General Question

marissa's avatar

"Should the U.S. government outlaw cigarettes due to their cancer-causing effects?"?

Asked by marissa (2675points) September 22nd, 2008

This question was asked in a Parade poll (see bottom left hand corner of webpage – green box). I was surprised by the results, however, it was asked on the same page as an article about living with cancer, so I would think there would be a great deal of bias in regards to those that answered the poll, so I thought I’d post the question here. I would like to know what you all think. Should cigarettes be outlawed? (BTW I did look for a similar question on Fluther and didn’t find one, if this has already been asked, my apologies)

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58 Answers

bodyhead's avatar

We’re grown ups. We can make our own choices.

Should we also ban prepared food?

Lots of things cause cancer. We can’t ban them all. The only one that really should be banned is asbestos (and open radiation of course).

fireside's avatar

I think that is a slippery slope.

If the government outlaws cigarettes because they cause cancer, should they also outlaw sun tanning?

I think that the wave of public opinion will have more effect on the market than banning cigarettes. Prohibition didn’t work.

basp's avatar

in public they should be banned. In the privacy of your home…no

cwilbur's avatar

Is there anyone over the age of 12 who doesn’t know that there’s a link between cigarettes and cancer?

Rickisgirl's avatar

No, I don’t think so. It’s a freedom of choice issue. I do think, however, that if you choose to smoke, you should not be able to sue tobacco companies for the effects it has on your health.

scamp's avatar

They tried to outlaw alcohol, and that didn’t work. Pot is illegal, and the government isn’t having much success with that ewither. So I doubt outlawing tobacco will be much of a success. People will quit when they decide to, not because of a law.

JackAdams's avatar


They should also outlaw alcoholic beverages, because of their “drunk driver causing” effects.

Fieryspoon's avatar

It’s not a freedom of choice. If smoking only affected you, then I would say, sure, go for it. But it does affect non-smokers, in a number of direct ways: second smoke and health support when you get sick from years of smoking.

In the US second smoke is becoming less of an issue. People don’t really always respect the 25 feet from any door to a public building, but it’s getting better, certainly.

The real problem is health care. Because people often cannot pay for their own healthcare, and rely on public money to keep them alive when they get sick with cancer, emphazema, or whatever else they get, it should be outlawed.

There’s no way the US is just going to let the sick people die (and they shouldn’t, because this is a civilization), but volunteering to get fatally sick really shouldn’t be legal. It’s essentially theft of public funds.

Welfare support for people who are down and out is one thing. Support for people who knowingly kill themselves each day is another thing entirely.

Bri_L's avatar

I don’t think so. Freedom of choice I guess.

But they shouldn’t be able to blow their cancer spreading second hand smoke in public places. That is wrong. And no it isn’t your right any more than it is anyones right to shoot someone or put diseases in your food.

And I wouldn’t mind if they got fined for flicking their disgusting butts out the car window. “Oh, it’s my choice and my habit I just don’t want to stink up my car and resale value or trash it up so I will throw this out side or drop it on the ground where animals or kids will get it.”

bodyhead's avatar

That second hand smoke argument is a crock. You drive your polluting car everywhere. It’s not good to breath the exhaust fumes but cars drive by me every day when I’m walking to work. It’s terrible I know. I wish they would ban cars for the good of my health.

Fill a garage with second hand smoke and car exhaust and see what kills you faster.

Littering is wrong no matter if it’s a cigarette butt or whatever. I’m with you on that Bri.

tinyfaery's avatar

Agree with bodyhead. If cigarettes are outlawed, then we have to outlaw cars, fatty food, pollution causing factories and such.

dalepetrie's avatar

I think scamp’s answer comes closest to mine. I don’t think you can legislate people’s vices. There are all manner of things that can kill you or harm you in some way that people choose to do anyway. As a diabetic, I know full well that chocolate could impact my health negatively, but I wouldn’t want it to be outlawed even if that would make it easier for me to resist it. Basically, I think anything that harms only the user is a victimless crime in that the only victim is choosing to be victimized…it’s like signing a waiver.

