“10 Cigs a Day, Good for your Health”

Look at the comments from Vlad at the end of this post from Frank Davis:

https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-emergent-individual/#comments

Vlad dug out a report from 1967 which says that light smoking is good for you. That report came from US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The report came from national household surveys for 1964/65. You can access the report here:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray//sr10_034acc.pdf

Vlad says: “This report is not listed in the library of reports on official SG [Surgeon General] site”.

We might indeed wonder why not.

I have so far read 11 of the 64 pages. Naturally, I am looking for bits which support the claim ‘that 10 cigs a day are good for you’. But first let me quote this:

The sample is designed so that interviews are conducted during every week of the year. During the 52-week period from July 1964 through June 1965, the sample was composed of approximately 42,000 households containing about 134,000 persons living at the time of the interview.”

So we are not talking about a sample similar to the one used to decide that seeing someone vaping CAUSES a smoker to want to smoke.

As usual with such reports, it is not easy-reading, being packed with statistics, but it is at least reasonably clearly written. It seems to me to be written with the lay person in mind who knows a bit and is able to get around the detail if he so wishes.

So I came to a page 12 with a para headed ‘Heart Conditions’. Plucking out a couple of quotes, I see this:

The prevalence rate of heart conditions (excluding rheumatic heart disease) among male former smokers was about 44 percent higher than among those who had never smoked. Although the present smokers who smoked up to a pack a day had a rate about the ‘same as that for the “never smokers,;’ men whose heaviest rate was over two packs a day reported prevalence rates for heart conditions about 70 percent higher than “never smokers” (see tables D and 8).

Now then, it is easy to miss the bit that we are interested in. I’ll repeat the quote with the bit bolded:

The prevalence rate of heart conditions (excluding rheumatic heart disease) among male former smokers was about 44 percent higher than among those who had never smoked. Although the present smokers who smoked up to a pack a day had a rate about the ‘same as that for the “never smokers,;’ men whose heaviest rate was over two packs a day reported prevalence rates for heart conditions about 70 percent higher than “never smokers” (see tables D and 8).

That is the first indication. Present smokers of up to a pack a day had the same rate of ‘heart disease’ as never smokers.

Lower down in that para appears this:

Female former smokers reported about 25 percent higher rates of heart disease than those who never smoked, while the present smokers who smoked no more than a pack a day reported 19- 35. percent lower rates than the “never smokers”.

The researchers did point out that former smokers might have stopped smoking because of illness, but that is not what we care about. What the two quotes above indicate, on the face of it, is that respondents to this massive, Government survey who had continued to smoke, reported that they had suffered less heart problems than non-smokers.

As I said, I have not yet read further, but I did accidentally (page skip!) see something similar concerning sinusitis, but I do not want to pre-judge something that I have not yet read properly.

I shall continue reading tomorrow, all being well (dentist’s appointment!). But not tonight. I want to progress my reading of the Gulag. That report will also justify more than one reading.

The general tenor of that report leads me to think that researchers, at that time 1967, were still very much independent; that they were given the freedom to examine the stats and report truthfully what the ‘expert statisticians’ among them found. Which reminds me. I read somewhere that certain people or organisations, some years ago, tried to put pressure on our own UK national statistics to ask ‘leading’ questions in certain surveys. Nat Stats absolutely refused. No bloody way. Questions in surveys had to be as clear as possible so that the true picture could be obtained. In fact, I remember reading about an occasion when Nat Stats did ask a question which contained a double negative. I think that they must have realised that the answers were ‘statistically improbable’, because they changed the question the following year to eliminate the double negative. And guess what the subject was? It was about attending the pub after the smoking ban!  I simply cannot remember the detail. At first sight, the question seemed innocuous enough. Something like: “Do you go to the pub a)more b) less c) the same, than you used to go before the smoking ban?” Where is the double negative? It is in the words ‘less’ and ‘ban’. The problem is this: How can a non-smoker decide NOT TO go to the pub because of the smoking ban? Do you see? We now have a sentence with a triple negative – non-smoker, not going to pub and ‘no smoking’! If a non-smoker decides not to go to the pub because of the smoking ban, the reason must have nothing to do with the smoking ban itself. Perhaps the pub became boring after the ban. Who knows?

Something like that.

If Nat Stats ever gave in, then we really would have descended into the morass that was Russia after the Revolution. No wonder that ASH ET AL have to commission their own crooked surveys.

Older readers will remember (1970s?) when climatologists were forecasting an imminent ice-age. The long-term planners in Universities and the UN must have shit themselves! Their plans for ‘global, socialist equality’ depended upon heat generated by human activity warming the planet, and not activity within the Sun reducing global temperatures! We can cross that bridge when it comes!

