General Question

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Should the state require that car manufacturers place images of gruesome, fatal accidents on their product's bodywork?

Asked by SecondHandStoke (9502points) May 21st, 2016

As posted.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

That is a great idea.
I would be all for it.

I would go one step further: replace the horn sound with the scream of a group of small children being crushed by a car.

jca's avatar

No, because what says the other driver wasn’t at fault?

elbanditoroso's avatar

No. Smoking is known to cause death in 100% of cases, and is a voluntary personal function.

Driving seldom causes death, accidents are not always under control or fault of the driver, and are certainly not the fault (except in a very few cases) of the car company.

Your comparison is a false one. Nice try, though.

zenvelo's avatar

Better to have them auto display for 15 seconds every time a text app is opened when the phone is moving more than 5m.p.h

ucme's avatar

Yeah i’m afraid it’s a bullshit comparison, tons of people are killed by cars but those are a result of driver error or fucking plain stupidity in the case of drunk drivers.
Smoking kills, you’re fucked whichever way you call it

ibstubro's avatar

Life is known to cause death in 100% of cases, BTW.
Life kills, you’re fucked whichever way you call it.

That said, I think automobiles is a bit of a stretch. Alcohol would be an obvious comparison, although not a popular one.

ucme's avatar

Smoking reduces your life & you stink whichever way you call it

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Life kills, you’re fucked whichever way you call it.

A stupid argument.

You might as well say there’s no reason to take care of your teeth, because we all die, ignoring how miserable losing your teeth would make your life.

Or educating your kids is a waste of time, because they’ll die just like the educated people.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Regarding the cars – in the US there is about 1 automobile crash death for every 100,000,000 miles traveled.

32,000 total motor vehicle crash deaths per year.

130,000 die of lung cancer, and 80 or 90 percent are smokers.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@elbanditoroso “No. Smoking is known to cause death in 100% of cases”

Really? Every single person who’s smoked a cigarette has died from it?

imrainmaker's avatar

Man..looks like you are too much devoted to its a deity. It’s really upto you how to live your life but that doesn’t mean others have to agree with you. What is bad is bad. You can enjoy drugs too more than cigars..does that make it good? No way..right? Same thing with smoking too.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Was that directed at me?

imrainmaker's avatar

Not at all..

Buttonstc's avatar

I like the suggestion posted by @zenvelo as the only one standing a chance of preventing anything.

Read it again. It makes a lot of sense.

Soubresaut's avatar

There’s also the perhaps smaller fact that car companies have spent decades improving the safety of their vehicles, redesigning aspects that prove to be insufficient/inadequate, informing customers of recalls when there have been dangerous manufacturing issues/mistakes, etc… By contrast, cigarette companies are notorious for denying the health effects of their products, for trying to market to children (to get people hooked on the nicotine sooner), etc. (And if you trust John Oliver as a source, all of this too).

Basically just as cars aren’t analogous to cigarettes, the business practices of car companies aren’t analogous with those of cigarette companies.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


It’s not about smoking. It’s about the ever increasing intrusion of government in people’s lives.

Berkshire, England completely fucked a couple I know by interfering two ways.

First, these pub owners were told smoking was no longer allowed in their establishment unless a separated smoking area was provided.

Second, since the building was declared one of historic significance it could not be modified.

Patronage understandably dwindled and they were forced to sell at a crushing loss. Their lives as they knew it, gone.

Smoking is an indulgence, a source of pleasure.

Deity? Individual sovereignty perhaps.

I guess freedom to choose is worth defending if it’s about your thing.

kritiper's avatar

By “state” I assume you meant government of country or federal government. No.

imrainmaker's avatar

Banning it in public places is to avoid effects of passive smoking for those who aren’t doing it. That’s their right too not to be affected by it, isn’t it? If you wanna do it in your own house who’s gonna stop you?

jca's avatar

If I go to an establishment or a public place and I don’t want to breathe smoke or smell like smoke, what are my rights?

kritiper's avatar

@jca You have the right to go somewhere else.

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke That is a well written defense of the Libertarian “my rights are more important than everyone else’s, even if society collectively recognizes you are harming me.”

ibstubro's avatar

“A stupid argument.” @Call_Me_Jay
I see you’ve taken the Dale Carnegie course in winning friends.

