Monday, December 30, 2013

Smoking activists light up in City Hall


I wish I could have been there with Audrey Silk and friends when they lit up their stogies in defiance of NYC's new ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public.

Diehard smoking activists defiantly lit up their cigarettes in City Hall on Monday as a send-off to their anti-tobacco nemesis, outgoing Mayor Bloomberg.
“You’ve shown nothing but disrespect and contempt and not just the choice to smoke, but on decision-making itself. This is my legal private life, not public health. You don’t own me like state property” fumed Audrey Silk of NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.

“Good people disobey bad laws.”

That's right. You tell 'em Audrey. 



Smoking activists light up in City Hall | New York Post

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Study: No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer

Thanks to Vince Harden for posting this on Facebook via NYC Clash-

This is certainly a big deal:

A large prospective cohort study of more than 76,000 women confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke.
Investigators from Stanford and other research centers looked at data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). Among 93,676 women aged 50–79 years at enrollment, the study had complete smoking and covariate data (including passive smoking exposure in childhood, adult home, and work) for 76,304 participants. Of those, 901 developed lung cancer over 10.5 mean years of follow-up. 

A few of us have pooled together the $35 that it costs to purchase the study in its entirety. I look forward to reading it.

I wonder how many news organizations are going to pick up this rather huge story..........I hear crickets.

No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer




Friday, December 6, 2013

Audrey Silk Speaks Before NYC Council

Listen to Audrey Silk's poignant commentary that took place before the NYC Council this past Wednesday in defense of the act of smoking.

..There are a few quotes that I'd first like to highlight:

In reference to banning vaping on the basis of we don't approve of vaping because it looks like smoking, Audrey responds righteously:

...then we are talking about my freedom of speech.

 Indeed, this has become a 1st Amendment issue.


....and in response to the it's for the children argument,  Audrey responds:

Adults have rights too!

True, but only in a democratic republic do such rights exist (sarcasm intended).


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151859728111297


This is the remainder of what Audrey had to say at the cut off point. This is Audrey at her best:

You’ll protest you’re different. That smoking is a health issue. Bullshit. You’re not only no different, you’re worse. No one invites being shot or stabbed. No one. Unlicensed guns – surely also a “health” issue -- are illegal. Cigarettes are legal and many choose that pleasure over personal risk.

Then again, in the case of e-cigs it isn’t even a health issue. With your “it hasn’t been proven not to be harmful” you’re practicing asserting a pink elephant is in the room and then demanding that we prove it isn’t or else we lock you up! In science you have to prove to me that the pink elephant is there. Especially when you’ve moved from your proper role of advisor into an impediment of freedom of movement – the choice to smoke or not smoke based on that advice.

I believe nothing other than that this hearing is a sham. A theatrical production put on for the appearance of democracy and the opposition is nothing more than pawns for the show. With no regard your notice goes out on the eve of a 4 day holiday when many leave town, leaving many only two days to prepare. You offered no means by which to submit testimony by mail, freezing those who work for a living out of the debate, unlike the proponents who are here on their organization’s paid clock.

You already know this is a done deal. So I’m not here to plead with you. I’m here to have it on record what I think of you and have always asserted about the anti-smoker movement. That by cartoonishly going after e-cigarettes because they LOOK like a cigarette proves that all the bans have nothing to do with “protecting others” – a role that you can argue is the government’s – and all to do with those in position of power forcing people to comply with their views and silence dissent (censor smoking or anything that looks like it) – a role that can only be argued is the government’s in a non-democratic country.

..Wise words from a natural born leader!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

22nd Century Acquires European Patent for Nicotine Biosynthesis Genes

Here is some of the latest news from a THR company that I have been following for awhile now:
ARENCE, N.Y.--()--22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII) today announced that the European Patent Office issued a Notice of Grant to the company for the NBB and A622 genes. Both genes are responsible for nicotine production in the tobacco plant.
The NBB gene encodes a protein involved in the final step of nicotine biosynthesis, “nicotine synthase,” which has eluded scientists for decades. This protein can either be down-regulated or up-regulated to produce tobacco varieties with a wide range of nicotine levels
The company’s vice president of research and development, Dr. Michael Moynihan stated, “The NBB gene technology is one of the keystones of 22nd Century’s intellectual property and represents our second-generation gene technology that has significant advantages over our earlier technology.” Specifically, the sole function of NBB is to produce nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids. 
This is certainly interesting, for not only do they have the ability to regulate the levels of nicotine in tobacco products, a revolutionary discovery in itself, but also within this technology lies the ability to regulate the levels of other nicotinic alkaloids (ie., nornicotine, anabatine, and anabasine). What's really interesting about the ability to regulate these other alkaloids is that at least one of them (apart from the evil alkaloids NNK and NNN) has been shown to to affect monoamine oxidaase (MAO) activity whilst simultaneously exhibiting an anti-inflammatory effect.

What does this all mean for a tobacco user like myself? I would imagine that it means a lot of different things. Most notably, I would think that this technology further opens the doors to all kinds of (possibilities for) advancements in the world of tobacco, freedom, and health.

For example: In addition to the modification of the traditional cigarette, a few possibilities come to mind:

What if this technology was to be used in conjunction with a new and novel smokeless tobacco intended for vaping tobacco? What if the good alkaloids could be raised for an anti-oxidant effect? What if those looking for an alternative to traditional cigarettes (apart from snus or e-cigarettes) could choose their tobacco according to their preference for nicotine much in the same way that e-cigarette users have been doing over the course of the last few years, all while not losing the taste of tobacco and its associated properties? I wonder if it would be possible to combine this technology with that of the Gothiatek standard? I would imagine that it's also now possible to extract some of the good tobacco alkaloids for use in an e-cigarette, thus contributing to a more realistic experience for that e-juice vaper who still feels like something is missing. There are all sorts of possibilities...

Of course, I am not so naive as to think that the politics and relativism of the day won't get in the way of this progress....or a least slow it down to what will most likely become a painstakingly slow, brutal, and unfair process. I am convinced, however, that as soon as the powers that be figure out a way to make money off of harm reduction, a swift sea change will take place.


European Patent Allowed for 22nd Century’s Nicotine Biosynthesis Genes | Business Wire

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ceremonial Use of Tobacco

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here is an interesting article on the historical (and spiritual) significance of tobacco in the Americas that  I'd like to share. Tobacco has a long and rich history in Native America, so it seems appropriate on this Thanksgiving day to take a few moments to reflect upon our history through the eyes of a people that were here long before we had a Thanksgiving.

Enjoy!

