Life as a grim marathon in which endurance outweighs joy is the prescribed path according to the "health" ethos rampant in the industrial world.
Although the upper range of human longevity hasn’t increased since history began being written the white-coat Fascisti that is public health is selling the notion of longer life, if not quite immortality, for the obedient. From the undepletable vessel of junk studies now comes a chipper message that reaching the century mark is easier than you think. Even age-related ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease shouldn’t, with proper medical care, derail the goal of hanging on to life until after the 100 candles have been extinguished.
Essentially this news report offers nothing new. Some people live longer than most people. Documents from the Roman Empire include letters and reports about people who are doing great after reaching extreme old age, including many who surpassed 100 years of age. What’s new is the relentless propaganda threading through this news report about the study.
One old woman of 104 remarks that she doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink. Many a man or woman could say the same thing except they dropped dead before reaching 50. Elsewhere in the story smoking is again highlighted as an activity that precludes old age. Oddest of all, the researchers, while scrupulously listing many centenarians, manage to omit the all-time record holder of human longevity.
Jeanne Calment is the only person who undoubtedly ever lived past 120 years. She died, in fact, at 122 years of age. Madame Calment, unlike the youngster of 104, did drink regularly, and she also smoked cigarettes regularly for over a century. This acquaintance of Vincent van Gogh told her fulminating doctors in the 1990s: "Once you’ve lived as long as me, only then can you tell me not to smoke."
The Wikipedia entry to which we link here typically glosses over her love of tobacco and erroneously reports that she quit smoking at 117. While she did stop for a year, because failing eyesight made her impose on others to light her cigarettes, she said that missing tobacco made her sad, so she resumed fumbling or begging for lights at 118 and thus enjoyed smoking to the all-time record-breaking end.
Madame Calment is not alone as a very, very old person who enjoyed many, many years of smoking. If tobacco is so awful and if what the anti-smoking racketeers say is true no smoker should ever be the oldest person in the world.
Life and death are determined by factors that number incalculably. If smoking habitually may be one of these factors it certainly is not remotely the sort of influence bug-eyed antitobacco fanatics proselytize.
The anti-smoking hucksters are deliberately lying when they say that old age cannot be reached unless smoking is eliminated. The proof is Jeanne Calment and the innumerable other centenarians who ignore the health charlatans and live life on their own terms.