The Art of Smoking

A remark by regular non-smoking commenter Wobbler:

I cannot fathom out no matter how hard I try how breathing in concentrated smoke directly into the lungs can possibly be good for you.

I replied that what I inhale isn’t particularly ‘concentrated’. It’s not as if I suck smoke out of a cigarette straight into my lungs. What I actually first do is draw a little smoke into my mouth, and then inhale with my mouth open so that I draw in a lot of air with the smoke. The intake of air serves to cool and dilute the smoke.

It’s like using hot and cold taps. Some hot taps produce scalding hot water, which can actually cause harm. But if you mix it with water from the cold tap, the scalding hot water is cooled to a temperature at which it is harmless. It’s the same with smoking.

It’s even the same with drinking tea or coffee. Tea starts out at near boiling point with water out of a kettle. But add some milk, and it’ll cool the hot tea enough to make it drinkable. We do stuff like this all the time. Nobody ever says: “How can you swallow hot water into your stomach? It must be causing harm!” Or at least I haven’t heard it yet. and nobody ever says, “You cook food at 200°C, and then you take it out of the oven and eat it! You must be damaging your mouth and throat!”

It occurred to me that maybe this is the problem with antismokers (Wobbler isn’t one of them): they never learned the art of smoking. They probably just thought you lit the things, and sucked the smoke out of them straight into their lungs. And when they tried doing that, they ended up with epic coughing fits, and decided, “Never again! That could’ve killed me.” And could never understand why anyone else would want to do it either. Maybe that’s how antismokers start?

They’re perhaps like people who never learned to swim or ride bicycles, because when they tried they nearly drowned  or they fell off and hurt themselves. And they end up being frightened of water and bicycles. And when there’s enough of them, they’ll ban swimming and cycling – out of sheer spite for something they can’t do.

I think swimming and cycling is far more dangerous than smoking cigarettes. People quite often drown, or die in cycling accidents. But nobody ever dropped dead from smoking a cigarette or – same thing – drinking a cup of coffee. It took me a long time to learn to swim, and quite a long time to learn to ride bicycles. But I stuck at it, even though I nearly drowned a few times, and came off the bikes pretty regularly.

Nevertheless, everybody now thinks that the harmless pastime of smoking is far more dangerous than swimming or cycling. When actually it isn’t.

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About Frank Davis

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47 Responses to The Art of Smoking

  1. cherie79 says:

    I remember it was quite hard to learn to smoke properly when I was a teenager, most of us did then but some never picked it up and never smoked later but in those days they were not anti smoking it was just accepted that, then, most did and they didn’t never an issue.

    • margo says:

      I took to it immediately, first time, but my sister (sharing that first cigarette) coughed and spluttered and said, “Eugh, horrible”. She never did take to it. With beer, it was the other way round. Just another example of how we’re not all the same.

      • Rose says:

        I was hopeless at smoking, I coughed and spluttered too but persevered.
        I had eventually asked a friend if I might try one of her cigarettes as all that lying about road tar had been preying on my mind, cognitive dissonance between what I knew about the nightshade vegetables and what school visitors had told me about tobacco.

        I wouldn’t mind, but if only they’d said that repeatedly inhaling the fumes from burning matches might give you lung cancer instead of blaming tobacco, I wouldn’t have argued.
        Burning matches certainly smelt bad enough to and goodness knows what dangerous chemicals they were made out of.

        Mind you, then I would have been a neversmoker and would probably never have bothered to do any research. Then again , I might have, anti-tobacco going on and on about nicotine threatens our staple foods.

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    Smoking (cigarettes or a fine Churchill) is like appreciating fine whisky, tequila, or brandy is an acquired taste. Few today appreciate the pleasures of smoking (alone or in combination with a fine drink). That’s in large measure the result of relentless propaganda aimed at denormalizing tobacco (and soon alcohol).
    However the blowback may be beginning. See the following from Norway: “Smokers in Norway ‘like Jews under the Nazis’,” at The Local (Norway). The kicker states “A conservative politician in the far north of Norway has compared the plight of smokers in the country to that of Jews during the Nazi occupation.” It’s worth a read at http://www.thelocal.no/20150831/norway-politician-compares-smokers-to-jews

    • Nika says:

      Strangely — REALLY strangely — I once wished that smokers like me had to wear armbands that identified us as smokers. Just like Jews had to wear their armbands/tattoos. At least then we could easily tell friend from foe and react accordingly!

