When Is The War On Tea Going To Start?

It always puzzles me that the first – and most potent – drug that I crave on waking at dawn is widely available in shops, freely advertised everywhere, consumed by both adults and children, and not deemed to be poisonous, carcinogenic, or addictive. And that it’s only the second drug which is only available from behind shutters, illegal to advertise, forbidden to children, and deemed to be poisonous, carcinogenic, and addictive.

Because for the rest of the day I consume the two drugs in tandem at more or less the same rate. So how come only one of them is classed as an addictive drug? Shouldn’t they both be?

The second of the drugs, of course, is tobacco. And the first is tea. So when is the War on Tea going to start?

So I found myself interested by this Huffpo article today:

If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: “Drugs. Duh.” It’s not difficult to grasp… take a really potent drug for twenty days.There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.

One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments — ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did…

This somehow seemed entirely plausible. Next nicotine was considered:

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism — cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about The Cause of Addiction lying with chemical hooks is, in fact, real, but only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the one-hundred-year-old war on drugs. This massive war — which, as I saw, kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool — is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction — if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction — then this makes no sense…

In fact, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that it’s more like only 1.7% of smokers that stop smoking using nicotine patches. They’re virtually useless.

And I couldn’t help but think that, if there was any truth to Prof Alexander’s findings, a War on Tobacco that has expelled many smokers from society is actually driving them into precisely the sort of social isolation that makes addictive behaviours (of all kinds) more likely.

But then I read who the author of this Huffpo article was: Johann Hari. This was a one-time Independent columnist who’d been found guilty of plagiarism. Could he be trusted? Had he turned over a new leaf?

Nor did it help that Noam Chomsky, Elton John, Naomi Klein, Stephen Fry and David Nutt had all praised Hari’s new book: Chasing The Scream.

I can only suppose that Prof Alexander’s 50-year-old research has had zero impact on the War on Tobacco (or more widely on the War on Drugs).

For there’s no letting up. It only ever get worse. The insanity never ends.

So back to my first question:  When is the War on Tea going to start?

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About Frank Davis

smoker
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23 Responses to When Is The War On Tea Going To Start?

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    In fact, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that it’s more like only 1.7% of smokers that stop smoking using nicotine patches. They’re virtually useless.

    NRT Failure Rate Soars to 98.4%

    New revelations confirm that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) has a documented long term failure rate of 98.4%.

    PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 03, 2009 –
    New revelations confirm that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) has a documented long term failure rate of 98.4%.

    NRT is the Government’s recommended treatment for its smoking cessation programmes and is heavily funded by the tax-payer.

    Pro-choice group Freedom2choose are alarmed at these revelations and the obvious waste of tax-payers’ funds. Colin Grainger, vice chairman of the group states, “NRT products are obviously unfit for the purpose for which they are sold. This is fraud, wrong and immoral.”

    Freedom2choose have previously highlighted alternative ways to successfully quit smoking, including the Allen Carr method, with a documented success rate of 58% for those choosing to give up. The Allen Carr method even promises a money back guarantee to those that don’t successfully quit.

    “More worryingly,” continues Colin Grainger “is the shock that the scientists who put the study together even work for the manufacturers of NRT. This clearly shows how the Big Pharmaceutical companies influence the outcome of studies.”

    The revelations were originally made public by long-term anti-smoking campaigner Professor Michael Siegel who states “With a long-term smoking cessation percentage of only 1.6%, one can hardly call NRT treatment an “effective” intervention. In fact, the logical conclusion from this paper is that NRT was a dismal intervention.”

    Friday, July 27, 2012
    Pharmaceutical Nicotine and Chantix: 93% Failure Rate Reconfirmed

    A study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine indicates that pharmaceutical nicotine and Chantix (varenicline) had 93% failure rates at two inner city academic health center clinics with predominantly Medicaid patients (abstract here).

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Caffeine Addiction and Tea
    Last Updated: Dec 12, 2015 | By Elizabeth Wolfenden

    Iced and hot tea on a breakfast table. Photo Credit timurtas/iStock/Getty Images

    With the exception of water, more people in the world consume tea than any other beverage, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. While tea has a number of health benefits, it also contains a significant amount of caffeine. This caffeine can have many positive effects, such as helping you feel more alert or giving you increased energy. However, you run the risk of becoming addicted to caffeine if you consume tea too frequently or in large quantities. If you are concerned about the effect that the caffeine in tea is having on your health, consult your doctor.

    Caffeine in Tea

    While the amount of caffeine in a cup of tea varies depending on several factors, the average 8-oz. cup contains 40 to 120 mg of caffeine. White, oolong and green tea may contain less caffeine than black tea. The amount of caffeine found in tea is less than coffee, energy drinks or caffeine pills, but tea contains slightly more caffeine than most sodas. The risk of caffeine addiction may be slightly higher for tea than for soda but slightly less than for coffee.

