Smoking vs. Non-Smoking Discussion

Discussion in 'Community' started by ~Shard~, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #1
    I thought I would start a potentially controversial thread for some fun and enjoyment, but also hopefully full of educated discussion and differing viewpoints.

    Basically, my questions for discussion/debate are the following:

    - Are you a smoker or a non-smoker?
    - Have you smoked then quit? Successfully?
    - What is your opinion of smokers/smoking?
    - What is your opinion of making cities "smoke free", banning smoking, raising cigarette taxes, etc. etc.?

    To keep things relatively simple, let's start off with just basic "tobacco-product" smoking for now, (cigarettes, cigars, etc.), and leave hard drugs, marijuana, etc. out of it for now. ;)

    I'll start commenting myself once a good discussion is started...

    :cool:
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    Feb 18, 2003
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    PDX
    #2
    Well there was a thread not too long ago that dealt with much of what you are asking...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=75377&highlight=cigarettes

    I personally did not contribute to that thread, which was pretty unamimously anti-smoking, but I will quickly answer your questions.

    As you may have inferred, I am a smoker, about 3/4 of a pack a day. I have been a smoker for about 15 years and have quit twice matter-of-factly because my lifestyle did not have room for them. I eventually restarted, though. I also worked for a while as a direct-marketing rep for Camel (going around to bars, giving out complimentary packs), it was a fun, well-paying job, but I felt "dirty" doing it, but it facilitated alot of connections for my other work (VJ, Web-Design) and I got a lot of free drinks and entrance to free shows at music venues. Smokers loved me, and I made a lot of friends I would not have usually, and met many attractive women. Non-smokers were ambivalent or sometimes hostile to my presence. It was policy only to approach smokers BTW. So I am in pretty deep.

    As far as my opinion on smoking, I am conflicted. On one hand, I find it disgusting, smelly, and unhealthy, which it obviously is. But many "vices" are not attractive for rational reasons, and although the addictive properties corraled me in, I quite enjoy smoking, which is why I have not quit, despite the considerable expense. My reasons are idiosyncratic.

    I like that less people smoke these days, and that a lot of the "allure" has been taken out of the activity. I also support non-smoking in Workplaces and restaurants and in Public indoor spaces. I do like being able to smoke in a bar, but in the places which have laws to prevent it, I haven't minded as much as I thought I would. Barring it outside seems a little excessive.

    I do not like the connection between littering and smoking, and I mike an effort to properly dispose of my butts, be it in the trash (after making sure it is out), in an ashtray (where available) or in my pockets or a small jar (if I have my tote-bag), which I feel is responsible.

    With regards to second-hand smoking, I am not completely convinced of a causal link, although in a small, unventilated environment, is is hard to dispute that it can't be healthy. Despite my reluctance, I am willing to give the benefit-of-the-doubt to the premise. With the general decline in air quality, I feel auto-emissions are at least as bad as cigarette smoke, among others, but I guess you take any improvement where you can get it. However, if you are vehemently anti-smoking for these reasons, and drive often, or in a fuel-inefficient vehicle (like an SUV), or consume a large amount of energy, when other options are available, I feel that borders on hypocrisy..

    As far as raising cigarette taxes, I am not sure...as a smoker, i would of course like them to remain cheap, and 75% of their current price is already taxes, so perhaps it is a little excessive at this point, but I am not really passionate about it one way or the other...if a reasonable argument is advanced for raising the tax, I will support it.

    Smoking is a personal choice, and I do feel that smokers should not be unduly prosecuted, as we mainly hurt ourselves, as people do with alcohol and drugs and an assortment of other habits which also, to varying degrees impinge on the rights of others. That said, I agree with measures to limit the attractiveness of smoking to younger generations, which many modern measures do, so I am willing to give on the former for the benefit of the latter...

    It would be nice if smokers were a dying breed in more ways than one...
    Take as you will...
     
  3. ~Shard~ thread starter macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #3
    Ah, I didn't see that one. I did do a search before I posted this new thread to see if anything similar had been done before, but didn't come across this one. Regardless, hopefully another worthwhile discussion can take place here...

