Unthinkable

Breitbart:

Study: Smokers Appear Less Likely to Be Hospitalised with COVID-19

There’s a certain incredulity expressed:

It makes intuitive sense that smoking ought to exacerbate a respiratory infection such as coronavirus. Indeed, earlier reports in the mainstream media reflected this view when very little was known about coronavirus, pointing out the obviousthat smoking damages your lungs and so do respiratory diseases. (my added emphases)

Does smoking damage your lungs? As a 50-year-long smoker of unfiltered roll-ups, my answer would be No. I never had the sense that I was damaging my lungs. I think I would have stopped if I did.

Try this question instead: Does jogging damage your legs? I’d bet that most joggers would say that jogging strengthens their legs. It’s non-joggers and anti-joggers like me who would point out how the impact of jogging on feet and knees must be damaging them. I always think that joggers are slowly killing themselves.

So I think that smoking strengthens your lungs in the same way that jogging strengthens your legs, and weight-lifting strengthens your arms, and doing almost anything a lot makes you better at it.

Another point is that more or less everything can be beneficial in some circumstances, maleficial in others. Water is essential for living things, but they can also drown in it. It’s never the case that anything is all good, or all bad.

But antismokers always try to portray smoking as all bad, in all and every respect. They won’t even allow that smokers might enjoy smoking: No, smokers only light up because they are “addicted”.

So what’s really dangerous about these new studies is that they are strongly suggesting that there might be something good about smoking. And that’s unthinkable for antismokers, even if it’s not unthinkable for anyone else. Antismokers believe that Smoking Always Kills.

Anyway, with the premier alt-right Breitbart news now running this story, a lot more people are going to hear about it. Which may be why my blog stats are reporting that in 12 hours today I’ve already had as many page views on my blog as I had all yesterday (about 800) and half of them are on my 18 Feb 2020 How To Prevent Coronavirus? Start Smoking. There is a lot of interest out there. In fact since I’ve been covering this story, the daily hit count on my blog has doubled, returning it to levels it used to have some 5 years ago.

It would be a terrible blow for Tobacco Control if tobacco is found to be protective against Covid-19. It would be a terrible blow for it to be found good for anything at all. So I expect to see Stanton Glantz et al. producing instant overnight studies that re-affirm the dangers of smoking. But there are now a lot of new people looking at tobacco, as a matter of considerable urgency, and many of them will be open-minded: they’ll want to know the truth. One question they’ve been asking is: Might what we’ve been seeing be the result of smokers stopping smoking as soon as they get Covid-19, perhaps because shortness of breath (a Covid-19 symptom) prevents them from smoking? But I’ve been suffering from shortness of breath for the past 2 months, and it hasn’t stopped me from smoking. In fact I usually feel slightly better for smoking, not slightly worse.

I’m beginning to wonder if smoking has always been used for medicinal purposes, rather than pleasure. It was held in high esteem during the Plague of 1665. Might this be the same reason why smoking greatly increased among soldiers during WW1 and WW2. I’ve hitherto thought that this was because smoking calmed their nerves. But maybe it was also that soldiers in trenches were in a cold, wet, unhealthy, outdoor environment, and smoking prevented respiratory disease in the same way as it appears to be doing now with Covid-19. For soldiers smoking may have seemed as protective as wearing a helmet, which was also something they didn’t want to do.

In this approach, smoking is something people start doing when they face respiratory health threats: they are fumigating their lungs.

Research has proven that burning sage removes a whopping 94% of bacteria in the air. When the researchers tested the air a day later, it was still clean.

It may explain the long term smoking-antismoking cycle: When the health threat subsides (the plague, the war, whatever) people stop smoking, because there ceases to be any benefit in doing so. During this period, antismokers who see no benefit in smoking appear in mounting numbers. And this continues until a new health threat emerges, which smoking helps prevent, at which smoking prevalence starts rising, and antismokers start vanishing again. We may be at one of those points in history when the health benefits of tobacco are being rediscovered.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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24 Responses to Unthinkable

  1. Ryan S says:

    I’ve been a smoker for about 20 years. Started when I visited the UK (I’m from NY) at age 22 no less! I exercise, eat real food and can even do cardio (but to hell with jogging). I smoked commercial cigs for a while and then started making my own. No cough other than from post nasal drip mainly due to the dust and other shit from my job as a tractor mechanic. Otherwise, no issues. Not even high BP! Rarely ever get sick either. My doc harps on me when I get a check up, but I was never good at following orders.

