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CPL.Luke

smoking and smoking related illness

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So I've taken up smoking in the past year as a somewhat regular habit, and I'm curious as to the incidence of smoking related illness as a function of average number of cigarrettes smoked in some time frame. I like smoking so I won't be giving it up completely any time soon, but it would be interesting to know what I was risking and possibly what risk threshhold I'm willing to accept.

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Luke; As a life time smoker, from a family of lifetime smokers and a family background based in the industry; I would suggest just dropping the future habit and taking up something less filthy, more acceptable to todays society and by all means....cheaper pleasures.

 

there is no threshold of expectations. Death as caused by smoking I can't in honesty buy, or any particular health problem and there are some positive reactions the body could achieve. put another way, people die and no one ever picked up a pipe, cigar or cigarette, smoked it and rolled over dead. the odds are you will die from any number of other probabilities long before smoking could, if indeed it can effect a person.

 

my comments are going to attract some astonishing statistics which when given I will counter. Again though, the society i am guessing you will be part of for some time will increasingly be less tolerable, maybe in your time even making it illegal or at best very costly 10-20.00 per PACK and will certainly need to clean your space a few times more often that the non-smoker...why not just take up jellybeans, worry about diabetes and get along with your generation???

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It's hard to answer the question anyway. Obviously everybody's tolerance is different.

 

I read about this one guy, smoked cigarettes everyday of his adult life. He died at 100 yrs old... not sure if it was related to the smoking or not. However, I wonder how long he would have lived if he didn't smoke at all.

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like I said I like smoking and am not interested in quitting, I don't smoke alot but I am curious. I have seen enough evidnece to know that smoking does effect your health however that is something I'm willing to accept.

 

I am curious as to the incidence of illness, I've seen the lung cancer versus average number of cigarrettes smoked graph, however that is not useful in finding the probability of developing cancer as a smoker.

 

I do appreciate your concern, but I am not interested in quitting.

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The thing is, by the time you ARE interested in quitting, it will be much, much harder to do.

 

Personally I stopped last week, but I too still have an interest in this information (mainly because no sanctimonious anti-smoker I have ever met has ever produced anything similar, and I always thought pre-emptive strikes were funny). I shall watch with eagley eyes of watchingness.

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ecoli-

 

its true that everyone will be effected differently however we should still be able to acertain the probability of a person being effected in one way or another.

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IIRC the lifetime risk from smoking is about 50% ie half of smokers die from something related to it.

Of course the lifetime risk from living is 100% - everyone dies. There's also the fact that even non-smokers die from things, like lung cancer, that are usually thought of as smoking related.

Still, what other product can you think of which, when used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, has a 50:50 chance of killing you?

 

The fact that you don't smoke much now is pretty near irelevant. Nobody ever started off as an 80-a-day smoker.

Like many people here, I think you should quit while you are still ahead of the game.

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of course that is the average risk which takes into account people who smoke 10 packs a day. I'm only interested in the people who smoke 1-2000 a year.

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It's hard to answer the question anyway. Obviously everybody's tolerance is different.

 

I read about this one guy, smoked cigarettes everyday of his adult life. He died at 100 yrs old... not sure if it was related to the smoking or not. However, I wonder how long he would have lived if he didn't smoke at all.

 

In the US, on the death certificate ask for cause of death, followed by only one question. "Did the person ever use tobacco products", which must be answered yes or no (when of no importance). Regardless of cause the if that person smoked and a relative/friend recalls from years ago, that person dieing from any cause is a statistic and tobacco related. The fact he/she is 100-110, weight 400 pounds and shot him/her self statistically that person died as a result of tobacco use.

 

As for that 100 yo or maybe 200 such other stories I could mention, has it occurred to you that smoking is how long life was achieved. Even with mentioning the above as related cause, many problems are creeping up to challenge the No. One cause of death...

 

John; Rush Limbaugh, had an answer for your question better than mine, so I'll quote hime.....There is a 100% chance that eating carrots will kill you. A survey made in 1900, showed that every one surveyed had at some time eaten a carrot or carrots. Almost all are now DEAD, and the couple still around really look bad, expected to die soon.

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Interesting chain of logic. I asked precisely one question; it was this "Still, what other product can you think of which, when used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions, has a 50:50 chance of killing you?"

