Social Question

Aster's avatar

Why do people not quit smoking no matter how expensive cigarettes become?

Asked by Aster (20021points) January 10th, 2015

My daughter knows many single men who live a hand to mouth and even dumpster diving existence who smoke constantly. I know it’s supposed to be extremely hard to quit but with the hundreds of dollars saved per month wouldn’t you think they would just force themselves to quit so they could at least eat decently? If they become fifteen dollars per pack I wonder if that will provide an initiative?

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86 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Nope. Money is no object when it comes to addiction.

Money does keep people from starting the habit, and is a motivator for people to try quitting, but the addiction is stronger than the money in many instances.

ibstubro's avatar

Smoking is a comfortable, enjoyable habit that physically and mentally satisfies you in a way that hardly anything else can. It’s like your blankie, in a way.

I gave my blankie smoking up 15 years ago because it was the grown-up thing to do. Do or die, so to speak.

My personal opinion? Push to make it punishable by law, or STFU. Increasing the price of unpopular habits is a ‘sin tax’, and just another way to discriminate.

I started smoking at 19, I smoked for 19 years, and I quit 15 years ago. I’m a staunch supporter of smokers rights, and I live with an indoor smoker.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

It’s an addiction, the same reason people can’t give up illegal drugs they are addicted to them and price or the law makes no difference,you will steal, lie, cheat, or do whatever means you have to to feed your addiction.
Sorta like the same thing with Rep/cons and their money.

Pachy's avatar

They’re hooked and don’t have enough willpower to break this horrible habit. By the way, I quit smoking cold turkey 42 years ago and never went back.

Aster's avatar

My dad was a tough old dude. He quit after picking it up in the Army and would come home from work and go straight to bed. And this was in the 1950’s!
I smoked briefly, very briefly, at various times of my life and yes; found them to be like a soft, warm blankie and friend to keep you company. The last carton I bought , in 1987, held off brand packs at , I think, less than $2 a pack.

ragingloli's avatar

It is an addiction. Addicts will do anything for a buzz.
I have seen it. It could be -20 degrees outside, and they will still go out to smoke.

jca's avatar

I never smoked. What I don’t understand is when kids smoke to look cool. They don’t realize they look like idiots. I also don’t understand people taking such great pains to smell good – take a shower, use nice soap and shampoo, put on deodorant and cologne and then smell like smoke.

ibstubro's avatar

I, too, swore that I would only smoke name brand and that I would never pay $2 for a pack of cigarettes. When they added a 50¢ tax, my friends smirkingly asked, Now what are you gonna do?” I replied, “Qiut!”, and did.

I can be very contrary and a Dr. telling me I had to quit would be a red flag. Better to stop on my own.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

They’re addicted. They have to really want to give up to be able to break that addition. Regardless of how much the cigarettes cost.

Mimishu1995's avatar

The same reason why people use drugs even though some are expensive.

cazzie's avatar

My son’s father will use his last money on tobacco products and then ‘borrow’ money from me so he has food on the weekend he has visitation, but he has always been an extreme case of poor money management. His pathetic addiction is just one in a pile of his problems.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Why do people continue to take illegal drugs even when they know it’s bad for them?

Why do alcoholics continue to drink even after it ruins their lives?

Because they’re addicted. Logic doesn’t have anything to do with it.

I’ve never put myself in a position that would result in getting addicted to anything, so I admittedly have little empathy for addicts (including my husband, who has been “trying to quit” dipping for years), but there’s no denying that it’s extremely difficult to quit using these substances once you’re hooked on them. In most cases, it’s a physical and mental addiction.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

As a former smoker…very former, I can tell you that nicfits suck and that curbing the nicfit is enjoyable. Nicotine is very addictive, less consequential than the “hard stuff” and is relatively cheap. When you “need” one most smokers would pay five bucks a piece if it was their only option. While it’s hard to quit I did it cold turkey, it just takes willpower and “faith” that the withdrawal will eventually stop.

