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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


frightened in all this darkness


things that have been stuck in my head all day. argh.

i can't breathe at all, thanks to the so-called 'non-smoking' section at champps's tonight having nothing separating it from the smoking section. cigarette smoke has a much more profound effect on me now than it ever has. i seriously feel awful.

i wish i felt it was within the government's rights to ban smoking on a federal level. but we have to remember, one of the things that makes our constitution so tragically great is that it makes room for an individual's freedom to breathe the smoke from burning leaves that cause cancer. i think it's colossally stupid that cigarettes are still successfully sold on the market, that the entire industry exists. but government still shouldn't have that much power over its citizens, despite the immutable force of human idiocy and greed.

can you imagine what would happen if the tobacco companies just shut down? cigarettes just vanished one day? there'd be a hole in the economy. overnight tobacco would become the most significant black market item in the country... sales of nicorette would explode.... and our country would be about a hundred times healthier.


for this post

Blogger The Barber Says:

Actually if cigarettes disappeared Kentucky would just fall off the map. I don't think I would miss it. My family moved from there for a reason. I guess we can keep Louisville, but the tobacco farmers would finally have to start producing new crops (useful crops). Oh yeah and the economy would probably be worse than the 1920's.

Blogger B-Call Says:

Try living with my dad for the first 20+ years of your life. I've got iron lungs. Actually, I'm more sensative to smoke now too, now that I've been out the house for so long.
And if the tobacco industry shut down, then our good friend Will Dartnell wouldn't have such a nice job at RJ Reynolds anymore. Be careful what you wish for.

Blogger Nickolini Says:

Hey, I'm alright with Willy D losing his job for the sake of our lungs. Justin....remember, the gov't is in control of big tobacco...everyone knows that numerous politicians are riding in the pockets of the tobacco companies. It would actually be anti-government to ban smoking. Free the people...long live pink lung tissue!!!

Blogger Bragg Says:

I guess I see a reason to riot.

If big tobacco is a protagonist (remember that the protagonist isn't always a "good" or "lofty" person) and I am the antagonist (and just like protagonist, antogonist isn't always a "bad" person, just someone who has a view that differs from the protagonist), then why isn't my right to live happily in a place where my lungs can grow and thrive, just as important as the right of those to destroy themselves?

My dad smokes, and it kills me when I'm around it. My lungs have become so very sensitive to that stuff as well.

Blogger Jeri Says:

Dude All my grandparnets died because of smoking and it's effects. I'm glad to see most restuarants are banning it now. It's the single most dumb thing on the face of the earth!

Blogger The Barber Says:

Big News for Em and myself. The other realtor pissed off the bank in Florida so the bank told him they were not willing to deal with him. They actually increased the value of the home just to get the realtor going. At least for now we do not get the house. Another painful month with Mom and Dad. I Love them, just can't live with them.

Anonymous Quentin Says:

Well. You've struck a nerve.

My fiance gets sick at least once every two months - she washes her hands very frequently, she sprays cleaners everywhere and is very careful to not come in contact with people who are ill. Everyone I've ever seen who are very careful about catching anything gets sick often. It's about developing an immunity, which is why I don't get sick but a couple times a year even though I'm around her and her children every time they're sick. People are more sensitive to "second hand smoking" partially because of that - they're exposed to it less and have lost their immunity.

The main reason that people are so affected by second hand smoking has MUCH less to do with smoking than it has to do with our national air quality and pollution. Respitory illnesses are a PLAGUE on children these days because our air quality has been destroyed by years of pollution. "Second Hand Smoking" doesn't exist - people think that preventing smoking will fix their breathing, only because it's the first thing they see. It's a band-aid issue. Put the band-aid on the cut and you don't see the cut anymore, but the infection and the massive damage to our air quality will *not* be corrected.

Anyone who carries the banner calling for the elimation of "second hand smoke" is a tool of short-sighted activists who haven't really looked at what the real problem is.

As a side note, let me also say this in defense of smokers. Is smoking foolish? Of course. Should people quit? Absolutely. But until you've spent time dealing with an actual ADDICTION, you have little ground to stand on.

Blogger Nickolini Says:

That sucks Darren...sorry to hear that. There's nothing worse than getting your hopes up about something and then it falls through....well maybe there is one thing worse....Justin getting a purse.

