Thursday 8 January 2015

Signature policies

From the International Business Times...

Islamic State's (formerly known as Isis) ban on cigarettes is one of its signature polices. It has imposed a strict set of Sharia laws barring the use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes in the territories it has conquered across a swathe of Iraq and Syria.

IS has declared smoking "slow suicide" and demands that "every smoker should be aware that with every cigarette he smokes in a state of trance and vanity is disobeying God".

Via Frank Davis


Christopher Snowdon said...

My name is Jason Kim Im a high school student who lives in New York City.
I recenetly found about the third hand smoke and its potential danger. I got really concerend and worrried because My brother who is 20 now, has been smoking since when he was 15. He never smoked inside of the house but about 2 years ago I started realizing he smokes insied of the hosue sticking his head out to outside through opened windows. He then goes out during day and smokes again. In total He smokes about 2-3 cigaretes in home and 5-6 outside of home. Third Hand smokes says its residues clings to smokers hair, skin and, clothes or any substance's surface when smoking occured. Then those residues react with nitrous acid to form hazardous toxic carcinogen. I was really worried because even though he sticks head and hands out to the outside when smokes inside of the house i'm pretty sure that some smoke wil come and "leave residue into home" and his clothes, skin, and hair will have residue too.
Then I read your post and some other people saying this is all hoax to scare people. I can tell you are aredently not believing in this THS thing. However your post in 5 years old and new research came out, I want to know if you stil think that THS is not dangerous. Also I want to know how much do you believe about THS reports. For example do you at least believe that nicotine and other chemicals stays on the surface or do you believe that it is all fake. Is my family (my dad and mom doesnt smoke at all)in danger of having cancer?
These are the latest news or research on THS
Please answer me as soon as possible because I'm really worried to an extent I couldn't fall a sleep.
I tried to send you eamil but I couldn't

Christopher Snowdon said...

Hi Jason,
I'm sorry to hear that you're genuinely concerned about this. There is no such thing as thirdhand smoke. It is not smoke. It is a term coined to alarm people about the faint odour of tobacco that can result from people smoking. It hit the media in 2009 as a result of a psychologist's experiment in which he surveyed people to find out about their 'awareness' of a concept that he had just invented (THS). Since then there have been a very small handful of studies looking at what's in THS - nicotine and nitrosamines at trace levels - but there is not the slightest bit of credible evidence that these microscopic doses are harmful and so THS has largely been ignored, though occasionally resurrected by crazies in California who are looking for an excuse to ban smoking in the home. They have even tried to claim that thirdhand e-cigarette vapour could be dangerous. It's junk science from start to finish. The points I made in this post apply to subsequent research:

Don't worry about your parents. Like nearly everybody else, they have been 'exposed' to THS all their lives. They are at more risk from the New York air. At least there is some actual evidence that diesel fumes are dangerous, albeit at a low level.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Thank you for the quick response. However one more question, do you at least believe that the nicotine and other chemicals linger in the room or clothes? If they do, can they be inhaled or injested into our body?

Christopher Snowdon said...

Yes, they do 'linger' in the sense that their is microscopic residue, as there would be from perfume, coffee fumes, food etc. but nicotine is not harmful even to smokers and is certainly not harmful at the homeopathic doses we're talking about here which are barely above the level at which modern technology can detect them. Same applies to the other substances.

Christopher Snowdon said...

Just to add what Chris wrote: This is a classic case of activists (whose motives have nothing to do with actually protecting your health) taking advantage of scientific illiteracy -- and, indeed, trying to create more such illiteracy. Chemical detection methods have improved to the point that we can detect a few molecules of anything anywhere. So people who want to create inappropriate worry about vaccines can point out the few molecules of contaminants in them. People who want to create inappropriate worry about someone else's smoking can find a few molecules of scary-sounding (but harmless) chemicals on smokers' clothes. Or they can find them on the ground in a pristine wilderness -- because they are everywhere. Did you know that there are detectable levels of cocaine on those Bibles in the pews at church? OMG, Christianity is harming the chiiiildren.

Christopher Snowdon said...

IM sorry to keep bothering you with the question. However I have few more questions. Is it safe to use my brother's clothes(unwashed), blanket (he goes to bed sometimes without taking off clothes that he smoked in )or towel that he used?

Is it perfectly safe entering a room where he smoked few hours after cigarette has been extinguished?

Lastly whouldn't those lingered nicotine and chemicals increase and stack up to level it is harmful if he continues to smoke ?

And Have You looked at some recent news or research they did?

I'm so sorry for keep asking question and for the question i will be asking you in future.

I'm really concerend about my parents and myself


Christopher Snowdon said...

Go and enjoy your life Jason, and stop worrying about things that are not happening. A recent study shows that most cancers are due to bad luck, so there is really not point stressing over made up nonsense like THS.

I makes me very sad, as a mother, to see the worry that the prohibitionist propaganda has caused a young person like yourself. Chris Snowdon has already given you very good information and advice, that you really should take.

Your brother's smoking is not harming you either through SHS or the nonsense of THS. Nobody lives forever, and nothing in this whole wide world is 100% safe, you are in more danger of getting cancer simply from living in a city like New York, than you are from a few stray wisps of tobacco smoke.