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      ‘Monica Csango, the writer, director and author who is one of Norway’s 1,500 Jews, said the Coastal Party should try and make its members less ignorant.

      ‘“I would recommend that the Coastal Party take not just a crash course, but spend a minimum of one year of careful reading of history,” she told TV2.’

      ‘Oy Vey! That’s our persecution’ said the intellectual…

  3. Some French bloke says:

    Following on from one of yesterday’s discussions, but also relevant to Wobbler’s quote at the top of the page…
    Replying to a comment Smokingscot made late yesterday,
    https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/stop-pretending-2/#comment-118859
    Rizla01 said; Medical research is changing at a perpetual speed and to quote from a 6 year old article as a means to back up your thoughts is stretching the bounds a little, isn’t it.

    I for one find that far more ancient sources can often be intriguing, if not necessarily informative, and give rise to interesting questions. E.g. the “Charcot-Bouchard”, a 6,000-page Treaty of Medicine published in France in the years 1891-94, devotes just seven pages to tobacco (of which only two and a half to smoking itself) and although problems with the heart, arteries, and alimentary canal consecutive to long-term heavy smoking are discussed, it contains not a single mention of the lower respiratory tract or of any of its parts (larynx, trachea, bronchi or lungs). So the “evil weed” had been in use in Europe for over three centuries by then, yet nobody, medic or layperson, had made enough relevant observations about, or established plausible causal connections between, smoking and respiratory ailments, fit to make it to the official medical literature.
    Did “real science” on the subject only emerge in the mid 20th century thanks to Doll, Hill, Graham and Wynder? Have their “findings” of 65 years ago been revised or updated other than by the addition of the SHS myth (cf. the outrage of the zealots in 2001 when an 88-year old Doll declared that “the effect of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn’t worry me”)?

    Someone has scanned this 1892 article, so it might be of interest to someone conversant enough with the Gallic idiom (there’s bound to be English-tongue equivalents though):
    http://cdigital.dgb.uanl.mx/la/1030021005_C/1030021013_T3/1030021013_124.pdf

    • gdf1 says:

      Also on the subject of COPD in non-smokers, I ran across this editorial that states…

      http://thorax.bmj.com/content/65/6/465.full

      “Recent studies have highlighted the apparently high proportion of patients with COPD who have never smoked. Collectively, these studies suggest that even in developed countries cigarette smoking causes COPD in only 50–70% of patients. Indeed, the Swedish OLIN and US NHANES III studies reported that the population-attributable risk of COPD from smoking in these countries was 45% and 44%, respectively.2 3 More recent studies in the UK suggest that 15% of adults above the age of 65 who have never smoked also have COPD”

      So… reading along… the editorial goes on to argue that the COPD diagnosis should be confined to those who have a history of smoking…

      “Hence, while accepting that different phenotypes exist under the diagnostic label of “smoking-related COPD”, this term would appear to be an entirely appropriate label for patients with a significant (eg, >5 pack year) smoking history, obstructive spirometry (postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio <70%) and evidence of chronic bronchitis or emphysema; we would suggest that other causes of airflow obstruction must be sought in individuals in the UK who do not fulfil these criteria."

      and..
      "Cigarette smoking may be a less common cause of COPD in developing countries, but in the UK smoking should be considered a diagnostic prerequisite and its absence should trigger more detailed investigation."

      So — as I read this – COPD then would *by definition* be a disease ONLY of people who smoke. (In addition, forget the detailed investigation if you smoke…) If you never smoked, I suppose you would (after "detailed investigation") be diagnosed with asthma or chronic bronchitis or TB or CF or sarcoidosis or some other label. Thus , it could be truthfully said that only people who smoke get COPD.

      Quite clever!

