The Useful Duck!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smokers are an oppressed minority

I will never finish chopping silage. The goal is 20 loads a day but it doesn't always happen. Today the dairy faerie didn't want to start till after lunch as he had to do the milking himself today. Then he wanted to quit at 7:30. We squeezed in one more load but only did 16 loads today. We need to be doing 30 loads and actually spending at least 10 hours chopping. I am doing this with only myself and my helper to mow, chop, and haul 100 acres of 16 ton to the acre grass, we need to work longer hours.
As it is I have run out of things to think about and am listening to talk radio.
NPR was talking about the latest government meddling option. They are putting scary pictures on cigarette packages.
I want to know what the government has against cigarettes.
30 years ago everyone smoked and the government promoted it. Then one day there was a power shift, someone important decided they were against smoking.
I think it is a cynical manipulation of public opinion. Possibly just an exercise to see if it could be done. I don't know who conspired to do it. It was probably just an agreement of like-minded people. Or a scam by lawyers to get a lot of money.
I suppose I should state my bias.
I don't like smoking. I don't smoke. I think it is a silly habit. I think it is crazy to inhale smoke on purpose.
But... I think all these statistics are baloney. I do not believe that second hand smoke kills people, unless you spend all your time in a smoke filled room. I seriously doubt that the health care industry spends millions of dollars on smokers.
I think many smokers live otherwise unhealthy lifestyles and smoking is one factor which increases health risks. But, so does your family genetic makeup, how much dust you inhale in your life, and then just random bad luck.
I think there are a lot of things people do which make them unhealthy. Smoking is obvious because you are inhaling smoke. I doubt it increases your risk of health problems as much as it makes an obvious visible target to blame for any illness doctors can't explain.  Sure, I've seen lungs covered in tar and if you are a smoker and die of lung cancer or throat cancer I could see a direct link. But, I've also seen the stats that show that smokers die earlier in general and save their insurance companies a lot of money by avoiding expensive end of life care at age 80-105.
I think it is really stupid to ban smoking in all bars. I think it is ok to ban smoking in the workplace but it is unfair to ban smoking everywhere. You can't even have a business dedicated to smoking and allow your customers to smoke there.
People do lots of unhealthy things. It is just that some of those things are accepted by people who have influence.  People die climbing Mountains in the Pacific Northwest all the time. They get lost and require expensive rescues. Mountain climbing is still legal.
The bottom line is not the fact that smoking is bad for you or expensive to society. It is that smoking is favored by a group of people who no longer have political influence, but do not qualify as a persecuted ethnic or sexual minority.
Marijuana smokers have more social acceptance than tobacco smokers. We live in a backwards world...
And I don't even like smoking!


  1. Having been a smoker for the last 40+ years, I think I can contradict you with impunity.
    The real issue, is that it is a highly addictive substance, and marketed by people that know of it's addictive properties. The only people that favor smoking, are the ones making money from it, or the fools that delude themselves by saying they enjoy it and it relaxes them. When they wouldn't have the nervous feeling in the first place if they weren't hooked. $5.00/pack now and most smokers go through at least a pack a day. Add it up. That's some $1,500.00/year that a smoker (addict) will spend before he buys anything else. One of the things that make it so hard to quit, is that they are available everywhere. I personally always wanted them banned completely. Let the tobacco farmers grow food plants. I could go on...
    It's been 35 days now w/o & I'm really happy about it.

  2. Congrats on the 35 days. It's been years for me and I don't even think about it anymore. The wife still smokes and keeps saying she will quit. She has to really want to first.
    I do believe they are addictive and poisonous. Have you seen the list of ingredients? Not pretty.

  3. They ARE unhealthy, but it really IS all politics. Most of the food we eat is unhealthy too, and only a few crackpots are trying to regulate it (so far).

  4. I don't think people should smoke and I don't really disagree with any anti-smoking comments made, especially those with experience.
    I think smoking became a magnet for lawsuits and legislation and regulation for reasons other than the general health of mankind.
    I also think banning smoking everywhere discriminates against smokers. It is almost easier to smoke pot than it is to smoke tobacco. MJ has more carcinogens and makes you high. Of course this is Oregon and we are a little upside down here anyhow...

  5. " MJ has more carcinogens and makes you high."

    Maybe more, but with the exception of a few Rasta's the quantity inhaled is way less than a pack a day smoker. It is also not addictive. Of course if it didn't get you high, no one would smoke it. I still remember the high from the first few tobacco cigarettes I smoked. Try one, you'll get a buzz. Although that goes away after you're hooked. Why else would people still start smoking?


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