‘Harm Reduction’

If we look back several decades, the roads were ‘killing fields’. Thousands of people were killed every year in road accidents. The solution needed several steps – better roads, better road markings, better signposting, separation of ‘up’ traffic from ‘down’ traffic, different colours to indicate severity, better braking systems, etc. People are still killed in road accidents, but not nearly as many per mile driven. The incident of accidents has been driven down almost to the point where the only possible ‘improvement’ could come from banning driving. When I say ‘improvement’, I mean only in the statistics. It will always be true that the the lower the incidence of driving, the less accidents there will be. But nothing is certain. It is quite possible for a person driving along an empty motorway at 70 MPH to have a blow-out of a tyre and crash, killing the occupants of the car.

The above is a very good example of true ‘harm reduction’. Better roads and markings, better warnings, etc, reduce accidents.

But what is clear is that there was never an academic drive to work towards a ban on driving. Well, not in the recent past. For all I know, there may have been a time when the driving test was so severe that few people passed first time. That was an impression I had when I first took my driving test. As it happened, I passed first time, but I had been told many times that it was hard to pass the test first time. I do not know why that should have been so.

Anti-tobacco smoking has a long history. King James the First railed against the ‘foul practice’ hundreds of years ago. His railings were a super excuse to tax tobacco imports, which he did.

The ‘Spirit of King James 1st’ is not dead. It is alive and well. Either you smoke and pay swingeing taxes or you do not smoke. There is no in-between.That is the ‘credo’ of tobacco control.

The important words are ‘there are no in-betweens’. That is the reason for the anti-ecig drive. All the crap about minuscule levels of toxins in ecig vapour exists only to pursue the ‘quit or die’ narrative.

Carl Phillips has an interesting take on the subject of ‘harm reduction’ in general. I know that I am putting my own interpretation on his opinion, but why not?

The ‘war on drugs’ was a misconceived adventure from the beginning. All it did was criminalise law-abiding people who just happened to enjoy a substance, just like beer or whiskey, which raised one’s mood. For heaven’s sake! Is that not precisely what approved anti-depressants do? But it is also realistic that many people, who are not depressed, enjoy having their moods elevated, which is just what alcohol does. Alcohol cheers you up and overcomes inhibitions. Sure, it sometimes does so to excess.

Here is a link to Carl’s post:

What harm reduction really means

He also links to another post:

The Harm Reduction Movement Needs to Rediscover Its Soul

I do not disagree with anything in those posts – other than ‘degrees of harm’. Thus, the number of people who suffer from AIDS or are at risk, is very, very small. That fact suggests that the problem is not worth massive expenditure on prevention. A comparatively small number of people are at risk. In that case, ‘cure’ is more important than ‘prevention’. That is not to suggest that homosexuals should not take precautions.

Carl P suggests that all forms of force are inhuman, and I agree. People who need to elevate their moods via drugs have every right to do so. There should be no ‘war’ against them. It follows that there should not be a ‘war’ against those who supply the drugs.

But we have a problem with the word ‘drugs’. Why should Aspirin, a drug, be wonderful whilst Heroin, a drug, is evil? Look at those words – ‘wonderful’ and ‘evil’.

Tobacco Control is based upon the idea of ‘evil’. It is surprising that it is taking so long for recognition of that fact to impinge. But it is happening. People in scientific circles are beginning to ask why no steps have been taken to persuade tobacco companies to extract nitrosamines, and other carcinogens, from cigarette tobacco.

‘Harm Reduction’is obvious – you have to take the harm out of the equation and not destroy the equation altogether. Tobacco smoking + carcinogens = pleasure + cancer. Remove the carcinogens and the word cancer and you get ‘smoking = pleasure. But TC has never acknowledged the term in the equation ‘pleasure’. Tobacco smoking + carcinogens = cancer. That is their equation.

Once the presence of carcinogens it tobacco smoke was known, why was it that the removal of those substances was not given priority?

