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Friday, June 20, 2014

Did Chewing Tobacco Kill Tony Gwynn?

Keith Olbermann is a blowhard. By his logic we should stop pitchers from throwing because Dave Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor in his left arm. THE SAME ARM HE PITCHED WITH!

Gwynn cancer-related death is a tragedy. Linking that tragedy to smokeless tobacco (a repugnant product) with no evidence is just exploitation.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: keith olbermann, tony gwynn

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   1. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4731666)
While Keith is undeniably insufferable in his approach (even if you agree with him), I don't think the Dave Dravecky analogy holds any water here, applying the basics of:

- does the theory pass the sniff/"seems possible/likely" test?
- is this a one-time occurence or can one look for and find a trend?

Gwynn's dipping and subsequent cancer pass both for me, so while I agree with the blowhard bit, I also agree with the blowhard's fundamental points.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4731669)
I do notice a illogical blowhard when I see one.
   3. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4731673)
Gwynn's dipping and subsequent cancer pass both for me, so while I agree with the blowhard bit, I also agree with the blowhard's fundamental points.


Sadly, I agree with most of this blowhard's fundamental points on many topics, much like I do with fellow blowhard Brian Kenny's. I really wish they weren't blowhards but then again if they weren't they wouldn't have gotten their jobs.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4731676)
And given that Gwynn himself believed it, I'm siding with Gwynn's version.

And how is this even a question? If a guy smoked two packs a day and died of lung cancer would we debate what happened?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4731679)
And how is this even a question? If a guy smoked two packs a day and died of lung cancer would we debate what happened?

We probably wouldn't, yet there are plenty of heavy smokers who never get lung cancer (probably a large majority) and plenty of non-smokers who get lung cancer.
   6. Willie Mayspedester Posted: June 20, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4731681)
I have a friend who works in a dental office and her boyfriend chews constantly. She has looked it up online and says that there is no proof that chewing tobacco causes cancer, but that it will accelerate cancer if you chew while you have cancer.

I'm trying to quit chewing because I don't want cancer (or receding gums) and because it's gross. Gambling with cancer is a bad idea.
   7. Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4731686)
And given that Gwynn himself believed it, I'm siding with Gwynn's version.


Really, so if Gwynn thought the cancer was caused by the wool on his shirt collar, you'd be good with his explanation?

- does the theory pass the sniff/"seems possible/likely" test?
- is this a one-time occurence or can one look for and find a trend?

Gwynn's dipping and subsequent cancer pass both for me, so while I agree with the blowhard bit, I also agree with the blowhard's fundamental points.

I know people that swear vaccines cause autism and cancer. Should we ban vaccines because of such belief?

Cancer is a horrible thing. Gwynn's death is a tragedy. Making spurious claims without evidence does more harm than good because it undermines other more credible arguments.



   8. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4731688)
There needs to be a lot more studies about cancer and how tobacco use causes it as I am agreement that making claims like this or those 2nd hand smoke arguments can get a bit out of hand.

That being said, I agree that your are more likely to get cancer than not from using tobacco.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4731692)
So what do we now need, another Surgeon General's report to show the link between chewing tobacco and v
I know people that swear vaccines cause autism and cancer. Should we ban vaccines because of such belief?

Cancer is a horrible thing. Gwynn's death is a tragedy. Making spurious claims without evidence does more harm than good because it undermines other more credible arguments.


"Without evidence?" Jesus F. Christ. Is the link between orally ingested tobacco and oral cancers really a matter of dispute in 2014?
   10. Ron J2 Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4731694)
The National Cancer Institute says flatly that "Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer" And cites:

International Agency for Research on Cancer. Smokeless Tobacco and Some Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines. Lyon, France: World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2007. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 89.

As the source.
   11. Perry Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4731707)
Gwynn had salivary gland cancer, right? I posted a link the other day from a Stanford University medical site that said that unlike most oral cancers, tobacco is not implicated in salivary gland cancer. Here it is again:

http://cancer.stanford.edu/headneck/salivary.html

If he didn't have salivary cancer, then never mind.

On the lung cancer thing, I saw data years ago that said that roughly 10% of heavy smokers get lung cancer, and roughly 10% of lung cancers are in non-smokers. The rate of lung cancer among non-smokers is about .5%, so heavy smoking increases your chances of getting lung cancer by about 20 times.
   12. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4731709)
The National Cancer Institute says flatly that "Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer"


They're just saying that because they're dedicated to wealth redistribution.

Or something.
   13. Canker Soriano Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4731719)
The rate of lung cancer among non-smokers is about .5%, so heavy smoking increases your chances of getting lung cancer by about 20 times.

Yeah, but you look 30 times more cool.

Source: Marlboro Man
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4731743)
On the lung cancer thing, I saw data years ago that said that roughly 10% of heavy smokers get lung cancer, and roughly 10% of lung cancers are in non-smokers. The rate of lung cancer among non-smokers is about .5%, so heavy smoking increases your chances of getting lung cancer by about 20 times.

Sure, but that's still a vast majority of heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. There's a reason they only publish the 20 times part, and not the 10% number.
   15. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4731749)
I know people that swear vaccines cause autism and cancer. Should we ban vaccines because of such belief?


Again, if that argument passes my personal sniff test and I find/believe in whatever trends they can put forward, then I would say yes.

In that case I don't. In the tobacco case, I do.
   16. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4731772)
Here's the money quote from the San Diego U-T (Union Tribune?)

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jun/16/tony-gwynn-parotid-cancer-death/


Affecting about 5,000 to 6,000 people per year, it’s an uncommon form of cancer, but not unknown, said Loren Mell, chief of the head and neck radiation medicine service at the Moores Cancer Center, and a consulting physician on the team that treated Gwynn.

