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Scheherazade
10-31-2006, 12:06 PM
This was in another thread but since I did not want to derail the discussion, I thought it might be a good idea to start a new one.
Another one that you didn't mention was drunk driving, which kills a lot of people. But banning alcohol just won't work.This is something I often wonder... Why are there smoking bans all over the world but nothing when it comes to drinking?

Drinking surely causes as much damage to one's body as smoking; it is as addictive and, what's more, its effects are felt more acutely: you don't hear people smoking one too many and gettting abusive towards their partners or children or causing traffic accidents.

So why has the society become more permissive towards drinking? Why is it OK to have beer and other alcohol commercials on TV but not cigarettes?

Disclaimer: I am not advocating smoking or drinking. I have never smoked and do not consume great quantities of alcoholic drinks (and yes, I lead a boring existence).

Virgil
10-31-2006, 12:37 PM
That is a good question Scher. The smoking restrictions have only been around for the most part in the United States in the last ten years. Here are some ideas on the disparity between the two vices:

1. More than 50% of the people have at least a mild drink every so often, but cigarette smokers are about 1/3 the population here in the US, so they are a minority. The power of a majority to make laws against a minority, despite minority protections, are part of the democratic system.

2. Like I said on that other thread, alcohol is interwoven into our culture. Cigarettes are mostly a 20th century phenomena (I know they date further back, but it was not as wide spread). So you have alcohol that dates back thousounds of years versus smoking which is a century or two.

3. Second hand smoke bothers people who are not smoking. I work in a one story very long building. I remember when I started working here 20 years ago and smoking was allowed in the office, by the end of the day my clothes smelled of smoke and could see a cloud hovering the ceiling all the way down. Drinking (other than drunk driving accidents) don't usually affect other people. Perhaps except for family members of alcoholics.

4. Alcohol in moderation doesn't affect your health. In some cases like wine, studies show it helps your health. There are no health benefits to cigarretes and if you smoke long enough and live long enough you will get cancer. And it contributes to heart disease. And I know. My father was a smoker and he recently died of heart disease, and the only factor he had against him (he was thin and had low cholestorol and good blood pressure) was that he was a smoker.

I'm sure I can think of more, and if I do i'll add it to the thread.

Mark F.
10-31-2006, 12:43 PM
Alcohol is by far the most dangerous and most addictive drug. It just represents so much money that it has become impossible to ban. Also, during the prohibition years, crime rates went higher than ever (so much money was involved in bootlegging). I advocate legalising all drugs as that's the only way the state can control the quality of the products and reduce traffick linked crime.

Virgil
10-31-2006, 12:46 PM
Alcohol is by far the most dangerous and most addictive drug. It just represents so much money that it has become impossible to ban. Also, during the prohibition years, crime rates went higher than ever (so much money was involved in bootlegging). I advocate legalising all drugs as that's the only way the state can control the quality of the products and reduce traffick linked crime.

I disagree. You would have an escalation in drug use that would be terrible for people. Like I said, alcohol is ingrained into our culture. But drugs are not. It makes no sense to add vices to our cultural norms. We are trying to reduce vices.

Themis
10-31-2006, 01:05 PM
This was in another thread but since my post and the possible replies might lead the original thread towards another direction, thought it might be a good idea to start a new thread.This is something I often wonder... Why are there smoking bans all over the world but nothing when it comes to drinking?



A ban regarding drinking in public places is already in use in some parts of Austria. It is now possible to denounce people who are caught drinking alcohol in public. There is also a new Police Penal Law ('PSG') being discussed that will allow police forces to take actions against such offenders. Alas, it's not in use in all parts of Austria but that's just because of our legal system which is just a trifle complicated.

Mark F.
10-31-2006, 01:46 PM
I disagree. You would have an escalation in drug use that would be terrible for people. Like I said, alcohol is ingrained into our culture. But drugs are not. It makes no sense to add vices to our cultural norms. We are trying to reduce vices.

I know what you mean, but people who want to do drugs are going to find them anyway, might as well make sure the danger is reduced as much as possible. In countries where pot is legal, people don't smoke much more than in other countries. Well, tourists do, but not the locals.

I'm sorry, I'm just not an idealist.

RobinHood3000
10-31-2006, 07:39 PM
It's debates like these where one wonders if humanity was right to mess with natural selection.

Back to the discussion: there are more healthy drinkers (to my knowledge) than there are healthy smokers, in large part because smoking lacks benefits of any kind. The same may be said of alcohol, but drinking can occur safely -- smoking cannot. Of course, ideally, people would not feel the need to drink something so detrimental to their health, but then, people have been irrational since the beginning of time.

kilted exile
10-31-2006, 08:04 PM
I dont have a problem with smoking/drinking.

I used to smoke (legal and not so legal) until fairly recently.

I started drinking at 13, it is a cultural thing where I am from - another of those rites of passage to prove you are a "man" in working class areas of Glasgow. There was nothing else to do of an evening and we all took to the bottle. I do not drink as much as I used to anymore, however I do enjoy having a drink when I'm out with my freinds and do not see any issue with doing so.

The problem comes when people obsess with the stuff, I have one friend in glasgow who is in the jail for culpable homicide because he got into an argument when drunk and beat a man to death.

The only time I have questioned my drinking was when my father's 2nd wife died (a woman I hated growing up) I had to be strong for my father and sort out the funeral etc, but each night during the 2 weeks thereafter I drank myself into a drunken stupor to stop feeling the pain.

Evi
10-31-2006, 08:06 PM
I am a lawyer and because of my profession ( for more than 15 years now) i have seen many families ( cases of divorces, custodies of children etc ) been separated and destroyed because of drinking. And not of smoking.

I am not a doctor , but when somebody smoking can control himself, he doesnt react strangely : he doesnt hit people, he doesnt drive maniac, he doesnt kill people. When somebody drinking like a fool he can be a danger for everyone. And especially for his own family ( and his own wife!!!)

Virgil.

1/3 isnt a small amount of people . Democracy ( in my way of thinking) means that everyone has his word into a community. I have been at the States a lot of times and the image of people( many of them , as you said 1/3 of the population) smoking outside in the cold streets , it is rediculous. You could finf a better solution : non smoking and smoking places ane evryone could be satisfied. But from the moment that the American citizents are satisfied, it their own business.

I just think that it is hipocritical finding smoking so "bod deal" and letting other things happened freely.

Evi

subterranean
10-31-2006, 08:09 PM
I know what you mean, but people who want to do drugs are going to find them anyway, might as well make sure the danger is reduced as much as possible. In countries where pot is legal, people don't smoke much more than in other countries. Well, tourists do, but not the locals.

I'm sorry, I'm just not an idealist.

Agree with you there, Mark.



Back to the discussion: there are more healthy drinkers (to my knowledge) than there are healthy smokers, in large part because smoking lacks benefits of any kind. The same may be said of alcohol, but drinking can occur safely -- smoking cannot. Of course, ideally, people would not feel the need to drink something so detrimental to their health, but then, people have been irrational since the beginning of time.

To add Robin's point:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_living/nutrition/drinks_alcohol.shtml

Alcohol consumed in moderation is thought to be beneficial in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Indeed, alcohol consumption in conjunction with high intakes of fruit and vegetables, may well explain the so-called 'French paradox'. The French diet is considered to be very high in fat, especially saturated fat, yet the death rate from coronary heart disease remains relatively low. It is thought this is at least partly due to people's consumption of red wine.

The key word, though, is moderation. In 1997, the World Health Organisation concluded that the reduced risk from coronary heart disease was found at the level of one drink consumed every second day.


Probably that's why alcohol is not as evil as smoking. I don't think we can find similar statement on cigarettes (smoking).




So why has the society become more permissive towards drinking than it is towards smoking?

