Monday, June 30, 2008

Too smoke or not to smoke, has an obvious answer

Here is guest post, by non other than my sister. We were in the Dominican Republic last week, with hundreds of Europeans. And those bastards literally smoke ALLLLL the time. My sister even had her "favorite" cigar guy. Anyway, she was flipping out the entire vacation because she cannot handle the smell of cigarette smoke. So, I told her to write a post. Here it is:

Now-a-days in the year 2008 there is a lot of awareness on the dangers of smoking. In terms of awareness, I am not just talking about the T.V. commercials that would give anyone chills or the huge bold letters on cigarette boxes (especially at the duty free shops at the airport) which read anything from: “Smoking Kills” to “ Smoking harms you and others around you”, but the awareness in public schools which start in 2nd grade, which I have personally been through, which would scare most kids from even touching a cigarette. My question is, why would anyone smoke?

People give various excuses as to why they choose to smoke. These people say “it’s cool” or “I only smoke socially” or “it relaxes me” or “Only Americans think it’s harmful." Obviously these excuses are full of baloney, because:

It’s Cool – Don’t know about you, but slowly killing myself is not on my list of cool.
I only smoke socially- Fine so I only jump off a bridge socially.
It relaxes me – Try drinking chamomile tea or taking Valerian root, because killing yourself is never the answer.
Only Americans think it’s harmful – The guy that said this is from Israel and as far as I know they have the same letters in bold print which reads “Smoking kills” or “Smokers die younger." Maybe the awareness outside the U.S isn’t as strong, but it’s definitely there.

Other than people harm themselves by smoking, they also harm others with 2nd hand smoke. Whenever I smell smoke I start coughing and my stomach churns. So if people don’t care about themselves and want to kill themselves, go ahead, but don’t do it at the expense of others. Don’t smoke around people that don’t, even if it is outside. Don’t smoke in your car, because it still stinks it up. Most importantly when you go to the beach, do not just light up. Smoke travels and people want fresh air from the sea breeze not a smokey death breeze. When you’re at a resort that allows smoking, don’t smoke during the meals, you can wait 45 minutes to pop another death stick.

Bodily problems caused by smoking:
Cancers:Lung, bladder, esophagus, mouth, throat, cervical, kidney, pancreatic and stomach. acute myeloid leukemia.
Gingivitis, yellowing of the teeth and nails, periodontitis, loss of taste, Cataracts, emphysema, asthma, pneumonia, abdominal aortic aneurism, Lung desease, Heart desease, Heart attack, and Gangrene.

Ingredients in cigerettes:
Tar, nicotine, Carbon Monoxide (no point in installing an alarm for it if you inhale it anyway), ammonia (might as well drink windex), formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic (let’s go poison ourselves), DDT, acetone (mmmm…I love nail polish remover), Carcinogens: Nickel, Benzene, Aniline, Cadmium, etc. Vinyl Chloride, Nitric acid, Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, citric acid, acetic acid, oxalic acid, ulmic acids (since we can’t touch most acids because it’ll burn our skin, lets inhale them instead so we can slowly burn our insides!).

Just some Facts:
12 million Americans died of smoking since 1964
Smoking kills about 440,000 Americans per year
On average, smoking men lose 13.2 years of life and women lose 14.5.
Lite cigerettes- not any liter than the regular ones on your health.

19 comments:

FrummeYenta said...

wow you know your stuff :)

(tty)

frustrated frummie said...

just a note to add to all those smokers out there...fine kill urself but please make sure u dont burn me in the process. and here i mean literally burn i have a scar on my hand which a smoker left with the lit end of their cigarette. unfortunately i cant say be safe because obviously killing urself is not the way to go...

frumskeptic said...

FF: SCAR?? That must really suck!Damn smokers.

Moshe said...

What's even funnier is doctors smoking. A couple of my friends are in medical school. I was talking to one of them, don't remember what exactly but mentioned either drinking out of styrofoam or using plastic in microwave. So he tells me he never does that because it causes cancer. I was like "dude, you're smoking, right now!"

