The Benefits and Costs of Social Cooperation

I often think that antismoking zealots see everybody as being primarily members of a society, which – like all societies – has rules and regulations, and which it is both their right and their duty to change if they see some benefit to society as a whole. We will, they say, all be healthier and more productive if smoking and drinking is banned, and everyone made to exercise.

But I’m very much an individualist, and I don’t first and foremost see myself as a member of society. Indeed, since I was effectively expelled from society by our current smoking ban, I feel much less a member of any society than I used to feel. I’ve become an outcast.

The way I see it, individual people form societies of one sort or other because they benefit individually from them. Societies are made up of bonds of trust between people, and when these bonds break, societies break down.

I thought about this quite a lot a few years ago using Idle Theory, which is my particular way of approaching these sorts of matters. I was wondering back then how bunch of individual nomadic hunter-gatherers came to form trading societies with rules and regulations. I’d like to briefly recapitulate the way I thought about it.

I started out assuming that an individual nomadic hunter-gatherer spent his life walking around in a large circle, picking plants and catching animals as he walked along. He didn’t eat just one thing, but several different types of food, which provided a balanced diet with enough energy and proteins and minerals and vitamins to stay healthy. To simplify matters, I reduced them to 6 different forms of food, which were abundantly available at one or other geographical point on a circle, and nowhere else. So at one place apples would be plentiful, and at another nuts would be abundant, and at another fish, and so on. My single nomad would go round and round this circle, and it would take him W hours to walk idle_theory_societyfrom one point on the circle to the next point, and it would take him G hours to collect (and eat) what he needed for that day when he got there. So it took him 6W + 6G hours to walk all the way round the circle, and gather and consume enough food for the day.

How busy or how idle he was depended on what W and G were. If W and G were half an hour each, it would take him 6 hours to collect all the food he needed. But if W and G were greater than 2 hours, it would take him more then 24 hours to collect all the food needed to sustain him for 24 hours, and he would gradually starve and die.

I then supposed that the first nomad (call him Romulus) was joined by a second nomad (Remus), and they both initially make their way around the circuit independently of each other, only encountering each other from time to time. And at some point, when they both realise they’re doing the same thing, it may occur to one of them that the task of gathering food might be lightened if they joined forces and shared the work between them. If, for example, each collected twice as much food as they usually did, and when they met they exchanged their extra food, they could both reduce walking and gathering time. So in the shorter time it took to walk half way round the circle (3W), they’d each spend twice as long gathering food (6G), exchanging their extra food whenever they met. As a result, instead of spending 6W + 6G hours each day gathering food, they’d each now only spend 3W + 6G hours. And if W and G were both half an hour, they’d only be busy 4.5 hours a day instead of 6 hours.

I then supposed that a third nomad showed up, and was persuaded to join their little band. Now, instead of spending 3W + 6G hours gathering food, they each spend only 2W + 6G (4 hours) going and collecting food to exchange with each other.

If another 3 nomads then show up, and included into their little ‘society’, each one might be assigned to go and collect enough food for 6 people form just one place, and return to a central camp. Now they’re each only busy getting food for 2W + 6G hours (4 hours) each day.

The larger this little society becomes, the less work that its members need to do. And so such little societies would welcome new members (and new members in the form of children as well). Although at some point it would be found that the benefits accruing from each new member were getting smaller and smaller.

And since this little trading society is more idle than any independent nomad,  it would mean that the trading society would be more likely to survive a famine or drought or flood during which  food became harder to collect than any lone nomad could manage.

The only downside to this society is that it requires people to agree to do whatever is necessary, and stick to their agreements. For example, they may agree to meet every day at some particular place and time, bringing the agreed amount of food to exchange. And this constraint might become very burdensome, even though everyone benefits from the arrangement. It’s not hard to imagine tempers fraying when people show up late, or not at all, or with only half the amount of food they were supposed to bring. It’s perhaps not too hard to imagine that penalties might be imposed on persistently indolent or untrustworthy individuals. Nor is it hard to imagine that some people might be expelled from society, to return to their former lone nomadic life – which very often might be a death sentence upon them.

And it’s perhaps not too hard to imagine that, as the number of members of society increases, some members of society (the elders) are called upon to adjudicate in disputes, and to impose penalties, and make all sorts of decisions about the allocation of labour among the members of society

So now we have a very simple little society, with a set of rights and duties (aka “laws”), and penalties for failing to perform these duties, and a little government of elders as well.

And now, to bring things full circle, let us suppose the governing elders decide to ban smoking and drinking and dancing. It is their right and their duty to decide the rules and regulations governing society, and they decide that everyone would be “better off” or “healthier” if these practices were prohibited. Can we use our little model of society to object to such laws?

I think that we can. For the only purpose of the original laws (“Bring the agreed amount of food each day to the required place at the required time”) was to ensure the smooth functioning of society in increasing the idleness (aka “freedom”) of all its members to do whatever they wanted (within the law).  And if all they wanted to do in their idle hours was to drink and smoke and dance, the banning of these activities would amount to a loss of freedom rather than a gain in freedom. It was the whole purpose of the original society, formed by Romulus and Remus, that their combined efforts be directed towards increasing their idleness, and increasing their freedom.

