Smoking indoors is bad for you…

…but not for the reasons you’ve been told.

Garyk30 raised some inspiring thoughts. I know Frank Davis has brought the matter up before, and I probably have too, but as I usually blog under the influence and have babbled so much and for so long, it would take me ages to check. Hell, I have enough trouble hunting out those old stories I posted in order to keep Twitter amused.

Incidentally, tonight’s rambling words are the product of Glen Moray. In our local Morrison’s they have Whyte and Mackay at £18 (the Co-op sells it for £13 but that’s further away). Yet on the next shelf you can get Glen Moray or Ledaig, single malts, for £18.99. The extra 99p is well worth it. I’d prefer Ledaig but I have an 8-hour shift tomorrow and Ledaig would give me peaty-whisky breath. So it’s the Glen Moray.

And now to the matter at hand.

Asthma is on the rise among the cheeeldren. Second hand smoke is firmly in the frame and it is indeed a frame job. Smoking is in decline.

In fact, as all the rising allergies and ailments blamed on declining smoking show, the drones are stupid enough to accept ‘correlation = causation’ even when the correlation is negative. The real conclusion from a simple ‘correlation = causation’ argument is that smoking must have been preventing all those diseases all along. Take away the preventive action of second hand smoke and the new diseases rise.

Both arguments are nonsense, of course, but the second is just nonsense while the first is utter swivel-eyed lunacy.

It is not really smoking indoors that is bad for you. It’s being indoors. The title of the post remains true, but could as easily have read ‘watching TV indoors is bad for you’. Mind you, with some of the TVs I’ve seen in Local Gadget Shop, you’d have to sit in the garden to watch the whole thing. They are immense. Who really wants to see ‘I’m a Sillybugger, Get Me Out of Here’ at that scale?

In the olden days (probably only about 20-30 years ago for most people but now they seem like a faraway dream) we all had fireplaces. With chimneys. And fires. Yes, kids, every house had a real fire burning in the middle of it all day long and as kids ourselves, we used to play with it. Many a toy soldier came to a grisly end atop a hot coal. We did, quite literally, play with fire. It was great fun. We learned very quickly of the somewhat burny nature of our plaything and we learned the proper way to make it and control it. I suspect there now exist children who have never seen so much as a match being struck. The entire history of mankind’s relationship with fire has ended.

The fire did more than warm the house. It sent a furious updraft of air up that chimney and the house sucked in outside air through every gap, slot and crack. The air changed rapidly in those houses. Blow a puff of cigarette smoke into the air and whoosh, it’s gone. You could smoke a pipe indoors without turning the room into something resembling a steam-engine firing-up shed. Oh wait, the young won’t understand that either.

I had a rude reminder of how fast times have changed at work a while back. I had been given some bakery trays to clean by an apologetic baker. They were very greasy.

“No problem,” I said, “I have industrial strength degreaser. Spray it on and the grease lifts and turns white. It’s like watching a photo develop.”

“Huh?”

It was then I realised that, with the new digital cameras, a whole generation does not know, and never will know, what it’s like to see a photo developing in a tray! Still, that’s probably insignificant next to their total terror of the main thing that makes humanity what it is… fire.

And of course its attendant smoke. This did become a problem in crowded cities until smokeless coal (it wasn’t really, it was less-smoke coal) because on windless foggy days it could hang around for ages. Yet those fireplaces really did matter. They have been there since humanity first built any kind of home and it’s only recently that they have disappeared.

Houses are now built with no fireplace or chimney and have been for some time. My house is a tad under 20 years old and has no chimney. They are now built to be dependent on electrical or gas heating. Turn those off in January and most of Scotland will die. You don’t even need to turn them off. At the rate prices are rising, only politicians will be able to afford winter heating soon. Who then will vote for them?

Fireplaces let you burn wood from the local woodland when you couldn’t afford coal. No such option exists now. I do have a chimenea and a concrete kitchen floor so at a pinch I could survive but not everyone has such an option.

{quick digression – @TheMorrigan on Twitter reports that an aptly-named town in Kentucky has repealed its smoking ban. It’s a tiny place but it had to start somewhere}

Even so, that would not give me the same air throughput as a proper chimney. I would have to have a window open, sure, but it’s not as efficient.

I grew up with sash windows with frost on the inside in winter. In the mornings we had to wait for the coal fire to warm the house before the place was above freezing. No, it wasn’t a great thing but we survived it and coped with it. I was fortunate never to live in a house with an outside toilet but many of my friends did and they had to crack the ice before starting, every winter. Those outside toilets were not heated.

Now my house is hermetically sealed with double glazing and insulation that was shaved from an entire herd of glass-wool sheep. I have introduced gaps and vents and left unfixed the broken seals but even so, it will never approach the air transfer of a real fire and chimney. I will not close the window vents, but on nights like tonight – freezing and full of wind – I will close the windows. Heating expenses are assuaged by pullovers. Living where I live, you can bet I have some seriously warm clothing. The really bad winters of a few years back, I was typing in Steptoe-style fingerless mitts with a woolly hat on. It wasn’t a problem. The young cannot cope with this.