I don’t believe many of the things that are illegal now…like drugs or prostitution should be illegal. People want to buy it and use it, others are willing to sell it, where’s the problem. Some might say w/ prostitution, women could be victimized, but look at the fact that right now, women are choosing to go into this industry, even though it means they might have to pretty much sell themselves into slavery under a violent man who will do all manner of things to them. Some go in naiively and others go in eyes wide open, but hey, people are going to do it. Now, if it were legal, these scumbags who prey on people wouldn’t have a stream of ready, willing and able applicants to exploit. The industry could be regulated by the department of health, it could be taxed, people wouldn’t have to go to the seedy dangerous part of town to do it, women could make a good living and not get beaten up and raped and murdered by violent pimps and johns. Or with drugs, we regulate it, so the quality is consistent, that way people aren’t generally buying garbage and then one day happen upon some pure, potent version and OD, there is no money left in selling it illegally because it can be obtained legally, so organized crime gets shut down, and we can regulate who has access to it.

None of this is any different than alcohol prohibition, as long as there is demand, people will find a way to create supply. If you choke off the supply side, you do NOTHING to the demand, it just makes the demand side willing to pay more and the supply side able to charge more, which incentivises a “create supply at any cost” mentality when enough money is to be made in that particular industry. We’re missing out on a huge tax base here, and we’re spending money in a way which doesn’t reduce usage, and which ultimately leads to higher levels of violent crime.

If you prohibit cigarettes, you create the same problems, you put cigarette distribution in the hands of violent criminals and you don’t do anything to demand. The issue as far as I see it with any substance which we want to regulate is what is acceptable usage? With alcohol we try to set limits based on age, and that doesn’t always do much because age is arbitrary…you have 15 year olds who could have a drink at home and cause no harm to anyone and you have 25 year olds who have to have 20 drinks if they have one and who refuse to take a cab anywhere. With tobacco it’s a matter of don’t contaminate the air others have to breathe, because people like myself get sick when they have to inhale cigarette smoke…smoking inside public buildings SHOULD be off limits, smoking outside or in your own house should be your choice. With drugs it’s a matter of doing them responsibly, and also not having certain jobs, not operating certain machinery, vehicles, etc….anything that could injure someone if not operated properly. With prostitution it’s a matter of not spreading diseases…condoms required.

In my ideal version of the world all these things would be legal if you could prove you were competent to use them properly. Improper use would get you barred and perhaps arrested. Education would be required before first partaking in these activities, and treatement would be provided if you came to have a problem with them. Usage of certain chemicals would bar you from certain jobs. Education, treatment and enforcement would be paid by taxing these activities. I’d have little sympathy for any drunk or stoned drivers, as far as I’m concerned if you are too impaired to drive and you choose to do so anyway, you’re implicitly saying you don’t care if you kill someone…that should be treated like attempted murder. Anyone caught providing services to someone who hadn’t had the proper education and had proven they were capable of handling them would be sentenced to death, everyone else could buy their stuff right from the government and we’d finally have a balanced budget.

marissa's avatar

I appreciate all the responses here. I expect the majority of people will say ‘no’, unlike in the poll where the majority said ‘yes’. So, this thread at least makes me feel like I’m not completely out of touch with what the majority wants (though, I may yet be proven wrong).

cak's avatar

I’m a cancer patient, non-smoker and I still say no, it should not be banned. I will say I’m all for banning public smoking – because I can’t stand the smell and don’t like it around me – but that’s a personal preference.

We’d have to ban drinking, fatty foods, cars, hey…for those that think cell phones cause cancer and so many other things, I just won’t take all the time to list them all…it’s crazy!

Let’s see…prohibition didn’t works so well, I’m going with the same feeling. It would not work.

Bri_L's avatar

@ bodyhead and tinyfaery – I didn’t say ban smoking.

To say lets not ban a cancer causing substance because there are other things that are bad and they are not banned is, to use your phrase, a true “crock”. The instances you both named are so different from second hand smoke that they, in my opinion, can’t be used to argue in this case for not banning smoking.

