Tuesday, 20 April 2010

More smoking lies and contradictions.

My grandfather died many years ago of pneumoconiosis. Black lung. Caused not by his lifelong enjoyment of rollups made with Franklin's Strong, but by the years he spent working in the coal mines.

Smoker's lungs are not like the ones on the packets. If they were, why the hue and cry over half of those lung transplants coming from smokers? No doctor would transplant something that looked like the forgotten burger on the barbecue grid. Smoker's lungs are deemed, by the same doctors supporting that ridiculous picture, to be good enough for transplant into non-smokers. Do you really imagine those doctors would be happy to give you a lung that looks like it's been soaked in Jeyes fluid?

Black lung is a coal-miner's affliction. The picture on the packets is an absolute and deliberate lie.

Then there is the picture of the teeth. Rotting, horrible teeth. We are to believe that these are the teeth of a smoker but there is no sign of nicotine staining. If someone has smoked so much it has destroyed their teeth, where's the staining? Further, where are the canine teeth? There are none, because this picture is of a child's first set of teeth, ravaged by dental caries. Not by smoking at all. This picture is an absolute and deliberate lie.

Don't believe me? Get hold of a copy of that cigarette-pack picture and visit the Scottish government's report on children's teeth from 2003. Pages 3 and 5 have something similar. The original photo in its original context is out there somewhere. I'll keep looking.

The aged hands are not aged by smoking. If someone smoked so much that they had shrivelled their skin, there would be definite and clear (even in a monochrome photo) nicotine patches on their fingers. These are the hands of a 90-year-old who might or might not be a smoker. This picture is an absolute and deliberate lie.

One picture shows a corpse on a mortuary slab with the slogan 'smokers die younger'. The corpse is an actor, his skin appears blue because the scene is lit with blue light and there is nothing to suggest he died from smoking. There is nothing to suggest he has died at all. The picture is an absolute and deliberate lie.

Tobacco smoke contains nasty chemicals, screams another warning. Well of course it does. Burning anything at all produces nasty chemicals. Burning MDF produces a toxic cloud no smoker could ever achieve even if they smoked their lifetime's supply at one sitting. Incense? Let's not even get started on incense. Or scented candles.

Traffic fumes contain all the listed chemicals and more. Crucially, what is missing from that list is the concentration of each chemical - most are so low that one cigarette does not produce a detectable amount. You have to burn a pile of tobacco in a sealed container to find them. It has to be done in a sealed container because all those chemicals are already in the atmosphere... from traffic, cleaning products and many other sources. The warning is an absolute and deliberate lie.

The lies that confuse me most are the warning that smoking causes impotence, and another that it damages sperm. If it causes impotence, what does it matter if it damages sperm? Mr. Floppy won't be doing any sperming. In fact, it causes neither. Take a look at the chain-smoking chavs on any run-down estate, and see how many kids they have in tow. These claims are an absolute and deliberate lie.

All those warnings are demonstrably false. How can this be? If smoking causes all these things, surely there is no shortage of real photos they could use, and real claims they could make? Has any antismoker ever questioned what they have been ordered to believe? Of course not. they don't like the smell and that is the only thing that matters to them. They will soak up any lie that supports their position and they will never, ever question those lies because they do not want to think, for a moment, that they are wrong. They have to believe that it is the smokers shivering outside every pub who are selfish, and the fact the pub is empty inside because the antismokers never visited and still don't - well, that does not make the antismokers selfish at all. It makes the smokers even more selfish for being outside and in their way.

So they lap up the nonsense of second-hand smoke, the patent absurdity of third-hand smoke, to the extent that no smoker can now buy an Apple product because if you smoke, they will not honour the warranty. There might be a tiny particle of tobacco smoke in there and that, as all antismokers know, is a million times more potent than ricin. Even reading about it can give them cancer.

It's all lies. All of it. No antismoker will ever hear that because no antismoker cares. They don't like the smell. It is their one and only legitimate objection and on that one personal preference, an entire section of the population has been designated subhuman. Worse, it is all on the basis of one hideous bint's personal preference. One.

Tiny Blur did it, and his reason was that his wife forced him to give up smoking. That. Is. It. That is the sole reason for the shrieking harpies we smokers encounter daily and the justification for making us all into pariahs. That is the reasoning behind the smoking ban. The Blair Witch didn't like the smell and forced the Tiny Blur to pack it in, and once he was a born-again non-smoker he empowered all those who didn't like the smell as his personal revenge on those of us who aren't married to Slotgob and aren't forced to quit against our will.

