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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm a reformed smoker--20 years off the weed after two plus packs per day--and I've never been able to find the definitive studies that indicate SECONDHAND smoke (not smoking for the smoker) is harmful. Can you direct me?

The National Institutes of Health has a considerable amount of material on secondhand smoke, Rosemary. The studies, admittedly after the briefest review, look ethically and methodologically sound.

I think smoking cessation is a good candidate for a truly compassionate, deep pockets, all out effort. I suspect the reduced health care costs would cover the expense, and then some.

Rosemary: Congratulations—my whole family smoked (and quit), so I know it isn't easy. This study is one of them, but you can easily Google up others (for example). Beware of studies funded by the tobacco industry which, shockingly, usually reach conclusions the tobacco industry wants them to reach.

I've never understood how we're supposed to believe that the smoke coming out of one end of the cigarette would be less harmful than the same smoke passed through the filter. And nobody who knows about a contact high should doubt that secondhand smoke can deliver a chemical payload to bystanders. So in my mind it's up to the tobacco industry to prove that secondhand smoke doesn't harm smokers—which would be on a par with trying to prove that sunlight doesn't warm the earth.

I think the only reason the idea that secondhand smoke is harmless gets a sympathetic hearing is because it's what smokers want to hear (and not entirely for selfish reasons...they also don't want to believe they're hurting people they love).

I quit 3 years ago after 25 yrs (I smoked since before I hit my teens--my mom's cigs, as usual). They passed a smoking ban here, about 3 1/2 yrs ago--I had quit opiates, to be quite honest, and decided, hell, why not quit everything now? So I did. It was very hard--I tried chantix--it makes you more pissed off then you already are--but it makes you throw up if you try to smoke.

I quit that after 2 wks, then 3 mos patches, then , nothing. I wish I could get Steve to quit, but, he started on them when they were free in Vietnam (a slightly different "era"--cigs "werent so bad", then), and he not likely to quit. I fear I will have a very long time alone on this planet---we've been together about 15 yrs.

I think that it IS dangerous to those around you, but not as much as to yourself, That just makes sense. It is no excuse. If it is the hardest thing youve every done--you havent done that mnay hard things! LOL!

The chantix can help, BUT, you must keep in mind that it will cause psychiatric disturbances, in anyone even slightly prone to them. They used them on Iraqi vets with PTSD (smart, VA, as always!), just back from combat. Two people either commited suicide or shot someone else--that is out of 18. Patches are indispensible, but, the withdrawal will be there when you stop those. Juist keep telling yourself, if you start again, the plantations and tobacco cos. get all your money and leave you for dead. That's what I did, anyway. DO NOT LET THEM HAVE THE LAST LAUGH--they get it enough, as it is...

Congratulations to you too! Don't give up on your partner...my sister was a dyed-in-the-wool, no-freaking-way-am-I-quitting smoker, and as far as I know she's finally off them now. There's always hope.

Agreed that it's more dangerous to the smoker than to nonsmokers around them, though considering the stakes it's still not a gamble I'm willing to let someone else take with my life.

I agree...I promised I wouldnt be "like that" if he supported me quitting--but, I am starting to wonder if I will get full health benefits, if he keeps smoking...

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