Navy Coffin Nails

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Our hometown newspaper, the Joplin Globe, has a Sunday feature that I increasingly like.  Called “Forum”, it examines contentious issues and usually presents positions on both sides.  This is good journalism.  It not only sells papers but encourages the public to look at views other than their own.  This week the subject is particularly interesting to me, viz. the federal government’s decision to force the placement of graphic, some say gruesome, labels on cigarette packages.

The pro-side of the issue is an editorial from the Sacramento Bee.  It says the action is justified because of the statistical certainty that most people who smoke will get cancer and have much shorter lives.  It said,

This campaign could be one of the most important public health efforts ever.

The con-side of the issue is from the Chicago Tribune.  It says that everyone already knows what smoking does to one’s health, but it is a relatively long-term effect and that the image of real young and middle-aged people smoking with no bad consequences is more powerful than any picture on a pack.  It also recognizes that the labels might actually encourage some young smokers who enjoy flouting authority.  It said,

This effort reeks of government as nanny, acting on the assumption that ordinary people have to be browbeaten into sound choices.

I began smoking in high school about 1953 and continued to smoke for many years thereafter.  Almost everybody in the Navy smoked, and little wonder.  Cigarettes were even routinely included in “box lunches” and were exempt from taxes when purchased “overseas”.  They were a dollar a carton for many years.  At the Naval Academy, the only guys who didn’t smoke, that I can recall, were Mormons.

 

Even on submarines, we all smoked.  One time we were returning from Gitmo on USS Trigger and all of our purchases of tax-free cigarettes were stored in a torpedo tube.  (Subs are cramped.)  There was some worry that if we were to get diverted to a mission on the way home that we would have to shoot them into the ocean.  Didn’t happen.  We found it a source of amusement when on rare occasions of extended time submerged the oxygen level would get low enough that it would become difficult to light up.  And even then, in the 1960’s, cigarettes were referred to as “coffin nails”.  That tells us something about the macho mentality of military youth, does it not?

The Globe’s own editorial today referred to the Forum issue, basically saying that Missouri government seemed to be acting hypocritically about the issue because it is gladly accepting the increased tax revenue from cigarettes while supporting the graphic labels to discourage their use.  But I have to observe, why not?  What else could government do to discourage tobacco’s use, other than to criminalize it? And we really need the revenue.

The “nanny-state” argument on the face of it seems a powerful argument.  That is until you consider that government already controls many parts of our lives in our own interests.  For example it mandates baby crib design, seat belts, standards for personal property insurance, vehicle lights and brakes, and auto liability insurance, all in the common interest of protecting us from our own bad judgements.  And isn’t that what it’s really all about?  I don’t know anyone, except maybe Ron Paul and his son, who doesn’t want Uncle Nanny to do those things.

 

Allow me if you will to offer a couple of considerations about this issue that were not included in the Globe’s Forum piece:

Submarines

1.  A major cited motivation for discouraging smoking is healthcare costs, which as any engaged reader knows is crucial to the current national debt/deficit crisis.  Smoking causes cancer and makes people die well before their time.  So long as we have the EMTALA law on the books, society is required to pick up the tab for citizens’ ugly and increasingly expensive downward spiral into death when they have no health insurance.

2.  Increased healthcare costs may be a chimera.  Which costs more to society, a relatively short death from cancer in your 50’s or 60’s, or a more gradual decline from diabetes or dementia?  The rates of the latter, deriving from the obesity epidemic, are rising rapidly.  Government just might be increasing healthcare costs by discouraging smoking.

For what it’s worth, I quit smoking in April 1972 after I ran out of cigars on the way back from a Mediterranean Naval deployment and never smoked again.  My father, a life-long smoker of coffin nails, died of cancer in 1964 at age 58, but it took another eight years, either for the reality of that to penetrate my thick skull or for my brain to mature that much.  Or both.  Somehow, despite my submarine history I’m still breathing at 74.

[Note:  If you visited this post before and found some of it missing, it is because I messed it up trying to edit a minor problem.  I am still learning WordPress.]

