Royal College of Physicians on Passive Smoking and Children

The Royal College of Physicians have just released their new report called Passive Smoking and Children and have already come under fire from Michael Siegel over at Rest of the Story and Chris Snowdon at Velvet Glove (writing about this BBC report on the report).

This report was particularly discouraging to me because the RCP was one of the few authoritative health bodies that endorsed tobacco harm reduction. They appeared to be sensible.

As my colleague put it, and I paraphrase, “on the bright side you can think that even a misguided group still knows enough to recognize a good idea when they see it”. And while that is true enough, I am now thinking that possibly they supported tobacco harm reduction not on the evidence (though their report is well grounded in the writing) but more on disliking smoking so much. And I do mean disliking rather than being concerned about the health effects.

As these other writers point out, the RCP argues against even the sight of smoking. That is when you know someone has abandoned reason, picked up a torch and joined the mob.


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