[ExI] Is tobacco really harmful"?
anders at aleph.se
Thu Nov 26 23:43:43 UTC 2009
Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 05:06:53PM -0800, Robert Masters wrote:
>> Tobacco is not the cause of smoking-related disease. Instead, the cause is the chemicals added to tobacco. Pure, additive-free tobacco is harmless.
> Harmless, which is why nicotine is sometimes still used as an insecticide.
> Harmless, as in carcinogenic.
While nicotine works fine as an insecticide, it works because of exactly
the same reasons human take it - it has cholinergic effects. There does
not seem to be good evidence that nicotine is carcinogenic in the
scientific literature. From what I have been reading, the cancer risk of
smoked tobacco comes from inhaling aerosols loaded with heterocyclic and
polyaromatic compounds that are produced by burning plant material. In
the case of smokeless tobacco the cancer risk is again largely tied to
nitrosamines, more local to the mouth and throat. Smoked cannabis does
pose cancer risks too, without any additives (and this would likely
refute Robert Masters hypothesis).
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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