Boston than in any comparable city, and Bethesda studies support that suspicion.

The next session of the Legislature would do well to pass laws against the needless poisoning of the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks.

Other places, notably Pittsburgh, have proved the wisdom of screening out the fumes and ashes which currently rain down upon Boston and other cities, damaging human respiratory systems and undoubtedly shortening thousands of lives.

Enlightened Massachussetts ought to be able to accomplish at least as much in the public interest.";jsessionid=431567CE1BD9A55DA749F6EE58FC5DD1?tid=jsv02a00

orkshire Post-1962

"In the great London smog of 1952, some 4,000 people, mostly elderly, died. It was said to be the worst peace-time disaster in the capital since the Great Fire of London.

Lessons were learned but on the 10th anniversary, the smog descended on Yorkshire and it was found not too much seemed to have changed. On December 6, in certain parts of Leeds, the sulphur dioxide concentrations were higher than the lethal levels recorded in London a decade earlier."

"LONDON and Leeds were the areas worst hit by smog yesterday. In London last night the number of deaths neared the 70 mark and in Leeds over 50 people were in hospital "acutely ill" with respiratory illness"

"The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research also said that the sulphur dioxide concentration was six and five times higher than normal.

Pollution compared to that of the 1952 smog, the experts said. But without the Clean Air Act conditions would have been worse than in 1952.
In the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, the sulphur dioxide concentration was greater than that registered in London in 1952. At 5,185 microgrammes per cubic metre it was the highest ever registered in the city.
The smoke content of the air has decreased since the last bad smog in 1959 said Mr RA Dalley the city's analyst. This was due to the smoke control zone."

"Fog mixed with smoke, chemicals and fumes, such as the major industrial conurbations and London have suffered in the last three days, damages lung tissue, stomach lining, nasal passages.
Children's lungs so damaged "will never be the same again".

Fear of political embarrassment led to government cover up of link between air
pollution and lung cancer

"Delegates attending an international conference in London today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Great London Smog of 1952, which caused an estimated 12,000 deaths, will hear how governments from the late 50s onwards deliberately downplayed the huge threat to public health caused by air pollution, and sought to shift the blame firmly onto cigarette smoking instead"

Now with all this apalling respiratory system damage going on year after year, of which, these are only examples.

I find it odd that they were not mentioned in studies of the time as a possible cause of lung cancer.

If Doll could hardly find his way to work, you would think that he might have noticed.


(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
I am currently reading through the US Surgeon General's report 2010. Early on in the report, it says (I think!) that it is not concerned with whether or not smoking 'causes' cancer, since that effect was 'proved' in the 2004 report. It goes on to say that purpose of the 2010 report is to provide more information of 'biological cause and effect', or words to that effect. It is extremely messy and boring (quoting lots of studies describing how enzyme this affects enzyme that), but one of the first things that I noticed was this:

""This report of the Surgeon General was prepared by
the Office on Smoking and Health""

And so we can reasonably assume that the SG had nothing much to do with it - it was all constructed by the US equivalent of ASH, except that the US equivalent of ASH is even more embedded in the US Health Dept than ours is.

Also, despite the SG's assertion that one whiff of tobacco smoke can cause a heart attack, one observes that the text of the report is full of words such as 'maybe', and 'possibly' and 'suggest that'.

I also notice that there are hundreds of studies quoted. I wonder who paid for these studies, and, obviously, to what extent 'the piper calls the tune'.

But I am only half way through, and I am not sure because of the complexity and foreign language (by which I mean, mumbo jumbo).

If people here do read it, do so carefully. One of the things that I noticed is that a lot of time and words seem to be spent upon describing the 'pathways' etc which enable tobacco 'addiction'. But it seems to me that, in effect, much of this 'evidence' applies equally to chocolate 'addiction'. IE, in an evolutionary sense, the human body can persuade the human mind to desperately need, say, food and water. By association, the report suggests that tobacco craving is the same sort of thing. That may well be true, but is it the same sort of addiction as, say, heroin or cocaine? I would say not, if only because I have never heard of anyone at all ever, killing, robbing, mugging, etc, to get the money to buy tobacco. also, I have noticed that the report often says that non-smokers excrete via urine the same substances that smokers excrete, but smokers excrete more. Think about whether or not non-smokers should be excreting these substances at all if they do not smoke (nb. possible to blame passive smoking or food!).

So, as you read it, look for missing data rather than what is included.

Maybe we all ought to read this report in order to see the truth.

Junican your gonna find that the 2006 report was also written by anti-tobacco in america.Stanton glantz provided the heart attack and cardiovascular parts of it.He even takes great pleasure that he added his 2 cents of propaganda to it!