Personally, I think society is also becoming more permissive to obesity.

tucsongirl
10-31-2006, 08:15 PM
I agree with you, enjoying a drink when out with friends is not an issue. In fact it usually adds to the fun if done in moderation. There will always be someone who takes things to the extreme, that is where problems can arise ( like your friend in glasgow ).

Laws to stop people from doing things they have always enjoyed, not such a good idea in this area.

Mark F.
10-31-2006, 08:34 PM
Smoking a cigarette once in a while after a nice dinner never killed anyone.

Virgil
10-31-2006, 08:50 PM
I know what you mean, but people who want to do drugs are going to find them anyway, might as well make sure the danger is reduced as much as possible. In countries where pot is legal, people don't smoke much more than in other countries. Well, tourists do, but not the locals.

I'm sorry, I'm just not an idealist.

Well I'm not an idealist either. I understand the short term benefits of legalizing drugs. What I worry about is codifying it into our culture as acceptable behavior. I think that in the long run will be disasterous for society. So I'm willing to accept the crime and small percentage of illegal behavior. As long as we codify it as morally wrong, it will not be absorbed as a cultural rite.

subterranean
10-31-2006, 08:57 PM
Any statistical data to support the "small percentage of illegal behaviour" statement, Virg?

Virgil
10-31-2006, 09:03 PM
IVirgil.

1/3 isnt a small amount of people . Democracy ( in my way of thinking) means that everyone has his word into a community. I have been at the States a lot of times and the image of people( many of them , as you said 1/3 of the population) smoking outside in the cold streets , it is rediculous. You could finf a better solution : non smoking and smoking places ane evryone could be satisfied. But from the moment that the American citizents are satisfied, it their own business.
Evi
Oh I'm just speculating. I don't know if that is a real reason for smoking being squashed while alcohol isn't. I was just listing possibilities. If it is I would be upset too. I'll tell you though most of those 1/3 agree with the laws making smoking tougher. They have rebelled or protested. I find what has happened to smokers unfair. Although prohibiting smoking in public places is just proper etiquette. What really boils my blood are the taxes they have put on cigarettes. Here in New York City a pack of cigarettes costs over $7 per pack. It costs the cigarette companies around 50 cents to make a pack of cigarettes and between the cigarette company, the distributor, and the store selling them, there is around 50 cents of profit for them. That means the government is making $6 profit (12X what the profits are for everyone else combined) on a pack. The people who smoke are lower class people, not rich people. The government is making huge profits off of poor people while in the same breath they are calling cigarette companies immoral. That is real hypocrisy. :flare:


I just think that it is hipocritical finding smoking so "bod deal" and letting other things happened freely.

That another reason why I am against legalizing drugs. The preocess of legalizing drugs while slowly illegalizing cigarettes is more hypocrisy.

Virgil
10-31-2006, 09:08 PM
Any statistical data to support the "small percentage of illegal behaviour" statement, Virg?
Try this web site for drug related crime in the US. A lot of crime is drug related. Even if drugs were legalized, crime would still be a problem. We wouldn't be given away drugs for free, and since there will be no free market, prices of recreational drugs plus taxes will be high. Criminals will still have to steal to support habits. Just see how high the prices of cigarettes have gone; why would drugs be lower?
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dcf/contents.htm

Shalot
10-31-2006, 10:20 PM
I think smoking is a slow form of suicide. But, I think if people want to smoke, they should be able to.

Smoking causes health problems and people who smoke get sick more often. And if you work somewhere and someone in your group insurance smokes, then their habit drives up the price of health insurance for everyone else (or so they say...).

Bad habits cost money. Where I live, we have these shopping cards and when you go to the store you have to give the clerk your shopping card when you pay, which has a bar code that enables them (who is them?) to keep a record of your name and address and what you buy so that you can get the sale price of the item. If you don't have the card you have to pay the regular retail price, which is ridiculously marked up in my opinion. So, if you buy cigarettes or beer on a regular basis, it seems like a record of that could be kept with your shopping card (or am I just being paranoid?).

I was reading a business textbook last year and it seemed to indicate (to me at least) that your shopping habits could impact how you much you pay for life insurance among other things.

But I don't like cigarettes because they are so nasty. My only objection to cigarettes is they stink. When you smoke in your house, your house smells and everyone who goes to your house leaves smelling like cigarettes. Cigarettes get in your hair and your hair smells and your breath smells.

My parents smoked like crazy when I was growing up and I would go to school and open my backpack and this horrible smell of cigarettes would come out of my bag when I unzipped it to get my books.

But, still I think people should be able to smoke or drink if they want to, but I don't think the products should be marketed.

And as far as alcohol goes, some people can drink in moderation and some can't. And I don't know why anyone would go around driving after having a drink (or five). But they say talking on a cell phone impairs your ability to drive a car also, so should they pass a law that states you can't talk on the phone while driving?

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 12:46 AM
1. More than 50% of the people have at least a mild drink every so often, but cigarette smokers are about 1/3 the population here in the US, so they are a minority. The power of a majority to make laws against a minority, despite minority protections, are part of the democratic system.That, friends, is what we call tyranny of the majority.
What I worry about is codifying it into our culture as acceptable behavior. I think that in the long run will be disasterous for society. So I'm willing to accept the crime and small percentage of illegal behavior. As long as we codify it as morally wrong, it will not be absorbed as a cultural rite.Just because it's legal, it doesn't make it socially acceptable. Alcohol is legal, but alcoholism will lose you your job. It's legal (in most places) to marry your second or third cousin but you would be ostracized. Tobacco is legal (at least until the nanny-state takes that away too), but I have friends who have been excommunicated for indulging in it. It works the other way too: it is illegal to drive 55 in a 50 zone, but I doubt anybody considers it a serious moral transgression. It is illegal to download music without paying royalties, but nobody particularly cares (except Metalica). Marijuana is illegal, but (and this is the tricky bit) most people don't consider it immoral, or at least no more immoral than drunkeness. Laws, particularly laws that are completely unenforceable, do not dictate what people do and do not think is immoral.

kathycf
11-01-2006, 01:12 AM
And as far as alcohol goes, some people can drink in moderation and some can't. And I don't know why anyone would go around driving after having a drink (or five). But they say talking on a cell phone impairs your ability to drive a car also, so should they pass a law that states you can't talk on the phone while driving?

I don't know why someone would drive around after drinking either but the fact is, lots do. It impairs judegment and coordination, and is extremely dangerous to the other people as well as the driver. Driving while using a cellphone is also dangerous. A car is a potential danger, and needs to be handled with caution. If someone is driving along yakking on their phone then they really are not paying attention (or using proper caution) to their driving and innocent people could suffer from that inattention. As a point of fact, driving while on the phone is illegal in several countries as well as some states in the US, the data is here. (http://www.cellular-news.com/car_bans/)

If people enjoy drinking and/or smoking, than that is their business. I don't like being around smoking because I have allergies and I can't breathe that in. I think both are habits that are best avoided, but there is at least some health benefits to a moderate intake of alcohol (http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/diet.fitness/07/03/french.paradox/)(some of the same benefits can be obtained from other food sources, such as different types of fruits and nuts, thus drinking is NOT a necessary thing). I can think of no such benefits that tobacco provides, even in a very light smoker...

Nightshade
11-01-2006, 04:56 AM
I advocate legalising all drugs as that's the only way the state can control the quality of the products and reduce traffick linked crime.

I know what you mean, but people who want to do drugs are going to find them anyway, might as well make sure the danger is reduced as much as possible. In countries where pot is legal, people don't smoke much more than in other countries. Well, tourists do, but not the locals.

I'm sorry, I'm just not an idealist.