  2. Tom Macaulay says:

    Remember also that the original research done by Doll that started the whole anti-smoking campaign showed that smokers who inhaled were less likely to get lung cancer. So in subsequent surveys he stopped asking the question.

  3. Rose says:

    But I’ve been suffering from shortness of breath for the past 2 months, and it hasn’t stopped me from smoking. In fact I usually feel slightly better for smoking, not slightly worse.

    Frank, don’t forget your mountain climbers.

    Harvard
    “A group of Medical School researchers has discovered a bizarre twist on the harmful effects of car exhaust and cigarette smoke: nitric oxide, a component of both pollutants, can help treat a deadly type of pneumonia.

    “Instructor in Anaesthesia Dr. Jesse D. Roberts, Jr., a member of Zapol’s research group, said the discovery also explains why mountain climbers short of breath often claim that smoking cigarettes makes them stronger. The seeming paradox may be due to the presence of nitric oxide in cigarette smoke”

    “And nitric oxide may only be the tip of the iceberg. The idea behind the treatment, that pollutants that are toxic in high doses are actually essential chemicals in the human body, may open a whole new world of safe drugs for other diseases.

    Carbon monoxide, another toxic gas present in automobile exhaust, has also been shown to be a chemical messenger between cells, Brain said. “It’s remarkable that it’s escaped everyone’s notice for so long,” he said.”

    “According to Zapol, it all reduces to one simple thing. “Good things hide in pollutants and cigarettes,” he said”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20051029212635/http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=222612

    https://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/mountaineer-smokers/

  4. Rose says:

    Ask the obvious question –

    Nitric Oxide Inhibits the Replication Cycle of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

    ABSTRACT
    “Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule between cells which has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on some virus infections.

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether NO inhibits the replication cycle of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) in vitro. We found that an organic NO donor, S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS CoV in a concentration-dependent manner. We also show here that NO inhibits viral protein and RNA synthesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that NO generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme that produces NO, inhibits the SARS CoV replication cycle.”
    https://jvi.asm.org/content/79/3/1966

    I know it’s not the same virus, but still.

  5. AJ says:

    I don’t know if this graph is already posted before but with 14% smokers in the USA you may expect about 1.000 ‘çurrent smokers’, not ony 96… Even if half of them lied about smoking habits because of being afraid not being treated well, the number is still much below what you may expect.

    Source:
    https://www.sciencealert.com/more-than-70-of-americans-hospitalised-with-covid-19-had-at-least-1-underlying-health-condition-the-cdc-says

    Graph:

  6. Александра Собина says:

    An interesting turn of events. Long live the Corona virus. I imagine how smokers are sitting in the pub on soft sofas, and anti-smokers outside.

  7. EG says:

    This is sad and funny at the same time. Our world is definitely not going to be the same.
    How are you liking your pizzas and kebabs?
    I think most people will expierence so much fear that they will have to become numb to it though. But a lot of new revelations about science and how to go about it will come from this, I hope.

  8. slugbop007 says:

    Hello Rose, hope all is well with you

    So, Nitric Oxide is not the same as Nitrogen Oxide. Correct?

    That reminds me of that idiot in Ozzieland, Simon Chapman, equating the contents of motor vehicle exhaust fumes and the minute traces found in some cigarettes. He should be made to eat all his junk science papers. Bon Appétit!

    slugbop007

    • Rose says:

      Crumbs SB, I’m not a scientist and I researched this years ago when they slung me out of the pub. Mostly because I wanted to know what was in a cigarette, gases and all.

      However

      Nitrogen oxides, NOx
      Term
      The term ‘nitrogen oxides’ (NOx) is usually used to include two gases-nitric oxide (NO), which is a colourless, odourless gas and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is a reddish-brown gas with a pungent odour. Nitric oxide reacts with oxygene or ozone in the air to form nitrogen dioxide. Inhalation of the pure gases is rapidly fatal.Other oxides of nitrogen include NO3 (nitrogen trioxide), N2O (nitrous oxide), N2O4 and N2O5. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas and also causes damage to the ozone layer. N2O4 is a dimer in equilibrum with NO2 and N2O5 is very unstable, usually only present in significant quantities at night (it is broken by sunlight).
      https: //www.eea.europa.eu/help/glossary/eper-chemicals-glossary/nitrogen-oxides-nox

