Thirdhand smoke damages human health


This 14 May 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

On Call For All Kids – The Dangers of Thirdhand Smoke

Many people are familiar with what firsthand and secondhand smoke is, but have you heard of thirdhand smoke? This can be dangerous to adults, teens, children, pregnant moms, adults with respiratory illnesses and even pets.

Jasmine Reese, M.D., an adolescent medicine specialist and the director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Specialty Clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, shares issues that impact children as a result of thirdhand smoke.

Learn more: here.

From the University of California – Riverside in the USA:

Scientists find thirdhand smoke affects cells in humans

June 28, 2019

Thirdhand smoke can damage epithelial cells in the respiratory system by stressing cells and causing them to fight for survival, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found. The finding could assist physicians treating patients exposed to thirdhand smoke.

“Our data show that cells in humans are affected by thirdhand smoke,” said Prue Talbot, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, who led the research. “The health effects of THS, have been studied in cultured cells and animal models, but this is the first study to show a direct effect of thirdhand smoke on gene expression in humans.”

Study results appear in JAMA Network Open.

Thirdhand smoke, or THS, results when exhaled smoke and smoke emanating from the tip of burning cigarettes settles on surfaces such as clothing, hair, furniture, and cars. Not strictly smoke, THS refers to the residues left behind by smoking.

“THS can resurface into the atmosphere and can be inhaled unwillingly by nonsmokers,” said Giovanna Pozuelos, the first author of the research paper and a graduate student in Talbot’s lab. “It has not been widely studied, which may explain why no regulations are in place to protect nonsmokers from it.”

The researchers obtained nasal scrapes from four healthy nonsmokers who had been exposed to THS for three hours in a laboratory setting at UC San Francisco. The UCR researchers then worked to get good quality RNA from the scrapes — necessary to examine gene expression changes. RNA sequencing identified genes that were over- or under-expressed. They found 382 genes were significantly over-expressed; seven other genes were under-expressed. They then identified pathways affected by these genes.

“THS inhalation for only three hours significantly altered gene expression in the nasal epithelium of healthy nonsmokers,” Pozuelos said. “The inhalation altered pathways associated with oxidative stress, which can damage DNA, with cancer being a potential long-term outcome. It’s extremely unlikely a three-hour exposure to THS would cause cancer, but if someone lived in an apartment or home with THS or drove a car regularly where THS was present, there could be health consequences.”

Because gene expression in the nasal epithelium is similar to the bronchial epithelium, the researchers note that their data is relevant to cells deeper in the respiratory system. In the samples they studied, the researchers also found that brief THS exposure affected mitochondrial activity. Mitochondria are organelles that serve as the cell’s powerhouses. If left unchecked, the observed effects would lead to cell death.

Pozuelos explained that the team focused on the nasal epithelium because the nasal passage is one way THS can enter people’s lungs. The other common exposure route is through the skin, which the researchers did not study, but plan to in the future.

Already, the researchers are working with groups in San Diego, California, and Cincinnati to study long-term exposure to THS, made possible with access to homes where people are being exposed to THS.

“Many people do not know what THS is,” said Talbot, the director of the UCR Stem Cell Center. “We hope our study raises awareness of this potential health hazard. Many smoking adults think, ‘I smoke outside, so my family inside the house will not get exposed.’ But smokers carry chemicals like nicotine indoors with their clothes. It’s important that people understand that THS is real and potentially harmful.”

Big Tobacco influencing governments’ tobacco policy


This 2017 video says about itself:

3 June 2017

Smoking kills. So if you’re in an industry where your product is damaging the health of people who buy it and they know it, then you should in theory go out of business. But shares in companies listed in the Bloomberg tobacco producers index have risen 351% since 2009, making it one of the best investments of the past decade.

Graphic warning labels and taxes seem to have some impact on reducing the number of smokers but less so on industry profits which keep rising. And investors can’t quit buying the stocks because operating profits continue to go up.

Different tax regimes around the world mostly account for the difference in price. But governments are not as hooked as the consumers who buy cigarettes. Consumers cough up for higher prices because they crave the drug in tobacco – nicotine. Without nicotine, addiction there would be no tobacco industry.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

How the tobacco industry ‘extends its tentacles all over the government

Marc Willemsen, professor … at the University of Maastricht names, eg, an employers’ organization such as VNO-NCW [the biggest bosses’ organisation speaking for many types of industries]. “It represents strongly the interests of the tobacco industry.” …

That lobbying is done at national politics in The Hague, but also at European Union level. An internal document of Philip Morris mentioned about hundreds of MEPs which lobbying techniques they were sensitive to, revealed TV program Radar Extra in December 2017.

Tobacco giants such as Philip Morris also make funds available for research.

Philip Morris tobacco and Dutch Bergen op Zoom local authority: here.

Smoking, from royal promotion to doctors’ objection


Karel I cigars box

This photo shows a decades old Dutch cigar box, of the brand Karel I. The upper left corner of the box says ‘Hofleverancier’, meaning that this cigar factory had a royal warrant of appointment. The factory does not exist anymore.

Karel I is the Dutch name for Charles I, king of England (1600-1649); depicted on the case. The cigars were named after that monarch as he encouraged smoking because he could get money from taxing it. Charles I’s father, King James I, had hated tobacco.

Karel I cigar band

There is also tobacco named after Charles I’s son, King Charles II.
King Charles II tobacco

In the 20th century, Dutch school children were asked a question, to which the correct reply was King Charles II. One pupil replied: ‘Karel I’. The teacher said: ‘Wrong. Karel I is a cigar’. Another pupil said: ‘Karel de eerste’ (=King Charles I; in Dutch one should name him ‘de eerste’, ‘the first’. Saying ‘I’= ‘one’ like the first pupil did was grammatically wrong for a prince’s name). The teacher said: ‘Wrong. Karel de eerste was de sigaar, as he was beheaded.’ In Dutch the saying ‘was de sigaar’ means ‘became a victim’.

Willem II cigar box

There also used to be, and still is, another Dutch cigar brand: Willem II. It is called after a contemporary of English kings Charles I and II: William II, 1626-1650, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic and prince of Orange. The crown depicted on the box should refer to the small principality Orange in France; as stadtholders did not have princely powers in the Republic.

Willem II is also the name of a Dutch premier league football club. But that club is named after a different Willem II: King William II of the Netherlands, 1792-1849.

Now, in the 21st century, smoking is not as popular anymore as in the days of King Charles I or the early twentieth century.

This 1 February 2018 Dutch TV video says about itself (translated):

The University Medical Center Groningen joins the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in suing the tobacco industry. The hospital reported this on Radio 1 on Thursday morning. It is suing them for serious abuse. According to the hospitals, the fight against cancer is extremely uphill, as long as the tobacco manufacturers wantonly make people addicted. It is the first time in the Netherlands that hospitals make declarations because of severe abuse. The hospitals are assisted by lawyer Bénédicte Ficq.