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Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:35 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

I won't post more articles like this for a while because I'd rather debate them and stick with less technical stuff that everyone wants to talk about. Still, everyone should read this one because it's excellent and easy to digest.
__________________________________________________ _______________________________
Journal of Theoretics Vol.1-4

Oct/Nov 1999 Editorial
Smoking Does Not

Cause Lung Cancer

(According to WHO/CDC Data)*
By: James P. Siepmann, MD

Yes, it is true, smoking does not cause lung cancer. It is only one of many risk factors for lung cancer. I initially was going to write an article on how the professional literature and publications misuse the language by saying "smoking causes lung cancer"1,2, but the more that I looked into how biased the literature, professional organizations, and the media are, I modified this article to one on trying to put the relationship between smoking and cancer into perspective. (No, I did not get paid off by the tobacco companies, or anything else like that.)

When the tobacco executives testified to Congress that they did not believe that smoking caused cancer, their answers were probably truthful and I agree with that statement. Now, if they were asked if smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer, then their answer based upon current evidence should have be "yes." But even so, the risk of a smoker getting lung cancer is much less than anyone would suspect. Based upon what the media and anti-tobacco organizations say, one would think that if you smoke, you get lung cancer (a 100% correlation) or at least expect a 50+% occurrence before someone uses the word "cause."

Would you believe that the real number is < 10% (see Appendix A)? Yes, a US white male (USWM) cigarette smoker has an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer but the USWM nonsmoker also has a 1% chance of dying from lung cancer (see Appendix A). In fact, the data used is biased in the way that it was collected and the actual risk for a smoker is probably less. I personally would not smoke cigarettes and take that risk, nor recommend cigarette smoking to others, but the numbers were less than I had been led to believe. I only did the data on white males because they account for the largest number of lung cancers in the US, but a similar analysis can be done for other groups using the CDC data.

You don't see this type of information being reported, and we hear things like, "if you smoke you will die", but when we actually look at the data, lung cancer accounts for only 2% of the annual deaths worldwide and only 3% in the US.**

When we look at the data over a longer period, such as 50 years as we did here, the lifetime relative risk is only 8 (see Appendix A). That means that even using the biased data that is out there, a USWM smoker has only an 8x more risk of dying from lung cancer than a nonsmoker. It surprised me too because I had always heard numbers like 20-40 times more risk. Statistics that are understandable and make sense to the general public, what a concept!

The process of developing cancer is complex and multifactorial. It involves genetics, the immune system, cellular irritation, DNA alteration, dose and duration of exposure, and much more. Some of the known risk factors include genetics4,5,6, asbestos exposure7, sex8, HIV status9, vitamin deficiency10, diet11,12,13, pollution14 , shipbuilding15 and even just plain old being lazy.16 When some of these factors are combined they can have a synergistic effect17, but none of these risk factors are directly and independently responsible for "causing" lung cancer!

Look in any dictionary and you will find something like, "anything producing an effect or result."18 At what level of occurrence would you feel comfortable saying that X "causes" Y? For myself and most scientists, we would require Y to occur at least 50% of the time. Yet the media would have you believe that X causes Y when it actually occurs less than 10% of the time.

As ludicrous as that is, the medical and lay press is littered with such pabulum and gobbledygook. Even as web literate physician, it took me over 50 hours of internet time to find enough raw data to write this article. I went through thousands of abstracts and numerous articles, only to find two articles that even questioned the degree of correlation between smoking and lung cancer (British lung cancer rates do not correlating to smoking rates)19,20 and another two articles which questioned the link between second hand smoke (passive smoking) and lung cancer.21,22 Everywhere I looked, the information was hidden in terms like "odds ratio," "relative risk," or "annualized mortality rate." Most doctors probably could not accurately define and interpret them all these terms accurately, let alone someone outside the medical profession. The public relies on the media to interpret this morass of data, but instead they are given politically correct and biased views.

If they would say that smoking increases the incidence of lung cancer or that smoking is a risk factor in the development of lung cancer, then I would agree. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the need to use language appropriately in both the medical and scientific literature (the media, as a whole, may be a lost cause).

Everything in life has risk; just going to work each day has risk. Are we supposed to live our lives in bed, hiding under the blanket in case a tornado should come into our bedroom? We in science, have a duty to give the public accurate information and then let them decide for themselves what risk is appropriate. To do otherwise is a subtle imposition of our biases on the populace.