The Tories and that other lot also support this vicious, spite-driven ban and so do the SNP. They hate us all and want us to vote for them, then they will tax us to pay for more ways to make us suffer. Are you into masochism? I'm not. I won't vote for any party whose manifesto explicitly states that I am scum and will be disposed of as soon as they get into power. that's why, locally, UKIP are still my preference. They won't reverse the spite but they'll reduce it and that's a start.

Not content with claiming that we are killing ourselves and everyone around us even though far fewer people now smoke than even 20 years ago, the Righteous have now decided to put the frighteners on harder.

So, if you smoke while pregnant, your son will have reduced fertility. Like in China where smoking is endemic. As everyone knows, there are hardly any Chinese people left in the world. Logic? Not where smoking is concerned.

There are some very interesting remarks in that article. This one in particular:

Professor Sharpe, of Edinburgh University, evaluated studies from around the world on the effects on male fertility of factors such as smoking, obesity and exposure to chemicals.

A study of the after-effects of a major chemical leak from an Italian factory found no effect on the sperm counts of men who were adults at the time. But those who were in the womb grew up to have lower-than-expected sperm counts.

The professor's research concluded that chemicals found in food, cosmetics and cleaning products are to blame for some of the birth defects to baby boys' genitals and are raising the risk of testicular cancer in later life. But evidence that the same chemicals affect a grown man is lacking.

By the third paragraph, the 'smoking' part has been dropped from the list of things that cause mutant danglies. Because it doesn't. But note again this line:

But evidence that the same chemicals affect a grown man is lacking.

Oh, but those cigarette packs say it damages sperm and makes your doo-dah die. Now, this professor, who has studied smoking and all kinds of other chemical nasties says there is no evidence that it has any such effect on any adult. Smokers are not directly affected in the downstairs bits by smoking. So the focus has changed to an effect on the downstairs bits of the unborn.

The antismokers will lap it up and the comments show they've already started. Not one has noticed that the warnings of impotence and sperm damage have just been abrogated. There's something else, too. Let's try that line again.

But evidence that the same chemicals affect a grown man is lacking.

So if I smoke and it doesn't affect me at all, how come a whiff of secondary smoke affects others in such deadly fashion?

It does not affect grown men. Only babies (yeah, that must be true because all the rest was, wasn't it?)

So, antismokers. Which are you? Adult or infant?

Consider carefully before you respond with 'Poo, I don't like that stinky smell'.


PT Barnum said...

I had the 'pleasure' on Saturday of asking my wanting-to-be-re-elected MP (Lab) if he wanted to apologise for breaking the manifesto pledge on the smoking ban (since he recently apologised for Iraq, which I pointed out was cold comfort to all the dead people). Oh no, says he cheerfully, I'm all in favour of the smoking ban. And it hasn't damaged the pub trade. No, not one jot. I explained to him he was being sold a pup with all the pseudo-science. He...shrugged.

Democracy, eh? If it actually changed anything, they wouldn't allow it.

Leg-iron said...

PTB - he's happy with the smoking ban and is not at all interested in what his constituents think. Even when he's asking them to vote for him.

Says it all, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, even those who I once considered to be "allies" are actually foes: http://forum.junkscience.com/index.php?topic=894.0

Anonymous said...

I heard a UKIP bod interviewed on R4 the other day. He was getting quizzed about their policy of relaxing the smoking ban.
"How many people will die because of your poicy?" asked the lefty BC chap

"Er... None" replied Mr UKIP

The question was asked a couple of times, but he stuck to his guns. Unfortunately the fake science wasn't followed up on.

Unknown said...

Cracking post once again LI. Some of the points you make are listed by Eddie Douthwaite, Chairman of F2C Scotland on the wireless: http://freedom-2-choose.blogspot.com/2010/04/who-will-speak-up-for-me.html

Anonymous said...

I wish antismokers were reading your porsts, L-I, but I doubt that they are - it would make them feel too uncomfortable so, sadly, you're probably preaching to the converted.

Wish your posts could get into the MSM!


Anonymous said...

I honestly wish your rant were true, but it isn't. If you look at the life histories of smokers as opposed to non-smokers, you will discover that the smokers as a population die younger than the non-smokers do, and mostly snuff it from circulatory system diseases and from assorted cancers. The effect is marked, and as a colleague of mine from my PhD project years said: "If you're working on a biological system and a chemical has an effect, then that effect usually absolutely shouts at you. If you have to use statistics to find it, it ain't important".

