ISIS questionnaire

I’ve been running two blogs for the last couple of weeks. Apart from this one there’s a little bunch of people over on the Social Impact Survey blog trying to get the survey on the road.

We’ve got a draft final version of the questionnaire, and I thought I’d show it so that people can see what we’re doing, and maybe make a few last-minute criticisms. And also so that maybe we can pull in a few more pollsters (any country welcome).

The questions largely came out of my online questionnaires from a week or so back. We decided to ask about things that most smokers don’t seem to like. Pub smoking bans. Reduced social contact. Staying home more. Distrust of experts. Intense dislike of retirement/care home smoking bans. And general loss of “quality of life”. We also added a catch-all question to see which kinds of smoking bans had adverse effects. And we’ve got an option to allow them to write their own stuff.

There’s also an option for them to give a name and an email address. And we’ll hopefully have a website up and running by the time we start polling.

Of all the questions, the hardest of all was the age question. In fact, it still isn’t really resolved. People felt that asking people their age was rude. So we’ve gone for very broad age categories. But even that hasn’t ended it. “Working age? What if they’re not working??”

And also we’ve got a colourful little logo which adds a bit of sparkle (although most of the questionnaires will probably be printed in black and white). The compressed version above can have 4 on a single piece of A4. There’ll be several versions – French, Spanish, German, and Greek. Some will have extra questions that some people want to ask in addition to the core group above.

I’m pretty pleased with it. I took it today and got it printed, and then went and road-tested it on one person, a bartender. He went through it in under a minute, and asked no questions. Afterwards I asked him what he thought of it, and he said it was simple and straightforward, with nothing “shifty” about it.

The study is set to last for 2 – 3 months. I’ve no idea how many completed questionnaires we’ll get, but I’m hoping for at least 1000, maybe several times more.

When we’ve collected the data, we’ll be entering it manually into a central online server using our own computers or mobile phones. That side of things is under development at the moment, and should be working soon.

And in the end, we’ll see if we can get it all published somewhere.

So waddya think?

P.S. Apologies to those readers who couldn’t initially see the image of the questionnaire.
P.P.S. We have a Dutch poll too. Yayyyy!!!!!!!!!!

About Frank Davis

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69 Responses to ISIS questionnaire

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank O/T but wow!
    Patients hide in bushes to evade smoking ban
    By Gordon Deegan

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Patients dressed in pyjamas at a smoke-free hospital campus are hiding behind trees and bushes to smoke, chairman of the HSE West Forum has said.

    Cllr Padraig Conneely yesterday called for the HSE to relax its smoke-free campus designation for the 150-acre site at Merlin Park Hospital in Galway.

    “I have seen patients in their pyjamas and slippers hide behind bushes and trees smoking because of the HSE putting in place a ban on smoking across the campus.

    “This is unacceptable that patients have to do this when you have a 150-acre campus,” Mr Conneely told a meeting of the forum.

    Patients can smoke if they cross a blue line at the hospital exit, but in order to get there, many have to walk around 1km from their bed due to the size of the campus.

    “Common sense has to prevail and there should be a designated area for smokers. Exceptions should be made for patients at Merlin Park,” said Mr Conneely.

    The policy came under fire from a number of forum members, with Cllr Tomas Mannion describing the smoke-free zone policy at the 289-bed hospital as “political correctness gone absolutely bonkers”.

    He described the policy as “absolutely ludicrous” and said the HSE was acting in a “heavy-handed manner” in dealing with the issue.

    Cllr Pat Burke said: “There is a crazy amount of ground here and patients having to walk to the gate is absolutely ludicrous.”

    Director of operations for HSE West John Hennessy said exceptions are made for patients being cared for at HSE long-stay facilities who wish to smoke.

    Of the 289 beds at Merlin Park, 79 are long-stay geriatric beds.

    However, Mr Hennessy said there would continue to be “an unapologetic implementation of the smoking ban in relation to visitors and short-stay patients”.

    Mr Conneely said: “It seems that the blue line is going to hold for now, but common sense has to prevail.”

