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Author Topic: "Surgeon General: No Secondhand Smoke is Safe"
javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Smokeless tobacco?

I've said it before. There's no second-hand chew (I hope to God). Smokers should change their habit and take a pinch between cheek and gum. You can do it at your desk.

There are smokeless cigarettes. Another reason I have less of a problem then I probably should with banning regular cigarettes from public places.
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Lassek:
The fact sheet on second hand smoke references the National Cancer Institute as a source, so I went to their website and searched for info on second-hand smoke.The fact sheet that I found on NCI's website references the 1992 EPA study, which was discredited
thirteen years ago. So, unless someone can find another study that was done recently, this is based on research that has already been struck down in court.

I know this thread is long, but I spent a hell of a lot of time getting links together. None are based on that study. Please take a look.
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The Drake
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I can appreciate that second hand smoke is dangerous, and there are a lot of links supporting that. But my dream-graph is one that shows the mass of certain chemicals from various sources in proportion.

For instance, if a person takes in (numbers not correct):

20 mL Carbon Monoxide, auto exhaust during one hour commute

100 mL Carbon Monoxide, backyard grill, 30 minutes in proximity

1000 mL Carbon Monoxide, one pack (filtered) smoked by individual

200 mL Carbon Monoxide, exposure to environmental smoke in restaurant over 8 hours

2 mL Carbon Monoxide, exposure to environmental smoke, 4x1 minute

Then, I could scale my outrage and set the polarity correctly. Obviously, my made-up numbers reflect a certain bias, so nobody should be attacking the numbers. Mentally picture the numbers as interchangable.

Point is, almost no one - including the Surgeon General - remarks upon the perspective in any meaningful quantitative way. Maybe I've missed it, have I?

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The Drake
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EPA: No standards for CO have been agreed upon for indoor air. The U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards for outdoor air are 9 ppm (40,000 micrograms per meter cubed) for 8 hours, and 35 ppm for 1 hour.

There are wildly diverging estimates from various sources. I chose this one because it is NOT from an anti-smoking site and could therefore be considered a more conservative estimate.

Alaska Science Forum

[1983]

quote:
For comparison, undiluted cigarette smoke contains about 30,000 ppm of CO, undiluted warm car exhaust about 7,000 ppm, and the chimney of a home wood fire about 5,000 ppm. Clean countryside air contains about 0.02 ppm of CO. The smoke from one pack of cigarettes, if distributed uniformly throughout an average sized house, could result in a CO concentration of up to 14 ppm.
Okay, so now some hard numbers! I'm assembling the data for my wonder-graph.

I'll be happy to continue the research, and when I finish, I'm going to print it out and smoke it.

To be continued....

disclaimer: I recognize there are hundreds to thousands of chemicals. I'm not a research scientist, and I have to start somewhere. CO sounds like a good start. If it turns out to indicate significant additional exposure, I won't have to go further, I'll start supporting bubble-bans, and possibly even citywide bans.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
I can appreciate that second hand smoke is dangerous, and there are a lot of links supporting that. But my dream-graph is one that shows the mass of certain chemicals from various sources in proportion.

For instance, if a person takes in (numbers not correct):

20 mL Carbon Monoxide, auto exhaust during one hour commute

100 mL Carbon Monoxide, backyard grill, 30 minutes in proximity

1000 mL Carbon Monoxide, one pack (filtered) smoked by individual

200 mL Carbon Monoxide, exposure to environmental smoke in restaurant over 8 hours

2 mL Carbon Monoxide, exposure to environmental smoke, 4x1 minute

Then, I could scale my outrage and set the polarity correctly. Obviously, my made-up numbers reflect a certain bias, so nobody should be attacking the numbers. Mentally picture the numbers as interchangable.

Point is, almost no one - including the Surgeon General - remarks upon the perspective in any meaningful quantitative way. Maybe I've missed it, have I?

