Tuesday, December 12, 2006

At last! polonium 210 in cigarettes hits the news



I have been researching this story for a number of years – that cigarettes contain radioactive polonium and lead – but never made any progress getting it into the news. A few times I have contacted science correspondents and never received a reply. I guess it just seemed like too much of a wacko-conspiracy theory, a bit like exploding cigars and Fidel Castro.

And then… the Litvinenko murder happens and polonium appears in the news as a major story, for the first (and probably last) time ever. And now the story I have been twittering on about to my generally disbelieving colleagues for years hits the news - at long last.

So what’s it all about?

Basically there has been various research done over the past 30 years or so to show that there is radioactive polonium-210 and lead-210 present in cigarettes. This fact whilst little known, is well acknowledged in the scientific community and beyond dispute.

There is a lot of debate about the possible health impacts of this radioactive content but it is clear that it does enter the lungs in smoke and there is a reasonable case made by a number of authors that this is the direct cause of some, possibly even most, smoking related lung cancer. It is important to note that there is considerable controversy about the extent of the carcinogenic effect of the radioactive content of the cigarettes as this exchange of letters in New England Journal of Medicine from 1982 clearly demonstrates.

Various estimates put the level of radiation absorbed by a pack-and-a-half a day smoker at the equivalent of 300 (Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene) to 800 (The Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety at Michigan State University) chest X-rays every year – other reports suggest it is much higher, some up to 22,000.

High profile figures have got involved in this debate over the years: The US Surgeon General C Everett Koop stated publicly in 1990 that tobacco radiation is probably responsible for 90% of tobacco-related cancer.

Researchers have induced cancer in animal test subjects that inhaled polonium 210, (Yuille, CL; Berke, HL; Hull, T. 'Lung cancer following Pb210 inhalation in rats.' Radiation Res, 1967. 31:760-774) but were unable to cause cancer through the inhalation of any of the non-radioactive chemical carcinogens found in tobacco.

Some researchers suggest that the radioactive particles are relatively low risk if the exposure is averaged out over the entire exposed surface – but that with inhaled smoke the particles are concentrated in localised regions, the bronchial epithelium (points where the lung airways divide) exposing small numbers of cells to comparatively high levels of radiation – magnifying the carcinogenic effect.

It is clear that the radioactive polonium and lead is present in cigarettes, is being consumed, and a risk – potentially a very serious one - does exist. Marmorstein, J. ('Lung cancer: is the increasing incidence due to radioactive polonium in cigarettes?' South Medical Journal, February 1986. 79(2):145-50), notes that In 1930 the lung cancer death rate for white US males was 3.8 per 100,000 people. By 1956 the rate had increased almost tenfold, to 31 per 100,000.13 Between 1938 and 1960, the level of polonium 210 in American tobacco tripled, commensurate with the increased use of chemical fertilizers. Whilst this is not an established causal link, given the terrifying extent of the death rates, It is amazing that this issue hasn’t received more attention.

It now gets more interesting conspiracy fans.

The key source of the radioactive content in tobacco is thought to be phosphate fertilisers. The radioactivity is concentrated in the plant, particularly the tiny sticky hairs on tobacco leaves, as the water is drawn from the soil and evaporates. The radioactivity is also present in lots of farmed foods but it is when the tobacco leaves are smoked and inhaled that the particular lung cancer risk emerges.

This was apparently known to major tobacco companies as far back as 1974, and by 1980 a means to remove the radioactive content was also known – by using ammonium phosphate as a fertilizer, instead of calcium phosphate. This idea is rejected on the basis of expense. This is clearly revealed in the two publically available leaked ‘smoking gun’ memos (reproduced below from the www.tobaccofreedom.com website) from Philip Morris in 1980.

The key quotes are:

"210- Pb and 210 -Po are present in tobacco and smoke."

..."For alpha particles from Po-210 to be the cause of lung cancers in unlikely due to the amount of radioactivity of a particular energy necessary of induction. Evidence to date, however, does not allow one to state this is an impossibility."

