Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Lumps, damned lumps and statistics.

I had one of those Emails today. The ones that are designed to scare you into parting with money to cover you against something that might or might not happen. Medical insurance, but specifically cancer insurance.

It began with 'Did you know that you have a 50% chance of getting cancer?'

Well that seemed to imply that half the population gets it. I have not noticed a preponderance of lumpy people going about. It's meant to imply just that, but what it actually says is something different. What it actually says is mathematically correct but you're not meant to notice that.

You either have cancer or you don't. There is no period of 'getting' cancer. One cell turns cancerous, you have cancer. It happens a lot but your immune system catches them and beats them to death. Then you don't have cancer. Sometimes the cancerous cell dodges the Cell Police and grows, and manages to produce enough of a lump of cells that the immune system says "Oh shit" and goes and hides in a lymph node.

The point is that the 50% applies to you as an individual, not to the population as a whole. At any specific time, any individual either has cancer or does not have cancer. Yes or no. There is no 'maybe'. Therefore, at any point between birth and death your chance of having a cancer is 50%, the same as the chance of you not having one.

Their opening statement is logically correct but designed to imply that half the world will turn lumpy tomorrow unless they send money to Lumps-R-Us cancer insurance. It's a great insurance business when you look at real cancer rates.

Hardly any of their customers will ever claim and that number is further reduced because those who take up the offer are those who are concerned about their health and avoid all deadly carcinogens such as second-hand smoke, boozer's breath, fat people, burgers, salt, dandelions, string vests, Tunisia and spaghetti. All are equally likely to make such people wake up one morning to find another head growing out of their arse beside the one they normally keep there.

You know why GPs often miss the early stages of cancers, including that current terror, lung cancer? It's because they see it so rarely. Some go their entire careers without seeing a single cancer case. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard "I work in a hospice and I've seen what smoking will do to you. Everyone who smokes dies in agony". If you work in a hospice then the only patients you see are terminally ill patients. All of them are dying because that is where the medics put them all. If cancer/emphysema/leprosy/mange/whatever current scare were as prevalent as we are led to believe then there would be a  hospice in every second street. I don't think I've ever seen one.

Every so often we hear about a cure for cancer. Here's the latest. They are trumpeted and then they disappear. I don't believe cancer will ever be cured by a simple injection even if it could be. The NHS and other vested interests will not allow it.

How can they scare us into stopping smoking, stopping drinking, stopping eating meat, stuffing ourselves with approved foods and not touching non-approved foods if we can say "Cancer? No problem, one injection and it's fixed."

How can the Dreadful Arnott howl and wail that cutting her funding will result in preschool smoking clubs and an entire generation growing up to look like the Elephant Man if cancer can be cured with a single injection?

The most terrifying thing to those old Puritans who demanded that everyone be celibate was the invention of penicillin. Suddenly, sexually transmitted diseases were not so scary any more. "Infected by a prick? Cure it with another". That wasn't the slogan but it should have been.

No, if that particular bogeyman could be cured by a few drops of stuff in a syringe, too many vested interests would lose their power to terrify us. They aren't going to let it happen.

If you want to see a cure, you first have to get rid of all those who use cancer as a means to control behaviour. That will not be easy.



52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who do you mean by that?
Doctors, surgeons?
Or do you want to stop all cancer treatment?

Leg-iron said...

Read more carefully. Nowhere do I suggest stopping cancer treatment. What I am talking about is the use of the threat of cancer as a means to scare people into compliance.

Stop that, take away that weapon, and the chances of a cure are increased.

Anonymous said...

I don't think your 50% reasoning is correct.

Just because there are two possibilities doesn't mean they are equally likely.

Frank said...

I've always said that the worst fear Tobacco control has is a cure for cancer.

They need that like they need the plague.

Leg-iron said...

Anon - over a lifetime, no. There are many other factors that vary your chance from day to day.

At any point in time though, you either have it or you don't. That 50% chance refers to each point in time, not the whole lifespan.

Leg-iron said...

Frank - they shut down the low-chemical cigarette, snus, and they're trying to shut down Electrofag. Harm reduction is not on the agenda.

Eradication is the name of the game and if that means every child in the country has to grow up terrified of something that they might never even see, that's what they'll do.

They can't allow an easy cure for cancer. What would we be scared of then?

Anonymous said...

LI

On the basis that the Lady doth protest too much, I have often wondered if the answer lies in the chemistry of the small pleasures that they try to scare us away from.

For instance

Anti-invasive activity of niacin and trigonelline against cancer cells.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785001

Tobacco, beer, coffee.

It doesn't mean that our pleasures are in anyway protective, but it still seems rather curious.

The same message but from different scientists comes up time after time.
So often in fact that a couple of years ago I stopped looking.

I find it helps a lot to have no idea what your looking for, it makes you look at everything.


Rose

Anonymous said...

"A new interest in the relationship between niacin and cancer has evolved from the discovery that the principal form of this vitamin, NAD, is consumed as a substrate in ADP-ribose transfer reactions.

Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, an enzyme activated by DNA strand breaks, is the ADP-ribosyltransferase of greatest interest with regard to effects on the niacin status of cells since its Km for NAD is high, and its activity can deplete NAD.

Studies of the consequences of DNA damage in cultured mouse and human cells as a function of niacin status have supported the hypothesis that niacin may be a protective factor that limits carcinogenic events"
http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/abstract/12/4/412

Which to my unscientific mind sounds like niacin/nicotinic acid/Vitamin B3 is more like the glue in a repair kit.

Rose

George Speller said...

Anybody ever read "Thew Anxiety Makers" by, I think, Alex Comfort? It's out of date now, of course, but it charts accurately the ever repeated exploitation we now see in AIDS, global "waring", lung cancerm obestity and so on ad nauseum.

Able said...

Recently debated (and oh wasn't it fun) with an anti-smoking zealot acquaintance of a friend. The usual apocryphal sound-bites and statistics quoted by him, countered by referenced research (hey, I'm a nurse, it was too easy), deconstruction and explanation of statistics 101. Did it make a difference? Did he consider another point of view? Oh, get real!

He defaulted to the standard liberal/progressive/bansturabtor response of 'if you can't win an argument by the facts (even if you make them up and repeat them endlessly) then shout and call your opponent a fascist/murderer/etc). His one, and only, rational argument was that he didn't like the smell of smoke.

