Thursday, June 21, 2007
So where does it come from. Well the BBC online say
Edinburgh University is now undertaking research on the issue, which will published later in the year. Every year more than 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital in Britain suffering from illnesses related to passive smoking, according to the Royal College of Physicians.which appears worse since it is limited to children under five - think of the proportionately 187,000 children aged 6 to 16 also in hospital.
In its report, ‘Smoking and the Young, the Royal College of Physicians, estimates that 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year in the UK with illnesses resulting from passive smoking. A recent study in Hong Kong found that babies living with two or more smokers were 30 per cent more likely to need hospital treatment than those who lived in smoke-free home.(note that that 30% more is another instance of using figures from a small sample which are well within the error limits of any such study - IE meaningless) Unfortunately the Royal College of Physicians site does not mention this alleged report which at least suggests that rather more weight is being put on it by the BBC than its producers believe justified. But follow it up with
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. There is now compelling evidence that passive smoking is a risk factor for the induction of new cases of asthma& I think we see what is going on.
What ASH & the BBC have done is to take the figures for children who visit hospital with asthma & claimed that they are all the result of passive smoking. This is clearly a lie & a deliberate lie at that since it is known that asthma rates in young children are rising fast - nobody knows the real reason but the smart money is on them not getting to role in shit when they are babies & thus kickstart their immune systems. It certainly cannot be anything to do with smoking because smoking has been slowly declining over the years & thus cannot be the cause of this fast increasing illness.
I was amazed to hear the BBC stating this 17,000 figure as a fact without the sort of qualifications they usually make (ie scientists say......, or recent research indicates ...... which, since across the entire world there is statistically bound to be a person claiming scientific credentials who says anything allows them to tell any lie).
In light of the report issued yesterday on BBC achieving impartiality the BBC are clearly bound to start tomorrow's feature with a report stating as fact that "the BBC has been proved to have a history of lying about scares including catastrophic global warming & passive smoking for which there is absolutely no evidence. I can think of some scientists who have said such things.
I will forward this to the Beeb & look forward to tomorrows programm
They have just now (5.40PM) made the same claim stating it as fact rather than opinion - I guess this is their answer to this article. This has been based around a conference in Glasgow today & to maintain balance the BBC news interviewed half a dozen participants & supporters & nobody willing to express any doubt about the figure.
I have received this from the Royal College of Physicians. While they are not going to call the BBC & ASH liars it is clear that for the BBC to say that all these are directly caused by passive smoking (inner era infection?) is pure hockum worthy of the Chinese media who at one time proclaimed that the ability of Chinese to pick tea with both hands was thanks to reading the thoughts of Chairman Mao.
Thank you for your email. I can confirm that the figure comes from our 1992 report 'Smoking and the Young'. Since that was published, much more detailed research on the effects of passive smoking on the young has been published, summarised in chapters 2 and 6 of our 2005 report 'Going Smokefree: The medical case for clean air in the home, at work and in public places' - this is publicly available on our website:
The conditions resulting in emergency admission to hospital include lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis, asthma, middle ear disease, and impaired olfactory function (p.66). Passive smoking in childhood also increases the risks of certain conditions in adults.
In addition, the recently published BMA Board of Science report 'Breaking the cycle of children's exposure to tobacco smoke' also looks at the effects of passive smoking on children - this is on their website here:
In the event the BBC (or Chairman Mao) respond I will let you know.