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"I swear by my pretty floral bonnet I will end you."
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June 21 2008

David Boreanaz on the cover of Smoke magazine. And that is a cigar in his hand.

Let the tsk-tsking and tut-tuting begin.

Tsk-tsk, tut-tut....

It's probably fine. I'm sure that vampires can't die of lung cancer or heart-failure.
This picture reminds me very much of the smirk he always used to do as Angelus.
He's gorgeous, as ever. The occasional cigar is fine, as long as one's hair is not lit on fire...

The article is cool, too. I always think of the story about how he was "discovered" when I watch City Of on AtS. I loved that scene at the party. Thanks for the linkage, crossoverman.

One thing that bugs me: since when is BtVS considered part of the "gothic soap opera genre?" This is why some people won't give the show a chance--that makes it sound corny. Not to mention the fact that Buffy defies genre, so to try and cram it into this one deserves a slap on the wrist with a wet noodle.
DB's the man.
I was enjoying the article up to the 'gothic soap opera genre' comment. *shakes head*

And that is definitely the Angelus smirk MrsBigPileofDust
There's a 'Smoke magazine'? Wow.
It's probably fine. I'm sure that vampires can't die of lung cancer or heart-failure.
-DED- | June 21, 07:52 CET


But those of us exposed against our will to second-hand smoke, can.
I think the balance is about right now in that it's fairly easy (for adults at least) to avoid passive smoking. If someone wants to smoke that's their choice (and with cigars mouth and throat cancers are more common since you don't usually inhale their smoke).

He looks very rat-packy in those photos and I get the impression he's actually that sort of guy too.
Saje When I'm handing food out the window to customers in the drive-thru who are smoking, and the smoke gets directly in my face, there's not much I can do to avoid it.

Now off to look at nummy David to really kick-start my day.
Uh huh and yet presumably you're not worried about their exhaust fumes ? The cars of even non-smokers emit those BTW ;).
I fully accept that car emissions are not good (but not as bad as they were) but the difference for me is that cigarette smoke is immediately offensive it smells bad, it makes me cough and gives me an immediate headache. God knows how I survived my childhood.

Perfume does the same thing.
I'm not in any way debating that, part of the reason I quit was because - health issues aside - it's a pretty smelly habit.

My point was specifically about the choices we all make leading to a variety of dangerous or unpleasant environmental factors. Smoking is one such choice, working in a drive-thru is another, driving a car that emits noxious fumes is another still (as is, apparently, manufacturing perfume ;).
Saje, it [being able to choose to avoid secondhand smoke] really depends on where you live, too. Up until a year ago, we lived in Austin - and it really was easy, there, to avoid secondhand smoke. Then we moved to Denver, where (apparently) all toddlers are given a box of Marlboros and taught early. To avoid secondhand smoke here, you basically have to be a prisoner in your own home ... you can't go shopping, wait for a bus at a bus-stop (since we aren't car people), etc. Huge, huge cultural/regional differences abound. We love Denver, but it's hard on the lungs (and you'd think, with less oxygen in the air a mile up ...)

Anyway, I think the old Steve Martin(?) joke still holds up:

"Do you mind if I smoke?"
"No, do you mind if I fart?"
Good points, all. As for me, I continue to find the occasional cigarette pleasurable (admittedly, I'm lucky in not being predisposed to intense addictions).
Ooo, Ghalev, can I pull your finger?
I smoked 2 or 3 cigars back in the 80s and hey, it's always easy enough to go where nobody's around.

And I do have to say I still think it was very funny watching Morticia Adams ask her guests "Do you mind if I smoke?" and then see what happened afterwards.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-06-21 20:41 ]
Actually, the studies of second-hand smoke that originally got people in such a tizzy were done on people that lived long term, in closed environments, with heavy smokers. Now, of course, if people walk by smoking on the street they say "You're poisoning me!"
That's precisely what i'm taking issue with dispatch, this idea that the air in urban environments would be good for you if it wasn't for those pesky smokers. If you're both outside or there's outside between you and them then the health effects aren't particularly significant and the smell etc. is (IMO) no worse than the smell of exhaust and yet most people don't consider driving to be an anti-social choice.

As for me, I continue to find the occasional cigarette pleasurable (admittedly, I'm lucky in not being predisposed to intense addictions).

Lucky sod ;). Occasional cigarettes would fairly quickly lead to about 19 other "occasional" cigarettes for me so I had to knock it on the head completely. I had it pretty bad though, kept my fags right next to the alarm clock and would spark up just after switching it off in the morning, not good (and yet, so very, very good ;).

Saje, it [being able to choose to avoid secondhand smoke] really depends on where you live, too.

Yeah Ghalev, that's a fair point - up until a year ago it was equally difficult to avoid in the UK since pubs and restaurants still allowed smoking. Now you have to go outside for one which is much fairer on bar staff and other patrons IMO.

(I keep forgetting the whole "states" part of "United States" and sometimes assume all of the US is like California or New York regarding smoking laws)
Ooh, I envy the ability to have an occasional cigarette, too. I quit 15 years ago, but I still get the urge every once in a while (especially when I see people in movies smoke). The California laws have helped me a lot.
David's cigar, however, doesn't tempt me at all. So to speak.
I cycle to work everyday (in London) and, imo, the smell of a cigarette wafting from an open car window is definitely worse than the smell from a bus exhaust (but not nearly as bad as being at the rear of a dustbin lorry).

To try and keep this on topic - I do like the smell of a cigar.
I don't know about other places, but here in AZ we have hookah bars, which are frequented by mostly college-aged students. I enjoy going from time to time, and I like the (very) occasional cigar--which does smell good, moley75. Ironically, at hookah bars, sometimes people will do the secondhand smoke thing intentionally--shotgunning and whatnot (from my mouth to yours...what's better than a kiss? A kiss with carcinogens :).

Cigarettes, though? Yuck. I tried one when I was 16, but nobody was kind enough to warn me not to inhale. I was a naive kid who didn't know. So that was enough to put me off cigarettes for life. Something I'm not sad about.

And I'm cautious with cigars, too, especially as if one uses a tampered-with lighter to light it, bangs can catch alight. Very embarassing at punk-rock concerts.

I could make an innuendo-laden comment about DB and his cigar, but it would be a) inappropriate and b) too easy.

[ edited by BandofBuggered on 2008-06-22 00:56 ]
Saje 1) The exhaust fumes don't typically reach me, as I'm in a "booth" of sorts and the window opens left-to-right, which puts me at the driver's window. As soon as they have their food I close the window, so their leaving fumes don't have a chance to come in. However, if they're smoking...I get it in the face. Literally.

2) I don't have a choice. This is the only job I could get hired for, and the only job I'm likely to be able to keep long-term, and part of this job is working the drive-thru window.

Now, as to the article in question - I could so hear David answering those questions while I was reading. He seems like such an easy-going, laid-back guy. (Much like Tony, Amber, Danny and Andy Hallett. No personal experience with Adam Busch or Tom Lenk, since I didn't see much of them @the con.) And, from all accounts, quite the prankster - he'll purposely eat something with raw onions if he knows he'll be doing a kissing scene, and Andy said David and Dane Johnson used to yank the horn's off Andy's forehead after they got done filming. It must be very intersting working with him.
I guess I would hawk tobacco, too, if I were as poor as DB.

Sorry, but my adulation stops at selling one's soul to the tobacco companies.
Yes, I would never have stopped smoking Winstons if I could have limited them to 5 or 10 a day instead of the 50 or 60 I used to consume.

