Social Question

Aster's avatar

Does anyone on here believe cigarettes are not bad for your health?

Asked by Aster (19974points) March 23rd, 2011

I have read that tobacco leaves are not harmful but what the industry puts into tobacco makes it habit forming and deadly. Do you have a different take on it? Do you think nicotine and/or cigarettes are not that harmful in moderation or actually harmless?

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33 Answers

WasCy's avatar

Cigarettes certainly aren’t harmful to me, and never have been.

I don’t smoke them.

rebbel's avatar

They are harmful, in my opinion.
They stain your fingers yellow, they make your smell increase.
And then there are supposedly some other, worse harms attached to them.

Seelix's avatar

I know that smoking makes me feel like crap. If I smoke a lot during a night out, I feel worse in the morning. I have no doubt that it’s bad for me.

faye's avatar

Any smoke from anything is damaging to your lungs.

Rarebear's avatar

@Aster Out of curiosity, where did you read that?

KateTheGreat's avatar

Smoking makes me feel horrible. I’m a singer so whenever I smoke, I can’t sing well! It’s absolutely horrible.

dxs's avatar

I don’t know if you knew this or not, as it is partly irrelevant, but it is the tar stuff (can’t remember formal name) that makes it bad, and the nickotene that makes you addicted. Considering my not-too-expertise knowledge on tobacco (and marijuana for that matter), I don’t think that they are bad for you, or even addictive. If addictive at all, it’s just as anyone can get addicted to something. I know people who are addicted to coffee, salt, junk food, etc. It still seems bad to have smoke entering your body; something just doesn’t seem right. But what I don’t understand is why cigarettes and cigars are legal while marijuana is not. I don’t have a problem with people who smoke marijuana, as society seems to today. So in summary, yes, cigarettes are unhealthy in my opinion. I have to clean up after people who smoke like chimnies, and the smell is not the best (though I have gotten used to it), but I don’t understand why they can’t just take the nikotene or tar stuff out. will it not be as good? Is the nikotene there as a scam just to get people addicted and buy more cigarettes? There is such thing now as a water vapor cigarette though.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Aster Tobacco contains tar. So even if you roll your own tobacco is not any “healthier” or less bad for one’s lungs. Tar does not belong in the respiratory system.

crisw's avatar

Nicotine, a totally natural alkaloid found in many plants in the nightshade family, is a deadly poison. That’s why it’s in so many insecticides.

It’s a great example of why what is natural is not always what is good for you.

jerv's avatar

I live in a world where cars spew carbon monoxide into the air all around me, I have no fucking clue what is coming out of my sink, and eat stuff I can’t pronounce more often than I like to admit, so I think “harm” is relative and that you need to be a bit more specific.

As a sidenote, I find it hypocritical that almost every rabid anti-smoker I ever saw/heard drives a car and thus spews more toxins than a hundred smokers while complaining about second-hand smoke, yet they ignore logic and facts and single out smokers while leaving cars alone.

crisw's avatar


That’s a red herring argument- plus, two wrongs still don’t make a right.

jerv's avatar

@crisw So ban cigarettes and cars. As far as I am concerned, smoking is no worse than cars or many other things, so I see no “red herring” there… except for the “Smoking is more dangerous than stuff you already put into your body every day!” fallacy.

Don’t get me wrong, smoking isn’t healthy. I never thought it was. I just don’t see it as terribly unhealthy in the grand scheme of things.

JmacOroni's avatar

I smoke like a chimney, so I know it is bad for me. I feel the effects of how bad it is for me. One of these days I’ll quit.
However, as @jerv insinuates.. I feel like it is blown way out of proportion.

augustlan's avatar

As a long-time smoker who still smokes, I absolutely know it’s bad for me. I have not a doubt in my mind.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Tobacco is radioactive. The fertilizer used to grow tobacco breaks down into radioactive polonium and lead, which attaches to the trichomes on the tobacco plant, which causes a radioactive spot on your lungs, which is possibly the biggest reason for cancer from tobacco.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have always believed that any smoke inhaled into your body is not going to be good for your health regardless of whether the actual tobacco leaves themselves are harmless or not.

Seelix's avatar

@Leanne1986‘s got it. No matter what it is that’s burning, smoke is caused by something burning, and if you inhale it, you’re inhaling carbon monoxide and, depending on the composition of the burning material, all kinds of other chemicals, not to mention ash particles. Any kind of smoke, inhaled, will produce some kind of adverse effect.

jerv's avatar

@Leanne1986 @Seelix And now you know why I don’t like internal combustion engines.

@chris6137 And what about the stuff you eat or the water from your tap? Also bear in mind that not all tobacco is done that way; USDA-certified organic stuff doesn’t have that problem.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

@jerv I absolutely agree about food and water also.
Do you know of any studies on the comparison of tobacco related illnesses from organic and non-organic tobacco?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@chris6137 Tobacco, organic or not, still has tar…see my link about tar and the cilia in your respiratory tract above.

trailsillustrated's avatar

haha NO. but I smoke em anyway. I love em. I love the scary pix on the packets too.

jerv's avatar

@SpatzieLover You ought to see some of the stuff I work with. On second thought, as nasty as Kolene™ is, even office workers are not immune. Have you ever seen the MSDS for White-out?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jerv I do agree that other awful chemicals exist in our daily lives.

