Smokers Score

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Juggler
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby Juggler » 2008 Jan 12 17:34

fangz1956 wrote:... created by the anti-smoking gang as ashtrays have been removed from cars ...
It tickled me no end when I noticed that American car manufacturers persisted in providing ashtrays for years after people stopped killing themselves with cigarettes and started killing themselves with cokes 'n big macs.

This is the main reason we're all driving Japanese cars now. Years before American manufacturers, the Japanese noticed and dropped the ashtrays in favor of cup holders!
:laugho:

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 12 20:51

:laugho: :laugho: :laugho: :laugho: :laugho: :laugho:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 13 07:54

Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

Renegade Mom

Re: Smokers Score

Postby Renegade Mom » 2008 Jan 13 11:14

Interesting opinion piece, from one economist - albeit kind of dusty coming from 1995. I preferred some of the other opinion pieces coming from Cato.org. I agree with much of what they promote about individual rights and the clumsiness of government in an age of information. Some of their libertarian viewpoints and their trust of the free-market and 'liberal-economics' (as they like to call it) to solve society's ills seem to me as off target as those who embrace government regulations as the way to solve our problems. In my opinion this country is already being run by an arista-corporate junta – I don't trust the leaders of these giant corporate conglomerates any more than the government itself (despite there being less difference left between the two). [Look at our current administration and Haliburton and the millions of $$$ that has 'disappeared' along with the consistent and ongoing rip-off of our money in Iraq]

The article referenced takes on OSHA regulations – OSHA a great example of our beomoth government trying to do good and getting it ass-backwards almost every time. The citing of OSHA ridiculousness can fill a large book. They work against business by defying logic and refusing to acknowlede the realities of the practical application of their mandates. Having been a business owner subject to their regulations, I am familiar with their ways. They will almost always be a most extreme example of how a public policy can be mangled.

The author of the article presents a great deal of statistics that he himself came up with and that he gives no supporting evidence for, but no matter, he still has some good points.

"Since smokers are estimated to die sooner, they will spend less time in nursing homes, and fewer will live long enough to collect their retirement pensions. As a result, smokers save society 20¢ per pack in nursing-home care and $1.00 per pack in terms of lower pension and Social Security costs. On balance, smokers save society 27¢ per pack from an insurance standpoint. This amount excludes the role of the taxes smokers pay, which average 53¢ per pack of cigarettes."

Wow, that's encouraging! Even if this was not a 12 year old article, those numbers (his) should definitely be calculated into the equation as a positive for smoking as the author states. They'll all be dead!?! Too bad the increased tax revenue angle has not swayed the powers-at-be to legalize and tax marijuana as they do tobacco and alcohol (which is far more dangerous) and a HUGE underground, untaxed economy.

After calculating his assumed cost to non-smokers and comparing it to the taxes paid on ciggy's, he concludes that that smoking is a not losing monetary proposition for society.
He is concerned as well about the shareholders not making their desired dividends and the loss of commerce. $$$$$$ is the determinent here? OK… He is on target when he states that "an accurate accounting of the insurance costs is essential to avoid distorting the legitimate issues associated with public policy toward smoking". True but not necessarily based on the numbers he throws out in his opinion piece.

While I have to snicker at his assertions about the reduced "welfare of smokers, who will have to forgo a consumption activity they enjoy." I agree that more latitude needs to be given to smokers and the businesses that employ them or wish to attract them as customers. Another (more timely) article from Cato.org by columnist Thomas Firey in '06 held more weight with me (despite my disagreement with him on certain points). He suggests:

"In fairness, some safety regulations do involve recognized risks, but few of them are outright bans. Coal mining, farming and commercial fishing are all extremely risky jobs and heavily regulated, yet there is no push to ban them. We respect the entrepreneurs' choice to own these businesses and the workers' choice to operate them. If smokers want to smoke in a bar, and an entrepreneur wants to provide that bar, and workers are willing to work there, why shouldn't we accept their choices?
Liberal societies have market economies in part because the pursuit of profit and the threat of competition force the marketplace to provide choices for people with many different preferences. This should include the choice of smoking-allowed and smoke-free bars and restaurants.