“The recommendation of using ammonium phosphate instead of calcium phosphate is probably a valid but expensive point”






So what can we conclude from all this?

Well, obviously tobacco companies primary concern is not public health, they are motivated purely by profits. If there is a model for irresponsible corporations – they are it. No surprise there. They denied tobacco was linked to lung cancer despite overwhelming evidence for years.

More worryingly perhaps is that Government’s in the UK, the US and everywhere else have failed to act on this – either by commissioning the appropriate research or by banning the use of the offending fertilisers. Ultimately it is the governments responsibility to monitoir these issues. They have had 20 years since this has been in the public domain and done nothing. Only now when some unrelated Russian political murder brings this obscure substance into the public eye are we beginning to get a hint of a debate and the potential for change. Lets be under no illusions, this saga is a grotesque failing of our public health infrastructure and a total scandal and disgrace for all governments concerned.

On a broader front serious issues are raised about tobacco control generally and why it has historically been so lax. Things are now improving – with long overdue controls on advertising and smoking in public spaces - and the public health impacts of smoking beginning to fall from their post war high. This is the result of more effective public health education and better legal regulation – something that should obviously underpin effective policy on all drugs. Cigarette tobacco can still have up to 15% non tobacco content and there are 400 or so permitted additives, most of them pretty obnoxious looking (the list is available from the Tobacco Manufacturers Association). Tobacco products should have ingredients listings the same as any other product we put in our bodies:

THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS RADIOACTIVE POLONIUM AND LEAD

Similar lessons need to be applied to alcohol control, still far too unregulated, particularly regards marketing and packaging, contributing to the rapid current rise in alcohol related ill health. Why no health warnings on alcohol products? why no ingredients listings? why do we so rarely see alcohol content in units on alcohol products?

Organic tobacco is fairly widely available which apparently doesn’t use the offending fertilisers. Its not good for you but may be marginally less bad. Alternatively, you could go all Swedish and use ‘snus’ or ‘bandits’ – tobacco which you hold in you mouth rather than smoke. It can give you mouth cancer but is generally far less risky (they have half our level of smoked tobacco in Sweden and half the level of lung cancer).

It is incumbent on the Government to regulate dangerous drugs properly. This must include basic harm reduction measures such as making sure tobacco full of radioactive carcinogens isnt being consumed by millions of people on a daily basis.

LATEST: 12.12.06

In a rather depressing development, apparently a government TV ad that highlights the fact that cigarettes contain polonium-210 has been pulled because of...wait for it...sensitivities to the Litvinenko family. How totally ridiculous. Just as we are about to be told something that has been known for decades, they decide to pull the ad for the most absurd of reasons.

Surely the sensitivities of the tens of 1000s of who have lost relatives to lung cancer, or may do in the future, are more important. Im quite sure Litvinenko would not want this ad being pulled as part of his legacy, and nor would his family. The Litvinenko story is an opportunity to broadcast this story and achieve something positive, not squirrel it away.


(mock cigarette packet photo from www.adbusters.org)

10 comments:

Peter @ Eden Lodge said...

Gee Danny for someone who has been advocating legislation and therby possibly spreading the use of illicit psycho active drugs that wreck human lives, you sure have a downer on legal drugs. The reason why there are no health warnings on alcoholic beverages is that in marked contrast to tobacco, the alcohol beverage industry and the government did a deal wherby the former is responsible for such warnings; the phrase chickens and foxes springs to mind for some reason.

