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Really
07-15-2012, 06:20 AM
:respec:

skateboy
07-15-2012, 08:18 AM
Not to mention that a person who eats a ton of junk food will not affect my life, whereas it is quite difficult to avoid cigarette smoke in some fashion when you are around a smoker.

True. But since smoking is (in most places) not allowed in restaurants, airports and airplanes, bars and public places in general, I just question how often it occurs that people truly have to deal with second-hand smoke to begin with...

If it's a rare occurrence, isn't it just an annoyance rather than a lethal hazard?

ETA: I'm fully aware of the dangers of smoking (first and second-hand) and, as mentioned earlier, I've cut down considerably and am trying very hard to quit altogether. I dislike the smell myself and do not smoke around others, period.

Japanfan
07-15-2012, 10:43 AM
What it sounds like some smokers are saying, though, is unless/until the rest of the world's problems are solved, don't complain about my smoking. And to me that line of thinking isn't about pointing out double standards, but rather silencing objections to smoking.


I did not say that in my post. The key word I used was 'disproportionate' and I totally stand by that claim. For some people only, though. To be fair plenty of non-smokers are not over the top about smokers.




Now, while I don't believe in demonizing smokers, I do think it's fair game to point out the myriad issues related to smoking behavior.


Do you honestly think smokers are unaware of those issues?



And IME, this is where I think some backlash against smokers arises--when smokers downplay or outright deny problematic aspects related to smoking behavior (eg. Throwing cigarette butts everywhere, the toxicity of smoke for bystanders when someone lights up, the degree to which a smoker's clothes and car(s) are saturated in smoke even when the smoker cannot smell it abd the smoker has tried to be considerate, etc).


But most smokers are fully aware of the problematic aspects of smoking. And perhaps because I am a very polite - and paranoid - smoker who hardly ever smokes in public (especially since I've cut way back) I don't encounter backlash other than the previously mentioned looks of horror I've got from a few people.

And FYI, some smokers can smell the smoke smell. I've always hated it, even though I smoke, but I have a really sensitive sense of smell. I know some non-smokers who are less bothered the stale smoke smell than I am. As a non-smoker Mr. Japanfan could live with the smell of my smoke better than I could.



So when non-smokers broach those concerns, but are basically told by smokers they are hypocrites and need to get over it already because it's no big deal, it makes smokers seem completely indifferent to the impact of their behaviors on others. I think the result is of that is negative feelings directed at smokers themselves rather than just smoking behaviors.


So if you are walking down the street and pass by a smoker standing on a street corner, obeying the pertinent laws requiring smokers to be x distance away from doorways, is that smoker an imminent danger to your health?

If you take your child to a park where smoking is allowed and a person is sitting on a park bench, is that smoker a danger to your health? If smoking is allowed in the park - and it is a legal habit, remember - is the mere presence of that smoker a danger to your child's health?

If you were to list all of the possible harms to yourself due to environmental factors such as pollution, toxins/additives in foods, and your own possible bad habits, if you have any (which I'm sure you don't :), whereabouts would smoking fit on the scale?



On a separate note, third-hand smoke refers to the smell of smoke that coats a person and things after a person has smoked. It doesn't refer to a third party who hugs a smoker and then transmits that to others.

Um, I do know that. I was being ironic.

But I'll add - do you think that third-hand smoke is a danger to your health?

Nomad
07-15-2012, 11:11 AM
If I live to be 100, I will never, EVER understand folks who bitch and whine about second-hand cigarette smoke yet drive and drive and fricking DRIVE hulking steel vehicles that spew out far more toxic, more damaging fumes.

This. My favorite Sanctimonious Non-Smoker encounter was with my next door neighbor in SF. Mr. Neighbor owned a mini-van and an SUV. He worked two blocks away. He drove to work. Every day. One day I was outside my apt. talking to the building mgr. We were smoking. Mr. Neighbor drove up, got out of his SUV and proceeded to lecture us on the evils of smoking and how we were "polluting his environment".