    Caffeine Addiction

    Many people feel the effects of caffeine most strongly when they first begin consuming the drug. Common effects of caffeine include increased alertness or energy, nervousness and difficulty sleeping. As you become physically dependent on caffeine, you may notice that the effects of caffeine are not as pronounced. This is because your body has adjusted to having caffeine present in your system. You begin to need more of the drug in order to have the effect you used to experience. This increased tolerance to caffeine is the biggest sign of caffeine addiction.

    Withdrawal

    If you become addicted to caffeine, you likely will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms whenever you do not have the usual amount of caffeine in your system. These effects may include headaches, tiredness, irritability or muscle aches. Withdrawal symptoms usually go away almost immediately after resuming your caffeine consumption.

    Prevention

    To prevent yourself from being physically dependent on caffeine, limit the amount of caffeine you consume. You can lower the amount of caffeine in your tea by using one tea bag for multiple servings of tea, by shortening the length of time you brew the tea or by lowering the temperature of the water of your tea. Switching from black tea to green, white, oolong or herbal tea also may help you limit your overall caffeine consumption. Try to replace caffeinated beverages with decaffeinated or caffeine-free options whenever possible, and avoid consuming highly caffeinated beverages regularly. To prevent caffeine withdrawal symptoms, slowly decrease your caffeine consumption rather than stopping it abruptly.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/382758-caffeine-addiction-and-tea/

    Of course its from the defunct livestrong bullshit site

  3. Joe L. says:

    Actually, Frank, I believe the war on tea has already begun. Back in June, I posted an off-topic comment about this. Almost immediately after reports were released stating that there was no link between coffee and cancer, other reports from the WHO were released that stated hot beverages in general “probably” cause cancer. This conveniently covers both coffee and tea.

    Here’s a link to a different article from Time:

    Very Hot Drinks Are ‘Probable’ Cancer Trigger, Says WHO

  4. jaxthefirst says:

    “Although Uber aims for every Uber experience to be comfortable and scent-free, the truth of the matter is that Uber do not have a no-smoking policy for drivers or riders.

    “Complaint against the driver: Riders can write in and complain about the smell of smoke in a car or even state that the driver was smoking a cigarette, but unfortunately there’s not much that can be done here. Since partners are not employed by Uber, Uber cannot mandate them not to smoke in their car.”

    Completely – and I mean completely – off-topic, but I just noticed this little snippet by Uber cars on their information site. As their drivers are not licensed, it seems, there’s no legal requirement for them to be non-smoking (or, perhaps more importantly, no Sword of Damocles-type removal of their licence to threaten them with if they do allow it as there is for licensed cabs). The item is written squarely from the viewpoint (assumption?) that anyone looking at this article is desperately concerned that they might have to “put up with” a faint whiff of tobacco smoke, but as with all these anti-smoking items, turned inside out, it’s useful info, too, for smokers who are looking for a means of transport in which they might be able to have a cigarette. I don’t use Uber (don’t have a Smartphone) and so I don’t know how their “low rating” system works. If, when you give a low rating you have to give a reason why, even that could be useful to smokers – if the only reason for a low rating is “I could smell tobacco smoke in the car” then it’s worth asking specifically for that driver! Again, because I don’t use the system I don’t know how one books a Uber car, but being as it sounds like there may well be a few of them (although admittedly not many by the sound of it) who don’t mind smoking (or even smoke themselves), when requesting one it might be useful to deliberately ask for one who allows smoking, rather than not asking and ending up with one which doesn’t. One little area where the smokers’ pound could make a bit of a stand …

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    Here in our Human Rat Park the smokers are shunned into their restricted little Park.

  6. scot says:

    Very interesting stuff about “Uber” – thanks

  7. sackersonwp says:

    “I’m just mad about Hari”…

  8. virtualbarman says:

    I’m addicted to tea – I drink gallons of it every day…

    My wife, who is allegedly addicted to nicotine came back from a trip last night, went to bed at 11 and didn’t wake up ’til 1 this afternoon (I’m in Cyprus – 2 hours ahead of the UK)…

    Amazing that she didn’t have (or apparently need) a single ‘fix’ in the 14 hours she was in bed yet smokes between 30 and 40 a day normally…

    • Rose says:

      For me it’s coffee, packed with niacin apart from anything else, I probably get well over my RDA in niacin from coffee alone.

      Niacin keeps you healthy,sane
      http://web.archive.org/web/20071107142535/http://www.medaus.com/p/132,7876.html

      I haven’t researched the benefits of tea, filthy stuff never touch it, but if you are drinking gallons of it, it’s probably doing you a lot of good.

      I often think that I might drink so much instant coffee because the sugar and milk keep me going, rather than stop what I’m doing and sit down and eat something, to such an extent that I now mistake being hungry for wanting another cup of coffee.

      • nisakiman says:

        Oh Rose, how can you drink that instant stuff when there are so many options for brewing a good cup of real coffee?

