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snopes
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Anti-tobacco forces are opening a new front in the war against smoking by banning it in private places such as homes and cars when children are present.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-11-27-smoking-bans_x.htm

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
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Interesting tack. A part of me is for it because I always thought the worst thing you could do to a kid was stuff him into a car with the windows rolled up and puff away. However, enforcement of a law like that is impossible and also incredibly dangerous. I'd rather focus on discouraging smoking as a whole.

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mags
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quote:
Smokers' rights groups liken banning smoking in private to the "Salem witch hunt," says Gary Nolan, spokesman for The Smoker's Club, Inc. He says secondhand smoke is not dangerous.
Well, damn, if he says so, all those silly medical studies must be wrong.

Yes, we can't protect people like that from themselves, but it is nice the tide is finally turning to protect others from their destructive behavior.

I'm personally just so happy our state passed a law banning smoking in public buildings and restaurants. It's one of the few things I really missed about living in California, but I never imagined when I moved back to Ohio a little over a year ago that Ohio would pass a similar law so soon. A nearby community already banned smoking in restaurants, so we usually went there to eat out, but it will be nice to be able to eat out anywhere in the state without worrying it will be one of those wonderful places that think 4 feet of open air is some sort of miraculous smoke blocking mechanism. Or worse, the ones that have the air handling system's intake in the smoking section so whenever the heat kicks in, the whole place is bathed with smoke.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Anti-tobacco forces are opening a new front in the war against smoking by banning it in private places such as homes and cars when children are present.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-11-27-smoking-bans_x.htm

I'm totally cool with that, and I'm a smoker. Of course, I smoke outside anyway (as does SO), partly because I don't want the pets breathing it in.

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Kahuna Burger
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From the article, it seems like the laws mostly deal with either foster families (who have many things about their lives and childrearing micromanaged by the state) or cars (again, not a place where you can make all your own choices about child safety now) or both.

If it is illegal for minors to smoke, it doesn't seem that big a stretch to say they can't do it by proxy either. So, fine with me.

quote:
"If we don't reverse this, they'll be telling us what we can eat and what we can feed our children," Nolan says.
I'm fairly sure "they" already tell foster families what they can feed their children, or would look into it as an issue in a custody battle if they were being malnurished. So, the guy's a dork. But I think we mostly knew that.
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Paulie Jay
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quote:
"We have laws on the books in every state of the union against child abuse," Mathis says. "This is a form of child abuse."
I don't want to open up a big can of worms, but is smoking in a car with a child present really child abuse? My understanding of the evidence for second hand smoke damage is that it is on pretty flimsy ground, and that there aren't actaully a great number of studies showing any link. According to Penn and Teller most "studies" regurgitate the same data gleaned from the one specific and flawed study.

I say this as a non-smoker who absolutely hates the smell of cigarettes. But my dislike of smoking is based solely on the odour, not on the issue of second hand smoke. I just don't think we should use the "second hand smoke" argument until there is some actual proof.

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wanderwoman
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I think the evidence is pretty strong that second hand smoke is linked to more frequent upper respiratory illnesses in children, and is particularly harmful to children with asthma. There's also a higher rate of SIDS and ear infections among children exposed to second hand smoke.

Here is the U.S. Surgeon General's report on second hand smoke. It draws its conclusions from a number of studies.

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Kahuna Burger
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quote:
Originally posted by Paulie Jay:
According to Penn and Teller most "studies" regurgitate the same data gleaned from the one specific and flawed study.

I've had someone try to make the "its all the bad X year old epa study" dismissal to me. I showed him the references I had found, all of which refered to more recent research, and told him not to try to tell me what I was basing my opinions on.

There is ongoing research (not "studies" of past research) on childhood diseases, and the idea that the entire medical establishment is clinging to a single flawed study from decades ago strikes me as mildly paranoid, and in need of more proof than a pair of (admittedly excellent) showmen's act.