“Smoking is known to cause death in 100% of cases” is, IYO, smart? Accurate?
You might as well say quitting 17 years ago did me no good, because smoking is going to kill me anyway.

jca's avatar

@kritiper: One could say the same to the smoker.

kritiper's avatar

@jca That’s right But who says whose rights circumvent the other? No one has more right than anybody else, especially if the business management/staff allows the subject in question.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

But who says whose rights circumvent the other?

Commission vs. Omission

Your right to blow smoke in my face isn’t equal to my right to breathe clean air.

kritiper's avatar

@ Call Me Jay I have never seen anyone do that…
Most places I’ve been to are large enough to not have to sit that close to someone engaging in personally unacceptable practices.
And you could breath clean air somewhere else. No one is forcing you to stay.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

My not smoking isn’t disturbing anybody.

Go smoke at home. No one is forcing you to stay.

Soubresaut's avatar

And to be clear, smoke disturbing people isn’t simply those people not liking the smell. Secondhand smoke causes the same smoking-related illnesses that smoking does, because it’s inhalation of the same chemicals. Sure, not 100% death. People can die from other causes before the smoke affects their lungs too much. But smoking is the overwhelming cause of lung cancer and COPD, and it contributes to or exacerbates a whole host of other health issues (CDC).

When the action of a single person adversely affects the health/welfare of those around them, governments tend to step in… because that’s kind of their role. It’s the same principle behind making murder illegal (hey, if you don’t want to be shot, don’t come near me) or drunk driving illegal (hey, if you don’t want to be in a wreck, don’t drive where I’m driving).

And if you don’t think those are analogous examples, because a pub is a privately owned business that can make its own business decisions… a pub already can’t make any decision it wants. There are other requirements it must meet. Building codes, for example—because it’s reasonable for someone entering an establishment to believe that it won’t fall on their heads, or they won’t be inhaling asbestos (no matter how effective it is at the various things we used it for), etc. Health codes—because it’s reasonable for someone entering an establishment to believe that they won’t catch some sort of disease (whether acute, or from long term exposure), etc. It’s also reasonable for people to believe they won’t put themselves at risk for developing smoking-related diseases simply because they enter a pub (where the drug of interest is alcohol, not tobacco.)

Smoking may feel more individual than other activities that adversely affect the health of other citizens, but anyone who doesn’t smoke can assure you it’s not. We breathe it in too. If you enjoy smoking, great. Feel free to smoke on your own—but don’t pretend my not smoking in your proximity affects you in the same way that your smoking in my proximity affects me.

Anyway, smoking isn’t banned outright—it’s being banned in specific places where smoke will accumulate and linger long after the smoker leaves (because the smoke stays there. It’s not going anywhere fast.) You can stand a mere 10’ away from an entrance (or however far in England) and smoke—and really, at that point, you’re not going to be standing much closer to the door, because other patrons are going to be entering and you’d be blocking their way.

I can’t bring my dog into a cafe—which I’m bummed about. My dog can be everywhere at home and in my car (I even let him on the seats!), and it’s an inconvenience for me to have to leave him at home or leave him outside while I get some caffeine, and then I have to stay outside just to be with him… But I get it. Having dogs in a place where food is prepared and consumed is a health issue. I don’t just get to decide that I’m bringing him in anyway, and anyone who doesn’t like that can leave.

Buttonstc's avatar

Very well stated.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@Soubresaut says:

“Anyway, smoking isn’t banned outright—it’s being banned in specific places where smoke will accumulate and linger long after the smoker leaves.”

Sorry, anti smoking regulation is first and foremost designed to manipulate smoker behavior by inconveniencing the smoker, the more the better.

In, NYC it is legal to smoke on a public street, but recently it has been mandated that one may not smoke under an awning. Why is obvious. Hopefully, the smoker’s enjoyment will be hampered by being rained or snowed on.

Airports, rules about smoking within a certain distance of a public doorway. This is for the purpose of causing the smoker to be required to walk the furthest distance possible.

Nobody wants to think they are being manipulated, yet it happens constantly.

Perhaps smokers are just more attuned to the phenomenon.

Does smoke “accumulate” in the wide open spaces of Central Park? Obviously no.

A park twice the area of the Principality of Monaco and one can’t enjoy a cigarette there.


Soubresaut's avatar

Okay. There are a lot of different arguments going on here, so I’m going to spend some time trying to differentiate my perspectives on the ones I’m seeing….