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About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Independent, tending progressive as the GOP recedes from its Eisenhower roots.
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23 Responses to Navy Coffin Nails

  1. johncerickson says:

    I don’t want to sound like I’m blindly following my hometown newspaper, but I have to side with the “what’s the point” crowd. I doubt that any pictures or phrases, no matter how graphic, are going to stop any significant number of current smokers. For goodness’ sake, I’ve watched smokers stand outside, in shirt sleeves, in the middle of winter, shivering like paint mixers, while smoking. My former Illinois doctor had offices in the same building as a hospital, and we would regularly see patients outside, cigarette in one hand, oxygen mask in the other!
    Besides, better cigarettes than alcohol. I’ve never heard of anybody smoking too much and going off on a killing spree. (Now, if they run OUT of cigarettes, well, that’s a whole other can of worms,,,,)

    Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Your point that tobacco is addictive is surely germane, John. Not only that, but the level of addiction has both physical and psychological components and appears to vary markedly with the individual.

      Like

  2. Jennifer Lockett says:

    A very interesting article. One point you did not consider in your healthcare cost component is that tobacco use does exacerbate and cause chronic health prolems other than cancer – gout, emphysema (I know I misspelled that), kidney stones, high blood pressure, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, blood clotting issues, etc. Smokers are far more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke, take a lot longer to heal after surgery, far more likely to suffer severe infections, etc. It doesn’t seem to be that the shorter death in 50s or 60s is the reality (especially now that with so many smoking bans, chain smoking is nearly impossible). Most people linger in poor health for decades and may not even die from a cancer related element.
    I certainly see why they likely won’t be immediately effective, but I feel as though we really shouldnt let that deter us. When we look at th appearance of the first surgeon general warnings, it didn’t immediately cut numbers in smoking. The significant decline we see over the last sixty years seems to be the result of a combination of education (including the surgeon generals warning), legislation, and (limited) prohibition. It has also led to a cultural shift against smoking. When I was a teen, it was “cool” to smoke, now it is “stupid” or “gross.” whereas smokers were not uncommon, now people do it in secret at the behavior is so degraded and stigmatized. I’m in favor of taking it a step further with graphic images. I feel it will continue the downward trend in smoking.
    PS: please excuse typos due to my current platform 😉

    Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      it’s interesting to me to get input from your generation on this. Cultural attitudes change very slowly, I think, but they are powerful. While it’s hardly scientific data, I often glance at people in passing cars and see them smoking. The automobile has to be one of the last refuges for the guilty pleasure.

      Your comments inspired two more thoughts.

      1. A well-known but unquantified and probably fairly unstudied effect of smoking is premature aging of the skin. Smokers are wrinkled – I recall it in my father.
      2. Social pressure to stop smoking is surely strong, but the rising cost of tobacco is also. I submit this is a case where the “sin tax” has been effective.

      Thanks for your input, Jennifer.

      Like

      • Jennifer Lockett says:

        Yes, I did live though a very odd time in terms of smoking cessation. I remember the days when women smoked while pregnant, that many restaurants didnt have “non smoking” sections… Heck you could even smoke on airplanes and in hospitals! Now, it’s “uncool” and “gross.” looking back over the past twenty years, there has truly been a dramatic shift. I mean, think of how you would react if now, you saw a woman, visibly pregnant smoking? Most would be horrified and disgusted. However in the 70s and 80s women would smoke while pregnant without a second glance.

        Like

  3. johncerickson says:

    Just to show this isn’t a specifically American problem, here’s a story from the Australian Broadcasting Company about Australia’s campaign against smoking:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/28/3255049.htm?section=justin
    Beware – there are some rather gruesome images at the top of the article.

    Like

  4. ansonburlingame says:

    To all,

    I let this string of comment “run” for a while before jumping in. But here goes with the perspective of an almost lifetime smoker.

    The key to not smoking is DON’T EVER START.

    I started smoking in 1958 at age 16. I have “quit” many times over my life, once for about 8 years, but “something” inevitably drew me back into the habit or better word, addiction, of smoking. In almost every instance it was stress. While a stimulant, nicotine “calms me down” for some strange reason. If I become deeply involved in writning something, I will “puff away” at my kepboard for example.

    I am one of the “stigmatized ones” today and it for sure will NOT make me quit. My grandkids try to get me to stop smoking all the time and it helps me make my point with them…. DON’T EVER START, no matter how “cool” or rebelious you might think it is today. They seem to listen to that and of course none of my 11 grandkids smoke today nor do their parents.

