Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

THIRD HAND SMOKE

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 8, 2009

Second Hand Smoke Ashtray

Second Hand Smoke Ashtray

That there will be any more humans left to populate the earth in the years to come ought to be sufficient enough evidence that God not only exists, but that He is tinkering to make it so. The idea of a species being able to survive the hellish construct of its intrusive and destructive existence, like the one homosapiens have built for themselves, is as farcical and ludicrous as the thinking that denies the imminent dangers of man-made global warming.

At least that’s what one would have to believe after a rudimentary perusal of today’s mainstream doomdsay media.

Everything is going to kill us, because everything – except perhaps assorted organic vegetables served on recycled rice-paper plates – is bad.

How we’ve survived this long is a mystery. How generations of meat-eating, cigarette smoking, coffee drinking Americans ever made it to middle age is a mind-bending puzzle that rivals the formation of crop circles or the success of Keanu Reeves. Human activity serves as a corrosive agent to the fragile egg-shell-like eco-systems that combine to create the whole of existence on an otherwise beautiful Earth.

Our mere being is toxic.

And now, a new scare … the latest hazard … a brand new concern that only a few months ago could have probably come from National Lampoon, Saturday Night Live or The Onion.

Third-hand smoke.

It sounds so asinine, so comical … but it is apparently very real. And if you aren’t already, you ought to be afraid.

New York Times correspondent Roni Carin Robyn writes:

Parents who smoke often open a window or turn on a fan to clear the air for their children, but experts now have identified a related threat to children’s health that isn’t as easy to get rid of: third-hand smoke.

That’s the term being used to describe the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that young children can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they’re crawling or playing on the floor.

Doctors from Mass General Hospital for Children in Boston coined the term “third-hand smoke” to describe these chemicals in a new study that focused on the risks they pose to infants and children. The study was published in this month’s issue of the journal Pediatrics.

A theme I revisit regularly in many of my articles is the idea of health as a new morality.

Indeed, health issues have evolved, without question, into moral imperatives in the twenty-first century leftist mind – from peanut allergy-conscious school districts that choose to ban peanuts altogether to the proposed hyper-taxing of non-diet soda (as proposed by Governor Paterson of New York). Today’s leftist has demonized high fat cooking oil to the point that it is actually banned from use in privately owned restaurants in various locations (including New York City). Salt has even been targeted by the power-starved who know better than we do.

(If they start messing with the lard used in the pies from Amish Country, I’m putting a militia together).

And yet, there are too many who don’t see this attack on personal liberty – and thus, the relinquishing of personal responsibility – as a problem at all. After all, what could be wrong with promoting good health?

This is where our society is today. This is how we have evolved.

Smoking is now as socially stigmatizing  as out-of-wedlock birth, drug use, violence and promiscuous sex – maybe more so in some cases. So reprehensible is it, that it warrants a motion picture rating-system warning placing it along side issues that actually are morally relevant:

Contains nudity, excessive violence, strong sexual content, some drug references and brief smoking

MTV can broadcast sexually charged music videos at 4:30 in the afternoon, but smoking cigarettes on-screen in a movie warrants a PG-13 or R rating.

Robyn continues:

You're killing our babies“When their kids are out of the house, they might smoke. Or they smoke in the car. Or they strap the kid in the car seat in the back and crack the window and smoke, and they think it’s okay because the second-hand smoke isn’t getting to their kids,” Dr. Winickoff continued. “We needed a term to describe these tobacco toxins that aren’t visible.”

Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette, he said, or in a hotel room where people were smoking. “Your nose isn’t lying,” he said. “The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: ’Get away.’”

The study reported on attitudes toward smoking in 1,500 households across the United States. It found that the vast majority of both smokers and nonsmokers were aware that second-hand smoke is harmful to children. Some 95 percent of nonsmokers and 84 percent of smokers agreed with the statement that “inhaling smoke from a parent’s cigarette can harm the health of infants and children.”

But far fewer of those surveyed were aware of the risks of third-hand smoke. Since the term is so new, the researchers asked people if they agreed with the statement that “breathing air in a room today where people smoked yesterday can harm the health of infants and children.” Only 65 percent of nonsmokers and 43 percent of smokers agreed with that statement, which researchers interpreted as acknowledgement of the risks of third-hand smoke.

To be clear, I am not a smoker. I haven’t taken a cigarette to my lips since February 2, 1998. I couldn’t care less if not another cigarette were sold in this country. And I am certainly not denying that cigarette smoking, over the long term, is detrimental to good health, or that people have died as a direct result of smoking.

I’d be a fool to suggest otherwise.

But hysteria is a tough thing to bob and weave from, particularly when it is coming at you from every conceivable angle. That upwards of fifty-thousand people a year supposedly die from second-hand smoke, as has been repeated over and over by crap-peddlers as absolute truth, makes one wonder why the activity hasn’t been banned completely. Fifty-thousand dead as a result of being exposed to cigarette smoke – which, incidentally, is eight thousand more than die a year as a result of car accidents on all of America’s roads combined – would seem to warrant a complete prohibition, no? If driving drunk, for instance, is a no-no (which it most certainly should be), then why not just pull the plug completely on cigarettes? After all, it kills more people.

Dennis Prager, on his Monday radio program, commented on the New York Times article:

I still don’t get it. We’re the healthiest generation in history, and our parents smoked the most, and we were exposed to the most second-hand smoke, how do {the radical anti-smoking zealots} live with that fact?

The best educated are the biggest believers in nonsense, and it’s generally the truth … whether it was heterosexual AIDS will ravage America, or Zero Population Growth will save the planet, the best educated, of course, believed in all variations of Marxism … and now you have this third-hand smoke and the dangers of this.

The smoking rate in Japan is fifty percent and the life expectancy is eighty, which is higher than ours, I believe.

Now that third-hand smoke has emerged onto the scene (and not a moment too soon), how many dead will we have to accept before cigarettes are forever banned?

Let’s hope the answer is not blowing in the wind. 

As a people, it is our moral imperative to take care of this before entire populations are wiped out from soon-to-be discovered fifth-hand smoke … or the ravages of ninth-hand smoke.

You think this is a joke?

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