On the subject of conflict of interest... There is this myth of the disinterested scientist. A myth that really should die. Your average researcher isn't independently wealthy. S/he is usually being paid by someone (in money or career advancement) -- to promote something. With the possible exception of James Lovelock - who, IIRC made a point to work independently (self-funded by his work as an inventor) -- I know of no researcher who is truly independent. It's silly to think otherwise. Who is there to fund this "independent research"? (Please don't say "gov't" -- because even gov't has a point of view). All we can hope is that the truth comes out eventually. In hard sciences - replication serves this purpose. But when did you last here of an epidemiological study being replicated?

In epidemiology, finding what you want to find is as easy as choosing the right question, choosing the right population, and/or choosing the right analytical method (including choosing (or ignoring) the right co-variants). It's not that hard to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. And when you have a process that's easy to nudge in the desired direction, and motivation to do so... well.. you have a problem.

I guess I'm saying that none of this surprises me about Doll, Because I wouldn't really have thought otherwise.

Anyway, so it seems what you are saying is that you believe that Richard Doll had a lot of motivation to find what he claimed to have found.

Rose -- (or anyone else) WRT to the smog (which sounds awful!) -- do you think it created an actual association that Doll was measuring (people more affected by the smog smoked more (perhaps as detox)?). Or do you think it simply increased the rate of LC and made finding an alternate culprit more important (and that the smoking/LC association didn't really exist)?


Junican -- that was kind of my point. The SG has a job to do (and collects a paycheck for doing something). All the people employed by the Office on Smoking and Health - want to get paid and (like any government agancy) they are motivated to exaggerate the magnitude of the problem they are charged with, in order to increase funding. But my point is, that none of this can possibly be "disinterested". As individuals, most likely, none of these people are "evil" -- they're like everyone else. Day to day, they just want to keep their jobs and feed their kids.

But to accept any of it at face value (as most people will, of course) is, (IMO) foolish.

That was me, of course. Forgot to sign again


Yes, GDF. The researchers are not dishonest - it is rather that they are looking for what they want to find, or what they have been told to look for!

But I need to read this SG report all the way through and then again. But there is so much chemistry that it is very hard. You are probably aware of electricity and magnetism studies and how enormously complex just electric currents, electric fields and magnetic fields are. Well, in this study, there are not just three multivariables, there are hundreds if not thousands! In the end, the writers simply have to fall back on the old epidemiological 'certainties' - more smokers get whatever disease than non-smokers - QED. Which will not do.

Wow! This looks like an interesting article. Don't have full access though.

"The test of replicability, as it’s known, is the foundation of modern research. It’s a safeguard for the creep of subjectivity. But now all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts are losing their truth. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology. When Jonathan Schooler was a graduate student at the University of Washington, he discovered a surprising phenomenon having to do with language and memory that he called verbal overshadowing. While Schooler was publishing his results in journals, he noticed that it was proving difficult to replicate his earlier findings... "


Access seems full & free here:-
Are you running some script-blocking extensions &or etc.?
Article's interesting;- thanks for the tip!

"The decline effect is troubling because it reminds us how difficult it is to prove anything. We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that’s often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe."



"Rose -- (or anyone else) WRT to the smog (which sounds awful!) -- do you think it created an actual association that Doll was measuring (people more affected by the smog smoked more (perhaps as detox)?). - Yes

Or do you think it simply increased the rate of LC and made finding an alternate culprit more important (and that the smoking/LC association didn't really exist)? - Yes and yes, for the reason above.
Like cough medicine is strongly associated with bad coughs

Here's why.

"At the Smithfield Show at Earls Court, where the fog had seeped into the prize cattle's quarters, many animals were taken sick, just as they had in the great fog of 1873.

Thirteen had to be destroyed, and autopsies later showed that the animals had suffered from severe inflammation of the airways in their lungs."

"Cattle in the city's Smithfield market were killed and thrown away before they could be slaughtered and sold — their lungs were black."

Short term relief

Harvard and U. Pittsburgh researchers explain carbon monoxide's anti-inflammatory effects

In a study appearing in the April 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists from Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh have shown for the first time that the anti-inflammatory effects of carbon monoxide originate within cells’ own molecular engines, mitochondria. Specifically, mitochondria react to low levels of carbon monoxide by releasing chemical signals that reduce or shut down the body’s inflammatory response, raising the possibility for the development of new anti-inflammatory therapies, one of which may be low levels of inhaled carbon monoxide.

According to the study’s first author, Brian S. Zuckerbraun, M.D. of the University of Pittsburgh, "this study may contribute to our understanding and development of controlled carbon monoxide as a therapeutic agent."

