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Anybody have any ADVANTAGES to smoking, other than a farmer can actually live on a year's income of raising tobacco?

This is something I don't discuss much, but since you asked -

 

I had a severe stutter from childhood through my mid 20s. It played hell with my education - I was incapable of asking questions in class - not to mention my social life.

 

Smoking was the only thing that seemed to alleviate it & eventually cure it. I couldn't have held down a "normal" job (literary agent to Colin Wilson, Spiro Agnew & other literary luminaries, as some may recall) if I hadn't been able to smoke at my desk in the 1970s.

 

I can't tell you whether the effect was chemical or psychological - probably both - but it was effective where speech therapists & counsellors weren't.

 

Of course it left me a smoker & almost killed me & I now have the lungs of someone 10 years older & the lung function I've lost won't come back, says my doc.

 

Still, cigarettes made me the person I am, and on some level every effort to demonize smoking just ticks me right off.

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Thank you, Ghostrider. That was a very poignant story. Cigarettes, then, can work like singing does to some people. Very interesting. I know it re-wires the brain. You can see it in MRI/CAT scans. So much of the brain is still just a new horizon.

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I am just speechless with admiration at Macro's ability to balance dedicated opposition to smoking with no less zealous opposition to nanny-stating based on junk science. Well done!

The real treat will be to hear him restate his position a year from now when the ban has been in place and life continues as before but with cleaner air. It is the triple axel of logic. :lol:

My position will be exactly the same. Exactly as Wilf says, I am now a committed opponent of smoking, and a dedicated opponent of nanny-stating, and I will be those at all times in the future.

 

What I have realised with the years is that life never "continues as before" once the state has intervened . People suffer, people accept new norms, society adopts new standards, but life will never be as it was before. The question at issue is only whether those changes are for good or for bad. Looking back at state intervention in both the UK and the USA, I see plenty to suggest that society has worsened as a result of many of those interventions.

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Anybody have any ADVANTAGES to smoking, other than a farmer can actually live on a year's income of raising tobacco? Supposedly one doesn't live as long, therefore the risks of getting dementia or Alzheimer's are greatly reduced.

Smoking has great benefits to the citizenry. The industry generates a significant amount of tax dollars on the front end. On the back end, by causing people to die early and relatively quickly, it saves the health care industry significant costs in long-term geriatric care.

The bigger financial benefit to society is that the early deaths caused by smoking massively reduce the future liabilities for pension payments. And that "gain" increases all the time with increasing life expectation.

 

In the early 1990s when the anti-tobacco movement was gaining real impetus, the tobacco companies commissioned a report from Arthur Anderson (I think) into the cost/benefits of smoking in Eastern European countries, so that they could persuade the governments of those countries to encourage smoking. The report (even allowing for obvious bias) clearly demonstrated a huge net financial benefit to government of smoking.

 

One thing which may have changed since then is that mortality rates from smoking seem to be increasing. It's interesting that the Prof says that COPD is now a major killer, and I think that ten years ago it was considered (apart from emphysema) to be little more than a minor-leaguer compared to heart disease and cancer.

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Anybody have any ADVANTAGES to smoking, other than a farmer can actually live on a year's income of raising tobacco?

This is something I don't discuss much, but since you asked -

 

I had a severe stutter from childhood through my mid 20s. It played hell with my education - I was incapable of asking questions in class - not to mention my social life.

 

Smoking was the only thing that seemed to alleviate it & eventually cure it. I couldn't have held down a "normal" job (literary agent to Colin Wilson, Spiro Agnew & other literary luminaries, as some may recall) if I hadn't been able to smoke at my desk in the 1970s.

 

I can't tell you whether the effect was chemical or psychological - probably both - but it was effective where speech therapists & counsellors weren't.

 

Of course it left me a smoker & almost killed me & I now have the lungs of someone 10 years older & the lung function I've lost won't come back, says my doc.

 

Still, cigarettes made me the person I am, and on some level every effort to demonize smoking just ticks me right off.

 

Without wishing to equate stuttering and Tourette's, there is data suggesting that nicotine is therapeutic for physical and vocal "tics" associated with the syndrome. Possibly some connection there.

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