In case you needed another reason not to vote for Donald Trump/Mike Pence. Pence, the governor or Indiana, once wrote an oped piece about how cigarette smoking is not dangerous.
I’m serious. He really did. I’m not talking secondhand smoke, either. Pence wrote his column about smoking … period. And this was 15 years ago — 2001 — not the 1960s.
Here’s an excerpt of the idiocy that Pence wrote:
Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer. This is not to say that smoking is good for you…. news flash: smoking is not good for you. If you are reading this article through the blue haze of cigarette smoke you should quit. The relevant question is, what is more harmful to the nation, second hand smoke or back handed big government disguised in do-gooder healthcare rhetoric.
… Those of you who find the tobacco deal acceptable should be warned as you sit, reading this magazine, sipping a cup of hot coffee with a hamburger on your mind for lunch. A government big enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you.
Sigh … Mike, Mike, Mike.
First of all, it’s utter BS that 2 out of 3 smokers don’t die from a smoking-related illness. It’s actually about 2 out of 3 that DO die from their smoking — either through cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease or other illnesses. Not to mention the loss of quality in their lives from various diseases such as arthritis and diabetes now known to be linked to smoking.
Secondly, yeah, about 1 out 10 smokers gets lung cancer … but Pence neglected to mention that the ratio among non-smokers who get lung cancer is less than 1 out of 100 people. This is just stupid and lazy and massively debunked thinking by Pence: That because all smokers don’t get lung cancer, therefore smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. My parents used to argue this 40 years ago … before they got cancer.
So, never mind what the EPA, U.S. Surgeon General and countless physicians and scientists say … Pence says smoking doesn’t kill people … so there. If he had written this in the 60s or 70s, I might give him a pass that people just didn’t have all the information, but no, people KNOW today smoking kills. End of discussion. It’s like trying to argue that lead plumbing or asbestos insulation isn’t dangerous. It’s just … STUPID.
I would dearly love some interviewer to call this idiot on his words, but to my knowledge, no one has, and as long as Pence only gives interviews on Fox and CNN, I’m not holding my breath.
What such an oped shows me is Pence, regardless of his or my politics, is simply not a bright guy (what a shock, he’s also a global warming denialist). I can’t believe in this day and age there’s still people trying to argue that smoking isn’t dangerous.