    Sometimes on shorter periods at sea, say a week or so, I would not take any cigarettes with me in various attempts to stop smoking or just take a pipe. I would last a day or so and then start bumming cigarettes. My XO routinely took an extra carton on such trips just to keep me supplied, one cigarette at a time!!. It was one of those things good XOs are suppose to understand, the perculiar behavior in certain cases on the part of their skippers.

    I have been lucky or genetically arranged so far in that I remain in good health and do not “look my age”, yet. Genes do have something to do with it, I think. All of my family smoked yet none suffered the physical consequences of the addiction. They all died for other causes.

    One final note. I “gave” my wife and youngest son a Christmas present one year. I quit smoking (in that case for the 8 years) as my present. My son was a senior in high school that year (oldest was in college and did not have to live with me when I quit).

    My son always says, “Dad, when you quit smoking again, I don’t want to be in the same state or area code with you.” And none of you would want to be there either. I don’t handle it very well.

    I do know for sure however that if I had not “started again” after those 8 years (now some 15 years ago when I restarted and have quit several times for a few months in the intervening years) I would still crave a cigarette in times of stress. For sure I would have to quit reading the Erstwhile Conservative Blog if I quit again now!!

    Anson

    Like

    • Jennifer Lockett says:

      Anson, I totally agree. The ideal is to do whatever we can to prevent young people from smoking. It is a highly addictive and destructive habit.
      Do you think that further, more gruesom packaging will help in that endeavor?
      I personally think that the “preventative” tract can be credited with the decline of adult smokers far more than “cessation techniques” (although both are key).

      Like

  5. ansonburlingame says:

    Jennfer,

    Speaking only for myself, NOTHING will make me stop smoking forever, other than death.

    The beginning of my “8 year” period above I quit “cold turkey” with NOTHING but pure will power and commitment to my family. I was intolerable during the first 3 months of that effort.

    Since then I have tried patches, group therapy, and in the last case the “new drug” that works on brain chemistry. That last effort resulted in my hospitatliztion for depression, severe depression of the life threatening sort. Having survived that one, I have been puffing away ever since for some 3 years now.

    Incidentally the “new drug” was prescribed by a physican that knew full well about my history with depression, one that had been well controlled for over ten years. Between the affects of the drug and the stress to quit smoking the wheels simply fell off my wagon.

    I realize I am a pretty rare patient is such matters, but certainly not unique. The drug itself contains warnings about such matters but the medication was prescribed anyhow.

    So show me all the “dirty pictures” you can find or make me stand outside in freezing rain, or …..

    Perhaps $10 a pack will make me reconsider, but it would have to be nationwide. I would find a way to travel or move if necessary otherwise. And of course that is the nature of addiction to many different sorts of substances

    Anson

    Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Anson’s candid comment (2011/06/29 at 11:12 am) speaks volumes to the difficulties of addiction and confirms John Erickson’s earliest comments.

      As I mentioned before, nobody can know precisely the power of such addiction in any given instance because of how greatly it varies among individuals. In my own case my intellectual reservations grew gradually over time until the point came where I determined not that I would “try” to stop, but that I would stop. There was no “try” to it. I have looked on that event as evidence of a free-will decision. But, was it really? I don’t know. Belief is an idea that rules us; can we rule belief? The jury is still out.

      I wish you well, Anson. The stats are against you, but genes are powerful and might safe the day. I hope so.

      Like

    • johncerickson says:

      Anson- You are not alone in fighting atypical reactions to drugs. The Vicodin I take for my migraines wires me, instead of making me sleepy (like it does 99.99% of people). I’ve tried the various new sleep drugs, Ambien and the rest, and ended up a tired zombie, not to mention the hideous nightmares they all gave me. And all the “triptan” drugs for migraines make me violently nauseous.
      You, and people like you, are why I don’t think the new campaign will do anything for established smokers. I’m not blaming you – it’s something over which you don’t have full control. (I’ve got about 30 pounds extra I can’t get rid of, even with diet and exercise, so I’m not going to blame you for not stopping smoking.) I think the campaign needs to be geared more towards keeping youth from starting. If the pictures on the carton or pack work, great, but we should emphasize the point of keeping the kids from getting started, In my humble opinion, as always. 🙂