Actually I agree with you I aalso think they should legaliseprostituion if for no other reson than why should they be getting state benifits and avoid taxes when they are making money too?mind you thats a statement that always gets me odd looks I guess itt becasuse everyone assumes becaue of the way I dress Im going to be a quiet meek sort of person..


But they say talking on a cell phone impairs your ability to drive a car also, so should they pass a law that states you can't talk on the phone while driving?
well they have in egypt and there is very little laws to do with driving there also a heft fine I think 1000 if your spotted on the phone in the uk.

Personally I cant wait until they bannsmoking in public entirly because IM sick of getting amouth full of smoke while walking to uni I was also burned once when I was little by someone carrying a lit cigerrette. But then again drunk people annoy me too, and since I have never done either I guess most people would ignore me. both my parents smoke and over the years I have tried dozens of ways to get them to quit Btw hiding /tossing the cigereets and breaking the ash tray just doesnt work. my mum quit for 3 years but then my went on a round of weddings in a summer and by the end of it ( she hates weddings she was smoking again.

RobinHood3000
11-01-2006, 06:36 AM
Incidentally, Cuppa, I care about music getting stolen. It's the fact that no one else seems to care that forced me to stop complaining about it. There are generally two things in common between those who steal music, in my experience. 1) happiness is an right -- so far, so good. 2) several gigabytes worth of black-market music is important to my happiness. Ohh, dear. Of course, that's not the topic at hand.

The topic at hand is whether smoking or drinking is the worse evil. One impairs the body's ability to function at the most basic level -- prevents oxygen from getting to the body, prevents blood from being pumped at full efficiency, prevents body heat from being redistributed properly, and eventually prevents the heart from beating. On the other hand, we have a substance derived from the fermentation process (also known as "rotting") that impairs the ability to move and think properly, temporarily stunts emotional functionality, removes inhibitions as well as memory (convenient), and seems to make tiiiiime slooooow dooooown.

We might as well be comparing which to prevent happening again first, the Holocaust vs. the Spanish Inquisition.

Mark F.
11-01-2006, 06:55 AM
Personally I cant wait until they bannsmoking in public entirly because IM sick of getting amouth full of smoke while walking to uni I was also burned once when I was little by someone carrying a lit cigerrette. But then again drunk people annoy me too, and since I have never done either I guess most people would ignore me. both my parents smoke and over the years I have tried dozens of ways to get them to quit Btw hiding /tossing the cigereets and breaking the ash tray just doesnt work. my mum quit for 3 years but then my went on a round of weddings in a summer and by the end of it ( she hates weddings she was smoking again.

Drunk people are fun to watch, stumbling around the streets, falling down and vomiting all over themselves.

I've decided not to pass my driving liscence, not because I'm an ecologist mind you, it costs about 1000 dollars in France and a car just seems like too much expenses to me. So I'll continue to drink but I won't be a public danger.

Pensive
11-01-2006, 06:58 AM
So why has the society become more permissive towards drinking? Why is it OK to have beer and other alcohol commercials on TV but not cigarettes?

It is smoking in the Pakistan towards which people are more permissive. In fact, many people use Huqqas and Cigarettes.

Drinking is totally banned over here, but sadly, some people drink illegaly and drink so much that they loose their senses and the next morning, such kind of news comes in our newspapers and more stuff like this:

"Jameel Bin Mustafa, due to heavy drinking, physically abused his wife or divorced her."

Well, in Pakistan, mostly, drinking and smoking is common among men. And I think that the percentage of women smoking and drinking will be less than one percent.

Personally, I am against both smoking and drinking as they are very addictive, and can cause a great harm if done on a larger scale.

Virgil
11-01-2006, 08:08 AM
Just because it's legal, it doesn't make it socially acceptable. Alcohol is legal, but alcoholism will lose you your job. It's legal (in most places) to marry your second or third cousin but you would be ostracized. Tobacco is legal (at least until the nanny-state takes that away too), but I have friends who have been excommunicated for indulging in it. It works the other way too: it is illegal to drive 55 in a 50 zone, but I doubt anybody considers it a serious moral transgression.
You are correct, on both counts, which tells me that we would not be able to predict whether drugs would be socially acceptable if legalized. I know for certain that it would not be socially acceptable if they remained illegal. Plus, the studies I've heard of predict that there would be more use if drugs were legal. Now whatever your position is (except if you're a passionate drug user), one has to say that's a bad thing for society.

kathycf
11-01-2006, 02:15 PM
Incidentally, Cuppa, I care about music getting stolen. It's the fact that no one else seems to care that forced me to stop complaining about it. There are generally two things in common between those who steal music, in my experience. 1) happiness is an right -- so far, so good. 2) several gigabytes worth of black-market music is important to my happiness. Ohh, dear. Of course, that's not the topic at hand.

You know, it isn't the topic at hand, but I think it relates. I think downloading music illegally is wrong as well...I wonder if the parents of the people who do this ever told them stealing is wrong? It costs like what...99 cents to download a song? If you have a computer, internet access and something like an iPod to put the song on after you download it, then cries of poverty ring a little hollow at this point.

Anyway....I can't speak for other areas but in Massachusetts smoking in public areas has been banned for several areas, and I put a link in my previous post to US states and countries that either partially or fully ban cellphone use while driving. When I hear people complain about how their "rights" have been violated by this it makes me a bit annoyed. Sure, it is a person's right to talk on a cellphone or smoke....just don't endanger other people by YOUR choices. (btw, I mean "you" in a broad general way) Same goes for drunk driving. Get drunk all you wish, just don't try hurting other people. It seems to me that a lot of people who are so concerned with THEIR rights don't seem to realize that other people have rights as well....a right to safety and to also to health being pretty important in my book...

Virgil
11-01-2006, 02:18 PM
You know, it isn't the topic at hand, but I think it relates. I think downloading music illegally is wrong as well...I wonder if the parents of the people who do this ever told them stealing is wrong? It costs like what...99 cents to download a song? If you have a computer, internet access and something like an iPod to put the song on after you download it, then cries of poverty ring a little hollow at this point.

Anyway....I can't speak for other areas but in Massachusetts smoking in public areas has been banned for several areas, and I put a link in my previous post to US states and countries that either partially or fully ban cellphone use while driving. When I hear people complain about how there "rights" have been violated by this it makes me a bit annoyed. Sure, it is a person's right to talk on a cellphone or smoke....just don't endanger other people by YOUR choices. (btw, I mean "you" in a broad general way) Same goes for drunk driving. Get drunk all you wish, just don't try hurting other people. It seems to me that a lot of people who are so concerned with THEIR rights don't seem to realize that other people have rights as well....a right to safety and to health being pretty important in my book.

Drunk drivers who kill someone are beginning to be charged for murder around here. I believe that is appropriate. No one at this point can claim that they didn't know their driving abilities are impaired after drinking.

kathycf
11-01-2006, 02:25 PM
Drunk drivers who kill someone are beginning to be charged for murder around here. I believe that is appropriate. No one at this point can claim that they didn't know their driving abilities are impaired after drinking.

I agree, I think that second degree murder is an appropriate charge. I don't think first degree would be an option, but my grasp on that part of law is tenuous at best. I wish my state was stricter than it is...there are many repeat offenders. There is just no excuse for this.

Serenata
11-01-2006, 03:09 PM
I believe that smoking and drinking are personal choices and should not be outlawed by any government at any time. The reason that there is such a problem is because kids in schools hear all their lives, "Alcohol and cigarettes are bad very very bad." When they grow up and stop repeating and believing everything they hear, they are curious about both. What needs to happen is that society needs to take away the mystery about cigarettes and alcohol.

I concede that there are health problems with both and that they are addictive. But how many people do you know, who when told not to do something, throw their hands in the air and swear not to do the forbidden?

