Viral smokiness

I’m seeing a lot of reports that smokers and vapers are very under-represented in cases of the new virus. I haven’t seen solid studies yet, just admissions/deaths numbers but then there really hasn’t been time to study mechanisms in detail.

There are a lot of possible mechanisms. It seems regular intake of nicotine represses a protein called ACE2. I’m not going to bore you with biochemistry, suffice to say that this is a cell surface protein that has a few jobs to do, but it’s also the one Flu Manchu attaches to when attacking cells. So, cells that have a lot of this protein are highly susceptible to the virus.

If it is reduced in nicotine users then those using nicotine patches and gum long term should also show a protective effect. I haven’t seen any data at all on that though. If it does turn out that patches and gum have an effect then nonsmokers don’t need to take up smoking. During flu season, slap on a nicotine patch.

Of course, that route has been effectively blocked by Public Health, who have spent years convincing the gullible that nicotine is harmful, carcinogenic and addictive. It is none of those things but the public won’t believe that now and I have long given up arguing with the indoctrinated. ‘Harmful’ and ‘carcinogenic’ can be applied to other chemicals in smoke just as well as they can be applied to the chemicals in vehicle exhausts. Nicotine plays no role in any of those things.

There are, of course, other, potentially simpler reasons why smokers are under-represented in the current Mao Tse Lung outbreak. Smokers, long term ones anyway, tend to cough quite a bit. Often with phlegm, which will make it harder for a virus to get in. Viruses can’t swim, they have no motive power at all, they just go where the wind takes them. If they get stuck in mucus and coughed back out, they can’t get you. Also, an infected cell releasing new viruses into a layer of phlegm will slow the infection of neighbouring cells and give the immune system a better chance of dealing with it.

Then there is the whole social isolation thing. Smokers have been ostracised harder and harder for many years and really, a lot of people stay well away from us anyway due to the ridiculous fearmongering around second and third and nine hundredth hand smoke. Our social lives have been so curtailed that we must surely be at far lower risk of catching anything at all.

Incidentally, Amnesty International have been on social media to declare that calling it ‘the Chinese virus’ is racist. I’m sure they won’t like the names I’ve been calling it. However, having now seen multiple instances of black people in China being evicted, turned away from shops, turned away from hospitals when in labour, and not a peep from the Champions of Anti-Racism, Amnesty can go in the same bin as the WHO, UN and Public Health. They have all proved themselves as useless as the EU in this outbreak. Just nannying and virtue signalling and pushing agendas. ‘Never mind the sick people, this is our chance to get what we want.’

Quite a few organisations are showing their true faces now. The Masque of the Red Death (I’d make it a competition but can’t get to a post office anyway) did that too, and the title seems appropriate here.

There has been a sudden switch from ‘Ban all face coverings’ to ‘Cover all faces’, hasn’t there? I need a mask with a cigarette sized hole in it, is that allowed? I doubt it. Anyway, if you have to make your own masks, get some hoover bags. The HEPA ones, they look like white cloth, are best although the paper ones will do at a pinch. Cut those up to make a layer in the mask, they are not quite as good as N95 but pretty close. Oh and don’t forget the salt-encrusted cloth layer. It’s in several earlier posts.

If you have a gas mask or spray paint mask or one of those rubber dust masks with filters in it, you can replace the filters with the HEPA layer and salt layer. Make sure there are no gaps.

Oh, and getting back to racism because ma, papa, we’re all racists now (that would have been too easy for a competition), the Mayor of London, Napoleon something, has declared that because BAME people are disproportionally represented in infection rates, there must be something racist going on. It can’t just be that they are ignoring lockdown and social distancing rules, someone has to be to blame. Someone white and male, naturally. Well, viruses have no gender and since they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have no colour either. Good luck accusing them of racism.

Maybe it’s those BAME gatherings that are behind their enhanced infection rate.

Or maybe they just didn’t smoke enough.