      The L-Arginine-Nitric Oxide Pathway
      Salvador Moncada, and Annie Higgs

      “The discovery that mammalian cells generate nitric oxide, a gas previously considered to be merely an atmospheric pollutant, is providing important information about many biologic processes. Nitric oxide is synthesized from the amino acid L-arginine by a family of enzymes, the nitric oxide synthases, through a hitherto unrecognized metabolic route — namely, the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway18.The synthesis of nitric oxide by vascular endothelium is responsible for the vasodilator tone that is essential for the regulation of blood pressure. In the central nervous system nitric oxide is a neurotransmitter that underpins several functions, including the formation of memory.”
      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199312303292706

      Lost in the crowd: the story of nitric oxide

      “Appearances can be deceiving! An age-old, tiny compound such as nitric oxide, which is easily lost among the myriad of other intricate neurotransmitters of its calibre, seems an unlikely candidate for induction into the Chemical Hall of Fame. However, since the discovery six years ago that it is a vital neurotransmitter, nitric oxide has proved its worth countless times through its applications in the area of medicine, Constantly discovering monumental new functions of nitric oxide, scientists can hardly believe the potential. “In my 25 years of research, I have never seen a molecule [nitric oxide] that so pervasively influences normal and abnormal body functions” (Talan 1993), said the director of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Solomon Snyder. This compound has turned the collective head of the science world such that it was nominated “Molecule of the Year” by Science magazine in 1992.

      Discovered in 1772 by the renowned Joseph Priestley, who also discovered oxygen, nitric oxide is a clear, colouriess gas under normal atmospheric conditions with the chemical formula NO. It is formed of nitrogen which comprises eighty percent of our atmosphere, and oxygen which comprises the other twenty percent. A highly reactive compound, it only exists for six to ten seconds inside the body, then it is converted, by oxygen, into other compounds of nitrogen called nitrites. Uniquely, it is one of the few compounds with an odd number of electrons thereby making it a free-radical’ prone to ionizations.

      As one of the simplest compounds in nature, nitric oxide had been overlooked as an important factor to the body’s chemistry. Due to recent exposure however, thousands of new studies are being conducted concerning its applications. For example, the role of nitric oxide in helping our immune system fight disease has been established. When our body notifies the immune system of an invader, our system uses other compounds to create nitric oxide. The nitric oxide in turn allows the macrophage to devour such invaders as bacteria, fungi, and tumour cells.

      Nitric oxide has also been identified as a “messenger molecule” (Bredt and Snyder, 1969). In 1987, scientists working independently of each other in California and in England first revealed nitric oxide as a neurotransmifter. They were trying to identify the compound that caused the layer of cells that line the heart and blood vessels to relax. Finding that when the neuro- chemical acetylcholine4 hit the surface of these cells it released nitric oxide, scientists observed the relaxation of the muscles adjacent to the layer of cells. This discovery led to new breakthroughs toward better treatments for angina, hypertension, and other serious heart problems. Nitric oxide, since it is now understood to be the principal regulator of blood pressure, is leading the old drug nitroglycerine in related breakthroughs.

      Inside the brain, nitric oxide has always existed, but it has started to receive its rightful credit only recently. In nerve cells, the role that nitric oxide takes is “comparable in importance to its functions in macrophages and blood vessels, perhaps even more so” (Bredt and Snyder, 1974). It is unlike any known neurotransmitter; unstable and stored in the cytoplasm, it is likely produced on demand in the neuron. Its roles in the brain have been linked in the last six years to learning and memory, and to treatments for stroke and for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases.

      As a testament to its astonishing purview, nitric oxide offers benefits not only to the treatment for chronic illness but in trauma treatment as well. Patients with respiratory distress treated with nitric oxide gas had an increased survival rate from 50% to 80%. The gas discourages blood flow from wet, unventilated areas of the lungs resulting in more effective respiration.”
      http://www.chem.yorku.ca/hall_of_fame/essays95/NitricOxide/NitricOxide.htm

      Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade
      A briefing document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of. British Science Writers. Pearce Wright. May 1996.

      “Previously, nitric oxide was regarded as an environmental pollutant and little else: at best a chemically reactive nuisance, at worst a poison. In the exhaust fumes of cars it reacted readily with oxygen to produce smog, increasing the risk of asthma. When discharged into the atmosphere from power station chimneys it contributed to the ecological damage from acid rain.”

