That right there is my main motivation for bring it it to light. Not that it will sway opinions (especially on such a polarizing topic such as this one), but precisely because most people wouldn't think to see the good parts. That, to me, is willful ignorance. It is my firm belief that one should look at and consider as many sides to an issue as possible. If nobody ever questioned anything, not even the harmful effects of smoking would have been discovered.
Originally Posted by Form11ess 5hot
To take a few posts out of the Alcohol thread, what about people that drink so much their judgement is clouded? Drunk drivers, men who come home drunk and beat their wives, wives who come home drunk and beat their husbands, bad decisions made by your impulses no longer being in check? I've seen at least one commercial of a funeral with a family crying and a voice-over saying; "He died in a drunk-driving accident. He never drank a drop."
Alcohol is consumed individually, thus unless you force-feed someone, nobody's affected by alcohol just because someone's drinking it.
And to turn your own question back at you, what's so good about alcohol that one would overlook the potentially fatal effects of ingestion, such as liver damage and what I've already mentioned, to continue drinking it? You know, besides having anti-oxidants, possibly helping prevent cancer, helping with Alzheimer's and memory in general, preventing heart disease, among other things, depending on the drink in question.
I think I'll focus on this a bit, since it's an interesting comparison to make. Alcohol is potentially more dangerous, at least immediately dangerous, than smoking is. You can go out and get drunk and drive, and end up killing several people all in one night. Whilst you can smoke for several years, maybe never even get cancer, because it's not a certainty, either, maybe end up developing some respiratory problems a few years down the line. All of smoking's effects are long-term. And yet smoking is still vilified, and alcohol is okay - like I said in my first post, I wonder how people would react if they started putting horrible warning images of little girls crying and people whose heads got torn in half in a drunk driving accident on cases of beer. They can both harm you and others. They can both kill you and others. Just one of them in a few years and the other at any time you use it.
Of course one could argue that you can just not drink as much and not get drunk. And I would argue that someone could smoke one cigarette a day and what harm can that do, really? If you're drunk in public, you can end up harming a lot of people, even if you don't mean to. If you smoke in a public, well-ventilated area, unless someone's standing downwind from you and rather close, most of the smoke is just going to dissipate in the air.
So what makes cigarettes that much more evil than alcohol? If anything can't they be equal?
"Potentially" being the key word. If you lock someone in a room with you and chain-smoke a whole box of Cubans, they probably won't end up looking too good. But if you smoke, for example, like I do, in my own home, and usually in my own room, who else is really affected?
Cars are dangerous and numerous people die from accidents everyday. Yet the pros outweigh the cons - it's what made our industrial life more easier, and many of the accidents can be prevented if you're careful. Smoking, on the other hand, no matter how you're careful, the smoke spreads in the air and it actually lingers in the air even after the smoker is gone. Anyone within the range is potentially affected.
Also, the more the smoke would spread, the less effect it's going to have. It's like dropping a bottle of food coloring in a glass of water and another in a bucket - it has to be spread thinner. And I mean that literally, because gases expand to fill their containers. And the sky is a really big container.
I have to say, I think you're misunderstanding how third-hand smoke <insert obligatory "allegedly"> works. It's not the smell. It's what causes the smell. The residue that remains. But here's the thing - the Acting Assistant Secretary of the OSHA said:
I know that not everybody dies because of smoking problems, but people have to accept it IS bad - it CAN kill, and the smell of smoke is dangerous as well.
(Now, this was said in 1997. But keep in mind the Surgeon General's Report still quoted and slapped onto all tobacco packages was published in 1964.)
Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000). It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded. (Letter from Greg Watchman, 1997)
That's just second-hand smoke. Recall that the Wikipedia article mentions they "proved" the dangers by spraying four to twelve times (which is a considerable gap, I'd think) the normal amount of nitrous acid found in the typical home onto residue-laden surfaces.
Just because something might happen doesn't mean that it will.
I'd say it depends on the product. Because everything can potentially kill. It's just human nature to dismiss or ignore the hazards of things we enjoy. But still, we shouldn't stop living our lives because of it.
What good points can actually outweigh potential killing products?
A milder example I think we can all relate to: Any safety booklet in a video game will tell you that, even in people that have never experienced an epileptic episode before, playing video games for long stretches of time can induce seizures. That doesn't stop any of us from playing, though, does it?
My house's roof could cave in over my head tomorrow. So I say smoke 'em if you got 'em.
Wow. I just realized how long my posts can be.