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There was study that indicated that there was something in cigarette smoke (not the nicotine) which forestalls the onset of dementia in some folks. It would be the same chemical in smoking papers. But I haven't heard anything more about it, so maybe there were errors in the study.
I'm fairly certain it is the nicotine that does that. Nicotine has been sadly and falsely demonized because of its association with cigarettes, but the danger of cigarettes isn't in the nicotine, it's in all the other chemicals and in the combustion. By itself there's not even evidence that nicotine is addictive: its addictive potential seems to be a combination of its rapid delivery method via cigarettes (it's like a shot of adrenaline to your brain) as well as all the other chemicals that make it more addictive than it would otherwise be. By itself, nicotine is just a stimulant similar to caffeine and can actually have a protective effect on certain aspects of brain functioning.

Yeah, here's a link to an article on the research: Can nicotine protect the aging brain?
 

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The question is not, or should not be, what one misses by not using any sort of mind-altering agents. It should be whether one loses or diminishes one's mental/judgemental qualities and a crisp, clear mind by using such agents. What am I missing if I refrain from tobacco or gambling?
Probably not missing anything from refraining from tobacco, but you might've missed a lucrative career if you have the right mind for skill-based gambling games. My primary career over the past ~20 years has been poker.

However, I do think there's a question of what one is/isn't missing by trying mind-altering substances, but the potential rewards have to be weighed with the risks. I have no desire to go anywhere near dangerous, addictive substances--alcohol, cocaine, heroin, benzos--but a moderate use of cannabis? Sure, especially when it has actual medical benefits (taking it before a workout greatly reduces the pain/inflammation afterwards, for one example).
 

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Nicotine destroys the heart by damaging the electrical wiring of the heart muscle. Nicotine is rat poison. The other chemicals in the smoke cause COPD/Emphysema & cancer, as well as other damaging effects. Smoking tobacco is slow motion suicide.
Please post any evidence that nicotine by itself, separated from cigarettes, and taken in methods other than combustion (eg, vaping, patches, gum) does these things. Nicotine is only rat poison in high doses, and most anything in high doses (including water) can be poisonous. Yes, SMOKING tobacco is slow-motion suicide. AFAIK, the evidence for the dangers of nicotine outside of smoking is minimal and, at best, correlational. EG, I know some studies that show a correlation between vaping and increases risk of heart attacks, but it did not control for all variables and was based around surveys, which are subject to many biases. Even if there is cause there, it could also be the vaping itself that's dangerous rather than the nicotine because I'm fairly certain there are Swedish (IIRC) studies of long-term use of a chewable nicotine that did now show long-term health problems.
 

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As for myself I very much enjoy music on cannabis, but it's a tricky thing because I'm quite sensitive to its psycho-active effects: too much causes me terrible anxiety and makes me miserable until the "peak" of the high wears off; but just the right amount enhances the music's effect greatly to the point where it feels like I'm IN the music, aware of and observing every nuance and riding the wave of emotional currents. There's just less "distance" between me and the music. Contrary to popular belief I've found that it's much easier to concentrate on things when high, at least at moderate doses. Too high a dose and my brain goes into dreaming-while-awake mode where I can't remember what happened 5 seconds ago.

Edibles are especially precarious because they take a long time to take effect and, unlike vaping/smoking cannabis, which releases Delta-9 THC, edibles metabolize to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is up to 5x more psychoactive than Delta-9 and crosses the blood-brain barrier much more efficiently. On top of that, the effect of edibles last anywhere from double to quadruple that of smoking/vaping, and it's also a bit of a crapshoot for how much much will metabolize and take effect, so they're REALLY unpredictable. I feel like many of the bad initial experiences people have had with cannabis, especially now after legalization, have come from thinking edibles are a "safer" alternative to smoking or vaping... maybe safer in one respect, but much more of a gamble in terms of the effect they'll have. I'm lucky in that when I had my first "bad edible experience" I knew enough about what to expect that, at least consciously, I knew I would be OK eventually, but there's nothing quite like having an existential crisis due to being uncomfortably high.
 

