Opponents of Ohio Bans fights back

They’ve put out a press release today disputing the Minnesota study that claims there are no business declines caused by smoking bans. The study got a lot of coverage just as Ohio legislatures are considering a new ban exemption. Let’s hope the criticism of it gets covered too.

Comments

  1. While I commented fairly extensively on this topic after your May 27th column on the Klein study, I have a new thought to ad.

    While the study itself admits that it was funded by Clearway, there seems to be absolutely no statement by the authors about competing interests. I believe this is most unusual in peer review journals, although it’s possible that Prevention Science doesn’t worry about such things.

    In any event, consider this: I, Michael J. Kumquat, get a position as a professor at a university, and submit a grant proposal to Philip Morris. In that grant proposal I write:

    ” …this research will provide tobacco manufacturers and tobacco lobbyists with information that can help shape adoption and implementation of smoking ban policies, and prevent their spread … The proposed study will contribute to PM’s overall mission by providing information that discourage the adoption and successful implementation of smoking bans….”

    Soooo…. If I got a half million dollars from Big Tobacco and put that study out there, and deliberately did NOT declare any competing interests, or even worse, signed my name to a “no competing interests” statement…

    What would the Ohio State University Community have to say about that?

    NOTE: You’ll note that this is EXACTLY the same as the grant proposal statement used by the researchers in funding the current study except for the obvious substitutions. {Google RC-2006-0047 for the grant details}

    Now… to be fair to these particular researchers, I’d like to note that this seemingly shameless breach of ethics is NOTHING NEW. This sort of thing, to lesser or greater extent, has been replicated almost everywhere in those “mountains of studies” that supposedly support the holy grail of universal smoking bans. See the discussion for example in the pages of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) at:

    http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/fetchArticleComments.action;jsessionid=45CBF3847CBB99D279EA90DF44526EF9?annotationId=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fannotation%2F3a22438c-206d-4e3a-8019-f362a1b23203&articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050178

    Go to the article it brings up and read the “comments” to see a very strong attack on the “no competing interests” claims of another researcher well-known in the antismoking area. (1)

    These interests ARE competing, they ARE real, and they DO strongly determine the shape and outcomes of research: they are what have brought us to the current world of people going apoplectic over smoke creeping out of light sockets, actors smoking on stages, and widespread approval for 2,000% tax increases on folks so poor that they have to roll cigarettes out of shreds of tobacco and scraps of paper.

    These competing interests are real, very, very destructive… and almost totally unrecognized.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    (1) If the long URL does not work, try going to:
    http://www.plosmedicine.org/home.action
    and enter “James M. Lightwood” in quotes into the search box.

  2. Ad says:

    You can’t lump bars and restaurants together. They have entirely different customers and provide different atmospheres. I demand this study be done again without restaurant data.

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