Following On

Following on from my last post, I’d like to chew things over a bit more.

In the comments, Michael McFadden wrote:

Now, IN ORDER to win them over, they have to be willing to listen to and consider the eminently reasonable, self-evident, easy-to-prove,-see,-and-understand arguments we make about the basic harmlessness of secondary smoke exposures in ordinary public situations. If we start out our argument by saying “Smoking is harmless and there’s no solid evidence it causes cancer.” we’re going to instantly lose 80% or so of our potential listenership — people will simply write us off as crazies and figure that any other arguments we make must crazy and not worth the time to listen to. It’s also a MUCH more difficult point to argue scientifically than the whole secondary smoke argument, AND it’s basically an irrelevant argument when it comes to smoking bans. Primary smoking could be as pure as mother’s milk or as deadly as Saddam Hussein’s farts — as far as bans go, the deadliness of primary smoking is irrelevant: the bans are based on the threat to OTHERS.

And Walt wrote:

Our immediate goal involves overturning bans and preventing new ones. The rationale for those bans is secondhand smoke. Firsthand smoke and what it does or doesn’t do to the firsthand smoker is irrelevant to the argument and irrelevant to the goal. It’s a different subject. Don’t bring it up at all. If “They” bring it up, say it’s a different subject (which is absolutely true) and return to the one at hand.

They’re both saying much the same here, which is that arguments about firsthand smoke are irrelevant to arguments about secondhand smoke.

That’s not how I see it. I think the secondhand smoke scare is built on top of the firsthand smoke scare. And that if some people have been all too ready to believe the secondhand stuff, it’s because they’d already bought the firsthand stuff, and because secondhand is simply an extension of firsthand: not only is the smoke killing the smokers, but it’s also killing everyone around them.

So I really don’t see how the two can be separated. The antismokers have a consistent position: tobacco smoke is toxic both for smokers and for the people around them. Are you really going to argue the inconsistent line that tobacco smoke is toxic for smokers, but harmless for the people around them? Are you really going to say, as you pull on a Marlboro, “Sure, the smoke is killing me, but it ain’t killing you, sitting just three feet away from me”?

The way I see it, the only consistent oppositional position is to argue that tobacco smoke is toxic neither for smokers nor the people around them. It’s the only position that doesn’t entail an internal contradiction.

And in fact, I think that if smokers (like Peter Oborne discussed yesterday) carry on smoking, it’s because, deep in their hearts, they don’t actually believe that smoking is killing them at all. And, by extension, they don’t actually believe it’s killing anyone else either. After all, who would consciously and knowingly poison themselves and the people around them?

It’s certainly my view. When I light up one of my roll-ups, I don’t think to myself (as someone quoted in the comments) “another nail in the coffin.” Because I don’t share the antismoking mindset. I don’t believe what they believe. I don’t automatically share the beliefs of the people around me. Maybe that’s because I’m a bit independently-minded. Or maybe it was because I lived for a while under the same roof as the ferociously antismoking Dr W.

And also I don’t mind if people think I’m crazy. Some of my readers (maybe all of them!) think I’m a bit crazy to try to show that the Chelyabinsk meteor last year was a companion of the asteroid DA14 which swung by the Earth on the same day. And maybe there are a few people who think that Idle Theory – an idea I’ve been turning over for about 40 years – is a bit crazy too. But if you’re going to think differently about anything, there are always going to be people who’ll think you’re crazy. If you’re bothered about people thinking you’re crazy, then always make sure to be believe exactly what everybody else believes, all the time.

Furthermore, if anyone ever has their minds changed, it can only be through encountering ‘crazy’ people who think differently, and who make them re-evaluate things. Because people who agree with you about everything are never going to change your mind about anything, and you’ll never change theirs.

And also, I don’t mind fighting uphill battles. Whenever I play chess, I always want to play black, because it’s always an uphill battle to win a game where white has the initiative from the outset, and very often holds onto the initiative for the entire game. One thing that I actually like about the circumstance in which us smokers find ourselves is that it looks like a hopeless lost cause. Maybe that comes from seeing too many Hollywood movies (like High Noon) where one man faces an armed gang alone, or (Shawshank Redemption) one man breaks out of a high security prison.

The way I see it, it’s High Noon for smokers. Everything was going along just fine, but now Frank Miller has arrived on the noon train, and everybody else has packed up and left town, because they think you’re crazy to take on the Frank Miller gang (Tobacco Control), and stupid to hang onto stupid principles of integrity and honesty.

And also I think this is a real battle we’re in. Smokers versus antismokers is an it’s-them-or-us battle. There’s no way whatsoever to negotiate a truce, because antismokers never compromise about anything at all. So I’m not interested in finding any ‘middle ground’, because there isn’t any middle ground. All I want to do is defeat them. And I’m always wondering how that can be done.

And I really can’t see how we’re going to change any minds if we start out by agreeing with the antismokers about more or less everything. If anything, I think we should disagree with them about more or less everything.

I was going to offer a few new arguments as to why contesting the firsthand smoke stuff must be done. I even had some images to illustrate them. But I’ve ended up writing something a bit different. The new arguments will have to wait until tomorrow.

About Frank Davis

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66 Responses to Following On

  1. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Well stated Frank………………….

  2. Harleyrider1978 says:

    We may not all agree all the time. But one thing we all do agree on and that is that TC must be totally destroyed! Its them or us and well hell the whole damned world for that matter their after everyone in one way or another. Hell those idiot don’t even realize somewhere theres another group under the same flag as them coming up with a way to criminalize something they do themselves………….Ya fightem to the bitter end with every weapon available to us in every form or fashion the quicker the better! If we had a nuke weapon” figure of speech here” that would wipe they’re entire agenda out in a single swoop Id be wiring the damn thing up right now!

    But we have to fight them with what we have and what we know………trench warfare as TC has no qualms about anything. Weve seen how underhanded they are and could careless what laws they themselves break, grant laws,lobbying laws, propaganda that would have most of us in jail if we were corporations spreading it like they do.

    • Frank Davis says:

      If we had a nuke weapon” figure of speech here” that would wipe they’re entire agenda out in a single swoop Id be wiring the damn thing up right now!

      So would I.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        A slogan then. Something more pithy than ‘Miserable, soul-sucking cunts’?

        I will have a think on it.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          We have a ‘Joker’ you know. Humour. The soul-suckers have no defence against it because they cannot understand it:

  3. Tony says:

    My approach is sort of in between yours and MJM/Walt. What I like to do is to briefly lay out the anti-smoking claims on active smoking without saying that I agree with them.

    Most people have wildly exaggerated fears about active smoking. So pointing out that the anti-smokers’ flagship study (The British Doctors Study – Doll & Hill & Peto) actually claims:

    1. A 7% lifetime risk of lung cancer for lifetime male cigarette smokers (average age over 70).
    2. An average age at death of 73 for lifetime male cigarette smokers.
    2a(optional extra): The majority of the smoker deaths (because of high quit rates early in the study) were in the 1950s and 60s when life expectancy ranged from 60 to 65 years. Hardly young men.
    3. Doll and Hill claimed a dose response relationship.

    People exposed to SHS receive a dose that is hundreds of times smaller than an active smoker receives.

    People are usually amazed to hear this but they don’t dismiss me as crazy. It is also very easy to prove. I’m not claiming that this always works mind you.

