Monday, April 25, 2011

Okay, you're giving the game away.

I heard a newscaster use the term "third-hand smoke" the other day, and I thought to myself "Surely this is a joke." So I went to the Google, and no, apparently it's not.

Not having made filthy tobacco completely illegal by telling people that it harms them, they went to the tactic of pointing out that second-hand smoke harms others. While I question the actual physical risk of second-hand smoke in a world full of diesel fumes and UV rays, I can coexist with a world of smoke-free facilities and designated smoking sections; heck, I step outside to smoke at home out of courtesy to my roommate. But that's not really what the do-gooders want: They want to stamp out tobacco. To make it as inaccessible for your average Joe or Jane as marijuana and as shunned and unfashionable among the beautiful people as cocaine and heroin.

So now comes Third Hand Smoke. See, there are special poisons in the devil's weed that will cling to the clothing of a smoker for weeks or months like fallout from Chernobyl, until they find a pregnant woman. And then they will leap off the smoker, shoulder past the environmental residue from dry-cleaning chemicals and toilet bowl cleaners, jump on the mom-to-be and worm their way into the unborn baby's lungs, causing who-knows-what havoc. Why, it's a wonder we were born with any lungs at all back when everybody smoked!

The more I learn how fragile these unborn babies are, the more I wonder that there were any live births at all on this planet before about 1998.

Pardon me, doc, your agenda is showing.


Living in Babylon said...


CoolChange©© said...

A big thank you for that! You snark good!

McVee said...

next; intelligent smoke.

Joseph said...

First, I do believe cocaine and heroin ARE fashionable amongst the beautiful people, that is if TMZ is to be believed.

Second, I find it highly (pun intended) amusing that all the negative properties of regular tabacco cigarettes don't apply to Mary Jane. Hell, a week ago it was some sort of love-fest of all things hemp. We should legalize it and herald those who grow/distribute it as heroes. Not that it was ever mentioned how much money those folks profit from it, they're heroes I tell ya. Oh, if you don't agree, you're a moron, did I mention that?

Tam said...


"First, I do believe cocaine and heroin ARE fashionable amongst the beautiful people, that is if TMZ is to be believed."

Perhaps sometimes I am a bit too dry. ;)

staghounds said...

Meanwhile, how many actual babies were returned today to the mothers who permitted them to be actually assaulted or injured?

How many babies died, today, because they didn't have clean water?

The more I think about it, the more I believe these people not only don't care about the people they talk about helping, nor do they actually want to eliminate tobacco.

They just want a cause, an unknowable thing to assert.

Hate of tobacco fills their God shaped hole.

And of course grant money fires up the researchers, you get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Huh. Remember how the troops in the Big War would hand out cigs to the euro-peasants? We could pass 'em out like candy in say, Iran and Syria; put a stop to birthin' all them little Achmeds and save us all a lot of hassle down the line.

What? You say they already smoke anything that grows and the mini-tangos keep popping out like tokin's (heh) from a lucky slot machine? Oh...well thanks anyway for the all your scientific research, there, do-gooders.


nbc said...


Dick Puddlecote has been ridiculing this and other health scares for some time now.

For example, or this.

Oh, language warning. Extreme Anglo-Saxon in use)

Anonymous said...

Since I know people older than I whose moms A. Smoked. B. Drank moderately most of the way through pregnancy... ( long before both were BAD BAD BAD)

I tend to take the medical communities and (even more so) the medical advocacy creeps with a grain of salt.

TomcatTCH said...

I hate being in a smokey environment. I handle this by not thrusting myself into them.
I know, I know, that's not what the modern man is supposed to do.

I believe I'm supposed to go to the smokiest place I can find and demand they respect my right of forcing them to stop doing something I don't like.

I think that's how it's supposed to work.

Instead, I just don't hang out in smoke filled areas.

I find it to be so much simpler.

Anonymous said...

People, People, People!
You're missing the point.
It isn't about controlling tobacco, It's about controlling YOU.
Tobacco, guns, auto emissions, zoning laws, etc...
Soon, you won't be allowed to cut your (non-hemp) grass without a permit and you'll be fined if you don't get that permit and cut it.
Already, you can't fill in a swampy area on your property because you're destroying a "wetland."
It's all about control.

