Enter our contest to predict the most ludicrous article to appear in an anti-tobacco journal in the next 6 months.

Following the latest madness in Pediatrics (which we covered here and will probably address again shortly), Carl Phillips proposed a contest to predict what will be the most absurd “scientific” claim to appear in an anti-tobacco journal in the near future.

Carl’s entry (from the talk he is presenting at the TMA meeting this week, challenging the concept that there is such a thing as “science-based policy”, as bandied about by the FDA and others): “A recent survey found that 38.72% more cigarettes are consumed by youth due to the lack of visible dog poo smears on the sticks, and therefore
tobacco companies’ persistent failure to apply such smears proves that they are continuing to market to children.” (If you want more context for that, he plans to post a movie of his talk to the website when he gets a chance.)

We cannot offer any great prizes, but if we do get some good entries we will make sure that the one that comes the closest to being accurate and the one that is just the most amusing are cited in a paper we will write on the topic of these absurdities (and we will even offer the invitation to write such a paper for inclusion in the next edition of the THR Yearbook to the contest winner if so desired).

(We had a spirited debate about phrasing. I (Paul) could not stand the thought of the word “poo” appearing in our blog. But it is Carl’s personal contest entry and he argued that it better fits the people who still refer to “spit tobacco” and who think that high school science projects constitute important research than does a more polite term. Also in regards to our modest prizes, we apologize that as a consequence of our views we do not have access to the multimillion dollar Legacy grants that could be easily secured by those doing the research we are referring to.)


27 thoughts on “Enter our contest to predict the most ludicrous article to appear in an anti-tobacco journal in the next 6 months.

  1. Can’t say as I have a problem with the concept itself. We pay people to do all sorts of things good and bad, suggest that people enter locked in long term agreements that might turn out either way. The article mentions one opinion that payment itself could be considered a form of coercion which I find absurd as an objection. Why would that be any different in this case and not all others. You pay people to do things they would otherwise not do; its called employment.

    Its not as though we are dealing with an area in which there could be a possible effective deficit; there will always be enough children to keep the species going. If anything, there are very good arguments for promoting lower future populations. The only ethical (and logical) downside I see to using money as a lure is that it disproportionately affects the less well off.

  2. I haven’t even read the article Paul so don’t know the arguments. Eugenics is an area full of problems and the idea of tobacco control leading a sterilise smokers campaign doesn’t necessarily mean smokers would be making their own choices.

  3. Ooh, let’s see…

    Toxins from cigarettes can be transmitted down phone lines?

    Smokers and non-smokers should be buried in separate sections of grave-yards?

    Smoking bans lead to drop in rate of sexually transmitted diseases?

    The sight of people smoking triggers lung cancer in ex-smokers?

    Using the word ‘cigarette’ should be classified as tobacco advertising?

  4. Sorry Carl poop maybe bad but not bad enough for this killing machine

    Doctor Tobacco Scene from the 2004/05 SOME GUY TOUR.
    Presented by Butt Ugly, one of Alberta’s registered charities

    Igor: I can’t make out the label on this one. P? P – O – something? I don’t know. I’ll open it up and see. It sure smells. Wait, I think it’s poop. Great! It will make you sick if you it eat. Add that.

    Dr: Eat it? Igor what are you talking about?

    Igor: What? Nothing.

    Dr: Hmm. Poop is bad. But not bad enough. Not for this Killing machine.. Put it away and we’ll flush it later. I’m not quite sure why we have that here in the first place.

    Igor: Yes. That’s so weird. Ummm..

    Dr: What else do we have, Igor? This is almost ready. I can feel it.

    Igor: Ammonia.

    Dr: Oh that’s just my toilet cleaner ..wait. Ammonia, yes. It will make the nicotine six times more powerful. POURS

  5. It’s tough to beat some of the claims that have already been made. I’ll take a shot, though.

    -There’s already some talk of this, but I predict that smoking will soon be blamed as a major cause of distracted driving. Beyond that, it will even be said that smokers are lesser drivers even if they are not smoking at the same time that they are driving.

    -Soon, quitting won’t be enough. Ex-smokers will be lumped in with current smokers, and a myriad of ridiculous claims will be made about former smokers.

