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Funny Stats Used By Anti-smoking Crusaders

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Michael McFadden of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, took issue with the assertion that "50 million" Americans die from smoking each year. McFadden asserted that only about three million Americans die each year from all causes.


" The editorial by activist Michael McFadden below was selected by the Americans For Nonsmokers Rights Foundation as being worthy of inclusion on its "Tobacco Industry Tracking Database." Mr. McFadden has no links in any way to the tobacco industry, but by including him, and others who dare to express similar opinions, on their database they perform a de-facto smear against his integrity. "


Funny Stats Used By Anti-smoking Crusaders

Date published: Thu, 07/12/2001 In her column today, ["Some teens hellbent on smoking to be 'in,'" June 22] Cathy Dyson mentions that "In schools across our area, students have been telling their peers to stay off the stuff because it kills one in five Americans each year." Since only about 3 million Americans die each year from all causes, I somehow doubt that 50 million Americans are dying each year from smoking. But this is exactly the kind of "funny statistic" that makes up a lot of what anti-smokers preach as gospel.

The commonly heard figure of 400,000 yearly deaths from smoking comes from a computer program called SAMMEC. The number produced by the program depends totally upon the formulas and figures that are put into it; change some of those formulas and, presto, the number of smoking deaths could be cut in half!

The 3,000 deaths a year from secondary smoke is the same: It's a statistical creation of EPA activists who felt the goal of reducing smoking was important enough to be worth producing what amounts to little more than an outright lie in order to frighten nonsmokers, who will in turn pressure smokers and vote for smoking bans.

The actual EPA report holds the distinction of being overturned in federal court by a judge who ruled against the tobacco companies in the FDA case!

The "other side" of the argument about smoking is rarely heard in the media, but people who'd like to learn more should visit Web sites such as www .forces.org and the various links from it.

I am not in any way connected with any tobacco company or financial interest, by the way.

Michael J. McFadden
Philadelphia, Pa.


One hundred million people died last century from tobacco, which is more than the population of the EU's largest country, Germany. If we are not successful, in the first 25 years of this century, 150 million people will die, which is double the population of Germany,'' he said. ``This is an unprecedented health challenge we have. There's nothing similar in history.''

Where would all those people be today if they didn't smoke? I'm sorry, the answer is so obvious, but it begs to be asked. These people are so stupid.
L.J.


Disturbing Statistics
By James K. Glassman.

Junk science is a new term for an old concept - fraud. The phenomenon of this kind of fraud in recent decades, however, has infected many of our institutions, and at great costs to the economy. The pervasiveness of junk science Milloy catalogs is quite simply shocking. What's more shocking is the likelihood that even the most skeptical customer has at one time or another unwillingly bought into - i.e., fallen victim to - junk science mythology.

Next time a television anchor peddles the latest "disturbing statistics" suggesting a new health concern, keep in mind the conversation between Homer Simpson and Smartline's pompous TV newsman Kent Brockman.

Brockman: Mr. Simpson, how do you respond to the charges that petty vandalism such as graffiti is down eighty percent, while heavy sack-beatings are up a shocking nine hundred percent?

Homer: Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.


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