It seems the answer is "There is a 100% chance that eating carrots will kill you. A survey made in 1900, showed that every one surveyed had at some time eaten a carrot or carrots. Almost all are now DEAD, and the couple still around really look bad, expected to die soon."

 

BTW, are you sure about what you said. I'm quite happy to believe that they record incidence of tobacco use on death certificates. Are you sure that's the only way they decide that tobacco is the cause of death. I know the medical and legal professions can be idiots at times but that one seems to be a step too far. If it is then, since they don't do that in the rest of the world, the aparent risk from cigarettes in the USA would be practically 100% whereas it's different elsewhere. Surely that would becom a ludicrous anomaly.

Practically everyone has tried smoking once. Does this mean that 100% of deaths in the USA are recorded as smoking related?

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The Death Certificate scenario, was as told to me by an agent in charge of such things in Texas. The reason I contacted him, was my folks both smoked, with Dads death recorded "related", Moms "unrelated". He went on to explain when relatives or friend are available, what they say is what is used and when no one available assumptions are often made. My sister, who represented the family, said she had NOT. They were both however well over 80 and Dad did weight nearly 300 pounds (5ft7 waist 60in) and did die in an auto accident. The statistics are flawed IMO...

 

My, questioning the logic is this along, with the 80 year correlation in life expectancy increase and the growth of the tobacco industry, which do not coincide with what should have happened with the decreased activity in the past 20 years. Add to this the current hysteria over second hand smoke, which every one has been subjected to, we should have been dieing off long ago earlier and earlier ages. Not true and in the past 15-20 years expectancy has been stable, with a rapid increase over that previous 80 years, increasing from about 53 to the 75, which is where its been for 15 years.

 

I am not promoting smoking, for reason I have stated but there are reason for a medical understanding of what tobacco usage could have meant, not requiring the act of smoking. Nicotine has some benefits, frustration and anxiety are real problems, controled now with medication, but by smoking in the past and a few other such questions which need addressing.

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Well, OK I agree that if your father died in a crash but it's listed as smoking related then the stats are skewed.

I'm pretty sure that the statistical link between smoking and, for example, lung cancer is so well researched it's practically certain.

I work measuring things- generally concentrations of pollutants in air.

I know that some time ago when I was involved in measuring exposure to a chemical that people were working with and some other people were asking the same workforce to fill in a questionnaire about health, lifestyle etc. we got a rather disappointing result. The measurements of chemical exposure we took were very badly correlated with the health issues that the people had. The only statistically significant observation was that respiratory ill health correlated with smoking. That wasn't what we set out to find- it's just such a big effect it tends to swamp other things.

 

If you look at demographics you find a whole lot of interrelated effects. If you look at incidence of lung cancer in a particular group like 70 year old men, then the stats are pretty clear. You find the highest incidence among heavy smokers, next highest among those who worked or lived with smokers or who smoked a bit and very low incidence among those who were not exposed.

Prior to WWI lung cancer was a rare disease- even among the elderly. Nobody smoked. Now it's relatively common and a lot of people smoke.

 

There was a ban on smoking in public places in Scotland quite recently- allready the statistics are showing the benfit of the reduction in smoking that resulted from this.

 

Another point is that, like all drugs, nicotine has side effects and these are not generally benficial. The other trash in smoke doesn't help, but don't forget that nicotine is about as toxic as cyanide.

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The one area where smokers have caused and will continue to cause problems, relates to accidental fires. From the single family home, to the apartments/hotel/motels, to the forest fires and all the the events I am sure fall under their responsibility.

 

Where its true lung cancer/consumption was not a major problem, I would say in the 19th Century, neither were a host of other problems. In most places you died, cause of death and recording that cause were rarely filed and you got buried. However the connection between the 50 year life expectancy then and the rise of the tobacco industry, the point of my argument. I can't find a source, but my guess would be no less than 50% of adults from WWI on to about 1970, was steady. Of course the numbers increased as the population and life expectancies increased. The actual fact that tobacco problems did not slow down the rise in this increase and that the social engineering that came to be did slow it. The current 75 year figure has been constant since about 1990, while the decline in smokers declined to about 20-25%.

