Financed by the same entities that misinform the public on the effects of smoking on health and promote smoking bans — and loaded with numerous other conflicts of interests — this study is part of a long “vein” of trash science meant to deceive the local and international public (as well as the politicians) into the belief that not only is passive smoking a killer, but it's an instant killer to boot. For further information on the background of this new approach to public deception
This piece claims that, since the implementation of the ban, heart attacks in Scotland have decreased by 17% .
The problem with this article is that its conclusion is based on a comparison of apples to oranges. In order to compare the change in heart attacks in Scotland from 2006-2007 to the trend in heart attacks during the preceding ten-year period, one needs to use the same data source to compare these trends.
In this article, the researchers use one source of data to estimate the change in heart attacks from 2006-2007 (observed changes in admissions for nine hospitals representing a portion of the country) and a
different source of data to estimate the trend in heart attacks from 1996-2006 (national data from the Scottish National Health Service).
For further information on how this epidemiological fraud has been perpetrated,
see Michael Siegel’s blog ( stored copy here).
Another take at the debunking of this study, created for obvious political consumption, comes from Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist ( stored copy). Snowdon concludes:
This is not science. Using the same techniques I can 'prove' that the Scottish smoking ban led to an increase in skin cancer incidence and a rise in oil prices. Nonsensical though this study is, its publication in a prestigious medical journal will no doubt give it another ill-deserved moment in the sun. At the time of writing, The Times, The Guardian and the BBC — who had their fingers burnt with the story last time — have declined to report it again, but it is being covered by, amongst others, Reuters, The Vancouver Sun, The Herald, USA Today. According to The Herald: 'The findings of a major study into the smoking ban in Scotland supports calls for a worldwide ban of the practice in public places, health officials said today.'
It is incredible and shameful that (formerly) serious scientific journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine lend themselves to the legitimization of such statistical garbage for obvious political purposes. This is one more dramatic indicator of the corruption of scientific and health institutions and of the prostitution of scientific journals to pharmaceutically-driven social and mercantile agendas in our sad era.