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You could post your “evidence “ to the other wise about nicotine
Nicotine is a known poison. I m hearing what a tobacco company representative may say.
I can't show a lack of evidence, you can only show evidence.

Yes, in high enough doses almost anything can be poisonous. If nicotine was toxic in all doses they couldn't experiment on rats/mice with it, but they do. I'm curious what "tobacco company representatives" you've heard say "smoking tobacco is slow-motion suicide" as I said in agreeing with you. The point is that the dangers of smoking are well-established, those of nicotine outside smoking cigarettes in other forms are not. It may be that nicotine carries with it health risks, but what they are, how serious compared to smoking, etc. is up for debate and further study. Here's one such study on smokeless tobacco (which is, it must be said, not the only way to get nicotine) on the matter that notes contradictory findings:
Smokeless tobacco (ST) delivers as much nicotine to the systemic circulation as does cigarette smoking, albeit with slower absorption (21). Worldwide, ST exists in many forms, but the best epidemiologic studies of smokeless tobacco and CV health have been conducted in Sweden, where 25% of men use a form of ST called snus. Non-invasive studies of the extent of atherosclerosis, using carotid intimal wall thickness, found the expected increase among smokers, but no difference between snus users and non-smokers. Case control studies in Sweden have shown no increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke, but a small and statistically significant increased case fatality rate for both among snus users compared to non-tobacco using controls. In contrast the a large cohort study in the United States and the InterHeart study of smokeless tobacco users in many countries around the world did find an association between ST and myocardial infarction (26, 27). The explanation for discrepant findings may be differences in ST products or other CV risk factors in various regions of the world. A recent Swedish study raises concern about nicotine safety in people with CVD. Among survivors of acute myocardial infarction who were snus users at the time of the event, those who continued to use snus after the event had a significantly higher mortality compared to those who quit.(28) This study suggests that nicotine may be hazardous in patient with CAD. Smokeless tobacco has also been reported to increase in the risk of heart failure, but unlike cigarette smoking does not increase the risk of atrial fibrillation. (29, 30) The American Heart Association reviewed the cardiovascular risk of ST and concluded that while ST most likely conveys less cardiovascular risk than smoking, it still poses some CV risk and recommended against it use in patients with cardiovascular disease. (21)
So it may be that nicotine (or, at least, smokeless tobacco) is only dangerous for people who already have CVD.

FWIW I have no dog in this fight. I don't smoke, don't vape, don't use nicotine. I tried it for a bit many years back but found it worsened my GERD.
 

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Weed is now legal in New Jersey. It will make me an even more defensive driver. The addition of weed to gambling just adds to the burden on the unwary and naive. I worked for years with people whose marginal wealth was consumed in addictive behavior. And what of the incidence of various mouth and throat cancers due to chewing tobacco? I'll stick with teetotal.
The statistics on the dangers of driving high are much less conclusive or robust as those driving drunk. Drinking impairs your ability to drive in ways that cannabis doesn't except at very high doses, but most people who get to that state either couldn't or wouldn't have an interest in driving anyway. The one time I got "that high" I was well aware I was in no condition to drive, what with barely being able to stand up straight. Drinking, apart from impairing your motor skills, also impairs your judgment and decision making, which is why so many people don't realize when they're drunk and think themselves OK to drive. Cannabis isn't like this. When you get really high you are 100% aware of it, and if you ever took so much that you were unaware you'd probably be unconscious by that point.
 

