Other Views

Stuff I’ve been reading.

Simon Clark:

I’m not sure why I get so annoyed. There is just something about some vaping activists that leaves me cold. ‬

‪For example, the cult-like insistence that if only smokers had access to e-cigarettes or weren’t ‘misled about vaping’ all smokers would switch and millions of lives would be saved.‬

‪There are times when some vaping activists sound more like evangelical preachers exhorting smokers to abandon their unhealthy ways and live a new life free from the dangers of tobacco.‬

‪Behind this lies the apparent belief that smokers smoke only for the nicotine and if smokers can only be persuaded to switch to a safer delivery device one billion lives will be saved and they will be so much happier.‬

‪In some cases, perhaps, but this belief (and I use the word advisedly) ignores the fact that many smokers enjoy smoking – the ritual, the taste, the inhalation and exhalation of smoke, the warmth of the burning tobacco etc.

Well, yes.

Not least, cigarettes are as light as feathers, while vapes are laden with batteries. And cigarettes – like candles – are living things, with a metabolism and a lifetime – while vapes are machines , and as different from cigarettes as cars are from horses.

Smoking is completely different from vaping, which is reductionist in nature: it delivers nicotine. But smoke isn’t just vapourised nicotine: it’s something multifarious and deeply symbolic. Smoke has multiple dimensions.

There’s never going to be a “smoke-free” world. Smoke is as much part of the natural world as water.


Scary news. The Flu Manchu scare is wearing off. People are ignoring lockdown. It has nothing to do with Dominic Cummings, we are just getting pissed off with it all. It’s failing as it was always going to.

Yes, that’s true too. Scares always wear off. That’s why they keep on inventing new ones.

What happens when people don’t believe them in the first place? Because that’s where we’re going: A world where nobody believes anybody about anything. A world where there are no authorities, and there are no experts, because the authorities and the experts told far too many lies for anyone to believe them any more.

Chris Sorochin:

New York’s reputation as a place where “anything goes” reaches back to colonial times. In contrast to staid, Calvinist Boston, New York’s pragmatic Dutch origins as a trading center (rather than a putative haven for those fleeing religious repression to impose their own theocracy) meant a much more secular and tolerant atmosphere.

So it was a particularly bitter pill to swallow when New York mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans for a ban on smoking in all public places. Prior to Bloomberg’s reign, smoking bans had largely been associated with places like granola-crunch California (mocked by New Yorkers for its obsessive healthist culture, among other things) and true-to-its-Puritan-roots Massachusetts. The first place I ever visited where one couldn’t smoke in a bar was, appropriately, Salem, a little northeast of Boston and famous for its 1692 witch hunt…

We’re still living in a theocracy. The War on Smoking is as much religious persecution as witch hunting ever was. The new god is Health, and it’s as oppressively demanding as Jupiter or Athena or Cybele ever were.

About Frank Davis

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11 Responses to Other Views

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    The aroma of fine tobacco – Turkish for me – sensational ! Vaping could never touch it !

  2. Rose says:

    Vaping, I know this one.

    They are devotees of Michael Russell whether they know it or not.

    Michael Russell stated that, “People smoke for the nicotine but they die from the tar”,

    Michael Russell
    Pioneer of effective treatments to help people stop smoking

    “Michael Russell, who has died at the age of 77 from a heart attack, was the man who did most to revolutionise our understanding. His research led to the 1988 report of the US surgeon general, Nicotine Addiction, which finally brought recognition that cigarette smoking is a classic drug dependence.

    Russell was a psychiatrist in training at the Maudsley hospital, in south London, when he chose the topic of cigarette smoking for his research thesis in 1967. Based on his review of what was then fragmentary research literature, he concluded in a 1971 paper that the drug nicotine was the motivating force underlying smoking behaviour.He made the study of the interacting pharmacological and psychological determinants of tobacco dependence his life’s work.

    “Comparisons of nicotine concentrations in dependent users of dry nasal snuff, moist oral snuff and cigarette smokers showed remarkably similar levels, pointing to the controlling influence of nicotine. This led Russell to become an early advocate of harm reduction, since it was apparent that it was the tar, not the nicotine, that killed smokers, and it was possible to satisfy users’ desire to take nicotine with non-combustible tar-free products.”
    https: //www.theguardian.com/science/2009/aug/04/obituary-michael-russell

    Richard Doll speaking about “tar” to Parliament.

