Cigarette Smoking Gateway to Illegal Drug Use

Cigarette Smoking Gateway to Illegal Drug Use
Posted by FoM on December 06, 2000 at 14:14:19 PT
Released by John Hopkins School of Public Healh
Source: U.S. Newswire
With the United States currently suffering from more than 400,000 tobacco-related deaths each year, one would think that tobacco alone has enough serious health complications. But a new study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health additionally shows that cigarette smoking increases a person's risk of using illegal drugs, which will eventually lead to a slew of entirely new consequences. The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Addictive Diseases. 
To investigate the associations between cigarette smoking and illegal drug use, the researchers analyzed data from the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse which provided information about the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco among members of the non-institutionalized United States civilian population aged 12 or older. The survey data were originally collected through personal visits to the residences of 17,809 respondents. Results showed that those who had smoked cigarettes were more likely to use illegal drugs. For all age groups combined, the 65.8 percent of participants who had ever smoked were: seven times more likely to have tried marijuana; seven times more likely to have tried cocaine; 14 times more likely to have tried crack; and 16 times more likely to have tried heroin. The results were even more startling when the statistical evidence was sub-divided by age groups. Associations between smoking and illegal drug use were significantly stronger for young people. For instance, people ages 12 to 15 who smoked cigarettes were 44 times more likely to use crack, compared with only a twofold risk in those 50 or older. "Results of this study deliver a strong cautionary message that those who smoked cigarettes before the age of 15 were up to 80 times more likely to use illegal drugs than those who did not," said lead author Shenghan Lai, MD, MPH, Associate Research Professor, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Cocaine, in either powder or crack form, was the drug most likely to be used among young cigarette smokers. Because the associations decrease with age, the authors said there is an implication that cigarette smoking is a better predictor for illegal drug use in young people. With the numbers of highschool-aged smokers increasing over the past decade, the results of the present analysis in fact predict an increase in illegal drug use over the next few decades. The researchers recognize the need for further prospective studies because the data used were not initially taken for the purpose of this study. Also needed, they said, are additional investigations into the causes of associations between cigarette smoking and illegal drug use, such as the roles played by behavioral genetics, developmental psychology, and the ethnography of adolescent drug using patterns. "Despite the need for further research," says Dr. Lai, "the study does clearly indicate that in the overall population surveyed, early tobacco use at least can be used as a predictor to identify those who will use illegal drugs later on in life." Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Complete Title: John Hopkins School of Public Health: Cigarette Smoking Gateway to Illegal Drug UseSource: U.S. NewswireReleased: Wednesday, December 06, 2000Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire Related Articles & Web Site:Johns Hopkins School of Public Health School Smokes Out Tobacco Users Testing Brought to a New Level
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on December 08, 2000 at 04:45:47 PT:
Talk about being prophetic...
The thrust of this article, and many of the comments that came after it's inclusion here, made me think. I had read something to the effect about the sociogical trends that seem to be escallating in the direction of eventual tobacco prohibition. I invite all and sundry to read the very last paragraphs from a speech that was given 5 years ago by a law professor. The entire speech can be accessed through the link."And so, yeah, we will continue the War on Drugs for a while until everybody sees its patent bankruptcy. But, let me say that I am not confident that good sense will prevail. Why? Because we love this idea of prohibition. We really do. We love it in this country. And so I will tell you what I predict. You will always know which ones are going out and which ones are coming in. And, can't you see the one coming right over the hill? Well, folks, we are going to have a new prohibition because we love this idea that we can solve difficult medical, economic, and social problems by the simple enactment of a criminal law. We adore this, and of course, you judges work it out, we have solved our problem. Do