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Here's some interesting info from AZDHS as printed on the label of the flower buds I have in front of me. It says "Marijuana use can be addictive and can impair an individual's ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy equipment. Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and can lead to an increase for cancer, tachycardia, hypertension, heart attack, and lung infection. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN." I guess they ought to publish their research, no?
I would at least like to see the research these are conclusions are based on, yes. One problem with studying cannabis is that different strains effect different people differently at different doses. It's a biphasic drug, which means it can have opposite effects at different doses, and people build up tolerances so that the effects can lessen with consistent use. It's a much more difficult drug to make definitive laws about because of this variability in how it effects users. However, I certainly wouldn't like the prospect of naive users getting way too high and driving, but, hell, my dad's been a heavy cannabis smoker for decades and has never had a single accident. Anecdotal evidence, yes, but, again, I don't know of any definitive statistical studies on this either.

Nicotine is incredibly addictive, so much so that many cannot beat the addiction, and lung and heart disease seems to be the most likely outcome for those who don't quit. I've even seen nicotine being compared to heroin as to the severity of the addiction. On another note, what I have seen about vaping and "popcorn" lungs is scary as hell! :eek:
Again, this is only true of nicotine in the context of cigarettes. One reason nicotine gum and patches are so ineffective is because they don't feed the addiction that comes with smoking nicotine via cigarettes. There's also very few cases of people being addicted to nicotine gum and patches compared to cigarettes. A quick Google search turns up the statistic of only 5-10% of users reporting an "addiction" to nicotine gum, and that even after years of use there are no studies suggesting CV problems and such, and the main complaint about the addiction seems to be the price: Addicted to Nicorette
 

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Cannabis Use Disorder is an area of concern by New York State, according to a WNYC interview with the NY State office of addiction issues. Here's a statement on CUD:

"Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is a diagnosis given for problematic marijuana use. CUD was introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition or DSM 5. (The previous DSM edition separated problematic use into two different disorders: cannabis abuse and cannabis dependence.)

Cannabis use disorder affects roughly 10% of the 193 million cannabis users in the world,1
and it captures the possibility that people can be negatively impacted by marijuana use without necessarily being addicted. However, it also has room to recognize cannabis addiction if it occurs."

People can legally use weed any way they want; I am not a fanatic on the subject. But given a choice between a few anecdotal accounts of weed's harmlessness and summed data, I'll believe the summed data and continue to drive defensively and be concerned about anyone who has my safety in their hands.
People can develop unhealthy habits with just about anything, and there's a big difference between unhealthy "chronic use disorders"--which are usually underpinned by various psychological or life problems--and addiction in which substances change the brain in physical ways so that there are cravings, tolerance, withdrawals, risk of overdose, and other serious health complications. Anyone who's ever witnessed someone addicted to cigarettes, benzos, alcohol, etc. will immediately recognize the difference between that and something like cannabis. If someone is having trouble quitting cannabis, it's not because of the cannabis it's because they've become psychologically reliant on the habit for some reason. I have the same argument against those who try to demonize pornography and claim it's addictive and detrimental to health, but mostly what I see in the research on that is, likewise, unhealthy use in some individuals that is frequently underpinned by other psychological conditions (as well as the classic problem of distinguishing correlation from causation).

Of course, the question I have is: what does the "summed data" actually say on cannabis? As much as we know about it there were decades where it was very difficult to study because of its classification as a Class-A drug. Now that legalization is rolling out across the US I expect we'll have more robust statistics in the upcoming years. I'm open to whatever the research says, but unless there are definitive long-term health effects even at moderate doses I don't expect I'll be stopping as I get too many tangible benefits from it.

Here's an interesting fact most people don't know about cannabis: the "runner's high" that some people experience with long-term, physically taxing workouts is almost identical to the high caused by the THC in cannabis. Our bodies produce endogenous cannabinoids called anandamide (which is nearly identical in structure and function to THC) that can be released as our bodies' means of allowing us to push through such physical exhaustion. The effect has also been studies in rats that if you suppress this endocannabinoid it lessens the painkilling affects of exercise. So it's likely that our bodies natural cannabinoids are pretty crucial in the feel-good after effects of exercise: The 'runner's high' may result from molecules called cannabinoids – the body's own version of THC and CBD
 