  4. Emily says:

    Very interesting as always, and you have given me food for thought. I have always found your blog fascinating, Frank, but lately things seem even more exciting. I feel you, and we (not really me, but others) your commentators, are on the cusp of something important and revolutionary lately.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Most of the time I think we are light years ahead of what the Nazis always thought was set in stone and now they find everything around up for debate. We have to remember we aren’t fighting something new,its new for the times but not new for history. In America before and even after the civilwar these abolishionists/progressives/liberals/radicals spent decades building up to their Final solution aka smoking bans and alcohol prohibition.

      Its the same thing today with absolutely the same wild claims as then and as now with the same outcome. We are likely moving right in tandem with todays discussion as what occurred 80 years ago in other discussions but they took longer. The Net has moved time forward years even decades with the fast transmission of communications and the access is unreal from 80 years ago! O h we are moving in the right direction and its us radicals challenging the traditional thought that will make tomorrows world and hopefully bring science and mediciene back to reality!

  5. Some other Tom says:

    Excellent post. I too am one of those crazy people who questions everything and then tries to come up with my own explanation. The only thing I’ve ever wanted in life is to enjoy trying to figure it out. Personally, I enjoy crazy free thinkers. The rest of the world is so damn boring following the ‘safe’ path.

    The other day Carol2000 (i think) posted a reply that I think nailed it. I am paraphrasing, but in essence it was questioning why we accept the government lying to us. Ever!

    What can we possibly gain if we fall into the habit of parroting some of those damn lies as we try to rebut other ones that are ‘easier’ for others to understand? People won’t ever change their minds until they realize the degree and magnitude of the lie. The whole thing needs to be taken down by simply removing the foundation.

  6. waltc says:

    Okay. A good bracing discussion. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough with everything I said in that post– or OTOH maybe I did– after the comment quoted here so I’ll try again. (And if you look at the thread where Harley first posted the link to the Osborn(?) article, you’ll see I said very much what Frank said in his subsequent editorial about it.) I concede nothing to the aunts or to their agenda, refuse to agree with any of it, and think to do so is to lose the argument. But I also think to unnecessarily launch a second argument is to lose the first, more practically useful. one.

    Nope, I’m definitely not going to say, nor do I advocate saying “as [I] pull on a Marlboro, “Sure, the smoke is killing me, but it ain’t killing you, sitting just three feet away from me” and I have long argued with Michael against conceding anything about firsthand smoke as well as about conceding any physical territory– not even, as I said in that post, maternity wards.

    I’m saying I think it easier not to argue two hard cases at once when you’re dealing with closed and superstitious minds. I don’t give a shit if they think my smoking, or eating steak or drinking Coke, or not jogging is killing me. I want to convince them that my doing or not doing those things is not killing them and if they’re “annoyed,” too bad, I’m annoyed (but not physically harmed) by their screaming babies, their amplified cellphone conversations, the smell of their meatball sandwich on the bus and whatever else happens to tick me off. I think, as a main thesis, it’s easier to go from convincing them “it’s not hurting you” and once that’s done go on to “it’s not hurting me either,” than the other way around. The smoking-hurting-others idea has only been around since c. 1988 and not taken all that seriously till 1992’s EPA report; hurting-the-smoker has a 34 year head start and is much more engrained and intractable. So if I don’t absolutely have to argue it, I point to its irrelevance without conceding its truth.

    Inhaling the smell of MY cheeseburger is not going to raise YOUR cholesterol. Period. That’s all I need to accomplish. I’m not going to also try to convince them of the rest of my strong and genuine belief that the whole cholesterol theory is bunk and cheeseburgers aren’t doing diddly-squat to me either. Win the easy one first. Especially since it’s the one we actually need to win.

    I’ve also argued that ambient smoke is smoke is smoke. And the candle on the table and the flame on the stove that aren’t killing them are chemically the same as Martha’s cigarette that isn’t killing them.

    Arguing only that SHS-doesn’t-harm w/o conceding that FHS does also has their own experiential evidence behind it. Most adults grew up in a world of smokers including smoking parents and,hey, you’re perfectly healthy aren’t you?. No one knows anyone who was done in by SHS (and if they claim to, it’s easy enough to convince them otherwise) so in believing SHS kills and maims– a theory with no empirical evidence to back it– they’re going against what their actual sentient lifetime experience tells them and you’re into something that can go “bing” in their heads.

    IOW, I just quite respectfully disagree from a strictly tactical perspective.

    • waltc says:

      I suppose I can now expect Carol to follow me, defining my “ilk” in barnyard language, but at least I’ll preempt her with a first “reply.” I once did a television interview where the host(ess) talked with horror about the known carcinogens in secondhand smoke. I told her that coffee, too, contained a lot of “known carcinogens.” She said, “Okay, but you’re not spitting it in my face.” I said, “No, I’m not. But you’re drinking it voluntarily how many times a day?” It stopped her cold.

      • garyk30 says:

        ‘Barnyard’ language??????

        The farmers that I have known are well-spoken folks.

        Perhaps, you mean the language used by Naval types!!!!

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          Ya those damned redneck sailors give em a payday nite and a city to explore look out world!

    • carol2000 says:

      “I think, as a main thesis, it’s easier to go from convincing them “it’s not hurting you” and once that’s done go on to “it’s not hurting me either,” than the other way around.” Unfortunately that the world has not been arranged to suit your convenience. The fact is that their secondhand smoke lies will fall flat unless they’ve first convinced people that smoking is dangerous. And it’s not always necessary to completely refute claims of smoking dangers in order to powerfully attack secondhand smoke lies. For example, HPV and lung cancer: Non-smokers’ exposure to human papillomavirus is not as different from smokers’ exposure as it is to their respective exposure to cigarette smoke. That means that, even if only a fraction of smokers’ lung cancer is caused by HPV, a much larger fraction of non-smokers’ would be. And this is very relevant to those reports using studies from Asia, where higher rates of HPV-infected lung cancer have been reported, such as the US EPA report.

      http://www.smokershistory.com/hpvlungc.htm

  7. Rose says:

    The way I see it, the only consistent oppositional position is to argue that tobacco smoke is toxic neither for smokers nor the people around them

    I’ve never been able to get past the plant chemistry, if the cigarette theory were true then all the nightshades vegetables that contain the same things would have caused a plague of stomach and bowel cancer across the entire population and they haven’t.
    If they hadn’t told me at school that the manufacturers put road tar in cigarettes, I probably wouldn’t smoke now. If someone lies to me, I feel compelled to find out why.

    What’s in a cigarette?

    “Cigarettes don’t just contain nicotine. Each cigarette contains over 4000 toxic chemicals many of which are added to make it more appealing to the consumer. Carbon monoxide is one of the better known ones, but there are others worth mentioning too”

    Acetic Acid (vinegar)
    Acetone (nail varnish remover)
    Ammonia (cleaning agent)
    Arsenic (ant poison in the USA)
    Benzene (petrol fumes)
    Cadmium (car battery fluid)
    DDT (insecticide)
    Ethanol (anti-freeze)
    Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
    Hydrogen Cyanide (industrial pollutant)
    Lead (batteries, petrol fumes)
    Methanol (rocket fuel)
    Tar (road surface tar)

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090106012619/http://www.pfizerlife.co.uk/SmokingWhatsInACigarette.aspx

    Anyone who feels that they need to do this sort of thing has no case.

  8. “I don’t mind if people think I’m crazy. … And also, I don’t mind fighting uphill battles. … Smokers versus antismokers is an it’s-them-or-us battle. There’s no way whatsoever to negotiate a truce, because antismokers never compromise about anything at all.”

