Continued from here and here.
From The World's Oldest: All Smokers -
Smokers die early. How is this 'truth' established? Like this. If, this year, the average life expectancy is 78 and you die at 77 and smoke(d), the year you are missing is ATTRIBUTED to smoking, never mind genetics or the other million every day things that could have made you live one year "less". However, if you live one year "more", that extra year is NOT attributed to smoking because the ideology says that smoking kills by definition - so it must have been something else that made you live a little longer, but CERTAINLY NOT smoking.
Be that as it may, the hard and empirical evidence (no epidemiological attributions needed) shows that the world's oldest are or have been all smokers. To avoid sending the "wrong message" (the "right" one being that "smoking kills"), these people are called "exception to the rule". But are they all exceptions to that rule, or is it just the rule that is flawed by ideology and beliefs?
There seems to be a whole lot of rules in our Brave New World Order based on flawed ideology, outright deceptions and beliefs inculcated by mass media propaganda and institutionalized brainwashing that most people simply accept at face value.
Perhaps no other issue save "Global Warming" has been as relentlessly propagandized as the meme that smoking tobacco is one of the most toxic substances ever ingested by mankind. To think otherwise is madness. EVERYONE knows, tobacco smoking kills! And even for those who regard conventional wisdom and suspect or downright dishonest, accepting the idea that tobacco may not be as bad as we've all been told to believe is a difficult idea to come to terms with.
Some comments from my first post on the Longevity "Paradox" -
- "I like your post and agree with what you said. But, I am hoping you can have a few citations to back up you claim about tobacco and alcohol use?"
- "Please do give some documentation regarding smoking. Obviously moderate tobacco use is less harmful than heavy use, but I don't have any reason to believe that there's a level of use that's actually beneficial."
- "Looking forward to the second half of this post. It makes a hell of a lot of sense that good, pure tobacco (sans additives) and good alcohol would be beneficial, but I'm interested to see what you've come up with."
Before I go any further on this topic - and yes, I have found a few citations since I last wrote on this topic to share - there is one thing I've come to believe is the most important aspect of not just tobacco and alcohol use, but in nearly all other aspects of health and well being: having a nutrient dense diet is the most important variable regarding the use and/or abuse of any substance. As my favorite long-time commenter, Anonymous noted:
"Also, I remember reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration where Price noted that people living in smoke filled houses only developed TB after switching to a modern diet. By that line of reasoning then smoking would be harmless on a paleo diet?"
It's my personal view that the nutrient dense diet and general lifestyle is the primary difference between the abundance of anecdotal stories of people like Lorna Gobey and other old folks who smoked and lived long lives, versus the other anecdotes of those who get lung cancer and die in their late 40's or early 50's. Proper diet, proper methods for handling stress, adequate sleep and adequate sun exposure will make all the difference in the world when it comes to the human body handling the various poisons, toxins and other potential health problems that are a normal part of life for human beings on this planet.
With that obligatory disclaimer out of the way, let's get on with looking into the idea that not only is tobacco not as bad for you as we've been all made to believe by the propaganda mass media machine of our Brave New World Order, but that moderate use of unadulterated, high quality tobacco may actually be good for you!
Two things we must consider first and foremost - one, their may or may not be a significant difference between cigarette smoking versus cigar and pipe smoking (the difference between inhalation and puffing of tobacco smoke on health); and two, natural/organic tobacco versus "Big Tobacco" grown with possibly radioactive fertilizers and adulterated with a host of additives that may or may not be the real reason why Big Tobacco cigarettes may be what is really harmful to human health...not tobacco itself. This is a topic I've covered before:
So the real question here is this: Is the tobacco plant itself a cancer causing agent in the human body, or is the fertilizers and/or additives put into the tobacco by the Big Tobacco producers?"There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer."
Oh wow...so you're telling me that if I took a seed from a natural, organic tobacco plant, and grew it in my yard, and than harvested the leaf, dried it and smoked it, I'd be ingesting industrial chemicals like cadmium, formaldehyde, arsenic, toluene, hexamine, and methanol?
Somehow, I don't think so.
I know what I think about that particular topic.
But how about taking it a step further, and consider the idea that not only is tobacco smoking possibly not bad for you at all, but actually quite beneficial to health and longevity?
For one thing, consider Nicotine and Smoking Benefits (and for those that asked previously, here's your citations!):
"In human studies, reported performance improvements with post-trial administration of nicotine have all involved associated learning (Mangan and Golding l883; Colrain et al, l992; Warburton et al, l992)... Nicotine improves performance by increasing the attentional resources available for such strategic processing," [Rusted JM, et al, "Facilitation of memory by post-trial administration of nicotine:evidence for attentional explanation," Psychopharmacology, 108(4):452-5, l992]."