Anonymous said...

Anon has it just about right.

They're not particularly out to stamp out tobacco.

They just happen to be in the stamping business, and tobacco is a good target right now.

Don't worry; when they're done with tobacco they'll move on to something else (already are, in fact).

Carmel IN

Anonymous said...

We need to wage war on smoking like we have done to drug use, drunk driving, poverty, cancer, childhood dieases, racism and hunger.

That should assure you another 500 years of smoking pleasure.


Stretch said...

Don't forget Second Party Sexual Harassment.
No, I'm not making it up. Way too depressing to write about. Just goggle it.

Robin said...

The whole "second hand smoke" issue was a fraud created from destroying epidemeology for political purposes.

Correlations that were never accepted in medical science were heralded as proof of causation of disease from second hand smoke exposures.

Sport Pilot said...

I tire of this PC society we exist within, but given that its all we have I endure. As to 2nd hand smoke,well it does create problems, but as you so correctly point out so do many other chemicals and fumes as well. Me, I don't smoke, never have, tolerate those who do and avoid their tobacco smoke when they indulge. Both my parent's life spans were shortened from smoking so I dislike it, but this is still a free country and though limited more and more freedom of choice is still in place. Good post Ms. Tam

Bubblehead Les. said...

I always find it interesting that, even though Big Tobacco is considered as great a threat to the Existence to the Human Race as (Fill in the Blank), I've yet to hear of any effort to Ban the Evil Death Sticks that also would require the removal of the Tax Revenue. Guess the Political Class have no problem spending the cash that comes from the sale of these Instruments of Death. Wonder what they would do if everyone just Quit, and that Cash Cow went Hooves Up?

Mikael said...

I know people who won't let people ride in their car, if they've smoked in the last 20 minutes, because apparently you keep exhaling second hand smoke that long. I wonder who made that up.

Tam said...


I can understand if somebody doesn't like the smell of cigarette smoke. It's their car, after all, they get to choose who rides in it.

I wouldn't want someone who'd just stepped in dog crap to ride in mine, but I wouldn't try to come up with bogus medical reasons for it, I'd just say "Dude, your shoes stink."

Anonymous said...

People like to feel virtuous, and nothing brings on that warm, fuzzy glow of Selfless Virtue like hating something bad. Tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, Jews, blacks, commies, neocons... Most people can get their virtue high from something.

Will said...


Try using a particle counter. They go crazy around recent smokers. Not sure about the twenty minutes. The old rule of thumb was at least ten minutes. About the same time a smoker was loading their lungs. Smokers are a problem around precision optics and chip manufacturing Clean Rooms for this reason.
One of the first jobs I had was driving cars out of a car wash, and cleaning the inside of the windshield. Regular customers every week. We used white rags, and it would turn a yellow-brown color. I would have to use more than one to get it all off the glass. Then I would have to clean the top of the dash. Might go through 5 of those hand-towel sized rags to clean a heavy smokers car.

mongo78 said...

If there is a silver lining to the impending economic collapse and low-level civil war, it's that fripperies like this sort of nonsense will disappear along with our First-World status.

I mean, it's hard to spend a lot of time worrying about umpteen-hand smoke when you spend eighteen hours a day just looking for your next meal.

Justthisguy said...

My Mom smoked, prolly all the time she was gestating me. I used to feel put-upon when she would send me out to buy cigarettes for her, when I was seven years old, or so. "These are for my Mom, honest!" I said. Imagine trying that these days.

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is inaccessible?


Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me) said...

"It is appointed unto Man once to die, but after this, comes the Judgement." (from the Holy Bible, not sure of book and verse).

In other words, we're all going to die from something, so get right with God thru Jesus, his Son and His sacrifice on the Cross and His Resurrection, or spend eternity in Hell.

God's really not that interested how you got to the Pearly Gates, but whether you have accepted His gift of salvation and eternal life through the Sacrifice of His Son. This dithering about second, or third, or even fourth-hand smoke is pure foolishness.

Tam said...


"Marijuana is inaccessible?"