Not that I can find. Believe me, I've spent ridiculous amounts of time trying to find it, and so far, neither side has bothered.
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The Drake
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So, using my numbers quoted above (while recognizing that the figures could change for any number of reasons - including higher auto emissions) can we use the following mathematics concerning Carbon Monoxide as it relates to sidewalk smokers vs. autos?

Roughly, we can say that for those in an urban environment, proximity to a smoker and proximity to a tailpipe is similar. Therefore, we could expect monoxide dilution to be similar.

quote:
For comparison, undiluted cigarette smoke contains about 30,000 ppm of CO, undiluted warm car exhaust about 7,000 ppm, and the chimney of a home wood fire about 5,000 ppm. Clean countryside air contains about 0.02 ppm of CO. The smoke from one pack of cigarettes, if distributed uniformly throughout an average sized house, could result in a CO concentration of up to 14 ppm.
So, the business end of a cigarette is 30 ppt, while exhaust is 7 ppt. Let's pretend that our smoker doesn't inhale, and he therefore puts out roughly four times as much CO as an auto exhaust.

But then, auto exhaust is continuous, while smoking is intermittent. And there are a lot more cars than smokers. We also would have to think about other factors.

We can also use the information that people can kill themselves in fairly short order with one automobile in a garage. I have yet to hear of suicide by cigarette exhaust.

This is only one chemical. This is not definitive. But I suspect this is why we don't hear more about these numerical comparisons.

As one person noted, the majority of smokers didn't (and don't) give a crap about how their smoke affected non-smokers. So why expect the non-smokers to care about smoker's rights? When I was a smoker, we used to sit downwind of our non smoking guests - and certainly never blew a cloud across the table.

Then you had smokers who would ask to be seated in non-smoking because they didn't want to wait for a non-smoking table, and then lit up a cigarette anyway.

Smokers are largely unsympathetic for a variety of reasons, which I think is the real reason why nobody cares about their concerns.

It also doesn't really lend itself to a "slippery-slope" argument. There really aren't any other such issues - except maybe public consumption of alcohol - which we also don't allow.

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javelin
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quote:
Smokers are largely unsympathetic for a variety of reasons, which I think is the real reason why nobody cares about their concerns.
To break rule #11, as usual (I think that's the one):

That's pretty much the main reason why I lean towards not opposing the banning of smoking in public. I have a hard time sympathesizing with people who do the crappy stuff, and I admittedly probably don't notice those who do the right thing. That's why I'm conflicted, but leaning towards: "If people want to ban it, I don't give a damn. I won't oppose it, but I'm not getting off my behind to support it, either."

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Larfoutloud
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quote:
Smokers are largely unsympathetic for a variety of reasons, which I think is the real reason why nobody cares about their concerns.
That's a pretty large assumption, IMHO. I am a smoker, but I tend to think of myself as a very cautious and friendly smoker. If I'm at a bar (and not seated directly at the bar) I will ask people around if they mind it. If I'm at the bar itself, well, it kind of goes with the atmosphere - you don't like smoke, don't sit at a bar that allows smoking.
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EDanaII
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That's definately thoughtful of you, Larf [Smile] , but unfortunately, the smoke doesn't stay at the bar, which is the issue at hand, and what lends to the notion that smokers are unsympathetic.

Please note, that I didn't say they were, only that it lends to the idea that they are.

Ed.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Larfoutloud:
quote:
Smokers are largely unsympathetic for a variety of reasons, which I think is the real reason why nobody cares about their concerns.
That's a pretty large assumption, IMHO. I am a smoker, but I tend to think of myself as a very cautious and friendly smoker. If I'm at a bar (and not seated directly at the bar) I will ask people around if they mind it. If I'm at the bar itself, well, it kind of goes with the atmosphere - you don't like smoke, don't sit at a bar that allows smoking.
I've got tons and tons of anecdotal evidence, and I've provided quite a bit on this thread. To me, it's not only not an assumption, it's a fact of my life. Even so, I recognize that this may not be universally true.
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Larfoutloud
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I just think that if you go to a bar that allows smoking, and you don't like smoke, why would you put yourself in that situation. I hate to say it, but I don't have any sympathy for that. Albeit, here in Colorado, the new "ZOMG NO SMOKING ANYWHEREZ" law is coming into effect on the first of next month.

