Eclecticist: Smoking and Smokers
Show Notes & Research
From the Show
Broadcast: 23rd May, 2015
Last update: 3rd June, 2015
- Read the feedback, notes from the last show
- Begin recording
- Introduction and description of the podcast, goals, modus operandi.
- What An investigation of everything from a British perspective by two brothers who consider themselves to be relatively normal chaps, one topic at a time.
- Who Benjamin de-Campos (designer, believer), Geoffrey Campos (engineer, devil’s advocate).
- How Choose a topic of interest, spend a little time researching it, have a discussion, publish the notes.
- Why The main benefits are the fostering of a greater understanding of the world before we die and hopefully, to prompt further thought and discussion from our listeners.
- The topic we will be discussing in this show is Smoking and Smokers
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?
(What we’re not talking about.)
- Cigarette brands I don’t think that should be off the table.
- Types of tobacco
- Lithium-Polymer Battery technology
- Pink blu-tack alternatives
- Medical use of smoking ancient Greece (PDF). (Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Vol. 2(2) 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved). ‘psychoactive and analgesic properties‘
- mid-16th century for Europe. Tobacco imported from the Americas.
- ‘Is nicotine addictive?’ - National [USA] Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Yes. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and abuse, even in the face of negative health consequences. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them want to quit each year. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of those who try to quit on their own relapse, most within a week.
- Super Cigarettes
- Academic paper published on Biomedcentral.com ‘The forgotten smoker: a qualitative study of attitudes towards smoking, quitting, and tobacco control policies among continuing smokers’ (uses the PRIME toolset for acertaining human motivation).
- ‘The most common reasons for smoking mentioned were enjoyment of smoking, boredom, force of habit, dependency, stress, seeing others smoke, and association with alcohol. In discussions, smokers were very keen to openly discuss why they liked smoking.’
- ‘Cognitive dissonance, whereby smokers held beliefs about smoking which conflicted with their behavioural actions and led to rationalisation of their behaviour, was apparent in many smokers.’
- Conclusion: ‘This study found that despite some smokers self-classifying as having high motivation to quit, during discussions, they were revealed to have low motivation to quit in the immediate future.’
- Offsetting a greater evil
- Reduces stress which can make you live longer
- They make you look cool. Or do they?
- 15 most common reason people smoke according to evatese.com
- Its an Addiction
- They’re Psychologically Dependent - anxiety, coping mechanism
- Social Integration - bonding activity making it easier to talk with others
- They’re Mirroring Others - As a young adult, it’s natural to look up to others
- Peer Pressure - when a person’s peers smoke cigarettes, he is more likely to begin smoking
- They Enjoy Smoking - They don’t actually enjoy smoking. They simply don’t like how they feel (less alert, more anxious) when they’re not smoking.
- Weight Control - Cigarette reduces appetite, which in turn does not make you much hungry.
- Experimentation /Adventure
- to look and be cool
- To feel relaxed
- Stress Removal
- To think properly
- Relaxing Breath - While smoking, the way you breathe makes you calm and relaxes your mind
- Unemployed: Is there a link between smoking and being a vagrant? Workshy jobless sorts tend to always have a fag in their filthy mouths.
- Why does it seem as though poorer people smoke?
- Coping mechanism
- More advertising in poorer areas - not so much these days owing to blanket bans
- More affluent people are better educated
- Likely to be a crime git: If someone has bugger all respect for their own body, is that likely to have any respect for you? No.
- Are smokers less intelligent? This depends on whether we're talking about starting or the effects of smoking.
- Dr. Mark Weiser from the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel (20,000 soldiers, study in 2010) found a direct correlation between the number of cigarettes a smoker inhales and his IQ. People with lower IQs are the ones who tend to be smokers and the heavier the smoker, the lower the IQ.
- "Scientists cannot yet conclusively explain the link between impaired lung function and cognitive ageing but it has been suggested that smoking could put the brain under oxidative stress, which causes DNA damage."
- Attitudes towards smokers
- Passive smoking (Secondhand smoking)
- Non-tobacco related smoking
- e-cigarette ‘Vaping’. Just as addictive apparently.
- Pubs, restaurants (since 2007 in UK). If you want to legally smoke in a restaurant, smoke in a restaurant, get sent to chokey, smoke in the restaurant - it’s legal there!
- Public outdoor areas
- Smoking in a car where there is a person younger than 18 will be illegal in the UK from October 1st, 2015. ‘Smoking in cars set to become illegal’ UK Government web site.
- Marlborough man was invented by Leo Burnett in the 50’s to turn the brand macho and not girly for using filter cigarettes.
- Banned from F1 in UK, 2002. In EU, 2005.
- Target markets
- House of Lords has approved a bill to standardise cigarette packaging in England from May 2016
- Long Term Effects of Smoking
- Cancers (Smoking related cancers are: lung, mouth, throat, stomach, bladder, cervix and more)
- ‘Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases.’ - Cancer Research UK
- Lung diseases
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Heart stroke
- Circulatory problems
- Premature aging
- Damage to the fetus
- Causing low sperm count and impotence
- Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)
- Decreased lung function
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Quitting and support services
- FOREST - Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco. ‘Key priorities’ from their site:
- counteract the “denormalization” of tobacco
- prevent further restrictions on the purchase and consumption of tobacco
- lobby politicians to amend public smoking bans to accommodate those who choose consumer a legal product
- establish closer links with other tobacco-friendly groups at home and abroad
- build support among consumers of tobacco and other similarly threatened groups
- highlight the increasingly intrusive nature of Big Government in the lives of private individuals
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.
- Cigarette Sticks
- Gob Planks
- Coffin Nails
- Tobacco Tubes
- Details about site, contacts, next show: The British Monarchy
- Outro music choice - something open source so we don’t get sued
- The Grind by Justin Mahar, a jaunty 8+1 bit computer piece reminiscent of the heady optimism that caused our fingers to slip during the late eighties gaming scene. Available on Musopen.org.
- Recording ends, postmortem recording begins
- Add intro music, outro, any editing
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)