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Author Topic: When will they ever learn...  (Read 2031 times)
Killer Bees
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 05:11:40 AM »

Recent news article about how people continue to start smoking in large numbers despite everything that is in place to discourage smoking, including scary ads, taxes, and prices of $6 a pack.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/14/greene.smoking.labels/index.html?iref=allsearch

It never ceases to amaze me how much people just don't understand that the more difficult you make something to obtain, the more valuable it becomes, and the more people will seek it. It's one of the most basic economic concepts around, yet it's sad how few people get it. It's the same reason why the war on drugs is unwinnable.

Sorry, I'm feeling frisky today. Let the political rants begin.


$6 a pack?  You guys get off lightly.  Here the suckers pay anything between $15 and $25 a pack  BounceGiggle
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Flick James
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011, 02:10:12 PM »

Recent news article about how people continue to start smoking in large numbers despite everything that is in place to discourage smoking, including scary ads, taxes, and prices of $6 a pack.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/14/greene.smoking.labels/index.html?iref=allsearch

It never ceases to amaze me how much people just don't understand that the more difficult you make something to obtain, the more valuable it becomes, and the more people will seek it. It's one of the most basic economic concepts around, yet it's sad how few people get it. It's the same reason why the war on drugs is unwinnable.

Sorry, I'm feeling frisky today. Let the political rants begin.


$6 a pack?  You guys get off lightly.  Here the suckers pay anything between $15 and $25 a pack  BounceGiggle


Thank you. And people pay it.

My master's economics teacher said to me once that the best thing you can do for a drug dealer is make what he/she is selling harder to obtain. That's a drug dealer's dream. The demand doesn't change, but the equilibrium price skyrockets. They can charge twice as much and do half the work. It ain't rocket science. Tobacco is highly addictive substance, so it carries with it as least some of that same phenomenon.
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El Misfit
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2011, 05:18:59 PM »

The way I see it is why do people pay ungodly amounts of money for a fart can, they just do.
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yeah no.
Zapranoth
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2011, 11:58:17 PM »

Yah, I'm joining in.

If "your" healthcare costs being high drives up what I have to pay, too (since I have to share some of your risk), there are some risk taking behaviors that I do not do, that I will not agree that you should do.  Not if we're going to share the cost of your treatment.

The line can be clearly drawn for me in a few places.  Smoking is clearly one of them.  If you smoke, well, you should have to pay for your CABG, your abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, your iliac artery bypasses, your carotid endarterectomy, your vascular complications in general.  Or a large amount of it, at least, so that I don't have to shoulder that cost.  Because it was preventable in a very clear way.

Arguing that non-helmet wearing motorcyclists should have to pay all the ICU bill, or that type 2 diabetics with a BMI of 40 or higher should have a different insurance tier, or other hairsplitting like that... I'm not prepared to argue that.  But smoking is crystal clear, as examples go.   Your morbidity and mortality are MULTIPLIED if you smoke regularly.  If you do that, why should I have to share the cost?

Indiana, who buys your mother in law's cigarettes?  Does she go to the store to buy them herself?

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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 09:45:29 AM »

Yah, I'm joining in.

If "your" healthcare costs being high drives up what I have to pay, too (since I have to share some of your risk), there are some risk taking behaviors that I do not do, that I will not agree that you should do.  Not if we're going to share the cost of your treatment.

The line can be clearly drawn for me in a few places.  Smoking is clearly one of them.  If you smoke, well, you should have to pay for your CABG, your abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, your iliac artery bypasses, your carotid endarterectomy, your vascular complications in general.  Or a large amount of it, at least, so that I don't have to shoulder that cost.  Because it was preventable in a very clear way.

Arguing that non-helmet wearing motorcyclists should have to pay all the ICU bill, or that type 2 diabetics with a BMI of 40 or higher should have a different insurance tier, or other hairsplitting like that... I'm not prepared to argue that.  But smoking is crystal clear, as examples go.   Your morbidity and mortality are MULTIPLIED if you smoke regularly.  If you do that, why should I have to share the cost?



I agree with you in principle, Zap.  

Actually, in a perfect system, I think we wouldn't be sharing risk: everyone should pay their own costs.  But I understand why that is unrealistic.

I think cigarette smokers, and people who drink alcohol or indulge in other risky behaviors, should pay higher taxes to offset the third-party harms they cause.  It strikes me as a better approach than either banning risky behavior, or allowing it with no consequences.  Of course, fixing the appropriate level of tax is a very tricky issue...

On the other hand, the really cynical, almost sick, approach to cost/benefit analysis of smoking is this: smokers may actually save the health care system money by dying early. "Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents." http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-04-08-fda-tobacco-costs_N.htm
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ghouck
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 10:38:02 PM »

Yah, I'm joining in.

If "your" healthcare costs being high drives up what I have to pay, too (since I have to share some of your risk), there are some risk taking behaviors that I do not do, that I will not agree that you should do.  Not if we're going to share the cost of your treatment.

The line can be clearly drawn for me in a few places.  Smoking is clearly one of them.  If you smoke, well, you should have to pay for your CABG, your abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, your iliac artery bypasses, your carotid endarterectomy, your vascular complications in general.  Or a large amount of it, at least, so that I don't have to shoulder that cost.  Because it was preventable in a very clear way.

Arguing that non-helmet wearing motorcyclists should have to pay all the ICU bill, or that type 2 diabetics with a BMI of 40 or higher should have a different insurance tier, or other hairsplitting like that... I'm not prepared to argue that.  But smoking is crystal clear, as examples go.   Your morbidity and mortality are MULTIPLIED if you smoke regularly.  If you do that, why should I have to share the cost?

