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Is smoking good for you?

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:25 pm
I know there is lots of wishful thinking among devoted smokers. I have known so many smokers whose lives were not just shortened by tobacco, but their last days were filled with mysery and pain. But I would not preach the virtue of quitting. If you don't want to listen, go ahead and suffer.
roger
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:29 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:


Of course, one could easily argue that death prevents many diseases. That might be all this research is showing.


Good point.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:46 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
If you don't want to listen, go ahead and suffer.


We expect to suffer Ed. It comes with the territory. Reducing the suffering of others is what is important. Do you think stopping smoking will reduce your suffering? It will just drag it out.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:49 pm
@spendius,
More self delusion.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:55 pm
@edgarblythe,
My father smokes. He hasn't been to a movie in years because he can't go two hours without a smoke. When my oldest child was born, he came to visit and we went out to dinner. With the exception of when the food came and we ate, he wasn't at the table. He spent his time in the bar smoking. Kind of sad, but it is his choice.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  3  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 05:59 pm
I am reading over this thread with a bit of bemusement. This is a science question, yet no one has answered with any science.

First, that smoking kills you is stochastic-- what it does is dramatically increase your chance of dying sooner. Stochastic means it is random... but this doesn't mean that smoking isn't stupid. Sure you can find individual cases where people do stupid things without dying-- but this doesn't mean that they are stupid things that cause death.

Any logical argument will not look at individual exceptions. You need to look at 10000 smokers and 10000 non-smokers-- two groups with nothing different except for the fact that one group smokes. This is pretty easy to measure... and the fact is that in equal groups of smokers and non-smokers... ten times as many smokers will get lung cancer then non-smokers.

This Parkinson's disease argument is interesting (I never heard it before), my quick scanning of literature is non-conclusive at best... but consider this...

About 160,000 people die each year in the US from lung cancer...
About 14,000 people die each year from Parkinson's disease.

It seems that ignoring lung cancer and worrying about Parkinson's disease is rather illogical-- in fact if smoking magically prevented every single case of Parkinson's disease, it would still be a stupid thing to do (because of the number of lung cancer deaths would still dwarf the number of lives allegedly saved).

If you want to smoke... it is your choice. If you want to believe that it is anything but a stupid thing to do, that is also your prerogative. And sure... it is possible you can smoke and get lucky (of course it is possible to do all kinds of stupid things and get lucky), this doesn't prove anything.

But any rational look at the facts shows that smoking is pure idiocy for anyone who wants the best chance at a long healthy life.



hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 06:11 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
First, that smoking kills you is stochastic-- what it does is dramatically increase your chance of dying sooner. Stochastic means it is random... but this doesn't mean that smoking isn't stupid. Sure you can find individual cases where people do stupid things without dying-- but this doesn't mean that they are stupid things that cause death.

Who here is doubting that? However, it might be a price worth paying. People have the right to decide for themselves how they live and die. If you dont want to smoke then dont smoke, but please refrain from telling others that they can't, so should not. Make sure they are capable of making their own decisions (not mentally ill), make sure that they know the risks if you insist on being a busy body, and then STFU.
ebrown p
 
  4  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 06:37 pm
@hawkeye10,
Sure, I agree on principle... although there is damn good scientific data indicating that living with a smoker increases your chance of dying as well (so it does affect other people).

I think the anti-smoking campaigns, alerting people to the real dangers, are a good thing.

I also think that the fact that smokers raise the cost of health care for everyone is a bad thing.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 07:04 pm
@BDV,
There still are questions with simple answers in the world and that's one of them. Smoking is REAL bad for you. I figured that one out around age ten, something to do with watching all the grown people in my neighborhood dying from smoking problems at 50 or 55...
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 07:25 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
I also think that the fact that smokers raise the cost of health care for everyone is a bad thing.
We are at almost $3.00 a pack tax, and going up,, I figure smokers are paying their freight.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Sat 17 Apr, 2010 08:55 pm
@gungasnake,
But at least the didn't get parkinsons disease in their 90's.
BDV
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 04:49 am
@maporsche,
Why are smokers constantly referred to as being "Stupid"? TBH I find most of the ant-smoking comments to be "Idiotic" as they are just following the media/government agendas. If research is positive for smoking then its branded as being promoted by the "Tobacco industry", follow the anti-smoking agenda then no criticism comes your way and you become "Intelligent". Its a strange old world. All I would like to know is facts.

