Sunday, 16 January 2011

Mengele's playthings.

I think I might buy a pipe. I had a few pipes, many years ago. One of the curly Sherlock Holmes ones and two straight ones. I also had a clay pipe but it was hard to smoke because it would heat up too much. Maybe I was doing it wrong. A pipe is the only kind of smoking I don't currently do. I have roll-up cigarettes and cigars and Electrofag but no pipe. This must be remedied.

Where do I get one these days? Anyone know? I can find a shisha pipe far more easily than a Sherlock these days.

I did try those Skoal Bandits once, a long time back. I believe they are called Snus now. They didn't interest me. I never bought a second pack and didn't even finish the first. I just don't see the appeal. No, for me it has to be the smoke and nothing produces smoke like a pipe. There is an Electropipe but I can get pipe flavours for Electrofag. No, I want a real pipe again. I want Three Nuns tobacco once more.

I'm thinking ahead here. Home grown tobacco will be hard to make into rollups. Easier to make into cigars as long as I can find a dusky maiden with cigar-rolling thighs and also easier to smoke in a pipe.

Why increase the smoking? Because it's naughty. The same reason that so many children are now smoking. No, it's not because they see smoking in Disney cartoons. I watched them as a kid. I watched Tom and Jerry cartoons where Tom smoked a cigar. I watched all the Popeye cartoons with his corn-cob pipe. I watched old black and white films where almost everyone smoked. I watched Groucho Marx with his cigar and Stan Laurel with his pipe made out of his hand, lit with his thumb. I have that on DVD and it still makes me laugh.

I took up smoking at the age of 21 when I was certainly able to make up my own mind about it, and none of the cartoons influenced me at all. Few of my immediate group of friends smoked. Peer pressure, if it had existed among this chaotic group, should have stopped me smoking. It didn't work.

I will develop further smoking routes precisely because I am being told not to. That is something the authors of the 'Nudge' idea have completely failed to grasp. When you push people, they push back.

When you proclaim that 21 units of alcohol is a limit, people see it as a target. When you set unit levels for each drink, people are not shamed into sobriety. Instead they print score cards. It makes the evening more interesting. Tell them that three pints is binge drinking and they will think, as they sip the fourth, that well, it's bingeing now. Might as well make a night of it. Nothing to lose.

When you tell children they can't have booze, they will go all out to get some. When you tell them smoking is bad, they have to try it. When you tell them vegetables are healthy, they won't touch them. Children believe themselves indestructible, always have and always will. Tell them it's dangerous and they are guaranteed to try it. Tell them it's wholesome and they won't touch it. The tobacco companies are not recruiting new smokers among the youth. ASH and the NHS are.

Here's some more child-smoker recruitment from another idiot, found by Fraser. As far as the health freaks are concerned, life is about living for as long as you can even if you find it excruciatingly dull. Life, for them, is not about enjoyment, it's all about lasting longer than the guy next door and eventually dying of nothing.

Not smoking, not drinking, not eating salt or fat and remaining within the Standard Human shape will not make you immortal. You are going to die. That is certain. Your options are to live a Puritan morbid and dreary life or to enjoy the time you have. Sure, you might live longer as a Puritan and if that suits you, you carry on. I would absolutely hate to live like that and if it means I die sooner, that's my problem, not yours. Live your live as you see fit and leave me alone to live mine. Is that so much to ask?

It seems so, when fake science is the order of the day in any attempt to smack the smokers (tipped by commenter Luke and also by Email).

The researchers looked at the level of chemicals linked with cancer, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), in 12 patients after smoking.

Fair enough, you might think.

A PAH was added to the subject's cigarettes, which was then modified by the body and turned into another chemical which damages DNA and has been linked with cancer.

Well now, let's look at that first sentence again.

A PAH was added to the subject's cigarettes,

And once more for the terminally hard of thinking.

A PAH WAS ADDED to the subject's cigarettes,

The subjects were smoking cigarettes to which a carcinogen had been deliberately added. How did they get ethical approval for this? And what does it prove? That when you add a carcinogen to cigarettes, it acts like a carcinogen? That will work just as well with broccoli or tofu. It will even work with water or air. It is nonsense. The ethics commitee should be charged with attempted murder over this.

