Legal disclaimer

The opinions expressed by the authors on this blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Freedom2Choose organisation or any member thereof. Freedom2Choose is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the blog Authors.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

SIDS and the smoker, murder or natural causes?

Guest post by John Watson

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome):

The sudden and unexpected death of a baby with no known illness, typically affecting sleeping infants between the ages of two weeks to six months.

Infants with a brother or sister who died of SIDS; babies whose mothers used heroin, methadone, or cocaine during pregnancy; infants born weighing less than 4.4 pounds; children with an abnormal breathing pattern that includes long periods without taking a breath (apnea); and babies who sleep on their stomachs are at increased risk for SIDS.

Since babies who sleep on their stomachs are at least three times more likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their backs, children's health authorities recommend always placing infants on their backs to sleep.

What you have just read is the medical definition of SIDS, it is the standard definition that Coroners use when defining Cause of death as quoted from the medical dictionary. The key phrase in this definition is:

The sudden and unexpected death of a baby with no known illness

There is, you will note, no mention of smoking!

The Royal college of Physicians say:

Furthermore, 40 babies die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) every year caused by passive smoking - one in five of all SIDs deaths.

One of these organisations is blatantly lying!

Are the RCP implying that the Coroners officers have been lying on their death certificates? If so then every smoking related post mortem needs to be reviewed.

Are the RPC claiming that the coroners officers are all in competent? If so then every post mortem carried out by Coroners needs an urgent review. The problem is who is qualified to judge the work of an Coroner aside from another Coroner, definitely not the RCP.

Are the RPC claiming that SIDS parents are guilty of Infanticide, of deliberately killing their young?

Clearly the definition of SIDS says that is not so, Clearly the Corners Office disagree because it is that definition they work by, they maintain that it is death by Natural Causes, that the cause or causes are unknown If as the RCP claim smoking kills babies then it is clearly not SIDS!

Are the RCP using the anguish and grief that SIDS parents suffer to follow a Political agenda? I cannot answer that, for that is for you to judge.

If the RCP is claiming that SIDS parents are killing their babies then that is a matter for the police and the criminal courts, if you have evidence to back up this claim then take it to the police, win a criminal prosecution an thereby prove your case.

I am a smoker, I am also a SIDS parent. I Say to the Royal College of Physicians here I am, now prove that I am a murderer!


Anonymous said...

If I understand you correctly I'm truly sorry that you've been subjected to the anguish of guilt caused by the intemperate ravings of the RPC. They should be ashamed of themselves.Their thoughtless rants serve only to distract people from the search for the true cause of such tragedies.


Anonymous said...

You do indeed George, Many people do not understand that SIDs deaths are routinely conducted as 'suspicious' deaths with SOCCO officers CID and the whole deal, a lot to deal with while trying to adjust to the fact your baby has just died. It never really goes away,you learn to live with it and some unfortunate parents have this happen more than once!

Thank you for your kind words.



Rollo Tommasi said...

John: I had what I took to be a really positive discussion on this in the Scotsman forum recently with “Soapy” from F2C (you may in fact be Soapy). Then, we seemed to agree that, while it’s horribly painful for parents who have already lost loved ones to SIDS, it’s also really important that young parents and parents-to-be understand the main risk factors associated with SIDS, so they minimise the risk of losing their baby in this way.

Unfortunately the position you argue is very different. You appear to be trying to argue that bodies such as the RCP should not tell people about the risk factors surrounding SIDS, in case it offends SIDS parents.

But surely the best thing we can all do is to help reduce the numbers of SIDS deaths in future? That means letting today’s and tomorrow’s parents know that several measures can reduce the risk of SIDS. These include putting the baby on their back to sleep; keeping the baby close to the parents but not in the same bed; making sure the baby doesn’t overheat……and yes, the mother not smoking during pregnancy, and not exposing the baby to secondhand smoke.

Sorry if my words appear harsh, given what you’ve been through. But I feel this is a really important point to make, one which transcends normal debate about the rights and responsibilities of smokers.

Belinda said...

