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    Curious George Will Give You Lung Cancer
    By Hank Campbell | June 29th 2012 06:00 AM | 34 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    Sigmund Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams that "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - he meant not everything was about sex, which must really frustrate evolutionary psychology grad students(1), being as he is the most famous psychiatrist ever and was wrong about almost everything else but correct on that point.

    But that also means a cigar isn't always just a cigar, even in the literal sense.  In an era where progressive busybodies have taken to micro-regulation of choice (grocery bags, Big Gulps, goldfish, Happy Meals, golf), it was only a matter of time before the cultural mullahs who want to ban cigarettes (but legalize pot) turned their sights on cigars.
     
    Now, cigars are like anything else - if you eat too much ice cream, you are going to have problems.  If you play too much Xbox, you are going to have problems.  And if you smoke 20 cigars a day, you will have problems.  But cigars are not cigarettes any more than mouthwash is Bourbon.  You don't inhale them(2).  They don't cause lung cancer and you have to consume so many to spike your chances of getting any mouth cancer that it is barely a statistical blip. Cigar medical issues are so infrequent they are in the 'cured by homeopathy' noise range.

    The FDA, lacking any sort of legitimate science or reason for health concerns, still wants to kill anything related to tobacco and it got that power under a new 2009 law, the same year that got us a law stating 25-year-olds were not adults.  So they have created some bizarre belief that cigars are being marketing to kids.

    You care about the children, right?

    Now, I guess any cartoon character can be considered as 'marketing to kids' in America, where clueless FDA bureaucrats never heard of anime, so maybe they think cigarettes are marketed to kids, but has anyone been in a cigar store and witnessed a kid trying to buy one?  Do kids subscribe to Cigar Aficionado? Of course not.  Even the House Appropriations Committee took the time to remind the FDA that "premium cigars have unique characteristics and cost prohibitive price points and are not marketed to kids. Any effort to regulate cigars should take these items into consideration."

    Or not.  But there is a practical reason even religiously anti-choice types should not want the FDA spinning its wheels on this one; people are just about maxed out on how much they can pay in taxes - and yesterday the Supreme Court handed us all 21 new ones. Government union employees already make more than the private sector, while still considering themselves "civil service", so we can't just keep hiring more.  Bill Spann, CEO of the International Premium Cigar&Pipe Retailers Association, put it succinctly to AP writer Michael Felderbaum: "If you're going to focus your efforts on regulating tobacco products to meet the spirit and intent of the Tobacco Control Act, where is best to spend those scarce resources — on a tenth of a percent of the market or on a huge chunk of the market?"

    Basically, .025% of tobacco revenue is for a cigar. Is the FDA going to create a special bureau for local microbreweries too, so they will stop 'marketing to kids'?  Hyper-regulating yet another segment of the American economy, and placing 85,000 small business jobs around the country at risk, is a dopey idea in the rational world. We can't exist on the DOE's alternative energy subsidies alone.

    Cigars don't cause cancer and cigar retailers and manufacturers are not marketing to children.


    But those pipe people?  Maybe.  Look at this insidious marketing campaign from commonly read literature when I was a kid. 


    Curious George, shill for Big Pipe.

    That didn't cause any children of the '60s to smoke a pipe(3) - even social psychologists couldn't interview enough undergraduates to claim it did.  Unfortunately for modern children, they are far more stupid, gullible and easily manipulated than my generation - at least in the minds of the busybody progressives behind more laws to solve problems that don't exist.


    NOTES:

    (1) He also said, in A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis that "The sexual life of adult women is a “dark continent” for psychology" - he nailed that one too. 

    Edit July 17th, 2012.  The attribution of the cigar and Freud is common, but apocryphal.  Please see this comment.

    (2) Though I have seen Koreans do it.  They are very tough people.

    (3) They are better at marketing than cigar people.  If you buy a copy of Cigar Aficionado, you will get someone like Danny Devito on the cover. 
     


    Pipes Magazine has girls who look like this:

    Comments

    'Cigar medical issues are so infrequent they are in the 'cured by homeopathy' noise range.'

    Best line in the whole article. Nicely done.

