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Contact with dirty smokers

It doesn't matter if it is anything from trans fat, second hand smoke, home schooling or gun control - there are those who are using a numbers game and calling it science to pass legislation.

Contact with dirty smokers

Postby Ariel » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:54 am

Ann W. posted this link on Siegel's blog, and I thought it should be repeated here. I'm posting a different link that goes to the full text, rather than just the abstract. However, I will quote the abstract here and I'm not finding anything in the paper that is very different from the abstract.
Background: Passive smoking appears to increase the risk of meningococcal disease (MD) in adolescents. Whether this effect is attributable to exposure to cigarette smoke or contact with smokers is unknown.

Methods We conducted a prospective population-based case–control study wi:th age, sex matched-controls in 1:1 matching. Participants were 15–19 year old with MD recruited at hospital admission in six regions (65% of the population of England) from January 1999 through June 2000, and their matched controls. Data on potential risk factors were gathered by confidential interview, including seven passive smoking variables. Factor analysis was performed to assess the dimensionality of the passive smoking exposure variables. The data were analysed with univariate and multivariate conditional logistic regression.

Results: 144 case–control pairs were recruited (51% male; median age 17.6). Factor analysis identified two independent factors representing passive smoking (P < 0.01), one associated with ‘exposure to smoke’, the other with ‘smoker contact’. Only smoker contact was a significant risk factor for MD (OR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.0–3.3; P = 0.05). In multivariate analysis this factor was still associated with MD independently of potential confounders such as active smoker status and household crowding.

Conclusion: Contact with smokers is associated with increased risk of MD in adolescents. This is more likely to be due to higher carriage rates in smokers than to exposure to smoke and emphasizes the importance of public health measures to stop smoking. In epidemiological studies that assess risk from passive smoking, exposure to smoke should be differentiated where possible from contact with smokers.

Note the authors disclosed COI:

Conflict of interest: R.B. has acted as a paid consultant for Wyeth, GSK, and Aventis Pasteur. DA has spoken on the methodology of adverse drugs reactions in HIV at a scientific meeting attended by several pharmaceutical companies and sponsored by GSK. An honorarium was paid to her department. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

I find this interesting on a couple of levels. First is of course the obvious one -- creating the image of dirty, diseased smokers. But also -- it calls into question whether other passive smoking studies are confounded by "contact with smokers" -- which for those of us with more than two brain cells -- also means confounding with SES, occupation, geograohic location and all sorts of other things.
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bans cause more non-smokers to die

Postby gary k » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:45 am

Antis love saying that health considerations trump property rights.

Smoking bans cause more non-smokers to die!

Since 1965 there has been a 50% decrease in the adult smoking rate.

Since 1990 there have been literally thousands of smoking bans of one sort or another enacted.

Since 1965 the exposure rate to SHS has decreased by 75%.

The stated reason for smoking bans is that SHS exposure ‘KILLS’ non-smokers and smoking bans are needed to change that!!

In the early 1990’s anti smoking groups claimed that 53,000 non-smokers died from exposure to SHS.

In the early 1990’s there were about 140,625,000 non-smokers,53,000 deaths means that there was 1 death per 2,653 non-smokers.

In the current era, pro ban groups claim that SHS exposure causes about 65,00 non-smokers to die per year.

There are about 165,000,000 non-smokers these days, 65,000 deaths is 1 death per 2,538 non-smokers.

Sooo,the antis are saying that after a 75% decrease in SHS exposure and literally thousands of smoking bans of one sort or another, “THE DEATH RATE HAS INCREASED AND THUS, SMOKING BANS CAUSE MORE NON-SMOKERS TO DIE”!!! :shock:

At the very least, smoking bans and a 75% decrease in SHS exposure have not caused a decrease in the death rate and number of deaths.

Why do antis lie so outrageously? :roll:

You can probably think of a great number of reasons!!
Gary K.
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Postby azmac » Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:24 am

If the government backs off an admits they were wrong,it would cost them billions.The pharmaceutics companies with their false ads,the lawsuits would bankrupt them.So all they can do is keep putting more studies out to cover their butt.
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Postby Ariel » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:07 pm

Glad you got my point azmac. Once we get past the offensive nature of the study -- we begin to think. I don't know of any other SHS studies that looked at confounding with "contact with smokers" . If you accept some risk attributable to "contact with smokers" --enough strength of association that it includes the the variation that would otherwise be attributable to contact with smoke ( associated with ‘exposure to smoke’, the other with ‘smoker contact’. Only smoker contact was a significant risk factor for MD) -- that is, contact with smoke adds nothing to the prediction -- it opens a very wide door for other confounders. (Because "contact with smokers" would have to be closely related to many other variables).

So -- the question is -- did any studies include the variable "contact with smokers"?
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Postby gary k » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:12 am

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Younger women who smoke have more than double the risk of stroke compared to nonsmokers."

Please note that they do not mention any actual numbers.

You can double a small number and still have a very small number. ... stroke.htm
What Special Risks do Women Face?

Other studies have demonstrated that pregnancy and childbirth can put a woman at an increased risk for stroke. Pregnancy increases the risk of stroke as much as three to 13 times. Of course, the risk of stroke in young women of childbearing years is very small to begin with, so a moderate increase in risk during pregnancy is still a relatively small risk.
Pregnancy and childbirth cause strokes in approximately eight in 100,000 women.


The above numbers would indicate that about 1/100,000 younger women have a stroke.

Thus, moderate smoking MIGHT cause that number to be 2-3/100,000.(Moderate smoking is only half as hazardous as pregnancy and childbirth )

It is the same with exposure to SHS. CalEPA says that about 3,600 nonsmokers die from lung cancer caused by SHS each year.

There are about 165 million nonsmoking adults in the USA, if 1/4th of them are exposed to SHS there would be one death per about 11,458 or about 9 lung cancer deaths per 100,000 exposed.

If 1/2 of them were exposed, there would be about 4.5 deaths/100,000.

If all of them were exposed, it would be about 2 deaths/100,000.

In any given year,at least 99.99% of the nonsmokers exposed to SHS will NOT die from lung cancer!! :shock:
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