pot in the cz

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Leah, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I applaud your efforts to keep the planet green. However: Do you eat foods and/or consume products that require a motor vehicle of some sort to bring them to your neighborhood stores? Do you use electricity for light, refrigeration, air conditioning, home appliances, etc., including the computer you are writing from, and not only at home, but at your workplace and in all the other homes, stores, etc. that you visit?? How about air travel??? All of these use energy, which is in large part (here in the U.S. at least) generated by hydrocarbon fossil fuels, the burning of which emits hydrocarbon pollution into the atmosphere. So unless you live on a desert island, or a third-world country (last I checked, Yuma doesn't fit either of these critieria), then yes, you do personally contribute to hydrocarbon emission and pollution, albeit fractionally less than those of us who drive cars.

    My point is not how much pollution by weight or volume smoking puts out, but rather what kind of pollution and where it is put out. First of all, I've never heard any concerns about smoking contributing to greenhouse gases. That's just absurd to do that sort of comparison! Second, smoking puts out a large (by comparison) amount of radioactive material. Smoking one-pack of cigarettes a day gives a annual radiation dose twice that of the recommended maximum dose, and three times the average dose. Second-hand smoke, while not as concentrated as first-hand, typically has a higher percentage of the tar which binds these radioactive isotopes. So if someone is constantly in proximity of smokers, they will certainly get a substantial dose of radiation as well. There are of course many other toxic materials in cigarette that I will not go into (you can look that up on the net).

    My other point here is not that people should not be allowed to smoke, but rather that they should smoke in areas where they will not expose unwilling non-smokers to such toxins.

    The other issue is the contribution to society by cars, or for that matter energy consumption in general, versus that of cigarettes (another ridiculous comparison, that I won't spell out--if people can't recognize the difference here, than there's no help for them). Note, I'm not discounting the adverse effects to the environment by cars and other hydrocarbon emission. Rather, at this point in time, there are no viable alternatives to such to maintain our level of civilization. We could, of course, mandate that all such energy use be banned and essentially return to the 19th century (or earlier).

    As to the problem of air pollution, there is no hypocrisy in my way of thinking. The modern age has created this problem, but there are no easy solutions (as some would try to make us believe) because all currently available solutions involve making sacrifices that very few are willing to make.

    P.S. Last time I was in Prague, I remember how littered the streets were with cigarette butts. Given that, it seems most cigarette smokers aren't as concerned with the environment as you are.
  2. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    I get your point. Contrary to your assumtion, I did not give up driving a car for ecological reasons, but rather economic considerations. Most Americans spend about 35% of their net income ( the US economy is based 65% on the auto industry & related services). My point was the hypocracy in which "all" societies ills are based on the selfish smoker. I grant, smoking does have it's health effects ( we all must die of something, and since over 70% of people die in bed, should we outlaw beds?) on some individuals, but to balme all air pollution on the smokes is prepostorous -- how then do we explain that 83% of all lung cancer affects lifetime non-smokers. It's in the air, food additives and diet stupid!

    The statistics used to "prove" the ill effects of tabacco are but a shame. Today, more people smoke than eve before. They claim smoking is down, and only 25% of the population smokes. In 1964 50% of the population smoked. Hence smoking is down by 50%, claim the statistics! Here is the scam, for in 1964 the US population was 155M and in 2005 we sport 320M souls. Do the math, and you'll discover why the tabacco companies are still flurishing economically... More cigaretts are sold today then in 1964 and a higher profits. In 1964 a pack cost $0.24 cents -- a worker could buy 5 pack for an hours work at minimum wage. Today at $5.00 plus a pack a minimum wage earner can barely purchase 1 pack for an hours work. Furthermore, in 1964, the tax on a pack of cigaretts was $0.04 cents
    in 2005 the (sin) tax is $2.00. Hence, this stop smoking campain is but a very profitable proposition, for both the cigarette makes as well as the government! The shame is that the public is buying into the marketing scam.

    Ironically, while standing at the bus stop in Prague, I was politely approached by an lady, who insisted to educate me on the "ills" of smoking ( to je spanty a nesdravy pro vas), but when I replied to her, that the last 10 minutes ( my cigarett lasted 7 minutes) we were at the bus stop. I asked her, why she did not throw rocks at the passing cars that polluted her lungs at least 100x more than my meager cigarett smoke did. To se nemuze, she replied!

