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The WHO released a press release with preliminary finds to the media. After examining the preliminary study, the Telegraph, the Guardian and other newspapers printed articles with headlines like, "Passive Smoke Does't cause cancer -Official"

This caused the WHO to issue another press release to say that there was a link between Second Hand Smoke and lung cancer.

The study found that there was an estimated 16% increased risk of lung cancer among non-smoking spouses of smokers. For workplace exposure the estimated increase in risk was 17%. However, due to small sample size, neither increased risk was statistically significant. Although, the study points towards a decreasing risk after cessation of exposure.

This pro smokers rights site shows an analysis of the WHO study. This study did show the increased RR of 16% and 17%, but it also showed a decreased RR for children.

Results: ETS Exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96).

If the WHO wants to use this study to say, "Passive Smoke Does Cause Lung Cancer - Don't Let Them Fool You," shouldn't they also mention it's preventative effect on children? (i.e. The press release should have said, "Passive Smoke Does Cause Lung Cancer, Unless You Are a Child?"

  • I can't quite work out what the question is. – Oddthinking Dec 19 '12 at 12:21
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    The question is didn't the study results show a preventative effect for children exposed to SHS, and why isn't that also reported. This essential comes down to the issue of reporting study results that do not have OR of greater than 2. When a correlation exists for certain results, but cannot find a biological explanation for other results, the latter result is discarded even though the correlation is just as strong. – user1873 Dec 19 '12 at 15:30

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