How Tobacco Took the Rap for Dioxin and Radiation - by Mark E. Smith

Along with most of the other longterm smokers in my senior building, I do not believe that smoking is responsible for the cancer epidemic, but most people in the USA would not agree. There is a general concensus that smoking is to blame for cancer and smoking has been banned in bars, restaurants, parks, beaches, at bus stops, and in some cities smoking has been banned entirely. Some apartment buildings don’t allow renters to smoke in their apartments. Yet most of the people I know who are hooked up to oxygen tanks are nonsmokers and some are never-smokers.

Those of us who have been smoking cigarettes for fifty years or more and are cancer free and have healthy lungs, are considered anomalies--perhaps we have some sort of genetic resistance. Those who develop cancer in childhood who never smoked, whose parents never smoked, and who have never been around smokers, are said to have gotten cancer from second- or third-hand smoke, perhaps carried on the clothes of a neighbor who went to the same school, used the same library, or shopped at the same store.

Completely overlooked or ignored is the fact that the US conducted many above-ground nuclear tests and is still inundated with daily “routine radioactive releases” from nuclear power plants, nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines, and nuclear weapons factories and waste storage sites. Also ignored is the fact that the US dumped almost 50 times as much Agent Orange on US soil as it dumped on Viet Nam. Two poisons for which no safe exposure level can be determined, are radiation and dioxin, the latter being a contaminant of Agent Orange and other herbicides. How is it that our cancer epidemic is blamed on cigarettes, which are much less common and carcinogenic than dioxin and radiation?

The answer traces back to two primary sources, among others, namely Dr. Alton Ochsner and the Dow Chemical Company, a major manufacturer of Agent Orange.

Ochsner was one of the most respected surgeons in the world, who operated on Presidents, Kings and Queens, and wealthy people who came from all over the world, and was the head of the American Heart Association. He was also an arrogant, ignorant bastard. When the polio vaccine was first developed, Ochsner wanted to ensure that every child in the US was vaccinated, so he arranged to have his grandchildren vaccinated as an example, to prove to the public that the vaccine was safe. He was so certain that the vaccine was safe that he didn’t bother to test it. His grandaughter developed polio from the vaccine, but survived. His grandson got polio from the vaccine and died. The vaccine was recalled and a safer version was developed. If Ochner had had his way, every child in the US would have gotten polio from an unsafe vaccine and it is likely that at least half would have died.

Ochner was also the first one to announce that cigarettes caused cancer.

Dow Chemical knew that dioxin was highly toxic and dangerous to humans, but had the money to pay off litigants to avoid a court decision. Later, Dow stopped manufacturing some herbicides, but continued to produce many products containing dioxin. In addition to the dioxin that was sprayed “in American forests, along railroads, highways, and transmission lines, and on farms, rangelands, lawns, and golf courses”* dioxin is in most plastics, along with many "everyday consumer products such as diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper plates, toilet paper, coffee filters, and office copy paper"* and has permeated our global “air, water, food, blood, body fat, breast milk, placenta, and DNA."* It is everywhere and it doesn’t go away.

The nuclear industry began as a necessity to justify and supply the large scale production of nuclear bombs. As no way to safely dispose of high-level radioactive waste has ever been found, it is left in storage pools and containers where it eventually leaks into the atmosphere and the watershed. The US also disposes of nuclear waste by using it in weapons against enemies, and to “treat” cancer patients, as both enemies and cancer patients are expected to die anyway. Many of our own troops have also been contaminated, but military troops are considered expendable. So are civilians. Dow Chemical was a major supplier to the US military, providing napalm, Agent Orange, and many other dioxin laden products. The military-industrial complex relied on both nuclear production and toxic chemicals, so neither could be allowed to take the blame for our cancer epidemic. Instead it was the tobacco companies who took the fall and anti-smoking hysteria swept the country.

Millions of people quit smoking and millions of nonsmokers avoided being in places where there was tobacco smoke. But the cancer epidemic didn’t go away. And it wouldn’t go away even if there was no tobacco left on earth and nobody ever smoked. That’s because even infants are born with dioxin in their tiny bodies and are then exposed to continuing radiation from Chernobyl, which was never completely contained, and Fukushima, which nobody knows how to go about containing.

I’ve been smoking a pack a day for 57 years. But for many years I was fortunate enough to live in remote places in third world countries that hadn’t been sprayed with herbicides and weren’t located near nuclear facilities. Now my luck has run out and I’m living in a major US city with both nuclear and man-made chemical pollutants, so I consider smoking to be one of the least of my problems. Man-made chemical carcinogens like dioxin are in our food, clothing, furniture, carpets, and cars. Radionuclides are in our tap water, our air, our soil, and our oceans. None of them can be cleaned up or safely disposed of. We and our planet have become collateral damage in the fight for short term military and industrial profits.

We can’t change things by voting because the overwhelming majority of politicians own stock in the big military and industrial polluters, as do high level judges and federal regulators. Often the heads of polluting industries are also the heads of the federal agencies which were supposed to regulate them. And as for protests, the polluters and politicians with trillions of dollars in military and industrial profits at stake have protected themselves by arming even local police forces with military weapons and training sufficient to quash protests ten times the size of any we’ve yet seen.

In other words, we’re fucked.


*All quotes are from the book Trespass Against Us: Dow Chemical & The Toxic Century, by Jack Doyle, Copyright 2004 Environmental Health Fund, published by Common Courage Press.

