Jordan Goodman, the author of Tobacco in History, says that as a historian he is careful about pointing the finger at individuals, “but in the history of tobacco I feel much more confident saying that James Buchanan Duke – otherwise known as Buck Duke – was responsible for the 20th Century phenomenon known as the cigarette.”
Not only did Duke help create the modern cigarette, he also pioneered the marketing and distribution systems that have led to its success on every continent.
In 1880, at the age of 24, Duke entered what was then a niche within the tobacco business – ready-rolled cigarettes. A small team in Durham, North Carolina, hand-rolled the Duke of Durham cigarettes, twisting the ends to seal them.
Two years later Duke saw an opportunity. He began working with a young mechanic called James Bonsack, who said he could mechanise cigarette manufacturing. Duke was convinced that people would want to smoke these neatly-rolled, perfectly symmetrical machine-made cigarettes.
Bonsack’s machine revolutionised the cigarette industry.
“It’s essentially a cigarette of infinite length, cut into the appropriate lengths by whirling shears,” says Robert Proctor. The open ends meant it has to be “juiced-up with chemical additives”. They added glycerine, sugar and molasses, and chemicals to prevent it drying out.
But keeping cigarettes moist was not the only challenge that Bonsack’s contraption presented to Duke. While his factory girls typically rolled about 200 cigarettes in a shift, the new machine produced 120,000 cigarettes a day, about a fifth of US consumption at the time.
“The problem was he produced more cigarettes than he could sell,” says Goodman. “He had to work out how to capture this market.”
The answer was to be found in advertising and marketing. Duke sponsored races, gave his cigarettes out for free at beauty contests and placed ads in the new “glossies” – the first magazines. He also recognised that the inclusion of collectable cigarette cards was as important as getting the product right. In 1889 alone, he spent $800,000 on marketing (about $25m in today’s money).
Bonsack retained the patent to his machine, but as thanks for Duke’s support in developing it, he offered him a 30% discount on the lease.
This competitive advantage – coupled with vigorous promotion – was key to Duke’s early success. As he had suspected, people liked mechanised cigarettes. They were modern-looking and more hygienic – one campaign emphasised this point over cigars, which were manufactured using human hands and saliva.
But although cigarette smoking in the US quadrupled in the 15 years to 1900, it remained a niche market, with most tobacco being chewed or smoked through pipes and cigars.
Duke – a cigar smoker himself – saw the potential for cigarettes to be used in places closed to cigars and pipes, such as drawing rooms and restaurants. The ease with which they could be lit and – unlike pipes – remain lit, also suited them to coffee breaks in modern city life.
“The cigarette was really used in a different way,” says Proctor. “And it was milder – and this is one of the great ironies, that cigarettes were widely thought to be safer than cigars, because they are just ‘little cigars’, right?”
We now know that cigarettes are far more addictive than cigars. The fact that the smoke is inhaled – which it is not traditional for cigars – also makes them more dangerous. But a correlation with lung cancer was not made until the 1930s and the causal link was not established until 1957 in the UK and 1964 in the USA.
American boys are showing signs of starting puberty six months to two years earlier than they did 30 to 40 years ago, finds new research out today.
The new study found signs of puberty in white boys â?? genital and pubic hair growth and early testicular development â?? at 10.14 years old, more than a year earlier than in a classic British study of white boys in 1969 (11.60 years). And African-American boys in the new study showed signs of puberty even earlier, at 9.14 years old; Hispanic boys did at 10.40 years old.
The new findings follow widely accepted research documenting earlier physical maturation among U.S. girls, and are in line with other research finding earlier puberty onset among boys in Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy and China, according to the study in November’s Pediatrics. It was released today at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting in New Orleans.
There has been considerable research on the start of puberty in girls, “but boys have not been studied nearly as much,” says Marcia Herman-Giddens, an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in Chapel Hill, and lead author of both the new study and a landmark 1997 study on girls.
