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The Choice of Smoking
The Insanity
of Smoke Inhaltion

Posted on May 3, 2013

The perception of smoke being just cast off gases from the combustion of vegetable matter and paper … is a myth. Smoke is more than the cast off chemicals of combustion; smoke is also particles. Very small particulate matter that can damage your lungs during the process of inhaling the smoke of your choice.

The tiny particles, when inhaled are akin to the effects of sandblasting. The tiny air sacs called ‘alveoli’, over time, are damaged and result in the lung diseases known as emphysema and or COPD. Particle accretion and the continual irritation of the lung tissue by smoke also play a part in causing cancer. Lungs can stave off a certain amount of particle invasion, but the habitual inhalation of microscopic particles exceeds the lungs ability to recover.

In reality, smoking is a very unhealthy delivery system for mostly harmless drugs. In the case of tobacco, the act of smoking is more habitually addictive than the drug. You can test this out for yourself. If you are a cigarette smoker, go purchase one of the nicotine laced products at Wal-Mart such as Nicorette Gum or skin absorbing nicotine patches. These products provide the body with nicotine but you will find that the smoking habit is the real elephant in the room. Tobacco smoking is a lot more than just an addiction to a pretty harmless drug.

It seems with so many states legalizing marijuana, that the argument about the harmful effects of THC has been settled. Again, we have a relatively harmless drug using a dangerous delivery system – smoking. There is a case to be made for THC being beneficial. Some of the disorders claimed to being helped by Cannabis are listed below: From Wikipedia Medical Marijuana

“A study done by Craig Reinarman surveyed people in California who used cannabis found they did so for many reasons. Reported uses were for pain relief, muscle spasms, headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, cramps, panic attacks, diarrhea, and itching. Others used cannabis to improve sleep, relaxation, appetite, concentration or focus, and energy. Some patients used it to prevent medication side effects, anger, involuntary movements, and seizures, while others used it as a substitute for other prescription medications and alcohol.”

Smoke inhalation is just one of many ways for getting THC into your body; but do not overlook the damage that can be done by the physical particles that make up smoke. There are many ways to use marijuana other than smoking it.

Every day, our lungs have to put up with what is known as background air-born particulate matter such as dust and pollen. There isn’t much we can do outside to defend against these small particles. However, indoors, we have the option of using air purifiers such as HEPA filter air circulators which do a good job of keeping particulate matter to a minimum. An example of what is drifting around inside your house can be found on the air filters of your air conditioning system when you change them.

Particulate matter that we introduce into our homes include particles from incense burning, candle burning, and the use of unsealed vacuum cleaners that scatter particles into the air. Although the air-filters for your air conditioner were originally meant to keep the evaporator from clogging up, there are now filters that actually help maintain the air quality of the home. They cost a little more but may be well worth the price.

It is very important to recognize the dangers of habitual inhalation of smoke. There are now available electronic cigarettes that use vaporized water to deliver small amounts of nicotine. Water vapor laced with nicotine hasn’t been fully evaluated yet, but it does promise a departure from the particle laced system of smoking. It is a shame that there are no THC cartridges for those electronic cigarettes. (That I know of)

I urge you to go to this link and read about the study done on rats under different conditions. You will also find many related links where you can learn about the scourge of lung disease and cancer caused by smoking. PMC3129947/

I wrote this piece to amplify the terrible consequences of smoke inhalation for any purpose. Readers of the preliminary issue of this article were quick to point out that pot smoking isn’t the same as cigarette smoking in terms of usage. A pot smoker does not continually gorge his lungs with smoke as it only takes a few puffs to get them high.

Although the intent of this piece was not to be a dialogue about pot usage, I stand by the main assertions that inhalation of smoke particles, from any source, is destructive to the pulmonary system. It has been established that most pot smokers, though certainly not all, also smoke cigarettes. Even if you accept the anti-tumor aspects of THC, it is foolish to believe that the particulate damage to the lungs from smoke inhalation is not happening.

Today’s culture unfortunately includes drug use of alcohol, heroin, tobacco, cocaine, marijuana, crack cocaine, and many others including prescription drugs. Each and every drug have their negatives. All have the potential to become psychologically or chemically addictive and can be a real burden in terms of finance and unacceptable behavior.

In Conclusion: Take care of your body. We all have our vices and this piece is not meant to denigrate you because of your choices. But if your vice of choice includes the inhalation of smoke, you may be causing serious harm to your body. For whatever reason you inhale smoke, there are other ways to get the same gratification without sandblasting your lungs with those particles that make up smoke.

To Patsy: Yes, there are people who have smoked all their lives and lived to a ripe old age. But for each of those individuals, there are millions who have not only wrecked their lives, but caused terrible disruptions to the lives of their families and other loved ones.

Robert welcomes your comment to this or any other of my commentaries.

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A Physics Major at the University of Texas
Retired from the offshore drilling industry where he worked as an Electrical Supervisor, Licensed Chief Engineer, and Electrical Designer.

Robert Writes for 2 Online Magazines and three private web sites.
Interests include computers, Cosmology, Evolution, and Environmental Research.

Robert welcomes your input whether you agree or not, and will respond via published commentary to all responsible comments.

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