Foot and mouth disease too


Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke because second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as first-hand smoke, says a scientist at the University of California, Riverside who, along with colleagues, conducted the first animal study of the effects of third-hand smoke.

While first-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke to the exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from the burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others, third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time and becomes progressively more toxic.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }


Evil is suffering passed to someone else


A study has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke — the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out — causes significant genetic damage in human cells.

{ ScienceDaily | Continue reading }

Death by misadventure


We all know that smoking is bad for our health and that eating vegetables is good for it. Yet how bad and how good are they? […]

To answer his own question, Spiegelhalter converted reams of statistical risk tables into a simple metric: a microlife—30 minutes. If you smoke two cigarettes, you lose 30 minutes of your life. Exercise for 20 minutes, and you gain two units of microlife.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

The warmth of her couched body rose on the air, mingling with the fragrance of the tea she poured


The more alcoholic drinks people consume, the more attractive they perceive themselves to be. […]

First, women with high levels of estrogen feel prettier, and second, smoking causes a lowered presence of estrogen in your body. So if you’re a female smoker and want to feel more attractive, boost your estrogen levels and stop smoking. Additionally this hormone helps maintain your female features and is vital to your body’s fertility.

{ United Academics | Continue reading }

photo { Bill Brandt }

‘The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.’ –Eng’s Principle


Nicotine is not only very, very addictive, as a central nervous system stimulant it can also affect our motivations and behaviors in a wider sense. One of the behaviors it can modify is appetitive behavior. It’s a well-funded fact that smokers tend to have a lower body-mass than non-smokers, and that smokers who quit have a tendency to gain weight, although until now the neurobiological mechanism for this modulation was unknown.

Recent findings from two different publications reveal parts of this mechanism, but while most reports have pin-pointed the results involving appetite suppression through pro-opiomelanocortin neurons, there is evidence that the complete picture is more complicated than that.

{ Ego Sum Daniel | Continue reading }

photo { Penny Cottee }

We’re all unlucky in love sometimes. When I am, I go jogging. The body loses water when you jog, so you have none left for tears.


{ I’ve just come across a deeply disturbing paper: Attempted ignition of petrol vapour by lit cigarettes and lit cannabis resin joints. The authors set out to discover whether you could set petrol on fire by dropping a lit cigarette or hash joint onto it. It turns out, surprisingly, that you can’t. | Neuroskeptic | full story }

There is (as I shall show in what follows) another, third kind


Scientists are reporting that so-called “thirdhand smoke” — the invisible remains of cigarette smoke that deposits on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces — may be even more of a health hazard than previously believed. (…)

Studies show that that nicotine in thirdhand smoke can react with the ozone in indoor air and surfaces like clothing and furniture, to form other pollutants. Exposure to them can occur to babies crawling on the carpet, people napping on the sofa, or people eating food tainted by thirdhand smoke.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

Next thing you know you yawnin’


Quitting smoking is certainly healthy for the body, but doctors and scientists haven’t been sure whether quitting makes people happier, especially since conventional wisdom says many smokers use cigarettes to ease anxiety and depression. In a new study, researchers tracked the symptoms of depression in people who were trying to quit and found that they were never happier than when they were being successful, for however long that was.

{ Brown University | Continue reading }

related { Smoking may thin the brain }

photo { Paul Rodriguez }

‘In advanced economies, recipes are more valuable than cooking.’ –Paul Romer


[$12 a pack] It’s been six weeks since New York’s state government raised the cigarette tax to $4.35 a pack, and guess what? Cigarette sales have fallen by 35 percent. (…)

The crazy-high price of cigarettes here is sending New Yorkers over the state border to, say, Pennsylvania, where a pack of cigarettes can be obtained for around $5, or Jersey, where they’re $7ish. People are also heading to Indian reservations, where, according to a friend who does exactly this, you can get a carton for $22, and where sales have apparently gone up a whopping 300%.

{ Village Voice | Continue reading }

photo { Petra Collins }

‘I can’t go back to yesterday–because I was a different person then.’ –Lewis Carroll


{ A history of America in cigar consumption | Economist }

It’s all the streets you crossed, not so long ago


The promise—and the hype—of changing your DNA through behavior.

Studies showing how experience alters genes have been few and far between—which is why a new one on smoking and diet caught my eye.

The study of these kinds of changes in genes is called epigenetics. Crucially, the changes do not involve alterations of gene sequences, those famous A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s that the Human Genome Project figured out. (…)

Scientists are now making specific, actionable discoveries in epigenetics. This week, for instance, researchers are reporting that eating leafy green vegetables, folate (found in these veggies as well as in some fruits and in dried beans and peas), and multivitamins can affect the epigenetics of genes involved in lung cancer in a way that could reduce the risk of getting the disease, especially from smoking.

{ Sharon Begley/Newsweek | Continue reading }

Wrapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson’s curse


You might have seen news reports about a recent study showing that religious people are no healthier than non-religious. (…)

Working out the relationship between religion and health is actually quite complicated. If you take the straightforward approach the answer is clear: religious people are unhealthier and die younger than the non-religious.

The reason for that is obvious. Religious people tend to be poorer and less well educated. As a result, most studies try to work out whether religious people are healthier after adjusting for these differences.

So the key question boils down to this: which differences should you adjust for? Your decision on this will affect the answer you get. (…)

Most studies adjust for basic demographic factors. Older people and women are more likely to be religious, and both these affect your chances of heart attacks. Most studies also adjust for education and income level. (…)

But there are also a host of lifestyle factors that make heart disease more likely (smoking, lack of exercise, overeating). Here’s where it starts to get more difficult, because religion could definitely cause you to be a nonsmoker.

Many studies adjust for these lifestyle factors. But you can go a step further - and that’s what they did in this study. (…)

They found that religious people smoked less. This was one of only two lifestyle factors that remained after they adjusted for all the demographic differences between the religious and non-religious (age, gender, race, education and income). That’s something that’s commonly observed, and it may be because religion provides social pressure and support to help people quit.

But the study also found that religious people were fatter (again, after adjusting for demographic factors). The effect was large - religious people were 50-60% more likely to be obese.

{ Epiphenoma | Continue reading }

photo { Katerina Jebb }