We must embrace Theoretics as a discipline that strives to bring objectivity and logic back into science. Every article/study has some bias in it, the goal is to minimize such biases and present the facts in a comprehensible and logical manner. Unfortunately, most scientists have never taken a course in logic, and I'm sure that English class was not their favorite. Theoretics is a field of science which focuses on the use of logic and appropriate language in order to develop and communicate scientifically credible theories and ideas which will then have experimental implications. As someone whom I respect says, "Words mean things." Let us use language and logic appropriately in our research and in the way that we communicate information.

* * * * *

Yes, smoking is bad for you, but so is fast-food hamburgers, driving, and so on. We must weigh the risk and benefits of the behavior both as a society and as an individual based on unbiased information. Be warned though, that a society that attempts to remove all risk terminates individual liberty and will ultimately perish. Let us be logical in our endeavors and true in our pursuit of knowledge. Instead of fearful waiting for lung cancer to get me (because the media and much of the medical literature has falsely told me that smoking causes lung cancer), I can enjoy my occasional cigar even more now...now that I know the whole story.

* * * * *

The Untold Facts of Smoking (Yes, there is bias in science)

1. USWM smokers have a lifetime relative risk of dying from lung cancer of only 8 (not the 20 or more that is based on an annual death rate and therefore virtually useless).
2. No study has ever shown that casual cigar smoker (<5 cigars/wk, not inhaled) has an increased incidence of lung cancer.
3. Lung cancer is not in even in the top 5 causes of death, it is only #9.**
4. All cancers combined account for only 13% of all annual deaths and lung cancer only 2%.**
5. Occasional cigarette use (<1 pk/wk) has never been shown to be a risk factor in lung cancer.
6. Certain types of pollution are more dangerous than second hand smoke.3
7. Second hand smoke has never been shown to be a causative factor in lung cancer.
8. A WHO study did not show that passive (second hand) smoke statistically increased the risk of getting lung cancer.
9. No study has shown that second hand smoke exposure during childhood increases their risk of getting lung cancer.
10. In one study they couldn't even cause lung cancer in mice after exposing them to cigarette smoke for a long time.23
11. If everyone in the world stopped smoking 50 years ago, the premature death rate would still be well over 80% of what it is today.1 (But I thought that smoking was the major cause of preventable death...hmmm.)

*This article was revised after errors in the data and calculations were noticed by Dr. Charles Rotter, Dr. Curtis Cameron and Dr. Jesse V. Silverman. This is the corrected version. A special thanks to both.

**WHO data of member countries

References (I back up my statements with facts, will those who respond do the same?)

1. Articles:
* Pisani P, Parkin DM, Bray F, Ferlay J, Estimates of the worldwide mortality from 25 cancers in 1990, Int J Cancer 1999 Sep 24;83(1):18-29; "Tobacco smoking and chewing are almost certainly the major preventable causes of cancer today."
* American Thoracic Society, Cigarette smoking and health.. , Am J Respir Crit Care Med; 153(2):861-5 1996; "Cigarette smoking remains the primary cause of preventable death and morbidity in the United States."
* Nordlund LA, Trends in smoking habits and lung cancer in Sweden, Eur J Cancer Prev 1998 Apr;7(2):109-16; "Tobacco smoking is the most important cause of lung cancer and accounts for about 80-90% of all cases of lung cancer among men and about 50-80% among women."
* JAMA 1997;278:1505-1508; "The chief cause of death included lung cancer, esophageal cancer and liver cancer. The death rate was higher for those who started smoking before age 25. If current smoking patterns persist, tobacco will eventually cause more than two million deaths each year in China."
* JAMA 1997;278:1500-1504; "We have demonstrated that smoking is a major cause of death in China...."
* Hecht SS hecht002@tc.umn.edu, Tobacco smoke carcinogens and lung cancer, J Natl Cancer Inst 1999 Jul 21;91(14):1194-210; "The complexity of tobacco smoke leads to some confusion about the mechanisms by which it causes lung cancer."
* Sarna L, Prevention: Tobacco control and cancer nursing, Cancer Nurs 1999 Feb;22(1):21-8; "In the next century, tobacco will become the number-one cause of preventable death throughout the world, resulting in half a billion deaths."
* Liu BQ, Peto R, Chen ZM, Boreham J, Wu YP, Li JY, Campbell TC, Chen JS, Emerging tobacco hazards in China: 1. Retrospective proportional mortality study of one million deaths, BMJ 1998 Nov 21;317(7170):1411-22; "If current smoking uptake rates persist in China (where about two thirds of men but few women become smokers) tobacco will kill about 100 million...."
* Nordlund LA Trends in smoking habits and lung cancer in Sweden. Eur J Cancer Prev 1998 Apr;7(2):109-16; "Tobacco smoking is the most important cause of lung cancer and accounts for about 80-90% of all cases of lung cancer among men and about 50-80% among women."
* Skurnik Y, Shoenfeld Y Health effects of cigarette smoking, Clin Dermatol 1998 Sep-Oct;16(5):545-56 "Cigarette smoking, the chief preventable cause of illness and death in the industrialized nations."

