Make your own free website on Tripod.com

KA9QLQ's home on the web
Some thoughts on smoking.
Home
Some thoughts on smoking.
About Me
Favorite Links
Why GOP?
Photos of Columbus
Web news
Where I live

I was told of this Reason magazine article on Chriastian pipe smokers at Yahoo groups. Enjoy!

 

Put That in Your Pipe
As an act of rebellion against political correctness, pipe smoking is hard to beat.

By Rick Newcombe

The end of the last century saw the birth of two Germans who are among the most famous
individuals in history: Adolf Hitler, the bloodthirsty dictator, and Albert Einstein, the peace-loving scientific genius. Both men held strong views about smoking, and it is worth examining their opinions as we approach the end of the current century. This is especially true in light of the bills pending in Congress that would ban smoking in buildings open to the public, raise tobacco taxes by huge percentages, and regulate tobacco as a drug.

Hitler was a zealot about many things, so it is not surprising that he was an extremist on the subject of smoking, which he considered vile and disgusting. "Adolf Hitler was a fanatical opponent of tobacco," reports Time. He was fond of proclaiming that women of the Third Reich did not smoke at all, even though many of them did. In his fascinating book Cigarettes Are Sublime, Richard Klein, a professor of French at Cornell University, writes that Hitler was "a fanatically superstitious hater of tobacco smoke."

Einstein, on the other hand, was very passionate about his pipe smoking. During one lecture, he ran out of pipe tobacco and borrowed some cigarettes from his students so he could crumple the tobacco into his pipe. "Gentlemen," he said, "I believe we've made a great discovery!" He later decided that his conclusion was premature. He realized that cigarette tobacco lacks the aroma, the fullness, and the taste of pipe tobacco. But what appealed most to Einstein was the entire ritual of pipe smoking: carefully choosing from a variety of pipes and tobaccos, delicately loading the briar, puffing and tamping, and the associated contemplation. "I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs," he said in 1950 at age 71, when he became a lifetime member of the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club.

Fanatical intolerance, as opposed to moderation and consideration, is at the heart of the smoking debate in America today. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to ban smoking in the workplace. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has proposed what he calls the Smoke-Free Environment Act, which would prohibit smoking in
any building that is entered by 10 or more people at least one day a week (except residences, so far). What if the building is privately owned and its owner wants to smoke? Too bad. His private building will be classified as a "public facility." I am a successful entrepreneur who is responsible for sending millions of tax dollars to the state and federal governments each year--from my own taxes, from my company, from our shareholders, from our employees, from our clients, and from our vendors. This tax money finances politicians seeking to pass laws forbidding me to smoke a pipe in my own office.

In addition to the proposed smoking bans, the Clinton health plan would raise the tax on certain cigars by more than 3,000 percent, on pipe tobacco by nearly 2,000 percent, and on chewing tobacco by more than 10,000 (!) percent. Supporters of these tax hikes should read some history. King James I of England, who hated smoking as much as Henry Waxman does, raised tobacco taxes by 4,000 percent. Instead of stamping out tobacco use, he created a huge black market.

David Kessler, head of the Food and Drug Administration, wants to regulate tobacco as a drug, which under the agency's usual standards would probably mean banning it. (Can you imagine what our overcrowded prisons would be like if tobacco were banned?) New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen praises Kessler, as well as the "courageous" members of Congress who are eager to suspend the First Amendment by restricting tobacco advertising.

Smoking has been around for hundreds of years, and it won't go away, regardless of legislation. The Los Angeles Times recently observed: "Russia once whipped smokers, Turkey beheaded them and India slit their noses. The Massachusetts colony outlawed public smoking in the 1630s, and Connecticut required smokers to have permits in the 1940s. At various times between 1893 and 1921, cigarette sales were banned in North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Utah, Kansas and Minnesota." Despite such efforts, about a billion people around the world continue to smoke.

As Klein, the Cornell professor, notes, there is a direct link between freedom and the right to smoke. He writes: "Like other tyrants such as Louis XIV, Napoleon, and Hitler, James I despised smoking and demonized tobacco. The relation between tyranny and the repression of the right to grow, sell, use, or smoke tobacco can be seen most clearly in the way movements of liberation, revolutions both political and cultural, have always placed those rights at the center of their political demands. The history of the struggle against tyrants has been frequently inseparable from that of the struggle on behalf of the freedom to smoke."

Cigarette smokers are reluctant to speak out against anti-smoking measures. It is difficult to be a moderate cigarette smoker, and the typical cigarette smoker is clearly at risk of suffering heart attacks, lung cancer, and emphysema. Despite these health hazards, adults have a right to continue smoking cigarettes. But I hope they will consider pipe smoking as an alternative. The difference between chain-smoking cigarettes and moderate pipe smoking is the difference between drinking a case of beer every day and having a glass of wine with lunch or dinner.

Pipe smoking is a fun hobby. It is relaxing. It tastes good. It feels good. It helps us unwind. It helps us cope with stress. It enhances objectivity. It facilitates contemplation. People like Waxman and Kessler never mention these intangible benefits. They just want to know if the activity in question is "good for you" in a strict biological sense. If not, or if they think it is bad for you, they will attempt to outlaw it. This sort of reasoning would also support a ban on obesity, a requirement that all Americans exercise, the prohibition of junk food, limits on alcohol and caffeine consumption, and so on. The irony is that Waxman is, frankly, a little chubby, while Kessler used to be fat (and yo-yo dieting is quite unhealthy).

Compare these two with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is as healthy as a horse and a dedicated cigar and occasional pipe smoker. I work out regularly myself. I have even trained with Arnold. In fact, I am something of a health nut. I go for a five-mile run at least once a week as part of my exercise program, which includes a minimum of four hours of strenuous workouts each week. I am in terrific physical condition. Yet I'm put on the defensive and treated as a pariah because I enjoy a pipe.

OuR tax money is used to sponsor anti-smoking propaganda--official hate speech from the state. Anti-smoking billboards and TV commercials are aimed at encouraging the average citizen to loathe smoking and, by implication, smokers. Several days ago, I was standing on a street corner in Santa Monica waiting for the light to turn green. A city bus with an anti-smoking message on the side passed by, spewing filthy exhaust fumes. I crossed the street and entered the Tinder Box, a tobacco shop that was founded when Calvin Coolidge was president. The aroma was magnificent. I chatted with the store's founder, Ed Kolpin, who has come to work every day since 1928. He was puffing on his pipe, looking very contented. Ed attributes his good health and long life to the sense of peace that 65 years of relaxed and intelligent pipe smoking have given him.

Ed reminded me of a story about François Guizot, the French historian and statesman. A woman visited Guizot at his home one evening and found him absorbed in his pipe. She exclaimed, "What! You smoke, and yet have arrived at so great an age?" "Ah, madame," he said in reply, "if I had not smoked, I should have been dead 10 years ago." I believe we would have heard similar replies from many other famous pipe smokers who lived long and healthy lives, including Albert Schweitzer, Mark Twain, F.A. Hayek, Carl Sandburg, Bing Crosby, and Norman Rockwell.