      “Consequently, a response bordering on disbelief greeted the discovery that cells lining the walls of blood vessels, endothelial cells, intentionally synthesised nitric oxide as a muscle relaxant. The molecule is short-lived, and a constant supply is generated by endothelial cells in response to the sheer stress of the blood flow on the artery wall. The notion that such a noxious little molecule should also hold a key to a healthy body and mind was counter-intuitive, and is still disconcerting to some people.”

      “While skeptics still thought it inconceivable that a biochemical pathway for producing nitric oxide was likely to exist in endothelial cells, they were batting against evolution. It transpires that the ability of organisms to produce nitric oxide is an ancient one, developed long before mammals emerged. Indeed, the horseshoe crab, with origins going back 500 million years, depends on the L-arginine: nitric oxide process to prevent its blood cells from aggregating.”
      https: //web.archive.org/web/20130625021526/http://web.archive.org/web/20061129131744/http://www.absw.org.uk/Briefings/Nitric+oxide.htm
      No longer available

      I hope that answers your question.

      I didn’t used to be like this, just a happy amateur gardener amongst my flowers, but –

      Nitric Oxide Can Alter Brain Function
      “Research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide (NO) can change the computational ability of the brain.”

      “Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger which cannot be stored and can rapidly diffuse across cell membranes to act at remote sites (in contrast to conventional neurotransmitters which cannot pass across cell membranes).

      “It is broadly localized in the central nervous system, where it influences synaptic transmission and contributes to learning and memory mechanisms”
      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126133403.htm

    • Rose says:

      Crumbs SB, I’m not a scientist and I researched this years ago when they slung me out of the pub. Mostly because I wanted to know what was in a cigarette, gases and all.

      However

      Nitrogen oxides, NOx
      Term
      The term ‘nitrogen oxides’ (NOx) is usually used to include two gases-nitric oxide (NO), which is a colourless, odourless gas and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is a reddish-brown gas with a pungent odour. Nitric oxide reacts with oxygene or ozone in the air to form nitrogen dioxide. Inhalation of the pure gases is rapidly fatal.Other oxides of nitrogen include NO3 (nitrogen trioxide), N2O (nitrous oxide), N2O4 and N2O5. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas and also causes damage to the ozone layer. N2O4 is a dimer in equilibrum with NO2 and N2O5 is very unstable, usually only present in significant quantities at night (it is broken by sunlight).
      https: //www.eea.europa.eu/help/glossary/eper-chemicals-glossary/nitrogen-oxides-nox

      The L-Arginine-Nitric Oxide Pathway
      Salvador Moncada, and Annie Higgs

      “The discovery that mammalian cells generate nitric oxide, a gas previously considered to be merely an atmospheric pollutant, is providing important information about many biologic processes. Nitric oxide is synthesized from the amino acid L-arginine by a family of enzymes, the nitric oxide synthases, through a hitherto unrecognized metabolic route — namely, the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway18.The synthesis of nitric oxide by vascular endothelium is responsible for the vasodilator tone that is essential for the regulation of blood pressure. In the central nervous system nitric oxide is a neurotransmitter that underpins several functions, including the formation of memory.”
      https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199312303292706

      Lost in the crowd: the story of nitric oxide

      “Appearances can be deceiving! An age-old, tiny compound such as nitric oxide, which is easily lost among the myriad of other intricate neurotransmitters of its calibre, seems an unlikely candidate for induction into the Chemical Hall of Fame. However, since the discovery six years ago that it is a vital neurotransmitter, nitric oxide has proved its worth countless times through its applications in the area of medicine, Constantly discovering monumental new functions of nitric oxide, scientists can hardly believe the potential. “In my 25 years of research, I have never seen a molecule [nitric oxide] that so pervasively influences normal and abnormal body functions” (Talan 1993), said the director of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Solomon Snyder. This compound has turned the collective head of the science world such that it was nominated “Molecule of the Year” by Science magazine in 1992.

      Discovered in 1772 by the renowned Joseph Priestley, who also discovered oxygen, nitric oxide is a clear, colouriess gas under normal atmospheric conditions with the chemical formula NO. It is formed of nitrogen which comprises eighty percent of our atmosphere, and oxygen which comprises the other twenty percent. A highly reactive compound, it only exists for six to ten seconds inside the body, then it is converted, by oxygen, into other compounds of nitrogen called nitrites. Uniquely, it is one of the few compounds with an odd number of electrons thereby making it a free-radical’ prone to ionizations.

