And… so?

There is nothing to prove that smoking while pregnant has any effect on the child. My mother has never smoked and I’m a little weed. My aunt smoked like a chimney and still does – one of her sons played for the Welsh Youth Rugby team and all of them are built like brick shithouses. What you turn out like is all in your genes, not in a bit of burning leaf. To believe otherwise is to subscribe to the shamanism that has replaced modern science, or the gourd-rattling that has replaced modern medicine.

The latest Study that has Shown, by Experts who have Said, also proves nothing. Not least because it has ignored a lot of (probably inconvenient) American states – or maybe they couldn’t be bothered doing it right. There’s no need any more, in modern science. You just need enough to agree with the conclusions dictated by the funders.

This particular study does not even seem to have set out to prove anything. It’s just a report on how many pregnant women smoke. There is no follow-up to report on the ‘harm done to the babies’ – there never is, because there is no harm.

They might as well report on how many pregnant women chew gum or do jigsaw puzzles or watch reality TV or blow the left nostril before the right when they have a cold. Any of those would have as much meaning as this study. None at all.

It’s just another smoker-bashing propaganda exercise. That’s all it is. More junk for the drones to lap up. They do, and they think it’s real science. Because they are stupid. That cannot be fixed and I will not try. They are open to torment by words and that is all I have to offer them. Besides, it’s a lot of fun.

These ‘experts’ have followed through, you know. Oh yes, they have. They have looked at the proportion of damaged babies born to nonsmoking and smoking mothers. They have looked at those who stopped smoking while pregnant too. They have found one of two things.

Either smoking while pregnant makes no difference at all or worse – smoking while pregnant reduces the chances of a duff sprog. If they had found anything else it would be headlines. I guarantee they have tried. Repeatedly.

This does not mean that smoking is good for babies. Stressed mothers are never good for babies and a woman forced to stop smoking (or doing jigsaw puzzles or anything else she enjoys) will be stressed during pregnancy. Smoking might not be beneficial but it is not harmful. Putting a pregnant woman under stress is harmful to both mother and baby.

In terms of pure biology, a stressed pregnant animal of any species might abort the pregnancy if the body (hormones and cellular-level interactions) are convinced that there is danger. That’s actual, dispassionate, impersonal science, of a sort that is rare these days. I learned my science before it became a political tool, fortunately. It must be awful to be a modern panderer to bigotry and spite, which is pretty much all you’ll get funding for now.

(Once this holiday madness is over I must get a new keyboard. The letters are wearing off!)

Is it possible that smoke has any kind of beneficial effect? Well, Frank Davis brought this up some time back (too late and too tipsy to hunt it down). Humanity really got going when we discovered how to make fire. From then until recently we had fires in our homes. Coal or log fires burned in every fireplace and every house was smoky. The new radiator thing happened within my lifetime. Now we have houses built without chimneys!

We also have a surge in respiratory diseases that coincides with the loss of fireplaces, a massive increase in road traffic and a huge decline in smoking. Guess which of those the respiratory problems get blamed on?

Speaking as a scientist, it is possible to hypothesise (modern scientists will think that means ‘make the data fit what we’re paid to find’ but it doesn’t) that breathing at least a little smoke has become a natural part of being human. Any smoke. We developed alongside our fires and now they are gone. Part of humanity has died. We need to be near something that is burning. It made us who we are.

Without it, we become weak dweebs who are scared of shadows and who complain about everything.

So I think I’ll keep my smoke around me. I do not want to become one of the zombies.

The way things are going, it’ll only be smokers who are left on the planet. The dweebs and the drones will all die of the fear of nothing.

I will certainly be glad to help that along.


22 thoughts on “And… so?

  1. Grew up from a baby in a house with a 60 a day smoker. Even our mashed potato had fag ash in it.

    At 16 I was a 15 stone lean muscly rugby player (basically a squat stocky hooker with the team role of “battering ram”) and remained so until my late 30s.


    • Ah but if you hadn’t grown up in a smoky place you would have been twelve feet tall and able to pluck whole forests, strip the branches and weave the trunks into giant baskets.

      Or… a weedy gasping asthmatic who visits the doctor a huindred times more often than the average smoker. Which is what experimental evidence on a grand scale has (although they’ll never admit it) proven to be the result of smoke-terror and ‘pure’ living.

