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Smoking doesn't cause cancer

zmikecuber
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6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
RuvDraba
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6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

Mike, the Journal of Theoretics ran from 1999 to 2004. Its web-site asserts that it is a non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, however there are syntactic errors in its web-design, and no listed process for paper reviewing. There are nevertheless papers listed against this journal (here) [http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...]. I took a look at a few of them, and noted matters of concern:

1) The typographic quality of the papers is poor;
2) The institutional affiliations of authors are not well-renowned and reputable;
3) Some authors list free-access email addresses rather than institutional addresses, which for papers published in the late 1990s casts suspicion on the quality and very existence of the institutions from which they claim to hail;
4) The same authors appear time and time again, sometimes publishing more than one paper per issue (Vol 6-2 featured eight papers from only three authors, and one author had published to the same journal nineteen times in only six years), casting doubt upon the quality of review and participation, and of journalistic fairness and independence; and
5) Some of the claims in papers are wild, bordering on outrageous, yet there is little to no record of any scientist taking issue with them.

Finally, the article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public. At one point it also makes blatant and irrelevant political commentary, which would be considered unprofessional in any reputable scientific journal I can name.

It also ignores reputable opinion in the field almost entirely. For example, even today, the US Centre for Disease Control (for example) reports unequivocally that:
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. [...] Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).
[http://www.cdc.gov...]

And it's odd that this supposedly carefully-researched editorial doesn't discuss how the term 'cause' came to be chosen in the Surgeon General's original report. So for your information, let me supply that background since the author didn't.

On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. [https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...] However it took seven years for the the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health to appear declaring that smoking was unequivocally a cause of lung-cancer. In defending this choice of terminology, the report stated:

3. The characterization of the assessment called for a specific term. The chief terms considered were "factor." "determinant." and "cause." The Committee agreed that while a factor could be a source of variation. not all sources of variation are causes. It is recognized that often the coexistence of several factors is required for the occurrence of a disease. and that one of the factors may plav a determinant role. i.e.. without it the other factors (as genetic susceptibility) are impotent. Hormones in breast cancer can play such a determinant role. The word cause is the one in general usage in connection with matters considered in this study. and it is capable of conveying the notion of a significant, effectual. relationship between an agent and an associated disorder or disease in the host.

4. It should be said at once, however, that no member of this Committee used the word "cause" in an absolute sense in the area of this study. Although various disciplines and fields of scientific knowledge were represented among the membership, all members shared a common conception of the multiple etiology of biological processes. No member was so naive as to insist upon mono-etiology in pathological processes or in vital phenomena. All were thoroughly aware of the fact that there are series of events in occurrences and developments in these fields. and that the end results are the net effect of many actions and counteractions.

5. Granted that these complexities were recognized, it is to be noted clearly that the Committee"s considered decision to use the words "a cause," or "a major cause," or "a significant cause," or "a causal association" in certain conclusions about smoking and health affirms their conviction.

[https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...]

So while one could contest that choice of terminology, academic diligence should nevertheless acknowledge that these objections were anticipated responsibly and dealt with accountably in the original report, and that the term as intended, is now generally accepted as best practice medical communication throughout the world.

In short, Mike, if you want to resurrect this dead horse to flagellate it some more, may I suggest that you draw on a more competent, diligent, methodical, honest, impartial and reputable source than the one you cited?

Scientifically, it is not a good article; merely one that appeals to your prejudices and sensibilities.

Thanks.
Axonly
Posts: 1,801
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6/10/2016 12:41:15 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Oh my god this is amazing! You should post your research in a journal and alert the medical community!
Meh!
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,057
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6/10/2016 2:34:33 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

Mike, the Journal of Theoretics ran from 1999 to 2004. Its web-site asserts that it is a non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, however there are syntactic errors in its web-design, and no listed process for paper reviewing. There are nevertheless papers listed against this journal (here) [http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...]. I took a look at a few of them, and noted matters of concern:

1) The typographic quality of the papers is poor;
2) The institutional affiliations of authors are not well-renowned and reputable;
3) Some authors list free-access email addresses rather than institutional addresses, which for papers published in the late 1990s casts suspicion on the quality and very existence of the institutions from which they claim to hail;
4) The same authors appear time and time again, sometimes publishing more than one paper per issue (Vol 6-2 featured eight papers from only three authors, and one author had published to the same journal nineteen times in only six years), casting doubt upon the quality of review and participation, and of journalistic fairness and independence; and
5) Some of the claims in papers are wild, bordering on outrageous, yet there is little to no record of any scientist taking issue with them.

Finally, the article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public. At one point it also makes blatant and irrelevant political commentary, which would be considered unprofessional in any reputable scientific journal I can name.


All of this seems to be besides the point. What I was more interested in was that according to the CDC and WHO data, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer. I will likely look into it myself and read into the data, download it, whatever.

It also ignores reputable opinion in the field almost entirely. For example, even today, the US Centre for Disease Control (for example) reports unequivocally that:
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. [...] Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).
[http://www.cdc.gov...]


Sure, I don't deny that. I don't see how this is anything other than a red herring.

And it's odd that this supposedly carefully-researched editorial doesn't discuss how the term 'cause' came to be chosen in the Surgeon General's original report. So for your information, let me supply that background since the author didn't.

On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. [https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...] However it took seven years for the the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health to appear declaring that smoking was unequivocally a cause of lung-cancer. In defending this choice of terminology, the report stated:

3. The characterization of the assessment called for a specific term. The chief terms considered were "factor." "determinant." and "cause." The Committee agreed that while a factor could be a source of variation. not all sources of variation are causes. It is recognized that often the coexistence of several factors is required for the occurrence of a disease. and that one of the factors may plav a determinant role. i.e.. without it the other factors (as genetic susceptibility) are impotent. Hormones in breast cancer can play such a determinant role. The word cause is the one in general usage in connection with matters considered in this study. and it is capable of conveying the notion of a significant, effectual. relationship between an agent and an associated disorder or disease in the host.