We are talking about cigarets and cancer. Not carbon monoxide poisoning which would take the conditions you stated to induce death, or an unknown source in your house and which is under tighter and tighter regulation. Or fatty foods that don’t hurt you unless you ingest them.

Besides, I am not saying smokers can’t smoke. I am just saying I would rather smokers do it where they wont kill my grandpa, grandma or cousin (who all died from lung cancer and never smoked) or any of the rest of the public or me for that matter.

tinyfaery's avatar

Show me where it says if you breathe in second hand smoke you will die.

Pollution can cause lung cancer too.

EnzoX24's avatar

There’s no way the US is just going to let the sick people die (and they shouldn’t, because this is a civilization)

You honestly think the Government gives two shits about you? Or me? Or anyone else here for that matter? If you aren’t part of the Wealthy class you aren’t much use to them. Cigarettes keep the rich richer and the poor poorer. (Seriously, that is a hell of an example for that quote). There’s to much money to made of cigarettes. How much to you think politicians make from tobacco lobbyists alone? More than I’ll make for the next 10 years of my life. As long as there is money to made tobacco will be alive and kicking.

bodyhead's avatar

Actually, comparing cigarettes to exaust put out by cars is very legitimate. Exhaust from cars is ‘second hand’. There is carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke. I really don’t see it being that different except that your car puts out a ton more carbon monoxide then a cigarette.

I’m not against banning smoking in restaurants in restaurants that children can go in to. I’m not for it but I’m not against it.

dalepetrie's avatar


I can tell you from firsthand experience that second hand smoke hurts my sinuses and I tend to get sick when I’m around it.

I also saw a commercial just last night that claimed second hand smoke kills 47,000 people per year, so I know someone could show you that statistic.

People do die from smoke inhallation.

Regardless, it’s a public nuissance, I don’t mind if you do it, but I don’t want to have to breathe it.

I’d prefer we get off the combustion engine as well, but car pollution does not make me choke the way second hand smoke does.

It inflicts physical pain on non smokers…that’s the issue as far as I’m concerned.

I know for a FACT I wouldn’t have as many sinus infections if my dad hadn’t been a smoker.

I have no problem with having a smoking section and a non smoking section, IF the wait staff can choose not to work the smoking section. So in some ways we are going too far in banning smoking everywhere. But I don’t think it kills anyone to go outside so it doesn’t cloud up the air in public buildings.

Yes, cars pollute too, but we don’t operate cars inside now, do we?

Bri_L's avatar

@tinyfaery – by your own argument you should be fine if someone shoots you in the chest because there is no assurance you will die. Please read the link below.

@ bodyhead –
“except that your car puts out a ton more carbon monoxide then a cigarette.” I appreciate what your trying to say but your opinion isn’t really a test or study as to the percentage or intensity of the content of either or how much is in haled by anyone.

here is a link to some information about second hand smoke.

Take a look at the number of chemicals in there.

….more than 4,000 chemicals that have been identified in secondhand tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, and 50 of these are known to cause cancer.

You think that is ok in restaurants around children who can’t decide for them selves? Or anybody else for that matter?

tinyfaery's avatar

In Calabasas, CA you cannot smoke on public streets. It doesn’t matter if you are 100 yards from another person, you still cannot smoke. This is stupid and unfair; smokers pay taxes and have just as much right to smoke on those streets as people have to breathe clean air (oh wait, no such thing as clean air here).

I have asthma. To me, smoke stinks, and it aggravates my lungs, but it’s not all about me. Smoking should not be allowed inside a public building, or around outdoor eateries, but not on the street, or while sitting at a bus stop, or at an outdoor concert? I call bull****!

Bri_L's avatar

@ tinyfaery – as much as I despise smoking, I also have asthma. It stinks, smells up everything around it. Stings my eyes. Makes everything sticky.

But I agree with you, that doesn’t seem right. Inside, no way. But the other areas you say, We all have to get a long. Those are optimal places to commune and do so.

stratman37's avatar

This just in: research causes Cancer!

