Tuesday, January 6

Third Hand Smoke and Coke

Me, despite being a chronic "distasteor" of conspiracy theories and also being a chronic smoker - finally found a conspiracy theory that tickles my fancy. And by all means, I hereby do not attempt to justify my dirty habits; mark that!
In a news blurb I read today, it said:

Toxic particles in cigarette smoke can remain on nearby surfaces, as well as the hair and clothing of the smoker, long after the cigarette has been put out, and small children and even unborn babies are susceptible. They are likely to breath in close proximity, even the future baby of the pregnant woman can be harmed by third hand smoke.

Now this is pretty bizarre. You step out onto the porch, light up a cigarette, come back into the house, mingle with the crowd, and then get sued for infecting the not yet born baby in mama's belly because your jacket has traces of nicotine?

This study was done by some nerds, led by Professor Jonathan Winickoff, from Massachusetts General Hospital. I mean, really - give me a break! They spend millions of dollars tracing micro toxins on the bow-tie you are wearing at a party - and then forget to ask what REALLY harms people and the environment. I get so sick of this.

The "conspiracy" is very simple: Take away any kind of luster, relaxation and - the "fanfare to the common man" (Copland) the system will collapse like Chevy, GM and Ford and their stinking SUV's. By declaring third-hand-smoke a viable danger and the average citizen obeying to it, the populous of the United States will become the guinea pigs on a test circle of a growing totalitarian state. Hit the poor first, make them submissive, the rest will follow. Brilliant!

The smoking issue is just a petty example on this course. The United States spits out the largest amount of money in health care per person in the western world, but the actual achievements are bitter-sweet and do not serve the majority because hardly any money is spend on prevention. Third-Hand-Smoke is an expensive joke, or maybe a "third hand conspiracy".

Similar attempts of "control of the masses" are in process to fight obesity, the now #1 cause for cardiac related deaths in the US. The other day the governor of the state of New York proposed an "obesity tax" on all soft drinks (sodas) sold. Now - even well meant, this approach is rubbish. It again treats the people like sheep instead of educating them and looking for ways that society becomes more even handed and that not only 2% of people sit on 90% of the nations wealth.

As the dwindling middle class in America slides towards non-existence, over half a million jobs lost only in December, 2.6 million for the year of 2007, unemployment creeping up towards 10% - it is quite logical that the disillusioned crowd grabs a two liter sugary soda at the gas station within walking distance and complement it with snacks, then sit in front the TV and just "Veggie Out"!

The mindset of US culture has always failed to recognize that correcting a problematic issue starts with understanding the root causes and perhaps healing them. Instead we continuously become the victims of submission. Pain is "healed" by drugs that numb you down, regulations melt the tip of an ice-berg - and in the end, everything remains the same underneath.

Disease and poverty can not be cured by taxing it, suing it, trying to wipe it off the radar screen - it needs compassion towards the very human being to cure anything, may it be the cause of poverty, obesity, illness or smoking. All other methods are fraud.


Cym said...

Personally I think there is a conspiracy to automatically discredit, down play, or ignore anything labeled a conspiracy - to associate all conspiracy theories in the popular mind, as either being the product of an extremely gullible, naive, and overly imaginative mind, and/or the product of a paranoid delusional nutcase; and to associate ALL conspiracies with those examples, in order to overshadow legitimately provable conspiracies. Intelligence agencies and anyone else with enough money to cover their tracks, regularly employ disinformation agents/spin doctors, specifically for the purpose of obfuscating the truth.

Definitions of conspiracy on the Web:

* a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
* a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
* a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
Source: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

gfid said...

though i agree with the premise that you can't legislate good health and sensible choices, and that compassion is necessary, i also think society as a larger body likes to abdicate its own responsibility for its problems. many of today's health problems, for example, are caused by unhealthy eating habits and a lifestyle involving very little physical exertion. in this case, the sufferer is usually also the responsible party. yet, he looks to some 'professional' (medical practitioner perhaps) for the solution to a problem he has caused himself. if he's told "change your diet and get your body moving" he thinks that's an unreasonable request. he wants something quicker and easier, which the drug companies are happy to supply, for a small fee.

and that's a parable for some of the crises we face today - global warming, poisoning of our fresh water supplies, economic turmoil - we just went our merry way, ignoring logical consequences, till the elephant in the room grew so large that its baleful eye was pressed against our own and there was no way of avoiding its gaze. but we still want someone else to take it away, and clean up the mess it's made in the corner. governments use our own love of denial to control us. if we claim we aren't responsible for the elephant, and it's somebody else's job to remove it and repair the damages, we find they've renovated the room it was in, to their own tastes and purposes in the process.

SaoirseDaily2 said...

I remember when living in KY they smoke everywhere including inside the hospital and banks, Disgusting! I asked why and a lady told me,"Beacause we grow it here" and all I could say was, "well they make Jim Beam whiskey here too, but they cannot drink, sell or transport it" She thought I was disgusting. So there you are...

This was an interesting post.

ANNA-LYS said...

Babies exposed to tobacco in any form are known to have a lower birthweight and continues being smaller through out their life. Using kitchen-logic instead of conspirational acts ... wouldn't it be pretty good if more Americans smoked? ROFLMAO ;-))

Cym said...

Personally I hate tobacco in all its forms: the way it smells, the way it tastes, the way it makes me feel (I'm an ex-smoker too) noxiously sick to my stomach. However, I also am bothered by a lot of other chemical toxins in the environment: car exhaust, pesticides, detergents, heavy perfumes, etc. And yet nothing seems to be done about those other things. Its like cigarettes have been selectively targeted as being the GREAT EVIL MENACE TO SOCIETY, while other substances are ignored or don't receive the same negative attention (like pesticides and toxins used in plastics, among other things) but that are in my opinion an even greater threat to our public health than tobacco is.

So I think I understand the point your making, that there is a huge double standard here. Nobody is denying that smoking/and second hand smoke causes health problems, but it is your individual choice to partake in that habit. After all its legal, and whatever you choose to put into your body is your personal business. However, when your bad habit negatively impacts others, in the form of second hand smoke while in a public place, the laws are in favor of the non-smokers.

Okay, this we all know. The question is, what about all the other toxins in the air. While in public spaces, whether that be walking down the street, spending the day at a park, or eating at a restaurant, we we are all being contaminated by other man-made toxins besides tobacco smoke in our environment, and yet, not much is being done about that. Instead they seem to be focusing more on the smaller evils of smoking committed by individuals, and ignoring bigger evils committed by corporations. So that inevitably the individual pays the price, while the corporations gets off with a slap on the wrist.

Anyways, as much as I dislike smoking, if the government is going to crack down on smoking in public places, because of its toxic air pollution, how about focusing on all the other cancer causing toxins being unnecessarily released in our environment. Its like that's a none issue, or takes a back seat to the smoking issue.