4. It should be said at once, however, that no member of this Committee used the word "cause" in an absolute sense in the area of this study. Although various disciplines and fields of scientific knowledge were represented among the membership, all members shared a common conception of the multiple etiology of biological processes. No member was so naive as to insist upon mono-etiology in pathological processes or in vital phenomena. All were thoroughly aware of the fact that there are series of events in occurrences and developments in these fields. and that the end results are the net effect of many actions and counteractions.

5. Granted that these complexities were recognized, it is to be noted clearly that the Committee"s considered decision to use the words "a cause," or "a major cause," or "a significant cause," or "a causal association" in certain conclusions about smoking and health affirms their conviction.

[https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...]


I think this is essentially saying exactly what I think. The point is that cancer development is far more complex than A causing B and to imply that smoking *always* causes cancer is ridiculous.

So while one could contest that choice of terminology, academic diligence should nevertheless acknowledge that these objections were anticipated responsibly and dealt with accountably in the original report, and that the term as intended, is now generally accepted as best practice medical communication throughout the world.


I understand that their definition of the word cause is different than common understanding. However, I would argue that this has caused misunderstanding and has been used by anti-tobacco propaganda to scare kids out of smoking. Scare tactics are stupid.

In short, Mike, if you want to resurrect this dead horse to flagellate it some more, may I suggest that you draw on a more competent, diligent, methodical, honest, impartial and reputable source than the one you cited?


Like I said, I am not concerned about whether or not you think the article is well written or good scientific literature. I'm primarily interested in the arguments presented, especially the one I noted above. I have noticed that you haven't attacked this. Is it true that less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer? If so, more people should know this.

Scientifically, it is not a good article; merely one that appeals to your prejudices and sensibilities.

Thanks.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,057
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6/10/2016 3:53:29 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

Mike, the Journal of Theoretics ran from 1999 to 2004. Its web-site asserts that it is a non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, however there are syntactic errors in its web-design, and no listed process for paper reviewing. There are nevertheless papers listed against this journal (here) [http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...]. I took a look at a few of them, and noted matters of concern:

1) The typographic quality of the papers is poor;
2) The institutional affiliations of authors are not well-renowned and reputable;
3) Some authors list free-access email addresses rather than institutional addresses, which for papers published in the late 1990s casts suspicion on the quality and very existence of the institutions from which they claim to hail;
4) The same authors appear time and time again, sometimes publishing more than one paper per issue (Vol 6-2 featured eight papers from only three authors, and one author had published to the same journal nineteen times in only six years), casting doubt upon the quality of review and participation, and of journalistic fairness and independence; and
5) Some of the claims in papers are wild, bordering on outrageous, yet there is little to no record of any scientist taking issue with them.

Finally, the article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public. At one point it also makes blatant and irrelevant political commentary, which would be considered unprofessional in any reputable scientific journal I can name.

It also ignores reputable opinion in the field almost entirely. For example, even today, the US Centre for Disease Control (for example) reports unequivocally that:
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. [...] Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).
[http://www.cdc.gov...]

And it's odd that this supposedly carefully-researched editorial doesn't discuss how the term 'cause' came to be chosen in the Surgeon General's original report. So for your information, let me supply that background since the author didn't.

On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. [https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...] However it took seven years for the the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health to appear declaring that smoking was unequivocally a cause of lung-cancer. In defending this choice of terminology, the report stated:

3. The characterization of the assessment called for a specific term. The chief terms considered were "factor." "determinant." and "cause." The Committee agreed that while a factor could be a source of variation. not all sources of variation are causes. It is recognized that often the coexistence of several factors is required for the occurrence of a disease. and that one of the factors may plav a determinant role. i.e.. without it the other factors (as genetic susceptibility) are impotent. Hormones in breast cancer can play such a determinant role. The word cause is the one in general usage in connection with matters considered in this study. and it is capable of conveying the notion of a significant, effectual. relationship between an agent and an associated disorder or disease in the host.

4. It should be said at once, however, that no member of this Committee used the word "cause" in an absolute sense in the area of this study. Although various disciplines and fields of scientific knowledge were represented among the membership, all members shared a common conception of the multiple etiology of biological processes. No member was so naive as to insist upon mono-etiology in pathological processes or in vital phenomena. All were thoroughly aware of the fact that there are series of events in occurrences and developments in these fields. and that the end results are the net effect of many actions and counteractions.

5. Granted that these complexities were recognized, it is to be noted clearly that the Committee"s considered decision to use the words "a cause," or "a major cause," or "a significant cause," or "a causal association" in certain conclusions about smoking and health affirms their conviction.

[https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...]

So while one could contest that choice of terminology, academic diligence should nevertheless acknowledge that these objections were anticipated responsibly and dealt with accountably in the original report, and that the term as intended, is now generally accepted as best practice medical communication throughout the world.

In short, Mike, if you want to resurrect this dead horse to flagellate it some more, may I suggest that you draw on a more competent, diligent, methodical, honest, impartial and reputable source than the one you cited?

Scientifically, it is not a good article; merely one that appeals to your prejudices and sensibilities.

Thanks.

I would like to note that I ran the numbers myself but included the years 2000 and 2010, and attributed 90% of lung cancer rates to smoking, and I got the result that 12% of smokers die from lung cancer. Check out the method he used in the spreadsheet picture. It seems reliable to me, but I could be mistaken.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
PetersSmith
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6/10/2016 4:34:48 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

You'd like this movie https://en.wikipedia.org...
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RuvDraba
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6/10/2016 5:41:14 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 2:34:33 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...
The article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public.
All of this seems to be besides the point. What I was more interested in was that according to the CDC and WHO data, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
Yet of all the lung-cancer seen, some 90% is linked to a history of tobacco use. That's why the language was chosen. Recognising that virtually all disease has multiple etiologies, nevertheless in a modern society, lung cancer is overwhelmingly caused by cigarette smoking. Consequently, if you smoke but don't like the additional risk of lung-cancer, the single most effective action one can take is stop smoking.