31 thoughts on “Viral smokiness

  1. They have banned Strong Drink in France now and for a Nation of hard smokers and hard drinkers this must be the last straw. You can smoke at home but you can’t drink at home.
    Bars are shut but you can still buy tobacco, for the moment. So smokers are self distancing outside Bar Tabacs and having a nice chat. What else is there to do? No point in going home, there’s nothing to do.
    Everyones’ gardens are top hole since it hasn’t rained for two weeks. In a minute they’ll be driving us all to the nearest funny farm where we won’t be allowed to smoke and then we’ll all catch It.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. LOLOL! Leggy, you are hilariously offensively inoffensive when ya wanna be, eh? :>

    LOVE this: “Well, viruses have no gender and since they are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have no colour either. Good luck accusing them of racism.”

    Regarding the stats & smoking: I was a bit slow to hop on the bandwagon because I take a lot of care not to ever show a weak flank to the Antis, but the CDC #s coming on top of the tendencies in the Chinese studies convinced me (although I’m still puzzled by the relative underrepresentation of infected Asian females… they can’t ALL be secret smokers!)

    I saw a WONDERFUL set of meme-type cartoon panels earlier today that I lost track of (if anyone knows of them?) One of them was especially beautiful: DaVinci’s Last Supper going on but there’s a raid by the SDP (Social Distance Police) and one of the cops growls at the Holy Host: “Look, I don’t care WHO yer old man is, this gathering is illegal!”

    Anyone who’d like to see more of the “smoking as protection” arguments should stop over to Quora and scroll down and read my answers there at https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-J-McFadden and follow some of the references therein, e.g. the list at the bottom of: https://www.quora.com/What-has-anybody-heard-about-being-a-smoker-or-former-smoker-does-better-with-the-virus-Counter-intuitive-but-I-am-seeing-a-lot-of-this-by-legit-studies/answer/Michael-J-McFadden

    IF YOU WANT TO JOIN IN A DISCUSSION AT QUORA: Be aware that it is heavily moderated. Free Choice Proponents (Smokers&Friends) are given a fair seat at the table BUT Quora is not your Daddy’s Internet: They’re VERY strict on Real Names and on their BNBR (Be Nice, Be Respectful) policy. Behave nicely!

    🙂
    MJM, who’s been helping keep the world safe for Smokerkind at Quora since 2014! We’ve successfully stopped the Antis from turning it into another Wikipedia platform for their Gospel!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There are, of course, other, potentially simpler reasons why smokers are under-represented in the current Mao Tse Lung outbreak.

    I don’t call that ‘racist,’ just a jolly nice pun; A LOL moment; a lifeboat of laughter in a stormy sea of sorrow! The Friends of the Professionally Offended might take a different view. Besides, if someone like Lung, blamed for the deaths of at least forty million people, can’t be made the object of a joke then we really are in trouble. Oh, we are anyway.

    BTW, Amnesty lost it a few years ago. Their position on abortion was neutral, but they came out in favour of it once the general public’s view changed from cruel, unnecessary killing to a more abstract notion of “women’s reproductive rights.” China has been getting away with human rights abuses that nobody else would. I suppose it’s easier to boycott Israeli goods (like cherry tomatoes and matzos) than to miss out on all those cheap electronics.

    It’s easier to demand the making illegal of peaceful protests outside abortion ‘clinics’ which offer women an alternative, which some of them actually desire, than to stand up to brutal dictators who can sell you a nice cut-price laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to nit pick, but*.
    “…convincing the gullible that nicotine is harmful, carcinogenic and addictive. It is none of those things…”
    Something in tobacco smoke is addictive, otherwise it wouldn’t take so many smokers so many attempts to stop. I smoked for 17 years, I lost count of the number of times I tried to stop. I was certainly addicted to something in that cigarette smoke, I was under the impression that the nicotine was addictive, the smoke did the damage.
    If it’s not addictive, why is the old joke: “It’s easy to stop smoking, I’ve done it hundreds of times” funny?