you have it? Our problem is over with the enactment of the law. You and the cops work it out, but we havesolved our problem. Here comes the new one? What's it going to be? No, it won't be guns, this one starts easy. This one is the Surgeon General has what? --Determined -- not "we want a little more checking it out", not "we need a few more studies", not "reasonable people disagree" -- "The Surgeon General has determined that the smoking of cigarettes will kill you." Now, all you need, and here is my formula, for a new prohibition every time is what? We need an intractable, difficult, social, economic, or medical problem. But thatis not enough. There has to be another thing. It has to divide by class --- by social or economic class, between US and THEM. And so, here it comes. ' You know the Federal Government has been spending a lot of money since 1968 trying to persuade us not to smoke. And, indeed, the absolute numbers on smokinghave declined very little. But, you know who has quit smoking, don't you? In gigantic numbers? The college-educated, that's who. The college-educated, that's who doesn't smoke. Who are they? Tomorrow's what? Movers and kickers, that's who. Tomorrow's movers and kickers don't smoke. Who does smoke? Oh, you knowwho smokes out of all proportion to their numbers in the society -- it is the people standing in your criminal courtrooms, that's who. Who are they? Tomorrow's moved and kicked, that's who. And, there it is friends, once it divides between the movers and kickers and the moved and kicked it is all over and it will be all over very shortly. It starts with "You know, they shouldn't smoke, they are killing themselves." Then it turns, as it has -- you see the ads out here -- "They shouldn't smoke, they are killing us." And pretty soon, that class division will happen, we will have the legislatures full of tomorrow's movers and kickers and they are going to say just what they are going to say any time now. "You know, this has just gotta stop, and we got an answer for it." We are going to have a criminal statute that forbids the manufacture, sale, or possession of tobacco cigarettes, or tobacco products period. You know that the cigarette companies are expecting it. What have they been doing? They have been shifting all of their operations out of the United States and diversifying like crazy. Where are they going to sell their cigarettes? In China, that's where. And they are already moving, because they see it and I see it. Ready? What are we going to have? You know what we are going to have. One day -- when's it gonna happen, ten years, fifteen? -- some legislator will get up and, just as though it had never been said before, "You know we gotta solve this smoking problem and I got a solution -- a criminal prohibition against the manufacture,sale, or possession of tobacco cigarettes." And then you know what happens. Then everybody who did want a cigarette here today, if there is anyone here whosmokes, you are going to have to hide in the bathroom. And cigarettes are no longer going to be three dollars a pack, they are going to be three dollars a piece. Andwho's going to sell them to you? Who will always sell them to you? The people who will sell you anything -- organized crime. You got the concept, we will go through the whole darn thing again because I am telling you this country is hooked on the notion of prohibition. Let me conclude, and again this is my prediction -- I will tell you I don't think it is subject to opinion. Just look at it. Just take a look at what has happened now andwhat will happen. I will tell you how inexorable it is. If we get together here in the year 2005, I will bet you that it is as likely as not that the possession of marijuanamay not be criminal in this state. But the manufacture, sale, and possession of tobacco will be, and why? Because we love this idea of prohibitions, we can't live without them. They are our very favorite thing because we know how to solve difficult, social, economic, and medical problems -- a new criminal law with harsher penalties in every category for everybody. 
The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States 
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Comment #9 posted by ras james rsifwh on December 07, 2000 at 11:07:01 PT
gateway to death
tobacco smoke is highly addictive and radio active. in the last 30 years, over ten million americans have died from this deadly drug. cannabis sativa smoke is not addictive, is not radio active, and is not deadly. tobacco is a gateway to addiction, ill health, other drugs, and death.
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Comment #8 posted by defenderoffreeworld on December 07, 2000 at 08:36:55 PT:
this is great, i love it!!
haha, i hadn't been able to log on for a couple of days for my computer was down. now i do, and i read this, plus the clinton story, oh boy. this is absoutely marvelous!!!
