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Rush Limbaugh denied health risks of smoking years before lung cancer diagnosis: ‘I would like a medal for smoking cigars’
The New York Daily News - 2/3/2020
Years before conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh announced on his show Monday that he’d been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, he downplayed the health risks of smoking on his show.
The 69-year-old firebrand said he’s receiving treatment for the cancer but did not provide further details. “There are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here,” he said on his show Monday.
During a discussion with a caller to “The Rush Limbaugh Show” back in April 2015, Limbaugh denied second-hand smoke was a danger and said it takes 50 years for smokers to get cancer.
The caller was questioning Limbaugh’s logic that society should be thankful for smokers because of the tax money generated from the sale of tobacco products.
After asking who smokers were harming, Limbaugh denied second-hand smoke caused any deaths.
“That is a myth. That has been disproven at the World Health Organization and the report was suppressed,” Limbaugh claimed. “There is no fatality whatsoever. There’s no even major sickness component associated with secondhand smoke. It may irritate you, and you may not like it, but it will not make you sick, and it will not kill you.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke since 1964.
Limbaugh went on to claim “firsthand smoke” isn’t that serious either.
“Firsthand smoke takes 50 years to kill people, if it does,” he said. “Not everybody that smokes gets cancer. Now, it’s true that everybody who smokes dies, but so does everyone who eats carrots.”
Limbaugh went on to ask why the government didn’t ban tobacco if it was so dangerous before claiming the society had vilified smokers, even though “their purchases are funding children’s health care programs.”
“I would like a medal for smoking cigars, is what I’m saying,” Limbaugh added.
The radio host pointed to other alleged incidents of freedom being taken away such as school children in Virginia having to eat lunches prepared by Michelle Obama and New York City 7/11 locations only selling 16-ounce Slurpees.
Limbaugh concluded the segment by circling back to smoking.
“I’ve never seen Cause of death: Tobacco products. Not everybody who smokes gets cancer. The most shocking event in the world is when somebody gets lung cancer and they never smoked, and everybody says, “How the hell did that happen?” Because everybody’s been so persuaded to believe that it’s automatic.”
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