    On all that we agree 100% Frank, although with one small caveat: I don’t want people thinking I’m crazy when I’m talking to them about smoking bans and scientific studies etc. If they’re thinking I’m crazy about that, then they’re not *really* going to listen to what I’m saying, even if they give a polite appearance of doing so.

    I don’t see any reason to go on at any length agreeing publicly with Antismokers about the harms of first-hand smoking. BUT… if they bring it up, I’m not going to dive into a detailed discussion of the fine points of criticism of Doll & Hill and Causality Criteria, etc. Why not? Two reasons:

    (1) As Walt pointed out, it IS irrelevant to the discussion. First hand smoking can be quite deadly without making secondary smoke exposure deadly at all. Constant heavy sun exposure is deadly (in terms of greatly increasing chances of malignant melanoma) but no one in their right mind would argue that occasionally being hit by a sunbeam peeping through a window is “harmful” in any meaningful sense of the word. Constant drinking of hard alcohol is highly correlated with (and, I believe, causally connected to) cancers of the mucousal tissue. But no one in their right mind is going to argue that you’re at “risk” of cancer from the fumes from someone else’s martini.

    And (2) Even if firsthand smoking is completely innocent, and even if I felt confident in being able to make such an argument and back it up scientifically, I’d realize that it is a MUCH more difficult argument to make convincingly to a neutral observer (the passersby) in today’s world. So why waste my already overstretched time/energy/resources trying to make that argument?

    Now that doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t try making it, but I’d recommend that they try making it to the people who, if convinced, would be in a real position to be listened to in changing the accepted paradigm: the researchers and academics in that area of research. If THEIR minds could be changed, and it became public knowledge, then yes, it would be an automatic win in the area of health effects of ETS exposure in the public eye. But as for me…. I’ll stick with the ETS arguments because I know the science and I’m very, VERY confident that my positions on it are correct and that I can defend them down to the last inch.

    – MJM

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Mike the simple point here is they have claimed and put out for 2 generations ” CAUSES” and that would make the Neutral observer/ regular Joe on the street believe they had concrete micro-scope proof that it does. When nothing could be further from the truth.

      They never had that type of proof and as we,ve seen they have tried every conceivable way to make it happen in the Laboratory and even lying about it with media Blitzes in the past decades only to be shot down.

      Its the same M.O. with the SHS junk science with the media blitzes with the latest linked to so called discovery.

      They are selling the SHS Scam the same way they did the direct smoking Scam……….

      When pointing out they have no proof of any of the claims made hense the term Tobacco related that brings the focus to the fore front. It shows a concerted deception on the part of the Government and the TC folks thru the decades of a basic conspiracy to dupe the public.

      As Carol said, Why do we let the government LIE TO US! We cant let them get away with that in the least.

      Its destructive to science and makes it nothing but a government tool for certain groups that get into political power. They steal taxes for their own agenda and purpose to pursue their CULTURAL REVOLUTION! There I said it………………

      Playing with the enemy via snippets of alcoholic vapor is a fantastic idea and it works.

      But it has come to the point where TC’s Capitol is to be surrounded and besieged by us.

      Its the logical END GAME for our side to sleigh the Dragon so to speak.

      Weve fought the battles and now its time for the final assault and destroy the basic foundation of the whole rotten mess!

      • Rash Earnalist says:

        I advise against sleighing dragons. They are irritable buggers at the best of time, and they may blow smoke at the sleigh driver, which would be bad for the poor fellow’s health.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I don’t want people thinking I’m crazy when I’m talking to them about smoking bans and scientific studies etc. If they’re thinking I’m crazy about that, then they’re not *really* going to listen to what I’m saying, even if they give a polite appearance of doing so.

      I think that when you’re dealing with people who always accept whatever the ‘experts’ tell them, as you’re talking they’ll just be wondering whether you’re an authoritative ‘expert’ or not. If you’re Sir somebody something, they’ll listen attentively. Same if you’re Professor somebody. Or if you’ve got a Doctorate. It helps if you’re wearing a smart suit, and well-polished shoes, and a restrained necktie and monogrammed cuff links. They’re concerned about the image you present, not the content of what you say. If you make the grade, and tick all the right boxes, they’ll believe everything you tell them, and may even ask you for your autograph. But if they think you’re uncool or yesterday or neanderthal, they’ll ignore everything you say. Because they’re concerned with fashion. They want to be in with the in-crowd, and the ‘experts’ are their fashion leaders, their intellectual Mary Quants.

      Being antismoking is fashionable. So is worrying about climate change. They’re dedicated followers of fashion. They want the right address, the right set of clothes, and the matching set of beliefs to go with the clothes and the address. And the very worst thing that can happen to them is to be caught wearing a clown suit at a funeral.

      These people know nothing about tobacco, and nothing about climate, and nothing about science, and strictly speaking nothing about anything. And they don’t want to know. They’re concerned with appearances. They spend all day looking at themselves in the mirror.

      They don’t read scientific papers. They don’t do mathematics. They read Vogue or Cosmopolitan or Rolling Stone, where they read dumbed-down, sound-bite versions of the science which they’ll repeat at the next garden party they attend.

      And I don’t want to play that game. I was never very good at playing it anyway. I want to cut right through it.

      • Rose says:

        I quite agree, Frank.
        Going with the flow over first hand smoke and then trying to persuade others that being exposed to that same smoke won’t even make them a little bit dead makes no sense at all.

        If I’m still standing, you’ll be fine.

        Some smokers are still causing embarrassment to anti-tobacco by their sheer existence.

        Smoking ban for three 90-year-old nusing home residents

        “THREE residents of a nursing home, all in their 90s and two of them in wheelchairs, are being asked to give up the habit of a lifetime.”

        All three are being told they have to stop smoking when the ban on cigarettes comes into effect at their nursing home in Co Offaly next week.”
        http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/elections/smoking-ban-for-three-90yearold-nusing-home-residents-30052206.html

        That our countries should come to this.

        Article 8

        24. This creates an obligation to provide universal protection by ensuring that all indoor public places, all indoor workplaces, all public transport and possibly other (outdoor or quasi-outdoor) public places are free from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

        No exemptions are justified on the basis of health or law arguments.”

        Click to access art%208%20guidelines_english.pdf

        No doubt, the politicians and lobbyists that brought us to this pass will be found elsewhere when the time comes to enforce it.

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        One of my favorite rememberances was on the local Nashville news one nite the reporter asked the other reporter if she had founf a favorite foundation or fashionable cause to participate in yet! Then she starts listing some of them she was considering and her obvious reasons for them from personal experiences………..If you don’t have a foundation cause to believe in your not fashionable nor well connected in the world of being Popular or as easy as it is being a member of FAHIONABLE SOCIETY.

      • nisakiman says:

        I think you have it in a nutshell Frank. It is all to do with being in with the ‘in crowd’. And at the moment, the ‘in crowd’ are the people who think that smoking is stupid, lower class and something that only people who are intellectually challenged indulge in. So of course, not only do they not smoke themselves, but they also look down on people who do.

        This attitude has been carefully inculcated through decades of indoctrination by the anti-smoking ‘Health’ lobby. And you’re right. If you or I try to disabuse any of these people of the notion that smoking is lethal, they laugh, secure in the knowledge that experts will back them up in their beliefs. And the whole medical profession. I very often attract epithets like ‘flat earther’, ‘dumbass’, ‘idiot’, ‘moron’, etc etc. when I suggest in comments that perhaps there is cause for doubt in the ‘smoking related’ disease arena. Because everybody knows that smoking causes lung cancer and heart attacks plus a plethora of other complaints. The science, as they say, is settled.