Do I think telling car companies they must place images of horrendous accidents on their cars would be analogous to the cigarette packaging mandate? Still no, for the reason I offered above and the ones offered above that. Cars aren’t analogous to cigarettes, and car companies aren’t analogous to tobacco companies.

But do I agree with the cigarette packaging mandate? Probably not.

And I do think that if an adult wants to smoke, they should have the right to make that decision (so long as they don’t force me to inhale along with them, or insist that I have to evacuate a premises because they want to imbue the air with carcinogens, tar, addictive substances, and other various toxins… but more on that in a bit). Still, tobacco companies have such aggressive and misleading marketing strategies (and often times blatantly incorrect claims) designed specifically to get people hooked without much regard to the health consequences of the products they’re pushing on those people, that I can sympathize somewhat with a regulation trying to mitigate their persuasive, pervasive influence… But as for how much regulation the government should enact, that’s a matter of discussion. The images seem, to me, to fall under the category of mandated labelling, which is not a new thing, and which on the whole is a form of “government intrusion” that I think is quite a good thing. It’s sort of the only reason we have factual ingredient information on foods and drugs; it’s sort of the only reason we have factual labelling about health effects on drugs or other materials with potentially dangerous effects; etc… that said, the images taking up all the marketing space does seem like a heavy handed way of going about it. Other products—granted, many don’t have as many or as rampant health effects as cigarettes—other products are allowed be decorated with idealized and misleading packaging (the idyllic farms painted onto meat packages, the obscuring of ingredients in complex chemical terms, the fairly meaningless claims of “clinically tested,” etc.). Cigarettes may be some of the more harmful products, and tobacco companies may be some of the most notable misleaders, but I don’t know that they should be automatically bumped into a new category of required labelling. A text box of “side effects” or “warnings” (like with other products) seems like it should be enough. (It would be a long list.)

On the laws prohibiting smoking in certain outdoor locations:

The bans are not in order to inconvenience smokers, and I don’t think such an argument can really hold up; smokers’ inconvenience may be a side effect, and a few people may even think that’s a good thing (I’m not one of them), but it’s not the main reason.

NYC is congested with people—which means everyone is closer, which means there is less space between smokers for the smoke to clear out. It really does begin to accumulate in the space. Additionally, you’ve got the cityscape. The buildings basically become walls trapping in the air. I’ve been to NYC twice, both times before the no-public-places-ban. Both times, walking outside basically meant inhaling smoke until enough of a breeze managed to sneak through the city to give me a little reprieve, or I got to my destination. I know it doesn’t seem that strong to someone who smokes—but to everyone who doesn’t, it does.

Also, when I looked up the law, this is what I found:
“The law, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed in February after it was passed by the New York City Council, will make smoking illegal in New York City’s 1,700 parks and on the city’s 14 miles of public beaches. Smoking will also be prohibited in pedestrian plazas like Times Square.
The ban is designed to help curb exposure to secondhand smoke as well as reduce litter.” (source)

So it’s not really banned on all public streets—it’s banned in public places that people gather and remain for an extended period of time. This seems fair, and seems in line with the legitimate reasons for prohibiting smoking in many other public settings.

Central Park… phrasing the issue as “one can’t enjoy a cigarette there” is a bit misleading in the way it uses a single third person pronoun to represent smokers (plural). It’s not about a single person smoking, and it’s just not true that everyone-plus-the-government is trying to inconvenience one into stopping. It’s about the accumulative effect that many people smoking in the park have on the others there. Sorry, but it really is the same effect as people smoking in a pub: People are at risk of breathing in secondhand smoke anywhere there are smokers. Secondhand smoke can also travel about 20 feet in every direction and may stay around for hours. As someone whose apartment window is currently about 35 feet from a smoking bench, and who is frequently several stories above other smoker locations, I say that 20’ is modest. One days/nights with no wind, the smoke just keeps slowly spreading; on days/nights with the correct direction of wind, the smoke travels very far in specific directions. Also, 20’ is not that far away for someone to go. It’s not some tyrannical imposition that’s exiling smokers—it’s legislation that’s honestly trying to find the balance between someone’s desire/right to smoke and others’ rights to not have to be face-to-face with the chemicals in that smoke.

This is the same reason there’s a distance-from-door rule—if you’re standing right outside the door, your smoke is going straight into the establishment, because smoke travels.

