# So apparently, smoking is good for you

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Syzygys, Jan 27, 2014.

1. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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4 of the guys who played the famous Marlboro Man died of smoking related health issues. But guess at what age they died:

72,73,52, and 69!!!

Pick 4 20 something guys and chances are their average lifetime will be less than these 4 men's. Not to mention, a male born in 1941 had a life expectancy of 63 years, so smoking might have helped them to live longer.

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3. ### Buddha12Valued Senior Member

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You might live longer but what diseases do you have? Cancer patients can be treated and still live even though they are very ill and can't get around to well. Other diseases also are associated with smoking and those too would make life very difficult.

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5. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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7. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Not true. Look at the following table, which gives you the life expectancy of 20 yr old men in a variety of countries. In the UK it is 79.1 and in the US 77.1

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/your-life-expectancy-by-age

So these bozos underperformed what we should expect today by quite a margin. Probably because they smoked.

I don't have data for life expectancy at birth in 1941 but this same source has it for male populations alive in 1960:

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/history-of-life-expectancy

It was 68.2 in the UK and 66.6 in the US. Whereas today it is 78.5 in the UK and 76.1 in the US.

One major reason why people lived less long in 1960 is because so many of them SMOKED!

8. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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It isn't good for you if you get lung cancer.

9. ### andy1033Truth SeekerValued Senior Member

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I would never smoke in my life, but you can be sure my health was damaged by second hand smoke.

If you people want to smoke, do it away from people, what right should you have to ruin others lungs?

10. ### wellwisherBannedBanned

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The death numbers are based on averages. The science is not advanced enough to be based on individuals. There are more people who did not die of cigarettes than died of cigarettes. What happens is the statistics create a misleading stereo-type that does not apply to all in reality, yet is assigned to all via propaganda. I know many people who smoked for 40 plus years and lived into the 80's. According to the stereotype propaganda this data does not exist.

A real data analysis says, smoking is not for everyone. Many people develop problems, but not all people develop problems. The truth would not be a good sales pitch to manipulate behavior so they go with the misleading propaganda which paints an inaccurate picture. It turns outs, the largest study of second hand smoke showed no statistical impact on health. The liberals wanted to believe the lie since they are used to their leaders lying to them. The government should be giving good information and not propaganda to serve an agenda.

11. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Like you, I have my suspicions about the arguments on second hand smoke.

But I think you are optimistic to assume, as you evidently do, that the reason why some people get away with smoking for years without problems is due to them being physiologically immune from its ill effects. You MAY be right: there is some interesting recent research on how drugs affect different individuals differently, for example.

But it is equally possible that such people's experience is simply due to statistical chance. Nobody says smoking will kill you for sure: it is just the chance of relatively early death is undoubtedly higher if you smoke. If, as most scientists seem to believe, it is just an added risk for all smokers, there will be a bell curve, as in all stats, and selectively highlighting the (few) people in the tail of the distribution will not make for a balanced assessment of the risk.

12. ### Captain KremmenAll aboard, me Hearties!Valued Senior Member

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Smoking related lung cancer does not affect people equally. That is true.
But it works both ways. I lost a close family member who died as a result of a tiny smoking habit.
Before anyone says that not all lung cancer is suffered by smokers.
Yes, there are other types of lung cancers, but the type related to smoking is commoner and more likely to kill you.
The type related to smoking, needless to say, does not occur in non-smokers.

I doubt that there are many people who smoke heavily who do not suffer from smoking related health problems as they reach old age.
Lung cancer is only one of the cornucopia of diseases that smoking offers you the opportunity of experiencing.
Your genes are not likely to be immune to all of them.

13. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member

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Actually lung cancer is probably kinder than the death you can expect if you DON'T die of cancer, COAD (also called COPD). Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease is a HORRIBLE way to die

Oh and just because this person or that person got lucky doesn't change the fact that statistically, smokers die far earlier than non smokers

14. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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23,198
Yes my father's brother was a non-smoker and died of (not with) prostate cancer. My father had that (as I did* and my only male cousin does too) but smoking ~2 pack / day saved him (from that death) by causing a collection of other ills (heart problems, which then did in most of his other organs with poor circulation even in the final years when he was tied to small green oxygen tank.)