See my response to Joseph above. ;)

Brad K. said...

@ Croatalus,

What a particularly poignant time of year, just at Easter, to share this aspect of worrying about avoidable causes of diseases, death, and confiscatory taxation.

Easter, according to the Lutheran Hymnal I recall reading, falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon, after the Vernal (spring) Equinox. Huh. Sounds almost like the Church of the time, some centuries after the time of Christ, invented a Rite to occur when the Pagans observed their spring and fertility celebration.

Why, I might imagine that the fertility symbols of eggs/chicks, rabbits, and rich foods (chocolate) might have even survived the transition.

On the other hand, we learn that picking bubbles of mercury in our hands and looking closely at it is bad, we learned that sitting downwind of camp fires is a tradeoff of bug bites versus smoke inhalation, and that people get sick when getting accustomed to tobacco, almost like it is a mild to moderate poison.

As for second hand smoke, consider how smoke is used to penetrate animal skins, routinely, to make leather.

And, yes, I need to shower and change all my clothes to get the smell off, after visiting a smoker.

@ Will, Mikael,

I have a neighbor that is scared to drive on the highway. I rode with her one night - and I can see why. She chain smokes, and not only doesn't see that well at night, she smokes while driving and won't clean the windows. The glare and distortion was truly intimidating. I don't ride with her anymore.

atlharp said...

I knew America was dead when I couldn't smoke a cigar after eating a steak. In all seriousness, they sure hate smoking, but they love that tax money! In reality, if everyone quit smoking the .gov would be handing out packs of smokes in a maternity ward!

Tam said...

Brad K.,

That stance would carry a lot more weight with me if any of the people who were truly scared of the possible lingering toxic effects of cigarette smoke didn't live in homes full of far more potent carcinogens.

For most, it's just a healthy, modern, politically-correct way to hate niccers: A dollop of concern atop a huge sundae of superiority.

Tam said...


"I knew America was dead when I couldn't smoke a cigar after eating a steak."

While sitting next to an open grille.

Tobacco smoke is like Flintstones vitamins when compared to the vapors from charred animal flesh...

mariner said...

Perhaps sometimes I am a bit too dry. ;)

A little vermouth will cure that.

Bram said...

Third-hand-smoke falls into the same catagory as BO, bad-breath, and flatulance. While all seem to be acceptable for Frenchmen, please keep the stinks at a distance from me out of courtesy.

Otherwise I will have the Jamacian Black Bean soup for lunch and launch a massive counterstrike.

Larry said...

Nothing worse in the world than a reformed smoker.
(which I are one, but I don't hold it against anyone who isn't)
mmmm...charred animal flesh...

TimP said...

@ Brad K.

"Sounds almost like the Church of the time, some centuries after the time of Christ, invented a Rite to occur when the Pagans observed their spring and fertility celebration."

Yeah, that's totally why the early church decided on that date, and it's definitely not because all of the gospels record when Jesus was executed and [allegedly, if you prefer] rose from the dead; namely the Friday immediately before and the Sunday immediately after the 14th of Nisan, which checking my Jewish calendar (Wikipedia) falls on the first Full moon after the Spring Equinox.

Even if it was true though what would it prove? A lot of converts would have still wanted to celebrate with their family when they used to hold a celebration; if the early Church did not have a date setting it to coincide with the traditional celebrations is about as nefarious as Atheists with no Christian family members still getting together on Christmas.

Back on topic:

Yeah smokers smell bad, and there is a trivial health risk of second hand smoke, but there are lots of other (not as smelly) sources of such air-borne contaminants which we don't worry about near as much. I suspect the reason it's harped on so much is something that Blunt Object talks about a lot; essentially certain things (Cigarettes, cheap alcohol, but not Fancy wines, cheap fatty foods, but not creme brulee) are "low-status", so anyone who want's to prove themselves as being a "high-status" have to oppose them (or at least most of them, you can get away with a few vices).

Drang said...

Hows come Third Hand cigarette smoke is death incarnate, but the only health threat the Surgeon General noted from moderate (<5/day) cigar or pipe smoking was an increase in oral cancer so slight as to be of debatable statistical significance?