If you don't like the smoke, shouldn't you stay home? That's like saying you don't believe in the Holy Spirit, but continue to attend an A/G church. /boggle

Now, in the middle of the street, in front of the building you work at, or while you are driving, that is a different story. And for whoever said that "cars have ashtrays", mine doesn't. ^.^

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javelin
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Well, that's why I haven't been talking about smoking bars - though your concern has already been answered.

As for the "no ashtrays" - yes, that's starting to happen. You must have a new car. And if you smoke, you can buy an ashtray for it, most likely, for less than $40 - it's one of the cheapest accessories you can get, on average. And if you don't? And you smoke anyway? And you drop your cigarette ashes and/or cigarette on the ground while driving? That's called littering, and in Oregon, at least, it goes with a heavy fine, if caught.

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Jesse
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"I have yet to hear of suicide by cigarette exhaust."

It isn't the quickest way to do it. It isn't obvious. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Yeah, if you knowingly walk into a bar that allows smoking and complain, it's kind of like griping about all those naked people on your trip to a nude beach.

Sorry Javelin, feel free to take it personally if you must, although it isn't intended that way.

I don't know where you live or what your ussual driving conditions are, but if it's a major urban area, it's absolutely insane to claim that second hand smoke comming out of a window rates as a significant health concern when compared to the junker car with bad rings burning oil.

I get that it ticks you off, that you hate the smell, that it's rude (same things I've heard vegitarians say driving by MdD's), but calling it a health assault is a "Waiter, there's a fly in my hemlock" argument.

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Larfoutloud
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quote:
Originally posted by javelin:
Well, that's why I haven't been talking about smoking bars - though your concern has already been answered.

As for the "no ashtrays" - yes, that's starting to happen. You must have a new car. And if you smoke, you can buy an ashtray for it, most likely, for less than $40 - it's one of the cheapest accessories you can get, on average. And if you don't? And you smoke anyway? And you drop your cigarette ashes and/or cigarette on the ground while driving? That's called littering, and in Oregon, at least, it goes with a heavy fine, if caught.

1. It is a new car, so I don't smoke in it.

2. It's more than $40.

3. Most younger people that smoke in their cars, don't, in fact, use the in-car ashtray.

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TommySama
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Let's all pretend we agree that SHS is dangerous, regardless of it's affect compared to other toxins like car exhaust.

Is banning it in restaurants and bars justifiable? I still don't think it is. For the following reasons:

-Owner property rights
- I don't believe that exposure to SHS can be dangerous enough to make a lasting affect unless if it is over the long term, so I doubt anyone will be harmed from getting a little SHS at the steak house every once in awhile
-Owner Property Rights
- Employees of restaurants that allow smoking CAN find new jobs, quickly enough that their health won't be damaged in the long run. (maybe thinking ahead and getting a job where the known environment is too tense for you would be advisable)
-OWNER PROPERTY RIGHTS! If a restaurant/bar owner feels they are losing to much business to allow smoking they will come around naturally. Boycotts of smoking restaurants would be an efffective way to start change. I just don't think the government needs to be involved every time someone is uncomfortable with the smell of something.

Is a permit required to allow smoking in a restaurant? I'm pretty sure permits are required for bars to sell alcohol. I don't even know if this would make a difference... I'll look into it though.

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javelin
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quote:
Sorry Javelin, feel free to take it personally if you must, although it isn't intended that way.

