Is tobacco a drug

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:55 am

Whatever the link between tobacco use and disease is (though tobacco companies have admitted it in courts of law), it is a filthy, stinky habit. It stains your teeth, stains your fingers, gives you really bad breath. Kissing a smoker is not really much fun. Smoking stinks up your breath, clothes and your hair, making you unpleasant to be around, and stinks up the clothing and hair of anyone unfortunate enough to be around you when you smoke. Smoking stinks whatever room you are in, leaving a stinky film on the walls, furniture. Makes your lungs ugly (but who sees them?) and makes you short of breath. Cigarette smokers often leave the results of their stinky habit on the ground making it ugly. Full ash trays are so aesthetically pleasing. Nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive (admitted to by the tobacco companies) and made even more so by the manipulation of cigarettes by the tobacco companies (which they have admitted to) to hook those who get suckered into start smoking, lining the pockets of the tobacco companies suits.

If a person wants to smoke, that is their choice, but it should be done where it has absolutely no impact on anyone else.
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This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:58 am

BlackBird wrote: got nothing but love for you.


That's nice, but I certainly would not want to kiss you (if I were a guy kissing kind of guy and if you were a smoker into kissing guys).
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:40 am

Hi Manapa
Manapa wrote:but there is data which contradicts other data, and this is another reason why no set of data is perfect.

Yes, sometimes different data sets are the results of different focal point of measurement, or looking at the same phenomenon yet wth a different methodology. There are also issues regarding the authenticity, authority and repeatability of the data the method. As you know, science is a discipline of investigation.
There is an epidemic of scientific ignorance in the United States. This isn’t surprising, as very few scientific truths are self-evident, and many are counterintuitive.
-- Sam Harris, Science Is in the Details, New York Times, 26 July 2009

I do not infer that you are ignorant, Manapa. The truth is, you are probably more knowledgeable than I. Data requires interpretation and the publication of studies in esteemed peer review journals ensures the authenticity of the methodology and findings.

plus if smoking was as bad as some research would sugest then it would be illegalised and made unfit for human consumption by the various agencies,
I think you would agree that it is more complicated than that. The cat's been out of the bag for some four or five hundred years with regards to tobacco consumption in Western Europe. And it might be politically unpalatable to ban tobacco products outright. Hence, you find governments attemt to discourage smoking by increasing the tax on tobacco products.

here is another example my father got throat cancer 30 years after quitting, the reason (despite the proven data) was passive smoking, or his former habit, both of which could not of been the case, I have later found out I have a high genetic risk of cancer forming because on that side of the family there is a history of cancer which would suggest so, yet my mothers side has no gentetic link with cancer and are heavy smokers, although it is more likely I will have Arthritis which is already starting.

I am sorry to hear of your father. I lost my mother to smoking related illness when i was a teenager and my fathrr and numerous family members have contracted and died from various cancers over the last 20 years. The fact that your father presented with throat cancer 30 years after quitting doesn't seem inconsistent with the research which suggests very long lead time between exposure and metastasis.
unfortunately there is no strong link especially when you add sales figures (packets) to the data.

Manapa, I think you will find that the health effects of tobacco is one of the nmost extensively researched topics in medicine. I also think that if you had a look at the body of literature the consensus of scientific opinion will be different to yours.
Metta

Ben
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:15 pm

Hi Blackbird

My surprise was due to these statements:
Ajahn Mun smoked 4 cigarettes a day. The often heard response is: "Oh, well they didn't know about the health risks back then."
My response to this is that surely, such an excellent man as Ajahn Mun would have known the health effects of smoking cigarettes.

Which I interpreted to mean that Ajahn Mun would have known of the health effects even if they [health authorities of Thailand] did not. Its not an assertion that I agree with. I think it is more likely that Ajahn Mun was telling the truth and he didn't know either back when he began using or for a significant part of his life of the risk to his own health of smoking. The fact that the Ajahn didn't think it was a big deal, is irrelevant. I think you'll agree his context was very different to ours. He may have made that statement when he was advanced in age or at a point in his spiritual development where he had no more clinging to rupa or self.

I think it's harm is over-emphasised.