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        By redefining the disease they can claim it’s smoking-related. The existence of the disease in non-smokers is an inconvenient truth as it weakens their case that smoking causes COPD. Clearly this is unethical, however ethics mean nothing to zealots.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Adenoviruses Cause COPD

          Meanwhile, the central investigator in many studies of adenoviruses and COPD, James C. Hogg, MD, of St. Paul’s Hospital and professor of pathology at the …
          http://www.smokershistory.com/adencopd.htm – Cached – SimilarAcute and latent adenovirus in COPD – Elsevierby TE McManus – 2007 – Cited by 2 – Related articles
          Nucleic acid extraction was performed on sputum specimens from patients with COPD. Copy numbers for GAPDH, and adenovirus 5 E1A DNA and mRNA were determined …
          linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0954611107002272* Latent Adenovirus Infection in COPDby S Hayashi – 2002 – Cited by 24 – Related articles

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Key words: adenovirus; COPD; latent infection; viral DNA. Abbreviations: …. from patients with COPD carries more group C adenoviral …
          chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/121/5_suppl/183S.full.pdf

      • Some French bloke says:

        “the COPD diagnosis should be confined to those who have a history of smoking” and (your comment) “If you never smoked, I suppose you would (after “detailed investigation”) be diagnosed with asthma or chronic bronchitis or TB or CF or sarcoidosis or some other label. Thus , it could be truthfully said that only people who smoke get COPD.”

        Well-observed and expressed, Gdf1. There’s more on how they arrived at that huge proportion of smokers among COPD sufferers in the first place. Using quotes from the editorial you link to, and also quotes from a mainstream (i.e. anti-smoking) source, signalled by hyphens:
        http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Longtermconditions/COPD/DH_113006

        “More recent studies in the UK suggest that 15% of adults above the age of 65 who have never smoked also have COPD”
        – “86% of COPD mortality is attributable to smoking.”
        (Note: the subjects in the morbidity and mortality “studies” these figures stem from were young adults before smoking rates had begun to decline, i.e. when only 18% of UK male adults were non-smokers.)

        – “COPD primarily affects people over the age of 45.”
        (Note: back in 1970 UK smoking rates were still pretty high, a representative sample of present-day COPD sufferers will be comprised of a majority of active or ex-smokers.)

        in the UK smoking should be considered a diagnostic prerequisite” A final give-away that they’re making a covert use of UK’s particularly high smoking rates in the past. And with “a significant smoking history” defined as “eg, >5 pack year” (!!), that would include those who smoked in order to better socialize, an unlikely phenomenon in today’s denormalised context…

        The old dogs used the same old trick to pin the blame for abdominal aneurysms (and a host of other conditions) on smoking, with recent retrospective “studies” conveniently smoothing over (or just suppressing) the level of smoking prevalence at the time their subjects were young adults. See my older comment:
        https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/the-disintegrating-eu/#comment-104134

        • beobrigitte says:

          Firstly, isn’t it interesting that aortal aneurysms just aren’t found in 30-odd year olds?
          Secondly, if you ever have to deal with a ruptured aneurysm you are on a looser train. You have to be quick and most of all, a person who can think on your feet.
          You best draw your plan with a cigarette. It worked for me many times!

          Thinking on your feet is the first thing tobacco control wants to kill.

          Next question: WHY is it only OLD people with this condition????

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          One must remember COPD was first invented at the same time the tobacco control movement was first getting off the ground back in the late 80s to early 90s.

          It literally is nothing but a generic term for any lung condition of UNKNOW CAUSE……..

          Its just pure propaganda the Nazis invented so they could blame COPD on exposure to SHS in non smokers.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Man stabbed to death for smoking in the streets

    A call centre employee was stabbed to death in a drunken brawl that arose after he was reportedly smoking on the streets on Monday near Chennasandra Circle, Ramamurthy Nagar. Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

    Shashank (25), from Mangaluru, was working at a call centre in the city for the past two years.

    Shashank and his two friends, Vishnu and Alex, turned up at a tea shop near Chennasandra Circle at around 2.30 a.m. allegedly drunk. Shashank allegedly blew smoke into the face of Daniel, who was also at the tea shop with his friends, Ajay and Vasudevan.

    This sparked off a tiff between the two groups and the police said that Shashank allegedly punched Vasudevan in his face and abdomen, following which an enraged Daniel stabbed Shashank in his chest with a pocket knife.