I read a submission from someone who patented a method of removing nitrosamenes from tobacco leaves by microwaving the leaves. I wish that I had the document to hand, but it is too late to try to find it. It was only a couple of days ago that I read it.

When you think about it, it is very surprising that ‘harm reduction’ was not the first thing that academics thought of. Why have academics supported punishment, persecution and gradual prohibition when they could have supported ‘harm reduction’ for all these years?

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24 Responses to “‘Harm Reduction’”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Yo Junican! 🙂 Happy Sunday morning to thee!

    I think you’ll find what you want if you Google:

    nitrosamines leaves microwave

    just like that.

    Yes, Carl’s writings are always quite good, and the “Influence” site is a new one to me that I’ll have to check out. Thankee!

    🙂
    Michael

    • junican Says:

      And a happy Sunday evening to thee!
      Carl is a champion of Harm Reduction.But, like all the rest, does not really KNOW anything much at all. And I think that he admits it. Combinations of factors are more likely to produce bad effects in the human body rather than just one factor.

  2. Rose Says:

    People in scientific circles are beginning to ask why no steps have been taken to persuade tobacco companies to extract nitrosamines, and other carcinogens, from cigarette tobacco

    They are a bit late then, the problem once discovered was fixed by 2001.

    Once the presence of carcinogens in tobacco smoke was known, why was it that the removal of those substances was not given priority?

    It was, by the Tobacco companies. The fault was discovered to be caused by exposure to combustion gases formed during direct-firing.

    This explains

    Back To The Future

    “Late in 1999, growers got what appeared to be the latest bad news. The big tobacco companies began to signal their concern that tobacco produced in the United States contains unacceptably high levels of substances called tobacco-specific nitrosamines, carcinogens that can be formed during the curing process.

    The tobacco companies announced that beginning in July 2001, they would no longer buy high-nitrosamine tobacco, and several companies began contracting with growers to produce tobacco containing lower amounts of nitrosamines.

    It became clear that if growers were to continue to produce tobacco, they would have to change the way they did business, and they would have to do so quickly”

    “Nitrosamines are formed in flue-cured tobacco when the tobacco is exposed to combustion gases produced during the curing process. Before this year, virtually all the flue-cured tobacco produced in North Carolina was cured in direct-fired curing barns. A burner that burns natural or propane gas is attached to each barn. This burner heats the air in the barn, curing the tobacco.

    Tobacco was not always cured this way in North Carolina. Boyette said that before World War II wood was the preferred fuel for curing barns. A wood fire burned just outside the barn. The heat and combustion gases flowed through a flue, usually made of brick, that snaked across the floor of the barn, then rose up through the barn. Because the gases moved through the flue, the tobacco was never exposed to them. The barns were heated, and the tobacco cured, but the heat was indirect. Presumably, the tobacco from those barns contained low levels of nitrosamines.

    Ironically, this is generally the way tobacco is cured today in other parts of the world, particularly in areas like Brazil and Zimbabwe, whose farmers are major competitors of American tobacco growers. As a result, this foreign tobacco is low-nitrosamine. In other words, low-nitrosamine tobacco is available, so if American growers wish to remain competitive in global markets, they have no choice but to reduce nitrosamine levels”
    https://projects.ncsu.edu/cals/agcomm/magazine/winter01/back.htm

    The solution

    Retrofitting Tobacco Curing Barns

    “Recent research has shown that a class of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds known as tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) may be formed in flue-cured tobacco leaves during the curing process. These compounds are not found in green (uncured) tobacco.

    Present research suggests that TSNAs are formed through a chemical reaction between nicotine and other compounds contained in the uncured leaf and various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) found in all combustion gases, regardless of the fuel used. Eliminating NOx compounds in the curing air by using a heat exchanger system has been shown capable of reducing TSNAs to undetectable levels in cured tobacco.”

    “To receive price support for tobacco grown in 2001 and thereafter, producers must retrofit, or change, all barns used to cure the crop to operate with indirect-fired curing systems.”