        As well as a traditional stove top Italian espresso pot, which I use in the mornings to make us a big milky coffee, I also have a cafetiére, which makes a completely different flavour coffee, even using the same grains, and I also have a Nespresso capsule machine, which makes an almost authentic espresso. And they are all so quick and easy, and taste so much better than instant. And of course I also make Greek (Turkish) coffee, which is another drink again, unlike any other type of coffee.

        I do actually also have a drip filter coffee machine too, but that makes disgustingly crap tasting coffee, irrespective of the quality of the coffee you put in the filter, so that was consigned to the ‘useless’ cupboard years ago, and has been gathering dust ever since.

        The only time I ever use instant is when I make a Greek style Café frappé, an iced coffee which is quintessentially Greek, very frothy, and yummy.

        As an aside, when I was in Vietnam last year, I bought a couple of packs of what is claimed to be the most expensive coffee in the world. In Hanoi they call it ‘Weasel Coffee’, but in the more status-aware west, it’s known as ‘Civet Coffee’ (sounds so much posher than ‘weasel’, doesn’t it…). It’s basically coffee beans that have passed through the digestive tract of the civet (weasel), and been shat out the other end before being washed and roasted. It’s actually a singular taste and very nice, but not, to my mind, €70 per kilo (in Vietnam) nice.

        I’m actually quite keen on tea, as well, and usually drink at least two cups during the day. Hot tea is a surprisingly refreshing summer drink, something I came to understand years ago when I was in India, and tea was always proffered no matter what time of day. It’s kind of counter-intuitive, but even when it’s 40° in the shade, a hot cup of tea is very hydrating, and quenches the thirst better than a cold drink.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:
  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Only in New Jersey: Bill would ban motorists from drinking coffee and driving

    The legislation aims to target behavior that contributes to distracted driving.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/08/08/nj-distracted-driving-bill-ban-motorists-drinking-coffee-road/88380406/

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      New Jersey already draws ire for not letting drivers pump their own gas. But the state might ban them from having a cup of coffee behind the wheel too.

      A bill under consideration in the state Legislature calls to prohibit “any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway.” That means no cup of coffee for those sitting in traffic, no munching on that breakfast burrito, no time to groom. (No, the law does not target coffee verbatim.)

      The bill is meant to target distracted driving, which plays a role in thousands of fatal crashes in the state each year. At least 3,179 fatal crashes were attributed to distracted driving in 2014, according to the state’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety website. Distracted driving played a role in nearly 800,000 crashes between 2010 and 2014.

      “The issue is that we need to try, in every way, to discourage distracted driving, it’s dangerous,” Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat in Central Jersey, who sponsored the bill, told The Star-Ledger. “Education and enforcement can change the attitudes of people.”

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank see what you started with this blog………….You gave them ideas………….lol

      • jaxthefirst says:

        Now, c’mon Harl. We all know what they really want to ban behind the wheel, don’t we? Although it’s encouraging that they aren’t saying it in so many words and are couching it behind a rather more general description of “distraction.” Maybe they are starting to understand that the American public are beginning to spot targeted single-issue bullying when they see it. Good to see, too, that those reporting this story (and commenting on it) have, by not mentioning smoking whilst driving, illustrated how rulings like these never, ever, stop “just at smoking.”

        Or perhaps smoking behind the wheel is already illegal in NJ? If so, then they’ve missed a trick by not stopping any objectors in their tracks by simply saying: “Is being distracted by a coffee, or a sandwich, or a candy bar really any different from being distracted by a cigarette? Not from a victim’s point of view it isn’t.”

    • yvonnebones says:

      In my opinion any driver that cannot drive without distraction should not be behind the steering wheel. It is the driver that needs total and full concentration that is a menace and probably unable to react to the unforeseen. A driver that is able to multitask is more able to predict unforeseen actions from other drivers and slurp, chew and smoke; even while holding a conversation or listening to the radio at the same time. Just wait until they ban back seat drivers and children. It is the movement towards driver-less cars. Total control.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Air Pollution Could Affect Survival in Lung Cancer

    Higher exposure to certain ambient air pollutants was associated with shorter survival in lung cancer, especially for patients with early-stage disease.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/867099?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=206904EJ#vp_1

    Transplant patients who are given smokers’ lungs (right) are just as likely to survive as those who receive organs from non-smokers (left), a study has revealed. Some patients even had higher survival rates’

    ‘http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2550424/Smokers-lungs-just-likely-transplant-patients-alive-non-smokers-organs.html#ixzz3DmLHYLj9

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Air Pollution Could Affect Survival in Lung Cancer

      Roxanne Nelson, BSN, RN
      August 04, 2016

      However, this is the first study to show this effect, and so “we have to be a little cautious in interpreting it.” Ideally, the results should be replicated, and Dr Hart noted that she would like to see a study that included information about patient behavior patterns, which was impossible to tease out in the current paper because the information came from a database.

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/867099?src=wnl_edit_tpal

      of course its stantons school making the claims

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