Smoker

An article in the Summer 1990 issue of The Compleat Smoker describes an interesting longevity study conducted in Pennsylvania during the late '60s and early '70s. An organization called No Other World performed the research with the assistance of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Lung Association and regional chapters of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. "In the study," reports The Compleat Smoker, "pipe smokers attained an average age of 78--two years older than their non-smoking male counterparts." This may say something about the stress-reducing benefits of pipe smoking. At the very least, it suggests that moderate pipe smoking is not a significant health hazard.

I began smoking a pipe in 1978, at the age of 28. At the time, I was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker. I could not run a mile without collapsing from wheezing, and on many nights my hacking cough woke me up. There was no way for me to be a moderate cigarette smoker. I decided that cigarettes were poison for me, but I still wanted to smoke, so I tried a pipe.

It took a while to get the hang of it. I suffered tongue bite; I broke one pipe because I didn't know how to handle it; I was not used to smoking without inhaling; I smoked way too fast and burned the briar on several pipes--and made a dozen other mistakes typical of the beginning pipe smoker. Pipe smoking is a ritual that requires patience and study. You can't just go to a drugstore, buy the least expensive pipe you can find, and expect to enjoy the smoke. It can take years of study and practice before your enjoyment reaches that point of contentment that only professional pipe smokers know.

When it comes to pipes, I'm strictly a beginning student. Christopher Morley wrote in 1916 that "pipe smoking is properly an intellectual exercise." I have read 17 books on the subject and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of articles, and I still learn something new every time I visit a knowledgeable tobacconist. The best overview of the subject I've seen is The Ultimate Pipe Book by Richard Carleton Hacker, a fact-filled volume written in an interesting and fun style. Pipe collecting as a hobby has become such a passion for me that I own nearly 200 pipes, some dating back to the 1920s and '30s. I know the history of nearly all of them and the biography of the pipe carver. There may be only a few pipe smokers left, but we are intelligent and dedicated.

If smoking has any future at all, it lies in moderate pipe smoking. I realize excessive pipe and cigar smoking can contribute to some forms of mouth, throat, or lip cancer, but it is the excess that is the problem. It is relatively easy, with time and practice, to be a moderate pipe smoker.

As a statement of rebellion against political correctness, it's hard to beat pipe smoking. It's not nearly as risky as smoking cigarettes, and it offers unique pleasures. A whole new world of enjoyment will open up for you once you start discovering the various types of briar, the thousands of blends of exquisite tobaccos from all over the world, the hundreds of traditional and unusual shapes, sizes, and finishes for a pipe, and the possibilities for beautiful artwork carved into meerschaum and briar pipes. Remember the advice of this century's greatest scientist: Pipe smoking facilitates relaxation and objectivity. Also keep in mind that Einstein did not worry about defying convention. And to be a pipe smoker in America in the 1990s, you really must be an individualist.

Rick Newcombe is president and CEO of Creators Syndicate.

Many Christians believe smoking is a sin. I tend to agree with the fallowing artical I obtained from Dr. Jeff Boer.

 

Proverbs 27:9, The Biblical View Of Smoking

11/29/98 PM,  Sharon OPC

Dr. Jeffrey K. Boer

 

          During the last three evening sermons, weve been studying what the Bible has to say about the Christians use of alcohol.  Weve been looking at this question in the context of our study of the Westminster Larger Catechisms exposition of the 6th Commandment, Thou shalt not kill.  In that exposition, the Catechism lists, among other things, under the duties required in the 6th Commandment, a sober use of... drink.  And under the sins forbidden in the 6th Commandment, it lists, among other things, immoderate use of... drink.

          We looked at the Scriptures and also cited historical and confessional support that defends the Christians moderate use of alcohol, both in everyday life and in the Lords Supper.

          Up until now, weve been focusing on the Biblical view of the Christians use of alcohol, but many of the same principles could be applied in discussing the Christians use of tobacco products.  The biggest difference, obviously, is that the use of tobacco products is nowhere commanded in Scripture.  But their use is not forbidden either.  In fact, there is both Biblical and scientific evidence that would indicate that smoking tobacco, in moderation, is consistent with the teachings of Scripture and consistent with godly, Biblical Christianity.

          The pertinent sections of the Westminster Larger Catechism Q. & A. #136 are as follows:

 

          Q.  136.  What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
          A.  The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are [among other things listed], ...immoderate use of meat, drink, labour, and recreations...and whatever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.

 

          This implies, of course, that Christians should be concerned for the health implications of drinking alcohol, smoking, eating various foods, and participating in various activities as well.  But when the Westminster Larger Catechism says that the 6th Commandment forbids whatever... tends to the destruction of the life of any, we must take care that we dont go overboard in interpreting the meaning of that phrase.

          For example:  Is it a sin to live in the city because the air pollution there is significantly higher than in the country and would, therefore, tend to the destruction of ones life?  Is it a sin to put sugar on your corn flakes in the morning, since sugar is apparently not very nutritious and may leech vitamins from your system and give you cavities in your teeth?  Or is it a sin to add a teaspoon of sugar to your coffee? -- Oops!  What about that coffee?  Maybe thats a sin too?  And if eating sugar is a sin, then drinking Coke or other sodas with nearly 8 teaspoons of sugar in every can must be a cardinal sin!  And thats not to mention the extra caffeine, carbonated water, and various other chemicals that all tend to the destruction of ones life, at least to some degree.

          And if were going to call smoking a sin because it tends, at least to some degree, to the destruction of ones life, then do we not have to outlaw a lot of other things as well?

          Actually, when it comes right down to it, theres a health risk associated with almost everything we do!  Driving a car on the Palmetto expressway isnt exactly risk free, as we all know!  Youre constantly exposing yourself to the risk of an accident.  In taking an airplane flight to Atlanta, youre exposing yourself to the risk of a plane crash, not to mention the possible exposure to all those germs that are being recycled through the air circulation system of that plane in flight.  When you eat raw or rare seafood or hamburger or eggs, youre exposing yourself to the risk of hepatitis B or mad cow disease or salmonella poisoning.

          My point is that I dont believe that the Westminster Assembly intended for that phrase, whatever else tends to the destruction of the life of any, to be taken in an absolute and unqualified sense.  Its talking about things that are an obvious and serious, immediate danger to ones health or life, such as playing Russian roulette or mainlining cocaine or sniffing glue.  There are many jobs, many foods and drinks, and many pleasures which carry with them at least a moderate risk to our health and well-being.  Are all such things sinful for Christians?

