Social Isolation Kills

I came across this yesterday.

Loneliness and social isolation could kill you early, reveals new study

The researchers conducted two meta-analyses which involved 3,00,000 participants and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of early death.

Washington :  Being lonely and socially isolated is potentially very dangerous as studies suggest. So, if you are lonely then it is a time that you take some remedial measures.

According to a research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, people who live a lonely life, and/or are socially isolated are much more likely to die early, even than obese people.

The researchers conducted two meta-analyses which involved 3,00,000 participants and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of early death.

Another study which covered more than 3.4 million individuals from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia found that social isolation, loneliness, or living alone played a major part in the premature death.

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University, who conducted the study, said being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need which is essential to both well-being and survival.

Holt-Lunstad added that an increasing portion of the U.S. population is now experiencing isolation on a frequent basis.

As per the findings, approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are estimated to be suffering from chronic loneliness.

In addition, the most recent U.S. Census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined.

These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness, said the researchers.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk of premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” said Holt-Lunstad.

I’m not in the least bit surprised. Belonging in a community of some sort means that, if you experience any difficulties with anything, there’ll be somebody around to help out. And if there’s nobody around, there’s nobody to help out.

And the smoking bans that shatter communities and tear apart networks of friends and bankrupt pubs and cafes and clubs have undoubtedly substantially increased social isolation.

Smoking bans are a way of killing smokers, by “exiling them to the outdoors”, and expelling them from society. Even simply ignoring smokers, excluding them from public debate, is also a way of killing them.

But killing smokers is what Tobacco Control wants to do. They want a smoke-free world, which is also a smoker-free world. They’ve embarked on a eugenic programme of extermination. Eugenic programmes are all about selecting one group of plants/animals/people for favourable treatment, with all the rest being discarded and left to die.

Tobacco Control must be destroyed. And all the eugenicists in Public Health must must be expelled from society. They must have done unto them what they’re doing to everyone else. We need a eugenic social programme to get rid of the eugenicists.

In other news, I’ve learned today that asteroid 2012 TC4 – which I wrote about a few days ago – has just been re-acquired. It’s due to pass close to the Earth on October 12. They’ve been a bit worried about it because they weren’t able get an accurate fix on it back in 2012 when it was first seen. They must have used a damn big telescope to pick it up, because it’s still about 50 million km away (actually more like 56 million km, according to my orbital simulation model). Either that, or it’s larger and brighter than they thought it was.

Until a few days ago they estimated it would pass about 90,000 km from the Earth. The newest estimate, as of yesterday, is that it will pass about 50,000 km from the Earth. For reference, the radius of the Earth is about 6,000 km, and geostationary satellites orbiting around the Earth are about 42,000 km from the centre of the Earth.

Because it’s still so distant, they probably still don’t have a very accurate fix on it. So I expect to see the numbers being refined over the next month or so.


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37 Responses to Social Isolation Kills

  1. Rose says:

    Julianne Holt-Lunstad, from Brigham Young University, who conducted the study, said being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need which is essential to both well-being and survival

    That’s why TC thought we’d all give up as soon as the smoking ban came in, because we surely couldn’t bear to be separated from the herd.

  2. Dear Frank,

    I am SO sorry I haven’t visited Smoky-Drinky. I haven’t been well with dreadful sciatica diagnosed as Piriformis sciatica. But I think that’s not what it is. I think I have Stenosis. And I’m truly grumpy! Not good company at all.

    But I WILL be back.

    Nice post!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Never mind if you haven’t visited. Get well soon.

      • nisakiman says:

        I popped in on Saturday night – stayed for about half an hour or so, but nobody turned up, so I went home. Maybe it was too early for the UK – it was around 11 pm here. I’ll pop in again soon.

    • gimper30 says:

      I,too, have been dealing with a very painful case of stenosis for the last four years. It has severely limited my mobility and tests my patience as it does yours. At age 74, thank God I have a wonderful, caring wife who helps me cope with this 24 hours every day. Good luck and don’t let it get the best of you. Keep on truckin’..

  3. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Any one seen the picture of David Cameron taken the other day smoking on page 4 of the Telegraph today ? Mr Plain Packaging !

    • Rose says:

      I’m not conviced by that picture at all. The Corbyn fan is clear while Cameron is not, it looks like she has been stuck onto a newspaper cutting.

      Vic-Tory-ous! Corbynista grabs a hug with David Cameron

    • Frank Davis says:

      Seems quite plausible to me. She’s wearing a glittery material that would stand out against a dull background.

      The highlights on Cameron’s face and hands all come from a bright light (flash?) in front of him. Same with the glass he’s holding.

      And the highlights on her hair are consistent with this too.