Haven't had one since December 15, 1984, not that I'm counting.

Do love a cigar from time to time, though.

Bloody hell, folks, David likes a cigar now and then, we should crucify him??
I hope not, CiV, one must take one's pleasures where one can. Everything in moderation, as my grandfather never said because he worked, smoked, and drank himself into an early grave, alas. Never cared for cigars myself, although I did have the obligatory one or two to commemorate getting engaged, having children, and the like.
I have a large sized man crush on David Boreanaz.
However, if they're smoking...I get it in the face. Literally.

Well in your situation I might invest in a fan ShadowQuest but each to their own ;).

Sorry, but my adulation stops at selling one's soul to the tobacco companies.

Is 'Smoke' a front for Philip Morris or something ? Do they peddle it in schools ? Is DB forcing his smoke down the throats of babies or small dogs ? It's exactly this complete lack of perspective that bugs me about the response to smoking and smokers. He likes a cigar and gave an interview about it, now suddenly he's "sold his soul". What piffle.
That's a cigar in his hand? Damn, and here I thought he was happy to see me...

I used to be a big anti-smoking kind of guy. Then all these laws got passed telling smokers you can't smoke in restaurants, you can't smoke in bars, you can't smoke in public buildings, you can't smoke outside, you can't smoke IN YOUR OWN CAR if there are children present, etc. Although I greeted all these developments with unease, it was the uber-police-state nature of that last one that turned me into a permanent ally of beleaguered smokers everywhere--I don't mind it when my smoking friends light up in my apartment, and I keep an ashtray specifically for their use. I'm not one to use the word "fascist" lightly, but I'll be forced to if this social crusade keeps up.

Look, people: Having the occasional cigar isn't going to send you to the hospital with lung cancer. Hell, even the every-other-day, walking-down-the-street, "I breathed in your fumes for ten seconds" encounter with secondhand smoke isn't going to do any long-term damage. I don't smoke cigarettes, and never would, but I like a cigar every month or two. That kind of habit isn't going to hurt anyone. Kudos to David for saying so.

Those of you who are going overboard by saying "Cigarette smoke is worse than car exhaust" and talking about selling one's soul to Big Tobacco--well, to quote Kyle Broflovski..."Really?!" My advice is to step back for a minute, look at your words, and be very sure you're comfortable with the implications thereof. To my ears, what you're saying is pretty ludicrous.
As far as I can see no-one here has said "Cigarette smoke is worse than car exhaust". Certainly I said the smell is worse but that was imo.
BAFfler, I didn't know that a law existed prohibiting smoking if there are children in the car. Your outrage at this specific ban over all the others you mentioned, going so far as to call it an, "uber-police-state" kinda scares me. That law might actually replace public-urination laws, as my new favorite legislation.

I too enjoy the occasional cigar (usually when I visit Vegas) but that's different than forcing it on someone. If there are any folks out there smoking in the car with kids in the back seat (even with the windows down), please think twice and put yourself in their shoes.

And back on topic, I think at some point down the road, we need to see DB play an officer in a world war 2 movie. Maybe even with an eye-patch.
He could really play a "You wanna live forever ?" type of gruff sergeant, certainly in a few more years. Got quite a blokey, everyman vibe to him IMO.

Regarding not smoking in a car with kids in the back, surely the vast majority of the time it's going to be your car and your kids ? Which surely means they're very probably exposed to much more second-hand smoke at home ? So I kind of fail to see what it's achieving (even though I personally wouldn't - and didn't - smoke in that situation anyway).

Measured legislation is fine by me, got no problems with stopping it in bars, restaurants and other public buildings but a balance has to be struck between freedom, privacy and safety and legislation that's not only intrusive but also ineffective doesn't help anyone IMO.

To take an extreme example for the sake of the point, i'd bet that stopping kids eating doughnuts and other sweets in the back of a car would save as many lives as stopping their parents from smoking (i.e. in both cases not very many) and yet i'd also bet a lot of folk would find that a ridiculous proposition. Maybe somebody could explain the fundamental difference to me ?
I smoke

But I wouldn't smoke in my car if there were children with me or anywhere where children could breath the smoke ,or in anyone else's house ( unless they smoked too of course) or even in my own house if I had non smoking guests. I'd actually support a ban on smoking whilst driving. It would help me cut down :)

It's a nasty habit, one that I enjoy, but a nasty habit nonetheless and I think that we smokers should be considerate of non smokers . That includes not littering the place up by dropping fag buts! How hard is it to carry a portable ashtray or find a bin?

I am however greatly amused by the smoking area on Santa Monica Pier . You can smoke there as long as you stand between two painted arrows at one designated point on the pier rail.

However smoking the occasional cigar is hardly a major issue, and David appearing in Smoke magazine seems to me no more contentious than if he appeared in Fine Wines International or Cream Cakes Weekly. Cigars are in the "occasional treat" catagory for most people and a little of what you fancy is no bad thing.

[ edited by debw on 2008-06-22 22:06 ]
debw, you are a glorious person. I wish my parents would have smoked like that when I was younger.

As it stands now though, I don't smoke cigarettes but I do smoke cigars maybe 3 or 4 times a month and I'll smoke a hookah with some friends but neither of those are going to give you as much cancer as cigarettes will. It's good to see a classic-looking guy like DB smoking a classic cigar. Not enough people in Hollywood who still act classically classy.
Champ, I've read that hookah is just as bad for you as cigarettes are. I do it very rarely, and I enjoy the hell out of it--though I've learned not to dance after taking a big hit, as you will fall.

Basically, all types of tobacco/smoking are bad for you, but they're fine in moderation. Then again, if you eat too many carrots, you will turn orange and could damage your liver. And Saje, in regards to doughnuts and sweets in the back of the car, I think that it's not so much the eating of sweets than the overall lifestyle that hurts those kids.

For example, my parents allowed me to eat sweets, and didn't put many regulations on it, except that we weren't allowed to eat after 4 pm, because we'd spoil our dinner. But it was fine, because my siblings and I were active: riding bikes, playing sports, swimming, etc. We weren't sitting on our bums playing videogames all day, as many of today's youths are.

I understand the point you're making about either smoking or sweets in the car are not too harmful. Then again, my dad's told me about how he would get sick in the backseat because his parents were both smoking in the front seat of the car.

Now if it were a parallel between a pack a day, or a box of doughnuts a day, that would be a scary thing. The kid would be a Macy's Day float.
I ride a motorcycle in a large city, and I wish I could show you the black gunk that I wipe off the INSIDE of my visor every day. A little cigar or cigarette smoke doesn't bother me in the least--the particulates from car exhaust and other pollution that we're all breathing every breath of every day bothers me a whole heck of a lot more.

And incidentally, I thought the interview was great. DB on magazine covers is a good thing.
Champ, I've read that hookah is just as bad for you as cigarettes are.

Of course it is, possibly worse in fact unless the hookahs you're using have filters (the difference is, since you use them less you inhale less smoke than a heavy smoker but per breath the smoke is just as carcinogenic). In my time i've smoked roll-up cigarettes and it never occurred to me to assume they'd be better for me (quite the reverse) and unless it's different in the US, the tobacco used in rollies and hookahs is the same.

ETA: In fact, definitely worse, as summarised (with links to the actual articles) on the Wikipedia page (I hadn't considered that you also inhale bigger lungfuls).

I understand the point you're making about either smoking or sweets in the car are not too harmful.

