Sunday, 25 March 2007

Smoking kills

It has long been known that smoking causes lung cancer and lung cancer can cause death (death normally being classed as a bad thing). Apart from premature death, there are a number of other things that happen as a result of smoking (the following information available on the website for ASH - Action on Smoking & Health):

Increased risk for smokers
  • Cataract
  • Hearing loss
  • Impotence
  • Depression
  • Tooth loss
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms made worse by smoking
  • Asthma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Optic Neuritis
Diseases more severe or persistent
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Crohn's disease
Do you want any of that list or have it made worse? I don't. Well, that's the sort of thing smokers look forward to.

A guy who goes by the name of fibrodenial has this to say:
"It has finally happened… smoking cigarettes now threatens your livelihood, making smokers an officially oppressed people. Wikipedia describes oppression as "the negative outcome experienced by people targeted by the cruel exercise of power in a society or social group." A government at war with tobacco companies over the right to obtain revenue through product regulation and taxation has created enough propaganda to convince society that anyone using the uncooperative industry’s nasty little products must be erradicated."
I like the bit about "smoking cigarettes now threatens your livelihood". I would have thought the obvious health problems it causes meant it threatened your livelihood already. Apparently, banning smoking is a "cruel exercise of power". How is it cruel if it will improve your health and the health of people around you (remember the effects of passive smoking)?

The ban of smoking in public places starts on July 1st. Note the word 'public'. It means you can still smoke in private places if you want to and that means it doesn't affect your human rights.

What about the hospitals in the UK? I found this quote in an article in the British Medical Journal:
"Each year in the United Kingdom smoking causes more than 120,000 deaths. It remains the largest single preventable cause of death and disability in the country and costs the NHS in England about £1500m a year."
Think about that figure - £1500m. If everyone was to stop smoking, just think of the other areas in healthcare that could benefit.

Anyway, I've mentioned the benefits of the smoking ban, but what about the negatives? To have a balanced argument I have to mention that the sale of cigarettes and tobacco generates millions for the UK economy and if the country never smoked, we wouldn't have the revenue from the sale of nicotine patches et al either.

That is a fairly weak argument though - when the smoking ban happens there will be a short term increase in the sales of patches generating revenue. Also, the money that would have been spent on cigarettes and tobacco would either spent on other things or saved - the latter reducing the ridiculous average personal debt level in this country.

Ok, so I've stated my opinion about the benefits of the smoking ban. What do you think?

Technorati tags: Smoking Ban, Health

2 comments:

sales said...

David, I note most of your information is courtesy of the 'health agenda' people such as ASH. I think in order to understand the issue you have to approach things from a position of balance. Lets take just one of your statements £1500 Mill on health care for smokers, what you fail to mention is the £10 billion the exchequer get from that group over and above normal taxation. The simple maths are that without that 10 bill the health care lobby would be 8.5 billion short. For a balanced view please go to www.freedom2choose.co.uk. A pro choice, not pro smoking group, who wish to see a democratic solution to smoking bans. The whole issue here is that total bans do not result in smoking reduction, rather in increased consumption. Bans that have choice, ie smoking rooms etc maintain the downward trend.
Robert Feal-Martinez

fibrodenial said...

First of all, you should have done better research...I'm female, not male. Second, you missed the whole point of my post that you cited: the fact that hospitals are banning smoking in your vehicle, which were still personal property as of two months ago when I paid my property taxes on mine. So if you want to try posting on a bigger topic, post something on how companies can govern what we do with our personal property now and have the local law enforcement back them up on it.