Darkness Is Spreading

ZeroHedge (Paul Krugman):

…there is a darkness spreading over part of our society. And we don’t really understand why.

There has been a lot of comment, and rightly so, over a new paper by the economists Angus Deaton (who just won a Nobel) and Anne Case, showing that mortality among middle-aged white Americans has been rising since 1999. This deterioration took place while death rates were falling steadily both in other countries and among other groups in our own nation.

Even more striking are the proximate causes of rising mortality. Basically, white Americans are, in increasing numbers, killing themselves, directly or indirectly. Suicide is way up, and so are deaths from drug poisoning and the chronic liver disease that excessive drinking can cause. We’ve seen this kind of thing in other times and places – for example, in the plunging life expectancy that afflicted Russia after the fall of Communism. But it’s a shock to see it, even in an attenuated form, in America.

Yet the Deaton-Case findings fit into a well-established pattern. There have been a number of studies showing that life expectancy for less-educated whites is falling across much of the nation. Rising suicides and overuse of opioids are known problems. And while popular culture may focus more on meth than on prescription painkillers or good old alcohol, it’s not really news that there’s a drug problem in the heartland.

But what’s causing this epidemic of self-destructive behavior?

And just when smoking rates have hit an all time low!

ZeroHedge again:

“Adults over 30 are less happy than their predecessors,” concludes a study published online Thursday in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, which examined happiness data from more than 50,000 adults, gleaned from the General Social Survey, carried out by NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan, independent research organization, which has collected information about American adults since 1972.

From 2010 to 2014, adults over 30 had an average happiness score of just 2.18, compared with 2.24 a decade ago. That’s significant considering happiness scores were measured on a tiny scale from just 1 to 3, with 1 being “not too happy” and 3 being “very happy.” (The data used five-year cohort periods so that single year fluctuations were smoothed out.)


And just when smoking rates have hit an all time low!

In other news:

EU could break up ‘within months,’ says Asselborn
Luxembourg’s foreign minister says border controls put the EU’s future in doubt.
Updated 11/10/15, 8:04 AM CET

Luxembourg’s foreign minister has warned that the migration crisis and introduction of border controls between countries could lead to the collapse of the EU.

“The European Union can break apart. This can go incredibly fast, when isolation instead of solidarity becomes the rule internally and externally … We may have only a couple of months,” Jean Asselborn told the DPA news agency. Luxembourg holds the rotating presidency of the European Council.

And RIP Helmut Schmidt, prematurely dead at age 96 after a lifetime of smoking:



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50 Responses to Darkness Is Spreading

  1. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    RIP Helmut Schmidt, prematurely dead at age 96 after a lifetime of smoking:

    The German TV news tonight surprisingly (well it surprised me) mentioned the fact that he was a ‘passionate smoker’ and that ‘his cigarette was never missing from the weekly Editorial conference of Die Zeit’. They also showed several pictures of him smoking (German kids being made of sterner stuff than their british peers and won’t rush head long into addiction at the merest sight of a cigarette).

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    Well, we all predicted all this, didn’t we? Once the exaggeration and lies concerning the health “risks” of smoking were revealed in their ugly reality, once smoking bans had effectively destroyed pretty much any semblance of social cohesion, and endless anti-smoking campaigns had emotionally blackmailed people into denying themselves of an irreplaceable source of comfort and pleasure in a fast-moving world, it shouldn’t actually be that surprising that young and approaching-middle-age people – drenched as they have been with anti-smoking propaganda virtually from day one – should be less happy than their less-gullible older counterparts, who have seen it all before and are much less susceptible to the preachings of self-appointed “experts.”

