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Thread: The Many Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

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    The Many Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

    We are often told today, by the mass media, the press, people on the internet and even the people putting anti-smoking labels on cigarette packets, that smoking is objectively bad for your health. Even I myself have been turned off by smoking until recently, so hear me out as I provide...

    An alternative perspective

    So let's start by asking: does tobacco really cause cancer, or is it simply associated with it? Anti-smoking campaigners would have you believe that smoking causes cancer, and that this belief is universally accepted among all scientific disciplines. Interestingly enough, it's not. There have actually been several prominent figures in science who have openly condemned, questioned, and opposed this theory.

    Here are a couple of quotes from Whitby's The Smoking Scare Debunked:
    "No ingredient of cigarette smoke has been shown to cause human lung cancer. No-one has been able to produce lung cancer in laboratory animals from smoking." - Professor Schrauzer, President of the International Bio-inorganic Chemists

    "It is fanciful extrapolation - not factual data. The unscientific way in which the study was made bothers us most. The committee agreed first that smoking causes lung cancer and then they set out to prove it statistically." (U.S. Congressional Record.) - Professor M.B. Rosenblatt, New York Medical College

    "The belief that smoking is the cause of lung cancer is no longer widely held by scientists. Smoking is no longer seen as a cause of heart disease, except by a few zealots." - Professor Sheldon Sommers, New York Academy of Medicine and Science

    "The natural experiment (referring to a rise in lung cancer when people were unable to smoke) shows conclusively that the hypothesis must be abandoned."- Dr. B. Dijkstra, University of Pretoria

    "As a scientist I find no persuasive evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer." - Dr. Ronald Okun, director of Clinical Pathology, LA

    "After years of intensive research, no compound in cigarette smoking has been established as a health hazard." - Professor Charles H. Hine, University of CaliforniaThe two main studies at the foundation of the smoking-cancer myth are the 'Doll and Hill' study (1956, also called the British Doctors' Study) and the 'Whitehall' study (1967, a study of mortality rates among male British civil servants). To briefly summarize their findings: Doll and Hill found a slightly increased risk of lung cancer in smokers when compared to non-smokers. The results of this particular study were widely publicized and were one of the main drivers behind the whole 'anti-smoking' campaign that followed shortly afterward. However, what Doll and Hill failed to publicly mention was that their results actually showed that smokers who inhaled the smoke were at a significantly decreased risk compared to smokers who didn't inhale. Presumably, this detail was left out because it didn't support the theory that they were trying to prove. Next up, the results of the Whitehall study went like this: people who gave up smoking showed no improvement in life expectancy; there were also no changes in deaths caused by heart disease, lung cancer, or other causes. The only exception was that certain types of cancer were more than twice as common in people who gave up smoking. Nevertheless, these inconvenient facts were hidden beneath a load of technical jargon which makes the report difficult to read. It seems that, even back then, there was an agenda to demonize smoking so the interpretation of the data was twisted in such a way that smoking tobacco would take the blame.Much other research has identified correlations between smoking and lung cancer. The problem is, researcher bias often comes into play. Basically, researchers who are aiming to confirm an original hypothesis are more likely to unconsciously misinterpret the data. Since funding is involved in research, there may also be pressure 'from above' to present a specific conclusion to the public, even though the results proved to be different. With tobacco research, this is usually the case, it seems. The author's conclusion of the study often bears little or no resemblance to the actual findings.Instead of data being reported back to the public in its raw form, reports can be skewed and manipulated beforehand to imply causation. It must be understood that there is a stark difference between (1) identifying a correlation between two factors, and (2) identifying the cause of a thing. It's quite simple to identify correlations and associations. For example, there is a significant correlation between basketball players and being tall. Does this mean that playing basketball causes people to grow taller? Clearly not. Mexican lemon imports are also inversely correlated with highway deaths in the US. Does this mean that importing lemons prevents deaths on the highway? No, of course it doesn't. It would be ludicrous to suggest otherwise. This is why correlation can never imply causation. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to tobacco, this rule apparently does not apply. The truth is that no study has ever managed to conclusively prove that smoking is the direct cause of lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, nor any other disease it has been routinely associated with.

    For several years now, biased scientists with personal agendas have approached this subject with vested interests in certain outcomes, namely that smoking causes cancer and other chronic diseases. There is also an abundance of evidence suggesting that these same individuals have intentionally misinterpreted data in order to further their own personal goals and aspirations. These twisted interpretations of data have been publicized en masse by media and public health giants ever since. So despite the increasing number of studies suggesting otherwise, the common belief that smoking causes cancer has become thoroughly ingrained in almost everyone's mind. It is therefore likely that the majority of the scientific community also operates under this faulty assumption, and so the implications are that the quality of scientific research into this area has been, and will be, undoubtedly skewed.

    First of all, one recent study showed that people with a diet high in GI (glycemic index) foods (such as breads, pastas and rice) were almost 50% more likely to develop lung cancer. Within these results, non-smokers were found to be twice as likely to develop the cancer when compared with smokers. Alone, this finding could be explained away as anomalous, but as we move through the evidence you may begin to see how it fits into the bigger picture. It appears, from the research, that smoking tobacco may actually act as a protective measure against external disease-causing agents.