        And with people like that (and there are a lot of them), you could (as I have done when permitted) link to the original research, and they will still deny the facts in front of them. Because they didn’t read it in the paper with ‘experts have said’ preceding it. So it’s obviously bullshit. And all the other people they talk to agree with them. I mean, ‘experts’ wouldn’t have spent the last thirty years telling us smoking was bad if it wasn’t true, would they? Why would they do that?

        It’s an uphill battle.

        • Rose says:

          But sometimes someone spills the beans because the continuation of a useful myth begins to get in the way, making decades of “experts” and “health organizations” look gullible and the true believers in a state of shock.

          Reality check: All you think you know about fat is wrong

          “Take, for instance, an article that appeared this month in the journal Open Heart declaring that saturated fats are not the dietary equivalent of the devil incarnate. The article is controversial and goes against the dietary guidelines issued by many major health organizations.”

          “The idea that saturated fat is unhealthy has been around since the 1950s, when Ancel Keys began publishing research showing a link between saturated fat and heart disease.The results were embraced by the American Heart Association and earned Keys a Time magazine cover”

          “Challenging the accepted wisdom

          When Keys published his research, he included data from seven countries that showed a saturated-fats/heart-disease link. But he left out the data from 22 additional countries that largely dispelled that theory.”
          http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/reality-check-all-you-think-you-know-about-fat-is-wrong/article17540227/

          And other noted experts will agree.

          “Last year, however, London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra told the British Medical Journal it was time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease, which was based on faulty interpretation of scientific studies.”
          http: //www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2582867/Saturated-fat-DOESNT-cause-heart-disease-all.html

          Sugar is now enemy number one in the western diet
          Action on Sugar is keen to make the public aware of the dangers and for manufacturers to face regulation
          Aseem Malhotra
          http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/11/sugar-is-enemy-number-one-now

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          http://www.tampabay.com/news/aging/lifetimes/mummies-clogged-arteries-take-smoking-fatty-foods-lethargy-out-of-the-mix/2114897

          Mummies’ clogged arteries take smoking, fatty foods, lethargy out of the mix

          By Tom Valeo, Times Correspondent

          Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:30am

          You do everything right: You exercise every day, include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet, never smoke, minimize the stress in your life and take medication to keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. You’re preventing modern life from ruining your heart, right? • Well, maybe modern life isn’t as much of a problem as merely living. CT scans of 137 ancient mummies from three continents show that our ancestors had plaque in their arteries, too, even though they never smoked, never tasted ice cream or pork rinds, and had no choice but to exercise vigorously every day of their lives.

          According to the study, which appeared recently in the Lancet, at least one-third of the mummies, who lived as long as 5,000 years ago, had arteries that had narrowed as a result of atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits in the arterial wall. Apparently the cardiovascular system has a tendency to clog up over time.

          “Our research shows that we are all at risk for atherosclerosis, the disease that causes heart attacks and strokes,” said Gregory Thomas, medical director of the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and one of the authors of the study. “The data we gathered about individuals from the prehistoric cultures of ancient Peru and the Native Americans living along the Colorado River and the Unangan of the Aleutian Islands is forcing us to look for other factors that may cause heart disease.”

    • carol2000 says:

      “I’ll stick with the ETS arguments because I know the science and I’m very, VERY confident that my positions on it are correct and that I can defend them down to the last inch.” Which doesn’t work because you’re endorsing the anti-smokers’ junk science, then expecting people to ignore the results of it.

  9. mikef317 says:

    Tony (3/29, 2:01 AM) beat me to the first point I thought of – dose response. I’m quite convinced that smoking DOES NOT cause lung cancer, but even if I believed it did, I could argue that the dose from secondhand smoke is not sufficient to cause disease.

    The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report looked at non-smoking women married to smoking men. (A proxy for lifetime exposure.) The EPA calculated that if you took 50,000 of these women, secondhand smoke would “cause” ONE case of lung cancer. I know the EPA research is crap, but I could still use “official” figures to argue that an hour or two’s exposure in a bar or restaurant has to be a negligible threat to health. (And the original health laws were to protect workers, not customers.)

    Tony’s point 3: “Doll and Hill claimed a dose response relationship.” Yes, but what about AGE OF DEATH? Using American measures, look at three groups – never smokers, pack a day smokers, and two pack a day smokers. You DO find a dose response as the amount of LC increases by amount smoked – BUT all three groups die of LC at about the same age. Why don’t the two pack a day people die first, followed by the pack a day people, followed by the saintly non-smokers? Did Doll / Hill and others really find dose response? This issue would be hard to bring up in conversation, but as a blog comment you could cite the following two papers; maybe they’ll make a few people think.

    Passey: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/jar02i00

    Doll / Pike: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/drn24a99 Reply to Passey. Table IV – smoking 300 cigarettes (15 packs) a day or 3,000 cigarettes (150 packs!) a day – is weird.

    Other rambling thoughts on Tony’s comment:

    Re the 7% lifetime lung cancer death rate for smokers. Besides primary LC (i.e., the disease originated in the lungs) all the reports also include an unknown amount of metastasized LC (i.e., the cancer originated somewhere else in the body and then moved to the lungs. (International disease classification codes 162 / 163.) Only primary LC should be considered, so the 7% is (what else?) overstated. Also, there are no adjustments for confounding variables, so again the 7% is overstated.

    To make matters more illogical, the 7% and almost all diseases attributed to smoking pertain to CIGARETTES. The 1964 Surgeon General’s report found (perhaps) a marginal link between heavy cigar smoking and lung cancer, and also notes that pipe smokers don’t get LC any more frequently than non-smokers. (This has been known since the 1950’s, and if you look at current data like the Centers For Disease Control’s 440,000 [or whatever] yearly deaths attributed to smoking, you’ll find that cigar / pipe smokers are not included in the calculations.) So, again using “official” data, I might say that evil cigarettes cause lung cancer, but why can’t I go to a pub and smoke a cigar or pipe? The SMELL! (Or God forbid, aroma?) Ok, but where is the health threat? If actually smoking a cigar or pipe can’t be said to cause lung cancer, how can secondhand smoke from these sources be a danger?

    Two paragraphs from the Surgeon General’s 1964 report, pg 112 (my emphasis):

    “Cigar Smokers. DEATH RATES ARE ABOUT THE SAME AS THOSE OF NON-SMOKERS FOR MEN SMOKING LESS THAN FIVE CIGARS DAILY. For men smoking five or more cigars daily, death rates were slightly higher (9 percent to 27 percent) than for non smokers in the four studies that gave this information. There is some indication that this higher death rate occurs primarily in men who have been smoking for more than 30 years and in men who stated they inhaled the smoke to some degree. DEATH RATES FOR EX-CIGAR SMOKERS WERE HIGHER THAN THOSE FOR CURRENT SMOKERS IN ALL FOUR STUDIES IN WHICH THIS COMPARISON COULD BE MADE.

    “Pipe Smokers. DEATH RATES FOR CURRENT PIPE SMOKERS WERE LITTLE IF AT ALL HIGHER THAN FOR NON-SMOKERS, even with men smoking 10 or more pipefuls per day and with men who had smoked pipes for more than 30 years. EX-PIPE SMOKERS, ON THE OTHER HAND, SHOWED HIGHER DEATH RATES THAN BOTH NON-SMOKERS AND CURRENT SMOKERS IN FOUR OUT OF FIVE STUDIES. The epidemiological studies on ex-cigar and ex-pipe smokers are inadequate to explain this puzzling phenomenon. According to Hammond and Horn [,] and Dorn the explanation may be that a substantial number of cigar and pipe smokers stop smoking because of illness.”