Japan - smoke more, start younger, live longer.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 04:57 am
@BDV,
Quote:
All I would like to know is facts
How quaint! I am with you, which makes us both dinosaurs.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 04:59 am
@gungasnake,
Quote:
. I figured that one out around age ten, something to do with watching all the grown people in my neighborhood dying from smoking problems at 50 or 55...
Not Likely

Quote:
Age at Diagnosis
From 1998 to 2003, the median age at lung cancer diagnosis was 70 years of age. The percentages of people diagnosed with lung cancer based on age were as follows:

•0.0 percent were diagnosed under age 20
•0.3 percent between 20 and 34
•2.1 percent between 35 and 44
•8.8 percent between 45 and 54
•21.1 percent between 55 and 64
•32.6 percent between 65 and 74
•28.2 percent between 75 and 84
•6.9 percent 85+ years of age
http://lung-cancer.emedtv.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-statistics.html
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  2  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 08:06 am
@BDV,
I never called anyone stupid.

The FACT is that smoking, on average, will shorten your life. NOT allow you to live longer. That is a FACT. A FACT. You now know a FACT.

It may improve your quality of life; but that life WILL most likely be shorter.


What other facts would you like to talk about.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 08:35 am
@maporsche,
If you look at it that way, yeah, there were all sorts of problems which we see now which smoking prevented for the most part, people simply didn't live long enough to see them...
maporsche
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 08:36 am
@gungasnake,
Yeah, I mentioned that a few days ago. It was mostly ignored. Pesky facts.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 08:56 am
@BDV,
BDV,

Let's agree on what we are debating here, because you keep on throwing in anecdotes and bumper sticker lines that don't really address the issue.

My claim is that people who smoke are more likely to die sooner then people who don't smoke. Would you agree that if this were the case, then the act of smoking is stupid (assuming the goal is to have the best chance of living long and healthy)?

My claim is easy to test scientifically-- you take two large equal groups of people where the only difference between the groups is that one smokes and one doesn't smoke. Then you see which group of people live longer and healthier, and which group has more people die of lung cancer.

By the way... this exact scientific experiment has been done numerous times-- not only by studies of groups-- but now that we have reduced the number of smokers in several countries-- we have seen the benefit in a greatly reduced rate of death from lung cancer and lower health care costs (this is the the governments care enough to mount the propaganda efforts that you are ranting about).

Of course, if you want to believe that smoking is good for you-- you can come up with all kinds of anecdotes and exceptions and tricks to explain why the facts don't apply. However, these facts are unscientific and quite easy to debunk. But you will believe whatever you want to believe anyway.

Homework: Do you want to explain why your Japan quip is silly and irrelevant (hint: it has something to do with how you do a scientific test as I expain above).



spendius
 
  0  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 10:41 am
@ebrown p,
Quote:
My claim is easy to test scientifically--


But the test might be beside the point. It depends on whether the benefits are to be applied to individuals or societies. If to individuals then the case is made for conscientious objection in time of war.

42,000 people are killed in the US every year on the roads and about ten times that number seriously injured. All those people, especially the dead, would have benefitted from the banning of motor vehicles.

Can you show that society benefits from serious reductions in smoking? If you can't, and I don't think you can, then you might be accused of hand-wringing for personal reasons.

As I have already said, two businesses employing " large equal groups of people where the only difference between the groups is that one smokes and one doesn't smoke" will, in my opinion finish up as one business and it will be the one that smokes.

Smokers in the UK pay £10,000,ooo,ooo in tax. If smoking does kill them they don't take long in going from working to dead. Non smokers take up to 30 years to go from finishing work to dead and most of the time the bulk of them are under treatment of some sort and a good deal of it expensive treament.

The argument that individual benefit takes precedence over the community benefit is a very dangerous one. It is easy to take the cameras to specific cases.

All your scientific evidence should be used to have tobacco declared illegal. The fact that it isn't suggests strongly that there are reasons it should not be.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Sun 18 Apr, 2010 01:39 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
My claim is that people who smoke are more likely to die sooner then people who don't smoke. Would you agree that if this were the case, then the act of smoking is stupid (assuming the goal is to have the best chance of living long and healthy)?
that might be your goal, but you have no right to demand that everyone makes it a goal for themselves. I am a live hard and die young kinda guy myself. So long as smokers pay their way you should not get a say in how they live their lives. Between paying extra taxes and dieing faster so that they dont suck up as much pension and social security as others Smokers pay enough that they should be able to tell you do-gooders to **** off.
 

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