The City Council and General Assembly can nurture that choice by requiring all bars and restaurants to determine their own smoking policies. Smoking-allowed establishments can then choose whether to be all-smoking or to have separate smoking and nonsmoking sections. To help consumers identify which establishments cater to their preferences, bars and restaurants could be required to post their smoking policies at their entrances, and they could be penalized for violating them.
A law like that would allow smokers and nonsmokers to enjoy the environments they choose. If most customers prefer a nonsmoking environment, many bars and restaurants will follow the money and prohibit smoking. But other establishments will cater to smokers and allow tobacco use.
Free societies allow people to make decisions that others don't like. That includes allowing smokers to have bars and restaurants to cater to their preferences, just as nonsmokers should have establishments that cater to theirs. Baltimore and Annapolis should stand by the ideals of a free society instead of opting to force smokers to live by the preferences of some nonsmokers."


I like choice. I dislike overbearing government regulations. I think that there are cases where surely people have gone overboard in trying to regulate smoking, like in Arizona. In my mind, this is where the beauty of State's rights come in as opposed to the Federal government (ie. OSHA) making the decisions. We can choose where we live based on the values of that region. We can become active in our government and take responsibility on that level as well. I know of hotel workers and other low-paid workers that have had
to choose whether to move or reside/work in a "Right to Work" state that prohibits them from striking. Again, making individual choices.

I agree with Viscusi in the cited article that we need to base decisions about smoking on better studies (and there have been MANY since 1995!) and a need for "reason and balance in recognition of the welfare consequences of smoking restrictions".

He also states very clearly (albeit in the midst of some wonky viewpoints)

"That is not to say that some form of smoking regulation in particular contexts would not be desirable."


Fangz Thanks for sharing… I appreciate a less personal and emotional discussion of the issue.

RubyRed

Re: Smokers Score

Postby RubyRed » 2008 Jan 13 14:56

I have often heard the substance abuse counselors where I work say that nicotine addiction is equal to or perhaps even greater than heroin addiction and kicking the nicotine habit is just as hard as someone trying to kick heroin use yet this is a "drug" that is legal because the government profits from it. The same with alcohol. If the government were not able to make money off the sale of both of these drugs, they too, would be illegal substances.

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 13 21:02

I spent quite a bit of time this morning poring over the FDA website. I read a lot but not much was there as far as solid statical data is concerned. I found the other article through a link while researching. Even though it was written in 1995, a lot of valid points were made as to how studies are conducted and that not all conclusions reached are valid......either the study failed to include a control group or pertinent factors were not considerd and accounted for in the final result.

I find that hysteria among the public at large leads to the institution of crazy laws that cannot be enforced in the real world. Time and tax dollars are wasted to pass laws that just don't work. Rather than a bunch of government regs, I think the decision should be squarely in the hands of individual business owners. That's fair and rational and logical. When we legislate choice and make into a demonizing moral issue, everybody loses.

As far as emotional and personal............I will step back for a bit when I find myself crossing that line. It 's time to take the government out of the picture on this one. They have no business in it and they only propagate the debate because they profit from both sides of it.

:2cent:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

Renegade Mom

Re: Smokers Score

Postby Renegade Mom » 2008 Jan 15 07:02

The FDA ???!!!??? That bunch???

Talk about big government, corruption, and bureaucratic ineptitude! The FDA is the fairy-godmother of Big Pharma! I thought we agreed we did not like that sort of thing......

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 15 12:30

We did agree on that about the FDA and Big Pharma. But I was curious to find what the government and all the hysterical groups were basing their positions on. There was virtually NO solid statistical data at the FDA site that I could find. I found the other article through a related site when I queried "second hand smoke". I found several statistics regarding tobacco profits and tobacco tax revenues at various tobacco company sites............but I don't trust that 100% either. After a couple of hours of that, my brain was smokin'!


:wink:

P.S. The bulk of the data I have discovered so far comes from a handful of individual experiences............not documented scientific studies.
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

Renegade Mom

Re: Smokers Score

Postby Renegade Mom » 2008 Jan 15 17:29

...just teasing a bit... I'm a big fan keeping a sense of humor (especially when getting into the quagmire of our government and our social policies - otherwise it can get me bitter and frothing...)

FDA teasing aside, I am impressed with, and respect, the obvious amount of research that you have engaged in as we have explored this subject. The time and energy invested reflects positively on you and your point of view... Cheers!

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 15 19:42

Dang, we must have scared the boys away. No wonder they are never in the kitchen.............they can't take the heat!


