More dubious assertions from advocates of smoking bans

Related articles

ACSH scientific advisor and Professor of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Dr. Michael Siegel points to a troubling misrepresentation by advocates of smoking bans. University of Iowa researchers claimed that a state ban on smoking in public places had lowered rates of heart disease by, as an NBC TV affiliate put it, “staggering numbers.” But Dr. Siegel notes that if anything, the data show just the opposite. It appears that already rapidly declining heart attack rates actually leveled off for a bit following implementation of the ban.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross says that proponents of the claims are “either malevolently manipulating the data to fit their agenda, or they are ignorant. Dr. Siegel is right to direct our attention to this. It’s regrettable, but many in the anti-smoking movement are putting forward junk science.”

In the same vein, ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan observes, “This misrepresentation does great damage to public health. The tired dogma, ‘the end justifies the means,’ is unacceptable. It has the effect of discrediting valid anti-smoking efforts. Could this lead to people questioning the obviously correct data connecting cigarettes to lung cancer?”