The findings do not come as a complete surprise, she says, noting similar findings in a recent longitudinal study on boys and puberty, and recent growth data showing boys achieving their mature height earlier. “They can’t do that without entering puberty earlier.”
For the study, researchers analyzed data on 4,100 boys ages 6 to 16 collected from 144 pediatric offices in 41 states. It was designed to report only physical changes and not hormonal, social or psychological changes associated with puberty.
Eating around two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm health in young men, a study in the journal Biology of Reproduction suggests.
Sperm shape, movement and vitality improved in men who added walnuts to their diet over 12 weeks.
The fatty acids found in these nuts are thought to have helped sperm development. It is not known if this would help improve male fertility.
Long ago surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased rather than decreased surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used—razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis—hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the mean time, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield.
Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals.
Additionally, I’ve seen cellulitis (soft tissue bacterial infection without abscess) of the scrotum, labia and penis from spread of bacteria from shaving or from sexual contact with strep or staph bacteria from a partner’s skin.
Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs as well.
Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
All hail the Glorious Natural Pelt!
It is something every Spaniard has always known – a sleep in the afternoon is good for you. Now, scientists have confirmed the benefits of the siesta and issued guidelines for the perfect nap.
A short sleep after lunch can reduce stress, help cardiovascular functions, and improve alertness and memory, according to a report from the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN).
But it is only beneficial if it forms part of the regular daily routine rather than a one off.
A post-prandial nap is part of the natural cycle of the body and missing it could be worse for one’s health than skipping a meal, the findings showed.
Sleep too long, however, and the effects could be detrimental, experts warn.
A siesta should be no longer than half an hour and should take place on a sofa or in a comfortable armchair and not in bed, where one is more likely to fall into a deep sleep.
It’s been about two years since Mission: Readiness, an organization of retired military leaders promoting certain Nanny State school reforms, warned that a quarter of 17- to 24-year-olds were too fat to be useful to the military.
Of course, nobody suggests the idea that maybe the problem isn’t that Americans are too fat, but rather the military is stretched too thin and trying to do too much. Why is it not enough that 25 percent of the U.S. is capable of military service? That’s 78 million people. In 2010, America had 1.5 million on active duty and 848,000 in reserves. We have more than enough people in America who qualify to serve in the military. Maybe the problem is what America has been doing with its military that is keeping qualified applicants away? Why isn’t that part of the discussion, rather than treating America’s children as though they’re military property that parents aren’t properly maintaining?
An analysis of studies involving more than 2m workers in the British Medical Journal said shift work can disrupt the body clock and have an adverse effect on lifestyle.
It has previously been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Limiting night shifts would help workers cope, experts said.
The team of researchers from Canada and Norway analysed 34 studies.
In total, there were 17,359 coronary events of some kind, including cardiac arrests, 6,598 heart attacks and 1,854 strokes caused by lack of blood to the brain.
These events were more common in shift workers than in other people.
The BMJ study calculated that shift work was linked to a 23% increased risk of heart attack, 24% increased risk of coronary event and 5% increased risk of stroke.
New research funded by the National Science Foundation has scientists warning consumers about the potentially harmful effects energy-saving CFL light bulbs can have on skin.
The warning comes based on a study conducted by Stony Brook University and New York State Stem Cell Science — published in the June issue of Photochemistry and Photobiology — which looked at whether and how the invisible UV rays CFL bulbs emit affect the skin.
Based on the research, scientists concluded that CFL light bulbs can be harmful to healthy skin cells.
“Our study revealed that the response of healthy skin cells to UV emitted from CFL bulbs is consistent with damage from ultraviolet radiation,” said lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University, in New York, in a statement. “Skin cell damage was further enhanced when low dosages of TiO2 nanoparticles were introduced to the skin cells prior to exposure.”
According to Rafailovich, with or without TiO2 (a chemical found in sunblock), incandescent bulbs of the same light intensity had zero effects on healthy skin.
