"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Oral Fixation 

From the Department of Things We Already Knew Were Bad for Us, research released yesterday indicates that 'yo-yo dieting,' losing and gaining weight repeatedly, which is pretty much how most Americans seem to diet, decreases natural killer cell function, which may lead to susceptibility to all sorts of other problems.

Oral cancer is an increasing problem these days, and most of it seems to come from easily preventable causes: tobacco. People like to think that it was just chewing tobacco that caused it (as if "it's nasty" wasn't enough reason not to use that shit!), and then cigarettes and later cigars were added to the list. Now, however, the last bastion of "but this kind is OK" has fallen: pipe smoking is associated with increased rates of oral cancer. And heart disease. And stroke. Oops.

The good news, however, is that smoking pot does not seem to increase oral cancer risk. Which is no big surprise to those of us who follow marijuana research: the studies that link use to most health problems (lung cancer, primarily) tend not to control for other factors, like that heavy pot smokers are often cigarette smokers too. Not that I'm alleging that smoking pot isn't bad for you: putting any sort of smoke in your lungs is gonna damage them. I just get pissed off about bad research getting done and promulgated in the name of dubious policy.

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