January 14, 2009

I know the tobacco lobby has bribed our congress, but wouldn't it be nice if the people demanded a change?




When I travel I'm always amazed at how harsh the warning labels are on cigarettes around the world.

And then I come back to the US and laugh. Because it's just so damn obvious that the tobacco companies have your representatives and Senators in their pockets.

Our congress is corrupt. It's full of pigs who take money from the tobacco lobby, and then do nothing to dissuade Americans from killing themselves with cigarettes. Even though it costs taxpayers hundreds of billions in Medicaid/Medicare costs, and results in massive lost productivity in the workforce.

I'm in favor of stupid people being allowed to kill themselves with cigarettes or any drug. However, I am NOT in favor of my tax dollars going toward their healthcare, not one penny, and I'm NOT in favor of the government doing nothing on the prevention side, while allowing Big Tobacco to murder US citizens scott-free.

Here are some warning labels from around the world. Not coming to the USA any time soon. Unless people start demanding a change.

35 comments:

keith said...

We get all freaked out by one blonde girl killed on some island when hundreds of thousands of Americans are killed each year by the tobacco companies (and our Congress).

We're funny in that way, aren't we?

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5425a1.htm

CDC calculated national estimates of annual smoking-attributable mortality (SAM), years of potential life lost (YPLL) for adults and infants, and productivity losses for adults. The findings indicated that, during 1997--2001, cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in approximately 438,000 premature deaths in the United States, 5.5 million YPLL, and $92 billion in productivity losses annually.

Anonymous said...

Tobacco in the US is mixed with pesticides, has nicotine levels lowered so the user craves more, and is dried with sugar.

Countries who use tobacco that is grown naturally and air-dried suffer no "tobacco" related illnesses.

Tobacco isn't bad for you. The people who own big tobacco are.

Guberville Smack said...

Killed by tobacco companies? And guns kill people too. And how about Ford? Mass murderers! Alcohol? Truck driving? Oil field workers? Wal Mart?

Looks to me like you could get killed on this planet!

In Germany you have cigarette machines hanging all over the place outdoors, so get over it. Self-destructive habits and bad choices have its roots in family values and upbringing, not law and public policies. Look at the war on drugs.
And don't compare self-destructive habits with the Holloway murder, very tacky.

The Grimm Freeper said...

I hate to say it Keith but getting the world to quit smoking will drastically increase the population at at time when resources are being decimated at an exponential rate.

One could argue that the resources needed to produce the tobacco that is consumed in the world also has an effect but the lifetime consumption of a person who does not smoke is far greater than the same person who does smoke (i.e. dies early) - even when you calculate the energy costs associated with treating that smoker's cancer.

It's better for the Earth to have humans killing themselves at accelerated rates right now and for the forseeable future.

We can hardly save the earth at this point without another major war or disease outbreak.

It is a hard fact but it must happen. We need to get more people in front of their TVs, doing less and dying sooner from obesity, sloth and cancer to really make a difference.

satan said...

I know smoking is the number one cause of terminal illness in the world. Why do I need the government to be involved at any level?

Anonymous said...

Are you fucking kidding me?

Why is it getting harder and harder to find a bar to smoke at? So, who is doing the lobbying?

What happened to a business owner's right to choose to allow smoking or not?

What happened to a worker's choice to work at an establishment that allows its patrons to smoke?

Over a lifetime, who uses more in medicare, medicaid, and SSN benefits, the smoker or the non-smoker?

Fuck, automobiles and air pollution from fossil fuel plants pollute the air and kill a lot of people prematurely as well, yet, you don't see then banning either of those do you? Why not? Oh, I suppose those things are different for some reason.

Anonymous said...

"But wait, the CDC, in the same report that it estimates healthcare costs attributed to
smoking, says that smokers die 14 years earlier than non-smokers, to the tune of
438,000 premature deaths per year. This puts the average male smokers estimated
demise at 60 years old and for females the estimate is 64 years old, in this group. .

The Social Security Administration reports that the average monthly social security
benefit is 879.30. This number results in a savings to the Social Security Fund of
$10,551 per year, per smoker. Multiply that number by 438,000 and multiply it one
more time for the 14 years worth of uncollected benefits, and this leads to an annual
savings of 64.4 billion dollars per year, without adjusting for future annual increases in
monthly social security payments. Making smokers positive contributors in the amount
of 19.4 billion dollars per year."

http://www.socialsmokers.org/do_smokers_use_more.html

Anonymous said...

"However, I am NOT in favor of my tax dollars going toward their healthcare, not one penny, and I'm NOT in favor of the government doing nothing on the prevention side, while allowing Big Tobacco to murder US citizens scott-free."

Oh yeah, and what did the states spend most of the tobacco settlement money on? I will give you a hint, it wasn't healthcare or smoking cessation programs.

Anonymous said...