    Ahhh; those progressive busybodies. It's a shame you are unable to smoke pipes and cigars (not to mention cigarettes) in the privacy of your own home. Or in private clubs. Or in bars (for the most part). Or in many out door public areas (I live in a city where sidewalk dining and the last vestiges of the cigar fad coexist in harmony amid the omnipresent tones of angelic choirs.) It's so terrible that our society levies a tax on this activity that you (obviously) enjoy. I'm terribly sorry that you're "maxed out on taxes" when marginal rates on the highest incomes have dropped from their high at mid-century to under 40%. Poor, poor you. If only you could build that time machine and go back to the happy days before 1913...oh wait that's too close the Progressive Era, you'd just be grinding your teeth constantly. How about the 1880s or 1890s? Life expectancy would be lower, but you could have all the tobacco you want and no meaningful taxation. Since you can have all the tobacco you want right now I suppose it's really just the tax issue that irritates you. Glad to know you're doing your part for mitigating political bias in the scientific discourse instead of, you know, taking it as a cue to give any semblance of objectivity the heave ho. I would never claim that the progressive busybodies you rail against are without sin, but your half-wit conservative ranting is hardly an anodyne.

    As far as the claim that there is no link between cigars and cancer: What utter hogwash. I suppose Ulysses S. Grant got his throat cancer from overexposure to horse manure and whole wheat flour.

    Hank
    Perhaps you are writing me from that simple 19th century world where X causes Y - unfortunately, that is not the world of science.  I can't, in a comment, educate you on the many factors involved in cancer but I can assure you that if 100,000 people smoke cigars, 1 will get mouth cancer.  That means cigars cannot be 'causing' it.  It's ridiculous hysteria to take data and jam it into your political view like that - but it's what you just did.  You should work for the FDA.

    Gerhard Adam
    As far as the claim that there is no link between cigars and cancer: What utter hogwash. I suppose Ulysses S. Grant got his throat cancer from overexposure to horse manure and whole wheat flour.
    I just had a 5 year Corgi that had to be put down because of lung cancer [two large masses affecting both lungs - yes, an autopsy was done].  It is making me wonder where she got the cigarettes from.  I'm pretty sure none of the others smoke. 

    NOTE:  She was not subject to second-hand smoke.  She was not subject to third-hand smoke, or four-hand, or however many hands one can have.  She was also one of the youngest living in this environment [there are a total of 7 dogs], so it would be hard to argue that it was environmental since none now nor in the past have ever gotten lung cancer.

    This is why "correlation is not causation".
    Mundus vult decipi
    Necropsy, please; not autopsy.

    Hank
    That's just your preference.  A postmortem examination is just that and the distinction between animals and humans is a recent one.   You probably go around correcting everyone with 'whom' also.  Sometimes it is 'who'.
    Gerhard Adam
    You may also hear a necropsy called an autopsy, postmortem, or obduction. Some people like to use the term “necropsy” specifically for examinations which are performed on non-humans, reserving “autopsy” for humans specifically.
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-necropsy.htm




    necropsy - an examination and dissection of a dead body to determine cause of death or the changes produced by disease

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/necropsy



    Sounds to me like someone's got way too much time on their hands.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "Big Pipe"...Thanks for the laugh! This made me want to wear my Joe the Camel shirt.

    "Confusing association with causation
    This is similar to the post-hoc fallacy in that it assumes cause and effect for two variables simply because they occur together. This fallacy is often used to give a statistical correlation a causal interpretation. [...]

    This fallacy, however, has a tendency to be abused, or applied inappropriately, to deny all statistical evidence. In fact this constitutes a logical fallacy in itself, the denial of causation. This abuse takes two basic forms. The first is to deny the significance of correlations that are demonstrated with prospective controlled data, such as would be acquired during a clinical experiment. The problem with assuming cause and effect from mere correlation is not that a causal relationship is impossible, it’s just that there are other variables that must be considered and not ruled out a-priori. A controlled trial, however, by its design attempts to control for as many variables as possible in order to maximize the probability that a positive correlation is in fact due to a causation.

    Further, even with purely epidemiological, or statistical, evidence it is still possible to build a strong scientific case for a specific cause. The way to do this is to look at multiple independent correlations to see if they all point to the same causal relationship. For example, it was observed that cigarette smoking correlates with getting lung cancer. The tobacco industry, invoking the “correlation is not causation” logical fallacy, argued that this did not prove causation. They offered as an alternate explanation “factor x”, a third variable that causes both smoking and lung cancer. But we can make predictions based upon the smoking causes cancer hypothesis. If this is the correct causal relationship, then duration of smoking should correlate with cancer risk, quitting smoking should decrease cancer risk, smoking unfiltered cigarettes should have a higher cancer risk than filtered cigarettes, etc. If all of these correlations turn out to be true, which they are, then we can triangulate to the smoking causes cancer hypothesis as the most likely possible causal relationship and it is not a logical fallacy to conclude from this evidence that smoking probably causes lung cancer."