      If she looks “stuck on” it may be because a flash mounted on a camera has cast a shadow from her coat onto Cameron, putting a little line of shadow around it.

      • I agree she looks ‘stuck on’ but if you take her away David Cameron is still smoking.

        • Rose says:

          But he smokes anyway.

          No smoke without ire…
          October 8 2016

          “David Cameron has been revisiting all his old haunts, now that he no longer has to appear normal. However, members at the Carlton Club have become irritated by the former PM’s appearances on their turf. I’m told that his security guards have been blocking other Carltonians from using the smoking terrace while Dave has a fag in peace. One splutters: “He’s acting like a bloody oligarch.” Cameron is said to have also returned to the super-elite and aristocratic White’s, where his father was chairman.”

          Cigarettes and plain packaging: Cameron ‘makes U-turn’
          28 Nov 2013

          “The idea of banning branding was controversially shelved in July, with the government insisting it had not bowed to tobacco industry lobbying and it wanted to see how it worked in Australia.
          But health minister Jane Ellison said today that paediatrician Sir Cyril Chantler has been asked to carry out a review of the evidence, which will be completed by March.”

          “Labour previously accused David Cameron of “bringing big tobacco to the heart of Downing Street” by hiring lobbyist Lynton Crosby as a key election adviser.
          Mr Crosby denies having “any conversation or discussion” with the prime minister on the issue.”

  4. Rose says:

    Smoking is Good For Us

    “Today we learn that smokers are a net benefit to the UK economy to the tune of £14.7 billion per year. A report into ‘sin taxes’ by the Institute of Economic Affairs examines the net effect of smoking on the taxpayer. It finds:

    “In the absence of smoking, the government would spend an extra £9.8 billion annually in pension, healthcare and other benefit payments (less taxes forgone). Duty paid on tobacco products is £9.5 billion a year. In total, the gross financial benefit to the government from smoking therefore amounts to £19.3 billion. Subtracting the £4.6 billion of costs produces an overall net benefit of £14.7 billion per annum.”

    “The public cost argument is often used to justify government meddling in people’s lifestyle choices. In fact, as this study shows, blaming smokers, drinkers and fast-food-lovers for spiralling healthcare costs is just a moral fable employed in an effort to control behaviour rather than to actually save money. Freedom of choice is not only right morally, it makes fiscal sense…”

    • Vlad says:

      Yes, smoking is good for us, but not for the reasons in that article. Most of those figures are obtained via a GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) process so they’re basically worthless. (I’m not faulting Chris Snowdon, he plays and beats ‘public health’ at their own game). The duty paid figure is a real one, and every smoker can quite easily calculate his/her annual share of it. That’s the price we pay to a bully state and society.

      • Rose says:

        I have calculated that I visit the GP once every fifteen years when I am puzzled about something and need a second opinion, in addition, I had 4 stitches in my head when I had an accident in the school gym (I was a nonsmoker then) and twice been in hospital to have babies, they insisted on it in those days.
        I console myself that my many years of extra donations in tobacco tax are going to help someone else, even though I know it’s not true.

  5. Rose says:

    Children urged to pressure parents on smoking

    “Young children are to be mobilised to heap pressure on their parents to give up smoking, in a continuing drive against the habit.

    As England awakes to a ban on lighting up in pubs and restaurants today, plans have been drawn up for “smoking cessation support workers” to visit schools to “educate” children about the dangers of passive smoking.
    The children will then be urged to return home and “stand up for their rights” by telling their mothers and fathers to stop smoking at home.”

    “Details of the initiative, branded as “disgraceful moral blackmail” by critics, come as Caroline Flint, a health minister until last week’s reshuffle, has told local authorities to adopt a softly-softly approach in the early days of the ban on smoking in public places, which came into effect at 6am this morning.”

    “The initiative to use children to persuade their parents to stop smoking is being pioneered in London by the North Fulham New Deal for Communities (NDC) project, backed with £15,000 of government money. Other groups, including NHS primary care trusts, are expected to adopt similar measures.”

    • nisakiman says:

      Shades of East Germany, when kids were encouraged to dob their parents in for saying or doing the wrong thing. Still, it amply illustrates the morality (or lack thereof) of these people.

  6. C.F. Apollyon says:

    Don’t participate in surveys. Problem(s) solved.

  7. waltc says:

    @Margo, from yesterday
    Hey, glad you liked Manhattan Roulette. At the (high) risk of sounding crass, if you got it from Amazon and feel like it, well, it always helps to get online reviews there from “verified purchasers.” Hope mine of The Mark gave a small boost to yours which I’ll say again for this discerning “audience” is a stunningly good novel.

