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Leonard Nimoy: Smoking Is Illogical 401

Posted by timothy
from the even-with-little-dollar-signs-on-the-tube dept.
An anonymous reader writes "My boyhood hero, actor Leonard Nimoy, has developed lung disease. To those still smoking and in the grips of marketing induced denial, he says 'quit now.' Small acts of goodness make the universe a better place."
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Leonard Nimoy: Smoking Is Illogical

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:15AM (#46200541)

    It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want.
    --Spock in 'Errand of Mercy'

    Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans.
    --Spock in 'I, Mudd'

    • It's hard to reconcile the fact that those Spock quotes emanated from the same guy who sang that Bilbo Baggins song.

      • To use the verb sang in reference to Mr Nimoy's voice is - highly illogical. This goes twice for Shatner.
  • Illogical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:19AM (#46200555) Journal

    You're 82, Leonard. Holding yourself up as an example of the ravages of smoking after reaching the age of 82 is illogical. Refusing to accept death at 82 is illogical. Go with grace.

    • Implying he doesn't inject large sums of money into his veins to keep himself alive

      • by jafac (1449)

        COPD is actually pretty bad, and there isn't a whole lot that having a ton of money can do. Maybe a heart/lung transplant. But at 82, that's a pretty rough surgery.

    • Re:Illogical (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:29AM (#46200601)

      You're 82, Leonard. ... Refusing to accept death at 82 is illogical. Go with grace.

      Let's see if you feel the same way if and when you reach the age of 82.

      • My mom did before 82.

        For many, living just becomes increasingly miserable-- especially if you have a chronic condition as she did.

        She was very orderly about it, maintained a "death" board, made sure her wishes for cremation- and who would inherit what was clear.

        A lot of people are able to go. Perhaps Nimoy feels he still has more to say, he has money to do things with, he's not ready to go yet.

        A lot depends on your general health, happiness, and even finances. And, of course, you religious outlook.

        I'm no

      • I dunno, I can kinda agree with going out with grace. When I'm 82, I want to go out by a method of my own choosing. COPD isn't exactly my first choice when picking how to exit this world.
      • by whoever57 (658626)

        Let's see if you feel the same way if and when you reach the age of 82.

        My mother was treated for cancer in her '80's. The cancer was (temporarily) defeated, but she lost her quality of life. Afterward, the cancer treatment, she regretted opting for treatment instead of palliative care. When the cancer came back, she opted for palliative care.

        My father (approaching 100) told me years ago that he felt that he had done everything that we wanted to do and did not fear death.

      • by Tailhook (98486)

        My father didn't fear death at 76 from lung cancer, and he didn't assign blame to others for his smoking. If I have the good fortune to live so long with the better part of my mental faculties in working order I will not wallow in excuses and blame when whichever of my many vices and faults catch up with me.

        Not everyone clings to life with claws and teeth, ready to squander every last shred of dignity to catch the next episode of Jeopardy.

        Sounds like you probably will though.

    • Re:Illogical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:32AM (#46200617)
      Refusing to accept that man wasn't meant to fly is illogical. Stay on the ground. How can the raging technophiles on Slashdot suddenly be such conservative anti-science luddites when it comes to lifespan? Yeah, all of a sudden you're all about limits. Why is that?

      Shouldn't the entire species also go with grace when it reaches its limits? You know, as opposed to the grand visions of the species colonizing the universe and being forever an ape that lasts a few decades before completely falling apart?

      No, no, that's different. Space is the Holy Manifest Destiny of the species, but only if we keep aging and dying like we did a thousand years ago. No technology must be developed to extend youth.

      Uncomfortable yet? Or only your pithy little statements are the truth??

    • Re:Illogical (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:05AM (#46200745)

      You're 82, Leonard. Holding yourself up as an example of the ravages of smoking after reaching the age of 82 is illogical.

      Refusing to acknowledge what science teaches us about disease is illogical and yet you are holding yourself up as an arbiter of logic.

      Refusing to accept death at 82 is illogical.

      There is no logic to dying before necessary if he can still do productive work or enjoy life.

      Go with grace.

      What an interesting contract to your words in this post [slashdot.org] and this post [slashdot.org]. It is almost as if you don't really mean it. You seem to lack empathy. Isn't there a word for that?

      • by Bob Uhl (30977)

        Refusing to acknowledge what science teaches us about disease is illogical and yet you are holding yourself up as an arbiter of logic.

        Who said anything about what science has discovered about disease? All science can say is, 'if you smoke, your risk of lung cancer is increased'; it cannot determine whether that risk is worthwhile.

        I'd argue that the risk is worthwhile when it comes to cigars and pipes, and not when it comes to smoking a pack a day of cigarettes, jsut as the risk of eating grilled meat is well worth it.

    • Re:Illogical (Score:5, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:33AM (#46200857) Journal

      You're 82, Leonard. Holding yourself up as an example of the ravages of smoking after reaching the age of 82 is illogical. Refusing to accept death at 82 is illogical. Go with grace.