In Woodland Indian rituals, ceremonies, and religious observances, tobacco is the unifying thread of communication between humans and the spiritual powers. The manidog (spirits) are said to be extremely fond of tobacco and that the only way they could get it was from the Indians, either by smoke from a pipe or by offerings of dry tobacco. According to tradition, the Indians received tobacco as a gift from Wenebojo who had taken it from a mountain giant and then given the seed to his brothers.


Ceremonial Use of Tobacco - Indian Country Wisconsin

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pot Smokers Get a Taste of Anti-Smoker Madness

DENVER - Despite opposition from marijuana advocates, Denver's City Council voted initial approval Monday night of an ordinance prohibiting people from using pot in a private yard or on a balcony, if the user can be seen from the street or sidewalk.

But, but....pot is a legal substance in the state of Colorado, right? However do they get away with enacting such silly laws? I mean, banning tobacco use from public sight (and well, basically everywhere) is one thing (ie., acceptable), but pot? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.. Pot=good. Tobacco=bad.

With this line of thinking, it's no wonder that many in the pro-pot legalization camp did not see this coming. The old saying is true: United we stand, divided we fall.

Because of our own  collective ignorance, the zealots are winning.

Here is a comment that was made by one proponent of the ban. To many of us tobacco users, the sentiment will sound familiar:

..a parent argued that allowing residents to smoke pot in their front yards "undermines our conversations with our children by making it appear OK."

Sound familiar? Ah, the old "it's for the children" argument.

Not too long ago, I predicted that this would happen in Colorado. In fact, I also suspect that many of the outdoor smoking bans that have been put into place around the country serve not only to demonize tobacco smokers, but also to act as a de facto (and preemptive) strike against the growing popularity of marijuana legalization. Oh, but we knew that already, now didn't we?

We tobacco users know a thing or two about the tactics of the anti-/tobacco/enjoyment/freedom lobby. Maybe the pot folks could learn a thing or two from us about who the real enemy is.


7NEWS - Denver council takes 1st step toward banning marijuana smoking in public view on private property - Local Story

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Future Is Here!

As someone who has recently become a fan of the Ploom modelTwo, I was delighted to come across this article in Businessweek last night:

Ploom is also gaining traction with a novel electronic cigarette called the modelTwo. The device heats small pods of tobacco, unlike most e-cigarettes that use liquid mixtures of nicotine and synthetic materials.

It is comforting to see that there are some in the mainstream press that are coming around to the idea of THR.

...Better late than never...

Do read on at the link provided below and feel free to comment.

Ploom's E-Cigarettes, Vaporizers Use Real Tobacco - Businessweek

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

America's Finest News Source Discovers Man Who Can Time Travel


This made me laugh, so naturally, I wanted to share the laughter.

Upon being interviewed by a reporter from The Onion, one eye witness had this to say about the sighting of a man who appeared to be inhaling a strange and futuristic looking device that most definitely had to be from the future:

“Obviously this man is a cold-hearted killer with the ability to seamlessly traverse space-time, that much is clear,” accountant Todd Saunders said of the man inhaling nicotine fumes with what reportedly must be 25th- or 26th-century technology, at least. “But what’s hidden behind those badass mirrored shades? Highly advanced ocular cybernetics?

Do read the whole thing for a good laugh. Happy Wednesday!

Man Smoking E-Cigarette Must Be Futuristic Bounty Hunter | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Friday, November 1, 2013

Whopper Of The Day

Here's a bit of information to enlighten us all. Apparently, unbeknownst to the rest of us,  all e-cigarette companies are owned by the devil. Yeppers, it's true, for I read it in the news:

Tobacco companies, which own all the e-cigarette companies, are spending more marketing dollars ....

Now how's that for some accurate reporting? It kind of makes you wonder what else the prohibitionists are wrong about.

E-cigarettes: Are they safe? | The Star Press | thestarpress.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ploom modelTwo, Getting Reacquainted With the Concept of Tobacco Vapor

About a month and a half ago, I was in my hometown of Chicago for a visit. While I was taking a walk around my old neighborhood, I couldn't help but notice the number of tobacco shops and e-cigarette storefronts that had popped up around the area. Out of curiosity and a willingness to give the novel and ever evolving e-cigarette a second try (my first experience with a Propylene Glycol based e-cigarette was not so pleasant), I set out on a hunt for an e-cigarette that might suit my somewhat sensitive palate.

I envisioned puffing away (like in the "old" days) at the nearest hipster coffee house, free from the hassle of being told to get up out of a comfy chair while being forced to abandon my laptop temporarily.

Soon after daydreaming about this reclaimed freedom, I purchased an ego-style vaporizer and ordered some PG-free e-liquid from Johnson Creek (a great company...more about them in a future post). The initial results were better than I had expected, and other than a sometimes dry throat, the VG e-liquid from Johnson Creek proved to be quite flavorful and enjoyable, and more importantly, less harsh on the throat than its PG-based cousin. In an attempt to tackle the dry throat issue, I decided to try a different approach by not inhaling in the exact same way as I would an analog cigarette.

This proved to be a somewhat successful technique. Though it did not eliminate the issue completely, it did help significantly. As a vocalist who sings sometimes for hours at a time, avoiding any harshness is of paramount importance.

With this new-found technique in mind, I decided to give the Ploom vaporizer (I had tried the Model One in the past) another chance, because even though I am quite pleased with my new found love of Johnson Creek Smoke Juice, I still have a deep craving for the taste of actual tobacco. Instead of PG and VG-based e-liquids, The Ploom Model Two is a tobacco vaporizer that heats pods filled with actual tobacco. (note: There is some PG in the pods, but in a much lesser quantity/percentage than that of an e-cig) On the company site, there is a brief definition of their tobacco-filled pods:

Ploom pods are single-serving tobacco capsules used in the Ploom modelTwo. They are filled with the highest quality ingredients including whole leaf tobacco, botanicals and all-natural flavors. Ploom pods are made from anodized, food-grade aluminum. Pods can be recycled.


My first experience with Plooming was with the Ploom Model One. Much like my first experience with the e-cigarette, my initial attempts at Plooming were not successful. The vapor from the tobacco-filled pods was just too harsh for someone who was used to smoking (double) filtered cigarettes. The first inhale brought on enough of an undesirable reaction (ie., big cough) that I decided to return it and get my money back.

That was then; this is now.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago my Ploom Model Two arrived in the mail, along with five "packs" of flavored pods. I was skeptical, but willing to be open-minded. The first thing that I did was to abandon this new-found technique of not inhaling (directly) like a cigarette by well, inhaling it like an ultra-light, double-filtered combustible cigarette. Big mistake! Once again, I coughed and swore to never try it again. It sat there in its box for a few days before I decided to give it one more try. I do like the taste of real tobacco, after all.

