Thursday, September 30, 2010

Third Hand Smoke

High risk of nicotine transfer from clothing

Another day,another horrible story about nicotine,smoking,parenting and science.

Here again the results were unambiguous: in the laboratory experiment, scientists say the toxins from the cigarette smoke that were dissolved in the perspiration caused massive damage to the skin cells; for example, they changed their shape and even, where the concentration was high, died off. Similarly, nerve cells, which are particularly active during the early stages of development, showed clear changes and were no longer able to connect properly with one another. The Hohenstein scientists are now publishing the results of their work in a scientific journal.
How a baby's skin cell reacts in a lab under controlled conditions isn't exactly how an infant's skin will react to the same conditions away from the lab.

I can't pretend to understand the science behind it but I am pretty sure the immune system plays a role in how our bodies,skin and organs handle toxins on a day to day basis.
It's not that I question the ethics of the scientists it is only that conditions in a lab don't reflect conditions in the real world.

Third hand smoke for those who might not already know it was an odd concept.

Richard White author of the excellent book Smoke Screens has a wonderful post about it on his blog.

When you read about how the research was carried out on this" new smoking catastrophe" I'm sure you won't be surprised,I know I wasn't.

Richard White On Thirdhand Smoke

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sin Taxes

I always seem to be reading something.
99% of the time I wind up reading something about the encoraching nanny state here in America.
Today Google Alerts pointed me to something I think got published on Monday in the Washington Times.

Washington Times Comments
All politicians that promote sin taxes are two faced. They never want you to quit alcohol or smoking, they just use that as a ruse to increase taxes on those products...if they wanted to really get you to quit, they wouldn't bank on the money from those "sin taxes" . 
The story itself was a small mostly angry  rant about how out of touch Bloomberg really is.
He seems to be upsetting constituents on a number of fronts.
But what I took away from that article wasn't the angry person upset about the ground zero victims and their families.

I found the comments section was much more informative and useful to my personal experiences in the world.
The smoking ban alienates a minority group of folks who are indulging in the use of a product that is despite some efforts isn't illegal to use.

No smoking inside,no smoking outside and yet tobacco is still a very legal and extremely regulated consumer product,fully legal to purchase,but where it can be used is being prohibited.

There is always a reason why feel good politics seemingly does something without attempting to stamp out the root cause of the problem.
It always comes down to money.
There is no real concern for anyone's health or welfare.

The comments from the story I read today are what I linked to,not because the story itself wasn't interesting but because the comment left by a non -smoker rings so much truer than anything I have ever read about why feel good politics is so prevalent in the world today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tipping Point

I read an interesting article today in Tobacco Reporter.
It seems like some people are quite worried about contraband tobacco.

I suppose it's something to have a vaild concern about,if Canada's government were really concerned about tobacco being adulterated and people getting hurt by ingredients that shouldn't be there.

That isn't what they are afraid of though(suprise,suprise) their biggest concern is that with cheap cigarettes being so widely available cheap tobacco might once again become socially acceptable.

"The problem is getting near a tipping point," said Mark Holland, the Liberal public safety critic. "If contraband tobacco becomes too prevalent, it just becomes socially acceptable.... If we cross that line, if we have that tipping point, it will be almost impossible to stamp out."

Is that something to be so afraid of?
It seems like it's a bottom line issue,but it always is.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cease To Be

There is a reason I love the Cato Institute.
Besides having what I consider reasonable ideas they published an amazing handbook in 2009 that I just started reading.

Cato Institute Handbook For Policymakers:Tobacco

It's called The Cato Handbook For Policymakers.
Included inside on chapter 23,I found this little gem.

As former Commissioner David A. Kessler stated, outlining his concept of FDA oversight: ‘‘Only those tobacco products from which the nicotine had been removed or, possibly, tobacco products approved by FDA for nicotine-replacement therapy would then remain on the market.’’ In other words, cigarettes as we know them would cease to exist.

Truer words were never written.
No one should be allowed to make something they don't like go away.
It doesn't matter how damaging it could be.

Reasonable laws would and could have been applied to tobacco if only cooler heads had prevailed.
Instead you see what happens around the world when someone begins a crusade.
It might begin with the best of intentions but it usually turn into a huge stinky pile by the time all is said and done.

It can and has gone so far as to challenge amendments to our constitution here in America.
In other places it has lead to an odd prohibition of sorts,in some other places it has lead it's leaders to propose an all out ban on smoking,using or buying any tobacco product would be the courageous way to handle things.

What people forget when they impose their will on others is a simple thing,people will do what they want and hurray if it's legal but if it isn't then they will still do what they wish to do.
The path we are headed down is just going to get worse,this is what demoralizing something does.

It hurts people,economies and personal freedoms.
George Santayana said 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ep-ology by Carl V. Phillips: Our comments to the FDA re graphical warnings on c...

From voices of reason.

ep-ology by Carl V. Phillips: Our comments to the FDA re graphical warnings on c...: "A bit of a long post, but it would be nice to put this somewhere where a few people will actually read it.... Comment regarding Experimen..."