I couldn't disagree with you more. Tobacco is an insidious poison that impoverishes personal wealth, health and wreaks a massive social cost.
Here's something from your New Zealand's Ministry of Health (admittedly, out of date):
smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in New Zealand. It is estimated that half of all long-term smokers die of a smoking related illness.

About 5,000 deaths each year in New Zealand are attributable to direct smoking or second hand smoke. Overall, smoking prevalence is now 23.5 percent and consumption is around 1,000 cigarettes per adult (aged 15+) each year, down from 2,000 cigarettes in 1990.
-- http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:O_ ... en&ct=clnk

Smoking related disease and death really is a big deal for each of those individuals, their loved ones and the communities they come from.
And I am sorry if you felt i demonised you (that is, if you are a smoker). It wasn't my intention to demonise smokers but I felt it neccesary to refute those who feel that it isn't just some little thing.
Thanks for the love, back at you mate!

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:10 pm

Ben wrote:And I am sorry if you felt i demonised you (that is, if you are a smoker).


No need. He is referring to a comment I made and quickly deleted, but not before he saw it. Smoking defenders/disease from smoking deniers I compared to Holocaust deniers. In both case there is overwhelming evidence to support the existence of the Holocaust and a connexion between smoking and disease, and yet there are those for whatever reasons in either case opt for denial. That was probably a bit too harsh of a comparison, so I edited it out.

Smoking kills an untold numbers of people, but I am not interested in getting into squabbles about this or that connexion or lack of connexion. Basically and undeniably, it is a stinky, filthy habit, which those who opt to smoke certainly have some right to do, but - in the very least - they have no right to inflict the effluvia of smoking upon others, but that is the least of what smoking inflicts upon others.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:44 pm

Hi Ben,
I don't think you are infering my ignorance, and yes there is a mountain of evidence which indicated a whole spread of things, one of the biggest problems with the data is that no one has ever bothered to colate it all and analyse every scrap, also no one has actually done the fullest amount of tests to see whether a particular cancer which caused someone to die actually was brought on by smoking, prefering instead to use family history to genetic research (for the most part).
the relationship which smoking and particular cancers have does not match the stastistics and evidence completely, in one which was given to the US senate I think the cover said smoking causes cancer on the front cover and the introduction supported this but the data was not different enough between smokers and non-smokers to warant the cover and introduction and most of the data was within acceptable difference to not even be considdered a difference in likelyhood (below 1 or 2% increse) and can be ascociated to the group which was looked at being slightly off kilter with normal occurances when it is so close.
the original data was disregarded by the medical profession then a study of the medical proffession was done with similar results then it was accepted as the doctors saw it as also affecting them.

as tilt has mentioned, smoking has actual effects which are not nice, and I am not saying smoking does not affect health only the data which is used to link it to certain things is not as accurate as the "party" would like us to think. those who don't tow the partys line don't get work. on a related note although not subject matter if you get a chance watch Expelled - no inteligence allowed, look at what happens to people who don't tow the evelutionist line, and think how much money goes into the accepted line through credible means in comparison to ID (credible being university grants etc not private funding to further a view such as is the case with most id funding), also it is interesting to know what a leading scientist of the evolutionist theory thinks about how life started.


Ben wrote:Hi Manapa
Manapa wrote:but there is data which contradicts other data, and this is another reason why no set of data is perfect.

Yes, sometimes different data sets are the results of different focal point of measurement, or looking at the same phenomenon yet wth a different methodology. There are also issues regarding the authenticity, authority and repeatability of the data the method. As you know, science is a discipline of investigation.
There is an epidemic of scientific ignorance in the United States. This isn’t surprising, as very few scientific truths are self-evident, and many are counterintuitive.
-- Sam Harris, Science Is in the Details, New York Times, 26 July 2009

I do not infer that you are ignorant, Manapa. The truth is, you are probably more knowledgeable than I. Data requires interpretation and the publication of studies in esteemed peer review journals ensures the authenticity of the methodology and findings.

plus if smoking was as bad as some research would sugest then it would be illegalised and made unfit for human consumption by the various agencies,
I think you would agree that it is more complicated than that. The cat's been out of the bag for some four or five hundred years with regards to tobacco consumption in Western Europe. And it might be politically unpalatable to ban tobacco products outright. Hence, you find governments attemt to discourage smoking by increasing the tax on tobacco products.

here is another example my father got throat cancer 30 years after quitting, the reason (despite the proven data) was passive smoking, or his former habit, both of which could not of been the case, I have later found out I have a high genetic risk of cancer forming because on that side of the family there is a history of cancer which would suggest so, yet my mothers side has no gentetic link with cancer and are heavy smokers, although it is more likely I will have Arthritis which is already starting.