 

As previously argued, we were ALL exposed to smokers, prior to 1990. Either in the home or workplace or the host of place we entertained. That is nobody should be exempt from smoke related if you use the modern day theory. Women smoked holding for delivery and work places and bars had the same atmosphere. When ever you can, look at a group of people, from the 30's to the 70's and you will see a healthy looking group. Then check out todays average sight. You will see a vastly over weight society.

 

I suppose my problem with social attitude ends up being what government does in response. Here, higher and higher taxes and mandates related to every issue involving that 1 in four smoker. Whether gambling, drinking or anything figured moral there is a trend in society to make anything entertaining to all subject to some narrow view of what should be.

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The only figure I have is called the 60:60 rule. It applies to long term medium smokers (2 packs per day).

 

The rule says 60% will die before age 60.

 

Since I am now 58 I am glad I never smoked!

 

Obviously, individual susceptibility varies enormously, and a few smokers live long lives. A lot more die young. I believe the main cause of death under the 60:60 rule is heart disease.

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there is no threshold of expectations. Death as caused by smoking I can't in honesty buy, or any particular health problem and there are some positive reactions the body could achieve. put another way, people die and no one ever picked up a pipe, cigar or cigarette, smoked it and rolled over dead. the odds are you will die from any number of other probabilities long before smoking could, if indeed it can effect a person.

 

my comments are going to attract some astonishing statistics which when given I will counter.

 

how about this:

 

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=15213107

 

Results The excess mortality associated with smoking chiefly involved vascular, neoplastic, and respiratory diseases that can be caused by smoking. Men born in 1900-1930 who smoked only cigarettes and continued smoking died on average about 10 years younger than lifelong non-smokers. Cessation at age 60, 50, 40, or 30 years gained, respectively, about 3, 6, 9, or 10 years of life expectancy. The excess mortality associated with cigarette smoking was less for men born in the 19th century and was greatest for men born in the 1920s. The cigarette smoker versus non-smoker probabilities of dying in middle age (35-69) were 42% ν 24% (a twofold death rate ratio) for those born in 1900-1909, but were 43% ν 15% (a threefold death rate ratio) for those born in the 1920s. At older ages, the cigarette smoker versus non-smoker probabilities of surviving from age 70 to 90 were 10% ν 12% at the death rates of the 1950s (that is, among men born around the 1870s) but were 7% ν 33% (again a threefold death rate ratio) at the death rates of the 1990s (that is, among men born around the 1910s).

 

seems a quite strong observed correlation between smoking and early death amongst doctors.

 

not to mention that several mechanisms (most notably lung cancer) are understood to be causeable by cigarette smoke.

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however at that time the average smoker could smoke several packs per day, today I'd imagine that number is significantly lower

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Dak; I am a little uncomfortable, arguing against the idea's you feel are justified. However there can be an argument made on many issues which have evolved over the past 200 years of history, other than smoking. The average truck exhaust systems of say the 50's, would kill outright many forms of life on contact and its really not much better today, but there is no said link to truck driving having an identical life span, say to doctors. Accepting this as said, then its also said TD, smoke at near a 50% rate. This tells me in reading between the lines, something does not add up.

 

Food preservatives are no less important in the discussion as they to are or could cause problems in some people. The practice also directly related to the advancements of smoking.

 

Skeptic; Can you imagine, all the other possibilities that smoker's involved themselves with that could cause the end results. Life styles of smokers do vary some from non smokers. Back when pipes where the choice of tobacco users, say the first ten US presidents, all pipe smokers (I think) lived to an average age of 73, when the public was lucky to average 50, or so its said. In those days it was the prestigious thing to do, where the commoner, could not afford the practice.

 

Luke; Be careful in assuming your desire to smoke and to some limit, as it will change with time. The average smoker, in the past and the current are about 10 packs per week, or that carton.

 

The International life expectancy is 65 years, with many Countries (primarily in Africa and the Mis-East) are as low as 40-45, where they also have the highest level of adult smokers. Then you have some Countries high up on the percentage of adult smokers, which life span is in the 70's. This tells me there are other reason, even obvious where other matter are the problems given to what is still perceived a legal product, cause for death...