    Interesting. Those who STOPPED smoking cigars and pipes had HIGHER death rates than those who continued smoking. This is the OPPOSITE of the data on cigarettes. (And that 9 and 27% increased death rate for cigars isn’t as impressive as it sounds.)

    Like Frank, I believe the battle on primary smoking and lung cancer must be re-fought. That’s a toughie, but it is the father of all lies about tobacco. (Not lies, really; rather pathological distortions of the data to conform to what zealots already “knew” was THE TRUTH.)

    Chop off a beast’s head, and no matter how large, the rest of the monster dies.

    To those who want to limit the debate to secondhand smoke – we each do what we think best, as best we can. But it is sometimes possible to hit two birds with the same stone. I like the cigar / pipe example because it’s easy for people to understand. And difficult for zealots to explain (if the assholes actually know about the issue). Any time you raise a question that can’t be answered you win a debating point.

    It’s 5 AM in New York. I’m out of ideas for tonight.

    • margo says:

      I seem to remember that Doll found the opposite of dose-response: people who smoked 50 fags a day got less lung cancer than people who smoked 15. Am I right in this? Also, wasn’t there something about people who inhaled doing better than people who didn’t? Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Frank Davis says:

        You’re certainly right about the inhalers getting less cancer. Sir Ronald Fisher, famous statistician, used the Doll and Hill London Hospitals study to show that people who inhaled got less cancer. I went through his mathematical proof a few years ago. After that, they stopped asking people whether they inhaled or not.

    • Tony says:

      Mikef , I fully agree with you. I don’t believe that smoking is a cause of lung cancer either. At least not in any conventional sense of the word ’cause’.

      My research into the subject began when I first heard, what appeared to me, to be crazy exaggerations about SHS. I then moved on to looking into the so called research on active smoking. So I try to take other people on the same journey.

      My idea with the 3 point post above is to try to achieve 3 things within a very brief verbal conversation. If people’s beliefs are challenged too fast too soon they’ll just back off. Their eyes will also glaze over if too many figures are given. Hence I only used two or three.

      1. Most people are so brainwashed that they think most smokers die of lung cancer and that almost all smokers die young, often in their 20,30,40s etc. So I want to bring a note of sanity to start with. Without in any way agreeing with the Doll & Hill claims.
      2. Invoke the ‘dose is the poison’ rule of toxicology.
      3. Once my credibility is established then those who are interested can be offered further info on active smoking. At which point evidence about diagnostic bias, inhaling, cigars etc and the ‘why are they doing this?’ can be introduced.

      My experience is of course very limited compared to MJM and others here.

  10. Rose says:

    Use Tobacco To Thwart West Nile Virus And Other Infectious Diseases

    “West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes and targets the central nervous system. It can be fatal disease and there is currently no cure or drug treatment. It has spread across the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

    An international research group has developed a cost-effective therapeutic against West Nile virus and other pathogens. The therapeutics, known as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and their derivatives, were shown to neutralize and protect mice against a lethal dose challenge of West Nile virus – even as late as 4 days after the initial infection.

    And they used tobacco. MAbs target proteins found on the surface of West Nile virus.”

    For the study, MAbs were rapidly produced in tobacco plants in as little as ten days, giving promise to change the image of scourged product that causes lung cancer into a manufacturing system for societal benefits against infectious diseases.”
    http://www.science20.com/news_articles/use_tobacco_to_thwart_west_nile_virus_and_other_infectious_diseases-132826

    But will a thoroughly brainwashed public dare take the medicine if they ever get to know it was made in a tobacco plant?

    2000

    “Scientists at Monsanto Co. (MTC) reported in the March issue of Nature Biotechnology that they were able to genetically engineer tobacco plants to produce human growth hormone, otherwise known as somatotropin–an extremely costly drug used to treat dwarfism. But the Monsanto discovery was more important for the process than the product.”

    “In 1998, British researchers reported that a human antibody grown in tobacco plants prevented one of the bacterial infections that led to tooth decay in human volunteers. And last August, the Energy Dept.’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced that its scientists had successfully transplanted the necessary human genes into tobacco plants to produce human blood components.”

    “The Monsanto researchers caution that their work is in the very early stages and was done on a very small scale. ”There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered,” says Staub. Among them is whether the proteins created in the tobacco plant are modified in some way that would change their action in humans.

    It seems clear, however, that tobacco may finally have a chance to transcend its societal role as a cancer-causing blight.”
    http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_15/b3676121.htm

    I feel that it is no coincidence that the anti-tobacco campaign accelerated tremendously after these discoveries were made.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Last I remember Miss Rose was that the tobacco plant is used in 20 or 40 thousand diferent drugs or dirivatives! Pardon my spelling

  11. Rose says:

    That’s interesting, that WHO press release issued on the 30 January 1999 and entitled “WHO LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TO HELP SMOKERS QUIT”
    seems to have gone from their website. I know it was there on the 3rd of January.

    Still
    http://web.archive.org/web/20130530064615/http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1999/en/pr99-04.html

    and anyway, Legacy has a copy.

    Click to access Spmw63a99.pdf

    But I always prefer the original, don’t you?

  12. margo says:

    I’m, on the whole, with MJM on this, that the SHS argument is the one most likely to be won.
    We CANNOT have laws made or Government action taken on the basis of unproven ‘facts’ or out-and-out lies. (Iraq and the non-existent weapons?) I think most people would agree with that, whether they hate the smell of smoke or not.
    There’s the whole question of Science, too, and what this has done to it. I’m amazed that scientists are not up in arms.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      They are up in arms but fear professional assassination during their working years.

      That’s just how deep TC is in all the fields……………They can actually end a professionals career if they don’t tow the lie. Look at Enstrom!

      • smokingscot says:

        Seems even TC is starting to feel the heat. The folks at the WHO have organised a workshop on 31 March for:

        “Permanent Missions on trade, investment and legal challenges to tobacco control “.

        So they’ll be wanting to oversee Trade and Investment and getting funding for a stack of lawyers to defend them against legal challenges to TC.

        See “Upcoming Events”

        http://www.who.int/fctc/en/

        My interest is piqued – in a good way!!!!

        • Harleyrider1978 says:

          This is truly interesting here:
          Second meeting of working group on sustainable measures to strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC

          Geneva, 2-4 April 2014

          It would appear they are afraid their precious treaty can be thwarted and its smoking bans repealed,Im gathering. Your right some thing is up. The Ukraine was backing the trade argument before the paid protestors showed up. I think I read they are still going after the trade agreement case and also Indonesia or right close by there just took up the measure too.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m amazed that scientists are not up in arms.

      So am I. We’ve got whole universities stuffed with scientists and engineers and mathematicians (or at least we used to), and none of them breathes a word. And it’s probably because it’s more than their job’s worth to speak out.

  13. garyk30 says:

    Frank, you are not ‘crazy’.
    Eccentric indeed; but, that is a time honored tradition for us old farts.

    That you started at a younger age just proves your being ‘special’.

  14. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Smokers ignore cigarette rules as Health Minister David Davis says bans ‘largely self-enforcing’

    SMOKERS are flouting new bans designed to make them butt out as the Napthine Government tries to enforce even more smoke-free public areas.