    Ramamurthy Nagar policemen, who were on night patrol, rushed to the spot and shifted Shashank to a nearby private hospital where he was declared dead. Police apprehended Vasudevan and Ajay.

    Though Daniel fled the spot, he was apprehended later in the day.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/smoking-man-stabbed-to-death/article7601484.ece

    • beobrigitte says:

      Sad. VERY sad.

      Having been virtually “couch-bound” for the last 3 weeks (Tendonitis right knee – overuse due to various builder activities) I watched a few Indian films on Netflix. One got trashed (rated as “sh*t”) from me without even watching the film!!! It started off by stating that smoking is “REALLY BAD”. THAT ended this film for me and I proceeded to what I rarely do: RATE the film..

      The anti-smokers try every trick under the sun – does this alone NOT raise questions?

  5. Rose says:

    Gdf

    Recent studies have highlighted the apparently high proportion of patients with COPD who have never smoked

    Here’s one of them.
    “At least 93 per cent of those who had COPD were non smokers,”

    Indoor air pollution behind COPD, not smoking: study

    “You don’t have to be a smoker to suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Indoor air pollution is enough for one to contract the infection, says the first-of-its-kind study conducted at 22 villages of Pune.

    Out of 3,000 people randomly selected for the study, 210 suffered from COPD. “At least 93 per cent of those who had COPD were non smokers,” says Dr Sundeep Salvi, coordinator of the Chest Research Foundation (CRF).

    Among those identified to have COPD, only 7% were smokers and 93% were never smokers, indicating that smoking is clearly not the most important risk factor for COPD in India. More importantly, 23% of the COPDs occurred in age group less than 40 years, which has not been reported earlier, says Salvi.

    It has always been believed that COPD starts occurring after 40 years and above in people who have smoked for over 15-20 years. But in India, indoor air pollution seems to be the most important cause so the disease occurs in earlier age groups as well because of exposures from childhood, he explained.”
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indoor-air-pollution-behind-copd-not-smoking-study/712430/

    Your lungs at higher risk from wood smoke, dung cakes

    “The study was conducted in 22 rural villages in Pune district with a population of over 1 lakh. As many as 3,000 adults over the age of 25 years were randomly selected for the study which used a standardised respiratory health questionnaire and spirometry (lung function test for determining COPD).

    In the western, tobacco smoking is believed to be the most important risk factor for COPD. However, recent evidence refutes this. “Exposure to biomass fuel smoke is the biggest risk factor, not only for India, but even globally. Compared to 1.1 billion smokers, more than 3 billion people (50% of the global population) use biomass fuel for cooking and heating purposes worldwide,” Salvi said.

    “A woman living in a rural home in India spends on an average 60,000 hours cooking during her lifetime, during which she inhales a total volume of 25 million litres of polluted air. This causes extensive damage to the lungs leading to the development of COPD,” he said.”
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Your-lungs-at-higher-risk-from-wood-smoke-dung-cakes/articleshow/6937971.cms

    So the obvious question must be, what is protecting those smokers as they live in exactly the same conditions. As rural villages in India are unlikely to get gas fired heating or electric cookers any time soon, it is a question that needs answering quickly.

    It can’t be the carbon monoxide, the ladies must get plenty of that already.

    Anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled carbon monoxide in patients with COPD: a pilot study
    2007

    Abstract

    “In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that carbon monoxide (CO) has both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant capacities. Since chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by inflammation and oxidative stress, low-dose CO could be of therapeutic use. ”
    http: //erj.ersjournals.com/content/30/6/1131

    Nightlight posted a study that might just fit the bill.

    Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione.

    “The epithelial cells on the alveolar surface of the human lower respiratory tract are vulnerable to toxic oxidants derived from inhaled pollutants or inflammatory cells. Although these lung cells have intracellular antioxidants, these defenses may be insufficient to protect the epithelial surface against oxidants present at the alveolar surface
    “The total glutathione (the reduced form GSH and the disulfide GSSG) concentration of normal ELF was 140-fold higher than that in plasma of the same individuals, and 96% of the glutathione in ELF was in the reduced form.

    Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form.”

    Studies of cultured lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts demonstrated that these concentrations of reduced glutathione were sufficient to protect these cells against the burden of H2O2 in the range released by alveolar macrophages removed from the lower respiratory tract of nonsmokers and smokers, respectively, suggesting that the glutathione present in the alveolar ELF of normal individuals likely contributes to the protective screen against oxidants in the extracellular milieu of the lower respiratory tract.”
    http: //jap.physiology.org/content/63/1/152.abstract?ijkey=3ea8cff64c6d72a42e1d4ef7cf9f6fd2485e5921&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    I’d never heard of it

    2000

    “Glutathione (GSH), a ubiquitous tripeptide thiol, is a vital intra- and extracellular protective antioxidant against oxidative/nitrosative stresses, which plays a key role in the control of pro-inflammatory processes in the lungs.”
    http: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11028671

    Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants
    http: //www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html

    One could almost begin to believe in the old law of similars, like cures like.

    But

    Persistence of systemic inflammation in COPD in spite of smoking cessation
    2011

    “This study adds to the number of reports showing the presence of systemic and airway inflammation in COPD patients, irrespective of whether they were current or ex-smokers.”
    http: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463078/

  6. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    WIthout wanting to sound unnecessarily insensitive (oh ok, I do really) I’d swap Riz’s COPD for my IBS in a heart beat..even a 40-60 a day man’s heartbeat such as I am. I should maybe point out that my IBS is the ‘shit what looks like tomato ketchup 20 times a day and cramps like a bint giving birth’ sort. Ever get constipated for afew days after taking 1 or 2 immodium tablets? Well I used to take 15 or so a day every day and stillhad what was salmonella without the fun bits. I was prescribed doses of synthetic opiates that normally final stage cancer patients get..or would get if the NICE wasn’t so unNice.

    So why do I chuck this into the ‘Smoking Caused My COPD/Leprosy/ingrown toe nail’ debate here?

    A few years back i went to see a bowel specialist. His first question was ‘are you a smoker’ and from there on all he would say was that smoking caused my IBS and that was proven, scientific fact and i MUST give up and and and *insert spittle flecked rabid capnophobic ranting*

    I listened to this modern day Streicher, this disciple of Astel, and then politely said (as near verbatim as I can recall): “I hear what you say but feel I should point out that pretty much all my family have it (the atypical IBS-D late puberty onset variant) in some form or another. My mother, my father, my Sister, two of my sons and some of them have never smoked -passively or actively. Do you not think there might not be a genetic component to it?”

    Apparently there can be no genetic component to IBS, it HAS to be caused by smoking. (No I didn’t bother to return for the follow up, I’m picky about who gets to shove their finger up my arse).

    • Rose says:

      BD, it looks like you were right.

      Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Genetic Clue to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
      2014

      “ROCHESTER, Minn. — March 20, 2014 — Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) caused by genetics, diet, past trauma, anxiety? All are thought to play a role, but now, for the first time, researchers have reported a defined genetic defect that causes a subset of IBS. The research was published in the journal Gastroenterology.

      Researchers estimate that approximately 15 to 20 percent of the Western world has IBS. It is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Most patients with the disorder commonly experience symptoms of cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. Most treatments for IBS target these symptoms.

      Researchers found that patients with a subset of IBS have a specific genetic defect, a mutation of the SCN5A gene. This defect causes patients to have a disruption in bowel function, by affecting the Nav1.5 channel, a sodium channel in the gastrointestinal smooth muscle and pacemaker cells.

      The research is in early stages, but the results of this study give researchers hope of finding therapies for these patients.”
      http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-researchers-find-genetic-clue-to-irritable-bowel-syndrome/

      Defective gene could suggest a genetic basis for IBS
      2014

      Gene mutation impairs function in an important sodium channel

      Investigating what treatments could be offered to IBS patients with this gene defect, the researchers found that a drug called mexiletine restores the function of the Nav1.5 sodium channel.

      Using this drug, the team was able to reverse one patient’s symptoms of constipation and abdominal pain.