    Next, there’ll be much scratching of heads over the slowly-dawning realisation that there is virtually no real, genuinely brilliant, ground-breaking creative work going on – either in the creative or performing arts or in less-obviously creative fields like engineering and architecture. Even the elements of creativity which previously drove on professions like medicine and medical procedures, social programmes, media, entertainment, policing, transport and other public infrastructures have ground to a slow and steady halt in almost exact proportion to the declining number of smokers in those professions. No-one seems to have the imagination these days to look at complicated problems and apply a combination of imagination and common-sense to solving them, because without the enormous mental boost that nicotine (maybe in combination with bad old Carbon Monoxide – H/T Rose) gives its users, people just don’t have the mental capacity to utilise the two together. Smokers are vital, it seems, in such situations to start the spark of a “good idea” – non-smokers then follow their lead and make their own contribution and might even have some good follow-on ideas of their own, but they need smokers to start the process off in the first place. Smokers, if you like, are like the starter engine in a car without which the entire engine just can’t get going, no matter how brilliantly it’s been maintained.

    The sad thing is that the drones, brainwashed as they are into being totally incapable of even contemplating that there might just be a tie-up with the diminishing number of smokers and the exactly-correlating diminishing levels of positive progress in all areas – personal, professional, social and creative – simply won’t be able to make the glaringly obvious connection even when it’s staring them in the face and will go on, in their bumbling, unimaginative, non-smokers’ way trying endless fixes and solutions and “initiatives,” none of which will have the faintest hope in Hell of working.

    Good news about the EU, though. Let’s hope it breaks up really, really, really fast, and really, really, really soon!

  3. Tony says:

    Perhaps a little light in the darkness?
    The Lancet Psychiatry on smoking bans in psychiatric units.

    They appear generally opposed which is good. And include this : ‘ As service user and blogger @Sectioned_ told The Lancet Psychiatry, “Arguing that detained patients should be banned completely from smoking is, in essence, arguing that people with mental health problems should not be treated as full human beings but instead as a subset ripe for discrimination”’

    On the other hand their mindset is illustrated by this :
    “When watching 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, for example, the modern audience is likely to be more shocked by the sight of a paediatric neurologist lighting up on hospital premises than the graphic scenes of demonic possession that follow. Might tolerance of e-cigarettes reverse this social progress?”

    A very twisted notion of progress! Although there is a fair comparison to be made between fear of smoking and fear of demonic possession. James 1st comes to mind with his two books on his two obsessions: “Demonology” and “A Conterblaste to Tobacco”.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Frank, You are right. Darkness is spreading. Every day a new ban or bans are proposed while others are enacted. Outdoor bans are the rage. Bans on smoking in parks, at beaches, on the HighT Street, in hospitals, and prisons are the rage. Vaping is added to smoking as if they are the same (to ‘neo-puritans’ they are the same). The smoking bans appear to be the foundation for totalitarian lifestyle control as alcohol, sugar, meat and anything the ‘healthists’ disapprove of is banned. Sadly. they also appear to disprove of liberty, transparent government, and scientific fact as they manufacture their own propaganda to support their ideology. Most alarming is the global complacency fostered by relentless propaganda and the stigma forced upon smoking–to date meaningful resistance is rare. The Antismokers are a global movement active throughout the EU, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and now South America, Africa and Asia. The FCTC is apparently the font of this new order.

    • Barry Homan says:

      We can STILL smoke in bars in Denmark with a serving area under 30 sq meters. I was at my favourite pub today, it’s like no ban ever existed. Denmark tried to do a full ban in 2010, but it failed. Yes, we have a few Arnott types, but they don’t get their voices heard (much). I doubt Denmark will try to impose more nanny-state policies, the prohibitionists are not gaining much traction. People are wising up. You go around spouting political correctness here, you can reckon on being socially excluded. It’s GOOD.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Denmark tried to do a full ban in 2010, but it failed.

        It failed in Germany due to the different regional governments. However, the anti-smoking scared people are working on it.

        I REALLY wish that Denmark holds it’s ban on anti-smokers!!! But I do know the anti-smoking machine is rolling….