          The question I want to deal with first of all, is whether or not smoking tobacco can be classified as a substantial enough health risk to make it a sin?  Were bombarded today with anti-smoking campaigns by various cancer organizations and by political lobbyists.  After all, every pack of cigarettes and most packages of pipe and cigar tobacco in America now contain warnings that say something along these lines:  Pipe and smoking tobaccos and cigars contain/produce chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

          Now Im not going to stand here and dispute one, single word of that warning.  I believe it to be absolutely true.  I believe that smoking tobacco increases the risks of certain kinds of cancers.  That fact needs to be weighed, however, with at least three other facts:

          1.  First of all, I also believe that some studies show that eating margarine, peanuts, and many other foods increases the risks of certain kinds of cancer.  So margarine and peanuts and many other foods also contain chemicals known to the state of California (and to all the other states as well) to cause cancer also.  In fact, most of the things we eat and drink every day, including our drinking water, contain chemicals known to cause cancer, if consumed in certain amounts.

          And that brings us to the second fact that needs to be weighed:

          2.  Smoking doesnt always cause cancer.  The question is, In what quantity does smoking become dangerous?  Does all smoking cause cancer?  No.  Does really heavy chain smoking all your life cause cancer?  Sometimes, sometimes not.  Why?  Nobody knows for sure.

          3.  The third fact that needs to be weighed is that smoking tobacco has been found, by some studies, to have certain beneficial effects on health.

          In various scientific studies, for example, smokers have been shown to have:

 

*50% less cancer (obviously not lung cancer, but the other types of cancer).

*50% less Alzheimers disease.

*50% less Parkinsons disease.

*50% less prostate cancer.

*50% less uterine cancer (or endometrial cancer).

*50% less ulcerative colitis.

*30% less colon cancer.

*5 times less osteoarthritis.

*Lowered rates of sarcoidosis and allergic alveolitis (both of these are lung disorders).

*Less acne.

*Less obesity.

*Tourettes syndrome improved within 24 hours while wearing a nicotine patch.

*Attention Deficit Disorder patients showed dramatic improvements as well with nicotine.

*In addition, smoking has been shown to stimulate alertness, dexterity, and cognitive capacity (Which might be one reason why the Synod of Dort gave free cigars to all the commissioners during their deliberations).

*Smoking can also counter both depression and excitability.

 

          Im not going to take the time in this sermon to cite all of the supporting documentation for those statements, but Ill attach them to the e-mail version and Ill also make them available to anyone who wants a copy of them after the service.

          These studies included cigarette smokers, many of whom would probably not be considered to be moderate smokers.  Most of the negative health risks associated with smoking tobacco are associated with heavy smoking.  And yet, these studies seem to show that even heavy smokers derive certain health benefits from smoking along with the increased health risks of certain other kinds of diseases.

          Moderate smoking carries with it far less health risks than heavy smoking, according to certain studies that have shown that 3-5 cigarettes (the pre-1960, strong ones) can be quite easily assimilated over the course of a day with relatively little risk.

          Heavier cigarette smoking is related to increased risk of emphysema (which takes @ 30 years of smoking to develop).  And heavier smoking is also related to increased risks of lung cancer, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease.  But even these risks are 5 times lower in cigar and pipe smokers who do not inhale.  A slight increase in the risk of mouth or throat cancer may be related to those who chew their cigars while smoking them.  So overall, according to these studies, its apparently quite safe, and even beneficial, in some ways, to your health, to smoke a couple cigars a day, especially if you dont inhale and you dont chew.  The health benefits appear to substantially outweigh the health risks.  Even cigarette smoking appears to be fairly low risk, when done in moderation, since moderate smoking doesnt carry with it all of those higher risks that are often associated with heavy smoking.  It should also be noted that taking vitamin supplements, such as vitamin C, D, E, A and others, has been shown to further reduce the health risks of smoking.

          Why do I cite all of this medical stuff in a sermon, when Im not a medical doctor and when we know that medicine, unlike Scripture, is a very inexact science?  Because as Christians were responsible to weigh the results of science and of medicine in making certain decisions in our lives.  We have to apply the Scriptural principles associated with the 6th Commandment, Thou shalt not kill, taking into account the best scientific and medical knowledge we have available today, but also recognizing that the Scriptures must be our ultimate, infallible guide to ethics.

          Im arguing that the medical information we have available today does not automatically outlaw all smoking as a sinful violation of the 6th Commandment.  Just because some studies show that smoking is bad for you, that doesnt mean all smoking is a sin any more than drinking Coke is a sin.  There are plenty of studies showing that Coke is bad for you.  In making any such decisions we must weigh the risks with the benefits and enjoyments.

          To move on to another argument, some have said that Christians should exhibit self-control and abstain from such worldly pleasures as smoking.  But if abstaining from legitimate God-given pleasures and activities is how we are to demonstrate Biblical self-control, then why not abstain from all pleasures?  And if abstaining from all God-given pleasures is NOT the way to demonstrate Biblical self-control, then whats the point of abstaining?  Why not use such things Biblically and in moderation as the Scriptures would encourage?  Isnt that also demonstrating self-control?

          Ecclesiastes 5:18-6:2 says, Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him -- for this is his lot.  Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work -- this is a gift of God.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.  I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men:  God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead.  This is meaningless, a grievous evil.  The book of Ecclesiastes contains numerous similar passages, indicating that the enjoyment of the various God-given pleasures of life is not sinful.

          What about the example youre setting for your children? some might ask.

          Well, what example should we set for our children?  Asking that question betrays an automatic assumption that theres something wrong or sinful about smoking.  What example are you setting for your children when you drive a car?  Well, hopefully, youre setting a godly example of responsible driving.

          As we saw in the case of alcohol, moderate, responsible use is the normal, Biblical way to demonstrate responsible use and self-control.  Thats not to say that its the only way -- or that there are never Biblical reasons for abstaining from legitimate pleasures.  But partaking in moderation is being a good example for your children, because youre teaching them the proper use of these gifts of God.  To argue for total abstinence from all alcohol and tobacco products may mean that youre teaching your children that the Fundamentalist views of alcohol and tobacco are correct -- that these good things of God are somehow evil or sinful in themselves.  As Reformed Christians, we know theyre not.

          In I Timothy 4:1-8 and Colossians 2:20-23, Paul discusses these matters in quite dramatic terms.  Instead of preaching total abstinence, Paul warns against those who preach total abstinence.  He emphasizes that godliness does not come through total abstinence from things in Gods good creation.  In fact, in I Timothy 5:23, Paul recommends that Timothy stop abstaining and start drinking alcohol (in moderation) for his health.

          I now want to take a few minutes to show, from Scripture, that smoking is not unnatural for man, but that the Scriptures show that its fully consistent with his nature, being created in the image of God.

          The Scriptures are clear that God appreciates the sweet-smelling incense or smoke of mans sacrifices and prayers that are offered up unto Him.  Of course, God is a Spirit and He doesnt have a physical nose to smell things, but the Bible talks about God in human terms for the sake of mans understanding and the Bible indicates that God enjoys nice smelling smoke.  If nice-smelling smoke is said to be pleasing to God, and if were created in His image, how then can smoking, in moderation, be evil?

