Cigarettes and Vegetarianism.... - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 10-27-2006, 07:22 AM
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Well, I'm a smoker....I've been smoking for 3 years now. I've recently become a vegetarian. I did some research into tobacco companies, and after I run out of my Camel carton, I'm going to switch to American Spirits because they don't test on animals.



Apparently, from this board, I can guess that very few of you are smokers. However, when I worked at NYPIRG (environmental organization) and amongst my friends in school, there's a large percentage of people who eat ethically, yet smoke. My friend smokes and she works for Clean Water Action in Philadelphia, and many of her coworkers smoke too. My friends base is between the age of 19-24 and there's a lot of smokers, and a lot of veg*ns, and quite a bit of overlap.



Of course, I'd like to quit, but I dunno if that's likely, what with (nearly) all my friends smoking. I personally find it a little ironic to see vegetarians smoke, but I think it's a lot easier to quit eating meat and drinking milk due to so many good alternatives than quitting smoking which is more addicting than heroin.



I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or if it's just a youth thing?
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#2 Old 10-27-2006, 07:27 AM
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Probably a lot of them started while young, as part of the "alternative" crowd- they are the kinds of people who are drawn to trying or just naturally being different, so some of the same factors that led them to smoking as youths also led them to being different as adults.



And BTW American Spirits is just a subsidiary of one of the big nasty tobacco corps. You'd be better off finding a truly independent tobacco grower, probably only available through mail order or smoke shops.
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#3 Old 10-27-2006, 07:33 AM
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I see no reason why a vegetarian can't be a smoker too.

I dislike smoking a lot but that's another story.
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#4 Old 10-27-2006, 07:39 AM
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#5 Old 10-27-2006, 07:52 AM
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Well, OA, after reading that site, definitely only going to smoke American Spirits. They are the first and only (major?) cigarette brand to not test on animals....I knew the others tested on animals, but never thought they would do so in such a gruesome fashion, and funded by the government no less.
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#6 Old 10-27-2006, 07:53 AM
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depends if personal health is a concern or not.



some vegetarians care about their bodies as well as animals, some not as much.
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#7 Old 10-27-2006, 07:57 AM
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warning: preachiness:



i found out yesterday that my father (smoker) has throat cancer. he's getting his larynx removed. i would consider quitting if i were you, unless you enjoy liquid meals and the end of life as you know it.



preachiness over
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#8 Old 10-27-2006, 08:08 AM
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i personally hate smoking, but that my personal opinion.



do you enjoy smoking? if you don't, mabye you should think harder about quitting. on the other hand, if you do enjoy it, then go ahead. it's your life.
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#9 Old 10-27-2006, 08:08 AM
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Another preachiness warning: I am so proud of one of my friends. She's not veggie, but she has been a smoker for a long long time. Her cholesterol was sky high and her blood pressure was ridiculous. She quit smoking a few weeks ago - just handed over her cigarettes to someone else and asked her to throw them away. She's needed to do this for her health.



Preachiness over - if you're going vegetarian for the animals, then it seems that by choosing your brand carefully, you're probably helping out.
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#10 Old 10-27-2006, 08:12 AM
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Oddly, I hardly know anyone who smokes. Just my stupid brother (his stupidity has very little to do with his smoking, I'm not saying that smoking makes you stupid or that only stupid people smoke) and one of my high school friends who I hardly ever see.
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#11 Old 10-27-2006, 08:14 AM
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There are many reasons to quit smoking in general, but I got the impression that wasn't the question/focus in this thread. Which was related to smoking and being vegetarian. I just don't see smoking as being non vegetarian which is what the poster seemed to ask about.



BTW: You know there's a fairly well known AR actist who smokes. I can't think of her name right now. She draws these symbolic AR pictures.

Good stuff.
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#12 Old 10-27-2006, 08:32 AM
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Well cancer/heart disease/blood pressure/lung disease drugs are legally required to be tested on animals before being approved by the FDA. So one could make the argument that reducing one's disease risk is consistent with vegetarianism (if one is doing it for the animals) and that doing things with a major risk for having to take lots of drugs tested on animals.



I would also hope anyone who cares about animals disposes of their cigarettes properly- butts and the filters and tobacco contained in them are very harmful to animals, as is the second hand smoke, especially if you have pets.



And I should add that organic cigarrettes are found to deliver more toxins to one's blood stream more quickly than regular cigarettes. If you do a search on posts by me with American Spirit, I think you should find some interesting links.



Make no mistake American Spirits is clever marketing by RJ Reynolds. Yes, they are natural, as is all tobacco. No, they are not affiliated with Native Americans, as if that makes any difference. And yes, their money goes right to RJ Reynolds- who tests on animals.
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#13 Old 10-27-2006, 08:38 AM
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Forgot to mention this, for the smokers who care about avoiding animal testing, there's always rolling their own ciggies.

Of course I have no idea how feasible or practical this is me not being a smoker myself.
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#14 Old 10-27-2006, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaved_women View Post

I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or if it's just a youth thing?



