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Any smokers out there?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by HIPAR, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    Again with the Sherriff of Nottingham tactics...

    "We're taxing your soda because there are too many calories in sugar and HFCS is bad for you"

    "Ok, I'll have a diet pepsi."

    "Arrest that man for evading taxes! Er, umm.. Make up something else that covers diet drinks!"

    I predict someone will come out with unsweetened canned/bottled drinks where you're directed to add a packet of sugar - and another manufacturer (or the same one) will sell little sugar caplets made for sweetening these drinks. After all, we already invented Kool-Aid. How much of a stretch is it to refine the process?
     
  2. jclewter79

    jclewter79 Hall Of Fame

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    This is all crap. When overused sugar is bad for you but, it is still a food product. I wonder how far we will let it go?
     
  3. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    Beats me. I have taken exactly one drag on one tobacco cigarette in my life (I'm 57). The circumstances were, I had just gotten stoned for the first time and after we ran out of marijuana, the guy who furnished it said, "Now you should light up a cigatrette. They taste real good when you're stoned." So he passed a cigarette to me and I sucked in on it for one drag like I did the joint and nearly choked.

    I never understood peer pressure. When people around me smoked, I never felt any pressure to join them, ever. If everyone around me jumped off a bridge, I would have felt no pressure to do that, either.

    Does anyone know if smoking is up among young people? I was in a long line at a 7-11 store yesterday in a college town, and over half a dozen college age kids ahead of me bought tobacco products, and judging by the names of what they asked for, they aren't buying their parent's Marlboros or Winstons. It seemed that most products asked for included the name of a flavor or of a scent.
     
  4. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Update: North Carolina bill banning smoking in bars & restaurants passed, awaiting governor's signature - http://www.charlotteobserver.com/408/story/723041.html

    This is historic, because NC is the source for 60% of the tobacco consumed in the USA, and has the highest percentage of smokers (23%).
     
  5. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    Exactly!

    I would like them to provide us with the ingredients that they use to define sugary drinks for us. Since we do not import from Cuba and with all the other issues in South America, the price of pure sugar cane has sky rocketed. So in essence, the sugar drinks that we consume is mostly corn syrup.. Midwest American made. Which, by the way, has far worse implications then does sugar. There are papers/studies dedicated to the negative impacts of corn syrup, as there are dedicated to most the substitute sweeteners. Most impressive is the fact that corn syrup leaves an individual craving more sweets!

    So, do we tax substances that contain mostly sugar or mostly corn syrup. If it's mostly sugar, then very few substances will be taxed.

    At the same time our "big brother" is so busy caring about us when it comes to "sugary" drinks, he has been putting up road blocks for allowing the sales of Stevia. You can get it in the US, but there has been an epic battle fought to get it in the US for mass production. Simply, Stevia is a very sweet plant that has no negative health impacts, is safe for diabetics and loaded with fiber. Stevia has been used outside of this country for centuries as a natural sweetener.

    So while on one hand "big brother" would like to tax sweeteners (what ever the hell that means), on the other hand he's putting up opposition to healthy alternatives like Stevia.

    Honestly, if this country would move back to plain old sugar cane, we wouldn't have half the health problems we do. But politics makes that to expensive. If this country wouldn't be making so hard for alternatives like Stevia in the US, then we wouldn't have to be so concerned with the dangerous diet alternatives.

    Furthermore, if "big brother" is so worried about the health effects of sugary tasting drinks, perhaps they should really look at the dangerous substances they currently put into the diet drinks. I think they will find they have a bigger problem there.

    Finally, before "big brother" decides to tell us what is good and bad and to slap our wrists with taxes on what he thinks is good and bad as if we were as stupid as Pavlov's Dog (since to them, that is our intellectual capacity), perhaps... they may actually want to first catch up with us and gain a clue regarding health and taxes.
     
  6. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    ...and the absurdity of banning trans fats while allowing tobacco is self-evident.
     
  7. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    First, and please correct me if I am wrong, there is no federal ban on trans fats, it is a state issue. So, I assume in your statement, that you are bothered by the fact that certain states have banned trans fat but have not yet banned tobacco. But, I think there is an inherent issues with the comparison.