    “Research during the 2000 curing season has shown that converting from direct- to indirect-fired curing can reduce levels of TSNAs in cured leaf to below detectable levels (less than 0.1 part per million).”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20070814002931/http://www.cpes.peachnet.edu/tobacco/retrofitinfo.htm

    What About Existing Diesel Burners??

    “Orginal fuel oil heat exchanger models were not solid welded and have the potential for leaking combustion gases in the curing chamber. Current models are solid welded.”
    http: //web.archive.org/web/20090303052524/http://www.cpes.peachnet.edu/tobacco/fueloil.htm

    Nitrosamines and Possible Curing Barn Modifications
    2000

    “For decades, nitrosamines have been a focus of considerable research for which references abound in the scientific literature.
    The presence of nitrosamines in cigarette smoke and their possible role in tobacco carcinogenesis were first postulated in the scientific literature in 1962.” (both Wynder and Doll both thought it must be the method of curing)

    “Decades of research have provided no basis for concluding cause and effect relevancy of nitrosamines to chronic disease in smokers, despite implied contentions to the contrary.

    Without such relevancy, the effect of reducing levels of nitrosamines in tobacco or tobacco smoke cannot be definitively asserted.
    However, responsible product stewardship advocates that technologies to reduce nitrosamine levels in tobacco be pursued and implemented as proven effective and commercially practicable.”
    https: //web.archive.org/web/20100610044049/http://commodities.caes.uga.edu/fieldcrops/tobacco/hotline-jan25-2000.html

    But TC never let a good one go,so while there is one tobacco farm left in the world still using direct curing they can still go on about nitrosamines.

    Nitrosamines are not unique to tobacco, thats why they called them “tobacco specific nitrosamines” to separate them from all the other nitrosamines you encounter every day.

    Nitrosamines in Food, Body Fluids, and Occupational Exposure
    “As indicated in the table, nitrosamines can form in the gastric juice of the human stomach. This is commonly referred to as endogenous nitrosation. Bacteria in the mouth chemically reduce nitrate, which is prevalent in many vegetables, to nitrite, which in turn can form nitrosating agents. Many foods contain amines that can react with nitrosating agents in the acidic stomach to form nitrosamines”
    https: //web.archive.org/web/20130622031420/http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/f-w00/nitrosamine.html

    The case of the disappearing nitrosamines: a potentially global phenomenon
    2004
    http: //tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/13/1/13.full

    • Ed Says:

      That was also my understanding of the situation with nitrosamines, Rose. Commercial producers of flue cured tobacco would have eradicated the problem long ago and amateur home growers tend to air dry their produce in a warm room or sun cure in a unheated greenhouse. Only the really dedicated (usually US) amateur growers build their own flue cure chamber.

      • Rose Says:

        It’s certainly acts as a warning about the perils of storing your home grown produce in the garage.

      • junican Says:

        As I understand it, flue curing which does not expose the leaves to the products of burning substances, such as wood or oil, almost eliminates nitrosamines. What I cannot understand is why a simple central heating system, which circulates hot water was not used to heat barns.Perhaps, at the time, they could not calculate the pressures. But there might have been costs. If no one was concerned about health effects of smoking, why should anything change?

  3. Ed Says:

    I would imagine drying produce in a shed or garage using calor gas heaters would be a no-no too?

    I also noticed that making Cavendish/stovendish at home can have a few potential pitfalls too. A lot poach the leaves for around 12 hours in plastic bags or containers which would leach any endocrine disrupters in the plastic right onto their tobacco. I’m not sure if inhaling endocrine disrupters would present a problem or would they be destroyed in the combustion process? In any case, It’s far safer using glass containers to cook or poach the tobacco.

    • junican Says:

      I have two possible systems. One is wrapping the leaves in towels and and putting the towels in my propagator which raises the temperature to around 30C. I also have my curing box. It stands around 4 feet tall and uses a crock pot as a heat source. I hang leaves in the box and control the temperature and relative humidity. None if that is difficult.
      The big problem is the taste of the tobacco. It is not nice. It is like the difference between the taste of an orange and the taste of a grapefruit,
      That is the big problem.