I have smoked and drank before. After trying both I came to a conclusion: I don't like the taste of cigarettes and alcohol is no big deal for me. My father told me, "I don't care if you try stuff. But if it controls your life, that is when you are going to have problems."

To this day I have never again smoked. I drink on occasion, but I do it moderately. I don't like the idea of losing control and not being able to remember what happened the next day.

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 05:42 PM
Incidentally, Cuppa, I care about music getting stolen. It's the fact that no one else seems to care that forced me to stop complaining about it. There are generally two things in common between those who steal music, in my experience. 1) happiness is an right -- so far, so good. 2) several gigabytes worth of black-market music is important to my happiness. Ohh, dear. Of course, that's not the topic at hand.

I agree, incidentally, but out opinions are in the minority, which is my point: you cannot legislate people into thinking something is or is not moral.


I agree, I think that second degree murder is an appropriate charge. I don't think first degree would be an option, but my grasp on that part of law is tenuous at best. I wish my state was stricter than it is...there are many repeat offenders. There is just no excuse for this.

First degree murder means there is premeditated intent. Second degree murder means that there is intent, but no premeditation. Neither of these applies to drunk driving. Manslaughter is the heftiest conviction that can be given to somebody who kills somebody else while driving drunk (provided that there is no apparent intent to harm). It should be pointed out that manslaughter still ammounts to a fairly large number of years in prison, particularly for repeat offenders.

That's the way it works in Canada, anyway.


You are correct, on both counts, which tells me that we would not be able to predict whether drugs would be socially acceptable if legalized. I know for certain that it would not be socially acceptable if they remained illegal. No, you don't. The point is that among the people who do use drugs, using drugs already is socially acceptable. Among the people who consider drugs to be socially unacceptable, there are few drug users. This has little to do with the law.
Plus, the studies I've heard of predict that there would be more use if drugs were legal. Now whatever your position is (except if you're a passionate drug user), one has to say that's a bad thing for society.

There are much, much worse things for society. A ludicrously large prison population, gang war over drug-dealing territroy and an enormous money-pit beurocracy to try (and fail) to control the sale of drugs spring to mind. I would trade all those things for easier access to Puff the Magic Dragon for some college kids any day.

Just to get this out of the way: I don't consider myself a 'passionate' drug user, but I've taken a moderate amount drugs in the past and I will probably continue to take a moderate amount of drugs in the future. I'm not proud of this (or ashamed, by the way), but if you're going to bring my personal habits in to this, you might as well know them.

Evi
11-01-2006, 08:18 PM
Virgil,

Do you think that the US government ( or any other government ) is caring about the health of the people ??? This is why the taxes are so big in smoking and drinking? Especially in smoking. They dont care about you and me, if we will die the next day. They just collect money from the taxes. ( all governments everywhere)

Evi

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 08:23 PM
Not that I don't agree that it's a massive conflict of interests, but I imagine that the money the government spends taking care of cancer patients far outweighs the money collected from tobacco taxes.

Virgil
11-01-2006, 08:24 PM
No, you don't. The point is that among the people who do use drugs, using drugs already is socially acceptable. Among the people who consider drugs to be socially unacceptable, there are few drug users. This has little to do with the law.
Well that's not true. People who use drugs are not socially acceptable. As you point out yourself they go to prison. Society has made a clear statement.


There are much, much worse things for society. A ludicrously large prison population, gang war over drug-dealing territroy and an enormous money-pit beurocracy to try (and fail) to control the sale of drugs spring to mind. I would trade all those things for easier access to Puff the Magic Dragon for some college kids any day.
Well, that's what's up for debate. I think it would be disasterous. The health issues and costs would be astronomical, and if you think we have a drunk driving problem now, wait until we get stoned drug users driving. And the loss of productivity at jobs, and you would still have drug related crime because as I said before drugs would be even more expensive than they are now. I think most politicians agree with that. And how can you morally legalize heroin knowing that a certain percentage of people would over dose? So if you can't legalize all drugs, you still will have drug gangs. It won't go away.


Virgil,

Do you think that the US government ( or any other government ) is caring about the health of the people ??? This is why the taxes are so big in smoking and drinking? Especially in smoking. They dont care about you and me, if we will die the next day. They just collect money from the taxes. ( all governments everywhere)

Evi

I take them at the honor of their word, and say yes. But smoking has not been reduced since the huge taxes have been added. In the end it's just another opportunity to increase government revenue.

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 08:50 PM
Well that's not true. People who use drugs are not socially acceptable. As you point out yourself they go to prison. Society has made a clear statement.No, the government has made a clear statement. Society and government, even in a represenative democracy, are not the same thing.



Well, that's what's up for debate. I think it would be disasterous. The health issues and costs would be astronomical, and if you think we have a drunk driving problem now, wait until we get stoned drug users driving. And the loss of productivity at jobs, and you would still have drug related crime because as I said before drugs would be even more expensive than they are now. I think most politicians agree with that. And how can you morally legalize heroin knowing that a certain percentage of people would over dose? So if you can't legalize all drugs, you still will have drug gangs. It won't go away.

The problem with these laws is that nobody can enforce them. Case in point: I live in a fairly small, very conservative prarie town with a fairly small number of young people. I have never seen a gram of cocaine in my life, but if I had the time, the money or the inclination, I could be the proud owner of a bale of it within a week, and that comes from a plant that dosn't even grow above the tropic of cancer (or possibly capricorn, whichever is the northern one). If the authorities can't stop coke from pouring across the border, they have no chance with a plant like marijuana which can be (and is) grown in a backyard without too much trouble. We do have stoned people driving all over the place, and the laws against drugs haven't done much to stop it.

Drugs would not be more expensive if they were legal, they would be cheaper. It's always less expensive to produce somthing if you don't have smuggle it across the border and hide it from the police; and even if the drug lords can produce their product more cheaply than the government, the government could sell theirs at a loss and drive the drug gangs out of business, and still spend less money than their current failed attempts to make them go away (and at the cost of far fewer dead policemen).

It's not like we haven't encountered situations like this before; we have almost a test-tube case: the Prohibition. When alcohol was banned, the price immediately shot up to about 10 times what it was before and was of far worse quality. Consumption was barely lower than what it was before. The authorities responded by trying to arrest all the bootleggers and, it must be admitted, had some noteable successes, but ultimately they failed. When alcohol was made legal again, consumption temporarily spiked, but then went back down to about what it was before (the same phenomenon occured in Holland when marijuana was legalized, by the way). The bootleggers, unable to compete with the government's lower prices and lack of sulphur in the product, folded. There is no reason to think that the same thing wouldn't happen with any other drug.

ShoutGrace
11-01-2006, 09:03 PM
In the end it's just another opportunity to increase government revenue.

There may as well be some benefit to it. This way, the government isn't insensitively restricting people's rights (as some here seem to think abolishing smoking would do), but are managing to get something tangible from the practice.

The government has a lot to consider on this issue. People want to smoke for 30 years and then cash in on all the healthcare neccessary in later life . . . it strikes me as people wanting to do what feels good to them and skipping out on the consequences (at least trying, the health problems will come regardless).

Why should everybody pay so that some can have the right to actively, consciously destroy their bodies/health?


No, the government has made a clear statement. Society and government, even in a represenative democracy, are not the same thing.

Do more people want legalized drugs than want to keep drugs illegal? Ugly sentence, sorry.



The bootleggers, unable to compete with the government's lower prices and lack of sulphur in the product, folded.

Which alcohols did the government produce?

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 09:09 PM
Which alcohols did the government produce?

It was produced privately but generally sold at government stores, if I'm getting it right. It's entirely possible that I'm thinking of Canada. In any case, the industry was legal and government regulated.

Virgil
11-01-2006, 09:27 PM
No, the government has made a clear statement. Society and government, even in a represenative democracy, are not the same thing.

