Smoking kills. Smoking kills someone else. People will die horribly if they go anywhere near anywhere a smoker has ever been. The Beeb ran it as well, so it must be true. And also Berkeley Labs, which is actually the US Government Department of Energy, Climate Change, Scaremongering and Finding Excuses To Raise More Tax.
Tomorrow's news may be that people will die of asphyxiation because they watch someone else smoke on the telly.
But surely there is no smoke without fire? Surely no real scientist would be researching something and publishing results unless there was a real danger?
Correct. There was a real danger that a certain Hugo Destaillats, a chap with a PhD from Buenos Bloody Aires in 1988 and who has pursued a career in research in Californian Universities ever since, had run out of grantworthy research to do.
Stay with me here. This is research, and research is dull. I just want to make sure I'm not making this up, so I've linked all the references I can.
But then he discovered the mother lode. The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, or TRDRP
This is an organisation, in California (luckily for our Hugo), which is funded by the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Surplus Fund, or tax (see page 4, "Program Administration") of 25 cents per packet specifically creamed off for this purpose.
On page 36 of that document the name Hugo Destaillats can be found, again, in the natty piece of research entitled "Reactivity of Surface Nicotine Towards Indoor Ozone". As the proud holder of an O level in chemistry and a degree in bullshit, I would like to offer my translation of that research project as follow:
"When you get someone to smoke in a house the smoke sticks on the walls, and eventually it unsticks so it could end up inside another person."
No shit, Sherlock. How much did that cost? And who paid for it? Oh yes, the people whose pleasures you're trying to take away from them.
Not happy with that one, though, he tries again. I assume that this will be in the 2009/10 report. And I dare say there'll be yet another, in 2011, 2012, ...
I wonder what this geek looks like?
This. Surprised? I wouldn't have had Groucho down for something as daft as this. All the Marx brothers films I've seen have been plausible.
Did I mention that this bloke works for the government? Yes, I thought so.