2. Websites:

* JAMA Website: http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/sci...96/snr0424.htm [link no longer active as of 2004]; "Yet huge obstacles remain in our path, and new roadblocks are being erected continuously," writes Ronald M. Davis, M.D., director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich., in urging a review of the effort against "the most important preventable cause of death in our society."
* JAMA Website: http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/sci...03.htm#joc6d99 [link no longer active as of 2004]; "According to the authors, tobacco use has been cited as the chief avoidable cause of death in the U.S., responsible for more than ***,000 deaths annually ...."
* JAMA Website: http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v281...wm80010-2.html [link no longer active as of 2004]; "The researchers reported that deaths caused by tobacco...."

3. The World Health Report 1999, chapter 5 and Statistical Annex and CDC data (http://www.cdc.gov/scientific.htm).

4.Mutat Res 1998 Feb 26;398(1-2):43-54 Association of the NAT1*10 genotype with increased chromosome aberrations and higher lung cancer risk in cigarette smokers. Abdel-Rahman SZ, El-Zein RA, Z

5. Schwartz AG, Rothrock M, Yang P, Swanson GM, "Increased cancer risk among relatives of nonsmoking lung cancer cases," Genet Epidemiol 1999;17(1):1-15

6. Amos CI, Xu W, Spitz MR, Is there a genetic basis for lung cancer susceptibility?, Recent Results Cancer Res 1999;151:3-12

7. Silica, asbestos, man-made mineral fibers, and cancer. Author Steenland K; Stayner L Cancer Causes Control, 8(3):491-503 1997 May

8. Lam S, leRiche JC, Zheng Y, Coldman A, MacAulay C, Hawk E, Kelloff G, Gazdar AF, Sex-related differences in bronchial epithelial changes associated with tobacco smoking, J Natl Cancer Inst 1999 Apr 21;91(8):691-6

9. Ignacio I. Wistuba, MD, Comparison of Molecular Changes in Lung Cancers in HIV-Positive and HIV-Indeterminate Subjects, JAMAVol. 279, pp. 1554-1559, May 20, 1998

10. Kumagai Y, Pi JB, Lee S, Sun GF, Yamanushi T, Sagai M, Shimojo N, Serum antioxidant vitamins and risk of lung and stomach cancers in Shenyang, Cancer Lett 1998 Jul 17;129(2):145-9 China.

11. Nyberg F, et al., Dietary factors and risk of lung cancer in never-smokers, Int J Cancer 1998 Nov 9;78(4):430-6

12. Sinha R, Kulldorff M, Curtin J, Brown CC, Alavanja MC, Swanson CA, "Fried, well-done red meat and risk of lung cancer in women." Cancer Causes Control 1998 Dec;9(6):621-30.

13. Young KJ, Lee PN, Statistics and Computing Ltd, Surrey, UK. Intervention studies on cancer, Eur J Cancer Prev 1999 Apr;8(2):91-103

14. Long-term inhalable particles and other air pollutants related to mortality in nonsmokers.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999 Feb;159(2):373-82.

15. Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF, Lung Cancer Mortality in the US: Shipyard Correlations Source, Ann N Y Acad Sci; 330:313-315 1979 UI: 80659437

16. Lee IM, Sesso HD, Paffenbarger RS Jr, Physical activity and risk of lung cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1999 Aug;28(4):620-5

17. Kamp DW, Greenberger MJ, Sbalchierro JS, Preusen SE, Weitzman SA, Cigarette smoke augments asbestos-induced alveolar epithelial cell injury: role of free radicals, Free Radic Biol Med 1998 Oct;25(6):728-39