The scientists found that cracks in the CFL bulbs phosphor coatings yielded significant levels of UVC and UVA in all of the bulbs — purchased in different locations across two counties — they examined.
Bad news for pietistic Christians, Mormons, and Muslims; good news for non-pietistic Christians like me.
A newly released study shows that regular drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than people who have never indulged in alcohol. You read that right: Time reports that abstaining from alcohol altogether can lead to a shorter life than consistent, moderate drinking.
Surprised? The tightly controlled study, which looked at individuals between ages 55 and 65, spanned a 20-year period and accounted for variables ranging from socioeconomic status to level of physical activity. Led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, it found that mortality rates were highest for those who had never had a sip, lower for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers who enjoyed one to three drinks per day.
Of the 1,824 study participants, only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died prematurely compared to a whopping 69 percent of the nondrinkers. Meanwhile, the heavy drinkers fared better than those who abstained, with a 60 percent mortality rate. Despite the increased risks for cirrhosis and several types of cancer, not to mention dependency, accidents and poor judgment associated with heavy drinking, those who imbibe are less likely to die than people who stay dry.
Captain Scott and other members of his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole were effectively killed by a slimming diet, research has shown.
The men expended more energy than Olympic athletes as they hand-hauled their supplies on sledges across hundreds of miles of ice and snow.
Their rations were too high in protein and too low in fat, and simply did not deliver enough calories, say scientists. As a result, the polar explorers starved to death.
Their rations were also too low in fat, which provides more energy than protein weight-for-weight, said the researchers. The balance was 24% fat and 29% protein. Today, adventurers setting out on tough expeditions consume up to 57% fat and just 8% protein.
Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies. This research suggests that reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders.
He had me at #1.
1. I Really Like Cheese
Which is why I named this blog CHEESESLAVE. But cheese is verboten on the paleo diet.
Yes, I know some paleo people eat cheese, but many of them think that eating a chunk of cheddar is equivalent to making a pact with the devil. You see, according to their logic, cheese is a “neolithic” food, and therefore not paleolithic. At best, it’s considered a compromise food for most paleo folks.
It’s true, cheese is neolithic. And yet it has been a staple food among humans for over 10,000 years.
Of course, as a Biblical creationist, I don’t believe we’ve been around for 10,000 years - nor, for that matter, that all humans started out as hunter-gatherers rather than many practicing agriculture from the get-go, according to Genesis.
And so I therefore also agree with other arguments he makes against slavish adherence to a ‘hunter-gatherer’ diet, even if for slightly different reasons than him.
Though I love cheese, too.
Anyway, I just found it an interesting read.
Following Keoni’s recent post about the benefits of sunlight, here’s an interesting post by paleo blogger Mark Sisson on the benefits of working outdoors. (HT: Ray Sawhill)
The clear-cut, most obvious problem with work is job-related stress. We’re pushed too hard for too little pay. This can be stressful. We’re doing something we’d rather not, rather than doing something we actually enjoy. This is stressful as well. We’re competing with our workmates for promotions, pay raises, or even just to keep our jobs. Such competition, especially prolonged competition, can be stressful. We’re looking over our shoulders, worrying about layoffs and mergers and fluctuations in other markets that affect our employment. This can be stressful, especially because so much is ultimately out of our immediate control. It’s no wonder, then, that people assume that the stress comes entirely from the actual work. Doing anything for eight hours at a time, especially when you don’t particularly care for it and particularly when you sit down the entire time with nary a break, can be draining and stressful. You toss in a long commute and a boss you hate, and things get even worse.
But I think there’s much more to job-related stress than the job. I think the physical work environment – the office, the cubicle, the indoor lighting, the walls boxing you in, the uniform sameness of it all – also plays a role, perhaps even the primary role. After all, evidence is mounting that nearly all lab animals are perpetually stressed, primarily because their natural habitats are vastly different than the lab habitat. If we’re in a similar position, spending a third of our days in physical environments that are wholly alien to our genes, subject to lighting that’s not as bright as the sun, windows that only some of the UV rays through, walls that keep us penned in, chairs that keep us immobile, and a distinct lack of greenery, dirt, sand, silt, mud, muck, bugs, and trees, increased stress is a likely result.