          In Isaiahs vision of God in His temple in Isaiah 6:3-4, we read, And they were calling to one another:  Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.  At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

          Similarly, Revelation 15:8 says, And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power...

          I doubt very much that this cloud of smoke that filled the temple had a foul smelling odor.  Im sure it was a wonderful smelling smoke.

          The point is this:  If our God uses a cloud of sweet-smelling smoke in order to manifest His presence and in order to manifest His glory, it goes without saying then that smoke, in and of itself, is not evil.

          Exodus 30:7-8 says, Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps.  He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come.  This sweet-smelling incense or smoke was to constantly be offered up on the Lords altar.  It was seen as good smoke.  Its called fragrant smoke.  Thats the Hebrew word, sam, referring to good smelling smoke.

          Psalm 141:2 says, May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.  And Revelation 8:3-4 says, Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar.  He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.  The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angels hand.

          Its a natural thing, then, for man, created in the image of God, to enjoy the pleasing smell of aromatic incense and smoke.  Since man is not an animal who has descended from other animals, but who was created in the image of God, we cant argue that the desire to smell smoke is an unnatural desire, as some want to imply.

          Our text, in Proverbs 27:9 says, Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart.

          Incense is nothing more than a substance that was burned to produce an aromatic smoke.  There were various kinds of incense, but all of them were burned for the nice smell of their smoke.  Incense was even one of the three gifts mentioned in Matthew 2:11 that were brought to Jesus by the Magi.  It says, On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.  That incense was to be burned to create a nice smelling smoke.  Jesus would have inhaled that smoke.

          That was not a sin.  Inhaling nice smelling smoke is not a sin, at least not when done in moderation.

          Cigars and cigarettes and pipe are all in the same category as incense.  Theyre burned for the nice smell they give.  Just like perfume and incense, they bring joy to the heart.

          Now I know some of you may say, They dont bring any joy to my heart!  I cant stand the smell of cigarettes or cigars.  Some of you may even be allergic to smoke -- just as some people are also allergic to perfume and other substances that are not sinful.  Obviously, we must all be careful that we dont wear heavy perfume around people that are allergic to it, if we can help it, and we shouldnt smoke around people that are either allergic to smoke or who cant stand the smell.

          In short, we should be courteous to those around us.  But that still doesnt mean smoking is a sin or that wearing perfume is a sin.  We should also weigh the health risks and benefits of smoking.  We should consider, according to the best of our knowledge, what is a moderate level of smoking so that were not immoderate in our use of these good gifts of God.  And as godly, Bible-believing Christians, we should give thanks to God for both wine and aromatic smoke as well as any other things that God created to gladden the heart of man.

          May His Name be praised especially, however, for the good gift of His precious Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us that we might have life abundant, even eternal life in Him.

          Amen!

 

 

 

==========================

The following articles are appended for further study.

==========================

          The following article is written by Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD, a graduate of the University of Rochester, the Miami School of Medicine, and the Naval School of Aviation and Space Medicine.  Hes been named the National Health Federations Doctor of the Year.  Here is a copy of his entire article RECOMMENDING cigar smoking FOR your health, published recently in the Second Opinion newsletter which he edits [July 1995 issue, pp. 4-7].  Im reproducing the entire article so that you can see each statement he makes in the context of the rest of the article.

-------------------------------------

Eat Tobacco?

Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD

 

          The American people have been worked into such a frenzy about cigarette smoke that people in Europe think we have gone completely off the deep end.

          All of you know that I am absolutely opposed to cigarette smoking.  I hate it!  Im particularly opposed to smoking in public places as it invades the space of others and not only irritates their eyes and breathing passages (including mine), but makes many of them a little crazy with paranoia.

          Having cleared the smoke, I am now going to give you a report that will surprise you and, if you are an antismoking zealot, make your eyes bulge a little and cause black smoke to jet from your nostrils.

          It has been reported from some of our best medical journals that cancer and Alzheimers disease are 50 percent less frequent among smokers.  It sounds like a man-bites-dog story, but the reported case studies are quite impressive.  These reports are not new -- just ignored.  The apparent protective effect of smoking was first reported 30 years ago.  With their backs to the wall, I am surprised the tobacco industry hasnt promulgated these findings.

          The International Journal of Epidemiology reported in 1991 that Alzheimers disease was 50 percent less prevalent among cigarette smokers and the heavier the smoking, the less the risk.

          Parkinsons disease, an affliction perhaps worse than Alzheimers because the victim is trapped in a waxen state of semi-paralysis with his mind still functioning, is also 50 percent less common among smokers.  (At least with Alzheimers, you are unaware of your progressive deterioration into a new babyhood.)

          Articles that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association over 10 years ago, reported a 50 percent less incidence of osteoarthritis.  This degenerative disease is five times less common among smokers!  This was documented by the federal governments Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the first report of its type.

          Prostate cancer, the most common male neoplasm, was found to be 50 percent less common among smokers and, for women, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 1985 that cancer of the uterus was also 50 percent less common among female smokers.

          Even childrens diseases, such as Tourettes syndrome (a bizarre neurological disorder) and attention deficit disorder have shown dramatic improvement with nicotine.  (Cant you just see little Jane puffing away at the morning break?)  The kids with Tourettes usually improved within 24 hours of application of a nicotine patch.

          These findings are a striking contradiction to popular notions about the devastating effects of smoking.  On the other hand, there can be little doubt that smoking causes emphysema and is related to other cancers such as cancer of the lung and even breast cancer.

          What are we to make of all this?  Should you start smoking at age 60 to prevent Alzheimers, Parkinsons, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, and ulcerative colitis?  The idea is, admittedly, preposterous.  But, as Forbes magazine pointed out, the lung damage from smoking takes 30 years to develop -- and at 90 youre not going to worry about it.

          But perhaps there are alternatives to bad breath and brown-stained fingers.  You could smoke a nice aromatic cigar (on the porch, of course) after lunch and supper.  You dont have to, and shouldnt, inhale the smoke to get the nicotine effect; it will be absorbed from your mucous membranes.  You can drink something cool while smoking your stogie, which will keep the weed from irritating your mucous membranes and you will still get the benefit of swallowing some of the nicotine.

          Have I gone mad telling you this?  If you think so, read the medical journals yourself.  In 30 years of practice, I have noted that my cigar-smoking patients all led a long and healthy life.  Churchill died at 90, H.L. Mencken lived to 75, and George Burns is still gong strong at 99.  All of them smoked cigars constantly from late childhood to the very end.  None of these gentlemen were patients of mine, but I wish they had been, especially my two role models:  Mencken and Burns.