When you are destitute the simple pleasures dominate and smoking is one of them for many people. Smoking is very enjoyable but not in any way worth the health consequences.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I want what I want. Cost is irrelevant.

If all you can see is the monetary cost then there is no way I can make you understand.

Also. There is no way in hell I am going to let the state get away with misusing taxation powers in an attempt to manipulate it’s subject’s behavior.

Hooray! Another thinly veiled smoker bashing thread!

All you holier-than-thou quitters:

STFU. Nobody likes a braggart.

ragingloli's avatar

Nobody likes addicts in denial either, druggy.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Go ahead and continue digging your early grave. Thinking it’s stupid to do something that is proven to be harmful to oneself isn’t “bashing,” it’s a fact. That obviously doesn’t mean you can’t continue to do so. Just don’t expect non-addicts to understand it. Fortunately, it’s inconsequential to me how long you live, so I don’t have to worry about it. Smoke up!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Excuses, excuses. You know damn well you should quit. Just STFU and do it. :)

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Go cough a lung up all on your own. Just don’t use the local hospital, hospice, ER, Doctor’s office, Medicaid, Medicare or other insurance that bases its rates on collective health rather than individuals.

Health care only for those willing to take care of themselves.

gailcalled's avatar

@SecondHandStoke: Smoking makes you more charming, I see.

jca's avatar

@SecondHandStoke: I’m proud to say I’m not a “holier than thou quitter.” I never smoked – disgusting, smells disgusting, bad breath, smelly clothes, smelly hair, smelly house, smelly car. To even hold a cigarette for 10 seconds as a favor to a smoker makes hands stink. And now at $10 per pack, I’m glad I never got into that.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@jca $10 a pack?! It’s been awhile, but the last time I bought cigarettes for my parents they were $5 a pack for Marlboros. Still way more than I’d ever pay, but $10? Wow.

As for the smell, I hear you. I walk into my mom’s house for 10 minutes and my clothes and hair reek of cigarette smoke. My husband can’t stand going over there because of it. And my niece has to go to school smelling like that, which is sad.

Speaking of kids, I say it should be illegal to smoke in a house or car with a child in it. Just because you’re stupid enough to smoke doesn’t mean your kids should be affected by it.

jca's avatar

@livelaughlove21: Taxes on cigarettes in NYS and CT are very high. Around here, $10 per pack is the norm. I see that and I am very thankful that I don’t smoke.

ibstubro's avatar

Wow, a dollar a nail.

jca's avatar

20 cigarettes per pack, yes? 50 cents per each, then, yes, @ibstubro? Is that what you meant?

ibstubro's avatar

Ah. It has been a long time, @jca. Thanks.
Impossible to Imaging me paying $70 a week to smoke. Per month!

To answer the OP more directly: I did and they do quit over price.

cheebdragon's avatar

The world may be a safer place because of smokers, God knows how many lives have been saved because someone decided to smoke a cigarette instead of murdering some dumb motherfucker.
just kidding…..but seriously.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

In the interest of quality debate:

Show proof that my interest in smoking is purely the result of addiction.

Prove that I smoke for no other reason than because I have a chemical or other dependency on the activity.

I get it. You are disgusted by those that choose to smoke because the indulgence of smoking falls outside of your particular spectrum of personal taste.

We see this sort of thing all the time. People naturally fear that which they do not understand. The next predictable step is for the misunderstood to be demonized. The step that follows is to stupidly attempt to ban that which is not widely understood for the “benefit of all.”

Here. Today. Is your opportunity to truly think globally, in other words, to open your mind and consider EVERYONE, not merely those that seem to behave and THINK like yourselves.

Trust me, no one is impressed with your bewilderment by those that know activities that you do not.

Lighten the fuck up. For the benefit of all.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@zenvelo

Take care of myself?

I know my body.

I know my body very well.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@ragingloli Sees the smoker enduring inhospitable environments as proof that smoking is purely the result of addiction.

Guess what Poptart. Smokers never asked to be ostracized to the fringes.

Denial loli?

I cannot and won’t deny that the quality cigarettes is smoke are delicious and gratifying to enjoy.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Ain’t marijuana great?