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank I need a link for an online version for folks to take via links left here and there. You will get those thousands of responses then and from folks all over the world. Remember we fight everywhere not just in Amerika!

    • Frank Davis says:

      The walkabout poll is the one we’re concentrating on first. But it’s quite likely that there’ll be an online poll too. I just haven’t been thinking about one much.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank its important that an online poll be done,theres more smokers that read comments sections than anywhere else and word of mouth via internet comments is the fastest easiest way to get a broad base response. You could even link the web site you want to post the results on.

        • churchmouse says:

          Yes, agreed. Online is essential. I would take such a poll.

          Frank — you can use PollDaddy, which is dead simple. It’s part of our WordPress packages. I’ve used it before to create surveys the length of yours. You can also have a text box for comments.

          Late to the party here, but good luck with the survey and I hope that you’ll reconsider the online option. :)

        • Frank Davis says:

          We’re setting up our own server, so we can ask any number of questions we like, in any way we like.

  3. forcesnl says:

    Frank, the form cannot be seen by people who are not allowed to access the socialimpactsurvey blog page.

  4. michaeljmcfadden says:

    LOVE the walkabout version! Very compact, answers the questions you want, straightforward, and quick. Well done!!!

    Online version can have the walkabout as its header and then offer far more detailed survey info if wanted. Perhaps the first Q on the online version should be “Have you filled out and submitted a response to this questionnaire previously in hardcopy?”


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Michael you can count me in now after seeing the actual survey its not at all what I thought.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        BTW there are a few local bans around that are recent and the folks are still very upset about. I can drop off copies at the registers in a few restaraunts and bars around kentucky and tennessee. Will need a mailing address for folks to forward too

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    There should be a choise of ” not at all ” in the listing……..I dont go where I cant smoke at all. Im sure theres many more like myself.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I wondered about that myself. It’s not just that you go a lot less often: you never go at all.

      • Dave says:

        Yes I myself simply do not go to non smoking places. My social life is now spent at casinos and private homes the only places I can smoke. I think it is real imprtant to find out how many of us are out here that feel this way. Fact is people know by now not to even bother inviting me.

      • Rose says:

        I thought that questionnaire was much easier to complete, but I too could do with a “never” or more accurately “not any more” box.

    • lecroixkwdjer says:

      Totally agree. It would be great to know what percentage. Love the questionnaire. Just one comment: instead of asking for an e-mail at the end, how about just indicating a web page where people can see the results? Even if the e-mail is optional and confidential, I think people may feel a bit uneasy.

      • Frank Davis says:

        There is a website in development. But since the questionnaires are retained by the pollsters, there’s no point writing it on it.

        We could have a tear-off strip, but some people think that would be really ugly. So it’ll be separate flyers for that.

        • lecroixkwdjer says:

          Sounds good. I was thinking the website address might be something easy to remember, so there was no need for tear-off strips. But separate flyers sound good. Pollsters can take care of that on their end.

  6. forcesnl says:

    O/T, A rising star: with branches all over the world. Looks very promising as the much wanted new Libertarian party.

  7. james101 says:

    Frank I see from what appears to be a scan above, that there is a question asking about the frequency which people visit pubs,cafés and restaurants and how this has changed since a ban . I think these should be separate questions to which you will definetly get different answers. For example I don’t have as bigger problem with cafés being non smoking as much as I do pubs. A pub is somewhere you would expect to be able to spend all evening in comfort. I can put up with the ban in a cafe where I would normally spend an hour but not in a pub or club where I go to spend the evening.
    Can you see this difference. I’m sure is different for everyone.

  8. Mentesabiertas says:

    Excellent survey. Nice and short and covers the basics. I personally don’t mind giving my age, and I think it’s a good idea to have age groups in the survey. After all, there are so many of us who are over 40, and pensioners who particularly don’t like being ‘nannied’ and treated like children. Maybe we could have age ranges, 18-29, 30 – 39, 40 – 49, 50 – 59, 60+ and If people don’t wish to give their age, that’s their choice.

