This needs to be a short post because I have to be up tomorrow earlier than usual. I dare not go on until 4 am.
Dick Puddlecote and others have talked about this in detail. See:
The TC Industry is fond of quoting such figures without putting them in context. A person who has no concept of ‘facts’ in the UK might believe that that number applies to the UK. It would be stupid to believe such a thing, but if you have no idea what the birth rate is, or how many babies die between 1 and 5, you might well take it on-board, without really thinking about it – and be absolutely appalled. You would not necessarily have to be stupid. All that is needed is for a person not to know essential facts, or even think about them. “It said so in the newspaper” is often enough.
I suppose that the figure of 165,000 deaths … per year…. is worldwide, although I did not see that stated – not that I particularly looked for it. Why bother? We all know that Public Health stats are manipulated.
So here is my own take.
In England and Wales, there are around 700,000 live births each year. I have a National Statistics table for causes of death in 2014. We must bear in mind that the 165,000 deaths are from ‘lower respiratory diseases’.
I have looked up the number of deaths in Eng and Wales from respiratory diseases in 2014. The total is 65,000. Of those, only 102 deaths, in total were of babies between 1 and 5 years old.
The section of the Table is called: ‘Diseases of the Respiratory System’. It is split as follows for 0 to 5:
Influenza: 7 deaths.
Pneumonia: 38 deaths.
Bronchitis, Emphysema, and other chronic obstructive ….: 1 death.
Asthma: 2 deaths.
Something is wrong, because the total of 102 deaths does not conform to the breakdown. The breakdown total is only 48 deaths. I see no explanation of the discrepancy. Here is a copy of the entries:
The last three columns are: total deaths, under 1 year old, 1 – 4 years old.
|Diseases of the respiratory system||M||32,270||20||31|
|Influenza due to certain identified||M||19||0||1|
|Bronchitis, emphysema and other||M||13,547||0||1|
|chronic obstructive pulmonary||F||12,720||0||0|
That is a ‘copy and paste’ of the bit of the table. I can see nothing amiss. The figures do not add up. Perhaps the difference comes from uncertainty about the precise underlying cause.
But that is not important. What is important is that the number of deaths, tragic though they might be, is minuscule when compared with the number of live births. Remember that, during the five years that such deaths were recorded, some 3,500,000 live births had occurred, of which, for whatever reason, some 500 babies had died from ‘respiratory diseases’. Take, for example, asthma deaths. Two such deaths were recorded in 2014. Why did those two babies out of some 700,000 have such a terrible affliction? The ’cause’ of death is described as ‘asthma’, but there must, surely, have been some other factor, such as prematurity, or genetics.
TC has taken a world estimate and made an assumption that SHS has ’caused’ deaths which would not otherwise have occurred, mostly in 3rd world countries.
May I suggest that the lack of such deaths in England and Wales proves that those deaths in 3 rd world countries were NOT due to SHS? When I say proves, I am not being precise, but I am being no more imprecise than TC. Lots of parent in England and Wales smoke. The number of deaths is minuscule compared with the number of smoking parents – so minuscule as to suggest that SHS has nothing to do with those deaths.
Why should it be otherwise in Africa and Asia?
What thinking about epidemiology has suggested to me is that “Null” results can be trusted (but not all the time, obviously). The reason is that ‘no correlation’ is is like saying that water does not make you drunk. It’s a simple fact which we are all aware of. The above figures suggest a “Null” result in England and Wales. There are simply two few such deaths. Therefore, it is likely that positive results in 3 rd world countries are false positives. Much more important factors cause the deaths of those babies.