Science, Ecigs and the Medical Profession

I have been reading this evening the following blog:

“Five simple chemistry facts that everyone should understand before talking about science”

It isn’t a long post so well  worth the effort to read.

The author states the ‘5 simple facts’ as:

1. Everything is made of chemicals.

2. The dose makes the poison.

3. There is no difference between “natural” and “synthetic” versions of a chemical.

4. “Natural” chemicals are not automatically good and “artificial” chemicals are not automatically bad.

5. A chemical’s properties are determined by the other chemicals that it is bound to.

The blog is called “The Logic of Science”. It is not a small affair since it has over 4000 followers. The article above had over 300 comments. Out of interest, I read all the comments and even added one myself.

What always interests me is 2 above – “The dose makes the poison”. I always feel that there is something missing from that ‘equation’. The missing factor is TIME.

In physics, and indeed, as far as I know, all science, ‘time’ is involved. It may not be expressed as ‘time’, but it is ‘time’ nevertheless. As far as I know, it is not disputed that time is change: that the passage of time is a measure of a rate of change. The most natural ‘clock’ (measure of the passage of time), known to mankind for thousands and thousands of years, is the rising (or going down) of the Sun.

Thus, if ‘the dose makes the poison’ some element of time must be involved. For example, wikipedia says: “The acute minimal lethal dose of arsenic in adults is estimated to be 70 to 200 mg or 1 mg/kg/day.”

Note: the lethal dose is either taking, say, 150 mg all at once, or spreading out the dose over a period of time – say, for a person weighing 10 stone, 60 mg per day. (Somehow, that calculation does not sound right! But never mind, it is only for illustration purposes) What is important is the idea that time is important – either a big dose NOW, or a smaller dose each day until the desired affect is achieved. A person who wants to commit suicide might ingest a very large amount of arsenic, but even that huge dose will take some time to work. A murderer, however, might administer a smaller dose, but one which exceeds the rate at which the human body excretes arsenic. Thus causing a slow accumulation of damage which eventually causes death. However, the victim would not suddenly collapse and die. He would become more and more ill as time passes.

If you wish to, you could equate the effect of taking arsenic over a long period of time, in its simplest form, as similar to heavy smoking. But wait…. Where is the evidence of an accumulation of illnesses? Where is the evidence of hair falling out, delusions, general weakness, etc? I have never seen any such evidence quoted. All the evidence seems to be purely statistical – based upon death certs or hospital releases/admissions. The evidence seems to be based upon ‘incidents’. In other words, all the evidence about ‘smoking related diseases’ is unnatural and manufactured. If such diseases were really caused by smoking, then there would be time-related incidents of illnesses. Smokers would take more days off work, for example. But the evidence is that the opposite is true. Non-smokers take more sick days than smokers. Further, as workers age, the incident of smoking related sick days should accrue. There is no such evidence.


We might transfer the basic idea in the above (timescales) to current onslaught on ecigs by the British Medical Association (BMA). We should bear in mind that the BMA is supposed to be the Doctor’s trade union. It is not supposed to be an organ of government with the powers assigned to government. It is no more than a debating society which represents doctors. It has no powers whatsoever.

Clive Bates used to be CEO of ASH. Charitably, we might imagine that he was sincere in his hatred of tobacco companies and in his belief that tobacco companies ‘hooked’ youngsters into smoking, and that these companies did not give a toss about the dangers of smoking. Erm… Why should they? Do manufacturers of bullets care about the dangers of bullets? I think that tobacco companies ceased to exist as marketing brands long before PP. They supply to a demand. They do not promote that demand. Well, not in the EU or the USA, or most other areas. They just manufacture to supply the demand. Sure, they still introduce variations, and these variations might well rip off smokers by, for example, using expanded tobacco. Cigs made with expanded tobacco burn down more rapidly than better quality cigs. Where is the ‘consumer protection’? There is none.

CB. along with associates, has been trying to make rogue doctors, who have been trying to claim overdose of arsenic effects from ecigs, answerable for their statements. He has complained to the General Medical Council about a Dr Rae who, representing the BMA (British Medical Assn – the doctors trade union), dissed ecigs without any regard to truth and reality whatsoever. The GMC kicked CB’s complaint into touch. Well, of course they would! They are responsible to no one except themselves! They are no more independent than ASH is in its relationship with the College of Physicians (clue: the RCP created ASH). ‘Themselves’ equals the BMA. The GMC is a thinly disguised arm of the BMA. It fits together.