And I wasn't saying that I am pro smoking - just pro-choice pro-personal responsibility for Christ's sake!

You have the ability to choose and do not need nanny government to take care of you!

keith said...

So we as a society have to pick up the healthcare costs of smokers, yet they die earlier so we don't have to pay their retirement or the healthcare costs for when they should have still be alive.

Hmmm...

Someone do the math - is society better off having smokers smoke, get sick and die early, or having them quit, stay healthy and live long?

lap dog said...

I wouldn't be so sure about all the bloviating Keith.

First of all, they're almost taxed out of existance (and that tax falls mostly on the poor). Secondly NY and CA have mandated they be re-engineered with additional chemicals to be nearly unsmokable.

I smoke but keep reasonable (half pack a day), which is not perfectly safe but my choice. I get mine imported from a relative in North Carolina, to get a resonable price, not have them laden with chemicals and so that I will give my own state Zero tax revenue from the sale.

Oh My! Is my post politically incorrect. Are you group think zombies offended by it??? Well that's my intention.

You mind controlled zombies who are anti-tobacco but pro- Mary JO wana. I'm pro both, but choose to partake of one, within reasonable bounds.

RT said...

Maybe the smoking ads are more brutal overseas because they need to be. When I travel, it seems to me that the rest of the world has a much bigger smoking problem than the US.

Anonymous said...

So we as a society have to pick up the healthcare costs of smokers, yet they die earlier so we don't have to pay their retirement or the healthcare costs for when they should have still be alive.

Baloney. Everyone should know that more than 40% of health care costs derive from FRAUD. We have every low life in this country milking the system, from Cubans doing rampant Medicaid fraud in Florida to Mexicans doing car insurance fraud in California.

Crack down on those low-life parasites, with stiff sentences and tougher immigration laws and you get health care costs to sane levels. Moreover, states tax smokers to death (no pun intended) but politicians and their cronies steal all the money, as usual.

Oh, and BTW, your hero Messiah smokes like a chimney.

gutless and lazy said...

At least guns COULD be used in self defense. (Tho I believe the risk of having a gun is higher than the benefit). And at least alcohol in small amounts has medical evidence it CAN enhance health. A Ford will at least get you to work.

BUT there is no benefit, not one what-so-ever in smoking.

Corporations that sell and market cigs should be banned outright. Still want to smoke? Fine. Grow your own, roll your own.

We don't bleed ourselves with leaches anymore, and we have laws that don't allow spitting in public.

SO WE SHOULDN'T ALLOW MASS KILLING BY WHOLESALE COMMERICAL SALES OF CIGS.

It's the 21st century for cying out loud. Poster's get over your big nanny gov't, paranoid, cry baby, moronic ideology.

JaneZ said...

keith said...

So we as a society have to pick up the healthcare costs of smokers, yet they die earlier so we don't have to pay their retirement or the healthcare costs for when they should have still be alive.

Hmmm...

Someone do the math - is society better off having smokers smoke, get sick and die early, or having them quit, stay healthy and live long?
-------------------------

Drunks: Kill themselves and others on the roads by the thousands. Liver damage, cancer, brain damage.

If you want a mama govt. shouldn't you tackle all things that are bad and self destructive? Outlaw EVERYTHING that is self destructive or forget about it.

Are you proposing that the same govt that is stealing our pensions and our savings be allowed to legislate what is good for our health???

Too funny.

Anonymous said...

My father used to say, (you'll go blind if you jerk off too much) So far so good!

casey said...

I'm afraid to outlive my savings.I might have to take a job flppijng burgers to keep the lights on.People smoking is the least of my problems.I don't care what they do, just don't blow smoke in my face.I don't want to breath smoke either.Not a very good choice to smoke.These must be the same people flipping condos in vegas.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% about the healthcare coverage, ever since they announced that obesity was a "disease" covered by medicare, and it reminded me that smoking and all it's diseases (smoking's mentioned at the top of the risk factor list for SO MANY really BAD, incurable or hardly-curable diseases), what I realized is that there is a MASSIVE TAX on me simply for BEING HEALTHY.

Call it a "FITNESS TAX".

I think EVERYONE born after a certain "year of tobacco enlightenment", like 1964, who can be observed to be a smoker after a certain date, should be DISALLOWED from a HOST of medical coverage. Reason: PREEXISTING STUPIDITY.

(If you're 70 now, I realize you started back when "cigarettes were healthful". If you've already quit or before some REAL "great American smoke-out" date, then maybe we'd be willing to foot the bill, since some of you are our family members.)

It should not be hard to track who the smokers are--track the store purchases just like auto and gun and even fertilizer and pseudophedrine purchases are tracked now. And, publish a reward-based whistle-blowers 800 number just like the IRS does, with an email address to send videos. Just hang around the entrance to your workplace and get cash for saving yourselves medicare tax dollars! Heck--let the IRS itself take these calls!