Well, Joe, you're a young guy and your social circles are probably more accepting to this. But in the social circles and family I go around it is completely different. Anyone that is a drug user is looked down at as a low life, and while I can't say that I know any addicts, they would probably be excluded. And while I don't know of any at work, I'm sure if it was common knowledge that we had a committed drug user, addict or not, he would probably be let go at the earliest opportunity. So I think you're wrong. Amongst adults, it is not socially acceptable. I urge you young people out there to not get involved in drugs. It will come back to ruin your life.


The problem with these laws is that nobody can enforce them.
I beg to differ. If you sell drugs, over time you will get caught and you will go to prison. We have lots of them in jail.


Drugs would not be more expensive if they were legal, they would be cheaper. It's always less expensive to produce somthing if you don't have smuggle it across the border and hide it from the police; and even if the drug lords can produce their product more cheaply than the government
Why are cigarettes so expensive as i pointed out. There are people now smuggling cigarettes into high tax areas. So crime has not gone away.


the government could sell theirs at a loss and drive the drug gangs out of business,
Are you kidding? They would then be inducing people to take drugs. Never will happen.

You didn't respond on whether it would be morally acceptable to legalize all drugs like heroin, knowing that some will over dose. How can that ever happen? And if you can't legalize heroin you still will have gangs and terroitory fights.

cuppajoe_9
11-01-2006, 09:43 PM
You didn't respond on whether it would be morally acceptable to legalize all drugs like heroin, knowing that some will over dose. How can that ever happen? And if you can't legalize heroin you still will have gangs and terroitory fights.Well make a choice. I'll take the ODs, (which happen anyway, and which can be helped) over the wars (which can't and won't).
Why are cigarettes so expensive as i pointed out. There are people now smuggling cigarettes into high tax areas. So crime has not gone away.I'll tell you what, you try and grow your own tobbacco and build your own processing plant without the government knowing about it and see if you can still afford to sell cigarettes on the black market for cheaper than in the stores. In fact, don't bother, you wont' be able to. I know because if it was possible, it would already be happening.
I beg to differ. If you sell drugs, over time you will get caught and you will go to prison. We have lots of them in jail.Not before you have sold a lot of drugs you won't. You will never nail all of the dealers, no matter how hard you try or how much money you put into it.

Shalot
11-01-2006, 10:14 PM
I used to think that legalizing drugs (and prostitution for that matter) was a good idea because these activities could be regulated and maybe that would prevent someone from paying for bad "products."

But I've gotten older and I agree with Virgil --- when you reach a certain age, it's not socially acceptable to do drugs on a regular basis and more than likely it will catch up with you. And so if you must experiment, research the drugs and their effects and what happens to people who do them (don't do herion, crack or crystal meth because apparently one use of these and you've thrown it all away).

Peace

Virgil
11-01-2006, 11:24 PM
I. And so if you must experiment...

I'm not picking on you Shalot, but I just had to say this. I always have to laugh when some one uses the elocution, "he's experimenting with drugs." As if that person is performing a scientific experiment for the betterment of man. Hahaha. With controls and according to the scientific method. He's getting high. He's getting his jollies. It's no different than mental masterbation.

Shalot
11-01-2006, 11:29 PM
I'm not picking on you Shalot, but I just had to say this. I always have to laugh when some one uses the elocution, "he's experimenting with drugs." As if that person is performing a scientific experiment for the betterment of man. Hahaha. With controls and according to the scientific method. He's getting high. He's getting his jollies. It's no different than mental masterbation.

yeah, you're right. you made me laugh out loud on that one. but I guess what I meant with that phrase "experimenting with drugs" is just that sometimes teenagers do drugs just to have the experience or to be cool or whatever. But it's just so dangerous and if they're going to go into it (with the intention of stepping right the hell out of it) they should know that with some of those substances there is no return. But that is just my uninformed opinion on the matter.


It's no different than mental masterbation.

Could someone give me an example of mental masturbation (using literature) that doesn't involve any references to drugs or drug use? :)

I've heard that phrase mental masturbarton more than once and I just w ant kind of a list of the activities or intellectual games etc that could be considered "mental masturbation") :lol:

ShoutGrace
11-02-2006, 12:16 AM
Why, what are you planning to do?!?

Maybe you shouldn't be allowed to know what mental masturbation is. ;)

cuppajoe_9
11-02-2006, 12:21 AM
"experiment" intr.v.
1. To conduct an experiment.
2. To try something new, especially in order to gain experience: experiment with new methods of teaching.


From the American Heritage Dictionary

Shannanigan
11-02-2006, 03:17 PM
my two cents (after reading the original question and skimming the responses):

Smoking is becoming very highly restricted in the US (I don't know about other countries) primarily because of the immediate discomfort secondhand smoke brings. Drinking in many states, from what I understand, is also limited to the indoors...you can't just walk around with a drink in your hand, or even just walk around drunk. You can get arrested. If you go into a bar, you accept that you will be around drinkers, and if it is a bar that allows smoking, you accept that you will be around smokers. It is a tad disappointing that there seem to be fewer and fewer places for smokers to take a smoke break outside of their home. (I'm not a smoker, I'm just imagining if people decided that my bright clothing was detrimental to health and I suddenly could only wear it in my home and in certain places how sucky it would be...)

Scheherazade
11-02-2006, 03:32 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for their contributions and would like to highlight couple of issuest:

- I am not suggesting that there should be a world-wide ban on smoking and/or drinking.

- However, I am simply wondering why people's attitude towards smoking is so agitated while it is relaxed towards alcohol. In my opinion, the immediate effects of drinking are far worse than those of smoking (I wholeheartedly agree with the points Evi has made in her post).

- Why is it OK to advertise alcohol but not cigarettes?
(I'm not a smoker, I'm just imagining if people decided that my bright clothing was detrimental to health and I suddenly could only wear it in my home and in certain places how sucky it would be...)I guess people don't decide smoking or drinking is detrimental to health on their own but base these 'assumptions' on medical evidence. If those claims were to be supported by medical evidence, would you still be willing to wear bright colours in public?

Virgil
11-02-2006, 04:24 PM
(I'm not a smoker, I'm just imagining if people decided that my bright clothing was detrimental to health and I suddenly could only wear it in my home and in certain places how sucky it would be...)

But I don't have to breath into my lungs the color of your clothing. The analogy doesn't fit. Sorry.


"experiment" intr.v.
1. To conduct an experiment.
2. To try something new, especially in order to gain experience: experiment with new methods of teaching.


From the American Heritage Dictionary

So after the first time they smoke pot, it's no longer an experiment. OK. What about the other million times?

cuppajoe_9
11-02-2006, 05:47 PM
So after the first time they smoke pot, it's no longer an experiment. OK. What about the other million times?

They are not experimenting, obviously. My point is that the way Shalot used the word is completely legitimate and correct. An experiment does not always involve a lab coat and test tubes.

kilted exile
11-03-2006, 01:08 AM
- Why is it OK to advertise alcohol but not cigarettes?


Reason why alcohol advertising has not been banned (purely opinion):

Just standing in a room with a smoker can damage your health, whereas the drinker is generally only killing him/herself. It requires action on the part of the drinker to harm the non-drinker and I think this is a rather important distinction to make.

On the topic of should alcohol advertising be banned:

Yes, it should (didnt expect that did ya :) ) People who drink will continue todrink, bars and off-licenses could have the features on new brands/drinks etc instead of television/ sponsorship. The majority of alcohol advertising (like cigarrette advertising before it) is being aimed at an ever younger demographic (the kind of kids me and my friends were at 13) this is especially the case with the alco-pops such as hooch, Smirnoff Ice blended drinks, Bacardi Breezers, Aftershock - possibly a glasgow thing: sickly sweet and tastes like licorice - & Mad Dog (MD 20/20). Another issue is the price of alcohol, it is far too cheap! (I remember at 14 walking into Haddows - UK off-license - and buying eight 500ml (approx 1pt) cans of Heineken for 5pounds or $11CDN - The price(in Glasgow at least) has not changed much and here in Canada I can buy 24 bottles of beer for $24. Happy hours also need to be done away with, they encourage binge drinking and lead to increases in violence.

