I have finally made it onto the Mail website (sort of)

So, Peter Hitchens responded to my recent 5-minute post on his claims about passive smoking – that he essentially wasn’t convinced by the ‘stories’ about the dangers and thought that the evidence was ‘very thin’. Anyway, you can read that conversation here, but interestingly enough Peter has now decided to blog about the subject – in which he again accuses me of being a ‘scornful but anonymous person’ even though my name was revealed in the comment section of this blog shortly after Peter’s first comment. Obviously he misses simple details even if they are given to him, hardly a good start for his blog post that is supposed to demonstrate that he can provide evidence to support his assertions.

Amusingly, despite being given numerous links to various studies demonstrating a link between passive smoking and health issues, he is still clinging to one particular controversial study (Enstrom and Kabat – said to have been ‘funded and managed by the Center for Indoor Air Research, a tobacco industry front group tasked with “offsetting” damaging studies on passive smoking’) as well as introducing collection of newspaper articles on the subject (as if journalists are the ones to turn to for accurate scientific reporting). None of which can discredit the meta-analysis (confirmed on several separate occasions) that shows that secondary smoke has a statistically significant impact on health.

Now, I’m not a paid writer and I don’t have the time or patience to take the matter any further, but if anyone does have a good knowledge of the subject then feel free to read Peter’s blog post and post your thoughts in the comments here.

14 thoughts on “I have finally made it onto the Mail website (sort of)”

  1. P.S. I love the fact that you indirectly made Pete have to go and do some actual journalism for once. I can just imagine him hissing and spitting as he looked up his sources.

    “Rar! Damn books with their facts that don’t agree with my preconceptions!”

  2. *ding*ding*ding* I think we have a fail. Hitchens cites Christopher Booker, who claims asbestos is identical to talcum powder, on lung health.[*waa*waa*waa* trumpet noise].

  3. There you go pretty conclusive I would think
    “THE ban on public smoking has caused a fall in heart attack rates of about 10%, a study has found.

    Researchers commissioned by the Department of Health have found a far sharper fall than they had expected in the number of heart attacks in England in the year after the ban was imposed in July 2007.

    In Scotland, where the ban was introduced a year earlier, heart attack rates have fallen by about 14% because of the ban, separate research has shown. Similar results are expected in Wales where a third study is still under way.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6832384.ece

  4. Well he’s not coming out for round 2 it seems.

    As PH offered I went over to his blog to continue the debate in a reasonable manner, gave links to an importnat paper that demnostrates the correlation between funding of a study in SHS by the Tobbacco industry and failing to find any harm. A strong critisim of the study he’s using as evidence.

    However he moderates / censors the comments and up to now has only published 8. The majority of these support his position and are written by people with aspirations of achieving the dizzying intellectual heights of thicko (One of them goes off-piste to continue moaning about MMR for god’s sake??)

    I think he won’t partake in open debate because he knows he’s lost (as your initial blog said!)and is trying to hold his untenable position by hiding behind the mighty shield of agreement provided by the slow.

    Come on Mr Hitchins put up your dukes fairly or admit you’re wrong. there’s no need to be scared – most of us would think more of you…

  5. Most of us but not all of us. Every time he opens his mouth or pulls together one of his poorly researched articles, he reveals yet another layer of stupidity.

    This is a cheap shot, I know, but isn’t it likely that had his brother not chain-smoked that his health would be in considerably better shape than it is today?

  6. You could see this coming – he won’t debate anywhere that isn’t moderated by him. Carry on on his blog but you’d better fawn over him or you won’t be allowed. My hero.

    He’s behaving just like Joseph Stal….no I can’t say it, I’m not that repulsive.

  7. Peter Hitchens is still posting in other thread – I was wrong and I apologize.

    Still think the Stalin comments are detestable though.

  8. To be fair, anyone who can write a paragraph containg both complete clarity of expression and sheer poetic beauty, such as –

    “So what about the study by Enstrom and Kabat, which my excerpt from Christopher Booker mentions in my earlier posting? I’ve looked for some sources on this which wouldn’t necessarily be on my side, or which may be unfamiliar.”

    must deserve to have his literary skills in constructing a cogent argument respected

  9. I already know that anyone supporting Hitchens will be rapidly attacked as a “slow” “thicko”.

    But I’ve read all of the other thread and I can only say that Hitchens completely pwned you. He conclusively demonstrated that the evidence for harm from passive smoking is quite weak, or “not statistically significant” to quote Amanda Sandford of ASH (see the Tim Luckhurst article).

    Furthermore, I think it’s obvious that most of your contributors know next to nothing about Hitchens. When D Quail says “you indirectly made Pete have to go and do some actual journalism for once”, is he aware that he is talking about the winner of the 2010 Orwell Prize for Foreign Reporting? And if Scottie seriously thinks that Hitchens will not completely change his mind in the face of new evidence, then the “Personal political history” part of his Wikipedia page might be enlightening.

    You all make out that this guy is a third-rate hack working for some gutter press rag. You really could not be more wrong.

  10. He’s a skilful writer, sure, but the content of his arguments amounts to little more than the repetition of well-worn right-wing themes – or in the case of Israel, the standard hasbara stories.

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