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151606.  Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:25 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I dare say he is, and the fact that he's 60 in a few months and contemplating a Spanish retirement was possibly not irrelevant either.

Ah ha! The plot thickens :)

suze wrote:
But the smoking ban was the reason why he sought to sell as a residential property rather than as a going concern.

Yeah, I can imagine that concerns about how the market will respond would affect the price he'd get by selling it as a going concern, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those concerns are well-founded.

suze wrote:
Either way, it doesn't help me ...

Indeed not. My sincere condolences for your loss.

suze wrote:
440 pubs in Ireland closed their doors in 2006, with the smoking ban cited as a leading cause (source:

Well, the smoking ban and the stricter drink driving laws. Unfortunately with these things, where people have an axe to grind, it's very hard to get exact figures for the effects of the smoking ban.

According to Scottish Licensed Trade Association (an outspoken opponent of the ban), the ban has caused an 11% drop in trade for pubs in Scotland (
However, figures from Mitchells & Butlers, which owns the All Bar One and Harvester chains, show that drinks sales fell only 1% since the ban, and that was balanced by food sales increasing by 11% (,,1881745,00.html).

Like I say, it's nearly impossible to get reliable figures and to predict what will happen in another area. The only way we'll really know is to wait and see. As I say, in my region I haven't noticed any effect at all. You may be more susceptible because you don't live in a big city, or it may be just bad timing of your landlord wanting to sell when he can get more money from a property developer than a publican.

suze wrote:
early July would be a great time if you have the Crime of the Millennium planned, since the police will be far too busy removing recalcitrant smokers from licensed premises.

Excellent! I'll dust off the crow-bar, and you sort out the getaway car.

I just hope no crime-fighting agencies are monitoring these forums.

151614.  Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:31 am Reply with quote

I'll bet they're smoking fags at the same time if they are.

151888.  Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:34 am Reply with quote

Many thanks for the suggestions, everyone; I shall look into all those.

188987.  Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:47 am Reply with quote

There are plans to publish the aforementioned pamphlet in a proper, pdf format later this year; meanwhile, it can be read in its rough form at

Last edited by MatC on Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

222608.  Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:48 pm Reply with quote

Anyone willing to consider data rather than dogma - oh, an old-fashioned idea, I know! - have a look at this:

The list of sources alone might give some pause for thought.

222641.  Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:31 pm Reply with quote

A nicely-written piece, Mat. A review of the evidence which arrives at the opposite conclusion can be found in a stonking 1682-page judgement at

The bit which deals with passive smoking is a relatively modest 200-page section from p1210-p1406. I haven't read it, and have no way of knowing which argument is to be preferred.

222826.  Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:44 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
The list of sources alone might give some pause for thought.

I couldn't agree more. Especially if one actually takes the time to follow them up and see if they agree with what Sidney Zion claims they say. I haven't had a chance to read more than the first few paragraphs so far, but this is what I've found.

In paragraph 6, he mentions the 1986 US Surgeon General's report on passive smoking. He quotes from the report that:

The data "suggest" that nonsmokers are exposed to levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) that "would be expected to generate a lung cancer risk"

(the emphasis is Zion's own)

He then compares this with the apparent unsupported statement two paragraphs later that

It is certain that a substantial proportion of the lung cancers that occur in nonsmokers are due to ETS exposure

Interestingly, Sidney somehow forgets to mention that, immediately after the quote about "suggesting" and "expecting to" (indeed, the very next sentence), the report refers to:

epidemiological studies of populations exposed to ETS have documented an increased risk for lung cancer in those nonsmokers with increased exposure

Now that sounds a bit more cut and dry, doesn't it. Odd that Sidney didn't mention that bit of the report. Or, indeed, any of the rest of it. All of this just comes from the preface. I haven't read the entire report, but it would surprise me if there was more evidence to back up the conclusion that Mr Zion is suggesting is unsupported based on the quotation of one sentence taken out of context. If you feel like reading the entire report, you can do so here:

OK, next paragraph. Apparently this Surgeon General's report was generally criticised, and the International Agency of Research on Cancer then concluded that

as far as the risk of lung cancer was concerned: "The observations on nonsmokers that have been made so far are compatible with either an increased risk from passive smoking or an absence of risk."

Again, he's good enough to provide us with a reference, so you can read the whole article here:

If you do, you might see that in the immediately following sentence (hmm, do I see a pattern emerging here), the report goes on to say:

Knowledge of the nature of sidestream and mainstream smoke, of the materials absorbed during 'passive' smoking, and of the quantitative relationships between dose and effect that are commonly observed from exposure to carcinogens, however, leads to the conclusion that passive smoking gives rise to some risk of cancer

Again, isn't it curious that Sidney forgot to include that bit when he was quoting from the report?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that that quote from the IARC report doesn't sound too convincing about correlating cancer with passive smoking. However, it's not exactly backing up Sidney Zion's argument in the way he's claiming it does.

As I say, I haven't read much of Zion's article. However, if it all consists of taking individual phrases out of context from publications that actually advise that passive smoking is a real problem, I'm not sure it's entirely worth the effort of going through it and pointing out what nonsense he's talking.

222887.  Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:37 am Reply with quote

This bit seems clear enough, though, on the face of it:
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the prestigious American Council on Science and Health, is made of stronger stuff. She denounced (NY Mayor) Bloomberg's claim that his ban would save a thousand lives a year. "Patently absurd," she wrote. "There is no evidence that any New Yorker - patron or employee -- has ever died as a result of exposure to smoke in a bar or restaurant." Whelan is no Big Tobacco shill. A world-class epidemiologist out of Harvard and Yale, Whelanis a leading foe of smoking, oft quoted in the establishment press.

I can't say whether she's right or not, or comment on her qualifications, but the comment seems unequivocal at least.

222893.  Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:43 am Reply with quote

As I see it, there are two problems here.

Firstly, there are a lot of people on both sides making categorical statements without referring to the research (or, in the case of the Zion article, referring incorrectly to the research). This just muddies the waters and doesn't really help anyone.

Secondly, cancer caused by low doses of exposure over long periods of time are very hard to prove due to the enormous number of confounding factors. Compare it with the debate about childhood leukaemia around nuclear power sites.

How many of the opponents of the smoking ban would be equally happy to see a relaxation in the controls of radioactive contamination in our environment?

222918.  Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:21 am Reply with quote

I think that's the central point that Zion makes, isn't it? The scientific case against passive smoking is hard to prove (as you say) but is being treated as though it was easy to prove - so easy that opposing arguments should not even be permitted.

222922.  Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:25 am Reply with quote

I really must go and read that Zion article all the way through.

There is evidence that passive smoking is harmful. What I've read of the Zion article so far seems to be trying to imply that there is no evidence of its harmfulability at all.

223070.  Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:20 am Reply with quote

Like all my other posts on this topic: posted without comment.

Researchers at Temple University found that 16- and 18-year-olds exposed to secondhand smoke at home were 30 percent less likely to pass standardized tests than their peers.

They reached this conclusion after analyzing data from thousands of mothers and children in the United Kingdom, and factoring in other known risk factors, such as socioeconomic status, gender and smoking by teens.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

223770.  Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:37 am Reply with quote

Hmm - my bullshit buzzer is going off here, on no scientific grounds that I can name.

Sadurian Mike
253048.  Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:52 am Reply with quote

Well, having seen the pickled remains of healthy hearts and lungs next to those from heavy smokers (Guy's Pathology Museum), I will only add that the smoker's organs sure looked unhealthy to me!


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