I don't know where you live or what your ussual driving conditions are, but if it's a major urban area, it's absolutely insane to claim that second hand smoke comming out of a window rates as a significant health concern when compared to the junker car with bad rings burning oil.

I get that it ticks you off, that you hate the smell, that it's rude (same things I've heard vegitarians say driving by MdD's), but calling it a health assault is a "Waiter, there's a fly in my hemlock" argument.

It's a health assault if they are sticking it in your window. Yes. Is it significant? No. Is it rude? Yes. Just because car exhaust sucks too doesn't mean that cigarette smoke doesn't suck.

quote:
1. It is a new car, so I don't smoke in it.
Good for you.

quote:
2. It's more than $40.
That's unusual.

quote:
3. Most younger people that smoke in their cars, don't, in fact, use the in-car ashtray.
And I hope they get fined every time they tap the ashes onto the pavement, or flick their cigarette out their window.
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MattP
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I hate SHS. The smell drives me nuts. However, the SHS evidence seems extremely weak.

* Megadoses increase illness in rats - well yeah, but megadoses of trans fats and artificial sweeteners will too.
* The statements along the lines of "there are 2000 dangerous chemicals in SHS that can make you sick" are misleading in that they provide no sense of the relative or absolute quantities of those chemicals, nor what true risk the represent.
* Statements about how much worse SHS is than mainstream smoke are even more misleading, because the actual quantities of SHS that are likely to be ingested are dramatically lower than the quantities of mainstream smoke taken in by the smoker. Because of his proximity to the cigarette, the smoker is likely to be taking in more SHS than any of his "victoms"
* Look how many times equivocal words like "may", "probably", and "could" show up.
* Look at the vague statements about "decreased air quality" and such.

Reading the excerpts posted here my eyebrows raised so many times I got muscle cramps in my forehead. They read more like propaganda than scientific research. They may be right on their factual statements, but how can there be so little hard data after all these years of talking about how aweful SHS smoke is?

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KnightEnder
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If there is ANY chance that SHS causes cancer then it should be banned in public places.

KE

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by KnightEnder:
If there is ANY chance that SHS causes cancer then it should be banned in public places.

KE

That's the thing though - define "causes cancer" and "ANY." How much SHS does it take to "cause cancer" and what are the conditions necessary to reach that level of exposure? Is the makeup of SHS the same between all cigarette brands? Is the cancer risk specific to an isolated subset of the chemicals released in SHS? If so, can those chemicals be targeted for removal from future cigarette products to decrease the public health risk of SHS? In a typical urban environment, will SHS contribute a meaningful level of pollution above that of car exhaust and other sources of pollution such that removing it will measurably decrease health risks?

My beef is not with the concept of banning dangerous and I'm happy to have cigarette smoke absent from my world. I'm just not thrilled with the "fuzzy science" used to justify absolute bans.

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The Drake
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KE: Cell phones have been linked to cancer. We can certainly use one to induce tumors in lab animals. Can we ban them from public places?

please?!

(Btw loud talking cell-phoners and movie text-messagers, take note of the blowback smokers got and don't be so rude!)

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KnightEnder
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Drake,

Only if they cause tumors in other people. If cigs only hurt the user I wouldn't have a problem with'em. My dad smokes (and did the whole time I was growing up), and my boss smokes. And I am trapped in the car with both of them, but I don't really mind.
It's the thought of my kids getting cancer from someone elses addiction that worries me.

Matt, ANY = any chance above 0.0 that SHS might cause cancer in one of my sons. Or anybody elses child for that matter. I'm a liberal.
I think the government should stay out of peoples lives UNTIL & UNLESS a persons actions harms others. I'd even put up with the disgusting smell if that was all the damage it did. But as long as there exists ANY chance...

KE

[ June 30, 2006, 02:13 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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The Drake
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There's clear indication that cell phones have a chance above 0.0 to cause a tumor in non-users - proportional to the square of the distance, but still measurable. What if you're in a crowd and the stranger whips out his phone right next to your kid's head?

