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turdburglar (38.71)

Smoking bans in bars are a temporary phenomenon

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December 29, 2009 – Comments (41) | RELATED TICKERS: MO , RAI , PM

Smoking in bars will eventally come back.  It's not like you're there for your health. 

Banning smoking in bars is a little too much like prohibition in my opinion.  Would it save more lives to ban smoking in bars or to ban alcohol in bars but allow smoking? 

There's a lot of tax revenues to be had for localities that allow smoking bars, especially when nearby localities have outlawed them.

Whatever arguments that can be made for banning smoking (health care costs, saves lives, etc) would be stronger for banning alcohol.  We tried that back in the 1920's and decided it wasn't worth it.

41 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

The difference is that I can't tell whether the people at the next table are drinking lemonade or scotch. But I sure can tell if they are smoking or not.

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#2) On December 29, 2009 at 10:48 AM, kaskoosek (36.11) wrote:

yeah i agree with chk.

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#3) On December 29, 2009 at 10:56 AM, SweetMircha (93.16) wrote:

I've never been a smoker but, I've lived in really Redneck towns like Edson & Drayton Valley in Alberta (Canada) where lots of people smoked. You could hang an axe on the smoke in those bars.  Now I live in God's Country - Victoria,BC (Canada) where smoking is banned almost everywhere. It's now enjoyable to go for a pint & a meal in the local bars. Let's keep it that way for good I say.  The smokers get used to having to go outside for their few puffs.

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#4) On December 29, 2009 at 10:58 AM, SweetMircha (93.16) wrote:

Oh Yeah, I do own shares of MO by the way. I like the dividends that I get.

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#5) On December 29, 2009 at 11:22 AM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

chk999 - A bar owner could choose to have a non-smoking bar if he so chose, such as if there was enough demand for such a thing.  The issue is that anti-smokers have developed a self-righteous opinion that they have a right to go where smokers are and tell them what to do.  Smokers aren't trying to tell you they can come and smoke in your house.  Smokers are just saying they'd like to be able to have a place where they can do as they choose, and if non-smokers don't like it, then don't go there. 

SweetMircha - I live in a semi-redneck town in Texas now.  There's a bar here that I hate to go to because the smoke is so thick it makes my eyes burn.  So should I write to whine to my congressman about it or should I just refuse to go there?

 

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#6) On December 29, 2009 at 11:42 AM, tjensen3618 (90.44) wrote:

It should be up to the individual who owns the business whether or not smoking is allowed in thier place of business.

I for one would not go to restaurants or bars that allowed smoking indoors. It's illegal in CA and I like it, but I am not for it, as taking away a business owners rights is just wrong.

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#7) On December 29, 2009 at 1:52 PM, leohaas (31.24) wrote:

Who would take anything seriously that is written by someone calling himself/herself "turdburglar"?

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#8) On December 30, 2009 at 1:09 AM, genebb (< 20) wrote:

Didn't the Motley Fool used to have normal, semi-intelligent commenters who had actually graduated high school?

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#9) On January 04, 2010 at 12:51 AM, SweetMircha (93.16) wrote:

Turdburglar who's living in a semi-redneck town in Texas should start a non-smoking petition just like the woman in Toronto, Ont. Canada did years ago.  She started the non-smoking revolution and its amazing how far its come. Edmonton,Alta. bars, restaurants & govt bldgs have dis-allowed smoking inside since 2004 a number of years after Victoria,BC went all out on it. Yes I feel bad for the smokers and I also have bought shares of MO recently.  Afterall, I do enjoy receiving their income dividends towards my retirement stash. Still a little Redneck in me.

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#10) On January 04, 2010 at 1:03 AM, starbucks4ever (96.30) wrote:

A bar, by definition, is not a place that you visit in order to get healthier. What could be the source of that paranoid urge to make everyone healthy and happy by force?

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#11) On January 04, 2010 at 1:08 AM, SweetMircha (93.16) wrote:

There's a difference between smoking & alcohol banning. On 1 hand, smoking tobacco medically (physical) affects everyone around the smoker including themselves. Alcohol consumption medically (physical) affects the drinker alone. Alcohol though psychologically affects the drinkers family,friends,employer & strangers, if he's an Alcoholic. I needed to clarify your position on the govt regulation band wagon. The banning of smoking tobacco products will continue to expand as is now occuring even in european countries due to its long term harmful effects.

I do agree though that it would be fair to maintain the odd- smokers only coffee shop or restaurant and/or bar.  I just wonder how financially viable such an enterprise would be?

