P-D 8/9/2010 Selected comments on Wash. U. nicotine results

Note: For your comments to be considered for publication on this blog you MUST provide your full name. Pseudonyms and first names only are not acceptable. Thank you.

There were fewer comments than normal on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website following Wednesday’s smoking-related story – only 15 posted from 7:21 am thru’ 10:05 am when I posted my second and last comment. Since then it’s grown to 35 comments at 10:31 am today (Thursday).

I’ve selected just a few, including my own rebuttals. Many are the typical “nanny government” or attempts at redirection, e.g. what about more dangerous things like [alleged] food additives and chemicals in plastics? as in the first comment reproduced below.

To view comments on-line and/or to add your own please click here: Discussion.


jinx1966 said on: September 8, 2010, 9:01 am

Also, once again it is easy to target things that are so visible, smoking, drinking, etc while letting the more insidious things continue that cause more harm to people on a much broader scale. If there was any true concern and an example of the gov looking out for ‘we the people’ instead of corporations, we’d ban dangerous food additives, chemicals in plastics, among just a few things that are downplayed and the media keeps a zipper on it.

Martin Pion, mogasp

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 9:34 am

I wasn’t aware of this study but I’m delighted to learn of it.
MoGASP has funded independent studies in Ballwin and Arnold restaurants and bars in the past but those results have not been published in peer-reviewed journals. These new studies of smoke-free environments vs. ventilation solutions would probably be a spur to submitting our result for publication.
In research, it’s important to obtain more than one set of data.
Martin Pion, B.Sc. President, MoGASP

Tony Palazzolo

Tony Palazzolo said on: September 8, 2010, 7:54 am

He is right – this is a no brainer. You already know that this study is going show that nicotine levels are higher in places that allow smoking than not. Nicotine sticks to clothing hair etc which itself is not harmful in anyway. Even employees in a non-smoking environment will have detectable levels of nicotine in their hair and clothing.
If your truly trying to test if ventilation systems work than nicotine is about the most ineffective. Unless you already know what outcome you want.

My reply:

Martin Pion, mogasp

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 10:05 am

Tony Palazzolo wrote: “You already know that nicotine levels are higher in places that allow smoking than not …. nicotine sticks to clothing … which is not harmful in anyway.”
I’m baffled by your logic. Nicotine in the air is a unique surrogate for SHS. What research can you point to showing that the nicotine being measured in smoking-permitted environments is mainly or even partially due to clothing?
This is a red herring.
Martin Pion, B.Sc., President, Missouri GASP

Bill Hannegan

Bill Hannegan said on: September 8, 2010, 9:53 am

Very few St. Louis establishments have adequate air purification systems installed to deal with secondhand smoke. The Double D Lounge has the best system of any bar in St. Louis City or County. That system runs 24/7 and is scrupulously maintained. Wash U didn’t study the Double D Lounge. So what can this study tell us except that bars with lousy ventilation and no purification systems are smoky?

Michael McFadden

Michael J. McFadden said on: September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

To show how crazy this is, note their statement that nicotine was 31 times higher in smoking bars than nonsmoking ones. This is the same as saying that levels of deadly chlorine gas are a hundred times higher in the school’s indoor pool area as in the administrative offices across the street. Are our children are being poisoned to death? Of course not: it’s a deliberately fake appeal to our fears–in simple substance, a lie.
Michael J. McFadden,
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

5 responses to “P-D 8/9/2010 Selected comments on Wash. U. nicotine results

  1. Tony, I would like to agree with Martin to some extent on the clothing thing. Aside from the nonsensical “third hand smoke” sort of arguments over picograms or femtograms of nasty nefarious naughty nicotine secreting themselves on clothing and then leaping out to attack unsuspecting innocents it’s unlikely that “clothing nicotine” plays a significant role. Smokers outdoors and nicotine released from cooking eggplants etc probably play a larger part (no, I have no figures for that). Don’t forget: when we get down to measuring picograms we run into that whole Avogadro’s Number thing: every breath you take probably has some at-the-moment-immeasurable number of molecules from George Washington’s last deathbed fart in it.

    Now isn’t THAT a pleasant thought!

    – MJM (765 characters: please limit to 500 in future)

  2. Mark Wernimont (aka markw)

    The scientific AQ testing results conducted by a pro-smoking ban group don’t support the workplace “health hazard” claims. These test results are the ones pro-smoking ban groups are unable to refute:
    AQ testing done a few years earlier in the Minneapolis area proved ventilation systems reduced secondhand smoke levels such that it was on average 150 times SAFER than OSHA workplace air quality regulations require:

    • Mark, Thanks for confirming your full name in a follow-up e-mail. I’ve still allowed your post, after editing it down to 573 characters, which exceeds the new limit of 500.

    • Mark, I checked you’re blog and you’re using an inappropriate OSHA standard but the problem is this has not been made clear by OSHA, so you’re not the only one to make this mistake. I’m hoping to submit a paper for peer-review and publication so I cannot go into more detail.

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