50% chance of a cancer? Let's just pretend to ignore the whole malignant or benign question, let alone the issue of genetic propensity to cancer (a biased sample I'm sure, but I have yet to nurse anyone with cancer who did not have a family history of the same or similar cancer even if unaware of it). But here's the kicker. what's the rate of cancer in non-smokers as opposed to smokers? Have fun trying to find out since all cancers are now automatically linked to smoking (even if it's that bastard three doors down smoking in his garden, sending his smoke to target you).

The manipulation and lies in the service of a political/philosophical agenda beggars belief.

Chalcedon said...

Wonderful vaccine story on BBC healthcare. Works in a mouse model so of course it's brilliant stuff! Then the usual bollox of it being years away from use in humans and has tospend years being tested. Now this is a vaccine against a range of cancers. Testing a preventative. Not an easy thing and there you are playing with probability theory yet again. What fun!

Able said...

Rose
Since you appear to be as geeky as me (and possibly more educated in the nuances of the biochemical basis of disease) I was wondering about your take on the viral link to cancer? (EBV and HPV are well known, but Coxsackie B).

For everyone else, there has long been known to be a link between a viral infection and the subsequent development of a cancer (HPV and cervical cancer). The question is. how many are actually linked to such?

Don't tell anyone or there will be new legislation drafted banning the poor viruses from smoking too.

Anonymous said...

Able

You are asking the wrong person, I have no medical knowledge, I'm just a housewife and amateur gardener with a casual but life long interest in the Nightshades.

I only took up smoking when the cognitive dissonance from being repeatedly told that cigarettes contained road tar got too much.

But seeing as you mention it, I've just had a quick look and noticed something I recognise.


Human Papillomavirus and Cardiovascular Disease Among U.S. Women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003 to 2006

"Background: Oncogenic proteins derived from tumor-associated HPV induce the degradation of tumor suppressor protein p53.

Inactivation of p53 is associated with accelerated atherosclerotic process. However, the association between HPV infection with CVD remains unclear."
http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/abstract/58/19/2001


Mapping the role of NAD metabolism in prevention and treatment of carcinogenesis

"We show that nicotinamide and the resulting cellular NAD concentration modulate expression of the tumor suppressor protein, p53, in human breast, skin, and lung cells.

Studies to determine the optimal NAD concentrations for responding to DNA damage in breast epithelial cells reveal that DNA damage appears to stimulate NAD biosynthesis and that recovery from DNA damage occurs several hours earlier in the presence of higher NAD or in cells undergoing active NAD biosynthesis.

Finally, analyses of normal human skin tissue from individuals diagnosed with actinic keratoses or squamous cell carcinomas show that NAD content of the skin is inversely correlated with the malignant phenotype.

Since NAD is important in modulating ADP-ribose polymer metabolism, cyclic ADP-ribose synthesis, and stress response proteins, such as p53, following DNA damage, understanding how NAD metabolism is regulated in the human has important implications in developing both prevention and treatment strategies in carcinogenesis."
http://www.mentorwwllc.com/pdfs-global/nia/study/MappingroleofNADmetabolism.pdf

Well I didn't know that.


Rose

Anonymous said...

I wasn't meant to know it either.


"Niacin was first discovered from the oxidation of nicotine to form nicotinic acid.

When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine, in order to avoid the perception that vitamins or niacin-rich food contains nicotine. The resulting name 'niacin' was derived from nicotinic acid + vitamin.

Niacin is also referred to as Vitamin B3 because it was the third of the B vitamins to be discovered. It has historically been referred to as "vitamin PP", a name derived from the term "pellagra-preventing factor".
http://www.chemeurope.com/en/encyclopedia/Niacin.html

niacin

"pellagra-preventing vitamin in enriched bread," 1942, coined from ni(cotinic) ac(id) + -in, chemical suffix; suggested by the American Medical Association as a more commercially viable name than nicotinic acid.
"The new name was found to be necessary because some anti-tobacco groups warned against enriched bread because it would foster the cigarette habit." ["Cooperative Consumer," Feb. 28, 1942]


NIACIN AND NIACINAMIDE IN FLUE-CURED CIGARETTE SMOKE CONDENSATE
http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page?tid=pnx69d00&page=1

And I didn't know it until they made me unwelcome in every coffee shop, pub or hotel in England.


Rose

Able said...

'Just a housewife'! I'll believe you, if you insist, although a little less of the 'just', as most people today would think a polymerase was a parrot which could swim really well. (Really, really not going to ask about the 'interest' in Nightshades I hope it's just Solanaceae and nicotine and not too many of the other tropanes - Lucritia :-)

Interesting article and yet another reason to question the automatic linking of any ailment with smoking.

I assume you're aware of the beneficial aspects of smoking too - a search on the terms smoking and/or Alzheimers/Parkinsons results in references guaranteed to leave an anti spluttering (am I the only one who finds the sight rewarding?).


As to coffee shops, I like to stand, whilst ordering my latte and inform everyone in earshot of all the mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic activities attributed to coffee, before sitting outside with my supposed coffin nails (and a rapidly cooling coffee) - Sigh!

prog said...

Big Pharma relies on people being sick. And it certainly doesn't want people curing themselves, especially when there's nothing in it for stakeholders(private and public).

As Rick Simpson knows only too well.

http://phoenixtears.ca/

Anonymous said...

Able

"I assume you're aware of the beneficial aspects of smoking too - a search on the terms smoking and/or Alzheimers/Parkinsons"

My scrapbook might interest you.
http://tinyurl.com/d8radub

While everyone was busy at work doing worthwhile things, I considered it my civic duty to do the research, as I already knew where to start.

By strange coincidence.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Nicotinic Acid and Nicotinamide (Niacin) - 2002

"Niacin is the term used to describe two related compounds, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide,both of which have biological activity."

"A tolerable upper intake level for nicotinic acid of 10 mg/day is based on the available data indicating occasional flushing at 30 mg per day, using an uncertainty factor of 3 to allow for the fact that a slight effect was reported, and that the study was
performed in a small number of subjects, but taking into account the steep dose-response relationship."
http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/out80j_en.pdf

I drink more than that in cups of coffee before lunch.


Reducing Niacin Intake Can Prevent Obesity, Study Suggests

"The global increasing prevalence of obesity suggests that there should be some common changes in diet worldwide. In fact, a significant, yet, often neglected worldwide change in dietary factors in the past few decades is the food fortification-induced marked increase in the content of niacin."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520112347.htm

As you can see from the size of that scrapbook, I'm not a very good housewife.


Rose

Anonymous said...

Abel, the nightshades are purely the edible ones I assure you.


"Reducing Niacin Intake Can Prevent Obesity, Study Suggests"

It's there for a reason.