Smoking it should be required by law.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

What if in the interest of keeping this thread sane, credible and quality debate worthy I declare that all non, former and even anti-smokers are the good people?

Would we all be able to set our attitudes aside and have a legitimate debate here?

Am I the only one that has not forgotten that this thread is about the financial cost of smoking and it’s effect (or lack thereof) on smoker’s habits?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me

I should quit.

LOL, because you said so?

livelaughlove21's avatar

“Lighten the fuck up.”

If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

“I declare that all non, former and even anti-smokers are the good people?”

Yep, that’s exactly what we’re saying.

Your belligerence is doing you no favors, sir.

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke I really don’t give a shit if you smoke or not, it’s your choice. Just don’t drive up my health care costs, and don’t pollute the air I breathe. That includes the off-gassing from your clothes when you come back in a building after having a cigarette outside.

Oh, and pick up all those cigarette butts and keep them out of the landfill.

ibstubro's avatar

Off-gassing.
The shit coming out of a long-time smoker’s lungs immediately following a cig is enough to, literally, make your eyes water. Take a couple deep breaths of fresh air after you put that butt out!

jca's avatar

@zenvelo: Good point about us all paying with higher health care costs. My good friends hubby just died from oral cancer. Surgery, resulting hospitalization and two subsequent hospitalizations for pneumonia (from not being able to swallow properly due to the tongue they had to reconstruct after cutting his out), medications, oxygen, etc. is an example of what smoking does to insurance costs.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Interesting:

So now Fluther is suddenly up in arms over the cost of healthcare.

Are these the same people that dropped their pants and bent over deep for the so called Affordable Care Act?

My chosen indulgence has not cost the taxpayer one single thin dime.

Try again.

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Great! Thanks for passing on Medicare and self insuring your health care costs!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@SecondHandStoke You should quit because it’s fucking killing you.

cheebdragon's avatar

The list of things that are killing people is pretty fucking long.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@cheebdragon Would you rather we didn’t know what was killing us?

cheebdragon's avatar

caffeine is killing you, yet Starbucks continues to make millions daily. Knowing doesn’t change much.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me

If anything is killing me it is the negativity of the Internet.

@cheebdragon

Very good point. Caffeine blocks mental sensors that naturally indicate when a person should let go for the day because they are tired.

Screw that. People should be blinded to such messages and run themselves aground, day after day after day…

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Programming note:

This is all soooo fun!

Think about it for a moment:

Just how much Lurve would YOU sacrifice for a rare Fluther good time?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Ok you have a right to smoke go ahead, but as a non-smoker I have just as much of a right not to smoke,and when smokers don’t go way off by themselves we non -smokers are being forced to smoke and that violates our rights.

jca's avatar

I think the harm done to the human body by a cup of coffee is minimal compared to the harm done by a cigarette. The average coffee drinker may drink one to several cups per day, whereas the average smoker is likely to smoke every few hours, all day long, at minimum.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@SQUEEKY2

Your right “not to smoke” is not an issue in this thread.

ibstubro's avatar

People’s right “not to smoke” is part of the issue, @SecondHandStoke.

The law is being interpreted to mean that non-smokers should be provided a smoke free environment anywhere but in a private residence.

I personally find that alarming. So a smoker can own a building and operate a business there. Pay taxes, insurance, maintenance and upkeep, but is not allowed to smoke there? I’m all for standardized signage designating the smoking status of a building. Perhaps permits, like alcohol, that carry a fee and are enforced. But it’s bullshit that you could bear the entire expense of a building, and not be allowed be prohibited by law to smoke there as a convenience to non-smokers.

ibstubro's avatar

Next a law that the doors to fast food restaurants can be no more than 30 inches wide?

jca's avatar

@ibstubro makes a good point.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@cheebdragon Coffee in moderate (normal) amounts has been shown to have many health benefits. No, it’s not killing you unless you drink it all day long and are chronically dehydrated. The same cannot be said for cigarettes.