      Like

  6. Jennifer Lockett says:

    I should add that on my recent trip to the UK, the cost per pack is now 8.20 GBP (Great British Pounds). On the current exchange, it’s about $13.50/14.00 pack. I was floored, even a one pack a day habit would be almost $100 a week! Surprisingly, it hasn’t had a significant impact yet especially in Scotland, where 1/3 of people smoke to varying degrees (your ‘social smokers’ and your habitual ones) and you can’t smoke inside there either! I think that the data in ten years will b more telling.
    I’m also curious about you ex-military folks. My grandfather in WWII (before your time I realize) was issued cartons of cigarettes when he deployed and given them for free while in Europe. This was prior to the Surgeon General’s Warning and some Docs would even subscribe smoking for relaxation, etc. He ultimately developed emphysema (although it didn’t kill him, he died in a car accident), and he was able to succesfully quit after a 30 year year 4-5 pack/day habit (before I was born, but everyone who knew him remembers that quit period). He always carried some resentment towards the US Army for the development of his cigarette addiction and ultimate illness. Just curious about how other veterans felt about the GI-cigarette promotion (in the past of course, now they certainly don’t give them out for free but I believe that they are severely discounted at the commissaries – I could be wrong about that in the modern era however).

    Like

  7. ansonburlingame says:

    To all,

    The REAL issue for society, far beyond simply smoking, is how to deal with addiction of all sorts for people addicted to “whatever”.

    Take the dirt poor but obese individual as only an example. They need food stamps to “eat”, government assistance to “eat”, and ……? How about “drink stamps” for an alcoholic? I know, ridiculous question, but…..? One is “eating themselves to death” (with government assistance) and the other is drinking themselves to death without such assistance. Does that make any sense?

    Serial rapists are addicted to violent sex, obese to food, alcoholics to alcohol, druggies to drugs, and the list goes on. Stop ALL that addiction and we are probably talking about 25-30%l or our population. And look how much better society would be if it all “just went away”. No smokers, no drunks, no druggies, no…..?

    Well the only real solution that I see for now is, again, DON’T START whatever the addictive intake might be for individuals. But that won’t happen in a free society. Look what happened with prohibition.

    So then what. I believe that is a huge challenge for the medical community, one that is rarely touched upon in terms of research. We spend billions on cancer research, but how about mental health as it relates to addiction?

    Just imagine a “pill” to make the obese slim, the drunk moderate, the druggie to …? etc. How about a really punitive tax policy on tobacco (like the UK) or alcohol or (legal) drugs, or….?

    I am familiar with this subject to a degree more than I will discuss herein. Will power is wonderful for sure. But will power alone is ….. in many cases, cases that span the whole spectrum of society, rich, poor, etc. Addiction has no class barriers in my view. But you don’t see “rich” drunks in the streets. They have to money to drink at home until they die. Same with drugs. But the addiction is exactly the same thing, rich or poor.

    Now go talk to your doctor, any doctor in general about a “drinking problem” with yourself or a loved one and see what you get. Any doctor will tell me to “quit smoking” and even prescribe a “new drug” to help me do so. But…… And if your loved one has a drinking problem the doctor, if he/she is competent will simply tell you or them to “go to AA”.

    But NO competent doctor will prescibe a “spititual remdy” for cancer, alone. We have a long way to go in mental health treatment. Why, I wonder?

    Anson

    Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      You raise a very good point here, Anson, about mental health relative to the addiction issue. Why has medical science not been more effective in coping with it?

      I am no expert of course, but I would like to offer a few thoughts. One is that it is only in the last few decades that any significant psychoactive drugs have been available, but even now there is a stigma to mental illness, including, as you must know, depression, that inhibits people from seeking treatment. Then too there is stubbornness and self-denial.

      Also, and this is conjecture on my part, the treatment of mental illness is not as lucrative for the Medical Industrial Complex as, for example, cardiac or cancer care. In other words the patients are often financially weakened by their illness.

      Finally, mental illness is hard to diagnose because mental health is a continuum. It is hard enough to comprehend the full range of human behaviors without trying to discern defect from random irrationality and natural variation in mental acuity and hormonal stability.

      Here is a link I found useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_Illness#Europe_and_the_U.S.

