Tobacco: The Other Side of the Story

We all know for a fact that cigarettes cause cancer. It’s not even a debate. And everyone knows that nicotine is bad for you and tobacco causes lung cancer, right? Well, we’ve been smoking tobacco for thousands of years.  Yet only recently have we added all these additives and chemicals, which begs the question… Does tobacco cause cancer? Or is it the chemicals that cause cancer, and not the tobacco itself?

This is the other side of the story

Does Tobacco Cause Lung Cancer?

Dr. Victor Buhler, Pathologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City: “I have examined thousands of lungs both grossly and microscopically. I cannot tell you from examining a lung whether or not its former host had smoked.” (link)

Nearly 80% of people diagnosed with lung cancer now, in 2012, are non-smokers

Dr. Duane Carr. Professor of Surgery at the University of Tennessee writes:

Dr. Sheldon Sommers, Pathologist and Director of Laboratories at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York: “…it is not possible grossly or microscopically, or in any other way known to me, to distinguish between the lung of a smoker or a nonsmoker. Blackening of lungs is from carbon particles, and smoking tobacco does not introduce carbon particles into the lung.” (link)

The Smoking Scare Debunked – PDF Book

But, what if tobacco is not only NOT harmful to your health but actually good for you? The heresy…

Uploaded byDr. Heath Motley

Medicinal Tobacco:

We have all heard about how the Indians in America used tobacco for its medicinal properties, although there is not much evidence to back that up, or is there?

The following is from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Medicinal uses of tobacco in history by Anne Charlton, BA PhD

” In the 15th century, when the use of Nicotiana by the indigenous populations in the New World was first observed by Columbus and the plant was brought to Europe, all herbs were considered to have potential therapeutic properties and this new one was used to treat a wide range of conditions. Indeed, Nicotiana acquired a reputation as a panacea, to the extent of being called the ‘holy herb’ and ‘God’s remedy’.6 To understand the enthusiasm of Tudor doctors for this newly discovered herb, it is useful to look at the background.

…tobacco itself was variously called petum, betum, cogioba, cohobba, quauhyetl, picietl or yietl, and these names sometimes appeared later in herbals or pharmacopoeias.”

…As early as 15 October 1492 Columbus noted that dried leaves were carried by a man in a canoe near the island of Ferdinandina because they were esteemed for their healthfulness.9 In the same year, two members of his crew observed people in what is now Cuba carrying a burning torch that contained tobacco, the purpose of which (it later emerged) was to disinfect and help ward off disease and fatigue.

…It was perhaps in 1500 that the notion of tobacco as a panacea became prevalent. In that year, a Portuguese explorer, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, in Brazil, reported the use of the herb betum for treating ulcerated abscesses, fistulas, sores, inveterate polyps and many other ailments, and said it was called the holy herb because of its powerful virtue in desperate cases.6 Also, reports on medicinal use of tobacco by Native American populations continued to emerge in quantity. For example, in 1529, a Spanish missionary priest, Bernadino de Sahagun, collected information from four Mexican physicians about use of tobacco for medicinal purposes. He recorded that breathing the odour of fresh green leaves of the plant relieved persistent headaches. For colds and catarrh, green or powdered leaves should be rubbed around inside the mouth. Diseases of glands in the neck could be cured by cutting out the root of the lesion and placing on it crushed tobacco plant hot and mixed with salt, on the same spot.”


In a world of poisonous air, perhaps an age old hobby could provide some relief to our modern day maladies.

Controversial Facts:

  • Tobacco tar is known to protect against the damaging effects of Asbestos, cure Asthma and prevent Breast Cancer.
  • Nicotine has been shown to stop Tuberculosis in its tracks.
  • Carbon Monoxide may prevent Heart attacks and Stroke.
  • Parkinson’s disease is associated with non-smoking.
  • Alzheimers disease is associated with non-smoking.
  • Less than 3% of smokers die of lung cancer, even if they smoked chemical ridden generic cigarettes.
  • According to the Journal of Theoretic, Smoking simply does not cause Lung Cancer.
  • Researchers attempted to induce lung-cancer in thousands of mice through exposure to chronic levels of tobacco smoke (equivalent to 200 cigarettes a day in some cases) every study failed.
  • One study even proved that chronic exposure to tobacco smoke protected mice from cancer induced by nuclear radiation.
  • Smoking has a protective effect on immunological abnormalities in asbestos workers.


Van Gogh: Skull with Burning Cigarette: 1885

Some of these facts are from: The Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (Poland). Lange, A. “Effect of Smoking on Immunological Abnormalities in Asbestos Workers.

Since Google has since scrubbed the web of dissenting opinions, it may be hard to come by some of the sources.

This information can also be found in the records of the University of London, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “Cancer of the Lung Among Asbestos Factory Workers.”

Many other studies show similar findings for asbestos workers, for instance:

The Journal of Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology, Vol. 61: pp 1-17 (1981)

Doctors speak out:

Tobacco may not be the problem.  Perhaps the problem is our impulse. The idea that smoking a tobacco pipe may take more time to prepare, but lighting up a chemical-laden cigarette is easy and instant, even if less enjoyable.


I myself enjoy  dark-fired burleys packed into a briar pipe. Eddie Grey turned me on to MacBaren’s HH Old Dark Fired.


Related links:

Tobacco Health Benefits?

Lungs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years safe for transplant.

‘Nicotine – The Zombie Antidote’

A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco

The Black Lung Lie

Joe Dubs

I write about philosophy, geometry, health, politics and other stuff that interests me.


  1. I have been wondering this for some time. I really don’t think that smoking causes lung cancer. I was listening to a Fat Emperor podcast with Ivor Cummins and (I think) Dr. Saladino where they were discussing a study (that I can’t find now 🙁 ) where rats were fed seed oils (sunflower oil, I think) and exposed to tobacco smoke. The results of the study were that only the rats fed seed oils developed lung cancer. No matter how much smoke the beef tallow fed rats were exposed to none of them developed cancer. The correlation was so strong that the scientists that conducted the study concluded that the rats could NOT develop cancer without the presence of seed oils in their diet. Of course human and rat physiology is different, but that could explain some of those outliers – those black swans – that reached a very old age (90s or even into the 100s) will their health after smoking a cigar every day and eating red meat. They are explained away by saying they have “good” genetics or “your results may vary”.
    Also explains the lung cancer incidence in people that work with hot oil fryers for long periods of time.

    There was a similar rat study done with alcohol consumption and fatty liver. None of the rats fed beef tallow (instead of seed oil) had ANY liver damage no matter how much alcohol they consumed. Same conclusion was made – they could not produce liver damage in the rats without the presence of seed oil in their diet.

  2. Luis Angel Alaniz

    Are cigars in the same category as pipe smoking?

    • I think so, sort of, especially since you rarely inhale the smoke from a cigar; it is more about the aromatic experience. Not to say that pipe smokers inhale into their lungs, we like to do a ‘french inhale’ where you absorb the tobacco via your nasal pathway. The smoke will come out of the nose with this method.

  3. So what’s the best cigarettes brand to smoke or to get organic tobacco from? And should we inhale cigarettes since they found out it’s not bad ?

What do you think?