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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjlr View Post
    But, that does raise the question - at what point does the addition (from smoking) become statistically significant? I have literally no idea, having never studied anything related to the matter, but if we assume some 'background' level of the adverse compounds is present in urban air... Is it one cigarette per day? week? month? year?
    I don't know what it "equals" in terms of cigarettes but the ambient pollution is a lot less than deliberate inhalation of cigarette smoke. Smoking a cigarette is designed to introduce the chemicals directly into the airways.

    You can see that over time people who live in built-up urban environments (particularly those with heavy dirty industry development) suffer from some lung damage over a long-enough period compared to someone who lives in the wilderness or something, but those who are regular smokers are much worse.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't know what it "equals" in terms of cigarettes but the ambient pollution is a lot less than deliberate inhalation of cigarette smoke. Smoking a cigarette is designed to introduce the chemicals directly into the airways.

    You can see that over time people who live in built-up urban environments (particularly those with heavy dirty industry development) suffer from some lung damage over a long-enough period compared to someone who lives in the wilderness or something, but those who are regular smokers are much worse.
    Okay, so obviously there's no direct comparison, but I was wondering if you had any rough idea, or where I could maybe find the data.

    My somewhat fatalist logic is that, taking into account (my rather crude knowledge of) all the other stuff the modern developed world city dweller is exposed to (environmentally and through our food), and our other habits - drinking, (lack of) exercise - I'm not statistically affecting my own actuarials with a cigarette or two every few weeks.

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    I think that convincing yourself that cigarettes are a healthy - or at least not unhealthy - habit is a good way to develop long-term health problems.
    Last edited by sabrage; 07-12-2011 at 10:47 PM.

  4. #24
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    I smoked in my teens and early 20's, cigarettes daily and pot about twice a month. I honestly feel it was never slowing me down, till I had a respiratory attack while horsing around in a pool and nearly drowned. I'd never had asthma before, but then I did suddenly. They call it adult onset asthma which is medical sciences way of saying "we have no clue why you get it as an adult instead of as a kid." So I quit cold turkey. It was mostly just a matter of changing habits, like fixing some tea/coffee after eating to keep my hands busy, or getting a slinky and other toys to play with while at the PC during idle moments. The hardest part, plaguing me still to this day even almost 20 years later is being with other smokers. I don't mind second hand smoke or if someone smokes in my car. It doesn't cause euphoria like some say they get after quitting, it's just comfortable. But it does cause a noticeable wheeze after a while, which I carry an inhaler to combat. Epic cliche, computer nerd with inhaler, but I blame smoking for it.
    All times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjlr View Post
    Okay, so obviously there's no direct comparison, but I was wondering if you had any rough idea, or where I could maybe find the data.

    My somewhat fatalist logic is that, taking into account (my rather crude knowledge of) all the other stuff the modern developed world city dweller is exposed to (environmentally and through our food), and our other habits - drinking, (lack of) exercise - I'm not statistically affecting my own actuarials with a cigarette or two every few weeks.
    Um... I'm not aware of any journal articles or studies that specifically equate it. I don't know how it'd stand up as a valid piece of research. I suppose I can take a look though.

    As far as I know, studies for occasional smoking suggests that occasional smokers increase their risk of related lung cancers (and similar cancers associated with smoking, like pancreatic or oral etc), but not to the same extent as someone who smokes regularly. Smoking one or two every few weeks isn't as bad as smoking one a day or something similar, but the introduction of smoke to the airways still causes damage and exposes you to the carcinogens present in tobacco cigarettes. So if you can quit, it's still best to do so. If you're overweight or a heavy abuser of alcohol (and clinically the definition of "heavy use" is usually far below what most alcohol abusers expect) with the pattern of smoking that you describe, then they're more likely to have an impact on overall health than smoking.

