"For almost four hundred years, European and American physicians have observed the toxic effects of tobacco . . . . physicians have known for centuries that smokers were daily taking into their bodies large quantities of one of the most poisonous substances known to man," says Frank L. Wood, M.D., What You Should Know About Tobacco (Wichita, KS: The Wichita Publishing Co, 1944), p 67. See also E. Bertarelli, "Prevention of Smoking," 18 Pensiero Med 64-69 (15-28 Feb 1929); and E. Huber, "Tobacco Smoking in Ancient Times," 33 Umschau 711-714 (7 Sep 1929).
"Chemical analysis shows the tobacco leaf to contain an unusual number of constituents. Nicotine, nicotianine, and tobacco acid or malic acid are characteristic. Nitric, hydrochloric, sulphuric, phosphoric, citric, acetic, oxalic, pictic, and ulmic acids are also present. The quantity of mineral matter is large, amounting in some cases to 27 per cent."—Prof. John I. D. Hinds, Ph.D., The Use of Tobacco (Nashville, Tenn: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882), p 36.
"Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer. . . . In fact, researchers said the 'effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream,'" says "Smoking causes gene damage in minutes" (15 January 2011).
"Contrary to [myth] that it takes years of smoking before the toxins in tobacco cause damage to the DNA in the cells -- possibly leading to lung cancer -- researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that such genetic damage occurs within minutes," says "Study: Damage from smoking appears within minutes"—Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (16 January 2011). "Researchers at University of Minnesota call their findings a 'stark warning' to those tempted to start smoking, already lighting up."
So "all who persist in [smoking] must sooner or later, in some way or another, be affected by its poisonous influence."—Theodore Frech and Luther Higley, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), p 19.
"No man who smokes daily can be said to be at any time in perfect health."—John Hinds, Ph.D., The Use of Tobacco, supra, p 100.
Tobacco's effect is "always to destroy life."—Rev. Orin S. Fowler, Disquisition on the Evils of Using Tobacco, and the Necessity of Immediate and Entire Reformation (Providence: S. R. Weeden, 1833), p 9. There is "certain injury," p 10, and are thousands of deaths, pp 20-21.
And, "no one can use tobacco without more or less injury. . . ."—John B. Wight, Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse (Columbia, SC: L. L. Pickett Pub Co, 1889), p 98.
The article, “The Effects of Smoking,'' by E. Cuyler Hammond [Sc.D.], in Scientific American, Vol. 207(1), pp. 39-51, July 1962, provides background data. At 39, “Scepticism about . . . tobacco developed near the end of the 16th century; not long thereafter smoking was condemned as a pernicious habit responsible for all manner of ills.” Cf. Susan Wagner's book, Cigarette Country: Tobacco in American History and Politics [Praeger Pub.], 1971, p. 64, on “scientific study of tobacco and its effects on the body . . . in 1671, when the Italian biologist, Francesco Redi [1626-1697], published an account of the lethal effects of the 'oil of tobacco.’”
Additionally, the pamphlet, “Tobacco Abuse” indicates data from 1604, “harmful to the brain, dangerous to the 1ungs,’” etc., and that “Half a century” later, “the French reported that tobacco smoking shortens life and produces, among other things, colic, diarrhea, ulcerations of the lungs, asthma, coughs, pains in the heart, undernourishment and impotence.”
Hammond, supra, discusses “M. Bouisson, an obscure French physician” and his “well-documented clinical study of the matter. In 1859, reporting on patients in the hospital at Montpelier, he observed that of 68 patients with cancer of the buccal cavity (45 of the lip, 11 of the mouth, seven of the tongue and five of the tonsil) 66 smoked pipes, one chewed tobacco and one apparently used tobacco in some form. . . . He suggested that the cancer resulted from irritation of the tissue by tobacco products and heat. Bouisson's observations were confirmed repeatedly over the next half-century . . . .'' The data provided by such studies shows the validity of the analysis by the court in Austin v. State [101 Tenn 563], 48 S.W. 305 at 306 [70 Am St Rep 703; 50 LRA 478] (1898), in terms such as “wholly noxious and deleterious to health . . . always harmful, never beneficial . . . inherently bad, and bad only . . . pernicious altogether.”
Hammond, supra, indicates that “Another . . . problem early recognized as being associated with smoking was Buerger's disease . . . affliction of the peripheral arteries. It was found to occur exclusively among smokers and to subside when the patient stopped smoking.” See data from Norman [L.] Farberow, in The Many Faces of Suicide: Indirect Self-Destructive Behavior [McGraw-Hill], 1980, at 82, “Buerger's disease . . . is . . . controlled by a single activity, smoking.”
Tobacco effects include "disturbances . . . on the bronchial surface of the lung" and the fact that "no smoker can ever be said . . . to be well."—"Effects of Tobacco," The Confederate States Medical & Surgical Journal (November 1864).
"'Every regular cigarette smoker is injured . . . Cigarette smoking kills some, makes others lung cripples, gives still others far more than their share of illness and loss of work days. Cigarette smoking is not a gamble; all regular cigarette smokers studied at autopsy show the effects.'" (Referenced, The FTC Report 1968, cited in A. A. White (Law Prof, Univ of Houston), "Strict Liability of Cigarette Manufacturers and Assumption of Risk," 29 Louisiana Law Rev (#4) 589-625, at 607 n 85 (June 1969). Examples: lung cancer; and brain damage.
Carbon monoxide is known to have “no 'safe' level, no level below which adverse effects do not occur.” See Comment, “Legislation for Clean Air: An Indoor Front,” 82 Yale Law Journal 1040-1054, at 1045 (April 1973).
“The focus of the World Health Organization’s 2007 World No Tobacco Day is achieving 100% smoke-free environments, both in public places and workplaces.”—MMWR 25 May 2007 / Vol. 56 / No. 20.
“Although no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) exists, an international study determined that nearly half of never smokers aged 13–15 years were exposed to SHS at home (46.8%) or in places other than the home (47.8%). Never smokers exposed to SHS at home were 1.4 to 2.1 times more likely to be susceptible to initiating smoking than those not exposed, and students exposed to SHS in places other than the home were 1.3 to 1.8 times more likely to be susceptible.” Source: “Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Among Students Aged 13–15 Years Worldwide, 2000-2007”—MMWR 25 May 2007 / Vol. 56 / No. 20.
Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than first believed, see Peter H. Whincup, et al., "Passive smoking and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: prospective study with cotinine measurement," British Med Journal (30 June 2004): "Studies based on reports of smoking in a partner alone seem to underestimate the risks of exposure to passive smoking."
Forced or involuntary smoking of TTS is a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC). Forced smoking of TTS has been formally identified as an airborne toxic substance causing and/or contributing to death or serious illness. Listing TTS as a TAC was based on a comprehensive report on exposure and health effects of ETS. Dr. Robert Sawyer said the data shows "the need . . . identify ETS as a serious health threat." TTS is a poisonous mixture of compounds including benzene, 1,3 butadiene, and arsenic. TTS releases into the air 40 tons of nicotine, 365 tons of respirable particulate matter, and 1900 tons of carbon monoxide in California alone. The data clearly established links between exposure to TTS and premature births, low birth-weight babies, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), asthma, infections of the middle-ear and respiratory system, breast cancer, lung and nasal sinus cancer, heart disease, and eye and nasal irritation.
