It Depends on Your Definition of Indisputable

no smoking sign

On June 27, 2006, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona M.D. released a definitive report on second-hand – or “involuntary” – smoking. “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke . . . a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.” said Carmona. The reports goes on to say that “Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer.” R.J. Reynolds’ website is in need of an update, and some serious spin. On the page dealing with second-hand smoke or ETS (“environmental tobacco smoke”), they assert that “It seems unlikely that secondhand smoke presents any significant harm to otherwise healthy nonsmoking adults.” Meanwhile, on the Summary of Opinions page, they profess that “R.J. Reynolds believes that individuals should refer to the conclusions of public-health authorities concerning health risks associated with ETS. However, R.J. Reynolds also believes that there are still legitimate scientific questions concerning the reported risks of secondhand smoke.”