The author of this piece is a health addict. He reveals his ideology clearly in his letter to the Medical Hypotheses journal. His devotion to the healthist ideology is made patent by his abuse of the word “addict” and “addiction” regarding smoking, as well as in his description of appreciation of tobacco as a “disease,” quitting which starts a “bodily healing and repair mechanisms of chronic smoke-damaged respiratory epithelia." Nevertheless some of the observations reported here are extremely interesting.
It should be noted that respiratory epithelia has been developed by natural selection to perform exactly the function that it is performing, namely, to filter impurities. It may be safe to speculate that such function has been developed mainly as a filter for smoke in the first place, as human beings are the only animals who socially gathered in caves and burned wood and animal fats to stay warm. Those who were unfit to withstand smoke were eliminated, thus being unable to reproduce copies of themselves. Those who were able to withstand heavy smoke survived.
That explains why Man can find smoking pleasurable.
Like all mechanisms, respiratory epithelia wears out and gets damaged with use. Although the first linear conclusion might be that “if you don’t use it, you keep it,” reality is far more complex than that. We do not presume to explore this comprehensively in these brief notes. The obvious point, however, can be made simply.
Firstly, respiratory epithelia filter ubiquitous smoke and a lot of smoking-unrelated materials in the air, for everyone, and gradually deteriorate for everyone. Second, it is empirically clear that the work imposed on epithelia by smoking does not exceed the epithelia’s capability to perform its natural job, as the great majority of smokers gets to old age without respiratory difficulties in spite of what the healthist ideology claims. Third, the deranged principle of the health addicts is what we can call the “glass bell preservation”: a body protected from everything will last longer, and exposure equals danger.
That belief is by no means scientifically demonstrated. Indeed it makes no sense. In practical terms it is a laughable concept. It's tantamount to saying that a car (and the air filter in it) will last longer if you go nowhere with it, and that its air filter will last forever if it only filters pure air! Even if that were so, what is the use of the car (and its air filter) in the first place? As a matter of fact, cars kept in museums (or seldom used) are known to become totally non-functional. Dust collects. Fluids congeal. An idle battery dwindles quickly. Cars should be driven and the living should live.
Healthist ideology’s inevitable final goal is to “preserve” the body by denying exposure to basically everything that the body is designed to handle, thus not only turning life into mere existence, but making the body useless and most likely weaker in the long run. The explosion of respiratory disease since the number of smokers was cut in half, exposure to passive smoking was drastically limited, and air pollution in general was dramatically reduced, demonstrates unquestionably that the “glass bell” postulation is an ideological idiocy. The reality is not “if you don’t use it, you keep it”, but rather “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
Be that as it may, an interesting and measurable phenomenon that reinforces our position — and furthermore suggests potential hazard from smoking cessation — is highlighted by this letter (emphasis added).
In an overview of personal history in a number of lung cancer patients locally, we are struck by the more than casual relationship between the appearance of lung cancer and an abrupt and recent cessation of the smoking habit in many, if not most cases.
Over a period of 4 years, a total of 312 cases were treated for carcinoma of pulmonary origin: of this number,
182 patients had quit smoking within 5-15 months prior to their being diagnosed with lung cancer.
The striking direct statistical correlation between cessation of smoking to the development of lung malignancies,
more than 60% plus, is too glaring to be dismissed as coincidental.
Those are points worth considering before undertaking a choice to quit smoking. Prohibitionist crusaders always leave unfortunate consequences and ironies in their wake. Always allow your own good judgement to be your guide. The Pied Piper call of "public health's" quit-quit-quit propaganda could give you lung cancer and then ... "attribute it" to smoking!
The closing swipe of this health-addicted ideologue is also food for thought:
Should chronic addicts be weaned or tapered off tobacco instead of being advised to giving up smoking overnight? Should the immune and revitalizing mechanisms be given time lapse to adjust to the withdrawal? Larger studies and mass reviews of case histories in lung cancer patients could throw more light on this, rather unusual clinical observation. No doubt, tobacco kills too many. Or does it?
No doubt, tobacco “kills” so “many” that
not even one death in the world can be scientifically demonstrated to be caused by it. The writer's "Or does it?" frankly surprises. Is the health addict learning? We can't believe that. When he awoke the morning after writing this he almost assuredly began chanting the mantras again. They never learn. They always revert allegiantly and totally.
Health addicts do not believe that everyone dies. Everyone does though. Again, please, make your own decisions, remembering that moderation is wise, and fanatics are crazy. You may not wish to quit one of the simplest and most rewarding small pleasures of life. If you do quit you may hazard more than the loss of that pleasure. As individuals, and as societies, we endanger all that is worth having in life when we give credence to fanatics. That we have got to quit.