      Study author Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, who is also a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, says:

      “This gives us hope that from only treating symptoms of the disease, we can now work to find disease-modifying agents, which is where we really want to be to affect long-term treatment of IBS.”
      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/274426.php

      I’ve heard that name before

      “Farrugia and an associate, Dr. Joseph Szurszewski, headed the study, which focused on carbon monoxide’s role in orchestrating movements of muscles in the digestive system. The results were published in the prestigious journal of the National Academy of Sciences, which is based in Washington and advises the federal government on science and technology.

      They showed that cells in the digestive system manufacture tiny amounts of carbon monoxide, which then regulates muscle contractions. The contractions occur with great precision to properly move food ahead through the stomach and intestines.

      One area of intestine, for instance, contracts to squeeze its contents a few inches forward. It then relaxes and refills while the neighboring area contracts and passes the material down the line to the next section of intestine. Without carbon monoxide’s cues, the entire intestine might contract at the same time.

      Farrugia pointed out that carbon monoxide probably orchestrates other body processes, since the biochemical apparatus for making it also exists in brain, heart, liver, kidney and other cells.”
      http: //old.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20030617carbon0617p3.asp

      The after dinner cigarette explained?

  7. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    BD, it looks like you were right.

    Thanks for that Rose, fascinating stuff (well to me anyways). WIth my family history it is no surprise that I feel that something about IBS is inherited…if not the complete syndrome. I have also heard of many people who self medicate their IBS by smoking (especially IBS-C sufferers) and several smokers have confirmed they only acquired (or noticed?) their IBS when they had given up.

    • Rose says:

      Fascinating stuff to me too , BD, perhaps you can help me here, I get confused between Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome could you explain?
      Ulcerative Colitis is something I very much wish to avoid if I am eventually forced to give up smoking.

      I have to admit, I had never thought of looking for a genetic connection until you just mentioned it.

      • Joe L. says:

        Personally, I believe genetic connections are the first place doctors and researchers should be looking for the so-called “risk factors” of all diseases/disorders. Thanks to junk science, lifestyle has become a giant red herring and is preventing many people (like BD) from receiving proper care/treatment.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        between Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome could you explain?

        Sorry no idea, I just know that UC is even much much worse (debilitating) than IBS and I thank God that I haven’t yet managed to acquire it. ..probably not smoked enough.

        • Rose says:

          Ulcerative Colitis sounds dreadful.

          ‘Doctors don’t always know best:’ Student claims he cured debilitating bowel disease by taking up smoking
          2012

          “A medical student claims to have cured himself of a debilitating disease by taking up smoking.

          Formerly a non-smoker, Stephen Pendry, 23, struggled with crippling pain, tiredness, shortness of breath and dehydration since he was diagnosed with bowel disease ulcerative colitis four years ago.
          He had to rush to the toilet up to 15 times a day but is now completely symptom-free, thanks to a new four-a-day cigarette habit.”

          “The incredible turnaround is due to a side-effect of nicotine, hardly known outside medical circles, which cancels out damage caused by the disease.

          The trainee pharmacologist from Croydon, south London, who had never previously smoked, defied doctors’ recommendations of invasive surgery in favour of studies which showed patients with the disease improving after being given nicotine.

          He said: ‘Smoking was my last option. I didn’t really want to wear a colostomy bag at the age of 23.”
          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2201475/Doctors-dont-know-best-Student-claims-cured-debilitating-bowel-disease-taking-smoking.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mailonline

          But I don’t think that it is the nicotine, so I’m watching the vapers with interest.

        • Joe L. says:

          ‘gainny’ also posted a comment on yesterday’s post stating that smoking controls his/her ulcerative colitis.

  8. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    I should also add that I do feel for Riz with his COPD- my own rabidly-anti-smoking Aged Mother has it and it is a misery. Doesn’t seem to have dented her stride or caused her broomstick to stutter and die though…she’s still as horribly active and helpful as ever….

    Only last night, no joke, she was on the phone to me, telling me that smoking should only be allowed within one’s own 4 walls and only then when no chiiiildreeen are present (I had stupidly mentioned taking Granddwarfette 2 -8 weeks old- outside with me for a smoke).

