Sunday, September 28, 2008

Do cigars count as a green, leafy vegetable?

I'm always tickled when something I love – olive oil, red wine, avocados – is found to have health benefits. Don't guess it will ever happen with the stogies, but there are indicators that they're not as bad as the anti-tobacco zealots would want to make us believe. From a piece in Reason a few years back:
Once easily misled by the scare tactics of public health officials and anti-smoking activists, the mainstream press is starting to acknowledge something that medical studies have been finding for decades: The typical cigar smoker faces hazards far less serious than the typical cigarette smoker does.

Read it all here. On the other hand, Freud and U.S. Grant were both cigar smokers and both died of cancer of the jaw or throat. I told my doctor that my cigar-smoking uncle lived to 93 or 94 and my whiskey-drinking uncle lived to 90. Doc just said, "It probably kept them alive." Nothing like an enthusiasm to give you a reason to get moving in the morning, even if it's just to move to the chair on the porch for the first cigar of the day.

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