There are good laws and bad laws. Good laws are ones that make life freer and easier for everyone, and bad laws are ones that make life harder. And it is not for the elders to determine whether people will be “better off” or “healthier” as a result of a smoking and drinking and dancing ban, because people can (and will) decide that for themselves.

My little model of a society, and how it came to be formed, sketched out in a few words, may be overly simplistic. But I think our own society works in much the same way. We all live easier and freer lives as a result of our mutual association. But along with these benefits, there are also costs. We also lose a little bit of freedom as members of society. We can’t do exactly what we like. But the benefits must outweigh the costs, because otherwise society will break down, and people will seek to escape from it. And this is best arranged by keeping the numbers of laws to the absolute bare minimum.

But in our time, legislators create more and more laws, governing every single detail of our lives. And these legislators believe they know what’s good for us, and pay no attention to our protests.

About Frank Davis

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42 Responses to The Benefits and Costs of Social Cooperation

  1. Greg Burrows says:

    I Agree Frank, the only conclusion I came to in 2009, is that unfortuately you have to enter in to politics with all the problems that you have with that.
    If you have corrupt people in politics leading the agenda to break down society for their own purpose, the only way to fight them is through politics.

  2. Cradle to Grave I think we were warned that by about 1890 by Mark Twain……….What he lived thru we are living thru. Not one damn thing is different same epidemiology statistical BS now as then…..

    The reason he wrote the moral statistician!

  3. Its so bad the Nazis don’t even care if they have junk science or not,they just walk in and think they will just get there crying ass way. Even the total Insane is now published and they don’t care that their sanctimonious insanity is being seen for what it is by everyone. Polls weve seen how they get manipulated One day not long ago a UK poll was running the nite before it was like 3600 against a ban and about 240 for a ban…………The next morning it was like 5000 for ban and 600 against.

    Then those of us who watched the vote count thru the day saw manipulations in counts of 100 or more in one refresh………….

    No the Nazis never had popular opinion on their side,they had bayonets and guns.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      And of course they delete dissenting comments to ensure the masses think that Prohibition is actually popular.

      • SL how about right from their own fucking mouths at the ACS

        Tailored messages address the self-interest and special concerns of a particular target audience. For example, law-enforcement officials may believe that the public will not support vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws.

        They need to hear that “large majorities of the public, including smokers, support the vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws and rules.”

        see below at the 64 page HOW TO GUIDE

        • Don’t worry I woke up with dreams about the wafflehouse going non smoking nationanally

          There had to be a reason because ever WH is always empty that I see in ban areas save maybe weekend mornings from 7 am to 12-1 pm………….other than that its the regulars in that area that support the local WH.

          Then it dawned on me they decided suddenly last year to open 500 new stores.

          How, was the question as annually they only grossed 130 million bucks at least for 2013. That’s according to them saying it as they are privately run and don’t talk about anything.

          Then something in my dream hit me…………”THE ILLUSSION OF SUCCESS”

          Then is was like BAM KAPOW moment!

          Somebody must have offered them up interest free loans to build those 500 new stores.

          Only the government could do that thru a wall st banker……….

          Look here at this term ”

          ”meet federal standards as a “comprehensive” ordinance ”

          ”Danielle Litsey of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Jackson County says the ordinance as revised would not that would have qualified the city for health insurance grants

          The main condition to obtain a $50,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthy Hometown grant is to have a smoke-free ordinance wothout any exception, and the change prevents the city from obtaining it. Namely this disappointed the city mayor, but he will not stop Gautier from moving forward. They will find good ways to make Gautier a healthy city.”

          WH sales figures sure don’t add up to enuf value to cover a loan needed of nearly 800 million to build and buy land or even acquire their bankrupt counterparts like steak and ale or huddle house of which we have 4 empty bankrupt ones within 40 miles of me after smokfree laws came into effect at local levels,besides that they went on a building and buying spree that landed them like shoneys corporation of whom I knew personally many of the High ups in that corporation in Nashville tn.

          So did WH make a deal with the devil and go this route

          meet federal standards as a “comprehensive” ordinance

  4. John Watson says:

    As a theory of the evolution of society ( for want of a better phrase) it is eminently logical, If one was to expand on the Societies Elders decision to enact a law banning drinking, smoking and dancing then it would be expected that some of the society would disagree, so what choices are left to the dissenters?

    Firstly they could make their views known and try to persuade the Elders that their law is a bad law and to repeal it.

    This would be the logical first step, negotiation is generally the best place to start until either an amicable solution is found or they arrive at an impasse, it is then that choices 2 and 3 become more likely.

    Secondly they could rebel against the Elders fracturing society in civil strife.

    This is definitely the worst case scenario, in any civil uprising in a small society there is a high risk that when it was all over neither side would have sufficient members left to maintain that society, in the end a bad law destroyed society.

    Thirdly they could opt out of their present society building their own society that permitted drinking, smoking and dancing.