Reminder, I've never been a smoker.

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#12) On January 04, 2010 at 1:26 AM, TMFUltraLong (99.95) wrote:

The debate comes down to this, and this will be the major sticking point as to why banning smoking within public places WILL indeed stick going forward....

Smoking directly affects both the individual user and anyone within the localized area both for and against their will. Drinking alcohol (outside of lets say driving drunk) will not directly affect anyone other than yourself.

I for one am glad to see this action being imposed by local and state governments. As an avid non-smoker I enjoy anything that makes life for the tobacco companies more difficult and I'm rather shocked they didn't implement this much sooner.

UltraLong

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#13) On January 04, 2010 at 1:53 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

It's not prohibition. People can still smoke.  It is an issue of Property Rights.  Your body is your property, and if you can prove that second hand smoke damages your property, then in a moral world with moral courts (which this is not), you would be able to seek restitution.  In such a world, bar owners would voluntarily ban smoking faster than you can say "regulation" and tobacco companies would be charging $50 a pack to pay for the costs of litigation faster than you can say "health tax."

However, we have a State in bed with Tobacco with passes the Marlboro Monopoly Act and so you get this nonsense.

David in Qatar

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#14) On January 04, 2010 at 1:54 AM, greenwave3 (< 20) wrote:

I think the issue of drunk driving is at least as concerning as second-hand smoke. When drunks drive, they usually end up walking away unscathed, while the innocent people in the car they hit may not be so lucky.

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#15) On January 04, 2010 at 2:03 AM, TMFUltraLong (99.95) wrote:

The occurences of drunk driving are considerably rarer than the abuses second hand smoke invokes upon society daily. There are laws against such acts like driving drunk, but no laws until now existed to protect the health of unsuspecting bystanders to second hand smoke, its as simple as that.

UltraLong

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#16) On January 04, 2010 at 12:38 PM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

greenwave3 - you are absolutely right.  How many people really die each year from secondhand smoke versus how many are killed by drunk drivers?  That was my whole point.  Smoking is just out of favor with pointy-heads these days.  A good example is the hash bars in Amsterdam where smoking weed is condoned but you have to go outside to smoke a non-reefer cigarette.  The only plausible explanation for that is a pointy f*cking head.

SweetMircha - "I do agree though that it would be fair to maintain the odd- smokers only coffee shop or restaurant and/or bar.  I just wonder how financially viable such an enterprise would be?"

I'm not sure I could have planted a better question.  By "smokers only" do you mean that either you smoke while you drink in my bar or I am legally obligated to make you leave?  Or do you just mean that you can smoke if you choose to? 

The answer is that it the latter is definitely financially viable, hence the need for d*ckheads to make laws.  If it wasn't financially viable it would take care of itself.

Ultralong - "unsuspecting bystanders"????  Please.  Make a law that says the bar has to put up a sign that says "In the unlikely event you are smart enough to read this yet stupid enough not to otherwise realize that there is smoke in this bar, you are hereby notified.  Thank you and have a nice day."   I always think it's nice for signs to be polite like that.  :)

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#17) On January 04, 2010 at 12:45 PM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

whereaminow - you must be having an off day on your legal reasoning because you are usually better than that.  Applying that reasoning to car exhaust which is less avoidable than secondhand smoke in a bar (especially one with my patented sign on the door), and you just outlawed cars.  It's just poor legal reasoning.  I'm surprised because you are usually not like that.  You sound like a trial lawyer ready to sue someone for farting in church.  Lawsuits aren't the answer the everything.  Come on.

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#18) On January 04, 2010 at 12:56 PM, starbucks4ever (96.30) wrote:

"Your body is your property, and if you can prove that second hand smoke damages your property, then in a moral world with moral courts (which this is not), you would be able to seek restitution. "

This is already getting too far. I can legitimately argue that my psyche is also my property as well as my body. What if I am able to demonstrate in court that the presence of (...put any social group here...) in my city has a proven negative effect on my psyche and demand that they be expelled from the city on that grounds? If you don't like secondary smoke, it's YOUR responsibility to find a non-smoking bar that you will enjoy. Now, if they pumped secondary smoke into your own apartment, well, THEN it would be different.

