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Author: Subject: Thoughts on smoking
TomS
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posted on 7-29-2006 at 03:18 PM Edit Post
As of next summer smoking will be banned in ALL public buildings. I cannot wait, as inhaling other people's smoke generally makes me feel like shit.

Of course, all the pubs and clubs will smell like stale beer and farts instead of fags, but it's a small price to pay

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mooseheadjack







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posted on 7-29-2006 at 04:03 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Slade

Iíve also read some of your concerns about personal freedom and liberties and I understand where you are coming from on the point of protecting those rights, even if it is the right to do stupid things to oneself, however KOH and I are coming from a country where there is a need to balance those rights with social responsibilities. In a state where socialized medicine does not exist, it does not matter much that people smoke themselves sick as they alone are responsible for their own health costs. If you want to protect the rights of consumers to ingest carcinogens and the economic rights of corporations to profit off of health problems, that doesnít bother me at all. Although, I still think that your government has a responsibility to protect its people from harm, which would include banning lethal products and substances from the marketplace.


Since we are looking at things through two different health care systems, I am not sure we can really agree on the health care part of it.

My biggest concern is the desire for some to make smoking illegal.

When Jesse Ventura was governor of Minnesota, they wanted to ban riding snowmobiles on the ice in April (or March, some late winter month) because the snowmobilers kept falling through the ice, and it was costing money to rescue them. From what I understand (and any Minnesotans(?) please correct me if I am wrong) Ventura refused. He said he did not want to legislate stupidity. If you know it is dangerous, and you do it anyway, that is the risk you take. You shouldn't have the government tell you not to do something dangerous.

And really, let's say we make smoking illegal. Completely illegal, can't do it ANYwhere. Don't you think that will cause a huge black market for cigarettes? I know Canada has had a problem with that, it would be on a much larger scale in the US. They tried the same reasoning with Alcohol during Prohibition, and it failed miserably. Banning smoking would lead to even more problems.





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ArmyofOne
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posted on 7-29-2006 at 06:05 PM Edit Post
You're right about the Minnesota thing. And I'm glad Jesse wouldn't go with it. I totally microplay with him, you can't and shouldn't legislate stupidity.

Well, my thoughts on smoking are pretty simple and they've changed as I've gotten older. My father has smoked for 50 years now and I've seen what its done to him but despite that I don't think it should be banned and I think its stupid when Minneapolis and St. Paul here banned smoking in bars. But it comes down to my core belief that the government should by and large leave us the fuck alone. I'm completely against smoking bans and any sort of drinking bans. I'm against seat belt laws and helmet laws. Believe it or not, I'm for the complete legalization of any kind of now illegal drugs. Weed, coke, ex, etc. Now, I don't take in any illegal drugs and I don't smoke, in fact I think they are all incredibly stupid personally. But, I just don't think government should be babysitting us at all times. Anything that doesn't directly harm someone else should be okay I'd say. If you don't like secondhand smoke, stay away from that place. If a BUSINESS wants to ban smoking in their place, totally fine, but the government should stay the hell out of it. Basically, let people be stupid if they want to be. If its not directly harming someone else, who fucking cares. Let people smoke, let people eat McDonald's, let people ride without seatbelts if they want. All these laws do that restrict so much is keep around the stupid people that normally would be wiped out. We just get weaker and fatter as these laws stay in place. Let's start to thin the heard.

edit: wording





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Jheaton
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posted on 7-29-2006 at 07:45 PM Edit Post
First of all prohibition does not work.

Second Its not a good idea to try to legislate morality. Often it ends up doing more harm thatn good.

Thirdly I agree with the point about trying to ban stupidity.

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The Riot Act
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 01:59 AM Edit Post
I'm a recreational/weekend smoker. I don't go through a pack a day (more like a pack every week or two). It kills time and stress and I make no excuses.

While I agree with the sentiment that it infringes on a person's rights to smoke around them if they have a problem it, I think that the moralist, right-minded folks have taken this public banning way to far. First of all, what the fuck gives someone else the right to tell me that what I'm doing is "wrong"? Like most issues in our isociety, there's no black or white, just shades of grey and it all comes to down to personal choice and the freedom to make that choice.

My main gripe with the the banning of smoking in public is there here in Canada, if I'm downtown or anywhere crowded, it seems that more and more often I have to walk for 10 minutes before I can light up. I can tolerate that if I'm lighting up a joint with a few of my buddies, because, hey, who wants to smoke one of those in plain sight of the police? But a cigarette should be fair game.