Insofar as smoking is concerned, no one in their right mind would claim it was healthy, but there has been considerable corruption of the scientific evidence by the anti smoking lobby in order to get this legal drug virtually outlawed, we are led to believe that smoking kills not only smokers but those who expierence second hand smoke, a somewhat different view than that expressed by Professor Richard Doll, the gentleman who first made us aware of the link between lung cancer in smoking, who said.: "I dont mind people smoking in my presence since the risk is so small, that is not to encourage or endorse smoking, but to put the 'dangers' into perspective since it needs to be taken into consideration with the many toxic fumes we are forced to breathe in every day". Of course the anti smoking lobby not wanting to spoil a good story, ignored that, preferring to use instead, some dodgy research that even the authors admitted was 'lousy science but it would probably help to get smoking banned in public places'

Insofar as the risk of lung cancer is concerned, I suggest that you look at the latest published research from that well known health freak anti smoking state California in the good old USA. In this research published on Medscape, Professor Charles Vega, who confesses to receiving grants from Pfizer (don't) they make antismoking drugs?) reveals research that focuses on how CT scanning can detect lung cancer so much earlier and effectively than conventional xrays.

The research is based on some 27,000 plus 'high risk' people over the age of 40 comprising of smokers,ex smokers, passive smokers, or had occupational exposure to asbestos beryllium, uranium or radon.

The research conducted by no less a body than the International Early Lung Programme investigators spanned the USA, Europe, Israel, China and Japan.

Between 1993 and 2005 the group regularly ct scanned 27,000 plus 'high risk'subjects. Given the hype we have been subjected to through the corruption of scientific evidence, one would expect that most of these people had died during that time, or at the very least developed serious health problems; here's the kicker! out of 27,000 plus, just 484 had developed lung cancer! I make that less than 2%, far less than those who die from addiction to the illicit drugs that you so ardently advocate legalising.

Whilst all avoidable deaths are to be regretted, I suggest that this research shows that the ban on smoking is motivated more by bigots than scientific evidence.

Steve R said...

Steve not Danny - but in response. Transform arent 'down on legal drugs '- we simply support evidence based legal regulation of all drugs. That means bringing some illegal ones within a legal framework , but also better regulation of currently legal ones - where evidence shows it would improve policy outcomes.

For any legal drug there will obviously be a regulatory framework outside of which some activities will remain prohibited.

The argument is that for alcohol and tobacco those regulations were not strict enough leading to the unfettered marketing of dangerous drugs, not just to adults but to children too. Since we have seen better public education of tobacco use has fallen since the 70s. The exploding problem of alcohol in the UK suggests we need to do more - increase price, ban advertising and invest in education - for starters.

I personally support the ban on smoking in public spaces because of the proven public health implications, which in my view warrant the minor cost to liberty. I also personally dont smoke and hate smokey environments - regardless of the dangers, from my persoanl perspective its just antisocial. Whilst I accept the risks from secondary smoke are contentious and probably marginal they dont seem unlikely to me and even a marginal impact is significant when the scale of smoking related harm is so vast. Smoking is different from most other drug use both in terms of the potential harms from secondary smoke and in the fact that all use is dangerous - they are harmful even when used as directed (unlike alcohol).

Smoking isnt being outlawed - its being better regulated. Even if you smoke in a public place you would at worst recieve a fine - not a criminal record (as yu might for illegal drusg) and you are free to smoke to your hearts content outside or in non-public places.

Talking about the 'anti-smoking lobby' in such a way isnt useful. you seem to be implying they are some sort of conspiratorial puritans when infact they are a diverse group of supporters of better, evidence- led public heath and harm reduction policies that would address the catastrophic negative impacts of smoking on public health. If there is a conspiracy it is the historical one between the 'tobacco lobby' (whose funding eclipses that of the public health campaigners by a huge margin), and government, who have trasparently been so negligent on legal and illegal drug policy.

Peter @ Eden Lodge said...

You keep on about evidence Steve, but like so many of the anti smoking brigade of which you appear to be an enthusiastic member, you fail to cite any evidence.

If there is such conclusive evidence I challenge you to point me to a scientific paper which shows that those who smoke, but otherwise have a healthy life style, including regular exercise and sensible eating, die any sooner than those who do not smoke, and I'll donate £50.00 to any nominated charity that is not pro legislation on dangerous, psyco active illicit drugs.

In marked contrast when presented with the incontrovertible evidence that I quoted, you ran true to form with the anti smokers and ignored it, seeking to divert with rhetoric re smoky atmospheres etc; what nonsense when efficient ventilation systems can eliminate such a problem.

