Wednesday, 16 November 2011

BMA make arse of themselves by repeating the "23 times" claim: find out where that number came from!

Via Dick to Nigel and thus to the Canadian medical journal CMAJ, I find an article investigating just where the oft-heard "smoking in a car is 23 times more toxic than a smoky bar" datum came from.

After much digging, they come to the conclusion that it does not exist in any peer-reviewed paper, but cropped up in a Rocky Mountain newspaper and has been quoted as fact ever since.

It concludes in its recommendations:
"We recommend that researchers and organizations stop using the 23 times more toxic factoid because there appears to be no evidence for it in the scientific literature."
This was written over a year ago, but the BMA - the sawbones syndicate - hasn't caught up yet.

Doctors - go wash your hands.

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