Smoking Cancer risk figures are deemed misleading - does anyone care?:
Despite the numerous documentaries and fictional films about the tobacco industry, often portraying them as less than forthcoming when it comes to the truth, many still whole heartedly believe the studies and data produced by tobacco firms in regards to the dangers of smoking. Even now with the most alarming of revelations that smoking "will" cause cancer, not "may" cause cancer as the label suggests, anti-smoking organisations believe that people will prefer to believe the spin released by tobacco-owned journalists and scientists rather than the obvious truths. Camil Mirkston, an advisor to the health department, stated:
"I doubt that this information will have any effect on those that smoke. I doubt it will even slow down the numbers of teenagers taking up smoking either. Everyone knows the inherent dangers of smoking so finding out that it definitely will give you cancer, instead of just probably, will deter no-one."
These sentiments were echoed across the UK by solicitors that represent claimants against tobacco firms in compensation lawsuits. One source told us:
"Sadly the only reaction we expect to see is more lawsuits against tobacco firms. I had a client in this morning asking for help suing Benson and Hedges, her brand, because she said she would never have started smoking if she knew she would definitely get cancer. Five minutes in she asked if she was allowed to smoke in my office."
So how did cigarette makers avoid prosecution with such a misleading claim? Well the truth is, smoking won't definitely give you cancer ... if you quit early enough, or if you die from other causes first. One of the researchers who developed one of the many studies on the relationships between smoking and cancer said:
"The problem lies with the fact that so many different companies were hired to research and study the cause and effects. We were all given different results to shoot for. One company was asked to find the percentage of people who would suffer lung cancer and another was asked to find the percentage of people who would suffer pancreatic cancer. One would have to find the percentage decrease in cancer risks for people who stop smoking and another would have to find the percentage increase in cancer risk for people who inhaled second hand smoke. In the end government officials were handed 129,314 pages of research to look through."
Though no official admission has been made, rumours leaked by insiders at the Advertising Standards Authority suggest that the figures they were handed by the Health Department stating that there was only a 67% chance of cancer from smoking were simply ‘the average percentage across the board from all studies' and therefore completely meaningless.
Disclaimer: This article is completely false ... except for the parts that are true, but, probably just like the people involved, I can't remember which parts those are, if any, so best to just take the whole thing as nonsense. †