Thirty years ago, I witnessed one of modern history’s biggest betrayals of the American people’s health. The academic-government-industrial-medical complex abandoned victims of the nation’s No. 1 cancer killer. Instead of focusing on treatments and cures for lung cancer, they poured all the money and resources into smoking cessation programs. Overnight, lung cancer became a purely “behavioral” problem. And the National Cancer Institute (NCI) systematically and unscientifically blamed tobacco for the entire lung cancer epidemic.
But even before that, in the 1970s, some people tried to blame the heart disease epidemic on tobacco too.
Here’s a story to illustrate my point…
During my medical training in the mid to late ’70s, I worked closely with a distinguished professor of toxicology at the University of Pennsylvania (my alma mater). He was a very brilliant and accomplished scientist, but his little secret was that he was not a native English speaker and had trouble with the English language. He found that having me help with his research and writing was useful in expressing what he really wanted to say.
As a result, I participated with him in the work of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), which provided guidelines to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The CASAC wanted to identify air pollutants that could possibly contribute to heart and lung diseases. They focused largely on automobile emissions. And the auto industry quickly worked to control all the obvious toxins such as lead, sulfur compounds, and nitrogen waste.
But a lone cardiologist tried to claim that the amount of carbon monoxide that could be inhaled from a single cigarette could cause a heart attack.
Of course, carbon monoxide is a poison that can kill you if you stick your head into an oven or breathe from an auto exhaust pipe. But you can get much more carbon monoxide from sitting around a campfire, or walking down the block in a polluted big city than you can from smoking a single cigarette.
Something did not smell right about this cardiologist’s claims.
Apparently, this cardiologist had a nifty new stress test device to play with in his clinic. And to make this bogus claim, he wildly extrapolated the results he observed in his clinic on heart disease patients.
When we investigated the cardiologist’s bogus data about smoking causing heart attacks, we found that it bordered on scientific fraud.
Thankfully, the National Institutes of Health didn’t give up all other research on cardiovascular diseases and decide that cigarette smoking is the single cause of heart attacks…as they did with smoking and lung cancer. However, its research over the following four decades on cardiovascular disease was less than illuminating, at least when it came to diet and lifestyle factors.
In the December issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, subscribers will learn about my top five scientifically proven suggestions for lung cancer. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.
Also–earlier this year, I covered the 10 real causes of heart disease in my Daily Dispatch. You’ll also learn about what you can do to lower your heart disease risk naturally.