    While tobacco in and of itself is a natural product, made with preservatives and all its other dangers by the tobacco industry, trans fat is man made and I would submit, far more dangerous. Its a created product that the human body was not meant to consume or metabolize. The fact that the FDA ever allowed trans fat into food is beyond me.

    What makes the difference is that man created a dangerous product as a cheap substitute for butter and oil, the FDA ignored the dangers and as a result it entered into the food chain. Reversing that decision on a state level or a federal level only amounts to the recognition of a very bad mistake.

    The comparison, if it were to be apt, would be Trans Fat with a pharmaceutical product also man made. Many so called "drugs" have been developed, integrated into our environment and then caused very dangerous if not life threatening side effects. The FDA's recognition that those drugs should be banned is simply a reversal of a bad decision in the first place.

    Where tobacco is a life style choice, trans fat is a not always a choice. And individual can go to a restaurant, order fried shrimp and onion rings, leave the restaurant get into a car and smoke a cigar. While the individual chose to smoke the cigar, that individual may have inadvertently downed a high percentage of trans fat without any knowledge that the resteraunt used trans fats as cooking oil or purchased food made with trans fats. One was a choice, the other was not.

    Two last thoughts, if you ban tobacco then you will likely have a black market and bootlegging. You will likely have increased crime and potentially something on the level of prohibition in the early 20th century. I highly doubt you will get that affect from banning trans fats.

    Finally, if there is a federal ban on a life style choice like tobacco, where does it stop? At what point is a free country no longer free to make choices?
     
  8. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    You are correct, there is no federal ban on transfats - I was referring to the New York City ban.

    Smoking really challenges my principles. In theory, you want to hack up a lung? That's your business. Just don't make me inhale youre second-hand smoke. But by the same token, I don't want to pay increased Medicare taxes for lung cancer patients - or "Mickey Mantle" patients for that matter as well.

    But, as you put it, where do you draw the line? We know that government, no matter WHERE the line is drawn will always try to MOVE the line in favor of increasing power/regulation.

    Seeing my adoptive mother constantly addicted to cigarettes was something I couldn't accept. I got into trouble when I was little for breaking her cigarettes and burning her matches (she was NOT happy with me when I did that!). Granted that's the logic of a 10-year-old at the time. Before her death, though, I had to accept the stench or a life of avoiding her. Not a pleasant decision to have to ponder.
     
  9. IM Rags

    IM Rags Cool Member

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    i only smoke when i'm on fire!
     
  10. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    I fully understand your moral dilemma. As I stated earlier in this thread, fully buried by now, my father is a smoker and I am watching him suffer from that decision.

    With freedom come choices, good and bad. The desire to impact other's choices out of our own desire to do what we think is good for them is a dangerous road. Who decides the good? Who balances the scale between freedom and restriction? Who determines if the ends are strong enough to outweigh the means?

    In regards to second hand smoke, yes, I understand no smoking policies in the work place (if the business so chooses) and at your home. But we live in a society that burns fuels, expels gas, creates smog, sprays pest control etc... second hand smoke amounts to a small percentage of the pollution we live with... mother earth expels more carbon in the atmosphere with one volcano eruption then the entire world of smokers in over endless years of smoking.

    Does that mean you have to go into a bar that allows smoking, no? Does that mean you have to work at a bar that allows smoking, no? Should it be the right of a private business to allow smoking? Yes.

    I find it amazing that half the people who walk into a public bathroom don't wash their hands and at the same time can sneer at a smoker, while their hands are covered in germs from cold viruses or worse. People eat at restaurants that constantly have safety issues but they are worried about a smoker across the room. People sit in traffic jams daily sniffing exhaust, but they are worried about one Saturday night in a smoke filled bar?

    Our society has a fixation with smoking, right or wrong. As a result, I am very uncomfortable that when all is said and done the cure will be far worse then the disease.
     
  11. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Balestrom: While I understand your position here, the fact remains that second hand smoke is almost as harmful as inhaling while smoking a cigarette.
    People are almost as passionate about smoking laws as they are about politics and religion. When you get down to issues, though, smokers are becoming more and more of a minority. Laws prohibiting smoking in public buildings and places of public accomodation are becoming the norm. If a person chooses to smoke, he/she has every right to do so in the privacy of his/her home or outdoors. Restaurant and bar owners are accomodating their smoking customers by providing patios outside their establishments. Except for biker bars and cigar bars, restaurant and bar owners subjected to antismoking ordinances are finding it easier to keep their establishments clean and are actually seeing an increase in business.
     
