PASSIVE SMOKING. Top Tobacco Authoritative Expert Debunks European Report (“Lifting the SmokeScreen"). Asks: “Epidemiological Study or Manipulation ?"
The European Report "Lifting the SmokeScreen": Epidemiological study or manipulation ?
Published in the Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique (August 12, 2008)
>> Available in English HERE, FREE FULL TEXT
Backround: This report ends up with a large increase of the number of estimated deaths from passive smoking in Europe. Its conclusions have been decisive to passing laws banning smoking in public places.
Results: However, analysis of this report for France reveals considerable anomalies, such as changing the usual definition of passive smoking. Among the 5863 estimated deaths, 4749 concern everyday smokers. The 1114 non-smokers include all the former smokers as well, whose remaining risk cannot be attributed to environmental smoke. Published data used for calculations come from polls, of which results are very diverse and not very reliable. The level of confidence is not discussed.
Conclusion: Nevertheless, the number of estimated deaths in the field where restricting laws might be applied and efficient is so low that it makes you wonder which the real aim of this report is, and which conflicts of interests hide behind it.
Note: the report under critique is titled: "Lifting the SmokeScreen, 10 reasons for Smoke Free Europe". It was published in Feb 2006 by the European Cancer Society, Cancer Research (United Kingdom). Linkout
« Débattant sur un tel sujet, l’Europe ne pouvait-elle se financer seule ? N’est-il pas scandaleux qu’une conférence européenne organisée par ceux qui ont rédigé ce rapport, à laquelle ont pris part des ministres et la Commission européenne, se soit tenue « sponsorisée par deux géants de l’industrie pharmaceutique mondiale » qui vendent les produits pour arrêter de fumer, Niquitin® et Zyban® (GSK), Nicorette® et Champix® (Pfizer), dont ils ont obtenu une prise en charge par l’assurance maladie (50 s par an et par fumeur), tout en continuant leur publicité directe pour ceux hors-prescription ? Leurs groupes de pression sont très actifs et efficaces. Seraient ils à la base de ce qu’il conviendrait bien d’appeler une grossière manipulation. Un tel rapport qui se soucie aussi peu de vérité scientifique démontre à l’avance le peu de cas qui sera fait d’éventuelles critiques. »
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“The conflicts of interest in tobacco control go beyond individual researchers. The institution itself has been conflicted by virtue of its sponsorship by Big Pharma. For example, the 2009 World Conference on Tobacco or Health is being sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. The 2007 National Tobacco Control Conference was sponsored by Pfizer.”
“Not only was the participation of these individuals on the expert panel inappropriate and unethical, but a major component of the institution of tobacco control - namely, its national and international conferences - have prostituted themselves by accepting sponsorship from pharmaceutical companies which have a direct interest in the scientific and policy research and issues being discussed at these conferences.”
“The bias created by financial conflicts of interest with Big Pharma in tobacco control continues and can be seen in numerous research articles. For example, in response to the article documenting that unplanned quit attempts are the most successful, a researcher from the University of Vermont challenges the conclusions of that study. What is not disclosed is the fact that in 2006, the same researcher "accepted honoraria, fees or travel expenses from Academy for Educational Development, Atrium Healthcare, Cambridge Hospital, Celtic Pharmaceuticals/Xenova, Concepts in Medicine, Cowen and Companies, Cygnus, Edelman Bioscience, Exchange Supplies Ltd., Fagerstrom Consulting, Free and Clear, Health Learning Systems, Healthwise, JSR, Insyght, LEK Consulting, Maine Medical Center, Nabi Pharmaceuticals, New York Association of Substance Abuse Providers, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, National Institutes on Health; Pfizer/U.S., Pfizer Canada, Pinney Associates, Sanofi-Aventis, Shire Health London, Temple University of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin and ZS Associates."”
Note: the suspect publication is: Hughes JR, Carpenter MJ. Stopping smoking: carpe diem? Tob Control.2006; 15: 415-416
SOURCE OF 3 ABOVE QUOTATIONS:
Pr Michael S.: Chantix Lawsuits Piling Up; Dangers from Severe Financial Conflicts of Interests of Tobacco Control Researchers and Institutions Revealed. The Rest of the Story; Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary 2008 (Sep 24)
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[note: backdated article, posted Sept 27, 2008)]
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