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MrTootles
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 03:08 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by ArmyofOne
Believe it or not, I'm for the complete legalization of any kind of now illegal drugs. Weed, coke, ex, etc.


Word. Libertarians unite.

Edit: Here in San Fran, it's more common to see people smoking weed than cigs.

Cause, you know, making things illegal means people won't do it, right?

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by MrTootles]

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King of Harts
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 04:43 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by ArmyofOne
I'm completely against smoking bans and any sort of drinking bans. I'm against seat belt laws and helmet laws.


I hear where you're coming from. But remember that the basic tenet of libertarianism is that people should be free to do whatever they wish... as long as they do not infringe on the same liberties of others. (Wikipedia 3:16)

As I mentioned in my initial post, I don't care if people smoke - in a world where nobody else could die from it or had to pay because YOU were dying. As it stands, these issues do exist, and as such, when I am paying for your habit, I have a problem. Without getting into the mechanics, seat belt laws protect other drivers on the road in addition to the subject driver, so they're a "must" too. The bottom line is that smoking does affect other people, in many ways.

quote:
Believe it or not, I'm for the complete legalization of any kind of now illegal drugs. Weed, coke, ex, etc.


I have a friend who thinks just like you, and we've debated this subject ad nauseum. There's a rationale for allowing people to shoot themselves up until they're dead, but there are a couple of problems in practice. One, once again, the cost to society. Who wants to be paying for junkies to go into rehab when they fix themselves? Second, like alcohol, but perhaps worse, drugs can put people into a situation where they can hurt other people. And finally, and perhaps most important, illegal drugs have the ability to ruin the lives of children, who aren't mature enough to make the right choices. Legalizing it would send many kids' futures into the toilets - certainly 13 year old kids should not be held to the same "let them be stupid" standard that you're professing. Kids ARE stupid. They make mistakes. And unlike adults, we have to help them avoid these mistakes.

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MrTootles
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 04:55 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts

As I mentioned in my initial post, I don't care if people smoke - in a world where nobody else could die from it or had to pay because YOU were dying. As it stands, these issues do exist, and as such, when I am paying for your habit, I have a problem.


Just to be clear, I assumed AoO is a libertarian. He never identified himself as one.

In order for libertarianism to work, more than just legalizing drugs, etc, would have to change. The government would be very different (and in my opinion better).

quote:
One, once again, the cost to society. Who wants to be paying for junkies to go into rehab when they fix themselves?


I'm in the middle of Deadwood and won't cite the sources right now, but I've read in more than a few places that keeping junkies in jail costs MUCH more than rehab.

quote:
Second, like alcohol, but perhaps worse, drugs can put people into a situation where they can hurt other people.


So can a lot of things. Isn't that pretty vague?

quote:
And finally, and perhaps most important, illegal drugs have the ability to ruin the lives of children, who aren't mature enough to make the right choices.


I forget the exact wording, but Bill Maher said something like:

"I'd say Dark Side of the Moon is worth a few hundred dead kids."

But seriously, I DO think drugs would still have an age requirement.

It's hard to argue a society that legalizes narcotics because that culture and its laws would be DRASTICALLY different than the ones in both the US and Canada.

Edit to add: And I think second hand smoke, except in small children, is pretty much bullshit.

Further edit for redundancy and formatting.

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by MrTootles]

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Chris Is Good517
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 05:23 AM Edit Post
quote:
Second, like alcohol, but perhaps worse, drugs can put people into a situation where they can hurt other people.


Do what now? Bullshit. I've had friends kill themselves by drinking and driving, and I had a buddy who got drunk, mouther off to someone at a bar, and left with a broken jaw,but I don't know of anyone who has ever been hurt or killed by getting high and sitting on the couch with a bag of Cheetos watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

I realize that you're not saying drugs are worse than alcohol, but it seems like that's the direction you were heading in and I felt some perspective was needed.





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SpaceMountainFatBoy
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 02:35 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts
I have a friend who thinks just like you, and we've debated this subject ad nauseum. There's a rationale for allowing people to shoot themselves up until they're dead, but there are a couple of problems in practice. One, once again, the cost to society. Who wants to be paying for junkies to go into rehab when they fix themselves? Second, like alcohol, but perhaps worse, drugs can put people into a situation where they can hurt other people. And finally, and perhaps most important, illegal drugs have the ability to ruin the lives of children, who aren't mature enough to make the right choices. Legalizing it would send many kids' futures into the toilets - certainly 13 year old kids should not be held to the same "let them be stupid" standard that you're professing. Kids ARE stupid. They make mistakes. And unlike adults, we have to help them avoid these mistakes.


