Everyone knows that smoking is a health hazard. Even Big Tobacco behaves in a way that screams 'GUILTY!'

Historically, smoking various plants was believed to be beneficial. But today, we know better, right?

Assuming smoking is unhealthy, the science should therefore support 'what everyone knows'.

But, as the following video shows, it doesn't.

Science is not always a neutral, disinterested search for knowledge, although it may often seem that way to the outsider. Sometimes the story can be very different.

We all know that smoking is a health hazard.

The government says it, the medical experts say it, even the tobacco companies are behaving in a way to suggest that.

But does the science support this argument?

Turned out, it wasn't.

So let's have a look at the science behind smoking.

Throughout history there were people who thought of smoking as something beneficial, relieving asthma and warding off infections, while others thought of it as disgusting, hazardous and deadly in the long run.

These opinions for or against were not supported by much evidence either way until medical scientists first attempted to study this question in 1950.

That year Richard Doll and Bradford Hill published a paper in which they showed that smokers seemed more likely to develop lung cancer.

This was the start of the anti-smoking movement.

But shortly after the publication an astute statistician, Sir Ronald Fisher, noticed some strange anomaly in the results of that study: They had asked their subject whether or not they inhaled the smoke of their cigarettes.

Fisher showed, that men who inhaled cigarette smoke where less likely to develop lung cancer than those who did not.
As Fisher said: "Even equality would be a fair knock-out for the theory that smoke causes lung cancer."

In 1968 another study - the Whitehall study - was undertaken with the participation of 1,400 smoking British civil servants divided in two similar groups: one was encouraged and counseled to quit, the other was left on their own.

Both groups were followed for 10 years, the results were surprising: The group that quit showed no improvement of life expectancy, nor any change in frequency of death from cancer or heart attacks, with one exception: certain cancers were more than twice as common in the group that quit.

The study was extended to 20 years of follow-up with the same results.

This type of study is called a randomized controlled intervention trial and is the "gold standard" to compare a new treatment to another one or no treatment at all.

It avoids bias built into observational studies like Doll and Hill's of subjects who choose themselves, whether to stop or continue smoking.

A further six more of this type of trial were conducted with a combined follow-up of close to 800'000 subject-years - all with the same results: No association between smoking and life expectancy, deaths from cancer or deaths from any other cause.

The medical literature has shown us, that smoking doesn't seem to be associated with premature death, but are there any potential health benefits that are associated with smoking?

In fact, there is quite a long list ...

There is good evidence suggesting that smoking lowers the risk of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's up to 60%.

Contrary to pictures on your cigarette box, smokers are much less likely to develop severe gum disease.

In men, smoking also lowers the risk of needing joint-replacement surgery up to 50%.

Also, nicotine has been found to stop the growth of tuberculosis in laboratory tests, even when used in small quantities, according to Saleh Naser, an associate professor of microbiology and molecular biology at UCF, and seems to work better than about 10 other substances also tested.

Nicotine also has been shown to have multiple benefits for cognitive performance, like rapid information processing, immediate and long-term memory and problem solving.

Last, but not least, smokers show a reduced incidence of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Why is there a difference between studies done between the 1960s and 1980s that showed that smoking doesn't increase risk of disease and recent studies, that show the opposite?

There are probably several reasons for this.

The first is, that the tobacco industry has progressively increased additives in tobacco to make the product "more appealing" - more addictive - to smokers.

The list that the tobacco manufacturers have provided to the US Department of Health and Human Services contains 599 substances, that may or may not be used in a particular brand.

They have been approved as "food additives" and have not been tested by burning.

When these compounds are burned they create more than 4000 compounds.

This is the main argument, why smoking additive free tobacco is undoubtedly healthier than commercial cigarettes.

Another other reason is that research into smoking hazards are mainly sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry selling nicotine-replacement therapies and drugs to facilitate smoking cessation.

And who pays also calls the shots!

By the way, these therapies have not been shown to increase rates of smoking cessation in independent research.

But it still is a billion dollar industry.

Last but not least, since the end of World War II 528 nuclear bombs have been detonated in the atmosphere and a further 1525 underground, spewing tons of radioactive particles (especially plutonium) high into the atmosphere, which have been distributed around the world by Jet streams. Ingestion or inhalation of such particles increase the risk of cancer massively and there is enough plutonium in the atmosphere to kill every human being several times over.

Has smoking become the perfect scapegoat cover up for cancer caused by other factors that were introduced by our modern society since the anti-smoking propaganda was set into motion?"

In summary, there is little scientific evidence that smoking tobacco is the health hazard that mainstream medicine is trying to paint.

In fact, it may often even be beneficial.