This time was going to be different I told myself, and surprisingly, it was.

I dropped in a honey and cognac flavored "Gold" pod into the Ploom, let it heat up, and then took a very slight inhale (a real challenge, but worth getting used to) to counteract the fact that there is little to no resistance in the draw. I held the vapor it in my mouth for a few seconds before inhaling, and proceeded to experience the finest tobacco vapor that I had ever experienced. To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. There was another surprising side-effect: no real dry mouth or throat the day after vaping with the Ploom Model Two, even though the pods are not 100% PG-free. My guess is that it has something to do with the balancing effects of vaping actual tobacco.

Apart from the Gold pods that I received in my starter package, there were four other flavors to try. My favorites, from one to five are in this order:

1)  Gold- Hints of Honey and Cognac (yum!)
2)  Jaybird-Smooth Tobacco Flavor (quite tasty)
3)  Potrero- Rich, Full Tobacco Flavor (a bit strong at first, but quite good once past the learning curve on not inhaling too deeply or directly)
4)  Kick Ass Mint- (Powerful and tasty in a good way, even for someone who is unaccustomed to menthol smoking)
5)  Rocket- Hot Cinnamon and Mint (Ditto, as in #4)

The flavor is intense and satisfying, and eh hem....better than an e-cigarette...and pretty close to being as satisfying (or better, albeit in a different way) as an actual cigarette! Now I realize that taste is subjective, and I am no way implying that the Ploom is going to be the "better" alternative to smoking for everyone, only that it may be for some.  I am simply stating my own personal opinion. The more options, the better.

I have only a few complaints:

1) The pods are quite pricey.

2)  The oven gets a bit too hot at times, causing the vapor to be a bit harsh if left on too long. I found that his can be alleviated by heating up the pod via the initial 30 second heat up time, taking a few puffs, then turning the "oven" off, then turning it on again intermittently (ie., as needed to suit your preferences) until the pod loses its flavor.

3)  The battery charge could last longer, but if turned on and off (as mentioned in complaint #2), the life of the battery can be extended in-between charges.

4) It only comes with one USB charger. ( ...a small inconvenience).

Complaints aside, I am coming to find but the Ploom Model Two is a lot closer (than any other cigarette alternative) to what I have been looking for all along. I realized this the other night when I was having some red wine (this is when I tend to crave a smoke the most) and without thinking about it, I reached out for the Ploom instead of a cigarette (or an e-cigarette). Given the three choices in front of me, it felt natural to vape real tobacco, and the added flavors available only add to the overall experience.

There's just something about real tobacco and its associated alkaloids (all of which can now be lowered or raised in order to achieve specific and various targeted effects... a discussion for the future that is already taking place amongst some in the tobacco industry). With the use of real tobacco, there exists a myriad of possibilities in the "smokeless" world. For the first time, I am coming quite close to becoming a "non-smoker"...eh hem...but, not in spirit! Ok, let me rephrase that: A smoker without the tar:-)

I think that they may be unto something here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It causes them to wonder

There appears to be no shortage of brilliant quotes today that protrudeth from the mouths of the noble and pious. This one is in regards to a proposed banning of e-cigarettes (in addition to real cigarettes) in the great outdoors. Never mind the fact that banning smoking in the great outdoors is well, utterly ridiculous, but e-cigarettes too? Whatever reasoning could be used to justify something so preposterous?

This one is a keeper:

The appearance of them causes people to wonder, 'what is it?'" Brede said.
Oh, now we can't have people wondering about things, now can we? They might actually become creative and invent something that saves the lives of millions whilst restoring their social lives to what they used to be before all of this madness began.

Any urge to laugh at what would otherwise appear on the surface to be a comical statement quickly dissipates when one realizes that these words were uttered by the mayor of rather large town.

Rochester council bans smoking, e-cigs outside library - PostBulletin.com: Local

The Anti-Democratic Mindset On Display

This quote from an anti-smoker advocate reveals quite a bit about the mindset that has become embedded in the hearts and minds of many in the pro-ban camp. In actuality, it also reveals the unpopularity of their proposals:
Please do not open this up to the public; leave it the way it is. I ask all of you to not delay this ban. [Smoking] creates a hazard for health and safety,” said Summerfield, who was the only one who spoke in favor of the smoking ban in the open forum.
Damn the public! Damn Democracy! Damn those citizens who don't agree with my proposals!

Nice, huh?


Residents Try To Smoke Out Public Housing Smoking Ban at City Council Meeting | News | The Harvard Crimson

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Partnership Made In Harm Reduction Heaven

There has been a lot of talk about harm reduction in the world of tobacco these days, and for good reason. A once (largely) ignored subject, it is now an idea whose time has come.

There are at least two companies at the forefront of the tobacco revolution: one is a burgeoning harm reduction company that holds the patents and the technology to alter the level of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids,  the other is a household name in much of the developed world that carries with its brand a solid reputation for thinking outside of the box and covering all of its grounds when it comes to attempting to reduce the harms associated with tobacco use.

The collaborative effort that is about to take place between these two pacesetters of THR  is sure to benefit millions of smokers worlwide:



British American Tobacco Licenses 22nd Century Group Technology



CLARENCE, N.Y.--()--22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCQB:XXII) today announced that its subsidiary, 22nd Century Limited, LLC, and British American Tobacco (Investments) Limited, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco plc (LSE:BATS; NYSE MKT: BTI), have signed a worldwide research license agreement (the “Agreement”) granting BAT access to 22nd Century’s patented technology which alters levels of nicotinic alkaloids in tobacco plants.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20131001007113/en


As I see it, this is a pretty big deal, and not just for the two companies involved. There are so many variables and possibilities that could result from this partnership. From the nascent world of e-cigarettes and tobacco vaporizers to the established market of smokeless tobacco and combustible cigarettes, all of these industries, whether independent or combined in aggregate, stand to benefit from the advances that are likely to take place as a result of this partnership.

The biggest winners of all will be the smokers and vapers of the world whose very lives depend on the very research that is about to take place as a result of this coming together of the minds. The more that they learn,discover, and develop, the more that we will all benefit.








Sunday, September 29, 2013

Today's Weather News: The wind is shifting its direction

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Former American Lung Association (ALA) President and CEO Charles D. Connor joined the Electronic Cigarette Industry Group Inc. (ECIG) as a consultant.