I am always delighted to read anything by Carl Phillips or the tobacco harm reduction org. people.

I think they are one of very few pro tobacco harm reduction people who write things that make sense.

I agree with alot of what they say and I'm happy to put this on my blog (that no one ever reads) and share it with the world.


Christopher Snowdon Interviews Scott Ballin

I love Christopher Snowdon,it's simply an over site that his blog isn't listed on my blog roll on the side of this blog.

It is odd when  you think of tobacco control as a community you tend to think of people who don't want you to have anything.

From some members of the tobacco control community that might very well be true.

There is a small group in the tobacco control community that seeks outright prohibition of both the plant tobacco and the ingredient in tobacco nicotine.

There is also a group that from my obviously limited vision seems a bit more reasonable.

The proponents of tobacco harm reduction seem to be a small group who don't want prohibition of everything outright.

It's strange to see a group have slight differences like this, but it makes for an interesting journey for everyone ahead as they seem to be a minority.

A minority I support but ....................................

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oddly Enough

Baby Steps

I always expect the worst.

I am usually rewarded for that with a news story that makes me either cry at the state we are in or come damn close to it.

Today I read something that made me happy.

For once a small piece of the world  is making sense.

A small victory but I'll take it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Was Bound To Bring It Up Eventually


I don't normally link to a blog with no preview,but this is an exception.

This is the story of Brian,a man who in all probability is another of Chantrix's victims.

There really is nothing wrong with smoking if the alternative is something that leaves shattered lives and devastation in it's wake.

Just read the blog post,I have nothing else to say.

The Ultimate Solution

The Ultimate Solution

Well there you go.

I guess I wasn't as surprised to read this as I thought I would be.

I am only shocked by where this might happen if this resolution is ever passed.

The council’s resolution noted that total bans were the ‘ultimate and courageous solution’ and added, perhaps unnecessarily, that they were ‘unlikely to be popular within the smoking community or with those economically reliant upon tobacco products’.

I read this and my heart skipped a beat,it felt like someone had hit me square in the face.

It feels like I have always been saying this couldn't happen,but there it is in black and white from a wholly credible source.

If you don't like something someone does it's apparently perfectly fine to just fucking ban it.

The idea is a nightmare,but if this is adopted the reality will be much worse.

Hypocrites and liars

If the science doesn't work now how can you justify what you've done with it previously?

 “While acknowledging Mr Labate’s exposure to second hand tobacco smoke and finding no other cause for his lung cancer, the Medical Committee in its decision nonetheless stated that it could not establish with certainty the connection with his professional activities.” 
                                       It's Hazardous Unless You Sue

They have banned smoking just about everywhere,based on studies and testimony of scientists and doctors.

And yet when one of their own a person who went into many smoky pubs on a daily basis on their behalf has taken ill,those statistics they used to justify their own bans go right out the window.

Hypocritical bastards,someone is so ill they can no longer work and they suddenly can't make the science work?

It's amazing,isn't it?

August 13,1919 New York Times

August 13,1919

The link I have up here is for a rather interesting PDF.

One could almost imagine that it was written today,almost.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2.--The total abolition of the use of all tobacco within five years is planned by the Women's Christian Temperance Union, according to assertions made today by the Association Opposed to National Prohibitions. 
Even in the early 1900's someone didn't like smokers,someone didn't like drinkers as well.

They planned an all out propaganda war on people who's actions they didn't like.

Not so different from what we see happening around us today.

The slogan nicotine next and it's ideas of child welfare,health and morality and education and information aren't so different from what we see happening today.

The tactics are almost exactly the same,only this time it isn't the temperance movement against people,it's junk science and press releases and bad journalism

Someone you have never met will always be unhappy with how you live your life.
Someone you don't know will always be dissatisfied with the choices you make.

Someone who doesn't know you from a hole in the wall will always be more than happy to force changes onto you,society, business owners, and the law just to stop you from doing something they don't like.

The only difference is that today they have scientists,doctors and the medical community on their side.

It's beyond discouraging.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Failure Of Drug Policy

Cato Institute's New Podcast

Law enforcement is having a hard time fighting the war on drugs.
It has become a bloody,violent and senseless mess.

The Podcast I linked to features a law enforcement officer who thinks when the"war fails,it's time to bring the troops home".

The war on drugs isn't what we think it is.

T-Mobile And Text Censorship

Text Message Censorship

Such approval is necessary, T-Mobile added, “to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent, or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network.”
It’s the first federal case testing whether wireless providers may block text messages they don’t like.

I'm pretty sure this is less about t mobile's not liking the texts and more about who they are from.

After all if a legal  medical marijuana dispensary wants to use your phone service they shouldn't be able to after all where do we think we are America?

I know I am oversimplifying the whole story but the link at the top of this from Wired explains it in much better detail.


A great post today on Jredheadgirl 's blog .
A funny and ironic look at The World Health Organization.
It does seem like they don't have their priorities in order doesn't it?


Obesity And The Gender Gap
 The study found that obese women were paid lower wages than their normal-weighted counterparts, while obese men did not suffer any salary loss as a result of their belt size.
How fucking pathetic.
Other than that I have no good comments on the new epidemic raging right now.

