RE: "Smoking" Memes

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 11:54:50 GMT

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: "Smoking" Memes
    Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 11:54:50 -0000
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    Hi everyone,

    I wondered what had happened to the list. I must admit to having been busy
    enough not to exactly pine away, and I wish I could say I was more
    productive in the time the list was down (or down for me anyway), but alas.

    Interesting this one. I've not heard this reason for the menopause before,
    sounds plausible. Haven' t they recently discovered that some type of whale
    also has a similar kind of thing? Perhaps if they have extended family
    groups, this explanation has extra force.

    Smoking is generally something that begins in adolesence, one suspects out
    of a combination of peer pressure, and desire to either copy or disobey
    adults. Hence teenage smoking rates increasing in the UK, despite, or
    perhaps actually because of, extensive efforts from
    schools/goverments/parents etc. to get them to stop.

    Surely one factor is disassociated risk. In other words, young people don't
    worry about getting cancer from smoking because it doesn't hit until later
    in life. I seem to remember seeing something about how this affects car
    crashes in the sense that in spite of car engineering making cars safer,
    accident rates don't go down, because people drive more recklessly as a
    result of car improvements (or something...). I once had a friend who said
    that a med student mate of his claimed that you could basically do anything
    you liked to your body in terms of drink, drugs, alcohol, smoking etc., as
    long as you gave up by your mid-20s because your body would recover by later
    life. I haven't seen him for years, as basically he didn't stop and last I
    heard was still out of work doing nothing but getting stoned every day, 6
    years after (just about) graduating. Personally I got sucked in by the
    'every cigarette takes 5 minutes of your life' line (which is probably
    crap), and the images of model smoker's lungs full of brown gunge, so I've
    always been a non-smoker- and both my parents and my nan (who lived with us)
    all smoked when I was a kid. They're also all politically right wing, and
    believe in God- so, so much for vertical transmission!


    > ----------
    > From: Chris Taylor
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 10:20 am
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: "Smoking" Memes
    > Dr Kevin Reiling wrote:
    > >
    > > A thought, re smoking.
    > > Most of the deaths attributed to smoking, whilst premature, are usually
    > > "post-reproductive" ie after genes have been passed to
    > > offspring, consequently pressure may not be as high as imagined.
    > But grandparental care is seen as more important than it used to be
    > (along with other relatives); this is usually given as the reson for the
    > female menopause in humans - no more kids of own, so look after kid's
    > kids. We need sophisticated support mechanisms to raise the next
    > generation in our culturally complex world.
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > Chris Taylor (
    > »people»chris
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > ===============================================================
    > This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    > For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
    > see:

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