Actually, that's only part of it, the other part being, they're just as harmful as each other and yet it's apparently perfectly fine to legislate against one when, as I say, I suspect most people would consider it over the line to legislate what parents can and can't feed their kids (and yet childhood obesity, unlike smoking, is a growing problem). And I recall being sick a few times because I over ate sweets too BTW ;).

As most will know, over here, being a bunch of (cover your ears ;) socialists (yep, I said the 'S' word, *gasp* ;), we have the National Health Service and every now and again someone will moot the idea that treatments for smoking related diseases shouldn't be paid for by the NHS. To which I respond, great, neither should treatments for obesity related diseases either then. Or how about driving related injuries ? Or sports injuries ?

Sure protect kids within reason and definitely smoke considerately if you have to smoke but let's be realistic about the actual risks and not bully and infringe the rights of smokers because they happen to be an easy target that (now) are in the minority.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-06-22 21:55 ]
Saje, I don't think you have ANY idea how much smoking related disease has cost this country in health care cost.

OK rant ahead. Sorry, but promoting smoking of any kind in irresponsible IMO. My husband is a Cancer Doc. You have no idea how much cigarette smoking has broken the health care industry in this country. All these people with Lung, Cancer and Heart disease are now whining about the cost of taking care of their disease. Well, guess what, smoking caused it, take some responsibility.

And as far as anyone bitching about so many areas being smoke free, or think it's easy to stay free of smokers? Try living in the south land. There are a great many people for whom smoke is an instigator in their lung disorders. For me, it's not a matter of unpleasant smell, or a little cough, its a matter of my lungs shutting down and not being ABLE to draw in a breath.

[ edited by Vinity on 2008-06-22 21:51 ]
I used to smoke 30 a day but I haven't smoked for over 9months now cause of a throat thing. I wouldn't recommend smoking to anyone. It costs too much and the sore chest was not fun at all. Personally I'd ban it all together.
Saje, I don't think you have ANY idea how much smoking related disease has cost this country in health care cost.

No I don't, how much ? And how does that compare to (for instance) how much obesity related diseases cost you guys ?

Also, is it the same in the US as the UK with regards to duty on cigarettes ? Because the government over here makes billions (of pounds that is) per year in smoking related taxes. For instance, estimates put the cost to the NHS of smoking related diseases at 1.7 billion per year. That's a huge amount, no argument, but when you consider that in (for instance) 2006-2007 HMG made 8.1 billion from tobacco duty it doesn't seem as bad. So smokers kind of pay for themselves yeah ? Can the obese say the same ?

I'm not defending the habit (the main reason why I quit is that I was diagnosed with asthma - and yep, i'm well aware I may have brought it on myself - and being in a smoky environment gives me problems too) but i'm suggesting a sense of proportion when we view smoking and smokers.
So smokers kind of pay for themselves yeah ? Can the obese say the same ?

I don't know the UK statistics or system at all, but in the U.S. the tax on tobacco sales is much less than estimated health costs from using tobacco. In the U.S. at least, our health care costs for both obesity and smoking are both pretty high. I don't think pointing to one or the other gives an argument more weight here since both are big problems. Again, I don't know the situation in the UK.

I was raised with second hand smoke always with me in the house, car, you name it. I used to literally reek of it as a child until I told my parents to take it outside. I have a pretty strong distaste for it. I do fear it's going to kill them and some of my other relatives sooner rather than later. Many of my older relatives starting smoking as teenagers (I think my dad started at 14), so it does trouble me to see celebrities glamorize smoking. But this is a magazine for people already into that culture, not a mainstream magazine kids are going to pick up. So in this particular case I don't really see the harm. Embedding cigarette brands in movies rather quietly is more of a concern to me.
Absolutely the US makes tons of money in terms of smoking taxes. Many states use that money to fund scholarships to college.

As for smoking and obesity, I think that one difference is that overeating may not be a conscious decision on the part of the person, since eating is okay. With smoking, kids are warned from about the age of 6 that smoking is bad, and there are really no exceptions. I can't really make a distinction, since I'd consider myself neither obese or a "smoker," since the times I do light up are so rare.

In terms of cost, though, I think that obese people don't really pay for themselves.

I think that in terms of commentary on smoking, the movie "Thank You For Smoking" is awesome. Those who haven't seen it should check it out.
You have no idea how much cigarette smoking has broken the health care industry in this country.

Sometimes people who smoke get cancer that is unrelated to their smoking. Sometimes people get cancer and smoking is possibly a contributing factor and there's no way for science to sort it out. But the group think and sweeping generalizations don't help 'cause when a person smokes, it's so simple and easy...that's the cause.

Here's a little story about a man that died of cancer. He didn't have lung cancer, or cancer of the mouth or throat. They are not sure where the cancer started. But he smoked and it was the magic bullet. Forget that he worked for the power company with exposure to asbestos, pvc piping and any number of environmental hazards. Forget that he was in the Navy and served on a nuclear submarine. He smoked. Case closed. Add it to the stats. And don't let his wife collect all the life insurance either...'cause he smoked they can't prove it was work related.

No I don't, how much ? And how does that compare to (for instance) how much obesity related diseases cost you guys ?

Saje: I don't think obesity in the US is really comparable to smoking. People need to eat food. People need to eat food they can afford. The affordable food in the US is usually the one that's the highest in calories (and sodium). I.E. Spaghetti sauce: Classico (expensive) 60 calories; Ragu (cheap) 120 calories. Even plain old canned Kidney beans have more calories in the cheaper brand than the pricier brand. I couldn't tell you why.
Good points, GrrrlRomeo. I'd also like to add that these days in the US, everyone is on the go. I don't know about in other places, but here it's rare for families to eat dinner together at the table. As for what they eat, McDonalds is quick and cheap, so most families eat that when they're on the go.

And it is very expensive to buy fresh veggies, meats, etc, not to mention the time it takes to prepare them in a meal. OTOH, grab a jar of Ragu, a box of spaghetti, and 15 minutes later it's dinner. And that's usually a best-case scenario.

Don't even get me started on the buckets of soda sold at fast food places and gas stations.

Woah, this is a problem! Maybe people should like, do something about it. But at least our bars are smoke free, yes? Although I do think that even if the government were to put a regulation on such vices as they have done with smoking and could expand (for example) to fast food, people would just find another way to send themselves to an early grave. It's what we do.
In our culture smoking has gone from simply being unwise to being immoral, and I think something along the same lines might happen with obesity, though it hasn't quite gotten there yet. Of course the new attitude is good for our health, but it still gives me that icky feeling of being surrounded by intolerance.

As for fast food, we probably don't need restrictions if we can get the government to stop subsidizing corn, which is used in massive quantities by the fast food industry for oil and high-fructose corn syrup. I understand that the subsidies of corn & soy are a big part of what makes fast food/snack food so unrealistically cheap.
Those of you who are going overboard by saying "Cigarette smoke is worse than car exhaust" and talking about selling one's soul to Big Tobacco--well, to quote Kyle Broflovski..."Really?!" My advice is to step back for a minute, look at your words, and be very sure you're comfortable with the implications thereof. To my ears, what you're saying is pretty ludicrous.


I have absolutely no qualms with what I said. Stepping back and thinking about it... I would say it all over again. I don't have an addiction to rationalize or justify, and I am not lulled into acceptance or complacency by the propaganda that is perpetuated by PR people from the tobacco interests and permeates our cultures and societies.

There is no good reason for use of tobacco, no matter how much smokers assert their individual rights; and there's no good reason to advertise for the tobacco industry. Period.