          There are other possibilities to enable you to get your ration of nicotine (assuming that is the beneficial agent in tobacco).  You could smoke a pipe, chew tobacco (NOT recommended, as chewing causes cancer of the mouth and tongue -- and it doesnt take 30 years), or dip snuff like my great-grandmother Lucy Bell (who lived to the age of 99).  Snuff-dipping is really messy and you would be an outcast for sure at the garden club and maybe even the pool hall.

          You could even snort snuff powder.  In the 18th century, it was quite fashionable to snort snuff.  Hold your hand out with the palm sideways.  Lift your thumb up to a vertical position.  You will notice a depression at the base of the thumb.  This is where the snuff was placed.  Then, with the nose close, one sniffed it into the nasal passages (it was called sniffing, not snorting -- gentlemen dont snort).  In anatomy, this depression is called the snuff box.

          I know all this sounds a bit ridiculous, but everything Ive told you is true.  However, I know youre not going to take up smoking in any form.  Converting you to the foul weed is about as likely as getting a Muslim to turn Jewish -- or vice versa.

          For those of you who think the idea of smoking two cigars a day, or even one, is too much, and it will be for most people, and you wont smoke a pipe, dip or snort snuff, or chew tobacco, Ive heard theres another way to get your nicotine -- EAT the tobacco.

          It has been reported that the tobacco leaf -- raw, not cured as for cigarettes and cigars -- is an excellent source of niacin and other nutrients and, of course, nicotine.  It is said to be tasty in salads, but I havent tried it.  Im not recommending that you eat tobacco-leaf salad as I havent done enough research on it, yet.  All I have at this point is an unsubstantiated rumor.

          In the meantime, try the cigars if you can (1) overcome your aversion, (2) promise not to inhale (if Mr. Clinton can resist such temptation, so can you), and (3) take the persecution from your family, your friends, and the smoke police.

          [References:  International Journal of Epidemiology, 1964; Journal of the American Medical Association, 1981; New England Journal of Medicine, 1983 and 1985; Forbes, July 4, 1994.]

 

============End of Second Opinion article=========

 

-----------------------------------

That last cited article from Forbes magazine is also attached below in full.

-----------------------------------

 

Thank you for smoking...?

(health benefits from smoking)

 

Authors:     Brimelow, Peter

Citation:    Forbes, July 4, 1994 v154 n1 p80(2)

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subjects:    Smoking_Health aspects

Reference #: A15476256

===========================================

 

Abstract: Smoking cigarettes appears to have some physical benefits despite reports to the opposite.  It may reduce the risks of developing diseases such as prostate cancer and endometrial cancer, in addition to the behavioral benefits.

 

===========================================

 

Full Text COPYRIGHT Forbes Inc. 1994

 

THE HANGPERSONS NOOSE is unmistakably around the tobacco industrys neck.  In Florida and Mississippi, state governments are attempting to force tobacco companies to pay some smoking-related health care costs.  In Washington, D.C., the Environmental Protection Agency has claimed that secondhand smoke is a significant risk for nonsmokers and the Food & Drug Administration is making noises about regulating nicotine as a drug.  And recently the American Medical Association agreed, reasserting that nicotine is addictive.  Smokers have already been driven from many workplaces into the street for a furtive puff.  But further legal harassment, to the point of what an industry spokesman calls backdoor prohibition, seems unstoppable.

 

Lost in this lynching frenzy:  the fact that smoking might be, in some small ways, good for you.

 

Hold on now!  Lets be clear:  The Surgeon General has indeed determined that smoking is dangerous to your health.  Lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases are highly correlated with cigarette consumption.  Annual smoking-related deaths are commonly said to be over 400,000 (although critics say the number is inflated).

 

But so is driving automobiles dangerous to your health (over 40,000 deaths a year).  Yet people do it, because it has rewards as well as risk.  And they judge, as individuals, that the reward outweighs the risk.

 

This is called freedom.

 

Well, what are the rewards of cigarette smoking?  Apart from intangible pleasure, the most obvious is behavioral.  A battery of studies, such as those by British researcher D.M. Warburton, show that cigarettes, whatever their other effects, really do stimulate alertness, dexterity and cognitive capacity.

 

And alertness, dexterity, etc. can be useful.  Such as when driving.  Or flying -- as Congress recognized when it exempted airline pilots from the ban on smoking on domestic flights.

 

These behavioral benefits suggest an answer to the Great Tobacco Mystery:  why almost a third of adult Americans continue to do something they are told, incessantly and insistently, is bad for them.  (Duke University economist W. Kip Viscusi reported in his 1992 book, Smoking:  Making the Risky Decision, that survey data show smokers, if anything, exaggerate the health danger of their habit.).

 

Smokers, according to numerous studies such as those by University of Michigan researchers Ovide and Cynthia Pomerleau, are different from nonsmokers.  They tend toward depression and excitability.  Current understanding is that nicotine is amphoteric -- that is, it can act to counter both conditions, depending on how it is consumed.  (Quick puffs stimulate, long drags calm.)

 

The implication is fascinating:  A large part of the population seems to be aware of its significant although not pathological personality quirks, and to have discovered a form of self-medication that regulates them.

 

Of course, this explanation for the stubbornness of smokers is not as satisfying as what Washington prefers to believe:  mass seduction by the wicked tobacco companies and their irresistible advertising.  Nor would it justify huge rescue operations by heroic politicians and bureaucrats.

 

Beyond its behavioral effects, smoking seems also to offer subtler health rewards to balance against its undisputed risks:

 

* Parkinsons disease.  The frequency of this degenerative disorder of the nervous system among smokers appears to be half the rate among nonsmokers -- an effect recognized by the Surgeon General as long ago as 1964.

 

* Alzheimers disease.  Similarly, the frequency of this degenerative mental disorder has recently been found to be as much as 50% less among smokers than among nonsmokers -- for example, by the 11 studies reviewed in the International Journal of Epidemiology in 1991.

 

* Endometrial cancer.  There is extensive and long-standing evidence that this disease of the womb occurs as much as 50% less among smokers -- as documented by, for example, a New England Journal of Medicine article back in 1985.  The triggering mechanism appears to be a reduction in estrogen levels.

 

* Prostate cancer.  Conversely, smoking seems to raise estrogen levels in men and may be responsible for what appears to be a 50% lower rate of prostate cancer among smokers, although this needs corroboration.

 

* Osteoarthritis.  This degenerative disorder of bone and cartilage is up to five times less likely to occur among heavy smokers -- as documented, for example, by the federal governments first Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

 

* Colon cancer, ulcerative colitis.  These diseases of the bowel seem to be about 30% and 50% less frequent among smokers -- documented, for example, by articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1981 and 1983, respectively.

 

Other benefits that have been suggested for smoking:  lower rates of sarcoidosis and allergic alveolitis, both lung disorders, and possibly even acne.  Smokers are also lighter -- ironic, because obesity is a leading cause of the cardiovascular disease that smoking is also supposed to exacerbate.  So you could quit smoking and still die of a heart attack because of the weight you put on.