      We were lucky. In the olden days, there was real life…


  2. I must have smoked about 60 cigarettes in labour, don’t think I would have survived without them. The baby was fine, what I noticed asthma was unheard of when I was young, I think I knew one child who had it, now every other child seems to be asthmatic. I agree about fire and smoke, makes sense that our bodies adapted to it. I simply cannot understand this obcession with smoking, as if there was nothing else to worry about.


    • Recent scientific discoveries.

      The gas in cigarette smoke ‘that could save a pregnancy’

      “Carbon monoxide could help control a life-threatening condition in pregnant women.

      “Researchers say that the deadly gas, found in cigarette smoke and car fumes, can protect against pre-eclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy.

      It affects one in ten pregnancies in the UK and claims the lives of up to six mothers and 600 babies a year. Symptoms include high blood pressure, blood clots and kidney damage, with the only cure being early delivery of the baby by emergency Caesarean.

      Controlled doses of carbon monoxide could one day be used prevent the condition, which is thought to stem from damage to the placenta.

      The Canadian research followed the observation that women who smoke are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia”

      Smokers show lower risk of pregnancy complication

      “Preeclampsia is a syndrome marked by a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy and a buildup of protein in the urine. Left untreated, it can develop into a life-threatening condition called eclampsia, which can cause seizures or coma.
      A number of studies have linked smoking to a reduced risk of preeclampsia, but the reasons for the connection have not been clear.”

      The science behind the observation

      Therapeutic Role Found For Carbon Monoxide

      “In a medical case of Jekyll and Hyde, carbon monoxide — the highly toxic gas emitted from auto exhausts and faulty heating systems — has proven effective in treating the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), an extremely debilitating condition that typically leads to right heart failure and eventual death.”
      http: //

      Surprise benefit from carbon monoxide’

      “Researchers at the University Medical Centre in Groningen, the Netherlands, found that the gas appeared to ease the inflammation of lung tissues when given in low doses over a four-day period.”
      http: //

      Carbon monoxide could fight disease

      “In fact CO is produced as a normal part of a reaction that generates antioxidants in the blood when tissues are inflamed. It was once dismissed as a worthless by-product of this reaction, but now it seems that the gas itself has the ability to calm inflammation in humans too.

      “Your body is already loaded with carbon monoxide,” says Huib Kerstjens”
      http: //

      Rate of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy reduced by smoking.

      “Wikstrom and her colleagues found that of the over 600,000 Swedish women who gave birth between 1999 and 2006, those that smoked during pregnancy were one-third to one-half less likely to develop preeclampsia as non-smokers.

      However, there was no protective effect seen among pregnant women who used “snus,” which is a type of smokeless tobacco popular in Sweden.
      Wikstrom told Reuters Health in an email that because both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco contain nicotine, the findings suggest that nicotine is not the reason for the lower preeclampsia risk.

      She said that a byproduct of burning tobacco, possibly carbon monoxide, might be the cause”
      http: //

      And that’s just the properties of carbon monoxide, anti-tobacco beliefs are out of the ark.

      Second World Conference on Smoking and Health – 1971

      “There was a feeling on the part of many participants that fear had failed as an instrument of persuasion, that apathy among the public had developed with respect to claims concerning smoking and health and that, in many instances, the matter had mistakenly been cast in terms of morals rather than health.”

      15.The Principle of an Anti-smoking Cure and the Introduction of the Measuring of Carbon Monoxide
      Rosenburg , Copenhagen

      Discussion of why people smoke.
      Describes use of carbon monoxide measurements to scare patients.”
      http: //

      Now they are intending to test pregnant women for carbon monoxide, but not to see if they are producing enough.

      Behind the Headlines: Will all pregnant women be breathalysed for smoking?

      “No, NICE issued guidance on quitting smoking in pregnancy and following childbirth back in June 2010.

      The guidance does not call for midwives to force all pregnant women to take a breath test, but does recommend that pregnant women be encouraged to have their carbon monoxide levels tested to determine their exposure to tobacco smoke.

      High carbon monoxide levels can be seen amongst active and passive smokers, so by testing the levels of all pregnant women, those who smoke or who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke will see a physical measure of their exposure.