Identifying TTS as a TAC "rightfully puts second-hand tobacco smoke in the same category as the most toxic automotive and industrial air pollutants," Joan Denton said. "Californians, especially parents, would not willingly fill their homes with motor vehicle exhaust, and they should feel the same way about tobacco smoke," says California Identifies Second-Hand Smoke as a "Toxic Air Contaminant" (26 January 2006).
"A Spanish study has revealed that tobacco smoke is 60 times more toxic than traffic fumes . . . . The study looked at the number of micro-particles of 2.5 micros of less in size in bars which allow smoking and in the street. Bars . . . were used in the study and the result was that outside on the pavement 30 micro grams of particles were found per cubic metre, while in the bars levels were 60 times higher at 2,000 micro grams," says the article "Spanish study shows the dangers of passive smoking (17 September 2006).
And "aging sidestream cigarette smoke for at least 30 minutes increases its toxicity fourfold for 21 day exposures and doubles the toxicity for 90 day exposures, relative to fresh sidestream smoke. . . : These results help explain the relatively large biological effects of secondhand smoke compared to equivalent mass doses of mainstream smoke," say Suzaynn Schick and Stanton A Glantz, in their analysis, "Sidestream cigarette smoke toxicity increases with aging and exposure duration," in 15 Tobacco Control (Issue 6) pp 424-429 (December 2006).
And see Terry Martin's "What's in a cigarette?" list of ingredients, and the CSIA article "Carbon Monoxide," noting that "side-effects that can result from . . . low-level exposure include permanent organ and brain damage."
By 1836, it was already well-established "that thousands and tens of thousands die of diseases of the lungs generally brought on by tobacco smoking. . . . How is it possible to be otherwise? Tobacco is a poison. A [hu]man will die of an infusion of tobacco as of a shot through the head."—Samuel Green, New England Almanack and Farmer's Friend (1836).
That same year, 1836, a medical survey of nicotine poisoning deaths was published. "Death occurred in nearly all of the cases of nicotine poisoning within a few minutes to a few hours . . . ."—Julia Fontanelle, 2 Jour. de Chimie Med. 652 (1836).
And now: "Over 37 million people (one of every six Americans alive today) will die from cigarette smoking years before they otherwise would." See the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), book, Research on Smoking Behavior, Research Monograph 17, Publication ADM 78-581, page v (December 1977).
So "tobacco use, particularly among children and adolescents, poses perhaps the single most significant threat to public health in the United States," says the U.S. Supreme Court, in Lorillard Tobacco Co v Thomas Reilly, Attorney General of Massachusetts, 533 US 525; 121 S Ct 2404, 2430; 150 L Ed 2d 532 (28 June 2001).
The Royal College of Physicians of London, in Smoking and Health Now (London: Pitman Medical and Scientific Publishing Co, 1971), p 9, had already declared the smoking-caused death toll a "holocaust" due to the then "annual death toll of some 27,500." If 27,500 deaths is a "holocaust"—and it is—37 million is (in contrast to the Nazi 6 million holocaust), a six fold+ holocaust constituting universal malice murder. That is above the World War II "crimes against humanity" level for which prosecutions occurred in The Nurnberg Trial, 6 FRD 69 (1946).
Nicotine toxicology and pharmacology researchers such as Duke Medical University's Theodore Slotkin, Ph.D. and University of Arkansas Professor Emeritus K. H. Ginzel, M.D. have observed that nicotine is tobacco's single most destructive chemical.
Instead of eliminating nicotine, “Cigarette Companies Increasing Nicotine Levels, Health Officials Say” (Associated Press, 29 August 2006) (“Tobacco companies have increased the nicotine levels in cigarettes by 10 percent over the past 6 years . . . Nicotine levels in Kool cigarettes -- popular with African-American smokers—rose 20 percent. In 1998, 84 percent of cigarette brands fell into the highest range for nicotine delivery; in 2004, that figure had risen to 93 percent. So-called "light" cigarettes delivered as much nicotine as other cigarettes.”
Even a small amount of secondhand smoke is dangerous. There is no threshold (safe level) for tobacco smoke, even the smallest amount has adverse effect on blood vessels, as shown by Peter Ganz, Priscilla Y. Hsue, Neal L. Benowitz, Stanton A. Glantz, John R. Balmes, and Suzaynn F. Schick, "The Exposure-Dependent Effects of Aged Secondhand Smoke on Endothelial Function,” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol. 59, Issue 21, pp 1908–1913 (22 May 2012).
The “universal malice” of tobacco is evident from the medical data cited by William D. McNally, in The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp. 213-217, January 1920. At 213,
“One cigar contains a quantity of nicotine which would prove fatal to two persons if directly injected into the circulation. . . . The literature contains many references to tobacco poisoning where tobacco has been swallowed with suicidal intent, accidental poisonings. . . . Less severe poisonings have been noted by nearly every one upon beginning the use of tobacco, where the peripheral and nauseant actions predominate. Even chronic smokers often experience ill effects and pain from smoking.”William D. McNally provided examples:
The “universal malice” of tobacco includes a full range of effects, from short-term to long-term, over which “The law . . . extends its protection” to the victims, words from People v. Carmichael, 5 Mich 10; 71 Am Dec 769 (1858).
Here are some examples of what Samuel Green, NIDA, Meta Lander, Prof. Hinds, and Dr. Wood mean on why Toxic Tobacco Smoke (TTS) kills. Cigarettes are inherently dangerous. The pertinent legal adjective is "ultrahazardous." The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: a Report of the Surgeon General, Publication CDC 89-8411, pp 81-84 and 86-87 (1989) lists significant aspects of tobacco's deleterious ingredients including but not limited to:
See also The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General (Surgeon General Report, 27 June 2006).
These are statistical facts and evidence. How good is statistical evidence? Answer: "The utmost. In the hands of experts [like doctors] it is pure science."—Alton Ochsner, M.D., Smoking and Your Life (New York: Julian Messner Pub, 1954 rev 1964), p 108.
Nicotine is "a colorless, oily, water-soluble, highly toxic, liquid alkaloid, found in tobacco and valued as an insecticide."—The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2d ed (New York: Random House, 1987), p 1298. The 1989 Surgeon General Report, supra, Table 6, p 83, lists nicotine as at this level: "1,000-3000 µg/cigarette." Smokers are not insects to be killed with insecticide, a substance tantamount to a rape drug it is so powerful in impacting behavior including leading to death.
"The pharmacology of nicotine has been carefully studied . . . in analyzing the autonomic nervous system. [It] is a potent and rapid acting poison . . . a vast literature on this alkaloid has accumulated since its discovery in 1828."—W. Kalow, M.D., Professor of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, "Some Aspects of the Pharmacology of Nicotine," 4 Applied Therapeutics (#10) 930-932 (Oct 1962). See also "Nicotine - The Nerve Poison" and "Nicotine (wikipedia)."
As a matter of medical background, "the pharmacology of nicotine has been studied in considerable detail since Langley  first showed that nicotine stimulated then paralysed ganglion cells."—A. K. Armitage, G. H. Hall, C. F. Morrison, 217 Nature 331-334 (27 Jan 1968), referencing J. N. Langley and W. L. Dickinson, "On the local paralysis of peripheral ganglia, and on the connexion of different classes of nerve fibers with them," 46 Proc Roy Soc 423-431 (1889).