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#19) On January 04, 2010 at 1:39 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

zloj,

I think it's fair to say that proving that second hand smoke damaged your lungs is far easier than proving that so-and-so hurt your feelings causing damage to your psyche. Um, really.

turdburglar,

I don't know if I ever had a reputation for astounding legal reasoning, so I have no problem tarnishing it.  If you *could* prove that second hand smoke from a bar (say one that you've been working at for 10 years) caused damage to your body, you *should* have a legitimate cause for redress.  Lawsuits don't solve every problem, but courts are supposed to protect property rights, enforce contracts, etc.  

David in Qatar

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#20) On January 04, 2010 at 1:46 PM, starbucks4ever (96.30) wrote:

"I think it's fair to say that proving that second hand smoke damaged your lungs is far easier than proving that so-and-so hurt your feelings causing damage to your psyche. Um, really."

Just wait till the lawyers and the shrinks follow up on my suggestion :) You'll be astonished to find out how much they can prove :) 

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#21) On January 04, 2010 at 2:47 PM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

whereaminow - but what if you *knew* that breathing in smoke would hurt your body and you did it anyway?  For example, if the bar had one of my patented handy-dandy warning signs like I mentioned in the comment above.

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#22) On January 04, 2010 at 2:51 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@turdburglar,
"Lawsuits aren't the answer the everything."
Lawsuits are the answer for everything in libertarian fairy tales.

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#23) On January 04, 2010 at 8:49 PM, miclane05 (88.98) wrote:

As a MO shareholder and resident of Boston, MA, which banned smoking several years ago and earlier this year expanded that ban to cigar bars, all hotel rooms, and shipping/ loading docks, I would welcome a return to free market principles that allow the individual bar owners set their own policies. Since new medical studies show that the dangers from second-hand smoke towards adults has been greatly exagerated, allowing smoking in bars and other establishments that do not allow children makes rational and economical sense and, aside from the current revenue generated by state and fed government through tobacco sales, cities could place a fee on a "smoking permit" or implement ventilation regulations like Chicago had planned before the IL legislators jumped ship and passed their smoking ban. This would benefit local governments, benefit the many bars that experienced declining revenues after the bans, and, since smoke-free bars are now commonplace, some bars would chose not to register for smoking permits/ pay a fee/ upgrade their ventilation and cater to non-smoking patrons. This would be a logical solution, as has been discussed by many economists and others, including a federal appeals court judge. See, e.g., Becker, G, and Posner, R, Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights From Marriage to Terrorism. 

Unfortunately, the pendulum is not ready to reverse direction just yet. For starters, most people are unaware that the data and health consequences of second and third-hand smoke were so exagerated throughout the late 90s and most of the past decade. This makes people like UltraLong fearful of any change in policy out of a belief that he/she will contract cancer the moment someone in a bar lights up. Second, our government, and by implication society, has sought a more paternalistic form of government in recent years, with people embracing smoking bans, trans fat bans, soda and candy taxes, and the 2010 proposed Senate Healthcare bill including 10% taxes on tanning. Society does not currently care if the government bans their french fries, taxes their soda and candy, and charges them to go tanning because these policies are new and they believe that the government is either: (A) protecting them; or (B) only making policies that don't affect them. This won't last forever, but is not about to change in the short term.

My final related point is that, once paternalistic government policies are implemented, it is very difficult to reverse course because doing so is not political adventageuous. For an example of this, consider that all respectable data suggests that child car seats are more dangerous to your child's health than an ordinary seat belt. However, you can not choose to forego a car seat for your child, and no serious debate in the legislature exists, because at the time laws were passed requiring child car seats, exagerated and now disgraced data suggested that it would be safer.  

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#24) On January 05, 2010 at 1:05 AM, cmbourne (23.83) wrote:

I went to a bar and got a glass of whiskey and had a lap dance from a naked women, but when I lit my cigar , they called the police and had me thrown out !

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#25) On January 05, 2010 at 1:37 AM, jpinlvn (< 20) wrote:

"I do agree though that it would be fair to maintain the odd- smokers only coffee shop or restaurant and/or bar.  I just wonder how financially viable such an enterprise would be?"

Very!

Jim (in Las Vegas)

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#26) On January 05, 2010 at 2:06 AM, TMFUltraLong (99.95) wrote:

For starters, most people are unaware that the data and health consequences of second and third-hand smoke were so exagerated throughout the late 90s and most of the past decade. This makes people like UltraLong fearful of any change in policy out of a belief that he/she will contract cancer the moment someone in a bar lights up.

Exagerated my ass! I'm a very mild tempered guy...well maybe not if you put me behind the wheel of a car, but if you want to immediately push my buttons and get my goat, talk about the effects of that smoking can have on the human body.

