ForEnt, in the comments to an earlier post, links to the story of the US Surgeon-General who says you can die of a heart attack from one cigarette. One. So, you can die of a heart attack from one sticky bun too? Looks like she's played Danish Roulette a few times herself.
I have no idea how many cigarettes I've smoked in total. There were months when it was less than one a day because I had no money. There were weeks when I had flu and didn't feel like smoking. In the winter I probably smoke more because the main work goes quiet, I'm mostly writing so I'm sat here puffing away. I would guess, on average, a two-ounce pack of baccy lasts five days but there have been many variations away from that in both directions. Some are huge rollups, some are thin two-puffers, that's what I like about them. I can set the size of the cigarette to how much I want. 'One cigarette' has no meaning. Even readymades come in a wide range of strengths and sizes.
The last two days have been snow-shifting, now that it's stopped arriving for a while. It's melting but is due to refreeze by Monday. Last year, the compacted snow partially melted then re-froze into an impassable skating rink. So this year I'm shifting some while it's soft enough to do so. I have a lot of gravel because I live in a swamp and need the drainage in order to grow anything. That's useful because all I need do is break the ice and turn it over so there's gravel on top. Any sunshine heats the gravel enough to speed melting, and broken-up ice has more surface area in contact with the above-zero air. On tarmac/patio, a sprinkling of sand does the same job. Brush it into the lawn in spring. It helps drainage there too.
While I'm doing that I can't smoke. No time, and it's impossible to make a rolly with gloves on. So the last two days have been low-intake days. Saturday won't be. It's a smoky-drinky evening.
Much is made of the 'no safe limit' when it comes to tobacco. Nothing is mentioned of any safe limit applicable to traffic fumes or scented sprays. You can suck in as much as you like, nobody cares. There is a safe limit for all those things and it's impossible to define because it's different for everyone.
The comments under the article serve to illustrate why Chris Snowdon is having a difficult time persuading his opposition at Frank's place. The antismokers are now outnumbered by not only smokers, but nonsmokers who simply cannot believe how stupid some of the claims are. It has reached heights of absurdity that Kafka would have rolled up and binned. It simply cannot be parodied. Monty Python would have driven themselves insane trying.
Smokers and non-smokers are looking at these ridiculous claims and thinking 'Well if this is obvious bollocks... what about the rest of it?' Antismokers lap it up, of course, because they aren't bothering to think. They hate, and they are happy to accept anything that justifies their hate. If it wasn't smokers it would be fat people. Including the Surgeon-General.
Ten percent of smokers get lung cancer. Not all smokers. Ninety percent don't. If you're a nonsmoker you have a lower chance of getting lung cancer. Therefore second hand smoke is a lie because otherwise, everyone who went in a pub before the smoking ban would have the same cancer risk. Not smoking wouldn't protect you if second hand smoke was really as dangerous as active smoking. Therefore the cancer rate among pubgoers must be the same as that among smokers, yes? It's not.
Try telling that to an antismoker if you like. I won't. I'm happy to tell them they will die in pain because I'm smoking while they whine at me. Their choice. They don't have to come over and preach. Give me a weapon made of words, don't complain when I use it. Give me a drone conditioned to believe any old crap, don't be surprised if I give them better crap than you did.
What I have found with antismokers is that it is impossible to reach levels of absurdity they won't believe. Sitting on a toilet seat used by smokers gives you piles. Clothes in a second hand shop might have come from a smoker, or been within sight of clothes that did, so they are deadly. Clothes on any rack, anywhere, might have been touched by a smoker and are contaminated. Better buy all your food pre-packaged so you can be sure no smoker touched it in the shop - and hope that it wasn't packed by smokers. Best wash it in bleach first. There is only one cure for passive smoking. Lots of salt. The tobacco industry sponsors the anti-salt campaign. That's why it sounds so much like ASH, to confuse you.
Smokers deliberately open children's books in shops and breathe into them so the child becomes addicted by reading. Smokers get a free pack for every child they recruit (never mind how it's measured, they never ask).