I am not sure that anything in John Watson's article states that parents should ignore advice about smoking (which IMO is getting extremely hysterical). What it says is that the death of '40 babies' a year can be attributed to secondary smoke. Do they count them or just do a calculation? How do they know that each of these forty babies who have died an 'unexplained' deaths would not have died if smoking had not been a factor.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, John.

One of the problems I see is that we're fed so much misinformation and propaganda that we're not able to make informed, sensible and measured lifestyle choices at all.

If there really is credible evidence linking smoke to SIDS then there may be benefit in (sensitive) education and encouraging smokers to be careful around babies. If the links are imaginary (as so many smoke claims are) then there is no excuse for hurting people in this way, it's callous and inhumane.

Unfortunately, the real evidence gets lost in a sea of bullshit pumped out by control freaks pushing a non-health agenda.

Belinda said...

I meant ' that *according to the RCP* the death of 40 babies a year can be attributed to secondary smoke'.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rollo,

Firstly I would assure you that I do not consider your comment to be harsh, compared to some I have dealt with on this tragic issue it is a model of decorum.

I would not discourage any information or advice that helps lower the rate of incidence of SIDS, however the sad truth is any such information is speculative and if it is considered causation then it is not SIDS that is the cause of death. In any event advice by its very nature is taken or left at the discretion of those seeking it, ultimately the responsibility is theirs, a matter for their own conscience and not public opinion.

The point is not the information per se, the point is that if you are going to say that temperature, sleeping position, smoking dust and mites or any other causation defies the definition of SIDS, cause of death in this case is no longer SIDS as the causation of SIDS is by definition unknown, how can you have a cause of death for a syndrome where there is no causation?

There is either a cause or there is not, if there is a cause then it is no longer SIDS according to the definition of SIDS.

To alter the definition of SIDS and say smoking is causation apportions blame on the parent, which Iam sure you would agree places undue stress on an aready emotionally overburdened family.

This also affects those parents who do not smoke, they are then left to wonder what blame will be aportioned to them in regard to the death of their child, does dust imply they keep a filthy home for example? I say it does not for there is nothing that can be done to prevent dust in the home short of a hermetically sealed environment.

If it is the sleeping position then that too is causation which negates SIDS by its very definition of no causation, so cause of death is something else, if it is temperature the same rule applies, unless you live in a hermetically sealed environment constant temperature is impossible to maintain.

We can see then that any attempt to claim causation for SIDS means that death is not from SIDS by default as there is causation by definition, ie, temperature, dust smoking et al whereas by definition SIDS has no known causation. If there is causation then it is not SIDS.

No evidence has been presented from post mortems to suggest any causation at all, without some indication from a post mortem it is impossible to have a start point for scientific investigation or opinion.

Again I thank you for your time and courtesy.



Anonymous said...

Thank you Vapour,

I certainly agree that education and advice in area of SIDS should be handled in a sensitive manner, it is after all the emotions of people who have suffered a severe emotional crisis that is being dealt with, to make such conditions worse is an act of cruelty both unecessary and unforgivable.

Moral objections aside there is also the issue of the profit made by pharmaceutical companies on the back of the stress, distress and depression that such campaigns by the anti smoking lobby help to create out of such tragic circumstances.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.


Rollo Tommasi said...

Thanks for your reply.

The distinction between “cause” and “risk factor” is really important here. Neither exposure to smoke nor placing a baby to sleep on their tummy are “causes” of SIDS. Most of the time, babies can inhale smoke or be placed in this way without coming to direct harm. It is also possible that babies who sleep on their backs or who are not exposed to smoke can still die of SIDS.

But both are still “risk factors” for SIDS. A baby who is exposed to tobacco smoke is more likely to suffer SIDS than one who is not. And a baby placed on their front to sleep is more likely to suffer SIDS than one who is put on their back.

If parents take steps to minimise the risk factors their baby is exposed to, it will not guarantee that he or she will avoid SIDS. But it will substantially increase the likelihood.

Thankfully, the number of SIDS deaths has fallen dramatically over the last 20 years, even though the actual causes of SIDS remain unknown. This is largely because parents have increasingly taken steps to limit the “risk factors”, such as sleeping position and exposure to SHS.

