I read the most appalling piece of made-up nonsense today, put on the internet by someone who pretends to be a scientist.
Apparently, because tobacco grows in the ground like marijuana, it’s exactly the same. Because it is smoked, snuffed or chewed, it is exactly the same as cocaine. Actually, when you get right down to it, tobacco isn’t really any different from beetroot by the reasoning applied in that article. Too much sugar-beet or too many strawberries could give you the same tooth decay.
The most appalling nonsense is in the diagram listing all the things they like to pretend smokers inhale. Note that they are always careful not to mention the amounts, and I note they have never mentioned how many packs of cigarettes they had to crush up to register even a trace of most of those chemicals. They also never seem to mention that any burning substance – candles, incense etc – contain all those things and more.
But… methane? Methane? Methane as a combustion product? No wonder so many universities have given up teaching chemistry if this is the kind of material they have to work with. If you put methane as a combustion product in your O level paper you would have been laughed at forever – not just by the teachers but by all the other kids in your class. You would also fail the exam. Not just fail, but double fail with honours.
And of course, the old standby, benzene. And acetic acid (vinegar). Guess what, kids? You will take in more benzene and acetic acid by putting one sweetener tablet in your tea than from smoking a whole pack of cigarettes.
Why do I say this? Because that is what aspartame is damn well made of.
5-benzyl-3,6-dioxo-2-piperazine acetic acid. Pick the chemistry out of that thing. We are not talking trace amounts that might or might not be detectable in an individual cigarette. We are talking about the chemical composition of the main ingredient. An ingredient the Sugar Police want you to imbibe instead of sugar, that nasty natural substance extracted from plants.
Well, you can’t have sugar because the Great Ones want to make biofuel out of it. So you have to be scared away from it.
Meanwhile, science is studying this. Important stuff, you know. I’m sure everyone is happy to have their taxes spent on such grants.
There’s more. So much more. Far too much for a blog. Enough for several PhD theses on the death of science.
Might write one myself one day. No hurry, there’ll be no shortage of material.