    • margo says:

      Yes, I thought it was you and wanted to thank you for that stupendous review, which I thought was very insightful and perceptive. I’ve already done one on Amazon for Manhattan – go see!

      • waltc says:

        Found it, and thanks, so far only on amazon uk, not us but I guess they’ll cross-pollinate sooner or later. Glad you fell in love with him, but, yes, he’d be a tough nut to crack.

    • Rose says:

      Wouldn’t work here.

      Top Gear pipes anger anti-smokers
      October 20007

      “Anti-smoking campaigners have asked the BBC to apologise after Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May lit pipes on Sunday’s show.
      “Smoking in a studio is illegal. We would hope programme-makers make some form of apology,” said a spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).
      Waverley Borough Council said it was investigating the incident at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.The BBC declined to comment on whether or not what took place was illegal.”

      ‘No audience complaints’

      “During an item in Top Gear, making fun of car merchandise, the presenters lit up branded pipes, which contained herbal tobacco,” she said.
      “We are very upfront about the style and tone of the show, so viewers know what to expect.”
      “There were no complaints from members of the audience present during the filming,” she added.
      One audience member told the BBC News website: “No-one in the audience seemed to mind when they lit up – people laughed, although the room did get quite smoky.”

      ‘Not appropriate’

      Ash’s spokeswoman said smoking was “not appropriate for the BBC”.
      “There are no exceptions,” she said, adding: “You cannot smoke in a public place. This isn’t covered by artistic integrity.”

  8. beobrigitte says:

    According to a research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, people who live a lonely life, and/or are socially isolated are much more likely to die early, even than obese people.
    It is a little surprising that the words “smoking” and “smokers” appear to be carefully avoided. “Obesity related” diseases overlap to the largest part with “smoking related” diseases, which in turn overlap to the largest part with age related diseases, so it’s up to everyone to pick whichever suits.

    Loneliness and social isolation, however, appear to be the tool of choice when it comes to fanatics pushing their agenda to the top.
    To date it is not only tolerated that “these stubborn, non-conform” smokers are being pushed into social isolation, it is ENCOURAGED and DICTATED. It all started with that oh-so-daaaangerous-passive-smoke.
    The obese are already at that point,weren’t there already “expert alerts” about passive obesity?

    Washington : Being lonely and socially isolated is potentially very dangerous as studies suggest. So, if you are lonely then it is a time that you take some remedial measures.
    What a great piece of advice. Just put ashtrays back on tables and separate smoking from non-smoking effectively.

    I’m glad we have a smoker bar. I dropped in last night for “a minute” because I was planning on an early night. I left at about 3 am, after having laughed a lot and having had some “passive beers” as I had no real beer in the house. That was early, I suppose…..

    • Rhys says:

      I don’t remember passive obesity, but I do remember some years ago the New England Journal of Medicine ran a big story on how obesity is cantagious – even if your obese friend became obese after he left town and you only exchanged Christmas cards, your chances of obesity went up. If your fatty friends were still in your life, you were pretty much doomed.


      It was computer-modelled, that’s the fancy term for ‘they made it all up’.

      Let’s hope they don’t try to pull that nonsense again, but given what they’ve done to us, I wouldn’t be shocked. OTOH, if all the smokers, drinkers, fat people, meat eaters, and whoever else is in their sights get ‘excluded’, we might be in the weird position of having more excludees than anything else in our societies. Which might work out, and the healthists would be the ones all on their own.

      • Rose says:

        Contagious obesity , do you remember those happy days when we used to read this kind of stuff and laugh because no one with an ounce of commonsense could possibly take it seriously?

        Obesity ‘contagious’, experts say

        “Having a friend, sibling or spouse who is overweight raises a person’s risk of being obese too, US researchers say.
        They said data on more than 12,000 people suggested the risk was increased by 57% if a friend was obese, by 40% if a sibling was and 37% if a spouse was.
        They argued this showed social factors, such as the body sizes of other people, were important in developing obesity.
        Experts said the New England Journal of Medicine study was not conclusive as other hidden factors could be to blame.”

        But they never stop trying.

        Obesity Could Be Contagious Scientists Say.
        5 May 2016

        “Researchers believe gut bacteria, which influences two per cent of a person’s body weight, could lie dormant and survive outside the body, before transferring to other people.
        “Obesity could be contagious as gut bacteria from overweight people spreads to slimmer people, research has found.

        Scientists believe gut bacteria can lie dormant in spores for long periods of time, through a form of bacterial hibernation. This means that the bacteria can survive outside the body and potentially transfer between people by being ingested. It is estimated that around two per cent of a person’s body weight is linked to bacteria as it can disrupt a person’s gut microbiome.”

