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Smoking Linked to Suicide But Smoking Laws Curb the Problem

15 comments

Tougher Laws Decrease Suicide Risk for Smokers

Complaints abound about the new smoking laws: from bans against smoking in public spaces, to increases on sales tax on cigarettes, smokers say they’ve felt many outside repercussions for their habit.  However, it turns out that these laws may do more than simply make smokers’ lives harder.  Specifically, new research suggests that tougher laws on smoking can reduce the risk of suicide for smokers.  This is great news, considering that the new study also found that smokers are at a 2 to 4 times greater risk of dying from suicide than non-smokers.

Smokers More Likely to Take Their Own Lives

Previous research has shown that smokers are more likely than non-smokers to take their own lives.  Partially, this is because people with psychiatric conditions are more likely to be smokers than those who don’t smoke, but the new smoking study found a direct link between smoking and increased suicide risk.  Study results suggested that for every dollar increase in cigarettes, the risk of suicide decreased by 10%.  There were also decreases in suicide risk associated with indoor smoking bans.

Nicotine Linked to Suicide?

Although previous research has blamed outside factors such as a pre-existing psychiatric disorder and propensity to smoke, it turns out that it may be the active ingredient in cigarettes that creates the problem: nicotine.  The new study authors hypothesize that nicotine is associated with changes in the neural pathways of the brain, or the pleasure centers.  Like any addicting drug, cigarettes make people feel good, but when they become dependent on the drug to change their mood, this can lead to depression and anxiety.  Luckily, fewer people than ever before are smoking, with an estimated 18% of the population smoking regularly.  In comparison, in 1965, 42% of the population smoked regularly.

15 Comments

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  1. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Its almost histerically funny they even make such a ludicrous claim that smoking causes suicide. If anything its the smoking bans causing social isolation that creates depression and suicidal thoughts.

    Then toos in they deny psychiatric patients their smokes which help them SELF-MEDICATE against the problems they have already!

    In essence the claims made by anti-smoking prohibitionists is BS. As always they make claims that are flat out lies! To listen to them smoking causes everything and the fact is they cant prove smoking causes a single disease they claim it does!

    This movement will fall flat on its face just like last time as they get laughed out of every part of the world. The damagae they’ve done to every facet of society and culture should let everyone know,dont let Nazi styled laws ever become law again and hang the perpetraitors!

  2. harleyrider1978 says:
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    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Tobacco Truth

    Tobacco Control has morphed into a crusade intent on demonizing both tobacco users and the industry supplying them. This blog examines and comments on scientific issues surrounding tobacco policies – and fallacies.

    Friday, July 18, 2014.

    How Many Americans Smoke?

    This blog answered that question a few years ago, saying it was “either 45.3 million or 52.7 million in 2010, depending on which federal agency does the counting. This wide variance [among adults 18+ years] of age underscores the discordant findings from government smoking data.” (here).

    I wrote, “It is unacceptable that two federal surveys differ by over 7 million in their adult smoking counts. Even worse is the way the government uses the divergent data to spin different stories about smoking. They use the lower [National Health Interview Survey] numbers [43.5 million] to boast about declining smoking rates, which they attribute to higher taxes and smoking bans. They use the higher [National Survey on Drug Use and Health] numbers [52.7 million] to argue for even more onerous anti-tobacco measures.”.

    The irregular counting continues today, and the discrepancy between NHIS and NSDUH is actually growing. Earlier this year the CDC released its count for 2012, which is 42.1 million (here), based on NHIS. My analysis of the 2012 NSDUH, which is sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), indicates that there are at least 51.6 million adult smokers. That’s a difference of nearly 10 million smokers!

    My research sheds light on this discrepancy (here). It’s time for the federal government to acknowledge their data conflict, and resolve it.

    http://rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-many-americans-smoke.html

  4. harleyrider1978 says:
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    About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it quickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4 % is carbon monoxide.

    6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
    (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

  5. harleyrider1978 says:
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    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  6. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Manufacturing the science to meet the agenda, in black on white. Does anyone still have doubts?

    ”Bal laughs when asked about the role of scientific evidence in guiding policy decisions. “There was no science on how to do a community intervention on something of this global dimension,” he says. “Where there is no science, you have to go and be venturesome—you can’t use the paucity of science as an excuse to do nothing. We created the science, we did the interventions and then all the scientists came in behind us and analyzed what we did.”