See also the subsequent study by J. N. Langley, "On the Reaction of Cells and of Nerve-endings to Certain Poisons, Chiefly as Regards the Reaction of Striated Muscle to Nicotine and to Curari," 33 J Physiol (London) 374-413 (1905). In fact, in 1856-1857, The Lancet (London) had a series of articles on tobacco dangers, a series still being referenced a century later.
By 1850, French Dr. Claude Bernard, M.D., D.N.S., Chemistry Professor at the Collège de France, found that nicotine is one of the most violent poisons, that it kills quickly. For example, a mere few drops on an animal's cornea kills it essentially instantly. [Quoted, in French].
"A hundred pounds of the dry tobacco-leaf yield about seven pounds of nicotin. . . . One drop applied to the tongue of a cat brought on convulsions, and in two minutes occasioned, death. The Hottentots are said to kill snakes by putting a drop of it on their tongues. Under its influence, the reptiles die as instantaneously as if killed by an electric shock," says John Lizars, M.D., The Use and Abuse of Tobacco (Edinburgh: 1856, 1857, 1859, reprinted, Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co, 1883), p 57.
Soon, "the principal demand [legitimate use] for it [nicotine] is as a horticultural insecticide. Pure nicotine, C10H14N2, is a highly poisonous colourless liquid, with an unpleasant odour; it boils at 246° - 247° C. and is soluble in most solvents, including water. . . . Nicotine was synthesized in 1904 by A. Pictet, P. Crepieux and Ritoschy."—"Nicotine," Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol 16, p 431 (1963).
"It is also of relevance that the absorption of Nicotine through the lungs is extremely rapid and efficient and reaches the brain more rapidly than after intravenous injection. The arm-to-brain circulation time averages 13.5 seconds, whilst the lung-to-brain time is about 7.5 seconds."—M. A. H. Russell, 212 The Practitioner 791-800 (June 1974).
Worse, "some 90% of the nicotine delivered to the lungs goes directly to the brain, and it gets there in only 7 s," "much faster than a heroin rush from a peripheral vein."—W. A. Check, 247 J Am Med Ass'n (#17) 2333-2338 (7 May 1982).
For an example of amounts, note this background article showing smokers' breath worse than his car's, by Courtney Perkes "Smog technician not just blowing smoke: A smoker, he compares his breath to a car's emissions. Guess which is dirtier?," The Orange County Register (California), Friday, 4 August 2006.
"Smog technician Christopher Delo pulls a long, coiled probe out of the exhaust pipe of a late-model Volvo. The car passed smog certification, so it's time for his smoke break. Delo lights a Marlboro, still holding the pollution-measuring nozzle. He takes a drag and puffs directly into the end of the probe to 'smog' himself. Flashing across the computer screen at Newport Smog are readings for air-polluting molecules from partially burned fuel, including hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The 1997 Volvo measured 50 parts per million of hydrocarbon emissions. Delo's breath reads 351."
"Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. . . . we know that when particle levels go up, people die. " (Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002). TTS is a poisonous mixture of compounds including benzene, 1,3 butadiene, and arsenic. TTS releases into the air 40 tons of nicotine, 365 tons of respirable particulate matter, and 1900 tons of carbon monoxide in California alone.
"The United States Pure Food Laws allow only 1.43 parts of arsenic per million in food, but Zeigler and Warner found in 1937 that the arsenic content of tobacco was fifty times that amount.—Wood, supra, p 115.
TTS chemicals (constituting an "ultrahazardous" combination) have long been researched, e.g., E. Bogen, "Composition of Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke," 93 J Am Med Ass'n (#9) 1110-1114 (12 Oct 1929). They have an effect. Prof. W. E. Dixon (Cambridge University), The Tobacco Habit (1927) identified more than fifty diseases or symptoms in which tobacco was already then known to be a factor. Our website on "cancer data 1925" gives an overview of what was already known then. Our website reproducing the Michigan House of Representatives Committee Report on the Tobacco Hazard—1889 has examples of what was known over 110 years ago.
In a 26 page 15 November 1961 admission by Dr. Helmut Wakeham of the Philip Morris Company about the carcinogens in tobacco smoke, there is a remarkable diagram on page 4 (Item 202494715) showing a big cigarette, with two "balloons," one coming out of each end of the cigarette. The balloons contain graphs showing that the percentage of dangerous compounds that come off the burning end of a cigarette is vastly higher (86%) than the percentage contained in the mainstream smoke (11.2%). (Dr. Helmut Wakeham is notorious as the PM scientist who equated the danger of smoking cigarettes with the danger of eating too much applesauce in the 1970's documentary Death in the West, though he of course knew better.)
See also the Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant (Cal, September 2005).
Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., The Politics of Cancer (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1978), pp 160-161 gives a partial list of TTS-caused cancer sites (esophagus, larynx, lip, lung, mouth, pancreas, pharynx, tongue, urinary bladder) and other linked injuries: aortic aneurism, coronary heart disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, peptic ulcers, and stroke. Dr. Epstein concludes, "In view of the fact that tobacco smoke contains hundreds of identifiable chemical components, it is now surprising that smoking causes so few diseases." (Actually, 50 as cited by Prof. Dixon is not a "few.")
"The physician must recognize the fact that smoking is a universal affair . . . harmful . . . to normal people. . . . [changing them into injured category]."—Schwartz, Herbert F., M.D., "Smoking and Tuberculosis," 45 New York State Journal of Medicine (#14) 1539-1542 (15 July 1945).
"Virtually everyone in the United States is at some risk of harm from exposure to secondhand smoke. The reason is that nearly everyone is exposed to tobacco smoke, and there is no evidence of a threshold level of exposure below which the exposure is safe."—Ronald M. Davis, M.D., "Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke," 280 J Am Med Assn (#22) 1947-1949 (9 Dec 1998).
TTS is ultrahazardous. TTS court cases such as Todd v Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp, 924 F Supp 59 (WD La, 9 May 1996), admit that tobacco dangerousness is obvious. Perez v Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp, 967 F Supp 920 (SD Texas, 4 June 1997), said tobacco is inherently dangerous and so known.
The case of Banzhaf v Federal Communications Commission, 132 US App DC 14, 29; 405 F2d 1082, 1097; 78 P.U.R.3d 87 (1968) cert den 396 US 842; 90 S Ct 50; 24 L Ed 2d 93 (1969) upheld the concept of cigarettes' universal deleteriousness:
“The tobacco industry is the greatest killing organization in the world. The harm done by all the armies in the world combined, will not begin to equal the damage inflicted upon the human race by the combined activity of the cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors of tobacco.”—Dr. Jesse M. Gehman, Smoke Over America (East Aurora, N.Y: The Roycrofters, 1943), p 216.
"Tobacco alone is predicted to kill a billion people this [21st] century, 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century, if current trends hold," says the Associated Press article, "Tobacco could kill 1B this century," The Detroit News, p 4A (11 July 2006). Details are at "American Cancer Society CEO Urges United States to Do More to Win Global War Against Cancer in Address to National Press Club" (26 June 2006).