      The use of the tests can help to ensure that pregnant smokers receive appropriate support to quit for the good of their unborn baby.”
      http: //

      As usual, anti-tobacco science makes much better sense if you hold it upside down and only read it reflected in a mirror.


      • As usual, anti-tobacco science makes much better sense if you hold it upside down and only read it reflected in a mirror.

        Heh! Thanks Rose, that really made me chuckle. 🙂 But it really is a truism. They are so far up their own arses they can’t even see how stupid most of their claims are. Word comes from on high, and they just lap it up and regurgitate it verbatim. It doesn’t even occur to them to look critically at this stuff.


        If it wasn’t so damaging, it would be funny.


        • Nisaki
          Not knowing where to start I found anti-tobacco studies invaluable.
          You just look for the opposite of what the new studies say, I strongly suspect that anti-tobacco do exactly the same in reaction to new scientific findings that might endanger their cause.

          Harvard – 1993
          “A group of Medical School researchers has discovered a bizarre twist on the harmful effects of car exhaust and cigarette smoke: nitric oxide, a component of both pollutants, can help treat a deadly type of pneumonia.

          “Instructor in Anaesthesia Dr. Jesse D. Roberts, Jr., a member of Zapol’s research group, said the discovery also explains why mountain climbers short of breath often claim that smoking cigarettes makes them stronger. The seeming paradox may be due to the presence of nitric oxide in cigarette smoke”

          “According to Zapol, it all reduces to one simple thing. “Good things hide in pollutants and cigarettes,” he said”

          The amazing discoveries continued

          TRDRP 1999

          Effect of tobacco smoke on nitric oxide synthesis
          Initial Award Abstract

          “Smoking may lead to hypertension and stroke due to the decreased ability for the body to synthesize nitric oxide (NO).”

          Apparently nitric oxide is made by the body from L. Arginine, so they pretty much blew smoke at it until they found the most inhibitory chemical, while neglecting to mention that smokers inhale fresh nitric oxide with the smoke.

          But a least they found a mechanism by which they can suggest that we alone can’t benefit.

          Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which is probably why, after that study from the “Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program for a healthier California”, they felt justified in putting a picture of a droopy cigarette on the packets .


          • When my friend was dying with end stage lung cancer she often said a cigarette really helped her breathing and this was confirmed by her family. Jeanne always said her last words would be, “have I time for another cigarette” didn’t quite make it as she was taken to hospital, not what she wanted.


    • But did you pass the baby one when it popped out? That’s the real test of a caring, sharing mother. A beer and an ashtray beside the delivery bed. The NHS should provide these things – after all, smokers pay for it.

      (I can hear the squeak of a million Righteous anuses [ani?] all puckering at once)


      • As I remember you had to bring your own ashtray! I can see the little round green one I had to this day. My son never did smoke, maybe it put him off. I told a young GP about smoking in hospital and he simply found it impossible to believe, they are all brainwashed.


  3. On this pregnancy business, I think Nature has her way. My former dear lady wife suddenly started smoking less, and a week or so later her period failed to arrive. Another week or two and she had stopped. It was a natural, easy thing.

    After the birth, she started again. Some of her friends went through the same cycle, and others never stopped. I recall nothing amiss with any of the children.

    On asthma, I went to a small boarding school. There were about 250 boys when I arrived, and the back of my envelope tells me in my time there another 280 joined, total around 530.

    The year behind me had a lad who came with asthma. The condition was unknown to every else and all of the staff, some of whom had seen tuberculosis and polio among other things.

    In the Christmas holidays of 1962-63 the poor little sod died – that was a terrible winter. The games master was distraught: he had begun to see the condition improve with a cautiously-devised programme of physical training, and had hoped to build it up in the Spring term.

    It was another 25 years before I came across another asthmatic. Now they are everywhere in Britain. Here in rural Italy I have not seen an inhaler, but then we smoke, have wood fires, and bonfires are an important part of agriculture. Oh, Aye, we get a lot of exercise and fresh air.


    • Biology has ways of dealing with things. Medics once tried to understand how that worked, then they tried to control it, now they just dictate how reality should be.