We see a World Health Organisation riddled with corruption of the worst kind. We see a World Bank which is a pure autocracy. We see and International Monetary Fund which was infiltrated by brazen elitist wealth owners (not to be confused with wealth creators) decades ago. We see our UK Government pretending that it is in control.

It is not.

We need a revolution, but it need not be violent or complete overturn of the status quo. It is pretty simple in its basis. The EU is like one of these fairy castles which have a small base and a bigger and bigger construction the further that the castle grows into the sky.

Note that the original vague idea of stopping European wars, post WW2, was to remove the problem of lack of resources in any particular country. Thus, there came into existence the European Coal and Steel Agreement (or whatever it was called). What that agreement meant was that there were no government barriers to trade in those commodities between states which conformed. The vast, vast, vast majority of ordinary people did not even know that that treaty existed. It was for the elite to decide. That treaty removed, at a stroke, the central plank of German expansionism (aka invasion and acquisition of territory and the resources thereof) and replaced it with cooperation.

What I find horrific is that these arrangements were made without ordinary people having any idea whatsoever what was happening and why. The Elite organised it all. Further, the organisation was not in the least complicated. All coal produced by the participants was heaped into a pile. A price per ton was agreed. Only the marginal needs of participants, in terms of imports and exports, produced actual movements of coal from one place to another. The same system applied to steel.

We need a quiet revolution to change the nature and personnel of The Elite. Clearly, politicians like Cameron, Clegg, Miliband, etc, etc, etc, etc, are inadequate. They have shown that to be true by their emphasis on cruel behaviour control laws. We need to have the power to elect the elite. Cameron etc are not the elite. If the Elite are those who own the World, or most of it, then they must be brought to account.

The idea is more than practical (in the sense that the wealth of this Elite would be sufficient to more than solve the water problems of Africa), it is also philosophical.

Not tonight, eh? Perhaps tomorrow. Philosophical ideas are wonderful.



11 Responses to “Science, Ecigs and the Medical Profession”

  1. Rose Says:

    I was reading, “Five simple chemistry facts that everyone should understand before talking about science” the other day and enjoying it’s clear commonsense when I came to a grinding halt.

    “This process also involves numerous enzymes and electron acceptors such as acytle coenzyme A and nicotine adenine dinucleotide (NADH), all of which are chemicals.”

    Was this some kind of Freudian slip or merely a typo?

    “Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is the coenzyme form of the vitamin niacin”

    The link then goes on to explain how the variant NADH is made.

    A plague on ASH and it’s minions for making an amateur gardener do all this bloody research on things that I was perfectly happy not knowing about.


    “Nicotinamide, also known as niacinamide and nicotinic amide, is the amide of nicotinic acid. Nicotinamide is a water-soluble vitamin and is part of the vitamin B group”


    “pellagra-preventing vitamin in enriched bread,” 1942, coined from ni(cotinic) ac(id) + -in, chemical suffix; suggested by the American Medical Association as a more commercially viable name than nicotinic acid.
    “The new name was found to be necessary because some anti-tobacco groups warned against enriched bread because it would foster the cigarette habit.” [“Cooperative Consumer,” Feb. 28, 1942]”

    And thus were generations of scientists misled.

    • junican Says:

      Great stuff, Rose. I suspect that ‘we few’ know a damned sight more about niacin and pallagra than does tobacco control. The only question that pops into my mind is: “Does the human body convert the nicotine in tobacco smoke into niacin?

      • Some French bloke Says:

        “Does the human body convert the nicotine in tobacco smoke into niacin?”
        Or does combustion/oxidation convert it into niacin, and the human body then converts it (or some other compound) into metabolites, like cotinine?

      • Rose Says:


        My school chemistry lessons came back to me when I was drinking a cup of coffee and quietly contemplating a rusty candle holder in the garden – rust is iron slowly burning in air and the word I’d been searching for was oxidation.

        Method to oxidize nicotine with nitric acid to make Nicotinic acid – 1925

        The tobacco plant makes nicotine in it’s roots by combining nicotinic acid and putrescine then passes it up to the leaves.

        I guessed that it might turn back to nicotinic acid when burned as all the literature I’d found was pointing that way, but I couldn’t be sure until I found the industry research and development documents from 1941 confirming it.