    • james101 says:

      Everyones going out habits are different. But I would expect to see a much greater reduction in the numbers visiting pubs than restaurants.
      I think it would be worth putting these questions separately.
      If the ban is amended they will need specific information about pubs.

  9. Rose says:


    I think that Sheila Duffy just made a fundamental mistake by writing openly about Article 5.3 in the Scotsman, baffled members of the public wondering why no one in authority ever listens to them anymore might be tempted to look it up.

    Sheila Duffy: Tobacco firms should have no say in public health

    “The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the first international public health treaty. It is brokered by the World Health Organisation and 174 governments are parties to the FCTC, representing 90 per cent of the world’s population.

    Article 5.3 of the FCTC recognises the “irreconcilable conflict” between public health and tobacco industry interests and requires governments to engage with the industry only so far as is absolutely necessary to organise effective regulation.

    If Scottish ministers were fully to implement Article 5.3 that would mean agreeing to transparency in all contacts with the industry.

    It would involve a policy of disinvestment of public money from tobacco shares. It should require a special declaration of any tobacco interests from any individuals and organisations engaged in public health policy discussions.

    Most importantly, committing fully to comply with Article 5.3 would send a clear message that the tobacco industry has no role to play in determining the public health policies of our nation.”


    • Mentesabiertas says:

      WHO FCTC – A World Government made up of unelected quangos dictating policies world wide. Who voted these guys in?! A lot of countries could solve a lot of their financial problems by opting out of this ‘Treaty’. A drain on resources and the economy.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        As the worlds economies implode due to massive debt and printing money like no tomorro the search for revenues will lead to the FCTC being tossed into the fire for heat in colder climates and shred for rolling paper in warmer climates. As with alcohol prohibition and the depression that accompanied it the lost revenues and enforcement costs were prime reasons for its repeal!

        In essence the governments greed for revenue will destroy the FCTC as it creates no revenue flow only costs! Besides the losses of revenues from blackmarket tobacco,which the FCTC created by its mere demands of higher taxation.

  10. waltc says:

    OT but required reading . The Next Frontier is rapidly being crossed in NYC: . Also notable herein: smokers deny smoking in order to find a home. Ex smokers who hate smokers. And don’t skip the comments. But pour a drink first.

  11. waltc says:

    Maybe that should spark an additional question for NYC?

  12. Mentesabiertas says:

    By the way, I love the name ‘ISIS’, I like the connection with the Egyptian Goddess. I was watching the BBC Series ‘Rome’, I have the DVD set. There were scenes in the second series with Julius Caesar and Cleopatra in Egypt and guess what – Cleopatra was smoking!

    • Rose says:

      Rameses II and the tobacco beetle


      “The recent publication of an extensive review of Egyptian trade and industry (Nicholson & Shaw 2000) revives a biogeographic conundrum, which should have been laid to rest over a decade ago. In her chapter on mummification, Rosalie David (2000) refers to the presence of Nicotiana sp. and Anthemideae [sic] in the abdominal cavity of Rameses II, as plant substances utilized in the preservation process by the ancient Egyptians. Both were discovered during the re-examination of his mummy in Paris in 1976, the former as comminuted fragments of leaf and the latter as massive amounts of pollen ([is greater than] 500,000 grains/cc) (Layer-Lescot 1985; Leroi-Gourhan 1985). The evidence for Nicotiana, tobacco, was published in 1978 (Anon. 1978), and later with the entomological data from the mummy by Steffan (1982). The refusal of the Egyptian authorities to permit the removal of a sample for a radiocarbon date only served to fuel the controversy of the origins of tobacco in the Old World (cf. Castello 1983).”