Louis
07-15-2012, 03:43 PM
Many people react with hostility toward smokers--all in the name of good "health"--yet think it's "okay" to put all kinds of crap into their bodies (as well as those of their family), full well knowing that these very things cause a variety of health problems (heart disease, obesity, cancer, etc.).

Double standard much?

I will admit that there is somewhat of a double standard, though I don't believe anything is nearly as bad as smoking in terms of the public health impact.

We as a society need to do a much better job with education about food and nutrition. I'll probably sound like a conspiracy theorist :lol:, but I suspect that eventually substances in fast foods, junk foods, etc. will be determined to have addictive powers for a subset of the population. Unfortunately, I think the US government is complicit in some of the bad food choices, due to lack of regulation, subsidies, food lobbies, etc. Not sure what the answer is.

I also think food is a bit more complicated, with no "one size fits all" approach. I am convinced that red meat is poison for my body and eat it only recreationally (3-4 times per year, highest grade meat available, in very small portions). I am not yet convinced that it's poison for everyone's bodies.

snoopy
07-15-2012, 04:20 PM
Half of us are already right there with you on junk food having addictive properties.

In the spirit of giving up addictions, here is how bad my coffee addiction is - I am 9 months past my last annual check up and i have never gone to get my blood work because I won't give my morning ritual coffee up for one freakin day. (having to have the blood work done on a fast - and I can't do coffee without milk.)

Coffee is likely one of those foods that are fine for many people but I suspect it may not be so good for me. In interests of my own health and in solidarity with those cutting back smoking, I'm dumping my last bag of grounds.

This, admittedly, does not make me happy.

Alex Forrest
07-15-2012, 04:45 PM
Actually, that's a bit of a myth that's been debunked for quite some time.
http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/fleiss/

Penile cancer appears to be caused by HPV. And, um, smoking (amongst other things) is a known risk factor for contacting the disease :shuffle:



Agalisgv, you just gave a link to a letter from some doctor expressing his opinion in 1996. Who knows what his agenda is. And it seems that he was only saying that it's incorrect to state "Circumcision prevents penile cancer." I don't know anyone that has ever said that, unless they are stupid. That would be like saying "Abstinence from smoking prevents lung cancer and COPD". Not a smart argument.

Let me provide you a link from 2012 (first one on google):

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/PenileCancer/DetailedGuide/penile-cancer-risk-factors

So it appears this was not 'debunked'. And anecdotally, I have seen 50 cases of penile cancer and ALL of them were in uncircumcized males.

And it's been long long known that HPV is the likely culprit behind penile and cervical cancer. That's not a new theory by any stretch.

agalisgv
07-15-2012, 05:36 PM
You asserted penile cancer was pretty exclusively confined to uncircumcised males, and the link I provided showed where that belief arose and how it was erroneous by citing studies showing the opposite (see the Madsen et al reference). It wasn't an opinion piece, but rather a critique of certain assertions made in medical journals that were not back-up by fact. Considering how rare penile cancer is in the US and Europe, it's highly unusual that you would know 50 people with that condition.

All of which is tangential to the topic at hand (except perhaps that smoking is a risk factor for penile cancer which you curiously seem to be avoiding).

For Japanfan, I think the whole idea of rankings is part of the problem. Generally when people are confronted with changing personal behaviors, a common retort is, "Well, is this really *that* important in the big scheme of things? Shouldn't we be more focused on ending global poverty/saving the environment/eliminating wars etc? Don't those rank higher on the importance scale than, say, eating donuts or smoking?"

By that measure, nothing would ever get done regarding smoking. That's why I say those are really diversionary tactics rather than serious debate points. People can care about multiple issues simultaneously and work on them as opportunity and time/resources allow. While something like light rail and bike trails may not be important to many, that doesn't make them an illegitimate issue to support and an overall good cause. Should Karner blue butterfly habitats not be protected because that's not a seemingly high-ranking issue?

The issue isn't about rankings because issues are interrelated and subjectively assessed. The question is whether smoking is a harmful thing, and whether efforts to curb smoking are beneficial. If they are, then those efforts should be supported. And give people credit that they can support smoking cessation while also being concerned with other issues.

