Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Third hand smoke lunacy won't go away

The petite woman smiled briefly as the well-dressed young man stepped into the elevator cab on the ground floor. His office was on the fortieth floor of the high rise office building, and he noted, as he moved in front of the elevator control panel, that the woman was going to the same floor. He turned to the woman with a friendly smile and commented casually: “Looks like we're going in the same direction.”

But, as he turned towards the petite woman, he was surprised to see that she had retreated into the far corner of the elevator cab. She appeared distraught, her mouth agape, eyes bulging . . . and she was whimpering like a baby.

Concerned about the woman's obvious distress, the young man took a step in her direction. “Are you all right, Miss?” He queried. He was totally unprepared for the woman's hysterical reaction.

“Stop!” She cried.”Don't come any closer or I'll . . . I'll scream.”

She stood with her arm extended; her hand open, palm outward as if fending off some invisible menace. The colour had drained from her tear stained cheeks. Then she made good on her threat.

“Help.” She screamed as her knees buckled and she slid slowly to the floor. “Smoker! Smoker! Oh God, somebody help me.” She had a really big voice for such a small woman.

Realizing the source of the woman's distress, the bemused young man glanced at the indicator light above the elevator door. It read eighteen. Another twenty-two floors with this bellowing mad-woman. A mischievous grin spread across his face and he withdrew the pack of Putter's Lights from his shirt pocket.

At the sight of the cigarette pack, the woman stopped screaming. Her mouth continued to open and close, but no sound issued forth.

The young man removed a cigarette from the pack and passed it under his nose, savouring the full, rich smell of the tobacco. Then he offered the unlit cigarette to the terror stricken woman.

When the elevator ground to a halt and the doors opened on the fortieth floor, the young man stepped off the elevator. He glanced over his shoulder at the woman, still slumped on the floor of the elevator cab, mumbling incoherently. He'd call for an ambulance when he got to his office. And, he'd be sure to suggest that they bring a straight-jacket; size small.

Last year, I commented on a “scientific” study about third hand smoke conducted by Dr. Jonathan Winickoff. OK, it wasn't really a scientific study, it was a telephone poll where people were asked if someone smoking in a room tomorrow could kill you today or some other such nonsense.

Winickoff, who coined the term “third hand smoke", claimed that: “Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette or in a hotel room where people were smoking. Your nose isn’t lying, The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: “Get away.”

Winickoff's study got a lot of press coverage around the world. And, e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y knows that, if it is reported on “News at 11”, it must be true.

Global warming, for example, is a serious threat to mankind's very existence. All the news media have reported it, so it must be true. Of course, up here in the Great White North, we're wondering where they're hiding it. After months on end of sub-zero temperatures, we could use a little hit of global warming, man-made or otherwise.

But, I digress. Back to this other insanity; third hand smoke.

On my blog last January, I opined that: “By the end of the month, third hand smoke will be a bigger threat to humanity than atomic weapons. For sure, it will be even more deadly than secondhand smoke which is, in turn, more hazardous than first hand smoke.”

OK. So, it took a little longer than a month. But, according to ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), “another very recent study shows that nicotine exhaled into the air is converted by other common indoor air pollutants into cancer-causing chemicals which can linger on clothing, furniture, draperies, etc. - a new risk being termed "thirdhand smoke". The risk could be comparable to that of smoking."
Damn. In Canada that means another 37,000 bodies a year. Morticians must be rubbing their hands in glee.

The best way to avoid contaminating non-smokers with this new threat is to follow the advice of the anti-smoker cult and quit smoking. Failing that, you should smoke outside, change your clothes after every fag and avoid hugging your children (or grand-children), until you've had a shower.

But, be forewarned, that shower may get you into trouble with the environmentalists. Of growing concern is the threat to the environment posed by LSSR (Liquified Secondhand Smoke Residue), also known as fifth hand smoke . . . or is it sixth hand smoke. No matter, it's serious stuff. Just like third hand smoke.

LSSR, of course, is the contaminated water flushed down the drain after a smoker bathes or washes his/her clothes. Deadly, naturally, because it involves third hand smoke which was once secondhand smoke, a by-product of first hand smoke.

The anti-smoker cult hasn't estimated a death toll due to their newly created third hand smoke hazard. In fact, they haven't even calculated a relative risk factor or determined the diseases from which those exposed to third hand smoke will die. But, you can be sure they're working on it.

We'll explore this issue more in my next post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article! Many of the people who are part of the global warming cult are also part of the anti-smoking cult. The next step will be to blame smoking for the plethora of purported global warming-related problems.