        Passive obesity, vaguely reminiscent of the early days of the AIDS panic.

      • Rose says:

        Tobacco Control, Stigma, and Public Health: Rethinking the Relations

        “The AIDS epidemic bore witness to the terrible burdens imposed by stigmatization and to the way in which marginalization could subvert the goals of HIV prevention. Out of that experience and propelled by the linkage of public health and human rights, it became commonplace to assert that stigmatization was a retrograde force.

        Some might dismiss the parallel we have drawn between the role of stigmatization in the AIDS epidemic and its use by antitobacco advocates. Surely, the former case is more severe. But the experience of confronting AIDS stigmatization compels us to rethink these issues because many public health advocates have explicitly taken the experience of AIDS to draw a generalized lesson about the relation between stigmatization and public health.

        If stigmatization does contribute to reducing the human costs of smoking by encouraging cessation or preventing the onset of tobacco use, are the personal burdens it creates morally justifiable? Although it provides a point of departure, the utilitarian calculus, so vital to public health thinking, is insufficient for answering the question.

        Much will depend on the nature and the extent of stigma-associated burdens and on how the antitobacco movement deploys stigmatization as an instrument of social control. For example, policies and cultural standards that result in isolation and severe embarrassment are different from those that cause discomfort. Those that provoke a sense of social disease are not the same as those that mortify. Acts that seek to limit the contexts in which smoking is permitted are different from those that restrict the right to work, to access health or life insurance, or to reside in communities of one’s choice.”

        • Joe L. says:

          Thanks for this article, Rose.

          Eleven years later now and Tobacco Control continues to ramp up the stigmatization of smokers. I would be interested to know how the authors feel today. When I have some free time, I might have to see if their email addresses are available.

  9. Smoking Lamp says:

    Regulars here are well aware that tobacco control and its parent lifestyle control are moral crusades that exploit health as a vehicle for healthiest and eugenic ambitions. The evidence is mounting (even in the mainstream press) that much of the evidence used to justify smoking bans, seek prohibition of tobacco, vaping, and alcohol is concocted or exaggerated by the lifestyle control zealots.

    The most recent reports show that heavy to moderate drinkers are more likely to reach age 85 without dementia relative to non-drinkers; that is the study(from UC San Diego) showed a correlation between moderate alcohol intake and longevity. Of course that is the antithesis of lifestyle control dogma.

    Meanwhile in New Zealand (home of extreme healthists) the medical association is seeking to ban alcohol sales in supermarkets. Their rationale? “Selling wine and beer next to food ‘normalises’ a dangerous drug and should be sold at specific outlets” according to an article at The Guardian. Sounds like the same script used to attack cigarettes and tobacco sales. (See “Ban alcohol from supermarkets, urges New Zealand medical authority,”

    Here are the UC San Diego study details:

    Richard EL, Kritz-Silverstein D, Laughlin GA, Fung TT, Barrett-Connor E, McEvoy LK. Alcohol Intake and Cognitively Healthy Longevity in Community-Dwelling Adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;59(3):803-814. doi: 10.3233/JAD-161153.

    Abstract: To better understand the association of alcohol intake with cognitively healthy longevity (CHL), we explored the association between amount and frequency of alcohol intake and CHL among 1,344 older community-dwelling adults. Alcohol intake was assessed by questionnaire in 1984-1987. Cognitive function was assessed in approximate four-year intervals between 1988 and 2009. Multinomial logistic regression, adjusting for multiple lifestyle and health factors, was used to examine the association between alcohol consumption and CHL (living to age 85 without cognitive impairment), survival to age 85 with cognitive impairment (MMSE score >1.5 standard deviations below expectation for age, sex, and education), or death before age 85. Most participants (88%) reported some current alcohol intake; 49% reported a moderate amount of alcohol intake, and 48% reported drinking near-daily. Relative to nondrinkers, moderate and heavy drinkers (up to 3 drinks/day for women and for men 65 years and older, up to 4 drinks/day for men under 65 years) had significantly higher adjusted odds of survival to age 85 without cognitive impairment (p’s < 0.05). Near-daily drinkers had 2-3 fold higher adjusted odds of CHL versus living to at least age 85 with cognitive impairment (odds ratio (OR) = 2.06; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21, 3.49) or death before 85 (OR = 3.24; 95% CI: 1.92, 5.46). Although excessive drinking has negative health consequences, these results suggest that regular, moderate drinking may play a role in cognitively healthy longevity.

    • Vlad says:

      I guess if studies were done on smokers (not commercial cigarettes and who don’t believe smoking is bad for them) by proper researchers, the results would be stunning.

  10. Pingback: Celebrity Smokers Will Be Targeted | Frank Davis

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