The confirming data is not as solid, but indicates that heart problems, related to smoking, cause more deaths than smoking related lung cancer does.

* Still do with low controlled PSA more than five years after my prostate was removed.

15. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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Nope. Their life expectancy in 1941 was 63. Obviously you are comparing today's life expectancy....

Now for the record, I hate smokers. But the recent news item (one Marlboro Man died) nicely skipped the fact that he lived up to 72, which is a pretty decent age, specially for one who had smoked for 6 decades....

16. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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No, you are comparing life expectancy from birth, not life expectancy from age 20 or whenever they started smoking. Nor are you filtering-out non health related causes of death. Ie, if one of these guys had died in a car accident at 40 we'd exclude them from the analysis. So you have to exclude all car accidents.

Unless, as others said, we broaden the sample to be statistically meaningful.

Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
17. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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18,548
There are more people who did not die of being shot in the head that died of being shot in the head. Still, I bet you'd avoid being shot in the head if you could.

The accurate picture is that smoking takes many years off your life. But many people bought into the tobacco company sales pitches of the 1950's and 1960's. They used misleading and fraudulent propaganda to manipulate people to buy cigarettes. It worked; they made millions. (Ironically, the same people who created the fraudulent propaganda that denied the health risks of tobacco then went on to create the fraudulent propaganda that denied climate change. They were also paid well for their work.)

Unfortunately, many conservatives believe in "magical thought" - the idea that if they believe something strongly enough, and have people repeat it often enough, then it becomes true. Thus their dependence on talk radio and conservative media outlets to create a reality they prefer. Smoking does not increase your odds of lung cancer, and climate change is all a liberal plot by Al Gore. By repeating such things often enough they start to believe them. (At least until the biopsy results come back.)

18. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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I said what I was comparing, which was 2 things: the whole male population in 1960 and 20 yr old men today.

True, the life expectancy of men at birth in 1941 may have been 63 (I don't have that data). By the time they were 20 it would have been higher, as to be still alive at 20 they would have already successfully avoided the risks of childhood death. But my point stands, that one of the chief reasons why life expectancy was as low as 63 at birth, or 66 or whatever it was at 20, is due to the higher incidence in that era of death from smoking-related conditions. Since 1960 expectancy has gone up by 10 years, a significant part of which is due to people smoking less than they did.

19. ### Walter L. WagnerCosmic Truth SeekerValued Senior Member

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Do you have any evidence for this? Not heard that before.

20. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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==========
Frederick Seitz (July 4, 1911 – March 2, 2008) was an American physicist and a pioneer of solid state physics. In 1979, Fred Seitz was hired by the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, makers of Camel cigarettes, to head their Medical Research Committee. In this position, Seitz was in charge of the campaign to smudge the facts regarding the harmful effects of tobacco. Seitz directed $6.3 million to researchers who consistently found no evidence conclusively linking tobacco to serious medical problems. . . . . Seitz was also the founding chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute,[3] a tobacco industry consultant and a prominent skeptic on the issue of global warming. Seitz was a central figure amongst skeptics of global warming.He was the highest-ranking scientist among a band of doubters who, beginning in the early 1990s, resolutely disputed suggestions that global warming was serious threat. Seitz argued that the science behind global warming was inconclusive and "certainly didn't warrant imposing mandatory limits on greenhouse-gas emissions". Seitz questioned whether global warming is anthropogenic. Seitz signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration and, in an open letter inviting scientists to sign the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine's global warming petition, called for the United States to reject the Kyoto Protocol.The letter was accompanied by a 12-page article on climate change which followed a style and format nearly identical to that of a contribution to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal, even including a date of publication ("October 26") and volume number ("Vol. 13: 149-164 1999"), but was not actually a publication of the National Academy. In response the United States National Academy of Sciences took what the New York Times called "the extraordinary step of refuting the position of one [of] its former presidents." The NAS also made it clear that "The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy." =========== Siegfried Fred Singer (born September 27, 1924) is an Austrian-born American physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia. Singer trained as an atmospheric physicist and is known for his work in space research, atmospheric pollution, rocket and satellite technology, his questioning of the link between UV-B and melanoma rates, and that between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss, his public denial of the health risks of passive smoking, and as an outspoken critic of the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. . . . According to David Biello and John Pavlus in Scientific American, Singer is best known for his denial of the health risks of passive smoking. He was involved in 1994 as writer and reviewer of a report on the issue by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where he was a senior fellow. The report criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their 1993 study about the cancer risks of passive smoking, calling it "junk science". Singer told CBC's The Fifth Estate in 2006 that he stood by the position that the EPA had "cooked the data" to show that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer. CBC said that tobacco money had paid for Singer's research and for his promotion of it, and that it was organized by APCO. Singer told CBC it made no difference where the money came from. "They don't carry a note on a dollar bill saying 'This comes from the tobacco industry,'" he said. "In any case I was not aware of it, and I didn't ask APCO where they get their money. That's not my business." . . . In 1990 Singer set up the Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) to argue against preventive measures against global warming. After the 1991 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit, Singer started writing and speaking out to cast doubt on the science. He predicted disastrous economic damage from any restrictions on fossil fuel use, and argued that the natural world and its weather patterns are complex and ill-understood, and that little is known about the dynamics of heat exchange from the oceans to the atmosphere, or the role of clouds. As the scientific consensus grew, he continued to argue from a skeptical position. He has repeatedly criticized the climate models that predict global warming. . . . ABC News reported in March 2008 that Singer said he is not on the payroll of the energy industry, but he acknowledged that SEPP had received one unsolicited charitable donation of$10,000 from ExxonMobil, and that it was one percent of all donations received. Singer said that his connection to Exxon was more like being on their mailing list than holding a paid position. The relationships have discredited Singer's research among members of the scientific community, according to Scheuering. Congresswoman Lynn Rivers questioned Singer's credibility during a congressional hearing in 1995, saying he had not been able to publish anything in a peer-reviewed scientific journal for the previous 15 years, except for one technical comment.
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21. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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You just pulled that out of your ass. I bet there was no significant decrease of smoking between 1960 and 1940. But several other health things had improved...

22. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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You guys need more anec... I mean data??? Lots of smokers live up to 100:

http://www.forces.org/evidence/hamilton/other/oldest.htm

"TheItalian Massacre -February 26, 2003 - Inthe meantime, we get a full dimension of what tobacco does to people inother countries as well. The Italian daily �Libero� has just reportedupdates on the Tobacco Massacre of Milan last February 6th. Outof a population of 2.2 million in that city, there are 646 people whoselives will, inevitably, be cut short � shortly after they turn 100. Two ofthem are already 110, five are 109 and 12 are 106. Another 217 are only 100,167 just turned 101, and 115 are 102. But that�s not over. Over 35,000Milanese are in the age range between 85 and 94, and another 92,000 arebetween 75 and 84. You can see them in the polluted Italian city with theirdogs, in the typical little bars, indulging in despicable habits such ascoffee, grease-filled brioches, alcohol and � worst of all � smoking Tuscan cigars that stink more than any diesel tailpipe,poisoning their peers. Some of them even �do� cigarettes, having indulged inthe deadly habit for over 94 years. Imagine how dirty their lungs are.According to the daily, in fact, the overwhelming majority of these peopleeither smokes, drinks, or eats fatty foods. Most even do it all. Nowonder the heroic health authorities must intervene to stop the carnage.It�s either now or never!"

My favorite:

"Britain's oldest man, George Cook, died at 108 in his sleep in September, l997. He "smoked heavily for 85 years before giving up tobacco at the age of 97," ("World Briefs," Houston Chronicle, 9/29/97)."

23. ### Russ_WattersNot a Trump supporter...Valued Senior Member

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So why not just post the actual data instead of inferring it from anecdotes? What is the a actual average life expectancy of smokers vs nonsmokers?