Anonymous said...

If you can't stand the smell of smoke you're out of luck. If politicians legislate againsst smells, they'll put the country out of business.

SuperRaizy said...

My father a"h died of lung cancer after smoking for 50 years. It's an awful, painful way to die.
Studies show that if a person does not begin smoking before age 18, he probably will never start. We need to focus our energies on teaching kids how harmful cigarette smoking is.

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic's sister: I agree with you on this one. People forget the part about second hand smoke.

Someone in my class gave a speech today on networking, so one of the things he suggested is to carry a lighter around, even if you don't smoke, so that you can lend it to people as a gesture of kindness. This is supposed to help you with work. I so disagree with him. Then he said you should always carry a pack of cigarettes because its a social thing and even if you don't smoke, you can get to be with other people who smoke, just by lighting a cigar and keeping it on the table, because business people make business deals while smoking, so this gets you in on the deal, I felt like saying, then I wouldn't want to do business with such people, but yea.

There was actually a good lawyer joke about this:

"Charlotte , North Carolina A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires.'

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued, and WON!

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable 'fire' and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the 'fires'.

NOW FOR THE BEST PART:

After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!
With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent
Criminal Lawyers Award Contest."

A parent once said that they give their children a smoke when their a teenager so they can see what its like and taste how bad it is so that they won't want it again.

frumskeptic said...

babysitter: Very interesting. I love that the insurance company was so smart to get back at the lawyer. Serves him right. :)

Orthoprax said...

People choose to smoke because it feels good. It does give a high and the act itself is pleasurable. And then people get addicted.

But you say that people can't smoke in their own cars? Why the heck not? It's their car.

Frankly, I think smoking is a dumb thing to do, but being downwind of a barbecue is way worse for you healthwise than is a single cigarrete in the open air. Or should public barbecues be forsworn too?

And just for the record, virtually all the toxins you list as ingredients in cigarretes are found in plenty of other things you ingest. Gonna stop eating apples because of the arsenic they contain? No OJ because of the citric acid? Tuna because of the mercury?

And, also for the record, people don't "die of smoking" unless you mean through catastrophic smoke inhalation, as in they were rescued from a burning building. Smoking is the top risk factor for dozens of terrible diseases, but it is not a cause of death in itself.

In conclusion, smoking is dumb, don't do it, but don't blow the issue out of proportion either. Do you do anything that isn't so healthy? Eat red meat? Processed sugar? Ever have a few drinks? I agree with the government's goal to reduce public consumption of cigarretes, but their methods are essentially propaganda.

frumskeptic said...

orthoprax: about the red meat, its only bad if you have it in excess amounts. Just incase you didn't know, smoking also helps clog your arteries with cholesterol(heart attack,stroke). About having a few drinks, they say that having a cup of wine a day is GOOD for you. I obviously didn't make it clear, but, if you share the car with a non-smoker, don't smoke. If something causes a DEADLY disease then in my book its a cause of death. Hence if cigerettes lead to a bunch of death causing diseases then yes SMOKING=DEATH. Also, a barbecue does not have alot of the horrible things that cigerettes have. On a superficial level, at least bbq's smell good(according to most people) and cigerette smoke smells bad(according to most people). Lastly, at what point was I blowing anything out of proportion. I was saying that smoking is bad...i dont see anything "out of proportion" there, unless my being blunt is out of proportion.

~Frumskeptic's sister~

Orthoprax said...

FS,

"orthoprax: about the red meat, its only bad if you have it in excess amounts."

Um, ok. That's true about everything. Including smoking. Suppose you smoked only very infrequently, you probably would have no ill effects.

"Just incase you didn't know, smoking also helps clog your arteries with cholesterol(heart attack,stroke)."

No, actually I don't believe that's directly true. Smoking lowers HDL levels, which decreases absorption of latent 'bad' cholesterol in your body. In an otherwise healthy person this has marginal impact.

"About having a few drinks, they say that having a cup of wine a day is GOOD for you."