Because it occurs infrequently, the causes and treatment options aren’t as well established as they are for more common cancers, Mell said.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know very much about cause of parotid cancer,” Mell said. “In the case of parotid cancers, there’s not a single, unified cause that’s identified. Part of that has to do with their rarity.”

Studies on the illness haven’t been able to pinpoint what the risk factors are, he said. So it’s hard for doctors to identify a single cause, or to recommend ways to prevent it.

Gwynn had attributed the illness to his long-term use of smokeless tobacco. But although tobacco use can trigger cancer of the lip, tongue and mouth, it hasn’t been linked to parotid cancer, Mell said.

“That’s not likely to be associated,” he said. “He may have chewed tobacco, but that’s not likely to be the cause.”


In a way, while it's no comfort for Gwynn or his family one way or the other, for the rest of us, we kinda hope that it was due to a specific cause. Gwynn was on the young side to die and it's more relieving for the rest of us if A cause led to B result, since we can avoid A cause. If it's just the luck of the draw, it feels crueler. I think about Richard Durrett's death a few days ago, just a couple years older than me (he was 38) and how sudden and out-of-the-blue it was and it really hits how fragile our existence is.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4731774)
Keith shouted out "Who killed Tony Gwynn?" when after all, it was you and me.
   18. Dale Sams Posted: June 20, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4731781)
Fine. So Gwynns particular type of cancer is not linked to chewing tobacco. But other types of mouth cancer are. So what are we arguing about here?
   19. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4731786)
Fine. So Gwynns particular type of cancer is not linked to chewing tobacco. But other types of mouth cancer are. So what are we arguing about here?

?

The original link was whether chewing tobacco killed Tony Gwynn, no? I thought the opinion of the chief head and neck specialist at UCSD and one who directly worked with Gwynn's doctors would be relevant.
   20. Canker Soriano Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4731788)
If it's just the luck of the draw, it feels crueler.

He was young to get this kind of cancer, and unlucky to get it in the first place. The incidence is about 2/100,000 adults per year, and most are over 55 when first diagnosed. This is the same cancer that killed Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys a couple of years ago.

And that incidence, while low, is about twice as high as the expected incidence of primary sclerosing cholangitis, which is what killed Walter Payton.

In other words, you may be ###### no matter what you do, so make the most of the time that you have. You could start by not wasting it wondering what Keith Olbermann thinks about things.
   21. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4731795)
"Without evidence?" Jesus F. Christ. Is the link between orally ingested tobacco and oral cancers really a matter of dispute in 2014?

At most, dipping increased his odds of getting this kind of cancer. Without more proof, there's no reason to believe it *caused* his cancer.

Aren't there data on this? How much do the odds of a 50 year old getting salivary gland cancer increase if he dips from 20-50, and what are those odds?
   22. Davo Dozier Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4731796)
Tony Gwynn was also left-handed, just like Barack Obama.

So, speaking of Barack Obama, does he really need Congressional authorization to conduct airstrikes in Syria?
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4731798)
He was young to get this kind of cancer, and unlucky to get it in the first place. The incidence is about 2/100,000 adults per year, and most are over 55 when first diagnosed. This is the same cancer that killed Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys a couple of years ago.


What's the incidence of cancer among people who smoke that dust at St Anthony's Feast?
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4731799)
The original link was whether chewing tobacco killed Tony Gwynn, no?


Yes. And if you ditch that connection (chewing tobacco -> cancer -> Gwynn's death), you still get chewing tobacco -> cancer, which makes it still a pretty good reason to ban it from the major league playing field and dugout (as well as it's disgusting to see them spitting that brown #### everywhere).
   25. Dale Sams Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4731805)
Didn't someone spit their gum on an opposing players field once and the unwritten rules brigade around here threw their arms up in disgust about players stepping in it?
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4731827)
#22 is really, really funny.
   27. Barnaby Jones Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4731828)
We probably wouldn't, yet there are plenty of heavy smokers who never get lung cancer (probably a large majority) and plenty of non-smokers who get lung cancer.


This is juvenile. The vast majority of lung cancer deaths are smoking related. It is like 90% of them. Implying that the rate of smokers who don't get lung cancer is comparable to the rate of non-smokers getting lung cancer is extremely ignorant.

Sure, but that's still a vast majority of heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. There's a reason they only publish the 20 times part, and not the 10% number.


What in the world are you talking about? Obvious both numbers are published, since you are talking about them. A 10% mortality rate is astonishingly high for any activity.

Studies on the illness haven’t been able to pinpoint what the risk factors are, he said. So it’s hard for doctors to identify a single cause, or to recommend ways to prevent it.

Gwynn had attributed the illness to his long-term use of smokeless tobacco. But although tobacco use can trigger cancer of the lip, tongue and mouth, it hasn’t been linked to parotid cancer, Mell said.

“That’s not likely to be associated,” he said. “He may have chewed tobacco, but that’s not likely to be the cause.”


Um... what? There is no data on the causes of this cancer. But we totally know it wasn't the tobacco because.... reasons.... ????
   28. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4731838)
Didn't someone spit their gum on an opposing players field once and the unwritten rules brigade around here threw their arms up in disgust about players stepping in it?


Don't know, but I think it was Andy Van Slyke who said that playing center field after Lenny Dykstra (notorious chewer) was like stepping in a "toxic waste dump."
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4731841)
But we totally know it wasn't the tobacco because.... reasons.... ????

Sure. I'm sure there are reasons besides dipping that one could get various head and neck cancers and the doctor probably thinks those non-dipping causes were more likely than dipping to have been the cause of Gwynn's cancer.
   30. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4731855)
There is no data on the causes of this cancer. But we totally know it wasn't the tobacco because.... reasons.... ????