I can't find anything they won't believe. Cancer of the eye from seeing smoke. Cancer of the ear from hearing the spark of a lighter. Cancer of the brain from thinking too much about smoking. Throat cancer from talking about it. Nose cancer (does that even exist? At least five people now believe it does) from smelling smoke on clothing. Just say 'cancer' and any words around it are definitely true. I'm going for tooth cancer next. Who wants to bet the antismokers will believe it? If psychosomatics are up to it, you'll see the first case within a year. Although I think even an antismoker's subconscious is going to balk at that one.
Why do we spend all this money on nuclear weapons when twenty Rothman's could win any war? Forget the bullets, lads. Just offer them a cigarette. It's quicker.
Why are smokers not arrested as terrorists when we can allegedly kill more than the 9/11 plane-bombers just by appearing in a room?
Why are we not feared everywhere we go? Why are the antismokers scared to touch us but willing to beat us up? Why is smoking still legal?
Nonsmokers are starting to ask this too. If it's so deadly that even being in a room after a smoker has left will kill you, then surely it's more dangerous than radiation or mustard gas or Muslims? If the police see fit to set up 200 cameras to watch Muslims, why don't they have one at every smoking so-called shelter to see what these apocalyptic puffers are up to?
There's only one answer. It's all lies.
Second hand smoke and any further multiples are lies, and are increasingly obviously so. People dying from a whiff of smoke is a lie because if that were true, smoke would not force you to buy a washing machine or work out how to use a shower. You'd be dead. Your home would not stink of smoke in the morning because you wouldn't have made it home. There would be a pile of nonsmoker corpses around every smoking half-shelter. At least they'd shield us from the weather.
It's beyond stupid and blatantly so. The result is that smokers and nonsmokers alike now question not only the really stupid claims, but the real risks too.
Smoking can increase the risk of respiratory problems if you overdo it. It does depend on both the individual and on the amount they smoke. Smoking cannot cause inner ear infections or meningitis or scabies or any other disease spread by bacteria or viruses or bad diet. Other people cause most of those. Fortunately I have little to do with them.
Yet now, when the antismokers claim that one whiff of cigarette smoke will make you die on the spot (but a passing truck won't), the real risks are gone. Lost in the noise. It has become a religion. Believe all or none of it.
Take something non-smoking-related. Mountain climbing. I don't do it so I don't have first hand knowledge but as a primitive comparison, it'll do. The big risks are 1. Falling off and 2. Freezing to death. There are probably others but that's for mountain climbers to worry about.
Suppose some fake charity claimed that climbing mountains causes second-hand climbing, so people who watched mountain climbers were found trapped on the roofs of their houses. Another claim - children watching mountain climbing might be encouraged to wear crampons to school or insist that their bed was nailed to the ceiling. Climbers are addicts who will climb anything to get a fix. They must be banned from pubs because they insist on standing on the tables. There must be 'No Climbing' signs on anything over head height.
Ridiculous ideas? Of course they are. But when there are enough ridiculous claims, the real risks of falling off or freezing are lost among them. Nobody believes the stupid claims and soon, nobody believes the real ones either. Then you have people trying climbing because it's banned, with no equipment and dressed in T-shirts that say 'I'm with the one wearing the I'm with stupid T-shirt'. Falling off? Freezing? About as likely as the reasoning behind the ban on ladders.
I agree that smoking too much increases the risk of lung problems of all kinds. Of course it does, just as eating too much or drinking too much can cause problems. The thing is that' 'too much' is an individual thing, not a species-wide directive. Health groups should be informing us of the risks and leaving it up to us to decide, not telling us how to live.
The current antismoker zealotry is having the opposite effect to what they claim to intend. They say they want to reduce smoking but their blatant lies are masking any real risks, so making smoking more attractive. Both as a harmless hobby and as a way to cock a snoot at the authoritarians. I suspect they are funded by the tobacco industry, you know.
There was once a bored shepherd boy who cried 'Wolf' when there was no wolf....