Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Curious student questions authority

The recent message from President Shalala detailing both the university’s and the student’s efforts in becoming a smoke-free campus got me interested in doing some research. The line that inspired me the most was, “… we’ve confirmed that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke negatively affects non-smokers as well.” This caught my interest because I didn’t remember any study that wasn’t discounted or that didn’t misrepresent its own data.

Of course, I have heard of studies that touted the dangers of SHS but most of these studies are heavily influenced by preconceived expectations and funding from anti-tobacco groups and individuals. I must admit I don’t follow the argument closely, so I wanted to see what was out there as far as information. What I found has less than confirmed the negative effects of SHS.

I found that the most common study used for anti-tobacco legislation is the EPA study of 1992-93. I also discovered that this study was found to be flawed on many different levels from its methodology to its representation of its findings. In fact, it announced the results before the study was complete and then had to omit 2/3 of the data and double its margin of error for the results to coincide with their earlier announcement! It was reviewed unfavorably by the Congressional Research Service for being flawed and vacated by U.S. Federal Judge William Osteen.

I also learned about studies from the World Health Organization.

One study was conducted from twelve centers in seven European countries over seven years – a very scientifically sound study.

It also showed that there was no statistically significant increase in risk to non-smokers and some cases could have a preventative effect. The WHO tried to bury this report but when pressed, they released it with a very misleading headline, “Passive Smoking Does Cause Cancer – Do Not Let Them Fool You.”

There are many more examples of questionable studies out there and more details that I haven’t the space to write about. I would like to ask President Shalala, however, to which study or studies she refers to in her message.

August 24, 2011

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami got off to a dream start, but could not hold on against No. 1 and defending ...

March is just around the corner; and University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larrañaga wants his pl ...

Erykah Davenport always hated being The Tall Girl. Every class picture, she was in the back row, tow ...

A little more than two years ago, Larry Scott was serving as the Miami Hurricanes’ interim head coac ...

The college basketball world woke up Friday morning to a bombshell report by Yahoo Sports detailing ...

Student a cappella group BisCaydence wins quarterfinals and advances to the next round in the intern ...

A closer look at the University of Miami's executive vice president for business and finance an ...

The popular Christian minister preached to more people than any other evangelist in history. ...

A vigil on the University of Miami campus, organized by UM students who graduated from Marjory Stone ...

The latest speaker in the popular lecture series at the Rosenstiel School, Jeff Goodell, shared insi ...

Kevin Arreaga's bronze medal in the men's weight throw led the Canes on Friday in Clemson. ...

No. 24 Miami got off to a dream start but could not hold on against No. 1 Florida Friday night, fall ...

The Hurricanes were momentarily slowed down by the first rain delay of the season, but held the Coug ...

The Miami women's basketball team plays its last game of the 2017-18 regular season Sunday at 4 ...

Canes and Eagles play at 2 p.m. Saturday in key ACC matchup. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.