    * That’s number 1 on my list of things that mean the opposite of what they say: Anything followed by the word “but”. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some years ago I read a paper by an American clinical psychologist who was involved in helping people who wished to stop smoking. He had come to the conclusion that it was not a chemical addiction so much as an addiction to the habit of the action of smoking – ie taking a fag from the pack, putting it in mouth, lighting it, draw in smoke, etc etc. that was the chief cause of the craving that his patients experienced. He opined that this was the reason why nicotine patches, gum or whatever were so inneffective as they didn’t help “the activity” of smoking, and he was recommending vaping (this was in its early days) as a substitute replacement. He was getting good results.

      Anecdotally, my wife was forced to stop her 30-a-day habit when she was hosptalised for a couple of weeks with a severe lung problem (it’s tricky, and probably quite “exciting”, to have a fag when you’re on oxygen!) and was having a struggle once she returned home. I remembered the american paper and so bought her an “electrofag” (it looked just like a cigarette, just a bit harder and heavier) which she used in steadily smaller quantities for the next few weeks. She used zero nicotine tobacco-flavoured “juice” and had completely stopped all the cravings etc in less than a month. She’s never smoked since, though I guess that the knowledge that if she restarted it could kill her very quickly is something of an additional motivator.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sagalout – The memsahib and I are both ex-smokers. We decided, years ago, based on no scientific method whatever, that it’s the activity which is addictive. That’s why patches and gum are a bad, and very expensive, joke.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I disagree, also based on no scientific evidence except my own experience. 😉
      If it were merely the action of putting something in my mouth and sucking (quiet at the back :-() the craving would have been assuaged by sucking on a pencil or something similar. It wasn’t; only a cigarette would do.

      Like

  6. Sagalout – I think it’s far more nuanced than people imagine. When I started to honour the seventh day Sabbath rather than the ‘christian’ ‘Lord’s Day’ (i.e. first day), I couldn’t smoke, as kindling a fire is forbidden. One time (it may have been my first week of seventh-day observance) with 20 or 30 minutes to go, I was desperate for a smoke. I was almost climbing the walls, but determined to make it, which I did, but boy, was it traumatic!

    I don’t remember any problems after that – no cravings ever. Later on, I even stopped on the sixth day as well and ended up going well over two days every week without baccy and never craved for it; only the odd, “I wouldn’t mind a smoke” moment.

    The other five days were different. Sometimes I did crave a bit, but that was fine, as I was able to have one, but I had made a rule in my head that I would not smoke on the Sabbath day no matter what and it was just not a problem at all: no other psychological tricks, no ‘NRT’, no hypnotism, no voodoo. I had made up my mind it’s how I wanted it to be and it was so. I couldn’t call it willpower as that would imply overcoming the will to smoke, but there was no will to smoke.

    I think expectation has a lot to do with it. I read that observant Jews tend to want a smoke increasingly as Sabbath draws to a close. I seem to recall aircraft crew generally reporting the same experience as they near their destination.

    You’d think I would be the same, especially considering my past addiction to booze, but we’re all different. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that with the booze, I still take one day at a time, even after more than twenty years. I never tell myself that I’m never going to drink again, although I acknowledge that doing so might be incredibly damaging. If I tell myself I’m not going to smoke today, but tomorrow will take care of itself, well, I can relax about it today, so a case could be made for it not being addictive if you have the right mindset. (I don’t recommend restarting to find out.) Conversely, I can’t see this working for me with the booze, although most people can control their intake without any bother.

    I came across this article a couple of weeks ago, which may shed some light, or may confuse matters. It is about a woman who tried hard to be a committed Jew, but…

    She had a strong smoking habit. She actually smoked on Shabbat, right there in the midst of the crowded neighborhood of pious residents.

    The most unusual part of this habit was that it was only on Shabbat that she couldn’t stop; she had no trouble the rest of the week. Everyone tried to get her to quit, but to no avail. When Shabbat began she had an uncontrollable need to smoke.

    https://www.myascent.org/smoking-on-shabbat-in-meah-shearim/

    As it turns out, she wasn’t Jewish, so had to be converted, so it was for her own good that this happened, apparently, as,

    A non-Jew is forbidden to observe the Shabbat complete in all its details, and is punishable with death for doing so.

