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Who's in charge of your health?
ayesinback at 6:06AM, Feb. 7, 2011
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New York City wants to be.

Last week NYC's City Council voted 36 to 12 to ban smoking in city parks, beaches and public plazas. As smoking is already banned indoors for all public areas throughout the city, this means that smoking is pretty much restricted to within doors of private residences.

Coupled with the ban is one of the most draconian tax rates on cigarettes. Last time I checked a carton of cigarettes cost over $80.00, which means at least half the cost is pure revenue for the city (and state, not sure what cut each one gets). But revenues should sky-rise when unknowing tourists light up at $50 per violation.

There's nothing to defend about smoking. It's a dirty habit, and smokers don't help defend themselves when they blow smoke in faces or litter cigarette butts everywhere. So keep the ban on indoor smoking and enforce the littering statute.

This isn't NYC's first foray into “looking after us”. A few years back, they declared war on trans fats, and now the city is concerned about sugary drinks, including fruit juice.

*Although this airs on any channel at any time, some of the images might be disturbing*


Edit: Forgot to mention that NYC has a special “sweet drink” tax, too
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
KnaveMurdok at 3:14AM, Feb. 8, 2011
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That's on top of all the ACTUAL PACKETS OF SUGAR I ingest daily.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
bravo1102 at 6:01AM, Feb. 8, 2011
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Best thing to get rid of the hiccups: swallow the contents of a sugar packet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
HippieVan at 5:54PM, Feb. 8, 2011
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They did something interesting here a while back…they made it illegal to smoke while in the car with your children. A weirdly specific law, ha.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
Hawk at 7:02PM, Feb. 8, 2011
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I know it's a bit insensitive, but I have a hard time mustering up sympathy for smokers. Most of them knew they were choosing prolonged suicide when they lit up. And like you mentioned, it's a habit that affects people other than them as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
ozoneocean at 7:24PM, Feb. 8, 2011
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I have no moral objection to smoking, I just find the smell really horrible- stale smoking smell on clothes is even worse than fresh smoke in the air.

It's just an obnoxious addiction unfortunately (not the addicts).
I'd really rather that traditional cigarettes, cigars, pipes, roll-your-own (and that includes marijuana spliffs), were totally outlawed and replaced by non-smoke releasing alternatives.- Those electric cigarettes work well, they look realistic, the user enjoys them pretty much the same, and they don't produce clouds of stink. :)

More stuff like that is needed! Let people have their addictions, it makes them happy, just make it so that they don't make everyone else unhappy.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
HippieVan at 8:05PM, Feb. 8, 2011
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ozoneocean
I'd really rather that traditional cigarettes, cigars, pipes, roll-your-own (and that includes marijuana spliffs), were totally outlawed and replaced by non-smoke releasing alternatives.- Those electric cigarettes work well, they look realistic, the user enjoys them pretty much the same, and they don't produce clouds of stink. :)

More stuff like that is needed! Let people have their addictions, it makes them happy, just make it so that they don't make everyone else unhappy.

Agreed. As I'm not a smoker I don't really know how well those alternatives work, but I'd say it's fair for smokers to put up with something like that so they don't bother/hurt the rest of us.

Cigarette smoke on someone is really just the worst smell, though.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
BffSatan at 9:37PM, Feb. 12, 2011
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I don't get smoking. Like I understand why people do other drugs; I don't want to do them myself really but I get why. Smoking doesn't make as much sense as there's no real payoff aside from slowly dieing of cancer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
Dodger at 8:28AM, Feb. 13, 2011
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I go to fashion school in Manhattan. Most of the fashion design/FMM majors (fashion merchandising management, also known as the I LOVE SHOPPING! degree) smoke in leu of eating to keep up with the industry. Last fall the school started enforcing the law about not smoking on public property (our college is a state school, thus public property) and suddenly the sidewalks were impassable because at any given moment no less than 70 fashionistas would be standing outside chain smoking… during lunch hours there can be a few hundred of them outside smoking at once.

If the school starts enforcing the no smoking laws more… there's going to be a lot of dead FMM girls piling up in Chelsea.

Koji Takahashi Stops the World, full color, updating Mondays
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
HippieVan at 10:29AM, Feb. 13, 2011
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BffSatan
I don't get smoking. Like I understand why people do other drugs; I don't want to do them myself really but I get why. Smoking doesn't make as much sense as there's no real payoff aside from slowly dieing of cancer.