  5. Jay says:

    I think the underlying problem is stress without there being effective mechanisms to cope with it. People are being nagged at constantly by ‘public health’ and those messages seep into the subconscious even as the conscious mind wonders if the messages are true (hilariously last week they were solemnly declaring that lard was healthier than vegetable oils having dissed lard for decades). People believe that politicians’ self-interests take precedence over the interests of the electorate; we have exposure of corruption in international bodies (eg FIFA). In the UK we recently had thousands of jobs lost in the steel industry in the same week that China was lavishly entertained to encourage it to buy another bit of us. We have 24/7 news which is unremittingly dreadful. Graduates are flipping burgers with little prospect of owning their home, being able to save and facing the prospect of a miserable old age; the unemployed have jobsworths blithely sanctioning them so that they have to resort to food banks, employers are demanding more and more but giving less and less. Family cohesion can be shattered over smoking, abuse can be hurled if someone expresses an opinion that the bien-pensant take exception to, employers, companies, government all appear to be screwing us over. Is it any wonder that people are stressed and depressed. I don’t know if they’re available or even compiled but I’d be interested to see if stress is becoming a real issue (and I certainly think that it’s the biggest killer of all).

    • waltc says:

      You nailed it, Jay. Unrelieved stress.

      Krugman is right (words I never thought would cross my fingers) that a major cause is economic –the dirth of respectable, decent-paying jobs for –especially– white high-school-only- grads who expected the same cut of The Dream their parents had, and for 40 and 50-somethings who, no matter how highly educated, got canned and can’t find replacement jobs. BUT. Thanks to Public Health, they can no longer relieve that stress with a smoke, let alone a smoke and a drink with pals at the corner bar., PH has convinced them that smoking, drinking, and comfort food are unacceptable, even shameful. Their wives and children have been turned against them in this, which adds to stress at home, and they’re cowed in “public.” Ironically, then, prescription drugs–a lot more dangerous than a Marlboro and a pizza– are the only socially acceptable escapes and apparently, the greatest cause of their deaths. Krugman, I think, misreads the American character when he boasts that welfare, food stamps etc can or do relieve the stress because for these guys dependence, or the lack of independence, itself is a blow. Perhaps it hits whites harder than blacks because whites had higher exoectations for themselves.

      Then too, as Jay says, their values have been scorned and there seems no way to get them reinstated in the current political climate so they’re overwhelmed with a sense of irrelevance.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        What are they gonna do if you do smoke! Really toss you in jail over a smoke its ridiculous even the airline crap of landing in an emergency situation is becoming absolute fanatical and insane………

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          They had one story this morning about a man they claimed put a cigarette out in a toilet that contained flammable chemicals in the aircraft. Anyone ever heard that line before!
          Really these toilets have no flammable chemicals in them as theyd be banned by the FAA from the start.

          Then this morning in Nashville they tried to blame a oxygen tank explosion on a man lighting a cigarette. Literally there isn’t enuf fuel to cause an explosion,remeber it take 3 things for fire oxygen,fuel and a hot heat source a cigarette coal isn’t hot enuf. But the bigges thing is the apartments the man was living in use natural gas for heat and cooking and hot water……….That’s the part the news Nazis left out.

        • beobrigitte says:

          They had one story this morning about a man they claimed put a cigarette out in a toilet that contained flammable chemicals in the aircraft.

          Thanks for the laugh!

          I actually did watch a while ago a criminal investigation (some American real life murder cases) in which a woman claimed that her husband died because he fell asleep with a cigarette in his arm chair. In order to find out the truth the police tried everything it could to set this armchair on fire with a cigarette – and failed.
          Food for thought….

  6. margo says:

    This current trend of people living into their 90s and beyond was never going to last. They’re a ‘fluke’ generation, born into a world with few cars, growing up on vegetables from the back garden, surviving the war and gaining from the post-war boom, the NHS, advances in medicine, full employment, adequate housing, etc, etc. None of that’s going to be there for generations who follow.

    • nisakiman says:

      Don’t forget, Margo, that most of them also smoked; another thing that’s not going to be there for generations to follow.