On the other hand, if you smoke but accept the additional exposure to lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, stroke, heart attack, skin ageing, erectile dysfunction, infertility, early menopause, diabetic complications, deep vein thrombosis and other circulatory risks -- not to mention, you are happy to inflict additional environmental risks and economic costs on those around you -- then why are you paying attention to medical warnings at all?

You seem to like choice, Mike and demand meticulous precision, and I can respect that.

Yet with choice comes personal responsibility for impacts. Smokers are responsible for handling the emotional burdens of their own deliberate risky and harmful decisions. They cannot hand that burden back to society and demand that medical professionals moderate clear and effective communication in the public interest for the sake of sparing their feelings.

I will likely look into it myself and read into the data, download it, whatever.
Well and good. However, you also need to read the reasoning across the whole scientific community, rather than selecting opinion that suits you.

I don't see how this is anything other than a red herring.
You mean, as policy you believe it's ineffective in substantially improving health outcomes in an ignorant, misinformed, tobacco-addicted population manipulated by a century's worth of corporate advertising spend?

You're welcome to argue that if you want. There's plenty of data to show how efficacious anti-smoking communications have been since the 1960s, including what has worked, how well (or how poorly), and what benefits have accrued.

I think this is essentially saying exactly what I think. The point is that cancer development is far more complex than A causing B and to imply that smoking *always* causes cancer is ridiculous.
The Surgeon General's report made it clear that this was not the intention, and it seems evident that clarity and transparency have been carried through to today (e.g. in the CDC's carefully qualified use of language, previously quoted and linked.)

I understand that their definition of the word cause is different than common understanding.
Actually, a scientific definition of cause itself is different from pretty much all dictionary definitions. This is because common language developed before and independently of science. The word 'cause' for example, dates from 1200C, while the earliest modern notion of causative correlation dates from the mid 17th century. Most general public do not understand what empiricism is, what empirical knowledge is, or how it's validated and verified. A more complex and nuanced idea like causation would be lost on most people with either a high school diploma, or a college degree outside the STEM disciplines.

So all science communications have challenges when communicating information to the general public in such a way as to inform effective decision-making.

It's absolutely legitimate to argue from a public policy perspective that better language might be adopted, but to do that you'd normally need to appeal to the twin bioethical criteria of beneficence and non-maleficence -- criteria that underpin virtually all medical decisions.

You haven't made a case that there'd be measurable public benefit by adopting other language, or that significant harms would be avoided by doing so. I'm not even sure that such a case could be made, though you have a right to try and make it.

But the records show that there has been transparency, consideration and accountability in the choice of language, so it's hardly a case of academic dishonesty, incompetence, or negligence here. I think it likely that we'll find references to show that this has been discussed and rediscussed at length, both in the science and public policy spheres.

I am not concerned about whether or not you think the article is well written or good scientific literature.
You don't have to trust what I think, Mike. All you need to do is check the citation counts of any article listed in the journal. I sampled the citations of its most prolific author, the possibly-cronyist VN Strel'tsov, with his nineteen publications in this journal over six years. You can check them on Google Scholar [https://scholar.google.com.au...]. His Journal of Theoretics pubs see no more than one citation each. Nett science impact to date: zip.

Editor James N. Siepmann's editorial itself has only three citations. [https://scholar.google.com.au...] Three!? For such a controversial position against fifty years of medical establishment? Is there a scientist of any repute who has used the Journal of Theoretics for any purpose more salubrious than lining their cat litter-box? If he has such a strong case for scientific malfeasance, why isn't he writing in the Lancet, or Nature?

Regardless, if you want more respectable scientific opinion, it's available. I offered you the original rationale by the Surgeon General. If you want, I'm sure we could find other discussion in the AMA, Lancet and elsewhere on managing public communications ethically and accountably, because these questions arise frequently in the sciences. While I've already researched this more than you have, I'd be happy to research further and share links with you if you care to do the same.
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 5:41:14 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 2:34:33 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...
The article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public.
All of this seems to be besides the point. What I was more interested in was that according to the CDC and WHO data, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
Yet of all the lung-cancer seen, some 90% is linked to a history of tobacco use. That's why the language was chosen. Recognising that virtually all disease has multiple etiologies, nevertheless in a modern society, lung cancer is overwhelmingly caused by cigarette smoking. Consequently, if you smoke but don't like the additional risk of lung-cancer, the single most effective action one can take is stop smoking.

On the other hand, if you smoke but accept the additional exposure to lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, stroke, heart attack, skin ageing, erectile dysfunction, infertility, early menopause, diabetic complications, deep vein thrombosis and other circulatory risks -- not to mention, you are happy to inflict additional environmental risks and economic costs on those around you -- then why are you paying attention to medical warnings at all?

You seem to like choice, Mike and demand meticulous precision, and I can respect that.

Yet with choice comes personal responsibility for impacts. Smokers are responsible for handling the emotional burdens of their own deliberate risky and harmful decisions. They cannot hand that burden back to society and demand that medical professionals moderate clear and effective communication in the public interest for the sake of sparing their feelings.

I will likely look into it myself and read into the data, download it, whatever.
Well and good. However, you also need to read the reasoning across the whole scientific community, rather than selecting opinion that suits you.

I don't see how this is anything other than a red herring.
You mean, as policy you believe it's ineffective in substantially improving health outcomes in an ignorant, misinformed, tobacco-addicted population manipulated by a century's worth of corporate advertising spend?

You're welcome to argue that if you want. There's plenty of data to show how efficacious anti-smoking communications have been since the 1960s, including what has worked, how well (or how poorly), and what benefits have accrued.

