David Kirkpatrick

April 19, 2010

Anti-tobacco forces remain overwrought

Those opposing tobacco use would be very happy to see the plant somehow disappear from the planet. Failing that a global ban on smoking would suffice, I’m sure. And then there’s that pesky nicotine that addicted smokers and ex smokers crave. Hmm, what to do about that? Let’s attack the efforts that offer nicotine to people in a form other than tobacco products to save the children.

I don’t smoke cigarettes and never have, but I do smoke the occasional cigar and I have a pretty healthy collection of pipe tobacco aging gracefully so I do have something of a dog in the fight, but my libertarian side really gets worked up at all the nanny-statism and “we know what’s good for you” going on out there. With this November’s vote coming up wouldn’t it be an odd turn of events that it might be easier to smoke marijuana than smoke a bowl of G.L. Pease’s “Haddo’s Delight” in California?

Not to discount the possibility of kids being hurt by these products — that’s why the adults around those kids should act like adults and keep them out of reach — take a look at the amount of consumption required to start causing problems. If a kid can get into a product like this to that extent I’m going to bet nicotine poisoning is the least of that kid’s unconscious worries.

From the first link:

Tobacco company’s new, dissolvable nicotine products could lead to accidental poisoning

Candy-like appearance and flavorings may increase appeal to infants and youth

Boston, MA – A tobacco company’s new, dissolvable nicotine pellet–which is being sold as a tobacco product, but which in some cases resembles popular candies–could lead to accidental nicotine poisoning in children, according to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the Northern Ohio Poison Control Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The researchers also say the candy-like products could appeal to young people and lead to nicotine addiction as well.

The study appears in an advance online edition of the journal Pediatrics on April 19, 2010 and will appear in a later print issue.

In 2009, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company launched a dissolvable nicotine product called Camel Orbs, which according to the company’s promotional literature contains 1 mg nicotine per pellet and is flavored with cinnamon or mint. The company also introduced Camel Strips (to contain 0.6 mg nicotine per strip) and Sticks (to contain 3.1 mg nicotine per strip).

It appears that the product is intended as a temporary form of nicotine for smokers in settings where smoking is banned. However, the potential public health effect could be disastrous, particularly for infants and adolescents, said Professor Gregory Connolly, lead author of the study and director of the Tobacco Control Research Program at HSPH.

Ingestion of tobacco products by infants and children is a major reason for calls to poison control centers nationwide. In 2007, 6,724 tobacco-related poisoning cases were reported among children five years of age and under. Small children can experience nausea and vomiting from as little as 1 mg of nicotine.

“This product is called a ‘tobacco’ product, but in the eyes of a 4-year-old, the pellets look more like candy than a regular cigarette. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and to make it look like a piece of candy is recklessly playing with the health of children,” said Connolly.

The researchers computed, based on median body weight, how much nicotine ingestion would lead to symptoms of poisoning in children: A one-year-old infant could suffer mild to moderate symptoms of nicotine poisoning by ingesting 8 to 14 Orbs, 14 Strips or 3 Sticks; ingesting 10 to 17 Orbs, 17 Strips or 3 to 4 Sticks could result in severe toxicity or death. A four-year-old child could have moderate symptoms by ingesting 13 to 21 Orbs, 14 Strips or 4 Sticks and could suffer severe toxicity or death by consuming 16 to 27 Orbs, 27 Strips or 5 Sticks. The researchers report that a poison control center in Portland, Oregon, a test market for Orbs, reported a case in which a three-year old ingested an Orbs pellet.

R.J. Reynolds claims that Orbs packaging is “child resistant,” but the researchers say adults could unknowingly leave the pellets out in the open where children could easily access them. The researchers also say that the candy-like appearance and flavoring and ease-of-use of the product could appeal to children.


“Unintentional Childhood Poisonings Through Ingestion of Conventional and Novel Tobacco Products,” Gregory N. Connolly, Patricia Richter, Alfred Aleguas Jr., Terry F. Pechacek, Stephen B. Stanfill, Hillel R. Alpert, Pediatrics, online April 19, 2010.

Harvard School of Public Health (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu ) is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit:http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

February 7, 2009

SCHIP and tobacco taxes

Filed under: Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:44 am

Master blender of pipe tobacco, G.L. Pease, makes a great point on the increase in tobacco taxes and the recently passed SCHIP. One, it’s absurd on so many levels; and two, major cigarette companies were allowed to basically tax their competition (roll-your-own tobacco) out of existance.

Bad politics, bad policy and it’s based on faulty research. If you’re curious about the last bit there, do some background — the research, I think from the 60s, that all tobacco stats are based on is terminally flawed. When the government didn’t get the desired result, the stats were altered mid-stream to ensure the research was sufficiantly negative. Bad, bad science and bullshit politics. Don’t get me wrong. Tobacco is not a healthy item in large quantities, but it is not the evil it’s somehow been made out to be.

From the link:

This following mercilessly swiped table indicates the new Federal excise tax on tobacco products, along with the current taxes we all know and despise, and the proposed taxes vetoed twice by ex-prez G.W. The new rates go into effect 1st April, 2009. Fortunately, for most of us, pipe tobacco isn’t hit as badly as it could have been, resulting in a price increase of only about 20¢ per ounce. Nor have cigars, taken a serious beating, but it may herald the death of many RYO tobaccos currently on the market. Is it any wonder that Big Tobacco supported this? Nothing like taxing your competition into oblivion in the spirit of free trade.