        How ironic that publishing the tobacco documents online as a punishment after the Master Settlement would lead to unravelling a 70 year old mystery – what happens to nicotine when it burns?

        Frank posted it all to his reference section, do please have a look.


        It’s only a tiny amount, much less than in a cup of coffee, but such knowledge was clearly considered sufficiently dangerous to the anti-smoking cause to be hidden for all these years.

      • junican Says:

        So burning the tobacco turns the nicotine into nicotinic acid, does it? And we inhale it. But 10 to 15 milligrams are normal daily requirement of niacin, and the smoke from 10 ‘Old Gold’ cigs produces only 0.8 milligrams. The question that comes to my mind is whether or not all the nicotine in a cig is converted into nicotinic acid when the tobacco is burnt. The question also arises as to whether or not the human body metabolises niacin into cotinine.
        This is getting weirder and weirder.

  2. Ed Says:

    I was reading that the other week Rose! 🙂 My friend is training to be a dentist and it’s amazing to see how compartmentalised all the different medical folk are regarding tobacco!

    While the science was essentially accurate in the blog post, I can’t help but think it was a thinly veiled pro-vaccine post which tried its best to trivialise some genuine concerns regarding Thimerosal and relegate anti-vaccine groups as a fringe element that relies on pseudoscience.

    I also noticed that they have mentioned deoxyribonucleic acid to demonstrate the naivete of your average person being scared off by a big word;

    “it sounds bad because it’s an acid, but it is essential for life and it is in nearly all foods. It is naive and childish to base your diet or medical practices on your pronunciation skills.”

    Which again in essence is true, but there’s a distinct lack of information here regarding well documented evidence of vaccines being tainted with foreign DNA; human, pig and other foreign dna are regularly found in vaccines. While the jury is out on whether it’s dangerous to have foreign dna whizzing around your bloodstream, there’s a fair amount of evidence to point out that it could be a distinct possibility;

    However, I think that the concerns regarding Thimerosal and foreign dna and substances like formaldehyde (initially used in the Salk vaccine to inactivate the polio virus, but it didn’t kill the sv40 that was also in there) being discussed takes your eye off the ball while omitting the damning evidence that vaccines have been knowingly tainted for decades by viruses. “The dose makes the poison” is very misleading here as it isn’t applicable to viruses, especially those known to cross the species barrier. Although not widely known, they have been aware for decades of a whole array of simian viruses that cause cancer. One well known Simian virus is SV40 and it is thought that it has caused cancer in millions of people.

    These viruses spread easily through sexual contact and often stay dormant for decades, but become active if hormone levels drop (as they do in middle age) or if your immune system is fighting off another disease.
    New scientist has a few short articles on it;

    And for those who like a good conspiracy theory, a good read about this subject can be found in the book “Dr Mary’s monkey”;

    I came across something similar regarding viruses on the conspiracy against tobacco blog where junk science has conveniently blamed tobacco for a ridiculous amount of ailments and hard science has proven the cause to be viral in origin in all of these diseases;

  3. garyk30 Says:

    Time/amount of exposure is a funny thing.

    Some diseases strike at the same age regardless of lifestyle.

    The number of years smokers have smoked has no bearing on the age at which they are diagnosed with lung cancer;because:

    Smokers and never smokers are diagnosed with lung cancer at about the same age!!
    Although never smokers were slightly older at lung cancer diagnosis than current smokers in two population-based cohorts (MEC and NHEFS), this difference was not observed in the majority of cohorts evaluated (NHS, HPFS, CTS, and U/OLCR; Table 2).

  4. garyk30 Says:

    Sometimes, Time/Amount of exposure makes no difference.

    The number of years smokers have smoked has no bearing on the age at which they are diagnosed with lung cancer;because:

    Smokers and never smokers are diagnosed with lung cancer at about the same age!!
    Although never smokers were slightly older at lung cancer diagnosis than current smokers in two population-based cohorts (MEC and NHEFS), this difference was not observed in the majority of cohorts evaluated (NHS, HPFS, CTS, and U/OLCR; Table 2).

    • garyk30 Says:

      Ooooops! did not mean to double post

      • junican Says:

        Eh? No double post observed, gary.

        You have observed a critical thing, gary, if it is true. What you have suggested is that ‘the time’ of the diagnosis is more relevant than ‘the cause’ in the diagnosis. That idea produces a myriad of connected ideas.
        Far too late tonight to consider.

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