Um, because it looks cool. Duh.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
lefarce at 12:21PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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BffSatan
I don't get smoking. Like I understand why people do other drugs; I don't want to do them myself really but I get why. Smoking doesn't make as much sense as there's no real payoff aside from slowly dieing of cancer.

Nicotine.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
blindsk at 12:34PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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Stuff like this has been off and on in California as well. Most of the time they're trying to outright ban sweetened products, especially in schools. That just ends up pushing students to set up their own “black market” of candies and sodas (and during the temporary ban in my school, they actually made a reasonable profit). Much like banned products in the real world, huh.

I'm all for leading a healthy lifestyle and all, but how am I to keep my gamer image without the proverbial bag of chips and two-liter soda sitting on my desk?

On a more serious note, I feel like people get into more trouble with sugar free/reduced fat/low sodium because they end up eating more of it!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
HippieVan at 7:30PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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blindsk
Stuff like this has been off and on in California as well. Most of the time they're trying to outright ban sweetened products, especially in schools. That just ends up pushing students to set up their own “black market” of candies and sodas (and during the temporary ban in my school, they actually made a reasonable profit). Much like banned products in the real world, huh.


Really? Our school doesn't sell pop or anything, but there's no “black market.” Everyone who really wants something like that just walks to the safeway or any of several other shops/restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Your school must have been pretty isolated.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
blindsk at 7:46PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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Hippie Van
Really? Our school doesn't sell pop or anything, but there's no “black market.” Everyone who really wants something like that just walks to the safeway or any of several other shops/restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Your school must have been pretty isolated.

Ironically there is a grocery store right across the street from my old school, centralized right in the middle of fast-food heaven. However, no students were allowed off campus at any time during the day (with the exception of a doctor's note of course), even during lunch. So it was up to you to haul your own snacks (come to think of it, we didn't really have any vending machines in place during that time).

Pretty soon I would see students bring giant bags filled with soda and candy bars selling them for above-store price. For some reason, students found it easier to just buy from them (maybe their parents were restricting them at home as well?).

Then again, this was quite a few years ago for me, so maybe teachers have finally caught on and that's why you don't see it anymore.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
HippieVan at 8:02PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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blindsk
However, no students were allowed off campus at any time during the day (with the exception of a doctor's note of course), even during lunch.

This is high school?! That's nuts! Even in middle school, when they didn't give us a whole lot of freedom, we could do whatever the heck we wanted at lunch as long as we weren't wandering aimlessly around the school. I also remember sneaking off during useless times like locker cleanup or track and field day. Surely some students must have tried to slip away?
In high school we get a call home if we miss a class, but other than that we're free to be where we want.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
blindsk at 10:59PM, Feb. 13, 2011
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Hippie Van
This is high school?! That's nuts! Even in middle school, when they didn't give us a whole lot of freedom, we could do whatever the heck we wanted at lunch as long as we weren't wandering aimlessly around the school. I also remember sneaking off during useless times like locker cleanup or track and field day. Surely some students must have tried to slip away?
In high school we get a call home if we miss a class, but other than that we're free to be where we want.

Agreed! I remember there being one proposal while I attended there to allow students to wander off campus, but it was turned down. Do you happen to go to school in California as well though? I mean, I'm not really aware how things are in other states, but over here…there's problems.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
HippieVan at 8:05PM, Feb. 14, 2011
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blindsk
Agreed! I remember there being one proposal while I attended there to allow students to wander off campus, but it was turned down. Do you happen to go to school in California as well though? I mean, I'm not really aware how things are in other states, but over here…there's problems.

Canada, actually. That could be why it's different.
I mean, there's still a “wrong side of the tracks” but we're pretty far away from that area. Stay away from there and there's not a whole lot of trouble you can get into in Central Canada.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:49PM
ayesinback at 3:44PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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What interested me about NYC making decisions about what's healthy for all, and really any other governing body, is their hypocrisy.

If NYC or any other place really thinks smoking is BAD then do not allow the sale. But no, can't do that! It would cut into revenues.
Then how about banning the known carcinogenic additives that are not allowed outside of the USA? (There is actually a second version of every American cigarette for international sale because other countries will not permit the carcinogens.) Oh no, we can't do that — those additives make the American cigarettes even more addictive, and what if people actually quit?

And then there's the Sugar Issue. People like sugar. Too much sugar is harmful. So we have a reason to tax it. Or ban it in schools. My daughter's HS yearbook has a candid of “The Candy Man” (in trench coat) awaiting his blackmarket buyers who needed a sugar jolt since the school outlawed all sweets, with focus on sodas.

