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Science Forum

  1. 03 Aug '12 13:54 / 2 edits
    I think we should work towards a ban on smoking but not drinking.
    Science says smoking is a risk to health in any amount so, unlike with drinking alcohol, there is not such thing as “moderate healthy smoking” which is why I don't think it would be inconsistent to ban smoking but not drinking.
    Also, unless you are pregnant, there is not such think as “passive drinking”. But there is not only such thing as “passive smoking” but it is very common place and it is virtually impossible to have both smoking legal and police it to stop all passive smoking. Why should non-smokers pay the health price for smokers? That is clearly very unfair.

    Now, I have heard the argument that there was a time when they tried to ban alcohol and it just went on the black market so it would be foolish to ban tobacco because banning it would mean that too would mean it going on the black market. And yet the same people that argue this generally agree that crack should be banned! You can't have it both ways.
    Science says that certain illegal drags may be generally less dangerous to health than tobacco which IS legal! This surely makes the law totally logically inconsistent?

    What I propose is for tobacco smoking be banned not all at once but gradually and in stages designed to minimise the extent to which it goes onto the black market. We can at least start off by just banning all types of tobacco advertising and that includes colourful cigarette packets ( make them by law a standard rubbishy gloomy-looking dark grey colour perhaps with a picture a grey sick miserable extremely old looking man on it to make them look as unappealing as possible ) and all paper advertising posters. Next, we can just keep gradually increasing the tax on it so that fewer and fewer people can afford it and smokers generally buy less and smoke less. Next offer free nicotine patches to all smokers that want to quit and do everything possible to help them quit. Then finally set a date for when the sale of all tobacco products is to be banned and another date a ~month after that for the complete ban of tobacco smoking.


    Who agrees? disagrees?
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Aug '12 22:13
    Originally posted by humy
    I think we should work towards a ban on smoking but not drinking.
    Science says smoking is a risk to health in any amount so, unlike with drinking alcohol, there is not such thing as “moderate healthy smoking” which is why I don't think it would be inconsistent to ban smoking but not drinking.
    Also, unless you are pregnant, there is not such think as “p ...[text shortened]... date a ~month after that for the complete ban of tobacco smoking.


    Who agrees? disagrees?
    Would that proposal allow marijuana smoking, or make the penalties even worse?
  3. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    04 Aug '12 00:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by humy
    I think we should work towards a ban on smoking but not drinking.
    Science says smoking is a risk to health in any amount so, unlike with drinking alcohol, there is not such thing as “moderate healthy smoking” which is why I don't think it would be inconsistent to ban smoking but not drinking.
    Also, unless you are pregnant, there is not such think as “p date a ~month after that for the complete ban of tobacco smoking.


    Who agrees? disagrees?
    I propose removing all bans on the smoking of any plant that grows naturally on this planet, at least at home or at places designated for the purpose.

    However, I do agree that smoking should not be allowed in public places where it will inevitably subject others to the smoke. I also think that most prohibitions against drinking in public should be removed.
  4. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    04 Aug '12 03:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by humy
    What I propose is for tobacco smoking be banned not all at once but gradually and in stages designed to minimise the extent to which it goes onto the black market. We can at least start off by just banning all types of tobacco advertising and that includes colourful cigarette packets ( make them by law a standard rubbishy gloomy-looking dark grey colour perhaps ...[text shortened]... er date a ~month after that for the complete ban of tobacco smoking.


    Who agrees? disagrees?
    Australia is following exactly the path that you're suggesting - we've got to the ** point. So far:

    Smoking has become an uncool thing to do and the young are not taking it up nearly as enthusiastically as they used to.
    The beleaguered tobacco industry has taken the govt to court to try to get the plain packaging thing reversed, on the grounds of "denial of free speech" or somesuch. They're throwing a lot of dollars into the legal challenge, don't know how far they'll get.
    You virtually can't smoke anywhere except in your own home - even your car is prohibited if there are other people in it apart from the driver.
    Most smokers won't smoke in their own homes, they go out into the backyard.
    Nicotine patches are free only if you're poor, as most of the smokers are nowadays. The middle class wouldn't be seen doing it in public.
    A cigarette costs close to $1, and a large amount of it is spent directly on anti-tobacco advertising and the treatment of smoking-related diseases, rather than putting it into general revenue where the benefits might not be so obvious.

    Now, if they could figure out how to do it with binge-drinking, which is becoming a huge problem here, we'd all be happy. Unfortunately, the laws prohibiting drinking in public places were removed long ago.
  5. 04 Aug '12 07:41
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Would that proposal allow marijuana smoking, or make the penalties even worse?
    I would guess neither.
  6. 04 Aug '12 07:47
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    I propose removing all bans on the smoking of any plant that grows naturally on this planet, at least at home or at places designated for the purpose.