      • margo says:

        Oh I didn’t forget that for one second, nisakiman! They smoked anywhere and everywhere, produced the post-war ‘baby boom’ and in many cases are still going strong. You’d think that fact might impinge on the brains of doctors and dentists and healthists everywhere, wouldn’t you, but it doesn’t.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          There is no danger from second-hand smoke, period. In America, the Baby Boom produced over 75 million kids, and smoking was very popular during that time.

          Exposure to SHS was prevalent everywhere people went: in homes, yards, parks and playgrounds; in dime stores, drugstores, supermarkets – in every store, as well as banks, post offices, libraries, anywhere that people gathered. Also in cars, buses, taxis, planes and trains.

          There were smokers in diners, cafes, restaurants; in hotels, barber shops, beauty salons; in hospitals, waiting rooms, stations, lobbies, airports, and in all vacation spots and summer camps. There was smoking at swimming pools, beaches and all the sports venues; at parties, church events, any type of social gathering. There was smoking from neighbors, visitors, relatives and older siblings; from babysitters, coaches, even from den mothers and scout leaders.

          Think about it. Children were constantly exposed to SHS everywhere they went, every day of their lives. The only exception were classrooms and churches.

          Did they all die? Did they get diseased? Did they develop asthma? Nope. But according to today’s whingers (it’s for the cheeeeeldren!), none of those kids should have made it past the crib. With all that SHS exposure, the schools should have been half-empty on a daily basis, with hoards of absentee kids filling up the hospitals. Such was never the case, and you can’t re-write the history. All those kids managed perfectly well. These are facts.

          All the anti-smokers got is junk science, propaganda and drivel..

        • beobrigitte says:

          They smoked anywhere and everywhere, produced the post-war ‘baby boom’ and in many cases are still going strong.

          And, the baby boomers are denied their rightful pension at the age of 60! After all, we all live longer these days…….

  7. harleyrider1978 says:


    Should we care? No. Studies which claim there is ‘no safe level’ typically find relative risks in the region of 1.10-30 (ie. a 10-30 per cent increase in risk), which can easily be explained by publication bias, data-dredging, researcher bias, poor study design, confounding and chance – which is to say, all the problems associated with junk epidemiology. Even if the risks were real, they would not be enough to concern a normal, well adjusted person.

    A product does not have to be safe. It only has to be safe enough. I, for one, welcome this avalanche of headlines claiming that everyday products are dangerous at any level of consumption. I believe that we are near the tipping point at which the general public ignores everything the ‘public health’ lobby says. If the quack scientists, vegan pressure groups, anti-sugar fanatics and temperance nuts can maintain their current level of activity for another twelve months, the battle may be half-won.


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Seems Chris thinks the end is in site within 12 months

      I believe that we are near the tipping point at which the general public ignores everything the ‘public health’ lobby says