      “The tobacco might have been quietly forgotten — David (1992) does not mention it in her paper reviewing plant and plant products used in mummification — but for additional evidence obtained from both radioimmunoassay and gas chromatography by Balabanova and others on samples from mummies in the Munich Museum (Balabanova et al. 1992). These showed the presence of nicotine, and its metabolized derivative cotinine, in hair, soft tissue and bone, and this was initially interpreted as evidence for the use of tobacco during the lives of the individuals sampled, not necessarily by direct use in smoking, for which there is no pictorial or epigraphic evidence, but perhaps by its use in fumigation (Balabanova et al. 1993). (These authors also note that Alfieri (1931) had found `coleoptera of tabac’ in the tomb of Tutankhamun, and whilst he makes nothing of this, they go on to suggest, `In the first clays after burial, the insects devoured the tobacco leaves then died.’!) Steffan (1982) had also found the `tobacco beetle’, Lasioderma serricorne L. (Coleoptera, Anobiidae) in the mummy of Rameses II, a point not lost on Balabanova et al. (1993).”;col1

      The Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies

      • Rose says:

        It was explained as contamination by smoking in museums or the use of tobacco powders as a preservative.

        Production and Use of Nicotine from Crops in Peace and War- The Yearbook of Agriculture 1950-1951

        “In a letter dated January 20, 1734, Peter Gollison of London suggested to his American correspondent, John Bartram, the Philadelphia botanist, the use of tobacco leaves to protect let- ters and packages containing seeds and plants being shipped to him.”

        Though some though it was evidence of a long forgotten trade route between Egypt and America.


        A recently discovered rare species

        “Nicotiana africana is a species of plant in the Solanaceae family. It is endemic to Namibia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and rocky areas.”

        “The recent discovery of Nicotiana africana Merxm. extended the known natural distribution of the genus to another continent and generated considerable interest in this geographically isolated species. The chromosome complement (2n = 46) consists of two metacentric pairs and 21 pairs of acrocentrics. Four pairs organize nucleoli, but only two pairs have visible secondary constrictions. The distribution of heterochromatin and the karyotype show similarities with species of the Australian section of the genus, Suaveolentes, to which N. africana is related, and also to some American species”

        • Mentesabiertas says:

          This is fascinating! Thanks for the links, I look forward to reading them all in detail. I saw The Cocaine Mummies several years ago. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that human civilisation goes back further than we think and that international trade routes and technology also date back further than what is common knowledge.

        • Rose says:

          But the question is what was Cleopatra smoking in “Rome”?

          In 1998 there was an excellent four part series called Sacred Weeds on tv.

          Blue Lotus

          Caution: For those of a nervous disposition, this programme includes two extremely rude ancient Egyptian pictures.
          The video sticks briefly in one place before it sorts its self out but the audio is fine.

        • Rose says:

          The particularly interesting thing about Blue Lotus,last time I looked, is that no one can find anything “worrying”, people just seemed to have liked it . The debate between the researchers reflects the two attitudes, people like it, we don’t understand it, so it must have something “bad” in it, and that it’s merely a harmless pursuit.

          Like when you look closer, you find that the “nicotine addiction theory” is more about popular belief than anything else.

    • Frank Davis says:

      By the way, I love the name ‘ISIS’, I like the connection with the Egyptian Goddess.

      It’s quite accidental.

      But the logo is made up of 8 thrones of Isis. It’s the symbol she wears on top of her head.

  13. rotherwiseknownasr says:

    Love it. Sorry I haven’t been any help but I’m dealing with some grief, will still help with the survey though. Hats off to everyone working on it.

  14. George Speller says:

    Well done Frank. They’re going to hate it.

  15. Woodsy42 says:

    Frank. You have a box -top right- that says “smoker: y/n” and just below that a question ‘do you smoke y/n’. Is one for ‘official use’ as designated by a grey area? – but there are no grey areas on the form – it’s confusing.
    Assuming you are dropping the data into a spreadsheet you don’t need ‘official use’ sections on the form unless you are tracking the actual forms themselves (which has some merit so you know who collected that data). Any other ‘official use’ entries, tags or notes that you add will be added to the computer database entry not onto the paper.
    I would also suggest you try and line up the answer boxes, which would look tidier.

