Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blowin' Smoke

(For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been a cigarette smoker)

Anti-smoking busybody Stanton Glantz now claims there was a 13% drop in heart attacks in the Big Apple following the smoking ban:

The fact that there was a 13% drop in heard attacks in New York City also provides more evidence for a large immediate effect of eliminating exposure to (second hand smoke).

Michael Siegel, also an anti-smoking “activist,” but one who insists on not playing fast and loose with science and statistics, has some serious problems with the Glantz report:

First of all, I don't see how a 13% drop in heart attacks in New York City (assuming that it were due to the smoking ban) supports the plausibility of a 40% drop in heart attacks due to the smoking ban in Helena...

…there was clearly not a 13% drop in heart attacks in New York City attributable to the smoking ban. The only data upon which this claim is made is apparently the observation that the number of heart attack deaths in New York City in 2004 (3,680) was 13.9% lower than in 2003 (4,275).

Comparing these two numbers to estimate the effect of the New York City smoking ban is not, in my view, science. It is just playing with numbers.

And there's more, lots more. None of which really matters, you know: the anti-smoking crowd (particularly those self-righteous assholes who make those godawful TV PSAs) will ignore the cirticism and quote the Glantz figures as if it were the Sermon On The Mount.

But hey: never let the facts get in the way of "The Truth"...


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