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There is a simple experiment that you can do that shows something of the toxic potency of tobacco smoke. If you suck the smoke from a burning cigarette through water in a flask using a vacuum pump, you will see how quickly that water goes brown. If by comparison, you inhale the smoke first, then blow it out through the flask of water, you will see it goes brown at a very substantially slower rate. The reason is that human lungs make an excellent filtering mechanism, and remove the toxic brown tars most efficiently. The tar remains in the lungs, as dissection of dead smokers has shown very clearly.

 

This concentration of toxic material into the lungs of smokers compares with, for example, the amount of toxin entering the lungs of a person driving a diesel truck. While the diesel exhaust is not nice stuff, and is harmful to health, even carcinogenic, it is small potatoes compared to tobacco smoke directly inhaled, in terms of total mass of toxin remaining in the lungs.

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And alcohol destroys brain cells. There are very little human activities that in some manner CAN harm the person. Getting into an automobile, being the worst killing or injuring millions each month around the world. Drinking water maybe next...

 

Again, my problem lies in the histories of such hysteria driven and over blown would be/could be problems which many people find enjoyable, or some business activity is opposed.

 

Lets try one of the first. Lead based paints, which in there day said killed million of kids, never mind that the parents of those kids survived childhood and that same lead based paint. Then lets move to Asbestos, which claimed was the cause for ALL respiratory problems for years, never mind most of the world today, still disagrees or that otherwise strong viable companies with thousand of workers were destroyed by the hysteria. Solving problems, via government/groups extremest has never worked or will it ever.

 

The original Anti/Smoking groups, openly stated that they only wanted private places in some places to eat. Governments mandated this in some places around the US, which shortly lead to the smokers being classified some kind of pervert wanting to kill every one else with their second had smoke.

 

People, for some reason seem to have a need to try and influence society to what they believe are the correct ways to live. I call this the *Little Old Lady* syndrome, which live in every neighborhood. The ones that call the cops for every little thing, the ones that tell their neighbors how to raise kids or the social workers just looking for means to give their jobs purpose. In all honesty, there is no limits to where this will lead. Even in todays news, some are wanting Home Depot, to house and care for ILLEGAL immigrants looking for work on or near their property.

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"Then lets move to Asbestos, which claimed was the cause for ALL respiratory problems for years"

Who made any such claim?

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Mesothelioma Cancer (Lung-Chest)....

 

Google *attorney's for* and claim you worked abound asbestos and they will find a way to take your occasional cough in to pending Meshothelioma, even today and claiming you deserve millions. My point was the setting up of society to conform to the general trend of victim hood.

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To Jackson.

 

I have no problem with people engaging in activities that they find enjoyable, even at the cost of a degree of good health. I am known to imbibe substantial amounts of good red wine myself, and no doubt, kill off lots of brain and liver cells.

 

However, of all such habits, inhaling tobacco smoke stands out as being by far the most damaging.

 

I would also question the recreational value of this habit. It has been well established by lots of scientific research just how this thing works metabolically. Nicotine inhibits neurotransmitters. That depresses the nervous system, giving a feeling of relaxation. The problem comes because the nervous system adapts, and makes more neurotransmitters to restore function in spite of the presense of nicotine. This adaptation is the source of addiction. Then the smoker has to inhale more smoke to get the same feeling of relaxation, and the nervous system steps up its neurotransmitter production even more. That is why addicts keep smoking more and more cigarettes to try to regain the relaxed state they first knew. The addiction gets worse.

 

When the smoker eases off the amount of smoke inhaled, the higher level of neurotransmitters causes excitation of the nervous system - the agitation, nervousness etc of the smoker in withdrawal. The smoker then regains the same base level of relaxation that non smokers enjoy all the time, by smoking. He or she then mistakes the restoration of normality as pleasure, which it is not.

 

If a smoker can kick the habit, then after all the suffering is over, and the addiction is gone, that ex-smoker will enjoy the normal human state (not relaxed, but not excited) without the action of nicotine.

 

I prefer my bad habit of drinking red wine. At least the body does not adapt in the same drastic manner, and a couple of glasses of wine will always give me a nice relaxed feel.

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Of all the legal products which give mankind the most grief, it must be alcohol.