      • Rose Says:

        Composting the tobacco in the heated propagator under controlled conditions and then aging for two years, does make a nice tasting tobacco, it smells good too, but it tastes more like a cigar

        Green leaf to dried and brown in just over a week and it keeps working as a continuous process until the harvesting is done.
        When the first leaves have turned to yellow, about 3 days, you add the next green ones to keep the yellow leaves moist, 3 days later the first leaves are turning brown and the second batch have turned yellow so you add more green ones and so on and so forth until the end. When the leaves are brown all except the midrib, they are removed from the propagator and hung up to dry.

        Thick cotton bath towels changed to fresh ones every three days and the propagator is turned off at night as there is enough heat in the bundle of leaves to keep the fermentation going until the morning.

        Piece of cake : )

      • Rose Says:

        Oh, and I do rifle through the leaves twice a day to get a layer of air between them, I don’t want an aneorobic fermentation starting.

        I turn the bundles over when I’m passing and keep the leaves well away from the heating element with the wooden rack we discussed the other year. A scalded leaf is a depressing sight.

        By the way, after your remarks about shade last year, I did an experiment.
        The best and tallest plants grew in partial shade with no more than 5 hours of direct sun a day.
        The smallest and weakest grew in full sun and appeared stressed however much they were watered.

        So that’s another thing I’ve learnt.

      • Ed Says:

        This year I’m picking the leaf on the flue cure cultivars when they were already going yellow on the plant, (perhaps half of the leaf turning a mottled yellow) and full yellow on the Gold Burley types. Conditions have been ok this year, so decided that most of the colour curing can be done on the plant.

        The leaves are then placed in piles for 3-5 days until yellow (re-stacking daily), and when fully yellow, I’ve hung in hands of 5 leaves in a warm room until the ribs are fully dry.

        Last year I made a small kiln and aged batches of leaf. I also kiln any whole leaf I buy in as this too improves a great deal with a couple of weeks of kilning.

        I agree with Rose, as those that had a few hours of shade grew best. Those I have in pots were often moved to shady spots on the hot days as they began flagging quite quickly in the heat. It’s probably a great thing they can tolerate and thrive in partial shade as there was a distinct lack of light this year.

        My experiments this year again centered around trying to get full size plants in pots! Those I grew in 30 litre containers grew faster and flowered earlier than any of the plants I grew in beds. In fact they remained ahead, size wise until about a fortnight ago, when those in the beds finally got bigger leaves. However, those in pots all grew taller, but not leggy.

        Here’s Costello (a flue cure cultivar) in a container enjoying a bit of dappled shade last month;

      • Junican Says:

        @Rose.
        I still have the slats of wood on the bottom of my propagator to separate the towels from the heated base of the propagator. Thus, there is no conducted heat; all the heat which hits the towels comes from the air inside the propagator being heated. But some heat hits the towels on the underside directly by radiation. The important thing is that direct conduction is avoided.
        I have not brought my curing box into use yet because the yellowing leaves that I have had available have not been big enough. But the plants are now getting bigger and bigger.

        @Ed.

        One can only guess at the size of your leaves. Those in the pic look great, but they could be 12″ long or 24″. We have no way of knowing. My outdoor plants are now reaching about 18″ in length. I really ought to publish a post about them, especially the urine feed.
        We must cure our leaves as we think best. There is no perfect way.
        What has troubled me is ‘the taste’ of the tobacco. I have yet to produce a tobacco which tastes pleasant. But, there again, Tobacco Companies were forced to reveal what their additives were, and the list was very long. Further, in times before modern history, it seems that Red Indians in America coated their tobacco leaves in buffalo grease. That may not be true, but the general impression that you get from the above is that tobacco does not taste nice in its natural state. That has been my own experience, as with my Irish friend and you.
        It isn’t so much the methods. It is the taste.