We might even get people into trying to so carefully hide their habit and the smoke it gives off, that they'll decide its easier to quit, and also maybe second-hand smoke will go into hiding too!

Meanwhile, tobacco taxes should be raised EVERY YEAR, by DOUBLE the rate of increase of national health care costs. AUTOMATICALLY.

Meanwhile, my city has banned indoor public smoking and MAN, IS IT GREAT! You can step into a pub for a burger or a drink or a game of pool or a poker tournament and when you come out, your eyes aren't red, your throat isn't sore and about to catch cold, and your clothes and hair aren't so stenched up you have to use hazmat procedures when you get home. AND, the pub OWNERS are HAPPIER because, by their own admission, they have found that MORE people are out in DROVES to the pubs now!

"Tobacco isn't bad for you." LOL good luck with THAT argument, stupid fool. I guess that's why U.S. tobacco companies would rather go out of business than change their product so it doesn't KILL people. Right.

Non-smokers in my family: Dad is 80 and still doing home carpentry repairs. His dad lived to 94, lived well till near the end.

Smokers in my family: Mom died of a stroke at 72 one Thanksgiving weekend with the contents of her digestive system displayed out on the couch, after suffering myriad health issues for 10 years. Her mom died in her 40's. Her dad died in his early 60's, heart attack. Her brother also died of a heart attack, sitting on the toilet.

Meanwhile, there's an EASY 12-week treatment that has a 40+% success rate past one year. And 1000 other methods if THAT one doesn't take.

HAVE FUN "maintaining your right to smoke", IDIOT SMOKERS!

keith said...

I wish people would bother to read my posts before they comment.

I believe everyone has a right to kill themselves with cigarettes or drugs. Go ahead - kill yourself. It's your call.

But I believe it's the FDA and CDC's responsibility to accurately communicate that if you smoke you will die early and awfully. Like other warning labels on poisons.

Government serves a purpose, it's not all evil. Without government you have anarchy. I want government to warn me about defective products. I want government to build roads and bridges, and provide for police and fire protection.

But government has failed America in the case of tobacco, because they were bribed to look the other way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures, Keith, the lasagna I am baking looks hauntingly similar to that guy's neck.

Anton Chigurh

a mean and greedy sob said...

What about fat people. Nothing worse than seeing a blob sticking a piece of pizza of chocolate sunday in their face.

Govmt better jump thier shit too.

So if you're a fatso critizing smokers look in the mirror. If you're a Mary Jane smoker, look in the mirror. If you don't exercise at least a few times a week (and this could just be a half hour walk) well... you know.

Anonymous said...

And at least alcohol in small amounts has medical evidence it CAN enhance health. A Ford will at least get you to work.

Alcohol makes you feel good and react slowly, the government wants you to have it.

Anonymous said...

There is so much misinformation in these responses it is staggering. The tobacco industry's spin machine is obviously doing a very good job.

1. Tobacco kills 1/3 of the people who use it-- when used as directed. Name a single other legal product with that kill rate. If they invented cigarettes for the first time tomorrow, they would never make it to store shelves.

2. Tobacco also kills innocent bystanders-- lots of them-- also at an astonishing rate. Also a no-no for any newly introduced products that wish to make it to the mass market.

3. Like any "right"-- someone's right to smoke or allow smoking ends when it interferes with another's right to not inhale a toxic fume. (Your right to swing your fist or cigarette ends where my nose begins.)

4. Knowing that cigarettes are deadly does not prevent 12 to 14-year-olds (age most smokers start) from starting. And then getting addicted. Addiction eliminates the argument of choice. Studies have shown the younger you get addicted, the "harder" you get addicted.

5. Smokers deaths are not necessarily less expensive to treat just because they die "younger." They could live with emphysema for decades and ring up quite a tab. Also, if you check, cancer, heart disease and stroke have quite a large price tag attached to them before death arrives.

6. Nanny state? If we were talking about a non-addictive product that legal adults choose to use, yes, good answer. As it stands, see #4 above.

7. Related to #6 above and Keith's original article: Did you know that of all the warning labels that exist in the US, only one was voted down into non-existance by Congress (after heavy lobbying from you-know-who). What did THAT banned warning label say? Cigarettes are addictive. Which label do you think might give the average 14 year old pause: Pregnant women, lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease? Or maybe the only one that has IMMEDIATE possible consequences: ADDICTION. Oh yeah, that one got voted down. Surprise.

8. Alcohol: Doesn't have nearly the addiction and/or kill rate that tobacco does.

Cigarettes are a dangerous product that would never be allowed to come to market by today's standards. The tobacco industry is so full of liars, they absolutely deserve to be sued into bankruptcy. They have been morally bankrupt for decades.

Anonymous said...