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Why don’t they do absolute risk studies as OSHA has to do.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Everything you eat has the same chemicals as SHS. Notice many are listed as rodent carcinogens because there’s not enough data to say whether or not they are human carcinogens as well.
    Acetaldehyde (apples, bread, coffee, tomatoes)—mutagen and potent rodent carcinogen
    Acrylamide (bread, rolls)—rodent and human neurotoxin; rodent carcinogen
    Aflatoxin (nuts)—mutagen and potent rodent carcinogen; also a human carcinogen
    Allyl isothiocyanate (arugula, broccoli, mustard)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen
    Aniline (carrots)—rodent carcinogen
    Benzaldehyde (apples, coffee, tomatoes)—rodent carcinogen
    Benzene (butter, coffee, roast beef)—rodent carcinogen
    Benzo(a)pyrene (bread, coffee, pumpkin pie, rolls, tea)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen
    Benzofuran (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    Benzyl acetate (jasmine tea)—rodent carcinogen
    Caffeic acid (apples, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, coffee, grapes, lettuce, mangos, pears, potatoes)—rodent carcinogen
    Catechol (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    Coumarin (cinnamon in pies)—rodent carcinogen
    1,2,5,6-dibenz(a)anthracene (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    Estragole (apples, basil)—rodent carcinogen
    Ethyl alcohol (bread, red wine, rolls)—rodent and human carcinogen
    Ethyl acrylate (pineapple)—rodent carcinogen
    Ethyl benzene (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    Ethyl carbamate (bread, rolls, red wine)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen
    Furan and furan derivatives (bread, onions, celery, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, coffee)—many are mutagens
    Furfural (bread, coffee, nuts, rolls, sweet potatoes)—furan derivative and rodent carcinogen
    Heterocyclic amines (roast beef, turkey)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens
    Hydrazines (mushrooms)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens
    Hydrogen peroxide (coffee, tomatoes)—mutagen and rodent carcinogen
    Hydroquinone (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    d-limonene (black pepper, mangos)—rodent carcinogen
    4-methylcatechol (coffee)—rodent carcinogen
    Methyl eugenol (basil, cinnamon and nutmeg in apple and pumpkin pies)—rodent carcinogen
    Psoralens (celery, parsley)—mutagens; rodent and human carcinogens
    Quercetin glycosides (apples, onions, tea, tomatoes)—mutagens and rodent carcinogens
    Safrole (nutmeg in apple and pumpkin pies, black pepper)—rodent carcinogen

    Somewhere there is a large population of rats dying from cancer.

    • prog says:

      Not withstanding that rats can survive almost anything.

      Did you know rats can tread water for three days and eat their own shit to survive? Possibly at the same time…

      (I’d like to see a few antis try those tricks)

    • John, UK says:

      Love it! Must quote some of this at my veggie and vegan friends next time they pass comment on my meat-eating.

      • Ed says:

        There’s a list of rodent carcinogens here and the common foodstuffs they are found in;

        What a lot of people fail to realise is that all fruit plants and vegetables produce naturally occurring pesticides to help them against insect attacks. And much research has gone into the potential carcinogenic effects of synthetic and naturally occurring pesticides on rodents, and the data is freely available if you search for it.

        Another thing that we should bear in mind is that when humans grow these plants on crop land, is that no plot of land is immune to attacks from insects, so plants need chemical defences (plus often synthetic chemicals are sprayed) to survive any pest attacks. Plant breeders work hard to develop new strains of plants to be more and more insect resistant, this basically means that they are being bred to contain a much higher percentage of natural plant toxins. The potential hazards of this are obvious. A good example of this recently includes a strain of newly developed highly insect resistant celery, and people who harvested it developed severe rashes when they were exposed to sunlight. It was found out that this pest resistant celery contained 6200 ppb (parts per billion) of carcinogenic and mutagenic chemical called psoralens instead of the 800ppb present in common celery.

        Dr. Lois Swirsky Gold is Director of the Carcinogenic Potency Project at the Environmental Health Sciences Centre (NIEHS), University of California, Berkeley, and a Senior Scientist at the E.O Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She has published 110 papers on the methodology of risk assessment, analyses of animal cancer tests, and the implications for cancer prevention and regulatory policy. Her Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDB), analyses the results of 5500 chronic, long-term cancer tests on 1400 chemicals. Dr. Gold’s work has addressed many vital issues in the field of risk assessment.


        • Ed says:

          What you need to bear in mind is that all these chemicals were given in specifically high dosages to establish the lethal dosage or dosages that will eventually cause cancer in rodents. Mammals have many natural body defences that buffer against normal exposures to toxins and these are usually general, rather than tailored for each specific chemical. Thus they work against both natural and synthetic chemicals. The same could be said for rodents. General defences of mammals include the continuous shedding of cells exposed to toxins, these include the surface layers of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestine, colon, skin and lungs and these cells are discarded every few days; DNA repair enzymes, which in return repair DNA that can be damaged from a whole host of many different sources. Detoxification enzymes are also present in the liver and other organs, which generally target groups of chemicals rather than individual chemicals. These defences of mammals are usually general, rather than specific for each chemical and this in itself makes good evolutionary sense. The reason that herbivores or even omnivores evolved general defences to toxins is presumably to be prepared to counter a wide ranging and ever-changing array of plant toxins in an evolving world. For e.g. if a herbivore had defences against only one specific type of toxins, it would be at a great disadvantage in obtaining new food when favoured foods became scarce or unavailable, or if plants evolved new chemical defences.