You'd have to ask the cancer researcher.

He didn't so there was no data, he said they haven't "been able to pinpoint what the risk factors are." That doesn't mean there's no knowledge of what the risk factors aren't. We don't have to know precisely what dark matter is to maintain that's in not likely made up of molasses and hate.

At the very least, without evidence to the contrary, I think it's more likely that the actual doctor who is prominent in the field and treated Gwynn probably has more insight as to the science behind Gwynn's cancer than Gwynn does.
   31. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4731857)
On the Mayo Clinic website we find that dipping or tobacco generally aren't even risk factors for salivary gland cancer, much less causes. Risk factors are older age, radiation exposure, and workplace exposure to certain materials (those involved in rubber manufacturing, asbestos mining, and plumbing).

But, yeah, it *must* have been because he dipped.
   32. depletion Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4731859)
"Um... what? There is no data on the causes of this cancer. But we totally know it wasn't the tobacco because.... reasons.... ????"

They know that listening to music doesn't cause that type of cancer. They know that chewing tobacco doesn't cause that form of cancer. They don't know what DOES cause that form of cancer. They've looked at the stats for people who get salivary gland cancer and chewing appears to be uncorrelated.
Tony Gwynn chewed. That increased his likelihood of getting some forms of cancer. Salivary gland cancer is not one of those forms of cancer.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4731866)
Sure, but that's still a vast majority of heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. There's a reason they only publish the 20 times part, and not the 10% number.

This is true, although worth noting that smoking has other negative health effects besides lung cancer.

In my family, nearly everyone before my generation smoked. My grandfather died of a heart attack at 54. My grandmother died of cancer that began in her lungs and her brother died from emphysema (although both of them lived to about 80). My uncle is currently recovering from lung cancer. Another uncle died of a heart attack in his 50s. My father-in-law recently survived a heart attack at 62. An aunts had another form of cancer which may have been smoking-related (I literally just came from her funeral, unfortunately).

Then again, my other grandfather smoked cigars and drank whiskey his whole life and lived to 98, but I'm not going to play those odds.

I wouldn't ban tobacco (informed adults can make their own decisions) but I also don't see the point of downplaying the dangers.
   34. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4731868)
Salivary gland cancer is not one of those forms of cancer.

*Likely* not. Important difference.
   35. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4731869)
At this point I wouldn't worry too much about dipping killing people; it'll be a drop in an ocean compared to the smartphone-fueled brain cancer epidemic that will wipe out half the human population around 15-20 years from now.

My experience with lung cancer and emphysema has been that they certainly do kill smokers in large numbers, but not usually until they're on the far side of 65, often 70.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4731872)
At this point I wouldn't worry too much about dipping killing people; it'll be a drop in an ocean compared to the smartphone-fueled brain cancer epidemic that will wipe out half the human population around 15-20 years from now.


So you're saying I shouldn't bother quitting tobacco?
   37. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4731880)
Sure, but that's still a vast majority of heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. There's a reason they only publish the 20 times part, and not the 10% number.

Another 20% or or so of heavy smokers (the literature calls them "continuous smokers") end up with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I've spent the last several years helping to care for an in-law who's slowly and painfully dying of COPD, and can't possibly express the sentiment "#### smoking" strongly enough.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4731882)
Gwynn had salivary gland cancer, right? I posted a link the other day from a Stanford University medical site that said that unlike most oral cancers, tobacco is not implicated in salivary gland cancer. Here it is again:

http://cancer.stanford.edu/headneck/salivary.html


Quoting from that link:

Previously receiving radiation therapy increases the risk of developing salivary gland cancers. People who are exposed to mustard gas, isopropyl oils, volatile hydrocarbons, or metals like nickel and chromium (which occurs most commonly in the leather tanning, nickel mining and carpentry industries) also have an increased risk of developing salivary gland cancer. Unlike most head and neck cancers, tobacco use is not believed to be a major contributor to the development of salivary gland cancer.


If the point is simply that salivary gland cancer is less likely to be caused by tobacco use that other head, neck, mouth and throat cancers, then fine. But if the added implication is to pretend that there's no serious health risks that come from tobacco use, I'm sure that R.J. Reynolds would like to sign you up for a speaking tour.

Gwynn chewed tobacco for most of his adult life, and died at 56. We can only wonder if he'd avoided salivary cancer, what other tobacco-related cancers he might have come down with.

And no, I don't even think that smokeless tobacco should be banned from MLB, though it wouldn't bother me if it were. Like with all other types of tobacco use, I'd only outlaw all forms of branding and marketing, and subject the contents to much stricter regulation. Take the megaprofits out of this crap and its use will quickly diminish.
   39. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4731884)
Nasty Nate: Indeed! I wouldn't worry too much about my cholesterol count if I were you, either. Eat whatever feels good, man.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4731887)
Nasty Nate: Indeed! I wouldn't worry too much about my cholesterol count if I were you, either. Eat whatever feels good, man.

Woohoo! Beer, bacon, and cigarettes weekend!
   41. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4731897)
Uh, probably shouldn't eat the cigarettes.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4731899)

At this point I wouldn't worry too much about dipping killing people; it'll be a drop in an ocean compared to the smartphone-fueled brain cancer epidemic that will wipe out half the human population around 15-20 years from now.

Do people still talk on the phone? I thought everyone just communicated via 140-character bursts of text now.
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4731910)
And no, I don't even think that smokeless tobacco should be banned from MLB, though it wouldn't bother me if it were. Like with all other types of tobacco use, I'd only outlaw all forms of branding and marketing, and subject the contents to much stricter regulation. Take the megaprofits out of this crap and its use will quickly diminish.