      • Ed Says:

        lol, I took the trouble to measure them as they grew so that I could compare them to those growing in beds. Costello (above) reached a max leaf size of 27inch long x 14 in 30litre pots and in beds attained 31.5 inch by 14.5 inch.

        All I can say is timing the harvest correctly (make sure the leaves are fully mature) will give them the optimum flavour, then naturally ageing or kilning them will remove any remaining toxins that will adversely affect the taste.

        When kilning, you can smell the aroma of the tobacco changing daily. Usually when it’s smelling nice and aromatic, it tastes nice too!

        I added some vanilla flavouring when making Cavendish last year and it really smoked a treat. So yes, it isn’t hard to add flavourings.

      • Junican Says:

        I can only say that I am impressed, Ed. I wish that I could emulate your methods.

      • Rose Says:

        That is a beautiful plant, Ed.

        Having just pushed my way through a wet flower bed, my best remaining leaf measures 21 inches long by 11 wide.
        I have no idea what variety it is, I bought a packet of seeds in 2005 that was only marked Virginian tobacco.

        The task I set myself was to work out how to cure tobacco, with just things that were already in my home, I’ll grant you that most people don’t have a large propagator lying around but I use it for starting off chilli seeds and bedding plants, I have a couple of elderly, very thick bath towels and as luck wouild have it , a digital thermometer with a long wire attached to the probe left over from a failed attempt at learning how to make cream cheese, there being nothing but low fat and Philadelphia in the supermarket.
        I wanted to make a proper cheescake, but didn’t.

        I read about making curing boxes on various websites a few years ago, but it sounded far too technical for me with fans, heaters and thermostats cannibalised from old radiators, I don’t have the space or the talent, so I had to think of an alternative.

      • Ed Says:

        Thanks 🙂

        This year I was trying out US grown seed and was really pleased with results. I tried out 3 brightleaf/flue cure types and although Costello had the biggest leaves it wasn’t the largest producer. That title had to go to African Red. Although the leaves were smaller (max size was 22inch x 14 in 30l pot and 28 x 14 in beds) they grew much taller and had far more leaf on them. It’s quite a beast! Here it is growing in a bed;

        If you click on the pic it’ll take you to my pb acct. I think you can navigate through the photos to see them growing through the season.

        With the brightleaf types, I think the object of the exercise is to maintain the high sugar content of the leaf before it gets degraded, hence the very fast drying method with high temps in a flue cure chamber when grown commercially. While it can be hard to emulate this method at home, the faster it can be dried, once the leaf has yellowed, will ensure a higher content of sugars in the dried leaf and also it “fixes” the yellow colour in the leaf when it’s dried. Also, it cuts down tremendously on mould, which quickly appears on wet leaf that’s drying too slowly.

        The big difference in taste for me came after mastering kilning tobacco. I use a variation on this method here;

        http://fairtradetobacco.com/threads/1739-My-new-and-improved-waterless-kiln

        My unit is smaller, but I can fit several glass jars or those rubber sealed tubs over the light bulb. Brightleafs only take 7-14 days in a kiln and it smokes very nicely afterwards. You can literally smell the change when you open the lids to turn the leaves over daily. The colour of the dried leaf changes from a bright yellow to an amber colour as it progresses.

      • Rose Says:

        Mercifully, mold is not a problem for me, I try to keep the temperature at about 41, and wilt the leaves on the washing line after picking to get rid of a lot of the moisture.

        Going from yellow to brown takes about seven days, but I don’t get the amber colour, they are more of a rich tan when dry and they do have a sweetish smell.

        I take it that you cut off the flower buds to avoid cross pollination.

        Mine being a flower garden, this year I am growing my tobacco plants like standard fuchsias with a long bare stem and allowing the suckers to grow at the top with the small leaves to produce even more flowers.

        Bees thrive on nicotine in nectar
        February 18 2015

        “People should plant flowers rich in nicotine, scientists have advised after a study found that the chemical helps to stave off disease in bees.