  9. slugbop007 says:

    This guy is a Political Scientist with a bee in his bonnet about climate change deniers. https://twitter.com/olivierhoedeman?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author

  10. anono1955 says:

    “There once was a place called Camelot”. I remember exactly when the assault on personal choice began. In the days of Camelot, everyone smoked. Everyone went to clubs and danced the night away. They met their future spouses that way. Obesity was not the norm. The American Cancer Society was actually trying to “find a cure”. People were expected to marry the “baby daddies”. People expected to work a 40 hour week to eat and pay bills. Little neighborhood bars had happy customers, unlike today, which are now rather like Martini’s Bar, after George never existed, in the Christmas film.

    During the 1980’s, federal agencies, in their efforts to grow like cancers, began their nanny shenanigans.

    Transportation funded DUI checkpoints, then lowered the blood alcohol limit to get more revenue and to criminalize more Americans. States were forced to go along to get the federal money for roads. Big ad campaigns got the media on the side of government. Our jails filled up, so THEY needed more funds. No more dancing and socializing over a cocktail.

    HHS saw that this was wonderful, as did their partners at the drug companies. Depression, anxiety, obesity, are all really good things for HHS expanding it’s intervention into our lives, and even better for the drug companies. They want you to use their patches and pills rather than smoke. They want you using their anti depressants to replace your friends whom you are now isolated from. Their anti anxiety drugs rather than having a beer with friends in a bar. Their diet pills rather than going out dancing a couple of nights a week.

    As long as the federal agencies are directly funding lobbying by Democrat leaning, NON TAXED, charities, including the ACS, ALA, AHA, who are now absolutely dependent on federal handouts, we can expect further intrusions into our liberty.

    Jails have to be filled to keep the prison jobs.
    People simply driving home must be stopped at roadblocks to keep police jobs and fill DUI quotas.
    Tobacco must be sold so smokers can be isolated and vilified onto pharma products and the Champagne Tower of Tobacco Control grant moochers and spongers can continue to get federal money.
    The way we think of ourselves as a country must be changed so we accept being turned into sheep. So we accept the insane statements that the government cares about our health, and wants us to live forever. They do not.

    Ayn Rand was right in all respects in Atlas Shrugged. Grant moochers are now running the country. They despise working people and people who own small businesses. People who think. People who dance.

    The kind of people who were respected in the days of Camelot.

    As long as politicians are owned and operated by pharma, they are going to pass laws that cause more misery and isolation.

    As long as federal agencies are allowed to have their own “foundations”, made up of special interest groups and pharma companies, who are actually running the agencies, things are only going to get worse. (CDC “Foundation”)

    I remember how my mother was so happy after an evening out. I see her now. 86 years old and sitting in her apartment, alone, smoking. A pariah. Anti depressants. Sleeping pills.

    In Camelot, a glass or two of wine and an evening out with friends were all that was needed.

  11. slugbop007 says:

    What about the nicotine content in nightshade plants? Nicotine in tomatoes. Pizza. Spaghetti sauce. No wonder that Italians are such a lively bunch of people.

  12. garyk30 says:

    “–the dirth of respectable, decent-paying jobs”
    With all due respect:
    1. what does it take for a job to be ‘respectable’?

    2. how much is decent pay?