    There was another studythat measured the carcinogenic effects of radon after radioactive uranium ore dust was inhaled by dogs. Paradoxically, unlike the usual fatalities witnessed in other dogs during similar experiments, none of the dogs exposed to tobacco contracted cancer. The author stated that "exposure to cigarette smoke was found to have a mitigating effect on radon daughter-induced tumors". Similarly an experiment on irradiated rats showed that those who smoked and were irradiated showed significantly less inflammation in the lungs than those who did not smoke. In many ways, the smoking group resembled the non-irradiated controls. According to the author "this experimental study further supported the suppressive effect of smoking on radiation-induced pneumo-nitis."

    In human research, one analysis showed that the risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure was "significantly increased in non-smokers in six of the studies [reviewed]". Another study suggested that the risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure is approximately three times higher in non-smokers than it is in smokers. After breast cancer radiotherapy treatment, smokers have also been observed to display a "significantly decreased inflammatory reaction i.e., reduced levels of mast cells and lymphocytes, compared to both non-smoking controls and patients". Are these results simply coincidental, or did smoking erect a protective barrier against radiation damage and asbestos?

    Research suggests that smoking may also protect against other kinds of environmental pollution, such as exhaust fumes. A recent study on miners showed a strong link between diesel engine exhaust fume exposure and lung cancer. The results demonstrated that miners who were heavily exposed have a three times higher risk of dying from lung cancer compared with miners with low exposure. Whereas for non-smokers, the risk was seven times higher.

    The Health benefits of Tobacco

    Nicotine is one of the main components of tobacco and displays a wide variety of healing properties, which is why it is currently the subject of some fascinating new scientific research. To truly appreciate the benefits of nicotine, however, we must first examine its primary mechanisms of action.

    Nicotine is the protoypic agonist of the nicotinic subtype of acetylcholine receptors. What this basically means is that nicotine is compatible with acetylcholine receptors in the body and has the ability to bind to them. This action is responsible for triggering a cascade of chemical reactions, although its main effect is to stimulate the release of a wide variety of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline and, primarily, acetylcholine. According to Dr Gabriela Segura, "Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. It is also calming, relaxing and is also a major factor regulating the immune system. Acetylcholine also acts as a major brake on inflammation in the body and inflammation is linked to every known disease." When nicotine binds to α7 nAChR (acetylcholine receptors tied to immunity), it activates a system known as the 'cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway', which is responsible for decreasing inflammation in the body. Therefore, nicotine is actually an anti-inflammatory molecule.

    The paper 'Nicotine, an anti-inflammation molecule' deals with this topic extensively, explaining that "nicotine stimulation plays a key role in suppressing inflammatory cytokine production, can significantly down-regulate and delay inflammatory and autoimmune responses in the central nervous system, and could further attenuate neuro-inflammation. Nicotine-treated mice injected with lethal doses of influenza A virus infection also displayed longer survival rates when compared to control groups." The author finally states:
    "These in vitro and in vivo results further confirmed the anti-inflammatory effect of nicotine. Our study offered the first evidence that the anti-inflammatory effect of nicotine in cigarette smoke might be the key contributor for the alleviation of the disease severity of both pdmH1N1 and H9N2 influenza A virus infection, and such anti-inflammatory effect was through the α7 nAChR signaling pathway."
    Considering the beneficial effects of acetylcholine on the brain and nervous system, let's take a look at how smoking affects brain function.

    A commonly known fact among cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists is that nicotine significantly increases cognitive functioning. The US government published a meta-analysis study in 2010 (conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) which reviewed all of the literature on nicotine's effect on the brain. Out of a total of 256, 48 of the highest quality standardized computer test studies were chosen for review. On these tests, half of the participants received nicotine and the other half were given a placebo. The results showed that people who received nicotine performed better on almost every test, whether they were smokers or not, and especially in areas of memory, speed, precision, focus and attention. The study also showed that nicotine users performed significantly better in other areas such as long-term memory, semantic memory, arithmetic & complex calculations, and gross motor skills.

    Nicotine is clearly very beneficial for cognitive function, but when compared to actually smoking tobacco, we can see that isolated nicotine simply isn't as effective. A study conducted by Warburton et al found:
    "[Smoke-free] nicotine produces improvements in mental efficiency, which are qualitatively similar to the improvements produced by smoking, although our findings on vigilance and rapid information processing indicate that the improvements are quantitatively smaller than those produced by smoking."
    Another study published in 2014 showed that an increase in nicotine receptors (induced by smoking) was associated with lower levels of social withdrawal and better cognitive function. There is actually a wealth of information on nicotine's favourable physiological effects which can be retrieved from scientific data alone, yet none of this information manages to filter through to the public eye. However, this should not be surprising for those who understand how often mainstream media and Big Pharma effectively distort or suppress information which is not conducive to the official narrative they are attempting to convey.

    Finally, researcher David. M. Warburton from the Department of Psychology at the University of Reading, concluded that:
    1. Nicotine improves attention in a wide variety of tasks in healthy volunteers.

    2. Nicotine improves immediate and longer term memory in healthy volunteers.

    3. Nicotine improves attention in patients with probable Alzheimer's Disease.

    4. While some of the memory effects of nicotine may be due to enhanced attention, others seem to be the result of improved consolidation as shown by post-trial dosing.
    Read the whole article here

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