    First time I’ve heard that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Re your Sabbath quitting:

      I have sometimes pointed to my father as evidence against the whole “More Addictive Than Heroin” Orwellian-redefinition nonsense of the 1980s. He was a two-pack a day man from age 18 up into his 60s when he finally decided to quit. But every year, as a VERY strong ironclad Irish Catholic he would give up smoking for Lent!

      Even know any heroin addicts who’d give it up for Lent?

      LOL!

      – MJM, who tried giving up chocolate for Lent about 55 years ago. Made it about half a day.

      Like

      • You can do many things armed with faith. It’s a shame it’s so undervalued nowadays. Actually, people are putting their faith in other things like Eastern mysticism (look how popular yoga and meditation have become) and New Age nonsense and ancient ‘wisdom’ like crystals and of course the adoration of Mother Earth.

        There are very serious consequences for people’s souls.

        Gary Bates is a creationist scientist who wrote a popular book called ‘Alien Intrusion’. I haven’t read the book, but I have two DVDs of him explaining his take on the UFO phenomenon. Most people laugh that millions of people (not just Americans by any means) claim to have been abducted and taken to a spacecraft. Bates claims that their experiences are genuine, but that they have been abducted, not by beings from light years away, but by the same kind of evil spirits who have been written about over the millennia, but change with the times, so a UFO-saturated culture fuelled by evolution theory provides many souls for these dark entities to feast on, because the victims tend to be spiritual, but not in a traditional religious way, so they are open to anything, including these buggers. As you’re no doubt aware, these ‘aliens’ often give their victims a religious message, like mankind must evolve a higher conscience type stuff. The messages of peace and goodwill sometimes come after the victim has had sharp things inserted in various orifices, so probably not the most trustworthy beasts.

        As Bates says, if all these people have been on a real nuts-and-bolts alien spacecraft, you’d think one of them would have brought something back as a souvenir, like an ashtray!

        Anyway, when people congratulate me for going so long without a drink, I really can’t take any credit, as it happened in a way that was beyond my control, so I attribute it to divine providence (not ‘aliens’ or demons). A series of events occurred to keep me safe and sound when I completely ran out of money and at the same time finally found a doctor who cared (after years of incompetence and prejudice from previous medical midgets!).

        My cunning plan was to opt for treatment and get the detox benzos while I worked on getting money to resume drinking, even though I was almost completely physically worn out and confined to bed for a time, but thankfully, that idea was thwarted, or I wouldn’t be here typing this.

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  7. After 13 years of intense research into what happens when nicotine burns, if you go back to 1941 the answers is go suck a Twiglet.

    Nicotinic acid – 1941 (p.2)
    “We find that the smoke from ordinary Ripple cigarettes contains the anti-pellagra vitamin or nicotinic acid in fairly substantial amounts. However, the quantity is probably too low for a man to rely upon this source alone for his nicotinic acid requirement. At least to do so he would find it necessary to smoke an unreasonable number”
    “You will recall that in our letter of March 11th we doubted that vitamins could be absorbed from tobacco smoke by the throat and lung tissues. However, we have now found that nicotinic acid is dissolved in the saliva of the smoker when smoking ordinary cigarettes, and even in greater amounts when smoking cigarettes made from the enriched tobacco. Thus, the vitamin does not have to be absorbed thru the lungs, but will be swallowed in the approved manner. These conclusions are based on actual analysis of saliva, collected from a smoker while smoking.
    In other words, we analyzed the saliva, which would have otherwise been swallowed. No Nicotinic Acid occurred in the smoker’s saliva before smoking. We feel that we have made this report sufficiently long to cover the discoveries, which we regard as quite remarkable”

    How the Taste Bud Translates Between Tongue and Brain
    1992

    “However, taste researchers now know that the end result is a series of micro-electric currents, induced by nerve-cell messenger chemicals or direct interaction of taste stimuli with taste-cell membranes, that tell the brain what the tongue has experienced less than a moment ago”

    3 slowly sucked twiglets took away all desire for a cigarette for about an hour and a half, unfortunately it took away all desire for a cup of coffee too. Same chemical Niacin
    But you have to fight your way through a mountain of brainwashing to take a small packet of twiglets into where your going rather than slap on a patch.