Effectiveness of food fortification in the United States: the case of pellagra.

CONCLUSIONS:
Food fortification that is designed to restore amounts of nutrients lost through grain milling was an effective tool in preventing pellagra, a classical nutritional deficiency disease, during the 1930s and 1940s, when food availability and variety were considerably less than are currently found in the United States"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446222/


Medicine: The Nation's Food
Monday, Jun. 09, 1941

"A necessary vitamin is B—a group of at least half a dozen different chemicals. Most radio listeners, said Vice President Wallace last week, know B as the "oomph vitamin, that puts the sparkle in your eye, the spring in your step, the zip in your soul!"
Vitamin B is found abundantly in whole wheat and coarse grains, is appreciably reduced in the milling process, when the rough coat is "scalped"' from wheat kernel.

Most of the big flour mills and bakers have recently agreed to put vitamin B1; nicotinic acid and iron back into their flour and bread. But experts last week pointed out that such "enriched bread," although a step forward, was not the ideal solution of the problem."
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,795342,00.html


Rose

Able said...

Rose
Oh THANKS, you do know I'm trying to pretend to have a life here. don't you? I'm sure I'll get through a reasonable proportion of your scrapbook if I stop sleeping as much.

I did so enjoy the wonderful 'Euroscience' (as opposed to real science), it had me worried for my registration for, Oh must have been picoseconds (Hmm, severe effects (their words) occur at 500 mg/day, flushing effect at 50 mg/day - so lets -make up a number 10 mg/day as safe). This despite normal dose for pellagra at 500 mg/day, and for hyperlipideamia at up to 9g/day - pardon me but FFS).

As for obesity, I truly wonder at times, please don't start me on Lipids (I start to foam at the mouth when good and bad cholesterol comes up :-)

Still, we're OK as the proven negative correlation between smoking and obesity is still there despite all the attempts to hide it.

Oh, and forgive me for saying but, 'purely the edible ones' or not, I'm still not going to accept a cup of tea ;-)

Anonymous said...

OK

I admit it, a couple of years ago I did buy a pot of Henbane that I found at a herbalists shop in Glastonbury,just to take a proper look at it, tobacco flowers are similar to petunias and tomato flowers to deadly nightshade, which is why tomato was reputedly grown as an ornamental at first.

The poor thing expired within the month.

Probably just as well.


WILL A LETTUCE BUTT HELP SMOKERS QUIT TOBACCO?
"Get ready for the lettuce cigarette. That's right, lettuce. As in romaine and iceberg, the two varieties now filling Safer Smokes Corp.'s Bravo, an otherwise normal-looking cigarette that's being introduced Sept. 18 by pharmacist and inventor Puzant Torigian.

The 75-year-old Torigian admits that a lettuce smoke sounds bizarre, but in an interview with Business Week Online, the New Jersey native says he doesn't intend for the nicotine-free Bravo to replace traditional tobacco brands.

Rather, he's marketing the new product to smokers who want to quit, but who can't abandon the habit's tactile rituals -- holding a lighter or tapping a fresh pack of cigarettes, for example.

"You'll smoke these a few times and keep the ritual, but you'll be cutting out the addictive nicotine," he explains. A package of 20 will retail for about $3.50, which is more than a dollar higher than traditional cigarettes.

Bravo will have a limited distribution at first, confined mainly to direct-mail orders and areas in and around Atlanta and South Florida."
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/september/nf70918d.htm


"INDIANA Congressman Steve Buyer says smoking lettuce is just like smoking cigarettes or cigars or broccoli or..

An idiot, right? Iceberg is a gateway drug:
When cut, the stems of lettuce plants ooze a milky juice whose appearance, taste, and smell are said to be similar to opium. Once dried, the substance is called lactucarium, or lettuce opium. Used by the ancient Egyptians, the stuff was listed in the Pharmacopeia of the United States of America as late as 1916.

It can still be found in herbals and such, which describe it as a sedative and cough suppressant. Lettuce opium can be found in all lettuce species but is most commonly extracted from wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa."
http://www.anorak.co.uk/213264/politicians/indiana-moves-to-ban-smoking-lettuce.html/


The anti-lettuce movement.

"As you might have guessed, Lactuca virosa is the wild forebear of the item we chop and dice into salad bowls.

Though it is currently accepted as a safe food, this was not always the case.
Prior to the Victorian age, wild lettuce was well known as a painkiller and sedative. When there appeared in the market cultivated varieties devoid of the medicinal elements found in wild lettuce, social commentators were not pleased.

In fact, they became quite vocal as to the incredible danger this represented to society. It would be as if someone today introduced a salad variety of marijuana.
There was great concern that lettuce would cause childlessness or would produce children with subnormal intelligence.

A whole list of horrible things were supposed to happen if people proceeded with this shameless eating of lettuce. Obviously, the public needn’t have worried as they did.

For one thing, no one would choose to sit down to a salad made of the medicinal variety, unless he had a penchant for the taste of match heads.

The lettuce scandal passed; unfortunately so did awareness of wild lettuce’s pain-killing abilities."
http://www.planetbotanic.ca/fact_sheets/wild_lettuce_fs.htm


I really should stop cluttering up LI's blog.


Rose

Able said...

Rose
I'm already camped at your place, what a fund of interesting articles (I admit I've been out-geeked) I even recognise some of your visitors names. It's like a home from home (and there was I thinking I was the only weird research collector left).

Glastonbury eh? They do seem to have an amazing selection of 'organic produce' there and I'm sure it was just for the horticultural research purposes you purchased it too (er, how is Mr Rose :-)

As to tobacco flowers, soon they will be a common site as a certain blogger is spreading seeds hither and thither as a protest and plan B.

Anonymous said...

Mr Rose is fine.

My Mum taught me how to garden and as a little child, I was taken round the garden and shown which plants were harmless, which were safe to eat, which were beautiful but poisonous and which I should treat with great respect.

A lesson I regularly pass on both to visiting children and Mr Rose.
Who incidently, thinks that I am completely wasting my time.
Tobacco being a subject that I am now forbidden to mention :)


Rose

Able said...

For me the issue was that I only ever found what was not taught interesting. To be told 'you don't need to know that, the doctors/pharmacologists/physiologist covers that' was a red rag to a bull. To discover that the excuse was given because lecturers didn't know themselves was an eye-opener. Being as pedantic as I am I also refuse to advise a patient when I haven't (as the majority of nurses and doctors) even a basic understanding of what the actual research shows. That and having a colleague with an eidetic memory (quoting not only references but paragraph and line) hones the debating skills.