So it's fine to expose people to a carcinogen that isn't already present in detectable levels in cigarette smoke in order to re-prove that the carcinogen is a carcinogen, even though ordinary tobacco doesn't contain enough to prove an effect. It's fine because they are only smokers and don't matter.

If you proposed doing this experiment with dogs there would be outrage. Even more outrage than you would face if you kept a dog outdoors and only gave it a shelter with 50% or less protection from the weather. Try proposing to experiment with diesel carcinogens on non-smokers and see how far you get. I am struggling to get approval for a non-drug cure for Clostridium difficile that has already been proven to work and which I take a dose of daily because it stops other gut problems too, yet dosing human beings with known carcinogens just to invent a new propaganda page for ASH is okay. And you think I should trust the NHS? Hell, I object to being forced to pay for this crap. Worse, the propaganda is reinforced by the BBC who also demand money with menaces. At least when you paid protection money to the Krays, they left you alone. This is worse.

Out there are dribbling morons nodding and saying 'ooh, yes, the Dreadful Arnott is right, smokers are evil and subhuman and can be experimented on Mengele-style and that is all fine and good and Mengele's experiments on twins were justified if they smoked'. Oh yes, they are out there. Some are reading this and thinking 'What is this subhuman complaining about? We stopped experimenting on animals because it was inhumane, but experimenting on smokers is perfectly fine'.

Well, bollocks. I am buying a pipe and increasing my smoking range. I am doing this because like those who have drunk three pints in a day and have been classified as binge drinkers, I have nothing more to lose. I smoke and I am already condemned for it. I am lower than the experimental animals. Even if I stop I will be an 'ex-smoker' and treated like a drug addict so why bother? ASH and the NHS have ensured that I have no incentive at all to stop smoking. None.

I am Mengele's subject now.

Soon, you will be too, whatever you enjoy.


John (Pipe Club of Norfolk) said...

Getting a pipe is a good idea.

You get more flavour out of the tobacco and it can work out a lot cheaper than cigarettes (once you have bought the pipe).

I get my smoking stuff from:

Churchills of Norwich.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation Churchills.

Phone him up and he'll sort you out with some stuff.

Tel: 01603 661079
Mob: 07845550358

Billy the Fish said...

They're at it again, Leggy...

Billy the Fish said...


Sorry, wrong link! I meant this one...

Manu said...

Hi L-I,

I saw this story on the BBC this morning as well, and was amazed.

My initial thought was: 'No sh*t Sherlock'. You inhale a bunch of carcinogenic compounds, and they are absorbed, metabolised, and start messing you up within minutes, not years. This is front-page news?!

More importantly, the (un)ethical aspect of this study is certainly concerning. I have no idea how a study involving actively administering a harmful substance to patients got approval from the local ethics committee. Unfortunately, the paper is not freely available, so we can't look to see how this was justified.

Look forward to seeing more details on this, since this would appear to set an interesting precedent for future clinical studies...

tasty prawns said...

They go on about smoking but if you try to eat healthily and live a better lifestyle you don't stand a chance.
Did you see the food programme on tv last night LI ?
Prawns imported from Bangladesh are bred in large ponds and fed by the outflow of latrines that are positioned above the ponds.
The UK food analysts admit that they can't test all the fish from abroad so most folk will have eaten a Bangladeshi recycled turd at some time or other.
And don't get me started on scampi and the chemicals that they use to turn the scraps into a mushy mess that is then deep fried.

Neal Asher said...

Ah but the implication of that report was the human smokers were used. More likely they used beagles, which would, of course, be frowned upon.

Manu said...

@ Neal Asher

From the study abstract at:

"However, no previous published studies have examined this critical pathway in humans specifically exposed to PAH by inhalation of cigarette smoke ... Twelve subjects each smoked a cigarette to which [D10]phenanthrene had been added."

Sounds like no beagles were harmed in the production of this ASH media scare story ;-)

Anonymous said...


From my amateur experiments you can make pretty much anything into a rollup.

Herbal teas, dried herbs from the garden, you name it, if you can put it through a herb mill it will be fine.