One might reasonably ask this question: “Why is our Government subsidising solar cells on the roofs of houses in rainy, cloud, cold UK, when the whole of the Sahara desert could be covered with solar cells to supply ‘free’ electricity to the poor of Africa?” Clean energy? No problem. Cold places have nuclear, hot places have solar. Is there anything that we could imagine which might transform the world? How about very light, powerful electricity storage batteries? What I am talking about is POWER in the sense that my laptop has thousands of times (?) more computing POWER than the original ‘Colossus’ computer, packed into a thin box measuring some 15″ x 10″. What might be the basic discovery? Obviously, I have no idea. I can only think of a couple of oddities in nature. For example. The cooler water gets, the less volume it occupies – until it freezes. When it freezes, it expands. Another one is that most things melt when they are heated, but clay becomes harder and harder and denser and denser.

We know so little about the Universe. Let me put it this way. I was reading about some new theory about gravity. I must honestly admit that I have not thought any of it through.

There is a weird fact that cannot be explained. We all know that the outer planets of the solar system take longer to orbit the Sun than the inner planets. The explanation is simple – the nearer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it has to be moving so as not to be pulled into the Sun; nor must it be moving too quickly, otherwise, it would escape and disappear into the cosmos. You might reasonably say that, when the solar system was formed, by pure accident, some of the material was moving around the Sun at just the required speed to stay in orbit. All the rest of the stuff either shot off or fell into the Sun. Over aeons of time, weak gravitational attractions and collisions collected the stuff in groups, which eventually became planets.

Right, but what has been observed is that the outer parts of (some?) galaxies are not moving fast enough (or should that be ‘slow enough’?) to maintain their position.

Oh my! I am way out of my depth here!

OK. The current theory is that ‘dark matter’ makes up the difference in gravitational attractions. The latest theory is that ‘dark energy’ is responsible. It has all to do with ‘cosmic energy’ left over from the Big Bang.

Or something like that!

But I must admit that I laugh at these theories. Why? Because no one has ever explained what Space IS!! Without knowing what Space IS, how can you devise theories which ignore the nature of Space? Space cannot be nothing, otherwise it would not exist. It exists. It is a ‘thing’, and therefore it must have properties. Not even Einstein defined the properties of Space, and no one has dared to speculate. I do not understand why that is. What are the properties of Space?

Suppose that I conjectured that light is an oscillation Space itself? That light is not a wave/ particle emitted by the Sun, but is a compression, de-compression, twisting and bending of Space itself? Einstein came close to it, but had no proof at all. That is why Relativity is still described, after a hundred years, as ‘a theory’. It is a theory because it postulates that Space can be ‘bent’.

Atoms are 99% Space. Let us suppose, just for a moment, that, somehow, the electrons and the protons and neutrons could be compressed within the confines of negative mass. Space would be the negative mass. Thus, the positive mass of the electrons, protons, neutrons, etc would be countered by the negative mass of Space.

I do not understand why it is so difficult for the word ‘Energy’ to be understood. Everywhere, and in all circumstances, it means collisions. ‘Potential Energy’ means the known effects of likely collisions. Basically, all Energy is movement.

Gosh! What a lot of blathering tonight! But I hold that there is extremism everywhere in Government; that the NHS is bedevilled by extremism; that there is no clear understanding; that politicians are incapable of understanding.

Is it not for that reason that politicians find more comfort in banning things?

Enough for tonight.

 

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6 Responses to ““10 Cigs a Day, Good for your Health””

  1. Vlad Says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words, so my takeaway from that report is the table on page 8 – smokers of up to 11 cigarettes/day have less chronic conditions than non-smokers.
    As far as I’m concerned, 2 things are particularly important: – the whole anti-smoking case is built on statistics, and even their OWN statistics undermine their position. Furthermore, exposes the fraudulent present day ‘studies’ purporting to prove that there’s danger in passive smoking or smoking a few cigarettes/day
    -inconvenient facts are swept under the carpet, showing for the nth time it’s all about propaganda/social engineering/money not about science and health

    • junican Says:

      Quite right. If you build a house on shallow foundations, you can only build the structure from light materials. The house would have to be built from brick coloured polystyrene blocks. But I have no doubt that it would look wonderfully solid.

  2. mikef317 Says:

    Copy of my comment from Frank’s blog.

    The report was created by the National Center for Health Statistics, so it’s not part of the Surgeon General canon (and not easy to find unless you know exactly what to look for). The title is “Cigarette Smoking and Health Characteristics” (publication series 10 # 34, May 1967).

    The “members” website has a PDF. Table A / report page 8 shows that people who smoked under 11 cigarettes a day had fewer chronic diseases than non-smokers.

    For anyone interested, there’s a critique of the report by Sterling: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jdn02a00 and a response by the author plus Sterling’s reply http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/gaj32f00

    • junican Says:

      Thanks for the links. They are not easy to read due to the passage of time. But I got the basic ideas. In effect, the authors of the report said that Sterling was criticising thing which were not actually in the report! I like that.

  3. Cliff Ignorant Says:

    Bloody hell you’ve stumped me

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