As I say, it is important for new parents to know that, by addressing the risk factors, they may not be 100% sure of avoiding SIDS.... but they will greatly improve the chances for their baby.

Best wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi Rollo,

Regarding the distinction between risk factor and cause at what point does the risk of something happening become the cause of an event?

For example if you cross a road you assess the risk accept that risk then act on that decision, what is it then that determines that you do this for years before one day being hit by a car?
For years the risk was assessed, accepted, yet this one time you get hit by the car. Risk has now become causation.

You could your whole life crossing roads and not get hit by a car.

Likewise laying baby on its front or back entails a risk of SIDS, In my case she was on her back the risk is actually unavoidable no matter what you do. You talk of risk management, let me ask what would happen if risk management was taken to its conclusion?

Quite simply not one single person would do a thing for fear of risk becoming causation, Taking baby out in the buggy is full of risks, you could lose control sending it and baby carreering down steps, fumes from traffic may trigger breathing problems for baby, put baby out in the garden while holding a barbecue, baby actually gets more carcinagens from burning fossil fuel than cigarette smoke and charcoal is a fossil fuel, petrocarbons from passing traffic again fossil fuel yet none of these are listed as risk factors in SIDS yet all are proven risks. The only way to minimise those risks is not to take baby out at all!

Then you have exposed baby to the risks of carcinagens from cooking, equally dangerous, from cleaning agents around the house, any one, or combination of these could trigger a SIDS event no one knows for certain.

I am all in favour of reducing the risks of SIDS Rollo, Most of my working life has seen me in high risk situations, military and security work ensured that my personal risk factor was higher than average, its the risks that you cannot control that usually kill.
Just about everything we use, everything we do poses a risk to baby we cannot reduce the risks without society grinding to a complete stop, more so when when that risk is an assumed risk and not a clear and present danger.

Like you I am thankful that the numbers of SIDS events has dropped over the last 20 years, no parent should have to outlive their children no matter how old they are but we live in a world full of risks most of which cannot be avoided due to our lifestyle, cleaning products, vehicular pollution, factory pollution any of which could trigger SIDS in our babies.

All we can do Rollo is advise, it is for each and every one of us to determine personal risk, it is up to us as parents to determine the risks to our children, as best we can, from time to time tragedy will overtake some of us irrespective of what we do to prevent it. If the RCP is so keen to eliminate risks in the field of SIDS then I am afraid they will have to confine us to our homes but know this, even there you will not be safe.

By all means educate new parents, even old ones after all some parents have suffered multiple SIDS events, give them the information without judgement let them decide, most of the time they will be alright and their child will live through the SIDS zone, some regrettably will lose a child to SIDS to them I say this, you carried your child for nine months or so, you brought a unique life into the world, no matter how little time you had your child you loved him/her, you cared for him/her, I believe your child knew this instinctively you did the best that you knew how to do, no person be they medical or layman, peer, MP or commoner, no charity, organisation or government has a right to imply that you have done anything less.

May you all find peace of mind, the pain will die after a while, the memories will always remain.
May whatever deity you believe in go with you.

Best wishes.


Kim H said...

"Neither exposure to smoke nor placing a baby to sleep on their tummy are “causes” of SIDS. But both are still "risk factors" for SIDS."

Perfectly sensible and Understandable.

In which case asserting categorically that 40 babies die per year purely because of passive smoking is insensitive, nasty & wrong.

I feel for you John Watson, please don't let these nasty people think you killed your child. The RCP should be ashamed of themselves. Is it really too much to ask that they say something like "passive smoking could be a risk factor in 40 deaths"? instead of apportioning blame in this way?

B7 said...

The smoke free social engineering employees who are paid to peddle anti smoking propaganda should hang their heads in shame.

To try and use guilt as a leverage against smokers where no evidence exists is shameful tactic.

I used to think I lived in a fair democratic society until I discovered the world of smokefree social engineering propaganda.

Lets remind the world that there is not a shred of evidence even from the RCP that one person has died from so called second hand smoke, tell your friends.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kim for your kind words and compassion, if I were given the choice between the RCP method of conveying information and Kim's then Kim would win hands down, it is fairly safe to say that if Kim's message was the one one I had read then this article would not have seen daylight.

