TobakkoNacht – The Antismoking Endgame

TobakkoNacht - The Antismoking Endgame

“This notice is to inform you that due to a recent change in our apartment policy, you must cease and desist smoking, or vacate the premises within 30 days. We know that you have been living here in our complex for the past fifteen years, and you are a valuable resident. Unfortunately, our tenants have complained, and there is nothing we can do.”

How many times have you received a notice like that? Or been told that you cannot hold a job because you smoke, or even that you will lose a relationship if you do not decide to give up your cigars, cigarettes, or pipe? Any cigar aficionado has gone through an experience like this at least once, if not numerous times. Even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it is more or less a guarantee that it will eventually.

It’s important to be free to choose the lifestyle that we want. Over the years, tobacco smokers have seen their rights systematically stripped away or threatened. Usually when policymakers bring up a new tobacco law, they cite health concerns as the basis. Friends, family members, landlords, and employers typically do the same. Have you ever wondered about where those statistics come from and what they mean?

Michael McFadden is a graduate of the statistics and propaganda analysis program offered by the University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, he has worked to promote social change through peaceful activism. He is well known for a previous publication, Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains. His new book, TobakkoNacht (available Amazon), further dissects the statistics which are promoted as facts by antismoking campaigners.

Here are some examples:

One type of statistical aberration McFadden talks about is the “almost zero” logical fallacy. Many statistics about smoking involve comparisons between environments with toxins from cigarette smoke and environments without them. A study may show that there is “53 times as much of the toxin” in the smoking environment, which then frightens the reader. But if the non-smoking environment contains almost zero of that substance, 53 times that amount is still very, very little, and may even be within a safe range.

Tobakkonacht by Michael McFaddenAnother great example is an antismoking study conducted by Dr. Nogueira-Filo et al. called “Low- and High-Yield Cigarette Smoke Potentiates Bone Loss During Ligature Induced Periodontitis.” This study was cited repeatedly by anti-smoking campaigners as a basis for stating that gum disease is caused by secondhand smoke in any amount. What the campaigners failed to mention was that the study was conducted on rats, and that the rats were repeatedly placed in a single cubic foot of space while smoke from cigarettes was pumped in three times a day. This is equivalent to burning almost a thousand cigarettes in a phone booth measuring eighty cubic feet. To top it off, the scientists had torn abrasions in the rats’ gums. The gums were struggling to heal while the rats were subjected to the repeated torture, after which they were put down and dissected. Not only is this an absurd comparison to a standard “smoking environment,” but are these really the kinds of people you want lecturing you on health or morality?

All of this isn’t to say that smoking tobacco has no effect on your health, or that secondhand smoke has no effect either. But you should do your own research and understand where statistics come from before you put your faith in them. The fact is, a lot of what is out there (from both sides unfortunately) is misinformation. It is politically and economically motivated, and smoking is just the beginning. What’s next? Soda? Meat? It may sound paranoid, but take a look at an ingredients list on a food package sometime and start trying to understand what does and doesn’t go into the food you eat and the beverages you drink. It’s shockingly challenging.

Misinformation is rampant in modern life; that might be one of the only facts which is easy to distinguish. Moderation is a good thing when it comes to any personal habit—too much soda isn’t good for anyone, and neither is too much tobacco. But most smokers aren’t shutting themselves up in telephone booths with thousands of burning cigarettes. And if you’re a cigar smoker who simply enjoys an artfully crafted stogie now and again, you owe it to yourself to understand the health risks your habits do and do not impose based on the information which is actually out there. TobakkoNacht is a good start, and once you’ve read it, you’ll be ready to participate intelligently and thoughtfully in any debate about the effects of tobacco.

Quick links: you can find some excerpts on the official website, or purchase the book from Amazon ($27.95)

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29 Comments on “TobakkoNacht – The Antismoking Endgame”

  1. Aldo Mombello says:

    There is a strong difference to cigarettes and cigars (or pipe) until the preistoric era men smoked maybe Victor Hugo said right when wrote that tobacco is the plant that changed tought in dreams. Cigars aficionado forever. Aldo.