    "It's ridiculous hysteria to take data and jam it into your political view like that - but it's what you just did. You should work for the FDA."

    Nope. Sorry, but I'm your worst nightmare. See I don't fit into your narrow little world of left/right politics. I run with the right when the right acts rationally and logically. I run with the left when they do so. I didn't espouse a political position at all. What I did was criticize *your* political bias. I even went out of my way to point out: Progressive Busybodies (see I even validated *your* loaded language here) are NOT saints. But that does not give *you* license to peddle your biases as though they are neutral and scientific.

    Everybody's gonna get something, someday, right?
    Then why worry?

    Let's try a different tack as well.

    Please run a piece identifying and explaining the flaws in the following USNIH study: http://www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html

    Since there's presumably nothing more than "Progressive Busybody" activity here please unleash your unbiased scientific acumen and blow it out of the water. I'll pack my pipe and puff to my heart's content in your honor.

    Remember though, just repeating "correlation does not mean causation" is not really an argument.

    BTW: When...(if?) you do read that report (heck, maybe you have already!) note that the tax rate on premium cigars was 2% as of the time of the study. Can't say what it is now, but that represented the *lowest* tax rate of the products appearing in the study: Cigarettes, "small cigar", Tiparillo, Manufactured cigar, and Premium (all defined in the paper.

    Hank
    The link was bad, maybe a temporary Internet glitch.  However, if you seek to remove all choice and try to mitigate all risk, cigars are not even in the top 5,000 things you should ban or restrict more comprehensively.

    We could save far more people in one year than cigars kill in 100 years just by lowering the speed limit for automobiles to 5 MPH.  That's okay, right?  Or don't you care about your fellow man?
    Right. Because that's what is being proposed by the FDA in their yet to be fully revealed "deeming regulation". Total elimination of cigar consumption for everyone everywhere; or whatever the equivalent of lowering the Speed Limit to 5 MPH would be. A more reasonable comparison would be on the need for speed limits at all, which would be equivalent to no regulation at all. I wouldn't be happy if Congress re-instituted a national 55 MPH limit, but there might be very good reasons for doing so. (Look at that, you trot out some ridiculous analogy and I actually alter it to *improve* your position. See, I can deal with the *best* argument you've got. Will you do the same? Or will you continue to try to brush me off?)

    I realize that your entire piece was intentionally hyperbolic, after all provocative exaggeration the kind of thing that gets people to read what you've written. But here's the thing: If you intend to make the case that this is Progressive Busybody overreach then don't make a lazy hyperbole. Make a well-reasoned argument that doesn't rely on two dimensional political hackery and easy jabs at "the left." You don't like them. Well I don't like them either. This piece doesn't reveal you as any better and you could be. So could they. You've got a forum. Set a higher standard and don't pump out this kind of junk.

    Here's the long form for the article. Not sure why the link doesn't work, but it doesn't work for me either at the moment: National Cancer Institute (1998). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. Bethesda, MD. The closest thing you might look at is a description here: http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr98/nci-10a.htm

    "Correlation does not imply causation" or X does not cause Y are weak. With your investigations into the anti-vaccination camp, you of all people should see the irony in trotting that out here. *Mere* correlation does not mean causation, but a statistical preponderance just might.

    I sincerely hope you will offer a well-reasoned rebuttal to the NIH study above. Maybe then this forum will rise above the muck it decries.

    Hank
    Let's boil this down to the core issue you claim to know the answer to: How many cases of cancer per year do cigars cause?  And how many instances can you find of cigar companies marketing to children?
    I don't claim to know the answer. But you do: "Cigar medical issues are so infrequent they are in the 'cured by homeopathy' noise range."

    What I claim is that for a product where misuse has the potential for serious harm it is sensible to have regulation. I've read the NCI's Feb. 1998 report; I've also read the rebuttals. Misuse of cigars, combining cigars with alcohol, etc. are potentially hazardous. They're worth studying for purposes of regulation.