I can only agree with B7's assessment, The last serious attempt at social engineering resulted in over 50,000,000 dead including over 6,000,000 cold blooded murders, clearly a lot of people did not learn anything from that! It is prudent for us all to remember that Mother Nature has not got the monopoly on tragic events.



TheBigYin said...

b7, this is a typical anti smoking/SHS/third hand smoke??? ploy to cow parents into thinking they are unfit for parenthood. This is fact due to them coupling SIDS with smokers, as it did with smokers that adopted children.

This is not the first time that activists, from out of the blue, have attached themselves to a cause célèbre, a cause that does not worry them about the concequences, just there erroneous results. They are leaches on other peoples anguish and conform to their blind religion that sullies their minds.

They are lost when they are confronted with truth, all that matters with them is propaganda, no matter who they hurt.

The greaving parent is the least of their worries, their truth is all that matters.

Here's other leaches that use SIDS and guilt to propagate their own propaganda:

In October 2000 alone, two new theories were published linking parental behaviour to the risk of cot death. The first suggested that Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can cause stomach infections, could be transferred by the mouth or hands of carers through saliva. By kissing their babies or licking their babies' dummies, parents could inadvertently be increasing their risk of cot death.

The second theory argued overheating could be a contributor to cot death. Parents - fathers in particular, who are not aware of the optimal room temperature for babies - could be putting their children's lives at risk.

Despite this proliferation of scares and assertions, despite the £8 million spent by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) on research, nobody really knows what causes cot death. But that does not stop the Department of Health (DOH), the FSID and professionals from promoting unproven theories to parents, and the media from generating shock headlines.

Rollo, I am not as erudite as John...I nearly lost it there...but you tried to kick John in the teeth through your back handed and glib concern.

Nobody believes you.

Rollo Tommasi said...

John – There is a lot in what you say with which I agree.

I agree that a wise person will take a reasonable and balanced perspective on risk to themselves (although they should not impose their approach to risk on others who might suffer harm as a result of their actions). We cannot live our lives in a cocoon to avoid any conceivable harm to ourselves.

I also agree that, for the most part, parents are in the best place to decide how to protect the wellbeing of their children. Again, the reasonable parent will take a careful but balanced perspective.

I also thoroughly agree in advice and education, so that people should have the facts available to them and they can understand how they can take actions which reduce the risk of SIDS to their children.

But I don’t know what your complaint about the RCP is. In your latest post, you argue that the RCP should not be dictating how people should live their lives. You’re entitled to argue that they are calling for too many legal restrictions on what parents can do with their children. Actually, I’m not sure I agree with them on that either.

But that argument is very different from what you originally said in your blog, which was that the RCP accuses SIDS parents of deliberately killing their babies. I really do not see how you can argue that. And I don’t see how you can accuse the RCP of lying by stating that passive smoking is attributable to around 40 SIDS deaths in the UK each year.

You may be very uncomfortable with what the RCP is saying here. But that doesn’t make them liars.

Best wishes


Rollo Tommasi said...

Kim H

Actually the RCP were entitled to say what they said. There is good evidence linking exposure to tobacco smoke with higher incidence of SIDS. It is possible to translate that increased risk into a number of deaths which can be attributed to passive smoking. The RCP calculated such a figure. I’ve not read how they did it, so cannot say if I agree with their calculation or not. If you have read their calculation and disagree with it, then feel free to argue that they’re wrong. But you are very much mistaken if you believe they cannot reasonably quote a number of deaths attributable to passive smoking.

And you are also wrong to argue that “"passive smoking could be a risk factor in 40 deaths". The RCP is entitled to argue as it argues. The reality is that passive smoking could be a risk factor in any SIDS death where the baby was exposed to tobacco smoking. As with any risk factor, passive smoking will actually have been attributable in some of these cases, but not in others. The RCP calculates passive smoking is attributable in around 40 SIDS cases in the UK each year.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Big Yin – of all the ludicrous posts!

You can’t bear to agree with me, but you don’t know how to disagree with me. So you accuse me of falsifying my position.