Certainly I am not talking about your Red Wine, or my beer pleasures but the great numbers of people, who are simply are going to become addicted. These folks, will have kids, husband and families which will be have their lives torn apart, all premature to what should be. All the things giving smokers that social standing are ten fold in the drunk, only comparable to the drug addicts which claim more lives, property and personal grief than any habit.

 

I can't argue the progressive nature of *nicotine addiction* or what it does or does not do for any particular group. IMO, it has more to do with doing something, than any real relaxation. Myself, I have only smoked 60 years, never really much more or less then than now and in doing some jobs, would find myself going days w/o smoking or even the realization I had not. The withdrawal idea, what you see in drugs is not what people go through, that I have known, read about or would expect if I decided to just quit and must be individual. Most smokers that I have talked to, on this subject, don't ever wake up to smoke or if woke for other reason, then light up.

 

Once again, I find myself apologizing for arguing something which I would discourage for every one who would listen. The points of any of my post on the subject is how little things become such great big problems. World wide about 1 in 4 adults smoke and 3 in 5 are overweight. A product that cost 25 cents to produce/merchandise/retail (one pack) cost the consumer 2.00 to 8-9.00 to purchase. Social structuring is continuing and soon we will wonder where the simplest of pleasures have gone.

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To Jackson.

 

You are correct about the damage to society caused by alcohol.

 

Let me refine my definition a little. When I said inhaling tobacco smoke was the most damaging vice, I was thinking in terms of deaths.

 

World-wide, there are at least 2 million deaths per year, caused by inhaling tobacco smoke. WHO suspects that the true number is much higher, but it is difficult to get statistics from many third world countries.

 

Here in little old New Zealand, we have 400 deaths per year in car accidents, and 15,000 due to inhaling tobacco smoke. Puts it into perspective!

 

If the percentage of the population killed that way in NZ was true for the rest of the world, that would mean more than 20 million deaths per year. That would make tobacco smoke by far the biggest killer of humans on this planet. I have no way of knowing if that is anywhere near true, but it may help to illustrate how terrible the problem is.

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It has been well established by lots of scientific research just how this thing works metabolically. Nicotine inhibits neurotransmitters. That depresses the nervous system, giving a feeling of relaxation. The problem comes because the nervous system adapts, and makes more neurotransmitters to restore function in spite of the presense of nicotine. This adaptation is the source of addiction. Then the smoker has to inhale more smoke to get the same feeling of relaxation, and the nervous system steps up its neurotransmitter production even more. That is why addicts keep smoking more and more cigarettes to try to regain the relaxed state they first knew. The addiction gets worse.

 

you've got it the wrong way around... nicotine is a stimulant - the sort of addiction you are talking about you get with central nervous system depressants such as alcohol and heroin...

 

when people smoke nicotine, it causes release of neurotransmitters and of adrenaline... this is why people like smoking... if you smoke over a long period of time then your body will counteract the artificial neurotransmitter release... it does this with nicotine by decreasing the neurotransmitter release and by causing the receptors to become desensitised to their neurotransmitters... for example, high levels of nicotine will cause nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to become less easily stimulated... the effect of this would mean that more nicotine would need to be taken in order to get the same effect - this is why you develop tolerance to the drug...

 

the withdrawal symptoms in smokers because the body has become adapted to having regular nicotine intake... you get cravings when your body has no nicotine as you have decreased neurotransmitter and decreased adrenaline release... over time physiological dependence becomes addiction (psychological dependence)...

 

 

one thing that I am a bit confused about is why nicotine causes increased nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system... i'm genuinely unsure why it happens... what i've got off this off wikipaedia is the following (and it's confusing)...

 

"Like other physically addictive drugs, nicotine causes down-regulation of the production of dopamine and other stimulatory neurotransmitters as the brain attempts to compensate for artificial stimulation. In addition, the sensitivity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors decreases. To compensate for this compensatory mechanism, the brain in turn upregulates the number of receptors, convoluting its regulatory effects with compensatory mechanisms meant to counteract other compensatory mechanisms."

 

so let me get this right... the body counteracts it's compensatory mechanism to high nicotine intake (which is the desensitisation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) by increasing nicotinic receptors?... but why does this happen... what is the point in having a compensatory mechanism if you are going to try to counteract it... :confused:

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