  2. Aldo Mombello says:

    And can someone explain to me why on the label of wine or whiskey labels there no the word “if you drink 60-70 gr. of alcool every day you have high probabilty to become cirrotic with high possibilty to evolution in hepatocellular carcinoma and also that alcoolism is a social pathology.

  3. Pointing at cigarettes, or other substances (e.g. alcohol) is not a viable solution to this problem.

    That’s just feeding the crocodile hoping he eats you last.

    Liberty is the word and learning to recognize it’s enemies is the key.

    Ideally you’d kill the crocodile, but in a civil society that is the last resort.

    So first stop voting for people who want to ‘give’ you stuff and start voting for people who want to leave you alone.

  4. Thomas, very true. Unfortunately we’ve seen too many variations on the “Don’t tax me, and don’t tax thee, tax the fella behind the tree!” theme in this particular area of concern. Antismokers are skilled in the “Divide and Conquer” technique. Cigarette smokers had their doors banged in by “the men with the guns” a long time ago and are still fighting. Others are now just starting to hear the tapping on their own doors. Hopefully they’ll join in with the seasoned troops in time to mount a real defense.

    Aldo, cigarettes and cigars really aren’t *all* that different: to an Antismoker they’re not different at all. As for alcohol… heh, ever hear of secondhand alcohol? See

    http://tinyurl.com/SecondhandAlcohol

    – MJM

  5. I’d like to expand for a moment on the “Commander Almost Zero Fallacy.” Picture living in a house where a couple of nice clean yuppies take showers every day. Think about the amount of deadly chlorine gas spewing into the air from those showers. You’d probably be breathing at *least* several hundred percent more of that deadly toxin than if you shared the space with a couple of grungy hippies who believed showers were the province of only the decadent bourgeoisie.

    Should you be worried about that?

    Only if you’re a crazy person.

    – MJM

  6. Aldo Mombello says:

    Without any enhancment of my job and my knowledge but I am a MD Pathologist and if we would make a discussion on Clinical Aspect of tabagism and alccolism this is not the place. Only one thing in statistics the work days missed for alcoolism are in Italy nord many more than tobacco, not only of the alcoolis but also of his family. Alcoolism is a social pathology tobagism ?

  7. There needs to be a balance IMO. I personally dislike the smell of cigarette smoke and like that it is not in restaurants anymore. On the other hand, I was in WA state a couple months ago and could not even find a patio to enjoy a cigar on. That to me is over the top.

    Where I live in Asia is a great balance where I can smoke on almost any patio but not in public places like malls or restaurants.

  8. Brett, the balance lies in Free Choice. Once you allow the government to come in and mandate rules based on “disliking the smell (or sight, or sound, or whatever) of something,” then you’ve opened the door for someone else to use the government to regulate what THEY don’t like.

    As a bicycle activist in the ’70s and ’80s I was all for the gvt coming in and imposing lots ‘n lots of nasty regulations that would make driving more expensive and more difficult and more “painful” in whatever forms — because I believed in the whole “Government behavior control, i.e. “electroshocking the rats to induce desired patterned responses,” was a good thing. Now I know better: that tradeoff between “security” and “freedom” just ain’t worth it unless the circumstances are extreme.

    Most Americans 30 years ago had enough sense that they would NEVER have tolerated laws based upon “we don’t like the smell or sight or bad example of…” so the Antismokers had to blow up the “imminent threat to life and health” lies around secondary smoke. Nowadays when those lies are attacked too heavily they can fall back on the weaker justifications and, sadly, far too many people are just accepting them as sufficient.

    :/
    MJM

  9. Aldo Mombello says:

    In Italy there is a strong fight against smoke not the same against alccol. This only becouse the wine production and distribuction is one of the most important voice of Italy exportation and internal commerce. We have not a great tradiction in tobacco even if Italian Toscano is well appreciate in all world. But is a singolar exception (about 80 mln of dollars the amount of business of this local cigar, on the contrary wine is about 4-5 billion of euro, second after France in the world. So do you think that italian government could make a really and cogent fight against alcool…
    All these things are out of cigars aficionados reasons and pleasure but only economical things.

