|This is why THEY oppose smoking by we the sheeple.|
TL;DR Synopsis: If you are a long time cigarette smoker of 20 or more years or you know someone who is, and you or the person you know is contemplating quitting, DO NOT QUIT COLD TURKEY. You are far more likely to experience sudden onset of fatal lung tumors, than if you taper off slowly! If you are already in your 70's and have been smoking your whole life, you probably shouldn't even try to quit at all.
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I used to work for a man who smoked from the age of 13 until he died from lung cancer at 73. Probably most folks are related to or know of someone that had a similar story regarding smoking and lung cancer.
Everyone knows cigarettes cause lung cancer, right?
I am now of the opinion that this is only partially true.
See, the man I used to work for had gone to the Doctors after his 73rd birthday for a full body physical. As a life long, retired US Navy man, he had the full coverage and access to the entire medical services and health care provided by the Government. He had blood work, urinalysis, prostate exam, etc.
The Doctor was astounded that he was in such good health for a man his age. Paraphrasing what the Doctor told him after all the testing results were in: "You are in such great health, if you would only quit smoking, you might very well live to be 100!"
For the last 10 years or so, this man had switched to buying bulk organic, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, and smoked about 8-10 a day. He did have a smokers cough, but nothing too bad. He told me that once he had switched to the organic RYO, he no longer woke up every morning hacking and wheezing for 10 minutes or so just to clear out all the darkened mucus that accumulated in his respiratory system while he slept, like when he used to experience when he was a pack a day chain smoker of a popular Big Tobacco brand cigarette.
But inspired by the great health report from his Doctor, he finally decided it was time. He quit cold turkey.
One week later he went to the hospital with pneumonia. Chest X-rays were negative, he just had fluid in his lungs.
One week later, the hospital sent him home to recuperate after a round of antibiotics appeared to treat it and his lungs somewhat cleared up.
One week later he was back in the hospital with a "pneumonia relapse." This time, chest X-rays showed massive tumors in both lungs.
One week later, he was dead.
I did not understand how a man given a total clean bill of health just a month or two prior, could suddenly develop lung cancer so fast.
So I do like I always do when I encounter an enigma that bothers me during sleepless bouts of insomnia, staring at my ceiling and contemplating such thoughts...I started googling.
The following article is a fair representation of the types of articles I found on the first few pages of results - Spontaneous Smoking Cessation Before Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Introduction: We have observed that many patients with lung cancer stop smoking before diagnosis, usually before clinical symptoms, and often without difficulty. This led us to speculate that spontaneous smoking cessation may be a presenting symptom of lung cancer.
This is the general approach I found in numerous articles. Many lung cancer patients quit smoking cold turkey, without much problem (so much for tobacco being as addictive as heroin or crack cocaine...), and with no symptoms of lung cancer whatsoever before they decided to quit.
Conclusions: These results challenge the notion that patients with lung cancer usually quit smoking because of disease symptoms. The hypothesis that spontaneous smoking cessation may be a presenting symptom of lung cancer warrants further investigation.
In other words, it appears to be the consensus view of the Big Healthcare and Big Science researchers that the decision to quit smoking cold turkey is a symptom of the onset of lung cancer... that they seemed to "sense" they were about to develop cancer, so they intuitively quit cold turkey.
As always when it comes to discerning modern science reporting and peer reviewed publishing, the very first thing you must always look for is correlation versus causation. All these reports I read seemed to focus on abrupt smoking cessation as a correlated symptom.
After all, it's already accepted as scientific fact that long term smokers get lung cancer, right?
But then I found this article on the back pages of my google search that appeared to make the case that abrupt cessation may in fact be the causation of lung cancer!
The clinically high correlation between smoking and carcinoma of the lungs has been the focal
point in societal campaigns against the habit and the tobacco lobby. In an overview of per-
sonal history in a number of lung cancer patients locally, we are struck by the more than
casual relationship between the appearance of lung cancer and an abrupt and recent cessation
of the smoking habit in many, if not most cases.
The association is more than just casual-development of cancer within a few months of eschewing cigarette smoking. Over a period of 4 years, a total of 312 cases were treated for carcinoma of pulmonary origin: of this number, 182 patients had quit smoking within 5-15 months prior to their being diagnosed with lung cancer. Of the 182 patients 142 were male and 40 were females, with ages ranged between 47 and 74. Each one of had been addicted to the habit for no less than 25 years, smoking in excess of 20 sticks a day. The striking direct statistical correlation between cessation of smoking to the development of lung malignancies, more than 60% plus, is too glaring to be dismissed as coincidental.
It is our premise that a surge and spurt in re-activation of bodily healing and repair mechanisms of chronic smoke-damaged respiratory epithelia is induced and spurred by an abrupt discontinuation of habit, goes awry, triggering uncontrolled cell division and tumor genesis. In normal tissue healing, anabolic and catabolic processes achieve equilibrium approximately 6-8 weeks after the original insult. When an imbalance occurs between these phases occur in the healing process, disruptions in repair limitations occur leading to tumor genesis this sequence is best exemplified in the formation of keloids from scars.
Nicotine stimulates corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) besides increasing the level of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), both of which interfere with immune systems. Abrupt withdrawal of the addictive drug could trigger derangement of the ‘smoking-steroid’ conferred immunity, priming the healing lung epithelia to dangerous levels uncontrolled cell division.
I'm wondering if this man I used to work for had never listened to his Doctor and never quit smoking....or if he had simply weaned himself off slowly, would he still be alive today?
Perhaps. There are no guarantees in this life, other than the fact that we are all going to die someday.
Needless to say, I know what I think about this topic. If you've been smoking for a long time, and you decide to quit, there are a few things you should probably consider before you do so. Quitting smoking after habituating your body to regular dosing of it for a long period of time, is no doubt a major stress for even an otherwise healthy body to handle. Abrupt cessation after decades of usage is undoubtedly a shock to the body, and one who decides they need to quit, should make sure they are in otherwise good health, not trying to recover or repair from some other major health event or condition, and to slowly taper down over a long period of time.
But if you're like Beatrice Langely, the lady pictured at the top of this post who started smoking at 8 years of age, and you're still puffing away on your 100 birthday, at this point it would be pointless and needlessly stressful to try and quit. If it 'aint broke, don't fix it. If you're one of those who is living a paradoxical life of longevity as a smoker, you may as well stick with your "habit" until the very end.
What do you want to bet Beatrice Langley has outlived a Doctor or two that got after her to quit smoking over the past 90+ years?