No qualms here. No second thoughts. Nothing to reconsider.
Well, fair enough, Nebula1400 - everyone is entitled to her POV. My good reason for using tobacco is that I enjoy it. Really don't believe I'm rationalizing or justifying, but if that's my false consciousness speaking, so be it. Good debate - let's all get along, shall we?
Nebula1400, since you live in the US, you have a lot to thank tobacco for. The original colonies wouldn't have survived without tobacco as a cash crop.

Today, the government makes plenty of money off of taxes on tobacco. I have several friends whose way through college has been paid thanks to scholarships from tobacco money.

Granted, today we know a lot about how bad tobacco is for us. But even just five decades ago, it was a part of pop culture. Hell, even TV shows such as the Beverly Hillbillies were sponsored by "our friend with the filtered blend, Winston Cigarettes."

You may not approve of tobacco; you may never smoke it. But it's just like alcohol or gambling (or sex, for that matter)--fine and enjoyable until it becomes too much. Do you do any of those?

I understand a dislike of tobacco. I've lost three grandparents to tobacco-related cancer; I'm not a fan in any way of cigarettes. But I don't cast a cover-all blanket over all tobacco and call it evil.
As people have pointed out, comparing smoking and obesity it comparing apples to oranges. People have to eat. Should they be encouraged to eat properly, absolutely! But again, as people have pointed out, that is not always easy. Smoking is a choice AND it effects the people around the smoker. I have a reactive lung disease, was it cause by the fact both my parents smoked like chimneys around me growing up? Possibly. What I do know is right now, if I go into a room with someone smoking, or if someone has been smoking, the effect is the same as putting a plastic bag over my head. I have to have air to live, no one HAS to have a cigarette to live.

As for Doctors ALWAYS calling a Cancer victim's cause of getting the disease, smoking. Certainly that is not true, lots of things cause cancer, all sorts of different kinds of cancer. But one thing is certain, smoking DOES contribute hugely to cancer related diseases and it serves no real purpose in life.

I can see no use for smoking other than because you think it makes you look cool or the nicotine factor. Well if it's drug effects you want, FINE use the dang patch and save the air for the rest of us.

I don't have the exact numbers in front of me for estimated cost of health care related smoking diseases. But I have seen them before and they are staggering. Basically smoking related diseases are the top 2 killers and highest cost for health care in this country, even if it not the only cause, which is certain, it's something that is pretty easy to take out of the equation.

You have to realize I am saying this when a great part of my husband's business is supported by people who were stupid enough to smoke long after the health effects were known. Let me tell you, when the people with smoking related cancer {and certain cancers are VERY smoking related} are sitting in the office getting chemo, very few of them go, "Well, I know smoking did this to me but it was SO worth it!"

I was born and live in North Carolina. One of the largest states for tobacco farming and let me tell you. It not only the actual product that does damage. The chemicals they use on tobacco are the worst of any farming crop I know of. They last in the soil up to 10 years. Land that has been farmed in tobacco is worthless.
I don't have the exact numbers in front of me for estimated cost of health care related smoking diseases.


Pfft... c'mon, you have a web browser open, flex those interweb muscles :).

To some extent it depends on which study/whose statistics you use, but if you use NHA figures, for 1998 (thanks, Google), issues related to being overweight or obese cost the U.S. health care industry in the neighborhood of $78 Billion and smoking-related issues cost about $72 Billion. Yes, you could also use the MEPS figures, but those don't include those in any sort of institutional/long-term care (those but obesity related issues at a measly $51 Billion). Smoking and obesity aren't EXACTLY apples an oranges. People have to eat, but they don't have to over-eat. Great discussion, everyone, and good on you for keeping it civil. As someone who leans a bit libertarian at times, "because I enjoy it" is a good enough reason for someone to smoke to me. I'd prefer not to be subjected to it, but I don't want to prevent anyone from doing it in their own home or car (although I would hope they wouldn't do it in confined spaces with people who aren't also into it).

ETA - see also Who Bears the Ancillary Costs of Smoking from The Tax Foundation and its supporting background paper.
I really do not like people getting morally superior to people who are smokers, obese or have any other problem. I also dislake the hysteria that can be associated with any crusade. On the other hand, I also do not believe that a comparison between smoking and obesity makes sense. No, people don't have to over-eat, but unlike smoking, they cannot stop eating cold-turkey to stop the addiction, and some people are obese without over-eating at all. Meanwhile, smoking is one of the few things that does nothing positive for the body at all.

My son is naturally skinny, and has been from birth. Because of the obesity scare, we have had to go through all kinds of "training" throughout his school years telling him he should be eating low fat, low calorie food. In his case that would be a bad idea because he needs the calories, fat and carbs, though of course I try to discourage "empty" calories. I have warned him that he may have to cut back when he hits his 20's if he takes after my side of the family, but if he takes after his father's side, he'll be able to eat whatever his stomach can tolerate for the rest of his life. So, yeah, a law that says my son cannot eat donuts in the back seat of the car would make no sense, but there is no child for whom inhaling cigarette smoke would be beneficial.
As a future teacher, I get quite irritated with this new obesity scare. When I was in school, we had parties for Halloween, Christmas, and the like--with candy, cupcakes, cookies, etc. Today, we're technically not allowed to do that. Teachers aren't even allowed to give out candy as a bribe reward. I love how teacher are to blame for children's overeating because we give them an Airhead after they finish a goal, such as reading 5(!) books.

Now, I can see why it would be a very bad thing to give a child a cigarette for getting 100% on a spelling test, but what's wrong with a little bit of sugar?

Another thing that shocks me is that kids today are drinking 1% milk. Even I can't stand the stuff; I find it too watery. Aren't kids supposed to have a certain amount of fat in their diets, especially when they're young?

As for cigarettes, I've heard that nicotine dissolves cholesterol. So that's kind of a good thing, right? ;)
Some random thoughts:

alexreager and Nebula1400, and others of a similar outlook -- you are, of course, entitled to your own points of view, and I don't think anyone seriously disagrees with the fact that there are harmful long-term effects of tobacco use. For my part, however, I find the moral superiority of many anti-smoking people appalling...so much so, as I said, that I've turned my place into a safe refuge for my few smoking friends. Using laws and peer pressure to alienate smokers is an increasing trend in the good ol' U.S. of A., and it's one I absolutely will not join. Most people feel guilty about enough things without the rest of us piling on.

I remember going out to a bar with a couple friends one fine spring evening about three months ago, one of whom decided to indulge in a cigarette while we were drinking beer and talking shop. Two guys in the booth next to ours, once they saw that he had lit up, started hacking away intermittently, and one girl with them said, not exactly sotto voce, "Thank God!" when my friend shame-facedly stubbed out his cigarette. (In a bar where this was LEGAL, mind you, and where notice of such is prominently posted.) Ah, the entitlement of those who expect everyone to bow to their prejudices. To me, that's just incredibly rude behavior...and don't anybody come back with "Oh, and it's not rude to endanger people's lives?" Like the smoke from one or two cigarettes a booth over is going to mutate your cells, your kids, your pets, or your fine home mortgages.

To the person (can't be bothered to look it up right now, tired, sorry) who said they literally couldn't breathe in the second-hand smoke, that sounds like something I used to say when I was on your side of the argument. Turns out, I was mistaken, and my feeling is that unless you're on oxygen, you are too. Sorry to be abrupt, but don't overstate things so.