Over the years I have discussed smoking with countless medical students and doctors. Did you know that as part of their degree they must critically analyze a piece of medical research in almost every area of medical practice - the only area NEVER covered is smoking research (?). They appear unconcerned by this lapse and refuse to do so independently, preferring to follow the crowd. So not only are the general public ill-informed so are those allegedly qualified to advise them.

I too am banned from speaking about tobacco in polite company (it's a bit embarrassing really with conversations stopping when I walk by). I've tried to lighten the mood by phrasing things in a humorous manner to no avail. Still, now I'm renowned for my sense of humour locally with never a day goes without one friend or another telling me I'm full of wit (at least I think it was wit they said)

:-)

Anonymous said...

:D

Might I suggest you take a look at the benefits of the combustion gases carbon monoxide and nitric oxide, if you haven't already?

Who knew that they were part of our immune system since the dawn of time?


Nitric Oxide Can Alter Brain Function

"Research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide (NO) can change the computational ability of the brain. This finding has implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and our understanding of brain function more generally."

"Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger which cannot be stored and can rapidly diffuse across cell membranes to act at remote sites (in contrast to conventional neurotransmitters which cannot pass across cell membranes).

"It is broadly localized in the central nervous system, where it influences synaptic transmission and contributes to learning and memory mechanisms. However, because it is normally released in such minute quantities and is so labile, it is very difficult to study."

"Surprisingly, the whole population of neurons were affected, even those neurons which had no active synaptic inputs, so indicating that nitric oxide is a 'volume transmitter' passing information between cells without the need for a synapse. Such a function is ideal for tuning neuronal populations to global activity."
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/130992.php

Of course we are in a much better position to study the effects of supplementary nitric oxide combined with a cup of coffee.


Inhaled Nitric Oxide
A Selective Pulmonary Vasodilator: Current Uses and Therapeutic Potential
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/109/25/3106.full


This makes me wonder about the wisdom of quitting abruptly.


Rebound Pulmonary Hypertension

"Sudden discontinuation of inhaled NO can cause severe rebound pulmonary hypertension, an increase in intrapulmonary right-to-left shunting, and a decreased Pao2.13 It has been suggested that downregulation of endogenous NO synthesis and/or elevated endothelin-1 levels by inhaled NO is responsible in part for this rebound phenomenon.74,75 Although the precise underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated, to avoid rebound pulmonary hypertension, a slow, stepwise reduction of the inhaled NO concentration is recommended."

Though you will understand the consequences better than I.


Nicotine patches may boost intensive care risk

"We have to be aware that we may be doing some harm [by giving patients NRT]," Afessa warns.

He notes that many of the patients in the study had been admitted to the ICU because they had gone into sepsis due to an infection"
New Scientist.


Septic Shock: Nitric Oxide Beneficial After All

"Scientists at VIB and Ghent University in Flanders, Belgium have found an unexpected ally for the treatment of septic shock, the major cause of death in intensive care units"
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1799998/septic_shock_nitric_oxide_beneficial_after_all/index.html

Those didn't make it into the scrapbook after it locked me out.


Rose

Anonymous said...

Effects of Smoking Cessation on Changes in Blood Pressure and Incidence of Hypertension

"Abstract—
We performed the present study to investigate the effects of smoking cessation on changes in blood pressure and incidence of hypertension. We evaluated 8170 healthy male employees at a steel manufacturing company who had received occupational health examinations at the company’s health care center in 1994 and were reexamined in 1998. Adjustment covariates were the baseline age, body mass index, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, family history of hypertension, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, and changes in body mass index and alcohol consumption during the follow-up period. The adjusted relative risks of hypertension in those who had quit smoking for <1, 1 to 3, and 3 years were 0.6 ( 95% CI 0.2 to 1.9 ), 1.5 ( 95% CI 0.8 to 2.8 ), and 3.5 ( 95% CI 1.7 to 7.4 ), respectively, compared with current smokers. The trends for increased risk of hypertension for longer periods of smoking cessation were observed in subgroups of those who maintained weight as well as those who gained weight after smoking cessation. The adjusted increments in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher in those who had quit for 1 year than in current smokers. These trends among weight losers, as well as gainers and maintainers, were similar.

We observed progressive increases in blood pressure with the prolongation of cessation in men, although at this time the mechanism remains unknown and must be clarified.

This study implies that the cessation of smoking may result in increases in blood pressure, hypertension, or both."
http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/37/2/194


This is a lot like a many handed game of Snap! across the internet.
It does keep me wonderfully occupied.


Rose

Able said...

Hmm, well some of those are interesting.

It,s long been known about N2O and its neurological effects. Seem to remember something about NMDA and GABA receptors. Unfortunately the amounts from smoking are tiny (they're probably using N2O 50% with O2). Still, I'd be surprised if it had no effect. It has known anxiolytic, euphoric and dissociative analgesic effects, see, I always knew I felt better after a smoke :-)

The only pulmonary effect I remember is an increase in PVR, no memory of a significant rebound effect, I'll have to do some reading. But yet again we poor smokers are dealing with significantly smaller amounts - even if over considerably longer time-frames.

The sepsis paper is interesting, I suspect it may have more to do with meddling in areas where full understanding of the effects are not known but I shall be reading that one thoroughly. ICU doctors do like to think/pretend they can control almost any parameter of their patients systems - funny since we don't even understand the majority of the effector molecules, let alone their primary, secondary or associated effects.

The last one, smoking cessation, already has my dander up. A reasonable sample size, but self-selecting in it being those in employ for 4 years an remaining healthy (how many left, became too ill?). It's use of the discredited BMI, and what's with the 'systolic OR diastolic'. The major issue though is that no diagnosis of hypertension can be made on isolated blood-pressure readings (assume you've heard of white-coat syndrome). Other things like amounts smoked, ages, environmental factors, employment/personal factors? I suspect more psychological effects if not pure artifact is at play here. I shall read more with an open mind though - honest.

Oh, CO, have a look at its effects on pulse-oximetry, it does so upset the anti-smoking health professional when you get a SpO2 of >98% :-)

Able said...

Snap ;-)

Anonymous said...

Tiny top ups on demand through the day sounds like more of a tonic to me.

Not that I am qualified to have an opinion at all.



On the anti-inflammatory properties of Carbon Monoxide, did you catch this one?