..Interesting.....It appears that the days of NRT are fast coming to an end.


Former American Lung Association Head Joins E-Cigarette Association - People - Convenience Store News

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Go to the doctor to get your ears cleaned, get charged for smoking cessation advice

Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on FB via NYC Clash-

A Jamestown man says he was unknowingly charged for services during a doctor's appointment. He noticed an extra fee was on his bill for information on 'how to quit smoking.' but he didn't ask for the help, and wants other smokers to pay close attention to their doctor bills.

Unbelievable.

Patients Billed Unknowingly For Smoking Information - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Australia Considers Total Prohibition

The anti-tobacco Taliban in Australia has decided to take a plunge towards its final solution by completely banning smoking, well...sort of:

If electronic cigarettes are found to be safer, Australia may push through with the smoking ban. Other methods believed to help people quit smoking such as lozenges, patches and hypnotherapy had no effect on smokers.

Well, at least they speak the truth by acknowledging the ineffectiveness of traditional quit smoking aids. It also appears that the Australian anti-tobacco establishment has taken a great leap forward in the sense that they have finally seen the light by declaring, albeit  informally, that it is not the act of smoking that is so harmful, but rather that the harm is due to certain constituents that reside in the smoke of combustible cigarettes. This is a step in the right direction...in part, but they appear to miss (in my humble opinion, as a smoker) the bigger picture. It is also true that electronic cigarettes are proving to be a god-send for many smokers, but as many smokers will reluctantly admit, they do not appeal to all smokers:

Others who have tried e-cigarettes observed a change in their smoking habits. However, e-cigarettes might not work as well on others since every experience will be different.

Get out! Like, no way! Really? So what is the Australian government's solution for the vast majority of smokers for whom e-cigarettes may not equate to "the ultimate solution"?  Why, total prohibition of "traditional" cigarettes of course! Let's not help smokers by further exploring all of the options available when it come to the development of various models/brands of harm reduction cigarettes, let's opt for the more draconian and progressive option: turn them (err, I mean us) all into criminals! What a brilliant solution from such a highly connected and well educated lot! Who'da thunk it?

Australia's Possible Nationwide Smoking Ban Will Be World's First

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anti-Harm Reduction Hacks Struggle to Solve E-cigarette "Problem"

Anti-harm reduction strategists in California are fast at work in trying to keep smokers from switching to less hazardous ways of inhaling nicotine and flavors. The fine folks at Change Lab Solutions are attempting to
take the lead- keep their paychecks- in their fight against the novel e-cigarette. Oh, but wait....I thought that these people were anti-SMOKING activists...oh...err...never mind:

For communities that don’t have local laws regulating tobacco – or that want to address electronic devices head on - we've developed a new model ordinance. The Model Ordinance Regulating Electronic Smoking Devices prohibits the use of electronic smoking devices in areas where smoking is prohibited, and prohibits certain retail practices—for example, giving away free samples of electronic smoking devices or selling electronic smoking devices in vending machines.

Isn't that lovely? They've developed a new model ordinancemodel ordinance model ordinance that would further enable bullies and busybodies everywhere in their crusade to 
help harass smokers and former smokers. You would think that these people would embrace the idea of electronic cigarettes, being that there is no smoke and all, but noooooooo, we can't encourage something that might make our jobs irrelevant and obsolete, now can we?

Meanwhile, our infrastructure continues to crumble all across the country, with California being one of the states suffering from a lack of funding to fix all things that are fundamental to our modern way of life.. Now how is it that the state has the money to pay anti-harm reduction advocates at a time when there is no money for the upkeep of its infrastructure? I don't mean to wander off topic, but the issue of priorities seems to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.

Meanwhile, more people will continue to die prematurely due to the fight against any and all forms of tobacco harm reduction. This just serves as one example. There is much research that suggests that there are a number of ways to reduce the harms that are associated with smoking, and these people appear to be against all of them. It's not surprising really, given anti tobacco's history of suppressing any attempts at creating a safe(er) cigarette.

...and they say that they're in the business of public health....interesting.


How to Regulate E-Cigarettes and Other Electronic Smoking Devices in Your Community | ChangeLab Solutions

Friday, August 30, 2013

Speechless

 ....and just when I was thinking that the anti-smoking zealots had reached the pinnacle of wanton madness and cruelty in their crusade against smokers, I stumbled across this article from my home state of Illinois.

According to the article, a 3rd conviction (err...for tossing a cigarette butt) would equate to a class 4 FELONY offense, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and no less than 1 YEAR (& not more than 3) in Jail!

There are some questions that residents of Illinois should be asking:

1) Who the hell drafted up such a draconian law and who paid them to do it?

2) Who voted for this atrocity?

3) Does the punishment fit the crime?

4) Do we still live in the United States of America?

5) Don't we already have plenty of non-violent "offenders" inhabiting our broke, over-crowded, and (often) corrupt prison industrial complex system, thanks in no small part to our failed war on drugs poor people?

6) Why have the holy and pious do-gooders of health and justice dutifully removed what was once known as the near-ubiquitous public ashtray?

7) Is it likewise a felony to drop a gum wrapper after a third offense? If not, then doesn't this draconian legislation position itself in direct conflict with the principles of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution? ....and what of the 8th Amendment? Do we even have a Constitution anymore?

8) What is going on in the minds of our elected officials? Have they gone insane?

9) Don't (I apologize for the redundancy) we already have laws on the books pertaining to litter?

Do read the article...just make sure that you're sitting down first.

A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years according to the Rockford Register Star.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years according to the Rockford Register Star.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
Tossing Used Cigarette Butts On The Ground Now Illegal In Illinois
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
Tossing Used Cigarette Butts On The Ground Now Illegal In Illinois
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
 http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years according to the Rockford Register Star.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99
A first time conviction is a class B misdemeanor with a fine not exceeding $1,500. A second conviction is a class A misdemeanor with fine not exceeding $1,500. Third or subsequent convictions? That’s a class 4 felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment not less than one year and not more than three years according to the Rockford Register Star.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/927636/tossing-used-cigarette-butts-on-the-ground-now-illegal-in-illinois/#isl2G80TkE2LvR1V.99 Tossing Used Cigarette Butts On The Ground Now Illegal In Illinois

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A kinder, more gentle form of fascism?

What can I say after reading this other than to say that I hope to never grow old in the North..unless I win the lottery and own a house where I can leave the busybodies fascists at the door.

It's really hard to believe that this is happening in America:

Andy Nowicki has been smoking for 70 years. Now that life-long habit for the World War II veteran might land him on the outside looking in, as the Newington
Housing Authority is suing to evict the soon-to-be 90-year-old and his 90-year-old wife from their senior housing apartment in Cedar Village.

