I have found anti-smoking activists to be intolerant, judgmental Authoritarian Follower types. They believe and parrot emotionally charged catchphrases taken straight from government anti-smoking propaganda. Doctors and non-smokers alike are guilty of this. They feel righteous when providing such 'advice' yet fail to take notice of how ill they themselves look, and forget that, in many cases, their own health issues went downhill when they stopped smoking. Thanks to some pretty convoluted thinking, if they are some day diagnosed with a serious disease, they will later blame their 'smoking years', while overlooking the real culprits of today's modern diseases: junk diets high in carbohydrates and the industrial-scale toxicity that has choked our environment.
Yes, the changes in our diet, particularly since the introduction of mechanised agriculture, the Industrial Revolution and arrival in the 'enlightened' Modern Age, have systemically destroyed our health. The mismatch between our ancient physiology - which thrived with little or no edible plant food - and our current diet, is at the root of many so-called diseases of civilization: coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, etc. But I'm not here to talk about that. You can read more about it here. My aim here is to defend the rights of people who choose to smoke. It may surprise you to know that, while the percentage of the population that smokes has declined in recent years (due to government propaganda), the incidence of heart disease has not declined. The reason, shock! horror! is that smoking is not the real problem to begin with!
Almost all smokers I know feel guilty about smoking and are planning to quit one utopian day when life gets 'less stressful'. The way things are going, good luck with that one! I arrived in Europe when there was still a smoking culture and it wasn't seen as the profound 'evil' it is today. The European smoking bans were introduced during my time here and, coincidentally enough, the general state of society has deteriorated badly during the same time. Could that deterioration have something to do with the replacement of nicotine - a chemical that enhances learning and memory - with Big Pharma tranquilizer drugs and dissociative technology?
From my vantage point in the medical profession, everybody and their friend is taking some kind of calming pill that numbs their feelings and further alienates them from reality. It is beyond me how a person who eats food that is completely mismatched to their physiology, and takes drugs to cover up the damaging effects of that food, can claim to be an authority on any health-related matter. I have found that, typically, those who look more diseased are those who feel more self-righteously entitled to use smoking as a scapegoat for all the world's health problems.
I remember when people used to smoke on airplanes, trains and in restaurants. It was really not that long ago! How have things changed so rapidly? I have colleagues who tell me that they used to smoke in their offices while attending patients. It seems to me that things were definitely better back then, when we were still able to think!
Tobacco has nicotine in it, which is related to acetylcholine, and this fact is very important indeed, as we are going to learn.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. It is also calming, relaxing and is also a major factor regulating the immune system. Acetylcholine also acts as a major brake on inflammation in the body and inflammation is linked to every known disease. For example, inflammation of the brain is linked to every known mood, behavior and attention disorder and every neuro-degenerative disease.
Receptors for acetylcholine, also known as cholinergic receptors, fall into two categories based on the chemicals that mimic or antagonize the actions of acetylcholine on its many target cell types. In classical studies, nicotine, isolated from tobacco, was one of the chemicals used to distinguish receptors for acetylcholine. That is why there are nicotinic receptors for acetylcholine.
People who smoke often experience cognitive impairment when they stop smoking. This worsening is due to the fact that nicotine acts as an agonist (that is, it mimics) receptors of acetylcholine which are important for learning, memory and cognitive functions. Daily infusions of nicotine actually increase the number of acetylcholine receptors.
As in a kind of 'blessing from above', local and systemic inflammation is calmed down by the brain through what is called the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, which is a mechanism consisting of the vagus nerve and its neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a process dependent on a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor1. Nicotine, the prototypical nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, counteracts inflammatory cytokine production and has demonstrated protective effects in blood poisoning2.
Nicotine has also been used to prevent kidney failure and improve kidney function. Nicotinic receptors in the brain are associated with neuronal plasticity and cell survival, which is why tobacco has been linked with better thinking and concentration. Nicotine has been used to treat ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the large intestine3. It is clear from available medical literature that the benefits are far-ranging when it comes to this natural compound - nicotine - that acts as an anti-inflammatory and facilitates the creation of new brain cells!
Yes, tobacco has its pollutants, but they are found in the water we drink, the air we breathe, in baby food, you name it, in even higher concentrations. A conservative estimate is that over 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced into society since the 1800s, only a few hundred of which have been tested for safety; this doesn't even take into consideration nanotechnology and GMOs, which are already pervasive in the food chain. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released annually by large industrial facilities. And the authorities are worried about a plant that produces the learning and memory-enhancing, natural chemical nicotine? It really is laughable. You see what mainstream
Outdoor air contains some of the nastiest cocktails of pollutants. Most people tend to think of air pollution as having effects on the lungs, but exposure to road traffic and air pollution may also trigger heart attacks6. But people are right: air pollution does cause lung cancer. A much-anticipated government study of more than 12,000 miners has found that exposure to diesel engine exhaust significantly increases the risk of lung cancer. For NON-smokers, the risk was seven times higher. The authors of the study say "we also observed an interaction between smoking and 15-year lagged cumulative REC [marker for estimation of diesel exhaust exposure] such that the effect of each of these exposures was attenuated in the presence of high levels of the other.7" What does that mean? It means that research suggests that people who smoke are less vulnerable to the toxic effects of inhalation of diesel fumes than people who don't smoke.