I think this is essentially saying exactly what I think. The point is that cancer development is far more complex than A causing B and to imply that smoking *always* causes cancer is ridiculous.
The Surgeon General's report made it clear that this was not the intention, and it seems evident that clarity and transparency have been carried through to today (e.g. in the CDC's carefully qualified use of language, previously quoted and linked.)

I understand that their definition of the word cause is different than common understanding.
Actually, a scientific definition of cause itself is different from pretty much all dictionary definitions. This is because common language developed before and independently of science. The word 'cause' for example, dates from 1200C, while the earliest modern notion of causative correlation dates from the mid 17th century. Most general public do not understand what empiricism is, what empirical knowledge is, or how it's validated and verified. A more complex and nuanced idea like causation would be lost on most people with either a high school diploma, or a college degree outside the STEM disciplines.

So all science communications have challenges when communicating information to the general public in such a way as to inform effective decision-making.

It's absolutely legitimate to argue from a public policy perspective that better language might be adopted, but to do that you'd normally need to appeal to the twin bioethical criteria of beneficence and non-maleficence -- criteria that underpin virtually all medical decisions.

You haven't made a case that there'd be measurable public benefit by adopting other language, or that significant harms would be avoided by doing so. I'm not even sure that such a case could be made, though you have a right to try and make it.

But the records show that there has been transparency, consideration and accountability in the choice of language, so it's hardly a case of academic dishonesty, incompetence, or negligence here. I think it likely that we'll find references to show that this has been discussed and rediscussed at length, both in the science and public policy spheres.

I am not concerned about whether or not you think the article is well written or good scientific literature.
You don't have to trust what I think, Mike. All you need to do is check the citation counts of any article listed in the journal. I sampled the citations of its most prolific author, the possibly-cronyist VN Strel'tsov, with his nineteen publications in this journal over six years. You can check them on Google Scholar [https://scholar.google.com.au...]. His Journal of Theoretics pubs see no more than one citation each. Nett science impact to date: zip.

Editor James N. Siepmann's editorial itself has only three citations. [https://scholar.google.com.au...] Three!? For such a controversial position against fifty years of medical establishment? Is there a scientist of any repute who has used the Journal of Theoretics for any purpose more salubrious than lining their cat litter-box? If he has such a strong case for scientific malfeasance, why isn't he writing in the Lancet, or Nature?

Regardless, if you want more respectable scientific opinion, it's available. I offered you the original rationale by the Surgeon General. If you want, I'm sure we could find other discussion in the AMA, Lancet and elsewhere on managing public communications ethically and accountably, because these questions arise frequently in the sciences. While I've already researched this more than you have, I'd be happy to research further and share links with you if you care to do the same.

Look, I really don't care about whether or not this or that is good scientific literature. None of the debates on this website are "good scientific literature" but they can still be convincing.

I'll respond when you answer whether or not the method he used is accurate in showing that roughly 8% of smokers die from lung cancer. Like I said, I ran the numbers from the CDC and Census bureau myself and got 12%. Is this accurate or not?

Until then, I think you're missing the point of my argument.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 11:19:15 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 4:34:48 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

You'd like this movie https://en.wikipedia.org...

Lol. The tobacco companies are messed up.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Sam7411
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6/10/2016 11:26:14 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.
This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

Mike, the Journal of Theoretics ran from 1999 to 2004. Its web-site asserts that it is a non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, however there are syntactic errors in its web-design, and no listed process for paper reviewing. There are nevertheless papers listed against this journal (here) [http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...]. I took a look at a few of them, and noted matters of concern:

1) The typographic quality of the papers is poor;
2) The institutional affiliations of authors are not well-renowned and reputable;
3) Some authors list free-access email addresses rather than institutional addresses, which for papers published in the late 1990s casts suspicion on the quality and very existence of the institutions from which they claim to hail;
4) The same authors appear time and time again, sometimes publishing more than one paper per issue (Vol 6-2 featured eight papers from only three authors, and one author had published to the same journal nineteen times in only six years), casting doubt upon the quality of review and participation, and of journalistic fairness and independence; and
5) Some of the claims in papers are wild, bordering on outrageous, yet there is little to no record of any scientist taking issue with them.

Finally, the article you cited is not a peer-reviewed report, but an editorial. It appeals to the author's own professional views, rather than citing professional standards on reporting causality in medical communications to the public. At one point it also makes blatant and irrelevant political commentary, which would be considered unprofessional in any reputable scientific journal I can name.

It also ignores reputable opinion in the field almost entirely. For example, even today, the US Centre for Disease Control (for example) reports unequivocally that:
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. [...] Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).
[http://www.cdc.gov...]

And it's odd that this supposedly carefully-researched editorial doesn't discuss how the term 'cause' came to be chosen in the Surgeon General's original report. So for your information, let me supply that background since the author didn't.

On June 12, 1957, Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney declared it the official position of the U.S. Public Health Service that the evidence pointed to a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer. [https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...] However it took seven years for the the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health to appear declaring that smoking was unequivocally a cause of lung-cancer. In defending this choice of terminology, the report stated:

3. The characterization of the assessment called for a specific term. The chief terms considered were "factor." "determinant." and "cause." The Committee agreed that while a factor could be a source of variation. not all sources of variation are causes. It is recognized that often the coexistence of several factors is required for the occurrence of a disease. and that one of the factors may plav a determinant role. i.e.. without it the other factors (as genetic susceptibility) are impotent. Hormones in breast cancer can play such a determinant role. The word cause is the one in general usage in connection with matters considered in this study. and it is capable of conveying the notion of a significant, effectual. relationship between an agent and an associated disorder or disease in the host.

4. It should be said at once, however, that no member of this Committee used the word "cause" in an absolute sense in the area of this study. Although various disciplines and fields of scientific knowledge were represented among the membership, all members shared a common conception of the multiple etiology of biological processes. No member was so naive as to insist upon mono-etiology in pathological processes or in vital phenomena. All were thoroughly aware of the fact that there are series of events in occurrences and developments in these fields. and that the end results are the net effect of many actions and counteractions.