I noticed that the Democratic SCHIP bill President Bush vetoed a few months back--which would have dramatically increased funding for children's health insurance, as opposed to the more modest increase the Republicans were proposing--was planning to pay for that insurance through an increase in the federal cigarette tax. Don't get me wrong...I like health insurance for kids...but I think I would have vetoed that too. So, some congressmen wanted to stake the health of our next generation on a bet that our adult citizens will continue their vice-ridden ways? Didn't anyone see the irony there? And what if all these anti-smoking campaigns work as they are supposed to, and enough people quit/never take up smoking that funding falls short for the next generation of poverty-stricken kids? Knowing politicians as I do, they'll either find something else to tax or ring up some more debt. Like we don't have enough of both in America already.

Finally, re: the wisdom of my hosting smokers in my apartment, my car, and anyplace else where they won't be persecuted for exercising some old-fashioned freedom of choice: "And if it gives me cancer when I'm eighty, I don't care -- who the heck wants to be ninety anyway?"
The original colonies wouldn't have survived without tobacco as a cash crop.

So you're saying everyone in America sold their soul long ago ? ;-)

As a future teacher, I get quite irritated with this new obesity scare. When I was in school, we had parties for Halloween, Christmas, and the like--with candy, cupcakes, cookies, etc. Today, we're technically not allowed to do that. Teachers aren't even allowed to give out candy as a bribe reward.

Yep, that's also ridiculous and another sign of legislation designed to do what people (or their parents) should be taking responsibility for themselves (personally i'dve missed my 'Fizz Bombs' as a lad, they made times-tables worth learning, thanks Mrs Cochrane ;).

I do think obesity and smoking are comparable since, as zeitgeist says, you have to eat but you don't have to be obese. Apart from the tiny proportion of people with metabolic disorders we have as much control over how much we eat as we do over how much we smoke and (over here anyway) it's arguably a bigger drain on national resources than smoking. You're poor and so can't afford fresh food ? Apart from that obviously being a health issue in itself, OK, eat less then i.e. if you go to McDonalds don't go large, eat until you're full and no more, get a bit of exercise, avoid drinking sugar stuffed soft-drinks by the gallon. Pretty straightforward stuff.

People smoking responsibly and considerately do very little harm to anyone else and the argument that smoking shouldn't be allowed because it harms the smoker doesn't hold a lot of water with me, JS Mill fairly handily dispatched that one 145 years IMO.
The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.

As I say, i'm not defending smoking, i'm basically defending the right of people to be dumb on their own behalf. Or to put it in more recognisable terms for most of us, the right of people to be wrong, to not be made better. Cos I don't hold with that ;).
Saje, yeah, laws can vary not only by state but (on this matter) pretty dramatically by city (quite a few of the smoke-related laws in the U.S. are city ordinances).

That said, in our case it does seem more like a cultural shift; the states aren't just different legally ... California has fewer per-capita cigarette smokers than any other continental state. By comparison, Kentucky (one of the heftiest cig states) has more than 300% the per-capita smoking prevalence rate of CA. Some of that can be attributed to legal differences, but most of it is just cultural ... some parts of the country just smoke a LOT more than other parts.

In our particular case (moving from Austin to Denver) the state figures aren't that different. Coloradans do smoke more than Texans, but only by about 12%, which is notable but hardly dramatic. But of course, there are variables by city and by neighborhood, too ... Austin is lighter on the smokes than Texas as a whole (culturally, Austin is a bit Californian, to the annoyance of much of Texas and the amusement of many Austinites), and our particular neighborhood of Denver may well be higher in smoke-density than the Denver metro area and/or Colorado as a whole.

Anyway, it is disturbing how ... intense ... people get on the issue. I consider smoking around non-smokers without asking first to be rude, but that's as far as I characterize it ... on par with having a crying baby in a movie theater and refusing to take it to the lobby until it pipes down, or being one of those people who use a public toilet and leave it to the next person to flush.

Which, again, brings me back to the Steve Martin joke, which I still think contains the world's entire body of wisdom on the matter :)
People smoking responsibly and considerately do very little harm to anyone else


Depends what you mean by responsible. One cigarette a day? Five? How many smokers can actually smoke that little? At some stage you'll reach the tipping point and the smoker is likely to a get smoking-related disease. And that's when they harm others with the emotional and physical impact on their families and friends
Plane crashes kill people which leads to emotional turmoil for friends and family, let's ban flying. So does driving, let's ban that too. I used to rock-climb, if i'd killed myself doing it my family would (hopefully ;) be upset, should I not be allowed to do it then ?

(and by "responsibly and considerately" i'm not talking about how many the smoker smokes Simon, i'm talking about how much they expose other people to the unpleasant/dangerous direct consequences of smoking)

That said, in our case it does seem more like a cultural shift; the states aren't just different legally ... California has fewer per-capita cigarette smokers than any other continental state.

I guess that's possibly a chicken/egg situation Ghalev ? I.e. how did the numbers compare before Californian law was changed ? And is the law the same in Kentucky ? Demographics also skew numbers and without casting aspersions on any states in the US, it's true over here that, for instance, professionals smoke much less than manual labourers, the young smoke more than older people, men smoke more than women etc. so any imbalances in those categories could skew the stats. And, as you say, culture plays its part too - the Marlboro man wasn't a cowboy by coincidence I reckon ;).
Driving/flying/rock climbing are not physically addictive and harmful drugs. Well driving maybe :p.

i'm talking about how much they expose other people to the unpleasant/dangerous direct consequences of smoking)


And what I'm saying is just because a smoker doesn't waft his smoke near his family doesn't make him responsible and considerate in my book.
There's a hell of a buzz from climbing too, like all adrenaline sports - topping something hard (especially if you've had a bit of a wobble on the way up ;) is extremely satisfying and some evidence indicates that exercise itself (with its accompanying endorphin release) is physically addictive. Obviously though, if you have to be addicted to something then exercise is a better choice than e.g. crack cocaine or smoking ;).

But that's probably beside the point anyway Simon since I think we just have a fundamental difference in perspective - you're happy to let the government tell you what to do for your own good and i'm not, therein lies the difference. My book's more like a loose leaf binder ;).
I think we just have a fundamental difference in perspective - you're happy to let the government tell you what to do for your own good and i'm not, therein lies the difference


Which has little if anything to do with what I was talking about. The individual has to accept that his or her actions have consquences. Had I still been smoking, I would have been deluding myself if I thought just because I smoked outside I was not affecting others.
People smoking responsibly and considerately do very little harm to anyone else


My father was a chain smoker, and smoked my entire life living under my parents' roof. My mother had emphysema as a result of a case of pneumonia that took her 5 months to fully recover from.

I grew up with asthma, had bronchitis countless times, and pneumonia at least seven times in my life. I've been hospitalized because of lung problems, and people these days aren't admitted into hospitals in the US unless they are over 80 and/or dying.

My brother and sister also had asthma while living with my father. Even if a smoker doesn't smoke in front of you, they wreak of the smoke and the stench of smoking. That alone can set my asthma off.
To the person (can't be bothered to look it up right now, tired, sorry) who said they literally couldn't breathe in the second-hand smoke, that sounds like something I used to say when I was on your side of the argument. Turns out, I was mistaken, and my feeling is that unless you're on oxygen, you are too. Sorry to be abrupt, but don't overstate things so.
BAFfler | June 23, 08:39 CET


Excuse me??, I have asthma and "literally can't breath in second-hand cigarette smoke" without it causing a full-blown asthma attack.
I am not alone in this, asthma is epidemic (due to everything from general air pollution to smoking, a different subject). Most people I know who have asthma, have the same reaction as I do.
For several years, between the time my asthmatic reactions to irritants escalated steadily and the time Hawaii passed no smoking laws in public buildings, I literally could not go out for a meal. Because smoke doesn't stay in the "smoking section", it drifts all around, even in a large room.

