"This time in our general review we take a look at one of the most
comprehensive works on the evolution of the anti-smoking movement.
Burn is a highly personal but thoroughly documented journey by the author, Don Oakley, to
find out the truth behind the supposed medical facts undergirding the nation's
three-decades-long crusade against smoking. He begins with a searching critique of the
1964 surgeon general's report, which set the crusade into motion, and details the
reservations of the surgeon general's advisory committee regarding the seven weak studies
which formed the basis for the famous warning that "Cigarette smoking is a health
hazard of sufficent importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial
action." It was that "action"--or, more accurately, actions--flowing from
the report over the past three decades that persuaded the author, a retired newspaper
editorial writer, to undertake his book.
A smoker in good health for 53 years, he was appalled at the hysteria infecting America as a result of an endless series of assaults against smoking and those who choose to indulge in it. In the course of his research, Oakley acquired, and in "Slow Burn" gives the reader, a basic knowledge of epidemiology and the uses--and especially the misuses--of statistics. The book (which you can purchase from Amazon.com by clicking the book graphic at right) examines the most important studies into smoking since the 1964 report and reveals that many, if not most of them, are fatally flawed by deep antismoking bias on the part of researchers who are supported by abundant antismoking grant money, much of it extorted from smokers themselves. At the same time, he reports on numerous studies exonerating smoking that the public has never heard about.
The book is also infused with great humor as the author pokes fun at some of the more ludicrous claims and almost superstitious beliefs surrounding smoking, beliefs that unfortunately are entertained by many in the medical establishment as well as by the lay public. "Slow Burn" is, however, an utterly serious work. Oakley realizes that any attempt by a nonscientist to challenge "what everybody knows" about smoking will be greeted with widespread disbelief. But as he asks in Chapter 2, even if everything said about smoking is true, is what we as a nation are doing on the basis of it wise and necessary?
As detailed in subsequent chapters, what we HAVE done has been to ostracize and discriminate against a quarter of the population, to villainize an industry and applaud its plundering by state attorneys general and the plaintiffs' bar and, above all, to countenance the prostitution of science and the corruption of the nation's legal system--all in the politically correct cause of a "smoke-free" society. Because of this, in a daring and provocative conclusion, Oakley states that "The 1964 Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service is one of the most insidiously harmful documents ever foisted upon a gullible public." "Slow Burn" is not written primarily for smokers (although they have been taken in by the Great American antismoking scam along with everyone else).
Non-smokers who value both truth and fairness will find the book an eyeopener and an alarm-bell warning about what the excesses of the antismoking crusade could ultimately cost them in terms of diminished personal freedom and responsibility.
Don Oakley is an author and a former editorial writer for Newspaper Enterprise Association in Cleveland, Ohio, and Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C.
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
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