    Read under the title :
    Tobacco Control: The Long War—When the Evidence Has to Be Created

    http://www.milbank.org/uploads/documents/0712populationhealth/0712populationhealth.html

  7. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Not 1 Death or Sickness Etiologically Assigned to Tobacco. All the diseases attributed to smoking are also present in non smokers. It means, in other words, that they are multifactorial, that is, the result of the interaction of tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of factors, either known or suspected contributors – of which smoking can be one.

    Here’s my all-time favorite “scientific” study of the the anti-smoking campaign: “Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths,” Robert A. Levy and Rosalind B. Marimont, Journal of Regulation, Vol. 21 (4), 1998.

    You can access the article for free on the Cato Institute’s wesbite, Cato.org. This article neither defends nor promotes smoking. Rather it condemns the abuse of statistics to misinform and scare the public. Levy, by the way taught Statistics for Lawyers at Georgetown University Law School. There is also a popular law school class called How to Lie With Statistics.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science
    http://www.manhealthissue.com/2007/06/epidemiologists-vote-to-keep-doing-junk-science.html
    Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science

    Epidemiology Monitor (October 1997)

    An estimated 300 attendees a recent meeting of the American College of
    Epidemiology voted approximately 2 to 1 to keep doing junk science!

    Specifically, the attending epidemiologists voted against a motion
    proposed in an Oxford-style debate that “risk factor” epidemiology is
    placing the field of epidemiology at risk of losing its credibility.

    Risk factor epidemiology focuses on specific cause-and-effect
    relationships–like heavy coffee drinking increases heart attack risk. A
    different approach to epidemiology might take a broader
    perspective–placing heart attack risk in the context of more than just
    one risk factor, including social factors.

    Risk factor epidemiology is nothing more than a perpetual junk science machine.

    But as NIEHS epidemiologist Marilyn Tseng said “It’s hard to be an
    epidemiologist and vote that what most of us are doing is actually harmful
    to epidemiology.”

    But who really cares about what they’re doing to epidemiology. I thought
    it was public health that mattered!

    we have seen the “SELECTIVE” blindness disease that
    Scientist have practiced over the past ten years. Seems the only color they
    see is GREEN BACKS, it’s a very infectious disease that has spread through
    the Scientific community with the same speed that any infectious disease
    would spread. And has affected the T(thinking) Cells as well as sight.

    Seems their eyes see only what their paid to see. To be honest, I feel
    after the Agent Orange Ranch Hand Study, and the Slutz and Nutz Implant
    Study, they have cast a dark shadow over their profession of being anything
    other than traveling professional witnesses for corporate hire with a lack
    of moral concern to their obligation of science and truth.

    The true “Risk Factor” is a question of ; will they ever be able to earn
    back the respect of their profession as an Oath to Science, instead of
    corporate paid witnesses with selective vision?
    Oh, if this seems way harsh, it’s nothing compared to the damage of peoples
    lives that selective blindness has caused!

  9. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    nap.edu

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”

    OSHA SAFE LEVELS

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  10. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Graveyard Admission Criteria

    Posted on July 21, 2014 by Frank Davis

    I came across Audrey Silk asking a question on Facebook:

    Well, I’ve been compiling stories like this on the Smokers’ Graveyard (as Harley points out in the comments under Audrey’s question). But to get into the Smokers’ Graveyard you really need to be dead. And the stabbing story above didn’t end up with someone dead.

    Also Audrey seems to want to restrict the stories to assaults on smokers for smoking. And I don’t restrict my reports to just that. For example, the first entry in it is for Lawrence Walker, who committed suicide a few months after the UK smoking ban came into effect. I have several suicides, and I think they deserve to be in there, because someone’s wound up dead.

    I also have (or hope I have) a number of OAP deaths caused by smoking bans. There were quite a few cases of OAPs in homes who went outside in freezing weather for a smoke, and froze to death after being locked out.

    I’ve also got that young woman who went out to smoke on a balcony in New York, which collapsed and killed her. And several smokers who have fallen off roofs or fire escapes. All deaths that probably wouldn’t have happened but for smoking bans that have driven smokers into exposed positions.

    I’m currently mulling over whether to include Eric Garner, throttled to death by police.

    Cops accused Garner of selling “loosies” — single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps.

    The 43-year-old dad, whose rap sheet lists 31 arrests beginning when he was 16, had three full packs of cigarettes and one open pack of untaxed smokes when cops moved in, police said.

    I guess my slight reservation is that he was selling cigarettes rather than smoking them. Maybe that shouldn’t matter.