  10. Michael, I never really understood the extreme opinions of libertarians like yourself (based on what you are saying I am guessing). It is like saying, “I don’t need the government telling me that I should stop at a red light! I will damn well go where I want, when I want.”
    There have to be rules for a society to function.
    I really don’t see anything wrong with a certain amount of intervention for the betterment of society or for it to function at all. Counting on the people to make the “right” decisions ie; not running a red light at will, is unrealistic.
    Now who decides what rules need to be in place? That is the real question. There is no easy answer either (obviously as awe have always struggled with this as early as there has been organized societies).
    There have to be rules or rights to protect those who are in the minority (cigar smokers) in order to make sure we are not wiped off the map. What we are running into right now as smokers is that people are trying to eradicate smoking completely which is wrong.

  11. Brett, I think the guideline has to be drawn along the lines of what is reasonable and what is not. That’s what legislatures are *supposed* to do.

    Is it reasonable to enforce red light laws on streets with cars? Yes. Particularly if the streets have some real degree of traffic and are traveled at fairly high speeds while co-existing with pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

    Is it reasonable to have enforced red light laws governing bicycles and pedestrians? Generally I’d say only in the case where they interact irresponsibly with the “real problem” — i.e. the “Detroit Death Machines” as bicycle activists would characterize them. I’m not a “strict” Libertarian by any means; but I *have* learned over the years, largely due to my research and work in this particular area, that the integrity and basic goodness of government can’t be trusted nearly as much as I once thought it could.

    Private businesses should have extreme and particularly extreme unseen dangers regulated. However, if they want to allow their waiters and waitresses to go whizzing around the floor on skateboards while carrying hot tubs of soup on trays … well, that’s their business and they have that right. I’d say the workers have at least SOME rights to demand some level of protection while working there (knee guards, helmets, quickly accessible first-aid, etc) but as for customers? Hey, if I don’t like to take my chances at Skateboard Sally’s I’ll eat at Sneaker Sam’s down the street.

    Same holds for smoking.

    – MJM

  12. Aldo Mombello says:

    May I speak from northern Italy in the old Europe? Here the economic social and human situation is in free degradation. So the atmosferic damage by inquinament make many more victims than somoke. Nevertheless I can say becouse I am a senior pathologists that if all world governments change the destination of fight against smoke and other things (war is expensive for an example) we can fight atmosferic damage and after we could make a world plan of care against children death, infectius disease and many other.

  13. Aldo, I strongly agree that governments should take the money from Antismoking spending and use it for such things as REAL medical help for children and the REAL dangers of pollution problems in some parts of the world!

    May I ask, as a senior pathologist, I think it is probably true that you have seen many people’s lungs, both smokers and nonsmokers. Can you tell us about your observations of them?

    – MJM

  14. Aldo Mombello says:

    Of course but with the agreement of editor in chief of Cigar Inspector now I could say in informal way that primitive lung cancer (that is not a single disease, but different histotypes) in my experience now hit 50-50 smoker and not smoker obviouusly are data of my mind at 3.10 am. Asbestus for an example is a direct cancerogen agent for pleural mesotelioma smoke not the same for lung cancers….

  15. Aldo Mombello says:

    Last but not the list in the opinion of lung pathology expert MDs the strong difference is that cigarettes are more and more cencerogen becouse is the paper that have the oncogene power not tobacco and a good cigar is only tobacco!

  16. Aldo Mombello says:

    Sorry Michael where you live country is enough.

  17. Aldo, I’m in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA. See About The Author at http://TobakkoNacht.com

    Mainly what I wanted to ask you was this: If you open up the body of someone who is middle aged and who was a moderate (say ten to twenty cigarettes a day or 2 to 5 cigars per day) smoker, do their lungs look all black and terrible like the ads tell you or is that an invention just to frighten people. I have talked to several doctors about this and they have almost all agreed that it is an invention and that the lungs of most smokers do not look much different than the lungs of most nonsmokers.