:laugho:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: Smokers Score

Postby resigned » 2008 Jan 15 19:59

Hey you two, I have to say I really enjoyed your debate. It was enlightening, humerous, witty, intelligent, thought provoking and gee whiz, I wish I could have said all those things. Right now my brain isn't functioning on all four cylinders. So my hat is off to the both of you. What great reading, and you both were able to come out on the positive side. Maybe we need more women in government. Just the right kind. :D

Quiet-Knight

Re: Smokers Score

Postby Quiet-Knight » 2008 Jan 19 09:35

California law enacted now makes it illegal to smoke in your car if there is a passenger who is 17 or younger.
There is a $100 per offense.

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Wise One
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Another Death

Postby Wise One » 2008 Jan 21 11:20

Suzanne Pleshette died 2 days ago, another victim of cigarettes. She was not born with that husky voice.

:| When you're 18, age 70 seems very old. When you're over 50, age 70 seems a whole lot younger. :|
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

resigned

Re: Smokers Score

Postby resigned » 2008 Jan 22 16:18

It seems that when people are young they feel as if nothing can harm them, but sadly it takes years of abusing your body either through, smoke, alcohol or overeating to find out that all these can harm you.

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fangz1956
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Jan 22 19:50

Spot on Beckonwood! I gave up the worst of my vices.......booze and drugs. I was a party animal in my hey-day and those things very nearly destroyed me. I am not ready to give up the coffee and nicotine and that is my choice......I consider them to be my little luxuries at this point and I don't have many of those left.

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby Wise One » 2008 Jan 22 21:10

Visiting a Navy vessel during a VIP tour hosted by its Captain, I asked "What is your biggest problem aboard your ship?"

He answered, "My biggest problem is that I have a crew of mostly 18-20 year-olds who think they are immortal. Every day, somehow, I have to get them to abide by safety protocols."
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Consider the Principle

Postby fangz1956 » 2008 Feb 04 20:35

Miss. Law Would Ban Serving Obese Diners
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS, AP
4 hours ago
JACKSON, Miss. — A state lawmaker wants to ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers — but please, don't be offended. He says he never even expected his plan to become law.

"I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi," said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he'd probably have a tough time under his own bill.

More than 30 percent of adults in Mississippi are considered it obese, according to a 2007 study by the Trust for America's Health, a research group that focuses on disease prevention.

The state House Public Health Committee chairman, Democrat Steve Holland of Plantersville, said he is going to "shred" the bill.

"It is too oppressive for government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions," Holland said Monday.

The bill had no specifics about how obesity would be defined, or how restaurants were supposed to determine if a customer was obese.

Al Stamps, who owns a restaurant in Jackson, said it is "absurd" for the state to consider telling him which customers he can't serve. He and his wife, Kim, do a bustling lunch business at Cool Al's, which serves big burgers — beef or veggie — and specialty foods like "Sassy Momma Sweet Potato Fries."

"There is a better way to deal with health issues than to impose those kind of regulations," Al Stamps said. "I'm sorry — you can't do it by treating adults like children and telling them what they can and cannot eat."

:craz:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

resigned

Re: Smokers Score

Postby resigned » 2008 Feb 05 07:57

I read this too and believe it's going way too far. I do believe that obesity is fast becoming the number one problem in our country. Buth then if people choose those lifestyles that can quicken their deaths, then maybe that will remove more people from our country and possibly help the water, gas, global warming problem. Course then guess that would take a lot of people dying to make a dent in the population. Probably when we get the next pandemic that might help. Just think, less poeple we have then the less a drain on our enviornment. We all have to die eventually. :D ( I write this with tongue in cheek)

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Wise One
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Re: Smokers Score

Postby Wise One » 2008 Feb 05 17:51

It's a great proposal, not because it has a chance in hell of passing or even that it's a good idea, but because it has perfectly accomplished its real objective -- getting people to think about, and talk about, obesity.

It kind of reminds me of the assholes in the Virginia Beach police department who arrested the manager of the local Abercrombie and Fitch for displaying ad photos somebody didn't like. It can only be explained by one of the following:
  • It's the dumbest police department in the world
  • They have the dumbest laws in the world
  • The police are secretly in the pay of Abercrombie & Fitch, who are reaping a bonanza in free publicity and increased sales from this bonehead move.
  • They purposely made themselves the laughingstock of the Nation.
:laugho: The manager will be rewarded, A&F will make $$, and the arrest and/or the law will be invalidated. :laugho:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Not Everybody in Virginia Beach is Insane

Postby Wise One » 2008 Feb 05 20:31

This update just appeared, Virginia Beach backing down and dismissing the insane complaint.
http://hamptonroads.com/2008/02/beach-p ... mbie-store
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."


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