The trick seems to be using flakes, if you crush it to powder the gas mix is overpowering, small flakes leave tiny air gaps.

Moroccan mint from my favourite tea shop is especially nice, but too much by itself.

The important thing appears to be, after flaking it, give the herb a few weeks to mellow in an open bowl.
Newly flaked herbs can be harsh or burn too hot.

Mind you, as rules are made to be broken, and I'm having fun, finely shredded culinary lavender flowers, freshly ground and sprinkled sparingly along the length of a cigarette, give a similar effect to popping candy, but with fragrance.

But as I'm not too certain of the chemistry of burnt lavender flowers, I don't do it very often.

As the Cheyenne say ( allegedly ), if a rabbit can nibble it, you can smoke it.

Remember LI is an expert and I am merely reckless.

Don't try this at home.


Monty Cristo said...

If you're struggling for choice try this place:

If you can't make it in person they do a fine mail order service. They also sell Three Nuns, so no excuse, get in there!

subrosa said...

Like another commenter, I'm still shocked by last night's Dispatches. To think that our politicians allow food from these sources into the country is bad enough. To think that they enter our food chain so easily is a disgrace. Yet they insist people who do deal with food take a Food Hygiene course!

Be careful where you source your prawns and check out the source of any fish you buy. If it's not clear then don't buy it.

Dioclese said...

In view of your recent experiement nd known views on the subject, I shall leave you to comment on this piece of shite :

Ed P said...

Try You'll love the frst page with its dire warnings of the harmfullness of their eeeviil products!

Usual disclaimer - I have no link to them, Ed P (for pipe)

Dick Puddlecote said...

Ha! So Martin Dickrell reckons the start of cancerous growth occurs 30 minutes after the first ever fag? Not a lot of point quitting if you've ever started then, surely?


Uncle Gus said...

Things are getting seriously deranged. We have definitely entered the post-scientific age now.

Anonymous said...

"To study the damage that smoke creates, Hecht's team added a labeled PAH — phenanthrene — to cigarettes and tracked it in 12 volunteers who smoked them.",0,4543910.story

"Phenanthrene is used in manufacturing dyestuffs and explosives and in biological research.
Sources of phenanthrene include diesel fuel exhaust, coal tar pitch and tobacco smoke."

and in the toasted Hot Cross Bun I just ate.

"IARC determined that phenanthrene was not classifiable with respect to human carcinogenicity."

"Finding a measurable amount of one or more urinary phenanthrene metabolites does not mean that the level causes an adverse health effect.
Biomonitoring studies on levels of phenanthrene metabolites provide physicians and public health officials with reference values so that they can determine whether people have been exposed to higher levels of phenanthrene than are found in the general population."

"A PAH was added to the subject's cigarettes, which was then modified by the body and turned into another chemical which damages DNA and has been linked with cancer."


Mac the Knife said...

Try E. A. Carey online, I got my favourite pipe of all time from them, and it was easily the cheapest...

Stewart Cowan said...

We have a local newsagent who sells pipes.

The "good" thing about a pipe is that it lasts much longer than a ciggie!

And they taste nicer, IMO.

Styx said...

I recall the heat problems with clay pipes - I have during my long smoking life had spells of pipe smoking and still have some pipes; perhaps I'll start again. Here in France pipes are readily available at the "Tabacs", some very nice ones too though they are often pretty pricey. Strange then that it is very rare to see anyone smoking one whilst thousands can be seen everywhere - clope au bec (fag in mouth).

Captain Ranty said...

Just started in the pipes meself.

I am the proud owner of:

1. A shisha pipe
2. A Falcon
3. A Briar
4. A corn-cob

Oddly enough, all are different smokes and all enjoyable for different reasons.

Besides all the health guff (which is based on myth surrounded by pseudo-science and wrapped up in fantasy), did you ever meet a pipe-smoker who wasn't interesting?

That's all the evidence I need. Smoking a pipe makes you interesting! Nuff said.


Captain Ranty said...

Just started ON the pipes...

Ashtrayhead said...

On the subject of pipes, my late grandfather started smoking aged 8years old as he lived in a small Scottish fishing village and would help the fishermen by keeping their pipes alight when they were mending the nets! Sadly he died aged 97!

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