Yes, we can see how Tony Gwynn not dying of dipping-caused cancer would make you want strict and immediate action.
   44. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4731913)
Do people still talk on the phone? I thought everyone just communicated via 140-character bursts of text now.


I carry mine in my shirt pocket most of the time, so the only question remaining is whether I'll die of lung cancer or get to be one of the ultrarare males who die of breast cancer. Assuming a car wreck or bullets don't get me first, of course.
   45. tfbg9 Posted: June 20, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4731920)
Take the megaprofits out of this crap and its use will quickly diminish


How'd that strategy work-out with blow and skag?
   46. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: June 20, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4731939)
I studied oncology a little in college. One important point: the genesis of cancer is never one single thing that went wrong. It's a series of many events that have to go wrong for it to start. Can you blame the chewing tobacco? Probably, but that's not to say it was the sole cause. Genetics are huge.
   47. Willie Mayspedester Posted: June 20, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4731940)
Cancer is an infinite loop in DNA. It's god's bug mark it up in Bugzilla as critical.
   48. Moeball Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4731952)
Unfortunately, blowhard is what keeps Keith employed. It does grate sometimes. Same thing when he was at MSNBC. Even if I agreed with his points sometimes, it just didn't come across in a way that's going to win any arguments with anyone.

I liked him better when he was just Keith Olbermann, KTLA channel 5 local sports guy, before he went on to become CBS Channel 2 sports guy and long before he went to ESPN and became KEITH OLBERMANN.
   49. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4731964)
Double post
   50. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: June 20, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4731967)
This is the same cancer that killed Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys a couple of years ago.


He had more hits than my man Rod Carew. Not sure where he stands relative to Gwynn.
   51. depletion Posted: June 20, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4732017)
But if the added implication is to pretend that there's no serious health risks that come from tobacco use,

Andy, I don't remember one post that has claimed that, certainly none of mine. The people that do peer reviewed research in that field probably have a very strict definition of what "not a major cause" means. Perhaps someone can chime in, but I'd guess a 1% chance wouldn't be far off.
As far as "not likely to be the cause": Since they don't know what causes it, almost anything fits this definition. "Playing baseball" isn't likely to be the cause.
I think chewing tobacco is gross and unhealthy, but there's no sense in overstating its unhealthiness.

Regards,
Tim
   52. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 09:36 PM (#4732027)
And no, I don't even think that smokeless tobacco should be banned from MLB, though it wouldn't bother me if it were. Like with all other types of tobacco use, I'd only outlaw all forms of branding and marketing, and subject the contents to much stricter regulation. Take the megaprofits out of this crap and its use will quickly diminish.

Yes, we can see how Tony Gwynn not dying of dipping-caused cancer would make you want strict and immediate action.


That's nice, since I specifically said I wouldn't outlaw it, and if I did it wouldn't be because of Tony Gwynn, it'd be because of the Bill Tuttles and Nellie Foxes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Take the megaprofits out of this crap and its use will quickly diminish

How'd that strategy work-out with blow and skag?


Kind of apples and oranges. The total profits of tobacco and cocaine are roughly equal, but the former is largely dependent on marketing and branding, while the bloated profits of the illegal drug trade are driven by artificial scarcity. Decriminalizing cocaine and heroin would decentralize the production and take the megaprofits out of it, while outlawing branding and marketing of tobacco would have the same effect.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 20, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4732029)
But if the added implication is to pretend that there's no serious health risks that come from tobacco use,

Andy, I don't remember one post that has claimed that, certainly none of mine. The people that do peer reviewed research in that field probably have a very strict definition of what "not a major cause" means. Perhaps someone can chime in, but I'd guess a 1% chance wouldn't be far off.
As far as "not likely to be the cause": Since they don't know what causes it, almost anything fits this definition. "Playing baseball" isn't likely to be the cause.
I think chewing tobacco is gross and unhealthy, but there's no sense in overstating its unhealthiness.

Regards,
Tim


Fair enough, though that Stanford link said that "tobacco use is not believed to be a major contributor to the development of salivary gland cancer," not that it had no effect. And then there are all the other major diseases whose link to tobacco use even the ####### Tobacco Institute doesn't dare dispute any more. It's a bit like hanging a defense of a mass murderer on the fact that he may not have actually murdered his alleged 39th victim.
   54. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 20, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4732032)
It's a bit like hanging a defense of a mass murderer on the fact that he may not have actually murdered his alleged 39th victim.

that 38th mutation is a bitch
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 20, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4732042)
I wouldn't ban tobacco (informed adults can make their own decisions) but I also don't see the point of downplaying the dangers.

There's a ton of info out on the dangers of tobacco. These days, anyone saying they never knew is simply not telling the truth. While folks would undoubtedly be better off avoiding all forms of tobacco, that doesn't justify banning it. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and there's no reason to think it'd work any better for tobacco. The freedom to make bad decisions, with some limitations, is part of life.
   56. AndrewJ Posted: June 20, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4732044)
Not to knock Keith Olbermann, but it's easy for a TV talking head to publicly bash an industry like tobacco that can't respond by pulling any commercials from your network...
   57. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:08 AM (#4732093)
There's a ton of info out on the dangers of tobacco. These days, anyone saying they never knew is simply not telling the truth. While folks would undoubtedly be better off avoiding all forms of tobacco, that doesn't justify banning it.


No one here (I don't think) is suggesting a total, outright ban on smokeless tobacco, they're talking about a corporation establishing a rule that keeps its employees from using it in the workplace. As Olbermann says, get it off the field. Do it at home or sneak a dip out of sight in the clubhouse, but stop making it seem desirable to young fans.

