[ExI] Is tobacco really harmful?

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Nov 23 23:24:05 UTC 2009


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of 
> Robert Masters...
> Your grandfather said:
> <<"Anyone with half a brain could easily figure it out: the 
> smokers had less stamina, coughed more and so forth.".>>
> I totally agree--but the problem is that these smokers were 
> using tobacco with additives.  So it doesn't address the point...

It does partially.  Where my grandfather grew up, rural Kentucky, most of
the tobacco, both the smoking kind and the chawing kind, was home grown.  A
few had enough money for "store boughten" tobacco, but most did not in those
days.  It was a well known insult to say that so and so borrowed
store-boughten chaw and repaid with home grown.  

But to your point, grandpa did specify that they missed the lung cancer
angle, picked up on the short windedness and the emphysema.

Back in the 50s, there were experiments done where they extracted tobacco
tar and painted directly on the skin of lab mice, which then developed skin
cancers.  To estrapolate that to human lung cancer is a stretch, I can give
you that.

Regarding disease however, I would be far more afraid of emphysema than I
would lung cancer.  Reasoning: with lung cancer, it moves fast, you know
pretty much when your time is up.  It is the disease most compatible with
the notion of cryonics.  But emphysema might be the very worst fate for the
cryonaut, for that disease turns the brain to jelly before one actually
perishes, from long term oxygen starvation.  

Furthermore, if you have ever seen anyone perish of emphysema, it is the
very best argument for assisted suicide.  Do let me pull the curtain of
mercy upon that horrifying end, lying as still as possible, heaving and
gasping but just not getting enough air.  It would seem like the emphysema
patient should be given the opportunity to go ahead and get the cryonics
team in place, say goodbye to the fam, and plunge on into a possible future
in the holodeck while there are still good brain cells to try to emulate.


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