"1. Nicotine improves attention in a wide variety of tasks in healthy volunteers. 2. Nicotine improves immediate and longer-term memory in healthy volunteers. 3. Nicotine improves attention in patients with probable Alzheimer's Disease" - [Warburton D M, "Nicotine as a cognitive enhancer," Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 16(2): 181-91, Mar l992]
Nicotine from tobacco smoke may be performance enhancing? Apparently, NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan found that smoking cigars just prior to playing Basketball games gave him such an effect.
|Tobacco as P.E.D.? MJ thought so...|
In a sports radio interview, one of his opponents saw him smoking before a couple of playoff games and assumed it was just bravado and posturing:
“One time we played in Washington. We played a five game series against the Bulls. It was the year they won 72 games. We lose all three games by a total of seven points. I saw Michael Jordan come into our locker room with a cigar, while it was lit, and said, ‘Who’s going to check me tonight?’"
Then later in the same interview,
"Game Three we get off the bus and Juwan (Howard) is from Chicago and used to workout there. I’ll never forget, Jordan was sitting on his Ferrari and Pippen was right there and they have a cigar lit. We get off the bus and we have to pass them with a lit cigar. You want to talk about posturing? Forget Phil Jackson. You got Michael Jordan there behind the scenes smoking a cigar before the game, letting us know that he’s the Red Auerbach before the game even started. It was almost like, ‘I lit the cigar. I’m celebrating already. This is just a formality, you guys getting on the court tonight.”
MJ wasn't posturing...he was using a legal performance enhancing substance prior to playing at the highest level of the sport! In fact, as he revealed in an interview with Cigar Aficionado Magazine:
"When they read this, they'll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar."
Does the idea of Michael Jordan experiencing improved performance from tobacco smoking before big games sound ludicrous? Consider the following from Nicotine and Smoking Benefits:
In a presentation at the 151st annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (June 8, l998 in Toronto), Dr. Paul Newhouse of the University of Vermont reported on his research on treating Parkinson's disease with nicotine. "Preliminary analysis shows improvements after acute nicotine administration in several areas of cognitive performance." These areas included reaction time and central processing speed. The researchers also reported that after chronic use of nicotine on Parkinson's patients, motor function and the ability to move also improved. [Reported by Reuters, 6/8/98, "Nicotine patch promising for Parkinson's" ].
If it improves cognitive performance, reaction time and central processing speed in Parkinson's sufferers, you think it might not have the same effects on a healthy, high performance, elite athlete like Michael Jordan?
Going back to the Weston Price quote - "...people living in smoke filled houses only developed TB after switching to a modern diet." I think this may in fact be the difference between the folks who smoke Big Tobacco adulterated fare who live to advanced ages without experiencing lung cancer and/or emphysema and the other well known anecdotes of people who die of those afflictions after a lifetime of smoking Big Tobacco cigarettes.
Yes, diet and lifestyle are no doubt huge variables in figuring out the differences in anecdotal cases...but perhaps the natural properties found in the tobacco plant itself may also have something to do with longevity and improved health? Perhaps even in the cases for which the person who smoked for decades was inhaling the adulterated and additive laden products of the Big Tobacco corporations!
Now I myself don't inhale tobacco smoke, I occasionally puff on cigars and pipes. But the case against inhalation may not be as cut and dried as one might think.
Consider another idea taken from citations from the aforementioned Nicotine and Smoking Benefits:
"Excess risks of lung cancer found in miners and foundry workers could not be fully explained by the high prevalence of smoking among these occupations," [emphasis added]. - 0495. University of Zurich, Institute of Pathology (Switzerland). Schuler, G. "Epidemiology of Lung Cancer in Switzerland."
"Smoking has a protective effect on immunological abnormalities in asbestos workers." - 0429. Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (Poland). Lange, A. "Effect of Smoking on Immunological Abnormalities in Asbestos Workers
"Relative risk of lung cancer for asbestos workers was "highest for those who had never smoked, lowest for current smokers, and intermediate for ex-smokers. The trend was statistically significant. There was no significant association between smoking and deaths from mesothelioma." - 0565. University of London, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "Cancer of the Lung Among Asbestos Factory Workers."
So it appears that inhalation smoking of tobacco may even provide protective benefits to miners and other workers exposed to asbestos and other inhaled pollutants.
But that's not the only health benefits attributed to smoking...