And while you're at it, Keith, be sure to kill off all the elderly and people with disabilities. Afterall, they cost the system just as much or more than smokers do.

Anonymous said...

The taxes paid on thirty years of cigarettes probably dwarfs the medical expenses. And doesn't everyone get sick and die eventually?

Daphne64 said...

There is a big benefit to smoking - it greatly reduces the rates of alzheimers - and I'm not talking about reducing the rates by killing people first.

80 year old smokers have much lower rates of alzheimers than 80 year old nonsmokers.

I plan to start smoking at somewhere between 60 and 70. I'd rather die of cancer than alzheimers.

lap dog said...

> Tobacco also kills innocent bystanders-- lots of them-- also at an astonishing rate.

Even after being band from public facilities. Now that's just mindless spin. Propaganda that evokes injustice and fear is the most potent type.

> Smokers deaths are not necessarily less expensive to treat just because they die younger.

And they're not necessarily more expensive.

> Cigarettes are a dangerous product that would never be allowed to come to market by today's standards.

And I'd bet money that you'd want pot brought to market even though it's been proven to be more than 10X more damaging to health that tobacco.

I hope you're not a porker who doesn't exercise, or you're a self rightous fool. And by the way, who knew there was so much anti-smoking passion amongst bubble blog readers.

jim said...

"Countries who use tobacco that is grown naturally and air-dried suffer no "tobacco" related illnesses."


References? References NOT from Marboro?

jim said...

"And guns kill people too."

Guns kill a minuscule portion of their users on a per use basis.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Wow Keith, your blog sure is read by a lot of people who hate people.

I work on a respiratory ward. I see people dying slowly from cigarette smoking. It's not pretty. Lung cancer is actually one of the easier ways to go, because it doesn't last for as many years as emphysema. Now THAT -- patients spend years gasping like beached fish, able to walk less and less, until they're essentially confined to a lounge chair in their living room with an oxygen cylinder beside them.

It's too bad that some of you haters can't get a job working as door bitches at the casualty department, or riding shotgun on the ambulance. YOU could be the ones that tell the sick people "I'm not letting you in! You smoke -- you just lay there and die!" A lot of you would like that, eh? The chance to look someone in the eye and say "I don't like your bad habit. You made a bad choice. So die, motherfucker."

The catch is, you'd have to be the one to take the beatings from their enraged relatives who don't like seeing Mom or brother coughing and wheezing to death because some heartless bastard turned them away.

Australia is one of the countries with those hideous warning labels. They have graphic ads in magazines and on TV that even make me look away. (There's a reason I didn't go into surgical nursing...) Cigarette taxes are high, and smoking is banned in most indoor places. The government here is willing to do its bit to curb smoking, because the socialised medicine makes government bear the cost.

But even in socialist Australia, there's the flip side of legalised bribery by the ciggy bigs. So they don't go completely banning it. And young people still want to be all cool and rebellious and self-destructive, so they take it up early and don't want to quit until it's too late. Thus does the cycle go on, even in a society that ostensibly wants to make it stop.

But seriously, all you sour bastards that chuckle at people dying from smoking -- do you actually live amongst other people? Or do you just stay in your basement and write blog comments? Have you ever watched someone die in front of you? I recommend volunteering to work at a hospital, or better yet, a hospice for the dying. (Yeah, I know, doing work for free violates your moral code.) It might give you some humanity. (I know, you don"t WANT that. It's too soft and gay...)

Anonymous said...

"References? References NOT from Marboro?"

"Murder By Injection" by Eustace Mullins http://www.scribd.com/doc/3920620/Eustace-Mullins-Murder-by-Injection

Also, did Columbus comment on all the lung cancer sufferers he discovered when observing the Native Americans?

Lung cancer became prominent when sugar was added to the drying process of tobacco.

Anonymous said...

From The Lacet:

Sugar in Tobacco: Theory and Fact

"... in view of the lack of a clear indication from inhalation stuides ... there is no basis for the United Kingdom Government to recommend those who must smoke to choose cigarettes made from air-cured tobacco with low-sugar content in preference to cigarettes made from flue-cured tobacco."

WOW it was easy to find a debunking article from a RESPECTED science journal (rather than some random conspiracy-theorist net posting). It was, like, the FIRST article under a google search for "sugar in tobacco"...

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, I will vote for the government to get out of my life.

The government has no business in providing health care for everyone, it is therefore has no business in deciding if a person can smoke or not.

Anonymous said...

"If you ask me, I will vote for the government to get out of my life.

The government has no business in providing health care for everyone, it is therefore has no business in deciding if a person can smoke or not."

Precisely!

Anonymous said...

"WOW it was easy to find a debunking article from a RESPECTED science journal (rather than some random conspiracy-theorist net posting). It was, like, the FIRST article under a google search for "sugar in tobacco"..."

Some people will believe anything I suppose.