But if we really wanted to do “preventive remedy”, how about a hefty tax on diet drinks, particularly those sweetened with Aspartame? That may be the Most Toxic approval the FDA ever made. If you don't know what I'm talking about, and you ingest aspartame, google it now.

It's been many years, but back when there was a period where “studies showed” that coffee was a death threat and then a month later “studies proved” that coffee could prevent strokes. It went back and forth depending on the newest “study” until the news media apparently felt like lemming-jerks and wouldn't report on it any longer.

No offense, Kyupol (Master of the Conspiracy), but I feel like I'm picking up your baton when it comes to seeing conspiracy concerning health “studies”. It is extraordinarily difficult to find a balanced set of research when it comes to health issues. Most of the studies are based on a hypothesis to test, with funding received from those with interest in the outcome, and bloody hell, check it out: the study supports the hypothesis time and time again.

And look: there's a new tax.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 8:00PM, Feb. 15, 2011
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There's a misconception about cigarettes that it's the various additives that make them dangerous.
The truth is that nicotine alone is the most dangerous constituent: And this is only because it is so addictive.

-Directly inhaling any normal smoke contributes to the possibility of developing lung cancer. The simple action of burning something is enough to transform it into a more dangerous state… And having it as teeny smoke sized particles is particularly conducive to developing problems in lung tissue.

The same applies to pipe tobacco and smoking marijuana among other things. In fact, cigarettes are slightly safer to smoke in that they come with filters- but of course their highly addictive nature more than offsets that slight inherent advantage.



I think the idea with taxes and banning people from smoking in certain places etc is a way of having a “soft” ban on the product- so rather than proscribing it completely like hard drugs, you still allow people a limited, mediated access to it without losing control of it entirely, like hard drugs… Hard bans are generally a complete disaster.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
ayesinback at 11:04AM, Feb. 16, 2011
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ozoneocean
There's a misconception about cigarettes that it's the various additives that make them dangerous.
The truth is that nicotine alone is the most dangerous constituent: And this is only because it is so addictive.

-Directly inhaling any normal smoke contributes to the possibility of developing lung cancer. The simple action of burning something is enough to transform it into a more dangerous state… And having it as teeny smoke sized particles is particularly conducive to developing problems in lung tissue.

Yes, but . . . Nicotine has been hailed as addictive as heroin for good reason, but the additives are only added as (a) preservatives and (b) as further addictive values. They're not added because they are carcinogens, they just happen to be carcinogenic.

As far as the dangers of small particulates, yes, any smoke is dangerous. So are aerosols (spray paint, hairspray, for two), pollen, and really hazardous is air-borne mildew. I'm sure there are several more examples.

A total ban on alcohol WAS disastrous, but not so much that they've learned anything about a total ban on pot. Think of the revenues available if marijuana was legalized with THC levels controlled and monitored.

But no. There is no consistent logic.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 7:16PM, Feb. 16, 2011
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ayesinback
es, but . . . Nicotine has been hailed as addictive as heroin for good reason, but the additives are only added as (a) preservatives and (b) as further addictive values. They're not added because they are carcinogens, they just happen to be carcinogenic.
As I've said or at least implied- all constituents are dangerous to inhale as smoke. The additives don't matter so much, since most of the harmless parts of the cigarette will also be converted into carcinogens through the action of burning.
-As they are with marijuana, pipe tobacco… even a wood fire.

ayesinback
As far as the dangers of small particulates, yes, any smoke is dangerous. So are aerosols (spray paint, hairspray, for two), pollen, and really hazardous is air-borne mildew. I'm sure there are several more examples.
This is disingenuous. Akin to the old “don't ban guns, people will only kill each other with knives”.
Cigarettes have their own special properties- to use them you must inhale smoke straight from the source directly into your lungs. And they're highly addictive just to make sure that happens a LOT.
This doesn't happen with any of your other examples.

ayesinback
A total ban on alcohol WAS disastrous, but not so much that they've learned anything about a total ban on pot. Think of the revenues available if marijuana was legalized with THC levels controlled and monitored
There are more to bans than the political will to create them. The alcohol bans came in because of a popular public movement, fuelled by crazed, popular religion. They ended because that public movement lost popularity and the majority of people turned against them.
There are several moves to repeal the marijuana bans or at least decriminalise it, with varying levels of success, but such a thing needs public support as well as political… unfortunately there is still quite a large portion of the community who're opposed to full legalisation and regulation of cannabis.