Have you seen friends sick because of their smoking addiction? Have you seen your family members unable to put down a cigarette despite the fact that they know it's killing them? Have you had to deal with friends and family when a loved one dies from smoking related cancer? At this very moment I have my fingers crossed that my own mother's lung biopsy comes back negative over the next few days.

The tobacco industry is nothing like it was 40 years ago. Now the addictive substances in cigarettes are considerably higher and the potency of the carcinogens greater than ever. It is absolutely, and I mean ABSOLUTELY indisputable that second hand smoke can kill. Do you think its just a grand coincidence that cancer appears in greater numbers amongst smokers and people who live with smokers?

I cannot think of a more selfish act in this world than exposing others to "your" cigarette smoke. The evidence is indisputable regardless of what heresay you might post. I am cheering with loud resounding claps the hell that local and state governments are giving the tobacco industry. They are very evil in my opinion and I'll cheer the day the courts uphold a ridiculous punitive fine against them!

Fearful? I'm not fearful in the least....viciously enraged is more like it.

UltraLong 

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#27) On January 05, 2010 at 10:44 AM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

I think the movement against paternalistic government is already getting started - the "Tea Party movement".  It isn't clear exactly where it will go for now, but it is definitely a significant grass-roots protest against big government. 

I agree with miclane05 that the dangers of secondhand smoke are greatly exaggerated.  First hand smoke causes cancer, I don't think second hand smoke does much harm.  And even if it is as deadly as Ultralong and others claim, it seems fair enough to let people avoid areas like smoking bars where second hand smoke is pervasive.

Miclane05 also brings up the banning of transfat which is an interesting subject.  It is sort of banned, but there is a good deal of fraud involved in the labeling of products.  The other day I was putting some liquid CoffeeMate in my cup of coffee when I noticed that it says "0g transfat per serving".  Ok.  But if you read the ingredients, transfat (partially hydrogenated somethingorather oil) is the third ingredient, and the serving size is a teaspoon.  The container has 146 servings in there, but I think it is really more like 30.  So what is CoffeeMate anyway?  The simple answer is that it's transfat, yet the label tells us it has no transfat per serving - 0g.  The government let 0.49g of transfat be presented as "0g per serving on the label".  That's a fraud. 

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#28) On January 05, 2010 at 11:48 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

UltraLong,

The tobacco industry is nothing like it was 40 years ago. Now the addictive substances in cigarettes are considerably higher and the potency of the carcinogens greater than ever. It is absolutely, and I mean ABSOLUTELY indisputable that second hand smoke can kill.

Isn't that interesting?  I mean, here we have an industry more regulated by government over the last 40 years than perhaps any other, and yet the government HAS COMPLETELY FAILED YOU.  It has failed to protect your from second hand smoke. It has failed to shut down the tobacco industry.  It has failed to make you safer.  In fact, you are less safe now than you were before.  Cigarrettes are stronger and more addictive.  The tobacco companies are stronger and more monopolized.  How does that fit with the view that this is a government for the people?  It doesn't work for me.

lucas1985,

Thanks for pointing back to that awesome Thomas Woods video, which by the way did not even mention lawsuits. However, it did mention many topics that you failed to address or refute as you, turned the conversation to your environmental delusions.

Here's the video again :)

David in Qatar

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#29) On January 05, 2010 at 12:04 PM, starbucks4ever (96.30) wrote:

whereaminow,

You are right. The Surgeon General's warning on the pack is so toothless its effect is virtually zero. I would make them display a real graphic picture of a smoker's lungs on every pack. It's not difficult at all. Just don't take bribes from MO and you'll see how easy it is :) 

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#30) On January 05, 2010 at 12:50 PM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

I'll take the bribe - 7% every quarter.  :)

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#31) On January 05, 2010 at 1:55 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@miclane05,
"Since new medical studies show that the dangers from second-hand smoke towards adults has been greatly exagerated"
- Which medical studies are you talking about?
- Do a search on PubMed for second-hand smoke and you'll see that evidence of its harmful effects keeps accumulating.
- Smoking is a treasure that keeps on giving gifts. We now have "third-hand smoking"

"all respectable data suggests that child car seats are more dangerous to your child's health than an ordinary seat belt."
May I ask for citations to the refereed literature or popular science magazines?

@turdburglar,
"I think the movement against paternalistic government is already getting started - the "Tea Party movement".  It isn't clear exactly where it will go for now, but it is definitely a significant grass-roots protest against big government."
Description of the "Tea Party movement": clueless right-wing populists (and far-right extremists) backed by corporate interests. Clearly a 100 % grassroots, enlightened movement.