Smoking Could Reduce Risk Of Joint Replacement Surgery

“Men who smoke have less of a risk of needing joint replacement surgery than those who have never lit up a cigarette, according to a new study published online in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Further investigation is required on the subject, he added.”
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/2076418/smoking_could_reduce_risk_of_joint_replacement_surgery/index.html?source=r_health


“The carbon monoxide-releasing molecule tricarbonyldichlororuthenium(II) dimer protects human osteoarthritic chondrocytes and cartilage from the catabolic actions of interleukin-1beta.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18195133


Looks like the nitric oxide connection has been spotted, still pushing the nicotine addiction theory you'll note.


The role of nitric oxide in cigarette smoking and nicotine addiction. - 2002

Abstract

"The purpose of this study is to describe the interrelationship between nitric oxide (NO) and nicotine in cigarette smoking addiction, in view of the underlying hypothesis that NO contributes to smoking (nicotine) addiction, and to suggest the ways to improve prevention as well as cessation strategies"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12215243


Rose

Anonymous said...

"I would say that Murray's greatest impact was advancing the proposition that nicotine was the key addictive component in tobacco."

In the 1990s, Jarvik, along with Jed Rose, then a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and now the director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University, were curious about "green tobacco illness," a malady striking tobacco farmhands harvesting the crop in the South. That led to research on the potential positive implications of absorbing tobacco through the skin, which resulted in the creation of a transdermal patch that delivers nicotine directly into the body.

When the researchers could not get approval to run experiments on any subjects, Jarvik, in an article in UCLA Magazine, said they decided to test their idea on themselves.

"We put the tobacco on our skin and waited to see what would happen," Jarvik recalled. "Our heart rates increased, adrenaline began pumping, all the things that happen to smokers."???
http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/obituary-murray-e-jarvik-85-ucla-50218.aspx


"Green tobacco sickness (GTS) is an illness resulting from dermal exposure to dissolved nicotine from wet tobacco leaves; it is characterized by nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dizziness and sometimes fluctuations in blood pressure or heart rate"
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00020119.htm

Thanks a lot gentlemen.


Rose

Able said...

"Tiny top ups on demand through the day sounds like more of a tonic to me.

Not that I am qualified to have an opinion at all."

Hmm, sounds like to me your eminently qualified (and a tonic is fine if you add a little gin :-) although I am a, rare, single malt person myself, and I take precautions, see:
http://niklowe.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-did-not-know-this.html

Yes, knee and other orthopedic surgeries have multiple studies showing better outcomes for smokers (although the mechanism is still questionable), yet... here's the best part, 'they' only quote the few which suggest similar or worse outcomes, and limit or even refuse treatment (such as knee replacement) unless you give up (????).

I have personal experience of this, with a torn hamstring, subluxated proximal tibiofibular joint and RSD, I waited 9 months to see a senior registrar (who'd never treated, or even heard of either major condition FFS). Why? Because I smoke (only seen after I lied).

The GTS looks interesting, do you know what the chemical composition of the sap is? Levels of nicotine in particular. Don't you just love the fact that smoking protects against suffering this illness?

Oh, and what's with locking yourself out of your own scrapbook? Alzheimers setting in? You need to smoke more :-)

Anonymous said...

"The GTS looks interesting, do you know what the chemical composition of the sap is?"

Unfortunately not.

"Nicotine constitutes 0.3 to 5 percent of the tobacco plant by dry weight, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots, and accumulates in the leaves."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/n/nicotine.htm

Best I've got.

A combination of Nicotinic acid and Putrescene unpleasantly enough.


However, in animal tests by willing volunteers, butterflies sunbathe on the leaves, bees seem to use the underside of the midrib as a delousing station and they can both fly away in a straight line when they leave.


"We put the tobacco on our skin and waited to see what would happen," Jarvik recalled. "Our heart rates increased, adrenaline began pumping,.."


"Among the 40 case-patients who completed interviews, the median time from starting work to onset of illness was 10 hours (range: 3-17 hours)"


I don't think you could balance enough tobacco leaves on your skin to get that kind of effect,but they probably expected something nasty as they were researching GTS.


Mental Stress Induces Transient Endothelial Dysfunction in Humans

"Conclusions—These findings suggest that brief episodes of mental stress, similar to those encountered in everyday life, may cause transient (up to 4 hours) endothelial dysfunction in healthy young individuals."
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/102/20/2473.full


The secret of the after dinner cigarette?

Carbon monoxide plays role in orchestrating digestive tract function

“Farrugia and an associate, Dr. Joseph Szurszewski, headed the study, which focused on carbon monoxide’s role in orchestrating movements of muscles in the digestive system. The results were published in the prestigious journal of the National Academy of Sciences, which is based in Washington and advises the federal government on science and technology.

They showed that cells in the digestive system manufacture tiny amounts of carbon monoxide, which then regulates muscle contractions. The contractions occur with great precision to properly move food ahead through the stomach and intestines.”
http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20030617carbon0617p3.asp


I didn't lock myself out, but when I returned after a couple of months and found I was locked out, I took it as a sign that the scrapbook was quite big enough already.

Rose

Able said...

Rose
Just read one which examined dermal absorption rates for tobacco harvesters.

http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/5/407.full

Interesting the levels achieved (only stated in μg/cm2 though. Conclusion, they were exposed to massive doses of nicotine (buggers, pay for them like the rest of us) and protection? Well washing hands afterwards removed >96%. One for LI to note unless he wants GTS.

Smoking and bowel motility is yet again a known quantity, although I was led to believe it was increased sympathetic innervation. My own experience, apocryphal I know, is that I dispense less laxatives to smokers than non-smokers (aren't nurses such wonderful dinner companions? I used to enjoy eating with non nurses as after ordering, a discussion of a favourite decubitus ulcer, or some nicely gory procedure would seem to put others off their food. Yeh! free seconds :-)

Anonymous said...

I am trying not to imagine that.


But continuing on this sordid subject briefly.

Carbon Monoxide Soothes Inflammatory Bowel Disease

"Doctors have long known that smokers rarely suffer from a common form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) called ulcerative colitis, but they didn't know why.

A new study in the December 19 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine might help explain this apparent resistance.

Scott Plevy and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh now show that carbon monoxide (CO), a component of cigarette smoke, helps shut down the intestinal inflammation that causes ulcerative colitis."

"But recent scientific studies have shown that CO -- at least at low concentrations -- has a redeeming quality: it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent"

"The group traced the action of inhaled CO to a protein that is produced by immune cells called interleukin (IL)-12. IL-12 is normally produced during infection and helps activate the immune cells that fight off the invading pathogens.


But chronic production of IL-12 in the gut also drives the inflammation that causes ulcerative colitis.
Inhaled CO inhibited the production of IL-12, short-circuiting the disease-causing inflammation."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060103084934.htm


But with the one track minds I have come to expect, naturally others thought it just had to be raw nicotine.