    – MJM

  18. Aldo Mombello says:

    Dear Michael I am a surgical pathologist and even if I made several autopsy I cannot answer here.
    The only thing that I can say to you is that there is great differences between cigarettes smokers paper – tar – antacosis and no smokers. The lung damage are in the most part related to the combustion of paper that cigars don’t have.
    If you want to read and understand more go on PUB MED web site in which you can find with a simply way of search most medical pubblications on this theme. I hope to be clear. Have a good day. Here is 8,32 am.

  19. Aldo Mombello says:

    Antracosis sorry.

  20. Aldo Mombello says:

    Smog (air pollution) due to uncontrolled human activity id the most important direct cancer inductor. A recent study of WHO that reviews more tha one thousand of selected resarchs have estabilished that every year in “occidental countries” die about 200.000 persons of cancer dues to atmosfere pollution. This is a enhanced new that I have seen on Euronews Channel TV this morning. Could someone say that slow smoke (cigars and pipe) has such similar effects about human health?

  21. Aldo, I think almost any kind of burning leaf-type or natural mixed organic material will put carcinogens into the air. The question is one of quantity. I would not believe very strongly in any number like the 200,000 cancers from atmospheric pollution: it’s just a number based on a theory and computed from a formula that was made up on the basis of theory.

    It’s like the “400,000 deaths due to smoking” or the “3,000 deaths due to secondhand smoke.” It *might* be reasonable *guess* if it was developed by someone who really knew what they were doing and had put extreme care and thought into researching everything about it — or it might be absolutely worthless because it was developed by someone who was pushing a political idea against smoking or against fossil fuels.

    The two problems with numbers like that are that (1) we don’t know enough; and (2) politics are usually involved in making them up.

    If you want to take things to the extreme, an unknown number (including, possibly, zero) of people have probably gotten lung cancer from breathing the ordinary human respiratory waste products that other humans have exhaled in ordinary breathing.

    But if you want to worry about stuff like that, then you’ll lock yourself up in a room with a high quality air-purifier all your life and never let anyone else in to “contaminate” your air!

    – MJM

  22. Aldo Mombello says:

    The Euronews TV said in the report that 200.000 deaths are strongly and directly related to air pollution. WHO records this data with scientific method. WHO is the most important “voice” about health problems. Smoke of tobacco (slow smoke) and tobacco with paper (cigarettes)donìt contribute to air pollution. No one could comparize smoke of million cigarettes with the emissions of cancerogens from one only one thousands cars, one siderurgic industry and many other like jets airplane ans so on. Smoke of tobacco is a way to lead to cancer only if directed aspirated of indirect secondhand smoke as you call the side effects of to live or being in a microambiental place with tobacco (and moreover paper) burning.
    In official medicine the role of smoke is clear related to lung cancer but not all histotypes and also there are great differences in smokers (also heavy somokers more than 20-25 cigarette in one day)that live in downtowns or industial districts respect the same heavy smokers that live in unpolluted places such as high mountains, deserts, little islands … So in my personal opinion cigarettes moke is a great contributory cause to develpment of cancer in pulloted places, less in unpolluted, cigar smoke much less becouse there is not the products of the combustion of paper. so we could distinghish two coorts of person cigarettes smoker in pulluted areas with high risk, cigars smoker in polluted area with more or less the same risk of non smoker people in the same area. I hope to be clear I don’t say that smoke is not tossic but there are great differences in smoking only tobacco and tobacco with paper. All other discussion are politic not medical or scientific.

  23. “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

    Heinlein said that.

    What he forgot to add was “Period. No exceptions, end of discussion.”

  24. Heh, Heinlein was pretty much a “Period. No exceptions, end of discussion.” kinda guy, so I guess it was assumed. :>

    I’m old enough to remember when Stranger in a Strange Land was one of the early hippie bibles because of the free love communal living sort of arrangements. Of course it fell a bit out of favor in later hippie years because of both the anti-feminist elements (Front!) and the top-down power structure. Still, a great writer who told some very interesting tales with a strong Libertarian bent to them!