    I looked at both the House and Senate versions of the 2013 Appropriations Act covering FDA: They authorized no special action with regard to cigars. I searched for the FDA "deeming regulation" that was the other source of hue and cry about the FDA boogyman. At best the FDA is involved in studying regulation of tobacco products (specifically machine made flavored cigars) at convenience stores. Is that where you buy your cigars? Or do you just want to carp about the FDA - without really knowing what's going on - because that's what we're doing today?

    Hank
    What I claim is that for a product where misuse has the potential for serious harm it is sensible to have regulation.
    Please identify one product in existence that does not have the potential for 'misuse'.  Organic food, for example, killed more people last year than cigars killed in the last 50.  Is there any product that would not be regulated using those criteria?  In order to regulate all of the products that meet your arbitrary standard, 100% of America would need to work in the government regulating each other's products.

    No one can buy scissors in a department store, no one should be able to own a swimming pool or a bicycle.  All of those things are far more dangerous than cigars.
    I love the way you keep changing the focus of your responses each time your previous one is under threat of being debunked. The eels look up to you for your ability to do this on multiple threads and to still pretend that your fig leaf is in place.

    But seriously, do you even pause to consider the possibility that you might be wrong or in the minority? And when you're off whatever it is that you're on, do you ever re-read your own responses? Might be informative.

    Hank
    But seriously, do you even pause to consider the possibility that you might be wrong or in the minority? 
    Minority, no, that is dumb reason to change a position.  If I have to argue with a group of pedophiles it would not make me wrong about pedophiles.  Wrong, how?  Cigars do not cause cancer and are far less harmful than thousands of other products so why pick on them?  There hasn't been a single legitimate reason offered for doing so.
    Gerhard Adam
    What I claim is that for a product where misuse has the potential for serious harm it is sensible to have regulation.
    Define sensible?  By what stretch of the imagination do you feel that regulation is a preferable position than information?  We don't need more regulations.  We don't need others looking out for our health, our well-being, our moods, or anything else of ours.  We need information.  Beyond that, let's begin with the assumption that adults are capable of making informed decisions on their own.

    If you disagree with their choices, then get over it.  It's not your business.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Cigars are less harmful than having liberal nitwits "caring" about you. The people they "care" most about always end up worse off than ever. I read Curious George to my daughter and I'm frequently amused by what would cause liberal nitwits to wet their pants today, particularly George's experience with a bottle of ether.

    The writer is ignorant and stupid. Cigars do indeed increase the risk of lung cancer and other diseases. The effect, while not as large as the effect of cigarettes, is still quite large.

    Hank
    No, they don't. So instead of throwing out 'ignorant and stupid' show some actual data.  You probably also believe in third hand smoke also.  I am fine with kooky beliefs, like astrology and UFOs, but beliefs that put people out of business and add unnecessary laws are bad.
    Hank whines "No, they don't. So instead of throwing out 'ignorant and stupid' show some actual data"

    It's not hard to find the data--you apparently have no experience in these sorts of things. You actually do not even know how to do this sort of research.

    OK, here is one study. It indicates that cigar smokers have more than a doubling of the rates of lung cancer and other relevant cancers:

    "HR of cancers of lung, upper aerodigestive tract and bladder combined was 2.2"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20162568

    Hank
    You did not read that actual study.  16 cases out of 100,000 is not 'causes cancer', nor is it any proof at all they wouldn't have gotten lung cancer anyway, unless you are contending that smoking is the only way people get lung or any other cancer.

    If someone eats toothpaste multiple times per day they are going to have serious issues with their GI tract - yet we do not ban toothpaste because you are not supposed to eat it. So it goes with cigars.  A small percentage of cigar people inhale and they are idiots using the product wrong, no different than someone who inhales orange juice.  That other stuff, like saying cigars cause esophageal cancer, is goofy. There are 20,000 cases per year and a statistically negligible number smoke cigars or pipes.

    Most people do not smoke multiple cigars per day and the ordinary cigar smoker and no study contends that the casual cigar smoker is getting any ill effect. There is a large difference between increased risk and actual risk.  Driving a car is 30,000 times more likely to hurt you than cigar smoking.  If you want to lower the speed limit to 5 MPH, you would save tens of thousands more lives annually. 

    Statistics for cancer related to cigar smoking are in the 'noise' range.  You can claim them if you want but the confidence interval is too low for anything beyond advocacy correlation.  So if you personally are concerned you have a risk factor for cancer that might be impacted, don't smoke cigars - but contending they should be penalized is not warranted by evidence.
    "You did not read that actual study. 16 cases out of 100,000 is not 'causes cancer',"

    Looks like you did not read the study. It was not 16 cases out of 100,000 cases. Most of those 100,000 people did not get cancer. Of those who did, the rate was more than double in cigar smokers.

