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The Economics of Smoking: Pierre Lemieux
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The Public Health school adopts a radically different methodology. Starting from the observation that smoking is bad for the smoker's health, it goes on to conclude that individuals do not derive benefits from smoking. Anti-smoking activist Scott Ballin asserts that "There is no positive aspect to [smoking]. The product has no potential benefits."


There is a double catch here. First, the health hazards of secondhand smoke may well turn out to be the hoax of the twentieth century. Regarding the 1992 EPA report that classified secondhand tobacco smoke as a "Group A carcinogen," U.S. District Judge William Osteen wrote, in a recent decision: "The court is faced with the ugly possibility that EPA adopted a methodology for each chapter, without explanation, based on the outcome sought in that chapter. ... The record and EPA's explanations to the court make it clear that using standard methodology, EPA could not produce statistically significant results with its selected studies" (Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative v. EPA, No. 6:93CV00370 at 60, 77, M.D.N.C. July 17, 1998).