      As one of the simplest compounds in nature, nitric oxide had been overlooked as an important factor to the body’s chemistry. Due to recent exposure however, thousands of new studies are being conducted concerning its applications. For example, the role of nitric oxide in helping our immune system fight disease has been established. When our body notifies the immune system of an invader, our system uses other compounds to create nitric oxide. The nitric oxide in turn allows the macrophage to devour such invaders as bacteria, fungi, and tumour cells.

      Nitric oxide has also been identified as a “messenger molecule” (Bredt and Snyder, 1969). In 1987, scientists working independently of each other in California and in England first revealed nitric oxide as a neurotransmifter. They were trying to identify the compound that caused the layer of cells that line the heart and blood vessels to relax. Finding that when the neuro- chemical acetylcholine4 hit the surface of these cells it released nitric oxide, scientists observed the relaxation of the muscles adjacent to the layer of cells. This discovery led to new breakthroughs toward better treatments for angina, hypertension, and other serious heart problems. Nitric oxide, since it is now understood to be the principal regulator of blood pressure, is leading the old drug nitroglycerine in related breakthroughs.

      Inside the brain, nitric oxide has always existed, but it has started to receive its rightful credit only recently. In nerve cells, the role that nitric oxide takes is “comparable in importance to its functions in macrophages and blood vessels, perhaps even more so” (Bredt and Snyder, 1974). It is unlike any known neurotransmitter; unstable and stored in the cytoplasm, it is likely produced on demand in the neuron. Its roles in the brain have been linked in the last six years to learning and memory, and to treatments for stroke and for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases.

      As a testament to its astonishing purview, nitric oxide offers benefits not only to the treatment for chronic illness but in trauma treatment as well. Patients with respiratory distress treated with nitric oxide gas had an increased survival rate from 50% to 80%. The gas discourages blood flow from wet, unventilated areas of the lungs resulting in more effective respiration.”
      http://www.chem.yorku.ca/hall_of_fame/essays95/NitricOxide/NitricOxide.htm

      Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade
      A briefing document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of. British Science Writers. Pearce Wright. May 1996.

      “Previously, nitric oxide was regarded as an environmental pollutant and little else: at best a chemically reactive nuisance, at worst a poison. In the exhaust fumes of cars it reacted readily with oxygen to produce smog, increasing the risk of asthma. When discharged into the atmosphere from power station chimneys it contributed to the ecological damage from acid rain.”

      “Consequently, a response bordering on disbelief greeted the discovery that cells lining the walls of blood vessels, endothelial cells, intentionally synthesised nitric oxide as a muscle relaxant. The molecule is short-lived, and a constant supply is generated by endothelial cells in response to the sheer stress of the blood flow on the artery wall. The notion that such a noxious little molecule should also hold a key to a healthy body and mind was counter-intuitive, and is still disconcerting to some people.”

      “While skeptics still thought it inconceivable that a biochemical pathway for producing nitric oxide was likely to exist in endothelial cells, they were batting against evolution. It transpires that the ability of organisms to produce nitric oxide is an ancient one, developed long before mammals emerged. Indeed, the horseshoe crab, with origins going back 500 million years, depends on the L-arginine: nitric oxide process to prevent its blood cells from aggregating.”
      https: //web.archive.org/web/20130625021526/http://web.archive.org/web/20061129131744/http://www.absw.org.uk/Briefings/Nitric+oxide.htm
      No longer available

      I hope that answers your question.

      I didn’t used to be like this, just a happy amateur gardener amongst my flowers, but –

      Nitric Oxide Can Alter Brain Function
      “Research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide (NO) can change the computational ability of the brain.”

      “Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger which cannot be stored and can rapidly diffuse across cell membranes to act at remote sites (in contrast to conventional neurotransmitters which cannot pass across cell membranes).

      “It is broadly localized in the central nervous system, where it influences synaptic transmission and contributes to learning and memory mechanisms”
      https: //www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126133403.htm

      • I had forgotten, but I wrote about that TRDP program in TobakkoNacht! Here’s page 250 where I talked about the craziness (and which might be part of the spur that pushed the Antis to try to digitally erase their footprints from the Internet Archives:

        —-
        Brain Fever: The Deadly Touch of a Smoker

        The summer of 2010 brought us a new, bright, and happy study from researchers in Australia. The study – “published in international medical journals” according to articles in the Deccan Chronicle and at the smoking-quit.info website – warned parents that if they allowed smokers to even touch their babies, that it could triple the younglings’ chances of early and painful deaths from dreaded “brain fever.”

