The following piece was published on June 7, 2016. I'm re-posting it tonight for that one guy out there in Maricopa County who reads my stuff and keeps asking for a non-Trump piece:
A new study from the London Institute of Ethical Science (LIES) was released over the weekend and it clearly demonstrates that all previous studies have overstated the health risks of cigarette smoke.
Funded by Philip Morris International, the 2nd largest tobacco company in the world, this study casts doubt on warnings from the American Cancer Society and even the warnings federally mandated on each pack of cigarettes.
Philip Morris CEO, André Calantzopoulos could not be reached for comment, but he left the following cryptic message in a voice mail at the Mayo Clinic: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."
If you're reading this and reaching for a pack of smokes with a smile on your face, I should mention that the previous four paragraphs and the title of this piece are LIES. I made it up, there is no London Institute of Ethical Science. Smoking will kill you. It's only a matter of how long it will take.
The first warnings about the incidence of lung cancer in smokers began as early as 1912, although at that point the evidence was mostly circumstantial.
In the following years, scientific studies began tracking the causal relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer and by 1950 the evidence was all but incontrovertible.
Almost 70 years ago we knew to a medical certainty that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. We knew it just as we know about evolution, global warming and the fact that the universe is about 14 billion years old.
As Al Gore pointed out however, the facts can sometimes be inconvenient.
On January 4, 1954 the tobacco industry released a deliberately misleading pack of lies entitled, “A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers.” This work of fiction appeared in the New York Times and over 400 other newspapers.
40 years later, on April 14, 1994 the heads of the 7 largest tobacco companies appeared before a special congressional committee (The Waxman Hearings) and, under oath told members of Congress and the American public that nicotine was not addictive.
What's up with all the lies, you ask. Good question.
It's not really necessary to convince anybody of anything. That's not what the tobacco industry's deceitful campaigns are designed to do. They just want to create a little confusion, a little doubt.
In a culture based on "reasonable doubt," it only takes the slightest misdirection to cast doubt on even the most substantial scientific information.
Some people are naturally resistant to science. Try explaining to a 5-year old that the Earth is spinning on it's axis, so fast, in fact that satellites hovering above us need to travel about 18,000 miles per hour just to stay in place.
So why aren't we being flung off our feet into the abyss of outer space? Long story, google it.
Currently, The Tobacco Control Act requires the following nine textual warning statements to appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements:
WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
WARNING: Smoking can kill you.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
Makes you wonder how anyone ever lights up, doesn't it?
There is a lesson to be learned here, the problem is that the wrong people have learned that lesson.
Meet Richard Berman, a man whose son hates him because he makes a living selling lies.
Berman is a professional liar. His tools are subterfuge, confusion, doubt, misinformation and outright lies. His clients include tobacco, insurance, oil, pharmaceutical and coal companies and the NRA.
Berman's job is to confuse the public about the harmful effects of his clients' policies and practices without leaving a trail back to the client.
As long as there is confusion, legislation to regulate harmful industries, exorbitant interest rates or other unfair business practices will not go forward. This is the nuance of victory.
They want you to believe that there is such a thing as "clean coal," that fracking in your back yard will not ruin your drinking water or that someone is coming for your guns.
Some of Mr. Berman's fictitious foundations can be viewed HERE.
The motive of the people who pay Richard Berman is simple: M-O-N-E-Y. It always is. The only thing in doubt is how long we're going to let these people prey upon the rest of us.
If you would like to learn more, the following two books are a good place to start:
Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics by Ari Rabin-Havt
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
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