ANY chance means lack of perspective. Is there ANY chance that someone might give your kid cancer with their auto exhaust? There sure is.

On a long enough timeline, just about any activity any of us does has some chance to kill each other's children.

I suspect you don't really mean ANY chance, but rather that you think the chance is perceptible and relevant.

There's also value judgement in your statements:

"from someone elses addiction"

So does your kid have less of a cancer based on the motivations and personal habits of the person inflicting the harm?

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KnightEnder
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quote:
There's clear indication that cell phones have a chance above 0.0 to cause a tumor in non-users - proportional to the square of the distance, but still measurable. What if you're in a crowd and the stranger whips out his phone right next to your kid's head?
I shoot them with my gun? [Wink]

Or better yet I light up a cig and throw at the guys feet yelling "Smoker!" and wait for the gestapo to come and take him away.

Auto exhaust? I see your point and it's a good one, but you have to pick your battles. [Frown]

I don't see your point concerning "value judgements"? If your saying it could be a casual smoker and not an addict, then I withdraw the addiction part. As I've stated I've smoked when drinking in bars. Of course nothing but adults there. [Cool]

KE

[ June 30, 2006, 02:42 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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MattP
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You beat me to it Drake. The number of products in our environment that are introduced to us through the actions or inactions of others and which have a greater than 0.0% chance of causing cancer, is essentially infinite.

Here's a good one off the top of my head - shadows. Yup, that's right. Shadows cause cancer. You see, sunlight plays a role in the production of vitamin D, which has been credited with having a role in preventing some types of cancers. Several studies supporting this relationship are linked on this page: http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/261103vitd.html

So, by blocking essential sunlight, every thoughtless average-sized adult that casts a shadow over your children is increasing their risk of getting cancer. Surely the increased risk is quite small, likely vanishingly, unmeasurably small, but I suggest it's not 0.0.

Do you have carpet in your house? Do you ever fertilize your lawn or paint your fence? Ever taken your kids through an automatic carwash or into a hardware store? What is the carpet made of? What about the pad and the glue? What substances are in your lawn chemicals, paints, and stains, the soap in the carwash and the countless straight-from-the-factory products in the hardware store? Do you really believe that none of those things could possibly present a > 0.0 risk to your children?

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KnightEnder
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Wood floors. Hate gardens. Wood fence. No drive thru car washes. Hate hardware stores. I'm a jock, and I don't cast a shadow. Just kidding about the shadow. [Smile]

And I think I already said it, but if you didn't get it here it is again; If SHS is no more harmful than a shadow then I wouldn't be for outlawing it in public places. Are you honestly suggesting that SHS is only as dangerous as a shadow?

Did you see the part where I said I see his point but you fight the battles you can? Cars, cell phones, etc. are, if not necessary, at least useful contrivances. We may have to have cars but I don't have to risk my health or my childrens because of the actions of others.

Banning cars, for example, in the US would lead to more life-threatening conditions than currently exist. However, banning cigarrettes in public places doesn't negatively affect the fabric of our society. Although it does make it smell better.

Life is full of risks, every parent knows this, but that doesn't mean you don't eliminate potential threats were you can.

KE

[ June 30, 2006, 03:04 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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TommySama
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"I shoot them with my gun?"

You just said you were a liberal, I thought liberals were opposed to guns.

"So, by blocking essential sunlight, every thoughtless average-sized adult that casts a shadow over your children is increasing their risk of getting cancer. Surely the increased risk is quite small, likely vanishingly, unmeasurably small, but I suggest it's not 0.0."

MattP, don't forget that TOO MUCH sunlight causes cancer too. Interesting, it's almost as if everything can be linked to cancer. So why aren't you guys promoting blocking out the sun and making us drink our Sunny D to make up for the lost vitamin D?


Face it, Guys. You can get cancer everywhere, at any time, from anything (or more likely a combination of things, including genetics, and a really long time exposure...)