"Tobacco producers are "terrorists", Seffrin tells Israel Cancer Association," The Jerusalem Post (31 March 2005): "All those involved in the production and marketing of tobacco products are 'terrorists', declared Dr John Seffrin, president of the American Cancer Society and elected president of Geneva-based International Union Against Cancer (UICC)."
Tobacco smoke carcinogens are absorbed by people exposed to them second-hand. "If [someone does] smoke in one part of a house [building], the smoke doesn't just stay in that part."—Kristin E. Anderson, Steven G. Carmella, Ming Ye, Robin L. Bliss, Chap Le, Lois Murphy, and Stephen S. Hecht, "Metabolites of a Tobacco-Specific Lung Carcinogen in Nonsmoking Women Exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke," J Natl Cancer Institute, Vol 93 (#5) 378-381 (7 March 2001).
You are in danger. Splitting into sections (segregation) does not work, and is unconstitutional, Alford v City of Newport News, 220 Va 584; 260 SE2d 241 (1979), but places often obstinately insist on doing this anyway, rather than obey the Constitution and the right to pure air. See also Opinions of Attorney General 1987-1988, No. 6460, pp 167-171; 1987 Michigan Register 366 (25 Aug 1987) (placing nonsmokers “checkerboard style” does not achieve law compliance, an Alford analysis; the benefit of safety is intended but is not met by segregation, as TTS travels through the air, i.e., is “ultrahazardous” as the term is defined in precedents).
Nonsmokers exposed to TTS absorb the same amount of TTS as smokers, meaning "similar nicotine levels."—W. Al-Delaimy, T. Fraser, A. Woodward, "Nicotine in hair of bar and restaurant workers," 114 New Zealand Med J (#1127) 80-83 (9 March 2001).
In fact, cigarettes threaten everyone in America. To find “the purest nonsmoking population that can be obtained in the USA,” there was ONLY “the Amish population . . . in Lancaster County [Pennsylvania].”—G. H. Miller, Ph.D., “Lung Cancer: A Comparison of Incidence Between the Amish and Non-Amish in Lancaster County,” 76 J Indiana State Med Assn (#2) 121-123 (February 1983). Everyone else is being "smoked" to a greater or lesser extent.
We "recognize the fact that smoking is a universal affair . . . harmful . . . to normal people . . . . [changing them into injured category]."—Schwartz, Herbert F., M.D., "Smoking and Tuberculosis," 45 New York State Journal of Medicine (#14) 1539-1542 (15 July 1945).
"Virtually everyone in the United States is at some risk of harm from exposure to secondhand smoke. The reason is that nearly everyone is exposed to tobacco smoke, and there is no evidence of a threshold level of exposure below which the exposure is safe."—Ronald M. Davis, M.D., "Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke," 280 J Am Med Assn (#22) 1947-1949 (9 Dec 1998).
Indeed, judicial notice of cigarettes' "inherent" deleteriousness had long before been taken, pursuant to an 1897 Tennessee law banning cigarettes, in Austin v State, 101 Tenn 563; 566-7; 48 SW 305, 306; 70 Am St Rep 703 (1898) affirmed 179 US 343 (1900). Tennessee was scared of cigarettes as they are a dangerous Confederate product intended to kill millions. Tennessee's Supreme Court said in Austin:
"the use of tobacco in any form is uncleanly, and . . . excessive use is injurious . . . . its use by the young is especially so. Tobacco, in short, is under the ban. One of the strongest arguments . . . against the cigarette, is that cigarettes are easily and cheaply obtained, and that [children are] liable to be tempted by that fact, and that the use of tobacco will thus be increased. . . ."
Due to cigarettes' inherently deleterious nature and poisonous ingredients, they, when lit [the term is 'smoking'], emit deleterious emissions. The term is Toxic Tobacco Smoke (TTS). Other terms you may hear of, include "second-hand smoke," "involuntary smoking," and "passive smoking."
Re TTS, the Surgeon General, then Luther Terry, M.D., in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW), Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, PHS Pub 1103, Chapter 6, Table 4, p 60 (1964), lists significant aspects of cigarettes' deleterious emissions compared to the prescribed health standards, the chemicals' “speed limits,” the maximum number above which is unsafe. The official OSHA term for this maximum-to-not-exceed, is “permissible exposure limit” (PEL) or “threshold limit value" (TLV). OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. (See OSHA history.)
TLV's (legal maximums) are currently identified in the OSHA toxic chemical regulation 29 CFR § 1910.1000. (It is available at your local library). TTS ingredients include but are not limited to:
Note that many ingredients far exceed the safe legal limits of 1964. Safety law limits are lower now; the chemicals are more dangerous than the Surgeon General knew then.
Hydrogen cyanide is a respiratory enzyme poison. It (cyanide) is used in executions, in gas chambers, on dangerous criminals. Carbon monoxide is often warned about, as coming from the rare out-of-order furnace, but cigarettes are a routine source and much more common danger. We all want zero exposure to it, coming from our furnaces! Formaldehyde is 'embalming fluid.'
Tobacco toxic chemicals exist in addition to other toxic chemicals, see, e.g, Michael R. Harbut, M.D., M.P.H., "Toxic chemicals more dangerous than unhealthy diets" (Oakland Press, Friday, 30 September 2011), " Michigan children are exposed to flame retardants found in car seats and other baby products sold in our state. Exposure to flame retardants is linked to damages in learning and memory, reproductive harm, thyroid problems and cancers. Our children are the most vulnerable to this toxic chemical because their bodies are still developing. These studies are red-flags on the need for policy makers to prioritize the health of our children. Chemicals like rocket fuel, flame retardants, formaldehyde and toluene are continually found in children’s blood, mother’s breast milk and even our Great Lakes fish. They rapidly accumulate in our bodies and persist in the environment."
Another facet of the tobacco danger is third-hand smoke. "Thirdhand smoke exposure increases health risks" (Toronto Sun, 12 January 2011). See also "Third hand smoke bigger health hazard than previously believed."
The TTS excessiveness above the legal limits underlies and explains cigarettes' multi-faceted "ultrahazardous" nature and impact. Additional data of this type on TTS can be found in the book by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., The Politics of Cancer (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1978), p 154.
And see "More Evidence of Harmfulness of Second-Hand Smoke: Cancer Causing Agent Present in Gaseous Phase of Cigarette Smoke" (21 March 2012): "In the study, the authors found a cancer-causing agent called reactive oxygen species (ROS) present in the gaseous phase of cigarette smoke that has the ability to inhibit normal cell function. Exposure to the secondhand smoke produced by as little as two cigarettes was found to almost completely stop the function of a cell's sodium pump within a few hours. In normal cells, the sodium pump plays a critical role transporting potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell. The competence of the cell's sodium pump, i.e., its inability to regulate sodium, is predictive of cell damage, disease progression and ultimately, survival. 'This is critical information with regard to secondhand smoke,' said Dr. Rajasekaran. 'We now know that one need not inhale the particulate matter present in secondhand smoke to suffer the consequence of smoking. Exposure to the gaseous substance alone, which you breathe while standing near a smoker, is sufficient to cause harm.'"
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 USC § 651 - § 678 forbids behaviors and hazards (meaning, substances concerning which regular exposure foreseeably leads to "material impairment of [employee] health"). Pertinent precedents on the law include:
| 42,000 ppm - cigarettes' carbon monoxide
It is because cigarettes' TTS emissions vastly exceed the “speed limits” that they are dangerous and so fatal as to kill millions of people. If cigarettes' TTS chemicals were under the "speed limits," they'd be safe! Example: The "speed limit" for carbon monoxide is about 100, whereas it's doing 42,000.