Fieryspoon's avatar

@EnzoX24 The government still uses taxpayer money to keep you on a respirator if you’re unable to pay for it yourself. They don’t “care” about you, but they do their best to keep you from dying.

jpark's avatar

What really busts my bubble is that tobacco companies (other than the ones that make Black and Milds) make it illegal for businesses to sell one single cigarette and not a pack of 20. You have to bum off of strangers if you just want to enjoy one.

Bri_L's avatar

@ EnzoX24 – “Cigarettes keep the rich richer and the poor poorer.” One could argue, from a pessimistic point of view that the gov. can’t afford NOT to care about you, or the poor. The bulk of cigarets are sold to the middle class and poor. The advertising targets them. If they die off, who is going to buy?

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t care if anyone quits. Just don’t do it around me. Now that it’s been banned in buildings in Philly, I can finally go to bars. My god. How many new beers have appeared since last I set foot in one.

They say the Chancellor of the University system is going to ban smoking, or has banned smoking on the campuses of state universtities. Things look pretty much the same to me. It’s a horrible gauntlet to run getting into my building, though.

And I don’t know how they do it, but we got smoke bombed on the road the other day. SOme guy in the care in front of us must have been smoking about 10 cigarettes at once. Sigh.

augustlan's avatar

Making them illegal is not the answer. I think we have already gone too far in banning smoking. While public buildings and any business that caters to children should definitely be off limits, private buildings and businesses should not be held to that same standard. It is not a “right” to patronize a private business, it is a choice. It seems to me that the owner of a private business, whether it be a restaurant, bar or office should be allowed to decide if the business is a smoking or non-smoking establishment. Employees and customers would know in advance whether they wanted to work there/patronize the business. In today’s world, I think there is enough room for both types of places to exist, and make plenty of money doing it.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan: actually, employees don’t have as much choice about where they work as theory suggests. There are many an employee, such as those working in casinos, who breathe easier now that they don’t have to put up with second-hand smoke.

The other problem is that the harm from second-hand smoke doesn’t show up for years. So the employee might make a good wage now, and be willing to put up with smoke. But on the other end, when they are sick, and require expensive health care, we all chip in to pay for it, as we do for every smoker who gets sick.

You may be fast and free with your money, but please don’t force me to pay for the consequences of bad health of smokers. I say we save them from themselves, to the extent possible, because it’ll help us all.

Sure, this country was founded on the frontier attitude of going it alone. We don’t live in that country any more, not even in Alaska. The things we do as individuals have consequences that our fellow Americans pay for. Just look at the banking situation now. The mistakes of a few are going to cost us and our children and our children’s children a lot of money. Well, smoking does the same thing.

I’m afraid we no longer live in a world where a person can make a decision that affects only them. We are interconnected now. As a result, the right to privacy can not be paramount. Every action an individual takes affects others. Some actions have minor effects on others. Other actions have significant effects. Smoking is one of those actions that has a significant effect, and thus can not be allowed to be an unfettered choice.

bodyhead's avatar

daloon, I say we take this one step further. Why don’t we let a group of misguided individuals also control my diet, my work and my life. Surely that will work.

Since my decisions effect everyone, I guess that means that someone else should be making them. Heart Attacks kill way more people then smoking related illnesses. Lets start by dictating what people can eat. Lets ban pools so no children drown. Lets ban everything. The only way we can really stay safe is if the government keeps us in small rooms for our entire lives.

Smoking does cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Lets add it all up. Maybe if we pull out of Iraq one day earlier we’ll have an extra 30 billion dollars to cover the smoking problems of the next hundred thousand years. We’re in so much debt nationally that any money dedicated to a smoking problem wouldn’t change the graph. In comparison to all the other money mistakes we are making, it’s a drop in the bucket.

Privacy is paramount.

Anytime someone wants to ‘save me from myself’ I get a little testy about it. I already have a dad and he’s not the US government.

wundayatta's avatar

@bodyhead: I’m not trying to save you from yourself. I’m trying to save myself from the consequence of your behavior.

Good job, by the way, on the reductio ad absurdum argument. I really like someone who can exagerate the hell out of a topic. It shows creativity. Have you considered a career in television writing?