Bringing your kids to a smoking restaurant every once in awhile isn't going to increase their chances of getting cancer any more than some gigantic decimal (like .000000000000000000000001% [okay, maybe a little larger than that...]) And isn't the rate of error usually like +-2%? If not much higher than that. I remember the EPA's rate of error was 10% (after they changed it from 20% when that didn't help support their predetermined conclusions.)

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KnightEnder
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I'm a Texas liberal.

And you feel confident that that number is solid enough that you can say that SHS is not going to hurt peoples kids and they should disregard the studies tying SHS to cancer?

I assume that you ignored my "pick your battles" arguments so you could make the witty "Sun causes cancer" argument? (Which was humerous, and would have been a good argument if I hadn't already acknowledged that there are some risks that we are forced to take. However, I do put heavy duty sunscreen on my youngest, he's really light complected.)

KE

[ June 30, 2006, 03:15 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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TommySama
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"Did you see the part where I said I see his point but you fight the battles you can? Cars, cell phones, etc. are, if not necessary, at least useful contrivances. We may have to have cars but I don't have to risk my health or my childrens because of the actions of others."

Cars are a huge risk to your children - and yourself. They have a tendency towards hitting one another, and pedestrians, so how is that not a risk? Car exhaust is just another factor of that danger.

Most cars are driven in the city, where they are more dangerous. But in the city you can almost always walk, bike, or take public transportation to where you need to go. City streets wouldn't be so busy if they weren't filled with people going places they don't need to be. My point isn't to ban cars, I'm just saying most of what they are used for is totally pointless, so why not ban driving excessively? (I'm definitely guilty of going on a late night drive to delve things over in my head when I could have much more easily walked.)

I will play devils advocate to say that smoking is helpful (or so I hear.) It relaxes people, and is used as an alternative for many people from excessive drinking or drug use. This definitely improves our society, or would you rather those drunks and druggies drive around drunk, posing an even bigger threat?

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MattP
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quote:
Are you honestly suggesting that SHS is only as dangerous as a shadow?
I don't believe that shadows represent a real public health threat, but it doesn't look like anyone is making a serious effort to assess the actual risk of SHS so it can be put in it's rightful place in the hierarchy of dangers.

I'm all about choosing our battles, which is why I want an honest and vigorous assessment of the risk, not the propanda that the surgeon general is putting out.

I think smoking is a disgusting, filthy habit, but I haven't seen any evidence that the level of exposure to SHS that most kids are likely to experience in public places represents anywhere near the risk from any number of other common chemicals and situations.

Edit: Look at the time of my post KE - I was typing it while you typed yours. I hadn't seen the "choose your battles" line until after I'd submitted my post. Undoubtedly I think I'm clever - surely moreso than I actually am - but I wouldn't purposely ignore someone just to show off.

[ June 30, 2006, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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TommySama
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"I assume that you ignored my "pick your battles" arguments so you could make the witty "Sun causes cancer" argument?"

Read my last paragraph of that again, slowly. Why should I believe there is any danger? The EPA and WHO had to lie to show that SHS was dangerous, and now the surgeon general comes out with a mystical conclusion that all exposure to SHS is bad for you... NO SH*T!! How dangerous? I don't believe catching a whiff here and there, or going out to eat sometimes is enough to get you cancer. I think he is referring to people with long term exposure (kids whose parents smoke in the house.)

Re-read what MattP said:

"I hate SHS. The smell drives me nuts. However, the SHS evidence seems extremely weak.

* Megadoses increase illness in rats - well yeah, but megadoses of trans fats and artificial sweeteners will too.
* The statements along the lines of "there are 2000 dangerous chemicals in SHS that can make you sick" are misleading in that they provide no sense of the relative or absolute quantities of those chemicals, nor what true risk the represent.
* Statements about how much worse SHS is than mainstream smoke are even more misleading, because the actual quantities of SHS that are likely to be ingested are dramatically lower than the quantities of mainstream smoke taken in by the smoker. Because of his proximity to the cigarette, the smoker is likely to be taking in more SHS than any of his "victoms"
* Look how many times equivocal words like "may", "probably", and "could" show up.
* Look at the vague statements about "decreased air quality" and such."

