Smoking contradictions

A professor who has a way with words has said,

Parents who smoke in cars in front of small children are “committing a form of child abuse”.

My parents smoked in the car. I wouldn’t say that it thrilled me, but abuse? I think not. With the windows open, most of the smoke was expelled, otherwise my dad wouldn’t have been able to see where he was going.

That would have been dangerous, I admit.

It would also have been dangerous to ban him from smoking in the car, as gagging for a ciggie is not particularly pleasant and concentration is affected. So obviously the government has banned the drivers of artic lorries from smoking in their cabs even when they are driving hundreds of miles alone. Clearly, the believers of third-hand smoke have been convinced that this bizarre ‘danger’ is more deadly than a 30 ton lorry being driven by someone who can’t concentrate.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, has condemned society’s attitudes to food, alcohol and cigarettes.

In a letter to the Observer newspaper, he said parents had to take more responsibility for their children’s health – and set a good example.

He said irresponsible behaviour led to high levels of disease and early death.

This from the ‘health’ service which carries out most of Britain’s 200,000 annual abortions and kills thousands a year in other ways.

Professor Field, who represents 42,000 GPs across the UK, added: “I suppose the same people also smoke at home in front of their children.

You have to admire the boy’s flawless logic.

“Evidence from the US indicates that more young children are killed by parental smoking than by all other unintentional injuries combined.”

Now, where can we find this ‘evidence’? Of all the children I grew up with – and every one I can think of lived with at least one parent who smoked – not one ever keeled over and died. Now all in our 40s, none has yet keeled over and died. Of the 700 or so kids at my primary school and well over 1,000 at each of my two secondary schools,  I similarly don’t remember any deaths other than one murder.

Other health experts have previously called for smoking to be banned in cars when children are present, but the government’s recent decision not to review existing smoking legislation means that move is unlikely.

In his letter, Professor Field says adults need to take responsibility for their own health too.

Let’s be honest. Most people aren’t interested in following a strict regime the self-appointed experts deem will give them a healthier lifestyle. It’s just never going to happen. A good friend of mine is ‘not allowed’ to eat cake because of his cholesterol level. He says that I should get mine checked out. And be told I am not allowed to eat cake ever again? No way, Jose. I am never going to deprive myself of cake. What sort of a life is that?

He added: “The truth, which may be unpalatable to some, is that too many of us, too often, neglect too many aspects of our own personal health behaviour, and this is leading to increasing levels of ill-health and early death.

And of course, the aspartame and other poisons in our food and drink no doubt don’t figure. Neither do the poisons in the vaccines given to children. Now that’s what I call child abuse.

“Public health is a sensitive subject.

“It’s not easy to strike the right balance between protecting people’s sensibilities and delivering the hard facts about their personal behaviours that are ultimately shortening their lives.

“Too many people do not face up to the hard facts, as they perceive them to be an attack aimed, in particular, at the poorer members of our society, when it is impossible to argue on medical or ethical grounds, that such behaviour is acceptable.”

Why do people in the best-off areas live for a couple of decades more, on average, than those in the most deprived areas, like the East End of Glasgow? Especially when poorer people are less likely to have a car in which to abuse their children with smoke!

The blog post is entitled ‘smoking contradictions’ and here’s another funny thing:

Machu Picchu

A mountain to climb. Easier if you're a smoker?

A lady asked to come round during the week to try and persuade me to buy some advertising space. She told me on the phone that she would be about five minutes as there isn’t much to explain, so I agreed. We ended up talking about a great many things in the hour and twenty minutes she was here! She has done an amazing amount for charity, including a trek to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas.

There is a place on the trail called “Dead Woman’s Pass” where anyone showing any sign of altitude sickness is turned around and sent back down, as it can kill. Several people were told they could not continue the climb and every one of these was a non-smoker. Some were muscle-bound men who were reduced to tears at having to abandon their journey.

I don’t know why the smokers fared better, but she reckoned that smokers are used to less oxygen in the blood and so could cope better with the high altitudes. She said there were wee Peruvian guides running up and down and smoking away.

A word of warning though! After a whole day on the trip without a smoke, she lit up in the evening and after a couple of puffs, duly collapsed. She awoke wrapped up in a foil blanket.

It’s a funny old world!

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9 Responses to Smoking contradictions

  1. Very interesting bit about the mountain climbing. Quite an anecdote. :)

  2. Stewart Cowan says:

    Apparently, Dick, the guides smoke 4 or 5 ciggies just before they set off!

  3. db says:

    The idea that smoking climbers can get by on less oxygen is intriguing. Logically, this would also apply to athletes who smoke?

  4. Stewart Cowan says:


    I have read that cyclists have been known to have a smoke before a race to open up the old airways. One such was an Australian world champion from about 30 years ago I think, but I forget his name.

  5. Rick S says:

    A friend of mine who went trekking in the Himalayas some years ago told me that the sherpas were pretty much chainsmoking throughout the trip.

  6. Rose says:

    Its the nitric oxide in the smoke.

    A group of Medical School researchers has discovered a bizarre twist on the harmful effects of car exhaust and cigarette smoke: nitric oxide, a component of both pollutants, can help treat a deadly type of pneumonia.

    “Instructor in Anaesthesia Dr. Jesse D. Roberts, Jr., a member of Zapol’s research group, said the discovery also explains why mountain climbers short of breath often claim that smoking cigarettes makes them stronger. The seeming paradox may be due to the presence of nitric oxide in cigarette smoke”

    Nitric oxide helps high-altitude survival
    “CLEVELAND, Nov. 6 US researchers have discovered high blood levels of nitric oxide allow people to live at high altitudes where air has low levels of oxygen.

    Dr. Serpil Erzurum, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pathobiology, and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University analyzed blood samples and blood flow readings from 88 Tibetans living at altitudes of 14,000 feet. They compared the measurements with those of 50 people who live at locations near sea level.

    The Tibetans were found to have 10 times more nitric oxide and more than double the forearm blood flow of sea-level dwellers.

    The researchers said they believe the high levels of nitric oxide cause an increased blood flow that provides body tissues with sufficient amounts of oxygen despite low levels of oxygen in both the air and the bloodstream.”

    Nitric oxide: From menace to marvel of the decade

  7. len says:

    I find the moral values of our society bizarre to say the least.Smoking around childrenI don`t smoke and don

  8. len says:

    I find the moral values of our society bizarre to say the least.Smoking around childrenI don`t smoke and don

  9. len says:

    (Haven`t a clue what happened here, operator error I guess, I will continue,apologies for repeating myself) `t condone smoking.But I think abortion is a far worse thing but society condones it.

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