I'll say personally that having two kids with sensitive respiratory systems, second and third-hand smoke is an issue for us. I lent my car to a friend for two days, and her husband proceeded to drive around town in it while smoking. When I got my car back, it reeked of smoke, and I literally had to wipe the film off the inside of my windshield in order to see. I don't know how much you'd have to smoke to create that much residue in 48 hours, but my car smelled of smoke for near 6 months later because of how deeply it pentrated into everything. And that third hand smoke triggered asthmatic reactions in my son, forcing him to ride with his head out the window during wintertime so he could breathe. So while that may not be important for others, it is to me.

Alex Forrest
07-15-2012, 06:45 PM
You asserted penile cancer was pretty exclusively confined to uncircumcised males, and the link I provided showed where that belief arose and how it was erroneous by citing studies showing the opposite (see the Madsen et al reference). It wasn't an opinion piece, but rather a critique of certain assertions made in medical journals that were not back-up by fact. Considering how rare penile cancer is in the US and Europe, it's highly unusual that you would know 50 people with that condition.

All of which is tangential to the topic at hand (except perhaps that smoking is a risk factor for penile cancer which you curiously seem to be avoiding).


50 men over 20 years? Sounds about right. I did not say I was friends with all these people. Though I did know about ten personally, but they also had HIV and h/o genital warts which is also a risk factor.

I posted that link myself and read it, and yes I saw that smoking is a risk factor for penile cancer, as well as for pancreatic, colon, cervical, et al. I'm not curiously ignoring anything. I'm not saying smoking is a good thing at all, let's be clear, I'm just objecting to the over the top reactions smokers get by nonsmokers. I mentioned upthread a close friend who drinks and Xanaxes every night and yet he has the nerve to lecture me on my smoking habits.

Holley Calmes
07-15-2012, 06:52 PM
I'll say personally that having two kids with sensitive respiratory systems, second and third-hand smoke is an issue for us. I lent my car to a friend for two days, and her husband proceeded to drive around town in it while smoking. When I got my car back, it reeked of smoke, and I literally had to wipe the film off the inside of my windshield in order to see. I don't know how much you'd have to smoke to create that much residue in 48 hours, but my car smelled of smoke for near 6 months later because of how deeply it pentrated into everything. And that third hand smoke triggered asthmatic reactions in my son, forcing him to ride with his head out the window during wintertime so he could breathe. So while that may not be important for others, it is to me.

My tolerance would certainly hit a brick wall in this particular circumstance. Your friend should pay to have it fumigated. Didn't she/he know you had kids with respiratory issues?

I have been avoiding spending the night with a very, very dear friend who smokes a lot because I know I will walk away from her home with smoke penetrating my clothing and hair, and I might not be able to sleep if the pillows smell. That doesn't mean she isn't one of my best friends ever, that she isn't an amazing person with great talents and a magnificent, sympathetic heart. I could not love her more. I am so afraid she is going to get sick in the near future because of how much she smokes. I think I mentioned above how in my circle of friends, we have lost one 67 year old man and have another 67 year old woman critically ill-both ravaged with cancer. Both were smokers.

In the case of my dear friend, I am more concerned with her health than my discomfort. Still....

agalisgv
07-15-2012, 07:12 PM
She knew, but it was her husband who did it, and frankly he's a jerk (and I'm not referring to his smoking here). Smoking is very prevalent in Native communities, and generally little effort is made to minimize the effects on others. So it's one of those things you learn to deal with. The only thing that has changed things IMO are all the laws banning it in public places, and the added cig taxes. Before, it was absolutely taboo to criticize smoking behavior. Now, there's more of a sense that such behaviors may be harmful to others (even though criticism is still not the norm).

Holley Calmes
07-15-2012, 11:45 PM
:)Ah-Native American. I was involved in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and we had a Native American Heritage Olympic Event. I met many, many lovely people....and a few not so good, as is to be expected in any large group of people.

One of the "not so good" ones was a gorgeous 40 year old pow wow dancer from Cherokee, NC who was used to having women bend to his ways. He was beautiful, I'll say that. But he was in charge of a portion of the event and we had to meet. Unfortunately we were alone 3 days before Christmas in a facility which included a large auditorium he had interest in for an event.

