"I'm safe from smoking related problems by my genetic makeup."

Joined: 2:04 PM - Nov 13, 2008

5:58 PM - Dec 10, 2008 #1

"I'm safe from smoking related problems by my genetic makeup."

People who delude themselves into thinking smoking poses a minimal risk because of their genetic makeup overlook numerous flaws in their logic.

For one thing, a certain number of people who die from smoking each year die from fires caused by cigarettes. So unless they're genetic makeup has somehow rendered them fireproof this concept is totally overlooked. Another is cigarette smokers have four times as many auto accidents as non-smokers. One of the reasons is simply the handling of the cigarettes while driving. Another factor is the slower reflexes exhibited in smokers due to the large levels of carbon monoxide ingested from cigarettes. So unless your genetic makeup has left you impervious to injury, this is another issue being totally ignored.

Then there are injuries that may be sustained that may not be the fault of the smoker at all-injuries that may require some sort of emergency surgery. Or diseases that have nothing to do with smoking but also require some sort of surgical intervention. Now the smoker has to contend with the increase in postoperative complications caused by smoking. Their wonderfully endowed long-lived ancestors may never have been exposed to some of these lifestyle risks responsble for certain injuries or germs responsible for certain diseases.

When I was first doing smoking programs I worked with a doctor who was viewed by most of his colleagues as an anti-smoking fanatic. He was chief of thoracic surgery at a major veterans hospital in the Chicago area. He related a story to me once about a young medical intern who came across a patient who was 87 years old and in a terminal state dying from lung cancer. But this man had been a two to three pack a day smoker for over 60 years. The intern called in my doctor friend out from the hallway and told him to come see this patient. Here was a man who had smoked extremely heavily and yet was alive at the age of 87. The intern though this man served as a good case in point of how the fanatical doctor was making too big a deal of the risks of smoking.

Well my fanatical colleague walked up to the patient, who was in an oxygen mask and had a very difficult time talking. Without looking at the patients chart he introduced himself and asked the patient two simple questions in front of the excited intern. First he said, "How old was you father when he died." The patient slowly removed his mask, and in a weak and strained voice eeked out, "104 year old." The doctor could have quit there but he proceeded to ask, "How old was your mother when she died." Again, removing the mask he weakly said, "in her late nineties."

The doctor looked at the chart for a few more seconds, nodded to the man and wished him luck, turned around and smiled at the intern and left the room. Here the over enthusiastic intern thought he had a good example of the over exaggerated risks of smoking. Instead he was seeing a man, dying of lung cancer at the age of 87 who probably had a genetic predisposition to have lived longer than another decade, and would likely have been a lot healthier at the tail end of his life than this pulmonary crippled individual he was now showcasing.

Most of us are not blessed with the genetics to live into their hundreds. We need to live life right to achieve a maximum life span. But we are talking more than just longevity. Quality of life also has to be weighed into the equation and smoking interferes with that quality in many negative ways.

Just know trying to play the odds of smoking safely is basically gambling with your life. Smoking is a game of Russian roulette with a very loaded pistol. To minimize the risk of smoking problems which can be devastating to your health and threatening your very life always know the way to stay smoke free is to never take another puff!

Copyright 2002. Joel Spitzer

Video Title Dial up HS/BB MP3 Audio Length Date added
"I'm safe from smoking because of my genetic makeup 3.45mb 10.32mb 4.26mb 09:24 11/24/06


6:42 PM - Jan 31, 2009 #2

Thank you, Joel, for this one. My mother and father were smokers (Dad,a pipe; Mon, cigs) though they quit in their sixties (well, Mom still "chiseled" - as she put it - the occasional butt from friends). Dad lived to 85, Mom to 93. Both my brother and I have used this - and the lack of cancer in both parents' families - as rationalization to keep smoking.

It's now the second week of my quit, and I have finally decided not to buy the myth of genetic invulnerability anymore. The last time I seriously attempted to quit, I used NRT (lozenges), fooling myself that it would work. I started to cheat at the 3 month mark, and by six months I was back to smoking my usual half pack a day. This time, I discovered whyquit.com and the enormous number of resources available on the site have been incredibly helpful. I have absolutely made the commitment to "never take another puff," and I fully understand now how detrimental one puff will be.