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EY, I have no problems with natural cannabinoids generated within the body, Regarding pornography, you are probably correct in that getting good statistics is likely difficult. But I can understand the possibility, and, switching to anecdotal testimony this time around (lacking summed data), it appears to either be possibly addictive and/or to provide unhealthy, unrealistic expectations of what is expected of oneself or one's partner(s). I do not support banning it but would support some sort of monitoring of the sort in intent as regulating prostitution. You and I are virtually immune to the deleterious effects of these various addictions and predilections as are all right-minded TC members, but some will fall prey and be consumed, leaving society to deal with the consequences.
The vast majority of legitimate complaints surrounding pornography stem from the abysmal sex education in America in which parents and teachers are scared poopless of having honest and factual discussions about these topics. All it would take would be explaining that pornography is fantasy entertainment by and for consenting adults, not a model for real life sex or relationships, and many of these problems would disappear; but instead kids and young teens are left to their own devices to learn about sex on their own and don't have the knowledge to distinguish fiction from reality. That's lamentable, but so are the various attempts at demonizing pornography (typically by religious and conservative groups, but not always: someone like Gary Wilson seemed a well-meaning but science-illiterate sort) backed up by, as you're fond of saying, "thin gruel" science; that in turn makes me lament at how poorly most people understand science and rational thinking, and many would rather just use both to support their biases and what they want to believe is true.

But that's my rant for the day. :)
 

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Well, let me say, I enjoy getting high on Delta 8 which is legal, but I'm not dependent on it. I simply enjoy it!
I need to check on Delta 8 myself. I hear it's like Delta 9 but much mellower and less likely to lead to the more undesirable effects of getting too high. Though I've gotten pretty adjusted to Delta 9 by now, at least with strains I'm familiar with, there's always the possibility of going a bit too far and having a not-fun time.
 

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Delta whah? Did I miss a fun new drug? Seriously, what is it?
THC is the active ingredient in cannabis but there are different forms of it. Delta 9 is the more traditional version. Delta 8 is similar but less potent and so better for users who are sensitive to its effects. It's possible to breed strains that are almost exclusively one or the other, or strains that are exclusively CBD (which is a different cannabinoid that doesn't get you high at all). When ingested, cannabis actually metabolizes to 11-hydroxy-THC , which is up to 5x more potent than even Delta 9, which is why so many "cannabis horror stories" involve edibles. Cannabis is a rather complex plant and there's even more to it and its effects besides the main psycho-active ingredients, like the presence of terpenes and flavanoids that have actual health benefits.
 

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It would be a challenge to successfully do this simple thing--"all it would take...."--I am trying to think of a scenario whereby this is accomplished. Age of kids and teens; whether they are shown both the softest of porn and its more extreme forms. And would the sociology and history of porn actors be part of the instruction? Like prostitution, there is a mixed record of the degree to which porn actors "willingly" enter into the industry. Things to ponder.
I think it's less of a challenge than many think. The biggest challenge is parents getting over their uncomfortableness of talking to (their) kids about sex. We teach kids to distinguish fantasy from reality with few issues when it comes to movies and TV, so it shouldn't be all that different with pornography. I lean towards doing it younger rather than later. Kids now are growing up using the internet, and it's ridiculously easy to stumble onto pornography even unintentionally. Better to educate them before that, and I see/know of of no harms in teaching kids about sex "too early." As for what should be shown, I'm not sure if anything would need to be shown. Just inform kids that any sex videos they find online is likely to be fantasy and not reality, similar to how WWE is a "fantasy" version of MMA. If they're interested in learning the differences then showing them would be OK, but I think still images would work, but it's also worth telling them how "performative" pornography is. However much adult stars are genuinely having sex, they're also performing for a camera... again, not unlike professional wrestling.