As for awnings—I couldn’t find the legislation on that. I’m assuming it means the establishment’s ordinary awnings, like the ones surrounding the building and/or covering the entrance. That prohibition is no more or less than an extension of the one preventing smoking indoors, or if you prefer, of the one preventing smoking in populated areas like parks or plazas. Awnings create ceilings that trap the smoke. If awnings are constructed for general use by patrons of the establishment, someone smoking there would be affecting other patrons the same way they would be inside the building. And, since awnings are usually near the entrances, the smoke winds up going right into the building itself—doubly bad. But even if the awnings are free-standing canopy style, they’re still part of the confined space of the establishment, and they’re still a place that was designed more generally for patrons.

So bring an umbrella. It’s like your own portable awning. Or if you really want to enjoy tobacco/nicotine in these spaces, try something that won’t spread—chews, gums, patches, etc. Those really are individual…

Also, I know there exist canopies designed specifically for designated smoking locations. They show up easily on searches. They were also spread around one state funded college campus I attended, placed in locations that smokers could legally smoke. The campus had benches for people to sit down beneath the canopies, and ashtrays ready to accept the cigarettes. Another state funded college I’ve attended has clearly labelled smoking locations—admittedly no awnings here because the weather really doesn’t need it, but always with benches and places to deposit the cigarettes. These locations are always comfortable, and always located in surprisingly convenient places. I pass them regularly. My bike parking isn’t even as close to buildings as the smoking locations. It’s pretty darn fair.

jca's avatar

I work in a public building, and the law (in the place I work) is that smokers are supposed to be 50 feet from the entrance. The reason for that is that when smokers congregate around the doors to the building, as smokers often will, people who enter and exit the building have to walk through a gauntlet of smoke. Therefore, even though we don’t smoke, we’d be smelling like smoke from the smokers by the doors.

ibstubro's avatar

We have a local truck stop/diner that separated smoking from non-smoking in every conceivable way, including totally separate air handling systems. They want everyone’s business.
Fortunately, they’re outside city limits as the city banned smoking. I’m sure their days of accommodating smokers are limited.

The new trend, @Soubresaut, is to make smoke free campuses. As in businesses, schools and other facilities that don’t allow you to smoke on the property. Even sitting in your own vehicle. There’s a road I drive down frequently where the employees have had to walk down the drive, past the gate, and into the road to burn one.

jca's avatar

My daughter’s elementary school is a smoke free campus. When I go to pick her up at night, around 6:30, a maintenance man is sometimes having a cigarette on the loading dock. I don’t say anything, because I really dislike conflict. One day my mom picked my daughter up from school and remarked that she smelled like smoke. That’s because we sometimes walk through the fucking gauntlet of smoke from the one guy having his one cigarette on the loading dock.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I, for one, find it heartening that we live in a world so pristine that the amount of fretting over cigarette smoke is justified.

Soubresaut's avatar

@ibstubro—but isn’t that yet another separate issue, and isn’t it their right as institutions to make those kind of decisions? The government sets up minimum health and safety requirements. Institutions can’t break those requirements for obvious reasons (they are, after all, minimum safeguards for health and safety), but institutions are free to go beyond the requirements (they are, after all, only minimum safeguards for health and safety). And really, you’re giving schools a hard time? Schools are full of children. Of course they should be smoke-free. @jca‘s child shouldn’t be having to wade through or attempt to dodge plumes of smoke every day at school—and she wouldn’t, if not for some guy deciding the concept didn’t apply to him.

Great for the truck stop/diner. That’s awesome.

The city ban is yet another issue. It’s probably too restrictive. I don’t know the politics or the details behind it and I don’t have time to look them up.

The way I see it @SecondHandStoke, certain parts of the world are more pristine than they used to be a few centuries ago because we’ve realized the effects of various pollutants we introduced, and decided they were worth fretting about. Maybe I’ve been a little overly zealous/verbose, and sorry for that.

ibstubro's avatar

To clarify, when I said “businesses, schools and other facilities” I meant schools of higher education, @Soubresaut, where pretty much everyone is above the legal age limit and the size of the campus might mean it takes more than 5 minutes to get off-site.

I would have a talk with the school if my kid had to leave through the loading dock at 6:30 at night, regardless.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: I pick her up in the school cafeteria, where the entrance is near the loading dock.

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