This month saw the second reading in the House of Lords (UK legislative body) of the bill to ban smoking in cars if children are present. But a surprising and unexpected suspension has come about because of this.
The BMA (British Medical Association) have suspended a retired MD from Wales because he argued against the proposed ban, citing that the evidence for second hand smoke being harmful is dubious, and that the evidence cited by the BMA to support this bill is false.
Reading between the lines he was probably colorful in his language, and the BMA objected to him saying that the evidence was essentially ‘manipulation’ - but it appears the MD is right, and the BMA have even admitted to this! The Doctor has argued against the second hand smoke theories and some of the inaccurate data that is used to prop up bills like these – for e.g. that children in a car, with a smoking adult are exposed to 23 times more toxins than people spending time in a smoke filled bar.
This ‘evidence’ has been categorically debunked, and one of the researchers that looked into this specific point stated that the release of poor research like this is a case of how ‘myth turned fact’ – I can think of the antifreeze nonsense by the FDA to cite another example, this ‘fact’ keeps popping up too.
We now have a case of false information – of ‘myth turned fact’ being touted on either side of the pond in attempt to get legislation through.
The second hand smoke theory has supporters on both side – those that are adamant that it kills, those that don’t believe it does. The problem is – who has done the research that you can trust and is correct, and who is going to make sure the policy makers see it? And when will this bill travel from the UK to the USA?