    -Anti-smoking groups will begin to push the idea that smokers are engaging in conspiratorial social behavior and that smokers are participating in an unspecified cabal that represents a danger to non-smokers.

    -Smoking will be blamed for the financial crisis.

  6. Lets have a go then…..

    Smokers secrete harmful toxins through the skin. Shaking hands with someone who has just had a fag passes those toxins to your skin which you then absorb. Hairdressers particularly at risk as the hair collects a high amount of toxins.
    Smokers should not be allowed into a public place for at least one hour after having a bifta, to minimise the risks.

  7. I think Mr. Snowdon came up with some pretty nice ones there, although the telephone traveling smoke isn’t completely new (the Antis already talk about it crawling along the electrical wiring systems between apartments) and using the word “cigarette” has already been taken as sufficient evidence to ban the e-cigs in a judicial opinion.

    I posted the following to JoinTogether’s sterilization article a while ago: ” What about addicts of the “most addictive drug in the world”? Shall we sterilize 40 million US tobacco smokers? That would be a nice step toward a “Final Solution of the Smoking Problem” wouldn’t it? After all, it’s been pretty well established that there’s a strong genetic component involved in processing and enjoying nicotine, and smokers are smelly ‘n no one likes ’em anyhow, right? Or do we consider smoking to be “the worst drug addiction” only when it’s convenient for use in antismoking campaigns?”

    Given the genetic connection, paying smokers to be sterilized certainly wouldn’t be beyond the realm in the world of medical journals.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    • Too late, Michael. I already procreated. And my children (neither of which smokes) have procreated as well. If you consider all the smokers and ex-smokers who are of grandparent age, that is one heck of a lot of folks to catch up with and sterilize.

      But in a scenario straight out of science fiction, I can see the children being hidden from the sterilizers in a closet, and then being sent off to live with a distant relative to save them. Wait, this sounds a lot like Nazi Germany.

  8. How about:

    Smokers pose a dangerous risk to Dentists and Oral Surgeons. Hand contact must be avoided.

    Smokers should be banned from teaching or from reading to children due to the subliminal nuances which they impart in communicating to children.

    Persons who suffer from ‘a tobacco conflict’ should be prohibited from serving a public office.

    Smokers represent ‘a special interest’ because they are addicted to nicotine, therefore, smokers should be prohibited from communicating ‘their concerns’ to our elected officials. At the same time, legal penalties must be increased against tobacco use.

    Coffee is A Gateway Drug to tobacco use. Tea, Cocoa, and Cola Soft Drinks containing Caffeine are also gateway drugs to tobacco use.

    Tobacco use causes insanity. The user becomes delusional due to his cravings for nicotine, and this process becomes readily apparent when measured against the overwhelming amount of laws, taxations and persecutions which we levy in order to prevent tobacco use.

    • Nice ones Arnold,

      The danger to dentists parallels last year’s item about Apple technicians refusing to work on a computer owned by a smoker because it was hazardous to their health.

      And the prohibiition on smokers serving in public office’s I could see happening in the more rabid states like California or perhaps in NYC. After all they are already prohibited from working in major health organizations (which are supposedly serving the public).

    • Arnold, re “tobacco use causes insanity” – there’s a wacko in California by the name Leroy Pletten who’s been pushing that idea for years. Heh… one of his proofs is a “typical murder by smoker” case in which some guy killed his wife with 17 blows from a sledgehammer.

      He also blames the Holocaust on Hitler’s tobacco damaged brain from when he smoked as teen.

      No, I am not kidding. You can follow the meanderings of a mad mind at work if you visit his webpages at:


      I believe he is a true sufferer of ASDS – See http://www.wispofsmoke.net/recovery.html

      – MJM

  9. “Two year old hooked on cigarettes, father claims”.

    Oh wait? Future headlines? Byline above currently exists at foxnews.com

  10. Here’s an idea. How about we pick one of these ideas and start putting it put it out on the web in a very ‘scientific’ way. Then, let’s do a real study on how many anti-tobacco advocates start spouting it at their talks and in their literature. If we’re lucky, they might even make a PSA!

    • Also agree this is a good one.