        Nicotine is one of a number of compounds that occur in a natural “medicine cabinet” in the nectar of some flowers. It cut the intensity of infections in bumblebees by as much as 81 per cent, biologists at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, report in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.”
        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4357354.ece

        “Dartmouth-Led Study: ‘Medicine Cabinet’ Reduces Bee Disease
        2015

        “The researchers found that chemicals in floral nectar—including the alkaloids anabasine and nicotine, the iridoid glycoside catalpol, and the terpenoid thymol—significantly reduce parasite infection in bees. The results suggest that growing plants high in these compounds around farm fields could create a natural “medicine cabinet” that improves survival rates of diseased bees and pollination of crops. The researchers studied parasite infections in bumblebees, which, like honey bees, are important pollinators that are in decline around the world, a trend that threatens fruits, vegetables, and other crops that make up much of the food supply for people.”

        “The researchers hypothesized that some nectar compounds could reduce parasite infections in bees, so they inoculated individual bumble bees with an intestinal parasite and tested the effect of eight naturally occurring nectar chemicals on parasite population growth. The results showed that consumption of these chemicals lessened the intensity of infection by up to 81 percent, which could significantly reduce the spread of parasites within and between bee colonies.”
        https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2015/02/dartmouth-led-study-medicine-cabinet-reduces-bee-disease

      • Ed Says:

        I think the final colour of the leaf largely depends on what cultivar it is. Most of the brightleaf types dry to a light yellow hue and only darken to an amber shade after kilning, but others I’m growing such as the golden Burley types dry to a darker tan shade. Darker still are the dark air types. I’m growing one called Shirey which supposedly tastes similar to Virginia Gold but with a stronger, pronounced flavour. It grew very similar to the Virginia Gold I grew last year but the leaves are a much darker green.

        This year I cut off all flower heads except for a few selections from which I’m hoping to get seed from. One is unclassified as it doesn’t really conform to any cultivar type, called Silver River. It grows very tall and has the stickiest leaves of any of the varieties.

        Here’s a bit of info about it. This is also the place where I obtained my seed for this years grow;

        http://nwtseeds.com/silver_river.htm

        The other plant I’m saving seed from this year is a golden Burley type called Moldovan. It’s a very high yielder from Eastern Europe and grows up like a sky rocket! Here’s a pic of one in a 30l container.

        The leaves pretty much colour cure on the plant and often can be just hung up and dried without having to stack them.

        I’m bagging up the seedheads to prevent any cross pollination, so hopefully I’ll get viable seed to use next year.

        I think whatever is in comfrey blooms, the bees certainly go mad for it. I notice they do visit the tobacco blooms and also the flowers on my tomatoes, but they really do swarm around my comfrey plot.

      • Junican Says:

        Very handsome plants, Ed. Most of mine are also coming on well.
        I don’t know how you cope with so many varieties! I bought some Virginia Gold some years ago. I got my own seeds in 2013 – a good year – and I am still using them. (2014 was not a good year because I made several mistakes and could not plant out until mid-June. The seeds turned out not to be viable)
        Because many of my plants already have flower buds, I expect to get seeds this year. I shall ‘top’ most of the plants before the flowers open. I decided to stick with with the Virginia Gold because I read somewhere that the seeds take on the characteristics of your soil. Whether that matters or not, I do not know.

        I have been towelling the sand lugs. Very few have gone fully yellow. They colour cure very quickly in the towels. Like Rose, I use my propagator. The ‘least green’ leaves (those which are completely yellow and those with very little green) yellowed completely after about 24 hours. The ‘more green’ ones took about 2 days.
        They seem to be very reluctant to dry. The least consistent way was just letting them air-dry. Some parts of individual leaves went brittle dry while other parts stayed dampish. The most consistent way was microwaving the leaves. Before towelling, I cut out the midribs so that I only have the laminae to deal with. I put several leaves on a big plate and hit them with a 30 sec burst. I then spread those leaves on a large cloth on the table while I deal with the next batch. Then I hit the first batch again. It takes about four hits per batch, at which point you can reduce the period of time of microwaving. It is surprising how evenly the leaves dry. If you get the timings right, you finish up with leaves which are brown, dry, but soft. They can then be shredded and flaked as you wish.
        I prefer to flake my stuff because it is easier to use the tubing machine with flaked stuff.