Now I admit that encroachment on privacy is something we should be very concerned about. But it’s here to stay. We don’t allow people to pollute profligately, or build unsafe buildings, or run around stealing and murdering. (How’s that for reductio ad absurdum? Two can play this game)

The real issue as at what point our collective interests are more important that an individual’s interests. We’re not drawing a line in the sand. We’re trying to paint a l line in a muddled gray area. I don’t think government has an interest in any individual’s safety, unless the individual’s risky behavior affects others.

So yes, let’s ban certain fats from restaurants as my city has done. Let’s ban smoking from all businesses, as my city has done. But no, the pools—we can keep those safe without banning pools, and without banning diving boards. Proper training can keep those safe, and it’s not hard to make sure that happens.

Still, I’m truly curious. Do you really believe in your reductio ad absurdum examples, or are you just enjoying the debate?

Bri_L's avatar

@ augustine – I have to agree with you as much as I hate to. If a guy owns a bar and he wants people to be able to smoke in the bar that is his right. I believe the work place should be the acceptence to the rule.

I would like to point something in general here:

Doesn’t anyone find it absurd that this is an argument where people are upset about where they can spend their time on a very addictive, costly habit that not only kills them but everyone around them as well?

Mercy killing is illegal. Shooting oneself or others is illegal. Suicide is illegal. But as Tinyfaery pointed out, who said you “will” die from it.

bodyhead's avatar

I believe that the closer I get to where the line use to be drawn, the further away it gets. It seems that freedoms are always taken away and never given. If that trend continues, what will be left with in 50 years? How else will the government take away my rights to keep me safe?

I have little faith in my government. I certainly don’t want them to make more decisions for me. I’m not happy with the things they decide for me now. I don’t agree with seat belt laws and motorcycle helmet laws. If you want to be an idiot and not wear them, I think it should be your right… but it’s not. If you want to do something stupid and deadly then I just see it as a good way to thin out the gene pool.

I don’t really think that anyone should smoke but it’s their right to make that decision. In numbers charts and graphs, I just don’t see how it effects anyone a great deal. Smoking isn’t the only cause of lung cancer. Lots of people get cancer all the time but they don’t smoke in their legs or brains.

I think that our main disagreement comes on how much others smoking effects you. I say not so much and you say a great deal. I can agree to disagree.

@Bri_L, The only sexually transmitted disease with a 100% mortality rate is life.

dalepetrie's avatar

I wouldn’t want to take away anyone’s right to smoke, but I also don’t want to take away a non smoker’s right to breathe air that is not polluted with cigarette smoke. So, in close quarters, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to tell people, it’s OK to smoke, but you have to do it in a designated area. I think it gets ridiculous when you try to ban it outside, or don’t allow a particular room indoors. The only argument I see for banning it in say restaurants and bars is that the wait staff may not want to be exposed to it, and restaurant owners just arent’ willing to let their employees dictate who they will and won’t serve. If we can create smoking areas for dining where the wait staff agrees voluntarily (without pressure related to their income) to serve in the smoking area, no one should have any problem with that.

I don’t like to be around smoke, it makes me physically ill, and I actively avoid it. But I don’t ever want anyone to think I’m telling them they can’t smoke if they want to. They can have their personal freedom, but if we start telling the smokers to smoke wherever and whenever they want, I lose my ability to avoid the smoke. Freedom works both ways.

Bri_L's avatar

@ bodyhead – I think your right. If people don’t want to wear a helmut fine. Or their seatbelt, accept the driver who needs to be kept in the seat if the car gets hit so they can keep their hands on the wheel and fee near the pedals, fine. But we are talking about a habit that kills other people.

Your ignoring the proof against second hand smoke, as shown in this link, In order to make a speech. That just doesn’t work.

The facts are there and speaking in generalizations and phrases like “In numbers charts and graphs, I just don’t see how it effects anyone a great deal.” doesn’t make them go away.

Statements like “Lots of people get cancer all the time but they don’t smoke in their legs or brains.” are unique to say the least, and not needed, we are talking about smoking here.

bodyhead's avatar

Ah, now we’re talking. That is a good factsheet. I didn’t follow the link the first time you posted it but I read the whole thing this time. I’m assuming it’s about as correct as anything else that comes from the government.