This fact has long been known. "The pungent smoke of tobacco is a local irritant," said Harrington Sainsbury, M.D., F.R.C.P., Drugs and the Drug Habit (London: Methuen; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co, 1909), Chapter 12, "Characteristics of the Uncontrolled Habit," page 249, in turn cited by Bruce Fink Professor of Botany, Miami University, Tobacco (Cincinnati: The Abingdon Press, 1915), p 27.
These pungent irritating dangerous plumes also help explain the discomfort and annoyance to nonsmokers, violating pertinent constitutional rights.
Even riding with a smoker by car is likewise dangerous due to the high toxic chemical emissions' level. A "British Study Reveals Alarmingly High Levels of Interior Pollution in Smokers’ Cars" (19 October 2012). "The . . . World Health Organization (WHO) recommended safe level is 25 µg/ micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). While non-smoking trips were well below that level [a mere 7.4 µg/m3], interior pollution in trips with smoking drivers averaged a far higher 85 µg/m3. Moreover, according to the study, peak levels averaged 385 µg/m3 and on one occasion, the readings were off the scales, with 880 µg/m3. Opening the windows or turning on climate control didn’t improve the situation, as the pollution levels inside the car still exceeded the WHO [safe] levels."
Smokers' typical inability to comprehend such basic mathematical facts is brain-damage induced, e.g., connotes acalculia, inability to do simple mathematical calculations of risk. For example, notice that cigarettes' carbon monoxide emission is at 42,000 ppm. But they are not safe above about 50-200 ppm (the numbers vary over the years, by duration of exposure, etc.). Those numbers are always far under 42,000.
Most smokers (generally speaking) even when told these numbers, do not typically respond to these simple mathematical facts by ceasing the activity (smoking) in a sufficiently timely manner to avoid widespread harm and deaths, e.g., from lung cancer, etc. Acalculia is thus evident early on in smokers. Wherefore smokers suffer disproportionately from additional mental disorders including Alzheimer's disease, with rates above the general population.
“Carbon monoxide is a dangerous substance. The molecule binds more strongly to the hemoglobin in the blood than does oxygen. A person breathing air that contains even a small percentage (one part in 250) of carbon monoxide may die of suffocation.”—Gordon P. Johnson, Bonnie B. Barr, and Michael D. Leyden, Physical Science (New York: Addison-Wesly Pub Co, Inc, 1988), pp 298-299. 1/250 = 40,000 ppm; cigarette smoke contains more than that (42,000 ppm).
"An ounce of tobacco produces, when smoked, one-fifth pint of carbon monoxide," says John H. Kellogg, M.D., LL.D., F.A.C.S., Tobaccoism, or, How Tobacco Kills (Battle Creek, Michigan: The Modern Medicine Publishing Co, 1922), p 21.
Tobacco smoke lingers in the air in enclosed spaces. Approximately two weeks are required for nicotine to clear from a room where smoking has occurred.—James L. Repace, "Indoor Concentrations of Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Field Surveys." In O'Neil, et. al: Environmental Carcinogens: Methods of Analysis and Exposure Measurement: Passive Smoking (Lyon, France, IARC: 1987; 9: 141-162).
See also G. Matt, "Household Dust, Surfaces Trap Cigarette Smoke: Hidden Sources of Secondhand Smoke May Put Children at Risk," 13 Tobacco Control 29-37 (March 2004). Merely smoking in a different room, or outdoors, does not reduce the danger. Cigarette smoke's toxic ingredients are foreseeably trapped by household dust and surfaces; these in turn become "major sources of secondhand smoke exposure." Over a period of weeks, the trapped toxins can produce danger tantamount to "hours of exposure to active . . . smoking."
The danger continues to increase even after the cigarette is put out, as the toxic chemicals continue to interact. "Research has shown that the toxicity of sidestream cigarette smoke, the primary constituent of secondhand smoke, increases over time. . . . Philip Morris scientists measured the concentration of NNK in sidestream smoke in a sealed stainless steel test chamber at initial particle concentrations of 24 mg/m3 over the course of 6 to 18 h. They repeatedly showed that airborne NNK concentrations in sidestream cigarette smoke can increase by 50% to 200% per hour during the first 6 h after cigarettes are extinguished. Two experiments done in a real office showed that NNK concentrations increase for the first 2 h after cigarettes are extinguished." See Suzaynn F. Schick and Stanton Glantz, "Concentrations of the Carcinogen 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-Pyridyl)-1-Butanone in Sidestream Cigarette Smoke Increase after Release into Indoor Air: Results from Unpublished Tobacco Industry Research," Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16(8):1547–53.
For explanation of the deleteriousness of various chemicals (including those as cigarette ingredients), see
a. Gosselin, Smith, Hodge, and Braddock, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, 5th ed (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1984). Page II-4 lists toxicity levels of 1-6 (1, "practically non-toxic"; 4, "very toxic"; 6, "super-toxic"). Nicotine, item 772, pp II-237 and III-311-4 is rated a 6; coumarin, p II-257, item 861, is a 4.
b. Robert Dreisbach and William Robertson, Handbook of Poisoning: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment, 12th ed (Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1983 and 1987). Pages 35 and 259-263 cover carbon monoxide poisoning; pp 130-132, tobacco and nicotine; pp 385-7, anticoagulants, e.g., coumarin and warfarin.
c. Sondra Goodman, Director, Household Hazardous Waste Project, HHWP's Guide to Hazardous Products Around the Home, 2d ed (Springfield, MO: Southwest Mo St Univ Press, 1989). Page 99 covers poisoning by carbon monoxide, of which cigarettes emit 42,000 ppm, exceeding the 29 CFR § 1910.1000 average safe limit of 50 ppm. (See excerpt).
d. Jay Arena and Richard Drew, Poisoning, 5th ed (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Pub, 1986). Pages 216-217 cover nicotine; pp 308-312, carbon monoxide; p 999, which lists coumarin, says, ominously, "see Warfarin," p 1007.
See also the background article "The Dangers of Passive Smoking." The bottom line is that "Even brief exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm to the body, damaging cells and inflaming tissue in ways that can lead to serious illness and death," says "Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says" (USATODAY, 09 December 2010).
If you hear the rumor that ventilation is a substitute for smoke-free behavior, don't believe it. It is not true. There is no controversy in the science nor among the recognized experts in ventilation technology. The only "controversy" is a fraud, made up by opponents of smokefree policies. The recognized organization on ventilation, referenced in many regional and national building codes, is the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioninging Engineers. It specifically addressed this subject several years ago and concluded there is no ventilation, air cleaning or air filtration technology on the market that can adequately remove the toxins of secondhand smoke to where it would no longer pose a health risk. And “the detrimental effects of cigarette smoking on health are beyond controversy,” Larus and Brother Co v Federal Communications Commission, 447 F2d 876, 880 (CA 4, 1971).