John and I are having a sensible, mature discussion. If that’s not something you can cope with, you don’t need to participate.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rollo,

You mention my last post at 21:34 in reply to Kim where I refer to the choice of styles of conveying information, what I said was:
"if I were given the choice between the RCP method of conveying information and Kim's then Kim would win hands down", I prefered the more reasonable manner of Kim's statement regarding SIDS and SHS to the RCP's more hysterical:
"Furthermore, 40 babies die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) every year caused by passive smoking - one in five of all SIDs deaths." Which clearly implies harm through an external mechanism namely parents smoking.

They state outright that in those cases causation is passive smoking, if that is their view then by the definition of SIDS those babies did not die from SIDS, as we all well know SIDS can only be diagnosed when there is no apparent cause of death. It is reasonable to assume that the RCP is also aware of that definition, leaving two options, either negligence in releasing misleading information and that is being charitable about it, or blatant lying. In either case they have imposed stress on already emotionally overburdened parents.



Amusing Bunni said...

It's very sad they use babies who have passed away to advance their smoking ban agenda.

Anonymous said...

If those forty babies really did die of second hand smoking then surely that would be on their death certificates, not SIDS?

Saying something is causal is far from the same as a risk indicator. A cause is definite and a risk factor indicates a certain circumstance may show a raised level of hazard. It doesn't prove that SHS kills, all it shows is that in environments with SHS there are factors increasing risk.

B7 said...

The true facts are the RCP has not one shred of evidence that anyone has died because of SHS.

The RCP have developed an impressive looking equation but not based on any factual evidence to provide a hypothesis that SHS is the cause of numerous deaths.

It remains a hypothesis and will stay that way as even the RCP have no evidence of anyone dying because of so called SHS.

Unfortunately even those in the pay of the Social engineering Smokefree brigade are brainwashed to believe all the SHS lies.

My advice to them is to write to the RCP and ask how many recorded deaths there are due to SHS, then it will be a matter of conscience if they decide to remain with smokefree and continue with the lies or leave to uphold the truth.

Rollo Tommasi said...

John: Sorry to say this, but you completely confuse what RCP is saying.

You seem to think there is only one definition for “cause”. But if you look at a medical dictionary, you will see that there are many different types of “cause” for a disease or condition. See:

The “primary cause” of SIDS is not yet known – i.e. the principal factor in causing the disease.

However, several risk factors for SIDS have been identified, of which exposure to tobacco smoke is one. These risks, at the very least, are “predisposing causes” – i.e. they make a baby more susceptible to SIDS. The RCP reports that 40 babies in the UK die each year because their exposure to tobacco smoke made them more susceptible to the SIDS which killed them. The RCP report is entitled to state these deaths are "attributable" to passive smoking and to use the word "cause" in this regard.

And the reason for the report is not to blame additional stress on bereaved parents. It is to better understand what harm tobacco does, so people in future can choose in a more informed way how they want to protect themselves and their loved ones from the effects of passive smoking.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Vapers Network and B7 keep peddling this myth that nothing is harmful unless it is stated on a death certificate.

As discussed above, many risk factors for SIDS have been identified. None of these are referred to on death certificates. So, for example, death certificates don't state that a baby died because he or she was sleeping on their front.

Yet, funnily enough, you don't seem to have any concerns about these other risk factors being identified as contributory factors behind SIDS. It is only when smoking is mentioned that you decide that the RCP and other medical experts must be wrong and you must be right.

If you read the RCP report, I expect you'll find how they calculated the 40 SIDS deaths figure. And if you look at section 5 of the US Surgeon General's 2006 report, you'll find a whole heap of evidence showing an association between passive smoking and SIDS. For example, it refers to a 1997 meta-analysis of 39 studies, which showed that the relative risk of SIDS where the mother smoked after birth was 1.94 (95% CI 1.55–2.43).

You can't just wish evidence like that away. And it is downright dangerous and callous to try to pretend to young parents and parents-to-be that smoking in front of their children is safe.

Anonymous said...


This is what the RCP are saying:

"Furthermore, 40 babies die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) every year caused by passive smoking - one in five of all SIDs deaths."

it is a categorical statement that passive smoking causes SIDS, in their view passive smoking is the de facto cause of SIDS in these cases.