Insofar as the reduction of smoking is concerned, you make the same fundamental error as others, the reduction in smoking that is so widely quoted does not take into consideration the quantities that are purchased so much cheaper on the black market and smuggled into this country, therefore the vidence for claims that smoking has reduced to the extent claimed, are flawed.

Equally flawed are the NHS statistics on people who have following 'treatment' have 'ceased smoking'; the fugures claimed are based on those who are just six weeks abstinent, requests for follow up figures at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months are met with the response 'not available', that can only mean that either they do not bother to follow up, which contavenes the so called 'duty of care', or they prefer not to publish them.

Notwithstanding your unwillingness to acknowledge scientific evidence, or cite similiar in support of your arguement, you talk about the 'minor cost' to personal liberty,being worth the draconian measures imposed, yet in direct contradiction you want to defend highly dangerous drugs that users become addicted to, with all the consequent degradation to their lives and those of their loved ones that such addiction involves; talk about double standards!

this propensity towards double standards continues with your use of the euphuism 'better regulated' is classic of newspeak. Smoking in all enclosed 'public' spaces, which includes private clubs is to be prohibited, banned, ergo outlawed! Yet when you refer to legisalation for illicit drugs you choose to use the word 'probibition'.

Finally Steve, throughout your response you have both implied and insisted that the evidence of the dangers of passive smoking justifys the ban; now show us the unbiased scientifc factual evidence, not conjecture and rhetoric.

daksya said...

Peter: Between 1993 and 2005 the group regularly ct scanned 27,000 plus 'high risk'subjects. Given the hype we have been subjected to through the corruption of scientific evidence, one would expect that most of these people had died during that time, or at the very least developed serious health problems; here's the kicker! out of 27,000 plus, just 484 had developed lung cancer!

The span of the project was 12 years but the screenings for each subject were between 7 to 18 months apart, so it doesn't imply what you say it does.

I make that less than 2%, far less than those who die from addiction to the illicit drugs that you so ardently advocate legalising.

I'm going to ask for a citation that mortality due to addiction to illegal drugs accounts for 'far more' than 2%. Off the top of my head, street opioid addiction carries the highest mortality risk which is around 1% per year, which is close to the number for the tobacco smokers here within the median 12.5 months of followup period.

Steve R said...

peter - you seem determined to misrepresent what ive said. try reading it again.

I described the risks from secondary smoke as: 'contentious and probably marginal'

adding that

'they dont seem unlikely to me and even a marginal impact is significant when the scale of smoking related harm is so vast.'

Im not clear whether you are talking about secondary or primary smoking damage regards your £50 offer. if the latter then please make you cheque payable to transform as the evidence of the harms associated with smoking are overwhelming and not disputed by anyone in the medical world.

Im not 'diverting attention' with any rhetoric. thats just silly. After acknowledging that the secondary smoke debate was contentious, i stated a view - clearly labelled 'personal' - that i didnt like smokey environments. This was an additional argument - not a replacement.

yes, ventilation can help but its not always possible or adequate. if it is - smoking booths and what not, id be fine with that. I didnt write the legislation and I woudnt have been so absolute about the ban - but there you go, on balance I support it - and I said why. Im stating a view and giving reasons - please dont suggest im being sneaky.

The public health benefits of the ban are in terms of reduction in the mnumber of smokers and total tobacco consumption (rather than a fall in secondary harms - harder to establish) shown clearly where the bans have been implemented.

The public health harms of smoking are so shocking that in my view even a disputed and marginal reduction in them is still worth vigorously persuing. The redcution in tobacco use that would follow a ban, just as follows a price rise - are neither marginal nor disputed.

You also repeat that im part of the anti smoking 'brigade'. It was a 'lobby' in the previous post - Im not a 'member' of either, even if they do exist. That sounds awfully like the sort of twaddle id read in the Daily Express.

