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).

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