a reply to: neutronflux
Lets give you a little more tidbits of facts for you to chew on, shall we? Since you are so firmly certain that you know everything there is to know
about smoking and all.
You use the word "addictive" but do you actually know what it means?
I am going to provide you with a copy of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report. Its very interesting.
You see prior to 1988, smokers were seen generally to be making an independent choice as to whether to smoke or not. The public did not support
interfering with the rights of adults to live their life as they please without undue government interference.
In order for the public to be swayed to take action, it was necessary to convince the public that smoking was not just a "bad habit" albeit a pleasant
one but was actually an addictive drug peddled by Big Tobacco. Smokers had little or no choice about it.
In the 1988 report, the Surgeon General examined the medical definitions of habitual drug use and addictive drug use. Prior to 1988, a drug was only
considered to be addictive IF the following criteria were met...
1. The central element among all forms of drug addiction is that the user’s behavior is largely controlled by a psychoactive substance (i.e., a
substance that produces transient alterations in mood that are primarily mediated by effects in the brain).
2. There is often compulsive use of the drug despite damage to the individual or to society, and drug-seeking behavior can take precedence over other
3. The drug is “reinforcing”-that is, the pharmacologic activity of the drug is sufficiently rewarding to maintain selfadministration.
4. “Tolerance” is another aspect of drug addiction whereby a given dose of a drug produces less effect or increasing doses are required to achieve
a specified intensity of response. Physical dependence on the drug can also occur, and is characterized by a withdrawal syndrome that usually
accompanies drug abstinence.
5. After cessation of drug use, there is a strong tendency to relapse.
Use of tobacco is not compulsive (we do not have gangs of rabid smokers breaking into people's houses to get their next fix) Smokers have long
demonstrated their ability to refrain from smoking whenever required (ie 14 hour plane rides or attending school etc)
Us of tobacco does not create tolerance. It is well known that each smoker has his/her preferred use (5 cigarettes a day or half a pack or a full
pack etc) and it does not really change over the course of the smokers life. Some people start smoking lightly 5 /day and years later are still
smoking lightly. Some people are known to only smoke during social events and at no other time. You can argue this point if you like but the end
conclusion is clear. No smoker ever overdosed on tobacco and ended up in the emergency room for treatment.
Also on the point of tolerence, there is no withdrawal from tobacco. If you are an alcoholic and quit drinking, you could die from the dts, same
thing with opiates. But the only thing that happens when you withdraw from tobacco is that you get urges (that last all of 30 seconds), you might be
grumpy for a couple of days and you might get a headache. Pretty much the same as withdrawing from coffee or chocolate. You won't die or end up in
hospital or need treatment to quit smoking
As a matter of fact, and this is fact so I will present the link
The rate of smoking dropped from 42.4 % all the way to 28.9 % from 1965 to 1987. That is a percentage drop of 19.5 % BEFORE the creation of smoking
quit aids like gums and patches and medication. These millions of people quit smoking, all by themelves, cold turkey, without going nuts or killing
Thus the Surgeon General, in his 1988 report, provided the very proof that tobacco products were habitual and not addictive according the medical
definition that existed prior to his report.
I believe that you will see that under the old definition, coc aine did not meet the definition of addictive, because you can quit coc aine
Under this criteria, the word "addictive' has a precise meaning and in fact, only 5 substances in the world met the definition. Addictive was
As this situation did not meed political goals of portraying smokers as helpless victims, the Surgeon General changed the medical definition of the
But unfortunately, a mistake was made in that the word "addictive" was defined so broadly in order to capture nicotine, that literally anything that
caused pleasure to humans and changed the chemical landscape of the brain by releasing endorphines is now considered "addictive"
This includes chocolate, coffee, sex, exercise, shopping, sugar, salt, fat, cheese, meat and on and on and on. To the point that since so many things
are addictive, it can truthfully be said that nothing is addictive and the word has lost all meaning.
So take you name calling and attempted shaming and shove it where the sun don't shine along with that puritan fear you have that someone might be
experiencing pleasure that you don't approve of.