Is second hand smoke dangerous

I was watching an episode of Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit”, and they went over stats like that that say secondhand smoke causes a 20-50% increase in risk of lung cancer. However they said that this increase is irrelevant, like the risk going from 10 in 100,000 to 12 in 100,000 getting cancer due to second hand smoke.

So are there any legitimate risks from second hand smoke? the cancer risk may be a myth but what about things like emphysema or heart disease. Is there a statistically significant risk of getting them from second hand smoke?

According to one of the largest studies ever done on second-hand smoke(refered to as enviromental tobacco smoke, or ETS in the this study), conducted by the World Health Organization, second hand smoke posses little risk.

The abstract for the study can be found here.

Dangerouos or not (I don’t realy care) It’s not nice. It’s antisocial. I have chosen not to smoke so I don’t want to have to breathe that shit in.

what the hell happened to the other 5 replies

When posts disappear it usually means someone was banned. Often it’s a troll. It’s best not to dwell on it.

From The Lancet

Tobacco industry efforts subverting International Agency for Research on Cancer’s second-hand smoke study

The article is free, but you need to register to read it.

Here are the verifiable scientific matters:

The EPA announced their “results” before their study was finished, thereby tying their hands and preventing them from honestly reporting.

The EPA study violated good standards by altering the basic threshold for statistical significance. In essence, they cooked the books.

The EPA pre-screened studies to exclude data that would contradict their predetermined “results”.

The EPA reports differences that would be rejected for any other substance.

The WHO study, which is more comprehensive, did not do such pre-screening, did not pre-judge the outcome, and did not violate good scientific standards of analysis, disagrees with the EPA’s conclusions.
Final analysis: The matter is not scientifically concluded, at best. In essence, political dogmas have been allowed to subvert scientific research. In essence, it’s amazingly close to the methods of “creation science”. Cherry-pick the data. Diddle with the research methods. Report “results” that would not be considered of sufficient magnitude. But it’s all automatically correct because it agrees with the a priori dogma.

That’s an… interesting final analysis. Why wouldn’t you just agree with the WHO?

Apologies for lack of citations, but I once read (New Scientist I think) that tobacco would have to be one of the most nonlinear substances around for passive smoke to be a significant hazard. People who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes per day have a smaller correlation with serious illness than heavy smokers. Extrapolating to smaller doses, one small whiff would have to be quite dangerous indeed, and then the risk level out for higher doses, in order to tally with long-term statistics.

I did and do agree with the WHO study. It is the EPA that is behaving like “creation scientists”.

Well can second hand smoking do any good to you ? No. So at the very extreme best it does nothing… otherwise its bad for your health in some degree. Now I don’t mind being exposed to certain things that are important, relevant or too complicated to avoid (Earth’s radiation, X-Ray machines and food chemicals. Though less is better of course.)

What relevance do cigarretes have ? ZERO. Except of course to the poor addicted fool. So don’t expose others who have nothing to gain or to pity in your smoking habits. If its cold outside its your problem.

Now you can continue to discuss if its a minor or a major health hazard, its a useless and unecessary hazard nonetheless.

Just one question for the OP: why are you reposting a thread you posted only a few days ago, but in a different forum?

That is insufficient to insist upon fascism, however, which is what the nannie-staters want.


Jury is out as to whether or not ETS is a significant risk for lung cancer. EPA says yes, WHO says little at most.

Good evidence that it is a significant trigger for asthma and bronchitis and animal models show that ETS causes significant airway inflamation and remodelling. (If you need the cites I can get them, when time allows, but any asthmatic can testify.)

Anectdotal experience that it is a major contributor to ear infections in children.

Very solid evidence that chronic ETS (Mom smokes) is a major risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But that has little to do with public venue smoking.

So it boils down to who has the right to decide in a public space? Who is being the fascist? Does the smoker’s right to smoke carry the day in the absence of absolute proof of significant harm being imposed upon others? Or do nonsmokers have a right to decide whether or not the risk that ETS may cause them harm is great enough that they can insist upon avoiding it in public venues?

(All of which is seperate from the debate of what should count as “public” for this discussion. One can agree with the latter, as I do, and still have discomfort with forbidding smoking in a privately owned bar that is clearly identified as a smoking establishment, for example.)

i dont know for sure. this one started 3-4, that one started 3-3. i think when i made the first one the SD boards timed out when i hit ‘submit’ so i figured it didn’t go through and i made the second one the day later before i looked up the first one and found it actually existed. The other one is the post with all the responses i thought were deleted. I think thats what happened.

One asthmatic, testifying.

My father, a lifetime marathon runner and all around health nut, just (and I mean just, like 5 minutes ago) told me he has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) his doctor told him he got from my mothers’ lifetime three pack a day habit. A study by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine released February 15, 2004 found a link beteen COPD between smoking mothers and their adult children.

I should probably add: I do have my doubts about that diagnosis, however, based on my Dad’s apparent (to a layman) good health and lack of overt symptoms. So don’t make too much of it until the second opinion.