I guess you're assuming that legalized drugs would not have an age restriction? I don't believe anybody wants that. I believe legalizing drugs would help keep them out of the hands of minors. Purely from my own experience, it was way easier to get a quarter bag than a case of beer when I was in high school. Fuck, I didn't even have to leave school grounds. If it were age-regulated as cigarettes and alcohol are now, I think the only real problem you are going to have is with minors getting into their shithead parents' stash.

Back on the topic of this thread: Whining about secondhand smoke is for pussies. When you can honestly tell me the "fresh" air we breathe isn't polluted as all fuck, then I'll care. Maybe.

As a smoker, recreational drug user, weekend binge-drinker, fast food eater and a guy who never wears a seatbelt, I'd say smoking is probably the least of my concerns which means my opinion here is going to be a bit biased.

Edited to agree with Chris: You want an overall improvement in the quality of life for everybody, a decrease in the number of smokers, lower overhead on public healthcare and save a shit-ton of lives? BAN ALCOHOL.

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by SpaceMountainFatBoy]





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mooseheadjack







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posted on 7-31-2006 at 03:29 PM Edit Post
KOH the problem is, we don't live our lives in a vacuum. Nearly every decision we make will have SOME effect on someone somewhere. Smoking may be a more direct effect on a person, but my decision to stop buying cookies from Venezuela will also have an impact on someone. A lesser impact sure, but still an impact. So to start banning things because they have an effect on others is just a really silly thing to do.

And for the seatbelts, I am not buying that me wearing a seatbelt saves other lives. If you hit someone hard enough to fling you out of your car, through your windshield, then through theirs too, I don't think either of you have to worry about whether you had a seatbelt on or not. But that is another argument for another time





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King of Harts
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 05:22 PM Edit Post
But seriously, I DO think drugs would still have an age requirement.
I agree - of course they would. But who's telling me that cocaine wouldn't be more likely to ruin a 15 year old's life than alcohol or cigarettes? Kids will be far more likely to get them if they're sold in convenience stores, regardless of an age restriction.

So to start banning things because they have an effect on others is just a really silly thing to do.
I didn't say we need to start banning things with the catch-all reason "because they have an effect on others". I want to be reasonable, although I acknowledge what is reasonable will vary from person to person. Thus, my example earlier - banning blue shirts does not equal banning smoking. And I'm certainly not married to the seat belt thing - I agree that if in general it doesn't affect any other driver in a crash, let them not wear seatbelts.

I will say that one thing we should always consider when allowing/banning something is the benefit or cost to society. In my view, alcohol clearly provides a larger discernible benefit to society (vs. its costs) than smoking does. Thus I do not think banning alcohol would benefit as many people as a ban on smoking would. I accept that others disagree with this.

As a smoker, recreational drug user, weekend binge-drinker, fast food eater and a guy who never wears a seatbelt
In other words, you're the posterboy for the downside of public healthcare.

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by King of Harts]

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bigfatgoalie
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 05:50 PM Edit Post
http://www.lawforkids.org/speakup/view_question.cfm?id=667&topic=OTHER

"Question: Why do we have laws?

Answer: We have laws in this country for essentially three reasons. One of the most important reasons is that laws enable our society to function smoothly. For instance, what do you think would happen if there were no traffic laws such as obeying stop signs and stoplights? If we didnít have laws such as those, we would find it hard to do our everyday business. Also, we have laws in order to protect the safety and basic rights of citizens."

See kids, we need laws for the safety of the people. In the case of smoking, laws are there to protect people thinking about smoking (warning labels) as well as those who do not smoke (limiting where you can smoke).

Although I have to say, I'm shocked that governments have not cashed in on smoking lounges. Seriously, you get the people working there to sign a release form, or let the places charge inflated prices for crappy food, watered down drinks, and a pack of Marlboros!






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SpaceMountainFatBoy
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 06:39 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts
In other words, you're the posterboy for the downside of public healthcare.



I like to think of myself as the posteryboy for avid consumerism.

Seriously: meh to the healthcare issue. The only couple of times I've been to the doctor in the past five years were completely unrelated to my lifestyle choices.

I still say if you were that concerned with the social repercussions of smoking (secondhand smoke, public healthcare costs, etc.) you must be tearing your hair out in your effort to stop the production of automobiles and alcohol.