  9. Furtive Ferret says:

    This is a timely post from Frank. Yesterday’s exchnages got me thinking about a few things. One of the things that never seems to be discussed by the antis is the latency between exposure to an agent and the development of one alledged smoking disease or another and the confounding factors that may have resulted in the disease.

    If you are over 45 in the UK there is a very good chance whether you lived in the countryside or a more urban location that you had an open fire that you burned either coal, wood or peat depending on your location. Peat being decayed and compressed vegetable matter that is a few thousand years short of being coal.

    I come from the far NW of Scotland where peat was the predominant fuel. Tons of the stuff was burned and if the wind blew the wrong way you ended up with a room full of smoke. Cities and towns were black after more than a century of industrial output, leaded petrol and unfiltered diesel fumes were the norm.

    For my part I went on to be an engineer and as part of that process I learned to solder using various alloys containing lead and some very nasty and corrosive fluxes to flow the solder depending on the job. This was in the days before fume extraction and respirators being routinely used. These compounds irritated my lungs far more than smoking 20 cigarettes a day did. I did give up smoking for more than 20 years (just got bored with it) but took up pipe smoking about two years ago.

    For these reasons I simply refuse to believe that a few grams of leaf being smoked is far more dangerous than any of my prior exposure to occupational and environmental smoke and fumes.

  10. beobrigitte says:

    It occurred to me that maybe this is the problem with antismokers (Wobbler isn’t one of them): they never learned the art of smoking. They probably just thought you lit the things, and sucked the smoke out of them straight into their lungs. And when they tried doing that, they ended up with epic coughing fits, and decided, “Never again! That could’ve killed me.” And could never understand why anyone else would want to do it either. Maybe that’s how antismokers start?
    I have often wondered about that!
    I do know a non-smoker who admitted that she never got the hang of smoking…. She did say that at the time she envied people who got the hang of it quickly. I had an idea for a little experiment about 1 year ago:
    I explained to her how I got the hang of smoking instantly and she tried it. It worked for her.
    I asked her to note down when she felt that she HAD to smoke.
    Is smoking a habit or is it an addiction?
    I explained to my non-smoking (actually, now occasionally, when deciding, smoking) friend that I want to find out if it is habit or addiction. To this day she keeps note. The notes read that her friends being kicked out of pubs makes her go outside with them. And there she asks for a cigarette to join the ‘outlaws’.
    At home she does not smoke. Even if she did, she would go outside as she does not like the lingering ‘cold’ smoke. I do know this and I usually take the ashtray she puts on the table for me to the outside – where she joins me, asking for a cigarette.
    When I questioned her about this she replied that she was quite happy in a pub with smoker friends. Now it’s different. It is treating people like shit. (Her words)
    A month ago I did ask her if she felt this “urge” to smoke. Her reply: “Only when I’m being told that I am not allowed to. At home I don’t smoke because I know I can.”

    This does tie in with my long haul flight experiences.

    Addiction??? Only the likes of Debbie and her tobacco control friends and mindless blabbers can come up with a publicity stunt like this!!!!

    They’re perhaps like people who never learned to swim or ride bicycles, because when they tried they nearly drowned or they fell off and hurt themselves. And they end up being frightened of water and bicycles. And when there’s enough of them, they’ll ban swimming and cycling – out of sheer spite for something they can’t do.
    That does remind me of the (unfortunately) German ‘what’s-it’s-name’ who recently practised it’s English here. I fail to even acknowledge it’s existence. Someone who screeches “Tobacco-shills” whilst quoting one after the other TOBACCO CONTROL FINANCED “research” has no ability to be impartial and understand.
    And, I have no interest in sorting out the experiences that arrested it’s development. At my age I wish to deal with fully formed adults. What’s-it’s-name isn’t that.
    (It might be a little unfair me saying this should Frank have lost his patience and blocked it)

    Indeed, bike riding and swimming I learned the hard way. Bike riding especially. I do remember my older brother’s friend Joe teaching me and I do remember peddling the thing happily until he shouted: ” GREAT!!! You are doing it alone – I’m not holding on!!!” I did turn around to see…… and crashed.
    I was just 3 years old.
    My mother was not happy with Joe….
    Swimming. I was 10 years old. I did try to do as I was told in the swimming bath and I failed. Then we went to a gravel pit. I slipped at the edge and there was no ground my feet could touch. The proudest day of my live!!! I inhaled a bit of water and had to fight – and I can swim since that day!!!
    I passed the live saver thingy at the age of 12. The youngest at the time.