Prof. Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., in "e-cigarettes release toxic chemicals indoors, should be included in clean indoor air laws and policies" (19 September 2012) notes that e-cigarettes "elevated levels of acetic acid, acetone, isoprene, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, averaging around 20% of what the conventional cigarette put into the air. . . . the e-cigarettes are putting detectable levels of several significant carcinogens and toxins in the air. " Prof. Glantz cites the pertinent study by T. Schripp, D. Markewitz, E. Uhde, T. Salthammer, of the Fraunhofer Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, "Does e-cigarette consumption cause passive vaping?" (Indoor Air, 2 July 2012).
The Michigan law banning cigarettes with deleterious ingredients, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, is clearly a life-saver, intended to prevent cigarettes with dangerous ingredients!! Only safe cigarettes, if any, can legally be manufactured, given away, and sold in Michigan. Are you convinced? Or do you want to know more than this "tip of the iceberg" of cigarettes' deleteriousness?
Tobacco Dangerous to Animals
Tobacco endangers animals too! See H. Marsh and Clawson, "Wild Tobacco Toxic for Horses, Cattle and Sheep," 9 North American Veterinarian 30 (June 1928).
“The conspicuous part played by poisonous gases in the Great War naturally led to a careful study of the effects of poisonous gases."—John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., LL.D., F.A.C.S., Tobaccoism or How Tobacco Kills (Battle Creek, MI: The Modern Medicine Publishing Co, 1922 and 1923), p 139.
"Professor [W. N.] Boldyreff made another highly important observation which brings out clearly the probability of wide-spread and very serious injury to non-smokers in the inhalation of smoke-tainted air. The Professor, during the war was at one time engaged in training a body of troops in methods of defense against poisonous gases. In performing his duties he several times inhaled so much of the poisonous gas as to be quite severely poisoned by it. He, as well as others, found himself after this experience highly sensitized to poisonous gases of all sorts. It has long been known that this is a usual result of gas poisoning. In the words of the Professor, ‘A man who had been thus poisoned thereafter feels at once even the smallest amount of these gases in the air; he becomes, so to speak, the most sensitive indicator of their presence in the air. The Professor cites an interesting experience in illustration of this fact,—
"'People who have been poisoned with gas can at once detect the presence of an extremely small proportion of carbon monoxide in the air and, in general, are exceptionally sensitive to all harmful gaseous substances. They also become very sensitive to tobacco smoke. I have been told by many who were poisoned with gases during the war, that now they positively cannot endure tobacco smoke.’”—Kellogg, supra, pp 147-148.
Tobacco Smoke Aggressiveness
John Howard, M.D., Chief, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, testified on TTS in a 20 Oct 1994 hearing before the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment that "tobacco smoke travels from its point of generation in a building to all other areas of the building. It has been shown to move through light fixtures, through ceiling crawl spaces, and into and out of doorways." This aggressive activity of TTS violates the right to "fresh and pure air," as the inherent dangerous nature and action of TTS constitutes it as "ultrahazardous activity."
Tobacco radioactivity is high: "the radiation dose from radium and polonium found naturally in tobacco can be a thousand times more than that from the caesium-137 taken up by the leaves from the Chernobyl nuclear accident," says the article "Tobacco's radiation dose far higher than leaves at Chernobyl" (NewScientist.com news service, 2 June 2007). Note that "the average radiation dose that would be received by people smoking 30 cigarettes a day . . . was 251 microsieverts a year, compared with 0.199 from Chernobyl fallout in the leaves" (Radiation Protection Dosimetry, vol 123, p 68).
See also "Radioactive Smoke: A Reader Poll and Declassified Documents about Polonium in Cigarettes" (Scientific American January 2011).
For background, see Edward A. Martell, Ph.D. (Radiochemistry), "Tobacco Radioactivity and Cancer in Smokers," 63 American Scientist 404-412 (July-August 1975). "The remarkable concentrations of 210Pb on small Aitken particles, on tobacco trichomes, and in insoluble cigarette smoke particles dramatically illustrate . . . concentration and fractionation processes. Similarly remarkable concentration and fractionation processes are involved in the inhalation, deposition, retention, clearance, and accumulation of insoluble particles in the lung and other organs. . . . the particles are confined to less than a gram of lung tissue, in which the alpha disintegration rate is more than 1,000 times that of dissolved natural alpha activity. . . Giving rise to a substantial increase in the number of alpha-induced structural changes in chromosomes and thus in the tumor risk," p 411.
Previously Edward A. Martell, Ph.D., had said in 249 Nature 217 (1974), 'Thus, it seems that alpha radiation from [Polonium-210] in insoluble smoke particles may be the primary agent of bronchial cancer in smoking."
"Because 210Pb has a radioactive half-life of 22 years, the body burden of the radioactive 210 Pb and its radioactive daughter products — 210Bi (bismuth-210) and 210Po — can continue to build up throughout the period of smoking . . . In addition, insoluble dust- particle accumulations in the lung and lymph nodes may ulcerate into adjoining blood vessels and be carried elsewhere in via the blood circulation. Thus long-term exposure to insoluble particles of respirable size leads to their accumulation in the lung. Lymph nodes, liver, bone marrow, and elsewhere," p 404."Study: Tobacco firms' own research showed dangers" (September 2011), says "Tobacco companies knew for decades that cigarette smoke was radioactive and potentially carcinogenic but kept that information from the public."
Radioactive polonium is "being absorbed through the pulmonary circulation and carried by the systemic circulation to every tissue and cell, causing mutations . . . deviation of cellular characteristics . . . and early death from a body-wide spectrum of disease."—R. T. Ravenholt, M.D., M. Ph., 307 New Engl J Med (#5) 312 (29 July 1982).
This "deteriorates and contaminates every organ and tissue with which it comes in contact in the body."—Theodore Frech and Luther Higley, The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes (Butler, Indiana: The Higley Printing Co, 1916), p 20.
"Smoking bad for you inside and out" (13 July 2008) (article by a doctor on damage that smoking does to the body, inside and out, including the skin, e.g., causes wrinkles--an effect reported as long ago as 1857.)
Such data on radioactivity rendering artery walls "highly permeable to the passage of red cells" helps explain what was described a century ago: "Autopsies have revealed large foci of softening in the brain, hemorrhages into the meninges, and capillary apoplexies in the brain substance."—G. W. Jacoby, 50 New York Medical Journal 172 (17 August 1889). Also, "Ecchymosis occurs in the pleura and peritoneum. Hyperemia of the lungs, brain, and cord is found. . . . Coarse lesions have been found in the brain and spinal cord."—L. P. Clark, 71 Medical Record (26) 1073 (29 June 1907).
"A single burning cigarette in a closed room gives rise to particle concentrations of [approximately] 105 per cm3 . . . Extemely concentrated cloud of particles and vapors in mainstream smoke . . . Radon progeny on large mainstream smoke particles will be deposited in the tracheobronchial tree with a highly nonuniform distribution. Deposition in the right upper lobe of the human lung may approach twice that in the other four lobes . . . . Such particles are deposited with higher surface densities in the lobar and segmental bronchi than elsewhere within each lung lobe . . . selective deposition at bifurcations takes place for particles in both the diffusion and impaction subranges and results in highly localized ‘hot spots' at bifurcations. The hot spot intensities increase steeply with particle size . . . ."—E. A. Martell, "d-Radiation dose at Bronchial Bifurcations of Smokers from Indoor Exposure to Radon Progeny," 80 Proc Nat'l Acad Sci, U.S.A. 1285-1289 (March 1983), at p 1286.
