Seriously, do we have to put up with this shit?

Why walking within 30ft of a lit cigarette puts you at risk of dangerous passive smoking

Walking any closer to smokers means inhaling 100 times recommended limit
Campaigners say indoor smoking ban has shifted passive smoking outdoors

Being within 30 feet of a smoker outdoors puts you 100 times over what fucking limit?

The researchers said people should stay at least 29ft 6in from a smoking source, adding: ‘No safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke exists and breathing even small amounts can be harmful to human health.’

That’s quite an achievement, making even Stanton Glanz look reasonable and sensible.

23 thoughts on “Seriously, do we have to put up with this shit?”

  1. I love the spurious accuracy. 29′ 7″ safe, 29′ 5″ you’ll die horribly of something or other.

    Same nonsense we’ve always had with measurable but trivial amounts of radioactivity.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I prefer my environment not stinking of stale tobacco. But that’s no reason for the bansturbators to be given even, to steal from a great lefty comedienne, the oxygen of oxygen.

  2. The best bit for me in the linked article is the captions on the pictures showing women smoking but stating that the picture was ‘posed by a model.

    The other thing that’s quite fun is that there is only a single comment so it is, naturally enough, simultaneously the best-rated, worst-rated and oldest comment. However, in each guise it enjoys a varying number of red and green arrows.

  3. If only ordinary people could be made to understand that there is no upper limit for the control freaks.

    There’s a name for this technique — which I’ve unfortunately forgotten, and can someone please remind me of it?

    It’s an extremely common technique used by activists on the left.
    1. Your end goal is the total banning all gun ownership/alcohol/insert here.
    2. Don’t tell anybody this. Deny it at every turn.
    3. Announce your legislation is only to restrict a tiny subset of gun ownership/alcohol/insert here. Everybody else is safe. You have no intention of restricting their gun ownership/alcohol/insert here.
    4. Achieve your goal.
    5. Pause.
    6. Announce your goal is to restrict a tiny subset of gun ownership/alcohol/insert here. Everybody else is safe. You have no intention of restricting their gun ownership/alcohol/insert here.
    7. Repeat steps 2–6.

  4. Stuck-Record

    This is why the NRA fights to the death even the whisper of any change, even when a majority would view some of the suggested restrictions as being reasonable.

    It’s a shame people don’t fight as hard for freedom of speech etc.

  5. Or “the Ratchet Effect”.

    They are slightly different. The Ratchet Effect is asking for the moon, knowing you are going to get a little, taking it, then asking for the moon, etc, etc.

    The Overton Window is having a subset of your community claim something outrageous, you say so but, well, they do have some part of a point. So the discussion moves your way a bit. After a while, the original outrageous thing (banning smoking in private cars, for example), if not quite mainstream, is now an acceptable position within the discussion. So you create another outrage and rinse and repeat.

  6. Judge Jeffries must be looking from beyond the grave and regretting he died several centuries too early.

    As a science fiction fan I am familiar with many variations on the dystopia theme, but I didn’t read anything that predicted this.

    It can only be to do with lack of education that means that, once again, witchcraft is becoming popular among the masses.

  7. I agree with you Tim, but also the Telegraph’s subs are at fault here (aided and abetted by the ‘researchers’).

    The 100x figure reported relates to a distance of three feet, downwind from the smoker. ie all the smoke is blowing right into your face. I can just about imagine that on a day with a constant – very very gentle – breeze straight towards you, but otherwise completely calm, that would have almost the same effect as smoking the thing yourself. Of course, in those circumstances, most of us step slightly to one side – job done.

    To use a finding valid under these conditions to describe the effects at ‘any closer than 30 ft’ is a bit weird.

  8. John Miller-

    As a science fiction fan I am familiar with many variations on the dystopia theme, but I didn’t read anything that predicted this.

    That’s because the overwhelming majority of it would have been written in western societies in which this dystopia was already normalised. Indeed, most of it would have been written after the Prohibition Era in the USA. We have been in this dystopia for a long time. We are simply current living in a second wave of intensification of it, after a period of partial remission.

    This is why I keep boring everyone to death, banging on about the enemies of liberty not being marxism or the like, and never really was. Not in the Anglosphere. Our tyranny is that of evangelical social reformers, and has been since the Victorian Era. They are the enemy we have to find a way to break.

  9. “As a science fiction fan I am familiar with many variations on the dystopia theme, but I didn’t read anything that predicted this.”

