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Ear to the Ground

Bad News for Older Smokers

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Posted on Sep 3, 2007
elderly smoker

Cigarette smoking is even worse for your health than previously thought. Dutch researchers have found that smokers over the age of 55 are 50 percent likelier to develop some form of dementia.

Reuters via Yahoo:

Smoking did not affect the Alzheimer’s risk for people who had that gene. But people who did not have the gene had a 70 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s if they smoked.

Smoking could cause small strokes, which in turn damage the brain and cause dementia, Breteler said.

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JimBob's avatar

By JimBob, September 4, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

But they do get off.  Eventually.  It takes a whole cultural and PR push to get people to smoke in the first place—because you’re more likely to be nauseated than anything else.  But once “I can quit any time I want,” becomes “I know it’s four AM and the 24-hour market is seven miles away, but I want a fucking cigarette!” then the buzz consists of discomfort the craving creates. 
IOW, it never felt good having a cigarette until it started feeling bad NOT to have a cigarette.

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By Scott, September 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Doing tobacco always seemed a particularly stupid thing to do. Why on Earth would anyone want to do a drug that doesn’t get them off?

I just don’t get it.

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By WykydRed, September 4, 2007 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Boy! I’m glad I’m not Dutch! Guess I can keep smoking.

It’s just another effort by the “I’m better than you are” smug dirtbags to villianize something they don’t want other people do to because “they” don’t like smoking. Even the American Government is lying about how many smokers there are out here. They’re claiming 45.5 million, the facts are, there are 156 million of us. And yes, smoking still has a 98% recidivism rate. Just another effort at lying to make it seem as if we’re the “minority who no longer matter”...

Here’s an idea. All smokers, since we are not being represented in State government or Government government, stop paying taxes. All taxes. Just go to the IRS and sign the paperwork. The proof is clearly against any argument to circumvent we are not being represented. Wonder what the government would do?

I am a smoker and will continue to be. This world is overpopulated as is, and 6.5 billion of us need to die off as a whole if there is to be any continuation of humanity. I figure I’m just doing my part to get out of the way. I only hope the afterlife isn’t riddled with all these assholes.

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By PaulMagillSmith, September 4, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

RE: #98494 by Dr. Richrad Blacmoor on 9/04 at 4:34 am

Thankyou for making a point about the ‘strawman’ of second hand smoke. Can’t remember where I read it, or who made the claim, but I remember an article that came out a few years ago claiming a study had shown a person would have to sit in a second-hand smoke filled closed car for two weeks just to accumulate the same amount of effect as smoking one cigarette. Of course that info was probably swept under the rug by a smug self-righteous majority who wish to lord it over a substantial minority just so they can feel good about themselves.

I’m somewhat conflicted. I smoke, and have done so for 46 years now. I know (by gleaning through conflicting reports) I probably shouldn’t, especially after undergoing 4 brain surgeries for an inherited problem, but my guilt about smoking is not based on medical issues, rather from an environmental standpoint. Hardly even considering the impact of burning a carbon producing cellulosic material, I’m certain the tobacco growing, manufacturing, & distribution of same contribute substantially to the increase of greenhouse gases and climate change. Still, I’m an addict, and will likely be smoking until the end of the road. It’s a pleasurable companion that has stayed with me when others have deserted, and has likely been around mankind as long or longer than the approximately 10,000 years beer has.

I made a promise to myself several decades ago I would quit smoking tobacco the day pot was legalized, but so far our Puritanical society has assured I’ve never had to face that day. This is a sad commentary on our belief system inspired by the propagandizing efforts of our government in the 1930’s, after it needed something (a scapegoat?) to replace alcohol after prohibition was repealed. It’s always about politics, money, or both, right?

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By DHFabian, September 4, 2007 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I think about this issue:  We know that the most carcinogenic smoke is that which contains oil particles (motor vehicles, factories, not cigarettes). But we target cigarette smoke.  We know that over the past quarter century, smoking has fallen to below 19% of the population, and the majority of Americans have NO exposure whatsoever to cigarette smoke. And yet cancer rates have been skyrocketing. Logic would dictate that we would focus on the leading cause of lung disease/cancers, but the debate has nothing to do with logic.  As long as we can scapegoat a segment of the population, at profit—-we will.  But whatever your views about smoking, this is a dangerous disservice to the American public. I hate to call this obsessive focus on the few who smoke a “smokescreen”, but it is. It is simply politically expedient to target this one small group than to demand accountability and responsibility from the corporate powers that pour poisons into the air daily, but just can’t be burdened with the chains (hear the violin music here for those poor, oppressed corporations) of regulation.

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By Dr. Richrad Blacmoor, September 4, 2007 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I always find this kind of story amusing as someone who does scientific research.
  There is no doubt that smoking is bad for one’s health,but without knowing how a study was done and the data analyzed it is impossible to know if the conclusion is correct at all.
  Any study dealing with the long term effects of something on a living organism has to deal with so many variables that it is tough to reach any reasonable conclusions.
    So called second hand smoke has NOT been shown to cause any problems no matter what you may have read. Most studies have been inconclusive or shown that it has no effect.
  Smoking is good for the economy actually . It is also been scientifically shown many times that smokers cost LESS for health care because they die suddenly and younger. Smokers should get a break on their insurance.
  Smoking has become the new whipping boy.

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By PaulMagillSmith, September 4, 2007 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

Like other good Republicans Bush I guess enjoys his faggs in a mensroom. You were talking about dementia, right?

Just as a little sidenote, I read a study someone had done a couple years ago on 80 centenegarians (spelling might not be correct, but it means people who have reached the age of 100). None were vegetarians, none ate yogurt regularly, and a third of them smoked. I think it more about the genes in your jeans, but like George Bush I have been wrong…once.

All kidding aside, I know smoking is bad for a person’s health, environmentally, and for the economy. Insurance companies offer reduced rates for non-smokers so wouldn’t it be sensible for the government to reduce health care costs by offering a reward or tax break at least to people who gave up smoking? Seems like it would definitely pay for itself. Anyone care to comment on this?

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