    " nor is it any proof at all they wouldn't have gotten lung cancer anyway,"

    Looks like you are having trouble with the concept of "epidemiology". In epidemiological studies you take two groups of people that are othewise equal except for one trait. Then you see if there is some difference in a disease rate between the two groups. If there is a difference that you look at the cause-and-effect plausibility. So either the doubling in cancer rates is caused by 1) cigars causing cancer, or 2) by cancer causing people to go backwards in time and begin smoking cigars, or 3) that there is something that causes both cigar smoking and cancer. Of the 3 possibilities, only one is plausible.

    Why are you running a science website when you have such poor aptitude for science?

    "If someone eats toothpaste multiple times per day they are going to have serious issues with their GI tract - yet we do not ban toothpaste because you are not supposed to eat it"

    We were not discussing whether cigar smokiong should be illegal. We were discussing whether it is a cause of cancer. Try to stay focussed. I am trying to discuss science, and you are flooding me with your political and sociological views.

    "A small percentage of cigar people inhale and they are idiots using the product wrong, no different than someone who inhales orange juice. "

    You are under the impression that only "inhalers" are at risk. You are again wrong. Have you ever conssidered not just making up pseudo-facts? Would you like me to cite you papers?

    "There are 20,000 cases per year and a statistically negligible number smoke cigars or pipes."

    That's because cigar smoking really is not very widespread. But among people who do smoke cigars, the rate for cancer of the esophagus is highly increased.

    "and no study contends that the casual cigar smoker is getting any ill effect"

    Again, you just make stuff up. There have been studies showing that very low levels of cigarette smoking, as well as very low exposure levels ro secondhand smoke produce surprisingly strong effects on heart disease. It is thought the effect is due to low levels being almost as powerful as high levels in blocking formation of a substance called prostacyclin. Prostacyclin causes arteries to behave normally, without spasm of abnormal clotting There is no reason to think cigar smoking is any different.

    I'm not sure what you mean by casual", but here is some information for you from the National Institutes of Health. (Please try to avoid calling them Communists or astrologers.)

    http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr98/nci-10a.htm:

    "Statistics for cancer related to cigar smoking are in the 'noise' range. You can claim them if you want but the confidence interval is too low for anything beyond advocacy correlation. "

    The first link I sent you was for a study that was statistically significant. Statistical significance is precisely a test of what you were referring to. I can send you study after study showing "statistically significant" results.

    Why do you just keep making up stuff?

    Hank
    I don't make anything up.  You think correlating cigar smoking to an increased chance of getting cancer versus someone who never smoked is the same as 'cigars cause cancer' - cigar smokers who get cancer are in the noise range, the confidence interval of the study is too low to be valid for such small results, they could easily be outliers.  The evidence does not show that cigars cause cancer, even the NIH says it is simply 'unclear' so they don't look like they are saying smoking is safe.  

    You do understand how these studies are done, right?   If not, I can write something up - risk factors and how studies are conducted lead to giant misconceptions and scare journalism stories about How X Causes Y.
    <>

    Hank, that line is commonly attributed to Freud. He may or may not have said it. But he certainly did not say it in the Interpretation of Dreams. I actually have read the Interpretation of Dreams.

    Another puzzling thing is that you seem to praise cigar companies for not marketing to kids. But if
    as you claim, cigatrs are not harmful, what would be so bad about marketing them to kids? You are not being logically consistent.

    Hank
    I am dismissing the spurious claim leveled against them - that they are being marketed to children. They clearly are not.  Why you believe I am 'praising' them for not doing something they have not done is unclear.  I say nothing of the kind, I simply state a fact. 

    On Freud, that is excellent insight.  I have not read the book since college and it seems I have been inoculated with the quote and the book reference so many times even I took it as fact, but a site called Quote Investigator tracks it down, and it does seem to be apocryphal

    The first attribution to him seems to be in 1954, a solid 15 years after he died.  Well done!  

    I'm going to leave that opening intact so your comment is not orphaned and maybe other people who make the same mistake will find this and get a little smarter.
    "You think correlating cigar smoking to an increased chance of getting cancer versus someone who never smoked is the same as 'cigars cause cancer' - cigar smokers who get cancer are in the noise range, the confidence interval of the study is too low to be valid for such small results, they could easily be outliers."

