Re: That's not how knowledge works

1

The habitual smoker always lies. The social smoker always tells the truth.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
2

The message I took from the ad is that you can have a raging good time and live like you are in the poster for a 1970s sex comedy if you join a fraternity. Was that not the message?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
3

If you can't tell, neither can anyone else.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
4

To identify former smokes, the question in the studies with which I'm familiar is "Have you smoked more than 20 cigarettes in your life?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
5

Former smokes are ashes, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
6

I guess the message is that people should smoke more when they are sober? Was this thing sponsored by Phillip-Morris or something?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
7

Last month there was one about the dangers of hookahs. I actually took a photo of that one, too, but didn't post it. The dumbest line from it: "One hour of hookah = 100 to 200 cigarettes" with an infographic illustration of 100 to 200 cigarettes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
8

4: That question hits me right on the 'maybe'? I'd say confidently yes to ten, and confidently no to fifty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
9

4: "What, like, at once?"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
10

I'm pretty sure that even if I can't tell, the ones that only smoke when they drink can tell each of him or herself, and also … this poster makes no sense.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
11

I guess the message is that people should smoke more when they are sober? Was this thing sponsored by Phillip-Morris or something?

At root, it could well be - when I looked up the campaign behind this poster, an article described it as funded by the state health department, and they'll have at least some tobacco settlement money needing to be used for this.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
12

You know, I've been thinking I should start smoking, but cigarettes seem so expensive it wouldn't be worth it. Maybe I should buy a hookah.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
13

If you grew a mustache you could start smoking a pipe.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
14

It only takes twelve minutes of hookah to un-Betteridge 4.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
15

I have a mustache. Might have to shave the beard, though.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
16

8: The point of it is to get rid of the uncertainty you have when you ask about past smoking. You're messing up somebody's psychometrics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
17

My neighborhood now has a hookah bar in addition to its useful, real bars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
18

Trying to defend the poster, is the actual point supposed to be that 'smoking only when I drink' is a gateway drug to 'just plain smoking'? There's no way to read it like that literally, but it's the only thing that makes sense to me as a message.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
19

Its also a gateway to alcoholism.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
20

Yeah, Lee and I had a bitter battle about whether she still counted as a social smoker once she started saying "I want a cigarette; I should go to the bar." Unfortunately my winning meant she's at the bar all the time wishing she could quit, but I guess this way I get something out of it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
21

Yeah, Lee and I had a bitter battle about whether she still counted as a social smoker once she started saying "I want a cigarette; I should go to the bar." Unfortunately my winning meant she's at the bar all the time wishing she could quit, but I guess this way I get something out of it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
22

Damnit. But yes, I concur with 19 also.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
23

That and that people who say they only smoke when they drink are either liars, daily drinkers, or young people who will either stop soon or become regular smokers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
24

23 to 18 before seeing the intervening comments.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
25

Back in the day I used to smoke Mangalore Ganesh Beedies. Purchased in bulk, they could be had for a couple of pennies. Love those things, but I haven't seen them in a long time. Probably the Democrats outlawed 'em.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
26

I don't actually think 23 is true, though I live in a very smoking- and drinking-friendly area. I know a whole lot of people who only seem to smoke when they drink, and I do see plenty of them when they're doing neither. I don't get it and I'm secretly judgmental, but what else is new?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
27

I only use cocaine when I'm with hookers.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
28

I'm probably exaggerating or projecting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
29

Ganesh Beedie of Mangalore is my favorite Lensman character.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
30

27 -- the key is to pair the right hooker with the right cocaine, which is what your cocaine sommelier can help you with.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
31

People (including my doctor) say some version of 23 all the time, but I don't think it's true for everyone. There have been some years of exception (e.g., a couple years in law school when I was smoking one or two a day, and most of the last few years, when I've been smoking maybe once every month or so), but generally I smoke about one or two a week. I mean, maybe this is a gateway to full-blown pack-a-day smoking, but if so, it's been like a twenty-year gateway.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
32

People (including my doctor) say some version of 23 all the time, but I don't think it's true for everyone. There have been some years of exception (e.g., a couple years in law school when I was smoking one or two a day, and most of the last few years, when I've been smoking maybe once every month or so), but generally I smoke about one or two a week. I mean, maybe this is a gateway to full-blown pack-a-day smoking, but if so, it's been like a twenty-year gateway.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
33

Anyway, I take the poster to mean that I should smoke a lot more, because people can't tell the difference and the primary determiner of one's health is the opinions of one's peers?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
34

I was reading it as trying to say that it's impossible to determine who's a social smoker and who's a "real" smoker, so you should be concerned for your friends' health even if they shrug off their addition as mere social smoking.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
35

People (including my doctor) say some version of 23 all the time, but I don't think it's true for everyone.