    Excellent post - thanks for putting so much thought into it. I find it encouraging that a smoker can still be anti-smoking in many respects, proving that it's not just "cut and dried" one way or the other. I meet so many people who are pro-smoking and won't hear of any of the negative aspects or adamantly believe that anything is questionable with what they are doing to their bodies, health, etc.

    You make many valid points which i agree with... :cool:
     
  4. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    Jan 1, 2004
    #4
    Non-smoker. Husband is a quitter of 3 years :D (and husband of about 18 months!)

    I think smoking stinks :p I like living in a state where I don't have to ask for non-smoking in a restaurant and don't have to see people smoking everywhere.

    I have a lot of sympathy for smokers because intellectually I understand it is difficult to quit. I know from my formal studies that quitting isn't just a matter of beating a physical addiction but also a psychological addiction, which some will say is the harder part to beat.
     
  5. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    Apr 26, 2003
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    Wakayama, Japan
    #5
    Non-smoker.

    I think its a complex issue. If it weren't for the fact that it adversely affects other people I'd be all for letting people mess up their own lungs. I'd try and talk my friends out of it sure, but wouldn't be out to make it illegal or anything. Unfortunately it does affect non-smokers. I am pretty convinced of the links to the danger of second-hand smoke as a carcinogen, but even if you discount that, as an asthmatic I can tell you that it can adversely affect you, and yes you can avoid some situations but not all.

    I really feel sorry for smokers. The tobacco companies are putting chemicals in there that make them more addictive and never told the public, not to mention there is strong evidence that they knew it was dangerous, even deadly, but never told anyone. I can understand how older generations have the addiction, heck doctors used to recommend smoking to relieve stress. On the other hand I think people in my generation (20 somethings) and younger are just plain stupid for starting.

    But I know people who would love to quit, its very very hard, and its discouraging. The average number of times to actually quit is somewhere close to 7 or 8 according to the latest study. Man imagine having to keep trying to quit that many times.

    I'm glad that they are outlawing it in more public places, I hope it will help people beat the addiction, because frankly it bothers me alot that all that money goes back to those who knew it was dangerous all along. Its one thing to sell a product and make money, its another to make money off a product that makes people sick and even kills them. Despicable.
     
  6. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

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    Sydney
    #6
    Soon to be 18 year old, none smoker. I've been a passive smoker since the day I was born, my dad smokes around a pack a day... I've been trying for years to get him to quit but to no avail.
     
  7. jywv8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    I've been a pack a day smoker for about 14 years. I have thought about quitting, but I've never actually tried to do so. I know smoking stinks (literally), that it is bad for my health, that it is an expensive habit, yadda yadda yadda, but I like smoking, so I smoke.

    I have no problem with not allowing smoking in most confined, indoor spaces. However, I don't agree with laws banning smoking in restaurants and, in particular, bars. If an owner wants to ban smoking in their bar, that is his/her perogative, and I can choose to go there or go somewhere else (just as a non-smoker can decide whether or not to go to a bar where smoking is allowed). I don't have any reasoned argument for this. I just like to have a smoke after a meal or with my glass of whiskey. And I agree with the previous poster that banning smoking outside is excessive.

    As far as raising cigarette taxes go, I think it's better than raising income taxes. But I think they should also raise taxes on alcohol and gasoline.

    All these people who "feel sorry" for us "stupid" smokers...well, I "feel sorry" for the "stupid" fat people I see ordering cheeseburgers at McDonald's. We all have our vices. No one lives forever.
     
  8. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    PDX
    #8
    You know, you inadvertently raise an interesting point(s) imo...First off, in saying the the money goes back to the Cigarette companies (which is true), you perhaps fail to realize the vast majority goes to the Government, whether it be State or Federal, in the form of taxes. The vast majority of the price of a pack of cigarettes are these taxes. I just question the potential for duplicity of those who benefit so much from the revenue, yet vigorously side with the anti-smoking campaign. Remember, these are the same States (or the same Country) that also made multi-million dollar settlements with the Tobacco Industry.

    Should the Tobacco companies have paid out so much? Absolutely. Was the money deserved by those who got it? Maybe. If I remember correctly, it was to defray the cost of rising medical expense incurred (either by the State, or reflected in Insurance rates) because of smoking-related ilness? But did the State (if that was the case), really spend that much? Was not most money spent by private citizens, in their particular health-care bills on an individual-case basis? I know that some of the funds awarded were earmarked for Anti-smoking usage, but I do not know how broad that definition is, and some funds have no restrictions.