Blogger Bragg Says:

A great phrase I seem to keep coming back to as a teacher is, "Pick the battles you can win and fight those." The smoking thing is a battle I feel I can win because I can choose to not frequent the establishments which support smoking in enclosed environments. I can vote for politicians who are in favor of smoking bans. While I'm not the activist who's going to stand outside RJ Reynolds with a sign (because I really do have better things to do with my day), I can influence those around me.

Placing a Band-Aid on the cut may not correct the injury, but isn't it at least a start toward getting the problem fixed. I mean if this is the metaphor you are going to use, then let's extend that metaphor. A deep wound requires immediate medical attention. You call 911 or take them to the hospital, but you also apply some gauze to the laceration to keep the injured from bleeding out. I mean after all, what good is going to the hospital if the injured is just going to die before they get there?

In the case of cleaner air, don't we have to start somewhere? As we make more people aware of the implications of smoking, and second hand smoke, we can start the process of changing an industry. Environmentalists have been up Washington's ass for the last 30-40 years to change regulations on factory and industrial impact on the environment. Is the problem fixed? No of course not. But it's a hell of a lot better than it was. Lake Erie hasn't caught fire in quite a while if I recollect.

But you're right. I most likely am a "tool of [a] short-sighted activist who [hasn't] really looked at what the real problem is." But then to get to where you are heading with your red herring argument you have to be progressive without actually seeing the trends from where we've come and where we are heading.

I guess because I don't have any addictions*cough-cough-bullshit*, however, you should all just dismiss my rant as useless drivel taking up space and time in JW's comment section.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

q - let me say that i think the concept of smoking is stupid, but i also understand the concept of addiction, and that you cannot simply flip a switch and stop. it's not that simple and it never will be. i hope i didn't convey that sentiment, cause it's a foolish and insensitive way to think.

this is simply me saying that i wish that the next generation - my kids - could go through life not having to deal with even the possibilitiy of that addiction. it's just like wishing that they wouldn't have to deal with war or famine or disease, i understand... even though none of those are technically products sold on the market by an organization in a capitalist system... well i guess maybe war is if you count the dudes who make grenades and whatnot..

anyway. saying that second-hand smoke doesn't exist is kind of the other side of the spectrum from the black-and-white 'smokers should be shot' group. when i am in an enclosed area, and i inhale cigarette smoke, it makes me ill. it makes me very ill because i have respiratory problems. they were probably caused by environmental factors as well. but it doesn't change the fact that inhaling smoke makes it worse. that is undeniable, because i have experienced it firsthand.

because that same smoke has been shown to cause a wealth of medical problems, i can also say that if i inhale it, besides making just me, the asthma kid, feel like crap, i know that if someone who has lived in a clean room their whole life inhaled that smoke, it would damage them, and that it would not help them, or have zero effect. and i don't want to build up an immunity to it - it will kill me long before that happens. i want to not breathe it at all.

that said, obviously things should be done to address the pollution problems as well. it's a good thing the government has chosen to spend so much time and resources focused on those kinds of America's problems, and not instead, say, chosen to spend billions on trying to fix another country.

Anonymous Quentin Says:

I can see your point about "second hand smoke" having an immediate effect, but that's my point as well - it has an immediate triggering effect, but it's not the root of the problem. If you ban second hand smoke, you might as well ban bonfires and fireworks and incense burners. The dangerous parts of smoking are what go into the smokers lungs, the chemicals. Second hand smoke is just that: smoke - and an incredibly lesser amount than received by the smoker. Second hand smoke is, ironically, a smoke-screen rallying point of anti-smoking organizations because they know that people will fall for it. "Hey, I've been affected by second hand smoke!" Yes, but you haven't been damaged by it, you've merely detected it. Second hand smoke has not been proven to do *anything* harmful to people.

"But those commercials show little kids and adults who've died of lung cancer and they've never smoked." Sure, and no one ever died of lung cancer before cigarettes were invented.