That's right, what a great idea: Let's evict a 90year old World War II veteran and his wife for smoking (still legal and heavily taxed) in their home! Oh, that's right, it's not "really" their home because the government owns it. We truly do live in scary times. I'd rather live in a trailer any day than in a government run prison complex posing as housing for the poor.

Shame on anyone who condones this type of discrimination and outright cruelty. There is nothing American about evicting an elderly couple from their home. What a bigoted and un-American policy.

Elderly Newington Couple Facing Eviction For Smoking « CBS Connecticut

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

BAT Gives A Glimpse of What's to Come

The times they are a changin', for the tobacco company of yesterday is fast becoming the tobacco company of the future.

Like many a tobacco company the world over, BAT is setting its sights (in part) on the nascent and burgeoning e-cigarette market:

Having launched its Vype e-cigarette in the UK just last week..

But, that's not all:

BAT Industries (LON:BATS)is poised to seize the lead in NexGen nicotine products, according to US broker Citigroup.

Citigroup expects Vype to do well in the existing, unregulated e-cig market, but it is with the next range of products that it sees BAT really putting some distance between itself and rivals.
The broker expects BAT to launch two new products with medical licences over the next two years and these licences will be key in the future as Citigroup expects unlicensed products to be banned from 2016.

Interesting..I wonder if either of these products will be the end result of a new and cutting-edge nicotine delivery system that promises to provide the smoker (err...vaper) with a nicotine "fix" not unlike that of a combustible cigarette, all while purporting to be less harsh on the throat as compared to other cigarette substitutes. For those of us who find the e-cigarette to be either harsh on the throat or unsatisfying (or both), this new technology sounds promising.

..But BAT is not stopping there, for they seem to recognize that to truly be successful in the world of harm reduction, the tobacco industry is going to have to take a multifaceted approach that encapsulates realism and effectiveness together with consumer acceptability; it appears as if that's exactly what they are doing:

BAT is also upping its innovation on conventional cigarettes including capsules that convert light-tasting cigarettes to stronger flavours and hi-tech filters.

If they can manage this feat alone, I predict that millions of smokers would make the switch to a near-tar free cigarette without feeling like they have "given up" anything. In this scenario, the issue of over-compensation would become largely irrelevant, would it not?

I wonder what would happen if BAT were to use 22nd Century's patented MPO nicotine biosynthesis technology in conjunction with its next to no tar, but full-flavored cigarette..... The possibilities are endless. It's good to see innovation taking place, for the future appears a bit brighter from this vantage point.

Broker round-up: BATS to smoke e-cig rivals suggests Citigroup

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Same Old Song and Dance

The FDA is still beating the anti-menthol drum, even though it has been shown that menthol cigarettes are no more addictive.  In fact, they may even be less risky as compared to that of non-menthol cigarettes. Despite these findings, they still claim the opposite:

The FDA published preliminary results from a study it conducted that suggests "menthol cigarettes pose a public health risk above that seen with non-menthol cigarettes."

FDA considers tightening rules on menthol cigarettes - chicagotribune.com

Now, compare the above quote to the findings of this study published in Oxford University Press:

"Among both blacks and whites, menthol smokers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day;"
"Menthol and non-menthol smokers showed equal odds of quitting. Both lung cancer incidence and mortality were lower in menthol smokers compared with non-menthol smokers, even after adjusting for pack-years of smoking."
 "Results do not support claims that menthol cigarettes are responsible for a greater lung cancer burden in African Americans and in fact raise the possibility of a lesser threat compared with non-menthol cigarettes."
 "Conclusions-The findings suggest that menthol cigarettes are no more, and perhaps less, harmful than non-menthol cigarettes."

Lung Cancer Risk Among Smokers of Menthol Cigarettes

Now what was that about menthol posing a greater health risk again?



Disclaimer: I do not smoke menthol cigarettes. Hell, but I might make the switch:-)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

No, it's not about the money...really...

More madness out of California, though I doubt that anyone reading this would be surprised. Long ago, the anti-smoking lobby morphed into an industry that became reliant on "sin"taxes, job stability, and vitriolic Voodoo. It may have been about health at one time, but clearly that time has ceased to exist.

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Assembly is considering a bill that would ban the use of e-cigarettes and similar smokeless vaporizers in areas where tobacco smoking is banned.

There is no evidence that vaporizers pose an appreciable second-hand smoking risk to the public. Users are known to vaporize in elevators and crowded rooms without any detectable odor or adverse notice. Bystanders are routinely exposed to worse emissions from kitchens, grills, garden plants, buses, chimneys, detergents, room deodorizers, gas stations, etc.

Sound familiar?

I hate to say it, but I knew that it wouldn't be long before they came after the pot vapers. Vaporizers, as is harm reduction in general, are a threat to many a salaried interest. First, it was about the 2nd hand smoke (for which no increased risk for mortality was found), but when the near smokeless Eclipse cigarette was developed, anti did everything within his/her power to bury its existence. Now it's about e-cigarettes.....and vaporizers. Oh, the horror! Tobacco users might switch over to vaporizers once someone gets the technology/design right! Millions of people could go on enjoying their lives whilst incurring the benefit of improved health. No, we can't have that, now can we?

Vaporizers are designed to eliminate the respiratory hazards of smoking by eliminating the combustion that produces the smoke.

Arghhh.....

California E-Cigarette Bill Would Restrict Use of Medical Marijuana Vaporizers

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Well, what'ya know?

 Drum roll please:

Exposure to air pollution may increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer and heart failure.

But, I thought that 2nd hand smoke was wholly responsible for the killing off the human race. Apparently, there are other factors that need to be taken into account :

For the first study, researchers looked at long-term exposure to nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

The second report included 35 studies from 12 countries that looked at heart failure hospitalizations and deaths, and how they related to the increase of gaseous air pollutants including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. 

"There is now no doubt that fine particles are a cause of lung cancer," he said.

I'm going to have to remember this. The next time someone gives me a dirty look for having a cigarette in the great outdoors (..though it doesn't really happen to me much anymore, now that I live in Louisiana) while simultaneously having the gall to drive away in a vehicle (that gasses out everyone on a restaurant patio, BTW), I am going to politely ask them not to infect me with their 2nd hand exhaust! 



Pollution linked to lung cancer, heart failure increases - CBS News

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FDA approves two new cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it will allow two new cigarettes from Lorillard Inc onto the market, adding that while they are not safe, they are no worse than products already being sold.