    Why do you repeat that after I showed you that you were wrong. In the study I linked for you, the result was MATHEMATICALLY "statistically significant. "Statistically significant" is not a subjective judgment, but rather a very specific mathematical test. It is a test precisely to rule out what you are claiming is happening.

    ""The evidence does not show that cigars cause cancer, even the NIH says it is simply 'unclear' so they don't look like they are saying smoking is safe"

    The NIH (National Institutes of Health) does NOT say it is unclear. They say the opposite. You just say wrong stuff, with no concern that you are doing that.

    And the NIH uses specific studies with specific numbers. So when they say that smoking one or two cigars per day causes a 500 percent elevation in cancer of the larynx, they are not just making up the number. They are using numbers from real studies.

    Below is linked another study for you. It found that cigars smokers have a 1,900 percent increase in the rates of oral cancer and a 570 percent increase in the rates of cancer of the esophagus. I presume you will just again calln this "noise" rather than a real effect, but the effects I keep showing you are large and meet the specific mathematical requirements for "statistical significance".

    http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/50/20/6502.long

    Hank
    It is noise. There are 20,000 cases of esophageal cancer per year and a hundred million cigarette smokers.  They take a few who happen to smoke cigars, compare that to people who do not smoke but, and slap a ridiculous percentage over it.  If cigars caused cancer, they would cause it. Again, you don't understand studies.  If 99.999% of cigar smokers never get cancer, cigar smoking does not cause it.

    While I appreciate cancer awareness publications, they have never once published a study that said 'okay, the risks may be exaggerated in a study we once thought was okay' - but science does that all of the time.  The agenda of the AACR is clear and mine is also - I debunk scare journalism and junk science.  What is yours?
    Great post, and thanks for the link to the Pipe Babes, Hank.

    "It is noise. There are 20,000 cases of esophageal cancer per year and a hundred million cigarette smokers"

    There are not a hundred million smokers in the United States. Furthermore, the 20,000 number refers to PER YEAR. If you multiply that by the an adult lifetime of 50 years you get. one million. And furthermore, cancer of the esophagus is only one of many diseases caused by cigarette and cigar smoking.

    ."They take a few who happen to smoke cigars, compare that to people who do not smoke but, and slap a ridiculous percentage over it."

    What do you mean "slap"--it is done mathematically. I can even try to explain how one arrives at the number.

    " If cigars caused cancer, they would cause it."

    What does that even mean???

    " Again, you don't understand studies. If 99.999% of cigar smokers never get cancer, cigar smoking does not cause it."

    Again you are not making sense. Your 99.999is just made up. You keep making up numbers.

    And you are failing to understand an important mathemarical concept. Let me give you an extreme example. The fraction of deaths in the U.S. caused by people shooting themselves in the head is small. I don't know the number, but let's guess the number is one percent. You seem to think that implies that the chances of you dying from shooting yourself in the head is one percent! Most cancer deaths in the U.S. are not caused by cigars--but that is only because so few people smoke cigars. But.... among the people who do smoke cigars the rate is highly elevated.

    "While I appreciate cancer awareness publications, they have never once published a study that said 'okay, the risks may be exaggerated in a study we once thought was okay'"

    This does indeed happen. For example, in around 1980 there was a study claiming coffeee increased the rate of cancer of the pancreas. Later studies failed to confrm it, and people are not told there is a danger. It was once thought coffee increased the risk of irregular heartbeat. But recent studies suggest it might decrease the risk. Radon is currently thought to be less dangerous (among serious researchers) than it was once thought, because it is now known that multiple alpha particles must hit a cell to provoke cancer. (This is the opposite of cigarette smoke, where the effects of low doses on heart disease are far worse than would be estimated linearly) In general though, these things do not happen. The reverse happens because medical researchers tend to be irrationally cautious, and initial claims are almost always underestimates.

    "The agenda of the AACR is clear and mine is also"

    Yes, your agenda is clear, but what is their's?

    "I debunk scare journalism and junk science."

    What you do is form your opinion before you see the facts, to be in a position where you are attacking what you call "scare journalism and junk science". Can't you see that is wrong???? You are a political person, whose views on scientific questions are determined by a simplistic political view, and you cannot fathom that not everyone is that way.

    "What is yours?"

    When I discuss scientific questions my agenda is simply to be scientifically correct. You consider that to be an alien concept, right?