        The study itself actually gave a fairly reasonable explanation for the mechanism of contami¬nation, noting that smokers might have a higher concentration of certain bacteria in their throats that are related to a rare condition known in Australia as “brain fever.” It wasn’t until I read it a second time though, that the numbers being cited as support suddenly caught my attention.

        Basically what the researchers were saying, on the basis of this single study, was that if a baby in the backwoods of Australia was living with and being cuddled by smokers every day of its young life, there might be one extra chance in three million that such a disease – but only if you lived in the backwoods of Australia. Meanwhile, the all-important opening statement of the article ignores all of this to warn that parents, all parents, “will have to choose between their daily nicotine fix and the pleasure of kissing and cuddling their children,” if they want to save those children from the horrors of brain fever.

        Is it right, is it moral, is it even barely excusable to frighten people about such extraordinarily unlikely risks in light of the likely repercussions involving deep human hurt, conflict, and injury to family love or social interactions? I believe that this study, in the way it was presented through the media and seemingly as it was presented to the media by the authors themselves, is little different than an outright crime.

        And yet, instead of getting better, things simply get worse. In August of 2010, the University of California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program gave Professor Manuela Martins-Green a grant for a quarter of a million dollars to study the effects of thirdhand smoke exposure on wound healing. Dr. Michael Siegel commented on this particular grant and similar ones in a critical blog entry on his website, saying,

        Interestingly, a request for applications for research on thirdhand smoke put out by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program itself raises the issue of how objective the program is. The RFA “anticipates” the findings of the research in advance, arguing that the results will lead to policy enactment and that the research will demonstrate that thirdhand smoke contains “disease-causing toxicants.” This is before the research has been conducted.

        In this case, in the press release announcing the grants, the professor stated that in cases of regular exposure, she expected to find that “when injured, the skin will not heal normally and could even result in wounds that become chronic.”

        Wounds that become chronic? From merely being touched by a smoker or their clothing? So, not only is the concern focused on simple brain fever or the mere disintegration of the skin of the tender infant in Granddad or Grandmom’s arms, but now also on the threat that if the child has any sort of wound or abrasion on its body, that it might never heal after even a brief, but lethal, embrace! In a very real sense, “The Touch of a Smoker” has now been proposed to rival in the public mind “The Touch of a Leper.”
        —-

        MJM, Leper In Training…

  9. Александра Собина says:

    Something had to happen in order to stop the fanatics, because they became more and more scary. Maybe thanks to the virus we avoided more terrible things.

  10. Vinny Gracchus says:

    The antismoking hysteria is a manufactured crisis. The positive benefits of smoking have been hidden and the harmful effects exaggerated (or outright fabricated for profiteers). The evidence is there isf you can find it. It’s time to destroy tobacco control and end the persecution of smokers.

    • Rose says:

      The evidence there if you can find it, Vinny.

      Shortly after the new discoveries about the properties of Nitric Oxide were made known, it appears that The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, attempted a little damage limitation.

      TRDRP 1999

      Effect of tobacco smoke on nitric oxide synthesis
      Initial Award Abstract

      “Smoking may lead to hypertension and stroke due to the decreased ability for the body to synthesize nitric oxide (NO). NO is a small molecule which has been implicated in a variety of physiological processes. One of its more important functions involves the relaxation of blood vessels.
      NO has been shown to dilate blood vessels and thus, allow more blood to flow.

      The human body takes advantages of this system to regulate the amount of blood flow to various parts of the body by adjusting the amount of NO produced.
      NO is also involved in the thinning of the blood by decreasing the stickiness of blood platelet cells. This process decreases the chance of these cells forming aggregates which may block small arteries and lead to strokes.

      NO is produced in the body by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). NOS produces NO from L-arginine, one of the 20 essential amino acids. When NOS does not function property, hypertension can occur since the blood vessels are more constricted. Also, there is an increased chance of stroke because of these narrow vessels and thickening of the blood.