Hmmm, if they are no worse than what's already out there, then what is better? If there is in fact the possibility of a worse cigarette, then wouldn't that mean that there would also have to be the possibility of a better cigarette?

The FDA also rejected four others. I'm assuming that the other four did not meet their "benchmark" for acceptability, whatever that is.

FDA gives go-ahead for two new cigarettes, rejects four | Fox News

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Modified Risk Tobacco Company to Hold Meeting With FDA Tobacco Advisory Board


Here is the latest on the fate of Brand A and Brand B, brands that I have expressed interest in on a number of occasions here on this blog:


FDA Meeting

The Center for Tobacco Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested to have a meeting with 22nd Century to discuss the company’s proprietary products. 22nd Century agreed to meet with the FDA on June 17, 2013.

Modified Risk Cigarettes

Goodrich Tobacco has developed two proprietary modified risk cigarettes, referred to as BRAND A and BRAND B, which the company believes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes. The company is in the process of preparing two modified risk applications to be filed with the FDA in accordance with FDA guidelines to seek FDA authorization to market BRAND A and BRAND B as modified risk cigarettes. BRAND A is a very low nicotine (VLN) cigarette containing approximately 95 percent less nicotine than leading brands. BRAND B is a low-tar cigarette with a relatively high nicotine content. The company expects to file one application by the end of 2013 and another in 2014.

For those who may be confused, Goodrich Tobacco is a subsidiary of 22nd Century.

22nd Century has also shipped more than 12 million of its Spectrum cigarettes to the NIH, which are being used solely for research purposes:

SPECTRUM Research Cigarettes
22nd Century expects to ship an additional 5,500,000 SPECTRUM® cigarettes (275,000 packs) in the third quarter of 2013. The SPECTRUM product line consists of a series of cigarette styles that have similar “tar” yield but varying nicotine yields over a 50-fold range – from very low to high – due to different levels of nicotine in the tobacco. Mr. Pandolfino explained, “No other tobacco company anywhere in the world is capable of producing cigarettes with such a wide range of nicotine content.” To date, 22nd Century has delivered approximately 12 million SPECTRUM cigarettes which are used solely for research purposes and distributed under the direction of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

I suppose that we'll just have to wait and see if the research reveals to us what Dr. Gori has been trying to tell us all along: that less (whole) smoke inhalation may be achieved by manipulating the nicotine content in tobacco.

If is shown that various nicotine levels can assist in meeting the demands and needs of the individual smoker, then it shouldn't matter if one smoker prefers the higher nicotine cigarette whilst the other prefers the lower nicotine cigarette. It should be about choice. If various models result in less inhalation of whole tobacco smoke in aggregate, then the idea of a harm reduction cigarette that is designed for the individual smoker should appear as a no-brainer to harm reduction strategists everywhere.

I imagine, however, that there will be (if there aren't already..surprise, surprise..) various special interests from varying factions of tobacco control that will do everything in their power to attempt (in soundbite fashion, of course) to gloss over any inconvenient truths that may be discovered.  Here's hoping for an independent and watchful eye to oversee the overseers!



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Anti Targets The Freedom of Speech...Of Individuals!

Thanks to Audrey Silk for posting this on Facebook via NYC CLASH-

Judging from the current (and past) trajectory of all things tobacco control, the next logical step in the war against smoking and smokers would have to encompass something a bit more extreme (of course), like say, a war on free speech itself:

According to The Province, Michael Chesney, owner and publisher of the Comment Canada magazine received a letter from the Interior Health Authority threatening fines of $575 if he didn't cease and desist displaying the tobacco plants within 48 hours.

To further complicate matters, it seems that there was some confusion over whether tobacco plants themselves were the problem, or whether the real issue was a handwritten sign saying "Tobacco For President" that accompanied them..

This makes me want to go out and get my own t-shirt that says "Tobacco for President".


Tobacco Plants Pulled From Window Boxes, Under Threat of Fines : TreeHugger

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Solanaceae Family & Parkinson's Risk

For some reason, many of the foods that I love ( peppers-especially the hot ones, tomatoes, potatoes, goji berries) are all part of the Solanaceae family, so naturally I was pleased to come across this recent article from Dr. Douglass:

In one new study, researchers looked at the role of diet in Parkinson’s and found that vegetables overall won’t do much to lower your risk. But some veggies did offer some mild protection, like peppers and tomatoes.
Turns out all of the veggies that lowered the risk were part of the Solanaceae family.
Want to know what else is part of the Solanaceae family? Tobacco!

Nicotine-laced vegetables slash Parkinson's risk | Douglass Report - Official Site

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Selenium Reduces Lung Cancer Risk In Smokers?

This is interesting:

Research suggests that selenium can protect humans against
cancer of the lung, ovaries, breast, colon, liver, cervix, skin, stomach and uterus.

..and even more interesting:

Selenium also counteracts many of the toxic effects of smoking tobacco. Smoking depletes the body's selenium supplies. In the liver this mineral retards the conversion of hydrocarbons into carcinogens — an important function in our polluted environment. 

The good news is that selenium is not an expensive supplement (side note : exercise caution when supplementing with selenium: 400 mcg is normally the limit before it becomes toxic.).

This is certainly an interesting subject that I plan on reading up on further.

Happy Saturday!

Selenium: The Immune System Mineral

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The towns where people live the longest

 ..an interesting read:

For many of those living in Loma Lindo long life is a matter of faith. A significant number of people in the town are Seventh Day Adventist, a religion whose members live between five and 10 years longer than fellow citizens.

This can be partly explained by the fact Adventists don't drink or smoke and many stick to a vegetarian diet the church advises. But not all members do and even they live significantly longer than average.

So, longevity can not be inextricably linked to lifestyle choices alone, especially when those choices are exercised in moderation. This makes one wonder: if an early death cannot be pinned solely on what an individual decides to put into his or her body, then what other constituent could we possibly have to blame?

It seems that regular churchgoers have significantly lower levels of stress hormones and so may be better equipped to cope with the challenges in life, say scientists.

"Therefore your body can stay in balance and not be destroyed by those stressors and traumas over time."

 Ah, stress. Of course.

Translation: Spend more time around the people you enjoy sharing space and time with and less time around toxic people who stress you out. You might live longer, even if you smoke.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | The towns where people live the longest

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is this for real?

I have not had the time to blog lately. I do, however, keep up on all of the latest news. Here is a story that I just had to post:

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded more than $400,000 to a research project involving underwear that can detect when a person smokes cigarettes.