I think it's the D.A.R.E psychology, that you can't introduce any subtlety or nuance into educating people about vices because they'll use it as an excuse to go apeshit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
36

Cigarettes are so fucking great it's hard to be on the fence about them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 4:44 PM
horizontal rule
37

I have said this here before, but I am barred by nature from being a social smoker. If I light up while drunk and not a regular smoker, I barf.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
38

Hott.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:04 PM
horizontal rule
39

It's a good way to get more space at a bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
40

Some bars.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:09 PM
horizontal rule
41

I only like the banana flavor cigarettes. While drunk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:10 PM
horizontal rule
42

The vomit fetish bar scene is pretty small, but I suppose plenty of places will kick you out for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
43

41: Is that the flavor of American Spirit in the yellow box?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
44

Presumably.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
45

Somebody told me that but I assumed they were joking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:16 PM
horizontal rule
46

I assume this means the tooth fairy is real.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
47

What does it mean if you only have one cigarette a month?


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
48

It means he gets results, you stupid chief! (sorry, contractually obligated to make that joke.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
49

I guess I could try vaping, but I don't want to be That Guy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
50

Vaping seems to take away the entire point of smoking, which is to have a cigarette. It's funny, I thought I'd lost not only the habit but the desire, but this thread has left me wanting one.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
51

Vaping seems pointless to me if you don't get that calming/exhilarating rush.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
52

I guess my main concern with starting smoking again is that I would smell like ass. I guess vaping is better from that perspective?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
53

Though, honestly, I don't think I could be bothered to purchase and maintain all the vaping paraphernalia. I should just bite the bullet and buy a pack of smokes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
54

my main concern with starting smoking again is that I would smell like ass

Just to work through this, do you remember specifically what you were smoking back then?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:28 PM
horizontal rule
55

I thought gaping did give you the rush, but with less tar?

The blood donation questionnaire asks, "have you smoked all or part of a cigarette in the last 72 hours?", and I always think, "How weasely do you have to be to need the 'or part' part?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:33 PM
horizontal rule
56

-g +v


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
57

You see guys at bus stops putting out their smoke and saving it for later. I'm opposed, because I think that will ruin the magic whereby a bus used to come whenever I lit a cigarette.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
58

55.1 sure is a hell of a typo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
59

This one strikes near and dear to my heart. I haven't smoked a cigarette in over 18 months, for the first time in approaching fifteen years. I've switched to ecigarettes.

Which are kind of controversial, of course. I'm not going to get into it all because I could write paragraphs and paragraphs about it. But there are a lot of people that really hate them and want people to believe that ecigarettes are "no healthier" than regular cigarettes. But if that's true, then would it be health-neutral if I actually went back to lighting tobacco leaves on fire and breathing in the smoke? Do they really believe that?

Some other subset (and in some cases the same subset!) of anti-smoking advocates dismiss ecigarette-friendly studies that demonstrate that even the people that they don't help quit they do help cut back on the smoking dramatically. They say, and with a straight face, that reducing cigarette consumption does nothing for your health. Really? So it's an "in for a penny in for a pound" thing?

I still can't tell if they really believe this, or if it's the inability to handle nuance. I'm really inclined to say the latter, but they say these things with such consistency that it's hard to believe they don't think there is any truth behind it.


Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 04-28-15 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
60

23 is completely false, for some people, anyway.

I was an occasional smoker for years and years, and even when I smoked on a daily basis, it was 2 or 3 a day. I haven't smoked in a couple of years, but that's not to say I might not have one in the future with a beer. And the last couple of times I did smoke, it was at intervals of several weeks/months.

I just don't find cigarettes that addictive. I'm sure that alcohol, coffee, soda, and some foods are more addictive to me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 2:21 AM
horizontal rule
61

Like jms in 32, if occasional smoking is a gateway, it's been a long gateway. I smoked fairly heavily in my late teens, and again for a couple of years in my mid to late 20s, but generally, in the 20 years I've been smoking, I've never felt the need to smoke much more than the occasional one.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 2:26 AM
horizontal rule
62

I got deliciously stoned just from inhaling the dope smoke in a cellar in Prague. I could have done with a real smoke then: back in the day I used to find that nicotine gathered the wits that hash had scattered. A similar effect was noticeable with smoking and drinking. When I quit smoking I found that drink made me sleepier much more quickly. So I drank less, which was probably a good thing, too.

Now I want a rollup. Nothing beats the pleasure of making a cigarette and then smoking it carefully.


Posted by: President Masaryk | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 4:35 AM
horizontal rule
63

60: I've never smoked. Maybe I could manage it ok. My Dad couldn't, but I've managed fine with alcohol, and he couldn't.

I think I'm pretty addicted to at least one cup of coffee a day.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 4:36 AM
horizontal rule
64

59: I think it's a holdover from the long history of cigarette companies making phony health claims; that's created a lot of resistance to the concept that there's anything a tobacco/nicotine-delivery-by-whatever-means manufacturer can do to ameliorate the bad effects.