    We have been conned by both sides and I very much doubt that nicotine burnt or plain will thwart a killer virus, otherwise expect missing coffee drinkers too.

    Like

    • What’s a twiglet?
      I have this image of a very small, underweight, teenaged Twiggy, but if I walked into a public place sucking on three of those at once, I think I’d get in a lot of trouble.

      😕
      MJM, always believes in erring on the side of caution…

      Like

      • Twiglets MJM

        “Twiglets were invented in 1929 by a French biscuit maker named J. Rondalin, a technical manager at Peek Freans’ Bermondsey factory, who added brewer’s yeast to a leftover batch of Vitawheat dough. They were first launched onto the consumer market in 1932 by Peek Freans. Today, Twiglets are manufactured in Aintree by United Biscuits subsidiary Jacob’s.”

        But be sure to buy “Original”

        “Made with wholewheat so they are a good source of fibre – with 3g in a 30g pack (women need about 16g fibre per day). They also supply B vitamins from the yeastextract coating (12 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of folate – the healthy-heart-and-pregnancy vitamin) and 13 per cent of the recommended amount of niacin (for energy release).”

        British Corner Shop
        British Food Delivered Worldwide
        https://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/about-us
        Just type into search to see what they look like.

        I managed to do it discreetly eight hours a day for two weeks when I had to.
        I very nearly didn’t bother to start again, but then realised I hadn’t quite finished my researches and you really can’t do it from outside.
        The reason I took up smoking in the first place.

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  8. OK…

    Basically I’m into continuing lockdowns etc for at least another few weeks, because I think this is just too dangerous a thing to play around with.

    HOWEVER… I’ve been seeing some very strong counterargument articles/sites from a friend in Australia (Mark J.) and this one from SPIKED the other day is worth reading and considering:

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/04/17/theres-no-direct-evidence-that-the-lockdowns-are-working/

    – MJM

    Like

  9. Way too easy, but nust because I knew it,
    Mama we’re all crazy now by Slade (or Quiet Riot).
    As far as smoking, nicotine is the cause of all evils. My former GP said so after I switched to vaping and lost all the stuff that was bad for you from cigarettes. (tar, kryptonite, etc). I’m glad I went back to cigs though. They keep the foolish away from me.

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  10. Bame are over represented because they are more likely to be heavily vit D deficient. And because they don’t take their t shirts off the moment the sun comes out. Even the Swedes have admitted that the Somali immigrants in Sweden are at higher risk. Nothing racist about it, its that if they say what thr reason is there will be a revolt. We never needed lockdown. All we needed was for the desperate vit D deficiency which is totally widespread in Britain and has been known about for ten years.. To be fixed. PhE have not fucking bothered or if they have they advocate such teeny tiny doses as to be totally ineffective.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dark skin is a response to a lot of sunlight. It can still produce Vit D between the tropics but this far north, especially in winter, even white skin can’t make enough. That’s why there are cases of rickets apearing among dark skinned people in the UK.
      I know, rickets also appears in sunny countries but that’s because while they have the Vit D, they don’t have enough calcium in their diets. You need both for proper bone growth.
      Also, those BAME in the UK are not listening to the self-isolation/social distancing rules. I’ll get flamed for this but – especially Muslims, who are being told by their imams that there is nothing to worry about, the virus won’t affect Muslims. Look, guys, you are just humans with a different religion. You’re not biologically different. It will get you just as it gets everyone else. But they won’t listen, so they gather and spread it amongst themselves.
      Ramadan is about to start. The rather large faecal produce is about to hit the whirly thing.

      Like

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