I agree that smoking should be outlawed in schools, hospitals, airports, and bus terminals (as stated in the fact sheet). No one is forcing you to live with a smoker unless you’re the child of an adult that smokes in the house. You and I both will agree that this can be bad for the child. I just don’t think it will ever be the government’s place to step in to someone’s home and dictate what they can do in their own home.

For restaurants, I think it should be up to the owner to decide. If you don’t like their policy, don’t support the restaurant.

About the legs and brains statement, I’m just trying to make the point that lung cancer isn’t only caused by smoking. It can develop on it’s own with no outside influences just like any other type of cancer.

Bri_L's avatar

I wouldn’t link this in with the rest of the government at all. Not even close.
Here is a link that tells all about them, their history, their budget and funding. Not very governmental at all.

As I pointed out to Augustlan, I agree that we can’t tell a restaurant owner. I hate it, it sucks but it is up to them.

No one, I believe, disputes that lung cancer can develop outside of cigarette smoke or second hand smoke. The point would be the undeniable increase in chance that it will as a result of cigarette smoke or second hand smoke.

dalepetrie's avatar

Not supporting the restaurant doesn’t do anything for the waitress who needs to make a living and has a job which pays the bills (in an environment where good jobs might not be all that easy to come by), and is told either you work both the smoking and non smoking sections or I’ll find another waitress. That’s economic blackmail, forcing someone to be exposed to something they’d rather not. I say either legislate that restaurants have to be smoke free, or that serving staff must be allowed to opt out without fear lof losing their jobs.

Bri_L's avatar

@ dalepetrie – that is a good point. I was differentiating between the restaurant and other businesses because of the public factor but a. people still work there and b. they make food we consume. The owner invites the public in but is still responsible for their health just like with food.

Sorry bodyhead and augustland I am back to banning it in all public buildings. And quite relieved to do so.

bodyhead's avatar

I prefer a building that smells good and not like rank stale cigarette smoke. I just think that it infringes on peoples rights to tell them that it has to be that way. The idea behind it pisses me off to no end but the nice smelling atmosphere is hard to argue with.

dalepetrie's avatar

Again, we don’t let people run their cars, or spray other poisonous chemicals willy nilly indoors. We don’t say you can’t go around waving a sword, but we’ll arrest you if you do it inside a public building. We are OK if you take a crap in a toilet, but if you do it in the hallway of a public building, you’re crossing the line. If you shoot a gun on the firing range or in the woods at a deer, no problem, if you fire it around your office at work, big problem. You can get naked and cover yourself in paint at home, buy if you do it in a Wal-Mart you’re crossing the line. No one complained that THESE freedoms were being taken away because you can’t do them indoors in public places. Why should smoking be a protected status activity?

bodyhead's avatar

There’s no law that says I can’t spray chemicals or run my car inside. I don’t do it but as far as I know, there is no law on the books preventing me from doing so.

dalepetrie's avatar

You would almost definitely be taken into custody and they would cite you for creating a public disturbance/nuisance.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’ll make you a deal, you drive your car into a public building, get out and spray a poisonous chemical into the air and if you don’t get arrested, I’ll take back my comments.

bodyhead's avatar

Well yea of course someone would try and stop me. It’s stupid and deadly to do those things. Just as it is to smoke yea I think I see where you’re going with this

The freedoms you mentioned earlier aren’t technically freedoms. How many people are effected by not being able to get naked and paint themselves in a Wall-Mart parking lot? I“m willing to bet it’s two or three less then the people effected by smoking bans.

Just so you know, There’s only two places I know of that I can go and smoke inside and they’re both bars. I don’t go there very often because they smell like you can smoke inside but I like having the option. Here in Memphis the ban says you either have to be non-smoking or smoking and 21 and up only (all day, all night).