It is not really about smoking. At all. If I smoke a pipe or cigar with the windows closed, the place soon resembles a Victorian smoke factory at full production but roll-ups and cigs don’t produce enough to have any effect. If I’m playing with Electrofag there is no effect at all. Not even condensation on the windows. Nothing. Certainly none of that childhood indoor frost.

If you pick up a vegetable and start getting it ready for cooking or salad eating, there will be a blast of bacterial and especially fungal spores into the air. This is perfectly normal and has always happened and always will, as long as veg grows outdoors in real soil.

In the fireplace days it didn’t matter. Those airborne allergens went straight up the chimney. Now they hang around in the air so you comfortably warm people can breathe them in. Then you get asthma and other lung problems.

Then you blame it on declining smoking. You cannot blame it on your centrally-heated sealed box because you like that. You have to blame it on something you don’t like.

There has indeed been a massive change in smoking indoors in recent years. but it is not the massive change in ‘smoking’ that matters.

It is the massive change in ‘indoors’ that will kill you.

Smoking outside means smokers will be healthier and live loinger. I doubt that was the intention.

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23 thoughts on “Smoking indoors is bad for you…

  1. And the funny thing is that your closing comment could quite well prove true. It’s not so much the “fresh air” (since, realistically, that’s probably more than counterbalanced by the smoking) but the strengthening of the overall body due to its not being kept constantly at 70 degrees F externally. Just as brief bouts of exercise throughout the day are thought to be quite beneficial, so might the extra brief bouts of exposure to the cold or heat prove to be health giving (albeit uncomfortable!) as well.

    🙂
    Michael

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  2. Your statement, “The entire history of mankind’s relationship with fire has ended”, really highlight’s just how diminished humanity (in the “West”) has become. It’s alarming that many will struggle to survive when the ‘leccy and gas fail, as they both surely will this winter, whether disrupted by Russia or not. May do not realise their gas boilers will not function without electricity and they have no back-up heating plan either. But at least the cold will preserve their corpses until public services can be bothered to investigate why “nice Mrs Jones from number 43” has not been seen for two months.

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  3. XX My house is a tad under 20 years old and has no chimney. ………I do have a chimenea and a concrete kitchen floor so at a pinch I could survive but not everyone has such an option. XX

    So. Do you have a chimney or not? OR, is Chimnea a spelling error? OR is it another kind of construction to allow wood/coal burning?

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    • Not a typo but a fashionable garden accessory for huddling round when it’s cold and you’re daft enough to stay outside; they are a combination firebox and chimney. Expensive and often made of clay, they smash to pieces at the slightest touch whereupon you go to the garden centre and buy another ad infinitum.

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  4. It’s frightening how much control they have over us. They could turn the electricity off and there would be mass panic. They keep deluding us with this democracy thing, but it’s obvious we are under a subtle form of dictatorship. My local police have issued stark warnings this year about drunken behaviour over Xmas. Even kissing someone without their (drunken) permission is sexual assault…

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    • Lenin said that, “Democracy is indispensable to socialism”. He also said that, “The goal of socialism is communism.”

      It is all done for control: the healthism, as you know, the environmentalism, ‘equality’, internationalism.

      The heat and light will be turned off. More on that story later…

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    • XX My local police have issued stark warnings this year about drunken behaviour over Xmas. Even kissing someone without their (drunken) permission is sexual assault…XX These “rules” are sounding more and more like what “ISIS” are demanding every day.

      Are they laying the ground for a take over?

      I mean “Wellll, they do not want to ban anything that is not banned anyway, so we may as well give the country to the sand-niggers.”

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  5. We still have the full effects of the Climate Change Act 2008 to deal with. The government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 ‘baseline’) by the year 2050.

    That the Tories didn’t repeal this piece of industrial sabotage is further evidence that they are part of the same team.

    The whole energy policy is a disaster waiting to happen. Because there aren’t enough wind farms and the new nuclear stations aren’t even under construction, the old coal-fired stations have been mothballed rather than demolished, even though the EU threatens us with enormous fines for bringing them back into service.

    Also: SSE boss warns of risk of ‘lights going out’. But don’t worry; the government has it all worked out.

    Was it last winter or the one before there were two days’ worth of stored gas left?

    It’s clearly deliberate, but at least, like I’ve said before, people will wake up en masse when they are starving or freezing to death.

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  6. The real conclusion from a simple ‘correlation = causation’ argument is that smoking must have been preventing all those diseases all along.

    Well, there was a time when doctors prescribed smoking as a treatment for asthma.

    And with a coal fire, you got something like 15 or more air changes per hour, while in today’s chimneyless, double-glazed homes you’re probably lucky to get 2 air changes per hour.