@SecondHandStoke I have zero doubt that you will regret smoking eventually if you don’t quit. Zero. You should also realize that nicotine is a stimulant just like caffeine.

@ibstubro If I owned a business and wanted to smoke big ass cigars all day, I agree. That should be my business. If you don’t like it then GTFO.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “If I owned a business and wanted to smoke big ass cigars all day, I agree. That should be my business. If you don’t like it then GTFO. ”

Absolutely. As long as you have no employees, no maintenance workers, and no customers in said building, go nuts.

ibstubro's avatar

Nope. That’s against the law, @dappled_leaves.

The local tobacconist went out of business when he nor his customers were allowed to smoke in his shop. Literally a one man operation, but he had to have customers.

Why not prohibit peanuts and tree nuts in public places? Milk? Soy? Shellfish? Of course, if one of those kill you, it’s sure to be a painful, public spectacle.

Legislate personal responsibility into acceptable limits. Pass laws that regulate food portion size and set limits on percentages of refined sugar, fat, MSG, cholesterol, etc, etc. that can be allowed per portion in a public place.

You know what? While we’re at it, if granny’s odds aren’t better than, say, 70–30, let’s refuse her treatment at a facility that’s open to the public.

Hell, this is America. We have a Congress that probably wouldn’t be adverse to repealing the Civil Rights Act. After all, all their clubs are already private! The majority still has the God Given right to keep their foot on the throat of the minority. Right?!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@ibstubro By your logic, the building owner’s rights trump the rights of his workers and customers. This isn’t just about one person’s rights – it never is.

Americans love to talk about the freedom to do certain things, but they don’t like being reminded that sometimes others want freedom from those things. One type of freedom is not inherently more important than the other – they must be weighed against each other.

zenvelo's avatar

@ibstubro well, 50% of Medicare costs are because of 5% of the patients, with most of that coming in the last month. Maybe if we were a little bit less spendthrifty on people who aren’t going home we could control medical costs in this country.

cheebdragon's avatar

“Dyskinesia and impulsivity in Parkinson disease, cognitive defects in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and now attention and memory in mild cognitive impairment (MCI): the list of reported neurological benefits just keeps growing in animal and human studies of nicotine.”—-source

dappled_leaves's avatar

@cheebdragon How is that relevant? It’s not the nicotine that gives a smoker cancer.

ibstubro's avatar

In case you missed it, @dappled_leaves:

Nope. That’s against the law, @dappled_leaves.

The local tobacconist went out of business when he nor his customers were allowed to smoke in his shop. Literally a one man operation, but he had to have customers.

Why not prohibit peanuts and tree nuts in public places? Milk? Soy? Shellfish? Of course, if one of those kill you, it’s sure to be a painful, public spectacle.

Legislate personal responsibility into acceptable limits. Pass laws that regulate food portion size and set limits on percentages of refined sugar, fat, MSG, cholesterol, etc, etc. that can be allowed per portion in a public place.

You know what? While we’re at it, if granny’s odds aren’t better than, say, 70–30, let’s refuse her treatment at a facility that’s open to the public.

Hell, this is America. We have a Congress that probably wouldn’t be adverse to repealing the Civil Rights Act. After all, all their clubs are already private! The majority still has the God Given right to keep their foot on the throat of the minority. Right?!

dappled_leaves's avatar

In case you missed it, @ibstubro:

@ibstubro By your logic, the building owner’s rights trump the rights of his workers and customers. This isn’t just about one person’s rights – it never is.

Americans love to talk about the freedom to do certain things, but they don’t like being reminded that sometimes others want freedom from those things. One type of freedom is not inherently more important than the other – they must be weighed against each other.

ibstubro's avatar

In case you missed it again, @dappled_leaves:

“Absolutely. As long as you have no employees, no maintenance workers, and no customers in said building, go nuts.”

“Going nuts” is against the law, in my state of business.

Why would a non-smoker wish to visit a tobacco shop?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@ibstubro “Go nuts” means “Do whatever you want”.