    • waltc says:

      Okay. Maybe “respectable” was a word I grabbed from the dark linty corner of the cliche drawer. I was thinking of the now-gone factory jobs that paid “decently” enough that the guys who had them could afford to raise a family and their wives could if they wanted to, but didn’t need to, work to keep things together. Work that produced something tangible and needed. Work that provided a kind of self-respect. If a guy like that winds up as chronically unemployed or doing odd jobs, or at the age of 42 , working as a stock “boy” for less than half the pay, it’s a punishing comedown; he’s in psychological trouble. We were talking about why these men are dying. Had nothing to do with the recent hue and cry for 15 bucks an hour as the “decent” wage for passing a hamburger over a counter, if that!s what you were thinking.

  13. Rose says:

    It appears that I accidentally put myself on a natural antidepressent forty years ago.

    “The study found that the brains of chronic smokers had neurochemical abnormalities in the locus coeruleus that can be produced by repeatedly treating laboratory animals with antidepressant drugs, he explained.

    Specifically, long-term smoking appears to inhibit monoamine oxidase (or acts as an MAO inhibitor). ”

    Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

    “Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were the first type of antidepressant developed.”
    http: //www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/maois/art-20043992

    “This suggests that naphthoquinone “is a good [MAO] inhibitor–not gangbusters, but a good inhibitor,” Castagnoli says.

    Napthoquinone had previously been found in tobacco smoke, but not linked to dopamine.”

    And now at last even they know it

    FCTC/COP/5/9 Annex 3 page 12

    “Researchers have found a marked decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the brains and peripheral organs of smokers . MAO is an important enzyme responsible for breaking down dopamine.

    The decrease in MAO results in higher dopamine levels and may be another reason that
    smokers continue to smoke, i.e. to sustain the high dopamine levels that lead to the desire for repeated
    drug use.

    It has been suggested that this change is likely to be caused by a substance in tobacco smoke other than nicotine.

    Certain tobacco constituents are reported to be MAO inhibitors, such as
    2,3,6-trimethyl-1-4-naphthoquinone …”

    http: //apps.who.int/gb/fctc/PDF/cop5/FCTC_COP5_9-en.pdf


    Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. In a letter he wrote to a friend, Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. The princes, he told his correspondent, were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.

  14. beobrigitte says:

    But what’s causing this epidemic of self-destructive behavior?

    And just when smoking rates have hit an all time low!

    Just proves one thing: smoking does not enter the list of things-that-kill.

    Even more striking are the proximate causes of rising mortality. Basically, white Americans are, in increasing numbers, killing themselves, directly or indirectly. Suicide is way up, and so are deaths from drug poisoning and the chronic liver disease that excessive drinking can cause.
    I’m not sure what exactly is meant by ‘killing themselves INDIRECTLY’.
    And, it isn’t only in America these days that a lot of people try (a lot do succeed!) to kill themselves. My kids lost 3 of their friends that way last year. (The fourth death of a youngster was induced by this constant bombardment of health propaganda.)
    I don’t wonder WHY (young and old!) people find this life bland and worthless. Once being forced into living some scared peoples’ ideology there isn’t much left to do.

    We’ve seen this kind of thing in other times and places – for example, in the plunging life expectancy that afflicted Russia after the fall of Communism.
    To my knowledge not quite correct! Up to the late 90s there was a large scale poverty in Russia.

    And RIP Helmut Schmidt, prematurely dead at age 96 after a lifetime of smoking
    I am deeply saddened no longer being able to follow his wit when dealing with the anti-smokers.

    Only 4 years ago there was this:

    One of the anti-smoker clubs was going to drag the TV company to court because they wanted to interview Helmut Schmidt. (Helmut Schmidt ALWAYS smoked during interviews!!!)
    And, quite frankly, what Helmut Schmidt had to say in his numerous interviews was far more interesting.

    Helmut Schmidt’s best quotes:

    1. „Von jedem, der sich um das Amt des Kanzlers bewirbt, ist zu verlangen, dass er dem Volk die bittere Wahrheit sagt.“
    [From everyone who is applying for the post of Chancellor is to demand that he tells the people the bitter truth .]