I guess it’s a pretty decent system but enough is enough. What’s left? Next I won’t be able to smoke on the street or in my house.

dalepetrie's avatar

Sure, maybe not as many people are affected by not being able to get butt nekkid in a Wal Mart, but there are probably as many Americans who own guns as smoke cigarettes. Any parallel you can draw you can play Devil’s Advocate and say, “it’s not exactly the same cuz…”. Well nothing is exactly the same as smoking.

But what about drinking? We can’t drink in public, there is a law against drinking and being drunk in public. And second hand drinking doesn’t kill anyone (unless you count drunk driving auto accidents, then it kills a LOT of people).

The point is, activities that cause a nuisance to others in public places, whether that nuissance be a health hazard or just something that is just a comfort issue to the general populace, we don’t allow it as a matter of course. It seems to me singling out smoking is giving it special protections.

Bri_L's avatar

“I prefer a building that smells good and not like rank stale cigarette smoke. I just think that it infringes on peoples rights to tell them that it has to be that way. The idea behind it pisses me off to no end but the nice smelling atmosphere is hard to argue with.”

Your choosing to ignore the real problem for the sake of the argument you are trying to make. The fact that the smoke kills. It just plain causes cancer and kills.

They will never stop you from smoking in the streets or parks or your house. They need you. Big tobacco makes to much money, contributes to much by way of lobbying, there is no way they will let the government put to many restrictions on smokers. They need their base cliental to stay happy and alive so as to propagate the next batch of smokers in order to replace the ones who are dying from their products.

I agree with your points, specifically calling out that singling out smoking is giving it special protections.

bodyhead's avatar

Yea I’m not trying to ignore that there’s a higher probability of getting cancer when you smoke. I know that. We all know that. There’s a higher risk of liver failure when you drink or heart failure when you eat a lot of trans fat. I’m just saying let the people make their own decisions.

Morally, I would never be able to live with myself if I was working for one of the tobacco companies. They are leeches that feed off the misery of society. I’m just saying let society make that mistake if they choose.

For the record, I am quitting to be more healthy. Who are you guys going to argue with when I die?

Bri_L's avatar


Bodyhead! Bodyhead! Bodyhead!

Whoot Whoot!

You are the man!

I am so fricken excited for you. That is the coolest thing I have heard today! You go buddy and you have supporters here if you need them!!!!!

You made my day! Stupid or not, you made my day telling me that!

bodyhead's avatar

Don’t get too excited, it doesn’t change my stance.

I’ve slowed up over the past two weeks in preparation for eliminating them. My dog likes to run and I want to run with her and not pass out after a block.

Thanks for your support, Bri.

And just to let you guys know, (specifically Bri_L, dalpetrie, and daloon) I know we don’t always have the same points of view but I really do like you guys. I would look stupid arguing alone so you might say I need you.

marissa's avatar

I just want to give you all a group hug!!! (okay, maybe it’s a chick thing, but what can I say, I’m a Yes, I have been reading the posts ;0)

wundayatta's avatar

A group hug with guys!!! What world do you think you live in, Marissa? ;-)

Bri_L's avatar

Bodyhead, I would never be that excited if you changed your stance. As you said who would I argue with. I am just excited your trying to quit.

I respect the fact that you can state your point of view without getting personal and attacking.

fluffy fingers!

scamp's avatar

WTG you guys! There was a part of this debate where i thought all hell would break lose, but you held it together like gentlemen. I am very proud of all 3 of you!! Lurve to you all, and extra lurve to Bri for saying fluffy fingers, ha ha!!

bodyhead's avatar

Personal attacks dilute the potency of any argument. I may say an argument is a ‘crock’ or it’s ‘insane’ but never the person. We’re all good people. We just don’t think alike. There’s no shame in that.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yes, what’s the value in being disagreeable, you certainly aren’t going to influence someone’s thinking by calling them an idiot. The only reason that tactic works in politics is it makes both sides angry enough to vote against the other guy, there’s no voting going on here, so no reason to be insulting, mean or nasty. That’s why I’m here and not on Askville anymore, people here know how to behave.

Bri_L's avatar

Besides, were all three of us butt faces so it cancels out.

Right guys? Guys? Who’s with me? Can I get a Whoot whoot?


bodyhead's avatar

It does pain me to agree with you.

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