No way.... I say that it's satire. It has to be. Our government is broke at the federal level and our cities don't have enough money to pay for police and firefighters in adequate numbers. People are getting shot (and are dying) every day in cities all across America. Surely our government wouldn't be sacrificing our safety by diverting our hard earned tax dollars to frivolous projects such as this one, would they? I mean, times are tight, are they not?

No wonder they keep wanting to raise our taxes. I took some years of living, but I think that I get it now.

Wasteful much?

H/T to Harley for posting this on Facebook via NYC Clash-


Feds Spend $402,721 on Underwear That Senses Cigarette Smoke | CNS News

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Question of the day : Should the Illinois House Hold Hearing on Tobacco Harm Reduction?


There is going to be a hearing this week on the issue of tobacco harm reduction in the Illinois House via the Illinois Consumer Protection Committee. As usual, the ALA has come out in opposition to any such hearing. There is a poll and a comments section that follow the commentary in the link below, please feel free to participate!


Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reducing smokers' exposure to cigarette smoke toxicants -- our first clinical study results | Science Codex

 I've been so busy with life that I almost missed this one:

All test cigarettes were successful in reducing vapour-phase toxicants such as acrolein and 1,3-butadiene, and the reductions in exposure were greater and sometimes much greater than 50 per cent. The test product containing the enzyme-treated tobacco was associated with a statistically significant reduction in tobacco-specific nitrosamines of around 90 per cent, as well as a significant reduction in exposure to the carcinogens 3- and 4-aminobiphenyl of around 40 per cent.

...these results provide the impetus for us to conduct additional further longer-term studies and to develop biomarkers more relevant to biological effects.'

What would happen if most smokers made a conscious effort to smoke less (ie., in moderation) while switching over to harm reduction cigarettes? 


Reducing smokers' exposure to cigarette smoke toxicants -- our first clinical study results | Science Codex

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cell Therapy Holds Promise For The Future

This is some pretty amazing stuff! Perhaps someday cell therapy can be utilized in the battle against cancer in all of its forms.

The treatment uses patients’ own T-cells, a type of white blood cell that normally fights viruses and cancer. The patient’s blood is run through a machine that extracts T-cells and returns the rest of the blood to the body. Researchers then do some genetic engineering: they use a disabled virus as a “vector” to carry new genetic material into the T cells, which reprograms them to recognize and kill any cell that carries a particular protein on its surface.

Cell Therapy Promising for Acute Type of Leukemia - NYTimes.com

Sunday, March 17, 2013

..Some politicallly incorrect news from a politically incorrect doctor

A new study on mice shows that nicotine — yes THAT nicotine — can help grow the new blood vessels needed to relieve all those conditions and more by stimulating the release of critical adult stem cells.

I wonder why this hasn't been reported on the nightly news.........


Nicotine grows new blood cellsDouglass Report - Official Site

Friday, February 22, 2013

More Madness


By unanimous vote, the Senate Regulated Industries Committees approved the measure (SB 258), which expands the state’s clear indoor air restrictions to more outdoor venues. Voters approved the Florida Indoor Clean Air Act a decade ago.


Right. So voters approved the Indoor Clean Air Act over a decade ago, but apparently, that was not enough to satisfy the prohibitionists. Once given an inch, anti figures out a way to incrementally make us all miserable.


“Nobody wants to put anyone in jail for doing these things but it does send a signal,” said Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. “This state wants to be smoke free, eventually…. this is just one incremental step toward getting there.”


What kind of signal does it send Sen. Thrasher, that incremental steps towards neo-statism are all that's good and noble? This is the trajectory that you have chosen to pursue? Are you sure that you're a Republican sir?


Take a gander at how much $$ the state of Florida takes in from tobacco alone.


From the fiscal year of 2010:


$1,908,661,429- That is how much the state of Florida made off of tobacco in the fiscal year of 2010. 


I think that it's time that we demand a bit of respect.


No smoking outside?: Senate panel passes outdoor smoking ban bill | Pensacola News Journal | pnj.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

E-cig Exec Says Higher Smoker Premiums are "Good" for Business


“We definitely see there will be a potential for this law to drive current tobacco smokers to an alternative, and the most likely product is electronic cigarettes,” White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes co-founder Matthew Steingraber said.

His company plans to launch a direct mail campaign targeting demographics with high rates of smoking sometime this spring.

Same song, same dance...same sh*tty game plan. Who needs enemies when you have friends like this?

Big tobacco and anti-cancer activists agree: Health provision goes too far

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Louisiana Citizens for Tobacco Rights Action Alert!

Surprise, surprise! Politicians in Louisiana would like smokers to foot the bill in order to balance the state budget. Nice, huh? Where's our "free" health insurance?

When legislators return to Baton Rouge this spring, they will be looking for ways to fill the gaps created by Governor Jindal’s proposal to eliminate the personal and corporate income tax

In addition to increasing the state sales tax, the legislature will consider nearly TRIPLING the state cigarette tax.  If passed, adult smokers will pay $1.41 per pack and over $14.00 per carton in state taxes alone!


 Citizens for Tobacco Rights

Monday, February 18, 2013

Less is More

This is an inspiring story:

Cowell first lit a cigarette in 1931, and has smoked two or three a day since. Her daughter Lynda Fowler (which I almost typed as "Lila Fowler") said "The secret to mum's long life is a cigarette and a cup of tea with whisky. That and hard work and poverty. She's an inspiration."

Now that sounds like the good life to me!

I take this to mean that indulging in a little bit of what you enjoy is better than having none of what you enjoy. No one is perfect, therefore there is no logical reason to strive towards the unrealistic goal of being "perfect". There is a middle path, and ironically, this path of moderation (rather than all out abstinence) may in fact be the key to life extension for some.

Trying to be perfect is stressful and we all know that stress is bad, not only for your mental health, but for your physical health as well.  It makes "perfectly" (pun intended) good sense therefore, to permit yourself to dabble in a little bit of what's "bad" for you;  for what is a life that is devoid of a few simple pleasures here and there?

..Makes a lot of sense to me. A life enjoyed is a life well lived.

For some inspiration, read on:

102-Year-Old Woman Quits Smoking (But Not for Her Health)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beta-carotene, is it safe for smokers?

Over the last couple of decades there has been a lot of controversy with regards to beta carotene supplementation, which has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer amongst smokers and drinkers. As I sit here chomping on a bowl of fruit topped with goji berries, this gives me cause for concern. Ah, but thankfully, it appears that beta carotene is safe for smokers when ingested from a whole food source. Supplements with beta carotene on the other hand, are not so safe for smokers:

Unlike supplements, foods rich in beta-carotene pose no lung cancer risk.