5. Granted that these complexities were recognized, it is to be noted clearly that the Committee"s considered decision to use the words "a cause," or "a major cause," or "a significant cause," or "a causal association" in certain conclusions about smoking and health affirms their conviction.

[https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov...]

So while one could contest that choice of terminology, academic diligence should nevertheless acknowledge that these objections were anticipated responsibly and dealt with accountably in the original report, and that the term as intended, is now generally accepted as best practice medical communication throughout the world.

In short, Mike, if you want to resurrect this dead horse to flagellate it some more, may I suggest that you draw on a more competent, diligent, methodical, honest, impartial and reputable source than the one you cited?

Scientifically, it is not a good article; merely one that appeals to your prejudices and sensibilities.

Thanks.

Hit em' with the facts
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 11:41:10 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 5:41:14 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 2:34:33 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/9/2016 11:23:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

Look, I'm not particularly interested in discussing how to cut down on people smoking, how to teach teens healthy living and all that buIIshit. I'm concerned with the *truth* of what the risks are from smoking, because I want to *know* the truth. As in, not just "you could get genital warts from smoking cigarettes" but rather "If you smoke 20 pack years, your chances of getting genital warts are 110%." Actual numbers. And not numbers like "90% of lung cancer cases are attributed to smoking." I mean, 100% of car accident cases are attributed to driving cars, but that's a pretty useless statistic. Also, if your chances of dying from lung cancer are .01%, then doubling, tripling, even quadrupling this number isn't a significant worry.

If you don't want to discuss this with me that's perfectly alright, but I'm not interested in whatever discussion you're trying to have.

Hell, I'm not even a regular "smoker" so if you're trying to convince a young college student to quit smoking, your energies would be better focused elsewhere.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
TheGreatAndPowerful
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6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?
RuvDraba
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6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.

I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.

I ran the numbers from the CDC and Census bureau myself and got 12%. Is this accurate or not?
It isn't my field, Mike, but it seems a tad high, if only because heart disease from smoking, obesity and inactivity ought to be taking out smokers before their lung cancer and emphysema develop. But maybe heart surgery has helped lift the lung cancer rates over time. As time permits I'll take a look at the data, compare to other jurisdictions and let you know what I find.
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 9:41:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.


Well of course I titled it something to get people interested ;)

I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.


No, my only position in this case is that things like this:

https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net...

or this:
http://cdn.theatlantic.com...

are misleading, since most people will not understand the word "cause" in the way it's meant. It's very murky and as I stated before, it's fear tactics. On the other hand, if one were to present the truth to people *in a way they can understand* and allow them to make their decisions, that would be far more intellectually honest. It's alot like the modal ontological argument using a modal definition of "possible" which confuses alot of people who understand it in the common definition of the word "possible." It's misleading, and probably intentionally dishonest.

I ran the numbers from the CDC and Census bureau myself and got 12%. Is this accurate or not?
It isn't my field, Mike, but it seems a tad high, if only because heart disease from smoking, obesity and inactivity ought to be taking out smokers before their lung cancer and emphysema develop. But maybe heart surgery has helped lift the lung cancer rates over time. As time permits I'll take a look at the data, compare to other jurisdictions and let you know what I find.

Fair enough. To be honest, I think smoking in addition to obesity or drinking alot of alcohol is probably the worst combination for your health. So yeah, I'd be more worried about the other side effects of smoking than cancer since heart attack and stroke seem more dangerous. Haven't researched this enough though.

I did round a bit of my population numbers, and had to use US white male population numbers from 2009 since my source didnt have 2010.

Considering most people who consider themselves smokers smoke *alot* and inhale, I don't see any problem with smoking a cigar every once in a while.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 9:41:46 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

No.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
ThinkBig
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6/10/2016 9:44:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Awesome find. Go collect your Nobel prize.
ThinkBig
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Notable Notes and Quotable Quotes
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"I GOT SIG'D"
"WELL FVCK ME IN THE A$SHOLE AND CALL ME A CUCK I GOT SIG'D AGAIN"
-Kiri
If anyone's getting modkilled, it's kiri. Just for his sig.
-7th
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Need a judge or vote? Nominate me!!
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zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.

I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.

I ran the numbers from the CDC and Census bureau myself and got 12%. Is this accurate or not?
It isn't my field, Mike, but it seems a tad high, if only because heart disease from smoking, obesity and inactivity ought to be taking out smokers before their lung cancer and emphysema develop. But maybe heart surgery has helped lift the lung cancer rates over time. As time permits I'll take a look at the data, compare to other jurisdictions and let you know what I find.

The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob saying "If it's possible for God to exist, he exists!" Sure, in modal logic terms that may be true, but your average old lady who sits in the back and blows her nose on a handkerchief she made herself isn't going to know that.

In the title of my thread, I was speaking in lay-mans terms or what people generally consider to be the definition of "cause."

In any case, thanks for the further info.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
RuvDraba
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6/10/2016 9:57:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.

I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.

The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob
Do you live in Australia, Mike? I do, so I've had a chance to watch the social policy discussion take place over some decades. Because I also work from time to time with Federal government and have contacts in the department of Health and Ageing, I also got to see the various stages of packaging policy unfold as it happened.

I'm aware that this is Science, not Politics, and had no intention of raising that particular jurisdictional policy issue, but if that's your underlying concern, I'll be happy to include what information I have. In any case, I'm interested in how figures compare in the developed and developing world, since as we've agreed, lung cancer is a condition with multiple etiologies, and as you'd be aware, there are other conditions (some smoking-related, some not) that might kill someone before lung cancer did.

In the title of my thread, I was speaking in lay-mans terms or what people generally consider to be the definition of "cause."
Yes. We've already acknowledged and discussed the mismatch, and I've presented you with evidence that it's not the result of scientific dishonesty, incompetence or neglect.