  12. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    pretty soon McDees will be injuring/killing more people than cigs.. If they aren't already..
     
  13. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    I understand the passion, I do. The "norm" as you put is what scares the hell out of me. If its the norm for government to interfere with business, with private lives, and to have there way with minority groups then that very "norm" you speak of will eventually have its way with other small segments of society.

    Really, what is next after smoking? Sweet foods, fat foods? How about guns? Or the right to choose our own Doctor or seek a second opinion? Really.... where does the "norm" stop?

    Finally, I notice that you used the word accomodating about a segment of customers who are now required to go out on to a patio to smoke in the middle of winter. Interesting use of terms. Some businesses used to accomodate black people with their own drinking fountain, only back then it was the establishment's choice not the governments.
     
  14. ImBack234

    ImBack234 Godfather

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    In NY state any college campus are smoke free and what do they get for it a pile of butts out side every door (along side the astray). In fact you will find the same out side most places. To me that describes most smokers they could give a sh*t less about anyone else!! So I don't feel sorry for them.
    Apparently the problem is world wide!!!
    Smokers are littering Belfast's streets with more than 50,000 butts every week, the city council has said.
    If they want to kill themselves try a gun it's quicker and it cost the tax payers less!!!:eek2:
     
  15. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    OK - look at things this way:
    1. Laws exist for the protection of society as a whole. While some may abridge a "freedom" we as individuals may covet, without them, we might have anarchy.
    2. The topic of this thread is smoking. Why insist on muddying the water by bringing up sweeteners, trans fats, obesity, etc.? Yes, they are health issues as well, but not appropriate for a discussion on smoking.
    3. To suggest that nonsmokers avoid working at or going to places where smoking is allowed is an absurdity. By saying that, you are saying that smokers can go anywhere they want, but nonsmokers can't.
    4. Patios in winter? Yep! I came to North Carolina from upstate New York, and bars in my area had patios with patio heaters to accommodate smokers.

    And lastly: Yes, I'm passionate about the whole smoking issue. My father suffered from coronary heart disease and was told by his doctor to quit smoking or die. This was back in the 1950's, when the majority of people did smoke, and there was little research done on the effects of smoking. He quit smoking, and would not allow smoking in his home. He lived an additional 30 years after he quit. My wife was a smoker, and even after three life threatening health issues that hospitalized her and made her stop smoking for a time, she still returned to smoking. She died of cancer six years ago. I've had two brothers in-law and two sisters in-law die from lung cancer. All of them were smokers. My oldest son tried quitting smoking several times and currently is a non-smoker. However, my daughter in-law (who is an RN) has tried quitting several times to no avail.
     
  16. Balestrom

    Balestrom Legend

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    I agree that there are fundamental laws in our society that are needed to protect the freedom and safety of an individual. It is the major purpose to government. It's what keeps us from living in the "state of nature."

    However, smoking is not one of those fundamental protections. We are not in danger of either anarchy or the being thrust back into the "state of nature" if people smoke at a bar.

    If you are going expect government to enact laws that suppress the rights of the individual for the sake of a group, then every individual becomes target. You inevitably become a target.

    Bringing in sweeteners is very apt to this discussion. Congress is currently looking at taxing pop, chips and sweeteners because its unhealthy (Pavlov's Dog- we are the dog). It is the inevitable next step and we are watching it happen before our eyes. First its smoking, next... well its quite a list.

    I don't assert non-smokers must avoid anything, I instead I suggest you have a choice to avoid things that you don't like. But instead of avoiding those things, you chose to remove them altogether. You seek to force both the business and the smoker to bend to your will, restricting their freedoms for your own.

    I personally wouldn't feel safe taking my wife into a biker bar, but I don't ask the business to move the bikers on to the sidewalk so we can drink there. I make the choice not to do business at the establishment.

    If a bar wants to be non smoking, it should be their choice. If they want to have patios, it should be their choice. If they want to have the place open to smoking.... you get the picture. And in all cases its your choice to decide where you go to get that drink. I will choose the non-smoking establishment. But I will not ask the smoking establishment to change how it does business because I don't like it, nor would I ask the government to change the rules to make that happen.
     

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