I seek to reduce drug related harm and have made the argument very clearly that some legal drugs need to be better regulated and some illegal drugs need to be brought under legal regulation - on the basis that they are totally unregulated at present. The purpose of both is to try and achieve better policy outcomes and is nothing to do with being part of any lobby.

And the one thing you have totally failed to comment on is what the blog post was about; the issue of radiocativity in tobacco - which i linked various discussions and evidence on - and the shameful negligence of the tobacco companies and government in that specific area.

Tom Dennen said...

I know how you feel. One of These two stories was published - in a Citizen's online paper, reporter.co.za and Mike Rivero's whatreallyhappend.com

SMOKERS – YOU ARE INHALING THE SAME RADIOACTIVE POISON THAT KILLED RUSSIAN EX-SPY ALEXANDER LITVINENKO!

By Tom Dennen

When Did Governments (and tobacco companies) Know About Polonium 210 and How Long Have They Known?

Polonium 210 is found in trace amounts in cigarette smoke and is the major reason it causes cancer in tobacco smokers.

Robert N. Proctor, Ph.D., in "Puffing on Polonium" (New York Times, 1 December 2006), says, "When the former K.G.B. agent Alexander V. Litvinenko was found to have been poisoned by radioactive polonium 210 last week, there was one group that must have been particularly horrified: the tobacco industry. The industry has been aware at least since the 1960s that cigarettes contain significant levels of polonium.

“Exactly how it gets into tobacco is not entirely understood,” he added, “but uranium ‘daughter products’ naturally present in soils seem to be selectively absorbed by the tobacco plant, where they decay into radioactive polonium.

High-phosphate fertilizers may worsen the problem, since uranium tends to associate with phosphates. In 1975, Philip Morris scientists wondered whether the secret to tobacco growers’ longevity in the Caucasus might be that farmers there avoided phosphate fertilizers.”

Customers at a restaurant and a hotel visited by the poisoned ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko will be tested for the radioactive substance that killed him, Polonium 210, said British health chiefs last week.

Polonium 210 is the only component of cigarette smoke that has produced cancers by itself in laboratory animals by inhalation - tumors appear at a level FIVE TIMES LOWER than the dose to a heavy smoker.

SCIENTISTS KNEW BY 1960

Lung cancer rates among American men kept climbing from a rarity in 1930 (4/100,000 per year) to the No. 1 cancer killer in 1980 (72/100,000) in spite of an almost 20 percent reduction in smoking through anti-smoking information campaigns. But during the same period, the level of polonium 210 in American tobacco had tripled. This coincided with the increase in the use of phosphate fertilizers by tobacco.

(From Lenntech Water treatment & air purification Holding B.V. Rotterdamseweg 402 M):

As radon decays, its electrically charged daughter products (including Polonium 210) attach themselves to dust particles, which adhere to the sticky hairs on the underside of tobacco leaves. This leaves a deposit of radioactive polonium and lead on the leaves. Then, the intense localized heat in the burning tip of a cigarette volatilizes the radioactive metals. While cigarette filters can trap chemical carcinogens, they are ineffective against radioactive vapors.

The lungs of a chronic smoker end up with a radioactive lining in a concentration much higher than from residential radon.

These particles, including Polonium 210, emit radiation.

Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day imparts a radiation dose by Polonium 210-emitted alpha particles of about 1,300 millirem per year. For comparison, the annual radiation dose to the average American from inhaled radon is 200 mrem.

In addition, polonium 210 is soluble and is circulated through the body to every tissue and cell in levels much higher than from residential radon. The proof is that it can be found in the blood and urine of smokers. The circulating polonium 210 causes genetic damage and early death from diseases reminiscent of early radiological pioneers: liver and bladder cancer, stomach ulcer, leukemia, cirrhosis of the liver and cardiovascular diseases.

Former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers. The American Center for Disease Control concluded: "Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source."

Cigarette smoking accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths.

