Experts say “Smoking is good for you.”
By The Editors

No really - they're all good for you: Smoking, having unprotected sex, watching a lot of TV, drinking heavily and getting stressed. Bonus health points when you do all these activities simultaneously.

Experts say “Smoking is good for you.”


There's something good in every field of human endeavour, from shoplifting to tax fraud...

if only because you have to be alive to do any of them.

We swear, this is a real headline from the Guardian in 2003:

And the article actually gets better from there, as it explains all the ways that all of these other things are good for you too:

  • Having unprotected sex
  • Watching a lot of TV
  • Drinking heavily
  • Getting stressed

Now, before you scream “Bullshit!” it’s worth stopping to consider that “good” is not the same as “great” or “best.”

It’s kind of like when Mom told you that you could find good in everyone.

“Yeah, Mom, you’re right. I’m sure I can find something about Jack that’s good:

“Like his girlfriend” or “I really like Jack’s shoes” or “What’s great about Jack is when he says he has to go.”

In that same sort of way that it’s fair to say there really are some good things about Jack, it’s fair to say all these things are good for you because:


  • Smoking can help you stay thin either because there are some chemicals in a cigarette that can make your body burn more calories. Or maybe cigarettes can suppress your appetite. Either way, suddenly “The Cigarette Diet” is starting to sound really good.
  • Smoking may also help ward off some forms of dementia. Like when you forget to smoke in bed.
  • But, um, overall smoking is way more bad for you than it is good for you.

Unprotected sex:

  • According to the Guardian, women who have sex with guys who don’t consistently wear condoms say they are happier than other women.
  • One theory is that there is something in semen that is a mood booster. By the way, and we’re not making this up, swallowing semen gives women the best mood boost.
  • Other research suggests that exposure to semen can make for a healthier pregnancy.

Watching a lot of TV:

  • This is a stretch, but researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that you burn 20% more calories watching TV than lying in bed.
  • This means watching TV burns about the same number of calories per hour (100) as reading a book; and we all know reading a book is good for you.

Drinking heavily:

  • At the time this article was published, it was believed that “Up to 21 drinks for men and 14 drinks for women tends to protect against coronary heart disease.”
  • And: “By not drinking alcohol, you’re increasing your risk of heart disease the same amount as people who either do no exercise or have high cholesterol.”
  • And: “Other studies have proven alcohol to be a good all-rounder, helping protect against dementia, increase bone mineral density in elderly women and even lower blood pressure.”

Getting stressed:

  • When you get stressed, your body kicks into high gear producing noradrenaline, and suddenly your heart is racing and you are filled with energy.
  • After an hour or so of this, there’s a rise of cortisol in your blood, and that helps you process information faster.
  • But if you overdo the stress, you’ll burn yourself out instead of getting an additional boost.