This will have to be a short post since I dare not be tempted to blather on too long since I must get up earlier than normal tomorrow.
Some time ago, I burrowed into ONS Mortality stats going back to 1970. By that year, smoking had reached its zenith. (Actually, I went back further – to about 1950 – but, at the time, I was only interested in the period of time after smoking started to decline, ie. post 1970). I found that lung cancer, as a cause of death, had declined over the forty years to 2010, but not nearly as much as smoking had declined.
In very general terms, there are some difficulties in drawing conclusions:
1. How much has treatment for LC improved such that it could be considered that, for any particular person, his LC could be considered to be cured?
2. Is there any evidence that the much vaunted ‘delayed effect’ is true?
3. What have been the different experiences of males and females (which I did not bother with at the time)?
You see, as far as I know, there has been no repetition of the ‘Doctors Study’, or other study using the same criteria and started from scratch, say, 15 years after the start of the Doctors Study – say, starting in 1965 or thereabouts. I think that the Zealots (Eugenicist/Prohibitionist-in-hiding) deliberately set up a small number of large studies about the same time studying the same thing. I cannot be sure, but it seems that the commonality between these studies was that non-smoking status was the benchmark against which others would be assessed. That is, a non-smokers was a saint, and everyone else was a sinner.
In the past couple of months, I have been intending to revisit the ONS stats and pull out what information might be gleaned. You see, Tobacco Control has lost sight of its ‘scientific’ origins. What was important in the Doctors Study was the VAST difference between the occurrence of LC among heavy smokers especially and non-smokers. The fact that LC was rare among smokers was not important in their thinking. Only the difference between heavy smokers and non-smokers mattered. That is fine, except that, over the 50 years of the Doctors Study, nothing was changed. All the measurements were the same. No account was taken of the Clean Air Acts of the 1960s. Non-smoker status remained the benchmark throughout the 50 years.
So, why is it that the Doctors Study, or something close to it, has not been repeated over, say, the period from 198o to 2000, taking into account improved treatment and cures? Why has the Doll Doctors Study become akin to a ‘holy bible’?
Sometimes one feels that it is a waste of time even bothering to look. Had I had that attitude when I summarised The McTear Case, I would never have started. I was naive at the time and assumed that it was worth doing.
I must overcome that feeling and set to.
What I hope to find is that not much has changed – that the numbers are much the same. On the other hand, I would not wish to cheat as Tobacco Control cheats. But I must also not submit readers to masses and masses of figures. No, the idea is quite simple. It is hard to be sure, but it might be important to compare the figures for LC deaths in young people (say, beneath the age of 30) over the 40 years from 1970 to 2010.
I have in mind to split male and female figures. I have in mind to extract figures for sample age groups over sample periods of time. IE, say, 60 year olds at 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010. What was the difference between LC deaths as a proportion of all deaths at each point? It may not prove anything, but it might be interesting to know even so. I don’t mind what the outcome might be – just what have been the facts.
I shall finish with this thought. Whatever might have been the cause of LCs from about 1900 onwards, even if it was caused by a combination of multiple factors, like genetic susceptibility, the Zealots will always claim ‘that smoking is unnecessary”, as compared with, say, diesel engine exhaust fumes. They have already used that trick again and again.
So I’ll make the attempt. I hope that I am not wasting my time.