It's one day at a time, but I re-affirm that vow each morning. Thank you for providing a wealth of assistance.

Now, to convince my brother ...


5:25 PM - Jul 05, 2009 #3

Risks? I'm Not Much of a Smoker
Denial isn't only about denying chemical dependency. It's about denying the harms inflicted by smoking. Truth is, each and every puff of the estimated 4,000 chemicals present in tobacco smoke destroyed more of our body's ability to receive and transport life giving oxygen. Truth is, each and every puff introduced scores of cancer causing chemicals to our body. The below study examines smoker risk preceptions and the results are not unexpected. Still just one rule permitting each of us to keep a host of risks headed in the opposite direction ... no nicotine today!

John (Gold x10)

Smoking too few cigarettes to be at risk?
Smokers' perceptions of risk and risk denial,
a French survey.

Tobacco Control, October 2007, Volume 16(5), Pages 351-360

Peretti-Watel P
, Constance J, Guilbert P, Gautier A, Beck F, Moatti JP.

INSERM, Unit 379, Social Sciences Applied to Medical Innovation, Marseilles, France. [url=mailto:peretti@marseille.inserm.fr]peretti@marseille.inserm.fr[/url]

BACKGROUND: Past studies on smokers' risk perception have produced mixed results. We endorsed a new approach to assess smokers' perceptions of risk by asking them to estimate threshold values for the cancer risk associated with daily consumption of tobacco and number of smoking years. We expected that many smokers would endorse a "risk denial" attitude, with threshold estimates higher than their own smoking consumption and duration.

METHODOLOGY: A French national telephone survey (n = 3820; 979 current smokers) included several questions about smoking behaviours and related beliefs.

RESULTS: Among current smokers, 44% considered that smoking can cause cancer only for a daily consumption higher than their own consumption, and an additional 20% [66% total] considered that the cancer risk becomes high only for a smoking duration higher than their own. Most smokers also agreed with other "risk denial" statements ("smoking is not more dangerous than air pollution," "some people smoke their whole life but never get sick"). Those who considered they smoked too few cigarettes to be at risk were less likely to report personal fear of smoking related cancer.

CONCLUSION: Risk denial is quite widespread among smokers and does not simply reflect a lack of information about health risks related to tobacco. Fully informing smokers about their risks may necessitate changing the way they process information to produce beliefs and limiting their capacity to generate self exempting beliefs.
PMID: 17897995 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Source Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17897995
Last edited by FreedomNicotine on 5:28 PM - Jul 05, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 2:04 PM - Nov 13, 2008

1:00 AM - Mar 04, 2011 #4

Last edited by Joel Spitzer on 3:52 AM - Mar 04, 2011, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 7:22 PM - Nov 11, 2008

12:13 PM - Dec 03, 2011 #5

Using healthy eating or exercise to
rationalize our continuing self destruction
Although a healthy diet isn't a genetic factor, as with genetics, some smokers use healthy eating or even regular exercise as a false rationalization that diet or exercise somehow protects them  from smoke's hundreds of toxins and 81 known cancer causing chemicals.   Although short term, the below just released study found no benefit from lots of extra helping of fruits and veggies.  

It's your call.  Is it time to abandon destructive junkie thinking that is could lead to your worst nightmare ever and substantially shorten your life?  If so, there was always only one rule which if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success ... no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John - Gold x12

More fruits and veggies don't help lung disease 

December 2, 2011 - Reuters

Genevra Pittman

Adding extra daily servings of fruits and vegetables didn't improve lung function or other markers of lung health in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a new study from Northern Ireland.

The lung disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is one of the most common causes of death in the U.S., with a yearly death toll of more than 100,000.

Previous research has shown that people who eat lots of fruits and veggies may have less severe lung symptoms, or be less likely to die from COPD -- possibly because of the antioxidants in that food group and its anti-inflammatory effects, the theory goes.