I know during the last 11 years I have probably done some degree of damage to my liver due to drinking. It is due to bingeing over too many weekends (really when the vomit is black it is time to stop). There are entire nights I have no recollection of, I have woken up on doorsteps, parkbenches, privet hedges and on the roof of some stranger's car. It was all stupid and I shouldn't have done it but I was a kid and these things happen (in Glasgow anyway). I made choices and learned my lesson: drinking to excess aint really glamorous or fun, but it is something I had to do. As I said in my previous post: Rite Of Passage.

Ok enough insane rambling (I'll try to limit that to the blog). However, just one final point: Drinking in moderation with friends and remembering the night the following day....Priceless

Shannanigan
11-03-2006, 02:48 PM
But I don't have to breath into my lungs the color of your clothing. The analogy doesn't fit. Sorry.

The reason breathing cigarette smoke into your lungs bothers you is because it is detrimental to your health (not you personally, but people in general who are fighting to reduce the amount of second hand smoke they are around). I was just saying that if it was proven that bright colored clothing could, say, cause you to slowly go blind, people would mind that and start requesting that bright colored clothing be limited to certain places where only those who don't mind the risk would have to see it...

I know. I'm silly. You don't have to understand it, I was just trying to put myself in a situation I've never been in. I usually shy away from arguments like this one because opinions and information are soooooo vast that you have to make it your career to take it all in and really see both sides. Yay for opinion! :D



- Why is it OK to advertise alcohol but not cigarettes??

I guess you're asking that if bright colors WERE in fact detrimental to my health, and scientific evidence proved it, if I would stop? Yes, I personally would, but I know lots of bright-color-clothing-lovers who may not back down so easily (and lots of smokers who, despite the evidence, do not try to quit smoking...)

Scheherazade
11-17-2006, 06:45 AM
The biggest maker of cigarettes in the US has asked Hollywood studios to avoid using its products in films in case such scenes persuade children to smoke. Philip Morris USA has placed adverts saying: "Please don't give our cigarette brands a part in your movie."

The tactic followed meetings with industry figures, a spokesman said.

But one critic claimed the company would still benefit from smoking scenes in general as its Marlboro product was the leading brand among US teenagers.

Stanton Glantz, head of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California at San Francisco, dismissed the ad campaign as a PR stunt.

Instead of threatening to sue over the use of their brands in movies, Philip Morris officials were saying, "Aw, shucks, we really wish you wouldn't show our products on screen", he told the AP news agency.

'Unmoved'

And Matt Myers, who is president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said film studios had been unmoved by previous appeals to shield children from smoking scenes.

"Hollywood has ignored the very serious problem that smoking in the movies contributes to youth tobacco use," he said.

The problem went beyond "which brands are shown", he added.

Last year a study published in the American medical journal Pediatrics suggested that children exposed to smoking in the film were more likely than their peers to start using tobacco.

Philip Morris USA has cited that research, along with two other studies, in its campaign.

Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the movie industry, has not commented. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6157446.stm

SleepyWitch
11-17-2006, 07:40 AM
I agree with kilted about alco-pops and prices. In Germany, alcoholic drinks are ridiculously cheap.
We don't have any major problems with binge drinking because there's no curfew (well, pubs have to close around 1 or 2 a.m.??? but not as early as 11), so people can take their time. But alco-pops are a major problem, too. Plus there's a lot of cheap booze around...
I think one of the main problems is low-quality cheap booze because people will guzzle huge amounts of it.
If there were only expensive, high-quality, organic, fair trade, specialty, etc. alcoholic beverages, maybe people would drink less and see drinking as a treat for specials occassions???
E.g. I like cocktails but I only drink them at a bar where they use high quality ingredients (delicious fruit juices, etc) and they're so yummie you simply have to enjoy them slowly. There's no way you can gulp them down just to get drunk as quickly as possible.

I used to smoke, but in retrospect I think smoking is disgusting and totally ridiculous.
Not sure which is worse.

Abookinthebath
10-22-2011, 05:30 PM
I have only skimmed through the responses here, but I don't think too much has been mentioned about 'moderation'. I enjoy a drink - with my wife of an evening, when with friends on a night out or even right now, with some music and a beer. But always in 'moderation' (which means different things at different times!).

Surely any issue with alcohol comes when people go past their limits and forget their responsibilities? I know that if I beat up the wife, or drink drive or turn up for work drunk, I will, at the very least, get fired!

And certainly not everyone who has a drink will become addicted, whereas (and without any statistics as back up) I would suggest that it is 'easier' to get addicted to cigarettes? And indeed, harder to give up. And they WILL give you some sort of horrible disease.

Now, please understand me, I know the pitfalls of alcoholism better than most. However, I also believe that personal choice and free will is the deciding factor in a lot of cases. I also think that education is a huge factor (from an early age) in terms of understanding the dangers of binge drinking, smoking etc.

Delta40
10-22-2011, 06:38 PM
I think moderation is a relative term. Lots of people go over their limit but don't beat up the wife, drink and drive or turn up to work drunk. That doesn't mean that they don't have a problem with alcohol though. If drinking a quantity of alcohol, either on a regular basis or binging is a coping mechanism or a facade to addressing other issues or responsibilities in life then it is harmful. I guess we've all walked our own walk and have subjective experiences of the effects of alcohol. My parents worked all their lives to feed and clothe us kids but they drank every night (more on weekends) as a way to unwind and us kids never went anywhere physically or emotionally since they were too worn out to notice what our needs were. They weren't abusive - simply oblivious because of the choices they made. Thank god for alcohol, they said! I disagree.

Paulclem
10-22-2011, 07:05 PM
The difference between alcohol and smoking is that smoking is always bad for the smoker, but might be just as bad for the passive smoker - if not worse.

Alcohol, on the other hand, has been cited as having some health benefits in reasonable amounts - below the recommended units by the Govt. Some years ago they were saying a little bit does you good. A little bit being one glass of beer or wine.

Alcoholism, though, is horrible affecting the drinker and their families for a long time. Lower levels of regular drinking may cause personal ill health, but the social effects of hard drinking are really bad. We perhaps all know of someone who has been adversely affected, and this reflects how widespread the problem is.

Delta40
10-22-2011, 07:06 PM
Yes but if you have high blood pressure, a glass of wine has no health benefit. If a smoke a day stopped you from engaging in other harmful activities - is that a bad or a good thing?

Paulclem
10-24-2011, 05:25 PM
Down on an individual basis there are probably many permutations. I don't know if one smoke a day is better than an alterntive. Can it be limited to that? It depends upon the individual.

It's probably what makes generalisations about the two difficult as you can only speak in general terms which by definition don't fit some people.

Delta40
10-24-2011, 07:04 PM
Down on an individual basis there are probably many permutations. I don't know if one smoke a day is better than an alterntive. Can it be limited to that? It depends upon the individual.

It's probably what makes generalisations about the two difficult as you can only speak in general terms which by definition don't fit some people.

I agree Paulclem and well said. I smoked all through the night while I was on a sleepless roll but I'm a non-smoker.

Galvin500
05-12-2013, 01:46 PM
Smoking kills more people than alcohol, and also second-hand smoke kills more people than drunk drivers do. Smoking is addictive, but going cold-turkey won't kill you like alcohol will, so perhaps people see it as more negligent. Drinking in moderation is healthy- smoking in any amount is not. People do focus on family abuse, but that doesn't mean we should ignore everything else to make one thing matter? Automobiles are needed and cigarettes aren't?