    • Frank Davis says:

      The “official use” header is to be filled out by the pollster, not the respondent. Each questionnaire is to have a unique ID number so that it can be traced. And there’s also a location (e.g. pub garden, restaurant, home, whatever) The smoker question is in there because the aim is to principally ask smokers these questions, and pollsters should ask people who they see smoking to fill it out, and check that box if they are smoking. And if the respondent ticks No to the Do You Smoke? question after being seen smoking, the pollster’s observations override the respondent’s claim.

      The grey block is just something that’s a shading indicator for the grey text in the checkboxes. It won’t be in the final version.

      And the answer boxes are more or less lined up. Or should it be to the nearest pixel?

      • forcesnl says:

        We need more info to control for full/partial smoking bans that exist outside the UK! Partial bans, as a cofactor, will influence the number of people suffering from bans.

      • Woodsy42 says:

        OK, if it’s being filled in by a polster absolutely none of what I said or will say matters.
        But if you hand them out (eg to a group sitting round at pub table) I stick by my ‘confusing’ comment. In addition some customers might not like the implication that the polster has been observing them and wonder at the double question. If that box is for the polster’s observation why label it so obviously?
        On layout:
        You could easily line up the boxes for the Quality of life question with the top 4 box sets, (better is not much longer than more) it would look tidier and more professional as all the ‘same’ boxes would exactly line up. Moving the hospital one down to last place would be tidier still, also because it’s the only one that isn’t a ‘how it’s affected your personal lifestyle’ question for most respondents so shouldn’t be muddled into those.
        Also your top line with the “into force ..have”. Either write it as one sentence or start the question (ie the …have) on a new line so all the choice questions start at left of page.
        Sorry, I know I am being pernickerty, and I may be teaching granny to suck eggs and if so I’m sorry, but over the years I have done quite a few questionnaires for people, although mostly online, so I learned what the researchers didn’t like!

        • Frank Davis says:

          You could easily line up the boxes for the Quality of life question with the top 4 box sets, (better is not much longer than more) it would look tidier and more professional as all the ‘same’ boxes would exactly line up. Moving the hospital one down to last place would be tidier still, also because it’s the only one that isn’t a ‘how it’s affected your personal lifestyle’ question for most respondents so shouldn’t be muddled into those.

          I think you’re right on both counts here. The quality of life checkbox is larger because the text is slightly different, but it wouldn’t be difficult to squeeze them into line. The quality of life question is really only on the bottom because it was a late addition.

          Also your top line with the “into force ..have”. Either write it as one sentence or start the question (ie the …have) on a new line so all the choice questions start at left of page.

          That sentence was originally broken in exactly the way you suggest. But for the purposes of compression, I appended the first question to the “Since….force” preface. On thinking some more about it I think the right way to do it is with numbers.

          Since smoking bans have come into force, 1) Have any partic… 2) How often… and take out the …’s (forgotten the term for three dots – ellipsis?).

          I think that would make it perfectly clear. And I was aware of the lack of clarity, because when I interviewed the bartender, I felt obliged to explain to him the the “Since smoking bans…” was a prefix to the set of questions below.

          I know I am being pernickerty

          Well, I am glad you have been!

  16. Jonathan Bagley says:

    Only one comment: you have lumped “care homes” and “outside hospitals” together. Better to ask only one question at a time. People may have different responses. I would have had “secure mental hospitals” on its own. In terms of sheer nastiness, I think this is the worst smoking ban.

    • Frank Davis says:

      We could ask a very long list of questions. We’re trying to keep them to a minimum right now.

      • Jonathan Bagley says:

        I see that. I didn’t mean to add a question. I was more suggesting remove either care homes or outside hospitals as for some people it will be impossible to answer both questions with one response.

  17. mummybest says:

    I would like to see the option to tick a box named NEVER in the question about visiting bars/clubs/restaurants.
    I have never been to any of these places since the ban and stating ‘much less’ is just not true for many smokers.
    I could only tick a box that stated Do not go any more !!