    The Sunday Herald Sun has learnt that no one has been fined for smoking on any patrolled beach since the practice was banned in December 2012.

    And smokers are lighting up at platform tram stops in the CBD, even though this became an offence on March 1, as Health Minister David Davis admitted the bans were “largely self-enforcing”.

    From Tuesday, smoking will be outlawed at playgrounds, skate parks and public swimming pools.

    Smoking will also be banned within 10m of sporting grounds at junior events, although this is expected to cause widespread confusion. Many football clubs field under-18 teams on Saturday mornings, when smoking will be banned, before it becomes legal again as soon as senior teams take the field.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/smokers-ignore-cigarette-rules-as-health-minister-david-davis-says-bans-largely-selfenforcing/story-fni0fit3-1226868648738

    Has comments

  15. Harleyrider1978 says:

    OMG nobody could be this stupid or its showing that TC now needs to do damage control over all the PUB CLOSURES since the ban

    Smoking ban breathed new life into pubs

    A decade on, vintners now figure strongly among the more avid supporters of the smoking ban, as Catherine Shanahan discovers

    A DECADE ago the wails of vintners rent the air at the prospect of paying customers leaving the smokey fug of pubs to indulge a habit that went hand-in-glove with sinking a few pints of the plain stuff.

    Amid dire predictions that the workplace smoking ban would decimate their livelihoods, publicans suddenly developed a caring side, concerned, as they were, for the health of entire families. After all, outlawing cigarettes in the bar room would force smokers to light up at home, exposing the children of the nation to inordinate levels of second-hand smoke.

    Not only that, but the ban was so unworkable in the Irish climate that, according to then president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, Joe Browne, it would only be an option “when we start growing bananas and oranges here”.

    Thankfully, for everyone, the ban was pushed through despite our ongoing inability to produce certain kinds of fruit. And believe it or not, vintners now figure strongly among the more avid supporters of the ban.

    Clare man Paul Montgomery, proprietor of a number of Cork City drinking spots, says publicans were jittery initially about the ban, but most have by now come around. “There’s no doubt about it, when the ban first came in, it caused angst in the trade,” he says. “But the reality was, we had to adapt. And what I find now is that our smoking areas are a key part of the trade.”

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/smoking-ban-breathed-new-life-into-pubs-263623.html

    • carol2000 says:

      “And what I find now is that our smoking areas are a key part of the trade.” And what’s this idiot saying? That smokers are more enthusiastic about going to the pub now that they’re forced to be outside?

  16. Harleyrider1978 says:

    The Guardian’s Deputy Editor Claims the UK Government Threatened To Shut The Paper Down

    Mr Johnson said the whole attitude in the UK was that national security trumped press freedom and that the newspaper should not publish a word…We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position.

    – Paul Johnson, deputy editor of The Guardian

    As if you didn’t already recognize the serious threat to press freedom in the UK following authorities holding Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda for eight hours under “terrorism” laws as he transferred through London’s Heathrow airport. It’s not just the traditional press at risk in the UK either, the government is hard at work censoring the internet itself via ridiculous filters.

    Now we find out from the Irish Times that:

    The Guardian newspaper was threatened with closure by the British government over the Edward Snowden spying affair, the Radiodays Europe conference has been told.

    The paper’s deputy editor Paul Johnson said Britain’s intelligence agencies visited them and told them they would be closed if they persisted in printing Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance involving the National Security Agency (NSA) in the United Statesand the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK. Mr Snowden is now in Russia, where he has temporary asylum. He is wanted by the US authorities on espionage charges.

    Speaking at the Conference Centre Dublin (CCD), Mr Johnson said the Snowden material was much more difficult to work on than the WikiLeaks tapes because of the intense scrutiny the newspaper was subjected to by the British intelligence services.

    Mr Johnson revealed that a senior civil servant had told the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, that the “prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the attorney general have got a problem with you”.

    Mr Johnson said the whole attitude in the UK was that national security trumped press freedom and that the newspaper should not publish a word. This was in contrast to the US, where the Snowden revelations had led to a debate about how far intelligence agencies should go to protect the state.

    “We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position,” he said.

    Full article here.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-28/guardians-deputy-editor-claims-uk-government-threatened-shut-paper-down

  17. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Profit from Smuggling Cigarettes in the United States

    in Business Security

    According to figures released by an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a cigarette smuggler can make up to $500,000 from from smuggling cigarettes between states on the East Coast.

    The smuggler legitimately buys 200 cases of cigarettes in southern states such as North Carolina or South Carolina. Then, the smuggler would then drive up the coast to New York City, where the tax on tobacco is $4.35.

    56.9 percent of the cigarettes smoked in NYC in 2012 were smuggled though the black market.

    (See more profits from illegal jobs.)

    Source: Mark Niquette and Esme E. Deprez, “Cigarette Smuggling Prompts Crackdown by States Losing Billions,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 24, 2014.

    Additional threat assessment:
    1. Percentage of Smuggled Cigarettes in NYC
    2. Cigarette Smuggling in Boston
    3. Lost Tax Revenue due to Cigarette Smuggling in Australia

    http://www.havocscope.com/profit-from-smuggling-cigarettes-in-the-united-states/

  18. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Ukraine Shocks Population With Staggered 100% Heating Price Increase While Restricting Cash Use

    In a TV address to his divided nation, Ukraine’s PM Yatsenyuk stunned the people by first suggesting heating prices would rise gradually, then confirming a plan that will see prices rise 100% in the next 2 years (and almost 200% by 2017) as the cost of imported Russian gas is expected to be around $500 (up from the current $84). This standard of living crushing move was then followed by tougher capital controls, restricting cash purchases to around $1300 per person per day after the Central bank basically admitted “amid a tense situation in money markets” it was broke. And all of this comes on the heels of what can only be described as a vague pro-forma comment by US and EU governments over the riots by the “Right Sector” ultranationalists that clearly did not want to upset the state-sponsored thugs too much.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-28/ukraine-shocks-population-staggered-100-heating-price-increase-while-restricting-cas

  19. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Mom jailed for drinking beer while breastfeeding, waitress fired

    http://wtvr.com/2014/03/27/breas-tfeeding-nd-drinking/

  20. garyk30 says:

    Numbers that can be used to convince smokers and blow the confidence in the self-rightious anti-smokers.

    When the anti’s claim that smoking ’causes’ diseases, you should reply “So what!!!”

    Heavy smokers and never-smokers have almost precisely the same chances of NOT dying from those diseases caused by smoking.
    Doll’s doctor mortality report.
    http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/400720/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/bmj.38142.554479.AE

    The table on page 3 shows this:
    Lung cancer deaths per year.
    heavy smokers(25+/day) = 4.17/1,000 = 995.83 did not die.

    never-smokers = 0.17/1,000 = 999.83 did not die.

    999.83 divided by 995.83 = 1.004.

    Never-smokers are only 1.004 times more likely than heavy smokers, to not die from lung cancer!!!

    When you have to go to 3 decimal places to find a difference, that difference is, for all practicality, non-existent.

    Other results:
    mouth/throat cancers = 1.001 times more likely to not die.

    all other cancers = 1.002 times.

    COPD = 1.002 times.

    other respiratory = 1.002 times.

    heart attack = 1.005 times.

    stroke = 1.002 times.

    other vascular = 1.003 times.