I know you have all seen it.
It's everywhere,it's the if it looks healthy it must be healthy epidemic and it's racing round the world.

My vision of the future gets dimmer and dimmer every day.
It's depressing that we don't like seeing a fat woman so it's o.k. to pay her less.

Watch out they came for the smoker's first,now it seems everyone is fair game.

Finland Taxing Chocolate

Finland To Tax Chocolate

And the reason for the return of the cocoa tax? It's seemingly got nothing to do with health concerns; "the aim is to increase the revenues from taxes, particularly in order to cover the gap caused by the abolition of the employer contributions to the basic pension insurance scheme," Helsingin says.

Hell I'm just impressed it isn't over "health concerns".



Why does a ten dollar pill get a four hundred ninety dollar markup?
Massive screwup

A doctor emails a drug rep to ask why pills are so expensive.
They get this in return.

Now you know why prescription drugs cost so much.


Why I Signed The Vienna Declaration

Did You Know The War On Drugs Edition

The Vienna Declaration is a statement calling for the incorporation of scientific evidence into illicit drug policies. Research shows that an over reliance on drug law enforcement has resulted in overwhelmingly negative health and social consequences, yet law enforcement continues to be the dominant policy approach adopted by policymakers, at the expense of more effective public health interventions.
Prohibition doesn't work.
It didn't work with alcohol ,it won't work with tobacco and it certainly isn't working with drugs.

I don't do any drugs except for nicotine and caffeine but even I can see the war on drugs is a huge failure from any way I choose to look at it.

As a society we may have to choose to accept that drug use has been with us since we evolved and it will continue to be with us until we are extinct.
It doesn't mean we ignore it  but it might mean that we have to stop criminalizing what other people do.

There is another way.

Reading The Science Based Medicine Blog

Your Disease Your Fault
Not everyone has “the opportunity for a non-drug recovery”.  As physicians, our job is to use the best available evidence to help all of our patients.  It is not to dispense false promises, fake science, and a heaping portion of blame to those who don’t do everything we tell them to.

I haven't read alot of this blog but what I have read so far I have really enjoyed.
It seems odd to me that there are doctors out there who aren't so quick to slam people for their lifestyles.

Doctors in general seem so quick to tell you that whatever is wrong with you is because of something you have done to yourself,so this blog so far has been a refreshing read.

I'm sure eventually they will write something that upsets me,but so far that hasn't been the case.

Useless Rambling

World Action On Salt And Health

Although I understand the idea behind it,I really feel like we are starting down the same old road.
You remember the one?
Where every single thing we did was oh so reasonably explained away?

Where we got told no about smoking inside a fucking bar or a restaurant or a shopping mall or on a plane?
And we said O.K.,I understand non smoker's might not like it?
And it might be dangerous?
It might hurt innocent people?

That link scares the ever loving shit out of me for a whole slew of reasons.

Not the least of which is that soon we will all fucking live forever in a miserable stepford wife sort of exsistence,conforming and becoming exactly what they want us to be.

No more dancing,you might hurt yourself,think of the medical bills!
No more anything,now take your medically prescribed pills and eat your unsalted diet and exercise the proper amount every single day.
There's a good citizen.

I know I'm rambling but this is what this blog is for,for me to get this out of my system,so sorry for all the useless shit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obstacle for tobacco legislation

Obstacle For Tobacco Legislation

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway has drafted legislation that would make it illegal for retailers to display tobacco products prominently is stores.
But the Attorney General's report on his Bill has found it is inconsistent with freedoms and rights affirmed in the Bill of Rights as it limits freedom of expression.

I'm sure they'll find a way around all that.

Why let a silly thing like  personal freedoms stand in your way?

After all tramping on everyone's rights seems to be the thing to do when we can "protect the children".

Monday, September 20, 2010

McDonald's Slams Ad Equating Big Macs With Heart Disease

Mc Donalds Slams Ad

This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald's trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them.
The nannies strike again.
It seems quite apparent that some people feel the need to tell adults how they can live.

What to eat,what to breathe,how to exercise.
It's already getting old and I bet we 'ant seen nothing yet.

Cato Institute talks about Black Market Tobacco

Cato Institute On Black Market Tobacco

The problem is that exorbitant taxes in New York state and especially New York City can add as much as $60 to the cost of a carton of cigarettes. No wonder criminals including “organized crime groups with ties to Vietnam, Russia, Korea and China” are getting into the business of buying cigarettes in lower-taxed states and driving trailers full of them to the high-tax states

What shocks me is that people never seem to learn.

Raise taxes too much and people will buy their product of choice elsewhere.

Bootleg tobacco.

Not a phrase I ever thought I'd use.

Ethan Nadelmann on Tobacco Prohibition

Ethan Nadelmann On Tobacco Prohabition

The numbers of people who support prohibition of tobacco is staggering.

One assumes that people don't remember what history teaches us.

There comes a time when common sense should prevail but apparently that time is not yet upon us.