    – MJM

  25. Aldo, you wrote, “WHO is the most important “voice” about health problems”

    I agree that WHO has done some VERY wonderful work in the world, but it has become strongly controlled by Western money/pharma interests in the last twenty years. While I do *not* know any specific figures, my sense is that their spending on secondhand smoke nonsense could probably have been used to save literally millions of children’s lives from dysentery and malaria instead.

    :/
    MJM

  26. AldoMombello says:

    Sorry Michael I wrote that WHO World Health Organization is the official voice of sciemtific community and when WHO make a report is fruit of a long time investigation with multicenter approach. Who dear Michael cannot take decisions but many and many times report the problem of tropical disease, chilhood problems and so on. Obviously WHO has not political voice believe me.

    Second Rober Heinlein the great writer live and product most of his masterpiece between 1940 and 1960 more or less in Stranger in a Srange Land he write many things that hippies make as a guide of their ideas, but is in Lazarus Long that he wrote the best of his liberal tought, not in economic sense of therm but with philosophycal mean. He write also Starship Troopers, Moon is a severe teacher and many other. In many of his book he use a sarcastic way to describe the humanity in the future.
    Most interesting of Robert Heinelin is George Orwell tha write 1984 in which all men and women are controlled by a superior entity The great brother.

    Last but not the list return back of political gestion of human healt with the money that a Government use to ten F15 airplane it’s possible to fight and win a worldwide disease such as leprosy. I think that nobody could say that I am wrong.

  27. Aldo, the key difference you are emphasizing seems to relate to the paper used for cigarette wrapping. You are not alone in that analysis and would probably like to see the website at: http://fauxbacco.blogspot.com/

    Ideally, to give good evidence for that case, the smoke from a given quantity of paper compared to the smoke from a given quantity of what is inside commercial cigarettes (The site at fauxtobacco contends that the contents of most commercial cigarettes is so adulterated that they call it “false tobacco.) and then both sorts of smoke compared to that of plain tobacco grown by more natural methods. Without that sort of comparison as a base it is difficult to make a strong argument.

    In terms of overall contribution to air pollution you are correct. If you simply take one contribution to something like PM 2.5, the amounts generated by the world’s natural forest fires each year, and compare it to the amounts generated by smoking, I believe you’ll find the ratio is up in the thousand to one level.

    – MJM

  28. Aldo Mombello says:

    Dear Michael when I said that cancerog agent in cigarettes are all in the paper I am supported of a lot of scientific paper and even if the “battle” against smoke is a little bit under political control ah ah ah I can say without fear to be misanderstood that cigar smoke has only the damage on human organism due to nicotin that has not oncogenic effects. This is true all other teory are only ipothesis not confirmed but most of scientist. But in this place a website of cigar smokers I would say also that cigar smoking is passion, knowledge, pleasure and not dipendence as cigarettes smoke. I close this comment with an example cigars are an hobby most of cigars smoker do not limit their interest only to smoke the cigars they love know what they smoke comparize different cigars buy accessories, humidors, books, lighters. I conserve all the label of the cigars that I have smoked from 1993. Do you know cigarettes smoker that change brands to know the differences… that conserve cigarettes package… I never know one of these persons only someone that has a collection of cigarettes boxes like a collection of stamps or butterfly this support my convinction that cigarettes smoke is a great problem also in the sense of psichic dependence cigar smoke is very far from that.

  29. Aldo Mombello says:

    An other thing about the supposed treatments on cigarettes tobacco surely industry has chemical process in producing cigarettes first of all ammoniac use to clear tobacco becouse people want blonde filler in cigarettes no one could say something the fraudolent use of additive to cause dependence and in my know how that is a tale nevertheless smoking cigarettes is considered in psichiatry a obsessive compulsive light disease cigsars and pipe smoking are considered as a cultural more and more elevated way to assume nicotine. Thats all.

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