Here is an interesting example of how a lie appears from nowhere and will doubtless become part of the vast portfolio of lies put around by the Anti-smoking crowd.

At a dentists' conference in Ireland recently, Dr Conor McAlister talked about the alarming rise in oral cancer, instances of which apparently increased by 30% in the last decade. Naturally he stated that the big risk factors are smoking and alcohol.

For years now, virtually every known disease known to man has been blamed on smoking, so adding another one to the list will not raise a single eyebrow. Add to this the logical association of the mouth with smoking and drinking and no one is going to question it.

Now take Dr McAlister's comment that smoking and drinking are risk factors. With a simple stroke of the pen, that will soon be reported as "smoking and drinking cause oral cancer" This is one of the more subtle of the propagandist's tools - taking a supposition and turning it into hard fact.

So now we have a statement that smoking causes oral cancer and it is backed by a "Dr" [conveniently ignoring the fact that he is a dentist and not an oncologist]. This will doubtless be reported with glee by the Antis worldwide.

Hard evidence?

Let's take a closer look at the facts.

I would ask you to suspend your preconceived notions and biases for a moment and just consider one incontrovertible fact -

Since the 50s, levels of smoking have been in decline with a small rise being reported in the last decade [since the Ban was introduced]. This percentage rise is in the low single figures, so how can it account for a 30% increase in cancer?

When looking for causation, the only reliable method is to look for close parallels. For example, the huge increase in annual pub closures coincides very accurately with the introduction of the Ban, therefore it is logical to state that the Ban is a cause in the decline. If, however, one graph shows a steady decline [overall], such as levels of smoking, and the other graph shows a marked increase, then sheer logic will state that there is no association whatsoever.

IF Dr McAllister wants to find the cause for the huge increase in oral cancer then I would suggest that he looks elsewhere, rather than taking the lazy and spurious path of blaming smoking. I would suggest that he looks for things that have been on the increase in the last decade rather than the reverse. In fact I would go so far as to say it could be more logical to take the increase in non-smoking and the increase in cancer and deduce that lack of smoking is causing the cancer.

Now if he had suggested something along the lines of increased nuclear radiation levels in our food or environment, I would be more inclined to believe him.