Thursday, January 08, 2009

Again: why I despise Rush Limbaugh

Me, Aug. 15 2007:

On today's Rush Limbaugh program he was saying that carrots are more deadly than cigarettes or trans fats. Rush's incoherent ramble about carrots came after he had said that second hand smoke being dangerous is "a hoax like global warming." Someone better run and go tell the CDC.

To borrow (and paraphrase) a phrase from Glenn Greenwald, it's things like this that make me despise, rather than merely dislike, Rush Limbaugh.

Assserting that cigarettes or second smoke or trans fats aren't dangerous is inexecusably stupid. There are millions of people that listen to Rush and call themselves "dittoheads" because they take his bullshit seriously. He is sabotaging their health. It is a grave betrayal of trust and responsibility. They should be furious, but instead they love him for it.

This is Rush continuing his long history of helping to get his audience sick or dead.

"It has not been proven that nicotine is addictive, the same with cigarettes causing emphysema [and other diseases]." - Limbaugh, (4-29-94 radio program)
From the Center for Media and Democracy

A new study, now the ninth of its type and the most comprehensive one yet, has shown a major reduction in hospital admissions for heart attacks after a smoke-free law was put into effect.

On July 1, 2003 the relatively isolated city of Pueblo, Colorado enacted an ordinance that prohibited smoking in workplaces and indoor public areas, including bars and restaurants. For the study, researchers reviewed hospital admissions for heart attacks among area residents for one year prior to, and three years after the ban, and compared the data to two other nearby areas that didn't have bans (the part of Pueblo County outside city limits, and El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs). Researchers found that during the three years after the ban, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 41 percent inside the city of Pueblo, but found no significant change in admissions for heart attacks in the other two control areas.

Eight studies done prior to this one in other locales used similar techniques and yielded similar results, but covered shorter periods of time -- usually about one year after the smoking ban went into effect. The results of this longer, more comprehensive study support the view that not only does secondhand smoke have a significant short-term impact on heart function, but that lives, and money, are probably being saved by new laws proliferating around the world in recent years that minimize public exposure to secondhand smoke.
The post goes on to detail how the tobacco industry was aware of the dangers of second hand smoke and yet formulated a strategy to confuse the public about the health consequences and to delay regulation for as long as possible. It is worth reading if you are not already familiar with this subject.

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