Also, "due to progressive damage to the epithelium at bifurcations of smokers, leading to lesions with loss of cilia . . . particle retention times . . . increase with smoking rate and duration of smoking in years. Albert et al. . . . demonstrated that most cigarette smokers had bronchial clearance, with an average half-time of 172 min. Particles that resist clearance would include those deposited at bifurcations in lesions with cilia absent. Particle half-residence times of 172 min are sufficient for nearly complete decay of 214Po from deposited radon progeny associated with smoke tars . . . the bronchial epithelium is incapable of absorbing ore than negligible amounts of tar--further indication that radon progeny associated with smoke tar particles deposited at bifurcations may persist for substantial . . . decay of 214Po before clearance," p 1287.
"210Pb-enriched smoke particles produced by tobacco trichome combustion are highly insoluble." "That inhaled tobacco tars are highly concentrated at segmental bifurcations of cigarette smokers is borne out by several lines of evidence. . . Ermala and Holsti . . . observed highly localized tar deposits in the tonsillar region, at the vocal cords, and at the tracheal and bronchial bifurcations--sites closely correlated with the clinical frequency of cancer of respiratory tract ins smokers. . . Little et al. . . . observed high local concentrations of 210Po at individual bifurcations of smokers," p 1287.
"The age-related incidence of bronchial cancer in smokers, duration of smoking in years to the fifth power, indicates a multistage process of cancer induction involving at least two stages of DNA transformation." "Brues pointed out . . . that tumors arise focally in small irradiated tissue volumes," p 1289.
A National Academy of Sciences report released June 30, 2005, finds that there is no safe level of radiation exposure.
"Radioactivity in Cigarette Smoke," by T. H. Winters and J. R. DiFranza, in 306 New Engl J of Med (#6) 364-365 (11 Feb 1982), indicates that "cells close to an alpha source receive high doses. . . . Alpha emitters in cigarette smoke result in appreciable radiation exposure to the bronchial epithelium of smokers and probably secondhand smokers." Also, "After inhalation, ciliary action causes the insoluble radioactive particles to accumulate at the bifurcation of segmental bronchi, a common site of origin of broncogenic carcinomas." Those "cells close to an alpha source receive high doses," for example, "a dose of 1000 rems." Winters and Di Franza thus conclude that "The detrimental effects of tobacco smoke have been considerably underestimated, making it less likely that chemical carcinogens alone are responsible for the observed incidence of tobacco-related carcinoma."
The article, "Environmental Radiation Hazards," by Alan Steinfeld, in 22 American Family Physician (#4) 95-99 (Oct 1980), indicates at 96 "guidelines for exposure. For occupationally exposed workers, the level is 5 rems (5,000 mrems) per year . . . . Members of the general public are permitted one-tenth of this amount, or 0.5 rem (500 mrems) per year." Cf. "a dose of 1000 rems," words from Winters and Di Franza. Steinfield indicates, at 98, "By comparison, the average annual dose to the U.S. population from nuclear reactors under normal operating conditions is 0.002 mrem per year. The dose rate at the boundary of a nuclear facility is legally limited to no more than 5 mrems per year."
The radioactivity in TTS enhances its "ultrahazardous" nature and impact and foreseeably impacts nonsmokers also, as some decades of data shows:
"About 50 percent of cancer attributed to smoking could be caused by radioactivity, according to Drs. Thomas H. Winter and Joseph R. Di Franza, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. . . .
The radiation poisoning death of ex-Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006 brought a renewed interest in the cigarette contaminant Polonium-210. A confidential Philip Morris (PM) memo from 1980 written by Roger Comes (a Associate Senior Scientist in PM's Research and Development department in Richmond, Virginia) responds to news reports about a research article that was published at the time by Edward Martell that revealed that cigarette smoke contained low levels of the radioactive alpha particle emitting constituent Polonium-210. The memo confirms that PM was aware at that time that smoke from their cigarettes contained radioactive lead and polonium, and that it was derived from the uranium contained in the calcium phosphate fertilizers that farmers regularly used on tobacco-growing soils. Comes states that
"210-Pb [radioactive lead] and 210-Po [radioactive polonium] are present in tobacco and smoke...."
What most news stories about this fail to say is that, while weapons-grade pure Polonium-210 is rare, we have all been exposed to hazardous amounts of Polonium-210 mixed with other carcinogens and poisons. Polonium-210 is one of three radioactive elements in tobacco smoke. A smoker inhales an average of .04 picocuries of Polonium-210 per cigarette, and nonsmokers in the same room typically receive about 10% that amount. A single atom of Polonium-210 lodged in the lung could be the trigger that initiates a fatal lung cancer, and the risk increases with greater exposure. Polonium-210 is part of the toxicology reason that TTS kills an estimated 53,000 US nonsmokers annually.
Thomas Dennen in a November 2006 article, "SMOKERS – YOU ARE INHALING THE SAME RADIOACTIVE POISON THAT KILLED Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko!: When Did Governments (and tobacco companies) Know About Polonium 210 and How Long Have They Known?," says, "Polonium 210 is found in trace amounts in cigarette smoke and is the major reason it causes cancer. Polonium 210 is the only component of cigarette smoke that has produced cancers by itself in laboratory animals by inhalation - tumors appear at a level FIVE TIMES LOWER than the dose to a heavy smoker."
Robert N. Proctor, Ph.D., in "Puffing on Polonium" (New York Times, 1 December 2006), says, "When the former K.G.B. agent Alexander V. Litvinenko was found to have been poisoned by radioactive polonium 210 last week, there was one group that must have been particularly horrified: the tobacco industry. The industry has been aware at least since the 1960s that cigarettes contain significant levels of polonium. . . ."
More information on radioactivity in cigarettes, and generally, can be obtained at
For tobacco lobby effort to debunk such ingredients data, see this 25 July 1974 data.
Are you convinced? Or do you want to know more than this "tip of the iceberg" of cigarettes' deleteriousness? There is much more, beyond the scope of this one paper.
For introduction, see Oscar Janiger, and Mariene Dobkin de Rios, "Suggestive Hallucinogenic Properties of Tobacco," 4 Medical Anthropology Newsletter (#4) 6-11 (1973); and Jan G. R. Elferink, "The Narcotic and Hallucinogenic Use of Tobacco in Pre-Columbian Central America," 7 Journal of Ethnopharmacology 111-122 (1983).
"Native use of tobacco parallels that of other hallucinogenic substances . . . The amounts of harman and norharman in cigarette smoke are about 10-20 mcg. per cigarette. This is about 40 to 100 times greater than that found in the tobacco leaf, indicating that pyrosynthesis occurs in the leaves during the burning . . . . harmine in relatively small doses crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes changes in the neural transmission in the visual system."—Oscar Janiger, M.D., and Marlene Dobkin De Rios, M.D., "Nicotiana an Hallucinogen?," 30 Econ Bot 149-151 (April-June 1976).
Hallucinogens function on the brain, adversely impacting it, by impact on brain chemicals such as serotonin, says Barry L. Jacobs, "How Hallucinogenic Drugs Work," 75 American Scientist (#4) 386-392 (Jul-Aug 1987). One result of an altered serotonin level is smokers' disproportionately increased suicide rate.