I still can't go to some of my favorite beaches because the "no smoking" ban at beaches only applies to beaches that are State or County parks.
So maybe you should think twice before you throw around statements like "unless you're on oxygen, you are [mistaken] too." And "don't overstate things so".
I only wish it were an overstatement on my part, my life would be a lot easier if that were the case.
Which has little if anything to do with what I was talking about. The individual has to accept that his or her actions have consquences.

Yeah and that's what I meant by "responsible and considerate" i.e. take responsibility for your own actions and consider others. My point all along has been that everything we do has consequences, some positive, some negative. And yet some consider it fine to single out smokers rather than e.g. drivers or over-eaters or rock-climbers.

I would have been deluding myself if I thought just because I smoked outside I was not affecting others.

Yes you would, just as you are if you think driving a car isn't affecting others (even non-polluting cars get in crashes) or participating in extreme sports. So, in all seriousness, if we take direct effects out of the equation (as you seemed to want to above Simon with "... just because a smoker doesn't waft his smoke near his family doesn't make him responsible and considerate in my book." and as a responsible and considerate smoker will in my book) why ban smoking but not driving or extreme sports ?
why ban smoking but not driving or extreme sports ?

How about because smoking has no positive uses whereas driving and even extreme sports do?

To the person (can't be bothered to look it up right now, tired, sorry) who said they literally couldn't breathe in the second-hand smoke, that sounds like something I used to say when I was on your side of the argument. Turns out, I was mistaken, and my feeling is that unless you're on oxygen, you are too. Sorry to be abrupt, but don't overstate things so.

BAFfler, moralizing can take many forms. I am one who is not interested in the holier than thou approach towards smokers, but I don't find your points any less judgmental. Many people have sensitivities to cigarette smoke, some extreme. Just because you have found that yours is not as high as you thought it was does not mean that it is true for everyone. I have always been very sensitive to cigarette smoke, as have others in my family. I don't know whether it is getting older or not being around it as much as when there were smokers everywhere, but I have found my body is even less tolerant of it now than back when I was younger. You may have simply grown used to cigarette smoke since you have chosen to be around it so much, much like a smoker does. That does not mean everyone is like you, could be, or would choose to be.

As far as the being thankful that someone put out a cigarette when I am sitting in a restaurant where it is legal, I went to a "family" show a couple weeks ago where a couple had some little kids that cried and talked all the way through the first part of the show. I did not say anything, as I would not have in the case of a legal smoker, but it ruined the experience for me, and I was incredibly thankful when they were finally considerate enough to take the crying one to the back of the theater. I cannot say I am sorry that smoking is illegal in most public places anymore, just like I was truly thankful when the last of my friends who smoked stopped. I was mostly thankful because I wanted to keep him around as long as possible, but I also did not have to deal with the nasty smell or my son having a role model for a useless, expensive habit that could kill him.
I'm interested in the idea which has been expressed several times here that a smoker always reeks of smoke

The reason being that I have many friends and collagues who have been to my house, travelled in my car etc who are still surprised to find out that I smoke, I hear the words " I didn't know you smoked!" on a regular basis , often in the course of debates like this.

I conclude therefore that not all smokers reek like an old ashtray :)

The only times I smell of smoke are if I've been somewhere where lots of people have been smoking and then a shower, hair wash and clean clothes sort it out in no time.

I'm not arguing that smoking isn't bad for me and I'm not arguing that smokers shouldn't be considerate .

But I was very amused to be "tut tutted" by a passer by for smoking on an empty East Anglian beach in a very fresh breeze

( the passer by was the first person I'd seen all morning and frankly the fact that he'd just let his dog crap on the beach and hadn't bothered to clean it up struck me as far more antisocial tham my low tar menthol which was wafting out away from the beach towards the sea)

I've also been tut tutted in LA, by a freeway, where the choking traffic fumes were probably the equivalent per lungful of several hundred ciggies.

Moderation in all things please, including dissaproval of naughty habits.

Smoking pollutes. but so do bonfires, fireworks, cars, planes, trains, busses and fast food joints ( If you want a smell that clings to your hair and clothes walk into a Macdonalds)

I won't blow smoke in your face or smoke near you but it seems that some people would accuse me of polluting the Heathrow sliproad of the M25 because I have a cigarette lit and the windows down, forget the aicraft fuel and exhaust fumes , that pariah has just lit a hundredth of an ounce of dead leaves!!! :)
How about because smoking has no positive uses whereas driving and even extreme sports do?

Extreme sports have no use that I can see other than the enjoyment of those that pursue them (and in some cases, if pursued irresponsibly, can be quite damaging to areas of great natural beauty). If you don't believe people enjoy smoking then you've probably never smoked newcj ;).
What about in the ultimate battle against that evil fiend Obisity, Saje? To engage in extreme sports one must be physically fit.

Oh, and though I *have* never smoked for real (there was that cigarette the director wanted me to smoke in a production of West Side Story when I was 17, but he forgot about it after a few rehearsals and I didn't remind him) I am not disputing that people enjoy smoking. I don't think any of us nonsmokers have missed the fact that smokers enjoy it. If nothing else, the wistful look on the ex-smokers faces as they think about smoking would be enough to convince us. (There, Saje, that look that you just had a second ago. That's the one I'm talking about. ;-) )
Wait a minute, I thought monitors were one-way, does this mean I have to stop posting in my pants ? ;-) Must admit, #54692 in "Saje's Big List of Reasons He Quit", I wasn't enjoying most of the cigarettes I was smoking, I was just feeding an addiction. BUT I still miss my cigarette after dinner and always will I suspect, if I could just have one per day, that's the one i'd have.

Very wise never to have started BTW, even as a smoker I would wax vehement not to take it up to whoever would sit still long enough.

And I guess the point i'm making about extreme sports is, they're not actually any better for you than non-extreme sports but have the added selfishness of the chance of dying and the effect that'll have on your family which Simon talked about (as well as the aforementioned possibility of damaging the environment). It's actually the case that most ways of rock climbing aren't as dangerous as non-climbers may think but it's surely still more dangerous than e.g. badminton and with no particular fitness advantage.
I have no argument that extreme sports can be a bad idea or that extreme athletes can be irresponsible to a criminal degree. Of course people doing anything can be irresponsible to a criminal degree. My point was that smoking has never been shown to have any benefit, unlike pretty much any other vice. Extreme sport is at least sport and therefore does get one exercise, even if it is not the healthiest way to get exercise.

Oh, and the pants are fine, just not the raggedy ones you had on that time awhile ago...
Hey, those're are my lucky pants, don't diss the lucky pants ! ;)

Yeah but if you asked a climber why they climb rather than play badminton, they would say because they enjoy it more and what i'm saying is, all other things being equal (i.e. assuming they're responsible, don't damage the environment unduly etc.) that's enough of a reason for them to do it.

In other words, it's not up to us (or the government) to tell them they can't do it because it's bad for them or because they're being selfish towards any potential bereaved relatives they may leave behind, that's their decision to make. It's the difference between making murder illegal and making suicide illegal (which it actually used to be over here) - one is most definitely the state's business and one most definitely isn't IMO.