  21. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Heavy smokers and never-smokers have almost precisely the same chances of NOT dying from those diseases caused by smoking

    So in essence we can simply state the obvious,they took Old age diseases and renamed them smoking related diseases……………

  22. smokervoter says:

    Sometimes I think we should just shitcan the whole harm arguments altogether for what you might just call voluntary apartheid, or separation (better word). Everyone who patronizes and works at a smoking-friendly pub can be convinced of the validity of Study X and everyone else who clings to the veracity of Study Y simply stays away.

    That could even apply to a smoking-friendly shoe store. What is needed is a law which simply states that a private business is not a public space, it is a voluntary arrangement between the owner and the public. It is a private place open to the public.

    It would have to be very well written and bulletproof so that the Banzhafs of the world can’t shoot it down. But I’m sure it can be done. There’s lawyers out there who would relish the opportunity to match wits with that despicable shark.

    By entering said premises you would forfeit any right
    to sue the proprietor for any damages whatsoever.

    This has to be be done legislatively and that means voting in the right people, which might be the biggest problem to start with. Most people who run for public office are natural born control freaks or they wouldn’t be standing for a job that basically entails telling everyone else what to do and what not to do in the first place.

    But given the fact that only 55% of the USA and 65% of the UK electorate turnout to vote, a sizable minority like smokers, especially when combined with reasonable non-smokers, can deliver the goods.

    As you say Frank, it’s all a very steep uphill battle, but so was the civil rights struggle for the Blacks and they comprised only 13% of the population.

    BTW, I just so happened to watch High Noon the other day on the television. It has a nice simple plot that was easy to follow, which is why I managed to watch it from start to finish, unlike most of the modern stuff which loses me a half hour into the story with all of the ridiculous plot twists.

  23. smokervoter says:

    Outdoor smoking bans are a whole other can of worms. Here again, we should simply separate, with the exception of beaches, where the wind naturally blows away any supposed harm from either Study X or Study Y. Smokers should be accommodated just like every other micro-faction of society currently is.

    And if they start in with the race, gender, natural handicap, sexual orientation and religion arguments, let’s just declare ourselves a religion, with tobacco as our holy sacramental wine, and be done with it.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      The State of Georgia is actively engaged in enforcing laws
      that promote satanic worship as a state-sponsored religion
      The unintended consequence of cannabis prohibition has been to promote satanic religion that includes imprisonment by the state as a merit badge that is used to advance members to higher positions within the church. While the state is attempting to provide for the peace and safety of the state, they are in fact achieving the opposite by creating martyrs and helping them organize with other like-minded martyrs at the expense of the state during their period of incarceration.

      The Internal Revenue Service has set requirements for churches that force them to be transparent and subject to scrutiny. This discourages God-fearing and law-abiding citizens from practicing religion with Holy Oil as was done for thousands of years and establishes an unconstitutional preference of one religion over another while promoting values that threaten the peace and safety of the state.

      The state must immediately legalize the use of original Holy Oil containing cannabis so as to not show favoritism toward churches that engage in satanic worship.

      Where in the Constitution does it say the IRS defines a church?

      Virtual choir coming soon!

      You don’t need a well organized militia to have a gun.
      Why do you need a well organized church to have a religion?

      Church of Smoke

      Consult a qualified attorney to receive advice on your individual situation.

      Founded in 2012 to restore the use of cannabis in the worship of God

      If you use marijuana to communicate with God or understand God,
      You may claim membership in the Church of Smoke.

      Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

      http://churchofsmoke.org/

  24. Rose says:

    Thinking about ETS, I had forgot these two attempts at creating passive obesity or secondhand fat.

    Contagious Obesity? Identifying The Human Adenoviruses That May Make Us Fat – 2006

    ” There is a lot of good advice to help us avoid becoming obese, such as “Eat less,” and “Exercise.” But here’s a new and surprising piece of advice based on a promising area of obesity research: “Wash your hands.”

    There is accumulating evidence that certain viruses may cause obesity, in essence making obesity contagious, according to Leah D. Whigham, the lead researcher in a new study, “Adipogenic potential of multiple human adenoviruses in vivo and in vitro in animals,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060130031548.htm

    Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious – 2007

    “Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, researchers are reporting today. When a person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight, too.”

    “Proximity did not seem to matter: the influence of the friend remained even if the friend was hundreds of miles away. And the greatest influence of all was between mutual close friends. There, if one became obese, the odds of the other becoming obese were nearly tripled.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/health/25cnd-fat.html

    Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies – 2010
    http: //www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/health/policy/28obesity.html

    Not forgetting

    Public ‘must be protected from passive drinking’ – 2009

    “PEOPLE should be protected from “passive drinking” in the same way they are protected from second-hand smoke, Britain’s top doctor said today.

    Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, called for society to recognise the consequences of one person’s drinking on another’s well-being – a phenomenon he labelled passive drinking.”
    http: //www.standard.co.uk/news/public-must-be-protected-from-passive-drinking-6937798.html

    If a thing has worked once, they’ll flog it to death.

  25. Harleyrider1978 says:

    VOLUNTARY ASSESSED CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WHO FCTC FOR THE FINANCIAL PERIOD 2014–2015

    Parties to the Convention WHO FCTC scale 2014–2015 (%)
    http://www.who.int/fctc/cop/en/

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Australia $240,646

      Brazil 340,438

      Canada 346,239

      China 597,339

      European Union 290 061

      France 648 981

      Germany 828 599

      Greece 74 023

      Japan 1 256 983

      Spain 344 964

      United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 600 936

      116.00 bucks was the lowest donation from about 30 countries

      • Reinhold says:

        Germany 828 599

        =:-(((

        • nisakiman says:

          Well I’m pleased to see that Greece is the lowest contributor by far of the countries listed there. Bummer about Germany Reinhold. Never mind mate, I know that if it was up to you that figure would be zero. :¬))

        • Reinhold says:

          It even would be lower than zero.
          I would let them pay for their machinations!

          Nevertheless thanks for trying to console me mate. ))-:-

  26. Harleyrider1978 says:

    Guys I think Ive pretty well had it with Carol. Her antagonistic approach towards the rest of us. Ive tried to be nice and everything with her but its of no avail. I do respect her knowledge and contributions but its no longer worth the effort to continue with her any longer.To each his or her own.

  27. smokervoter says:

    By the way, unlike the 4.4 L.A. one last week, I did feel that 5.1 richter earthquake last night. I was reading ‘Bangin on’ at the time. It was long one, but no big deal. The 4.4 last week was 70 miles away and this one last night was about 45 miles away.

    I’ve been through so many of them in my lifetime that I’ve become numb to them, which is probably pretty dumb.

    The folks who happen to live in Brea, California must be feeling fairly apprehensive. Brea means ‘tar’ in spanish and there is lots of ‘tar’ underneath the place that is evidentally squishing around right about now.

    Check out how many quakes have rolled through there in the last day or so. You generally can’t feel anything under about 3.0 from my experience.

    http://www.data.scec.org/recent/recenteqs/Maps/Los_Angeles.html

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Smokervoter I was up in ADAK Ak. Back in the 80s we got like 50 tremors a day…………

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        Smoker back in 08 I was up at like 4:30 am One morning with a terrible back ache and it was colder than a well diggers bum. I went to turn the heat up and as I touched the thermostat I was like moving all over the place with the dial for a few seconds and then I kicked on the news and about 30 minutes later they had a flash that the New Madrid fault line had had a small tremor and Im like 250 miles from it! Lord I thought I was just stumbling around that early……….