 

None of these health benefits is enough to persuade doctors to recommend occasional cigarettes, in the way that some now occasionally recommend a glass of wine.

 

But consider this theoretical possibility:  Should 60-year-olds take up smoking because its protection against Alzheimers is more immediate than its potential damage to the lungs, which wont show up for 30 years if at all?

 

A theoretical possibility -- and likely to remain theoretical.  Research into possible benefits of tobacco and nicotine is widely reported to be stymied by the absolutist moral fervor of the antismoking campaign.

 

Under the Carter Administration, the federal government abandoned its research into safer cigarettes in favor of an attack on all smoking.  No effort is made to encourage smokers to switch to pipes and cigars, although their users lung cancer and heart disease rates are five to ten times lower (somewhat offset by minor increases in mouth and throat cancers).  There is no current support for studies of the marginal increase in danger for each cigarette smoked, although it appears the human system can clear the effects of three to five of the (much stronger) pre-1960 cigarettes, if dispersed across a day, with relatively little risk.

 

Instead, the extirpation of smoking has become another moral equivalent of war -- as President Carter called the energy crisis in the 1970s, and as price and wage controls were viewed earlier.  There is no role for tradeoffs, risk-reward calculations or free choice.

 

Why dont tobacco companies point out the potential offsetting rewards of smoking?  Besides the usual corporate cowardice and bureaucratic inertia, the answer may be another, typically American, disease--lawyers.  Directing the companies defense, they apparently veto any suggestion that smoking has benefits for fear of liability suits and of the possible regulatory implications if nicotine is seen as a drug.

 

Which leaves smokers defenseless against a second typically American disease:  the epidemic of power-hungry puritanical bigots.

=============end of Forbes article===============

 

MORE ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS FROM SMOKING CIGARS

 

[The following material is copied, verbatim, from a booklet written by Dr. William Campbell Douglass, MD, entitled, BRAIN BOOSTERS: Healing the Secret Causes of Memory Loss, copyright 1998, published by Second Opinion Publishing, Inc., Atlanta, GA.  The quotation is from pp. 35-40.  To order the whole booklet, call 1-800-728-2288.]

++++++++++++++

 

Eat Tobacco to Enhance Your Memory and Prevent Alzheimers?

 

          The American people have been worked into such a frenzy about cigarette smoke that people in Europe think we have gone completely off the deep end.

          You know I am absolutely opposed to cigarette smoking.  I hate it!  Im particularly opposed to smoking in public places as it invades the space of others and not only irritates their eyes and breathing passages (including mine), but makes many of them a little crazy with tobacco phobia.

          Having cleared the smoke, I am now going to give you a report that will surprise you and, if you are an anti-smoking zealot, make your eyes bulge a little and cause black smoke to jet from your nostrils and ears.

          It has been reported from some of our best medical journals that cancer and Alzheimers disease are 50 percent less frequent among smokers.  It sound like a man-bites-dog story, but the reported case studies are quite impressive.  These reports are not new just ignored.  The apparent protective effect of smoking was first reported 30 years ago.  With their backs to the wall, I am surprised the tobacco industry hasnt promulgated these findings.

          The International Journal of Epidemiology reported in 1991 that Alzheimers disease was 50 percent less prevalent among cigarette smokers and the heavier the smoking, the less the risk.

          Parkinsons disease, an affliction perhaps worse than Alzheimers because the victim is trapped in a waxen state of semi-paralysis with his mind still functioning, is also 50 percent less common among smokers.  (At least with Alzheimers, you are unaware of your progressive deterioration into a new babyhood.)

          Articles that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association over 10 years ago, reported a 50 percent less incidence of colon cancer and ulcerative colitis in smokers.

          Perhaps the most startling of the findings is that smoking reduces the incidence of osteoarthritis.  This degenerative disease is five times less common among smokers!  This was documented by the federal governments Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the first report of its type.

          Prostate cancer, the most common male neoplasm, was found to be 50 percent less common among smokers and, for women, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 1985 that cancer of the uterus was also 50 percent less common among female smokers.

          Even childrens diseases, such as Tourettes syndrome (a bizarre neurological disorder) and attention deficit disorder have shown dramatic improvements with nicotine.  (Cant you just see little Jane in grade school puffing away at the morning break?)  The kids with Tourettes usually improved within 24 hours of the application of a nicotine patch to the skin.

          These findings are a striking contradiction to popular notions about the devastating effects of smoking.  On the other hand, there can be little doubt that smoking causes emphysema and is related to other cancers such as cancer of the lung and even breast cancer.

          What are we to make of all this?  Should you start smoking at age 60 to prevent Alzheimers, Parkinsons, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, osteoarthritis, colon cancer, and ulcerative colitis?  The idea is, admittedly, preposterous.  But, as Forbes magazine pointed out, the lung damage from smoking takes 30 years to develop and at 90 youre not going to worry about that; all you care about is getting your memory back.

          But perhaps there are alternatives to bad breath and brown-stained fingers.  You could smoke a nice aromatic cigar (on the porch, of course) after lunch and supper.  You dont have to, and shouldnt, inhale the smoke to get the nicotine effect; it will be absorbed from your mucous membranes.  You can drink something cool while smoking your stogie, which will keep the weed from irritating your mucous membranes and you will still get the benefit of swallowing some of the nicotine.  [Dr. Douglass revealed, in his March, 2001, issue of Second Opinion, that he practices what he preaches.  He says, I like rum (no Coke), wine with meals, and an occasional cigar (p. 2). JKB]

          Have I gone mad telling you this?  If you think so, read the medical journals yourself.  In 30 years of practice, I have noted that my cigar-smoking patients all led a long and healthy life.  Churchill died at 90, H.L. Mencken lived to 75, and George Burns was still going strong at 99.  All of them smoked cigars constantly from late childhood to the very end.  None of these gentlemen were patients of mine, but I wish they had been, especially my two role models: H.L. Mencken and George Burns.

          There are other possibilities to enable you to get your ration of nicotine (assuming that is the beneficial agent in tobacco).  You could smoke a pipe, chew tobacco (NOT recommended, as chewing causes cancer of the mouth and tongue and it doesnt take 30 years), or dip snuff like my great-grandmother Lucy Bell (who lived to the age of 99).  Snuff-dipping is really messy and you would be an outcast for sure at the garden club and maybe even the pool hall.

          You could even snort snuff powder.  In the 18th century, it was quite fashionable to snort snuff.  Hold your hand out with the palm sideways.  Lift your thumb up to a vertical position.  You will notice a depression at the base of the thumb.  This is where the snuff was placed.  Then, with the nose close, one sniffed it into the nasal passages (it was called sniffing, not snorting gentlemen dont snort).  In anatomy, this little depression at the base of the thumb is still called the snuff box.

          I know all this sounds a bit ridiculous, but everything Ive told you is true.  However, I know youre not going to take up smoking in any form.  Converting you to the foul weed is about as likely as getting a Muslim to turn Jewish or vice versa.

