ethel’s words

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A CRACK OF DOUBT IN UNQUESTIONED CERTAINTY; Tobacco--Oops

Aha! Just as 2006 is receding into “forgotten”, I spy an item I must mention. This is about smoking tobacco, the demonized sacred leaf, a subject I thought I was through with for a notable while. No. The “ah-hah” is this:

Says Harvard Health Letter, from Harvard Medical School, Volume 32, Number 3, January 2007 (that was posted in December, 2006):

“Lung Cancer: Not just for smokers”
“People who never smoked may have a different form of the disease...”
           there’s a brief summary at http://read.health.harvard.edu/user/user.fas/s=784/fp=3/tp=76?T=open_article,951259&P=article
.

This is only a tiny crack in the shielded certainty, but it admits there is a bit of a puzzle, even without the hoped-for study of smokers rather than the multitude of studies of cancer patients. Perhaps there are more anomalies than we suspected (but not publicly reported).

Of late we have been bombarded with “evidence” that SECOND-HAND tobacco smoke causes cancer deaths. Why are there so many publicized victims of SECOND-HAND smoke and only a few smoking celebrities to represent lung cancer death from self-smoking?

But this crack, this “openly questioning” may lead to surveys that are more scientific. If the accusations against tobacco are even partially discredited, we may get more effective legislation and action against the general air pollution that babies breathe 24/7.

For forty years the “tobacco is evil” crowd have had all the advantages, privileges, research money and “respectability”. The campaign against smoking has been closed-minded, one-sided, emotion-based, emotion-directed, and a disgrace to a nation that claims to honor freedom of speech--a right not meant only for pap. We never hear from the other side. This is a glaring insult to Civil Liberties.

I should have as much right to smoke (and advocate it) as a woman--or man!--near me in the check-out line--and even in restaurants!!--has to wear their offensive perfumes. (Some actually choke me.) Of course, I am not suggesting smoking in line-ups or in close quarters, but perfume in elevators?--ugh.

I still have not learned who paid for all those studies, but there are reasons to believe that taxes ended up there.

Ethel C. Hale