      Its scary though because it could actually end up gaining enough support to change policy. The third hand smoke nonsense has no credibility and yet keeps going and could still potentially lead to actions which would impact negatively on smokers.

      In a way the third hand smoke promulgation is an ongoing test of this very thing.

  11. Nicotine users will have to wear airtight space suits. They must use self contained breathing apparatus which is filtered thirty three times before venting into common airspace. Removal of the suit is only permitted when decontamination chambers are available and waste from the decontamination process must not drain into the sewage system or contaminate watercourses.

    Isolation of smokers and other nicotine users (except users of approved pharmaceutical products) is essential to prevent the spread of fourth hand smoke. The risk to innocent, vulnerable children who have been proven to drop dead from lung cancer fifty seven seconds after being within five hundred metres of a diseased addict must be minimised.

    The final solution is eradication via sterilisation. To be introduced incrementally starting with bribery and leading to compulsory gene cleansing.

  12. Pingback: The contest continues… « Tobacco Harm Reduction: News & Opinions

  13. FDA today announced a requirement for manufacturers to add more cyanide to cigarettes. “If this doesn’t scare more smokers into quitting,” announced Lawrence Deyton,” at least they will be dying off quicker, solving the problem for us.”

  14. The most absurd “scientific” claim to appear in an anti-tobacco journal in the near future will be that money is a vehicle for transporting carcinogenic particulates from smokers to non-smokers. But then, given money is also exposed to any and all matter of vile substances, bodily fluids, toxic agents, and germs as it travels person to person, no one seems too alarmed as they hold theirs near and dear!

  15. Pingback: Don’t give them any ideas « Tobacco Harm Reduction: News & Opinions

  16. I predict that the FDA will put a dye in cigarettes thereby showing exactly where the SHS falls so we can clean up toxic third-hand particles (of dye) and so all smokers will be sporting bright blue lips so we can identify and avoid them easier.

  17. Hmmm.. this isn’t quite a medical journal article, but it certainly ranks up there in the “most ridiculous” category. A Swedish company (of course) called Pharmacia Latex Aktiebolaget has developed a line of “Nicotine Condoms” — Guaranteed to help with that urge to smoke after sex, and supposedly quite… hmm… stimulating during the act!



    LOL! While it certainly LOOKS legit at first glance, I did a bit of research and have some doubts.

    Why? Because the company that makes it, Pharmacia Latex Aktiebolaget, only gets around a dozen google hits. Three or four for this, and the rest for a “Caffeinated Condom” from last October/December. It seems unlikely that any pharma company would have only one or two products that it’s ever earned a google listing for.

    My *guess* is that this is just an advertising gimmick for customcondoms.biz. Clever one though! Certainly got me to go look at his site.

    Anyone want to order 100,000 condoms for just 18 cents apiece?

    Hmmm… the name of the company translates into Pharmacia Latex Company which gets no google hits.

    Helluva marketing idea! I’ll bet it makes Fox & Friends so that they can make nasty little faces and comments about it being better than smoking. I wonder if they’ll claim it’s a new plot by Big Tobacco to hook children? They’ll probably jump on it as real news so fast it’ll make their heads spin. Jeff Weiss is gonna go down as Condom Barnum!!! And y’gotta admit, it makes more sense than half the stuff that comes out of the Antismokers! LOL!


    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  18. OK… I think I almost have a real winner here folks. Except, like Repace’s “ETS Threatens Millions In Public Housing” it’s a story rather than a study.

    Just a few days ago I wrote my article for the Newsletter at SmokersClubInc.com titled “ThirdHand Smoke Causes Leprosy.” Now this evening I get an email in my box with the following:



    Daddy don’t smoke

    August 4th, 2010

    Aug. 3: Fathers who can’t seem to quit smoking
    will have to choose between their daily nicotine
    fix and the pleasure of kissing and cuddling
    their children. Recent studies have found a link
    between passive smoking and the deadly
    meningococcal disease ­ commonly called ‘brain fever’.

    Australian researchers have proved that children
    exposed to passive smoke and smokers are four
    times more likely to contract meningococcal
    disease, a disaster in a country where the
    incidence of the disease is higher than two cases per 1,00,000 population.


    Continued below, but I guess you can see why I deserve at LEAST an honorary mention for my timing!