18. The Complete Reference Collection, 1996-9, Compton's.

19. Lee PN, Forey BA, Trends in cigarette consumption cannot fully explain trends in British lung cancer rates, J Epidemiol Community Health; 52(2):82-92 1998

20. Pandey M, Mathew A, Nair MK, Global perspective of tobacco habits and lung cancer: a lesson for third world countries. Eur J Cancer Prev 1999 Aug;8(4):271-9

21. Jahn O, [Passive smoking, a risk factor for lung carcinoma?], Wien Klin Wochenschr; 108(18):570-3 1996

22. Nilsson R, Environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer: a reappraisal, Ecotoxicol Environ Saf; 34(1):2-17 1996

23. Finch GL, Nikula KJ, Belinsky SA, Barr EB, Stoner GD, Lechner JF, Failure of cigarette smoke to induce or promote lung cancer in the A/J mouse, Cancer Lett; 99(2):161-7 1996

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  #2  
Old May 12th, 2007, 12:58 PM
ghostofdavid
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Smoking doesn't cause cancer? It sure as hell doesn't prevent it.

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Old May 12th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Only you can prevent Cancer. Liveing in a Bubble.LOL
I tried it but I got really Board. But I say you only go thru once. So have fun and Understand.
Smiley
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:36 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostofdavid
Smoking doesn't cause cancer? It sure as hell doesn't prevent it.

True enough but then I doubt anyone would claim as much. The points to recall are:

A) The risks associated with tobacco use have been drastically overstated.
B) The supposed public and personal risks of tobacco use are propped up by pseudo science, a well funded anti-tobacco industry, government regulation/taxation and a biased media.
C) What almost everyone thinks about the subject is not supported by soundly applied empirical method.

What was not stated but should be noticed in any case is that politically motived junk science is used as a justification to force us to pay higher prices for tobacco products, ban public smoking and demonize our hobby.

Allowing truisms based upon faulty methodology to stand as fact in one area (like tobacco) has will bring higher taxes, regulation and less control over our lives in other areas as well.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:15 AM
rewt_hawaii
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

smoking doesnt cause cancer? indeed it does

my mother and grandmother both died of cancer in the past few years, lifetime smokers.

have you ever lost a loved one to cancer caused by smoking? pray it never happens
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Old May 21st, 2007, 01:21 PM
freepain
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Well if you actually read it he says that it actually does increase the chances

but not nearly as much as we are all lead to believe.

That was the premise of this study
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:56 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rewt_hawaii
smoking doesnt cause cancer? indeed it does

my mother and grandmother both died of cancer in the past few years, lifetime smokers.

have you ever lost a loved one to cancer caused by smoking? pray it never happens
Obviously everyone knows of people that smoked cigarettes for several decades and latter contracted cancer and died. No one will say that smoking cigarettes carries zero risk to your health. A point that must be made is that risk factors and causality are not the same and that numerous, inter-dependent variables determine the risk factor of any given activity. Understanding those terms and the methods used to determine them allows one to make informed opinions. Ascribing generalized conclusions to anecdotal evidence is understandable but fallacious.

What you should do is actually read the article and understand that what we are talking about is risk factors that are far less then what is believed and that causality is far less certain then the prohibitionists claim. In fact, a great deal of the anti-tobacco research is openly biased, poorly conceived in methodological terms but promoted nonetheless for financial and ideological reasons while studies contradicting the officially sanctioned position are ignored and de-funded.

I think Iíll need to post more stuff on these issues although it seems that a major problem is getting people to actually consider what is being stated rather then assuming anecdotal evidence and officially sanctioned opinion portrayed as science is somehow beyond reasoned objection.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

I read the whole thing, and it makes sense. The article doesn't say smoking is healthy, or that it doesn't increase the risk of cancer. It's a risk factor that increases.

I haven't done any research on this, but what I want to know is this. Is lung cancer found in non-smokers?
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

I have had family that were lifetime smokers die of lung cancer NOT caused by smoking - they were welders/painters. Those are some scary chemicals! I've also had family die of cancer and they did everything they were "supposed" to their whole lives.

cancer is a mutation of normal healthly cells. it can happen to anybody, anytime, anyplace. Even without "added" risk factors, you can still get cancer.

my .02 cents
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:49 AM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

The matter of lung cancer being caused by things other then smoking is actually a very interesting topic. The vast range of incidents of lung cancer incidents among cigarette smokers of varying ethnic and socio-economic grouping is something that lots of honest researchers/critics have noted as a fatal flaw with the conventional anti-smoking position. If anyone is interested I could post some stuff about that sort of thing. In sort, your risk factor for smoking tobacco has a lot to do with your general health, genetics, diet as well as what kind of tobacco you smoke and how you smoke it.