I think a lot of smoking starts in your youth. Although, as I get older I find that more and more people are trying to quit and wish they would have earlier. I think it is a youth thing that is done to fit in or out of curiosity and then carries to adulthood because of addiction.



I would think, IMHO, that when people turn vegetarian/vegan when they are older, if they are smokers they tend try at least try to stop smoking. This is because a lot of times they are trying to live more naturally and do less harm. (If nothing else you are harming those around you with second hand smoke.)



Of course this is from my limited personal experience.



I think it is a good step to try and find a brand that doesn't hurt animals. A lot of people would never think to do that.
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#15 Old 10-27-2006, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Eclipse View Post

Forgot to mention this, for the smokers who care about avoiding animal testing, there's always rolling their own ciggies.

Of course I have no idea how feasible or practical this is me not being a smoker myself.



Would the tobacco you buy to roll your own cigarettes not also be tested depending on the brand? I honestly have no idea but it might be something to look into before making that choice.



And just a quick question to the OP, where did you hear that smoking is more addictive than heroin? I've never been addicted to either but I've heard that heroine is one of the hardest and most painful drugs to quit. Just curious .
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#16 Old 10-27-2006, 10:09 AM
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Ravenfire- I heard that too. I saw a show where a heroin addict said that quitting smoking was harder for him that quitting heroin! Don't know if that would be true for everyone but this is how he felt. Anyway it is an addictive habit for sure and I've personally known smokers who had to be on oxygen and they were still continuing to smoke! They just could not seem to break the habit- even if it was directly in front of them that it was going to cost them their life. With that said many people still manange to quit- so I don't think any smoker should give up trying if that's their goal.
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#17 Old 10-27-2006, 10:19 AM
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I definitely agree that it's hard for a lot of people to quit, I had just never heard it compared to heroin. My husband's uncle is about to have both legs amputated because he refused to quit smoking. He's been told that if he doesn't stop smoking, he's not going to live much longer but he still says he'll never quit.
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#18 Old 10-27-2006, 10:42 AM
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I've sorta noticed that too. Though some of them smoke organic cigarettes and things like that. I also noticed it a lot with drinking too. Especially beer lol Of course not everyone thinks partying is bad or unhealthy, but it was kinda weird seeing some environmentalist-type people in college who always partied a lot and drank A LOT of beer...that seems a bit wasteful to me, even if you recycle all of the cans and stuff.



It does strike me as odd sometimes, but everyone has a different take on what's worth giving up, or what their vice is.
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#19 Old 10-27-2006, 10:42 AM
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I,m 60 years old and I smoked for over 30 years but quit about 15 years ago and my doctor told me just think of my lungs as the lungs of a 70 year old instead of a 60 year old and I'm lucky thats all the problems I have,most of my friends that were smokers are dead.

When I started there wasn't all the information out there like there is now,IMO I can't believe that anyone would start smoking these days with everything people known about smoking.

Now that I look back I can't come up with ONE good reason to smoke just like I can't come up with One good reason to eat meat.
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#20 Old 10-27-2006, 11:02 AM
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slightly off topic: thinking about the 'smoking being more addictive than heroin' thing... i think its a complex issue, to do with a lot of factors. cigarettes are available pretty much on every street corner, they're socially more acceptable, they're legal, cheap, and they're all over the tv and movies, anywhere you go you can get them easily- if you're old enough, at least.



i think these things make it harder to escape them mentally and easier to relapse if you choose to. i quit smoking a few years ago, and randomly i'll see a cigarette on tv or smell one out on the street and sometimes my brain'll still go 'oooh, you should have one', but i can think 'thats a stupid idea' and ignore the thought to smoke very easily.



but i'm not sure that in many other ways the theory applies. if you quit smoking, you feel cravings and you're a bit 'off your rocker' emotionally and a bit wonky physically for a few days, and its generally not fun, but holy crap, i wouldn't relate it to what i've seen and heard of people coming off heroin, lol.



to the op: i know this thread wasn't mainly about you quitting smoking, but i saw you say you thought it unlikely, pretty much cos its hard. i'd just like to say- if you decide you wanna quit one day- be positive, cos its really not that hard - you can totally do it- i've done it, a lot of my friends have done it, my bro has done it, even my dad who smoked for about 40 years has done it- tho sadly it took a stroke for him to quit. if you decide one day wanna do it, get help, get support, get a strategy- and remember, you can do it!
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#21 Old 10-27-2006, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by craig View Post

Now that I look back I can't come up with ONE good reason to smoke just like I can't come up with One good reason to eat meat.