    I have no proof of Duplicity, it is just an interesting possibility to ponder. Like I said, this has nothing to do with the evils of smoking, or the evils of the Tobacco companies. It might have something to do with the (hereto unnoticed) evils of Government.

    Feel free to point out if I am working off faulty assumptions or some such distortion...after all, smoking cuts down on oxygen to the brain (well, everywhere actually), so I am surprised I can even write in complete sentences...
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    Non-smoker all the way ;)

    Both my parents were smokers, so funnily it could be expected that both myself and my bro would likely grow up to be smokers, but we both find it disgusting.

    I'd never go out with a smoker, and it annoys me that smokers that contract lung cancer are treated on the NHS when that money would be better spent on helping people with issues that they haven't caused or contributed to.
     
  10. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #10
    non-smoker (never tried either unlike many others)

    personally i can't understand why some starts smoking..but that aside i have nothing against smokers as long as they don't blow their smoke in my way and don't throw their finished "tschiks" (how they are called here since forever..not officially but the word is accepted through the country...spoken out like the english word "chicks") on the floor...yeah and i hate it when they walk around with a cigarette in a over crowded disco....

    but they are paying taxes on it (and the taxes will rise even further..and they will still buy them ;) )
    if they destroy themselves... fine...i've no problem with that (and such huge court trials never happend over here...)
    without them a lot of medical jobs, people working at the borders controlling those cars if people are smuggeling cigarettes/tobacco,shops selling them etc.

    my mother is anti smoking but my father is still smoking(but he is only allowed to smoke in the kitchen (he needs a cigarette after his morning coffee) or he has to go out...only exception is when guests are here then it is allowed to smoke in the living room too..(but most go out nonetheless)
    this "unwritten laws" exist since my mother got pregnant with my older sister (hm thats nearly 25 years) and during her pregnancies with us three kids my father reduced smoking and smoked only outside....
     
  11. John Little macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    #11
    What were they thinking...

    As a longtime and heavy smoker I hope that when people look back on this period of smoking they will think: What were they thinking!

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances I know (and I tried a lot of others). And it gives you nothing more then relief against your withdrawl symptons. Alcohol for example at least gives you a buzz. Sigarettes do nothing but eventually kill you (already lost a couple of relatives because of smoking related deseases).

    I quit once. And beside the first five days found that remarkable easy to do. Physicly and mentally. But still after a couple of months I started again. That little devil kept calling for it. And I fear it will always be calling somewhere dorment. Even if I've quit for 30 years. I was born a smoker and will die as one. Even if I dont smoke.

    In other words: smoking sucks! Lets light up another one...!

    A hope soon to be non-smoker (almost there)
     
  12. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    #12
    Actually the health care costs associate with the gov't covering smokers (medicare, medicaid, etc) is staggering. I wish I could find the numbers but I'm in a hurry so it'll have to wait.
     
  13. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #13
    I am willing to take your word for it...but as we seem to heading down a road of more privatization in the health-care field, and with the potentiality for cigarette taxes to continue to increase, will that cost-revenue structure remain intact? Like I said...just possibilities. I am not going to be writing my Congressman anytime soon...

    Shard, I apologize for going a little off-track here...
     
  14. ~Shard~ thread starter macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #14
    No need to apologize at all blackfox, that's what I started this thread for - an open, civilized discussion on essentially all aspects of smoking - please continue. As for msyelf, I'll have to contribute my own thoughts in the next little while as well!
     
  15. Calvinatir macrumors 6502

    Calvinatir

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    Nov 8, 2003
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    LA
    #15
    non-smoker but would still like the privilege available.

    Sure smoking can be bad for you, but we live in America, where you can legally do stuff that can turn out bad for you. Whatever, i believe that i should have the RIGHT to smoke if I please. I don't see smokers as bad people and i do like the smell of smoke on occasion, especially cigar and pipe smoke. i do NOT approve of it being banned in cities, counties and even states. That is inflicting on the right of us Americans. I believe i have every right to go in my backyard and smoke a pack if i choose to. Heck, at least the casinos here in southern california let you smoke wherever you want...i approve.
     
