Tobacco smoke is toxic, on a small, local scale it is the equivalent of the noxious plumes we see emanating from heavy, industrial chimney stacks. In days of yore – and it’s not so long ago yet – entering a pub, cafe or the average office, as well as so many folks homes was to commit to breathing the accumulation of so many such effluents the impact was indeed industrial in scale.
The problem is abated now. The law has driven smoking into the more marginal areas and the actual process of smoking is so frowned upon that many, many have quit the process and see it as an abhorrent practice. Sadly, so many have also not got over their addiction, their metabolic dependency, for the nicotine they obtained from that smoke. As the widespread banning of smoking in public places set in, at the same time other ways to obtain the nicotine fix sprang up.
Latterly there has been a surge in “e-cigarettes”, which seem to remain deeply addictive and a way to remodel the lost markets. Earlier, and still ongoing were “nicotine patches”, being small, yeah, patches to stick to your skin which would release into your body over a period of hours a controlled dose of nicotine, such as you would have obtained by smoking during that period. Sold as a way to steadily reduce your nicotine intake, and addiction, they again had to fight off claims that they simply repositioned the addiction. Sure, it was more discrete and no smoke was required but when the patches ran out the addiction was still there. And so were cigarettes.
Me, I suffered passive smoking as my father slowly killed himself with all manner of tobacco products – cigarettes, cigars and pipe. I was never once even momentarily tempted by the pursuit and have never, ever tried it. Clearly there were so many things wrong with the process:
- The fumes annoyed non smokers
- The fumes lingered and, over time, stained rooms, curtains etc
- The process was addictive
- The evidence of a damage to smokers’ physiology and the carcinogenicity of the smoke was overwhelming
- The products were expensive – why burn money, why commit to unnecessary spending
- In a world of food shortages why use so much rich land to grow such a damaging crop?
Thus the personal benefits of whatever the nicotine “hit” gave to the smoker were outweighed by far too strong a pile of disbenefits, which were carried by the whole population. Why carry that on your shoulders?
Why indeed! Peer pressure coupled with persuasive advertising, curiosity and the power of addiction. Why, there are also industries to support! Think of the growers – how can we take away their lucrative commodity crop? Then there’s the factories where the product is processed and the vendors who bring it to the consuming public – all need the incomes.
An uneasy balance has thus been established wherein we know none of this market in needed but we can live with it so long as it does not intrude upon non smokers in any significant amount. Me, I’d tax the tobacco companies to fund the hospital and other charges arising from the damage their products cause and work to educate growers to eliminate tobacco from their portfolios in favour of beneficial crops – many more lucrative food crops, sure, but also products such as hemp or longer term tree crops.
Would that it were so simple for the products of Big Pharm! Would that their squirming was a sign that they, too, realise when to accept that, yes, their products are harmful and that they have a duty to assist in avoiding such outcomes. But, by a process of convergent evolution, they too have come up with the “patch”. As I have described previously, a canny Australian realised that sub-cutaneous tissue is a “sweet zone” to find anti-invasive responses in host physiology. Yeah, it’s a place we react strongly to antigen arrival. Gee, we all thought, what a surprise!
All over the body surfaces receiving direct contacts from the external environment are best served with such defensive/protective/maintenance facilities. It is, as could famously be stated, “a no-brainer”. On your average castle, where do you station the guard? Yeah, the outer walls.
So he invented – and quickly patented – “The Vaccine Patch”. Again, I have previously described this [“I wonder if he’ll get these to stick?”], reporting that the patent had been sold on to serious Big Pharm company Merck. My thought was that they’d probably sit on it, to keep the market as they already had it. [Adopting to standard monopoly/oligopoly practice in buying out opposition or potential opposition.] Or they might hit the world with it as new, digital age, cut-out-the-middlemen product.
Far lower doses, very good antibody production and you really do not need any medical practitioners to stick a very slightly spiky patch onto your arm, do you? After all, have not ex-smokers been doing this for years?
Anyway, it seems Merck Industries probably sensed others in the market had similar schemes so they could not keep a lid on it – isn’t the profit motive wonderful……? After less than two years, vaccine patches are so back on the table and going into development phases. I am sure it will not be long before you can go to your chemist for a roll of Patches for any of several dozen ailments – many we have not even heard of yet.
“Here is the 6 O’clock news. Reports are coming in of an outbreak of internal organ upset, IOU, sweeping through the Midlands and South Yorkshire. This terribly dangerous, debilitating and frequently fatal condition, caused by a particularly virulent strain of Escherichia coli colicoferens 999, has luckily been well researched by our beloved PPC, Patch Production Company, subsidiary of Mercoklinecomeagain, who have supplied not very expensive Patches to chemists up and down the region. NHS Prescriptions, plc, have a special BOGOF offer if you bring your kids in at the same time”.
Yeah, you get the picture!
As I ended my original article on this subject, when the patch was still just a gleam in an Australian’s eye, this process simply underlines how pointless vaccination is – in any form. These patches will house fragments of antigenic material together with adjuvanting materials and sundry preservative elements (these items will need a shelf life, obviously). They will be absorbed through the skin. As are countless antigenic items 24/7 for 365 days of the year. As happens also in the gut and in pulmonary tissue. It’s what our bodies do. We are good at it. We do not need any help. That is why the sub-cutaneous cells are the sweet-zone – this is their job.
So hijack will be achieved through using the carrier chemicals and the same mismatching could still occur as happen today, precipitating the same collateral damage. The lower dose must be a blessing but, really, there is no need for any dose and all attention should be focussed on optimising the body responses to natural antigen exposure, not adding new, synthetic ones.