Transdermal Nicotine for Ulcerative Colitis

"Compared with those who had never smoked, current smokers were much less likely to have ulcerative colitis (odds ratio 0.13, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.38) - that is they were about eight times less likely to have ulcerative colitis.

Former smokers' risk was no different from non-smokers."
http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band39/b39-5.html


"Overall, investigation of nicotine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis has yielded disappointing results.

CONCLUSION: Nicotine cannot be recommended as adjunctive or single therapy for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and will not alter current treatment options."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10423604

Rose

Able said...

Rose
Spoilsport :-(

Smoking and UC, again well known positive and protective action although surprisingly with the other form of IBD Crohns it appears to increase risk.

Interleukin (IL)-12, is again interesting - but then I am sad and find the inflammatory response 'beautiful'. Have you seen it's effect on periodontitus? I like the description:

"Periodontitis is caused by microorganisms that adhere to and grow on the tooth's surfaces, along with an overly aggressive immune response against these microorganisms."

But look here at the typical manipulation of facts.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21198766

"Periodontitis subjects had significantly elevated cytokine and chemokine profiles. Smokers exhibited a decrease in several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and certain regulators of T-cells and NK-cells. This reflects the immunosuppressant effects of smoking which may contribute to an enhanced susceptibility to periodontitis."

So smoking reduces the immunoresponse and so causes an increased incidence of.. overly aggressive immune response(?)

Got to love them

The second one made me laugh, you observe an effect on the GI tract caused by inhalation of multiple substances (a proportion of which will be inhaled into the GI tract). So you design a study which.. uses transdermal application(?)

Anonymous said...

Got to love them?

Well, I have learnt a lot of things I didn't know before by following the logic and unscrambling the more preposterous new "studies".

They can be quite useful, seemingly designed to obliterate and replace former knowledge.

I had no idea that tobacco was used as toothpaste until Bill Godshall wrote this on Dr Siegel's blog.


"This product may cause gum disease and tooth loss" is not based on scientific evidence, as I couldn't locate even one study finding that tooth loss was/is attributable to smokeless tobacco usage." Bill G


"The doleful effects of nicotine on the teeth were revealed by Rev. George Trask in a mid-nineteenth-century tract."
illustration
The Hundred Year Against The Cigarette
http://tinyurl.com/cvyu67p


Medicinal uses of tobacco in history
"Tobacco, probably mixed with lime or chalk, appears to have been used in these Native American populations as a toothpaste to whiten the teeth, as observed by Nino and Guerra in 1500 and by Vespucci at about the same time in Venezuela.

This practice continues today in India, where powdered tobacco, or masheri, is rubbed on the teeth for this purpose and tobacco toothpaste is marketed commercially"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079499/


2004
"Use of tobacco products as dentifrice among adolescents in India: questionnaire study BMJ Volume 328, pp 323-4

"Up to 68% of adolescents in India use dental products containing tobacco, despite a law barring manufacturers from using tobacco as an ingredient in any toothpaste or toothpowder, reveals a study in this week's BMJ.

The authors believe that many companies are taking advantage of a widespread misconception in India that tobacco is good for the teeth by packaging and positioning their products as dental care products."
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/503073/
Link to the study in the news item.


Rose

Able said...

Conducted a small scale, non-randomised, non-blind, non-controlled piece of research on the above, and agree whole heartedly with the BMJ that there is a 'widespread misconception.... that tobacco is good for the teeth'.

I can state categorically that brushing with tobacco products does nor whiten my teeth!

Er, do you think I may have made a mistake in trying with a JPS Superking?

(Well, that's how the 'professionals' do it, isn't it?)

Anonymous said...

Possibly so and perhaps you didn't conduct your experiment for long enough.

Further guidance from the the Southern States.

"The purported health benefit of snuff had been as a dentifrice, imparting to the teeth “that peculiar brilliancy for which the ladies of Southern Europe are so justly celebrated.”
http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/snuff.htm


Incidentally have you read the original source of these slurs on tobacco?

Though the Elizabethans welcomed tobacco, her successor King James 1st didn't want his subjects copying "heathen" practices.

Being a medical person you will doubtless enjoy King James's use of the Humours to decry tobacco and recognise many of the anti-tobacco claims of today.
http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/james/blaste/blaste.html


Rose

Able said...

Rose

You misunderstand the process, you choose your point of view, then you pretend to do the research that, of course, inevitably confirms it. (You can tell I worked in the same hospital as that bastion of the impartial scientific process, Mr Wakefield - I refuse to call him Dr).

Where do you get all these?

I particularly liked:

"For let one or two of the greatest Masters of Mathematickes in any of the two famous Universities, but constantly affirme any cleare day, that they see some strange apparition in the skies: they will I warrant you be seconded by the greatest part of the Students in that profession: So loath will they be, to bee thought inferiour to their fellowes, either in depth of knowledge or sharpnesse of sight"

It does explain part of the current over-whelming 'belief' in all the anti-smoking and AGW (not to put too fine a point on it) crap.

Anonymous said...

Where do I get these?

I keep my eyes open and examine what everyone says, combine it with the things I already know and look for what I expect to find.

If it's not there, I know that my conjecture was probably wrong and try a new tack.

When you are doing mindless repetitive tasks like washing up or hand pollinating sweet peppers, the mind is free to wander and very often the answer comes out of the blue.

I'm almost reluctant to admit that I sometimes dream the solutions too.

Long ago I used to be an in-house textile designer and the patterns have to repeat perfectly in all directions or the pattern descends into chaos.

It becomes a habit I suppose.


The warmists lost me when they erased the Medieval Warm Period, I had always wished I could garden in something like that.

When they insisted the world was warming I thought it must be coming back.

So disappointing.


Rose

Able said...

Sorry, you lost me there, 'washing up'? I suppose I should be glad you didn't start using one of those offensive four letter words like... 'iron' :-)

I never believed the AGW crowd, reading the 'research', the inconsistencies, errors and blatant falsification of ice-cores, tree-ring, urban heat-island data was too much for me, not to mention the wonderful hockey-stick, which wasn't.

They earned my scorn and permanent ire when they targeted Professor Bellamy (as honest, educated and intelligent a man as I ever hope to meet. He, in his own time would talk and explain to those children lucky enough to meet him on his walks through Hamsterley forest, where he lived) and all but destroyed his career.

A perfect example of the hypocrisy and downright dishonesty of both anti-smoking and AGW zealots.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you, I miss David Bellamy.