Since this is already policy in the minor leagues (and almost everywhere else; how many offices let their cubicle-dwellers chew at work?) I don't see why there's much objection.

Whether or not tobacco killed Tony Gwynn isn't at all the point. The stuff is known to be addictive and harmful in other ways. Who's defending its use on the field other than the MLBPA?
   58. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 21, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4732143)
I had (knocks wood for luck)the same cancer. And when I was first diagnosed the doctors only asked if I had smoked, used dip or was a serious drinker.
   59. dlf Posted: June 21, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4732145)
#58 - Best of luck in your continued recovery
   60. Bug Selig Posted: June 21, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4732156)
which makes it still a pretty good reason to ban it from the major league playing field and dugout


No, that's a pretty good reason not to use it. There should be a much, much higher standard to tell someone else what they can't do.

Who's defending its use on the field other than the MLBPA?


So, you're saying that the only people considering the players' right and wishes are the people whose job it is to consider the players' rights and wishes?

   61. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4732166)
No, that's a pretty good reason not to use it. There should be a much, much higher standard to tell someone else what they can't do.


MLB wouldn't be telling what they can't do, it would be telling what they can't do AT WORK. My office (where I consult) bans all tobacco products on the whole grounds, as do many other employers I know. Conflating that with telling someone "what they can't do" is silly and reactionary.
   62. bigglou115 Posted: June 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4732185)
I probably fall on the heavy end of smokeless tobacco use, and I really only have one thing to add on this. Aside from the health risks I feel like the thing that should be more known is that the stuff is way more concentrated than cigarettes. 2-3 times the amount if nicotine. You get grumpy when you quit smoking, you may get panick attacks, the time dilation stuff is there too. Quitting dip hurts. Within 2 days all these blisters and ulcers that have been hiding under the surface of your gums come to the surface. It hurts to chew food, drink anything, talk, and breathe. Around your third or fourth panick attack while your mouth literally bleeds... quitting seems like a really bad idea. A little after that the dead cells lining your asophagus start to come off, which causes soar throat and smells like you've been eating road kill. Nicotine gum and packages are dosed for cigarettes, they don't come close to covering a dip craving. I've seen 2 pack a day smokers get dizzy enough to trip and fall when trying dip for the first time, and that's assuming you don't accidentally swallow any. I've had 3 knee surgeries to fix the fall out from a car wreck that left no soft tissue untouched, I've had rotator cuff surgery, I've broken my jaw. I'm not inexperienced with a little discomfort. Even still just talking about quitting is threatening to give me a panick attack.

As for the health consequences, the studies I've read don't put the risk of cancer from dip significantly higher than the risk of cancer from regular alcohol consumption. Is dip bad for you? Of course. But it's just one drop in the great big cancer bucket we all live in. I'm more worried about the near certainty of severe gum disease and tooth decay. And if I'm pointing out people who owe their death to dip I'm starting with Chris LeDoux, who's cancer started in the bile ducts were the association with dip is far more concrete, and who literally wrote a song about how great dip is.
   63. bigglou115 Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4732189)
I'd also point out the cancer instituted numbers are hazy. They base their figures on studies that include inhaled snuff, which nobody does anymore. To be clear, I'm not saying I don't believe dip causes cancer. What I'm saying is it's hard to tell how much because both sides of the argument cherry pick the studies they want to use.
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4732202)
If the point is simply that salivary gland cancer is less likely to be caused by tobacco use that other head, neck, mouth and throat cancers, then fine. But if the added implication is to pretend that there's no serious health risks that come from tobacco use, I'm sure that R.J. Reynolds would like to sign you up for a speaking tour.


I thought the point was simply that many people are saying and writing and believing that Gwynn's cancer was caused by his smokeless tobacco use, and yet that doesn't appear to have been the case at all.

Thus, many people have been wrong to make the link.

At best it seems they haven't ruled it out as a cause of his type of cancer, but they don't think it's a significant risk factor. That said, the issue deserves further study since the data is less than that for other types of cancers, given how rare this cancer is.

How you jump from that to saying that people are pretending there are no serious health risks that come from tobacco use, I do not know.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4732206)
Yes, we can see how Tony Gwynn not dying of dipping-caused cancer would make you want strict and immediate action.

That's nice, since I specifically said I wouldn't outlaw it, and if I did it wouldn't be because of Tony Gwynn, it'd be because of the Bill Tuttles and Nellie Foxes.


But he didn't say you wanted to outlaw it; he said you wanted to take strict and immediate action. And, well, I don't know how "immediate" you want it to be, but you ARE advocating strict action, via your plan to outlaw branding and marketing and regulate it much more strictly. Setting aside how effective these measures would be at diminishing smokeless tobacco use overall (*), this is sort of like the problem the left has with instituting measures restricting abortion (e.g., parental notification); they argue that the measures themselves infringe on the constitutional right of abortion. You're sort of engaging in that type of thing from the other direction with regard to this issue.

(*) I understood that branding and marketing more affects WHICH BRAND of a product people choose than the overall issue of WHETHER people choose to use that product, although I could be wrong about that.
   66. winnipegwhip Posted: June 21, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4732211)
I'd also point out the cancer instituted numbers are hazy.


Anti-tobacco people have pointed out that people who smoke cigars are likely to die. George Burns died and he smoked cigars. And JFK smoked cigars and he died before he was 50!!!!
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 21, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4732232)
If the point is simply that salivary gland cancer is less likely to be caused by tobacco use than other head, neck, mouth and throat cancers, then fine. But if the added implication is to pretend that there's no serious health risks that come from tobacco use, I'm sure that R.J. Reynolds would like to sign you up for a speaking tour.

