Skin Color and Smoking Addiction - the Connection

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Addiction is something that many who have never known this struggle view with equal amounts of pity and barely concealed disdain. It suggests a certain weakness in a person’s character, a flaw in their genetic make-up.  President Bill Clinton had a well known weakness for greasy food and women. The latter was almost his undoing while in office; the former continues to make him the brunt of jokes after the White House.

 

In June 2009, the White House preempted negative media coverage by announcing that President Barack Obama was still battling to quit smoking.  Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs said of the battle his Boss has been facing for 20 odd years “struggling with a nicotine addiction is something that happens every day”. In February of 2010, the White House chose to make public the results of President Obama’s first medical exam as C-in-C.  The first black President of the United States was given a clean bill of health, while his attention was drawn to a few ‘minor’ issues – on top of the list of which was the pesky issue of his addiction.


While Mel Gibson blames his cigarette addiction on his mother, President Barack Obama apparently owes his addiction to his skin color.  According to the pseudo-scientific Melanin theory, melanin (and the circumstances that led to his first puff) is responsible for President Obama’s long raging battle with nicotine addiction.  According to this theory, which is reliably reported in the Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior journal, melanin has a "biochemical affinity for nicotine." In other words, the darker a person’s skin color, the easier it is for them to get smoking addiction, the higher the intake of nicotine they get from each cigarette and the harder it is for them to quit smoking!! Research also shows that regardless of inherent skin color, people with skin darkened through sun tanning also have an increased risk of nicotine addiction.

 

Some melanin theorists take it further: arguing that black is the natural pigmentation of all people and that white people are "mutants" exhibiting a form of albinism. This school of thought states that melanin bestows superhuman abilities, absorbs electromagnetic radiation, converts light and magnetic fields to sound, processes information without recourse to the brain and is responsible for black people’s ability to respond more instinctively to the spiritual realm and connect with music. In other words: melanin is the reason black people have ‘Soul!’ The theory also posits that melanin aids faster and more efficient transmission of neural impulses, thus enhancing the natural athleticism of dark skinned people. If melanin gives humans the ability to FEEL due to its properties of absorbing all frequencies of energy, the theory goes on to suggest that people with reduced levels of melanin also have inhibited abilities to feel, tend to be more rigid, cold, "unspiritual" and where they might exhibit high levels of intelligence quotient (IQ), they have proportionately lower levels of emotional quotient (EQ). Among the adherents of the melanin theory are Wade Nobles, Frances Cress Welsing, Carol Barnes and the controversial Leonard Jeffries.

 

While some of these arguments seem like a long stretch and some are a tad ridiculous, certain aspects of the theory  sound plausible. Recent studies by Roger Allen at the University of Maryland show that when subjected to stress, black subjects exhibited elevated blood pressure at least ten times longer than white subjects of the studies. This is explained by the fact that black people have higher levels of norepinephrine, a substance associated with melanin. Blacks also have a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson's disease than white people, due to higher cutaneous melanin levels, which produce certain immunity against developing the disease.

 

Now, all that’s left is for President Obama’s medical team to figure out how to get just enough blackness out of him to cure his nicotine addiction without losing his ‘SOUL!’

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 20:12
Written by Deuce


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