    This would also fracture society, but given that a minority would be smokers but the majority would enjoy drinking and dancing so it is logical that the majority would opt out and build a new society as a bloc away from the original society, it is likely that what is left of the original society would not have sufficient members to survive. The threat of the loss of hunter gatherers who oppose the law would certainly be strong leverage to commit the elders to repealing the law.

    Which leads me to wonder what would happen if a smoking society held a ward in a town, opted out of the local authority, left the property owners decide whether to allow smoking in the pubs, restaurants and cafe’s, would it attract sufficient outside smokers to make ward financially viable, if it did would it encourage other wards in the town to follow them?

    It is of course all theory, but then again it is exactly what the Puritans did when they boarded the Mayflower and other vessels to step ashore in America.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, I see what you mean. But I think that the real problem is that the Elders have lost sight of the inherent purpose of human society – which is to liberate us from toil, and make us as free as we possibly can be – and begun to regard society as being a sort of club – a golf club, if you like – where you can make any rules you like.

      The rules of golf (and I’m making this up) are that you are to wear a pair of plus fours and a stout pair of brogues, and shout “Super!” every time you manage to knock the ball (which must always be white) up the fairway into a bunker. There are immensely elaborate protocols for what must be done when your ball has landed in a bunker or a pond or a thicket. There are whole books full of detailed rules. There are probably smoking and drinking and dancing bans as well (although it is permissible to jig around a bit and punch the air when you win the tournament on the 18th green with a 60 foot putt). And the rules are determined by committees of golfing Elders (like Jack Nicklaus), who may determine that players can only stand on one leg while using a mashie niblick to strike a ball from out of a puddle. All these rules are simplywhatever sufficient people want them to be. They are the product of a consensus. They are whatever happens to be fashionable at the time.

      Smoking bans are really nothing but the dictates of fashion. They’re like banning mini-skirts or hats. But I do not believe that the laws governing society should simply be the enforcement of whatever happens to be fashionable, or (same thing) whatever everyone agrees on.

      We have a very low grade discussion these days about these sorts of matters. Nobody in government seems able to address these matters in any coherent manner. Laws are made because they look good or feel right or “send the correct message” in the Big Brother household. People like David Cameron and Nick Clegg simply follow fashions – environmentalism, antismoking – without any care for the consequences of their actions.

    • Cousin you just nailed it

      majority would opt out and build a new society as a bloc away from the original society

      My buddy Jamie on the city council had written up and proposed just a law when the house in ky passed that ban measure by one vote, It had an opt out clause for local jurisdiction for every 2 years. He was like the day after they passed it he had it in hand and had full support from the rest of the council. He told me last week about it.

      Now what if a local authority made a law where smokers must be accomidated in all public venues.

      Of course this takes a very special case and with us we are known as the little las vegas of ky because we have a casino and so many bingo halls.

      Our tourist industry is gambling and it packs these lil restaraunts on weekends and even thru the week………..

      Its an idea of mine but needs much refinement before Id ever mention it to city council.

  5. Rose says:

    A curiosity from India, it seems that anti-tobacco’s colonialism is being tentatively questioned.

    No Indian study says tobacco causes cancer: Parliamentary panel head

    “”All agree on the harmful effects of tobacco. But there is no Indian survey report to prove that tobacco consumption leads to cancer. All the studies are done abroad. Cancer does not happen only because of tobacco. We have to study the Indian context, as four crore people in states like Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are dependent on bidi-making through Tendupatta,” Gandhi said.

    He said the committee has only sought for deferment of tobacco warnings till it looks into the whole issue with Indian context and not be driven by foreign surveys.”

    Which mild and reasonable suggestion seems to have resulted in panic.

    Tobacco harmful, no need for study, say docs

    “KOLKATA: Does the role of tobacco in causing cancer needs further scrutiny? BJP MP Dilip Gandhi’s observation in Parliament last week, seeking a medical board to examine the health effects of tobacco on the Indian population before going ahead with the decision of mandating pictorial warnings on tobacco products, has riled the city’s medical fraternity. Doctors in Kolkata believe such irresponsible statements could be a major setback for the anti-tobacco movement in the east where tobacco use is more prevalent than other parts of the country.”

    • Of course it throws them into a panic as they all depend on one set of mountain size junk science to back the FCTC and use that to push their junk.

      They would be afraid studies would come back showing results like in Japan and Greece!


    • prog says:

      And this Rose….

      • Unfortunately Carls an admitted activist researcher in about anything.

        Of late its ecigs and he still contends harm when harm cant even be proven much less measured. Risk Factors are even more radical junk science to back more BS laws against freedom.

        Ive even read some CDC docs say that smoking might be a trigger in the cancer process but certainly not the cause. So many other variables are in play nothing they claim will ever be proven. Its always been a hate campaign accompanied with a takeover the world concept behind it each of the last 3 attempts at it which included smoking bans.

        1900 America smoking bans rampant
        1917 repealed
        1913 progressives invoke Fed reserve act creating the central bank the founders fought against.More progressive era BS suing and anti-trust laws,creation of federal agencies in every day life. Union pushes for labor laws and right to force labor union laws on everyone.
        FDRs progressive agenda although he did end prohibition of alcohol.