Though the risks of smoking are highly publicized, the medical benefits of smoking are rarely mentioned. The greatest risks of smoking come from the tars released during the combustion of tobacco, and these tars are implicated in lung cancer and other breathing disorders, though even the tar apparently has some beneficial effects in protecting the lungs from some noxious particulate matter (e.g. asbestos). According to many studies, the chief medical benefits of smoking are from the nicotine, which occurs naturally in tobacco as well as in certain vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and red peppers, though in much smaller amounts.
Interestingly, these three plants originated in the Americas so nicotine was essentially a "New World" substance. Native Americans were well aware of the curative properties of tobacco, and used it both medicinally and ceremonially. Numerous studies have shown the protective effects of smoking with regard to Parkinson's Disease and ulcerativecolitis, and an increasing body of research indicates it also helps protect against Alzheimer's Disease and colo-rectal cancer.
Since these effects are so well known, we have not listed them below but have focused instead on a few more obscure medical benefits culled from the 1984-85 CDC bibliography.
1. Smoking improves human information precessing.
2. Higher nicotine cigarettes produce greater improvements [in information processing]
than low-nicotine cigarettes.
3. Nicotine tablets produce similar effects.
4. Nicotine can reverse the detrimental effects of scopolamine on performance
5. Smoking effects are accompanied by increases in EEG arousal and decreases in the latency of the late positive component of the evoked potential." - 0574. University of Reading, Department of Psychology (England). Warburton., D.M.; Wesnes, K. "The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Human Information Processing and the role of Nicotine in These Effects "
Here are some other citations regarding various other health benefits associated with tobacco smoking as well:
- "In general, motor performance in all groups improved after smoking." 0530. London University, Institute of Psychiatry. O'Connor, K.P "Individual Differences in Psychophysiology of Smoking and Smoking Behaviour
- "Smokers in general are thinner than nonsmokers, even when they ingest more calories." [Numerous studies, but only two are listed below] - 0885. Kentucky State University. Lee. C.J.: Panemangalore. M. "Obesity Among Selected Elderly Females In Central Kentucky." FUNDING: USDA 0942. University of Louisville. Belknap Campus School of Medicine.Satmford, B.A.; Matter, S.; Fell, R.D., et al. "Cigarette Smoking, Exercise and High Density LipoproteinCholesterol" FUNDING: American Heart Association."
- " ...all smokers had less plaque, gingival inflammation and tooth mobility than nonsmokers and similar periodontal pocket depth." - Veterans Administration, Outpatient Clinic (Boston). Chauncey. H.H,; Kapur, K.K.; Feldmar, R S. "TheLongitudinal and Cross-Sectional Study of Oral Health: in Healthy Veterans (Dental Longitudinal Study)
- "Smokers have lower incidence of postoperative deep vein thrombosis than nonsmokers." - Guy's Hospital Medical School (England). Jones, R.M. "Influence of Smoking on Peri-Operative Morbidity."Hypertension (High blood pressure) is less common among smokers.
- "Hypertension prevalence rate among smokers was 3.94 percent; among nonsmokers the rate was 4.90 percent." - 0146. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases. Chen, H.Z.; Pan, X.W.; Guo, G. et al. "Relation Between Cigarette Smoking and Epidemiology of Hypertension.
- "Hypertension and postpartum hemorrhage were lower in smokers."
0045. University of Tasmania (Australia). Correy, J.; Newman, N. Curran, J. "An Assessment of Smoking in Pregnancy."
- "RBCs [red blood cells] from cigarette smokers contain more glutathione and catalase and protect lung endothelial cells against O2 [dioxide] metabolites better than RBCs from nonsmokers." - 0759. University of Colorado. Refine, J.E.; Berger, E.M.; Beehler, C.J. et al. "Role of RBC Antioxidants in Cigarette Smoke Related Diseases." Jan 1980 - continuing. (A number of studies in the 1991 CDC bibliography describe the apparent protective effect of smoking with regard to mouth ulcers).
I had no idea all of these health benefits could be attributed to smoking tobacco. All I ever knew from school, the Tell-A-Vision and the endless Public Service Announcements, billboards and magazine ads was the idea that smoking kills was an indisputable fact. But even if tobacco and/or nicotine may in fact be a beneficial substance in treating or protecting us from these various diseases doesn't account for a paradox.
Given the state of how Science is used and abused to make whatever case THEY want to make to scare we the sheeple into certain behaviors and modalities of thinking, I find these citations of numerous studies the world over that make the case that smoking may actually be good for you is not as shocking nor surprising as I once would have.