        I’ve decided to store my stuff for a rainy day. Last year’s is bagged up in sealed plastic bags, each holding about 50 grams. Will the tobacco age? Well, judging from the smell which is still being emitted, there must still be chemical reactions occurring.
        From time to time, I shall open the bags. There is no rush. Say, every three months.
        In the meantime, I’ll buy whole leaf for as long as possible until the Zealots contravene EU rules and stop us from importing leaf, and get away with it. I am even storing that. If I peg out before I use it, so what? My daughters don’t smoke but my sister’s lads do. I shall bequeath it to them!

      • nisakiman Says:

        Additives shouldn’t be necessary, Junican. I don’t grow tobacco, but I buy rolling tobacco from Germany which claims to be pure and additive free. The brand is ‘Pueblo’, and the tobacco I find to my taste is their Burley / Java blend. A lovely smoke, smooth and full of flavour. And as I say, claimed to be completely ‘additive-free’.

      • Ed Says:

        That’s a good attitude to have! Sadly, neither my son or daughter smoke, but my daughter loves looking through my collection of old “live” cigarette packs and cigarette cards,so she will most likely acquire my tobacciana if I peg it. I’m hoping to outlive her though, lol.

        Tbh, as long as you label the leaf after picking them so they don’t all get mixed up, having a few varieties on the go can be a distinct bonus. Especially if you pick wisely with early, then mid-season and late varieties. If you plan it well, then you can have a continuous flow of leaf from early on in the season until the frosts.

  4. Samuel Says:

    It has been a while since I saw it but the early tests of tobacco smoke, from the fifties and sixties, that “proved” a cause and effect of tobacco smoke and disease ( all it “proved” was that cigarettes produced an oily smoke that would foul water it was drawn through turning it brown and that this brown substance had chemicals in it that, in high concentrations, could induce a dangerous growth or other health problem in test animals) left out crucial information.

    What I remember of those tests (and I remember endless videos on TV and in the classroom of pneumatic “smoking” machines that would draw down several packs at once) and what I read later was that they exclusively tested commercially produced cigarettes such as “Camel” or “Marlboro” to get their results (these tests led to the first mandated filters and the first “low tar” cigarettes as “tar” was blamed for coating the alveoli and reducing lung capacity – something we never hear about anymore).

    What wasn’t tested was tobacco.

    They didn’t test pipe tobacco or cigars and they didn’t test cigarette tobacco straight up. The machines puffed on pre-wrapped cigarettes and no distinction was made between smoke from tobacco and smoke from the paper wrapper. Those paper wrappers all have chemicals incorporated in them to keep the cigarette lit even when it’s not being puffed on. This just goes to show the dishonesty from the anti tobacco crowd that they do whatever they need to to get the results they want.

    • junican Says:

      I wonder if anyone has ever researched to carcinogenic properties of the paper directly? But who would pay for such research? Big T would not and Big TC would not. So who would?
      Well, no one would, and so such research would not be done.

      The same applies to Climate Control. No one will research the cooling effects of CO2 in the atmosphere because no one is that interested. The ‘received wisdom’ is that CO2 increases temperatures, but no effort has been made to check whether or not the reverse might also be true in certain circumstances.

      • michaeljmcfadden Says:

        Actually, I’m pretty sure BigT would be quite happy to (and probably already has.) After all, it could exonerate tobacco. My friend over at http://fauxbacco.blogspot.com/ seems to feel that “Big Chlorine” runs the whole mess and protects its bleached cigarette papers, but that’s always seemed to me to be one of the wilder claims out there. Heh, on the other hand, it’s certainly more credible than thirdhand smoke!

        – MJM

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