          For those of you who think the idea of smoking two cigars a day, or even one, is too much, and it will be for most people, and you wont smoke a pipe, dip or snort snuff, or chew tobacco, Ive heard theres another way to get your nicotine EAT the tobacco.

          It has been reported that the tobacco leaf raw, not cured as for cigarettes and cigars is an excellent source of niacin and other nutrients and, of course, nicotine.  It is said to be tasty in salads, but I havent tried it.  Im not recommending that you eat tobacco-leaf salad as I havent done enough research on it, yet.  All I have at this point is an unsubstantiated rumor.

          In the meantime, try the cigars if you can (1) overcome your aversion, (2) promise not to inhale (if Mr. Clinton can resist such temptation, so can you), and (3) take the persecution from your family, your friends, and the smoke police.

 

Nicotine Is Getting New Respect

 

          Where do you suppose the name nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) came from? B3 was discovered in the tobacco plant.

          A recent study, reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, concludes that nicotine may alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimers disease.  Another report, published in the journal Biochemistry, went even further in suggesting that nicotine could actually prevent this brain-destroying disease.  The research was partly funded by the Philip Morris Company (I thought you should know.)

          At Case Western Reserve University, chemist Michael Zagorski created a laboratory model of the brains chemistry, and found that when nicotine was mixed with key brain chemicals, it stopped early development of sheet-like structures in the brain that indicate deterioration.  This deterioration leads to amyloid plaque, which is characteristic of what is seen in the brains of Alzheimers cases.  If this inhibition of plaque formation with nicotine proves effective in the living patient, it will be an unprecedented breakthrough in a disease that is now essentially hopeless.

          Zagorski says we might prevent the ravages of Alzheimers if we started taking a nicotine-like drug around age 40.  And you dont have to smoke cigars or a daily pack of Camel Lights to get the protective effect.  Individuals might be able to use smoking cessation patches, which contain nicotine, to slow the loss of memory.  The idea is that a continuous dose of nicotine would stimulate key locations in the brain called receptors.

          The Georgetown researchers say that the patch has proven very safe in a small study of Alzheimers patients.  Since the patch is free of the toxic chemicals found in smoke, and because the nicotine is given in low doses, there is little risk of individuals becoming addicted to the drug.

          Action to take: If you have a strong family history of Alzheimers disease, you should consider using the nicotine patch.  This therapy is not proven, but it is safe and its always better to prevent something than to attempt a cure later.  We dont know if Alzheimers is a hereditary disease or from aluminum poisoning (I suspect the latter).  Since we dont know, I would go with the patch if the disease seems to run in your family (i.e., father, mother, or sibling).

          [Ref: Journal of the American Chemical Society, October 22, 1996; International Journal of Epidemiology, 1964; Journal of the American Medical Association, 1981; New England Journal of Medicine, 1983 and 1985; Forbes, July 4, 1994.]

+++++++++++++++++++++++++


A good OPC minister friend, Rev. Rodney King, sent me this old poem, written most probably by a well-known theologian from the past: Ralph Erskine.  He describes how the smoking of tobacco helps to illustrate for us many of the lessons of Gods Word.

-------------------------

 

This Indian weed now witherd quite,

Tho green at noon, cut down at night,

Shows thy decay;

All flesh is hay.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

The pipe so lily-like and weak,

Does thus thy mortal state bespeak.

Thou art evn such,

Gone with a touch.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

And when the smoke ascends on high,

Then thou beholdst the vanity

Of worldly stuff,

Gone with a puff.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

And when the pipe grows foul within,

Think on thy soul defild with sin;

For then the fire,

It does require.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

And seest the ashes cast away;

Then to thyself thou mayest say

That to the dust

Return thou must.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

Was this small plant for thee cut down?

So was the plant of great renown;

Which mercy sends

For nobler ends.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

Doth juice medicinal proceed

From such a naughty foreign weed?

Then whats the powr

Of Jesses flowr?

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

The promise, like the pipe, inlays,

And by the mouth of faith conveys

What virtue flows

From Sharons rose.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

In vain th unlighted pipe you blow;

Your pains in inward means are so,

Till heavnly fire

Thy heart inspire.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

 

The smoke, like burning incense towrs

So should a praying heart of yours,

With ardent cries,

Surmount the skies.

Thus think, and smoke tobacco.

------------------

E-mail, received 7/3/99 from Rev. Jack Sawyer then a minister at Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC), Forest, Mississippi, now Pastor of Pineville OPC, Pineville, LA.

 

Dear All,

 

Spurgeon's theological credibility was destroyed by the use of cigars.  Thankfully doctor Machen spared us in the OPC of that sad legacy.  He only gave them away but did not smoke them (or inhale them either).  Witness this quote from the Stonehouse biography.

 

The fellows are in my room now on the last Sunday night, smoking the cigars and eating the oranges which it has been the greatest delight I ever had to provide whenever possible. My idea of delight is a Princeton room full of fellows smoking.  When I think what a wonderful aid tobacco is to friendship and Christian patience I have sometimes regretted that I never began to smoke....

 

No photos to my knowledge dispute this testimony.

JS

----------

E-mail from: V E Hathaway

Date: Saturday, July 03, 1999 10:15 AM

 

Re: Spurgeons use of cigars.  I have seen a photo of Spurgeon which in some older versions show him holding a cigar altered in such a way that that portion of the photo is blurred or the cigar is replaced with a pair of glasses.

 

Vaughn Hathaway

+++++++++++

As a rather interesting aside, some kind old lady once asked Spurgeon if he thought that smoking cigars was harmful. Anything is harmful if taken to excess, replied Spurgeon.  Well then, what would you consider excessive?, she persisted.  I believe that if I got to the point to where I was smoking two at once that would definitely be over the line, retorted the inimitable Spurgeon.

++++++++++++

E-mail to OPC list from Ruling Elder, John Muether

Date:          05/23/2000 8:57:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time

 

Brothers,

 

I have been lurking on this list for a while, but when the chimney of the Presbytery of the South, Jeff Boer, lauded the health benefits of smoking, I could be silent no longer.  Jeff referred to the benefits to the body of smoking, and rightly so, as the context of his comments was alternative medicine.  Still, all of the benefits that he cited (none of which I care to challenge) do not provide the best case for smoking, which is the benefits it provides not to the body but to the soul.

 

Smoking enhances conviviality and sociability, which are necessary conditions for Christian fellowship and thoughtful theological reflection.  Can anyone doubt that the character of G.A. debate would be elevated were it conducted in a smoke-filled room?  The reason is simple: smoking affords the opportunity for one to form an opinion before he offers an opinion.  The virtues of tobacco even persuaded Machen, a non-smoker, who delighted in feeding the nicotine habit of his Princeton Seminary classmates.  Perhaps the lapsed Lutheran, Garrison Keillor, said it best when he suggested that nonsmokers may live longer, but they live dumber.