        Hitlers smoking bans

        Now the UNs mandated FCTC smoking bans along with all their BS trying to create a one world government. Each time these folks got power and pushed their agenda its always led to total financial breakdown and the usual world depression because of their monetary policies.

        Nothing changes its always socialism at work behind the scenes destroying everything.

  6. ENFORCING Strong SMOKE-FREE Laws: The Advocate’s Guide to Enforcement Strategies

    ”’They need to hear that “large majorities of the public, including smokers, support the vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws and rules.””’

    Question 3. What messages do our target audiences need to hear to motivate them to vigorously enforce or comply with smoke-free laws and regulations?
    In advocacy, we distinguish between core messages and tailored messages. Core messages speak to all our target audiences. They include the fundamental arguments for the laws themselves, as well as for the enforcement of those laws. “Secondhand smoke sickens and kills” is one such core message. “Smoke-free laws and rules save lives” is another.

    Tailored messages address the self-interest and special concerns of a particular target audience. For example, law-enforcement officials may believe that the public will not support vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws.

    They need to hear that “large majorities of the public, including smokers, support the vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws and rules.”,d.eXY

  7. Question 3. What messages do our target audiences need to hear to motivate them to vigorously enforce or comply with smoke-free laws and regulations?
    In advocacy, we distinguish between core messages and tailored messages. Core messages speak to all our target audiences. They include the fundamental arguments for the laws themselves, as well as for the enforcement of those laws. “Secondhand smoke sickens and kills” is one such core message. “Smoke-free laws and rules save lives” is another. Tailored messages address the self-interest and special concerns of a particular target audience. For example, law-enforcement officials may believe that the public will not support vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws. They need to hear that “large majorities of the public, including smokers, support the vigorous enforcement of smoke-free laws and rules.”

  8. Question 5. How do we get our target audiences to hear our messages?
    One of the most effective ways to get enforcement officials to listen to our messages is for advocates who enjoy their trust and confidence to speak with them directly – what we sometimes call lobbying. But this opportunity is rare. More likely, it will take media coverage to get the attention of these officials – such as a newspaper report on polling results that show strong majorities of nonsmokers and smokers massing in favor of strict enforcement of smoke-free rules. The majority of people, in fact, do support strong smoke-free laws. It is important to keep the public engaged in the process. As discussed in greater detail later in this guide, the tobacco industry will not give up after smoke-free legislation is passed. You can expect them to try to create the perception that the law is unpopular and unenforceable. One of the best things public health advocates can do to help government authorities is to counter these claims. Taken together, the answers to these questions can help us overcome the various barriers to enforcement of smoke-free laws that we encounter. Sections I–V of this guide present answers to these five questions, drawn from the experience of advocates from around the world

    • such as a newspaper report on polling results that show strong majorities of nonsmokers and smokers massing in favor of strict enforcement of smoke-free rules. The majority of people, in fact, do support strong smoke-free laws.

  9. The Bullshit move………..

    Enforcement Force 2.The Moral Force of the Law Just as the ratification of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control added great legitimacy and impetus to the priority for enacting strong tobacco control laws, the passage of such laws – in most countries – is itself a powerful symbol of their significance and legitimacy. And in most countries, citizens tend to respect and obey the law.
    A Model Pub Owner Oliver Hughes is publican at the popular Porterhouse Bar in Dublin’s Temple Bar area, and he also owns a bar of the same name in London’s Covent Garden. He was against the Irish smoking ban at the outset, but has since “done a U-turn”, as he puts it. In his Dublin pub, which sells a lot of food, things are “working perfectly” since the ban was introduced. There’s an outside area where people can smoke, and he thinks the ban may have brought some non-smokers back to pubs. – BBC News, October 28, 2005 1

  10. Just as Mike pointed out they word their polls to get the outcome they want and here they openly admit as much:

    Reliable Opinion Pollsters Public opinion polls are an effective way to deliver the message to politicians that the public supports strong enforcement. The most effective messengers to deliver that news are professional pollsters. Of course, professional poll takers cost money, so if this is not possible, we can conduct our own surveys. We need to think carefully how to phrase our questions. “Do you think smokers should be heavily fined for smoking in public places?” may, for instance, get less support than the question “Do you think our law protecting children and other nonsmokers from smoke in public places should be properly enforced?” While the first question focuses on punishing the smoker, the second fixes on enforcing an existing law. Stronger still may be questions that also focus on the rights of children and other nonsmokers to be protected from smoke.