  18. PeterM says:

    Hi Frank and fellow smokers. I found your blog last night (well the old one that pointed here) when it occurred to me to search on the possible link between smoking and the rise of western civilisation and science. Until now I thought I must be the only person on the planet that actually cares enough to stop the wowser nutjobs.

    As someone who foolishly listened to the wowser propaganda and gave up smoking for 7 years – only to develop Ulcerative Colitis after the first 3 years. UC is an incurable auto-immune disease that is predominantly a disease of non-smokers. Smoking is the only effective legal treatment, cannabis however is far more effective for complete symptomatic relief – and in combination they allow me to hold down a job. Untreated UC progresses to bowel cancer. The only cure offered by doctors is removal of my large intestines. I’ve been mostly in remission for over 20 years now but this becomes harder as the psychotic sanctimonious wowser industry in Australia takes nicotine out of cigarettes and persecutes its War on Citizens…errr, sorry Drugs.

    I like the idea of the survey and would like to see another that polls smokers and ex-smokers and compares the incidence of non-smokers diseases like UC, diabetes (especially Type 1 but also type 2), Coeliac Disease (ie gluten intolerance, diabetes and coeliac are often together), Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimers and others. In Australia the smoking rates have been constantly falling for 100 years but the cancer rate has been steadily climbing since 1920, going into overdrive over the last 10 years. The wowser driven genocide, at least the auto-immune disease component is concentrated in blood types O and A (a superset of the huge spectrum of immune profiles – blood types are immune system based). Our blood banks are drying up because the sick can no longer donate, but at the same time increase demand. Auto-immune disease causes the chronic inflammation that leads to cancer (hijacking of the Natural Killer T-cells). Inflammation and pathogens (mostly viruses) cause almost all cancers. RSV is the current prime suspect in lung cancer. Vitamin A also seems to be associated with a higher risk of lung cancer, but a cross infection from goats is a known cause of one (rare) form of lung cancer.

    Smoking protects from a a wide range of diseases. Australia is now reeling from the wowsers’ “gentle genocide”, they are killing us softly. In a population of 22 million we now have about 1m type 1 diabetics and the world’s highest rates of UC and coeliacs and no doubt so many, many others. The deeper you dig the worse it gets. Our Parkinsonian patients binge gamble their life savings away as a side-effect of the drugs they are given (now off the market) and anti-gambling laws are being forced on us as a result. The carnage is a disgrace and I have only just scratched the surface.

    On a $14 carton of Camels I bought over the internet the Australian government taxed me $80 (actaully $79 something). Big Wowser makes Little Tobacco look like a gnat when legislation guarantees it makes 4 times more. Now they are setting their sights on drinkers, the overweight, sugar, gamblers and the list just goes on and on. FIGHT THEM!!!!!

    Keep up the good work guys. Mindless cretins are not fit to rule.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I thought I must be the only person on the planet

      I think there must be millions of people who think that way.

    • Mentesabiertas says:

      A very interesting post – a lot of very good points made here. I’ve always thought that some people are better off to continue smoking than to stop. Everyone is different and that’s what the antis don’t acknowledge. Everything in life has its benefits and its risks. Smoking has its benefits, i.e. better ability to concentrate, a calming effect particularly with those of a somewhat nervous disposition, and as you mentioned protection from a wide range of diseases. There’s an interesting article by an Australian Doctor, William T Whitby called “The Smoking Scare De-bunked”

      But I’m sure the wowser industry doesn’t want to know. Their policies are killing people.

    • Rose says:

      “As someone who foolishly listened to the wowser propaganda and gave up smoking for 7 years – only to develop Ulcerative Colitis after the first 3 years.”

      I am very sorry to hear that, it sounds awful.
      I have been researching in the opposite direction trying to find out how to avoid it, incase they ban tobacco or price me out of the market.

      They knew about it too.

      Health ‘benefits’ of smoking?

      “Important note: smoking may offer a limited degree of protection in some individuals against the development of a small number of diseases, outlined below. However, this information is of no relevance to public health, given that the amount of disease that tobacco may be said to prevent is insignificant in comparison to the far greater incidence of disease caused by smoking. Smoking kills one in two of its users.”