    Thus, this bad/good habit is then a personal choice --like sex, some like it on the bottom while others like it on top ( the holy rolles of years gone by, tried to regulate this activity as proper or decadent and sinfull). There is no absolute "proof" that this activity will or will not shorten life. Excess of anything is certainly harmfull to our health - even too much beer, although a litlle is just fine ( more people die of liver ailments in the CZ than from cigarett smoking, but beer is not outlawed. Why I ask? Hint: Taxes on booze are great for the government . Tha is why the the abolition of alcohol was repiled in the US in 1932. No because it was determined that booze is good for you, but he government was loosing too much of it's income).

    Finally, in my family one grandfather who smoked like a chimeny (even sniffed hemp twine for his tooth ache, although he lost all his teeth at age 52 ) lived to 86 and finaly died of lung cancer. On the other side, the tea toddler gradfather --liquor of cigarrets never touched his lips his entire life
    live to be only 64, who also died of lung cancer. Go figure? Thus we all must and will die of something, that is certain. Why the doom day statistics. Well, is is profitable! Sova, have a good day.


    PS: The biggest irony/hypocracy I experienced, was a safety lecture on the "bad smoking habit" was give to me in the Army. While I was a helicopter pilot in Nam, our health/safety officer lectured us on the negatives of smoking ( although the Army issued us cigarettes free of charge with our rations). Smoking will shorten your life, was his cry. Dumfounded, I only asked him, what about the "bullets" they are shooting at us daily? How good are they to my health or longivity. His answer was: this is a fact of war, and can not be helped!... Hence my point is: If it feels good, do it . For you will die someday anyway, regardelss what you do! Just do not step in front of a speeding train or try to take a leep of a highrise building without wings, that will certainly mess up your day...
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Viktor, the statistics you show only indicate that perhaps the total number of smokers has largely not changed, but doesn't say anything about proving or disproving the "ill effects" of smoking. Here's one article of many citing statistics that indicate there is a marked increase in risk of lung cancer among smokers. If we take the numbers there (15% of lung cancer occurs among non-smokers), with your numbers (25% of Americans smoke), the number say you're 17 times more to get lung cancer if you smoke (granted this is a simplicistic analysis, but still should give an accurate estimate of the order of magnitude). Yes, most air pollution is not caused by tobacco smoke, but most lung cancer apparently is.

    As for the hit-or-miss nature of radiation exposure and cancer, the best modern science can do is a statistical analysis based on radiation dosage and type. That's probably why so many claims are made that it's impossible to know the cause of cancer in any particular case. Of a hundred people getting the same dosage and type of radiation perhaps only a small number will get cancer. But if you double that dosage in another similar population, you most likely will see more cases of cancer. Why do some get cancer and others don't? You might as well ask, well why did that Joe-shmo win the lottery and I didn't?

    My personal take on smoking is to compare it to walking alongside a road. I can either stay off the pavement on the side, or I can walk on the narrow paved shoulder, nearer the lane of traffic. In other words, the closer one gets to a moving car, the more likely one is to get run over.

    I agree with you about the hypocrisy in the U.S. government. You should also add the billion-dollar-a-year tobacco lobby to the sin tax as proof of that. Still, it doesn't mean the statistics are wrong or should be ignored.
  4. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member


    First off, I would NEVER post statistics that appears on Yahoo!. It doesn't say how many people where in the study, what kind of study was done, atd. So if you are going to start quoting statistics I suggest you find REAL studies, not average media that threw some statistics out there because a star is sick.

    Secondly, technically speaking, just because smokers get more lung cancer than non smokers doesn't mean much. It is a correlation. There is also a correlation to the crack between sidewalks and crime rates in cities. This doesn't mean that one cause the other or vice versa. To do a real study on lung cancer and cigarettes you would have to find a group of random people, have half to start smoking and the other half be non smokers, and then after many years see if in fact smoking does cause cancer. Obviously for ethical reasons this can't be done.

    It may just be that there is a gene that predisposes one to lung cancer, and this gene happens to make people more likely to smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes wouldn't cause cancer, the gene would, and cigarettes would be a side effect of the gene. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe this to be the case, but we really DON'T know cigarette's affects on cancer because we can only do correlation studies.