I don't think we need to go into the sociology and history of porn or performers. The industry didn't come from the best of roots, but from what I know it's radically different now: very professional and very corporate, with a handful of huge companies owning the majority of production studies, all of which have HR departments that don't take kindly to any claims of abuse. It's a multi-billion dollar industry that has a bad reputation enough without abusing performers or forcing people to be there when they don't want to be. In fact, so many performers are now producing and profiting from their own content on platforms like OnlyFans, which has caused the "mainstream studio" side of the industry to cater to performers even more because the industry needs performers far more than the reverse. The myth of the "sleezy producer preying on naive and unsuspecting girls" (notice how it's always girls; there's the misogynistic assumption that men can enter the industry of their own volition but women dislike sex, lack agency, and must all be coerced into it) is mostly just that; a myth. Most girls get into the industry because they know someone else in the industry, or because they've worked in other aspects of sex work (like stripping) and want to get in, or because they're simply curious in which case they send photographs to agents.

Things were different in the late-70s/early-80s when pornography was very much a kind of guerilla form of filmmaking with no regulation that attracted a lot of low-life types. Stories like that of Linda Lovelace are well-known (and even that story was as much about an abusive/controlling husband than anything), but we're talking about 40+ years by this point. Pornography is far more ethical now than it ever has been, at least in the US and in the mainstream.
 

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^^^^@EY: I agree largely with what you post above, but I wonder to what extent pornography is to be presented to the young as a career option, though it surely is if no coercion or financial necessity drives people into the business. I also am concerned about non-regulated, non-US or other non-western countries' methods of bringing 18-year old (?) teens into the industry. And I'd like to see (in theory; not necessarily from you) a prospective curriculum or real parental guide to offer enlightened views to the young, including age and other relevant social and developmental factors. There is no question--or very little--that a mature and mentally healthy adult can benefit from select pornography--B.F. Skinner, the psychologist author of Walden Two (who remembers that book now?) said in his old age that pornography was a way for him to age more robustly, along with good friends, good books, good music, etc.
What I would say about presenting it as a career option would be very individual-dependent. 99.9% of people are probably not cut-out for that industry, but there are a handful of people that seem to have the right confluence of personal and personality traits--high libido, high energy, charismatic, loves to perform, loves sex, not bashful/shameful/etc., very open to alternative lifestyles, etc.--that it's perfect for. Of course, plenty more may find they're more comfortable cultivating small(er) audiences online and living off donations and private requests, too.

Yes, other countries are of more of a concern ethically, and I've heard more than one adult performer say that even though Europe also has many ethical companies there are many much shadier ones too. About the only thing that can be done about that from here is if American companies try to self-regulate how much it shows up and is easily accessible online here. I'd wager the vast majority of the free-pornography "tube" sites though feature content from "ethically-sourced" (lol) producers and studios, especially since the "great database wipe" a while back (due to some people uploading clearly illegal vids to these sites!). About the only way you can stop such people is not letting them make an easy living out of it so that they stop.

I would also like to see a prospective curriculum guide, preferably once that's based on legitimate research rather than moral and other various fear-based "concerns" about "corrupting children" with information about sex and pornography. Repression is just never IMO a good option.
 

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I have been going back through some of the posts in this thread - particularly yours - and this little segment reminded me of my studying method when I was at university. I would frequently get high while reading quite involved scientific papers. I would find my mind wondering off after a while but I would use this to "imagine" what would come next in the scientist's argument and would then read on. If I was right then that made it much clearer and quite memorable. If the paper went in a different direction to the one I had imagined (which was often the case) then I would find myself much better able to understand the argument and also its counter-arguments. It was a very effective way to study!
I have not tried studying while high but I could definitely imagine this approach working. I find when I'm high I'm more in tune with the details of my thought processes and those of others... it seems as if I'm able to perceive and intuit things on a more granular level rather than just trying to understand and react to more superficial aspects.
 

