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That sounds reasonable to me.
A couple of years back I did a similar analysis via a different route concluding that the archetypical maximum risk bartender in a smokers bar (doing lots of overtime) would breath environmental smoke equivalent to about 1 cigarette per year. By playing with the assumptions consumption down to about 0.1 cigarettes per year and up to 10 per year could be got without being obviously silly.
Assuming a 50 year working life a maximum consumption of 500 cigarettes hardly seems risky given that many heavy smokers managed similar levels in a fortnight for many years without dropping off their perches.
Nice work. But the alarmists will not be dissuaded by mere fact.
When I quit, I found it was useful to denigrate smokers. I would never sink so low as a dirty no-account rotten smoker and light one up. I was a non-smoker. This attitude - which I had deliberately constructed - was an outstanding mechanism to avoid smoking.
After a year of not smoking, I was done. And knowing my anti-smoker "bias" was just a helper meme, I discarded of it.
I have no numbers to back this up, but it appears to me that most of the angry and absolutist anti-smokers were once smokers who did the same as me. Trouble is, they never let go of the attitude. Their perceptions are far more polluted by it than any amount of SHS they might get.
I have no interest in the anti-smokers, my hope is to be able to show the 50 million smokers in the USA how they have been brain-washed. That is why I am concerned with the truth of what I present.
Thus,I am concerned about particle dispersion in the cube being enough to make my idea realistic.
It would seem that the air movement caused by breathing and the smoker's exhaling smoke would cause enough dispersion to evenly distribute the SHS through out the cube.
I have no knowledge of such matters and hoped that someone here might be of help.
if the guy is in a box, you have an unrealistic situation anyway. The smoke is going to disperse in ways totally unrelated to what would happen in reality.
It is not unreasonable to therefore make the assumption that it is evenly dispersed throughout the box. If you want to be conservative, you could make the box half the height of the man, or even assume that the box is the height of the man, but shifted half his height up.
When you start playing these games the assumptions are there to try and get people to jolt out of the box they are currently abiding. Whether it is Fast Food, Salt, Cola, or Smoking, getting people to recognize that Death is at the end of the line for everyone is difficult.
You might get them to realize the error of their thinking by taking them down the path of reason. Don't expect to succeed though. People in these modes are much like those that believe in Astrology, Dowsing, Clairvoyance, etc. In fact, they are the same people. They have discovered that the latter shouldn't be believed in, so they have replaced it with "science".
I have had several non-arguments with my wife lately on these subjects. Non-arguments are those subjects where I realize that I am not gonna change her opinion with an anecdote of a story heard about research. Yesterday's example was McDonalds and Super size me. When someone tried to replicate the Super Size Me results, they discovered that a person could live a perfectly healthy life eating nothing but McDonalds. My wife wasn't buying it. "They might have lost weight, but were they healthy on the inside?" I shut up. She has had it beaten into her head repeatedly that the Food Pyramid is important, that McDonalds is unhealthy, salt is bad for you and fat should be avoided.
"1200 repetitions a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year make 1 truth" -- (paraphrase from A Brave New World).
How to break these truths apart? I don't know, but don't fret about the idealness of the analogy. It should be obvious from the fact that most smokers go through their lives without getting lung cancer that sniffing the equivalent of a cigarette a week isn't going to be bad. If you can get the individual to recognize the idiocy of the paradigm using any means, you are doing a good thing. Don't expect them to like you for it though.
Brad; re you're last e-mail. Do you have a reference (URL) for the statement - "When someone tried to replicate the Super Size Me results, they discovered that a person could live a perfectly healthy life eating nothing but McDonalds."
I'd appreciate it.
I can lead you to the source...
Skeptoid did a podcast about it.
Sadly he doesn't link to any references, but he tell them in the podcast.
There was some kind of junk-food clinical trial in the wake of "super size me". Unsurprisingly, people were found to react differently and unpredictably to being put on a high-fat, high-calorie diet. This means that your genes are at least partly responsible for your shape. Some people just burn the excess energy off, some of them store it up under their skin and in their liver, which is not good for your chances of impressing members of the opposite (or same if that way inclined) sex with your firm, toned body, or for your liver.
We have unrestricted access to highly palatable and highly nutritious food for the first sustained period in human evolution. It is no surprise that people are fatter than ever, and also no surprise that those who are unhealthily fat (myself included) are so because of a combination of genetic (billions of years of evolving to cope with regular shortages) and environmental (lack of food shortage in the last several decades) factors.