Where to go after the McTear Case

My site stats are showing me that there is still considerable interest in ‘The Analysis’, and so I am reluctant to ‘move on’ as  yet. But, then, I am still a novice at this blogging game, and so I am not quite sure that I am interpreting the stats correctly. For example, like everyone else, I suppose, I get some spam. One of the odd things about spam comments is that they often comment on posts from weeks ago, so I get ‘views’ clocking up on posts I wrote weeks ago. Maybe (in fact I shall!) I’ll do a little bit of investigating and see if I can ‘line up’ spam comments with views on old posts. Let’s see……..

Umm…….not sure yet. Only a couple of spam comments today. Not much ‘evidence’ as Judge Nimmo might say.

I have a couple of ideas lined up. One is the reaction of ASH to The Judgement; another is concerned with lessons which can be learned.

I’ll give it another day or two. 


8 Responses to “Where to go after the McTear Case”

  1. Frank J Says:

    Along with the rest of us, keep a similar eye on the Blais and Letourneau case about to start in Canada. Any analysis would be much appreciated.

    Apparently, Quebec is attempting to claim the health costs from Tobacco of 1.5 million Quebeckers they reckon is the result of smoking. No doubt because of the McTear precedent, they are doing this without calling one person they are claiming on behalf of. Their whole case appears to rest on the assumption that ‘we all know’ and they reckon it’ll take about 13 months to present their case. Naturally, imp. Tob. et al are ‘robustly’ defending.

    On that basis, it shouldn’t have a bat in hell’s chance and, like the rest of them, is doomed to failure but we’ll see how the plaintiff’s play it.

    • junican Says:

      Sounds interesting.

      It looks like they are trying the ‘General Causation’ again. I would imagine that they are using the fact that Nimmo complained that he was not presented with evidence to try to get round the precedent. It will be interesting to see what evidence they have. Epidemiology alone is unlikely to succeed.

  2. mikef317 Says:

    Still reading your excellent summary of McTear.

    I was going to add this to the previous thread, based on comments there, but…. (It will probably come up as “in moderation” or spam due to the number of links.)

    Some links on MRFIT (Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial). Nothing comprehensive. Most are very technical.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/yza19a00 The original MRFIT paper, I believe.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ewg58d00 JAMA editorial on the study.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/psg72f00 Some letters on the study.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ybx61f00 Two more letters. Looked for but couldn’t find the Lewis Kuller statement that Seltzer references (but see a link to one of Kuller’s papers below).

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wjm58e00 Carl Seltzer on MRFIT. Good read for a layman.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/aiw44d00 Tobacco Institute, Intervention Studies.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/kdn81c00 L. Kuller 1991 MRFIT. The rehabilitation of intervention?

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ohl67e00 MRFIT 1996 update.

    More than anyone wants to know about MRFIT??

    So completely different things.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vgb95c00 Doll’s version of history.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/zrd91f00 Everything (I think) that Ronald Fisher wrote about smoking. Except for a paper on probability it’s quite accessible. Everyone should read Fisher.

    Of all the deaths attributed to smoking, lung cancer has always been a distant second to heart disease in absolute numbers. If Mr. McTear had died of a heart attack, his widow could equally have blamed it on smoking. I like Carl Seltzer’s critiques of this “theory.” Maybe other people will agree.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vzq59d00 Seltzer’s 1976 letter to the U.S. Congress. There’s also, starting on page 25, a letter from Arthur Furst.

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/rdz55d00 Seltzer’s 1982 statement to the U.S. Congress. Poor text quality; couldn’t find a better version.

    Hope someone finds some of this useful.

  3. junican Says:

    Your comment went to moderation.

    I’ll have a look at the links when I have time.

  4. junican Says:

    Gosh! I’ve just had a quick look at the cases which Frank J mentioned. The plot thickens and thickens.

    1998. Two actions against Imperial Tobacco start in Canada.

    Blais…………………….Lung disease.

    2003. A class action.

    Knight………………….’Light’ cigs as bad as ‘ordinary’ cigs.

    Things are becoming surreal!

    ‘Light’ cigs seem to be ‘low tar’ cigs.

    In Knight, the claim is that Imp Tob misrepresented that light cigs are ‘safer’. Imp Tob claim that the Canadian government are also to blame if they are, because the gov developed the strain of tobacco which Imp used. The gov also claimed that the cigs were ‘safer’. The gov deny liability. Imp Tob go to court for a judgement on the matter of ‘liability’, should they be found guilty, in which case, the gov would be liable for a share of any damages. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected Brit Imp claims.

    As far as I can see, the situation now is that the three original cases will now proceed. What chance they have, in view of McTear is anyone’s guess.

    Addiction? McTear says no.
    Lung disease? McTear says no.
    Warnings? McTear says no.

    There are two interesting things here. Notice the dates of the first two – 1998. Same as McTear. The third follows a Costs Recovery Act. Also, I have no doubt that Nimmo was aware of these pending cases, which perhaps explains the length and detail of the Opinion in the McTear case.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  5. junican Says:

    An Update to the above.

    I have just come across a Canadian broadcast (with video). It seems that at least one of the above actions (Blais) is underway. It started Monday 12th. Here is the URL for Canada.com:


    It might take 2 years.

    It seems that the action is going to cover much the same ground as McTear. Take a look – in at the start! Blais is a very old man who says he has iung cancer.

  6. Michael J. McFadden Says:

    Junican, it will take a while for most folks to read the entire analysis. I printed it out and sat down with it for about two hours yesterday and doubt I made it even halfway through (of course I was annotating etc all the way so that slowed me down a lot.)

    You truly did do a brilliant job with it!


  7. junican Says:

    Thanks for that, Michael.

    I feel the need to start writing stuff again! Particularly now that this new case has started in Canada.

    I think that there comes a point where ‘comments’ on a post naturally run out. That is, everything has been said that needs to be said. We have both experienced the effect of Trolls. They have an effect of perpetuating discussions long after the discussions should have died. Sometimes, that is a good thing!

    Time to move on, as regards the BSC…..

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