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Darth Credence
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I work as an engineer and do a lot of statistical work, so I know what the numbers in the reports mean and what they don't. When the US Surgeon General released the latest report, saying the evidence was conclusive, I read with great interest the full report to see what the data showed.
Unfortunately, the data shows nothing new, and certainly no clear link between SHS and any kind of harmful effects. The vast majority of the risks that they claim in the report are such that the confidence interval straddles one, which makes it statistically meaningless. The few that are not, have risk ratios so low that for anything other than smoke it would be dismissed as irrelevant. There are studies that link drinking milk as a child to getting lung cancer that have higher risk ratios, but they are thrown out because they are clearly statistical anomolies that do not mean anything. The same is clear in the reports on SHS, but due to political pressures the reports are released as conclusive data.
The data in the report does show one major factor that is definite that second hand smoke damages the health of those exposed, and also explains how they are able to come up with significant data on health effects. They have included unborn children whose mothers smoke as being exposed to second hand smoke. To me, that's just a little disingenuous. We have known for a long time that smoking while pregnant is harmful to the fetus - nobody disputes this that I am aware of. To take that and say it's part of second hand smoke seems to me that they are trying to bolster some shaky numbers.
One of the few significant risk ratios that has been found in studying second hand smoke is that it has a protective effect in regards to lung cancer when exposed as children. Yes, I did say kids exposed to SHS are less likely to get lung cancer. That has been shown several times, most importantly in the WHO study that is still the most rigorous study ever done. If we are really most concerned about the health of the children, then they should be exposed on a regular basis in order to reduce the risk of lung cancer later in life (I'm not really advocating that, just saying that the numbers would recommend it.)

ET correct number

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Kahuna Burger
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With all due respect Darth, show me the specific numbers in the study, or you are basicly saying "I know the numbers better than the Surgeon General, just trust me."
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Darth Credence
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quote:
Originally posted by Kahuna Burger:
With all due respect Darth, show me the specific numbers in the study, or you are basicly saying "I know the numbers better than the Surgeon General, just trust me."

I am not saying I know the numbers better, I'm saying I read the report that was linked by wanderwoman. All of the information is available there, and far too numerous to quote here. But to make it easier, I'll drop a few in from the report.
(Sorry I can't directly cut and paste, but it's a pdf file and I don't know how to do it.)
From page 177 -
miscarriage/spontaneous abortion: p-value = 0.12 (needs to be less than 0.05 for significance)
spontaneous abortion/pre-term birth/low birth weight: SHS exposure, RR=1.53, CI 0.98-2.38 (Notice how the confidence interval straddles 1? means it could be any number in that range, with 1 being no effect)
Primary smoking by the mother. RR=2.18, CI 1.51-3.14 (Doesn't cover 1, so we can see there is an effect, but a risk ratio usually needs to be 3 before publishing. In this case, they are also using data from smoking mothers to prove effects of SHS)

There also parts of the study that showed an increased risk for work exposure, but not home exposure; other parts talked about increased risks for home exposure but not work exposure. That doesn't make any sense to me, and probably should have been a red flag for the report authors, if they did not have an agenda.
The part of the report that shows the most evidence that SHS does damage is about SIDS, and it shows some fairly impressive numbers. Looking strictly at the numbers procided in the chart, it seems fairly clear that SHS is a factor in SIDS. However, if you check page 192 of the report you will see that most of the studies were not adjusted for confounding factors. Of the three that were, two were insignificant, and one was barely significant (RR=2.18, CI 1.09-4.38.) The report tries to fluff up that study with corresponding numbers for other live-ins that smoked in the room with the infant, but that gave such a huge confidence interval that it is clear that not much data was taken. Anything with that little data needs to be confirmed before it can be stated with any kind of certainty.
I hope that is enough of the numbers that everyone can see the point I am trying to make. I am not saying that SHS is not harmful - I have not seen research that conclusive shows that, either. I am saying that the press releases talking about the horrors of SHS are by no means backed up the data that accompany the report. Please, read the report. I would be more than happy to discuss the meanings of the terms and the significance of the numbers with anyone.