    However, I do agree that smoking should not be allowed in public places where it will inevitably subject others to the smoke. I also think that most prohibitions against drinking in public should be removed.
    I do agree that smoking should not be allowed in public places where it will inevitably subject others to the smoke.

    well, I agree that would be a very good start. But what about parents smoking at their private homes in front of their children thus making their children passively smoke and damage their health?
    How else can that problem be prevented other than a complete smoking ban even in none-public places?
  7. 04 Aug '12 08:01 / 11 edits
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    Australia is following exactly the path that you're suggesting - we've got to the ** point. So far:

    Smoking has become an uncool thing to do and the young are not taking it up nearly as enthusiastically as they used to.
    The beleaguered tobacco industry has taken the govt to court to try to get the plain packaging thing reversed, on the grounds of "deni Unfortunately, the laws prohibiting drinking in public places were removed long ago.
    Sounds that they have on the whole got the right attitude in Australia about it.
    Pity the same doesn't generally appear to be true for us Brits at least judging by the general attitude I have personally seen here ( but maybe I have just encountered by coincidence the most stupid Brits and most are not like that? ) . I have often heard people complaining here about the “right” to smoke being violated - “...what about SMOKER'S rights! ...” or vaguely similar words. A person's ( moral ) 'right' is subjective. What really counts is the known effect ( harmful or otherwise ) of our behaviour.
  8. 04 Aug '12 10:42
    Originally posted by humy
    Who agrees? disagrees?
    Many countries already heavily discourage smoking. Interestingly enough some third world nations are far ahead of first world nations. When I was growing up in Zambia, the advertising of both tobacco and alcohol on tv or newspapers was banned.

    I disagree with you that alcohol should be given different treatment. It is just as dangerous if not more so, partly because of the fact that its effects tend to be deliberately overlooked whereas everyone knows and admits the effects of smoking.

    I am less sure about the subject of banning as I am not decided on the subject of decriminalizing drugs in general. The proportion of people who smoke is so high that:
    1. An outright ban would not even be possible in most countries (too many decision makers smoke it or sell it).
    2. The illegal trade would flourish (as already happens in countries with nothing more than taxes on tobacco.)
    3. The people often punished the most are the addicts who are supposedly the people you are trying to help in the first place.
  9. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    04 Aug '12 16:26
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    I propose removing all bans on the smoking of any plant that grows naturally on this planet, at least at home or at places designated for the purpose.

    However, I do agree that smoking should not be allowed in public places where it will inevitably subject others to the smoke. I also think that most prohibitions against drinking in public should be removed.
    You could argue that the marijuana that is grown today for the purposes of smoking it does not "grow naturally on this planet", since it has been bred and cross-bred specifically to make it as strong as possible.

    The same it true for lots of plants that are grown for their chemical components. What we have that "grows naturally" is not good enough, so it is genetically modified or cross-bred in order to increase potency.
  10. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    04 Aug '12 16:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Interestingly enough some third world nations are far ahead of first world nations. When I was growing up in Zambia, the advertising of both tobacco and alcohol on tv or newspapers was banned.
    Interesting. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a cigarette advertisement in the U.S. Maybe on a highway billboard that I don't remember.
  11. 04 Aug '12 20:37
    "Science" doesn't say governments should be condescending.
  12. 05 Aug '12 16:59 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Would that proposal allow marijuana smoking, or make the penalties even worse?
    Oh no, it looks like you just lost some support.

    I think this just goes to show that we tend to ban harmful things we don't like and keep those we do. For example, in San Fran they banned Happy Meals. After all, they are not that good for you, there is no arguement that it is good for you, so they banned it. However, gay males account for over half of the AIDS cases in the US even though they are only about 5% of the population, yet there are no calls in San Fran about banning gay sex.
  13. 05 Aug '12 17:17
    Originally posted by whodey
    After all, they are not that good for you, there is no arguement that it is good for you, so they banned it. However, gay males account for over half of the AIDS cases in the US even though they are only about 5% of the population, yet there are no calls in San Fran about banning gay sex.
    Why the anti-gay bias? Why didn't you simply point out that STDs are a significant risk when having sex and suggest banning sex outright? I would think that over 99% of those with AIDS world-wide contracted it sexually. Its certainly the case in Zambia.
  14. 05 Aug '12 18:12
    Originally posted by whodey
    Oh no, it looks like you just lost some support.

    I think this just goes to show that we tend to ban harmful things we don't like and keep those we do. For example, in San Fran they banned Happy Meals. After all, they are not that good for you, there is no arguement that it is good for you, so they banned it. However, gay males account for over half ...[text shortened]... are only about 5% of the population, yet there are no calls in San Fran about banning gay sex.
    yet there are no calls in San Fran about banning gay sex.

    good, because it means people there are not that stupid.
    If it wasn't for the unsolvable problem of how to police it, it would at least make a bit more sense to call for banning unsafe gay sex rather that just simply banning gay sex. Would 'gay sex' include lesbian sex?
  15. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    05 Aug '12 18:41
    Oh yay, let the trolling begin