  11. DenisO says:

    “…keeping the numbers of laws to the absolute bare minimum…”
    Libertarians are devoted to this first princliple, but they forget and get involved in too many other things.
    I mention the following only to point out that Frank misses the obvious nature of man. First of all, they never foraged alone, because there were packs of animal competitors, and would not survive for long. All upright hominids were born in tribes or extended family groups. Going back down the evolutionary tree, it is clear that survival depended on staying in the school, herd, pack, tribe, or whatever, going back about 2.5 Billion years. Hominids have only been around for a very short time, maybe 1 million years. That “herd” gene is firmly passed to all species, so we really don’t have much real choice about society. Loners don’t survive, and are psychologically very uncomfortable when away from the “pack”.
    Being in the “herd” is comfortable, and straying or falling behind is deadly; that’s firmly ingrained in our DNA.
    When in the “herd”, you follow the leader, eat what he eats, kills what he kills, etc., without a second thought. The “leader” makes the rules; if he makes too many, or bad ones, a new leader takes over. Hey, sounds familiar.
    Anyway, the pendulum swings too far before it moves back the other way. Little people love power and like to make laws: “no smoking, no plastic bags, no fatty foods, hug the trees or we die”, etc. The pendulum seems to be slowing and the herd is tiring of the B.S. leadership, and his closest supporters.
    Historically, when laws become stupid, people stop obeying them, and this leads to a break-down in society. There are, believe it or not, plenty of stupid laws on the Federal and State books that are unenforceable, but they’re still there. People ignore them and nothing happens.
    I smoked for 30 years, quit about 15 times, and the first cig. of the day always made me a little sick. Today, tobacco smoke still does it, but unless it is right in my face, I don’t object, and most people are not smoking Nazis. They live and let live, so don’t take it too hard. Smoke ’em when you need one, and put it out if someone complains; be courteous, smile, and you’ll live longer. Avoid stress and loss of muscle mass, the immunity killer called “sarcopenia”. Look it up.

    • beobrigitte says:

      I smoked for 30 years, quit about 15 times, and the first cig. of the day always made me a little sick.
      I can’t say I have ever had this experience. If I had, I would have not lit up. Avoiding displeasure is also ingrained into our DNA.

      Today, tobacco smoke still does it, but unless it is right in my face, I don’t object, and most people are not smoking Nazis.

      Of couse not. However, nowadays people are being incited to become anti-smoking Nazis. (Since the Nazi regime’s propaganda was to stamp out smoking, the term is apt for our anti-smoking advocates)

      Sarcopenia is (considering our natural life span) part of our lives. Promising ageing people a few months/years longer on this planet (often forgotten in some draconically led old folks’ home) by starting to join the exercising brainwashed youngsters (competition is EVERYTHING) will not stop the inevitable – our death.
      Pushing our older members of society into social isolation (even the bingo -halls are smoke[er] free!) might not be what they had in mind when they grew up in the years where an ashtray for guests was a host’s wish.

      And, these old people are still here, many of them living to the age of 90+ NOW.

      They live and let live, so don’t take it too hard.
      Perhaps ‘live and let live’ is a good enough reason to provide comfortable smoking rooms in pubs for PAYING customers as well as non-smoking rooms for those who wish not to smoke?

    • Edgar says:

      “Smoke ‘em when you need one, and put it out if someone complains …” Why? To be courteous? Fuck courtesy: the time is over for that. Long gone.

    • Frank Davis says:

      There are lots of animals that live solo lives. And humans are perfectly capable of doing so too. For example fur trappers, hermits, etc. Perhaps they didn’t have the ‘herd’ gene.

      • DenisO says:

        They still have the gene, or the DNA code that drives the behavior, but it can be overcome, certainly. It’s a matter of psychological “comfort”. Astronauts living in extreme isolation can survive it, but “loneliness” is how we define it, something we all feel, at times, and survive it, easily, as adults. In fact, we get used to it, and think nothing of it. When we get back to our family and friends, we usually are happier (as a rule).

        • Frank Davis says:

          I know that genes and DNA are the way everything gets explained these days, but it always strikes me as extremely over-simplistic and deterministic. If nothing else, if all our behaviour is controlled by genes, we’d never be able to learn anything new. My explanation of the emergence of human societies entails no such determinism. My humans are simply trying to live easier lives, and if they see a way of doing it (learn a new trick), they’ll do it.

  12. Great news wafflehouse went smokefree I went by and at 11am which is peak service time WF had only 3 cars,I went across the street to the other restaurant and it was packed out! Im talking like 28 cars. Then the other restaurant still smoking had about 14-16 cars in from of it at the sametime.

    Then 2 other choke and pukes in town opened up a smoking section in theres!

  13. smokervoter says:

    OT, but what the heck it’s a Thursday and I’ve been too quite lately.

    These days I consider the American Cancer Society nothing short of a socially sanctioned and sanitized hate group a la the Ku Klux Klan with we smokers cast in the role of the new Negroes.

    A couple of months ago I watched an interview on L.A. television with the head of the California clan of the American Cancer Society. The guy just oozed contempt and hatred for smokers in his presentation. I would say he reminded me of the Jim Crow governors who innately disgusted me during my very early childhood while watching my parents’ ghosting black and white teevee screens, but this guy was even worse. The redneck guvnors had a certain southern charm about them. This guy simply exuded pure, deep-seated ill-will.

    Anyway, while perusing an online 1950’s events timeline website (a favorite pastime of mine, along with watching 1950s sci-fi and juvenile delinquency movies on YouTube) I came across this from November of 1956.

