How CDC propaganda leads to bad medicine and kills people
My wife has spent her entire career in public health law, dedicated to stopping smoking. I can assure you that the culture of her world can be completely described by one word: Puritans.
To our public health Puritans, smoking is a repulsive and vulgar habit that is only engaged in by the lower classes. Just like the Prohibitionists of the early 20th century, today’s public health community is morally at peace with killing millions of people if it helps to achieve their ultimate goal, not because they are psychopaths but because they comfortably place any blame on the victim.
The public health community’s goal is not simply to eliminate all tobacco use. They are committed to banishing all form of smoking. Forever. And to them, “smoking” is all encompassing, including vaping, whether the substance is tobacco or cannabis or any synthetic compound.
The public health community is constantly pushing to make smoking socially, culturally and politically anathema. If current smokers persist after all the public health initiatives to the contrary, any bad outcomes are the fault of the weak-willed smoker. The community expects that eventually smoking will become so socially unacceptable and legally untenable as to be indistinguishable from hard drug use.
Of course this is just another war on drugs. But the Puritan strain runs deep throughout American history. We’re going to keep killing people for their own good until everyone is dead.
> That misinformation is killing people, the CDC is doing it on purpose, and the only way to counteract it is to spread the scientific truth through unofficial channels.
Seems to be a lot of that going around, lately...
I've always been curious about a third nicotine delivery method that is rarely talked about in modern circles; pipes. If you burned pure tobacco leaf without all the additives that modern cigarettes have, and didn't inhale the smoke, how does it change things? I know that in the 1800s and early 1900s, pipe-smoking was remarkably widespread, and had an impact on health that is probably impossible to correlate directly to modern mortality rates. I wonder how much healthier that might have been compared to the cigarettes that replaced them, which were smoked differently and eventually picked up a whole collection of preservatives and additives.
*talking to a chick*
“yeah i’m kind of an online dissident”
“hehe what does that mean?”
“I tell people how to make strong vape juice from amazon purchases”
Glad people are talking about the benefits of nicotine. I'm pretty sure there is a genetic element to it, given that some people are natural smokers and others natural nonsmokers. I guess some people seriously benefit from nicotine, even need it for optimal neuro function, while others don't.
I smoke natural tobacco (hand rolled) and I'm doing great unless I overdo it, which, uhm, can happen. I'm looking into vaping and other solutions as an alternative because of that, so thanks for this excellent overview.
I must say though that there is a social component to smoking, something deep, a slightly gritty atmosphere that in itself seems to work against all the BS of the modern world. Hard to put in words, but I experience it as a huge psychological relief. This in itself might promote health. Speaking of psychsomatism: I wouldn't be surprised if the irrational and mouth-foaming panic messaging around smoking for many decades now (black lung lie!) actually is what causes some smokers to get ill, because they have internalized it so much.
Well put. Matt Ridley the 'Rational Optimist' has been banging on about vaping as a harm reducer for years.
Vaping was seen as the great moral panic (but the children!!!) just before covid came and yet we made them suffer the most for a disease they didn't get. It's strange that the same folks who hate vapes see needle exchanges, drunk houses and naloxone hand outs as a positive.
I credit vaping to me quitting smoking entirely. I tried the patches, the gum, the cold turkey. None of them were nearly as effective as vaping. Vaping probably saved me a lifetime of illness and premature death.
I don't know if I'd ever quit nicotine due to the nootropic benefits you mentioned. I was diagnosed as ADHD during my adult years, and although I've weaned myself off of Adderall, the nicotine seems to be essential for me to function in a semi competent way.
Vaping annoyed me over time, however. Leaky tanks, which meant you got e-juice in your mouth, forgetting to charge the batteries, and lastly, a noticeable effect on my breathing, caused me to look for alternatives.
I found one in nicotine pouches, or "white snus". Basically it's a snus pouch without tobacco but with nicotine salts and flavoring.
They. Are. Fantastic.
Not only do you not have to worry about leaky juice or batteries or burnt coils, they are discreet. They don't require spitting. They can be enjoyed literally anywhere, from movie theaters to airplanes. If you get the right brand they actually taste good
The first year I carefully monitored my gumline to make sure I wasn't having dental issues due to them and haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. The only downside is that sometimes they can trigger hiccups.
I don't mean to sound like a shill but these things are goddamn revolutionary and I'd suggest any nicotine addict to try them out( I like the Zyn brand)
My Wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was 52 years old 4 years ago. The levodopa did very little to help her. The medical team did even less. Her decline was rapid and devastating. It was muscle weakness at first, then her hands and tremors. Last year, a family friend told us about Natural Herbs Centre and their successful Parkinson’s Ayurveda TREATMENT, we visited their website www .naturalherbscentre .com and ordered their Parkinson’s Ayurveda protocol, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed her Parkinson’s disease, most of her symptoms stopped, she is able to walk and her writing is becoming great, sleep well and exercise regularly., she is pretty active now
Great stuff, but you left out my favorite theory about lung cancer: it's the radioactive lead in the fertilizer that is used on tobacco plants in the field. Some dude did a study many moons ago and found that lung cancer lungs were full of radioactive lead.
This is, quite possibly, the most useful blog post I've read all year. Background: I've been an on again off again smoker for many years. I've quit for separate 5 and 7 year stretches, for several one year and many-months stints, and I've gone years where I smoked only when I'm outside the US (and then later, only when outside the city where I lived). Makes sense? No, of course not. But, addiction doesn't make sense.
I read that nicotine doesn't cause cancer a year ago. I immediately switched to vaping flavorless 5% Juul (now 3%). For me, it's functionally equivalent to 2.5 cigarettes of nicotine per day (one cartridge lasts 4 days). Does it provide the fix that smoking does? No. Is it good enough? Yes, for me. Haven't had a cigarette since.
Your blog post summarized much of the additional data that is so hard to find. Made my week, really. Not only is the CDC not telling the truth, I think they make it affirmatively difficult to learn details. So, thanks a ton for doing the research and providing it to us all.
could you give advice on how much / how often for patches and gum to replicate the effect of smoking a cigarette? The gum I presume acts more like a cigarette, a short term pulse of nicotine, that then drops off, slower or faster. The patch seems like it would provide a sustained dose, which seems like it would be ideal-- but how many square inches of patches should you stick on yourself to optimize the dosage? and how often do you need to change each patch? ie, how long does it take to absorb all of the nicotine from a patch, and you need to replace it? I'd think you could remove them at bed time, and then ? stick them back on in the morning?
Great writeup! Will send/share widely!
Popcorn Lung update:
The most powerful force in the universe is entropy.
The second is old habits dying hard.
I've been a heavy smoker, a heavy chewer, and a heavy user of nicotine gum (all at different times). My personal experience disagrees with your cited data. Nicotine gum messed up my heart with minor chest pains after ~6 months of smoke free use. When i stopped using all nicotine, my heart issues went away.
thoughts on other nicotine delivery options like patch, gum, or even pipe/cigar compared to cigarette?