Does a "cup of wine" sound the same as "a few drinks" to you? Alcohol is one of the most damaging toxins to mankind. Odds are that they'll parse out the heart-healthy factor in red wine and put it in pill form within a decade.

Of course, I drink fairly regularly. But I'm a young guy and I don't drink excessively so I'm confident that I won't suffer for it. But I don't pretend that it's good for me anymore than I pretend soft drinks are good for me - which I also consume. And soft drinks are one of the worst products promoting obesity and diabetes in the world today.

"I obviously didn't make it clear, but, if you share the car with a non-smoker, don't smoke."

Ok. Or don't ride with a smoker.

"If something causes a DEADLY disease then in my book its a cause of death."

Well, that includes virtually everything that exists. Guy gets melanoma - death by Sun. Another chokes on a steak - death by cow.

"Also, a barbecue does not have alot of the horrible things that cigerettes have."

Right, it has plenty of other horrible things. What's your point?

"On a superficial level, at least bbq's smell good(according to most people) and cigerette smoke smells bad(according to most people)."

Oh, then I guess you'd enforce deoderant too?

"Lastly, at what point was I blowing anything out of proportion. I was saying that smoking is bad...i dont see anything "out of proportion" there, unless my being blunt is out of proportion."

When you're being factually lazy (i.e. calling cigarrettes a 'cause of death' or not understanding why people smoke) and selectively criticizing cigarretes so harshly over plenty of other human vices, i.e. listing the minute toxins present in cigarretes but not being remotely conscious that minute toxins are present everywhere then that's not being blunt - that's propaganda.

Again, in conclusion, smoking is dumb, it's a well known risk factor for dozens of terrible diseases and it's addictive so don't start.

frumskeptic said...

"Suppose you smoked only very infrequently, you probably would have no ill effects."

Not true, blackening your lungs or ingesting carbon monoxide is bad for you in any amount. A beef steak has alot of health benefits ( ie. protein and iron) where as cigerette smoking does not.

"Oh, then I guess you'd enforce deoderant too?"

Don't know if you noticed, but i wrote "on a superficial level".


"that minute toxins are present everywhere"

In your other reply you said apples contain arsenic. FALSE! apple seeds contain arsenic. Who eats apple seeds? The only way this can pose a problem is if the apple seeds are processed along with the apples to make a product. Citric acid is naturally in Oj and you need some acid, but too much of it is whats bad for you. So don't make your citric acid intake be through a cigarette. The purpose of citric acid in cigarettes is to rid the tobacco of some unwanted stuff.


"Guy gets melanoma - death by Sun. Another chokes on a steak - death by cow."

Are you serious? There's a difference between getting "ill" in a perfectly innocent way (the reasons you listed) and KNOWINGLY killing yourself by smoking. Seriously, if you know that when you bite into your steak this sunday you'll choke on it, would you take the chance of eating a steak. If someone knew that at age 65 they'd get melanoma do you think they'd spend all there summer days bathing in the sun (and if they do, they'll use the highest number SPF out there to prevent it). I don't think so. All people that smoke in the year 2008 know perfectly well that there is a huge, gigantic, collosal sized chance that they will get some sort of life threatening disease!

~frum skeptics sister~

Jessica said...

orthoprax - I agree with your original comment completely. But your first reply was a bit unsettling for me.
"FS,

"orthoprax: about the red meat, its only bad if you have it in excess amounts."

Um, ok. That's true about everything. Including smoking. Suppose you smoked only very infrequently, you probably would have no ill effects."

My grandmother smoked for a few months. She didn't even smoke everyday. Last year she had to have her vocal chords, voice box and some lymph nodes removed and she can no longer speak through her mouth. I know you only said that probably it doesn't have any ill effects... but it does.

Orthoprax said...

FS,

"Not true, blackening your lungs or ingesting carbon monoxide is bad for you in any amount."

No, it's really rather innocuous in small amounts. Obviously you'd agree that getting radiation poisoning is bad for you, but every day you get a solid dose of carcinogenic radiation from the Sun, not to mention from common x-rays at the dentist and the like. Most people suffer no ill effects from a lifetime of such irradiation. The human body is quite resilient.

