Comment about Poor People and Cigarettes? January 6, 2016 12:39 PM   Subscribe

A couple of years ago there was a discussion about poverty and how poor people spend their money. Someone made a comment (or maybe linked to a comment they made elsewhere) about how it makes a certain kind of sense for people with very limited means to buy cigarettes since they were an appetite suppressant, an energy booster, a mood lifter, and a recreational activity. I would love to locate this comment again. Can anyone help me out? It was such good information.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl to MetaFilter-Related at 12:39 PM (22 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Could it be this one?
posted by maxsparber at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


That whole thread is tremendous.
posted by mochapickle at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


(I'd just like to answer MeghanC's question in that thread, "Is smoking better or worse than the chronic stress of never having a minute or a thing to yourself?" -- It's worse. STRESS=BAD is a concept made up to sell cigarettes and deflect from their role in disease.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2016


There's nothing worse for a smoker than being stressed out AND out of cigarettes. When I was poor and smoked, that happened all too often.
posted by double block and bleed at 1:58 PM on January 6, 2016


" It's worse. STRESS=BAD is a concept made up to sell cigarettes and deflect from their role in disease"

That's not really what that article said. And subsequent research has made it pretty clear that trauma, childhood adversity and poverty have a profoundly physical affect on the body and brain.
posted by xarnop at 2:57 PM on January 6, 2016 [17 favorites]


STRESS=BAD is a concept made up to sell cigarettes and deflect from their role in disease

STRESS=BAD was a mantra that cigarette companies exploited with their own in-house research when they were trying to, among other things, get you to see withdrawal from nicotine as equivalent to stress. But that doesn't mean stress isn't bad (it is, there has been a lot of non junk research done pointing that out in a lot of different ways) it just means that a chunk of the early research was suspect and likely illegitimate.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [27 favorites]


"Is smoking better or worse than the chronic stress of never having a minute or a thing to yourself?" -- It's worse. STRESS=BAD is a concept made up to sell cigarettes and deflect from their role in disease.)

For a counterpoint, see this fpp and the Atlantic article linked it the post.

See also this article from Slate about long term effects of early childhood adversity, which links to research done on this topic.

I'm not weighing in one way or the other about whether chronic stress is better or worse than smoking because this is already kind of a derail, and there are a lot of complications and unknowns, but I just want to push back on the claim that stress doesn't have negative health consequences. Lots of research has shown that it does.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:18 PM on January 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


Oh, this is exactly what I was looking for! This whole post. The article itself, the comments following the article, the comments in the Metafilter thread - so much good stuff. Thank you!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:24 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Light 'em if you got 'em.
posted by This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things at 6:04 PM on January 6, 2016


So damn po drinkin bong water tea.
posted by clavdivs at 7:54 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


STRESS=BAD is a concept made up

No. No it is not made up.
posted by PMdixon at 4:23 AM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ohhhh. So this is one of those things where a thread continues on meta.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:05 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Vape 'em if you got 'em?
posted by Mid at 7:16 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does smoking really decrease your overall stress level anyway, once it's a habit?

Not knocking the stimulant effect, possible usefulness as self-medication for certain specific mental illnesses etc.
posted by atoxyl at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2016


Does smoking really decrease your overall stress level anyway, once it's a habit?

No overall stress reduction, but for about as long as the cigarette lasts there can be some reduction in anxiety (depends on dosage and tolerance, nicotine overdose tends to induce anxiety). When the nicotine wears off, or begins to, the anxiety tends to come back worse.

In my experience when cigarettes were a primary tool for dealing with anxiety, I would smoke a lot of them and from time to time chainsmoke. In retrospect it was not terribly effective but as options I knew at the time go it was what I had and it kinda halfway worked.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2016


People with ADHD used to self-medicate with cigarettes.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:33 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


oh hey my first FPP! good times
posted by Kybard at 10:06 AM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Kybard, I've been sharing it around my little circle the past few days. Wonderful valuable post. Also sharing jscalzi's Being Poor. Metafilter is so full of great things.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm reading Linda Tirado's book now. It's so good.
posted by southern_sky at 6:28 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


That Scalzi blog entry made my eyes leak a little.

People with ADHD still self medicate if they can't afford Ritalin.
posted by mecran01 at 6:07 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sad thing is, generic ritalin is insanely cheap compared to the crazy cost of cigs today, and with decent insurance (Thanks Obama!), even my $300+ Rx for extended release MPH (generic Concerta) costs me $10 out of pocket. With Medicaid I imagine it's not so simple but generic Ritalin has been available for so long that it should never be allowed to cost more than $10/script IMO.

It's far more complicated than buying a pack of cigarettes and you have to submit to having your life scrutinized, and have much better odds of being treated respectfully if you already have a job and "lead a respectful life," and it's also a lot easier to mess yourself up acutely with sleep deprivation and stimulant side effects binging on ADHD drugs than it is chain-smoking.

Sometimes if I'm between Rx's for some reason and can't get it filled, I'll use ephedrine (Bronkaid tablets, including guafenesin) plus caffeine pills (aka the "EC" stack in bodybuilding) as a "cheap" alternative, but not ironically the combination costs more than an Rx.
posted by aydeejones at 7:53 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I once tried to quit smoking while working a minimum wage job in retail. I got a talking to from management and was told I was under review because I wasn't smiling and looked too serious while I stocked shelves.

Thanks for pointing out that post and thread. I hadn't seen it before, and it speaks a lot of truth.
posted by dazed_one at 12:51 PM on January 15, 2016


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