Friday, May 27, 2011


As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.
Proverbs 10:26

Smoking has been around from antiquity and has been a part of the culture in nearly every continent.  It doesn’t take much research to see the damage it does to the body.  In many countries around the world it has been banned in most public places, as it has been seen as distasteful to those who have to inhale its awful smell. Smoking produces dark lips, yellow teeth, yellow fingers, bad breath and a horrible odour that comes out of the pores of the body.  It also poisons the blood. Despite the clear warnings on cigarette packets that ‘SMOKING KILLS’, it is the leading cause of lung cancer in the developed world.  It is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the U.K. and the number one cancer diagnosed among both men and women in the U.S.

Despite the new hype in health awareness and the many anti-smoking ads, they still have to compete with the glamorization of smoking by celebrities.  A celebrity can effect change in behavioral patterns on the public more effectively than any politician can ever do. 
In the late 1990’s a health report came out in Britain exposing the dangers of smoking and its promotion and glamorisation in some of the major motion pictures.
Many of these celebrities are on this new conscious trend: adopting orphaned children (Madonna, Angelina Jolie); awareness of the environment (Leonardo DiCaprio; James Cameron); human rights abuses (George Clooney, Don Cheadle); Aids in Africa (Alicia Keyes); animal cruelty (Eva Mendes, Alicia Silverstone), etc.  But they all contradict themselves by the films and music videos they make, that rakes in a huge profit and which glamourises adultery, violence and immorality.  How can they promote one thing through their art and then try to make people conscious of its dangers in another breath, that’s an oxymoron.  An English film critic highlights the damning report and proves that celebrities are just pawns to promote a product.

Smoking can be bad for us, but its good for film-makers.  The last Bond Film, Tomorrow Never Dies, contained blatant plugs for several brands of cigarette.  And when Timothy Dalton lit up a particular brand in his last Bond Movie, License to Kill, the film received a payment of £350,000.
A report this week by Britain’s Health Education Authority has confirmed that the promotion of smoking within feature films is rife, and on the increase.
Yet between 1990 and 1995, the incidents of smoking in the top ten movies of the year rose very dramatically, from 83 to 298; and the featuring cigarette brand names sextupled.  A recent report from the American Lung Association found that 77pc of current releases show tobacco use.
Glamorous stars…are being used to promote an image of smoking as spirited, cool and rebellious – imagery which, curiously enough, precisely corresponds to that promoted by tobacco advertising.  It seems insidious to forbid audiences from smoking in cinemas yet for films to encourage them irresponsibly to smoke everywhere else.
Real women who smoke have a much higher chance of respiratory and heart diseases and lung cancer, plus a greater risk of infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, entopic pregnancy and osteoporosis.  But you’d never know that from the movies. (1)                       

It is not just the movies that promote smoking as cool or sexy in the field of entertainment, there is another genre just as influential, especially on youth.  It is Hip-Hop whose art form is rap.  Rap was once an obscure underground art form and it has transformed itself since the 1990s into a multi-million dollar making industry whose influence is just as destructive as Hollywood.  Its music videos which are like short films, not only promotes lawlessness but also glorifies tobacco smoking as well as marijuana smoking, but its listeners are totally unaware of the dangers of the inhaling of those poisonous drugs.  Recent research has proved its dangers:

According to a recent study, Hip-Hop music may be responsible for an increase in smoking amongst teens it was recently revealed.
Over 75% of the most popular Hip-Hop songs of 2005 contained some kind of explicit reference to using drugs, alcohol or tobacco, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
The Pittsburgh School of Medicine also found that 48 out of 62 rap songs studied as part of a larger look at music in general, contained one or more references to substance use.
The study examined Billboard’s 279 most popular songs of 2005, finding that a 41.6 % of those songs had a drug reference of some kind.
"Overall, 116 of the 279 unique songs had a substance use reference of any kind," wrote the researchers. "Ninety-three songs (33.3%) contained explicit substance use references."
"Only four songs contained explicit anti-use messages, and none portrayed substance abuse refusal," the study also found. "Most songs with substance use (68%) portrayed more positive than negative consequences."
The researchers found that the use of drugs and alcohol was associated with partying in 54% of the songs, followed by sex, violence and/or humor as the most popular associations.
It was most often motivated by peer or societal pressure and sex; with most of the positive consequences described being social, sexual, financial or emotional.

