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Posted: 23 June 2011 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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traveler - 23 June 2011 05:47 AM

I am surprised that Switzerland is one of the top (per capita) consumers (see HERE.) I wasn’t surprised that China and India are the top overall consumers.

Not at all surprised about Spain being high, though NB: it’s data from 1998.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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traveler - 23 June 2011 05:35 AM

That’s a very good question, but smoking is not something one can do safely - driving is.

Not according to statistics. The chances of dying in a car accident are much higher than dying from smoking. Also, the one problem with how they conduct the statistics regarding smoking is that anybody diagnosed with a lung cancer is asked if they smoke or ever smoked. This is obviously very misleading since a person diagnosed with lung cancer at seventy who smoked a few cigarettes a day when he was twenty is automatically considered a smoker. The chances of getting sick from smoking certainly do exist, but are probably much lower than what the statistics show.

The other problem I see is, well, what I see. I had lived in the Czech Republic and Spain where a lot of people smoke—in Spain it must almost everybody. I only know one person who got a throat cancer and smoked two packs a day. But then, I also know another guy (they are both 40) who also got a throat cancer and never smoked a cigarette in his life. I know these are merely personal anecdotes, but when I compare that with, for example, people getting divorced—supposedly, 50% of married couples will get divorced—where I do know enough people to see that the statistics here are pretty much what I see in my daily life, I find it very difficult to accept that a smoker has supposedly 20% higher chance of dying from either cancer or a heart disease than a non-smoker.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 06:52 AM
traveler - 23 June 2011 05:35 AM

That’s a very good question, but smoking is not something one can do safely - driving is.

Not according to statistics.

That sentence should not be allowed without a reference. What and whose statistics?

The chances of dying in a car accident are much higher than dying from smoking.

And the chances of dying when smoking while driving are higher still (LINK, LINK, LINK). And ask yourself which of these activities is necessary. Smoking? No way.

Also, the one problem with how they conduct the statistics regarding smoking is that anybody diagnosed with a lung cancer is asked if they smoke or ever smoked. This is obviously very misleading since a person diagnosed with lung cancer at seventy who smoked a few cigarettes a day when he was twenty is automatically considered a smoker. The chances of getting sick from smoking certainly do exist, but are probably much lower than what the statistics show.

Sounds like a smoker defending an obviously disgusting addiction. And if there is a chance of getting sick from smoking - why do it??? To look cool? No way. Not today.

The other problem I see is, well, what I see. I had lived in the Czech Republic and Spain where a lot of people smoke—in Spain it must almost everybody. I only know one person who got a throat cancer and smoked two packs a day. But then, I also know another guy (they are both 40) who also got a throat cancer and never smoked a cigarette in his life. I know these are merely personal anecdotes, but when I compare that with, for example, people getting divorced—supposedly, 50% of married couples will get divorced—where I do know enough people to see that the statistics here are pretty much what I see in my daily life, I find it very difficult to accept that a smoker has supposedly 20% higher chance of dying from either cancer or a heart disease than a non-smoker.

Yeah, and I knew another guy…  wink

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Posted: 23 June 2011 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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traveler - 23 June 2011 07:22 AM

Sounds like a smoker defending an obviously disgusting addiction.

Sounds like a nonsmoker who feels entitled to tell others how he feels about their habits. I know that’s the status quo these days, but I would be careful here.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 07:55 AM
traveler - 23 June 2011 07:22 AM

Sounds like a smoker defending an obviously disgusting addiction.

Sounds like a nonsmoker who feels entitled to tell others how he feels about their habits. I know that’s the status quo these days, but I would be careful here.

That’s the only part you respond to? Screw the emotion - how about the science and the facts?

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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“Facts” based on epidemiological studies are far from being facts. Sure smoking is bad, but I already told you why I don’t think it’s as bad as they say it is, to which you felt you were entitled to reply with your, well, disgusting comment.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 08:13 AM

“Facts” based on epidemiological studies are far from being facts. Sure smoking is bad, but I already told you why I don’t think it’s as bad as they say it is, to which you felt you were entitled to reply with your, well, disgusting comment.