Indiana, who buys your mother in law's cigarettes?  Does she go to the store to buy them herself?



Years back there were studies showing that smokers cost the tax payers less in the long ring because they didn't live as long. Yes, they had high medical bills, but they weren't very high compared to simply the cost of getting very old. Once the anti-smoking movement started gathering steam, people started getting ostracized for saying anything other than that smoking is the root and cause of every evil.

And why should you share the cost? Because the rest of us share the cost of YOUR less-than-healthy habits. It's really no more complicated than that.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 10:44:56 PM by ghouck » Logged

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Flick James
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2011, 08:25:35 PM »

I happen to believe that it really doesn't make sense to share the cost of the effects of smoking on public health. Seems fairly fundamental reasoning to me. However, I'm not terribly interested in the argument.

My main point is that smoking is highly addictive, and as such, making them very expensive is never going to be an effective way of curtailing the number of smokers. It never has with any addictive substance that people crave, drugs, alcohol, etc. If anything is going to make a difference, it's simple education, and, in my own opinion, that has been the main reason why people smoke less now than then did in the 1950's. Knowledge of the health effects made it pretty irresponsible for the celebrities to be constantly portraying it, so little by little they stopped. But it all started with simple education. Aside from that, people have demonstrated that there will still be plenty of people who will pay over $6 a pack to smoke. So be it.
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ghouck
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2011, 09:30:29 PM »

I happen to believe that it really doesn't make sense to share the cost of the effects of smoking on public health. Seems fairly fundamental reasoning to me. However, I'm not terribly interested in the argument.

My main point is that smoking is highly addictive, and as such, making them very expensive is never going to be an effective way of curtailing the number of smokers. It never has with any addictive substance that people crave, drugs, alcohol, etc. If anything is going to make a difference, it's simple education, and, in my own opinion, that has been the main reason why people smoke less now than then did in the 1950's. Knowledge of the health effects made it pretty irresponsible for the celebrities to be constantly portraying it, so little by little they stopped. But it all started with simple education. Aside from that, people have demonstrated that there will still be plenty of people who will pay over $6 a pack to smoke. So be it.

So, just smoking, none of the billion other unhealthy things people do?

I'm a former smoker who really wish the anti-smoking crown could or would realize what they sound like. They seem largely opportunistic, bandwagon-jumpers, just dying to join in on the complaining the 'in crowd' is doing. I've never heard the anti-smoking crown complain about the SAVINGS they realize due to smokers dying earlier and not being as much of a burden on the social security system, but they do complain about the money SPENT. I have news for you: More of your money is spent on people getting old than is spent on smokers dying. Shall blame THOSE people and stop paying for their care because they lived too long?

I wish non-smokers could realize how many of you had your lives saved by cigarettes because someone who was about to strangle you lit up a cigarette instead. . .
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 09:33:02 PM by ghouck » Logged

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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2011, 10:43:28 AM »

My main point is that smoking is highly addictive, and as such, making them very expensive is never going to be an effective way of curtailing the number of smokers. It never has with any addictive substance that people crave, drugs, alcohol, etc. If anything is going to make a difference, it's simple education, and, in my own opinion, that has been the main reason why people smoke less now than then did in the 1950's. Knowledge of the health effects made it pretty irresponsible for the celebrities to be constantly portraying it, so little by little they stopped. But it all started with simple education. Aside from that, people have demonstrated that there will still be plenty of people who will pay over $6 a pack to smoke. So be it.

I'll disagree in this sense.  Every addictive drug has a unique profile.  The thing about cigarettes is, they are highly addictive once you've started, but they don't provide a euphoric sensation like alcohol, marijuana, heroin, etc.  So people don't seek cigarettes out for a thrill.  People try them for the first time because they're cheap and easy to get.  Although already addicted smokers will continue to buy as prices rise, you can discourage new users from picking up the habit out of curiosity.  If the price rose to $10 a pack, fewer people would try them for the first time.
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Flick James
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2011, 11:02:01 PM »

My main point is that smoking is highly addictive, and as such, making them very expensive is never going to be an effective way of curtailing the number of smokers. It never has with any addictive substance that people crave, drugs, alcohol, etc. If anything is going to make a difference, it's simple education, and, in my own opinion, that has been the main reason why people smoke less now than then did in the 1950's. Knowledge of the health effects made it pretty irresponsible for the celebrities to be constantly portraying it, so little by little they stopped. But it all started with simple education. Aside from that, people have demonstrated that there will still be plenty of people who will pay over $6 a pack to smoke. So be it.

I'll disagree in this sense.  Every addictive drug has a unique profile.  The thing about cigarettes is, they are highly addictive once you've started, but they don't provide a euphoric sensation like alcohol, marijuana, heroin, etc.  So people don't seek cigarettes out for a thrill.  People try them for the first time because they're cheap and easy to get.  Although already addicted smokers will continue to buy as prices rise, you can discourage new users from picking up the habit out of curiosity.  If the price rose to $10 a pack, fewer people would try them for the first time.

It stands to reason, I'll agree 100%. Maybe 50 years from now when we're both dead from either smoking or non-smoking reasons, they'll know for sure. I still say education is the only real remedy, but even that only goes so far. I smoked for 19 years and quit cold turkey almost 5 years ago. Good for me, I guess. In any event, I think the jury is far from in.
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