Did you know smoking now makes you deaf? Oh yes indeedy, there is no age-related ailment that cannot be blamed on smoking. Even if you don't smoke. It causes ageing of the skin, did you know? Time doesn't do that. Smoking does. It causes hearing loss. Getting older plays no part in that. It's smoking.
If nobody smoked, everyone would be immortal and in perfect health. Believe it, antismokers. You know you want to. You believe all the rest of the crap and you know that line is on the way, so get it over with. Believe it now. Oh, what am I saying? Most of you believe it already.
The original article, posted by the unquestioning drones who masquerade as BBC reporters, is full of howlers that nobody in the BBC has the brains to see.
Experts believe tobacco smoke may disrupt blood flow in the small vessels of the ear.
This could starve the organ of oxygen and lead to a build up of toxic waste, causing damage.
If that happened, the outer ear would atrophy and drop off. At the very least, it would become inflamed and painful. A build-up of toxic material in any part of the body does not happen without symptoms - and if there are no symptoms at all, on what basis do the 'experts' believe there is anything to investigate?
The inner ear, where the hearing part happens, is protected from the outside world by a membrane called an eardrum. The only part smoke could affect is the outer ear. Which will, if affected, show signs of damage. Ever seen any?
The harm is different to that caused by noise exposure or simple ageing.
What harm? All we have so far is 'experts believe in something that has shown no symptoms and has not been definitely linked to anything'. And yet in the very next sentence, the theory is proved. That's ASH science folks. Think of a number and it's always the right one.
In the study, the researchers from the University of Miami and Florida International University looked at the hearing test results of 3,307 non-smoking volunteers - some who were ex-smokers and some who had never smoked in their lifetime.
No active smokers? Well, no, those persistently non-deaf smokers would mess up the statistics, wouldn't they? Smokers just won't do as they are told.
To assess passive smoke exposure, the volunteers had their blood checked for a byproduct of nicotine, called cotinine, which is made when the body comes into contact with tobacco smoke.
Also when it comes into contact with potatoes, tomatoes and all sorts of other vegetables. Oh, no! They have just proved that tomatoes make you deaf! Ban them at once!
This revealed that people exposed to second-hand smoke were far more likely to have poorer hearing than others, and to a degree where they might struggle to follow a conversation in the presence of background noise.
The thing about cotinine is that it's not like mercury. It is not cumulative. So you will only have it in you if you have recently smoked, or had a meal with your five-a-day vegetables, or eaten anything with tomatoes in it (I'm not sure, but I suspect tomato sauce counts. Tomato juice certainly does). All this reveals is a remarkably tenuous link between cotinine levels today and hearing loss over the last 10-20 years. Cotinine levels will be different tomorrow, depending on what the volunteers had for lunch. Oh, and vitamin B3 will boost your levels too. Because it's derived from nicotine.
Where did these volunteers get exposed to recent second-hand smoke? We can't smoke indoors anywhere, and outdoors you'd have to have a tobacco bonfire to inhale enough to show up. Cotinine doesn't stay in you. It goes away fairly quickly. The only way you're going to get tobacco-derived cotinine is if you sit around in a smoke-filled room for hours - and there are no smoke-filled rooms any more. They've been banned.
You'd also have to test your blood immediately after leaving that room because your body will wash away the traces of cotinine soon afterwards.
The study links a temporary blood level of a vegetable-derived compound with a long-term issue. Science? Really? When did the principles of science get abandoned and replaced with some quasi-religious 'I believe it therefore it is proved' madness? Do they perform their experiments at night, in a circle of otter's blood, dressed in black lab coats with stars and moons on them? How long before the word 'experiment' is replaced with 'invocation'?
Yet people will believe it because the magicians call themselves 'experts', and the nonsense fits with the smokophobe prejudices so they simply won't question it. They don't want to think. It hurts them.
Hearing loss can often be very frustrating and lead to social isolation, if not quickly addressed.
Social isolation? <> Oh, I wonder what that can possibly feel like. Perhaps it feels a bit like being excluded from all public places and sneered at with Government approval?< /sarcasm >. Social isolation is what they have done to smokers, deliberately, and here they are pretending they give a crap about its effects on people? It's their main weapon.
These are the same 'scientists' who would decry homeopathy or astrology as 'pesudoscience' and yet what they are doing is far, far worse. They are making stuff up and using it to reduce a whole section of society to subhuman status. Say what you like about astrology and homeopathy, at least their practitioners don't call for people to be controlled and even killed. Antismokers do, regularly.
Smoking isn't good for me. I know it's not good for me. There is a risk, it's nowhere near as big a risk as the antismokers claim but it is there. I accept the risk because I enjoy a smoke. Just as a car driver accepts the risks associated with driving or a mountain climber or bungee jumper accept the risks associated with doing what they enjoy. Smoking poses no risk to anyone else, and these attempts to make smokers feel guilty over imagined harm are nothing more than spiteful social control.
The propaganda is now so silly that all it does is make smokers angry and more determined never to stop. It has one further, more sinister effect.
Since it is patently ridiculous to blame all these things on smoking, the real potential hazards are now lost among the mountains of insane and easily debunked claims. Children can see through claims as stupid as 'even seeing a packet will make you smoke' and 'smoking causes infections that we used to think were caused by bacteria and viruses but we now know that tobacco contains little demons that are released when the leaves are burned'. Really. That is what the claims amount to and even children can see through that.
So when you tell them they risk lung damage if they smoke too much (note: too much of anything can be harmful, even water), they don't believe you because they will file that along with the rest of the nonsense. So where is that disincentive now? Lost among the forest of lies that the antismokers have planted around it.
I don't want to see children smoking. It seems logical to me that a still-developing body is much more at risk of chemical damage than a fully-formed adult. However, what will happen if I were to tell children that?
They will file it under 'smoking-related lies' and light one up.
Nice one, antismokers.
Update: The Snowolf has reached a similar conclusion. All disease is now caused by 'tobacco goblins'.