Robert Prasker explores the astounding hypocrisy displayed by public health in its treatment of tobacco users.

Christian evangelical Jerry Falwell thought that homosexuality was "sub-animal" and "perverted". Does anyone think he should have been the leading voice in combatting the AIDS crisis of the nineteen eighties?

If not, then why has public health surrendered its power to equally zealous secular proselytizers like Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) when it comes to tobacco use: an issue that public health itself claims to be the most important health issue on Earth?

Today, secular anti-smoking interests have concocted a new scare they call "third hand smoke" in another attempt to convince the public that more than 60 million U.S. tobacco users should be left holding the blame for ubiquitous, multi-factorial diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Given the cozy relationship between anti-smoking interests and public health it seems unlikely, to say the least, that public health will afford tobacco users the same reason and tolerance it once promoted in response to the AIDS health scare. Quite the opposite: public health exploits irrational fears in the hope of perpetuating the very intolerance that it once worked hard to dissuade.

This leads FORCES columnist Robert Prasker to explore public health’s hypocrisy, which is simply revealed within a hypothetical question: "Can you get lung cancer from a toilet seat?"



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