Today’s forecast: yet another blast of hot air
by David Bellamy October 22, 2007

"Am I worried about man-made global warming? The answer is “no” and “yes”.

No, because the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction has come up against an “inconvenient truth”. Its research shows that since 1998 the average temperature of the planet has not risen, even though the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to increase.

Yes, because the self-proclaimed consensus among scientists has detached itself from the questioning rigours of hard science and become a political cause. Those of us who dare to question the dogma of the global-warming doomsters who claim that C not only stands for carbon but also for climate catastrophe are vilified as heretics or worse as deniers.

I am happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on the bigotry of vested interests. But I don’t like being smeared as a denier because deniers don’t believe in facts. The truth is that there are no facts that link the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming. Instead of facts, the advocates of man-made climate change trade in future scenarios based on complex and often unreliable computer models.

Name-calling may be acceptable in politics but it should have no place in science; indeed, what is happening smacks of McCarthyism, witch-hunts and all. Scientific understanding, however, is advanced by robust, reasoned argument based on well-researched data. So I turn to simple sets of data that are already in the public domain.

The last peak global temperatures were in 1998 and 1934 and the troughs of low temperature were around 1910 and 1970. The second dip caused pop science and the media to cry wolf about an impending, devastating Ice Age. Our end was nigh!

Then, when temperatures took an upward swing in the 1980s, the scaremongers changed their tune. Global warming was the new imminent catastrophe.

But the computer model – called “hockey stick” – that predicted the catastrophe of a frying planet proved to be so bent that it “disappeared” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s armoury of argument in 2007. It was bent because the historical data it used to predict the future dated from only the 1850s, when the world was emerging from the Little Ice Age. Little wonder that temperatures showed an upward trend.

In the Sixties I used to discuss climate change with my undergraduates at Durham University. I would point to the plethora of published scientific evidence that showed the cyclical nature of change – and how, for instance, the latest of a string of ice ages had affected the climate, sea levels and tree lines around the world. Thank goodness the latest crop of glaciers and ice sheets began to wane in earnest about 12,000 years ago; this gave Britain a window of opportunity to lead the industrial revolution.

The Romans grew grapes in York and during the worldwide medieval warm period – when civilizations blossomed across the world – Nordic settlers farmed lowland Greenland (hence its name) and then got wiped out by the Little Ice Age that lasted roughly from the 16th century until about 1850."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2709551.ece

There's lots more but it's now behind a paywall,but you can find it on the blogs.

Post Normal Science is hard on traditional scientists.


Rose

Anonymous said...

Post-Normal Science
"The traditional distinction between ‘hard’, objective scientific facts and ‘soft’, subjective value-judgements is now inverted.
All too often, we must make hard policy decisions where our only scientific inputs are irremediably soft.
The requirement for the “sound science” that is frequently invoked as necessary for rational policy decisions may affectively conceal value-loadings that determine research conclusions and policy recommendations.

In these new circumstances, invoking ‘truth’ as the goal of science is a distraction, or even a diversion from real tasks. A more relevant and robust guiding principle is quality, understood as a contextual property of scientific information."
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Post-Normal_Science


Ecological Integrity - Post-Normal Science - "Ecological Footprint" - Ethics - The Precautionary Principle

Abstract
" Present laws and regulations even in democratic countries are not sufficient to prevent the grave environmental threats we face. Further, even environmental ethics, when they remain anthropocentric cannot propose a better approach.
I argue that, taking in considerations the precautionary principle, and adopting the perspective of post-normal science, the ethics of integrity suggest a better way to reduce ecological threats and promote the human good globally"

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely practiced by the States according to their capabilities.
Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific uncertainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental damage.

This principle clearly indicates that, because of the gravity and the urgency of the many environmental problems and crises that face us, it is sufficient to be aware of the threats, even before the scientific certainty might be available,to indicate priority action on the part of policymakers.

This principle is introduced as an agent of change in order to counter the arguments of those who would appeal to scientific uncertainty, or to disagreements among experts, as a delaying tactic and as a reason to postpone action."
http://www.springerlink.com/content/h2870733078384h2/


I think it's only fair to tell everyone else when you change the rules of the game.


And you are of course quite right


Lessons Learned From Tobacco Control Should be Applied to Climate Policy - 2009

The approach the world has taken to tobacco control holds many lessons for the COP-15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. A newly-published article in The Lancet (available with free registration) summarizes the many similarities between tobacco control and climate policy, and how the lessons learned from tobacco control can be applied to the way countries approach climate policy."
http://www.prwatch.org/node/8767


Rose

Able said...

Rose

Sorry for the delay in responding but feeling a little low after a discussion with a number of acquaintances.

As per usual, the topics drifted to smoking, AGW and feminism (both male and female participants, but predominantly female)

As the only smoker I tried my best, presented as many arguments, references as I could. No one could refute the science, although they tried (oh boy, did they, even making some up). But guess what, with all the facts for it to be a matter of personal choice, not one would even consider changing their view that it should be banned (made illegal?) even outside in public. The result - there's more of us, we feel morally superior to you, do as we say whatever the facts!

I wont rehash AGW but exactly the same in result.

Feminism? This arose because of an article on American Thinker raising the problem of too few white males attending American universities. The article basically stated that 'men cannot compete with women on an equal footing and so need some positive discrimination in their favour to get the numbers up'. Can't compete on an equal footing? I raised the points that boys and girls require different teaching methods which with the feminisation of schools has biased matters, the dearth of male teachers (after all it's no longer safe for a man to be alone with children because of the presumption of guilt even before any accusation), the fact that there has been positive discrimination in favour of women (and any ethnicity other than white) for decades – hardly a level playing field. I included the decreasing numbers of traditionally male courses, engineering, hard sciences with the increase of media studies et al (as an example the local college has a massive female majority doing courses such as health and beauty and hairdressing, the tiny minority of boys there are almost unnoticeable -probably loving it too. But is this discrepancy in numbers due to 'men not being able to compete with women' or due to the fact there are no courses that interest them?).

Before you ask, I believe in the equality of the sexes. But equality in the sense of the same abilities, access and opportunities. These people believe that women are equal but need additional access, additional benefits, priority in all areas (hypocrites) – and that any man who disagrees is simply a misogynist, a wimp and not a real man FFS. (An example is the decreasing numbers of male nurses. Most posts today are part time. The males traditionally use nursing as a career to earn a living. Whilst a lot of women do too, with access to benefits they can live comfortably on 0.5 fte or even 0.25 fte.)