"Displaying an enviable spark of intelligence in their pin-head minds, insects recognize that tobacco does them no good and they do their best to keep away from it. You can take advantage of their good sense by putting a handful of tobacco or tobacco wastes in water to make a spray. Let the meal steep for 24 hours, and then dilute the solution to the color of weak tea. Stems can be purchased from florists and seedsmen, and store-bought plug tobacco works fine. Or, you can save a little time and effort by purchasing a tobacco extract and following the directions on the package. Tobacco sprays spread better if soap is added, but be sure to rinse the |119plants with clear water after each application so that foliage is not burned. This is potent juice, and should be used well before releasing beneficials in the garden. Tobacco sprays do funny things to roses, so unless the prospect of black roses piques your curiosity, use another [pesticide] spray."—Roger P. Yepsen, Jr., et al., Organic Plant Protection (Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press, 1976), pp 118-119.
"Nicholas Culpeper in his 1681 The English Physician Enlarged recommended tobacco juice to kill lice on children's heads, a very early reference to the use of tobacco as an insecticide poison. Piano Leaf 40, an environmentally safe and biodegradable agricultural insecticide used around the world, is 40 percent nicotine sulfate. Farmers have been using nicotine sulfate insecticide since the early 1800s. To make it, all you do is boil tobacco leaves in water with a little sulfuric acid (the same acid as in a car battery). Steve Van Nattan's formula: Buy a tin of cheap pipe tobacco. Put it in a kettle of boiling water. Add about six fresh chopped garlics. Add several crushed pods of the hottest chili around, like habanero. Boil at a simmer for at least one hour. You will want to have the windows open or do this outdoors or else your house will smell like something you stepped in. Strain the solids out with cheese cloth or use a coffee filter. Put the liquid in a pistol grip spray bottle. Use on indoor plants against aphids and other insects especially during winter infestations of house plants. Use on outdoor plants any time. Use to spray the trunks of saplings to prevent girdling by critters during winter. Smart animals will not come near tobacco," says "Tobacco Use" (2002).
Objecting to Revealing Ingedients
According to the Rhode Island State Attorney General Web Site, "A $15,000 fine was paid to the Department of Attorney General by United States Tobacco Company (UST). The fine is part of the settlement with the AG for making misleading claims about the lack of scientific facts to establish smokeless tobacco to be a cause of oral cancer. The comments, a violation of the Consent Decree and Final Judgement between the State of Rhode Island and the Tobacco Companies, were made by a UST spokesperson to the Providence Journal in an article published April 7, 1999."
"It has rightly been observed that, if a 'non-smoker' is strictly construed as one who has never had any contact with tobacco-smoke, non-smokers in any . . . urban society are virtually non-existent. Not only, in such societies, is practically everyone exposed to passive inhalation of tobacco smoke, but a very considerable number of 'non-smokers' have once tried . . . smoking before renouncing the practice."—Paul S. Larson, Ph.D., H. B. Haag, M.D., and Herbert Silvette, Ph.D., "Measurement of Tobacco Smoking," 88 Medical Times (#4) 417-429, at p 425 (April 1960).
This poervasiveness meets the definition for "universal malice."
To find “the purest nonsmoking population that can be obtained in the USA,” there is [now] only “the Amish population . . . in Lancaster County [Pennsylvania].”--G. H. Miller, Ph.D., “Lung Cancer: A Comparison of Incidence Between the Amish and Non-Amish in Lancaster County,” 76 J Indiana State Med Assn (#2) 121-123 (February 1983).
It was not always so bad. Early Americans were quite health conscious. This American trait was noticed by the famous French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, who in 1835, wrote, "In America the passion for physical well-being is general [common]." This unique American trait was still being alluded to now 160+ years later, by William A. Check, PhD, The Mind-Body Connection in Dale C. Garrell, MD, The Encyclopedia of Health: Medical Disorders and Their Treatment (New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990).
The next year after 1835, in 1836, a blunt health fact was widely circulated to Americans: the fact that doctors deemed it already well-established "that thousands and tens of thousands die of diseases of the lungs generally brought on by tobacco smoking. . . . How is it possible to be otherwise? Tobacco is a poison. A man will die of an infusion of tobacco as of a shot through the head." —Samuel Green, New England Almanack and Farmer's Friend (1836). Americans took heed. Result: Declining U.S. tobacco use, reported by J. B. Neil, 1 The Lancet (#1740) p 23 (3 Jan 1857). Prior to mass advertising, non-smoking was "common" in the U.S.—Prof. John Hinds, The Use of Tobacco (Nashville, Tenn: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1882), p. 10.
You cannot count on professed "ventilation experts" to protect you or your family. So-called experts' actions have been, can be, foreseeably are, inadequate, hence the deaths of vast numbers of non-smokers has resulted. For one analysis of the inadequacy of what professed "ventilation experts" have done in the past, see the paper by Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D. and Suzaynn Schick, Ph.D., "Implications of ASHRAE's Guidance on Ventilation in Smoking-Permitted Areas," ASHRAE Journal 54-59 (March 2004).
Example: So-called ventilation experts have decades of not controlling the air quality in smoky bars. The result, "Air Worse in Smoky Bars Than on Truck-Choked Roads," says Linda Johnson, The Associated Press (19 September 2004), citing genuine professional James L. Repace, "the researcher who first showed secondhand smoke causes thousands of U.S. lung cancer deaths each year." Repace is a "visiting assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston." The full study is in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol 46, issue 9, pages 887-905 (September 2004), entitled, "Respirable Particles and Carcinogens in the Air of Delaware Hospitality Venues Before and After a Smoking Ban." The article was also reported, by CNN, as "Smoky bars top roads for bad air." How do so-called "ventilation experts" come up with different results: In this web-writers experience, the answer includes (a) falsifying results; (2) avoiding studying pertinent toxic chemicals; and (3) doing studies at odd times, e.g., after hours when smokers and smoke are not present.
Eventually, ASHRAE developed better rules in 2005:
The Michigan law banning cigarettes with deleterious ingredients, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, is clearly a life-saver, intended to prevent cigarettes with dangerous ingredients!! Only safe cigarettes, if any, can legally be manufactured, given away, and sold in Michigan. Governor John Engler (1989-2001) and his staff were supportive and tried to halt cigarette smuggling, issuing five memoranda on the subject.
|Exec Order 1992-3||Law Support Letter # 1||Anti-Cigarette Smuggling Finding||Law Support Letter # 2||Governor's Overview|
Legal Term Definitions
U.S. Supreme Court Cases
Federal Circuit Court Tobacco Cases
Dangerous Tobacco Cases
Tobacco Company Behavior Cases
consolidating in one narrative, data from a multiplicity of sources,
refuting the then notion that cigarettes are a cost plus to society
"Smoking as hazardous conduct,"
86 N Y State Journal of Medicine 493 (September 1986)
"[Indoor Air Quality] IAQ Already Regulated,"
3 Indoor Air Review 3 (April 1993)
"Alternative Models for Controlling Smoking Among Adolescents,"
87 Am Journal of Public Health 869-870 (May 1997)
by doing for them as for all other people:
a law providing that only safe products
be manufactured, given away, and sold
Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette
Vincent van Gogh, 1885-1886
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Copyright © 1999 Leroy J. Pletten