    The bacterium responsible, Neisseria
    meningiditis, lurks in the throats of most
    smokers, the studies say, and is transmitted into
    the respiratory tract of children, when they are
    carried or kissed by cigarette-happy elders.

    “Meningitis is infection of the lining between
    the brain and the skull, and the fluid that
    surrounds it. While the disease can be treated if
    identified early, a delay in dosing the child
    with antibiotics will lead to complications like
    sepsis of the blood and convulsions, and often,
    death,” says Dr Meer Mustafa Hussain, senior
    pediatrician and former vice chancellor of the Dr MGR Medical University.

    While most city doctors are unaware of the newly
    revealed link between passive smoking and ‘brain
    fever’, they admit that cigarette smoke
    drastically lowers immunity in children.

    The paper, published in international medical
    journals, says tobacco smoke cripples the
    filtering mechanism in the throat and nasal
    passages. While adults with stronger immune
    systems manage to carry around the infection
    without being infected, babies below the age of two are most vulnerable.

    Meningitis is diagnosed by testing fluid drawn
    from the child’s spine, but typical symptoms are
    sudden fever, headache, drowsiness, sore joints,
    nausea and vomiting, and a rash of red spots,
    says Dr Hussain. A dislike of bright lights and loud noises is also seen.

    Dr J.K. Reddy, consultant paediatrician at Apollo
    Children’s Hospital, says, “We know for a fact
    that passive smoking weakens the respiratory
    system in children. They become prone to diseases
    like asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis and even pneumonia.”

    Even as the public health systems in the UK and
    Australia, where meningitis kills one in every
    six infected children, have begun campaigns
    against passive smoking to prevent meningitis,
    kicking the habit is the only way, say experts.

    “By not smoking in the presence of children, you
    may be saving them from all the other effects of
    passive smoke. However, the smoker still harbours
    the virulent bug, and can pass it on to children
    through hugs and kisses,” warns Prof. Robert
    Booye of the National Center for Immunization and
    Research in Sydney in his paper.

  19. btw, my response which they may well not publish:

    Readers of the above article might also appreciate my own piece headlining the current August 6th edition of the Newsletter at smokersclubinc.com . . . . .

    My article was titled “ThirdHand Smoke Causes Leprosy!” Seriously, go read it. . . . . .

    Now, in terms of the current research, what percentage of children are at least sometimes exposed to “passive smoke or to smokers”? Any guesses? I’d say probably about 90%, although 50% for heavier exposures to either smoke or smokers could be claimed reasonably, so let’s go with the 50%. . . . . .

    Now those 50% of children get Brain Fever at four times the rate of the other 50%, and on the average they all get it at a rate of 2 in one million. So that would leave us with the “pure” children getting a bit less than one in a million and the smoky kids getting it at a rate of a bit more than 3 in a million. . . . . .

    *IF* the studies were done legitimately and honestly, and *IF* they had proper controls, and *IF* all confounding variables were accounted for, and *IF* there was no such thing as publication bias around a topic this obscure, and *IF* the mortality figures are correct, and probably several other big “ifs” . . . . . . .

    *THEN* we could reasonably say that being around smoking and smokers correlates, in at least a noncausal way, with one extra childhood death for every THREE MILLION children. . . . . . .

    *NOW* … think about the amount of social stress and disruption is likely to be caused by family disputes over this issue when it is publicized in the way done by this article and likely even worse by other articles. Think about the families broken and the resultant childhood poverty and stress and depressions and attendant eventual drug use, alcoholism and suicides, and I would say it’s not unlikely that THIS STUDY will cause on the order of THREE HUNDRED CHILDHOOD DEATHS PER MILLION as opposed to the possible 1/3rd death per million “caused” by the smoking. (at the rate of 1 of 6 cases with two extra cases per million) . . . . . .

    Great job guys. I wonder how much grant money was paid to produce this result?

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  20. Whoops…. juggled too many windows! Evidently while posting the response above to the site I somehow had a summary of my Leprosy article in the buffer. I have NOOO idea why the moderators allowed it since it was TOTALLY irrelevant to the article! LOL! In any event I’ve just sent them the proper response.

    – MJM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s