      His problem is that 'grace' isn't really one of the features of COPD. First the coughing starts. Then you begin to experience difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. These become more severe until you can't maintain adequate O2 saturation without supplemental oxygen. Then they become more severe until you can't maintain adequate O2 saturation with supplemental oxygen. Then you die. Available treatments are largely aimed at easing the symptoms, and rarely effective in halting the disease's progression.

      It's hardly the worst (there's a lot of competition); but a long, futile, struggle to breath isn't a pretty exit. If he's really lucky, something else will kill him fast and first.

      • If he's really lucky, something else will kill him fast and first.

        But he shouldn't make it too obvious, or we'll crucify him for being a coward who took the easy way out.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Refusing to accept death at 82 is illogical.

      Accepting death at any age is what is illogical, not the reverse. My mom's 85 and bowls every week, she should just lay down and wait to die like her dad did when he was forced to retire? That's not just illogical, it's stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:21AM (#46200565)
    not supporting life extension is also illogical. Space fans really need to get their priorities straight, it's highly unlikely that any Star Trek-level of technology will ever happen, so if you want to explore the immense void out there, you'll have to live longer, a LOT longer. So never mind just quitting smoking; we'll need a serious, global, universal project to really understand life processes and extend youth.
  • in the grips of marketing induced denial

    It is not my fault! Marketing made me do it!

  • Is it even possible to be in 'marketing denial' at this point? Hasn't everyone had it pounded into them that smoking is bad, second hand smoke is bad, and now we even have third hand smoke? Is it really possible to live in the US and not understand the problems of smoking?
  • Perhaps in the distant past smoking marketers claimed smoking was safe, but I never saw any sign of that... they simply make smoking glamorous while glossing over the dangers, but it's not like they actively hide the dangers.

    Nor is it the case that any person who smokes does not know the danger at this point. There are millions of sources telling you smoking is bad. People do things they know are bad for them for whatever reason; that will never stop and it's unfair to blame marketing for human nature.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Until forced to stop, they not only claimed that it was safe, they claimed it was good for you. It reduced stress and improved digestion you see.

      That was some time ago, but Nimoy is 82, so...

      • by narcc (412956)

        they claimed it was good for you. It reduced stress and improved digestion you see.

        I've run across those ads before. So ... were those claims true or not?

        • by sjames (1099)

          It's fairly uncontroversial that smoking was not safe. There is some evidence that nicotine can help with irritable bowel syndrome, but for most it doesn't seem to do much for the digestion (and smoking is a hell of a way to take nicotine). It may have helped with stress.

          There is evidence that nicotine can help the negative symptoms of schizophrenia with far less side effects than approved drugs, but again, smoking is a hell of a way to take nicotine.

  • Was he out of his vulcan mind?!

    • Was he out of his vulcan mind?!

      No, Spock was sleeping in Obama's brain . . . who was also a smoker, but stopped . . .

      . . . if you have the faith to believe him . . .

      "If you like your cigarettes, you can keep them."

  • 82 years old (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kohath (38547) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:02AM (#46200731)

    Leonard Nimoy is 82 and he probably has a few more years ahead of him. Was he planning on living to be 1000 years old?

    Smoking has pluses and minuses. News flash: people like to smoke, just like they like drinking alcohol and using other substances. Ask a heroin user whether he likes heroin -- he loves it. So it's not illogical to take heroin, but it's a choice that can have a negative long-term effect.

    If you're already 82, like Leonard Nimoy, you might want to try smoking. Or heroin. The benefits are immediate. And you probably won't live to experience the consequences.

    • by nbauman (624611)

      Leonard Nimoy is 82 and he probably has a few more years ahead of him. Was he planning on living to be 1000 years old?

      Smoking has pluses and minuses.

      If he didn't have COPD, he'd probably live another 5 or 10 years longer than whatever he's got.

      COPD is one of the more painful ways to die. It's like breathing through a straw.

      • He's already at the point where he can't walk distances. So this diagnosis is really really late in the game for him.
      • by Kohath (38547)

        If he didn't have COPD, he'd probably live another 5 or 10 years longer than whatever he's got.

        "Probably" indicates more likely than not. Do you have any statistics to indicate that an average 82-year-old male without COPD is "more likely than not" to live to 90 or 95? I don't think you do.

        • by nbauman (624611)

          If he didn't have COPD, he'd probably live another 5 or 10 years longer than whatever he's got.

          "Probably" indicates more likely than not. Do you have any statistics to indicate that an average 82-year-old male without COPD is "more likely than not" to live to 90 or 95? I don't think you do.

          Yes I do. I went to a few medical conferences on COPD. COPD is the third biggest cause of death in the U.S. It gets a chapter in every introductory medical textbook, like the Merck Manual and Harrison's, and there are a lot of medical journal articles on it. I remember seeing a chart of the lung function of a healthy individual compared with one with COPD over the course of their lifetimes. At the bottom of the chart was a line indicating the minimum oxygen capacity you need to survive, and the people with

    • by EvilSS (557649) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:22AM (#46200825)

      Smoking has pluses and minuses.

      Such as???