@whereaminow,
"which by the way did not even mention lawsuits."
- Your buddy DaretothREdux linked to an essay by Rothbard where these kind of issues are analyzed.
- Everyone knows that in libertarian fairy land, all disputes should be resolved in the courts. Bonus point if the courts are privately owned.

"However, it did mention many topics that you failed to address or refute"
I asked for a transcript of the video to do a proper refutation. Anyway, I don't care about the fact-free opinions of a free-market zealot. Let me know when Thomas Woods has a firm grasp of reality and addresses the serious arguments of his opponents and not his straw-man constructions. Also, ask him what he thinks of welfare queens who read his books.

"you turned the conversation to your environmental delusions."

I asked for libertarians solutions to the tragedy of the commons. Your friend DaretothREdux asked me to read an essay by Rothbard. I read that essay and found nothing relevant to my questions. I also found some interesting sentences which damage seriously the credibility and the scholarly credentials of Rothbard.

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#32) On January 05, 2010 at 2:21 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

lucas1985,

Since you seem to lost on the purpose of courts, here you go

Common Law

Roman Law

Civil Law

Of course, it would be nice if a single wise man or an enlightened oligarchy had the knowledge and integrity to legislate efficiently over hundreds of millions of people engaging in billions of transactions, but as Leonard Read showed in I, Pencil even the simple task of producing a pencil is impossible without the cooperation of thousands of people and could never be duplicated by a "Pencil Czar."

As for Woods, if you need a transcipt, make one.  Here are the topics covered:

1. The impact of American unionism
2. Exploitation during the Industrial Revolution
3. Child labor
4. Anti-poverty laws
5. Government intervention
6. Robber barons
7. The Wild West
8. American Indians' property rights and environmentalism 

This is all off topic, but fun nonetheless.

David in Qatar

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#33) On January 05, 2010 at 3:21 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"Since you seem to lost on the purpose of courts, here you go

Common Law

Roman Law

Civil Law"

(¿?)
What does this have to do with anything being argued?

"as Leonard Read showed in I, Pencil even the simple task of producing a pencil is impossible without the cooperation of thousands of people and could never be duplicated by a "Pencil Czar.""
I know that essay. It's good but irrelevant to what we're talking about.

"As for Woods, if you need a transcipt, make one"
I'll make a better use of my time, thanks.
"Anyway, I don't care about the fact-free opinions of a free-market zealot."

"This is all off topic, but fun nonetheless."
Yep, it's really funny. My coworkers at the lab really appreciate your "insights" and diatribes. Your writings always inspire nice conversations.

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#34) On January 05, 2010 at 3:52 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

Oh my God, I smelled burning leaves! I am going to die of cancer!

Oh wait, smelled kinda funny, maybe it was marijuana, that is safe as mother's milk, lol.

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#35) On January 05, 2010 at 3:58 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

lucas1985,

The lab?  Who are you kidding? You don't have a job. You go to grad school.  Say hi to all the unemployed lab boys for me.  Let me know if they need a reference from a good capitalist for some real work.

Still waiting on a refutation of a single point I've ever made that doesn't include fancy graphs with faulty data and links to science journals referenced extensively as pro-Jones and Mann in the hacked emails.

David in Qatar

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#36) On January 05, 2010 at 4:02 PM, ikkyu2 (99.23) wrote:

Prohibition didn't work because it couldn't be enforced, not because the society decided it wasn't worth it.  You can't grow a field of tobacco in your bathtub and roll it into cigarettes in your kitchen; you can easily make a couple gallons of gin, though.

Smoking, looked at from a macroeconomic perspective, siphons trillions of dollars out of the economy yearly.  The aggregate change in health care costs, surprisingly, is nearly break-even, because smokers die on averages decades sooner than non-smokers and spare society the costs of caring for them into their 80's and 90's.  The real killer is days lost from work because of smoking related illnesses, mostly bronchitis and pneumonia that would not have occurred if the worker was not a smoker.  Taxation on cigarettes comes nowhere near replacing this lost value to society, nor can it do so, because both the days lost from work and the cigarette tax each serve to reduce net GDP. 

