Robert E. Madden, M.D. “My opposition (to smoking bans) is due to loss of individual freedom and abuse of scientific fact.” Hat tip Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius runs the excellent and is an  industrial / Commercial Air Filtration Engineer.  I will also add later that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration who are responsible for “The department of the US government with the responsibility to ensure safety and healthful work environments.” They have found that “I couldn’t agree more with the good doctor especially after reviewing the SLP/OSHA study in which government health department officials proved secondhand smoke concentrations are 500 – 15 times safer than OSHA air quality regulations for secondhand smoke components.

Even more dramatic is the American Cancer Society air quality testing, conducted in NY in 2002, which demonstrates that secondhand smoke is actually 532 – 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations (Standards – 29 CFR).

Robert E. Madden M.D. FACS describes himself as:

I am a practicing chest surgeon, a teacher and a former cancer researcher. I am also past president of the NY Cancer Society.”

A letter he wrote in 2006 joins more dissent on the harm of passive smoking, here it is in full.

I’m Robert E. Madden MD, FACS. I am also a non-smoker. HOWEVER I am a passionate opponent smoking bans. Most of the opposition to the smoking bans has been based upon economic factors such as loss of business revenue, even closings. My opposition is due to loss of individual freedom and abuse of scientific fact.

I am a practicing chest surgeon, a teacher and a former cancer researcher. I am also past president of the NY Cancer Society. I will not tell you that smoking is harmless and without risk, in fact one in eight hundred smokers will develop lung cancer. Asthmatics should avoid tobacco smoke. What I will say is: 1) it’s a personal choice and 2) so called second smoke (ETS) is virtually harmless. One may not like the smell but it has not been shown to cause cancer, even in bartenders. If people do not like the odor then they may go elsewhere. Those who support the ban have no right to deny 24% of the adult population their enjoyment of a popular product based on dislike, possibly hatred of smoking. This attitude is that of a bigot, akin to anti-Semitism or racism.

To me the most offensive element of the smoking bans is the resort to science as “proving that environmental smoke, second hand smoke, causes lung cancer”. Not only is this unproven but there is abundant and substantial evidence to the contrary. It is frustrating, even insulting, for a scientist like myself to hear the bloated statistics put out by the American Cancer Society (of which I am a member) and the American Lung Association used to justify what is best described as a political agenda. Smokers enjoy smoking. Most non-smokers are neutral. Anti-smokers hate smoking. It is this last group that drives the engine of smoking bans. Smoking sections in restaurants, ventilated bars and the like have been satisfactory and used for years. To those who choose to smoke they do so at their own risk. To those eschew smoking let them patronize establishments whose owners prohibit smoking. To impose a city wide or a state wide ban is to deny people of their rights.

Robert E. Madden, M.D.

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6 Responses to Robert E. Madden, M.D. “My opposition (to smoking bans) is due to loss of individual freedom and abuse of scientific fact.” Hat tip Marcus Aurelius

  1. Dont you love it when anti smokers say they have a right to enjoy a bar or club with no smoking. A better way to put is is that they feel that have a more a right to enjoy a non smoking environment than a smoker has to smoke in a place where its legal and allowed.To say that Second hand smoke is dangerous to smoker and non smoker alike is like saying you will suffer damage to your health from the heroin you ingest by eating poppy seed muffins. Even as an Asthmatic, sadly it was a great argument to stand behind when I was an anti smoker. Now as a moderate cigar and pipe smoker, with no inhalation my asthma isnt triggered we found out later it was induced by exercise. But also remember those who sell tobacco like your neighborhood cigar seller most likely is family owned and operated. A smoking ban would hurt them in a way from which they will never recover because most of their business is based on instore smoking which is the likelihood the patron will return to the humidor for another cigar. We cannot deny owners of businesses we have no share of ownership in the right to allow a legal product to be used, no one has a right to go into a smoking bar and say to the owner to collect all the ash trays and deny smokers the right to smoke. Thats just as selfish and inconsiderate as anti smokers accuse non smokers of doing.

  2. Dave Copeland says:

    A brilliant letter by Dr Madden, one that I will save, copy and paste in future “debates” with the antis!
    The bottom line is this though. WHO IS ANYONE OR ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO HAVE THE AUDACITY TO TELL ME OR ANYONE ELSE, WHAT THEY CAN DO IN THEIR OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY WHEN IT DOES NOT AFFECT ANYONE WHO DOES NOT CHOOSE TO GO THERE? You do not have a right to a smoke free bar. You do not have a right to a smoke free McDonald’s. If you want it build it. If there is a demand for it then it will come, which is how the free market works.

  3. churchmouse says:

    Agree with the post as well as the comments.

    Jonathan, your comment is particularly significant with regard to asthma, especially with the rise in gym use over the past two or so decades:

    my asthma isnt triggered we found out later it was induced by exercise.’

    Hmm. Deserves more investigation by scientists with some integrity, perhaps? Many of us over-50s have said that we never knew anyone with asthma. It seemed to start taking off in the 1980s.

    • Dave Copeland says:

      Tobacco smoke actually helps PREVENT asthma!

      • churchmouse says:

        Exactly — I’ll be covering it on my blog within the next couple of weeks, all being well.

        Yet, I remember in the 1980s one of my young colleagues — an asthmatic — going out for lunch. A group of us were walking along a pedestrianised area with a few people smoking. My asthmatic colleague got a really severe attack. None of us — even she — was sure what happened.

        So, in her case (and many younger asthmatics today), was it a) psychosomatic, triggered by the sight of people smoking or b) real, triggered by stress in the office (quite stressful, I’ll never forget it)? We don’t know. Even today, the jury is still out on what exactly triggers asthma attacks.

        The other side of the story is, I had an asthmatic classmate at university who smoked to relieve the symptoms — it worked.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2008 01:04:54 -0500

    I am a Texan for 22 years, a 36 year physician, specializing in
    emergency medicine. I am familiar with the public health science on
    second hand smoke. I can say with confidence that second hand smoke
    may irritate some, but it does not kill. Those claiming thousands of
    deaths from second hand smoke to the public are deceitful for a
    political goal.

    Public Health Studies cited by the Cancer Society and the Surgeon
    General that claim thousands of deaths from second hand smoke are
    weak, cherry-picked studies. Their supporters compound their perfidy
    by ignoring studies by the World Health Organization (Buffetta 1998
    in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute), Stranges, 2006 in
    Archives of Internal Medicine and Enstrom 2003 in The British Medical
    Journal, that show no second hand smoke effect.

    In science, one study that disproves a scientific theory is more
    important than a pile of studies that are slightly positive. Anti-
    smoking advocates and fanatics ignore that basic rule and ignore any
    study they don’t like. They are propagandists, not scientists.

    The crusaders are willing to do anything and say anything about
    second hand smoke, including making public statements about thousands
    of deaths from second hand smoke. Those claims are multifarious and
    duplicitous—they are lies. Second hand smoking, even for the spouse
    of a smoker is one cigarette or less per day—which has no effect.
    The second hand smoke scare is a phantom menace conjured up by the
    High Holy Church of Smoke Haters to support the anti smoking

    Smoking Bans violate the Ohio tradition of mind your own business.
    If the Ohio General Assembly thinks it has a role in telling people
    how to live, they should get a Divinity Degree and find a
    congregation. Folks in Ohio can easily avoid second hand smoke, and
    employment in a bar or restaurant is voluntary. Smoking is legal.
    Avoiding smoke is easy.

    John Dale Dunn MD JD

    Policy Advisor
    American Council on Science
    and Health,
    NYC, and the Heartland Institute, Chicago.

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