Such a view is contrary to the very definition of SIDS, therefore these children did not die from SIDS the cause of death remains unknown, to state categorically as they have here that passive smoking is the cause cannot be true because the cause is unknown.

They could just as easily state that the deaths were attributable to dust or temperature and still be wrong becasue the post mortems do not point to anything specific, that is why is is causes unknown.

Cause means cause Rollo, not oh it might have been, not could be attributed to or maybe it was this, they are all guesses, if I said SIDS could be attributed to was little green men with rayguns that too is a guess, a truly ridiculous guess but still a guess, cause means that this is responsible for this death.

It also means that by definition SIDS cannot be diagnosed as the the cause of death.

The point Kim and I both made is that there are better ways of getting the message over that do not attach blame to parents, which has to be better for the parents and families of SIDS victims it is a question of wording nothing more.



Rollo Tommasi said...

John: You are accusing the RCP of lying, which I don’t have to tell you is a major accusation to be making. If you want to make that accusation in a responsible way, then you need to be factually accurate in what you are stating. And you need to give the accused some reasonable benefit of any doubt. From what you are saying, it’s clear to me that you are doing neither.

As far as factual accuracy is concerned, I don’t recognise your quote as being the RCP’s actual words. I think you are quoting a press report about what the RCP said. This is what the RCP actually said in its press release:

“the report contains alarming new estimates for key measures of health damage attributable to passive smoking, which for children each year causes….40 sudden infant deaths – one in five of all SIDs”.

This quote is a bit different to the quote you give. It focuses on damage “attributable” to passive smoking, with “causes” mentioned in an ancillary way. And it makes clear that the 40 SIDS deaths figure is an “estimate”.

My next point addresses both factual accuracy and giving your accused some reasonable benefit of any doubt. I have already shown you how cause has several definitions. Yet you continue to say “cause means cause”, in spite of the evidence I offer. You can’t just ignore the evidence I gave you, especially if you are accusing someone of lying.

My last point deals with giving the reasonable benefit of any doubt. You and Kim claim the RCP is attaching blame to parents. I do not see any such message in what the RCP is saying. The RCP most certainly says no such thing directly and I also think it is very difficult to read any deliberate underlying message in the RCP’s release. If you are going to accuse the RCP of attaching blame to parents, you need to be fair in making your accusation and you need to be specific in showing why you think the RCP is more interested in blaming SIDS parents for past deaths than in trying to prevent future SIDS deaths. At the moment you are doing neither.

I am sure you are a reasonable man, John. Doesn't the group you accuse deserve to be treated fairly, accurately and responsibly?



Anonymous said...

Ah,rollo finally shows up again after a 6 month disapearance.So rollo I see your playing the I care sympathetic roll to try and push your smokefree lies.....nice touch the consoling internet nut job.It didnt take you long to show your actual true colors. Relative risk is not causation and quit trying to put it off that it is.

More ill informed smoker bashing. I do not think the authors would argue with me that smoking over the last 60 years smoking has more than halved (UK 1948 66% of the population, 2009 22.5%) but asthma has risen by 300% (again in the UK). So smoking is not the primary cause of asthma and atopy, I assume the doctor’s cars and industrial pollution. The inconvenient truth is that the only studies of children of smokers suggest it is PROTECTIVE in contracting atopy in the first place. The New Zealand study says by a staggering factor of 82%.

“Participants with atopic parents were also less likely to have positive SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (OR=0.18), and this reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for confounders.

The authors write: “We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens.
“These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever.”

They conclude: Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them.”…/…gic_sensitization...

This is a Swedish study.

“Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.”…pubmed/ 11422156

In conclusion let’s have a balanced debate and not characterise smokers as race akin to the devil.

There have been 34 studies into lung cancer and exposure to cigarette smoke as a child. 3 suggest a raised risk, nearly four times as many 11 suggest PROTECTION with 20 suggesting no raised or reduced risk. The most famous is the World Health Organization 1998 study which concluded:

"Results: ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64–0.96)."

"Conclusions: Our results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk."

This actually suggests as the upper limit is <_1.0 it="it" is="is" a="a" protection="protection" against="against" lung="lung" cancer.="cancer." p="p">

Anonymous said...