    “Pathologists, meanwhile, continued to argue about the reality of the increase. Some, however, had been sufficiently impressed to try to produce cancer with tobacco tar on the skin of laboratory animals. Roffo succeeded in doing so in the Argentine in 1931, using rabbits, but his results were generally dismissed in the UK and the US on the grounds that the tobacco had been burnt at unrealistically high temperatures. Experiments in Britain were negative (Leitch, 1928; Passey, 1929) apart from one which produced one cancer in 50 animals and led Cooper et al (1932) to conclude that “tobacco tar is relatively unimportant in the causation of cancers”.

    As thoroughly discussed here.

    But clearly the psychiatrist Russell was very impressed with the idea of tar and just ignored all statements to the contrary.

    That would be those Polycyclic Hydrocarbons and “numerous anticarcinogens” I mentioned the other day.

    The composition of cigarette smoke: a chronology of the studies of four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    “Previous studies highlighted the concern that some regulatory bodies had in attempting to understand why long cancer and other forms of cancer seemed more prevalent in smokers. But cigarette smoking alone could not reconcile the evidence. Social, ethnic, environmental, and economic factors are also very important in understanding the entire biological effect. In fact, the level of B[ a ]P in CSC could only explain about 2% of its specific tumorigenicity observed in skinpainted mice and the combination of the levels of all the known tumorigenic PAHs in CSC could only explain about 3% of its tumorigenicity. Despite an 18-month study in the late 1950s, the search for a “supercarcinogen” in MSS and CSC to explain the observed biological effects was unsuccessful. In addition, the exceptional study on MSS PAHs by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) personnel in the 1970s indicated no “supercarcinogen” was present. Only recently has the concept of complex mixtures in relation to the understanding of the complexity of carcinogenesis taken hold. Perhaps the reason why MSS is less tumorigenic than expected in humans is because of the presence of other MSS components that inhibit or prevent tumorigenesis.

    For example, it is well known that MSS contains numerous anticarcinogens present in quantifies significantly greater than those of the PAHs of concern. When one reviews the history of these four PAHs in MSS or CSC it is clear that many unanswered questions remain.”

  3. smokingscot says:

    Here’s a mature woman, very intoxicated, going nuts about smelling bacon!


    An example of the type who complain about smelling cigarette smoke… in a PUB, or a BEER garden! They have no mirrors, so they don’t quite grasp their double standards. And one claims to be a college professor! Maybe from the school of Stanton Glantz!

  4. Rose says:


    Patent Issuance allowed for single-use or short-term nitric oxide delivery device
    29 May 2020

    “Nu-Med Plus, Inc. (OTCQB: NUMD), a medical device company which investigates and develops applications and devices for nitric oxide delivery in the medical field, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has allowed the issuance of a patent for a single-use or short-term use nitric oxide inhaler.

    This patent allowance will provide the Company the capability of providing individual nitric oxide treatment options in emergency situations, to be used in remote and rural areas that has the capability to rapidly deliver the prescribed dose of nitric oxide when serious and instantaneous use is needed.

    Typically, nitric oxide delivery devices are large, electronically complex devices that are used primarily in neonatal intensive care units. The importance of nitric oxide as a treatment is well documented in literature but to date has not seen widespread use because of the bulky delivery equipment designed for hospital use and the high cost of the treatment.

    Jeff Robins, Chief Executive Officer of Nu-Med Plus, stated, “This patent allowance is a significant achievement for our Company and can help open new patient markets. A readily available, small, disposable nitric oxide delivery device with no need for electricity to be used by emergency field personnel or available for use in remote regions and/or under the most critical times of need such as combat are currently untapped markets.”

    But like vaping, only one component of cigarette smoke.

    • Rose says:

      I’ve always been interested in the folk medicine of why you give a cigarette to a wounded soldier, I thought it must be the comfort, familiarity and antidepressant effect of the smoke, but there it is.

      “A readily available, small, disposable nitric oxide delivery device with no need for electricity to be used by emergency field personnel or available for use in remote regions and/or under the most critical times of need such as combat”

  5. Rose says:

    Chris Snowdon

    New study with a large sample: “The risk of infection by COVID-19 appears to be reduced by half among current smokers… Among patients tested positive, there was no evidence of significantly increased risk of developing severe or fatal disease.”

    Smoking and the risk of COVID-19 in a large observational population study
    June 01, 2020.

    • Joe L. says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Rose! Yet another study supporting the hypothesis that smoking tobacco has protective effects against SARS-CoV-2. The previous studies all indicated that smokers were far less likely to develop severe symptoms, whereas this study focused on positive test results. It appears that smokers are ~55% less likely to catch the disease in the first place. How can the mainstream media remain so silent about this?

      • Rose says:

        No money from advertising, they all went quiet when it was banned, pharma and government pay for lots of advertising space in newspapers and on television and they wouldn’t like to upset them.

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