Only poor diet rivals tobacco smoke as a cause of cancer in the U.S., causing a comparable number of fatalities each year. However, the National Cancer Institute, with an annual budget of $500 million, has no active funding for research on radiation from smoking or residential radon as a cause of lung cancer, presumably to protect the public from undue fears of radiation from smoking tobacco.

Corruption, anyone?

Meanwhile, the British Health Protection Agency last week called for people who had been to the Itsu sushi restaurant or Millennium Hotel in central London on November 1 to come forward.

Its appeal came as the Conservatives indicated that they would ask the Government to make a Commons statement over the affair.

The HPA is taking "extremely seriously" concerns that other people may have been contaminated by the Polonium 210 that led to the death of Alexander Litvinenko in hospital although it made clear the risk was low.

Doctors discovered that he had somehow ingested a large dose of the radioactive substance and samples of it were later found in the hotel and restaurant.

Mr. Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian security services, visited both places on November 1, the day he was taken ill.

A vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, Mr. Litvinenko, 43, claimed in a statement made public after his death that the Russian president had had him poisoned.

Scotland Yard's counter terrorism unit is investigating but has not described it as yet as murder. Foreign Office officials have passed on a request via the Russian Ambassador, Yuri Fedotov, asking authorities in Moscow to make available any information that might assist police with their enquiries.

A post-mortem examination of Mr. Litvinenko’s body has been delayed while a risk assessment is carried out to see if it is safe to perform the procedure and what precautions may be necessary.

Polonium-210 is very dangerous to handle in even tiny amounts - milligram or microgram amounts - and special equipment and strict control is necessary.

Human damage arises from the complete absorption of the alpha particle energy Polonium 210 emits, which is captured by soft tissue.

Sources maintain that it is not only a very unusual method of assassination, but also that not even fiction writers have bothered with it as a difficult-to-detect murder weapon.

Breathe…IN…

EVEN HEALTH WARNING BEER MATS PULLED IN UK (ANTI)- POLONIUM CAMPAIGN
By Tom Dennen
According to the BBC this week, a hard-hitting advertising campaign warning of the poisons in cigarettes - including Polonium 210 - was pulled.
"Two adverts warning cigarette smoke contains the radioactive substance that killed Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has (sic) been pulled from a health campaign, " said the British news giant in an obviously quickly written PR release.
The campaign also includes posters and beer mats, it said.
"Some mats, which were sent out early to pubs in the West Country, saying 'Where do you find polonium? In cigarettes!'…Caused some concern locally, and have now also been withdrawn."
The Department of Health said it was "inappropriate" to run the ads that show cigarettes contain polonium 210, but did not explain what they meant by 'inappropriate'.
They said that other adverts in the 'Smoke is Poison' campaign, funded by the Department of Health and backed by Cancer Research UK (Britain's leading charity dedicated to cancer research), would air as planned.
'Unforeseen events'
In the campaign, award-winning Investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre interviews people who "may have been exposed to dangerous substances including formaldehyde and benzene" in a series of radio and television adverts. In the ads, MacIntyre asks people what they are doing to protect themselves.
Then he tells them that cigarettes contain those chemicals, and the camera records their 'real-life' shock - the ads are docu-ads.
Smoke from cigarettes contains some 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. But three quarters of people MacIntyre surveyed in the campaign were not able to name a single chemical, other than nicotine and tar, which are listed on cigarette packs.
Russel Hopps, a Manchester undertaker who features in one of the TV advertisements, said: "I was really shocked when I heard that formaldehyde is in cigarettes. In our business we wear goggles, a mask, thick gloves and an apron to protect our health while we are embalming. Taking part in the filming made me wonder just what other nasty chemicals are in cigarette smoke. I've been thinking about trying to quit for ages but this has made me decide to give up for good."
Sara Hiom, deputy director of cancer information, said the decision to withhold the adverts focusing on polonium 210 was taken jointly with the Department of Health.
"In light of recent unforeseen events and in consultation with the Department of Health, we took the decision not to air the polonium adverts at this time."
Obviously, the campaign had been planned, researched, written, storyboarded and shot long before Mr. Litvinenko was killed.
"Information about polonium in relation to the campaign does feature elsewhere, such as on the campaign website www.smokeispoison.com."