I just happen to be the product of second hand smoke…had pneumonia as kid was hospitalized, and have had respiratory infections often just getting over another one. I do not think highly of cigarettes or tobacco companies.

I did have a grandpa that rolled his own, and he never had a smoking related illness in all of his 96yrs.

I had the dearest, funniest uncle that smoked the sweetest smelling pipe…he died way too soon due to leukemia.

blueiiznh's avatar

@jerv Do you drive a car or ride a bike or a horse?
@jerv If you read the labels on food and have issue with the ingredients, do you choose to not buy it or buys it?
@jerv Do you buy any water or drink in plastic bottles?
You do have choices.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@blueiiznh I don’t think he’s saying there aren’t other options; he was saying that it is hypocritical of anyone who drives a car on a daily basis to bash smokers for polluting the air with toxins.

jerv's avatar


blueiiznh's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate but it was @jerv that made the statement “As far as I am concerned, smoking is no worse than cars or many other things,”
Yes, we have choices, but second hand smoke is not about exhausting it into the atmosphere. It is about subjecting others in close or closed proximity to be forced to breath in the smoke.

jerv's avatar

@blueiiznh Do you not live anywhere near where there are any cars? Bear in mind that they put out about a lungful worth of pollutants an average of 60 times a second (Many cars have 4-cylinder engines, so at 1,800 RPM, that is 30 revs/second and two exhaust strokes per revolution. The average human has a tidal lung volume of about 0.5 liters, or the same as one cylinder of a 2-liter four-cylinder engine.) and that much volume can cover a lot more area than a dozen guys casually puffing on cigarettes. Enough volume, in fact, to render your argument moot, especially if any of those vehicles are older diesels or F-series trucks, or are not in great condition. I can often smell an older F-series a block away from the unburned fuel coming out of the exhaust (a very distinctive odor) and if I can do that then maybe you should rethink your definition of “close proximity”.

I can see your argument about second-hand smoke as conditionally having merit, but I live in a state where smoking indoors or even within 25 feet of an entrance to a public building is illegal yet I hear the same arguments about outdoors smoking. That somehow a couple of guys outside the bar having a smoke are hurting people’s lungs worse than the dozens of cars whizzing by less than ten feet away.

blueiiznh's avatar

@jerv can you send me a link for your information please. So if you are within a block of an older F-series diesel, you are in danger? Does this compare to a person subjected to second hand smoke where they have no choice?
What does “conditionally having merit mean”? The question was about it being inside and contained.
Have you lost anyone close to you because of lung cancer due to second hand smoke?

jerv's avatar

1) About the same danger, except that you also have to add in the other cars in the area too. The risks of traffic have more to back them up than the risks of second-hand smoke. Then again, I have pretty much taken the dangers of car exhaust to be so common sense and seen so much supporting evidence over the years that I not only assume it to be common knowledge, but also cannot understand how anybody who is so concerned about second-hand smoke could possibly not know enough about other respiratory hazards and pollutants to have a fair and balanced opinion. Therefore, I assume bias.

2) You really don’t want to get into the whole “choice” argument with me. Especially not today.

3) It means that I can see some instances where you have at least a leg to stand on and others where you don’t.

4) I saw no such clause in the original question. Please don’t make stuff up.

5) Have you lost anyone close to you because of brain cancer due to cellphone use? The links are about as conclusive, the risks about the same. An argumentum ad misericordiam will not only not work on me, but will also undermine your credibility and erode the respect I have for you.

blueiiznh's avatar

@jerv 1)Sorry the article does not list any definitive studies. All speculation.
2)Why not today?
3)If you are going to debate the subject, list the agree and disagree points versus a blanket conditional merit. Being vague does not boslter the point. The tobacco industry was originally vague on many points on purpose.
4)I believe I was answering in reply to your statements. So you have proved the point on where or who made things up.
5)Actually, I have and will also advocate about the need for utilizing headsets as opposed to putting it next to your head. This is about fact, not pity. I was sincere about my question. A significant events like this can make you open your eyes and view things quite differently and stand for things more if you have had a direct personal hit because of it. I apologize if I had to explain where my stand comes from as opposed to it just being taken on face value.

jerv's avatar

1) Same with second-hand smoke. I’ve seen too much contrary evidence over the years to be convinced one way or the other.

2) That is a bit of a sore point with me, and not something that can be debated in a civil manner; migraines make me more irritable than usual.

I will get to the rest later, but its time to return to work.

jerv's avatar

Okay, I’m back for a moment.

3) Yes, but not as vague as the second-hand smoke people. Considering the state of the environment today along with knowing the role genetics and chance play, I don’t think the studies this far have controlled for variables enough for me to get off the fence.

5) Taking things at face value depends on perspective. Things look different from different angles; I can’t see my car’s headlights when I an behind it.

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