Insofar as occupational exposure to variety of industrial chemicals are significant causal factors for a wide variety of respitory and cardiovascular ailments itís a bad idea to not consider such things when declaring some disease and death presumed to have been brought about by it was a product of some single evil (i.e. tobacco). Yet for decades now anyone that suffered from lung cancer who was not a coal miner is statistically counted as a having gotten said aliment from smoking tobacco. People in various industries (paint, foundry, semi-conductor and a few others I can't recall off hand) actually suffer from lung cancer risk factors equal to or higher then those of the American cigarette smoker yet nothing at all is done to safe guard those people. Post hoc interviews with those suffering from aliments attributed to tobacco are often ask leading questions about tobacco consumption (in the context of winning the legal lottery) introduce what is called recall bias into surveys. A great deal has been written about such problems and even worse examples of post hoc forcing of the facts to meet the hypophysis and that is something Iíll post about next week when I am back from traveling.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

I decided to bring this thread back from the dead in part since it seems the search function is an impenetrable mystery to so many. Also, a lot people have been raising health issues a lot lately so it seems that this thread should be revisited.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbomb View Post
I read the whole thing, and it makes sense. The article doesn't say smoking is healthy, or that it doesn't increase the risk of cancer. It's a risk factor that increases.

I haven't done any research on this, but what I want to know is this. Is lung cancer found in non-smokers?


Quote:
Would you believe that the real number is < 10% (see Appendix A)? Yes, a US white male (USWM) cigarette smoker has an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer but the USWM nonsmoker also has a 1% chance of dying from lung cancer (see Appendix A).
So yes nonsmokers can get lung cancer.


EDIT: realized that was a REALLY old post...
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Old November 25th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

One reason why I posted this article is that it actually overstates the health risks associated with cigarette smoking substantial but at least makes an attempt at objectivity and reason.

In actuality, the rate of lung cancer among non-smokers is drastically understated as a result of recall bias, poor morality survey methods, a wide veriety compounding and intervening variables and a tendency among medical examiners to simply declare any known smoker with any indications of cardio-vascular problems to have "died of smoking related aliments."

I could also point out that the life expectancy data for homosexuals, sexual athletes of conventional dispositions and habitual consumers of junk food is a good deal worse then cigarette smokers. See "For Your Own Good" by Jacob Sullum and the various stuff he references for details.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammniamii View Post
I have had family that were lifetime smokers die of lung cancer NOT caused by smoking - they were welders/painters. Those are some scary chemicals!
well crap. i smoke and weld.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

It's something like smoke, especially hot smoke like from a cigarette, irritates and shortly inflames the tissue inside your lungs and throat, and that is what puts smokers at an increased risk of cancer. The other additives found in cigarettes and such can certainly affect your health otherwise but i don't think they contribute to an increased risk of cancer. I'm no doctor but i read this somewhere and it made sense to me, so this is what i'm going to go with for now.

But that was an interesting article, the scientific evidence really doesn't match up to how horrible bullshit anti-smoking campaigns like "truth" make smoking out to be. We should be fed more backed up facts, and less over exaggerated nonsense, but that's all up to the media.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

I think it's true that many things CONTRIBUTE to a quicker death than would be natural; smoking, lack of exercise, eating un-healthily, pollution exposure, etc.

But i'll sooner die from SKIN CANCER because i do marching band about 1000 hours every summer in the sun....

that and i ride a motorcycle... lol i think my risk of dying on a bike is 1,000x more likely than of lung cancer due to smoking.

Point being, science can use facts to "prove" whatever they want. Live life and don't look back.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

Try this on for size. I live in Michigan, working in a diesel engine assembly plant. The morons in the local govt. say no smoking in buildings. Other idiots say, no smoking in the factory. The smart people in machine shop of the factory ask, is the haze in the air from machining worse than smoking. Idiots say nope! Smart people wonder why idiots in charge?
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Old November 27th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Smoking Does Not Cause Cancer! (A Classic Scientific Article)

The important thing to do I think is read the actual research and read the criticisms of such work. In order to do that a basic understanding of scientific method is needed and unfortunately, that sort of thing is often ignored by the educational establishment and reviled by the media and governments of the West.
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