When judged within the context of the definition of SIDS the statement that the RCP have as quoted in the blog is wrong, in the context of the campaign against smoking which has a long and distinguished history of villifying and maligning smokers beginning with prohibition in America, supported and personally funded by Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich in the Thirties and which today is run by the WHO, the EU and ASH it was then rubber stamped by the British government of the day it is either misleading or a lie.

You have presented a quote at odds with the quote cited on the blog, if the RCP have a problem with the press whom you claim have misquoted them the onus is on the RCP to have that quote ammended arguing their case here when the RCP are apparently happy to let that quote stand is somewhat pointless, however if they choose to contest that now they would give the impression that they are changing their quote because it has been successfully rammed back down their throats it is definately no win for them. The time to object was when the article first hit the public eye! Then of course it's not the RCP objecting is it? so much for the nasty press misquoting them.

Show us in any dictionary where the word Cause is defined as ancilliary within the context it was used in.

You speak of doubt in the context of the quote debated there is no doubt that the RCP say that smoking causes SIDS, there is no mention of smoking be contributary just that it is cause, there is no mention of it being ancilliary either just that it is cause that leaves absolutly no room for doubt they are saying that smoking is the cause of SIDS in these cases despite the fact that the definition of SIDS does not permit the diagnosis of SIDS where there is causation and that is where the untruth lies.

Your last paragraph says it all really, the argument you put forward there is equally applicable to smokers don't you agree?



Anonymous said...

You're a laugh Rollo. The RCP lie when they feel like it and pump up the ineffective, expensive and artificial cessation industry. They're bought and paid for by pharmaceutical companies.

Not so credible if you're not so naive.

Belinda said...

'News' about smoking-attributed SIDS seem to overwhelm news about SIDS attributed to any other cause. I suspect this is less to do with the amount of evidence than the amount of money available to pay for 'discoveries' about the damage caused by smoking. All research is paid for by somebody, and the sheer weight of studies about smoking (especially its adverse effects) suggests to me that there is a profit motive in there somewhere.

I would feel more trusting of Rollo's concern for unborn babies if he felt similar concern to warn parents about the other factors that can contribute to SIDS. I seem to remember a discussion where somebody was attacked or otherwise ridiculed for suggesting that chemical incinerators might have something to do with it ... this person was even accused of having tobacco interests.

There are environmental as well as behavioural and genetic factors to all morbidity. The scientific approach presently pretends that things that are not known are actually a certainty, simply because more money has been spent searching a specific outcome.

cruk are quite clear that research outcome must gear towards more restrictive policies on smoking:

Belinda said...

The Tobacco Advisory Group (TAG) considers Project Grant applications for policy research and policy advocacy or campaigning activities in tobacco control.

TAG particularly funds research and activities that support:

Current UK policy priorities, e.g. see the 'Beyond Smoking Kills' report.
Greater regulation of all products containing tobacco and nicotine.
Greater tax and/or smuggling measures in the UK.
Tackling health inequalities and addressing the needs of groups with particularly high rates of tobacco use.

Rollo Tommasi said...

John: I really don’t believe what you are now saying. You are arguing that if the press reports RCP, then the RCP is responsible for the content of what the press says. Surely you must see that is nonsense! Remember, you are accusing the RCP of lying. A lie can only come from the RCP’s own lips.

As for “ancillary”, I didn’t say the RCP stated smoking is an ancillary cause. I said the RCP’s use of the term “causes” in their quote was ancillary to their use of the term “attributable”.

And as I have now shown you and repeated to you, there is more than one medical definition of “cause”. Passive smoking may not be a “primary cause” of SIDS. But it is a “predisposing cause”, because it makes a baby more susceptible to SIDS. So it was quite reasonably for the RCP to say what it said.

I also see you are unable to show me how and where the RCP is supposed to have attached blame to SIDS parents.

Come on John. Trying to accuse the RCP of lying and insulting parents of SIDS victims in this way really is ridiculous. Like I said before, why can you not treat the RCP fairly, accurately and responsibly? By the way, I don’t mind you applying that same standard to me in a future debate.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Belinda: You are fixated by tobacco to the exclusion of other issues.