    • nisakiman says:

      The island I live on is on a fault line, but apparently sits on a relatively friable base which absorbs the worst of the shocks. I’ve felt several tremors since I’ve been here, but nothing serious. An island about 100 miles south of here (Kefalonia) is not so lucky, and back in the 50’s the capital of the island was totally devastated by an earthquake. The whole city was levelled. It really is fortunate that my island is protected in this way, as the old part of the main town here was built by the Venetians when they ruled, and is absolutely beautiful.

  28. waltc says:

    Buckshot response to a bunch of comments above (tho considering the hour, there’s likely to be little or no “below”)

    CA earthquakes: I remember as a kid sitting on one of those chairs with casters at a desk and having the desk, chair, and me roll down to the other side of the room as stuff fell off a shelf that would’ve hit me if I hadn’t wound up at the other end.

    Dose response: The Hirayama study (1984), the highlight and supposedly the knockout punch of the SG 1986 report on SHS, made hash of it in that . more cases of lung cancer were found among the wives of ex-smokers or less than pack-a-day smokers than among the wives of heavy (more than pack-a-day) smokers. Still, the study, tho later discredited, launched the hysteria

    @ Carol, 7:26 PM, taking on Michael’s statement that ““I’ll stick with the ETS arguments because I know the science and I’m very, VERY confident that my positions on it are correct and that I can defend them down to the last inch.” To which she responded: “Which doesn’t work because you’re endorsing the anti-smokers’ junk science, then expecting people to ignore the results of it.”

    Dear Carol: The reason for Shakespeare’s silence on the subject of chastity belts was that the discussion was about the want of a horseshoe nail and the elision was neither meant nor interpreted as an endorsement of chastity belts.

    @ Harley 10:19 PM: Amen

  29. jaxthefirst says:

    I think it’s about the psychology of people. Like you, I think that the health dangers of smoking have been massively over-hyped, and the clever extension of that exaggeration to second-hand smoke was just a useful expedient for the anti-smoking campaigners to force politicians’ and lawmakers’ hands in their favour. The trouble is, whether we like it (or agree with it) or not, anti-smokers were very successful in infiltrating the public subconscious in both of these areas. But it’s worth remembering that they didn’t achieve this in a matter of a few short weeks, months or even years. They took decades to get the “smoking kills” mantra inside people’s heads before they even started making “passive smoking kills” noises, and that’s where we can learn from them. They knew only too well that to dive in straight away and start saying “Smoking causes every disease ever known to man and causes instant death and illness even to non-smokers who are ten miles away” would have shown them up to be a swivel-eyed loons they’ve always been, and would have alienated huge swathes of the population – even the non-smoking ones, who had been brought up surrounded by second-hand smoke and who hadn’t suffered any ill effects because of it. Because back then, you must remember, people weren’t bothered by cigarette smoke and even non-smokers didn’t regard it as a terrible, wicked, uniquely death-delivering substance. It was just something that was around, like lots of other things, and was, essentially, unimportant. Anti-smokers knew that it would take time and constant drip, drip, drip-feeding to change those attitudes. So they started out, softly-softly, increasing the tension ever-so-gradually so that people wouldn’t notice what was happening and gradually, the tide of public opinion began to turn in their favour.

    Given that there has been an almost complete turn-around in attitude, that’s the approach which we now have to take to undo all that brainwashing and drip-fed propaganda. Because the hard truth is that if we try and bring the carefully-crafted new attitudes crashing down too suddenly, we’ll end up looking like the swivel-eyed loons and people won’t listen to us, any more than they would have listened to the anti-smoking campaigners had they shown their hands too quickly in their early days. People don’t like challenges to those things which they think they “know.” Look at how castigated Gallileo (or was it Copernicus? Can’t remember and it’s too late to look it up!) was when he first suggested that the earth went round the sun rather than the other way around. Or the ridicule heaped upon those who suggested that the world was a huge globe, rather than flat. What kind of loonies were they? Everybody could see with their own eyes that it was flat, couldn’t they? Look at the outraged, disbelieving attitude of any parent when presented with the fact that their child is a playground bully. “My little Jimmy? I don’t believe it. I know my child, and he isn’t the type to bully smaller kids.” Look at the, quite frankly, histrionic responses in comments sections (such as those under Osborne’s article) when any suggestion is made – even when surrounded by reassuring “I know that smoking is bad” type comments – that the castigation of smokers is wrong and that the smoking ban has indeed had some very negative consequences. Try explaining the concept of Common Law vs Statutes to virtually anyone you meet and you’ll be met, 99% of the time with looks of complete and utter incomprehension and disbelief.

    People lash out at statements that challenge the way they think things are. They get frightened and they panic. It’s threatening because, if they don’t know this, then what else might they have got wrong? Hence their inability to accept the failings of anti-smoking “science” even when it’s pointed out to them in clear words of one syllable; in the absence of the ability to challenge such arguments (because they can’t, because there is no “good” anti-smoking science around which they can present as a counter-argument), their immediate reaction is to attack the messenger by accusing him/her of being in the pay of the tobacco companies, or of being a helpless addict, or of being just plain crazy. Because scared people will deceive themselves in virtually any way they can rather than accept that what they are being presented with is proof that they have been taken in and fooled into holding an attitude about something that is just plain wrong.

    People’s attitudes don’t change because of some Damascus moment where they suddenly say: “My goodness! I never realised that! I’ve been wrong all these years!” They change in small, incremental steps which often even they themselves don’t realise are happening. How many of us, looking back now, still hold the same viewpoints as we did when we were, say 14 or 15 years old? Almost none of us, I’d guess. But we didn’t change all in a day. We didn’t wake up one morning, at the age of 16, with our presently-held viewpoints totally formed and totally intact and our 14-year-old ones banished into history. Our opinions and our viewpoints gradually morphed from those 14-year-old ones to our adult ones, over time and through experience. The anti-smoking movement understood this and were prepared to play the long game, inch by painful inch, in order to bring about the change in attitude which would enable them to achieve their hideously prejudiced goals. In order to succeed, we must now do the same. And that, unfortunately, means working backwards from now to get to the holy grail of “smoking kills” to destroy that. It doesn’t mean going straight for the jugular because, sadly, no matter how right we are, in the present social environment, that tactic just won’t work.

  30. Harleyrider1978 says:

    It begins Greece is cash strapped like nearly all of the EU……….selling smoking space liscences.

    Steal your rights then sell them back to you,hows that for justice,but at least its a move towards actual repeal.

    Greece Allows Smoking Areas in Bars, Clubs, Casinos, Lotto | GreekReporter.com

    A provision in the wide-ranging bill tabled by the Greek Ministry for Development will legalize smoking areas in casinos, night clubs and live music venues larger than 300m², as well as betting shops, including lottery outlets.

    The only restrictions imposed are that these smoking areas must not exceed half a store’s floorspace and, moreover, owners of such stores should pay an annual fee of 200 euros per square metre.

    Greece has more smokers per capita than any other country in the EU, with recent surveys indicating more than 40% of Greeks aged 15 and over smoke, considerably above the EU average of 29%, and although smoking in indoor public spaces has been banned since 2010, the law has been widely flouted, a situation only heightened by inefficiency in punishing the offenders.

    Smoking in public places is so commonplace in Greece, especially in her bars and clubs, that even cash-strapped authorities have been notably tolerant, rarely levying fines that for individuals reach 500 euros, while proprietors risk penalties up to 10,000 euros and even suspension of their operating licence.

    http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/03/28/greece-allows-smoking-areas-in-bars-clubs-casinos-lotto/

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