I agree, smoking should be stamped out - it's addictive and harmful and entirely too easy to get pulled into. I've quit smoking, but for the rest of my life I'm going to want a cigarette. I'll support any measure that limits smoking or access to smoking, as long as it doesn't mention the mythical "second hand smoke" lie. It's insulting.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

nod. we can go back and forth on this all day, because i hear you saying that breathing in cigarette smoke is not harmful to humans. the problem with saying 'you might as well ban bonfires' and whatnot... there are good things, useful things, that we accept about things that also present a certain danger, and we accept the tradeoff of the danger because we want the positive aspect as well.

there is absolutely nothing useful about a cigarette. humanity would be better off if they did not exist. and it sounds like you have a problem with that statement.

sure people died of lung cancer before cigarettes. that's not the point. more are dying now. that's bad. if a murderer was wandering around shooting people, we wouldn't say, crap, people have been dying for years, why bother doing something about that dude? no, we would eliminate the source of the problem - because not one good, positive thing comes from dude walking around shooting people.

my perspective on this is skewed as i have never smoked or had a desire to, so please take my comments from that angle. i cannot say i fully understand the other side.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

q - i reread your post and i think i understand your point. people overblow the 'second hand smoke' thing making it into a devil that it really isn't. it probably is jacked up by the anti-smoking media, in the same way liberals & conservatives exaggerate against each other. in any case, it makes this guy miserable :)

Anonymous Quentin Says:

I have no problem with the statement that cigarettes are bad all around. I've agreed with every point you've made, except when it comes to any statement that is based on the "second hand smoke" theory. Other than that, I agree wholeheartedly. Should there be divisions between smoking and nonsmoking sections? Yes, otherwise the nonsmoking section isn't exactly nonsmoking. Hell, everywhere Vickie and I go with the kids has to be in a nonsmoking section because smoke in the air will trigger her daughters asthma (although, not as much as her mother believes).

My point is that second hand smoke is *not* the danger people say it is. Yes, it will trigger asthma. So will cold air. Second hand smoke is as bad for you as cold air is - it does not cause cancer, take years off of lives or "endanger the public". It is a myth created by marketeers because they know that can dupe the public into believing that "second hand smoke" is as dangerous as first-hand smoke. People have personally felt the reaction of "second hand smoke" and feel that they're in danger.

Simply, second hand smoke is harmless, (ie, no lasting effects/damage). Everything else, I agree with.

Anonymous Quentin Says:

And then you up and post while I'm yammering away... :-D

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

not the end of the world, yes. harmless? sorry man... it hurts me. nothing makes me unable to breathe - not cold air or walking five feet or anything - like breathing cigarette smoke. maybe it doesn't hurt you or whatever, congrats to you for that... and no, it hasn't caused lung cancer in me, but it certainly isn't like smelling a rose. it seriously hurts me. can't agree there :)

Blogger Simon Says:

Sorry to jump in so late...

"Second hand smoke has not been proven to do *anything* harmful to people."
Simply, second hand smoke is harmless, (ie, no lasting effects/damage)."

Quentin, Hi I'm Simon, haven't met you (I think) but hey, whatever...Maybe you're studying the effects of 2nd hand smoke, but please, state your source for these crazy remarks...
I've just got a few problems with some of your comments. Although you make SOME good points, your main idea about 2nd hand smoke being absolutely harmless is absurd! You pretend it doesn't even exist!

First off, I'll just give you a little link here to the American Lung Association, and the list of some of the HARMFUL things 2nd hand smoke does to people!

2nd Hand Smoke Fact Sheet

I think this may be the funniest thing I've ever heard...
"Second hand smoke is as bad for you as cold air is"
Are you serious? Having asthma or not, cold air is not bad for you in any way.
Sure, cold air sometimes makes it harder to breathe, but it doesn't have any lasting affects on you. The cold air causes the mucus in your lungs and nose to thicken and it becomes harder to breathe, but warm up and you're back to normal.
Inhaling secondhand smoke cause symptoms of the same sort, but it isn't the thickening of mucus that causes the temporary discomfort, it is the lungs being filled with harmful smoke and chemicals from cigarettes. The smoke may leave the lungs quickly, but it damages the tissue before it leaves.

My 2 favorite things from the list I linked here are

-In the United States, 21 million, or 35 percent of, children live in homes where residents or visitors smoke in the home on a regular basis. Approximately 50-75 percent of children in the United States have detectable levels of cotinine, the breakdown product of nicotine in the blood.
Last I checked, cotinine was pretty harmful...how are all these kids getting cotinine in their blood???