So all that remains is your interest in the actual data -- which I find interesting too, so I'm happy to help with that. Or if you'd like to mount a case of greater public benefit/reduced public harm from changed language, I'd be very interested to see how you substantiate it.

In any case, thanks for the further info.
You're welcome in advance. :)
zmikecuber
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6/10/2016 10:05:48 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 9:57:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.

I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.

The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob
Do you live in Australia, Mike? I do, so I've had a chance to watch the social policy discussion take place over some decades. Because I also work from time to time with Federal government and have contacts in the department of Health and Ageing, I also got to see the various stages of packaging policy unfold as it happened.

This is a logical fallacy. Where I live has nothing to do with the truth of those labels. Sure, it might have to do with my understanding of why certain policies were put into place, but the point is that to say "Smoking causes cancer" in lay-mans understanding of "cause" is false, as you yourself seem to admit.

Now you may argue that this obfuscation is justified. I'm not really interested in getting into that argument, since I think lying is wrong in all circumstances, but that's besides the point. I really am not interested at the moment in why certain policies were put into place.

I'm concerned about the truth of the matter, and as I see it, telling someone "Smoking causes cancer" while knowing that they have a completely different understanding of the word "cause" is dishonest at best, devious at worst.


I'm aware that this is Science, not Politics, and had no intention of raising that particular jurisdictional policy issue, but if that's your underlying concern, I'll be happy to include what information I have. In any case, I'm interested in how figures compare in the developed and developing world, since as we've agreed, lung cancer is a condition with multiple etiologies, and as you'd be aware, there are other conditions (some smoking-related, some not) that might kill someone before lung cancer did.


Of course, I see this as part of a larger picture, that of the obsession with exterior health and sterility while interior character slides into oblivion, but that's besides the point.

In the title of my thread, I was speaking in lay-mans terms or what people generally consider to be the definition of "cause."
Yes. We've already acknowledged and discussed the mismatch, and I've presented you with evidence that it's not the result of scientific dishonesty, incompetence or neglect.

So all that remains is your interest in the actual data -- which I find interesting too, so I'm happy to help with that. Or if you'd like to mount a case of greater public benefit/reduced public harm from changed language, I'd be very interested to see how you substantiate it.

In any case, thanks for the further info.
You're welcome in advance. :)
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
TheGreatAndPowerful
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6/10/2016 10:27:59 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 9:41:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

No.

Then I fail to see the relevance of that particular statistic. If smoking causes lung cancer certainly it causes it regardless if the cancer ends up killing the person or not.
RuvDraba
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6/11/2016 12:16:13 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 10:05:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:57:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.
I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.
The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob
Do you live in Australia, Mike? I do, so I've had a chance to watch the social policy discussion take place over some decades. Because I also work from time to time with Federal government and have contacts in the department of Health and Ageing, I also got to see the various stages of packaging policy unfold as it happened.
This is a logical fallacy. Where I live has nothing to do with the truth of those labels.
(I would say 'accuracy' rather than 'truth' since English is scientifically imprecise.)

I did not suggest that jurisdiction should affect accuracy (although different jurisdictions can interpret language differently.) However jurisdiction does affect what you know and understand of the policy context, and may therefore affect your apprehension of policy rationale and your ability to model consequence accurately and impartially.

Why does that matter? Please see below.

I really am not interested at the moment in why certain policies were put into place.
I've already established without rebuttal that the process by which the language was selected fifty years ago was transparent, diligent, honest, and competent and that no scientific malfeasance has occurred.

We can also explore whether it has subsequently been discussed comprehensively in the medical and public health communities -- that's an invitation I extended to you, and which you declined.

So why are you interested, if not for political reasons?

I'm concerned about the truth of the matter, and as I see it, telling someone "Smoking causes cancer" while knowing that they have a completely different understanding of the word "cause" is dishonest at best, devious at worst.
The purpose of this language is to communicate information for effective public decision-making. But efficacy is objective, not subjective. The only way you can accurately judge it is by how the communication has been interpreted.

However, you've yet to establish how the public has interpreted that warning. So you're only conjecturing that it has been generally misunderstood, you have yet to establish to what degree it may have been misunderstood, and you've yet to establish the degree to which any misunderstanding may have done harm.

How will you establish those things without a comprehensive policy context and relevant sociological data? I've offered you that context, but you seem to want to ignore it in order to fly off the handle, using your subjective intuitions alone.

I see this as part of a larger picture, that of the obsession with exterior health and sterility while interior character slides into oblivion, but that's besides the point.
That sounds like an ideological political position, Mike, rather than a pragmatic one. Regardless, you seem to be keen on loading the question so as to validate your intuitions while ignoring any contrary evidence.

You began by doing that with bad research, and now you're doing it by controlling the scope of the question, the evaluation criteria and the research.

In doing so you risk being guilty of a similar dishonesty to that which you allege.
zmikecuber
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6/11/2016 12:49:41 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 12:16:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 10:05:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:57:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.
I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.
The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob
Do you live in Australia, Mike? I do, so I've had a chance to watch the social policy discussion take place over some decades. Because I also work from time to time with Federal government and have contacts in the department of Health and Ageing, I also got to see the various stages of packaging policy unfold as it happened.
This is a logical fallacy. Where I live has nothing to do with the truth of those labels.
(I would say 'accuracy' rather than 'truth' since English is scientifically imprecise.)

I did not suggest that jurisdiction should affect accuracy (although different jurisdictions can interpret language differently.) However jurisdiction does affect what you know and understand of the policy context, and may therefore affect your apprehension of policy rationale and your ability to model consequence accurately and impartially.

Why does that matter? Please see below.

I really am not interested at the moment in why certain policies were put into place.
I've already established without rebuttal that the process by which the language was selected fifty years ago was transparent, diligent, honest, and competent and that no scientific malfeasance has occurred.

We can also explore whether it has subsequently been discussed comprehensively in the medical and public health communities -- that's an invitation I extended to you, and which you declined.