Prior to my giving him a tour of the facility, we chit chatted as we waited, and I mentioned a girlfriend was having surgery that day. He immediately took out a few cigarettes and told me to smoke one as I prayed for her recovery. Obviously, smoking has a very different connotation IN SOME RESPECTS than what we have in our culture. Not saying your friend, agalisgv, wasn't wrong in doing what he did. But there is definately a different idea about smoking in Native cultures. To this guy, it was a method of prayer and supplication.

Unfortunately, as I gave the guy the tour of the theatre, he decided it was time to see which way I would jump off the sex wagon, and if a security guard had not wandered our way, it might have been an ugly and violent scene. I did struggle, say no, etc. He was going to prove to me that I couldn't resist him then and there. I swear I had not given him any "signals" during our whole meeting, and for heavens sake I was about 54 or 55 at the time!! Really! And I don't look bad, but I don't excactly have men following my every move.

That sure rattled me. I do not in any way judge Eastern Band Cherokees, Native Americans, etc because of his actions. Of course not. But I found out later his mother was a prostitute, and he had a way of seeing if every woman could be "bought" in some way or other. He apologized later, but I made sure I was never alone with him. And to this day-I will never judge a woman for not telling someone she was assaulted for a long time. It took me 3 weeks to finally tell my husband and a few others what happened. I don't know why...I was in some sort of shock. Sorry-don't mean to hijack the thread. It was just somehow all bound together-the smoking and the mini-assault. And I can still see his black leather fringed jacket in my mind. The one I grabbed and pushed against as he tried to push me the other way into a corner. I'll never forget that jacket.

But his perception of smoking was definitely more religious and ritual than ours for sure.

Just a story. I have a lot more....about the Olympics. :):)

agalisgv
07-16-2012, 12:15 AM
Cigs aren't smoked for religious reasons in Native communities (though tobacco is used frequently). Native guys say that sometimes to make their tobacco habit seem better than it is, but also as a line to come onto non-Indian women (sorry).

The dude who attacked you was a misogynist skirt-chaser who used his race/ethnicity to score. Nothing religious or traditional about it (and I'm sorry it happened to you). Sadly, he's not unique, and I have only contempt for such folk.

Dude who smoked in my car was just being an ass (he broke my car radio too and was drinking while driving--car smelled of beer as well). Sometimes it is what it is unfortunately.

Japanfan
07-16-2012, 12:46 AM
For Japanfan, I think the whole idea of rankings is part of the problem. Generally when people are confronted with changing personal behaviors, a common retort is, "Well, is this really *that* important in the big scheme of things? Shouldn't we be more focused on ending global poverty/saving the environment/eliminating wars etc? Don't those rank higher on the importance scale than, say, eating donuts or smoking?"


It's important insofar as the reaction to thing may be disproportionate and a sense of fair proportion is important when people are assessing harms and social issues. Especially with harms.



nothing would ever get done regarding smoking. That's why I say those are really diversionary tactics rather than serious debate points.


But things are continually and increasingly be done to further restrict smoking.




People can care about multiple issues simultaneously and work on them as opportunity and time/resources allow.


I never said they couldn't.




The issue isn't about rankings because issues are interrelated and subjectively assessed. The question is whether smoking is a harmful thing, and whether efforts to curb smoking are beneficial. If they are, then those efforts should be supported. And give people credit that they can support smoking cessation while also being concerned with other issues.


Again, it comes back to proportion. IMO some people's reaction to smoking is over the top and disproportionate.

Early in this thread someone posted about the health harms of fructose in diet syrup. According to that research, it can be considerable. If true, fructose is probably more of a danger to kids than second hand tobacco. But I'll bet that few people come down of parents who feed their kids fructose the way that they do on smokers.

As I said, it is convenient and trendy to pick on smokers.

agalisgv
07-16-2012, 12:56 AM
But things are continually and increasingly be done to further restrict smoking. Do you oppose that?

If that is what it takes to bring down smoking rates, would you not support that? And if not, why not? To me, that is the crux of the issue.