Go look. It does mention Polonium 210 - once in a list at the bottom of a long discussion on the poisons in tobacco smoke, but no other 'information' about the substance is on the site at all.
A Department of Health spokeswoman: "When the Health Protection Agency confirmed that Mr. Litvinenko had died from Polonium 210 poisoning we began discussions about the content of the 'Smoke is Poison' campaign.
"Because two of the five ads contained references to Polonium in cigarettes we took the decision with Cancer Research to withdraw these ads from this campaign.
"The remaining ads have hard-hitting messages about the dangers of cigarette smoke and the poisonous substances it contains."
Whaaaaaat? Certainly not as hard-hitting as the polonium ads!

Waal, I believe they would seriously dent the gazillion-dollar tobacco industry's income, so leave them out of the mix, oh great leaders of ours, you got my vote.
It is on record that almost all cancer deaths from cigarette smoking are from Polonium radiation. How powerful is the tobacco lobby? Is there some kind of conspiracy to keep this information from going public?
Take a guess about whatisreallyhappening to your life:
Smoking does kill you: Read the warnings on the manufacturer's own pack, put there by law, but you still have the choice to commit long-term suicide.
It's addictive, guys...And deliberately sold to you like Heroin, guys, like crack on the street...But the pushers here are your Congress people, leaned over backwards by lobby money (who's bigger? AIPAC or tobacco?)

So there are always two sets of rules that apply: you don't have to increase your daily tobacco fix. With Heroin and the rest of the narcotics in the pharmacopoeia you do.

So the 'baccy monkey on your back doesn't get any bigger - pack a day, steady income from a fixed percentage of the entire population and Hollywood helps sell that shit, the bosses knowing what they are doing!

What a frikkin con!

When are we - the meek - going to inherit this world?

When we stop buying into the cons. When we stop being the sucker born every minute and shoot the two born to catch us.

You don't need another monkey on your back: But your congress people support the tobacco drug dealers and have kept the deadly Polonium 210 secret from you for fifty years, as well as a few wars.

For money.
Wake up.

Peter @ Eden Lodge said...

A slight change of tack on your part Steve, and once again you divert to your own advantage.

It really is very simple. I ask for evidence citation., you fail to provide it!

I challeng you to point me to a paper that conclusively shows that smokers with an otherwise healthy life style, including exercise and healthy diet die before non smokers, and you avoid it. It is perfectly clear what I meant, but you chose to distort it. You probably know that no such evidence exists, because if it did you would not hesitate to point me to it.

Steve I'm not silly, nor is what I say silly, I quote impeccable and unchallanged medical evidence, you ignore it, but fail to supply the evidence of your claims.

In the absence of your objective evidence and your failure to cite any unbiased evidence, there is no pint in continuing discussion.

Debate is only of use when the issues raised are adhered to without resort to diversionary tactics as you choose to.

So if you're not prepared to acknowledge the evidence I pointed you to and offer objective proof of your so called 'overwhelming' evidence, I'm not prepared to wast any more time.

Steve R said...

I have to say im mystified by your apparent defence of the safety of smoking, (which borders on being pro-smoking ie pro-drug) especially given your views on other drugs. but anyway a quick goodgle serach found reems of published evidence about smoking related mortality. This one is on the BMJ, it is one of 1000s.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/328/7455/1519

This is a pretty solid study over 50 years of a population of 30K plus.

secondary smoking is one thing - admittedly contentious, but arguing smoking is safe really isnt going to win you any arguments on smoking policy or the wider drug issues of drug policy and other dangerous drugs.

Out of interest do you approve of radiation in tobacco, or feel that tobacco companies and government have behaved in an exemplary fashion regards public health and smoking regulation over the past 50 years?

So who is being evasive? You havent addressed any of the points Ive made and gone off on yur own tangent about smoking being safe.

Im happy to talk reasonably about anything but i dont appreciate the self righteous finger wagging especially when its so misplaced.