Tobacco shops are not the only kinds of businesses that smokers can own.

ibstubro's avatar

I cannot “Do whatever I want”, @dappled_leaves. I wholly own a business in the state of Illinois and I can not allow smoking within 15 feet of an opening.

If I clearly and boldly designate my facility as “Smoking”, even purchase a license, how is that a problem?

There was a local truck stop restaurant that had gone to the trouble and expense of building two entirely separate rooms with two entirely separate air handling systems that was forced by law to go non-smoking. Justify that?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@ibstubro I honestly don’t understand what you are trying to say 75% of the time. I wish you would speak more directly. That being said, I think my not speaking directly here is the reason you haven’t understood what I meant. I thought that it was obvious that I was being facetious, but I guess it wasn’t. Here it is:

If you own a business, and you are a smoker, and you would like to encourage people to smoke in your establishment, then that policy presents a health risk to everyone who works for you, and everyone who enters your establishment to do business.

Example: Consider the job of a bartender. If smoking cannot be banned in bars, then every bartender and every waitress must be exposed to carcinogenic smoke while on the job. This is unfair to all bartenders and waitresses, who have no control over their environment. Same goes for all of the customers in that bar.

The point of my post here is this: You are touting the rights of the proprietor of the bar. I am touting the rights of the bartenders, the waitresses, and the clients. Neither of us is automatically, inherently right. The rights of those on each side must be weighed, and a law made that will presumably do the most good, while doing the least harm. Both sides cannot have the freedom to do what they want. That is how you end up with laws that ban smoking.

I’m not sure why this is difficult to comprehend.

Response moderated (Obscene)
jca's avatar

I took what @ibstubro to mean as this: If he had a business that nobody went to, for example a CPA who did all work via fax, phone, computer or mail, and he was in a building by himself (a building he owned and maintained, but it was not zoned “Residential”), why could he not be allowed to smoke in the building? Granted, businesses of this type are few and far between, but to me, he had a good point.

ibstubro's avatar

I think a permit based system would be much more fair, @jca, as in alcohol. Minors prohibited and periodic, random, checks.

Prohibition was a fiasco, so the U.S. is trying to do an end-run around smoker’s rights. Make it increasingly uncomfortable. Ostracize them.

Well, you know what? The same tactic can be used against any other unpopular habit or behavior. I say, pass a law to ban smoking, or pass laws that afford smokers the same rights as other minorities, with provisions to accommodate the majority.

Re-cap. I started smoking at 19, smoked for 19 years, and quit smoking aroud 15 years ago.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jca “Granted, businesses of this type are few and far between”

But this is my point – they are not few and far between, they are nonexistent. Anyone who runs a business without being in contact with other humans does it from the comfort of their own home office, where they can smoke. It’s the infliction of smoke on others that warrants the ban.

ibstubro's avatar

Oh, and I’m told ”off-gassing” is permissible in Illinois.
You can smoke as long as you’re not open for business.

And for the record, I’m all for smoke-free public/government buildings and chain stores/restaurants. I think the mom-and-pops should be allowed to conduct their business as they see fit, within the law. Smoking after you reach a certain age is legal.

ibstubro's avatar

I believe I was told the open/closed information incorrectly. Didn’t ring true, so I called the law up and read it. I see no mention of whether the business is open or closed.
Interesting that they exempted veteran’s homes and gave nursing homes the option.
But NOT “private clubs’. WTH?

trailsillustrated's avatar

oh my goodness all the judgey mcjudgersons! I smoke, I can afford it, 21$ a packet!! I’m not an arsehole smoker and don’t do it around others. ehhhhhhhh

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Judge HARDER Fluther…

cheebdragon's avatar

Everyone is so concerned about the choices made by other people.
You don’t understand why people still smoke or you don’t understand why people do something so bad for their health….I don’t understand why people think they need to know everything. Life is full of mysteries, just fucking let it go.

ibstubro's avatar

Exactly, @cheebdragon.

Why is it that so few people will recognize a middle ground today?