Adolescent09
05-13-2013, 04:13 PM
As mentioned, I think an interesting topic to reiterate is the difference between smoking pot and smoking tobacco, both in contrast to drinking.

On marijuana and tobacco: Even though I used to be a pothead and I am against the legalization of marijuana, I believe that the strongest case in support of its legalization is the fact that there is a medicinal use for it. Last I checked, "medicinal marijuana" exists whereas "medicinal tobacco" and "medicinal alcohol" doesn't. Even if we include red wine, its therapeutic effects are dwarfed by those of marijuana. Marijuana has been shown in many cases to reduce the development of cancer tumors and marijuana is the ONLY drug in existence that has been known to effectively halt SYMPTOMS of severe glaucoma (I didn't say cure the disease). On the other hand, in order for the glaucoma-antagonizing benefits of marijuana to stay effective, 6 to 8 black & mild cigar-sized blunts have to be smoked per day, which could result in extensive damage to the optic nerve and thereby not only negate the positives of Mary J but exacerbate other ophthalmological issues. It can temper the symptoms of various psychological disorders, while at the same time causing even more serious mental problems. Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers, and even rare cases of Parkinsons have all been more manageable with the drug than without it. And yet there is always a significant trade-off of some sort. Whether marijuana is addictive or not has not be proved so people claiming that it is and people claiming that it isn't are both misinformed.

The reason I'm against weed is the same reason most opponents of the drug are against it whether they are aware of it or not: Simply... we know VERY little about it. As a species, we are genetically bred to exercise caution when using things we know little about. The clarification of our doubts/questions is almost directly proportional to the liberal degree to which we are able to use the drug.

We know for a fact, based on irrefutable scientific evidence that smoking and drinking are both bad, even in moderation, albeit at a substantially slower rate. (I will allow the exception of red wine, but personally I can't stand the taste of red wine and I love white wine, so the health effect is adverse in my case)

I have more to say but I'm too tired. :P.

Grit
05-13-2013, 04:25 PM
I love drinking. You get obliterated and every worry is gone from your mind as if wiped, for a time at least. It isn't a black and white subject though, a lot of people destroy their own lives with alcohol. I don't have many uncles, aunts, or grandparents due to alcoholism.

Smoking cigarettes is extremely addictive. They're deadly. You're literally killing yourself one smoke at a time. I quit smoking three weeks ago now, and it's been so damn hard. All my friends smoke and I still crave them. I will continue to crave them for at least a few years, it's a long, insidious game of fighting for your life.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100422/Stopping-smoking-may-be-harder-than-quitting-heroin.aspx

Marijuana is also extremely addictive although many potheads will tell you it's not. It's addictive not because you develop a physical dependency but an emotional dependency. Weed is a wonderful drug effect wise. It makes you feel different, brings variation into your life, even if you're just doing the same thing, and it brings euphoria. Many people become dependent on it as a habit for pleasure, and once they convince themselves weed is harmless, it cements the dependency.

I have friends who try to quit smoking weed once every few weeks, only to fail after a day. It's extremely addictive too.

That said, they should all be legal. Allow the people to decide for themselves if they want to kill themselves.

Adolescent09
05-14-2013, 06:10 AM
Allow the people to decide for themselves if they want to kill themselves.

This is a valid, although slightly dismissive point. People should be allowed to do whatever they want and they should be willing to address the consequences of their actions. Instituting legal regulations to the already adverse effects of substance abuse is just adding insult to injury. Good point.

That being said, it is not merely the individual who is effected by making a poor choice, but society in general. The people that you claim should be "allowed to kill themselves" are the same people who contribute to the work force and who use their salaries to purchase goods. This, in turn, not only fuels businesses, but enhances company productivity while increasing individual independence. Even more apparently, the almost immediate negative effects of substance abuse substantially increases health-care costs for average laborers investing in medicaid/medicare or similar government programs (I don't know if you live in Vancouver, WA or Vancouver, BC, but I'm sure what I say applies to Canada as well.)

Delta40
05-14-2013, 07:07 AM
Look, smoking is a legal activity. As long as the Government want to rake in the revenue from the taxes they put on cigarettes then I can blow smoke in the face of a baby if I want to. Perhaps fat people should be put down because christ knows how much they cost the health system. They're ugly to look at, repulsive actually and I can't believe they're allowed out during daylight hours. They certainly shouldn't be served supersized meals in restaurants when its so obvious that they're fat gross greedy pigs. They probably drink and smoke too! Yet the industry thrives on their self destructive behaviour and we have to foot the bill. Can't anyone stop these people?????

Volya
05-14-2013, 07:57 AM
Yes, lets kill all fat people, because that's exactly the same as stopping people from smoking.

Adolescent09
05-14-2013, 10:42 AM
Look, smoking is a legal activity. As long as the Government want to rake in the revenue from the taxes they put on cigarettes then I can blow smoke in the face of a baby if I want to. Perhaps fat people should be put down because christ knows how much they cost the health system. They're ugly to look at, repulsive actually and I can't believe they're allowed out during daylight hours. They certainly shouldn't be served supersized meals in restaurants when its so obvious that they're fat gross greedy pigs. They probably drink and smoke too! Yet the industry thrives on their self destructive behaviour and we have to foot the bill. Can't anyone stop these people?????

Erm..My healthcare 'sermon' extends to *ahem* overweight people as well. After reading your extremely offensive rant I had to check the username twice to see if it was written by the same intelligent and usually polite Delta40 I've seen around here. I'll just assume you're having a bad day... Not only do you blatantly dismiss the fact that, to a small extent, hereditary traits and other genetic factors contribute to the overweight/obese epidemic, but you also either don't realize or choose not to realize that even though there are many more people with bad health who eat too much, a sizeable number of people aren't "greedy pigs". In fact, there are overweight people who haven't eaten for 2 days (I know someone from personal experience) who involuntarily GAIN weight as opposed to losing it.

I'm not trying to start an argument, but your post clearly went way over the line. It was uncalled for. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if someone hacked Delta40's account and typed that.

Grit
05-14-2013, 11:38 AM
This is a valid, although slightly dismissive point. People should be allowed to do whatever they want and they should be willing to address the consequences of their actions. Instituting legal regulations to the already adverse effects of substance abuse is just adding insult to injury. Good point.

That being said, it is not merely the individual who is effected by making a poor choice, but society in general. The people that you claim should be "allowed to kill themselves" are the same people who contribute to the work force and who use their salaries to purchase goods. This, in turn, not only fuels businesses, but enhances company productivity while increasing individual independence. Even more apparently, the almost immediate negative effects of substance abuse substantially increases health-care costs for average laborers investing in medicaid/medicare or similar government programs (I don't know if you live in Vancouver, WA or Vancouver, BC, but I'm sure what I say applies to Canada as well.)

Ado, you've come back with what I believe to be the only good argument against universal legalization. People killing themselves with drugs is bad for the economy and for society on the whole. Still, like Delta points out, there's massive hypocrisy in limiting substance suicide in some ways but allowing it in others.

I think Delta's presentation was more tongue-in-cheek than serious, but still Del makes a great point. Obesity is the number one cause of death in the United States. Why is it that these people are allowed to eat themselves to death, taxing the health care system and contributing less to society on the whole (they receive less oxygen to the brain) while a chronic marijuana smoker isn't allowed to devolve into abuse of he/r vice. Ditto for cigarettes. For those, the government is more than happy to let people kill themselves. Then it comes to heroin or ecstasy (a drug which would be safer, and result in less overdoses if it could be legalized and regulated) and they 'draw the line.'

