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Surgeon General: 1 Cigarette Can Kill You

Some dictation from the federal government, courtesy of the stenographers at an unquestioning Associated Press:

Surgeon general: 1 cigarette is 1 too many

December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Think the occasional cigarette won’t hurt? Even a bit of social smoking — or inhaling someone else’s secondhand smoke — could be enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack, says the newest surgeon general’s report on the killer the nation just can’t kick.

Lung cancer is what people usually fear from smoking, and yes, that can take years to strike. But Thursday’s report says there’s no doubt that tobacco smoke begins poisoning immediately — as more than 7,000 chemicals in each puff rapidly spread through the body to cause cellular damage in nearly every organ.

"That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack," said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

Or the one that triggers someone else’s: "I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can," she said.

About 443,000 Americans die from tobacco-caused illnesses every year. While the smoking rate has dropped dramatically since 1964, when the first surgeon general’s report declared tobacco deadly, progress has stalled in the past decade. About 46 million adults — one in five — still smoke, and tens of millions more are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. The government had hoped to drop the smoking rate to 12 percent by this year, a goal not only missed but that’s now been put off to 2020.

Thursday’s report is the 30th issued by the nation’s surgeons general to warn the public about tobacco’s risks

Meanwhile, ‘medical marijuana’ is legal in how many states? What is Ms. Benjamin’s position on that?

There is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke, whether you deliberately inhale it or are a nonsmoker who breathes in other people’s fumes, the report concludes. Nor is there evidence yet to tell if efforts to develop so-called safer cigarettes really will pan out.

But more recently it’s become clear that some of the harms — especially those involving the heart — kick in right away, said Dr. Terry Pechacek of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

That means social smoking, the occasional cigarette at a party, can be enough to trigger a heart attack in someone whose arteries already are silently clogged, he said.

So could eating a cheese ball hors d’oeuvre.

"Too often people think the occasional social cigarette is not so dangerous, when in fact this report says yes, it is," he said.

So is breathing secondhand smoke. When Pueblo, Colo., banned smoking in all public places in 2003, the number of people hospitalized for heart disease plummeted 41 percent in just three years, the report found.

And we believe this? This is what passes for science? This is simply ridiculous.

Why? Cigarette smoke immediately seeps into the bloodstream and changes its chemistry so that it becomes more sticky, allowing clots to form that can squeeze shut already narrowed arteries, the report explains. That’s in addition to the more subtle long-term damage to blood vessels themselves, making them more narrow. And no one knows how little it takes to trigger that clotting.

And since "no one knows" they feel free to just make up anything.

Kicking the habit lets your body start healing, Benjamin stressed: "It’s never too late to quit but the sooner you quit the better. Even if you’re 70, 80 years old and you’re a smoker, there’s still benefit from quitting."

So you can heal from this? Then we can smoke for a few years, and then quit when we are in our 80s? That’s great news!

By the way, we can’t help but wonder if Ms. Benjamin has any views on the risks of obesity vis a vis heart attacks.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 9th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

27 Responses to “Surgeon General: 1 Cigarette Can Kill You”

  1. mr_bill says:

    Surgeon General Regina Benjamin hasn’t had much scrutiny of her views but I’ll wager she is crazier (and far more radical) than Bill Clinton’s Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders (you might remember her call for “safer bullets” and advocacy for teaching masturbation in grade school sex ed).

    Its hard to imagine that the Surgeon General could have an apoplectic fit about the health choices of others, given that she is taller when lying on her side than she is when she stands up and is a rabid abortion advocate. I wish Ms. Benjamin would extend her concern about health risks to those who are not afforded the opportunity to make a decision for themselves.

    Its not ok to kill yourself by smoking but its ok to murder a defenseless baby? Something doesn’t add up. I might be willing to listen to the Surgeon General on health issues when she can tell me what color her shoes are without looking in a mirror and stops trying to tell me that killing babies is ok.

  2. preparing4theworst says:

    Isn’t that a SMOKER standing behind her in the photo??? Hmmmm

  3. Chinnubie says:

    Obama looks like he needs a smoke break after this announcement!

  4. proreason says:

    When will they ban sugar.

    After all, sugar makes people happy.

    And happy people can’t possibly be fully under the thumb of their superiors.

  5. NoNeoCommies says:

    Meanwhile, marijuana actually saves lives according to the long haired, maggot infested, dope smoking fools on the left.

  6. untrainable says:

    Cigarettes kill. French Fries kill. Sugar kills. Fat kills. Guns kill. Running with scissors kills.

    I’ve smoked a pack a day non filtered camels for 30+ years now (That’s roughly 219,000 cigarettes), and my lung feels great ! Wow, I must be INCREDIBLY lucky.

    For anyone who calls themself a medical professional to make a statement like this is beyond irresponsible. But as with most liberals, facts don’t matter unless they fit the prepared narrative.

    • beautyofreason says:

      I get your point but I respectfully disagree, untrainable.

      While her claims that a single cigarette can kill a guy are scare mongering and overblown, smokers make up 85% of cases of lung cancer in the country. I’ve also seen “the body show,” an exhibition of plasticized body parts taken from cadavers in China. The smoker’s lungs were pitch black compared to the non-smoker’s lungs. I have a relative who died from a heart attack brought on by obesity coupled with heavy smoking.

      While it’s a bad habit, it’s no worse than eating a lot of junk food and not exercising, which are my own problems, so I don’t judge. But the risks exist, regardless of how much Ms.Benjamen exaggerates them (hey, has she hit the morbidly obese category yet?)

  7. MinnesotaRush says:

    “or inhaling someone else’s secondhand smoke — could be enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack, says the newest surgeon general’s report on the killer the nation just can’t kick.”