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I'll finish my thoughts here by further examining how either pornography or prostitution should be presented to the young as career choices. Are such to be swept into a general mass like Manufacturing, Retail, Finance, Science, Accounting, sheet metal worker, MRI technician, in our desire to destigmatize the two Ps? Or should some few be called to the side and counseled that, because of their looks, freshness, boldness, etc., they might ponder P or P as viable careers? A tricky situation.
I have two issues with presenting them as career choices: one is what I said above about the vast majority of people not being cut out for either. It takes very unique and specific types to really make either a career choice; two is that it can be rough-going after you've been in either industry for a while as audiences (and clients) are liable to prefer new faces. There's exceptions to this, especially since the popularization of the "MILF" genre that's shown that older performers can absolutely attract fans/viewers too, but it's uncommon for girls to be able to make that transition. It's not unlike trying to be an actor or a musician in some respects given the uncertainty of future prospects even if you do obtain some small level of success.

What I DO think is more viable is for it to be a temporary means of making money for future planning. One such example would be Jenna Haze who took the money she made from pornography and is now pursuing a degree in psychology. Given the financial burden that's placed on so many young people when they get into debt from college it's actually a much smarter choice to seek out temporary professions like pornography where you can make a significant amount of money over, say, a year or two and then put that money towards college rather than incurring huge debts leading to years of financial struggle. The only downside is that this kind of future planning isn't something most young people (and even many older people) aren't good at or savvy about.

All that said, I have no issue completely destigmatizing porn and prostitution and the people that work in either. I see all sex work as a viable choice, but like with music or acting whether it's viable as a career is very dubious. IME, the performers who really succeed in pornography long-term are those that genuinely love it, and that passion comes through in their work. Most viewers quickly grow bored of girls who don't really want to be there, are only doing it for the money, etc. as that apathy shows in their performances.
 

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^^^^@EY: a sad commentary on the world (country) we inhabit when P or P is a way of delivering oneself from student debt. Surely we can do better. We definitely need data here rather than individual instances or anecdotes. As an aside, one shudders at the possible fate that awaits a number of Ukrainian refugee mothers and daughters, like the youth of Thailand. Not a pretty picture.
I think it's a sad state of affairs that the natural act of trying to better one's self through education that will help establish a career path almost necessitates the incurring of crippling debt at all. I think we would probably agree that entire system needs fixing; but until it's fixed students (or prospective students) need money to survive, and P&P are two legitimate ways of doing that. Maybe not the best choices for everyone, but nothing is.
 

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Also slaves to opioids, meth, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, gambling--all ways of trying to feel good or feel in control in an extremely poorly-educated and grotesquely unequal society.
Add benzos to that list. I've had family members addicted to benzos (by prescription) and watching them withdraw from them was horrific, far worse than even alcohol and cigarettes.
 

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For those of you who do smoke weed, do you prefer to smoke just one type at a time or mix them up? My preference is a good mix that results in a better high for musical enjoyment.
Do you mean mixing strains? I generally prefer to just use one strain at a time because it's easier for me to titrate to the right dose. I should also mention that I vape it rather than smoke it, so that way I avoid all of the carcinogens that come from combustion. Vaping is just a much "cleaner" way to imbibe.
 

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Yes, mixing strains. Is there a right dose? I just smoke until I don't want anymore.
There's a "right dose" for me because I'm very sensitive to the psychoactive effects of THC and there's a thin line between "a fun, great, time" and "anxiety-induced existential panic." Luckily that line has thickened as I've adjusted to the effects over the years, but a few really bad highs made a big enough impression that I don't want to revisit them.
 

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Got it. I've been lucky - over 50 years and never had a bad high.
Not sure what your typical dosage is, but edibles are the easiest way to get "too high" due to their very unpredictable nature. If you eat a lot and most of the THC metabolizes in your system (as opposed to being destroyed by your stomach acids) then it can hit like a punch from Tyson in his prime. Of course, different subjectivities will react differently to being in that state. I didn't realize I was the "existential panic" type until it happened! Your years of experience will probably help in that you likely have a higher tolerance and are more adjusted to such altered states. My "too high" experiences happened shortly after I started trying it. I've been cautious ever since.
 
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