I had to leave before I said something they'd regret

So, I've now come to decide that facts, truth, evidence are all irrelevant to these types – anti-smoking, AGW and feminism aren't based on any of them. They're religions, based on a faith that is so strong that nothing will ever cause them doubt (as such I believe they are both sociopathic and malignant narcissists in nature). So what's the point in trying?

Apologies again to LI for wandering completely off topic

Anonymous said...

Able

Don't worry about delay, I was probably asleep, that's the beauty of such conversations, the words just hang in the air until you can get back to them.

If you argue with people who are wedded to their beliefs they will immediately become defensive.
To even question those internal beliefs they have to first sense that something might be wrong, even if they don't yet know what, then they will be more open.


I hate positive discrimination and have always found it insulting, as if I am feeble, in need of propping up and not capable of fighting my own corner.

I found that being officially deemed weak and lacking in willpower very motivational when doing the research.

I do know about the damage feminism can do, I had to debrief my young son when he was at still at primary school, as a male he was made to feel inferior and a potential menace.
Mind you, I have had to debrief my children on a lot of things they were taught at school.

One day my son came rushing up to me in a panic warning me that we must never eat salt again or we would die.



When I realised that I might as well have been talking in tongues as far as other people were concerned and was clearly becoming a bore, I quietly withdrew from all social activities before the ban.

I wasn't seeing the arguments I expected to see in the media, the plant and it's relation to popular vegetables wasn't even being mentioned.

So very reluctantly and with great trepidation, I realised I had to pass on and prove what I already knew.


Your acquaintances may not understand that this also affects them.

FINAL ASSESSMENT REPORT
"Many commonly and widely consumed vegetables of the nightshade family (Solanaceae)
such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums naturally contain low levels of nicotine.
Nicotine has also been detected in cauliflower and tea – two non-solanaceous plants." 5.2

"The option was raised to prevent foods such as the nightshades, known to naturally contain low levels of nicotine, from being banned."
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/P278_Nicotine_FAR_Final.pdf

Now there is officially no safe level, what applies to tobacco also applies to food.

Being reckless smokers we don't care, but your acquaintances may wish to consider giving up.

The Nicotine Content of Common Vegetables
http://tinyurl.com/6zdkce7

That's why I thought a ban could never happen.


Rose

Anonymous said...

Potatoes

EVALUATION
"The Committee considered that, despite the long history of human consumption of plants containing glycoalkaloids, the available epidemiological and experimental data from human and laboratory animal studies did - NO- t permit the determination of a - SAFE LEVEL - of intake.

The Committee recognized that the development of empirical data to support such a level would require considerable effort."
http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v30je19.htm


Rose

Able said...

Rose
Thank you for your words and the further links. I particularly liked the fact that my accusers (nasty, smelly, addict that I am) were the ones consuming the most nicotine (tea, potatoes, tomatoes) during our discussion (a touch of schadenfreude there).

I perhaps expressed myself poorly, the issue isn't that these people could not challenge deeply held 'knowledge', it was that they were fully aware that there are major flaws in the data, yet they use it simply as an excuse to promulgate their demands (thus the references to sociopathic, not seeing smokers as as 'real' or 'worthy' as they, and malignant narcissism , completely rewriting evidence and argument to present their views as more acceptable and them selves in a better light).

I took a straw-poll some time ago of the women I had contact with (nurse remember, I don't meet too many men), that is nurses, social workers, teachers, physiotherapists, doctors. The results, though unscientific, were unremarkable - those who most strongly disagreed with smoking (even to the point of shunning those who did) was in the teachers and social work group, those most likely to smoke, doctors and nurses.

Unremarkable because of the hard vs soft science, but also because those with the lowest academic results predominate in those anti areas (as well as the emphasis placed on the feminist viewpoint in those professions).

Yes, I know, nursing has a poor academic record, but those I contact are generally the percentage who have accrued further (science) degrees and work in highly technical areas.

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the academic, political, psychological makeup of those both pro and anti. Not that it will happen, if for nothing else than the fact that psychologists fall squarely in the anti camp.

I despair, mainly due to the blatant propaganda, undermining of the scientific process, social engineering of those charged with educating the next generation. The blatant misandry and lies of the teaching and social work 'professions' beggars belief.

Anonymous said...

I can quite see how maddening that could be and undermining the scientific method leaves us all adrift, can you imagine if it spread to engineering?

Though in no position to advise, it seems to me that you might be trying to fight a battle you can't win and will wear yourself out trying.

I did the research mostly to understand what had happened to me, it's as if the country I grew up in had been invaded.
We just don't send the elderly and sick outside for any reason whatsoever!

Though as just an ordinary person I can do absolutely nothing about it, I do feel better just knowing who did what to us, how they did it and why.

You can't openly argue with a well funded orthodoxy all by yourself, you will always be outgunned.

After all,look what happened to people who opposed previous powerful religions.

Rose

Anonymous said...

Today's news

Sadly, we can expect company on the naughty step.


The battle against obesity: lessons from tobacco

"Aggressive intervention for the seriously obese (ie, those with a body-mass index >35 kg/m2) by exhortation, taxation, and increased health-care insurance premiums, coupled with positive presentation of change options."
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2961896-5/fulltext?rss=yes

Rose

Able said...

Rose

Oh great, now I'm going to get burned at the (oh, can't be a cross it's not that religion) er,, windmill(?) :-)

I do so love the BMI, even the experts are aware how inaccurate it is and yet they just can't stop using it ( a friend who is a power-lifter is 5 ft 11" and with a weight of 17 1/2 st is perversely proud of being classed as obese). Similar stories for rugby players, boxers etc.

Why expect them to base their preaching, I mean recommendations, on facts when they can lie and be left unchallenged by those in power.

I think the idea of "exhortation, taxation, and increased health-care insurance premiums, coupled with positive presentation of change options." is a good idea - for those who present spurious pseudo-scientific reasons for their health fascist wet-dreams.

failing that a piano-wire necklace :-)

Anonymous said...

It's going to take a very long time to unscramble this mess,by now I doubt if even they can be sure what is real and what is not.


Rose

Able said...

I was reminded by your previous comment, on the undermining of the scientific method and what if it spread to engineering, about the incident in Indiana in 1860 and their attempts to square the circle by legislation (and altering Pi as a consequence of course).

I wonder if the current crop will cause any such drastic unintended consequences, and become the laughing stock they really are.

One can only hope!

Able said...

Rose

Sorry I was browsing and came across this:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/census-shows-1-2-people-103940568.html


I would have mentioned it earlier but I was rolling on the floor laughing.

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