I just read through your newest post. Yes, for some people obesity isn't a choice and more genetic but for many, it's simply a case of too much cheese and not enough movement.

For me, it's less about the economic or sociological impact of widespread drug abuse and more about basic human rights. Why should one wo/man be allowed to drink the poison he likes to dull the pain while another wo/man is told their poison is bad for you? They're both poison.

It should be either one or the other and I certainly don't advocate prohibition, so I advocate universal freedom in all mind-numbing substances and activities. You know what? People will get those substances anyway, it's not working.

Delta40
05-14-2013, 05:40 PM
No it was me. I'll tell you why I typed it. My brother weighs in at 200kg and is King of the Hill on people who smoke. I just started again 4 weeks ago. I've been fighting addictive behaviour for a lifetime. I start then I go through the process of quitting but addictive behaviour is more than the practice of smoking itself. I'm sure you understand that. I was having a rant because my brother who would crush me if he fell over has the same addictive problem that I do but it's expressed through food. He can't just lose 100kgs no more than I can just quit without a solid comitted plan in place and then maintain that ongoing change in my life.

His views on the unhealthy practice of smoking is nothing new but it's the pot calling the kettle black when without realising it, him and I struggle with the same problem. He feels we have nothing in common and I make bad decisions while he is a nice guy who is deluded about his size and problem. Perhaps he needs to feel superior or something. I don't know but what I do know is that addictive behaviour isn't about the practice. I chose smoking as the outlet. I could just as easily decided to drink, cut myself up, take illicit drugs etc. At the end of the day, confronting addiction and managing it is the only thing that will make a difference in our lives.

Adolescent09
05-14-2013, 05:50 PM
No it was me. I'll tell you why I typed it. My brother weighs in at 200kg and is King of the Hill on people who smoke. I just started again 4 weeks ago. I've been fighting addictive behaviour for a lifetime. I start then I go through the process of quitting but addictive behaviour is more than the practice of smoking itself. I'm sure you understand that. I was having a rant because my brother who would crush me if he fell over has the same addictive problem that I do but it's expressed through food. He can't just lose 100kgs no more than I can just quit without a solid comitted plan in place and then maintain that ongoing change in my life.

His views on the unhealthy practice of smoking is nothing new but it's the pot calling the kettle black when without realising it, him and I struggle with the same problem. He feels we have nothing in common and I make bad decisions while he is a nice guy who is deluded about his size and problem. Perhaps he needs to feel superior or something. I don't know but what I do know is that addictive behaviour isn't about the practice. I chose smoking as the outlet. I could just as easily decided to drink, cut myself up, take illicit drugs etc. At the end of the day, confronting addiction and managing it is the only thing that will make a difference in our lives.

Now THIS is the Delta40 I know :D. The sophistication you show in this post is diametrically opposite to that, which you revealed in your previous post. I have nothing against venting since we all need to do it, but the source of a complaint is made more apparent when it is put into context (typically personal, which is no different in your case). I would make my reply longer but I can't. You made a truly well thought-out argument, and for that I applaud you.

E.A Rumfield
06-08-2013, 12:37 AM
You can't drink a beer without a cigarette.

Phocion
07-06-2013, 02:12 PM
That is a good question Scher. The smoking restrictions have only been around for the most part in the United States in the last ten years. Here are some ideas on the disparity between the two vices:

1. More than 50% of the people have at least a mild drink every so often, but cigarette smokers are about 1/3 the population here in the US, so they are a minority. The power of a majority to make laws against a minority, despite minority protections, are part of the democratic system.

2. Like I said on that other thread, alcohol is interwoven into our culture. Cigarettes are mostly a 20th century phenomena (I know they date further back, but it was not as wide spread). So you have alcohol that dates back thousounds of years versus smoking which is a century or two.

3. Second hand smoke bothers people who are not smoking. I work in a one story very long building. I remember when I started working here 20 years ago and smoking was allowed in the office, by the end of the day my clothes smelled of smoke and could see a cloud hovering the ceiling all the way down. Drinking (other than drunk driving accidents) don't usually affect other people. Perhaps except for family members of alcoholics.

4. Alcohol in moderation doesn't affect your health. In some cases like wine, studies show it helps your health. There are no health benefits to cigarretes and if you smoke long enough and live long enough you will get cancer. And it contributes to heart disease. And I know. My father was a smoker and he recently died of heart disease, and the only factor he had against him (he was thin and had low cholestorol and good blood pressure) was that he was a smoker.

I'm sure I can think of more, and if I do i'll add it to the thread.1. Absolutely correct: drinking is a majority pursuit, whereas smoking is not. This is a case of the majority enforcing their views upon a minority.

2. Not true at all: tobacco is a big part of our culture, and has been for a long time - some people have just taken it upon themselves to airbrush it out of our history.

3. Fair enough as a reason for banning smoking in offices, planes, trains etc. not for an absolute no exceptions ban that disallows the existence of even a smoking room in a bar or restaurant. Drinking does affect other people far more than smoking does. If you think for one second at all the harm caused by social drinking (fights, drunken accidents, std's, drunk drivers etc.) then you would not believe it more harmful than social smoking. You rubbish the deaths caused by drunk drivers, but these are far more damaging than anything caused by second hand smoke. Alcohol makes people reckless, and having loads of reckless people in the same place is never good. If 'public' smoking is banned, then there is no reason that 'public' drinking should not be banned also.

4. Neither do cigarettes. In fact its has been shown you can be a chronic smoker up to the age of 30 without increasing your long-term health risks. Nor if you just smoked a cigarette every now and then would it be harmful. Don't get me wrong, cigarettes are bad for your health, but the modern health furore about it is greatly exaggerated. Plenty of people have smoked their whole lives and lived spryly into their nineties, and this would not be possible if smoking were as deleterious to your health as many people like to say.

Well I'm not an idealist either. I understand the short term benefits of legalizing drugs. What I worry about is codifying it into our culture as acceptable behavior. I think that in the long run will be disasterous for society. So I'm willing to accept the crime and small percentage of illegal behavior. As long as we codify it as morally wrong, it will not be absorbed as a cultural rite.

So everything that is legal is codified into our culture as acceptable behaviour? Please. These drugs were legal and unregulated for a long time and they never became widely used. The only reason they are in vogue now is because they are illegal. But i guess you'd just rather have it codified into our culture that 'drugs are bad' and that it's ok to ruin people's lives simply because they've taken them?

Just ignore the wasted money and lives caused by the drug war because you seek to impose your morality on others? Usually on already oppressed minorities at that (it is well known that cocaine became illegal because of the fear of its use by black men, opiates because it came from the Chinese, and Cannabis because the Mexicans used it). How can you be morally serious when your pseudo-morality is strongly rooted in racism, oppression and flagrant discrimination?

Your argument boils down to 'people should only consume the drugs i like because drugs are vices and we shouldn't allow any more.' Sorry, but what a load of crap.


Yes, lets kill all fat people, because that's exactly the same as stopping people from smoking.
You have no more right to stop people from smoking than you do killing fat people. It may not be the same, but it is the same principle of getting rid of what you don't like, when in fact, it has nothing to do with you, or anyone other than the person who smokes for that matter.


edit: and btw the 'scientific' evidence for the dangers of 2nd hand smoke is incredibly weak. It's all things like in a study to see the the rates of lung cancer in partners of smokers - this one showed a rate of 6 in 100,000 for partners of non-smokers and 9 in 100,000 for partners of smokers. That tiny percentage difference (which is not even close to being scientifically significant) is then multiplied by the population of the country, and wham, a headline like: '2nd hand smoke kills this (insert big number) Americans a year.' Those whose studies show no correlation between 2nd hand smoke and death will likely not find a publisher, and if they do will be maligned by the anti-smoking lobby.

When science becomes politicised it becomes worthless.