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Kahuna Burger
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth Credence:
p-value = 0.12 (needs to be less than 0.05 for significance)

Well, no. It needs to be less than 0.05 to have a significance greater than that set by a 0.05 p value. Which, while something of a gold standard, is not the only significance that one is allowed to report.

quote:
There also parts of the study that showed an increased risk for work exposure, but not home exposure; other parts talked about increased risks for home exposure but not work exposure. That doesn't make any sense to me, and probably should have been a red flag for the report authors, if they did not have an agenda.
If this study covers both adult and childhood illnesses, why would that not be true? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. I'm also skeptical of the idea that anything that isn't treated as you would is automaticly a sign of an agenda. (well, besides a public health agenda which I expect from the SG).
quote:
The part of the report that shows the most evidence that SHS does damage is about SIDS, and it shows some fairly impressive numbers. Looking strictly at the numbers procided in the chart, it seems fairly clear that SHS is a factor in SIDS. However, if you check page 192 of the report you will see that most of the studies were not adjusted for confounding factors. Of the three that were, two were insignificant, and one was barely significant (RR=2.18, CI 1.09-4.38.) The report tries to fluff up that study with corresponding numbers for other live-ins that smoked in the room with the infant, but that gave such a huge confidence interval that it is clear that not much data was taken. Anything with that little data needs to be confirmed before it can be stated with any kind of certainty.
After reading that section, I would just say that my takeaway of the authors' motivations (and assessment of the studies) varies significantly from yours and leave it at that.
quote:
I would be more than happy to discuss the meanings of the terms and the significance of the numbers with anyone.
I've taken graduate level statistics and while I could not generate such a report, I understand the meaning of the numbers and terms. It looks to be interesting reading, and I will hopefully get through it at some point.
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Darth Credence
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quote:
Originally posted by Kahuna Burger:
Well, no. It needs to be less than 0.05 to have a significance greater than that set by a 0.05 p value. Which, while something of a gold standard, is not the only significance that one is allowed to report.

True, you can set any alpha risk you want and use it as the basis for whether or not to reject the null hypothesis. I thought it would be easier to simply compare to the gold standard, 0.05, rather than get too involved. In almost all medical cases (and I work for a medical device company), the standard is 0.05.

quote:
Originally posted by Kahuna Burger:
If this study covers both adult and childhood illnesses, why would that not be true? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. I'm also skeptical of the idea that anything that isn't treated as you would is automaticly a sign of an agenda. (well, besides a public health agenda which I expect from the SG).

What I was trying to draw attention to is that some of the studies found increased risks for adults exposed in the workplace but not at home, while some found risks for the same diseases for adults when exposed at home but not at work. One would expect a dose/response relationship, and that the dose would be consistently greater either at home or at work, rather than changing between studies. If most studies showed an increased risk at home, but not work (or the reverse), then I would interpret that as indicating higher average doses at home. Since there is no such correlation, it leads me to believe that there is a significant degree of chance involved. The fact that this is not brought up by the studies authors leads me to believe that there is likely an agenda in place to support a certain outcome. (All studies have an agenda. Good studies do not let that agenda affect the final reporting.)

quote:
Originally posted by Kahuna Burger:
After reading that section, I would just say that my takeaway of the authors' motivations (and assessment of the studies) varies significantly from yours and leave it at that.

I think you, and probably most people who have read what I posted, are unclear as to where I am coming from here (my fault entirely, as I have not made it clear in this thread.) I am not a smoker, and I do not take this position because I feel that smokers are being treated unfairly. I am a libertarian, and think that the government should stay out of peoples lives as much as possible, so if I have a bias it would be to not place a ban or enact a law unless it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that it is necessary to protect someones health from others. My thinking is that laws against drugs are bad, as people should be allowed to use whatever makes them happy. But laws against driving under the influence of said drugs are good, as any intoxication while operating machinery can lead to injury or death of others not involved.
But my foremost reason for getting invloved here is I am an engineer working for the Six Sigma department of a medical manufacturer. I analyze data all of the time that relates to relative risks, population means, confidence intervals, etc. I read the original EPA study a long time ago, and that was absolutely horrible. When I heard that a new study by the US Surgeon General had conclusively demonstrated the danger of second hand smoke, I read with interest. If there is compelling evidence that smokers harm others by smoking in their presence, then I will support a ban. But after reading the report, I did not think the evidence came close to supporting the assertion made by the reports writers. The specific case I mentioned, where the confidence interval spanned from 1.69-14.75, would indicate that there are probably only a couple of samples involved to have that large of a gap.
Looking through the report, SIDS does appear to be a highly likely area where SHS significantly increases the risk. So if we wanted a ban on smoking around children under 1 year, I can go along. It does not support significant adverse health effects on older children and adults, so bans on smoking around these individuals do not make sense to me.