I thought the point was simply that many people are saying and writing and believing that Gwynn's cancer was caused by his smokeless tobacco use, and yet that doesn't appear to have been the case at all.

Thus, many people have been wrong to make the link.

At best it seems they haven't ruled it out as a cause of his type of cancer, but they don't think it's a significant risk factor.


As I said, that's a fair enough point.

That said, the issue deserves further study since the data is less than that for other types of cancers, given how rare this cancer is.

No harm in further studying the direct link, but given the proven links between chewing tobacco and other oral cancers, it would be scarce consolation if the cause of one particular type of cancer remained unknown. If you've got a gun loaded with five bullets, the fact that one of those pulls on the trigger won't kill you isn't particularly significant.

--------------------------------------------

Yes, we can see how Tony Gwynn not dying of dipping-caused cancer would make you want strict and immediate action.


That's nice, since I specifically said I wouldn't outlaw it, and if I did it wouldn't be because of Tony Gwynn, it'd be because of the Bill Tuttles and Nellie Foxes.

But he didn't say you wanted to outlaw it; he said you wanted to take strict and immediate action. And, well, I don't know how "immediate" you want it to be, but you ARE advocating strict action, via your plan to outlaw branding and marketing and regulate it much more strictly.


Just to be clear, this is independent of any MLB policy WRT chewing tobacco. On that issue, I'm relatively agnostic, though it wouldn't bother me if it were banned on the field.

As for the overall issue of branding and marketing and regulating the content of tobacco products, I've said many times here that I'd deal with that immediately.

Setting aside how effective these measures would be at diminishing smokeless tobacco use overall (*), this is sort of like the problem the left has with instituting measures restricting abortion (e.g., parental notification); they argue that the measures themselves infringe on the constitutional right of abortion. You're sort of engaging in that type of thing from the other direction with regard to this issue.

Not really. I wouldn't restrict selling cigarettes, only any attempts at brand differentiation. Even more important, I'd empower the FDA to restrict any sort of chemical enhancement to tobacco products that would make them even more addictive. That they do this now has been repeatedly demonstrated.

(*) I understood that branding and marketing more affects WHICH BRAND of a product people choose than the overall issue of WHETHER people choose to use that product, although I could be wrong about that.

It's not an either/or. It's both. Overall cigarette consumption spiked dramatically in the 1920's due in great part to the ingenious advertising campaigns by several different brands. Some brands grew more than others, but the overall rate of consumption kept going up and up as the relative popularity of specific brands rose and fell. The overall effect of successful branding is to make cigarette smoking more appealing, as well as increasing sales for any particular brand.

   68. shoewizard Posted: June 22, 2014 at 01:00 AM (#4732582)
Addison Reed Quits Chew

Tony Gwynn was his college coach
   69. Wahoo Sam Posted: June 22, 2014 at 04:25 AM (#4732588)
Blowhard aside --- KO's points are mostly solid. Anyone in 2014 who thinks that chewing tobacco is not going to be bad for you and couldn't possibly lead to cancer is a nitwit.

I would also, however, like to see someone speak about ALCOHOL. Close to 100,000 people each year die from alcohol-related diseases. That's far less than lung cancer and tobacco-related deaths (more than 400,000), but still a hell of a lot. Why no outcry about Budweiser sponsoring everything from the Olympics to NCAA to MLB and professional bowling? Because it's the drug of choice for most Americans and it can't be touched.
   70. vivaelpujols Posted: June 22, 2014 at 04:43 AM (#4732589)
I mean I'm pretty sure that chewing tobacco did kill Tony Gwynn, but so what? He's an adult, he should be allowed to do whatever he wants as long as it's legal and doesn't effect his performance. And even if MLB did ban chewing tobacco I'm sure Gwynn still would have done it on his own time.
   71. vivaelpujols Posted: June 22, 2014 at 04:56 AM (#4732590)
At most, dipping increased his odds of getting this kind of cancer.


Of course. That's all anybody can say about this.

I'm surprised such probabilistic thinking came from a sabermetric luddite like SBB.
   72. Dunn Deal Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4733181)
Quitting dip hurts. Within 2 days all these blisters and ulcers that have been hiding under the surface of your gums come to the surface. It hurts to chew food, drink anything, talk, and breathe. Around your third or fourth panick attack while your mouth literally bleeds... quitting seems like a really bad idea. A little after that the dead cells lining your asophagus start to come off, which causes soar throat and smells like you've been eating road kill. Nicotine gum and packages are dosed for cigarettes, they don't come close to covering a dip craving.


Not for nothing, but I was dipping about a can a day when I heard of Gwynn's death, and I had been dipping regularly for the past 10 years or so. Even though I realize that this particular cancer hasn't been linked to tobacco, many other cancers have been. As such, I always had planned on quitting "some day", but I decided to make "some day" last Monday when I heard the news. The last dip I had was Sunday night before I heard the news, and I haven't had one since.

I don't know if a can a day (the amount I used to dip) would categorize me as a "heavy user", but the severe effects you mention haven't been my experience at all. I'd like to put a dip in, but I haven't had any headaches, gum bleeding or sores, or anxiety. I was -ahem- "backed up" quite a bit but I took some fiber supplements and that worked itself out, so to speak. Maybe I'm just lucky - your experience sounds awful, whereas I've just been mildly bummed out a few times a day. I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to give an account of my experience with quitting, which hasn't been nearly as awful.
   73. zenbitz Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4733194)
I would put almost no weight on the statistics that salivary cancer is epidemiologically distinct from other oral cancers. I mean, sure it's cytologically a different "type" of cancers but all cancers are individual anyway. I think it's safe to say that dip has a load of mutagenic compounds which are going to increase the likelyhood of cancer in whatever tissues are bathing in them.