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Jheaton
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 06:45 PM Edit Post
The thing about banning something because it has a cost on society is hard to do because you ahve to ask who gets todraw the line?

Sure Tobacco costs society money because of health costs. But so do lots of other things. The aformentioned alcholol and obesity (2/3rds of Americans are over wheight and 1/3rd of Americans can be considered Obese). Who gets to choose? Who gets to draw the line.

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MrTootles
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 06:47 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts
I agree - of course they would. But who's telling me that cocaine wouldn't be more likely to ruin a 15 year old's life than alcohol or cigarettes? Kids will be far more likely to get them if they're sold in convenience stores, regardless of an age restriction.



Really? I think somebody else mentioned this, but I got ahold of pot and mushrooms far more than alcohol back in my highschool days.

Maybe those narcotics could be sold in special stores... Like in Oregon, liquor isn't sold anywhere other than, well, "Liquor Stores." Which is a pain in the ass when you're used to buying your booze in Safeway, but it keeps the minors out.

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King of Harts
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 06:57 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceMountainFatBoy
I still say if you were that concerned with the social repercussions of smoking (secondhand smoke, public healthcare costs, etc.) you must be tearing your hair out in your effort to stop the production of automobiles and alcohol.

I answered this already.
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts
I will say that one thing we should always consider when allowing/banning something is the benefit or cost to society. In my view, alcohol clearly provides a larger discernible benefit to society (vs. its costs) than smoking does. Thus I do not think banning alcohol would benefit as many people as a ban on smoking would. I accept that others disagree with this.

-----------------------
quote:
Originally posted by Jheaton
The thing about banning something because it has a cost on society is hard to do because you ahve to ask who gets todraw the line?

Sure Tobacco costs society money because of health costs. But so do lots of other things. The aformentioned alcholol and obesity (2/3rds of Americans are over wheight and 1/3rd of Americans can be considered Obese). Who gets to choose? Who gets to draw the line.

On another note - man, do you ever read what you write down? I didn't even try to bold the grammar mistakes.

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by King of Harts]

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Chris Is Good517
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 07:06 PM Edit Post
If we ever tried to have a civil discussion in real life and you couldn't see the spelling errors, what would you bitch about then?





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benoitbrokemyneck
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 07:08 PM Edit Post
If drugs like cocaine were legalized, you would see federal oversight of its production and distribution. No way in hell would there ever be a chance of some kids stealing it from the 7-11. It would be treated in a stricter manner then alcohol. Kids wouldn't be able to just steal it like a candy bar.

If you want to talk about decriminalization, then everything would remain the same as it is today, with the chance that drug makers would get into bigger and badder turf wars. I doubt cocaine and other easy to produce and highly addictive drugs would be decriminalized for this exact reason.

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chretienbabacool
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 07:13 PM Edit Post
While I agree we need to do something about car pollution, it's a false choice to say since the air is polluted, we shouldn't do something about second-hand smoke.

It'd be like not fixing your plumbing because the roof on your house needs work. You can't just ignore one problem because another one also exists.

We need to fix all quality of air concerns, and right now second-hand smoke is the easier problem to fix. However, we should be working towards cleaner air TOO. They are not mutually exclusive.

I disagree with making smoking illegal. I think cigarettes, pot and alcohol should all be legal, and I even agree we should not be required to wear seatbelts after a certain age. But we should never be allowed to harm someone else with our choices. Hence why I believe people like Krydor should be locked away for smoking around their kids.

My wife's parents smoked around her constantly, and she now has major health issues related to breathing. It's a disgusting and selfish practice that strikes me as gambling with the lives of your kids (many times to make sort of misguided political statement) when you really don't need too. Walking outside on the porch is so easy, and I know so many parents who do so with no decrease in quality of life.

The EPA (which is pretty conservative under the Bush administration) considers second-hand smoke as harmful as asbestos. So again I ask the question, should people be allowed to walk into a restaurant and start waving clouds of asbestos around?

As a society, we have decided businesses must follow certain guidelines. We do not allow restaurants to keep food on the floor, or allow mice and cockroaches in the kitchen. Workers must maintain a certain level of cleanliness. People cannot walk into a restaurant naked. Bars cannot keep serving alcohol to people after a certain level of drunkenness. Bars cannot serve alcohol to people under a certain age. Restaurants must keep meats and dairy products at a certain temperature level.

We have rules and guidelines to protect people who eat or go to a business. As someone who does part-time catering, I can say you simply learn these rules and work them into your daily routine and after a while, they become second-nature.