I am sorry to hear of your father. I lost my mother to smoking related illness when i was a teenager and my fathrr and numerous family members have contracted and died from various cancers over the last 20 years. The fact that your father presented with throat cancer 30 years after quitting doesn't seem inconsistent with the research which suggests very long lead time between exposure and metastasis.
unfortunately there is no strong link especially when you add sales figures (packets) to the data.

Manapa, I think you will find that the health effects of tobacco is one of the nmost extensively researched topics in medicine. I also think that if you had a look at the body of literature the consensus of scientific opinion will be different to yours.
Metta

Ben
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:07 pm

How accurate, Manapa, is Expelled - no inteligence allowed?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:13 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Blackbird

My surprise was due to these statements:
Ajahn Mun smoked 4 cigarettes a day. The often heard response is: "Oh, well they didn't know about the health risks back then."
My response to this is that surely, such an excellent man as Ajahn Mun would have known the health effects of smoking cigarettes.

Which I interpreted to mean that Ajahn Mun would have known of the health effects even if they [health authorities of Thailand] did not. Its not an assertion that I agree with. I think it is more likely that Ajahn Mun was telling the truth and he didn't know either back when he began using or for a significant part of his life of the risk to his own health of smoking. The fact that the Ajahn didn't think it was a big deal, is irrelevant. I think you'll agree his context was very different to ours. He may have made that statement when he was advanced in age or at a point in his spiritual development where he had no more clinging to rupa or self.


Sorry, I'm not sure which Ajahn Mun quote you are refering to.
When I said
"Oh, well they didn't know about the health risks back then." I wasn't quoting Ajahn Mun.
I was quoting a response to using Ajahn Mun as an example in tobacco related threads. :shrug:
So, sorry for the confusion.


:anjali:
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:22 pm

tiltbillings wrote:How accurate, Manapa, is Expelled - no inteligence allowed?


I'm not sure how you actually feel, as emotions are hard to express, and easy to misinterprete over the internet.
But the way you have been talking in this thread, I think, has some serious potential to cause suffering.

Stay well my friend.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:41 am

BlackBird wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:How accurate, Manapa, is Expelled - no inteligence allowed?


I'm not sure how you actually feel, as emotions are hard to express, and easy to misinterprete over the internet.
But the way you have been talking in this thread, I think, has some serious potential to cause suffering.

Stay well my friend.


That does not quite answer the question about the film that you quoted and what you have said is an ad hominem.

But do tell me why calling smoking a stinky filthy habit would cause suffering, or why objecting to the denial of the connexion between smoking is a cause of suffering, given that the United States tobacco companies have admitted in courts of law the connxion about which they have known for decades and have given up billions of dollars in compensation as a result. in other wortds there is a large body of evidence to make the connexion point, contrary to Manapa's supposed evidence otherwise. I'll believe the tobacco companies.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:11 am

Courtesy of our friends in the Canadian Government:

- As early as 1945, the tobacco industry was aware of nicotine’s role in making cigarettes addictive.
- In 1962, a document by Sir Charles Ellis, a scientific advisor to British American Tobacco, stated, “smoking is a habit of addiction.”
- In 1963, Addison Yeaman, general counsel to Brown and Williamson, stated, “We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug effective in the release of stress mechanisms.”
- A 1972 internal industry document states, “The cigarette should be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine” and “Think of the cigarette pack as a storage container for [a] day’s worth of nicotine.”
- A 1992 draft report by a senior Philip Morris employee refers to cigarettes as a “nicotine delivery system.”
- The tobacco industry can remove nicotine from cigarettes but has chosen not to in order to create and maintain addictions.
- Philip Morris tested a nicotine-free brand of cigarettes, Next, in the United States, but it was withdrawn after it failed in the market.
- Numerous patents to increase nicotine levels exist in the States, including: eight patents to increase nicotine by adding it to the tobacco rod; five patents to increase nicotine by adding it to parts of the cigarette (like the filter); eight patents to extract nicotine from tobacco; and nine to develop new chemical variants of the drug.
- A 1995 study found that nicotine levels in Canadian cigarettes have increased considerably since 1968.
-- Cunningham, Rob, Smoke & Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War, International Development Research Centre, 1996, ISBN 0-88936-755-8, pages 156-159. cited in Canada, 2007, Nicotine Fact Sheet
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:28 am