It would be logical and beneficial to decriminalise and regulate all drugs, even heroin, cocaine, LSD, ice, meth-amphetamines and whatever else. That would cut deeply into organised crime, smuggling problems and even the prison population, but such a thing is impossible because there isn't even minor block of popular support for such a thing.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
lefarce at 9:12PM, Feb. 16, 2011
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ozoneocean
It would be logical and beneficial to decriminalise and regulate all drugs, even heroin, cocaine, LSD, ice, meth-amphetamines and whatever else. That would cut deeply into organised crime, smuggling problems and even the prison population, but such a thing is impossible because there isn't even minor block of popular support for such a thing.

Do you really not understand that doing this would worsen all the things you propose it would solve.

Organized crime has existed long before those drugs were made popular, and will continue to as society evolves, exploiting new trends.

Smuggling would potentially increase, given that decriminalizing could open the door to legal cooking facilities, making us the country for manufacturing drugs to be smuggled into other countries.

Hey here's a great plan you might endorse: lets make rape and murder legal in order to cut down on the prison population. See if it isn't a crime, we won't have to lock them up!

This isn't the Thunderdome, and you aren't Mad Max.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
ozoneocean at 9:37PM, Feb. 16, 2011
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The only reason smuggling exists is because of the high value of those drugs. With decriminalisation and regulation that would no longer be the case.

For the same reasons it is no longer criminally profitable to have illegal stills and to smuggle bootleg whisky.

This would remove a major funding source for organised crime. It would of course continue to exists but profits from drugs would not be such a major factor any longer.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
lefarce at 9:51PM, Feb. 16, 2011
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ozoneocean
The only reason smuggling exists is because of the high value of those drugs. With decriminalisation and regulation that would no longer be the case.

For the same reasons it is no longer criminally profitable to have illegal stills and to smuggle bootleg whisky.

This would remove a major funding source for organised crime. It would of course continue to exists but profits from drugs would not be such a major factor any longer.

They may not have passed around bootleg whiskey, but organized crime didn't suddenly vanish and then reappear at the turn of the 80s when cocaine became popular. It was always around between those times, latching onto different exploitable vices.

You seem to be unaware that those drugs would continue to be illegal in other countries, thus maintaining their street value. The prospect of having a legal lab in America of all countries would only fan the fire. Would that not be a form of organized crime?

That's a hypothetical question. The answer is yes.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
ozoneocean at 11:56PM, Feb. 16, 2011
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lefarce
but organized crime didn't suddenly vanish and then reappear at the turn of the 80s when cocaine became popular. It was always around between those times, latching onto different exploitable vices.
I never said organised crime would disappear, only have a major source of funding cut. from its coffers. :)
You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that I did?

“Vice” is not the key here, it's value. The proscribed nature of the substances makes them rare and dangerous to acquire, this tied with people's desire to possess them results in the high cost.

lefarce
You seem to be unaware that those drugs would continue to be illegal in other countries, thus maintaining their street value. The prospect of having a legal lab in America of all countries would only fan the fire. Would that not be a form of organized crime?
It doesn't matter what other, smaller markets do, the important thing is that YOURs has solved this issue. If they're sensible, others will follow suit. -Which they would probably do given the size, power and influence of the US.

“Street Value” is a relative term. The narcotics would completely lose their former street value in the US if legalised.

With these drugs legalised and regulated their value could be set by the state. Presumably this value would be low. This tied with regulation around quality control and manufacture, would of course make former illegal labs and smuggling utterly unfeasible.
With regulation of the industry, it's easier to see how much of the product is being produced for export. But given that the US is by far the largest market in the world for such substances and most of it is produced outside of the country, this isn't quite the issue you're making it out to be. Producer markets in South East Asia, South America, and the Middle East would begin to collapse utterly. Consumer markets would start to as well probably, since these are often subsidised by the profits from the larger US market.


 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
lefarce at 12:58AM, Feb. 17, 2011
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I am dumbfounded. Nothing in your drug-addled rambling comes close to being a sensible or sane thought. You're utterly out of touch with the world, how it functions, and even the simplest notions of sociological and economic differences (legal or not). I don't know what is more sad, that I know I'm not alone in this assertion, but will yet again be the only person willing to stand up and say “no”, or the fact that you're so fundamentally wrong.

Either way, that is - without a doubt - the dumbest thing I've ever read.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
ozoneocean at 1:18AM, Feb. 17, 2011
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lefarce
Either way, that is - without a doubt - the dumbest thing I've ever read.
You don't read your own stuff then? ^_^

…I don't blame you.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM

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