      Ulcerative colitis

      “Current smokers have a lower risk of developing ulcerative colitis, compared to non-smokers and ex-smokers. Nicotine in tobacco smoke is thought to be the component that is most likely to affect the course of the disease.

      However, smokers have a greater risk of developing Crohn’s Disease, another inflammatory disease of the bowel (see Section 3.12.2 above). Due to the devastating effects of tobacco use, smoking is not recommended as treatment for ulcerative colitis. Various forms of nicotine therapy are undergoing research to evaluate any possible benefits for individuals with this bowel disease”

      “Overall, investigation of nicotine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis has yielded disappointing results.

      CONCLUSION: Nicotine cannot be recommended as adjunctive or single therapy for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and will not alter current treatment options.”

      Carbon Monoxide Soothes Inflammatory Bowel Disease – 2006

      “Doctors have long known that smokers rarely suffer from a common form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) called ulcerative colitis, but they didn’t know why.
      A new study in the December 19 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine might help explain this apparent resistance. Scott Plevy and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh now show that carbon monoxide (CO), a component of cigarette smoke, helps shut down the intestinal inflammation that causes ulcerative colitis.”

      “But recent scientific studies have shown that CO — at least at low concentrations — has a redeeming quality: it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent”

      “The group traced the action of inhaled CO to a protein that is produced by immune cells called interleukin (IL)-12. IL-12 is normally produced during infection and helps activate the immune cells that fight off the invading pathogens.
      But chronic production of IL-12 in the gut also drives the inflammation that causes ulcerative colitis.

      Inhaled CO inhibited the production of IL-12, short-circuiting the disease-causing inflammation.”

      Sometimes, I wonder if nicotine is the only plant chemical in tobacco that TC has ever heard of.

    • michaeljmcfadden says:

      Peter, if you’d like an excellent and really thorough examination of the subject area by one of your own countrymen, you can download Rick DiPierri’s “Rampant Antismoking Signifies Grave Danger” at:

      You guys have it rough down there!


  19. Rose says:

    Which reminds me, I’ve got a question for Brigitte, if she is about.

    Behind the Headlines: Is diabetes linked to quitting smoking?

    “Quitters face an almost doubled risk of developing diabetes in their first three smoke-free years.
    Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, studied 10,892 adult smokers, none of whom had diabetes at the start of the study.

    The participants were studied for nine years during which time, 1,254 developed type-2 diabetes.
    In the first three years after giving up, new quitters were 91 per cent more likely to develop diabetes.”

    “Extra weight put on by new quitters explains around a third of the increased risk, the researchers said. A further third of the excess risk is accounted for by systemic inflammation, as assessed by increased leukocyte counts.

    However, after adjusting for this weight gain and inflammation, new quitters were still at higher risk compared with participants who continued smoking. This risk may be a result of differences in the two groups that the study was not designed to detect, say the researchers.”

    “Patients should, however, be made aware of the risk and advised to consider countermeasures, particularly for heavy smokers, they said.”

    ‘The health benefits of giving up smoking far outweigh the risk of developing type-2 diabetes from modest, short-term weight gain,’ she said.”

    Now the “systemic inflammation” is understandable if it’s down to the sudden loss of the supplementary low-dose inhaled carbon monoxide.

    But this week there is a possible explanation for the weight gain.

    Increased Bodyweight After Stopping Smoking May Be Due to Changes in Insulin Secretion

    “ScienceDaily (May 7, 2012) — Fear of putting on weight is one of the major reasons why smokers do not give up their habit.

    The reasons for this weight gain are believed to be in part due to metabolic changes in the body, but until now precise details of these changes were not known.

    On May 8, 2012, however, a researcher from Austria told delegates at the International Congress of Endocrinology/European Congress of Endocrinology that her work had shown that changes in insulin secretion could be related to weight gain after smoking cessation.”

    “We believe that the alterations in insulin secretion could possibly be related to the increased carbohydrate cravings and weight gain experienced by many smokers who give up.”

