Yes indeed, the innocuously named American Legislative Exchange Council held a workshop last year in Salt Lake City called ‘Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?’ It was led by a dentist called Brad Rodu, who is the ‘Chair of Tobacco Harm Research’ at the University of Louisville, a chair funded by … the US Smokeless Tobacco Company. Guess what: they promote snus (chewing tobacco) as a replacement for smokes.  Some more info here and the full at one of the sponsors, the anti-climate change, pro-smoking, and flat-earthers known as the ‘Heartland Institute‘. I’m really pissed off I missed that one.

I’m not sure what to make of this, but Nick the Nutter Minchin (the conservative pin-up boy) is not the only person to combine his climate change denying position with his denial that smoking is bad for you. I stumbled across one of those places you only get in the USA: The Heartland Institute. Not content with the usual stuff on climate change as a left conspiracy, along with the head-in-sand stuff about health care in the USA, they also have a Smokers’ Lounge. Here they don’t just blow a cloud of smoke at the problem of passive smoking, they take on smoking itself. Apparently, it’s not that bad for you. Why? The opposition to smoking is based on junk science:

Public health advocates who claim one out of every three, or even one out of every two, smokers will die from a smoking-related illness are grossly exaggerating the real threat. The actual odds of a smoker dying from smoking before the age of 75 are about 1 in 12. In other words, 11 out of 12 life-long smokers don’t die before the age of 75 from a smoking-related disease.

Don’t get me wrong, I love smoking, have had a few too many cigarettes in my lifetime for my own good. But I don’t do it now since it makes me feel so crap. But this stuff is off with the pixies. Or rather, it’s astute positioning, since those mega-bucks from the tobacco corporations need to go somewhere.