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#37) On January 05, 2010 at 8:41 PM, miclane05 (88.98) wrote:

Lucas1985, the book I cited in my earlier post includes some comments from Judge Posner (7th Cir.) about how the health consequences from second hand smoke have been exagerated. Those comments are not very unusual, as doctors and researchers connected to the American Cancer Society have submitted court documents and acknowledged under oath that the original studies linking second-hand smoke to cancer have been discredited and that there is currently no proven link to cancer or other harmful diseases from second-hand smoke to adults (i believe studies still demonstrate significant harm to undeveloped lungs of children).

A few years ago when I still worked for the federal government, one of my law student interns wrote a law review article on the subject with significant citation to medical data. I'm a full time attorney working in private practice now and do not have the time to dig up citations for you but, with any research accumen, i'm sure you can find them yourself. 

UltraLong, government policies should be about data, statistics, and other objective criteria. Your personal suffering with cancer is certainly not unusual, and it is not disputed that first hand smoking causes cancer, but rather than focus our policies on the emotional stuggles of individuals, i'd prefer my government to look at the hard numbers. I too know people who have suffered from various illnesses, but my personal sadness towards something like parkinsons doesn't mean that policies should change. As an example, heart disease kills more adults in this country than the next four causes of death COMBINED, yet there is significantly more news coverage and discussion given to cancer but I'd rather government save the most people, not the ones whose families cry the loudest. 

niether of these points address the underlying topic of the original post, but my views have been expressed in my earlier post and i wanted to briefly respond to the subsequent comments.

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#38) On January 06, 2010 at 11:00 AM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

Smoking, looked at from a macroeconomic perspective, siphons trillions of dollars out of the economy yearly.  The aggregate change in health care costs, surprisingly, is nearly break-even, because smokers die on averages decades sooner than non-smokers and spare society the costs of caring for them into their 80's and 90's.  The real killer is days lost from work because of smoking related illnesses, mostly bronchitis and pneumonia that would not have occurred if the worker was not a smoker.  Taxation on cigarettes comes nowhere near replacing this lost value to society, nor can it do so, because both the days lost from work and the cigarette tax each serve to reduce net GDP.

I don't buy that.  If people miss work, then employers have to hire more people.  So it's a higher cost to employers, but it's more plentiful jobs for employees.  Also, healthcare costs flow to the healthcare sector which employs a lot of people.

An the key argument here is that who gives a flying @#$% about whether it's good for GDP or not.  We don't have a centrally managed economy with a five year plan.  We are free Americans who can do as we please because we live in a free country.

That's why I find it funny that when I set foot in Mexico I feel like I'm in a free country where as the US feels more communist.  You can smoke in the hotel lobby or the cab or the bar or the pool or the restaurant and no federales come and bother you about it.  In the US you'd probably be taken away in handcuffs for doing that.

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#39) On January 06, 2010 at 11:17 AM, turdburglar (38.71) wrote:

Regardless of your thoughts on the origins and intentions of the Tea Party movement, there is some backlash starting over big government sticking its nose into everything.  The Tea Party movement is just a small piece of the backlash.  It will get stronger as some of the government programs start to become insolvent.  It will have people thinking about the role of government in their lives.  For now you might have a good percentage of the backlash coming from right wing nutjobs and fairyland libertarians, but just because these guys are a little off in some ways doesn't mean they don't have any valid points that would appeal to mainstream people.   

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#40) On January 07, 2010 at 1:06 PM, ikkyu2 (99.23) wrote:

So let's get it straight.  Smoking is good because it makes people sick, causing employers to have to hire more people to replace the sick people, and enriching doctors?
I mean, I'm a doctor, but I don't think smoking is good just because it makes people come into my office with terrible lung cancer tumors that have spread into their brain!  To the contrary, I think watching someone die, writhing in agony, partly paralyzed, with slurred speech and an inability to recognize their family members - just because they chose to smoke - well, that's sad.
Even if it does put money, lots of money, into my pocket as a doctor.

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#41) On August 07, 2010 at 2:24 PM, dwot (40.10) wrote:

It is gross ignorance to point to alcohol as some kind of justification to allow toxic behaviour.  Second hand smoke is the largest source of carcinogens non-smokers are exposed to.

Further, the damn cigarettes are responsible for a great deal of the alcoholism.   Non-smokers tend to not abuse alcohol and when when smokers quit their alcohol abuse declines considerably.

Mixing smoking and drinking is like mixing uppers and downers, consumption of both is dramatically increased.  Smoking is the drug of gross addiction and therefore the primary problem.

Further, I haven't met a smoker that doesn't regret starting and allowing smoking simply reduces the likelihood of success when trying to quit. 

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