Skip to main content

Link found between smoking and brain damage

The July issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry will include a report that demonstrates a link between smoking and brain damage.

Though there is already ample evidence of the harm that cigarette smoking causes, this new evidence may cause yet more people to stop their habit of smoking. As Woody Allen joked, "My brain? That's my second-favorite organ." Yep. For many, risk of damage to one's brain is scarier than mere death (though perhaps not as scary as risk of damage to one's first-favorite organ).

As those in Homeless World Sacramento readily know, smoking in the community is very common, despite its high expense. Rollies are frequently shared, serving both a social purpose and a function of calming the smoker.

According to a Medical News Today article, researchers with the Indian National Brain Research Center (NBRC) "have found that a compound in tobacco provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells, leading to severe neurological damage." The compound is known as NNK.

The article tells us that "unlike alcohol or drug abuse NNK does not appear to harm brain cells directly. However, the research team believes it may cause neuroinflamation, a condition which leads to disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis."

SacHo will follow-up on this story after the research report is made available.

UPDATE 6/25: Polling by Gallup shows the poorer a person is, the more likely it is that he/she is a smoker. This information suggests strongly that much of the revenue gained from increased cigarette sales taxes should be used to help poor people quit the smoking habit. Otherwise, the tax is alarmingly regressive.


Popular posts from this blog

More Homeless Hate from Marcos Breton

There was a long spell a handful of years ago when Marcos Breton said something so fully ridiculous in one of his hateful screeds against homeless folk that it appeared to be very apparent he had been taken off the Homeless Beat by his superiors. Unhappily, after a few months, Breton was again writing disparaging columns about homeless folk

In today's Bee [3/5/17], Breton has written one of his longest columns. Online, it is titled "The price downtown Sacramento is paying for Mayor Steinberg’s homeless crusade
Read more here: It goes on for days. The message, essentially, is this: Homeless people poop; they're getting a great deal of what they want from the overmuch-helpful mayor; and business people proximate to Chavez Park are made miserable by the forever-disgusting homeless that are there in great number.

O.K. Let's get into all this a bit. Except in Breton's mind, homeless pe…

The first-person dimension of homeless Sacramentans suffering from Schizophrenia

"Disabilities and dysfunction process from having been shunned and denied access to needed opportunitites and networks of support."
~ the brothers Lysaker in Schizophrenia and the Fate of the Self What is schizophrenia? How many are homeless Sacramentans?

Perhaps 15% of the Sacramento homeless population suffers from schizophrenia. The percentage is difficult to determine for many reasons that branch from both the fuzzy definition of the malady and that many people within the homeless community who have the illness (1) are in denial and are undiagnosed and (2) have the illness as a diagnosis only – the disability can be faked by people who are successful claimants of social security and other benefits.

What is schizophrenia? One webspace gives us this definition: The most chronic and disabling of the severe mental disorders. Typically develops in the late teens or early twenties. The overt symptoms are hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing visions), delusions (false beliefs ab…

Homelessness and Remembrance

This is a follow-up on the matter of remembering homeless people who have died and the Wall that Libby Fernandez wants to build in remembrance of the deceased. [See earlier blogpost "Tell Libby NOT to build her wall."]

This blogpost is prompted by a Philosophy Bites podcast released in the last couple days -- titled "C├ęcile Fabre on Remembrance." Fabre's take on why we honor or grieve for certain individuals or certain collections of individuals is not greatly helpful -- since his focus is mainly one of fallen war heroes and war casualties -- but it does open up the issue of why should there be a remembrance effort for deceased homeless people at all. Who is served by it? And has the effort been perverted by the avarice of charities in their insatiable drive for donations.

It is, for starters, a curious thing for "homeless people" to be a collective that is honored. I write that NOT because I don't want the best for homeless people. But, homelessn…