    I guess, anti-smokers are just scared people. They try something once, fail, and give up. So it’s their own FAILURE they disguise when they create misery for everyone.

    In the meantime….. we old smokers are still happily around and kickin’ – anti-smokers, write an essay about that!!!!

    • beobrigitte says:

      Sorry, I messed the brackets up again….

    • Frank Davis says:

      I didn’t lose patience and block him.

      In fact, nobody has been blocked at all (apart from one or two antis a couple of years or more ago).

      The only thing I’ve ever done is to put Stewart Cowan on moderation. I got sick of him accusing people of murder, or of hammering nails into the body of Christ.

      I fixed the missing italic tag.

      • beobrigitte says:

        1. WOW!!! Since it never replied I assumed it was blocked. Looking forward to standing my ground then!

        2. Thanks for fixing my mess up!

      • smokervoter says:

        Howdy Frank! I’m still around. Just lurking and listening lately. I drop in every day and twice on Sunday.

        My dad used to say, “If you’d just shut your big trap for a second and listen kid, maybe you’d learn something for a change!”

        I can’t seem to get my thoughts and comments together in time anymore before it’s on to the next date and a new topic.

        Actually I blame it on the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer more than anything else.

        But just to get something in here: unbelievably, the BBC (American feed) newscast ran Obama’s Goebbel’s Warning speech in Alaska in its entirety for 20 minutes last night!!! What an outrage, what did they think it was, the State of the Union speech or something? You people need to get rid of the Beeb once and for all.

  11. roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘”The problem is the language that has been chosen, the interpretation of those words sometimes opens room for discussion, which the tobacco industry will try to use,” he added.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-cracks-down-on-tobacco-advertising-in-drive-to-stop-young-people-smoking-10481193.html

    And in America, they’re removing a statue to a President born on a tobacco plantation:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/university-of-texas-removes-statue-of-confederate-president-jefferson-davis-10480369.html

    http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/crops-monticello

  12. smofunking says:

    My initial reaction to Wobbler’s comment was that if I look forward to a smoke and proceed to enjoy it, that in itself qualifies as being “good for me”.

  13. slugbop007 says:

    I think it is time to coordinate a campaign of our own. Documents that we have discovered, like OSHA in 1994, the WHO in 1998, Judge Osteen’s ruling, and every other document that turns the propaganda of the antitobacco lobbies upside down, should be sent, en masse, every day to each and every one of them. Locally, nationally and globally. If we pooled together all the blogs from all the people who support our cause, plus their friends and any other supporters that would like to join we could coordinate an onslaught of emails, tweets and the like every day, without respite. I think that would drive these people batty enough that they would blow a fuse. Imagine thousands of emails and tweets every day flooding the PM’s Office, the White House, the WHO, you name it.

    • Some French bloke says:

      Documents that we have discovered are also available to tobacco companies and they made no use of them. This in itself shows a high degree of collusion. All pertinent material, facts and documents showing they’ve been in on the deal for ages should figure prominently in such a campaign.

      • slugbop007 says:

        I have read several times that we, the consumers of tobacco products, are basically paying the bulk of the Master Settlement and that most states in the US use that money for purposes other than health promotion. There is also the fact that most charities spend more money on campaigning for more funds.

  14. slugbop007 says:

    When I say coordinate, I do not mean just the English speaking world. We have to get all of Europe, Asia, South America, you name it, involved. Russians, Ukrainians, Brazilians and so on. People from other other countries could bombard the UK. France, Germany et cetera. The UK could flood the emails and twitter accounts of every country that signed the WHO protocol. And so on. Time for our side to get organized because they have a formidable network. They won’t stop harassing us, we must fight back.

  15. slugbop007 says:

    http://patch.com/california/oceanside-camppendleton/tobacco-soil-bacterium-nicotine-eating-pacman
    Soon there will be mandatory injections for all of us smokers, by public health/government order.

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