Likewise, if (and only if) a smoker is being considerate of others, it's their choice (and absolutely should be) whether they take the risk of killing themselves for whatever (dubious IMO) benefits they see smoking conferring.
Hey, those're are my lucky pants, don't diss the lucky pants ! ;)

Yeah, yeah, my dad had a pair of those only he claimed he couldn't throw them out because he had to have them to wear on Sunday; being hole-y and all.

Yeah but if you asked a climber why they climb rather than play badminton, they would say because they enjoy it more and what i'm saying is, all other things being equal (i.e. assuming they're responsible, don't damage the environment unduly etc.) that's enough of a reason for them to do it.

But, they do get physical benefit of it just like a child who plays because it is fun but reeps multiple developmental benefits in the process. In fact, if they are responsible, society may actually benefit by that person being less likely to come down with various chronic illnesses. On the other hand, there is no societal or physical upside to people smoking other than supporting the tobacco industry. To go along with that, one could also argue the tobacco industry itself could also better serve society by growing something edible in this age of looming food shortages...unless what was said upthread about the land being useless after growing tobacco is true.

I am generally not for outlawing things that people may want to do in the privacy of their own home etc., but it certainly can be argued that smoking has a huge impact on the nonsmoking portions of society in healthcare costs as well as less tangible ways without offering anything physically positive to the user.
Yeah, yeah, my dad had a pair of those only he claimed he couldn't throw them out because he had to have them to wear on Sunday


Is this one of those comedic situations where two people use different meanings of the word pants? :) I love those...

On the other hand, there is no societal or physical upside to people smoking other than supporting the tobacco industry. To go along with that, one could also argue the tobacco industry itself could also better serve society by growing something edible in this age of looming food shortages...unless what was said upthread about the land being useless after growing tobacco is true.


There are studies that show nicotine therapy can have positive effects on mental illness, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, certain types of gum disease, and strangely female smokers seem to be less likely to develop breast cancer... could all of these benefits be received via transdermal patches? Yeah, the actual tests (as opposed to the statistics gathering) is done by transdermal patches; but I like to try and complicate the issue where I can ;). You could argue that the feeling of well-being is a positive enough effect. You could also argue that subsidizing corn and soy (especially given its link to male fertility issues) are far more problematic than allowing people to grow and sell tobacco products which we can tax the hell out of. In any case tobacco use has been in a nose dive since the late 70s in this country, so don't count on that tax revenue too much.
Is this one of those comedic situations where two people use different meanings of the word pants? :)

Could be, pants are still those long yellow fruits that you peel in the US right ? ;-)

But, they do get physical benefit of it just like a child who plays because it is fun but reeps multiple developmental benefits in the process.

Well, we're going round in circles slightly I think but my point is not that there's no benefit from extreme sports, my point is there's no relative benefit compared to sports without the downside of extreme sports. In other words when you boil it down, the difference between a dangerous sport and a non-dangerous sport is personal choice of what the "user" enjoys most. So if we ban dangerous sports then (most active) people will play non-dangerous sports and it's a win-win, right ? No (or less) risk of death due to the nature of the sport and the upside health benefits. Or let's go one step further and make people exercise a certain amount each day to cut those health bills. Sure it's interference but it's all in a good cause right ?

And again, circles, but I think i've covered the cost points up thread. Smoking pays for itself and even if it doesn't, obesity related diseases also cost billions and yet most people would consider regulating what people eat as draconian. Eating has an obvious upside you may say but it's not eating that's in question, it's over-eating, which doesn't, AFAIK, have an upside.
This is one of the more convoluted internet discussions I've seen. If James Marsters ever poses with fast food, my head may explode.
Yeah, James, don't ever let us see you eating or we will discuss the hell out of it ;)!
I can only imagine the response if JM was pictured masticating. Low fruit, told you before ;-).

It is convoluted so to sum up my position: if it's not hurting anyone else then it's none of our business.

The rest of it follows from trying to decide if it is hurting others (given my oft repeated "responsible and considerate" caveats) and if so, in what ways it's hurting others that, for instance, over-eating isn't.
Well I meant posed with one of those horrible bazillion calorie fast food burgers or something. Not just eating some random sandwich.

If overeating and smoking affected vampires at all, there could be an interesting fight scenario between heavy smoker Angel and overeater Spike.
zeitgeist There may be some playing going on. ;-)

Could be, pants are still those long yellow fruits that you peel in the US right ? ;-)


Actually I (thought I) knew the meaning of pants Saje was using, and though my dad's were actually shorts, (another word with the same double meaning) one would wear Saje's form of pants on a Sunday, just most likely underneath a pair of shorts...or trousers perhaps. ;-) Anyway since my dad's shorts were holey enough not to be able to be worn outside without something over them, I figured that the difference was negigible. :-D

So if we ban dangerous sports then (most active) people will play non-dangerous sports and it's a win-win, right ? No (or less) risk of death due to the nature of the sport and the upside health benefits. Or let's go one step further and make people exercise a certain amount each day to cut those health bills. Sure it's interference but it's all in a good cause right ?

There are a lot of dangerous things that are banned because they could put other people or landmarks in danger. A couple guys were arrested recently in separate incidents for climbing the sides of a couple NYC skyscrapers. There is a lot of things you are not allowed to do in US National Parks so that the park will not be harmed. There are various things people are not allowed to jump off of. That said, there is a big difference between saying people are not allowed to do something "for the good of themselves and others" and making people do something, "for their own good."

And again, circles, but I think i've covered the cost points up thread. Smoking pays for itself and even if it doesn't, obesity related diseases also cost billions and yet most people would consider regulating what people eat as draconian. Eating has an obvious upside you may say but it's not eating that's in question, it's over-eating, which doesn't, AFAIK, have an upside.

Maybe circles, but my point is that with regulations against overeating, (besides being totally unenforceable because food, unlike tobacco is necessary for survival and so must be kept available) one would have to determine what "overeating" is for each person, because eating is actually good for you and each person needs different amounts depending on their bodies. With smoking there is no amount that is good for anyone so they are not comparable.

If overeating and smoking affected vampires at all, there could be an interesting fight scenario between heavy smoker Angel and overeater Spike.

sunfire, shouldn't that be reversed? (scratches head)
True, I was basing it on David's being the center of a smoking debate. Spike does like his fried bar food though.
Yeah, but those fried onion things are really bad for you.
They should be banned. :)
Shey, I want to be clear. It was late, I was tired, and I wasn't reading clearly. If I had, I never would have made the comment in the first place. I had no intention of making light of, or ignoring, your condition. My deepest and most sincere apologies.

That said, I have known people with no (apparent) medical difficulties who have used the "I just can't breathe smoke" line in an attempt to guilt their friends, or complete strangers, out of lighting up. In that context, perhaps you can understand why those words were to me as a red rag to a bull.
True, I was basing it on David's being the center of a smoking debate. Spike does like his fried bar food though.

Sunfire


Oh! You mean you were being on topic. Yes, I've heard of that.
zeitgeist There may be some playing going on. ;-)


That seems unlikely, given all our past track records... oh, wait ;) I am actually a long time asthmatic (both parents were heavy smokers at one time) and had chronic bronchitis and one or two bouts of pneumonia that included emergency room visits. Its far more under control these days and I rarely have it flare up, though on occasion some smoke can inflame the old bronchial passages. Its without my tongue anywhere near my cheek that I mention that it was way more apt to be triggered when I was dramatically overweight. Am I on topic yet?
It's actually the case that most ways of rock climbing aren't as dangerous as non-climbers may think but it's surely still more dangerous than e.g. badminton and with no particular fitness advantage.

