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Eclecticist: Smoking and Smokers

Show Notes & Research

Introduction

Topic Overview

Off Topic

Talking Points

Slang

Wrap Up

From the Show

Broadcast: 23rd May, 2015

Last update: 3rd June, 2015

Introduction

Topic Overview

The deliberate consumption of smoke from burning organic matter pre-dates recorded history and endures as one of the most popular forms of recreational poisoning humans enjoy throughout the world. From analgesic self-medication and spiritualistic ritual to overt displays of status and peer group inculcation, smoking finds friends in those willing to justify the practice despite the increasingly well evidenced detrimental effects on health and wallet. In the West, full prohibitions in public places are becoming commonplace and social tolerance of smokers is diminishing in tandem. Is there value in seeking to preserve the practice or right of smoking? Is it destined to go the way of lead-based makeup and leeches? What accounts for smokers’ cognitive dissonance?

Off Topic

(What we’re not talking about.)

Talking Points

Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg.png

A categorization of hard (red), soft (yellow) and borderline drugs (orange). The

diagram shows a comparison of the perceived harm for various psychoactive

drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment.

The data is based on a paper by David Nutter et al.

Slang

Wrap Up

From the Show

Notes, corrections and further references

Smokefree campaign to remove ‘point of sale’ advertising.

UK government policy on smoking

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): Cigarette Smoking, Nicotine, and Body Weight (June 1st, 2011)

Smoking damages the sense of smell. University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (1990) (Wikipedia)

‘I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment.” - Woody Allen.

The addicting ‘buzz’ enjoyed by smokers could be a genetic predisposition according to Michigan University researchers. Association of a single nucleotide polymorphism in neuronal acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha 5 (CHRNA5) with smoking status and with ‘pleasurable buzz’ during early experimentation with smoking.

Horrific anti-smoking adverts (NSFW!)

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Socioeconomic status and smoking: a review (PDF)