Tom Dennen said...

HEALTH WARNING BEER MATS PULLED IN UK ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGN
By Tom Dennen
According to the BBC this week, part of a hard-hitting advertising campaign warning of the poisons in cigarettes - including Polonium 210 - was pulled.
"Two adverts warning cigarette smoke contains the radioactive substance that killed Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko has (sic) been pulled from a health campaign, " said the British news giant.
The campaign also includes posters and beer mats, it said.
"Some mats, which were sent out early to pubs in the West Country, saying 'Where do you find polonium? In cigarettes!'…Caused some concern locally, and have now also been withdrawn."
The Department of Health said it was "inappropriate" to run the ads that show cigarettes contain polonium 210, but did not explain what they meant by 'inappropriate'.
(A later announcement said, The Department of Health has scrapped plans for a £50,000 TV ad revealing that cigarettes contain the radioactive poison polonium-210, the substance that killed Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, to spare his family's feelings.)
They said that other adverts in the 'Smoke is Poison' campaign, funded by the Department of Health and backed by Cancer Research UK (Britain's leading charity dedicated to cancer research), would air as planned.
'Unforeseen events'
In the campaign, award-winning Investigative Journalist Donal Macintyre interviews people who "may have been exposed to dangerous substances including formaldehyde and benzene" in a series of radio and television adverts.

In the ads, MacIntyre asks people in various professions what they are doing to protect themselves.
As the Docu-Journalist tells his interviewees that cigarettes contain the same chemicals their work involves them with, the camera records their quite genuine shock.
Russel Hopps, a Manchester undertaker who features in one of the TV advertisements, said: "I was really shocked when I heard that formaldehyde is in cigarettes. In our business we wear goggles, a mask, thick gloves and an apron to protect our health while we are embalming. Taking part in the filming made me wonder just what other nasty chemicals are in cigarette smoke. I've been thinking about trying to quit for ages but this has made me decide to give up for good."

Smoke from cigarettes contains some 4,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. But three quarters of people Macintyre surveyed in the campaign were not able to name a single chemical, other than nicotine and tar, which are listed on cigarette packs.

Sara Hiom, deputy director of cancer information, said the decision to withhold the adverts focusing on polonium 210 was taken jointly with the Department of Health.

"In light of recent unforeseen events and in consultation with the Department of Health, we took the decision not to air the polonium adverts at this time."
Advertising campaigns take several months from brief to broadcast. Obviously, the campaign had been planned, researched, written, ‘storyboarded’ and shot long before Mr. Litvinenko was killed.

"Information about polonium in relation to the campaign does feature elsewhere, such as on the campaign website www.smokeispoison.com ."

Go look. It does mention Polonium 210 - once in a list at the bottom of a long discussion on the poisons in tobacco smoke, but no other 'information' about the substance is on the site at all.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said, "When the Health Protection Agency confirmed that Mr. Litvinenko had died from Polonium 210 poisoning we began discussions about the content of the 'Smoke is Poison' campaign.
"Because two of the five ads contained references to Polonium in cigarettes we took the decision with Cancer Research to withdraw these ads from this campaign.

"The remaining ads have hard-hitting messages about the dangers of cigarette smoke and the poisonous substances it contains," added the spokeswoman.

Robert N. Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford University, who is also mentioned in the New York Times and the local Weekend Witness makes this statement: “We should also recall that people smoke a lot of cigarettes — about 5.7 trillion worldwide every year, enough to make a continuous chain from the earth to the sun and back, with enough left over for a few side-trips to Mars. If .04 picocuries of polonium are inhaled with every cigarette, about a quarter of a curie of one of the world’s most radioactive poisons is inhaled along with the tar, nicotine and cyanide of all the world’s cigarettes smoked each year. Pack-and-a-half smokers are dosed to the tune of about 300 chest X-rays.”

Anonymous said...

Tobacco is legal and subsidized by our government, the same government that is trying to ban raw milk because it is so dangerous to the health of the nation.