Tobacco Product Current Tax SCHIP 2007
SCHIP 2009
(New Tax)
Tax Increase
(April 2009)
% Increase
(April 2009)
Cigarettes $0.39/pack $1.00/pack $1.01/pack $0.62/pack 158%
RYO Tobacco 1 $1.10/lb $8.89/lb $24.78/lb $23.68/lb 2,159%
Pipe Tobacco $1.10/lb $2.81/lb $2.83/lb $1.73/lb 158%
Large Cigars $0.05 ea (Max) $3.00 ea (Max) $0.40 ea (Max) $0.35 ea (Max) 722%
Small Cigars $0.04/pack $1.00/pack $1.01/pack $0.97 2,653%
Chewing Tobacco $0.195/lb $0.50/lb $0.50/lb $0.31/lb 158%
Snuff $0.59/lb $1.50/lb $1.51/lb %0.93/lb 158%

What truly amazes me about this is that the fools who author this sort of nonsense don’t seem to be able to comprehend that building social programs based on revenues derived from taxing something they’re hoping to extinguish is the worst sort of fiscal folly imaginable.

March 19, 2008

Haddo’s Delight — early Thursday smoking

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:14 pm

I recently posted my short story titled “Haddo’s Delight” and realized I haven’t smoked any of the blend in quite a long time. Tonight I popped a tin from 2/22/06, so it’s been aged for a bit over two years. Had a bowl in a Savinelli “natural” poker (a standard tobacco pipe shape) variant.

This Virginia/perique/plus (there’s a light rum topping among other ingredients) is always good. And it’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed a bowl there’s not much to compare to, but I’ve always heard this is an awesome tobacco aged. I can say this two-year-old bowl was wonderful.

Haddo’s is part of G.L. Pease’s “original mixture” blends.

From the link:


This is a stout blend consisting of several grades of Virginia tobaccos with a generous measure of long-cut perique. Unflavored Green River black Cavendish and a little air-cured white burley ribbon provide fullness, body, and a bit of extra strength. Finally, an exclusive process darkens and marries the mixture, and gives the blend a subtle tin aroma of cocoa and dried fruit. The flavor is full on the palate, earthy, slightly sweet and intriguingly piquant, with overtones of figs and raisins. A wonderful and unprecedented blend for the true perique lover!

Haddo’s, more than any other blend in the range, has developed an almost cult-like following. It has inspired music, written and recorded by Apalachian dulcimer performer Chris Carlisle, and even poetry!

Softer, fuller and more voluptuous than a Boticelli.
Flavor and finesse surpassing a ’29 Lafite
Complexity that would shame a Mozart sonata.
Haddo’s, before thy diaphanous cloud, I fall prostrate!!
-Bear Graves

If you haven’t, yet, and love perique, give it a try. But, be careful, as you, too, might fall victim to its charms and begin composing sonnetts.

Haddo’s Delght was introduced in August, 2000

March 6, 2008

“Haddo’s Delight” — a work of short fiction

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:31 am

This is a short story I wrote in late 2003 combining elements of Somerset Maugham’s “The Magician” with Oliver Haddo as a central character, and an excellent pipe tobacco called Haddo’s Delight blended by G.L. Pease. The story was written specifically for pipe smokers, and for lovers of the blend who became so enchanted they referred to Pease as “the dark lord.”

I published this story on a hidden part of my personal website and posted the url to only two places. Originally at the newsgroup alt.smokers.pipes, and later at The Gray Fox’s online forum. 

Here is how I introduced the piece to ASP:

Here’s a link to a bit of my short fiction written for ASPers — with
a nod to Somerset Maugham, plus a nod and a wink to Greg Pease.


I hope you enjoy the story.

It’s a short bit of fantasy fiction, and I hope you enjoy the tale as well. Without further adieu, the little yarn …


Haddo’s Delight

By David Kirkpatrick

It was late and I sat in my study finishing my last bowl of tobacco for the night. The pipe, an old, rusticated lovat, was one of my favorites and it held the remnants of my last tin of Haddo’s Delight, a wonderfully spicy blend created by the dark lord of tobacco himself, G.L. Pease. The night was comfortable, the single malt rolled smoothly down my throat and the smoke was exquisite. I set my work papers aside and leaned back in the old rocking chair to watch the hypnotic trails of smoke loll about me. Everything conspired to create a deep calm within my breast and I closed my eyes. Closed my eyes only to drift into a shallow slumber …

In the next moment my eyes snapped open. I still held my pipe, which continued to smolder, and my glass of scotch still rested beside me. But I was no longer in my rocking chair, nor was I in my study. The room was more somber and positively filled with books, animal skins and other ornamentation, and a fire roared in the hearth.

I then realized a man sat across the room from me in a large leather chair, matching the chair in which I was resting. The man was immensely corpulent, completely clean shaven and mostly bald, although he had a longish crescent-shaped fringe of hair that ran from ear to ear across the back of his head. Even more unusual, the man was attired in very bold clothing — a ruffled shirt of deep emerald under a waistcoat and his pants were tucked into boots of unusual fashion — the effect of his appearance made me think of another age, a time before the first World War.


January 9, 2008

The “media” catagory

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:36 am

I expect to really give my use of the media category a workout. It’s going to reflect the media as in print, online, television, etc., and also reflect the plural of the noun “medium” to handle posts about books, artwork and maybe even some very short fiction.

In another sort of medium — pipe tobacco — not to be confused with any sort of media, I just finished a bowl of Mac Baren’s HH Vintage Syrian, a nice blend featuring Syrian latakia. Although my memory is waning, it’s not quite in the realm of Greg Pease’s Bohemian Scandal but still a good smoke.