ethel’s words

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Am I being misled by my prejudices, my lack of knowledge, my own personal experience? It is conceivable, but my mind is open, ready to be convinced that smoking causes even all of the multitudes of ailments that have been ascribed to it. Just show me the evidence.

What would persuade me? I want to read of a study that asks the cancer victim: Do you suspect a genetic predisposition; your household environment; diet and other substances ingested; air quality at place of residence; what is in your culinary water; are pesticides in your immediate environment? (We should expect that poisons that kill pests might kill the biggest pest of all--humans.) Even better, do more (have there been more than two?) studies of smokers, not cancer patients. A recent report--giving sources of studies--in a publication I respect, still falls short for me. It was not an examination of smokers’ health problems.

There is a lot of evidence (no proof) that cancer is caused by, or encouraged by, what the patient has not done: Has failed to eat certain veggies or fruits that seem to protect against cancer. We should not forget the genetic component. I approve of educational warnings against tobacco; I would welcome, advocate, listings of some of the claimed 4000 chemicals in tobacco and the source of the study. (Who computed?)

I know of no government prohibitions of food. There is advice on nutrition, and the educational (and desirable) listings and warnings (allergies) on food products. There is inspection of fish and minimal inspection of beef, and government tolerance toward beef in the age of the prion. The difference is, there is no LAW against ingesting head-cheese, suet, lard, or margarine, or beef, at any age or in any place.

But I already know that my several governments do not really give a damn about my health in any case where there is a conflict between profits and prohibitions. Exceptions: The recent actions of Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson--courageous indeed--and other mayors who are doing what the Environmental Protection Agency should have been doing: Protecting their citizens by campaigning to save the Planet from already-happening Global Warming--for which they are denounced in Utah.

There is belief in the unprovable and doubt of scientific investigations and conclusions.

Ethel C. Hale