    Not that it's a free pass to start smoking occasionally! Quitting is the best option all around, just like losing weight. :P

  6. #26
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    Hey, guys, no need to worry about my health here! I'm pretty fit and I don't drink that much, either. I've well aware that every single cigarette is bad for you in the way every single drink definitely isn't - but what I meant was that as far as I know, my one pack a year (if it's even that much) is not a statistically significant factor in my overall health. If you can't indulge a little even when you're twenty, when can you? If I'm wrong about that, to hell with the smokes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    I think that convincing yourself that cigarettes are a healthy - or at least not unhealthy - habit is a good way to develop long-term health problems.
    That's only true so long as you shortsightedly keep thinking in terms of one more than your current habit; if one is negligible, then an increment of one is negligible, but the jump from none to some is only similarly negligible if the some value is only one anyway...

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Yeah I know that my post sounds crazy, not only that it is not in our common knowledge, but most importantly it directly contradictes your common knowledge. Yet this is very essential health issue I feel obligied to tell you this.

    Since we are talking about quiting smoking, of course I am referring to those who are already addicted to tobacco (and those who consider starting to smoke, evaluate the health risk first) for the issue. As you mates pointed out, the critical term is "abrupt". I am saying that if you are already addicted to tobacco, and you quit this addiction all of a sudden, say, a month ago you were smoking two packs a day (most tobacco addictives I know smoke at this rate), and you cut it day by day, one month later, i.e. today you quit completely, this I am also referring to as quitting abruptly. If one is found to have cancer later on (not only lung cancer, not even that lung is necessarily the first organ to fail), one may blame himself for quiting too late. But here is my point. One does not get cancer at that critical moment just because of the smoking habit, but becauase he quits his long term smoking habit too abruptly.

    You dont have to trust me. Trust your doctor, a licensed medical doctor, as for what rate you should be quiting smoking if you are used to smoking. If the MD suggests some assistance by medinice, study the side-effects of those drugs, and why would you need those. Of course, I am not suggesting you to consult a MD as radical as Dr. House. My doctor told me that this very piece of knowledge is simply shared by EVERY licensed MD practicing western medinice. Of course, if one suggests that you can quit abruptly, then you can quit abruptly.

    As for the issue of "optimal rate of smoking". I have to clarify that I am not suggesting that smoking one to two cigarretes carries no or neligible health risk. Tobacco carries toxic substance, and I am NOT arguing against this fact. My point being, that I actually pointed out two scenarios: one lives under huge living pressure (like me, and most smokers. I believe that relaxation is the first reason one gets into smoking), and one enjoys worryless life. In each scenario you have two choice, to smoke or not to smoke. If you are having no living pressure and yet you still pursuits the "coolness" of smoking, you are at your own risk to do so. Most commoners, I believe, are the "one lives under huge living pressure". Then you have to weigh, which choice brings you the most health risk? In case you haven't noitice, constantly negative emotion is one of the major cause so many health problems, including cancer. Unfortunately, the constantly negative emotion has become a prevailing social problem, although most governments try to remain silent on it so that they dont have to bear responsibility to solve it. To them, attributing it to personal problems solve their problems. But anyway, my whole point being, that life is imperfect, and you have to weigh the positves and negatives of all choices. And if you have to smoke, keep this habit under control. That's all.

  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjlr View Post
    but what I meant was that as far as I know, my one pack a year (if it's even that much) is not a statistically significant factor in my overall health.
    It will contribute in that it will increase the risk of cancer etc, but not to the same extent as someone who smokes a lot. So yeah, if you're happy with that, then carry on! Nobody has the right to tell you how to handle your health provided you're informed about it. Also: blah blah blah patient advocacy and the other stuff I never paid attention to at uni.

    Now...
    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel
    If one is found to have cancer later on (not only lung cancer, not even that lung is necessarily the first organ to fail), one may blame himself for quiting too late. But here is my point. One does not get cancer at that critical moment just because of the smoking habit, but becauase he quits his long term smoking habit too abruptly.
    I don't know who your doctor is, but this is nonsense. Carcinogenic substances inhaled with tobacco smoking significantly increase the risk of the development of several types of cancer, particularly anything around the airways (including the mouth). To simplify cancer: a tumour essentially develops when a genetic problem causes a cell to effectively become "immortal", ignoring its "programmed" cell death and dividing like crazy. It becomes malignant (which is what we call "cancer") when it starts to ignore its defined borders and infiltrate other tissues and start "taking over", like an aggressive parasite.