      Jim

      Like

    • Jennifer Lockett says:

      Excellent point about mental health care and a problematic topic. I do know that, in this country, seeking help for mental health has only recently begun to lose some of its stigma (in other countries, therapy is still considered a ‘self-indulgence’). I have someone dear to me that suffers from serious and crippling depression. Not only was his own struggle such a challenge and effort, but his dealing with family that actively seemed to combat his efforts by provoking the stigma (e.g. ‘why don’t you just decide to be happy?’ or ‘you have so much going on for you! How could you possibly be unhappy?’ and more, even less kind statements). Battling the stigma (even amongst family) on top of a crippling ailment can be too much for many people.
      Also, in my experience, most medical doctors are not trained in how to treat the emotional well-being of their patients. They largely treat symptoms – it hurts when I do this (so stop doing that!). I developed a bleeding stomach ulcer in graduate school – an ailment clearly stress related. I was giving a scrip for antacids, some suggestions on diet (no dairy), and told to ‘avoid stress.’ The problem, of course, persisted because the root cause (extreme stress of graduate school with no outlet) was left untreated. I can’t really blame the doctors, however, as they were treating my symptoms and didn’t have the knowledge to address it otherwise.
      Not sure that I have a solution… education (always my default) on not only physical but emotional well-being is always great, raising awareness and trying to eliminate the stigma of mental illness, and continue pushes for health insurance providers to cover mental health (most states have this requirement, TX does not).

      Like

      • Jim Wheeler says:

        Jennifer, your valuable comments remind me of a point I neglected to emphasize in this post, viz., if less-lucrative but needful areas of healthcare, like mental health, are to be adequately addressed, it will be because government intervenes on behalf of society. It is the same for things like vaccination and preventative services. I see this as one more good reason to change our healthcare system to government single-payer. The profit motive will never get us to the finish line in the mental health arena.

        Like

    • johncerickson says:

      Anson- I’m a bit confused about your “spiritual remedy” for cancer. If you mean a holistic approach (or mind-body medicine or whatever the “in” term is), there are options out there, the most commercial of which is Cancer Treatment Centers of America. I don’t know much about them (both my in-laws passed shortly after I came into the family), so I can’t speak to what they do, or how good they are. Just an example.

      As to addiction, you are spot on about treating the cause. Our best options on illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. are to basically “wait it out” until the addiction lessens, It never goes away – hence your tobacco battle, or a certain celebrity friend of mine who’s in AA. I would say your comment actually goes to a larger problem – understanding how the brain controls behaviour. In the case of my migraines, there are no obvious causes (tumours, constricted blood vessels, etc.). The majority opinion is that (quite literally) my brain “isn’t wired correctly”, and thus sends off the pain impulses when there is no damage. Having better understanding of how the brain works could very easily cure both you and I, perhaps even with the same treatments. Unfortunately, that is a long-term problem requiring both a lot of time and a lot of money.

      In the short term, the best option I can think of (and I admit it isn’t that inspired) would be a form of discount coupon to the “Disease Anonymous” of your affliction, be it alcohol, tobacco, food, even sex (yeah, I think it’s BS to be “addicted” to sex, but I’ll quash my opinion for now). That way, the bum on the street, or the barely-scraping-by factory worker, or whatever the situation is, could seek the treatment that could lessen long-term health issues and thus save us ALL money on health care.

      I will admit that a large part of the “treatment problem” is getting people to admit they HAVE a problem. While widespread in alcohol, illegal drugs, and even tobacco, this is especially prevalent inn abusing prescriptions (and thus the reason I separated out legal from illegal drugs). And speaking from personal experience, doctors are often a significant part of the problem, as our medical community has drifted into a “throw pills at the problem” mentality compliments of the pharmaceutical industry. I’m not sure how you would address the outside influences without running afoul of the legal arms of both the pharmaceutical companies and doctors’ groups like the AMA. And a lot of people have the kind of relationship with their doctor where they walk in, demand something, and the doctor prescribes to basically shut them up. (I’ve seen that first-hand as well.) So, I’ll gladly lob this back to the floor for ideas!