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Comment #7 posted by observer on December 06, 2000 at 22:37:24 PT
Domino Theory, Stepping-Stone Theory
cigarette smoking increases a person's risk of using illegal drugs, which will eventually lead to a slew of entirely new consequences...Ah yes, the gateway theory (aka stepping-stone theory, domino theory).(4) The Concept of "Controlled" Usage is Destroyed and Replaced by a "Domino Theory" of Chemical ProgressionThe history of prohibitionist pronouncements is replete with examples which propose a "domino theory" of chemical usage. Such a theory holds that the use of a particular drug (usually the one presently targeted for prohibition) inevitably and with rare exception leads-to the use of other drugs (usually drugs already prohibited or drugs already defined as evil). For example, the publication in 1798 of Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical by Benjamin Rush includes the following comments from an anti-tobacco essay: "A desire of course is excited for strong drink, (by smoking tobacco) and these (cigarettes) when taken between meals soon lead to intemperance and drunkenness.35 The following is from a 1912 article in Century magazine:The relation of tobacco, especially in the form of cigarettes, and alcohol and opium is a close one . . . Morphine is the legitimate consequence of alcohol, and alcohol is the legitimate consequence of tobacco. Cigarettes, drink, opium is the logical and regular series. 36One of the most dramatic and all-inclusive examples of this "domino theory" can be seen in the following illustration from The Temperance Program (1915) of Evangelist Thos. F. Hubbard. 37 contention that alcohol abuse was the basis for morphinism was not uncommon in the late 1800's, and more recently the mystical connection between marihuana and heroin has been central to the rationale for continued prohibition of marihuana.The destruction of the concept of controlled drug usage implies that everyone who ever uses heroin will be a "dope fiend," everyone who drinks will be an alcoholic, etc. In general this strategy equates the use and abuse of drugs and implies that it is impossible to use the particular drug or drugs in question without physical, mental, and moral deterioration. Such a view holds that there are powers within the drug over which no one can exert control. The extreme absurdity of such a view seems apparent when one considers the vast majority of persons who use alcohol in this country with minimal or no dysfunctional consequences and the numbers of users of illicit drugs who do not suffer physical deterioration, who do not progress to compulsive drug usage, who do continue to work, raise children, and maintain the usually expected social responsibilities. The idea that there are overwhelming powers within drugs is probably nowhere better illustrated than in a statement in Marc Olden's 1973 book, Cocaine, in which he states: "It's possible to get a habit just from handling the drug." 38 The continued belief in this domino theory of chemical progression and its implications for current policies is perhaps well illustrated by a 1974 survey in which 39 percent of non-marihuana users in the sample cited "marijuana use leads to harder drugs" as the primary reason for their opposition to legalization of marihuana.39(Themes in Chemical ProhibitionWilliam L. WhiteFrom: Drugs in Perspective, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1979 ) 
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Comment #6 posted by aocp on December 06, 2000 at 18:18:55 PT:
This is fantastic! I can't wait to start the jailings of otherwise-law-abiding citizens who indulge in tobacco consumption! Let's just sit back and watch a bass-ackwards policy of prohibition in action! No excuses for the antis, this time.They really wanted to grow up and be a puritan? Sounds good to me. This reads like an Aesop's fable waiting to happen. If a lesson like this is all that the antis will accept before they admit their ERROR in judgment, then let's get on with it. A few eggs are gonna have to be broken before this omelette's ready.
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Comment #5 posted by dddd on December 06, 2000 at 17:18:22 PT
Now were talkin' phase two of the master plan can go into effect.After the tobacco act of 2002 goes into effect,we can keep the SWAT teams busy raiding 7-11 stores and Quik-E-Marts.Then,you can get pulled over,and go to jail for the bic lighter they found in your car.The tuff new smoking paraphanelia laws are helping the children stay off black market cigarettes.,,,,After that ,the new czar,Larry McCaffrey,(Barrys' kid),will get five billion dollars from congress for "Plan Kentucky",where most of the illicit tobacco is grown.They will be using nuclear herbicides to try and save these damn American citizens from doing stuff that is wrong,and not good.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on December 06, 2000 at 16:42:44 PT
HA HA HA HA HA HA, this is total BS.
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Comment #3 posted by Smokeless in Seattle on December 06, 2000 at 15:41:19 PT
Wait a second...
this points to some real, hard data about drug abuse. Something we are sorely lacking in, I might add.Instead of tossing people in jail who have drug problems, I have a better idea: find out WHY and use this data for TREATMENT, not simple la-de-da correlations. Maybe nicotine and ather drugs are having some effect in some people that causes them to seek chemical enjoyment (where was alcohol in all this, BTW?). Perhaps soem people's chemistry is diffrent than others, some people have a real problem, others don't. I welcome at least some semblance of data that makes sense. You must remember, nicotine is EXTREMELY PHYSICALLY ADDICTIVE. I know; I'm a nicotine addict. Let's get some *real* science going here.
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Comment #2 posted by stevo on December 06, 2000 at 14:36:57 PT
more irrelevent correlations
This is just another pointless correlation drawn up to make parents worry, but at least it doesn't scapegoat cannabis as it usually does.
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on December 06, 2000 at 14:27:15 PT:
Why is this a surprise?
What is really interesting is that there is next to no chance that tobacco will replace cannabis as the implied "gateway drug" demon among the anti's. Tobacco is a drug with no reasonable medical indication that is clearly addictive and kills thousands. One should properly ask why it is barely regulated while cannabis is illegal and sequestered in Schedule I. The law is illogical and unjustifiable. 
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