Questions From A Reader

Today I received the following email:

Thank you for the web site. I have read Smoke Screens – The truth about tobacco and must commend you on a thoroughly researched and well-presented book. I do have a couple of questions that I hope you can perhaps shed some light on if possible. If you take the overall evidence into consideration sighted in your book I suppose these questions do not require answers in the broad sense but your input would be appreciated none the less;

1.       A family friend recently had a minor heart attack and his doctor said that his smoking habit has thickened his blood? Could not find anything specific in this regard in your book.
2.       My brother broke his ankle a few years back and they had to insert a metal pin, the wound would not heal properly and the doctor said it is because of his smoking. I am not a doctor but I am of the opinion that smoking was not the issue but the pin was the cause seeing that as soon as the pin was removed the wound healed. My brother didn’t quit smoking during this period.
3.       Brief mention is made on your blog regarding the administration of anaesthetics and that smokers require different dosages. Is this true?
4.       An interesting example people like to site is that of the Marlboro men and how they died due to “smoking related diseases”. (One was aged 72). Stanton Glantz (he was mentioned in your book) also released a film Death in the West which was originally a television documentary which aired on British television in 1976. If you have any thoughts on this seeming correlation I would like to hear it, perhaps it was due to lifestyle seeing that they were actual cowboys who lived a rugged lifestyle? I would not say that Wikipedia is the most reliable research reference of all-time but here is the link regardless for context.

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Does Cigarette Smoke Contain Free Radicals?

Continuing with my new theme of responding to relevant questions in the blog, here is an email I received today:

I have recently a heard an “expert” on ageing (on a slovenian tv show, I’m from Slovenia) say that one puff of smoke contains roughly one BILLION free radicals, which supposedly explains why smokers allegedly age faster than non-smokers. He also showed photos of identical twins (one smoker and the other not): of course the smoker looked much older than the non-smoker twin. I was not pursuaded by the “evidence”; if one twin smokes and the other does not then there are certainly other environmental factors that differ between the two. I would be really grateful if you could tell me what real figures on free radicals in one cigarette are. Thank you!


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Does Smoking Harm Health?

Earlier this week I received the following email:

Is smoking really that bad for health through what you have discovered? Or is it really a crusade against smokers?

Ive heard the lung cancer argument is basically false and doesn’t really create much more risk in that regard

What about heart disease? Does it really cause heart difficulties?

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Smokers Turned Into Lepers According to Study

Originally published February 28, 2012

For a long while, many of us have spoken about the damage the anti-smoking crusade has been causing on every level – ruining livelihoods, breaking up families and creating social hatred against a minority group. And now, after many years of hateful campaigns, it appears that experts are finally starting to acknowledge this.

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Smoking on Stage

Originally published December 21, 2011

On Monday my wife and I took a trip to London’s West End to see the Chicago musical. At some point during the first half, three of the actors lit cigarettes, which the law permits as part of a show. What struck me though was how this didn’t raise an eyebrow – from the audience or any politician or Deborah Arnott. It’s simply accepted. Yet it isn’t permitted for a musician to smoke on stage, as Slash, Keith Richards and Lily Allen all found out since the smoking ban. I don’t think the actors are smoking special cigarettes that are less dangerous than those smoked by musicians, so the disparity is noticeable and questionable. Is passive smoking not an issue when the smoke belongs to an actor, but is so deadly when from a musician that the smoke can reach the rafters and pose health problems to all in the audience?

Christopher Hitchens And Outlooks on Smoking

Originally published December 18, 2011

When Christopher Hitchens died those few days ago, the world lost a champion journalist – one of the relative few who never lost the quest for truth instead of chasing sensationalism. What made him a great journalist and writer was not only his extensive vocabulary and appreciation of language, but that he appreciated the mind and independent thinking. Hitchens knew, and spoke of, that we make our choices in life and part of human make up is hedonism. Hitchens did not hide his thoughts nor make any apologies for any of his habits or choices, whether that was the drinking, smoking or anything else he liked or didn’t (as anyone who ever saw his speeches on religion will know).

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Fire Safe Cigarettes Hitting Europe?

Originally published October 18, 2011

Although there has been talk of fire safe cigarettes reaching the UK for the last six years, the measure has never come to pass. Now, though, the London Fire Brigade is reporting on its website that the European Commission has now agreed on a safety standard for cigarettes and the EU is expected to start selling reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes (otherwise known as fire safe cigarettes (FSC)) from November, 2011. The measure is defined as “voluntary” but if manufacturers do not comply their products can be removed from the market.

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