    I sometimes wonder whether the rise in antismoking has been as much driven by this change as anything else, because houses now quickly fill with smoke in ways they never used to.

    And it’s not just smoking. It’s also perfume and cooking odours that linger longer. I wonder if “healthy eating” is really just odourless cooking. Back in the 50s when lunch was cooked, the kitchen would be full of steam and fumes as everything got cooked for 2 hours, and you could smell it throughout the house. Now many foods are pre-cooked and only need warming, and it’s seldom the same.

    I can see a time coming when traditional cooking will be condemned as “unhealthy”, and ovens and hobs will be banished along with saucepans and frying pans, and all food will be eaten either cold or luke-warm.

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  7. You forgot fumes from corrosive (It’s marked on the container) cleaning chemicals hanging around in the air. I haven’t heard of any studies on the long term effects of breathing in Air freshener fumes containing irritants like phthalates. Although informal linking to conditions like toxic encephalopathy (Literally ‘brain shrinkage’ Which can be irreversible) has been made by some authorities.

    That’s even without the leftovers from low level infestations of insects, mites, and rodents. There’s so much to terrify the drones with. Look it up. These risks are real. Have fun.

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  8. ” was fortunate never to live in a house with an outside toilet but many of my friends did and they had to crack the ice before starting, every winter”

    Pretty fancy to have running water.
    In my early days, outhouses were shanties set up over a hole in the ground.

    You sat on a shelf with a hole in it and; “Bombs away!!!”

    For the ladies and the nasty weather days, there were ‘chamber pots’.

    These lovely devices often had pictures on the inside bottoms.
    Normally of some politician that was not liked and hopefully with their mouth hanging open.

    I would love to have something like that with a picture of our current US President.

    There would be a great deal of pleasure in squatting over that pot and saying: “This ones for you Barry!!”

    Would make having the ‘squirts’ less bothersome. 🙂

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  9. Agree with everything you say. I went the other way to you. I lived most of my early and adult life in modern centrally heated houses, then bought a 200 year old heap in the back of beyond in Wales. I put in a Rayburn a few months back to heat the place, then, as the kitchen is such a cold shit hole, decided to cook on it as well. My wife fags it like a trooper, but cooking and smoking smells disappear completely in no time at all. Another point is that these coal ranges are perfect for cooking on. You’ve got a hot oven, a warm oven, then a range of different heats along the top of it. It’s a bit smokey at times and you have to attend to it regularly, but I doubt I’d go back to “civilization” now. Hot water bottles when you go to bed – no problem.
    Then, I visit one of my customers, an 83 year old widow, living in one of your modern boxes. She seems to have the windows open quite a lot, but the place just reeks of stale fags. I think she’s trying to kill herself by smoking, (having watched the NHS almost murder her husband), but it doesn’t seem to be working very well.

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  10. I’m old enough to remember houses heated by open fires and waking up to ice on the inside of the bedroom window in the morning. Fortunately we live in a 1930’s property, and although the house has gas-fired central heating, it also has a chimney. With this in mind I splashed out last year and installed a wood-burning stove.

    It’s been a good investment, and at the moment I’m supplementing the central heating by gradually burning the wood I’ve accumulated over the years. Free heat, in other words! I’ve got a Leylandii hedge to cut down in the spring – more free fuel, plus several trees in need of a drastic prune, plus one which may need to come down altogether.

    When the accumulated store of logs does eventually get used up, then I will go out foraging – there’s normally plenty of fallen branches kicking around in the local woods. In the smug zone? You bet, so if the lights do go out, or Putin turns off the gas, my family and I will still be warm.

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    • Keep the stove doors closed. Leylandii, though fragrant, is a sappy wood like pine, and the resin tends to spit like a flaming camel on steroids. Seasoned dry birch is better. Oak and any close grained wood burns longest and hottest. Otherwise good luck and much toastiness.

      If the leccy does go off, frozen chicken legs and baked potatoes (Cook in separate tins or parcels) taste superb if wrapped in foil and cooked in the hot ash.

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      • Will let the wood season well before burning it. The company who installed the stove did warn about burning too much pine, as the resin in the wood produces creosote when burned. This can then condense higher up the chimney (in the flue-liner). A build up can lead to chimney fires, but this can be prevented by having the chimney swept annually.

        The fresh, twiggy prunings will be kept back for garden bonfires though.

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  11. An Australian Senator, David LeyonHjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party spoke some very offensive (to the “right” people) truths that may interest you, Leg-Iron:

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  12. Pingback: Physician, Silence Thyself! | Orphans of Liberty

  13. Well this is why I live in a Victorian house with single glazed windows. And I light the fire. I have a coal bunker. And I have cooked potatoes in the dying embers. It was a most satisfying endeavour. I love stoking the fire and keeping it on, Its my favourite waste of time.

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