I like you because you often make me think about things in different ways. That’s a welcome characteristic. But you cannot (well, should not) feel free to state facts about ethnic groups and the worthlessness of parenting that offends some while not being able to take a simple statement about smoking being a disgusting addiction.  It is a FACT that smoking IS a disgusting addiction. Most smokers know this and accept it as a fact. Anyone is entitled to say smoking is a disgusting addiction. It is not a personal attack. Most farts stink. I bet you fart and aren’t offended by my comment about farts stinking.  shut eye

And to hell with sophisticated statistical analyses. Not necessary. Anyone can perform a simple, repeatable experiment as is shown HERE

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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No, traveler, it’s not a fact that smoking is a disgusting addiction. What is a fact is that smoking is an addiction. Moral realism is harder to defend than you may realize.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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BTW, worthlessness of parenting? When did I ever say anything stupid like that?

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Posted: 23 June 2011 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 08:50 AM

BTW, worthlessness of parenting? When did I ever say anything stupid like that?

Sorry, worthless in the sense that it has the slightest influence on a child’s behavior (not totally worthless, my bad).

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Posted: 23 June 2011 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 08:47 AM

No, traveler, it’s not a fact that smoking is a disgusting addiction. What is a fact is that smoking is an addiction. Moral realism is harder to defend than you may realize.

So, it’s a charming addiction… The moral realism is that society has pushed the activity of smoking away from where society gathers. What word works for that? Repulsive?

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Posted: 23 June 2011 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 08:13 AM

“Facts” based on epidemiological studies are far from being facts. Sure smoking is bad, but I already told you why I don’t think it’s as bad as they say it is, to which you felt you were entitled to reply with your, well, disgusting comment.

Properly done epidemiological studies generate data that is as factual as scientific data can get.  326px-Cancer_smoking_lung_cancer_correlation_from_NIH.svg.png
The correlation between smoking and LC is high, not that correlation is causation, but in studies normalized for other variables smoking stands out as the main contributor to LC.  Even amongst people who have never smoked the correlation between exposure to cigarette smoke (second-hand smoke) is high.  At minimum, smokers have an 8X greater chance of developing LC than people who never smoked.  Among people who are non-smokers but their spouses smoke the rate is between 2.4 and 3.4X higher (See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.2910270102/abstract ).

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Posted: 23 June 2011 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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traveler - 23 June 2011 09:14 AM
George - 23 June 2011 08:47 AM

No, traveler, it’s not a fact that smoking is a disgusting addiction. What is a fact is that smoking is an addiction. Moral realism is harder to defend than you may realize.

So, it’s a charming addiction… The moral realism is that society has pushed the activity of smoking away from where society gathers. What word works for that? Repulsive?

You can use any word you like. As long as you say that you (or many or even majority) find it disgusting or repulsive, I don’t have a problem.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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TeachScience - 23 June 2011 09:33 AM

At minimum, smokers have an 8X greater chance of developing LC than people who never smoked.

Yes, but that number is fairly new. It used to be twenty to thirty (!) times higher, still cited by many.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 10:24 AM
traveler - 23 June 2011 09:14 AM
George - 23 June 2011 08:47 AM

No, traveler, it’s not a fact that smoking is a disgusting addiction. What is a fact is that smoking is an addiction. Moral realism is harder to defend than you may realize.

So, it’s a charming addiction… The moral realism is that society has pushed the activity of smoking away from where society gathers. What word works for that? Repulsive?

You can use any word you like. As long as you say that you (or many or even majority) find it disgusting or repulsive, I don’t have a problem.

Man, that seems like a formality, but OK, most people find smoking to be a disgusting addiction. My wife and I took a trip to visit some friends a couple of weeks ago. They had both quit smoking about 8 months ago. The woman said she is now disgusted by the smell. She said, “I used to smell like that?” yep…

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