      It is by this process by which we believe that smoking can cause hypertension and strokes.”
      http: //www.trdrp.org/fundedresearch/Vie … nt_id=1550

      Award: $70,000

      2010
      Request for Proposals for TRDRP Initiative on
      Thirdhand Smoke and Cigarette Butts

      The Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP)
      to undertake studies on Thirdhand Smoke and Cigarette Butt Waste, under a new initiative.

      Approximately $3.75 million is expected to be available for this RFP.
      http: //www.trdrp.org/fundingopps/Callrfp.asp
      Needless to say neither of those links still work

      Dr Siegel captured it for posterity after a tip from Michael McFadden

      California Taxpayers to Spend a Quarter Million Dollars Studying Effects of Thirdhand Smoke Dust on Skin
      Monday, August 09, 2010

      “The two-year $250,000 grant will support one graduate student and one postdoctoral scholar. “I am expecting to find that prolonged exposure to third-hand smoke will affect the ability of the skin to protect us from environmental exposures,” she said. “I also expect that, when injured, the skin will not heal normally and could even result in wounds that become chronic.”

      Funding for this research comes from the state of California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, whose revenue comes from the state excise cigarette tax.”

      “Interestingly, a request for applications for research on thirdhand smoke put out by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program itself raises the issue of how objective the program is. The RFA “anticipates” the findings of the research in advance, arguing that the results will lead to policy enactment and that the research will demonstrate that thirdhand smoke contains “disease-causing toxicants.” This is before the research has been conducted.”
      http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/08/california-taxpayers-to-spend-quarter.html

      • Well done Rose! :) Thou’rt The Research Librarian To The Stars! Actually, at some point, it would be a very valuable project to put together a list of even just three or four good examples of places where Antis have deleted embarrassing admissions made on their various websites over the years. There are tools out there like iCyte where pages (sites?) can be preserved for posterity, and there are sometimes bits and pieces left among the many captures that have been made over the years.

        Up for being a Gatherer Rose? I’d try but I’m so disorganized I’m lucky I can tie my shoelaces (Seriously… following through and completing stuff is not my forte: my two books were living nightmares to produce! I spent almost three years on Brains, and close to five on TNacht.)

        Frank, want to host a Graveyard Of The Living Dead Antis?

        :>
        Michael

  11. jaxthefirst says:

    Looking from the outside in – as we smokers have become so used to doing over the years, both physically and personally, being as we are almost totally excluded from any public conversation, sales pitch, or political announcement these days, whether smoking-related or not – this whole Covid-19 issue has been very interesting from a smokers’ perspective, as the news has gradually seeped out (despite the efforts of the usual suspects to supress, ignore or counter it) that our much-maligned habit might just, possibly, be one of the few things to offer a degree of protection against this hitherto-unknown enemy. It’s notable that even the first few bandwagon-jumping efforts of the antis in the early days of the epidemic were pretty much brushed aside by later, proper analysis of the people who had so far contracted the disease, with one scientist in one of your earlier links going so far as to actually admit that there were no indications that smokers were at greater risk than non-smokers. From a scientific community which these days is pretty much duty-bound to either paint smoking as a terrible risk, or simply not mention it at all if they can’t find one, that was one hell of a statement to come out with. By today’s standards, that’s almost positive, in fact.

    But that apart, there’s also the fact that with the inevitable toll that the almost-complete closedown of virtually all businesses will have on the economy, and the knock-on effect that that will have on the tax take to the Exchequer, plus all the increased public spending in salary payments, rate and rent “holidays” for businesses, and bailouts/assistance etc that has been promised, the Government must surely now be aware that when this disease finally abates and life starts getting back to normal, they are going to need as many of us naughty old sinners to keep right on sinning, because they are jolly well going to need all those “sin” taxes that we pay to them more than ever before. It could well turn out that, unfair though they are, all those tobacco, alcohol, fuel and, now, sugar, taxes could well turn out to be the very thing which ultimately saves us from those who have, for so many years, tried desperately to force us to stop doing all those things we like doing and to adhere to the same obedient, conformist little lives that they themselves live. Sweet irony, indeed! I think that’s what’s known as being Hoist by One’s Own Petard. And well overdue it is, too!

  12. Александра Собина says:

    I think the composition of the government should be reviewed, by name, because those who pecked and supported unreasonable persecution of smokers proved to be not capable. Do we need a government of fools?

  13. Александра Собина says:

    “well I guess smokers get a bit of compensation this year for all the health costs of smoking.”
    It really makes me feel better.

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