    The American Cancer Society says that while cigarettes are a health hazard – the final effect of smoking lies with the individual. In their pamphlet, “Were We Stand Today” published this week – “The American Cancer Society has no plans for a campaign against cigarette smoking … the final decision on whether to smoke cigarettes rests with the individual who will probably make up his mind in consultation with his doctor.”

    • smokervoter says:

      Quite lately I’ve been too quiet.

    • DenisO says:

      Remember when the Tobacco ads featured MD’s smoking their brands?

      My point, above, is that muscle-loss, which starts around 20, gradually leads to frailty in old age. Since I had cancer, the shock made me do a lot of research on it, and I have found that frailty brings on the chronic killers of old age, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, etc.. Stay in shape, and your last years will probably be relatively healthy, and cancer-free, even if you smoke. I don’t believe you have to “muscle-up”; just stop the atrophy that reduces our immune system’s effectiveness. You pay to get old with pain and disability or with a little exercise. It’s up to you to decide what to chose.

      How it works: As I mentioned on a different post, cancer is a cell that had its DNA damaged (mutated) usually with an oxygen radical, and not repaired by the enzyme that monitors the dividing of the DNA strands. All cells replace themselves as they wear out, and there are 5,000 mistakes/mutations a day that are corrected or sent the suicide-signal, so they don’t grow into purposeless tumors.
      All living cells produce ATP, the energy we need, in the cell Mitochondria that also produce a protein, into the cell, that tells it to die, if DNA damage was not repaired. When muscles are unused, the cells become smaller and the mitochondria also. With less mitochondria, it appears that the suicide signals don’t always get sent, like when we were younger. The FDA, which is owned by the Drug Companies, won’t tell you this. They are busy trying to create a drug that will take the place of a little exercise. Stress is a big killer too, and exercise ends it. Take a daily walk and you take care of both.

      Cells in the lungs are designed to take in oxygenated air and pass the O2 into the blood. Tobacco burning produces oxygen radicals in the smoke. They have the potential to damage DNA if they get into the nucleus. Normally, that doesn’t happen, but smoking increases the risk. I believe that having a lot of big mitochondria in our cells increases the odds that any damaged cells will be signaled to die, and maybe that’s why my physically hard-working uncle, who smoked 2 or 3 packs of Camels a day, didn’t get lung cancer and lived into his 80’s. FWIW.

      • actually the body does more than 15 million cell rejuvenation per day,its a constant.

      • beobrigitte says:

        How it works: As I mentioned on a different post, cancer is a cell that had its DNA damaged (mutated) usually with an oxygen radical, and not repaired by the enzyme that monitors the dividing of the DNA strands.

        Sorry, not quite. Firstly: the much demonised oxygen radicals are actually NEEDED. You will become VERY sick if you try to meddle with the processes occuring in the mitochondria. They are our primary source of energy – and, incidentally, thought to have been a separate micro-organism invading the human body, forming a symbiotic relationship. (Like a lot of other vital micro-organisms, a lot of them being in our gut.

        Secondly: enzymes NEVER monitor a process. They are designed to do a job! I gather that you mean the enzyme DNA-polymerase. This enzyme is needed for the replication of the single DNA strands that occur when a cell divides. There are a lot of other components in this process (mitosis), quite a number of them exist to ‘correct mistakes’.

        All living cells produce ATP, the energy we need, in the cell Mitochondria that also produce a protein, into the cell, that tells it to die, if DNA damage was not repaired.
        Not entirely correct. There a numerous factors (components) necessary to induce cell death. Referring to my previous reply: if the process of apoptosis (which is carefully regulated in healthy individuals) is being disrupted/slowed down, you end up with cancer although the DNA of the ‘cell clump’ replicates perfectly normally because there is nothing wrong there.

        You most certainly have read a lot of papers – did you look who financed the “studies”?
        If you do have a lot of time on your hands and are interested, can I give the advice to get the basics from text books? Sure, this is time consuming and expensive if you update all to the latest.
        I did get a lesson about ‘acquiring the tools’ before speaking: a few days ago I watched my colleague’s 4 year old son playing the piano. He is quite a lively lad and I thought he was messing about. So I said that he should play the Cflat (I was joking) – to be severely reprimanded when he opened the book, started playing and then said: ” the Cflat wasn’t at the beginning…. ”
        Right. I discovered the kid can read music much better than I can. And he is still learning… (Needless to say, he plays the piano with ‘all fingers correctly’ placed)

        With less mitochondria, it appears that the suicide signals don’t always get sent, like when we were younger. The FDA, which is owned by the Drug Companies, won’t tell you this.
        The ‘less mitochondria’ bit has been disputed. There are MANY causes of why the process of apoptosis (cell death) can be slowed down.