I know I should be for putting that last part......
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#22 Old 10-27-2006, 11:08 AM
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(the smoking icon in the last post is not meant to represent any actual smokers but smoking itself, thank you.)
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#23 Old 10-27-2006, 11:19 AM
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I have a sister-in-law who quit heroin and smoking but she said that quitting smoking was harder. She said that when she was quitting heroin she was comforted that she at least still had her cigarettes.
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#24 Old 10-27-2006, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalia View Post

Probably a lot of them started while young, as part of the "alternative" crowd- they are the kinds of people who are drawn to trying or just naturally being different, so some of the same factors that led them to smoking as youths also led them to being different as adults.

I'm sure it depends on where you live, but to me this paragraph seemed strange. To me, smoking has never seemed "alternative", but equally common amongst people who hang out with all crowds.
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#25 Old 10-27-2006, 12:38 PM
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I was a vegetarian and a smoker for many years -I smoked Camels and, occasionally, American Spirits. When I was thinking of quitting, I switched to AS exclusively. I was sick for days when I switched. For me, cutting out the additives was rougher than quitting tobacco. Kicking the plain tobacco was more a matter of breaking routines, compared to the physical withdrawl from the additional chemicals. I largely credit that for my success at quitting, some months later.

If you are going to smoke, AS (or another additive-free brand) are much less damaging but don't be surprised if you don't feel well for the first few days.
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#26 Old 10-27-2006, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by savvyidler View Post

I was a vegetarian and a smoker for many years -I smoked Camels and, occasionally, American Spirits. When I was thinking of quitting, I switched to AS exclusively. I was sick for days when I switched. For me, cutting out the additives was rougher than quitting tobacco. Kicking the plain tobacco was more a matter of breaking routines, compared to the physical withdrawl from the additional chemicals. I largely credit that for my success at quitting, some months later.

If you are going to smoke, AS (or another additive-free brand) are much less damaging but don't be surprised if you don't feel well for the first few days.

The reason you got sicker when you switched to AS is because they have more harmful chemicals, and they go into your blood stream more quickly. Additive free does not mean safer!!! At leas one study showed they are worse! AS is marketed by RJ Reynolds towards environmentalist, hippy types who want to feel they are being more healthy, more spiritual, or whatever. They are just taking advantage of those of you who want to feel you have a healthier, more bohemian cigarette. It's all a con people!!!



The vast majority of the poisons in cigs are naturally occuring. Like 99.99999% When natural=poison, more natural is a bad thing.
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#27 Old 10-27-2006, 01:18 PM
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Some people get ulcerative colitis when they stop smoking, because the nicotine in the cigarettes have PREVENTED the disease from rearing its ugly head.



I know this. I landed up in bloody hospital so weak that I could not walk more than a few steps.



That is why, with the doctor's blessing, I smoke two or three cigarettes again. Nicotine patches do not work.



Not everything is black or white. Sometimes there are grey areas.



(I have NEVER taken heroin in my life. But I know people who have. And they also say it is harder to stop cigarettes....)
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#28 Old 10-27-2006, 03:21 PM
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I have been vegetarian over a year, but I only completely quit smoking in the past few months. I wasnt a heavy smoker, except when drinking alcohol. I feel ten thousand times better after quitting, even though I didnt smoke every day before, I always could feel the left over toxins in my body. I feel so much cleaner and healthier now, I can breathe so much better too.



I know people say ciggarettes are more addictive than heavy drugs like crack or heroin, but personally I dont feel this is true. I used to do crack long ago when I was a kid (well, a teenager) and I think it definately is more addictive than ciggarettes. The only reason ciggarettes are so much harder to stop is they are so socially acceptable, and so easy to get.
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#29 Old 10-27-2006, 03:26 PM
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This is getting OT, but is smoking just tobacco as bad as cigarettes? I know that with burning anything, toxic substances can be/are formed...but does anyone know more about how toxic plain tobacco is?
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#30 Old 10-27-2006, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamWavez View Post

This is getting OT, but is smoking just tobacco as bad as cigarettes? I know that with burning anything, toxic substances can be/are formed...but does anyone know more about how toxic plain tobacco is?

It is the tobacco that is bad. Mainly the nicotine. In fact, additive free tobacco (like American Spirit) may be worse than regular cigarettes.



Dr. Wallace Pickworth and his IRP colleagues conducted two studies comparing the effects of smoking clove cigarettes, bidis, and additive-free cigarettes with the effects of smoking conventional filtered cigarettes as part of an ongoing IRP program that examines nicotine delivery of alternative cigarettes. Their findings refute some consumers' belief that alternative tobacco products--sold on the Internet and at health food stores, ethnic groceries, and drug paraphernalia shops--are safer than conventional cigarettes.

http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDA_notes/N...ternative.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1203074357.htm



Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

Not everything is black or white. Sometimes there are grey areas.

A woman after my own heart. Nicotine helps soothe a lot of psychiatric conditions as well. The question is for most people, are the benefits worth the risks, and are there alternatives that offer a better ratio of benefit to risk? If you are able to smoke just a few cigarettes and not more than that and it is of great enough benefit to you, then you are lucky that you are able to do that. For many people, they would end up smoking more and more even long after any benefits had disappeared.
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