The papers last week were all agog when the received an anti-tobacco press release shrieking that lung cancer in woman has increased by 600% during the last 50 years. Most papers used this "story" as an excuse to sermonize in favor of increased funding for anti-smoking educational campaigns. As always the guardians of the truth refused to look beyond the special interest press release and put two and two together. First of all, smoking rates are far less than they were 50 years ago and that includes women. Second of all, blaming everything on tobacco has become the easiest way to pretend that something is being done when in reality attacking smoking has been turned into a smoke screen to obscure that its a dangerous world out there with many nasty things that result in ill health. Finally if newspapers and the health industry really wanted to reduce smoking rates they would demand that all anti-smoking educational campaigns be halted. After all, the smoking rate rose dramatically at the precise moment anti-tobacco campaigns were inflicted upon the public.
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