    I would be interested in finding out if inhaling perfumes is dangerous. That is one thing I would definately outlaw in Hilary land. People wearing too much perfume in an elevator or other small spaces... Those chemicals can't be good to inhale ;)

    On a side note on statistics, it is quite sad, for I took a statistics class and I still have trouble telling what is a good study and what isn't. But whatever is in the media I personally don't believe what they say for they can twist the facts however much they like. You really need to look at the research paper to see what is going on.
  5. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Smokers do not get more caner than nop smokers --83% of lung cancer patients are or never where smokers -- only 27% of lung cancer is so called direclly attributed to SMOKING -- The Lung Association -- formaly known as the Tubercolosis Institute in the US-- however most patiernts in the "institutes" were isolated (quarentined) so they could not file law suits against the employers, were diagnosed as "contracting pnemonia", so they colud not claim Worker's Compemnsation or sue the employer that was killing the (remember the tubercolosis stamps they sold on christmas to raise funds) -- They eventualy ran out of "victims",and preventive medicine (more so labor laws that banned hassardous/toxic enviromnments by establishing OSHA standarts that affected the workers health. Like coal and asbestos minning ,manufactoring as well as foundry sub-human standarts) that erraticated the disiease, and the govenments closing of the Tubrcolosis Sanatariums the Tubercolosis Institute "needed" a new business to assure survivability of the and jobs for their loyal employees.

    Hence the LUNG ASSOCIATION was born in 1964... They pulished an article in Reader's Digets about the effe3cts of smoking, and the "anti'smoking" craze and new do godd business began!I do not need to search Yahoo or any subsidized study for my information, I lived through the period, when the working man in the US had less rights than animals, who are protected by the animal anti cruely gurus -- They fine you for mistreating your dog, confiscate the aniumal and them humanly kill it -- But that is a story for an other day...

  6. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member


    I am a little confused by your post... I never said smokers get more lung cancer than non smokers...

    I'm having trouble catching where r u coming from, sorry!

  7. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Sorry Hilary:

    Guess I got on my soap box -- did not meant to take it out on you -- I just get frustrated with the "for profit game" being played against smokers as being some sort social deviants. I buy one pack at the time to keep myself limited to one pack a day, yesterday it jumped to $5.75
    (from $ 4.35 the day before). Maybe I'll take your approcah to pot, it seem that it is even cheaper than cigaretts here. Sure miss the Petra 25 for 44Kc. Maybe the price difference even justifies moving back to the Czech Republic. Anyway, hope you did not get sore at me, but I've been spraying the house for termites for the past 4 days-- an bi-anual chore here in Arizona, where the critters even eat not only wood, but also the cement. The fumes are getting to me! I need to shut off CNN and put on some Jim Morrison's Doors, and ZZ Top to relax... Ain't got no canja!

  8. rhenium3

    rhenium3 Active Member

    No worries...

    Ah, it is definately worth moving to CZ for the smokes... I think SMART cigs are around 30kc still ;)
  9. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I quoted the statistics from Yahoo, because they are easily accessible to anyone on the net. Most e-journal articles require a fee or a subscription. Nevertheless, I have found one particular study, which should be freely accessible from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. I hope this will more than satisfy your curiosity for the "morbid details" (pun intended). If not, there are numerous references cited which back up these authors' claims. Incidentally, Table 2 in this article indicates that the relative risk of lung cancer due to smoking is 15 to 30 (in good agreement with my calculation from the Yahoo data).

    You don't need to explain statistics to me. I probably understand the subject much better than you, as I am a scientist and deal with statistics all the time. I'm well aware that a correlation can be due to either a spurious (non-causal) relationship or a causal relationship, and of how often these are confused. However, when one has direct physical evidence that radiation expose increases the risks of cancer, chemical analyses that verify a high concentration of radioisotopes in tobacco, and numerous studies around the world showing a strong correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, it's fairly safe to say the relationship is causal.

    Does this mean that it's 100% proven? No. But, meeting your burden of "proof," on the other hand, would require that one records the instant of genetic mutation and determines a cause based on conditions at that time. With that burden, no progress in medicine would ever be achieved. Usually 99% percent surety is enough to base a rational decision on. Note also that your assumption that inhalation of car exhaust contributes to deterioration of one's health also can not be unequivocally proved under this same burden of proof. Yet you apparently don't question this? This seems like a dual standard to me.

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