A molecule of desperation

I came across a little article today which cheered me up immensely.

They have done a "study" into third hand smoke.

Naturally they have discovered that it is the most lethal stuff imaginable and causes more deaths than the Hiroshima bomb.

When you are setting out to find something that you have already convinced yourself is there, then it is a simple enough process to find it.  These "scientists" did so by rolling out a gas chromatograph which, by my understanding of these matters is an extremely sensitive machine and is generally used to search for specific elements.  For example, you don't ask the device to itemise the colours in a photograph, you ask it if the colour green is present.  So these "scientists" set out to specifically search for certain compounds, and of course they found them.  I lay very heavy odds that if they set out top find Plutonium in my sitting room that they would find a molecule or two?

So having proved their preconceived notions they announce that people's home are full of deadly chemicals which they attribute to "third hand smoke".  What I would like to know is how they know that tobacco smoking caused those elements to be present.  I know for a fact that my home is brim-full of highly toxic materials, from radioactive gas, through lead, up to arsenic and beyond.  How do I know?  Because if you look hard enough, you'll find these things everywhere – in the air we breath, in the soil we grow our food in and on every surface we touch.  The world is full of toxins caused by pollution, chemicals, nuclear tests and by the earth itself.

I have a suggestion and a question for these so called "experts".

My question is the old one I have asked so many times in the past and yet no one has answered – if the residue from smoking is so damned dangerous how come people who lived in the last century are still alive?  Smoking was rampant, so called second hand smoke was everywhere and the residue must have lain thick on every surface, so according to all these recent "studies" we should all be dead by now from cancer and heart attacks?  Yet those generations are living longer than any previous generations?

My suggestion is that before they start involving themselves in the myth of third hand smoke, that they try and prove there is any danger in second hand smoke.  This is something they have singularly failed to do, relying of cherry-picked statistics which to date have suggested that second hand smoke is less carcinogenic than tap water.

They really are getting desperate.



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A molecule of desperation — 12 Comments

  1. Hi Grandad,

    You've got this exactly right. This is the kind of technology we use to show that the vast majority of banknotes contain cocaine residue and yet handling them doesn't deem to get people high. We've also got studies from some reputable universities showing that second hand smoke is harmless and yet the Daily Wail is now interested in third hand smoke. As a smoker, I guess the best way for you to refute this study is to round up some non-smokers and get them to smoke your curtains and furniture coverings, then get them tested for the presence of nicotine. Maybe the grandkids would help you out with this?

    • On a point of order Hugh, most normal mortals here have never held a sufficient number of banknotes in their hands to test the theory of their attributes of 'Highness' though I expect several million of them together in my home would make me very giddy indeed.

    • Welcome Hugh.  That is an excellent point – no one worries about getting a heroin dose from handling money but my guess is that the level of heroin found on banknotes is considerably higher than any imaginary "smoking residue"?

      As for the grandkids helping out with that little experiment – they can go buy their own cigarettes.

    • Welcome AP [if I may be so bold as to shorten your name somewhat?]  It's the end of just about any second-hand market you can think of.  I almost feel sorry for the smokerphobes – they won't be able to touch anything!

  2. My father smoked 200 cigarettes a week.   My mother smoked 40 cigarettes a week.   I lived with them for 23 years before I was married and moved away.


    I am now 77 years old and fit as a fiddle.   This morning I cycled for 42km and stopped as it was becoming too darn hot.   I will probably have another ride this evening, if it cools down.  (It's 30°C at the moment).

    • So according to this mob in York, you should have imploded years ago?  You do realise you are pedalling in the face of science? 

  3. Stop reading the Daily Mail. That is an activity which will defintitely shorten your life. I have gas chromatographs to prove it.

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