Addiction is also under question as being an ilness not a matter of choice, but I am not saying it is not addictive, just the data which links it to certain illnesses is not as fulproof as those who spout this information would like us to think
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:31 am

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/05/26/addi ... -a-choice/

this researcher is also getting heavy critisism
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:36 am

Manapa wrote:Addiction is also under question as being an ilness not a matter of choice, but I am not saying it is not addictive, just the data which links it to certain illnesses is not as fulproof as those who spout this information would like us to think



Your sentence structure is confusing: "Addiction is also under question as being an ilness not a matter of choice. . . . ." Huh?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:38 am

sorry tilt,
Addiction is also under question, as research is showing it is a matter of choice and free will not an illness.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:50 am

Manapa wrote:sorry tilt,
Addiction is also under question, as research is showing it is a matter of choice and free will not an illness.


And you don't see a serious problem with this statement?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:
BlackBird wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:How accurate, Manapa, is Expelled - no inteligence allowed?


I'm not sure how you actually feel, as emotions are hard to express, and easy to misinterprete over the internet.
But the way you have been talking in this thread, I think, has some serious potential to cause suffering.

Stay well my friend.


and what you have said is an ad hominem.


Absolutely right.
Tobacco smoking isn't healthy.
Niether is painting pictures of those who do.

tiltbillings wrote:But do tell me why calling smoking a stinky filthy habit would cause suffering


The nature of your rhetoric isn't going to make smokers feel good, put it that way.
But rehashing a century old argument won't convince them to quit either.

So essentially it's unseasonable, IMO.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:59 am

Hi Blackbird
BlackBird wrote:Niether is painting pictures of those who do.

Could you please point out where Tilt has done this?
Thanks

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:02 am

BlackBird wrote:The nature of your rhetoric isn't going to make smokers feel good, put it that way.
But rehashing a century old argument won't convince them to quit either.


It is hardly "a century old argument." And there is no reason smokers should feel good about smoking; it is destructive to them and to those around them. The negative cost of smoking is staggering. There is absolutely no reason for smokers to feel good about smoking for any reason.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is tobacco a drug

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
BlackBird wrote:The nature of your rhetoric isn't going to make smokers feel good, put it that way.
But rehashing a century old argument won't convince them to quit either.


It is hardly "a century old argument."


Again, you're quite correct. It's been going on for several centuries.

tiltbillings wrote:And there is no reason smokers should feel good about smoking; it is destructive to them and to those around them.


It's hardly destructive to those around them. Unless of course you were refering to the tax burden, in which case I think it's about time we weighed up how much governments earn from tobacco tax, and then how much tobacco related healthcare is costing a nation.

Let's take New Zealand for example.
- the NZ government recieves approx $1 billion from tobacco related taxes[1]
- the NZ government has to spend aprrox $0.25 billion on tobacco related healthcare [2]
So it's not harming the tax payer.
Nor does the smoker, increasingly relegated to smoking in private, outside, and away from the general populace - Have any great impact on the health of others.

tiltbillings wrote:The negative cost of smoking is staggering. There is absolutely no reason for smnokers to feel good about smoking for any reason.


I would be more inclined to think the negative cost of smoking is by in large, one's own health, in which case I return to my statement - Why go around making smokers feel bad about it? Surely if making someone feel bad about something we're enough to change their behaviour then there would be a lot less crime in the world. Alas the human condition doesn't operate quite like that.

Finally, let me ask you this Tilt, how does the way you have written your words in this thread, stack up against the Buddha's criteria for right speech? This is indeed a double edged sword, something I too should go away and consider.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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