As to why we should want to improve our experience at work and reduce stress, job-related stress isn’t just unpleasant and, well, stressful. It can also complicate, complement, and exacerbate metabolic syndrome, raising triglycerides, blood pressure, and the risk of renal and heart disease. Pretty hard to get those TPS reports done with a failing kidney. Oh, and happier and less stressed workers are also better workers. Overall, occupational stress is a huge target. If we can reduce that by working outside, we’ll probably have mitigated a big portion of the stress in our lives.
Health advice to drink eight glasses of water a day is over the top and does not help with weight loss, says a leading nutritionist.
Fruit, vegetables and juices should have a major role in providing the fluids we need, he added.
Spero Tsindos, an academic and public health expert, also argued that the push to encourage people to drink more water was driven by vested interests.
‘We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person’s fluid needs and, despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration.’
He added: ‘We need to maintain fluid balance and should drink water, but also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices.’
It really should be common sense; have something to drink when you’re thirsty, and don’t worry about it, if you’re not.
But hey, newspapers and all too many nutritionists and dietitians need to scaremonger:
One is always seeing contradictory reports coming out, new studies saying the exact opposite as earlier ones, then the same again, later. Eggs are good for you; eggs are bad for you. A glass of wine a day is good for you; one glass of wine each day is too much, not good for you. Some bran each day is good for you; better to get your fibre in fruit instead of bran because of carbs. Butter is good for you; butter has too much saturated fats, and is not good for you. Etc., etc. Over and over. I tend to ignore them now, and just take the view that everything in moderation, nothing in excess, is surely the best advice to follow, regarding foodstuffs; plus, keep in mind glycemic indexes of carbohydrate-containing foods.
And drink water when you’re thirsty (or milk, or coffee, or beer).
Vitamin D is the keystone nutrient. You can eat the healthiest human diet possible, exercise regularly and get a good nights sleep every night….but develop a Vitamin D deficiency, and you will eventually get sick.
The best source of Vitamin D, is giving your bare skin direct exposure to the full spectrum of solar radiation when the sun is directly overhead your given latitude on the planet.
In most places, this is the 10:00am – 4:00pm window for which all the Brave New World Order healthcareindustry representatives and propaganda organs tell us we should try to avoid as much as possible, and that if we must go outdoors during that time period, we must cover up as much as possible and slather on the sunscreen.
Nearly one-half of the American population will be obese by 2030 according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The researchers estimate that this will result in an additional $66 billion dollars in health care expenditures, 7.8 million new cases of diabetes, 6.8 million new cases of stroke and heart disease, and 539,000 new cancer diagnoses. This epidemic of obesity and commonly associated diseases creates a gash in the fabric of our country that threatens the future of individuals, families, and our nation.
But a potentially larger crisis is looming in the pews of churches across America. In fact, statistics suggest that the church today may indeed be in worse condition than the general population. A 2006 Purdue study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%.
This study prompted the lead researcher, Ken Ferraro to say, “America is becoming a nation of gluttony and obesity and churches are a feeding ground for this problem.”
Similarly, a 2011 Northwestern University study tracking 3,433 men and women for 18 years found that young adults who attend church or a bible study once a week are 50% more likely to be obese.
The Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers.
Finally, a 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population at the time of the study.
The Amish, who are well-known for drinking raw milk, have apparently been found to have greater immunity to allergies in their children than even other farm children, according to a recent study. (Hat Tip: Ray Sawhill)
Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.
“The rates are very, very low,” said Dr. Mark Holbreich, the study’s lead author. “So there’s something that we feel is even more protective in the Amish” than in European farming communities.