      • Re:82 years old (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kohath (38547) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @03:04AM (#46200959)

        People have been smoking tobacco for about 1000 years now. Why do you think they started doing that? How far up your own ass would you have to be to deny even the possibility of a pleasant neurochemical effect?

        Here's a quote an article [livestrong.com]:

        This chemical enters the blood and after about seven seconds, it enters the brain, affecting exactly the same dopamine receptors, giving the brain the message that a rewarding activity has just been performed. Smokers report a feeling of calmness and mild euphoria when they have a puff of a cigarette.

        • Re:82 years old (Score:5, Interesting)

          by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @07:51AM (#46201919)

          The high goes away pretty quickly as your brain adapts, though nicotine remains a mild stimulant. After that, you mainly just get the relief of feeding the addiction - you go into withdrawal pretty quickly once you're addicted. In addition, it's psychologically addictive as you get used to the relief, and associate it with the physical act of smoking. Thus quitting is very hard, even with nicotine replacement therapy, and why most who try to quit fail, repeatedly. Nicotine is supposedly as hard to quit as heroin.

          Personally, I've switched to vaping from e-cigs. The same stress relief my brain associates with the physical act of smoking, a much lower dose of nicotine* (similar to caffeine in its effects) without all the tar, benzene and the many other carcinogens from combustion. Better to quit outright of course, but this is a workable half-way house for now, and much cheaper to boot.

          * I've scaled down the amount of nicotine in the liquid to much lower than I started with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        PLUS: You die sooner, and so your exposure to Slashdot Beta is reduced.

      • You can make some interesting connections sharing a cigarette. That's about all.
    • by hey! (33014)

      If you've already developed COPD, as Mr. Nimoy has, then you *will* experience the costs of continuing to smoke, even at the age of 82. So there are negatives.

      Also, at the age of 82 you probably don't give a damn about looking cool any more, so the biggest plus for a teenager doesn't apply.

  • Yeah Yeah (Score:4, Funny)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @02:21AM (#46200813) Homepage Journal
    We got this from Yul Brynner in 1989. Should have listened to him then, Skippy. Anyway, like the South Park cheerful smoking song goes, "If it gives me cancer when I'm 80 I don't care, who the hell wants to be 90 anyway?" I guess the answer to that one must be "Leonard Nimoy."
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      In any case it's preferable to die quietly in your sleep of quickly from a heart attack than slowly and in pain due to lung disease.

  • by Frankie70 (803801) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @03:03AM (#46200949)

    I use something like this -> http://i.imgur.com/ciomNzs.jpg [imgur.com]

    Only nicotine - none of the tar or any other 500 chemicals which burn in a cigarette.

  • by Frankie70 (803801)

    If you gonna live till 82, you gonna develop any disease you can possibly develop.

  • by mendax (114116) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @04:13AM (#46201207)

    Our friend Leonard Nimoy is probably feeling very mortal these days. So would you if you were 82 years old. I hope he enjoys every day he has left, spending as much time as he can spoiling his grandkids and telling Zachary Quinto more about the Zen of Spock.

    One of the things I learned in a certain Twelve Step program I've worked the steps in for many years is that death is just another part of life, only the final part, and one that comes to everyone at some time or another. There is not much point in being concerned about the how and when of that final moment in this existence. It just wastes energy and brain cycles that can be better spent on other endeavors. While I do have plans for the future, never want to retire, and my fondest wish is to drop dead at my desk at work, I will accept when it's my time to go. I will probably be disappointed in some ways since there are some things I want to do in life, but that's just human.

    And since it seems to be obligatory these days, FUCK the BETA, it really is bad.

  • E-cigarettes gives you the fast, abundant and finely controlled nicotine intake, with the experience of breathing hot air and satisfying the "nipple sucking" primordial reflex.
    They really give everything a cigarette user needs, and are cheap, especially in countries with high taxes on tobacco.. while like 95% of the toxicity just goes away. No more tars and whatever crap.

    So, don't hesitate.. Do it immediately!
    It's even something of a Star Trek thing. Star Trek had that fake alcohol which makes you drunk wit

  • That's something Spock would say to Uhura. You know, "singing is illogical", "fun is illogical", "kissing is illogical", "sex is illogical". Many things we humans like to do are "illogical", but we generally do them anyway, often because they are enjoyable, and sometimes because a lot of illogical risk taking propels humanity along as a whole.

    There are many things that shorten you life, and at age 82, Nimoy really can't complain about his life span. I think a better reason to quit smoking isn't necessarily

  • Influental actor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @05:38AM (#46201513) Homepage

    Leonard Nimoy is probably one of the most influental actors the last century. He may not have intended to be, but that's how things are - you can't control every aspect of your life - accept what you have become. As a person that have a rather iconic status he can reach more people than many others. He has at least not abused his position in life given by his characterization of Spock, which means that people will listen when he do say something.

    The sad thing here is that the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very slow and agonizing thing to experience - you know that you eventually will die from it. Cancer is another high risk for smokers. Of course people can die from lung cancer or COPD anyway - but smoking increases the risk considerably. Be it passive smoking or active - it increases the risk.

    I'd rather die quickly than have a slow agonizing death.

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