There is as much news and research about the links between SIDS and other factors such as sleeping position, body temperature and sharing a bed with parents as there is with passive smoking. While you seem to ignore these other factors, I have pointed out several times on this thread how they are also risk factors for SIDS.

I recall the discussion you mention with someone discussing the links between incinerators and SIDS. He wasn’t “ridiculed for suggesting that chemical incinerators might have something to do with it”. He was trying to claim that incinerator pollution was the main cause of SIDS, and far more significant that any other factors (not just passive smoking). He was asked to show robust evidence to support his claim that incinerator pollution is the principal cause of SIDS.

And while you scoff at the scientific evidence produced, remember that it is the very same kind of epidemiological evidence which gives us our understanding about how a baby’s sleeping position, temperature, sharing a bed with parents and exposure to tobacco smoke all increase his or her risk of SIDS. Why don’t you complain about the science linking factors other than passive smoking to SIDS?

Remember that since the scientific evidence has become known and advice publicised, the number of SIDS deaths has thankfully fallen dramatically as parents take steps to protect their babies.

And your remarks about CRUK have nothing to do with the RCP. I'm not going down that rabbit-hole.

Rollo Tommasi said...

Anonymous @ 1045: You have simply cut-and-pasted remarks from another comment. Your comments also have nothing to do with the subject of this thread (SIDS). You must be HarleyRider.

Vapers Network: Nothing but ad hominem accusations.

Belinda said...

You're not the only tool in the box that is smart enough to know that there is more than one factor to SIDS Rollo.

Nobody here has advocated any parent ignoring health advice. People should be made aware of risks and allowed to make their own decisions, weigh up their own priorities, their own assessments of the relative risks, etc. Sure if the RCP advises about smoking and pregnancy it really has to come up with an estimated mortality figure or it might as well not give advice at all. That does not mean to say that any individual baby's death can be attributable to SIDS (especially if incinerators are ignored in the calculations!)

My point about CRUK was not irrelevant as it concerns who pays for research in general and what their agenda is. The agenda of CRUK /TAG is clearly to increase tobacco restrictions and this dictates the research topics they will accept. It is just one example, I don't know who funds research into SIDS, or whether research priorities have changed over time.

Anonymous said...


It is really simple, if the RCP issue a statement to the press and the press distort that statement the onus is on the RCP to say that this is not what was said, but this is what we said. To the best of my knowledge at this time the RCP have not done that. They have done nothing to indicate their statement is incorrect, I can only assume in light of that that the statement is acurate and that the RCP is happy with it.

The RCP have said not said that smoking is the predisposing cause in their statement they have said it is the cause, that is a critical difference which alters the entire context of the statement from being a possible cause to being the cause.

By saying smoking is the cause then it is clear they are saying if you smoke then you are killing your child, not possibly but doing so.

I never doubted for a moment that you would not apply the standards previously mentioned, I am sure that you would agree that there are those on both sides who will not. The anti smoking lobby have encouraged the malignment and vilification of smokers from day one, smokers are being accused of causation in all kinds of diseases irrespective of known causations. that is that rules of engagement set by the anti smoking lobby, Rules that I am happy to concede you choose to not adhere to.

The RCP would be well advised to moderate the tone of their statements regarding smoking and SIDS, make them more user friendly, while I would still contest their statements it would make the rhetoric, the allegations et al more palatable, more of a reasoned debate like we have held here than an all out war as has been held elsewhere.

We are not likely to fully agree Rollo, but we can fight for a compromise, I am sure that you recognise that the pendulum swung from a smoking society to a non smoking society, there is a middle ground Rollo, ground where smokers and non smokers can each have their own environment, where Non smokers are not put at any alleged risk unless they choose to do so.

We are both men of reason you and I, we have demonstrated here over the last few days that smokers and non smokers can have dialogue without the hysteria that often accompanies such debates, that is a major step forward is it not?

All I want is to be given the information in a way that is respectful to those who are grieving, to be able to decide for myself if the information is of value, that the information be balanced both pro and anti so that the decision I make is what I believe is in the best interests of me and mine, that every other citizen has the same privilage.



opinions powered by


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Pages on this blog