    2. „Die Dummheit von Regierungen sollte niemals unterschätzt werden.“
    [The stupidity of governments should never be underestimated]

    3. „Die Demokratie lebt vom Kompromiss. Wer keine Kompromisse machen kann, ist für die Demokratie nicht zu gebrauchen.”
    [Democracy thrives on compromise . Those who can’t make compromises are useless for democracy .]

    4. „Wenn wir uns überall einmischen wollen, wo himmelschreiendes Unrecht geschieht, dann riskieren wir den dritten Weltkrieg.“
    [If we want to involve ourselves wherever outrageous injustice happening , then we risk the third world war .]

    5. „Willen braucht man. Und Zigaretten.“
    [Will is all you need . And cigarettes .]

    The last of the REAL politicians gone. Now we have only the self-gratifying lot.
    No wonder people are depressed and suicidal!

    • Reinhold says:

      Helmut Schmidt’s best quotes:


      “That is the whole misery: The stupid are so sure, and the wise so full of doubt.”

  15. Tony says:

    The Daily Mail article on Helmut Schmidt states:
    “During the Nazi period, Schmidt was a group leader in the Hitler Youth organisation until 1936 when he was demoted and sent on leave because of his anti-Nazi views. “

    Presumably smoking was part of the issue, though maybe only a small part. He must have seen the whole modern cannon of (anti-smoking) belief being developed before his very eyes.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Meat, Coffee — Why Only Activists Pay Attention To IARC Claims

    If you were laughing at the notion that sausage is just as carcinogenic as cigarettes, you are not alone — the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is scrambling to repair the damage to what’s left of the credibility of its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after its latest paper about processed meat. But that report is actually no worse than any of their others. While activists had jumped on claims about glyphosate and diesel emissions and 400 other things declared to be carcinogens, they would be wise to give this latest monograph a wide berth.

    Scientifically, these reports are all suspect, because they are meta-analyses, which are of limited value at best. Additionally, the studies they use are hand-picked by participants who meet a very narrow set of criteria. If you have ever consulted, for example, the committee decrees you have a conflict of interest, but if you are the co-author of one of the papers under review, that is fine.

    This has been a problem for decades. As American Council on Science and Health Scientific Advisor Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, notes in Slate, in 1991 they tackled coffee.

    To recap, IARC uses four classifications:

    Group 1: Carcinogenic to humans
    Group 2A: Probably carcinogenic to humans
    Group 2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans
    Group 3: Not classifiable as to carcinogenicity
    Group 4: Probably not carcinogenic

    Since only one out of almost 1,000 compounds they have ever looked has been deemed not carcinogenic (Group 4), it is given that if someone on a UN committee decides to look at your chemical, your company is going to be the subject of an environmental fundraising campaign, or at least a rant by The Food Babe.

    In 1991 coffee was declared a 2B carcinogen because they found a weak relationship between coffee and bladder cancer. As a result, every Starbucks in California contains a Prop. 65 warning label about coffee. Yet people drink coffee every day, the population available for study is huge, and yet bladder cancer is not really increasing. As Dr. Kabat notes, the weakness in IARC meta-analyses is not just bias among the participants on the panels and the papers they want to include, it is bias in the case-control studies the paper contain; people with serious illness will necessarily have more recall bias. Who doesn’t want to blame something for their cancer?

    In the last few decades, Kabat notes, other cohort studies with large groups have been done, and coffee consumption is instead correlated with a number of reduced cancers, including bladder cancer — the thing that got coffee a warning label. This is obviously nonsense.

    When a committee gives a lot of weight to positive results and ignores negative results, almost anything will become a “carcinogen.”

    We here at the American Council on Science and Health have said this for decades. Our now-famous Thanksgiving Menu itemizes everything in a holiday meal and then lists the chemicals in every food item, conventional, organic, shade-grown, kosher, and every single one is linked to cancer.

    So it’s okay to eat some sausage at breakfast and drink a coffee also. It is not giving you cancer any more than the pesticide Roundup or your cell phone is.


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