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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Do NOT Smoke "All the Time," Dadgummit!

Have to vent a little bit.  Doubt seriously anyone ever sees it. Nobody reads this thing anymore.

Last night, I was asked if I really wanted to die. Um, no.

Then why are you smoking so much?  It turns out that this meant I was smoking daily, and maybe even more than daily.

My response was, and is, that that is not very much!  Let us review:

I smoke a pipe and an occasional cigar. The ACS and the Surgeon General found years ago, and there has never been any serious research overturning this (questionable as I think the Surgeon General's statistics were) that there was "little, IF ANY" increase in death rates for pipe smokers versus never-smokers. Catch the "if any?" You should.  Means they couldn't actually be sure there was any increase in death rates for pipe smokers.  And that was for people smoking up to ten pipefuls a day.

Furthermore, the stats showed that there was no difference--no difference, period--in death rates from never-smokers for people who smoked five or fewer pipefuls a day, or three or fewer cigars a day, or, for that matter, two or fewer cigarettes a day.  In a huge swath of the country, roughly the area between the Mississippi and the Rockies, pipe smokers who smoked five or fewer pipefuls a day actually lived longer than never-smokers.

For the uninitiated, five pipefuls a day is about a pound of tobacco a month.

Now, for perspective: it is true that I try to smoke as much as I can reasonably find time for.  I cannot smoke in the house; I must smoke in the entryway or on the porch.  I cannot smoke at work.  I cannot smoke in my work vehicle.  I have dinner to cook and so forth.  The gruesome reality is that I often (but not always) pack my pipe about a third of the way full and smoke on the way to work.  I probably only smoke a quarter of a bowl that way, but let's call it a third.  And then, I usually smoke a bowl towards the end of the evening.  And that is usually IT.  Occasionally, I find time to squeeze in another half-bowl in the evening, and occasionally, on a Saturday or Sunday, I might find time for two whole bowls!  It's totally--totally--fair to say that I smoke an average of a ten to twelve bowls a week and NEVER more than fifteen (and that pretty rarely).

Again: totally no difference in death rates for those who smoked fewer than thirty-five bowls a week.  Many in that range actually outlived the never-smokers.

I don't even come close to that level of smoking.  It is impossible for me to find the time.

Not that this will convince any of you who are completely indoctrinated, but there it is.

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