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Anti-Anti-Smoking Rant

 

 

Okay, I can't take it anymore.

I am really sick and tired of the anti-smoking crusade.

You've prevented a lot of deaths, but now it's getting ridiculous.   Counter-productive.

 

Yes smoking causes lung cancer.   Yes we know that.

Why do you suppose people are still smoking?

Do you really think that so many people are that stupid?

Yes you do.  It shows.   But that's not what you say...

No, you say we must be addicted.   Obviously can't help ourselves.   Same thing.

Bite Me.   

 

I will tell you why people still smoke even though you have made it very expensive, illegal in many places, and stigmatized it as evil and foolish:   Because it helps.  A lot.

 

Nicotine is a powerful psychoactive stimulant and it effectively counteracts some neurological problems caused by chronic underavailability of neurotransmitters.

 

Doesn't sound quite so stupid now, does it?

 

I am really frakkin sick of you people with your complete set of neurochemicals sneering and telling me that -by definition- this behavior makes me irrational.   And how much better you feel since you quit.  And how I just don't have enough willpower.   Have you read this site?   I am definitely not stupid and I have tons of willpower-  probably way more than you since I had to compensate for my crippled brain all my life.  Hell, I did medical research while battling dementia.  What I don't have enough of is orexin.   And nicotine mimics some of the critical functions of orexin.   This is not a drug of choice for me like it was for you.  It's a biochemical bandage.

 

I did take your advice and quit smoking for a few years.   I never felt any better, gained a lot of weight and my depression kept getting worse.  I sat down on my back deck, considered my options and decided it was smoking or suicide.   My choice was not between health and smoking as you claim, it was "Hmmm, how do I want my carbon monoxide, quick or slow?"   A lifetime with a few extra months or years spent wanting to die just wasn't very compelling.  But I figured hey, I could still kill myself if the cigarettes didn't help. 

That is the logic of suffering.

That is the excruciating decision YOU have created.

 

I lit up a smoke and I could feel my frontal lobe start working in 30 seconds. 
NOTHING else does that.  Believe me, I've tried everything.

 

Please oh wise ones, do tell, what would you have chosen for me?

Antidepressants?   No thanks.   My goal is to avoid unpredictable suicidal ideation.  And weight gain.  And sleep disorders.  And sexual dysfunction.

I'm having astonishing success with the diet, coffee and cigarettes.

Living evidence of evidence based living.

 

(Yeah, Wellbutrin- the drug I took to quit smoking- didn't make me suicidal.  It made me so angry I was homicidal instead.  I didn't really find that to be an improvement.)

 

______________________________

 

 

I am not like you.

I cannot drink alcohol at all.

Bread will kill me.

And cigarettes have added many years to my life.

Most of them.

 

__________________________________

 

 

For the record, I am even more annoyed by all of the "professional" anti-smoking researchers and your never-ending stream of  blatantly biased articles.

 

Here's a good example:

Young Smokers Increase Risk For Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2009) People who start smoking before age 17 may increase their risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study released February 20 that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.

The study involved 87 people with MS who were among more than 30,000 people in a larger study. The people with MS were divided into three groups: non-smokers, early smokers (smokers who began before age 17), and late smokers (those who started smoking at 17 or older), and matched by age, gender, and race to 435 people without MS.

Early smokers were 2.7 times more likely to develop MS than nonsmokers. Late smokers did not have an increased risk for the disease. More than 32 percent of the MS patients were early smokers, compared to 19 percent of the people without MS.

"Studies show that environmental factors play a prominent role in multiple sclerosis," said study author Joseph Finkelstein, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, MD, which conducted the study in collaboration with Veterans Affairs MS Center for Excellence. "Early smoking is an environmental factor that can be avoided."

 

This is the junior-high maneuver you people always use:  that correlation implies causation.   You know your data doesn't prove your conclusion, but you insinuate it anyway and most people don't notice the difference.  You're so stuck in your self-reinforcing paradigm you can't even imagine any other scenario.  There is absolutely nothing in this study to indicate that smoking directly causes or accelerates MS.  There haven't been any studies which show that.  Or that quitting smoking will prevent MS (it probably won't).  Your data is interesting, but making unfounded conclusions doesn't help anyone.  This study is just as easily explained by a model where MS creates preclinical neurotransmitter deficits that patients self-medicate with nicotine.   Frankly, I think it's a much better explanation.   MS patients are orexin deficient and suffer from high rates of depression.

 

If you really want to play correlation games, I could conclude your anti-smoking campaign is responsible for the contemporaneous rise in obesity and clinical depression...
 

Think about it- people continuing to smoke in the hostile social climate you've created must be an indicator of something.   Why do you assume it's incompetence?  Because they're obviously ill?  That's just pretentious.  People who cannot quit smoking in the face of your relentless prohibition and shame campaign might have a good reason- it's helping them.  When they say they don't want to live without cigarrettes-  they actually mean it.  Discontinuing nicotine may very well be harmful to their mental health and survival.    From that perspective- universally condemning its use and punitively taxing it until financially unviable is really rather exploitative and cruel, isn't it?

 

You are doing a huge disservice to the most vulnerable among us.   Please go do something that might actually help the remaining smokers.  Here's a potentially valuable hypothesis you can test:

 

I predict at least 75% of cigarette smokers in the U.S. are IgG gluten intolerant.

 

_______________________

 

 

Nicotine attenuates depression symptoms in nonsmokers

Parkinson's Disease: Nicotine Reduces Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias

People with mental illness smoke at four times the rate of general population,

 

Nicotine Helps Relieve Symptoms of A Number of Illnesses

 

Researchers Light Up for Nicotine, the Wonder Drug

 

Pharmas trying to modify nicotine to make it "safer" is just a blatant waste of time and resources for personal gain.  We don't need some molecule added onto it so they can patent it and charge us even more obscene prices.   It's readily available agriculturally and is highly effective.  We just need a better delivery system. And no, the patches aren't that solution.

Don't think I have any love for the tobacco companies either.   They're just as single-minded and irresponsible as the rest of you.   You would think they might have started investing in safely delivering the extremely useful properties of their product a long time ago.  

(Electronic cigarette technology has advanced considerably since I wrote this...)

 

__________________________

 

 

And yes, you may extrapolate and presume this diatribe more or less

parallels my opinions about alcohol, marijuana, stimulants and opiates.

 

This website has been brought to you by the magic of psychoactive drugs.

 

_________________________

 

 

Have mercy.

 

"We do the best with the souls we've been given."    Beck

 
 

 

    

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