      My experiences are the same with asthma. It used to be very rare. Now everyone and their dog seems to have it. Caused by the one thing that has massively declined over the same period…


  4. My mother smoked (I asked my Dad how much, he said only about 10 a day as she had bad morning sickness) when she was carrying me, she was also advised by her doctor to drink a bottle of Guiness every day for the iron and yeast content. So I am of course an unhealthy and stunted idiot, not a six foot one bike race winning, rock climbing type of person that continues sport into his late fifties. Oh, and I don’t like Guinness. But I do like yeast extract. Go work that one out


    • I like an occasional Guinness but it does set solid in your guts. The best descrription I heard was ‘like a pint of gravy with mashed potatoes floating on top’. It’s not a drink, it’s Sunday lunch.


  5. Cherie, very true about the change in asthma incidence: my observation in my life mirrors yours EXACTLY. It’d be nice if there was money somewhere for a really strong Gallup type polling study of people in their 20s through 90s as to how much asthma they saw evidence of among their friends while growing up in grammar and high schools, and what “triggers” seemed to set off asthma attacks. The answers would be more honest and meaningful than you’d get from health professionals. I believe that if a study was done properly it would show antismoking activities to have been one of the leading causes of asthma, and probably the cause of many, many asthmatic deaths, in the last two or three decades.

    Leg: two pieces of advice:

    1) Don’t get pregnant. It wouldn’t agree with you.

    2) Get a Microsoft 3000 or 4000 ergonomic keyboard. It’s *slightly* weird — curvy and slightly humped in the middle — but not outrageously so. And the “learning curve” on it is almost nonexistent: I’d say that within two days of getting it I was already typing more comfortably than I’d been on the old one. It has made an ENORMOUS difference in my comfort level while typing. In the months before I got it (about two years ago) I was rapidly developing highly distressing carpal-tunnel-like symptoms. I was fooling around with wrist-braces, large aspirin doses, etc etc all to not much avail, even tried switching a good bit of my typing over to Dragon Speak. But the keyboard switch was the real savior.



    • I have the wrong voice for Dragon Dictate (as we call it here). All that came up on screen was ‘I have no idea what you are saying’.

      You mean the keyboards that look like they’ve melted? I’ll have a look for them. Mine has now lost several letters entirely. Just waiting for the holiday frenzy to end before I venture anywhere near the shops.


      • The ergos lose the letters too, or at least mine has. Dunno if it’s our particular finger chemicals or whether they all do that. I *have* seen that the problem is widespread enough that there are “replacement letters” of some sort that you can buy online.

        It only becomes a problem if I’m holding the phone in one hand and trying to type in a directed URL etc with the other one though. LOL!



      • XX Just waiting for the holiday frenzy to end before I venture anywhere near the shops.XX

        Was in one yesterday. FUCK me! Did someone declare a siege and forget to send me the memo?

        Midday and not one bloody loaf left. Meat counter looked like a vegetarian street party, One slice of ham, and a pigs liver was all that was left. Cheese decimated so that only that bloody horrible Dutch rubber cheese crap was left. Even the washing powder was all gone fer fucks sake!! Are they all going to have a mass wash in for new year or what??

        Queues around the block. People with two, three and even one stupid cow with FOUR trollys full to literally overflowing. And this is just a local supermarket, not Metro or Walmart, or anything.

        SHIT the bastards are open again on Friday!


  6. I gave up drinking as soon as I found that I was pregnant, I don’t cope all that well with alcohol at the best of times, so it seemed a wise precaution.


    “Donovan’s most interesting remarks related to smoking and pregnancy . He admitted that he couldn’t explain how or why smoking harmed the fetus but suggested that, instead of worrying about such fine points, women should be told that all unborn children of smoking women will be hurt .

    Donovan urged every participant to go back to their countries and publish estimates of the lethality of smoking and pregnancy based on the number of pregnant smokers .
    He urged this as an effective method to get women to stop smoking .”(p.14)

    “Julian Peto – brother of Richard Peto who collaborates with Sir Richard Doll – challenged Donovan on his smoking and pregnancy remarks .
    He said that Donovan couldn’t establish how many pregnancies are harmed by smoking and that it is unscientific to estimate this simply estimating the number of pregnant smokers.”


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