Smoking tobacco increases the chances of dying young, from an assortment of diseases. Inhaling tobacco smoke secondhand is pretty much harmless, if appallingly smelly. The reason you as a smoker don't think tobacco smoke is smelly is simple: your nose is bombed-out from the reek of first-hand tobacco smoke. For the likes of me who don't smoke, the world is a wonderful place full of all manner of smells; coffee drifting on the wind, cooking, perfumes, the delicate fragrance of bluebells in the spring, or honeysuckle drifting on the evening air. Tobacco smoke absolutely reeks; non-smokers can pick it up at over half a mile downwind, and it smells absolutely appalling.

That's why you've been landed with a ban, quite frankly; evidence aside if you walk into a room with tobacco smoke in it, you end up reeking like a particularly malodourous kipper in minutes, and the smell stays with you, lurking unpleasantly for ages. The only solution is to wash all your clothes and yourself, which is a hassle and then some. You can whinge all you like about the manifest unfairness of the whole thing, and how your liberties are being trampled wholesale, but the fact remains that you and your habit are tolerable only to those who share the addiction; everyone else thinks you honk like a bonfire.

Promote the electronic ciggies for all you're worth now; they don't stink and you've a chance of getting them accepted. You do not have a chance of getting smoking in pubs and clubs back, not now everyone's gotten used to a night out not being an exercise in submission to vile aromas.

Anonymous said...

"...not now everyone's gotten used to a night out not being an exercise in submission to vile aromas."

But everyone hasn't. Thats why the pubs are closing at such an alarming rate. Because it turns out that the people who don't like the smell of cigarette smoke don't drink either.

Instead, these days they stink of BO, stale food and that funky smell you get after spilling beer on the carpet after a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Well Doc the arguments you raise can be applied equally to anything that holds an internal combustion engine yet no one is clamouring to ban those! You may argue that they are necessities, they are not, they are merely convienient, indeed one could argue that cars are also a major contributor to obesity another reason to ban those too.

Do you consider the sudden interest in restricting alcohol as a good thing as well? That would not be happening were it not for the smoking ban, how far do want this to be taken? if you are going to legislate for one risk under the principle that it may cause harm then you have no choice but to legislate for every single risk and that includes the internal cumbustion engine!

Remember this Doc, when you remove the civil liberties and free choice of one group you are removing the civil liberties and free choice for everyone, once the precedent is set nothing is safe and that is why this travesty of a law should be repealed.


Leg-iron said...

Dr. Dan -

I honestly wish your rant were true, but it isn't.

You then go on to prove that it is.

Yes, there are risks in smoking, but only to the smoker. The risk to others is non-existent and the risk to smokers is blown out of proportion.

Doctors often misdiagnose lung cancer because they see it so rarely. It is a rare disease and while the incidence among smokers is higher, it's not that much higher. The increase could be explained even if there was absolutely no link between smoking and cancer.

If you have something wrong with you, doing something that irritates the affected part will make it worse.

So if you're unlucky enough to get a protocancer in your lung, inhaling any irritant (smoke from anything, traffic fumes etc) will make it worse and the incidence among those who inhale such things will be higher.

That does not necessarily mean that the inhaled stuff caused the cancer. It means it made the condition worse. So if you get lung disease, you should stop smoking until it clears up because it's the same as picking at a scab. It won't heal unless you leave it alone.

You state the smoking ban was entirely due to not liking the smell. That is the only true reason for it, the only one, and that was exactly my point.

You seem to assume that smokers have no sense of smell. I can detect a bacon sandwich from streets away. I grow and use oregano, thyme, rosemary and other herbs because I like the smell when cooking and the dried stuff isn't the same.

There's a lot here, probably worth another post, but the entirety of your argument is that you don't like the smell.

Is that enough to ban smokers from everywhere? Even places you've never been and have no intention of ever visiting?

How do you feel about the bans on perfumes and other scents in office spaces that are now starting up?

How do you feel about companies refusing to employ smokers even though the are already banned from smoking on the premises?

These bans have no ends and no boundaries. If they are not stopped entirely, they will continue to spread.

And rest assured, one day they will reach you.

Anonymous said...

Dr Dan,

"...mostly snuff it from circulatory system diseases and from assorted cancers."

Errr....that's exactly what most non-smokers snuff it from.

"...you will discover that the smokers as a population die younger than the non-smokers do..."

How much younger? Is it those last few, decrepit years in a nursing home? Why do "your type" place zero value on the lifetime of joy and pleasure which the cigarette/cigar/pipe give to the smoker each and every day? What if I value that more than I value presenting a pristine corpse to the grave?