        They are busy trying to create a drug that will take the place of a little exercise. Stress is a big killer too, and exercise ends it. Take a daily walk and you take care of both.
        I’d rather not replace exercise with a drug for which no long term effects can be known.
        I like the exercise(s) I chose to do because they are fun. (Please don’t snitch to H&S)
        Indeed, stress IS THE KILLER – when your workload exceeds the point on which the ‘work-play’ balance is replaced by only-living-for-work the crash is inevitable.
        People are NOT designed to copy the idiotic yuppies – if they do the become to society useless members at some point. BALANCE IS THE KEY.
        I, personally still pursue my hobbies, one of which is free climbing. The last overhang did tell me about my age – 20 years ago it would have been easy.
        To ‘nudge’ exercise-hating people into exercising makes them miserable, therefore it is wrong to do so. Exercise is peoples’ private choice – exercise hating people will never try to join the local football team or gymnastic-for-the-old-folks club.
        Regardless of HOW MUCH exercise you do – you can never evade the process of ageing. That is part of our lives, too. And we all will die.

        • DenisO says:

          Beobrigitte; Few people understand this stuff, and as your reply and critique show, this is complicated and not easy to explain, without making it a turn-off to readers. I have bought two college biology texts, and a pre-med Human Physciology text book that I start with, then I Google for other articles. I suspect these texts don’t tell the whole story, and often just give enough for general knowledge. I know what enzymes do, but the texts and video depictions I’ve seen refer to a monitoring “enzyme”, and I can’t think of anything else they could call the protein. But, no big deal; what is amazing is that the cell, itself, has “something/s” that follows along with the mitosis cell replacement process, can stop a mistake, snip out the error, and replace the nucleotides with the correct code. If all the mitosis replacements were flawless, there would be no evolution, so some mutations lead to improvements that survive, while 99% result in death to the organism.
          I won’t argue about all your remarks, but I don’t think you meant I, or we, can “meddle” with our mitochondria, but I can’t figure out what you meant. I understand that they are separate, have their own DNA, control their own replacement, and are passed down only the female evolutionary line.
          I also know that most oxygen radicals, called “radical oxygen species” (ROS)currently, are useful and, in fact, mitochondria produce H2O2 (peroxide) as a product of ATP, into the cell cytoplasm that circulates around the cell nucleus (DNA). Also, “currently”, x-spurts seem to agree that only three things can damage the DNA code: replication mistakes, oxidation, and radiation. I am happy to discuss, and learn, the intricacies, but I’m afraid this is going to bore most smokers who are here for other reasons. Email me to discuss this stuff, further. Most doctors I know, are “eyes-glazed-over” about this stuff, and some are down-right ignorant or worse, –know the wrong things:

          I tried so hard not to sound like someone “nudging” exercise-hating people into exercising, but the cancer interest got me going, and everyone knows that old people are the ones who usually get cancer. The main reason is muscle and mitochondria loss over time, Scarcopenia, “the escalator to the dirt”. Most people don’t know what cancer is and hear that all sorts of things cause it, that have no mechanism for getting near the DNA strands.
          I have been learning a lot because I don’t trust doctors or drug company’s and their literature. I always doubt “X-SPURTS”, especially the arrogant ones, who are usually FOS. Many “scientific” articles are nonsense and designed to get grant money.

          Before I retired, 17 yrs ago, from flying long-range commercial airplanes in my last 7 yrs, I started having back and other medical problems, and cancer rang my emergency bell, so I started trying to learn about my body. One of my friends is a retired USN surgeon who “did backs”, and he told me that I could cure my sometimes crippling Sciatica by strengthening my core. Exercise was too painful, so I was just getting worse, until I fell off a ladder onto a concrete deck. Broke no bones, and the back pain was gone (temporarily), so I started exercising, and couldn’t believe how much better I felt, immediately. It cured a lot of things, that’s another story, but it was fun, and the greatest benefit, I would not have believed, was stretching. Exercise is easy, and doesn’t have to be a big deal. Walking (a dog?) and getting up and down from your desk, every hour, with just your legs, goes a long way to getting off that escalator to the dirt. Advances in curing the chronic killers is happening on a daily basis, and i believe people, younger than me, can really extend their live-spans with relatively painless years, by just ending the muscle loss. Doing nothing is learning the hard way, and developing a disease before-hand is very depressing. Immunity is DIRECTLY related to muscle mass (and cholesterol)
          If you have Sciatica, email me and I’ll tell you how to stop the pain in 3 seconds.

  14. smokingscot says:

    O/T but it is SOO nice to see a real life case of Big Drug doing it’s best to scare the bejeezus out of dissenters. Especially if there’s an awful lot of profit to be made from very nasty ailments.

    Novartis has been doing its level best to stop research into a vastly cheaper, but equally effective treatment for AMD.

    And after much research by those within the medical profession, they’ve gone public with it:

    Boy did I giggle when the BBC ran the story on radio this morning.

    Of course no one will ever mention their involvement in trying to block the introduction of far more effective systems to help people cut down, or quit smoking, nor of their support of all things “smoking cessation” so they – Novartis – can keep on pushing their halo product – Nicotinell.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Nice one!
      I have long suspected that long term thinking has been stamped out – especially in the pharmaceutical companies area.
      Quick bucks, cheaply produced, bring in the figures to keep ’em happy. ALL of them miss out on the chance of BIG BUCKS to be made in the future. And it takes time and REAL scientists for that.
      You can NEVER stamp out the rate with which micro-organisms can adapt and mutate. Quite the opposite.

