I did some research a while back and found that lung cancer deaths at the turn of the 20th century, when virtually all the men smoked, were about 1 in 20 000. I’m sure some skeptics would say that’s probably because people didn’t live long enough to get lung cancer, but that’s not quite true. Child mortality was high, but if you survived to your twenties, your life expectancy was fairly close to what it is today- maybe 10 years less, but long enough for you to have the possibility of getting lung cancer. Yet, it was extremely rare. As a tangent, I have read that at that time about 25% of deaths were caused by tuberculosis, which makes me have to sarcastically ask how we ever brought those figures down without a tuberculosis vaccine. Oh yes, there was a vaccine- but it was discontinued because it was found to be useless. They still use it anyway, but not in North America. And oddly, the places that have the highest rates of TB have the highest rates of TB vaccination. But like I said, this is a tangent.
I suppose the skeptics would also doubt that the amazonians who smoke so much get old enough to die of lung cancer either, but even if their life expectancy is shorter, some of those who live to a ripe old age should at least get lung cancer, but they don’t. Same turned out to be true for the indigenous people of Papua, New Guinea.
What I found was that lung cancer did not rise in tandem with smoking rates, but with the introduction of phosphate fertilizers, made from apatite rock and containing the radioactive element Polonium. Since Polonium bio-accumulates, tobacco crops over the years have produced yields containing more and more of this carcinogenic crap. This is known to be a fact, and yet you will never hear about it. So it makes me kind of sick, so to speak, when the government comes out with their anti-smoking laws and mandatory nauseating pictures on cigarette packs and does nothing to outlaw radioactive, carcinogenic phosphate fertilizer. Given our corporation-run system, this is not all that surprising as growing the plants without this product results in about 30% decrease in crop yields. Once again, profits win out over public interest.
And then, after spending so much money on enforcing smoking laws and funding anti-smoking health warning campaigns, the government decides to put carpet glue in the cigarette papers- to protect you from house fires! I’m pretty sure far more people die from cigarette-induced cancer than from house fires. But then again, as a recent study funded by the tobacco industry discovered, smoking deaths are good for the economy. So let those bastards smoke carpet glue while you’re at it and speed up the economic recovery!
What was especially unfortunate was Barb Tarbox, the poster child for cigarette-induced lung cancer, going around to schools freaking the kids out showing them her bald head and blaming herself for being the ‘world’s biggest idiot’ smoking two packs a day. Yes, she had been warned, cigarettes do cause cancer, and smoking two packs a day is a bit excessive (you have to wonder how someone even finds the time for it), and it’s good to make the kids not want to smoke. But in the end, wouldn’t it have done us all a greater service if Barb had used her public voice to call the tobacco companies and the government out on what they were really doing that was making people sick: not selling tobacco, but selling highly adulterated tobacco?
It seems to me that God makes it pretty clear to us which plants are good for us and which ones are not: those that are not immediately make us sick upon ingestion. This is logical in order for a caveman to survive. God wouldn’t put things around that would be ok to ingest for a while and then strike you with a horrible disease to make you die a slow death- that would be a bit of a mean trick.
So, as someone who believes in God and the perfection of his creation, I find it annoying that everyone is on the bandwagon to demonize the tobacco plant. What we need are regulatory bodies that are not run by people who serve corporations- or the Devil, for that matter, with the two usually going hand-in-hand anyway. Big Tobacco, not the tobacco plant, is the killer.
Below is a fascinating discussion with David Wolfe on smoking various herbs, including tobacco.
I was thinking of it today because I found a local shop that sells all these unusual herbs like mullein, mugwort, yerba santa, and sage. I am going to try smoking some of them and I’ll let you know what happens. If I post a video about it, it means I didn’t die and it’s probably safe enough for you to try it.