'Surprise benefit from carbon monoxide'

"Researchers at the University Medical Centre in Groningen, the Netherlands, found that the gas appeared to ease the inflammation of lung tissues when given in low doses over a four-day period."

"The industrial revolution brought factory chimneys that belched gases and huge numbers of particles into the atmosphere.

Some of these particles caused lung and eye irritations. Others were poisonous. All were potentially condensation nuclei, the tiny hygroscopic particles on which condensation forms.
From the gases, corrosive acids were formed, notably sulphuric acid, which is produced when sulphur dioxide combines with oxygen and water.

As if it were not enough that they brought on agues, rheumatism and fevers and carried particles of soot from coal fires, the fogs of the British Isles now became even more unpleasant, for the noxious emissions from factory chimneys gave them an acrid taste, an unpleasant odour and a dirty yellow or brown colour.

These fogs, so different from the clean white fogs of country areas, came to be known as 'pea soupers', not only in London but also in other industrial areas of the British Isles. The particles in the atmosphere made buildings dirty and the acids attacked ironwork, stonework and fabrics."

You just don't recover from that easily, its a major injury to the lungs, especially when it is repeated.

Cancer of the Lung - England 1921-30
Males age 25 and over

Respiratory Cancer, White males, United States - 1950
Page 6

Just look at the London area.

If the public had been able to see those charts of deaths from industrial exposure, they would have fled the cities very quickly.
But you need workers to keep the wheels of industry turning.
By telling them the deaths were their own fault for smoking, they would stop thinking for themselves and stay put.

Used in Germany, America and England,who were all knitted together by a web of company shareholding and "philanthropy".


Medicine: Death in the Smoke
Monday, May. 11, 1959

"It does not take "a London particular" to send cough-racked Britons to their beds —or their graves. The tight little island's air is tightly packed with pollutant particles, boosting the bronchitis and chest-disease rate to the world's highest. Last week Dr. Horace Joules (rhymes with rules), of London's Central Middlesex Hospital, painted a Dickensian picture of what a medical nightmare the past winter had been in the city which some Englishmen still call "the Smoke."

"We are a great community hospital of 800 beds," said Dr. Joules, "but during February and March we ceased to be a general hospital.

We had to suspend all admissions except emergency cases of chest and heart disease.* In those two months we admitted 616 such cases, and 196 died.
The hospital really was an annex of the mortuary. If there had been a few days of smog, there would have been a holocaust in London."

Echoed Edgware General Hospital's Dr. Hugh J. Trenchard: "It is time to panic."

*The two are closely related because failing hearts may be fatally threatened by breathing difficulties.",9171,865848,00.html

"It was a murder mystery playing out in major cities across the country and perplexing scientists.
Thousands of people were dying from strokes and heart attacks within 24 hours of a spike in microscopic pollution -- tiny particles that spew from the exhaust of diesel trucks, buses and coal-burning factories."

"The study identifies how these tiny pieces of soot -- called particulate matter air pollution -- kill people at risk and tells how they can protect themselves from these pollution-related strokes and heart attacks"

"The study found that lungs inflamed by the pollution secrete a substance, interleukin-6, which causes an increased tendency for blood to coagulate or clot.
This raises the risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke in people with cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure or a history of stroke."

"This is a critical missing piece of the puzzle that has eluded scientists for decades,"

Second World Conference on Smoking and Health - London 1971

"But psychologist Daniel Horn, of the U.S. Public Health Service's National Clearinghouse on Smoking and Health, observed that "under certain conditions" an increase in carbon monoxide from others' cigarettes might be harmful to someone with a heart condiition."

Perfectly logical with the science of the day,but wrong.

The anti-inflammatory nature of carbon monoxide has only been discovered in the last few years.

"Carbon monoxide is an anti-inflammatory, and they want to explore its potential in treating high blood pressure, heart disease and possibly cancer"

"Carbon monoxide causes vasorelaxation and is produced naturally as a result of the breakdown of haemoglobin. This can be seen in the healing process of a bruise, where various colour changes indicate the degradation of haemoglobin and release of carbon monoxide. The slow release of carbon monoxide reduces blood pressure for someone who has angina, for instance"

"In fact CO is produced as a normal part of a reaction that generates antioxidants in the blood when tissues are inflamed. It was once dismissed as a worthless by-product of this reaction, but now it seems that the gas itself has the ability to calm inflammation in humans too.

"Your body is already loaded with carbon monoxide," says Huib Kerstjens, ..."

