T he first disease linked definitively to active
smoking was lung cancer. It is, therefore, not
surprising that the first disease identified as
caused by passive smoking was also lung cancer.1
Before the advent of mass-marketed cigarettes, lung
cancer was a rare disease. Because smoking is the
primary cause of lung cancer, identification of this
link - for both active2 and passive smoking3-was
relatively straightforward. This situation contrasts
with heart disease, which has many risk factors, and
unsurprisingly, the scientific community was longer in
concluding that active smoking caused heart disease.4
Once the link between smoking and heart disease
was established, smoking was found to kill more
people by causing or aggravating heart disease than
lung cancer. In fact, smoking is the most important,
preventable cause of coronary disease. Exposure to
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has now been
linked to heart disease in nonsmokers.5,6
1. US Public Health Service: The Health Consequences of Involuntary
Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon GeneraL DHS (CDC)
2. Doll R, Hill AB: A study of the aetiology of carcinoma of the
lung. Br Med J 1952;2:1271-1286
3. Hirayama T: Nonsmoking wives of heavy smokers have a
higher risk of lung cancer: A study from Japan. Br Med J
4. US Public Health Service: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
Cardiovascular Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General.
DHHS (PHS) 84-50204, 1983
5. Wells A: An estimate of adult mortality in the United States
from passive smoking. Environ Int 1988;14:249-265
6. Kristensen T: Cardiovascular diseases and the work environment:
A critical review of the epidemiologic literature on
chemical factors. Scand J Work Environ Health 1989;15:
Notice the numbers behind many of the sentences. The purpose of those numbers is so that the reader can refer to the list of references listed at the end of the paper and look up the original papers that describes the experiment which led to that conclusion. For example, if you are interested in reading up how scientists concluded that passive smoking causes lung cancer, you can look up the paper "US Public Health Service: The Health Consequences of InvoluntarySmoking: A Report of the Surgeon GeneraL DHS (CDC)87-8398, 1986" .
In order words the assertion that "It is, therefore, not surprising that the first disease identified as caused by passive smoking was also lung cancer" is not simply an opinion. That assertion is backed up by data collected from an experiment conducted by scientists, with the experimental method documented as well. Should you disagree with the conclusion that passive smoking causes lung cancer, you may examine the experiment that led to that conclusion, point out the faults in that experiment and dispute its findings.
Now let's take a look at another article. The original link is here
SINGAPORE: 'Light touch' on new media, but government alert to radical websites
Government to restrict access to websites that might pose a threat to Singapore
Straits TimesThursday, June 21, 2007
By Leslie Goh
The Government is prepared to restrict access to any website with radical content that poses a threat to Singapore society, said Dr Lee Boon Yang, the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica) yesterday.
Referring to the recent detention of a Muslim polytechnic lecturer for planning militant activities, he said it showed how self-radicalisation could take place on the Internet, even among well-educated individuals.
Governments had to be vigilant against this new threat, he said, adding that till now, Singapore had adopted a "light touch" when regulating new media.
"Despite the risks and threats, we believe that this is still the most practical approach to managing new media," he said.
However, the Government has to be alert and, "where necessary," would restrict access to websites which threaten society with an online "vortex of lies and distortion."
Speaking at the inaugural New Media @ Arts House forum, he raised the issue of the social impact of new media, and pointed out that radical sites posed as much of a problem as pornographic sites and sex predators in chatrooms.
The half-day forum, organised by the Media Development Authority (MDA), coincides with the Infocomm Media Business Exchange, the largest telco and media trade show now on.
The forum panel, comprising media specialists and Internet gurus, also took questions from the floor.
MDA's chief executive Christopher Chia, referring to the Government's "light touch," said there was no plan to "hire people to police websites."
His deputy, Mr Michael Yap, added that monitoring of the Web would be an ineffective exercise in any case, because "if one site was outlawed today, something would replace it the next day."
Responding to queries from The Straits Times later, an MDA spokesman confirmed that the Government did not maintain a list of websites with radical content.
But, picking up on the minister's point, the spokesman said MDA was "prepared to restrict access to websites that posed a threat to Singapore society with their radical online content."
The other panellists welcomed the opportunities provided by new media but also highlighted the dangers posed by it.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani, the dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said that instead of bringing the world together and promoting understanding, the Web could lead to greater divisions.
For example, if right-wing people visited only right-wing websites and blogs, they would not be exposed to other views, and would become a closed community.
Film director Shekhar Kapur warned of the "rise of cultism."
He also feared that individuals who spent hours on their PC keyboards instead of going for face-to-face interactions could develop long-term psychological problems.
Mr Cheong Yip Seng, who chairs the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society, noted the different views on regulation of the Internet.
Some people wanted it to be free of legislation, others preferred some form of it to set a "moral marker."
But, he said, legislation had to be practical, because it would be "a lost cause if it could not be enforced."
MDA announced yesterday that its Media 21 masterplan for the interactive digital media industry would be updated before the year end, and renamed Media Fusion 2015.
Eight recommendations put forward by MDA's International Advisory Panel, which had met over the last two days, would be considered for the masterplan.
Some of the recommendations are that Singapore should:
- Adapt content from films, TV programmes, music and published material for use in traditional and digital formats and platforms;
- Identify a few national-level digital media projects;
- Continue to invest in infrastructure, attract talent, and create an environment for creativity to flourish;
- Leverage on its role as a gateway between the East and the West to be a centre for global enterprises; and
- Enhance the use of digital media technologies and tools in the education, medicine and science sectors.
Now have a good laugh. Especially this : "Film director Shekhar Kapur warned of the "rise of cultism." He also feared that individuals who spent hours on their PC keyboards instead of going for face-to-face interactions could develop long-term psychological problems." I don't mean to be rude. BUT WTF??!!!