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snopes
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quote:
If it is illegal for minors to smoke, it doesn't seem that big a stretch to say they can't do it by proxy either.
Is it illegal for children to smoke, or is it just illegal for them to purchase cigarettes (and other tobacco products)?

- snopes

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snopes
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quote:
I don't want to open up a big can of worms, but is smoking in a car with a child present really child abuse?
And if it is, is it part of that slippery slope that will lead to, say, feeding your children fatty/greasy/sugary foods being classified as "child abuse"?

- snopes

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Is it illegal for children to smoke, or is it just illegal for them to purchase cigarettes (and other tobacco products)?

- snopes

In Kentucky, it is illegal for minors to "possess or use" tobacco products.

Pogue

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Towknie
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My main motivation for quitting smoking has been that I believe it will become entirely illegal in any place for any person within 10 years. I'd rather suffer throug the withdrawal now than have to face some class 3 drug possession charge down the road.

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Mickey Blue
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I doubt very much smoking will ever become illegal.. I could maybe seeing it being pushed to the point that its legal only in your own home without children around.. But I cannot imagine them making it illegal.. Though stranger things have happened (pot, for example).


I'm of mixed feelings on this.. On one hand there are lots of rules about what can and can't be done around children, and about safety things that need done (seatbelts in cars for example).. So why not one more?

On the other hand (and its already been said this is slippery slope) its really not that far from saying its child abuse to give children unhealthy foods...

Its a dangerous path to go down.. Alot would hinge on just how bad 2nd hand smoke is for children (both healthy and with respiratory problems), and I haven't the skill to interpret specific data and have read "studies" that have claimed both sides.

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Freshman
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Anyone notice that Darth Credence is on only when the subject of second hand smoking comes up?

Just sayin

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NeeCD
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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Anyone notice that Darth Credence is on only when the subject of second hand smoking comes up?

Just sayin

Hmmm, must have been an imposter over in the VHS thread then...

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candycane from strangers
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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Anyone notice that Darth Credence is on only when the subject of second hand smoking comes up?

Just sayin

No.

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Anyone notice that Darth Credence is on only when the subject of second hand smoking comes up?

Just sayin

Freshman, I'm curious as to what purpose this kind of post serves.

Or what exactly you meant by it. I don't think I'm following.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Anyone notice that Darth Credence is on only when the subject of second hand smoking comes up?

Just sayin

Freshman, I'm curious as to what purpose this kind of post serves.

Or what exactly you meant by it. I don't think I'm following.

It also isn't even close to being true.

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wanderwoman
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
I don't want to open up a big can of worms, but is smoking in a car with a child present really child abuse?
And if it is, is it part of that slippery slope that will lead to, say, feeding your children fatty/greasy/sugary foods being classified as "child abuse"?

- snopes

There are some cases of children being removed from their parents when the children were morbidly obese and the parents failed to enforce a healthier diet. Of course morbid obesity is a sign that the disease process has begun, and the effects of second hand smoke don't leave such an obvious physical marker.

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Freshman
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Never mind: it was just an observation. I meant to say that it seems to me that Darth presents the same argument about secondhand smoke. But that's just me

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candycane from strangers
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quote:
Originally posted by Freshman:
Never mind: it was just an observation. I meant to say that it seems to me that Darth presents the same argument about secondhand smoke. But that's just me

One usually posts the same type of thing when the same subject comes up because it's the person's opinions or beliefs. I'd take more notice if someone posted very different things about a subject each time.