60, 61: I wonder if the idea that there are no social smokers, once you start, you turn into a heavy smoker, used to be true before the current level of anti-smoking social pressure. That is, if a social smoker in 1980 had a momentary craving for a cigarette at a time when they wouldn't usually smoke, there was nothing stopping them, and they'd be fairly likely to do it, and slip down the slippery slope. Now, finding a place you're allowed to smoke is a bit of a project, and so light smokers have a socially enforced defense mechanism against increasing their level of smoking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 5:09 AM
horizontal rule
65

61: You say that now, but you'll be sorry when you're 90 and smoking 2 packs a day.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 5:45 AM
horizontal rule
66

I think that public health campaigns tend towards absolute pronouncements for two reasons. The first is that the best available science isn't sufficiently nuanced to support a claim like "smoking fewer than ten cigarettes a week does not measurably increase cancer risk." For epidemiology like that, you need huge, costly studies. It's cheaper and easier to compare two-pack-per-day smokers with nonsmokers and find large increased cancer risk. Also, there's a time effect, so how long would you need to follow a light smoker to see an effect? (Obviously, you wouldn't do this as a prospective study, but you'd need to find groups like 80 year old light smokers who'd started in their teens.) So, in order to be as accurate as possible, you get messages that say that any amount of nicotine may be a cancer risk.

The second reason is that public health tends toward simple messages, because (a) risk reduction strategies still haven't taken a strong hold in the field (think of opiate addiction) and (b) they figure the public message should be "cigarettes are bad" rather than the more nuanced "yes, they're bad, but a few every now and then is probably OK, and if you can reduce your consumption, that's good."

The science about DNA damage and nicotine shows a linear dose-response, but the combination of nicotine and formaldehyde or tar (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) and formaldehyde generates more significant damage than any element separately. I think it's entirely likely that vaping or e-cigs would give a meaningful reduction in risk while leaving users at higher risk of tobacco-related disease than non-users.

(Part of my graduate work was funded by the Philip Morris settlement.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 5:58 AM
horizontal rule
67

I wonder if the idea that there are no social smokers, once you start, you turn into a heavy smoker, used to be true before the current level of anti-smoking social pressure.

And financial pressure. Smokes are expensive these days.

Still, while I'm sure you're right that social smoking is more common, it's always existed. I'm old enough* to have smoked in my high school's designated student smoking area; I knew social smokers then and have ever since.

The myth about the impossibility of social smoking probably originates with people like me -- addicts who can't imagine a non-addict smoking the occasional cigarette. I smoked my last cigarette 30 years ago, but if I smoked a few today (which I would dearly love to do), I suspect I'd smoke a pack tomorrow.

*I'm old enough that I frequently begin sentences "I'm old enough ..."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
68

59: I think the explosion of ecigs caught public health types flatfooted: there was so little data* that they couldn't just follow what the data said, and so they had to go on habit/instinct/speculation. I remember radio stories from the first year or two of legal sales - when the numbers were still tiny - and people who were traditionally on the same side were in complete disagreement.

I'll say this: the evidence has come in pretty quickly that ecigs are a lot more dangerous than the initial claims, which were essentially that it was no more harmful than a patch or nicotine gum. They're clearly more dangerous than those nicotine delivery systems, and also clearly less dangerous than cigarettes. But we really have no idea (yet) what the ratios are. Maybe ecigs remove 90% of the risks of cigarettes; maybe it's only 10%. We also have no idea what usage will look like. What's looking like massive adoption by teens could result in completely new norms - or not. But it's entirely possible that the qualities of ecigs could lead people who would have been ttaM or jms to be pack a day users, or people who would have been 10-15 a day users into 2 pack a day users. Or the reverse!

It's obviously silly to say there's no difference, and public health people have a native tendency towards exaggerating threats, but I understand the reluctance to embrace ecigs as the solution to all our smoking problems. They're a clear improvement for longtime regular smokers, but I'm not sure we can say anything else with confidence.

*nice job, FDA or BATF or whoever pretty much let them go to market with minimal review


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
69

On the social smoking thing, I'm not sure I've seen a big push against the idea of their existence, but it's been a long time since I've frequented places where they do a lot of anti-smoking campaigning. I've certainly long been aware of the concept of people who only smoke while out drinking (although I've also known many, many people who tell me they're social smokers and then just become smokers).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 6:33 AM
horizontal rule
70

I was near a conversation Sunday that divided the world into those who like banana Runts and those who revile them.

This was relevant upthread, I swear.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
71

This is a good article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/11/the-nicotine-fix/382666/

apparently smokeless tobacco is pretty safe (though disgusting)


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
72

Banana Runts are so disgusting I suspect they are also unsafe.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
73

Bee swarms use banana flavoring to home in on their targets, so.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-29-15 11:49 AM
horizontal rule