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Health Benefits of Tobacco

Date: 08-27-05
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Dr. William Campbell Douglass

Medical maverick Dr. William Campbell Douglass, who himself smokes 3 to 4 cigars a day, discussed the therapeutic effects of moderate smoking and secondhand smoke. Campbell said he did not always view smoking in a positive light, recalling his early days of practicing medicine when he would refuse to treat patients who continued to smoke.

"Smoking in moderation will not harm you," Campbell explained, citing several medical conditions, including cancer, that can be improved by smoking. In one study he referenced, women who smoked the most were found to have a statistically significant 54% decrease in incidents of breast cancer when compared to woman who never smoked. Campbell also said smoking in moderation can prevent arteries from becoming clogged, as well as relieve the symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

According to Campbell, the health benefits of tobacco have been overlooked because of "extremely unreliable" statistics. He pointed out that in Greece and Japan, and other places where smoking is very prevalent, people tend to live longer and healthier lives than in places where smoking is restricted. He also acknowledged the role of diet in overall health and longevity, and recommended a diet rich in animal fat.

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