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A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
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Paulie Jay
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I think that Darth's intention is to encourage us to critically analyse the data for ourselves, rather than just reading the summaries or going along with the hype.

Don't get me wrong though - from a totally selfish viewpiont I would be quite happy to ban smoking just for the smell. Of course, that's not an argument that washes very well. But neither are unsupported claims.

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Darth Credence
Deck the Malls


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If it seems like I just post on the smoking threads, I guess we just don't generally go to the same threads, Freshman. I don't have a lot of time to post here, although I read much more than I actually post. I do have an impressively low post count compared to how long I've been registered (this is post 250 since October of 2005) so it may not seem like I'm here that much.

Thanks to all who defended me - I appreciate that even though I'm not around a whole lot I still get a general feeling of comraderie on the board.

And yes, Paulie Jay, that is my intention. I personally don't want the government to be banning anything, really, but if they do I would like it to be based on good science. When things like this ban are put to a vote, I would most like that everyone involved at least takes the time to understand the report and the health risks, rather than going by what someone with an agenda has to say on the matter. And this would include not listening to the tobacco company representatives spin on the matter.

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Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends.

Posts: 262 | From: Salt Lake City, UT | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
annabohly
Jingle Bell Hock


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How would they enforce a ban on smoking in your own home? They couldn't monitor you 24/7. Just wondering.

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And always remember....when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over !!!!!

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Annabohly: Same way they enforce the ban on drugs: make it illegal to buy tobacco products and then rely on informants.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
Annabohly: Same way they enforce the ban on drugs: make it illegal to buy tobacco products and then rely on informants.

That method is workin' wonders too, let me tellz ya.

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The salty fragrance of L’Eau D’I’mNotDedalus - made entirely of and entirely for sea turtles.

Posts: 1983 | From: Chicagoland, IL | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Darth Credence What I was trying to draw attention to is that some of the studies found increased risks for adults exposed in the workplace but not at home, while some found risks for the same diseases for adults when exposed at home but not at work. One would expect a dose/response relationship, and that the dose would be consistently greater either at home or at work, rather than changing between studies.
This would be true if the subjects are the same in each test, but otherwise it would depend on where the subjects are exposed to more smoke. Say subject A works in, say, a hospital or other place where smoking is prohibited, but lives with a heavy smoker, and subject B works in a smoky bar and lives with an occaisional smoker. Subject A would be at greater risk at home than at work, but the reverse would be true for subject B.
What the test need to show is a relation between dose and risk, as you say. But home vs. work dosage differs so widely from person to person that I'm not sure why it would even be considered.

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"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

Posts: 496 | From: Whitby, ON, Canada | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Captain Zombie
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Paulie Jay:
I would be quite happy to ban smoking just for the smell.

Yuck, and perfume/cologne... makes me all crazy with the 'hay fever' [Smile]

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1st Infantry, SpecialOps Brigade - The Iron Faction.
I survived Initiation 2005... with Naked Mole Rat Sumotori and Bill O'Reilly

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Captain Zombie:
quote:
Originally posted by Paulie Jay:
I would be quite happy to ban smoking just for the smell.

Yuck, and perfume/cologne... makes me all crazy with the 'hay fever' [Smile]
Oh, and feces. I should be able to go into a public bathroom without having to hold my nose. People should only be allowed to crap in their own homes.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

Posts: 3239 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf:
quote:
Originally posted by Captain Zombie:
quote:
Originally posted by Paulie Jay:
I would be quite happy to ban smoking just for the smell.

Yuck, and perfume/cologne... makes me all crazy with the 'hay fever' [Smile]
Oh, and feces. I should be able to go into a public bathroom without having to hold my nose. People should only be allowed to crap in their own homes.
A public bathroom shouldn't smell strongly of feces. If it does, then there's probably a bigger problem.

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"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

Posts: 496 | From: Whitby, ON, Canada | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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