    They had (I think) Alan Grant on the news once, talking about the smoking ban. He said “Even in MegaCity-One [Judge Dredd] I didn’t go this far, they at least had a ‘Smokatorium’ to smoke in.”

  10. To believe the secondhandsmokeaphobics, you would have to believe that the risk to smokers is not smoking, but . . . being around themselves.

  11. It is clearly a miracle that I survived to grow up as a majority of the adult population, including all my adult relatives, smoked when I was a child.

  12. “No safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke exists”

    And that’s their argument for banning smoking altogether, right there. Because so long as there is smoking going on anywhere, there will be some trace quantity of tobacco smoke in the air. (Roughly speaking: presumably the smoke gets degraded/decomposed/whatever over time – I Am Not A Chemist.)

    The Mail’s story, on the other hand, slightly more sanely implies there is a non-zero safe limit to the amount of tobacco smoke one can inhale; or at least, a quantity below which one’s risk is not noticeably elevated relative to background. It’s unlike the Mail to be saner on relative risk than a study, but then tobacco does seem to be a primary cause of insanity in medical researchers.

  13. It’s crap science performed by crap scientists with no interest in the actual effects of passive smoking but only in measuring something they can measure (concentration of small particulates).
    Job done, grant won, next!

  14. From the headlines, one might conclude that scientists have determined the causes of cancer and heart disease to a fundamental level, sufficient to define a mechanism for secondary smoking.

    The thing about the poisonous chemicals in a cigarette is that they are highly reactive. A smoker sucks them up through a thin tube, receiving a huge concentration, and exhales into a larger volume of air. Depending on how quickly air is refreshed, this may be unpleasant to bystanders. But reactive chemicals react in air.

    Are there any papers which measure the poisons consumed by a smoker, those exhaled to the air, those consumed by a bystander? The paper quoted by Frederick discusses particulates (as if measuring a diesel engine), but not poisons.

  15. If none of the people who believe this sort of shit come within 30ft of me then I’m chalking it up as a win.

  16. it’s interesting that you’re mostly doing what the authors of this profoundly totalitarian suggestion intend & discussing the details whilst largely ignoring the reasons.
    When the family in the apartment below the one i live in have visitors, they often have a barbeque on their terrace. The cooking smell wafts up & pervades my entire apartment. I never complain. In the same way as they never complain when I return home in the small hours with a company of friends, laughing & talking on the terrace above them. I’ve lived in this apartment complex for little more than a couple of years, but I know by sight most of the people in it & regularly exchange greetings & a few words in my dreadful Spanish. With the Spanish.

    Spain is a Latin country & where ever you go, there’s a sense of community. it’s not always a peaceful community. The scars of the civil war run deep. But it’s a country that’s very hard to be alone in, unless you really try. No-one’s really a stranger. They’re just friends you haven’t met yet. Like friends’ you give them a bit of leeway. So the neighbours stink the place up, grilling fish? So I’m not perfect either.
    Yes, we got our smoking in buildings ban, couple years back. Not by any particular demand. Madrid got offered a few million backhander from Brussels & avarice won. If it’s observed it’s because it’s the law & the authorities really would like the fine money. And what defines “not-indoors” can be very creative in a country with decent weather. But the Spanish way is not to take much notice of laws but of people. if you’ve a problem, tell them & they’ll listen.
    I’d say the same applies in most of southern Europe..Much of France as well. But there seems to be a thing with the northerners. Very much a middle class thing. it’s a strange sort of individualism where everyone wants to impose their preferences on everyone else. That they & only they live in the correct manner & hold the correct views. Ian talks about his waves of puritanism as if it’s a defined group but i don’t think it’s that simple. I think these anti-smoking fanatics work together because it’s a marriage of convenience. I’d say the same about the green fanatics & the UnCut bunch & feminists & many more. But at heart they’re individual dictators in waiting. i can see the woman at the Ash meeting, looking out the corner of her eye at her colleague next to her, thinking “He’s got a dog. i hate dogs. Horrible smelly things. When we’ve banned smoking in parks, I must find a group wants to ban dogs.”
    Like I say, it does seem to be very much a cultural thing. UK. Maybe Scandinavia & parts of Germany. Certainly taken deep root in white North America. it attracts a lot of socialists. Possibly it’s at the root of progressive socialism. But in a real sense, it’s profoundly antisocial.

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