-New research indicates that secret research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed the finding during the next two decades.

hmmmm, "highly toxic"...sounds pretty harmless to me. I can't count how many labels I see on bottles that say "Toxic, please drink"!!!

I've looked all over about second hand smoke being HARMLESS, and I just can't find any reliable source that supports it. Sorry 'bout your luck...SECOND HAND SMOKE REALLY DOES EXIST!

Anonymous Quentin Says:

I never said it doesn't hurt. I said it was harmless (no lasting effects/damage). Pulling tape off your arm hurts, but it's essentially harmless. Breathing 'second hand smoke' hurts, yes, and that's why it's an easy pivot for anti-smoking campaigns, and with enough time, they'll convince the public that it's not harmless. That's my only beef.

Anonymous Quentin Says:

Simon, hi! Never too late to join in a good debate. I never said that "second hand smoke doesn't exist". I've also never claimed that it's similar to a gentle massage for children.

The direction I come from for all of my points is the same: examine the facts that are handed you.

"Approximately 50-75 percent of children in the United States have detectable levels of cotinine." That's just about one of the most biased statistics I've ever heard. Detectable? Apples have 'detectable' levels of cyanide in them. We have 'detectable' levels of radiation in us as well. I bet we've got 'detectable' levels of other bad chemicals in us that can only be gotten through pollution, drug use, television, cell phones, plastics and industry.

And as far as my credibility, I've offered none. I've done no research on this because I've never taken up enough interest in it to field studies or anything like that - I have, however, take offense to *every single* argument people have given me against second hand smoke. I don't take offense to it because I used to be a smoker, it offends me because not one of them has stood up to reason and neutrality.

Blogger Simon Says:

So if you have nothing to offer that says second hand smoke is harmless, how do you figure that it is harmless? I could say chopping off my foot is harmless, but I have no proof that it is. Just because you say that 2nd hand smoke is harmless doesn't magically make it so. It is medically proven that 2nd hand smoke is harmless. I lived in a house with parents and sisters that smoked for 18 years, trust me, I have a lower lung capacity because of it. That my friend would be considered harmful. Have you ever looked at the walls in someone's house who has smoked for a number of years? They are caked yellow. Where do you think that yellow comes from? And if you also live in that house, and you don't smoke, don't you think that gets in your lungs too? I'm willing to bet it isn't harmless...

So, until you offer some sort of proof that it's harmless, it's just a meaningless opinion, which sure, you're entitled to wrong opinions, everyone is.

Anonymous Quentin Says:

Aha, there's the rub. My point is that it's *not* the second-hand smoke that's done it, but it's nearly impossible to prove because of the diffulty.

Look at families in the early to mid 1900s. Smoking was popular, it was a status symbol, it was very common. The rise of asthma and respitory illness have been increasing dramatically in the past couple decades - let's even be generous about that, in the past four decades. My proposition is that it's our air environment itself that has lead to the increases in respitory illnesses. I can't prove that, no one can, because the studies for how bad air quality was, or how many kids suffered from beathing illnesses doesn't exist for those early decades - but everyone agrees that kids breathing is rapidly getting worse.

Of course kids living in a home of smokers are going to pick it up (from the air that is, not the habbit, although they usually do), I'm not arguing that. Anything in your air over years is going to build up and affect you. But banning second hand smoke in a restaraunt or (hilariously) an outdoor baseball stadium is NOT the solution to that problem.

I'm painting myself into a corner here, trying not to contradict things that I've said earlier, but without sounding like a argumentative weasel. My definition of second hand smoke is smoke you encounter in a public place, since that's the only thing they can legislate. If a kid is exposed to a parent's smoke in the house for years and years, obviously, that will damage them. But they can't outlaw smoking in your own home, so they attack restaraunts. Second hand smoke, if it harms you at all, harms you at home over years and years - second hand smoke in that you encounter in the street, or a restaraunt, or (ha) in an outdoor baseball stadium is harmless.

The campaign against second hand smoke is without merit. It's like claiming that whaling is making whales extinct and then claiming that it's goal is to eliminate whaling in the Great Lakes. It's a smear campaign, that's all.

Blogger Simon Says:

Wow...you're something special bud!

Anonymous Quentin Says:

Simon, I'm sorry - I entered a discussion with you thinking you'd debate. I apologize, I see now that you're more interested in derogatory remarks and flames.

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