    Suddenly stopping smoking just stops you getting the nicotine hit (causing the cravings) and stops you from inhaling the carcinogens. If you find out the day after that you've got cancer, then it started developing prior to quitting. It's ridiculous to suggest that suddenly ceasing exposure to a hazard results in the negative effect of exposure. If you stop smoking, some recovery is possible (cancer notwithstanding, which requires different treatment) depending on how early you quit and the extent of damage. A "step down" approach where you reduce cigarette intake just prolongs exposure to the carcinogenic substances and makes things worse. I'm guessing your doctor was trying to tell you something else (I have no idea what, maybe it was about nicotine replacement therapy and a titration of dose to reduce dependence) and you've misunderstood. But it is not best practice (or even good practice!) to suggest that people slowly reduce their cigarette intake, and no credible evidence that suggests ceasing smoking immediately causes cancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel
    In case you haven't noitice, constantly negative emotion is one of the major cause so many health problems, including cancer
    I have seen no credible study to suggest that "negative emotion" is a cause of cancer, major or otherwise. Cancer is a physiological problem, not a mental health condition. Negative emotion affects the patient's perception of their health status, which may make them appear sick, but doesn't on its own suddenly cause cancer.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    If one is found to have cancer later on (not only lung cancer, not even that lung is necessarily the first organ to fail), one may blame himself for quiting too late. But here is my point. One does not get cancer at that critical moment just because of the smoking habit, but becauase he quits his long term smoking habit too abruptly.
    You've given absolutely no data to support your claims, not even anecdotal evidence. Please find data before repeating such a silly statement. It may be a fine hypothesis, but you can't state it as perceived fat - It's irresponsible.

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Also I think there are better ways to reduce stress then smoking to be honest.

  11. #31
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned smoking is in no way beneficial. The 'benefits' I get from it, namely a catalyst for some socializing and stress relief, are either better served by other means or a product of my dependency. I did some math, and I do spend more than I would like to in a month on smokes, it's actually one of my larger expenses (I live a fairly spartan lifestyle anyway). As a way to encourage me to quit, I've decided that I'm going to put aside half of the money I save on smokes for the RPS Kindness Club, starting once I finish my current supply and ending around Christmas. It'll give me an incentive to stay honest with this.

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    My grandpa did Cold Turkey by going into hospital, because he got cancer from smoking. He spent 4 months in hospital, and now is no longer addicted.

  13. #33
    Obscure Node cardason's Avatar
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    I had been a smoker for years, not heavy but still a smoker (I smoked pouch tobacco around 1 50gram pouch every 2 weeks).

    Then I was diagnosed with a disease called Multiple Sclerosis. If you do not know what that is, it is a degenerative neurological condition in which the bodys immune system attacks the fatty sheathe (myelin) surrouding nerve tissue. This leads to plaques (scars) in your brain and spinal cord. Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and it often progresses to physical and cognitive disability.

    And I found out that smoking speeds up the progression of the disease. I already need a walking frame to walk, and my neurologist says I will most likely end up in a wheelchair sooner or later, and this doesnt mention my other symptoms of which there are many. I prefer later.

    So I went to my GP and asked for advice on quitting. He prescribed me some medication called Champix (Varenicline). It is a 3 month course, and it both reduces cravings for and decreases the pleasurable effects of cigarettes/tobacco. With this medication I was able to quit, though it still took some willpower. However the possibility of ending up in a wheelchair was a good motivator.

  14. #34
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
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    I've quit 2 months ago after 3 years of pack per day smoking. I've quit cold turkey and the 1st two weeks where pretty shitty, intense cravings etc. What I've found helpful is to keep your hands and mouth busy with something, like whenever I wanted a cigarette I'd eat a carrot instead. Totally helped.

    Now I only need to find a way to kick my carrot addiction :P
    steam

    http://dailycelluloid.blogspot.com/- where I write about movies.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by ado View Post
    I've quit 2 months ago after 3 years of pack per day smoking. I've quit cold turkey and the 1st two weeks where pretty shitty, intense cravings etc. What I've found helpful is to keep your hands and mouth busy with something, like whenever I wanted a cigarette I'd eat a carrot instead. Totally helped.

    Now I only need to find a way to kick my carrot addiction :P
    Why, using cigarettes of course!

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