      (And I hope I at least made SOME sense. I’ve got a nasty headache today, compounded by almost 100-degree heat. Yuck. Apologies if I didn’t make myself clear, feel free to ask what the devil I was trying to say. 🙂 )

      Like

  8. Jennifer Lockett says:

    Thought you might find this interesting – the day after the new smoking labels were revealed, phone calls to quit lines doubled: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43611448/ns/health-cancer/

    Long-term is of course the most important, but an interesting start.

    Like

  9. ansonburlingame says:

    OK all,

    Showing my bloomers so to speak. I have a strong family history of alcoholism (three grandparents and both parents that all died from the disease) as well as history with depression (one grandfather and my mother). I have been a strong member of AA for 11 years and have been on anti-depressants for about 12 years.

    Now why the “spiritual remedy” comment you ask, John, That is ALL that AA amounts to, a spiritual approach to hold the demons at bay (but never eliminate the demons) for the length on ones life, period. ALL of the famous 12 steps are based on spiritual priniciples that are very HARD to grasp and even harder to maintain, 24 hours at a time for the rest of your life.

    When a physician tells an alcoholic to “go to AA” he knows not (almost always) what he is really telling the patient to do. Alcoholism is the ONLY illness that I know of where the ONLY effective diagnosis MUST come from the patient, not some physician, period again. I could write a book on such a subject and offer all kinds of anecdotal evidence. And believe you me I would LOVE to have a “pill” to DESTROY my lurking, but held a bay, demons.

    Now for depression. It is like an addiction. If you don’t admit you have it, forget finding a relief. AND if you think you are depressed because you drink too much, you are only partially right. Alcohol is a depressant for sure but remove the alcohol and the brain chemisty can also kill you as well.

    Medication for depression has made leaps and bounds for now some 20 or so years. My mother was cronically depressed all her life and her only alternative was electric shock therapy which only provide temporary relief. Until I took Chantix I was fine on antidepressants (while also sober) then the wheels feel off because of brain chemistry alone. I saw what was happening and admitted myself to a hospital. And even my caring wife thought I was “crazy” to go to such extreme, initially.

    I know from personal experience that genetic contribute to both problems, addiction and depression, one or both. Someday a genetic “cure” may arise, just as research is trying to find for early stage Alzihemers, seen more often now because people live longer.

    We found a “pill” to mitigate depression 20 or so years ago. No such luck yet for addiction and I am not sure why exactly. Tough job for research but….. And I would add that medical schools graduates do not have a CLUE about alcoholism. I have several doctors in my immediate family and have “quizzed them” on their knowledge on the subject. AA is their only solution and they have no idea why it works for just some people but for sure not all.

    Anson

    Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Anson,

      This is moving testimony on the subject of genetics and addiction. I did have an appreciation for the subject from literature, viz. Lawrence Block’s fictional and possibly somewhat autobiographical Matthew Scudder series. I consider it possibly the best murder-mystery series (6 novels) ever written and if you have not read it, I suggest you would be in for a treat. (I just hope it’s not “too close to home” for you.) The protagonist is an alcoholic ex-policeman and he is a complex and fascinating character. The series is now available on kindle and Wikipedia lists the publishing sequence, which is not apparent from the Amazon.com entries. I recommend starting with 1982’s “Eight Million Ways To Die”.

      Jim

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      • ansonburlingame says:

        James Lee Burke is my author of choice along those lines. His series involving Dave Robicheu (spl), an alcoholic sheriff in Lousianna bayou country provides exceptional insight as well. It is a life long battle for sure. And know one really understands that other than the ones going thru the battle “one day at a time”.

        Anson

        Like

    • Jim Wheeler says:

      PS – An amendment to my Matthew Scudder recommendation: the earliest available novel would be the 1976 “The Sins of the Fathers”. Here is the Wikipedia link:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Scudder

      Like

  10. ansonburlingame says:

    One other point. I do not BLAME genetics for the diseases. Genetics only provides a predispostion for either of them based on my understanding and experience. But “fix” the genetics and you may well make a major contribution to abating the start of the disease.

    Both of my sons are “fine” but they have seen me go through my battles and know the danger signs. I have also talked carefully with them, no preaching or evangelism, but just BE AWARE OF WHAT LURKS WITHIN, type of discussion. I also encourage them to watch out for the kids now going into teenage years.

    I am sure one or more of that group have similar genes to mine but all is well so far.

    Anson

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