  16. alia macrumors 6502a

    alia

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    Orlando, FL
    #16
    I've never smoked a cigarette and neither have my 3 siblings. My father was never a smoker, although everyone on my mom's side was. They all quit before I was born, or soon after, so it's never been an issue in our family. My mom still admits that she loved to smoke, although she stopped cold turkey when she quit (I think the only time she slipped and had a cigarette after that day was when my father divorced her - I can understand the stress there).

    None of my boyfriends have ever smoked, and none of my sibs have dated smokers. I don't even have very many friends who smoke and tend not to hang out with people who do. I just find the habit gross and I can't stand the smell. It also gives me headaches.

    I love the ban in restaurants, because even if you were sat in a non-smoking section, the non-smoking sections right next to the smoking section were still pretty smelly. I wish they'd ban it in bars and clubs, since I can't stand having my clothes smell like smoke and my hair, but I can see how that would be economically bad for bars and clubs.

    The one thing that REALLY irks me about smokers is the 4 to 6 smoke breaks that smokers take every work day... I don't get four 15 minute breaks to sit around and do nothing at work every day, so why should they? If I took a mental break to check out CNN.com on my computer, I'd get yelled at... but they can hop outside whenever they want for a cigarette. Not exactly fair. Other than that, I have nothing really that bothers me about smokers, as long as they don't do it anywhere near me, my house, or my car. :)

    As a bit of interesting information... something like 95 or 97% of people who haven't started smoking by age 20 will never start. My stats may be a bit off, but I read something to that effect on a news site last year.
     
  17. aus_dave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #17
    Non-smoker.

    Smoked for around 8 years, then quit 'cold turkey' after one or two tries. Apart from the odd lapse at a party etc. in the early stages, have never smoked again (that was 10 years ago).

    When I was a smoker I enjoyed it and liked nothing better than a coffee and a cigarette :D. Now I think it is anti-social and a pointless waste of money :rolleyes:.

    Banning smoking in restaurants I agree with. In bars I'm not so sure, although I would hate to work in that environment due to the smoke.

    I don't know what you would have to raise taxes to, if you are addicted to something the price is usually of little consequence :cool:.
     
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #18
    I live in California, where nobody seems to smoke anymore. So of course I don't.
     
  19. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    i don't smoke cigarettes but i do enjoy smoking cigars. i buy them from time to time and smoke more of them at parties, bars, and vacations.

    iJon
     
  20. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    Oct 21, 2002
    #20
    I am a non-smoker (I have asthma)

    Second hand smoke really bothers my breathing, but I don't think that they should ban it everywhere.

    I agree with companies banning smoking in offices (not government), but I think bars and restaurants should be left alone. If a majority of people really wanted non smoking bars, then a bar owner would offer that. Just like restaurants offer non-smoking and smoking sections. That makes a majority of their customer's happy.

    On a side note, I have a client that allows smoking in the office. I cannot go and service that client and I ask my employees if it bothers them to let me know. I will have to stop doing work for them if I didn't have employees who don't care about the cigarette stench. If I go to that client my breathing gets constrained in a matter of minutes... :(
     
  21. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    Jan 1, 2004
    #21
    That is part of what helped my husband quit. He moved away from his family/friends who were all smokers and moved to CA with me :D The social part of it was gone.
     
  22. NusuniAdmin macrumors 6502a

    NusuniAdmin

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    Nov 19, 2003
    #22
    non smoker....have really terrible asthma as it is + im only 14....
     
  23. BaDBoY macrumors member

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    California
  24. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    Albuquerque, NM
    #24
    Duff-Man says....non-smoker for sure. I think it is great that more cities/states/provinces are getting on the smoke-free bandwagon. It may sound harsh, but I have no sympathy for the poor smoker that feels they are being "shunned by society." I hate it when I get on the bus to/from work and some smoker sits close to me with that awful stench of cigarettes...disgusting....if those people only realized how offensive that is.....oh yeah!
     
  25. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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    Nov 30, 2003
    #25
    strict non-smoker but only when it comes to cigarettes and crack. ;) I have no problem with weed though :)
     

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