Smoking Bans cause a 27 to 40% drop in admissions for myocardial infarction in
The Smoker’s Club, Inc. is proud to present a study by two of
its researchers, David W. Kuneman, a retired Missouri research chemist, and
Michael J. McFadden, author of "Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains." Kuneman and McFadden, using easily
obtained and verifiable government statistics on acute myocardial infarction
(heart attacks) determined that the overall rate of AMIs in states where
widespread smoking bans have been introduced have clearly NOT shown the 30 to
40% drops that have been so loudly predicted by researchers presenting smaller
studies based on data from isolated towns. Instead they have discovered
that there is virtually no effect at all on AMI rates from smoking bans while
basing that conclusion on a database roughly 1,000 times as large and stable
as the data used to make the opposite case.
In April of 2003 Drs.
Richard Sargent and Robert Shepard, backed by Stanton Glantz of Americans for
Nonsmokers Rights, announced that a smoking ban in the small town of Helena,
Montana had resulted in an amazing decrease in AMIs among both smokers and
nonsmokers. The initial press release claimed a 2/3 drop for smokers and
a 50% drop for nonsmokers. The timing of this announcement was most
fortuitous, giving support to the newly enacted and hotly resisted smoking ban
in New York, and adding important support to the movement toward the first
nationwide smoking ban in the world: Ireland.
A year later the actual
peer-reviewed study made it to the British Medical Journal and the claims were
scaled back to an overall reduction of about 1/3 in heart attacks and a quiet
admission near the end of the body text that the reduction in nonsmokers was
so small or nonexistent that it couldn’t be analyzed with any meaning.
But by then the damage had been done: the resistance in New York
had been quashed and the Irish government and a fair number of the populace
had been hoodwinked into believing there was incontrovertible evidence that
secondary smoke was doubling the heart attack rates among
Earlier this month, just before the Antismoking Lobby’s
all-important vote for a smoking ban in Chicago, another fortuitously timed
press release made the news: a study almost identical to that of Helena, this
one conducted in Pueblo, Colorado, had found similar results.(Just within the last week (November
23rd) another announcement came out of the small town of Greeley, Colorado
with a similar claim: this one based on 16 heart attacks and again surrounded
by official sounding quotes about the deadly threat of secondary smoke… just
days before Chicago’s all-important vote.)
The two main studies
examined roughly 315 heart attacks in a population base of 200,000 people, a
very small and unstable statistical sampling by the standards of modern
epidemiology. Still, the results were widely presented and reported to
the media as having great significance in what they indicated about protecting
workers and the public from the "threat of secondhand smoke." This
presentation and reportage took place despite the fact that neither study
separated and analyzed nonsmokers as a separate group, so neither study could
actually, in a true sense, say anything at all about the effects of secondhand
smoke on nonsmokers.
The present Kuneman/McFadden study examines a
population base of roughly 70,000,000 people (the combined populations of
California, New York, Florida, and Oregon… all states with widespread smoking
bans for which data are available) … 350 times as large as that of
Helena and Pueblo. It also examines 315,000 AMI admissions: a number
literally 1,000 times as large as that used in Helena/Pueblo. It did not
find a 50% reduction in AMIs nor a 35% reduction, nor a 27% reduction.
It found NO reduction. In at least two of the states there were
actually small, although completely non-significant increases in AMIs rather
than the predicted massive decreases.
If researchers deliberately sift
through enough small local jurisdictions with smoking bans, it will of course
be possible to find a few unusual circumstances where a sharp decline in ER
admissions for AMI has occurred at the same time a smoking ban took effect.
Superficially at least this appears to have been what was deliberately done.
Statistically, it is much less likely large populations will experience
unusual circumstances where ER admissions for AMI decline suddenly for any
As the study authors conclude, "this story has been
told by no one, broadcast nowhere, and heard by not a