Making smoke-free communities is simply the next logical step in this process. People can smoke in their homes or outside, they simply cannot expose other people to their smoking in businesses, no more then they could wave asbestos around or that a kitchen worker could drop a hamburger and then serve it again.

It's unclean, unhealthy, and workers and people with health problems (like my wife) should be able to be at a business and not worry about their long-term health.

The worker issue is also a huge one. In Columbia, the employment possibilities are slim. Workers should not have to gamble with their health simply to pay bills. I know the pro-smoking lobby likes to pretend people have a choice where to work, but the vast majority of the time this is simply untrue.

Sure, many could decide to work at Wal-Mart making minimum wage instead of $10/hour waiting tables, so basically what we're saying to them is they must decide between getting cancer or asthma and not being able to pay their bills. Heck of a choice there.

So again, make personal choices how you treat your body, but the moment you start exposing other people to your smoke (especially your children), or your car pollution, we have moved beyond the realm of personal choice and into the realm of criminality.

But hey, if we want to talk about a slippery slope, let's explore it further. If we are going to say people should have the right to expose others to second-hand smoke in businesses, they should also have the right to forcibly inject anyone who walks into a bar with cocaine, or they should have the right to force anyone who walks into a bar down and pour alcohol down their throats.

Afterall, people made a decision to walk into that bar.





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King of Harts
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 07:18 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Is Good517
If we ever tried to have a civil discussion in real life and you couldn't see the spelling errors, what would you bitch about then?

I never bitch about spelling errors. I was merely pointing out that it's hard to take one seriously if you write like that, and that your point will be lost (I know I'm not the most anal spell-checker on these boards).

When else have I gone off topic to complain about someone's writing style?

quote:
Originally posted by benoitbrokemyneck
If drugs like cocaine were legalized, you would see federal oversight of its production and distribution. No way in hell would there ever be a chance of some kids stealing it from the 7-11. It would be treated in a stricter manner then alcohol. Kids wouldn't be able to just steal it like a candy bar.

Who said anything about stealing? They'd buy it just like they do now - it'd just be more readily available.

[Edited on 7-31-2006 by King of Harts]

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SpaceMountainFatBoy
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 07:33 PM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by King of Harts
I will say that one thing we should always consider when allowing/banning something is the benefit or cost to society. In my view, alcohol clearly provides a larger discernible benefit to society (vs. its costs) than smoking does. Thus I do not think banning alcohol would benefit as many people as a ban on smoking would. I accept that others disagree with this.


You call this an answer? This says nothing. Well, let me correct that. Here's what this says: "In my view, alcohol is good and smoking is not. What? Nah, no reason. Feel free to disagree."

Care to elaborate on the large, discernible benefit of alcohol?





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King of Harts
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posted on 7-31-2006 at 08:12 PM Edit Post
Try as I might, I cannot seem to find statistics on the size of each industry. All I was looking for was the sales $ for tobacco and alcohol in the US, but even something so simple I wasn't able to find. Maybe someone else will have better luck.

I did find the estimated costs of each, however.
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/Resources/DatabaseResources/QuickFacts/EconomicData/cost8.htm
-suggests alcohol abuse costs the United States $184.6 billion

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/publications/aag/osh.htm
-suggests tobacco costs the United States about $167 billion

However, without knowing the "benefits" to society (which can be estimated by the industries' annual sales), it's impossible to know which "costs" or "benefits" a society more. I do think an important consideration is how many people are affected, however. Would more people be negatively affected by a ban on alcohol, or a ban on smoking? It's just something else to think about...

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Operation Retard
Beats me, I'm gay!






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posted on 7-31-2006 at 08:30 PM Edit Post
ummm, how is how much money the alcohol or tobacco companies make a "benefit to society?"

isn't that just a benefit to the company?

and you just showed that alcohol is a bigger cost to society than smoking is. way to prove your point. good job.






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King of Harts
Man of a Thousand Holds






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posted on 7-31-2006 at 08:37 PM Edit Post
Because the total revenue generated from an industry gives you an approximation for how much economic benefit a society gets from it. For example, when you buy a beer for $4, you got (at least) $4 worth of benefit from it. So if Americans spend $300 billion on alcohol (I'm making this number up), Americans put the value of alcohol at $300 billion.

And as I said, the important number is net benefit (or cost). You have to weigh the cost of the substance against the benefit. The cost of alcohol from those stats is higher than the cost of tobacco, but that's meaningless if the benefit (amount spent) on alcohol dwarfs the amount spent on tobacco.

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