When the 279 song were broken down by genre, researchers did find a wide difference in the overall rate of references, finding one or more references to drugs in 77% of Hip-Hop songs, 36% of country songs, 20% of R&B songs, 14% of rock songs and 9% of pop songs. (2)

'One of the most spectacular examples of the epidemiology is its role in revealing the deadly effects of smoking. During the 1940s, health officials witnessed a truly shocking increase in a once-rare disease - lung cancer. Between 1922 and 1947, cases in the UK increased from around 600 to 9000 - a 15 - fold increase.
In the UK, researchers Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill ... in 1950, they published powerful evidence that cigarette smoking was the principal cause of the epidemic of lung cancer cases - those who smoked more were found to face a much higher risk of lung cancer. Doll and Bradford Hill followed up their study with what was to become one of the most famous projects in the history of medicine: the British Doctors Doctors Study.
This time they set up a so-called cohort study, in which over 40,000 physicians in the UK reported on their health via questionnaires. Within just a few years, Doll and Bradford Hill had confirmed that doctors who smoked faced a far higher risk of death from cancer, along with a significant increase of risk of heart disease.
By the time the study finished in 2001, there was no longer any room for doubt: smoking kills and stopping early can add years to life expectancy.
Smoking will kill eight million people each year by 2030, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). More than six million will die this year, including 600,000 non-smokers.
The WHO fears that governments around the world are not doing enough to discourage the habit.' 

How can this disgusting habit be defeated?  There are many who don’t care and have the attitude of “I’m going to die anyway”, but there are others who want strength to combat this addiction.  The best advice that is free is from the late North American herbalist Jethro Kloss (1863-1946).  He saw the dangers of smoking, the effect it had on the body and how it could be defeated.  Here are some excerpts from his book:

The poisons in tobacco very readily find their way into the bloodstream, and anything that affects the blood affects every organ and every tissue of the body.  It greatly harms the blood corpuscles, has a very damaging effect on the nervous system, causing poor circulation.  Smoking is not only the main cause of cancer of the lungs, it also causes other serious lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis.  Persons suffering from tuberculosis, palpitation of the heart, irregular pulse, cancer, inactivity of the skin, or paralysis of the nervous system who use tobacco in any form, will find that theses ills may in many cases be traced directly to the use of the tobacco.  Medical workers see the truth of the above statements lived out before their eyes every day.
The following treatment will be found extremely successful in curing anyone of the habit.

  • Go on a diet of fruit juices and vegetable broths for a period of eight to fifteen days.  Vegetable broth is very nourishing and is therefore helpful in keeping up the strength.
  • Take plenty of hot baths, warm enough so that you perspire freely; at least one a day.  Finish with a cold towel rub or spray.  Copious drinking of water while in the tub helps one to perspire more.  Poisons are given off through the skin by means of perspiration.
  • Red clover tea is very effective in cleansing the system.  Use the blossoms, one teaspoonful to a cup of boiling water.  Steep, and drink from five to twelve cups a day.  Magnolia tea is specifically used for curing the tobacco habit.  Also, myrtle leaves and seeds. (5)
God did not design the human body to be abused in any way, shape or form and if it is looked after properly, we would be able to stop the illnesses that afflict our bodies to have no stronghold in our lives.

Source: (1) Daily Mail, Thursday, February 19, 1998; 
(3) BBC Knowledge, May/June 2011; (4) NEW STATESMAN, 6 June 2011; (5) Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss pp. 435, 436

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