Third hand smoke was pretty ridiculous. Second hand smoke is backed up by no evidence at all, but third hand smoke was just being silly. It was, I thought, out there at the city limits of Sense City. Turns out it wasn't. It's near enough right in the town centre compared with these two.
Dick Puddlecote has the tale of the bacteria that can get to you through cigarettes, even though there's no evidence that the DNA found in the samples is typical, or is from a live bacterium, and even if it is, burning them kills them. Plant material, especially fresh stuff like vegetables, is loaded with bacteria. That's normal. Dried plant material will have few live ones left. Ash, no matter what is burned to produce it, is sterile. Take it from me, it's my job to know these things and has been since 1981. I left a comment on this at Dick's place. No point going over it again. It's honestly too stupid for words.
In the world of food bacteriology, there are repeated attempts to get those bacteriological tests done by DNA analysis and all sensible laboratories refuse. Why? Because if you sample a chicken Kiev for Salmonella and find it, you will trigger a product recall and a huge loss to the producer. You can find the DNA if Salmonella cells are present even if every one of them is stone dead and represents nothing more than a picocalorie of extra protein. Dead Salmonella are not dangerous in the slightest. So food analysts persist with culture methods because only the live ones present a risk. Dead ones don't matter.
DNA analysis will find the dessicated remains of dead bacteria on dried and shredded tobacco leaves too. Just before they are burned to nothing. Those who believe this nonsense are living in fear of the cremated remains of dead microbes. What do they imagine these ex-bacteria will do? Haunt them to death?
Many dopey people will fall for it. They will think that because I smoke, I can give them a disease. I can. I can give you high blood pressure and possibly a heart attack, maybe even an aneurism, just by standing near you. Not because of any real toxins but simply because you believe it. I can induce all sorts of psychosomatic symptoms just by sitting next to you on the bus and letting it be known that I smoke. With this level of preconditioning, I can induce real chest pains in people just by describing them. I don't need to be able to hypnotise you first. That's already been done. All I need do is drop in the suggestion.
And don't think I won't.
A commenter at Casa Puddlecote pointed to this story.
Tread carefully. We are now so far outside Sense City that there aren't even signposts showing the way back. Sanity has packed up and abandoned this part of the world as irredeemable.
The guy in that story believes... actually and genuinely and truly believes...
Wait. If you're drinking anything, swallow and put down your glass. Do it now. Ready?
He believes that smokers exhale through their genitalia.
That's what he calls 'fourth hand smoke'. Your fourth hand is between your legs. Every time a smoker drains the sump, the nicotine he/she has smoked is concentrated, multiplied and goes into the water system where it causes uncontrollable cravings for a pack of Embassy in trout.
I'm not even going to start on that one. There's no point any more. We're up against unassailable levels of stupid now. A wall of stupid that makes the great wall of China look like a picket fence. An army of stupid that would have had Alexander the Great crying for his mummy. Let them believe it all. Let them work themselves up into a frenzy of terror over more and more insane paranoid rubbish. Let them boost their blood pressure and risk heart attack and stroke at the very sight of a photo of a single shred of tobacco. Smoking causes heart attacks? Oh, it's going to. Big time. In antismokers.
Let them believe that merely glimpsing a smoker who is half a mile away and who hasn't smoked for a few hours will cause them to die in horrible agony in the next few minutes. Let them believe we can give them leprosy, blue ear, distemper and mange at a range of five hundred yards downwind. Let them think it's in the water and the air and the food and in their clothes and hair and it's radioactive, cumulative, infectious and directional. Nicotine is intelligent and will hunt them down wherever they are. Let them believe it. Let them fear it. Let their paranoia build until they spend every waking minute in utter terror, every moment with blood pressure that would scare a giraffe's vet, every artery strained to breaking point and ready to pop.
Then blow smoke at them.
Now that's what I call natural selection. I would also call it natural justice.
And I'll call it fun.
Because you know, smokers have been pushed too far. You lunatic banmeisters have now handed us a weapon so deadly we don't even need to carry it. All we need do is say its name. We can seek out your trembling drones and all we have to do is be in the same room as them, breathe on them, shake hands and then say. 'I'm a smoker, you know'. Then step back and watch the arteries burst.
You don't even need to be an actual smoker. So if you're a non-smoker and fancy watching an idiot explode, have fun.