Scientific claim is, “Unwashed fruits and vegetables may cause serious food-borne illnesses, such as dysentery, cholera, and amoebiasis.”
Two opposite scientific claims may be identified here as the meaning of this advertisement remains unclear. Based on the quote, a scientific claim is, “Men is characterized by a better capacity for technical skills, analytical thinking, and engineering.” At the same time, taking into consideration potential irony and the picture, it is possible to identify another claim – “Professionalism in any sphere of human activities does not depend on gender.”
Scientific claim is, “The increased consumption of sugar contained in soda drinks leads to type 2 diabetes and subsequent amputation.”
Scientific claim is, “Secondhand smoke exposure has a highly negative impact on children’s health, behavior, and cognitive abilities.”
Scientific claim is, “Cigarettes that filter smoke is less harmful to the smoker’s oral cavity and teethes.”
Scientific claim: “Hunger may have an impact on the individual’s behavior, cognitive abilities, attention concentration, and thinking.”
In the present day, science is becoming substantively embedded in public culture, and the evidence of this tendency comes from the particular attention of advertisers and customers to sustainability, environmental awareness, and ethical consumption. People are frequently required to evaluate both scientific and pseudoscientific claims in social medial, advertising, and popular press daily. Regarding advertising and its purpose to sell products, scientifically framed claims are traditionally used to persuade customers of these products’ exclusive benefits and effectiveness. In addition, scientific claims in mass media help to develop people’s consciousness and initiate positive changes in policies at the local and federal levels.
The scientific claim that will be examined in this paper relates to the negative impact of secondhand smoke on children’s health. It was used for the promotion of World No Tobacco Day and the attraction of individuals’ attention to the international problem of smoking and its highly negative influence both on smokers and people who inhale secondhand smoke. In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.) define secondhand smoke as “the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers” (para. 1). It contains approximately 7,000 hazardous chemicals, including toxic and cancer-causing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). As a matter of fact, secondhand smoke causes multiple health problems in adolescents, children, and infants, including respiratory infections, asthma attacks, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.
On behalf of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) Collaborative Group, Mbulo, et al. (2016) conducted research in order to evaluate the magnitude, determinants, and patterns of secondhand smoke exposure in the home among approximately one billion of children and adolescents in 21 countries. Survey data for this research were collected and analyzed during 2009–2013 in order to prove or reject the hypothesis related to considerable current exposure of children to secondhand smoke across the globe (Mbulo, et al., 2016). According to the results of the research, more than 500 million children younger than 15 years of age are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes on a regular basis, and the proportion ranges from 4,5% in Panama to 79% in Indonesia (Mbulo, et al., 2016). India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and China account for almost 85% of secondhand smoke-exposed children (Mbulo, et al., 2016). These children are extremely vulnerable to diseases associated with secondhand smoke, including bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma attacks. The research’s conclusions may be regarded as appropriate as they logically follow from results that prove the original hypothesis.
For children with asthma, secondhand smoke leads to more frequent and severe asthma attacks that may put their lives in danger. This thesis is scientifically supported by the meta-analysis and systematic review by Wang, et al. (2015) dedicated to the examination of the secondhand smoke’s effects on health care utilization and asthma morbidity in children. In other words, the authors aimed to “evaluate and quantify asthma severity and health care use” from the children’s exposure to smoke (Wang, et al., 2015, p. 396). A systematic review included studies that had examined the association between secondhand smoke exposure “and reported outcomes of interest with asthma severity including exacerbations” (Wang, et al., 2015, p. 396). In general, 2,925 studies met the criteria, and 25 studies were included in the research (Wang, et al., 2015). According to its relevant results, due to secondhand smoke exposure, children with asthma were “twice as likely to be hospitalized” with asthma exacerbation, had lower pulmonary function test results, and attended the emergency department more frequently (Wang, et al., 2015, p. 396).
The negative impact of secondhand smoke on children’s health and abilities is described by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (n.d.), as well. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report of 2006, “there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that, on average, children are exposed to more secondhand smoke than adults” (American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, n.d., para. 1). Toxic chemicals from secondhand smoke may hinder the growth of children’s lungs and impair their ability to learn. According to recent researches, more than 20 million children have the potential risk of deficits in visuospatial reasoning, math, and reading due to secondhand smoke exposure (American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, n.d.).
In general, the claim related to the child’s suffering due to his father’s smoking is scientific as there are multiple peer-reviewed studies that support this claim and conclude that secondhand smoke has an immeasurably negative impact on children’s health. The validity of researchers is provided by the competency of scholars whose articles were evaluated by other scholars with the same competencies. In addition, the legitimacy of this claim is additionally determined by the existence of correlated studies dedicated to the examination of the harmful effect of smoking on adults.
The public use of this scientific claim in mass media by advertisers cannot be regarded as intentionally harmful. The majority of consumers are informed about the ability of smoking to cause serious health problems and take it as an accomplished fact. That is why, from a personal perspective, those people who make this claim hold their personal belief that it will be scientifically supported. As a matter of fact, this claim has a considerable emotional impact that definitely attracts public attention. Its use for the promotion of World No Tobacco Day is completely legitimate as it helps to form the appropriate public opinion concerning smoking and its negative impact on children.
American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. (n.d.). Health effects of secondhand smoke on children. Web.
This secondary source describes the negative impact of secondhand smoke on children’s health, behavior, and thinking abilities. The validity of information is determined by its publication on the Foundation’s official site.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Health effects of secondhand smoke. Web.
This secondary source describes the negative impact of secondhand smoke on individuals’ health. The validity of information is determined by its publication on the official site of the federal agency.
Mbulo, L., Palipudi, K. M., Andes, L., Morton, J., Bashir, R., Fouad, H., Ramanandraibe, N., Caixeta, R., Dias, R. C., Wijnhoven, T. M. A., Kashiwabara, M., Sinha, D. N., & d’Espaignet, E. T. (2016). Secondhand smoke exposure at home among one billion children in 21 countries: Findings from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). Tobacco Control, 25(2), 95-100. Web.
This primary source was conducted in order to evaluate the magnitude, determinants, and patterns of secondhand smoke exposure among children across the globe. The validity of information is determined by the competency of scholars included in an accredited research group and its publication in a peer-review journal.
Wang, Z., May, S. M., Charoenlap, S., Pyle, R., Ott, N. L., Mohammed, K., & Joshi, A. Y. (2015). Effects of secondhand smoke exposure on asthma morbidity and health care utilization in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 115(5), 396-401. Web.
This primary source is dedicated to the examination of the secondhand smoke’s effects on health care utilization and asthma morbidity in children. The validity of information is determined by the competency of scholars and its publication in a peer-review journal.