 

For more on the benefits of smoking to Reformed spirituality, I would suggest that you check out the Nicotine Theological Journal.  If you are interested, drop me an email I might know where to find a copy or two.

 

John Muether

Ruling Elder

Moderate Smoker

Muether.1@opc.org

++++++++++++++

Spurgeons Example As A Cigar Smoker

 

[William Williams, Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Personal Reminiscences (London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d.), 30-32. Quoted from http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/cigars.htm]

 

          While Mr. Spurgeon was living at Nightingale Lane, Clapham, an excursion was one day organised by one of the young mens classes at the Tabernacle.  The brake with the excursionists was to call for the President on their way to mid-Surrey.

          It was a beautiful early morning, and the men arrived in high spirits, pipes and cigars alight, and looking forward to a day of unrestrained enjoyment.  Mr. Spurgeon was ready waiting at the gate.  He jumped up to the box-seat reserved for him, and looking round with an expression of astonishment, exclaimed: What, gentlemen!  Are you not ashamed to be smoking so early?

          Here was a damper!  Dismay was on every face.  Pipes and cigars one by one failed and dropped out of sight.

          When all had disappeared, out came the Presidents cigar-case.  He lit up and smoked away serenely.

          The men looked at him astonished.  I thought you said you objected to smoking, Mr. Spurgeon? one ventured.

          Oh no, I did not say I objected.  I asked if they were not ashamed, and it appears they were, for they have all put their pipes away.

          Amid laughter the pipes reappeared, and with puffs of smoke the party went on merrily.

+++++++++++

 

Dr. Jeffrey K. Boer

boer.1@opc.org

 

Here's a news paper story on a fact a lot of whiney non-smokers don't want you to know about.

UK Sunday Telegraph...
Passive Smoking Doesn't Cause Cancer - Official

Headline:
Passive Smoking Doesn't Cause Cancer - Official
Byline:
Victoria MacDonald, Health Correspondent
Dateline: March 8, 1998

The world's leading health organisation has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect. The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks.

The World Health Organisation, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report. Despite repeated approaches, nobody at the WHO headquarters in Geneva would comment on the findings last week.

The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - inhaling other people's smoke - and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups. Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer.

The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers. The results are consistent with there being no additional risk for a person living or working with a smoker and could be consistent with passive smoke having a protective effect against lung cancer.

The summary, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, also states: "There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood." A spokesman for Action on Smoking and Health said the findings "seem rather surprising given the evidence from other major reviews on the subject which have shown a clear association between passive smoking and a number of diseases."

Dr Chris Proctor, head of science for BAT Industries, the tobacco group, said the findings had to be taken seriously. "If this study cannot find any statistically valid risk you have to ask if there can be any risk at all. "It confirms what we and many other scientists have long believed, that while smoking in public may be annoying to some non-smokers, the science does not show that being around a smoker is a lung-cancer risk."

Here's the real reason behind the tax hikes, they don't care about your health, just their wealth.

 

townhall.com

George Will (back to story)

September 26, 2002

The world without cigarettes

WASHINGTON--Let us stipulate that the world would be better without cigarettes. But steadily accumulating evidence indicates that many government tobacco policies, purportedly designed to discourage smoking (BEG ITAL)but not too much, are bizarre.

In the 1990s, states sued tobacco companies, ostensibly to recoup costs to them of their residents' smoking. Put plainly, which is (BEG ITAL)not how states like to have it put, the primary aim was to recoup the cost of treating illnesses related to the legal use of a legal product universally known to pose health hazards. However, smoking may be self-financing, perhaps even a net financial gain to government. Cigarettes are the most heavily taxed consumer product, and one in three smokers dies prematurely, before collecting pensions and medical and nursing-home entitlements they would have received had they lived longer.

There are two other rickety premises on which the argument for extracting $246 billion from tobacco companies rests. One is that tobacco is so addictive that stopping is not an option. The other is that people are unaware--because of industry disinformation--that smoking is hazardous. However, about as many Americans are former smokers as are smokers. And the industry's purported disinformation campaign must be the most unsuccessful such campaign in history.

W. Kip Viscusi of Harvard Law School cites survey data (in his book ``Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Postmortem on the Tobacco Deal'') showing that smokers substantially (BEG ITAL)overestimate the dangers of smoking. They say, for example, that more than 40 percent of smokers will get lung cancer, whereas actually about 15 percent do.

Critics note that the survey data was gathered by tobacco companies, for whom Viscusi worked as a consultant on the subject of risk assessments by the public. He responds by inviting skeptics to examine his data and emulate his methodology.

Oregon has just become the 19th state this year to raise cigarette taxes, which now range from Virginia's 2.5 cents per pack to New York's $1.50. New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has raised the city tax from eight cents to $1.50, so a typical pack bought in the city costs $7.50.

Studies suggest that a 10 percent tax increase produces a 5 percent decrease in smoking, and that cigarette taxes are not as regressive as they seem because poorer smokers are especially apt to respond to tax increases by quitting smoking. Furthermore, MIT economists Jonathan Gruber and Sendhil Mullainathan say their data indicate that increases in cigarette taxes increase happiness among the 25 percent of Americans who still smoke. These smokers are pleased to be pushed to do something they had wanted to do but failed to do--quit.

Bloomberg hopes this dynamic will make the revenue from the city's cigarette taxes negligible. But there may be another reason why revenues will be small. Jacob Sullum, author of ``For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health,'' notes that smokers have alternatives to paying Bloomberg's taxes. They can buy cigarettes in the suburbs (sales are soaring in Westchester County just north of the Bronx), or online (a $7.50 pack for $2.70) or from smugglers. In 2000 the FBI arrested 18 people accused of smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina (state tax: 5 cents a pack). They allegedly were raising money for the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

If smoking policy were still primarily a public health policy, cigarette taxes would be calibrated to produce ``sticker shock'' just short of what stimulates smuggling, and to produce revenues trending toward zero. But with states facing their worst budget problems in a decade, many are becoming as addicted to cigarette tax revenues as some smokers are to cigarettes. These states have a large interest in preserving a large number of smokers.

The 1998 agreement between tobacco companies, state attorneys general and trial lawyers (their fees: $13 billion--so far) will pay out the $246 billion over 25 years, and states are supposed to use significant portions of their proceeds to discourage smoking. However, some states are selling all or portions of their future payments at a discount to investors (Wisconsin sold its entire $5.9 billion 25-year windfall for $1.59 billion) and applying their reduced settlements to, well ...

About 5 percent paid out so far has gone to anti-smoking measures. New York has spent some settlement money on a sprinkler system for an upstate golf course. Alabama has used some money to discourage satanic worship in public schools. Nevada is using some money to convert its public television stations to digital broadcasting. North Carolina has devoted almost three-fourths of its money to measures for the production and marketing of ... tobacco.

Enter supporting content here