Smoking was the perfect scapegoat for the SV40 timebomb

Those of us who received the polio vaccine between 1955 and 1961 also received a few doses of Simian Virus 40 (among others), a potential cancer producing monkey virus, and it wasn't pulled even though they were aware of this fact.  Maybe that's why women and children were so heavily targeted by cigarette ads in the 50's and 60's (ending in 1971) so that, 1) the industry could increase their sales (of course), and 2) when the subsequent rise in soft tissue cancers rose to epidemic proportions after the polio vaccinations, smoking would become a convenient scapegoat.

Army of the 12 Monkeys vs the Monkey Emoji

As if there weren't enough outbreak risks already being taken by bushmeat eaters, why not bring virus carrying monkeys into a secret lab for the purpose of weaponizing a cancer producing monkey virus to be used by CIA assassins? WTF?  Plus, secretly using virus carrying monkeys to develop a vaccine for Polio without telling the public what they had done?  Then, after millions are now carrying cancer causing monkey viruses in their bodies, they blame the subsequent spread of cancer on tobacco smokers?  Sounds about right.

Today, the United States has the highest rate of lung cancer among women and the second highest rate overall, but it is only 50th in line on the list of countries by annual per capita consumption of tobacco. So, how is it that smoking is supposedly the primary agent for causing cancer in the U.S.?  I have not read this book, but I probably need to rectify that posthaste.  Thanks.

The more we know, the more FUBAR it gets.

When I wrote this article I had no idea how right I was.

So the US has low tobacco consumption and high cancer rates, huh?

Do you happen to have the links for those statistics?

It seemed that way to me, but all I had was my own personal observation.

This country is so FUBAR that even Fubar and Grill can't keep up.  ;)

Thanks for posting, Brian!


Here is the wikipedia link

Here is the wikipedia link for comparing cigarette consumption globally per capita:

And my link for cancer frequency statistics was actually from 2011 and was specifically for lung cancer only:

Here is an updated link showing more recent statistics for the prevalance of all forms of cancer by country:

So we're 6th highest cancer rate & 51st highest cigarette use.

Thanks, Brian.

Denmark, the country with the highest cancer rate per capita, is only 32nd in cigarette consumption.

France, with the 2nd highest cancer frequency, is 59th in cigarette consumption per capita.

And Serbia, the country with the highest cigarette consumption per capita, is only 25th in cancer.

Bulgaria, with the 2nd highest cigarette consumption rate, is 43rd in cancer frequency.

If there's a correlation between cigarette smoking and cancer, it sure isn't obvious.

The most insidious thing about blaming cancer on smoking is that they don't bother to rule out other causes--how dare those corporate and government shills continue to call themselves doctors and scientists!


If anything, the statistics seem to bear out....

If anything, the statistics seem to bear out the late Joe Vialls theory that smoking protects against cancer:

Who woulda thunk? ;)

In short, we're fucked!

Four out of four of what we consider the basic elements, earth, air, water, and fire are now hazardous for humans, and this is only getting worse for all life as humans continue to survive. Smoking, as it turns out, ought to be one of our lesser worries. Given that our planet will be uninhabitable by humans, perhaps within the next couple of decades, and it was lying scientists who helped bring us to this brink, I'd have to say "smoke up," and enjoy your last years above the contaminated ground.

RE: Army of the 12 Monkeys vs the Monkey Emoji

BRIAN!  Good to hear from you again!  Don't buy DMM, I'll send you a copy.  Check your e-mail.

What Ochsner knew but I didn't.

Dr. Ochsner was fully aware that the vaccines with which millions of people in the US had been innoculated, were contaminated with highly carcinogenic money viruses. So that's something else he had to cover up.

Cancer epidemics were to be expected as a result of the vaccines, exposure to radiation, and exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, but capitalism could not stop producing and profiting from all three. So it is quite likely that to protect government and industry from liability, Dr. Ochsner hit on the brilliant idea of blaming smoking.

Funny, younger generations don't seem to smoke very much, but they have higher cancer rates than my generation when most people smoked. And countries that haven't cracked down on smoking, like France, don't seem to have higher cancer rates than countries that have, like the US.


WHO admits that our air causes cancer

This isn't exactly news, as it was known over 40 years ago, but getting the truth recognized by large organizations is unusual:

WHO: air pollution causes cancer

Still, don't expect air pollution to become a popular cause when everyone has already blamed all cancers on smoking. It is pathetic to see someone standing in the vicinity of a large factory emitting tons of toxic chemicals into the air, surrounded by vehicle exhaust, notice somebody is smoking and run over to chastise them. It's like somebody who is being shot, stabbed, and hit over the head with a hammer, ignore all that and become angry with a passerby for stepping on their toe. Strange world. ;)

Good to read you again too, Coacoa.

People have been burning leaves since we discovered fire, but cancer and other diseases of civilization only appeared recently.

Interesting article, Mark

Hello again... yes, I live yet...  and breathe.

I too think this article speaks a truth about tobacco and it's use ... I believe firmly that there were additives placed to generate revenue through addiction as well.. then a government drive to hide their plans with a war on tobacco with the sin tax. all for the love of money and... to cover for a host of other ills the government has been subjecting us to.   I think studies in the feminization of males in certain regions also points to this whole big horrible machine.


Good to read you again, Mark

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