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The Radioactive Russian

As Usual, The Antismokers Are Lying To You  


In November 2006 a Russian spy named Alexander Litvinenko died from poisoning by the radioactive substance, Polonium-210. In the Nov. 28th edition of the Indianapolis Star, a Dr. Stephen Jay, a pulmonologist and "leading authority on the health effects of smoking" wrote that, "chronic poisoning with polonium 210 is common in those who use tobacco (smoking or smokeless) or inhale secondhand smoke." And on Dec. 1st, Dr. Robert Proctor wrote an extensive opinion piece in the prestigious New York Times disseminating a similar scare story. Are these accurate, meaningful, and truthful statements... or just more lies by Antimokers?


we see the following: "It has been estimated that the intake of 210Po by a typical smoker is about 0.72 pCi per pack of 20 cigarettes.

and from MSNBC's website:

We see: "The amount is key. We might notice no ill results from billionths of a curie (which serves as a measure of activity). In contrast, Litvinenko is thought to have been exposed to something around 5 millicuries (thousandths of a curie), said Kelly Classic, associate editor for media relations at the Health Physics Society."

Let's say they find that the "several millicuries" that killed the Russian were actually just 3 millicuries. A 30 cig per day smoker gets 1 picocurie per day.

A typical nonsmoker would get roughly 1/1,000 of that per day working in a decently ventilated bar/restaurant/casino, or one "femtocurie" per day.

A millicurie is 1,000 microcuries, or 1,000,000 nanocuries, or 1,000,000,000 picocuries, or 1,000,000,000,000 femtocuries.

You would need to work at a casino for three trillion days in order to absorb the dose that killed the Russian.

Since Christ was born there have been (2,000 x 52) weeks. If you worked at a casino for five days a week you'd have absorbed (2,000 x 52 x 5) femtocuries... or just 520,000... You'd have to have worked there for a period of... hmm... six million periods of the Christian Era to absorb the killing dose. With the amount of sinning you could do in Vegas or AC in six million Christian Eras I don't think you'd stand much chance of getting through the pearly gates.

Since the start of the universe (say about 10 billion years ago) there have been (10billion x 52 x 5) workdays. That's two trillion, 600 billion workdays. Soooo... if you'd been working in a casino since the Big Bang you'd STILL have another 400 billion years to go!

Of course all the above assumes that Polonium 210 has a half life of quadrillions or quintillions of years and that you never take a bathroom break in all that time (Ouch... Constipation here I come!) so it accumulates. Since the half life of P-210 is actually only 138 days, and since it's unlikely you'd avoid the bathroom for three trillion years I'm afraid there's simply no way for even an eternal being to EVER match the fate of the Russian by hanging around smokers. If you really want to make a radioactive exit you're just going to have to give up smoking and join the KGB!

So, judge for yourself... are Dr. Jay, Dr. Proctor and the rest of the antismoking lobbyists who live large on smokers’ tax money lying when they try to scare innocent people with fears about "chronic poisoning" of nonsmokers by polonium-210? In my opinion they most certainly, definitely, and unequivocally are... or else they're just displaying their ignorance of the science they are supposedly experts in. Will we see these lies exposed in the New York Times in a space similar to that given to Robert Proctor’s scare propaganda piece? Most certainly, definitely, and unequivocally… we will not.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers' Brains

Copyright 2004, Michael J. McFadden


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