Unnecessarily conservative stance is unsupported by evidence
- By: Michael Farrell
Isted’s article provides us with the facts about the harms of shisha smoking, enabling students to make more informed decisions.1 However, it also works from the flawed assumption that medics are right to be utterly opposed to the idea of smoking.
If I saw a medic launch into a tirade of health warnings after being offered a cigarette by a friend, I would condemn it as inappropriate—fuelled by either an urge to show off or a poor understanding of the hazards of cigarette smoking. If a medic asserted that social smoking as a young adult leads to a high risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), I would be concerned about their understanding of the evidence.
The evidence shows that if you give up smoking in your 20s, the long term health risks are almost completely averted.2 We need to be scientifically sound with our health warnings,