"A beef steak has alot of health benefits ( ie. protein and iron) where as cigerette smoking does not."

What's your point? That if there's a little benefit that can outweigh the overwhelming negatives? In general, I think beef is fine for an otherwise healthy person.

Did you know that smoking has been shown to sharpen short term memory and reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease?

"Don't know if you noticed, but i wrote "on a superficial level"."

Then why'd you bother writing it at all if you knew it was silly?

"In your other reply you said apples contain arsenic. FALSE! apple seeds contain arsenic. Who eats apple seeds?"

I do. I eat the whole fruit. And, in any case, you think the pulp sitting right next to the seed has zero arsenic in it?

"The only way this can pose a problem is if the apple seeds are processed along with the apples to make a product."

No, it's actually no problem at all because the amount is so negligible unless you're eating buckets of appleseeds.

"Citric acid is naturally in Oj and you need some acid, but too much of it is whats bad for you."

Obviously - too much of any toxin is bad for you. But listing marginal toxins in cigarrettes is not what is bad about them. I'm very confident that the health problems from cigs do not follow in any significant way from their acid content. Ergo, listing those minute toxins is purely a means of scaring people through propaganda, not education.

"Are you serious? There's a difference between getting "ill" in a perfectly innocent way (the reasons you listed) and KNOWINGLY killing yourself by smoking."

Yes, I agree there's a difference, but that's hardly relevant to the point I made which was that 'cause of death' is not the same as a 'risk factor.' Besides which, believe it or not, there are people who are avid smokers and make it through life without any deleterious effects from it. Go know.


Jessica,

I'm very sorry to hear that about your grandmother, but if she only smoked a few cigarretes per day over the course of a few months (and I presume during her youth) then her current medical problems are likely unrelated to her smoking history.

Ike said...

Meh, not impressed with your points...


It's cool - Cool refers to a social status... etc... Smoking can make you appear older etc... slowly killing yourself has nothing to do with the equation... come on, you know what make a person popular in school and what doesn't... you sound like a dork here.

I only smoke socially- again, this is a social thing that doesn't lead to wet discomfort like a bridge does... invalid comparison.

P.S. you love boys.. but also girls... ure gay

Jessica said...

orthoprax - she was in her 60s when she smoked... and no one can really say what was the cause of it. If it is completely unrelated it is a pretty huge coincidence.

Orthoprax said...

Jessica,

I don't want to pry, but if you gave me a timeline and magnitude of events then I could at least work out how likely any given scenario is compared to another. Speaking generally though, a few months of a casual smoking, even in one's 60s is unlikely to lead to serious health consequences unless the person has pre-existing health problems.

But is it possible? Of course.

frumskeptic said...

Ike:
"lead to wet discomfort like a bridge does... invalid comparison."

1)I don't suggest you try it, but you wouldn't care about the wet discomfort, because at that point you're dead or seriously injured and wet discomfor is the last of your worries.
2) The only problem with the validity of the comparison is that jumping off a bridge gives an instananeous, probably not so painful, death, where as smoking causes deseases that come with long painful deaths. Otherwise by smoking or jumping off a bridge, you're commiting "Social" suicide.


Orthoprax:
"solid dose of carcinogenic radiation from the Sun, not to mention from common x-rays at the dentist"
Thats why they suggest not to go out when the sun is at its strongest and if you do stay in the shade or use at least #15 SPF. Also, it is very much discouraged to get x-rays unless its absolutely necessary and when you do get an X-ray they cover you with a lead blanket.

Orthoprax said...

FS,

"Thats why they suggest not to go out when the sun is at its strongest and if you do stay in the shade or use at least #15 SPF. Also, it is very much discouraged to get x-rays unless its absolutely necessary and when you do get an X-ray they cover you with a lead blanket."

You didn't respond to my point. My point was not that there was no danger but that a lifetime's moderate exposure to these potentially harmful things is usually met with no significant health consequences.