That being said, there are a lot of different factors and not a little randomness either.... So it would not be precise to say that chaw killed Tony Gwynn.
   74. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4733228)
I don't know if a can a day (the amount I used to dip) would categorize me as a "heavy user", but the severe effects you mention haven't been my experience at all. I'd like to put a dip in, but I haven't had any headaches, gum bleeding or sores, or anxiety. I was -ahem- "backed up" quite a bit but I took some fiber supplements and that worked itself out, so to speak. Maybe I'm just lucky - your experience sounds awful, whereas I've just been mildly bummed out a few times a day. I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to give an account of my experience with quitting, which hasn't been nearly as awful.


I quit three years ago after 20 years of dipping.* At the time, each dip was seriously causing gum pain in some way (which I hadn't experienced previously). Thus, unlike previous attempts, I found quitting to be remarkably easy, and I think the reason was because I kind of understood that if I didn't do it then, I probably was never going to.

At this point, the most lasting effect is the crappy state of my teeth.

Best of luck on your effort, Dunn.

* I didn't have Tony as a motivating tool. Instead, I had another Hall of Famer serve that purpose, as the death of Harmon Killebrew coincided with my quitting, so I bookmarked a thread about him and left it there until I hit the one-year mark.



   75. Howie Menckel Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4733251)

"As such, I always had planned on quitting "some day", but I decided to make "some day" last Monday when I heard the news. The last dip I had was Sunday night before I heard the news, and I haven't had one since."

I have nothing to contribute re cancer links or not. Just want to say I respect your tale, and wish you the best of luck in the future. And thanks for the willingness to explain a real-world situation.
   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4733257)
I literally lost a bet to my roommate freshman year in college, and I was forced to try a dip.

I found it to be vile and disgusting; I got nauseous and have had no trouble not ever taking another dip again.

I can sort of see smoking -- not really given the risks but I've had 25 or so cigarettes in my life and it's sort of fun -- but I found nothing redeeming at all about dipping. And the spittoon situation sort of puts it over the top.
   77. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4733274)
I'm a non-smoker, other than an occasional cigar when I'm playing golf (I doubt 3 or 4 cigars a year is a big deal).

I have to admit as a teenager, I was completely underwhelmed by the peer pressure of smoking. All those Very Special Episodes of TV shows in the 80s led me to believe that other kids would be bullying me into smoking. Did not happen. I never got to run away from a pack of kids forcing me to smoke, calling them Dirtylungs as I tried to find an adult in vain. Typically, someone would offer me a cigarette, I would say nah, and then we'd go back to what we were doing. Huge letdown. Cigarettes weren't cheap, even then, I'm sure my buddy Jim with the fake ID preferred getting to smoke all of his.
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:08 AM (#4733298)
I literally lost a bet to my roommate freshman year in college, and I was forced to try a dip.

I found it to be vile and disgusting; I got nauseous and have had no trouble not ever taking another dip again.


I once bought a pack of Red Man. It seemed to have the taste and texture of raisins, but I spit it out and gave the rest of the pack to a friend of mine.

He didn't know you weren't supposed to swallow the juice, but at least the experience educated him to the point he never tried it again.

I can sort of see smoking -- not really given the risks but I've had 25 or so cigarettes in my life and it's sort of fun -- but I found nothing redeeming at all about dipping. And the spittoon situation sort of puts it over the top.

I smoked very briefly in college, but only after dinner. This was when Marlboros were 18 cents a pack in North Carolina. One evening I was in a meeting in downtown Durham in a closed and crowded room and everyone was smoking, including me. The smoke was so thick you could barely see across the room.

I got so sick that I ran downstairs, crossed the street, and bought a pack of Rolaids. I ate the entire pack in one sitting to stop myself from throwing up, and I never smoked again.
   79. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:55 AM (#4733306)
I have to admit as a teenager, I was completely underwhelmed by the peer pressure of smoking. All those Very Special Episodes of TV shows in the 80s led me to believe that other kids would be bullying me into smoking. Did not happen.


My recollection of those shows was that the peer pressure generally involved invocations of trying it to be cool. You were obviously a lost cause.

I do enjoy the occasional cigar on special occasions, similar to how for most of my adult life I'd average maybe 2-4 drinks a year, always at a wedding.
   80. CrosbyBird Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4734038)
Sure, but that's still a vast majority of heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. There's a reason they only publish the 20 times part, and not the 10% number.

It's silly, because the 10% number is much, much scarier. Especially since about half of the people who catch lung cancer in the early stages die within five years. (Late stages? Around 4% survive five years.)

Although I wonder how much work "heavy" is doing there, and how many smokers would fit into that category.
   81. McCoy Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4734040)
The peer pressure as a kid isn't really overt. It is much more subtle and thus much more powerful. If you go to a party and a bunch of people are outside smoking and you're not you're going to apply a ton of pressure to yourself to go out there and smoke just to fit in. There is a reason why goths where the same clothes.
   82. CrosbyBird Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4734041)
Also, the next drug dealer that hard-sells me will be the first. I must have grown up after the "first one's free, then you're hooked" philosophy was phased out.
   83. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4734044)
The "peer pressure" is poorly named. It's not so much "pressure" but just constantly being around people who are doing X and then eventually you're probably going to try X. If your friends are always going bowling on a Friday night you'll probably go bowling at some point too.

Or not. I never tried acid or shrooms despite other guys on my freshman hall doing those drugs.

I have to confess I've never seen anyone doing heroine or coke (although I understand that heroine is the new "it" drug).