But those studies were observational, meaning that scientists compared people who were already downing fruits and vegetables to those who avoided them. That kind of research doesn't prove that nutritional habits, themselves, are driving lung changes, because scientists can't take into account every other health and lifestyle variable that affects breathing and airway function.

"You can't control for everything that might confound or bias the results," said Dr. Don Sin, a respiratory specialist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver who wasn't involved in the new research.

"People taking a lot of antioxidants may also exercise a lot more than people who don't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Maybe they smoke less, maybe they are more compliant with their medications, and the list goes on," he told Reuters Health.

For the new study, researchers tried to get around that hurdle by recruiting 75 people with COPD who all skimped on fruits and veggies and randomly assigned half of them to up their consumption from less than two servings per day to at least five. The rest of the patients were instructed not to eat more than two daily portions.

Participants in both groups had fruits and vegetables delivered to their home each week for 12 weeks, and were also advised on storing and cooking them.

On average, people assigned to a diet high in fruit and vegetables increased their consumption to more than six servings per day, compared to just under two in the group not prescribed diet changes.

That improvement was impressive on its own, researchers said, but it didn't lead to any improvement in lung function or measures of inflammation in the airway.

Thirty-five patients saw their COPD worsen during the study, including six who needed to be hospitalized. People in both diet groups were equally likely to have worsening symptoms, according to findings published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Michelle McKinley from Queen's University Belfast and her colleagues said it's possible that a fruit and vegetable boost that lasted longer than just a few months would lead to improvements in lung function -- or that a broader dietary change might be necessary.

Another explanation for the lack of airway benefit is that patients' disease might have been too far along for diet changes to make a difference, said Irfan Rahman, who studies COPD at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and wasn't involved in the research.

All patients in McKinley's study had moderate or severe lung disease and were in their early 60s, on average.

"This is too late to give fruits and vegetables to these patients," Rahman told Reuters Health.

He added that younger people who have smoked but don't have emphysema or chronic bronchitis should up the amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet -- especially green, leafy vegetables. They can also work out their lungs by getting aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking.

And for those who are still smoking, Rahman said, "the first message is: quit."

Reuters Source Link  -  Copyright Reuters 2011-  All Rights Reserved

Effect of fruit and vegetable intake on oxidative stress and inflammation in COPD: a RCT. European Respiratory Journal:   November 16, 2011
Baldrick FR, Elborn JS, Woodside JV, Treacy K, Bradley JM, Patterson CC, Schock BC, Ennis M, Young IS, McKinley MC.
Source School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, UK.

Abstract Epidemiological evidence supports a positive relationship between fruit and vegetable (FV) intake, lung function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Increasing FV intake may attenuate the oxidative stress and inflammation associated with COPD.

An exploratory randomised controlled trial to examine the effect of increased consumption of FV on oxidative stress and inflammation in moderate to severe COPD was conducted. Eighty-one symptomatically stable patients with a habitually low FV intake (≤2 portions FV·day(-1)) were randomised to the intervention group (≥5 portions FV·day(-1)) or the control group (≤2 portions FV·day(-1)). Each participant received self-selected weekly home deliveries of FV for 12 weeks. Seventy-five participants completed the intervention.

There was a significant between-group change in self-reported FV intake and biomarkers of FV intake (zeaxanthin, P=0.034 and β-cyptoxanthin, P=0.015) indicating good compliance; post-intervention intakes in intervention and control groups were 6.1 and 1.9 portions FV·day(-1) respectively. There were no significant changes in biomarkers of airway inflammation (interleukin-8, myeloperoxidase) and systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein) or airway and systemic oxidative stress (8-isoprostane).

This exploratory study demonstrated that patients with moderate to severe COPD were able to comply with an intervention to increase FV intake, however, this had no significant effect on airway or systemic oxidative stress and inflammation.Trial registration number: NCT00435708; www.clinicaltrials.gov.

PMID:  22088966  -  [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
PubMed Link:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22088966