    The aim of the Smokers’ Graveyard, in my opinion, is to point out that for all the imaginary deaths that are supposed to be prevented by smoking bans, there are also a number very real deaths that are caused by them. And I think one real death outweighs ten thousand imaginary deaths.
    http://cfrankdavis.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/graveyard-admission-criteria/

  11. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Also Audrey seems to want to restrict the stories to assaults on smokers for smoking. And I don’t restrict my reports to just that. For example, the first entry in it is for Lawrence Walker, who committed suicide a few months after the UK smoking ban came into effect. I have several suicides, and I think they deserve to be in there, because someone’s wound up dead.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:
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    Smoking ban laws cause social isolation and results in suicidal thoughts that can end in suicide. Its not the smoking its the anti-smoking laws!

  13. CarolT says:
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    “Over the 20-year period from 1990 to 2010, suicide rates in the U.S. dropped, and then rose again (Figure 2). Between 1990 and 2000, the suicide rate decreased from 12.5 suicide deaths to 10.4 per 100,000 people in the population. Over the next 10 years, however, the rate generally increased and by 2011 stood at 12.3 deaths per 100,000.” (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
    https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
    The years leading up to 2001, when the suicide rate dropped lowest, were an economic boom time. Then the suicide rate began rising again after the recession behan in 2007.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:
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    The myth of smoking during pregnancy being harmful

    Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:51 CDT

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    In about 1999 I was asked to analyze the data of pregnant women with respect to smoking for a major health insurance company. They were running a campaign to get pregnant women to stop smoking and they expected to find interesting data to support their case.

    I used to teach college courses covering the topic. The text books said that smoking causes underweight premature babies. Because of this babies of smoking mothers are more likely to have birth defects. With alcohol, two drinks a day was considered safe, but with tobacco, there was no safe threshold. I thought this was rather strange. You smoke one cigarette while pregnant and you are more likely to have birth defects? Even for a hard core health fanatic that is difficult to believe.

    Here is what was found in the data. Babies of smoking mothers average weight was 3232 grams (7.1 lbs.). Babies of non-smoking mothers averaged 3398 grams (7.5 lbs.). That is about a half pound difference and it is statistically significant. Seven pounds is a good healthy birth weight that does not set off any alarms. Babies are considered underweight if they are less than 2270 grams (5 lbs.). 4.5% of smoking mothers babies were underweight and 3.3% of non-smoking mothers babies were underweight. This difference is not significant. There is no indication here of a health risk from smoking based on weight.

    The other risk factor is length of term. Normal gestation is 253 days. 4% of smoking mothers did not go to term and 7.8% of non-smoking mothers did not go to term. Smoking mothers did better than non-smoking mothers but the difference was not significant. There was obviously no risk from reduced term for smoking mothers.

    Because the non-smoking mothers had heavier babies one would expect more C-Sections from the non-smoking mothers. There were about 20% more. This is significant at the .05 level but not the .01 level so you could argue the significance either way depending on your bias. The data here is limited because only 5% of pregnant women smoked but the trend for smoking mothers was toward less babies retained in the hospital, less C-Sections, insignificantly fewer pre-term deliveries and an insignificant increase in clinically underweight babies.

    This data can be explained by assuming that when pregnant women are stressed, they self medicate to relieve the stress. Non-smoking women tend to eat more causing the baby to be larger and more difficult to deliver. This can also cause other problems. Smoking women tend to light up when under stress. This is less harmful to the baby than over-eating. For this reason smoking mothers tended to have better outcomes for baby and mother. They also cost less for the insurance company.

    You might be interested in knowing that this information was not used. I was told that the medical insurance business is highly regulated by the government. The company was not allowed to tell the truth about these results even though it was better for the insurance company and for the patients.

    I do not think these results suggest that women should start smoking when they get pregnant. I do think it indicates that it is very poor practice to try to get smoking mothers to stop smoking when they get pregnant.
    About me

    I have a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and have worked in both research and teaching. I am a health nut and do not endorse smoking or care to be around people smoking. I was shocked by these results. My bias if any is certainly against these results. However I think it is horrible to withhold information form people and intentionally give them bad advice to advance a political agenda.

  15. Jae Willims says:
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    This article is totally silly. To state that these anti smoking laws reduce suicides is insane. I would agree that a person who is a chain smoker is more likely to commit suicide than a non smoker or casual smoker, for example. However, it is probably the stress that makes him smoke constantly. A highly stressed person is more likely to commit suicide. For example, I’m sure people that seek a doctor for depression are more likely to commit suicide than the average person who doesn’t seek or need psychiatric help. Would it be fair to assume that going to see a doctor for mental health concerns lead to suicide? No! its the mental stress or illness, not the tobacco! People who drink coffee all day probably have a higher chance of committing suicide than someone who drinks only water, does coffee lead to suicide? silly article!