So why are you interested, if not for political reasons?

I'm concerned about the truth of the matter, and as I see it, telling someone "Smoking causes cancer" while knowing that they have a completely different understanding of the word "cause" is dishonest at best, devious at worst.
The purpose of this language is to communicate information for effective public decision-making. But efficacy is objective, not subjective. The only way you can accurately judge it is by how the communication has been interpreted.

However, you've yet to establish how the public has interpreted that warning. So you're only conjecturing that it has been generally misunderstood, you have yet to establish to what degree it may have been misunderstood, and you've yet to establish the degree to which any misunderstanding may have done harm.

How will you establish those things without a comprehensive policy context and relevant sociological data? I've offered you that context, but you seem to want to ignore it in order to fly off the handle, using your subjective intuitions alone.

I see this as part of a larger picture, that of the obsession with exterior health and sterility while interior character slides into oblivion, but that's besides the point.
That sounds like an ideological political position, Mike, rather than a pragmatic one. Regardless, you seem to be keen on loading the question so as to validate your intuitions while ignoring any contrary evidence.

You began by doing that with bad research, and now you're doing it by controlling the scope of the question, the evaluation criteria and the research.

In doing so you risk being guilty of a similar dishonesty to that which you allege.

I had a long reply typed up, but realized that's exactly what you want, since you're trying to guide the discussion away from the main point I was trying to make. So if you don't mind, I have a simple question for you.

Do you believe that, say roughly, 10% of smokers die from lung cancer?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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6/11/2016 12:50:34 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 12:16:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 10:05:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:57:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:46:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 5:16:27 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:18:37 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
I think you're missing the point of my argument.
Mike, you chose to entitle your thread 'Smoking doesn't cause cancer' and picked as your seminal reference the least scientific, most politically partisan, least cited, worst researched piece of editorial opinion-making I've ever seen in a journal purporting to be scientific, while ignoring the history of medical communications and public policy.
I didn't make those decisions; you did. Had you entitled your thread some open ended question like 'How risky is smoking really' we'd be having a very different conversation. But I've made those points and unless you wish to contest them further, I'm happy to move on.
The Australian labels are about equivalent to mega church rolex wearing Pastor Bob
Do you live in Australia, Mike? I do, so I've had a chance to watch the social policy discussion take place over some decades. Because I also work from time to time with Federal government and have contacts in the department of Health and Ageing, I also got to see the various stages of packaging policy unfold as it happened.
This is a logical fallacy. Where I live has nothing to do with the truth of those labels.
(I would say 'accuracy' rather than 'truth' since English is scientifically imprecise.)

I did not suggest that jurisdiction should affect accuracy (although different jurisdictions can interpret language differently.) However jurisdiction does affect what you know and understand of the policy context, and may therefore affect your apprehension of policy rationale and your ability to model consequence accurately and impartially.

Why does that matter? Please see below.

I really am not interested at the moment in why certain policies were put into place.
I've already established without rebuttal that the process by which the language was selected fifty years ago was transparent, diligent, honest, and competent and that no scientific malfeasance has occurred.

We can also explore whether it has subsequently been discussed comprehensively in the medical and public health communities -- that's an invitation I extended to you, and which you declined.

So why are you interested, if not for political reasons?

I'm concerned about the truth of the matter, and as I see it, telling someone "Smoking causes cancer" while knowing that they have a completely different understanding of the word "cause" is dishonest at best, devious at worst.
The purpose of this language is to communicate information for effective public decision-making. But efficacy is objective, not subjective. The only way you can accurately judge it is by how the communication has been interpreted.

However, you've yet to establish how the public has interpreted that warning. So you're only conjecturing that it has been generally misunderstood, you have yet to establish to what degree it may have been misunderstood, and you've yet to establish the degree to which any misunderstanding may have done harm.

How will you establish those things without a comprehensive policy context and relevant sociological data? I've offered you that context, but you seem to want to ignore it in order to fly off the handle, using your subjective intuitions alone.

I see this as part of a larger picture, that of the obsession with exterior health and sterility while interior character slides into oblivion, but that's besides the point.
That sounds like an ideological political position, Mike, rather than a pragmatic one. Regardless, you seem to be keen on loading the question so as to validate your intuitions while ignoring any contrary evidence.

You began by doing that with bad research, and now you're doing it by controlling the scope of the question, the evaluation criteria and the research.

In doing so you risk being guilty of a similar dishonesty to that which you allege.

If not, what percent of smokers die from lung cancer?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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6/11/2016 12:56:45 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 10:27:59 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:41:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

No.

Then I fail to see the relevance of that particular statistic. If smoking causes lung cancer certainly it causes it regardless if the cancer ends up killing the person or not.

That is a good point. See, I like people like you who don't talk buIIshit and actually make clear cogent arguments.

It would be good to see what percentage of smokers get lung cancer, what percent die from lung cancer, and what percent get lung cancer but don't die.

However, I'd say that in order for something to get the word "cause" and not "increase the likelihood of" it would have to consistently cause it. That is, most of the time cause it. Really, it comes down to a semantics debate. At what percentage does something get the name "cause"?

And by "cause" I mean the common understanding of the word, such as commonly bringing some event about.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
TheGreatAndPowerful
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6/11/2016 1:41:28 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 12:56:45 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 10:27:59 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:41:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

No.

Then I fail to see the relevance of that particular statistic. If smoking causes lung cancer certainly it causes it regardless if the cancer ends up killing the person or not.

That is a good point. See, I like people like you who don't talk buIIshit and actually make clear cogent arguments.

It would be good to see what percentage of smokers get lung cancer, what percent die from lung cancer, and what percent get lung cancer but don't die.

However, I'd say that in order for something to get the word "cause" and not "increase the likelihood of" it would have to consistently cause it. That is, most of the time cause it. Really, it comes down to a semantics debate. At what percentage does something get the name "cause"?

