Can The Rhetoric – Smoking Might Really Just Make You A Better Marksman

From BoingBoing.net

Cory Doctorow takes a pot shot at cigarettes (he calls them ‘cancer sticks’) through a 1938 advert claiming cigarettes will make you a better marksman.

Actually, there’s two different sets of immediate effects from smoking a cigarette on your metabolism.

  • If you smoke a cigarette quickly, your heart rate increases, your respiration rate jumps and you secrete adrenaline.
  • If you smoke in slower inhalations and in larger quantities, the overall effect is sedative.

Either one can be validly used to support that smoking a cigarette (or more, in the latter scenario) will make you a better sniper in the next five hours, for example.

They might be ‘cancer sticks’, but repressing knee-jerk rhetoric and using two seconds of your time to think through a statement twice will get you places.

Of course, there’s nothing to say that specifically Camels are any better at building snipers than, say, Lucky Strikes. That’s just ad-speek.

4 Responses

  1. * If you smoke a cigarette quickly, your heart rate increases, your respiration rate jumps and you secrete adrenaline.
    * If you smoke in slower inhalations and in larger quantities, the overall effect is sedative.

    Sure, but you could probably see the same effects if you just hyperventilated purposely or did some deep-breathing exercises. Try it. The effects wouldn’t last as long or be as noticeable, because of lack of nicotine, but it would still work. It’s kind of like when football teams work themselves up before a game, or when a performer meditates or just zones out before a performance.

  2. interesting
    but
    why does this matter to you?

  3. Because Cory Doctorow’s reaction was knee-jerk mocking of ‘cancer sticks’, with complete disregard to thinking twice about the claim made.
    His reaction qualifies as ‘mob science’.

  4. The stupidity of addicts never fails to amuse.

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