Well, that settles it: I now have no intentions of giving up my morning goji berry habit.

Synthetic beta-carotene supplements have been found to increase the risk of both colorectal and lung cancer in smokers, especially those who also drink alcohol. A study published by an international team in the January 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention indicates that beta-carotene consumed as part of whole foods has no such negative effects.

Translation: do not take beta-carotene supplements if you smoke &/or drink on a regular basis, but do eat well.

Carotenoids may play a role in the prevention of the following health conditions:
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Angina pectoris
  • Asthma
  • Cataracts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Chlamydial infection
  • Heart disease
  • Laryngeal cancer (cancer of the larynx)
  • Lung cancer
  • Male and female infertility
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Photosensitivity
  • Pneumonia
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin cancer
  • Vaginal candidiasis

Statistically speaking, smokers and drinkers eat fewer foods that contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Also, researchers suspect that cigarette smoke destroys carotenoids. However, if you do smoke or drink, use carotenoid supplements with caution

To read more, click on the link below:
 WHFoods: beta-carotene

Friday, February 8, 2013

Citizens for Tobacco Rights

 There are some very important tips here that show how to fight back against smoker discrimination:

Citizens for Tobacco Rights

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Prison for Smokers, Permits for Strippers! (Nanny of the Month, Jan '13)



When asked on occasion why I bother to write about smokers' rights, I try to explain to them that I am against the cruelty and discrimination of a minority that takes part in a legal activity. Some people immediately understand exactly what I'm talking about. For those who "just don't get it", this video from Reason TV says it all.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

THR News of the Day

There have been a couple of interesting developments in the world of tobacco harm reduction, the first being from a company that I have been following since last April:

CLARENCE, N.Y. --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII) announced today that its subsidiary, Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC (Goodrich Tobacco) applied to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau of the United States Treasury Department (TTB) for a federal permit to manufacture its own tobacco products. Until now, Goodrich Tobacco has contracted with independent federally licensed tobacco manufacturers to produce its proprietary commercial products, RED SUN®, MAGIC® and SPECTRUM®. Goodrich Tobacco has always supplied its contract manufacturers with its own proprietary tobacco blends.

In parallel with becoming a federally licensed tobacco products manufacturer, Goodrich Tobacco is meeting with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to become a subsequent participating manufacturer (SPM) to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, commonly referred to as the “MSA.” As an SPM producing its own tobacco products, Goodrich Tobacco will contribute funds in perpetuity to the MSA on every pack of cigarettes it sells and will agree to various restrictions on tobacco marketing practices required by the MSA.

By establishing its own manufacturing facility, Goodrich Tobacco will achieve additional flexibility in production, increased quality control, and a greater capacity for new product development. Besides becoming the manufacturing site for Goodrich Tobacco’s own commercial brands, RED SUN®, MAGIC® and SPECTRUM®, the new facility will also produce X-22, a very low nicotine cigarette currently going through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process as a prescription smoking cessation aid, and BRAND A and BRAND B, two potential less harmful cigarettes (as compared to leading brands) in development. Goodrich Tobacco expects to file a modified risk application with the FDA for BRAND A in the second quarter of 2013 and a modified risk application with the FDA for BRAND B in the third quarter of 2013. 22nd Century Group’s April 2012 press release describes the merits of BRAND A and BRAND B, Goodrich Tobacco’s potential modified risk cigarettes in development.

Hopefully the FDA won't stall on approving these applications, as I have been intrigued by the concept of Brand B for some time now. I am also looking forward to the day that I'll be able to actually try it out for myself.

The company’s management is looking forward to Goodrich Tobacco becoming a federally licensed tobacco product manufacturer and working with NAAG to become a member of the MSA. Goodrich Tobacco’s leased manufacturing facility is 6 miles from its headquarters in Clarence, New York. Henry Sicignano III, President of 22nd Century Group and Goodrich Tobacco, stated, “We believe our novel science-based tobacco products will emerge as highly distinctive brands among the sea of conventional cigarettes offered by our larger competitors. Due to 22nd Century’s groundbreaking proprietary technology, no other tobacco company in the world can duplicate our tobacco blends or match the product attributes of our highly differentiated super-premium cigarettes.”
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.

I suspect that  becoming a member of the MSA will speed things along with the FDA approval process. It is all about the money, after all. As a side note, I have to say that it seems somewhat unfair to make an up and coming company (that is offering new and novel products such as Brand A and Brand B) pay what is presumably the same amount into the MSA as the existing majors that are still atoning for the sins of the past. Ah, but the price of doing business means that you have to get through the gatekeeper. For the sake of fairness, hopefully there's a provision in the MSA somewhere that allows for fee adjustments (for both new and existing companies) for products according to their level of risk.

22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the levels of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and plant breeding. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 107 issued patents in 78 countries plus an additional 38 pending patent applications. Goodrich Tobacco and Hercules Pharmaceuticals, LLC and are wholly-owned subsidiaries of 22nd Century. Goodrich Tobacco is focused on commercial tobacco products and potential modified risk cigarettes. Hercules is focused on X-22, a prescription smoking cessation aid in development.

There have been a couple of conversations in the blogosphere that I have come across that mention the role of "other" nicotinic alkaloids in tobacco. It's not something that is mentioned or talked about often, as the center of attention (when it comes to the rewards and behavioral aspects associated with smoking) has almost always been on nicotine itself. What a lot of folks (including myself, up until now) don't realize is that these "other" nicotinic alkaloids can act as MAO inhibitors, which have been useful in treating depression and Parkinson's disease. Hence, there are many benefits that could come from varying/raising the levels of not only nicotine, but that of its associated alkaloids, which would presumably result in more of the "good stuff" and less of the "bad stuff" that has given smoking a bad name.

For additional information, please visit: www.xxiicentury.com




22nd Century Group Subsidiary, Goodrich Tobacco, Applies for Federal License to Manufacture Tobacco Products | Business Wire


The other story that caught my attention this morning was this one:

Tubb, a retired brigadier general, served three presidents in various White House capacities, including director of the White House Medical Unit and physician to the president. He retired from the White House in 2009. Tubb has been actively involved in the science and policy development of alternative nicotine products and tobacco harm reduction, BAT said. 



I am delighted to be welcoming such a prominent and well respected expert in the field of tobacco harm reduction to our Board,” said BAT Chairman Richard Burrows. “This appointment further demonstrates our commitment to putting science at the heart of our business.

..Very promising indeed.

Former White House Doctor Joins BAT
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