    • DenisO says:

      Interesting; I have “Age-related macular degeneration” and I love to read, so it scares me that it seems to be getting worse. Avastin as a cure or treatment? News to me, but I thought I saw a TV ad looking for class action plaintiffs for a lawsuit on Avastin. Here in the U.S., as opposed to the E.U., it pays to sue, and it is a big business.
      All drugs have side-effects they don’t tell us about, although it is legally required. Sometimes the drug can be worse than the malady.

  15. smokervoter says:

    I swear to god, you could easily imagine him saying “Don’t let the sun set on your filthy, cigarette-smoking behind in my town, ya’ll hear now !” (that being anywhere in the healthist [and supposedly cancer-free] klan strongholds of Westside Los Angeles or the Bay Area of Northern Cal).


    Regulating BBQ smoke gets early approval from city council

    AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin City Council members debated a plan Thursday to put restrictions on smoke from barbeque restaurants.

    Council member Pio Renteria asked council to amend city code and regulate the amount of smoke that comes from food trucks and restaurants within 100 feet of residential areas.

    Renteria said residents complained to him that smoke coming from BBQ joints caused them to not be able to open their windows or enjoy their backyards. People living near the La Barbeque trailer in East Austin told their stories before council.

    “They smoke several days a week, generally five days a week for 17 hours,” said Bruce Hughes. “I can no longer open windows, the smoke seeps in from the attic.”

    Restaurant owners also went before council asking for flexibility, especially for places that have not faced complaints.

    “My concern is that that if we have an ordinance that paints all of us into one group of folk that may not be good neighbors,” said Hoover Alexander, board member of the Greater Austin Restaurant Association. “We’re going to be penalized without considerations of other solutions.”

    Council members ultimately gave preliminary approval to the smoke restrictions, but recommended making amendments before approving up a final version of the ordinance.

    Earlier Report:

    Austin barbecue lovers, new city rules could force changes to the cooking process. Smoke coming from the pits has some residents fired up. Right now, the city does not have any regulations that state how much smoke can be emitted from restaurants and mobile food venders. And because food trailer parks are moving next to neighborhoods, some residents have complained to their city council members.

    Pio Renteria, who represents District 3 in East Austin, is now spearheading an amendment to the city code to require any restaurant or food truck that burns wood or charcoal, located within 100 feet of residential properties, to find a way to mitigate the smoke. He is suggesting that businesses either buy expensive smoke scrubbers or use gas-operated pits with wood chips. Renteria said other states use that method to limit the smoke.

    At Black’s BBQ on Guadalupe Street, they have been smoking meats for 82 years in Lockhart. Pitmaster Kent Black thinks if the city is going to take action, he hopes the rules don’t apply to every business.

    “Just make it a little more specifically aimed at where the problem is and hopefully not burden all of the other restaurants — where it’s not a problem,” said Kent Black, third-generation pitmaster at Black’s BBQ.

    Some BBQ joint owners believe changing the way they smoke the meats will change the flavor and say that won’t help business. But Renteria said the complaints he’s received show it’s time to look at this issue.

    “The smoke is just overwhelming,” said Renteria. “It goes into the neighborhood and lingers there. And the people are getting upset and saying, ‘We can’t sit in our backyards. We can’t open up our windows; the smoke comes in there.’”

    The city manager has until May 21 to gather feedback from the public and business owners. Then, the Planning Commission will consider changes before sending recommendations back to council. City Council is expected to take public comment during their meeting Thursday.


    • Clean Air Quality Law.

      It is hereby ordered that all things that generate chemical releases simular in nature to tobacco smoke are hereby OUTLAWED.

      1. Automobiles and gas or diesel engines or any other contivance that emits chemcial releases. This savings equals to the public not being forced to inhale 100s of billions of cigarettes each day.

      2. All plants are outlawed as they releases tons daily of the Carcinogen ISOPRENE. Equal in volumes of Millions of cigarettes each day.

      3. Restaraunts will be outlawed from preparing any cooked foods as these release 100s of millions of equal cigarettes each day.

      4. In home cooking is also outlawed as it produces upwards of 10s of thousands of equal cigarettes inside and outside the home.

      5. Outdoor cookouts and fireworks are outlawed as they releases 100s of millions of equivalent cigarettes a day or on weekends in the yards and parks of our city.

      6. Humans are hereby outlawed from existence insode the city limits as their own human breath contains hundreds of the same chemicals as found in tobacco smoke!

      7. Nature itself is outlawed as it generates Billions of chemcial releases naturally into the atmosphere a day hense posing a threat to human life.

      8. This Clean air law becomes effective Immediately.

      9. Your preference of suicide is a personal choise,Police will write tickets and lock up any survivors after this law becomes effective. A grace period of 30 days will be in place to educate the public on its existence.

      Signed into law by the GHOSTOWN ADMINISTRATION

      The Ghost Town Administration has just learned that all these chemicals found in tobacco smoke are natural to the earth and that mankind also evolved within this filth ridden air!
      Therefore all Tobacco Control Measures are here by OUTLAWED as for being contrived JUNK SCIENCE!

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