    “I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can,” she said.

    Yet another series of reasons to ship o-blah-blah back to his Kenyan motherland!

  8. chainsaw says:

    Too funny. The fat person is telling the smoker to quit. I wonder whose headstone gets chisselled first? (hint: when was the last time you saw a 300lb 70 year old?)

  9. beautyofreason says:

    Her next speech: Just one piece of red meat or fried chicken can cause a heart attack.


  10. bill says:

    if a single second hand smoke can kill you, think about the children, all those boy scouts sitting around the campfire.

    Do you have to be nuts to be a liberal? No but it helps.

  11. Mae says:

    This is just the prelude to denying medical treatment to smokers under Obamacarenot. Obviously smoking is not “good” for you. And I hate the smell and how it sticks to clothing; so smoking is not allowed in my home; but that’s my prerogative. Anyone else wants to smoke and I’m not forced to stand in the vicinity, fine with me. Still I don’t see anyone blaming the Indians for introducing Europeans to rolled up tobacco leaves. And don’t Indians get to sell packs on the res without taxation?

  12. Tater Salad says:

    Just another part of the 11th Amendment……………..we, the government tells who can buy and what! Healthcare included!

  13. Rick Caird says:

    I must have forgotten all those people falling down in the streets during the 1950’s and 60’s. In fact, it is a wonder our boys won WWII with all the heart attacks from smoking.

    What does it take to get someone like Ms. Benjamin to pass a sanity check. We obviously have decades of experience that shows she is wrong.

  14. JohnMG says:

    …..”I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can,” ……….

    Does this include all the smoke these pompous bastards insist on blowing up our ass??!!!

  15. Right of the People says:

    She looks like she should be wearing a helmet and riding the little bus.

    I’m willing to bet she’ll never say anything about obesity because she sure is suffering from it.

  16. Mithrandir says:

    The Ministry of Information has concluded, with a 72.9 year study, and billions of $ later, Living causes dying.

    Apparently, breathing air, eating food, drinking things, over an extended period of time, usually around 72.9 years, causes death.

    So do these things, but in moderation. Enjoy yourself as little as possible. Who knows? You may live to be 150! Huzzah!

    • joeblough says:


      Life is invariably fatal.

      These fools are caught in an uncomfortable spot. On one hand they have no sensible morals that are worth a damn. On the other they are grossly over-endowed with sanctimony and the human propensity to damn and scorn the people around them.

      What to do, what to do? How to damn a sinner in a world without sin?

      Their solution is to make up random pseudo-sins to provide themselves with something to condemn their fellows for.

      For some reason “health” seems like a suitable objective standard — a sort of substitute for morality — to the amoral monsters around us. I suppose it has something to do with all the “nature” worship.

      And best of all, just as Mithrandir says, any activity done long enough will lead to death.

      Ye gods this stuff is boring!

      Where are the pie throwers and shoe throwers when you need them?

  17. canary says:

    One puff of crack can lead to a crackhead killing someone for a dollar. The EPA is helping town & state officials buy homes, yet they don’t test for crack meth or the new drug people are cooking in their homes made with draino.
    The outside air samples in D.C. slums tests for every illegal drug known.
    Obama claims at least he never tried heroin. Of course that was before he became president had all those rappers & celebrities visit, even when he wasn’t there.

    so one puff starts the immediate poisoning caused by more than “7000 chemicals” rapidly spreading through the body causing cellular damage in nearly “every organ”

    Surgeon General Warning:

    “I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can,” she said.

    I hope Obama’s body guards hear about this when they guard Obama when he has those occasional cigarettes. And the nicotine gum means one breath from O’s mouth could mean the end.

    Real nice dealing with a president who is suffering from nicotine withdrawals, crankieness, irritability,
    inability to concentrate, duh ah d d d..a…umm?

    Just think of all the times Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Pelosi, and Reid have been poisoned by
    Obama, while they’ve bent over with their noses up his toxic waste hole.

  18. Liberals Demise says:

    When was the last time her knees saw sunshine?
    When was the last time this heifer saw her toes in a standing position?
    I’ll bet she can’t tell you what color her shoes are by looking down!!
    I’ll bet she can’t drive by a Krispy Kreme without getting the shakes.

    So I’ll continue to spark up if I so ‘choose’ lard ass.

  19. Flession says:

    “First they came for the cigarettes, and I didn’t speak up because I’m not a smoker.
    Then they came for the trans fats and I didn’t speak up because I’m a healthy eater.
    Then they came for the foie gras and I didn’t speak up because it’s French.
    Then they came for the ice cream and I didn’t speak up because I’m lactose intolerant.
    And then they came for the rib eye.

    And by that time there was no one left to speak up because all of the restaurants were already out of business.”

    –Glenn Beck, Arguing with Idiots, ADD Moment, p 154

    Thought this was highly appropriate in this case. It’s seriously scary what they’re trying to push past us one at a time, testing the water to see how deep they can go before they start to drown.

    Even if you don’t smoke, it’s important you fight the crazies before they go after something you care about.

  20. Chuckk says:

    Everyone knows smoking is not good for you, but saying dumb stuff like this only makes the legitimate arguments worth less.

  21. wirenut says:

    I wonder if these two ash-holes ever pondered the fact that too much government kills more efficiently? It’s MY life,Damn it! So BUTT OUT! I’m not only smok’in, I’m running with scissors while eating a Big Mac. I hope this will shorten their life expectancy. I need to hork-up some Flem.

    • tranquil.night says:

      “BUTT OUT!”

      “You kids just need to understand something. Sometimes lying is okay; like when you know what’s better for people than they do.”

      – “Rob Reiner” Impersonation from South Park ep 713 “Butt Out”

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