You have no idea how many times we have found again and again the protective properties of tobacco smoking. When it comes to hard-core petrochemical industry pollution, smoking really is a blessing from above. Take for instance this report by Riki Ott from Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill:
Workers in jobs with high oil exposure to oil fumes, mists, and aerosols have a greater prevalence of self-reported symptoms of respiratory problems, neurological problems, and chemical sensitivities than unexposed workers. Among workers with high oil exposure, nonsmokers reported a greater prevalence of symptoms of chronic bronchitis than smokers. Symptoms of chronic airway disease included sleep apnea, pneumonia, other lung conditions, chronic sinus and/or ear problems, asthma, persistent hoarseness. [...]. [Annie O'Neill, a graduate student at Yale Medical School's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, conducted an internship with ACAT and AFER, the two nonprofit organizations investigating the health effects of the EVOS cleanup. She conducted independent research on Exxon's cleanup and an investigation of self-reported chronic health problems among EVOS cleanup workers for her master's thesis.]Want to know more about the real enemy? As Laura Knight-Jadczyk wrote soon after the Fukushima fallout:
Well, thinking about that and the fears about nuclear fallout from a power-plant melt-down made me ask the question: why didn't anybody get excited about all the nuclear bomb tests that were being done all over the planet since WWII? I mean, just take a look at this time-lapse map of every nuclear explosion since 1945 and ask yourself if that is not one heck of a lot of radioactive fallout to be dumping on our planet - sometimes right in our back yard - and nobody was saying a thing about it? [...]The timeline she is referring to is the "1945-1998" video by Isao Hashimoto. It documents 2,053 nuclear explosions conducted in various places around the world, and it doesn't even cover the tests made by North Korea. It is based on a report made by Nils-Olov and Ragnhild Ferm8.
In short, while I think that what is happening as a result of the Japan nuclear reactor disaster is a lot worse that the authorities are saying, I don't think that is any reason to get hysterical right now. The time for hysteria was long ago. You are already poisoned and don't know it.
So much for the anti-smoking campaign where we have been led to believe that smoking is practically the sole cause of all humanity's health problems. Before the fascist anti-smoking legislation, people in Spain, Italy and France were happily puffing away, and as a result, were enjoying much longer life expectancy than the U.S. with its fewer smokers. Incidentally, more nuclear bombs have been detonated in the U.S. than in any other country.
Professor Chris Brusby, Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, explains that we are probably only looking at the tip of a very nasty radioactive iceberg. In a meeting which took place in Stockholm 2009, he said:
"The global death yield of the nuclear age to 1992 has been horrifying. According to objective calculations by the European Committee on Radiation Risk (using weapons fallout radiation exposure) there have been (up to 2003) 61 million cancer deaths; 1,600,000 infant deaths; 1,880,000 fetal deaths. There has been a loss of life quality of 10% (in terms of illnesses and ageing effects). The blame for this can be squarely placed at the door of those scientists and administrators (WHO, UNSCEAR, ICRP) who developed and supported the scientific risk models. This is a war crime far greater in magnitude than any that has occurred in recorded human history."So there you have it.
Yes, you're reading this right; as a doctor, I don't discourage patients from smoking in this increasingly stressful world. I do encourage them to choose organic tobacco and papers, or to go back to the old traditional ways of smoking pipes or cigars. The smartest people on Earth smoke and it is a veritable sign of the times that smoking is so highly discouraged in this modern, zombie culture.
For more information on the benefits of tobacco smoking, please read:
Let's All Light Up!
Pestilence, the Great Plague and the Tobacco Cure
Comets, plagues, tobacco and the origin of life on earth
1. Pavlov V.A. Tracey, K.J. The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2005: 19, 493 - 49.
2. Van Westerloo D.J. The vagal immune reflex: a blessing from above. Wien Med Wochenschr 2010, 160/5 - 6: 112 - 117.
3. Rosas-Ballina M., Tracey K.J. Cholinergic control of inflammation. Journal of Internal Medicine 2009: 265; 663-679.
4. Nachman KE, Raber G et al. Arsenic species in poultry feather meal. Sci Total Environ. 2012 Feb 15;417-418:183-8.
5. Martinez VD, Vucic EA. Arsenic biotransformation as a cancer promoting factor by inducing DNA damage and disruption of repair mechanisms. Mol Biol Int. 2011;2011:718974.
6. Mills NL, Miller MR, Lucking AJ. Combustion-derived nanoparticulate induces the adverse vascular effects of diesel exhaust inhalation. Eur Heart J. 2011 Nov;32(21):2660-71.
7. Silverman DT, Samanic CM, Lubin JH, et al. The Diesel Exhaust in Miners study: a nested case-control study of lung cancer and diesel exhaust. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Jun 6;104(11):855-68.
8. Nils-Olov Bergkvist and Ragnhild Ferm. Nuclear Explosions 1945-1998. Swedish Defence Research Establishment (FOA) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 2000. Available at iaaea.org