Of course smoking humans are unlikely to know any of this, they just know it makes them feel better.


(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
"To understand why Hueper pressed his attack so insistently, we need to look beyond methods to what he saw as the broader implications of the new epidemiology."

He suspected that pressures from corporations and a state-run nuclear industry reached into the NCI itself, especially when Director Heller shut down Hueper's epidemiological initiatives entirely in 1952.
NCI epidemiologists continued to pursue field studies of certain industries, but Hueper inferred similar influences on his colleagues."

"Just as fundamentally, Hueper's resistance reflected his concerns about how the new epidemiology would become translated into clinical and medicolegal decision making.

If physicians came to agee that smoking was such a universal and important cause of lung cancer, even in their work-patients, then liability and compensation suits by workers in the industries that did cause lung cancer in workers, such as coke, chromate, or asbestos production stood in dire jeopardy."

"If a worker happened also to be a smoker - which most blue collar workers tended to be - then companies would argue that he brought it on himself.

Epidemiologists themselves did not argue that the new smoking evidence distinguished the influence of workplace exposures from that of smoking in any individual case.

Yet Hueper knew how defence attorneys and their medical witnesses would seize upon a plaintiff's smoking to provide a "convenient escape for the guilty industrial part to pay compensation to the victim or to his widow and orphans."

Dr Hueper, being German and knowing where the "cigarette theorists" studies originated and what use they would be put to, I consider a very helpful source.

Proctor even did a hatchet job on him.

"Four University of Florida graduate students who did research for a tobacco company's legal defense have been caught in a debate over the role of historians in such cases.

The controversy stretches from Gainesville to Palo Alto, Calif., where Stanford University history professor Robert Proctor has publicly identified and criticized historians who work for the tobacco industry.

Proctor's discovery that UF graduate students in history were working for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. attorneys led him to e-mail objections to a UF professor, Betty Smocovitis.

Their e-mail exchange caused a legal dispute about whether Proctor tampered with witnesses.

Last month, a Volusia County circuit court judge issued a harsh rebuke that said Proctor had intended to harass and humiliate the students to either resign or run the risk of being exposed in national publications."

"To advance your own cause at the expense of graduate students trying to get through college strikes this court as appalling," Judge Williams Parsons wrote in an order restricting Proctor's contact with witnesses."

"These graduate students were doing totally appropriate work," he said. "It's a shame that someone that has an interest in the litigation would seek to interfere with them."

The Volusia County judge's order called Proctor's behavior "the lowest of the low." It ordered him to have no contact with witnesses among other orders about his testimony.

Proctor said the issue was a "classic tobacco industry distraction."


"Betty Smocovitis"

Really, is that her real name?

Hello Frank. This is off topic, but I know that you are interested.

The result of the BMJ competition has ben announced, AND THE WINNER IS!......jwatso!

Here is a copy of a comment that I have made on DP's site:

I have to split this into two parts because of the 'characters problem....

The first that I knew about this silliness was your report, DP. Isn't chance the most amazing thing? Day after day, I have looked at the VOTE and waited for the result, and been surprised that the thing is still going on! And then you beat me to it! Swine!

Anyway, here is my reply to the 'BMJ Editors' who signed the the admission of defeat:

""I thank you for the award of the prize of a subscription to 'Tobacco Control' magazine. I am much gratified, since the last thing that I won, without much effort, was an Easter egg when I was 17 years old.

Oh, by the way, there is a misconception in your above statement.

Your statement suggests that I have ‘colleagues in the pro-smoking lobby’. This is not true. I have no ‘colleagues’. I am merely a little, old man of 71 years caring for a little old lady of 69 years who has MS, whose occasional trip to our local pub has been ruined by the catastrophic effects on our pubs of the smoking ban, and I am merely a commenter on various blogs, on which ‘pro-freedom’ matters are discussed. I also have no significant political associations, or any other similar associations other than ‘signing up’ to newspapers and such in order to comment. I comment on many of these sites about a multitude of things.

Further, you say that my ‘colleagues’ on these blogs ‘tipped my idea over the top’. Erm.. 70% as opposed to the nearest, about 9%? Tipped over the top? No. There is a clear indication that your members, on the whole, are not interested and are probably not in agreement with your demonisation of smokers. Also, it may be that some other commenters on other blogs voted for my idea for fun, but it is also true, and something that you do not know, that a young man who is a relative of mine, put out the message to his friends on the internet to vote for my idea. They did not have to – they did it of their own accord. They did it because my relative suggested that they do. IS THIS AN ENORMOUS CONFOUNDER? Of course it is! In any study or survey, CONFOUNDERS can have an ENORMOUS effect.


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