I also don't really believe in drug A being a "gateway" to harder drugs B or C. I think A is a gateway to A; if you smoke pot once you'll probably do it again. (Same with cheating on your spouse, I imagine.) But just because you smoke pot doesn't mean you're going to start doing lines of coke.
   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4734046)
Yeah, there are few "hard-sells" or "bullying." Those things are for the most part myths. Your friends will probably say at some point, eh, go ahead, try it, we're all trying it. But they're not going to hold you down and pour cocaine down your throat.
   85. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 23, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4734048)
The "peer pressure" is poorly named. It's not so much "pressure" but just constantly being around people who are doing X and then eventually you're probably going to try X. If your friends are always going bowling on a Friday night you'll probably go bowling at some point too.


And that's pretty much how I got started dipping. The guys I was hanging around and playing Euchre with were all dipping (this was Indiana). I had done it occasionally during baseball season, and was foolish enough to think I was too smart to get hooked.

   86. Lassus Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4734050)
I have to confess I've never seen anyone doing heroine or coke...

They have cosplay porn these days, you realize.


Smoking stunk and alcohol and pot made you stupid. The main peer pressure I felt was that it would annoy me less to be around drunk people if I was drunk, but that didn't really push it over the top.

There was peer pressure and mockery for awhile as a teetotalling non-straight-edge teen; but people mostly held a bewildered awe that I never tried any of them, and that uniqueness was cool so I just kept it. It wasn't difficult, and no loss.

My sole - and still utterly tepid - regret is never having tried the safer psychedelics, say, mushrooms.
   87. Dunn Deal Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4734082)
And that's pretty much how I got started dipping. The guys I was hanging around and playing Euchre with were all dipping (this was Indiana). I had done it occasionally during baseball season, and was foolish enough to think I was too smart to get hooked.


Ditto for me as well. None of my friends pushed it on me, but eventually I got interested and tried it out. I didn't hate it, so I kept doing it sporadically and eventually it became a habit. I'm just glad since quitting, I haven't had any of the severe negative symptoms described earlier in the thread.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4734093)
How does one try dip and enjoy it? That's what I have a hard time wrapping my mind around, just as "Let me try driving this nail through the back of my hand. Oh, hey, I don't hate this. Let me do it again."
   89. PreservedFish Posted: June 23, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4734114)
I was just recounting my memory of the second beer I ever drank. It was immediately after the first one, which was a Miller Lite that I chugged in a circle of other teens doing the same. It went down so fast I didn't really have a chance to taste it. The second was also a Miller Lite, and I found it so unspeakably vile that I took it into the bathroom, looked at myself and tried to psych myself into drinking any of it. I ended up pouring most of it down the drain. But now I love beer. I don't love Miller Lite, but I can drink it without too much complaint.
   90. Lassus Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4734139)
I can probably say the disgusting taste of beer also assisted in my never drinking alcohol. "Vile" is the right word for that shit, even to this day. I still don't get it.
   91. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:44 AM (#4734160)
My recollection of those shows was that the peer pressure generally involved invocations of trying it to be cool. You were obviously a lost cause.

I made out OK - I was the beer supplier for most of the high school. Or I guess more accurately, my grandfather, retired Army lawyer was the beer supplier for most of the high school.

Crap, I think I was the Afterschool Special antagonist. I was onto decent beer (Moosehead, Heineken, Rolling Rock, this was pre-craft beer age) by the time I was 14 or 15.
   92. CrosbyBird Posted: June 24, 2014 at 03:47 AM (#4734167)
I also don't really believe in drug A being a "gateway" to harder drugs B or C. I think A is a gateway to A; if you smoke pot once you'll probably do it again. (Same with cheating on your spouse, I imagine.) But just because you smoke pot doesn't mean you're going to start doing lines of coke.

I think it's more a gateway in the sense that once you do one illegal thing that exposes the lie of the hyper-exaggerated dangers, your natural resistance to other illegal things drops off a bit.

But I think if cocaine were really easy to get and marijuana difficult, cocaine would be called a "gateway" to marijuana.

How does one try dip and enjoy it? That's what I have a hard time wrapping my mind around, just as "Let me try driving this nail through the back of my hand. Oh, hey, I don't hate this. Let me do it again."

I've tried dip a few times and there is a bit of a nicotine rush. I wouldn't say it makes you high, but there's a sensation and then the addictive nature of nicotine makes you want a little more. I don't enjoy the rest of the experience (the smell, taste, and spitting) and I'm terrified of addiction so I was happy not to do too much.

It was mostly curiosity. I've smoked about 15-20 cigarettes in my lifetime for the same reason.

I can probably say the disgusting taste of beer also assisted in my never drinking alcohol.

It took me a while to find a tolerable beer. Even today, I tend to go with sweeter beers like wheat beers when I drink beer rather than mixed drinks (which can taste really, really good). But on a hot day in the sun, a beer somehow hits the spot in a way no other drink can.
   93. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 24, 2014 at 06:48 AM (#4734173)
I can probably say the disgusting taste of beer also assisted in my never drinking alcohol. "Vile" is the right word for that ####, even to this day. I still don't get it.

That's my take on seafood and vinegar, but beer? Yum!
   94. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4734178)
I can probably say the disgusting taste of beer also assisted in my never drinking alcohol. "Vile" is the right word for that ####, even to this day. I still don't get it.


I'm with you there. I'll have a beer every now and again but it really doesn't taste good -- neither does wine, frankly, or a lot of hard liquor -- and that's why I will never be an alcoholic.

   95. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:23 AM (#4734179)
I don't smoke, and I don't drink alcohol, but I do swear, a lot.
   96. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:53 AM (#4734185)

There was peer pressure and mockery for awhile as a teetotalling non-straight-edge teen; but people mostly held a bewildered awe that I never tried any of them, and that uniqueness was cool so I just kept it. It wasn't difficult, and no loss.


This was me.

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