And by "cause" I mean the common understanding of the word, such as commonly bringing some event about.

I disagree that a cause must produce an effect "most of the time" to say that the cause does indeed produce that effect. Do most mosquitoes cause malaria? No. But malaria is nevertheless caused by mosquitoes.

To me, something is causal if you effect the likelihood of outcome by removing said cause. That is, if B wouldn't have happened (or would have been less likely to happen) without A also happening, that's sufficient to say that A caused or causes B.

In the case of smoking, you will find estimates that smoking increases the likelihood of cancer between 15 to 30 times compared to non-smokers (http://www.cdc.gov...). There are plenty of factors that determine where you fall on that spectrum, including gender and the degree to which you smoke. That alone - to me at least - puts smoking firmly in the "causal" column.

Furthermore, 90% of causes of lung cancer are tied to smoking. Again, I think this is sufficient to link smoking to lung cancer as a causal agent.

If the requirement here that smoking (to some degree) will give you lung cancer > 50% of the time, then it doesn't meet that standard. I disagree, however, that this is the standard we must meet to say that smoking causes cancer.
zmikecuber
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6/11/2016 2:11:00 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 1:41:28 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/11/2016 12:56:45 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 10:27:59 PM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/10/2016 9:41:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

No.

Then I fail to see the relevance of that particular statistic. If smoking causes lung cancer certainly it causes it regardless if the cancer ends up killing the person or not.

That is a good point. See, I like people like you who don't talk buIIshit and actually make clear cogent arguments.

It would be good to see what percentage of smokers get lung cancer, what percent die from lung cancer, and what percent get lung cancer but don't die.

However, I'd say that in order for something to get the word "cause" and not "increase the likelihood of" it would have to consistently cause it. That is, most of the time cause it. Really, it comes down to a semantics debate. At what percentage does something get the name "cause"?

And by "cause" I mean the common understanding of the word, such as commonly bringing some event about.

I disagree that a cause must produce an effect "most of the time" to say that the cause does indeed produce that effect. Do most mosquitoes cause malaria? No. But malaria is nevertheless caused by mosquitoes.

I would use the word "can cause". The problem I have is that often times anti-tobacco campaigns give the impression that tobacco *always* causes cancer. That tobacco is literally death just waiting to kill you.

It really just depends on how you define the word "cause." If you want to define it the way you are, that's fine, but I think it's different than alot of peoples' understandings of the word cause. I'd be interested in perhaps making a teleological argument about cigarettes. You very well may be right, and the word "cause" may be appropriate.


To me, something is causal if you effect the likelihood of outcome by removing said cause. That is, if B wouldn't have happened (or would have been less likely to happen) without A also happening, that's sufficient to say that A caused or causes B.


I see, but I disagree. Many things may contribute to something happening, yet would not be considered "the cause."

Indeed, I'm perfectly ok with saying something increases the likelihood of something else, I would just be careful to stick the word cause on it or label it as "a cause."

What about the fact that weight lifting can cause you to get smaller in some cases? Would you therefore say that lifting weights causes a decrease in muscle size? Of course not, because most of the time, it causes people to get bigger.

In the case of smoking, you will find estimates that smoking increases the likelihood of cancer between 15 to 30 times compared to non-smokers (http://www.cdc.gov...). There are plenty of factors that determine where you fall on that spectrum, including gender and the degree to which you smoke. That alone - to me at least - puts smoking firmly in the "causal" column.

I'd like to see the research on 15 to 30 times as likely. According to my calculations, it's roughly 10 times as likely, not 15 to 30.


Furthermore, 90% of causes of lung cancer are tied to smoking. Again, I think this is sufficient to link smoking to lung cancer as a causal agent.

And 100% of car accidents are caused by cars.


If the requirement here that smoking (to some degree) will give you lung cancer > 50% of the time, then it doesn't meet that standard. I disagree, however, that this is the standard we must meet to say that smoking causes cancer.

Fair point. You make a strong case, powerful one.

My argument can be expressed thus:

P1: If smoking causes cancer, then it causes it more than 50% of the time.
P2: Smoking does not cause cancer more than 50% of the time.
C: Smoking does not cause cancer.

And you are calling the truth of premise 1 into play.

In any case, I think most people overlook the quite sizeable amount (perhaps even majority) of smokers who don't get lung cancer. I suppose it depends on how you define a smoker.

All in all, I think it would be fantastic if there was more straightforward research, like "if you smoke 1 pack a day for 20 years, you have a x chance of getting lung cancer, x chance of getting mouth cancer, etc." Then people would be able to have an educated idea of the risks they are taking and make their decisions accordingly. Informed decisions are always better decisions.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Axonly
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6/11/2016 4:44:23 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/10/2016 11:56:45 AM, TheGreatAndPowerful wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Does everyone who gets lung cancer die from it?

Depends on the stage. If it is found very early on, then there about a 50% chance it can be "cured" with no recurrent cancer within five years. Once it has metastasized, then it is generally terminal.
Meh!
Axonly
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6/11/2016 4:49:18 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Do you understand what a mutagen is?
Meh!
zmikecuber
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6/11/2016 4:50:22 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 4:49:18 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Do you understand what a mutagen is?

Please don't get me started on how horrible the teenage mutant ninja turtles movie is.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Axonly
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6/11/2016 4:51:17 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/11/2016 4:50:22 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 6/11/2016 4:49:18 AM, Axonly wrote:
At 6/9/2016 10:35:14 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I get so annoyed with everyone talking about how smoking causes cancer. It doesn't. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it doesn't *cause* cancer. I mean really guys, less than 10% of smokers die from lung cancer.

This is a good article. http://www.journaloftheoretics.com...

So yes, smoking is bad for you but all the anti-smoking ads are propaganda..

Do you understand what a mutagen is?

Please don't get me started on how horrible the teenage mutant ninja turtles movie is.

I'm guessing that's a "No" then.
Meh!