    What do you think?

    If true, not only will the government have to pay for the smoking cessation medication under Article 14 of the FCTC, but then as a consequence will have to fund diabetes medication for life.

  20. Tony says:

    OT. You remarked in your last post that some people, though not you, thought the word ‘smoker’ was an anti-smoker invention.

    I took a look at the first ever English Dictionary, published in 1755, by Samuel Johnson. Here’s what it says under ‘Smoker’:

    1. One who dries or perfumes with fmoke
    2. One who ufes tobacco.

    BTW, for Black Adder fans, the word ‘sausage’ does not appear in the dictionary.

  21. harleyrider1978 says:

    Wed. 4:45 pm: Bar carve-out sought after Ohio smoking ban upheld
    May 23, 2012
    Associated Press , Tribune Chronicle |
    Save | Post a comment |
    COLUMBUS – An attorney who spearheaded an unsuccessful challenge to Ohio’s smoking ban says he expects the fight to move now to the state Legislature.
    The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that the statewide ban was constitutional. Justices rejected the claims of a Columbus tavern owner who argued that $33,000 in fines for violating the ban were an illegal taking of his property.
    The executive director of 1851 Center for Constitutional Law that litigated the suit says a bill is already in the works to exempt bars from the ban.
    Maurice Thompson said a victory in court would have sent a strong statement. But a new law could achieve the same goal of keeping the ban from being enforced at adult-only establishments that are limited to those 21 years old and up.–4-45-pm–Bar-carve-out-sought-after-Ohio-smoking-ban-upheld.html?nav=5192

  22. Frank Davis says:

    It looks like we probably will have a “never” option for the “How often do you go to pubs, cafes, and restaurants?” question.

    • michaeljmcfadden says:

      Heh… well, I’m going to voice a minority opinion here and explain why. I do NOT think you should add that option there because:

      1) It would confuse the wonderfully regular pattern you have developed on the questionnaire for something I think would be of questionable value


      2) I consider it to be of questionable value for two reasons: (A) If people are trying to be scrupulously honest I think few could actually check “Never” since that would preclude those who have even patronized such a place for a single time for some reason (e.g. a special meeting with a group or a friend who isn’t antismoking per se but has a strong felt reaction to smoke, etc) and (B) it will reduce the impact of the “much less” option: “much less” (or whatever the exact wording is) makes a strong statement because it will obviously include a good number of folks who ALMOST never contravene their feelings on this issue.

      Sooooo…. I’d be happy with it being left as is (though I seem to be the only one who’s voiced that opinion thus far…)

      – MJM

      • Frank Davis says:

        If people are trying to be scrupulously honest

        To the very letter of scrupulous honesty, maybe. But I think that if someone never goes into a pub, except if they have been required to do so against their will, they can be said to never do so.

        I don’t go to any church of a Sunday. But I’ve visited lots of them, and wandered around inside them. Doesn’t that make me a church-goer?

        I attended my mother’s Roman Catholic funeral service. And my father’s Anglican one. Does that make me a church-goer? Would it have been thinkable for me to have not attended these occasions?

        It’s a bit like non-smokers. Did they really never smoke a cigarette? Not even half of one? Not even just one quick puff? And even if they really didn’t, could they have evaded secondhand smoke? No way.

        Back on the pubs/cafes/restaurants question, I wouldn’t tick the Never box. I’d tick the Much Less box. And Never is far stronger than Much Less.

        So I’m not persuaded.

  23. Frank Davis says:

    Latest version:

    “Hardly ever” instead of “never” in place of “much less” in Q 2.

    • michaeljmcfadden says:

      OK! Happier with the hardly ever. :> But now have an additional quickie: remove cafes for space reasons while inserting the word “now” before go.

      And regardless of your decision on it, I’d say it’s pretty close or at the point where you should stamp it “Done!” Heehee… it’s always possible to spend years on debating every comma: you’ve got a great product after all this thought and debate Frank: Go for it!


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