(Visitors are still here and will be until Wednesday, which is good timing).
Wednesday is National No Smoking day. I am ready. I have rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco and a pack of Henri Winterman's Half Coronas. That should allow almost continuous smoke production throughout the day. If it's fine I'll fire up the chimenea too.
Any antismokers thinking of challenging me should consider that even being in my presence will saturate them with nicotine to the tips of their toes. Seriously. It has been proven by pseudoscience, and no antismoker will ever argue with that.
Quite how anyone came up with the idea of measuring nicotine in toenail clippings I have no idea and I'm not at all sure I want to know. There are some extraordinarily strange minds in the antismoking camp. A few trivial details are missing from that report -
Toenails are dead tissue. So was the nicotine laid down in them when they formed or absorbed later?
How long does it persist?
Is it certain that this nicotine came from tobacco and not from other vegetables? Is it certain that the toenail-producing cells don't concentrate the body's spare vitamin B3 in the toenails? (Niacin, for those who haven't heard it before, is an abbreviation of 'nicotinic acid'.) Is it certain - given that so many never-smokers showed such high levels - that the nicotine test is not affected by any other component of toenails that might differ between individuals due to diet, genetics or any other factor?
If lung cancer relates to the nicotine content of your toenails twelve years earlier, then surely once you have the test, your fate is sealed? In which case, who out there really wants to take the test?
Slightly inconvenient for the antismokers but... nicotine doesn't cause lung cancer. There are things in smoke - all smoke, not just tobacco smoke - that have the potential to cause lung cancer but nicotine isn't one of them. No other smoke components are reported as being tested for. In this study, nicotine is smoke.
In a report on their findings, researchers said the toenail test showed the hidden risks for non-smokers.
More than ten per cent of men with the highest levels of toenail nicotine were never smokers.
The real conclusion here, not the anti-tobacco kneejerk, is that their test cannot even tell which toenail came from a smoker and which from a nonsmoker. There is nothing to justify any smoking-related conclusions.
Our study shows toenail nicotine levels provide a biomarker that can predict the risk of lung cancer independent of reported smoking history.
No. It doesn't. So many factors are ignored here in favour of smoking. No mention of diet, occupation, physical activity, exposure to non-tobacco smoke, exposure to other potential carcinogens, nothing. With so many never-smokers in the top range of nicotine levels, nothing is offered to explain this beyond 'it's the smokers what done it'. How? Are smokers imprisoning people and forcing them to eat cigarette butts? Are smokers sneaking nicotine patches onto unsuspecting people or handing them nicotine gum pretending it's plain gum? Well, okay, we've all thought about it but I doubt anyone has ever done it.
Throwing cigarette butts at their feet to watch them dance, Wild West style, is of course common these days. That's why we keep the butts in portable ashtrays. For ammo. Maybe that's how they achieve toenail saturation.
Once again, it's that branch of science called 'antismoking', the branch that makes parapsychology look like chemistry. A non-carcinogen measured in toenails causes cancer in the lung. It's right up there with 'smoking causes the spontaneous generation of infectious micro-organisms in the inner ear' and 'smoke from tobacco transcends reality and passes through solid walls but only if there is a nonsmoker on the other side'.
And yet, the antismokers will once more believe every word. They will be demanding pedicures on the NHS and getting those nicotine results back along with their cholesterol and salt levels.
I have to wonder. Could these idiots be convinced to rip out their own toenails with pliers in order to render themselves immune to lung cancer? No pain, no gain. You have nothing to lose but your toenails and possibly some blood.
That just has to be worth a try.
Well, we're banned from pubs and everywhere else so we have to make our own entertainment.