Monthly Archives: August 2014

Tobacco is good for you


For sure there’s the 4,000+toxins and buckets full of carcinogens but everything has a good side. Well, apart from wasps and chicory.

Take, for example, the West Nile virus…and at this point West Nile virus needs to be added onto the list after chicory. Spread by mosquitos (damn, yet another addition to the list) the disease can develop polio-like symptoms and, finally, acute flaccid paralysis.

Hang on two ticks; I just need to check on my daughter as all summer holiday she has been limp and barely moving so I’m concerned that she has contracted WNV. Crisis over, it appears she has only contracted teenager syndrome.

It’s been found that monoclonal antibodies developed from tobacco and lettuce attacks and neutralises the West Nile virus. In order to prove it works mice were injected with a lethal dose of WNV before being served up a portion of monoclonal antibodies with 90% surviving. Brilliant news if you are a sub-Saharan mouse.

It doesn’t stop there either.

Rabies may have fallen out of the Top 10 Fashionable Diseases but it’s still no laughing matter as, for humans, it’s invariably fatal. It is being reported that genetically altered tobacco plants have delivered monoclonal antibodies that prevent the virus from attaching around nerve endings of the bite wound.

Given, what the researchers don’t say is that you need to carry it around with you and inject yourself shortly before being bitten so you’ll need to plan those rabid dog attacks into your holiday diary. Given the noxious gases emanating from my elder Springer over the last two days I’m pretty close to thinking that contracting rabies from him might be a preferable alternative.

But wait, right at the top of the current news pops is Ebola; a disease so nasty people are worrying they might be able to contract it from public toilets and speaking on the phone to call centres. Mapp Biopharmaceutical Incorporated have been working hard on press releases on behalf of Big T “we’ve got a monoclonal antibody to treat anything†Reynolds American Inc. Mapp claim that these monoclonal antibodies will attach themselves to the Ebola virus an immobilise it.

Oh, now I’m worried my daughter might be an Ebola virus being attacked by monoclonal antibodies.

But here’s the kicker, the final claim being put forward by the champions of tobacco recently is that it will use these monoclonal antibodies to cure cancer by stimulating the body’s immune system to destroy cancerous cells.

All of this science may well be true and not just a tobacco company on a huge publicity drive. If it is, brilliant, it’s great to have the positive spin put on something lambasted for so long. Just as long as no one tries this positive spin out for traffic wardens, Justin Bieber or people who eat with their mouth open.

Fashion


The messianic scenes held fervour normally reserved for Bible-belt Sunday services, the home end of any football ground and late-Friday night city centre kebab shops.

When it comes to things like this I have form, I am not an early adopter by nature. It wasn’t until the 3GS that I got on board the Apple bus and sucked into the notion we had to replace everything we own that works with something newer that might perform better but probably won’t.

After countless declined opportunities to see The Smiths play I realised I quite enjoyed the music…the day after they split, stupidly late adoption. Wicks are proving to be a lot like Morrissey; there was something simple and it just worked. Then it tried to become more profound and resulted in becoming a pain in the neck.

Silica, simple silica.

Back when I had my first genny, an Aga-T2, I became perplexed and vexed with mesh. Silica was such a delight; it worked in my Evods, it worked in the T2, it worked in drippers and when I finally bit the bullet and bought a Svoëfun it damn well worked in there too.

But then stuff began to get silly.

I managed to keep up with a transition from round wire to flat and even managed to work through a learning curve to build microcoils and use cotton…but what the flip is going on now? Wire with fancy names is appearing all over the shop and I’m left feeling like a Dad at a teen pop concert.

Not content with cotton there’s now rayon. Rayon? I don’t care if the pleasure vaping with it rivals that of being pleasured by the entire troop of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders – it’s bloody rayon. Rayon is the fabric that destroyed my eyes in the 1970s. My mother, on a saving money tip, made me a pair of garish blue shorts out of the stuff. A pair of shorts that tried harder through their tightness to emasculate me than a van-load of stereotypical militant feminists.

The very last thing I want while vaping is a head full of Chessa Davis and the fear that by vaping I may contract a serious case of flares.

I tried to build a Dragon coil, I’ve watched a video about making a Tiger coil but rayon is just a step too far for me. What is coming next? Muff, that’s what; a cotton-like wick made from the discarded pubic hair of body fascists. But why stop there – we can weave Muff in with asbestos to improve durability and wicking even further so that the vape is so good the cloud transforms into a time portal.

I understand this is The Smiths and the Apple launch all over again. I just can’t get my head around wanting to vape at .00003Ω but I just bet that if they ban vaping then that will be the day I really want to try it.

Winning the ASHes


Previous studies carried out estimated that there were between 900,000 to 1.3million vapers (electronic cigarette users) within the UK. The striking lead finding from ASH’s most recent survey is that there are now 2.1million vapers within the UK.

This figure is broken down into 700,000 ex-smokers who now only use electronic devices in place of cigarettes and 1.3million vapers who use vaping devices in addition to their smoking habits.

ASH contrasts the number of smokers who have tried an electronic cigarette. They state that in 2010 only 8.2% had tried one while this figure has now exploded to almost 58%. Of these smokers they note a rise from almost 3% regularly vaping had increased to almost 18% by this year.

They discovered that the figure for the non-smoking general public who knew about electronic cigarettes and vaping now stands at 90% of the population and of those almost two fifths agreed that vaping was a good thing for public health while only one fifth disagreed.

While debate still appears to focus in the media on the topic of vaping being a gateway into smoking ASH report that around 1% of non-smokers had ever tried an electronic cigarette and next to none of them continued to do so – destroying any gateway argument and supporting the findings from 2013.

For the second year running they found that the main reasons for vaping were to use as a tool to stop smoking, to remain from smoking and, for people who dual-fuel (vape and smoke), to cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked.

This turns the gateway argument on its head and amply demonstrates that vaping is not a gateway into smoking cigarettes but a gateway out of smoking cigarettes.

Despite all the arguments that banning and controlling when and where vaping can take place (because it looks like smoking a cigarette), ASH released findings demonstrating that this is far from the case. It stated that only 8% of people who vape use cigalikes (electronic cigarettes that look like cigarettes); these are also known as 1st generation devices.

Of the rest, half vape using second generation devices (a small Ego-type battery and a small tank like an Evod). The other half use 3rd generation devices such as mechanical mods and variable voltage/wattage devices along with genisis or silica tanks and drippers.

The third generation devices were most popular with ex-smokers and so there is a clear progression away from smoking through the three generations of electronic cigarettes.

Repeating the findings of 2013, ASH found that knowledge and understanding of electronic cigarettes was high among children and teenagers. They also demonstrated for the second year running that vaping in children and teens was restricted to a statistically insignificant number – and those who did either dual-fuelled because they were smokers or were ex-smokers. Again, this adds huge weight to the argument that vaping is a gateway out of smoking and not into it.

The report was released on the same day that ASH USA made the following statement: “While the FDA proposal is an important step, ASH is disappointed that the proposal does not include the regulation of the marketing of e-cigarettes nor the banning of flavors, such as bubble gum, that specifically target young people. Even if electronic cigarettes prove to be an effective tool for adults who are trying to quit, they should not be marketed to children.â€

The disconnect between the two positions, one founded in research and the other not, could not be more contrasting. All of ASH UK’s evidence points to the fact that neither are electronic cigarettes marketed to young people nor are young people adopting electronic cigarettes. While ASH USA provide a caveat of “if†ecigs are effective quitting agents, ASH UK’s research amply demonstrates they are working year on year.

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