Silly Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s not unreasonable to judge smoking as a bad behavior. It’s not unreasonable to judge overeating, alcoholism or drug use either. What makes people take it personally is the difference.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Look I could give a shit if you smoke, I don’t want to smoke and if you smoke close to me then you are forcing me to smoke, that is the only reason I am concerned.

cheebdragon's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me (long username by the way) Would you tell a stranger they should quit drinking alcohol or stop eating so much? Probably not, why? Because it’s kinda fucking rude.

ibstubro's avatar

Not an apt analogy, @cheebdragon.

“Would you visit an establishment that included carcinogenic bacon in everything from appetizer to aperitif?” is closer.

If someone was smearing food on me or pouring alcohol on my, of course I would take action to make them stop. Forcing me to ingest something against my will.

But that doesn’t mean an alcoholic is prohibited from having a bar or an obese person a fast food restaurant.

cheebdragon's avatar

@ibstubro If someone is smoking near you, move or ask them to move, not a big deal. I was talking about the people who insist on telling people “you should quit smoking, it’s bad for you”, what the fuck is the point of that? No one is going to quit because some random fuck told them to.

ibstubro's avatar

I live with an indoor smoker, @cheebdragon. Yeah, it’s bad for me. My choice.

And I disagree with you that personal testimony is worthless. I recently saw a young man sitting in his car smoking outside the religious-based thrift he works at. I said to him, “I’m not giving you grief, but the younger you are when you quit smoking, the easier it is. I started when I was 19 and I smoked for 19 years. I’m 53 now. If I’d waited until the Dr. told me I had to quit, I’m obstinate enough that it would have killed me.”

And I was not giving him shit. I don’t care if he smokes, personally, but I wanted him to know that when he chooses to quit, it’s just uncomfortable, not undoable.

ragingloli's avatar

I think it would be reasonable to just deny any cancer treatment to smokers.

cazzie's avatar

If your smoking didn’t stink, stain walls, sting my eyes and throat and make me cough, I wouldn’t mind if you smoked next to me, but it does, so take it somewhere else.

I live in a country where we all share in the health costs, so things deemed unhealthy are taxed a bit higher (they are talking about a sugar tax next) to help cover the health related expenses said unhealthy-thing is deemed to cause.

I saw my mother grieve for her own death for over a year before it happened. She went one round of chemo and it gave her another year. She valued her sobriety, so refused the oxycotin for the pain. We cried together and she lamented ever taking up smoking. She showed me her scars from where they had to fix arterial blockages. She knew smoking was killing her, but she felt powerless because she was addicted.

cheebdragon's avatar

@ibstubro Go back and ask if he quit because of what you told him.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t give a fuck if he quit, @cheebdragon, and getting him to quit was not my goal.

Every smoker knows that they are going to either die prematurely of unrelated causes, or they are going to reach a point where they are told, “Quit or die.” My hope was that if he should choose to give up a filthy dirty habit that endangers the health of himself and those around him while at the same time eroding his finances, that he might take a little encouragement from my personal testimonial.

Although, I’m sure that he was ecstatic to be sitting alone in his shitty car in the freezing cold taking a break from his minimum wage job with a 50¢ cigarette for comfort.

Honestly, your attitude would make me vote for increased smoking bans faster that a dozen ex-smokers screaming in my face. I live with a smoker. I know what a dirty, smelly, ashtray-mouth disgusting habit it is. I know that the last exhale from your lungs when you finish a cigarette smells like the ‘ashes-of-charred-flesh of a cold BBQ pit’. I know what it’s like to hear someone breath, 24/7. I know what it’s like to lose family members to throat and lung cancer.

Yet, I support your right to smoke. Unless, of course, you want to get in MY face about it, and then, ‘fuck you’, let’s just pass a law against it and be done. It’s no skin off my ass…I had the balls to quit 15+ years ago.

snowberry's avatar

My mother had a horrible disease that started when I was very small. Eventually she started smoking to SHORTEN her life. She was afraid of living as long as everyone else in her family line because doctors offered her no hope.

I grew up hearing the story of how she was committing suicide by smoking cigarettes. It was awesome. :(

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