When you say, "as a population", it means you are lumping all smokers together, because you can't explain why some aren't dying as per your requirement. You are also lumping all smokers together, regardless of what they smoke and how much they smoke. Ever heard the cliche, "the dose is the poison"?

Someone smoking 100 cigarettes a day for 40 years is likely to do themselves in, unless they have the strongest constitution. What about those who smoke 20 a day and have a strong constitution? Is this disparity why you resort to the "population"?

Why is it OK to recommend that people limit their alcohol intake, but not their tobacco intake? Of course, if you down 3 quarts of scotch a day, you're going to damage yourself. No thought of banning alcohol (yet) or recommending that everyone give up completely. Instead, you hear the "there's no safe level of tobacco consumption" crap. Nice advice, Doc.

No, you think it's OK to banish over 20% of the adult population, because you don't like the way they smell. Well, I don't like what I see when I read your foul bigotry. Why should your sense of smell trump my sense of sight? Why shouldn't I demand that you stop infesting the internet with your vulgar missives, you hate-mongering xenophobe? Because, unlike you, I've experienced what your brand of hatred engenders.

You should try it sometime. Why not where a skull-cap down the main street of Riyadh and see how you feel? Walk a mile in the shoes of another, brother!

Anonymous said...

By following the link, I now read that our "Dr Dan" is a biologist working in computing.

Obviously HIGHLY qualified to comment on smoking.

Fredrik Eich said...

"The original photo in its original context is out there somewhere."
Leggy, I'm not sure that I follow you. Are you saying that there is a different version of this picture somewhere, or are you talking about some other pic?

Anonymous said...

"Promote the electronic ciggies for all you're worth now; they don't stink you've a chance of getting them accepted."

Oh boy, Dr Dan. If only you knew how absolutely untrue that statement is. Maybe it’s because you have to be on the receiving end of any form of persecution to truly understand it, and clearly you’re not on the end of this one (but don’t worry – your time will come!) Anti-smoking campaigners are already making noises – and quite definite steps in the US – towards banning e-cigarettes, too. There are reasons for this but, again, it isn’t worth explaining them to you because you won’t be on the receiving end so they kind of won’t mean anything to you. But just give them a chance to come up with a few statistics (you know, those things your PHd colleague said shouldn’t be necessary if something was obvious enough?) and a claim or two that non-smokers’ delicate nostrils can detect some kind of (inevitably “disgusting”) smell from them, and folks like yourself will be agreeing like crazy and scrambling onto that bandwagon, too. I can hear the protests now: “Ugh! It’s as bad as before the smoking ban! I have to shower and wash all my clothes as soon as I get in after a night out because of all those appalling Vapers! Yuk!” I suspect that the only reason you don’t at the moment think that they “stink” is because you haven’t yet been told that they do.

Oh, and just out of interest: "I honestly wish your rant were true." Why, pray tell?

timbone said...

In 1972 I moved to a flat in Old Trafford. I was 21. I was not smoking at the time, (I had stopped when I was 20, although I started again when I was 24, not smoking made me ill).
Anyway, I registered with Dr Fine. On my first visit to his surgery, he had a cigarete burning in the ashtray on his desk! I thought he was a quack!
Jumping forward to 1977. I still lived in Old Trafford. I still went to Dr Fine. I had trouble with a throat infection following an accident. I went to see Dr Fine for the 3rd time with this annoying infection.
"What do you smoke" he asked
"Cigarettes" I replied
"I know" he said "but which brand"
"Embassy" I replied
Dr Fine then produced a packet of Gold Leaf and said
"Try these, a lot of people have trouble with Embassy"

Don't times change

Anonymous said...

I personally think that it's hilarious that "Dr Dan" is so bad at biology that he had to get a job in computing.

Then again, having read his post, it looks as if he paid someone else to take his exams. [Too busy taking the hate-mongering extra-curricular program with his hall monitor alma marter.]

What a tosser!

B Manning said...

What do you get if you cross a fairy with a bloodhound?

'For the likes of me who don't smoke, the world is a wonderful place full of all manner of smells; coffee drifting on the wind, cooking, perfumes, the delicate fragrance of bluebells in the spring, or honeysuckle drifting on the evening air. Tobacco smoke absolutely reeks; non-smokers can pick it up at over half a mile downwind, and it smells absolutely appalling.'

jonas said...

As a longtime smoker, I too, can smell the scent of flowers in the air, barbecued chicken on somebody's grill, the horse blood from the pharmaceutical company and traces of bullshit in the comments. When I have quit for periods of time in the past, my sense of smell did improve somewhat and I was overwhelmed by the constant barrage of the smell of exhaust fumes everywhere I went.

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