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KnightEnder
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I'll do some research on it and if I'm not convinced that it poses a significant threat then I will withdraw my support of smoking bans.

Oh, and read it slowly, my point is still valid. Maybe you should read it again. Or please show me what I'm missing and why bringing up something that causes cancer but we can't eliminate is a valid argument after I've already acknowledged that there are many things we can't get rid of as we can smoking in public places.

(Must sleep. Goodnight.)

KE

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MattP
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Please let us know your conclusion. I've got six kids of my own and, though I haven't been impressed with the evidence I've found supporting smoking bans, I'd surely be interested in whatever you come up with, especially if you reach the opposite view.
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TommySama
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"Banning cars, for example, in the US would lead to more life-threatening conditions than currently exist."

How so?

I'm pretty sure I've said before that if SHS actually posed a health risk I would support an outdoor ban (like on streets, sidewalks, right in front of stores), but I would still not support a restaurant/bar ban.


"Or please show me what I'm missing and why bringing up something that causes cancer but we can't eliminate is a valid argument after I've already acknowledged that there are many things we can't get rid of as we can smoking in public places."

You mean cars? We can't eliminate them, but we could definitely cut down their use. Hell, that would have added benefits besides cutting down on cancer causing chemicals from the exhaust being removed (if you believe in glomal warming, anways [I'm still not sure]) This is a similar scenario since a smoking ban isn't stopping smoking, just public smoking, as a driving restriction would be a cutting down of unnecessary driving which poses a health problem to us all.

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livermeer kenmaile
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a) "Banning cars, for example, in the US would lead to more life-threatening conditions than currently exist."

b) "How so?"

Ambulances are cars.

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javelin
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[Big Grin]
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Redskullvw
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I say we ban anything that might harm anyone or his or her DNA.

Since that can't be done, maybe we should simply understand that life is inherently dangerous, and get over our self importance.

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TommySama
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I'll drink to that.

Even though it's only 12:40

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ngthagg
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TommySama: You mentioned property rights (assuming we agree SHS is harmful) as being a reason to not ban smoking. Your idea, I suppose, is that in a private establishment, to owner should be able to decide whether or not to allow a harmful practice on the premises. (If this isn't what you meant, ignore the following.)

The problem with this is that restaurant and bar owners are not given free reign to decide what harmful practices they allow. (http://www.healthspace.ca/Clients/VDH/Piedmont/Piedmont_Website.nsf)
This website is a bit of pain, but if you navigate around a bit you will find cooking guidelines for a wide variety of food.

My question is, if a restaurant owner is not allowed to decide to what temperature a steak may be cooked, why should she be allowed to choose to permit a dangerous substance to be used in her restaurant?

ngthagg

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MattP
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quote:
My question is, if a restaurant owner is not allowed to decide to what temperature a steak may be cooked, why should she be allowed to choose to permit a dangerous substance to be used in her restaurant?
Because there is firm data regarding the specific risks of improperly preparing food and it would be difficult to discern which restaurants prepared food properly and which ones don't if we left it in the hands of the business owners. Cigarette smoke is easier for the layman to detect than e. coli.

That's just the first thing that comes to mind. I'm sure there are other fundamental differences between bad food prep and SHS exposure.

[ June 30, 2006, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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The Drake
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the problem with including all possibly harmful behavior as potential bans and then "picking your battles" is that it basically enables society to outlaw that which it decides it doesn't like -not that which is most dangerous.

BTW - stress is a major factor in disease. It is clearly not necessary to use stress- inducing profanity, so lets outlaw that in public places also.

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