Are you saying badminton is NOT a death-defying, extreme sport? You obviously haven't been playing it right.
Well, i've defied death every time i've played it (so far) so in that sense ... ;).

That said, there is a big difference between saying people are not allowed to do something "for the good of themselves and others" and making people do something, "for their own good."

Not to me. Someone forcing me not to do something solely because they have decided it's bad for me is a tiny step away from someone forcing me to do something because they have decided it's good for me. And i'm specifically not talking about that which is for the good of others, already said i've no issue with a smoking ban in public buildings for instance.

... one would have to determine what "overeating" is for each person, because eating is actually good for you and each person needs different amounts depending on their bodies.

Nah, just have "fat police". It's easy enough to tell when someone's overweight because they're carrying too much weight ;). And if that sounds ridiculous, imagine what would have to happen if smoking tobacco was banned - it'd be criminalised in the same way marijuana is now but with (in the UK) over 25% of the population already addicted (and ready sources of supply just a booze cruise away).

(both parents were heavy smokers at one time)

Both of mine still are and the worst kind of unrepentant smoker too - we've had, err, "vigorous discussions" ;) about the reality of passive smoking and when my Mum once said "Well I smoked around you kids for years and it never did any of you any harm" I actually had to make the connection for her that all of her children have been asthmatic at one point (my brother grew out of it). My Mum BTW was a nurse (though she quit in the 60s, when absolutely everyone smoked).
My Mum BTW was a nurse (though she quit in the 60s. So what did she do after nursing? ;)

This has been very interesting to read, all of the back-and-forth of actual points and OT goofiness. (Are pants knickers, Saje? To me, they're those things that have enough fabric to cover all of your leg (and part of your shoe) to be worn with shirts.)

Overweight is an interesting thing. I am "technically" 20-30 pounds overweight (as I am 5'6" and 120 is the "optimal" weight). But I don't look it. Also, I am active and eat very healthily, partly thanks to the fact that I still live at home and my parents are fantastic cooks who happen to like veggies. My doctors have never told me that I was at an unhealthy weight; they tell me that I am in good shape--except for injuries due to car accidents, speaking of those issues...

So the "fat police" would have some fun trying to figure out who to cite. Would they go around handing tickets to people on Segways who should be walking instead? What about that woman who recently had her fourth child? Would they go by weight, or looks?
...Aren't airlines looking to charge passengers based on their weight? That would be interesting...

In terms of extreme sports, I would have to agree that full-body contact badminton is a vicious game. So is bowling. And darts, after one too many pints of Guinness.
Though not as vicious as darts without any pints of Guinness, it's all about striking a balance ;).

OK, "obesity police" makes more sense. I agree that you can be overweight and healthy (especially when judged overweight by very clumsy measures like the Body Mass Index). And just to be clear, i'm not targeting the overweight (or even the obese for that matter) i'm just saying there are a lot of similarities and yet one is treated entirely differently to the other. If anything my whole point is that neither group should be targeted (in the sense of being legislated against) as long as they're only hurting themselves.

(and yep, UK pants are indeed knickers - undergarments in other words ;)
Wait...Saje, you're agreeing with me? O, frabjous day! ;)

I agree that neither group should be targeted, as one has to be able to enjoy one's vices, be they smoking, overeating, or dipping tennis balls in lighter fluid, lighting them, then bouncing them down the halls.

I actually remember reading about a case in England, I think, where some men were charged with battery for engaging in S&M practices in the privacy of their own homes...but on videotape. That was an interesting issue of "they want to, and they're doing it to themselves" which didn't hold water, IIRC.

As for things such as obesity and smoking, since everything is subjective, and everyone has their own little quirks, there's no way to fairly regulate it so that nobody has a blue streak to be bitched. What may be intolerable to one person may be barely anything to the next one. And there's always outspoken children who can help situations, like when my brother was 5 and asked a woman "why are you so fat?!" very loudly on a bus.

So I guess there is no smoking rubicon then. But there's still a smoking gun, right? Ostensibly shot at obese smokers.
Wait...Saje, you're agreeing with me?

Dammit, how'd that happen ? All I can say in my own defence is that I was tired, it's been a long day, I wasn't looking, your opinion just stepped out in front of me and before I knew what was happening i'd agreed with it.

;-)

That's interesting about that case. There was also a fairly famous one a while back in Germany which made all the papers over here (for obvious reasons - cannibal penis eaters don't grow on trees, thankfully ;). That is a real test of the principle but, for me, it still holds. Very grey area though - was the "victim" entirely uncoerced ? Was he of sound mind and made an informed choice ? And even if the victim did give clear headed permission, the facts are that the accused advertised for someone to kill i.e. he wanted to commit murder (and in the end that's what he was prosecuted for and ultimately found guilty of). It's at the very least assisted suicide (which may well be illegal in Germany anyway).
Okay, there was my wiggins for the day. The hair on the back of my neck actually bristled.

cannibal penis eaters don't grow on trees. Ah, but one must be careful of those "Madam Palm" trees. Things could get out of hand...

It doesn't strike me that any person who would be willing to have his penis cut off and flambeed is of sound mind. Then again, as I don't have one, I guess I can't judge fairly.

So somehow we've segued from whether or not smoking the occasional cigar is okay to discussing permission for murder or assisted suicide. This discussion rocks.

As for assisted suicide, I'm totally in favor of, for example, PAS for terminally ill patients or for persons in a coma who will not recover. Then again, I've had people look at me like I'm insane for that very decision.
It doesn't strike me that any person who would be willing to have his penis cut off and flambeed is of sound mind. Then again, as I don't have one, I guess I can't judge fairly.


A sound mind? Oh, the other thing. Gotcha ;).
Shey, I want to be clear. It was late, I was tired, and I wasn't reading clearly. If I had, I never would have made the comment in the first place. I had no intention of making light of, or ignoring, your condition. My deepest and most sincere apologies.
That said, I have known people with no (apparent) medical difficulties who have used the "I just can't breathe smoke" line in an attempt to guilt their friends, or complete strangers, out of lighting up. In that context, perhaps you can understand why those words were to me as a red rag to a bull.
BAFfler | June 23, 17:56 CET

Apology accepted and thank you. I get equally irritated at the holier than thou non-smokers who guilt-trip smokers (assuming they aren't lighting up in a "no smoking" area), because they make it more difficult for people like me, with a serious problem, to be taken seriously.

Saje, you've finally done it. You've argued both sides of the issue to a point that you've come full circle and tripped over your own logic. ;-)
Yay, I win !

... that is what you meant right ? ;-)
Yay, I win !

... that is what you meant right ? ;-)

Saje | June 24, 15:15 CET


Has anyone ever threatened to throw you into Loch Ness, to test the Nessie theory? (Everywhere in Scotland is near Loch Ness, right?).

I'm just still miffed because I'm certain that you are somehow responsible for the Torchwood fiasco. ;-)
Yep, by royal decree, everywhere in Scotland is less than or equal to A Saje's Throw from Loch Ness ;).

(luckily I live in England so i've avoided that watery fate - also, if I talked Nessie into an early grave the tourist industry would never forgive me)
Oops, my bad. I thought it was illegal for anyone to speak of haggis while not being Scottish. (Feel free to confuse Hawaii with Fiji). ;)
Saje is Scottish - but lives in England. Confusing I know - sort of like how I'm English but live in California. Damn those wacky migrants.
Yeah i'm amazed they let us in, you'd think there'd be rules about that sort of thing ;).
This thread gets weirder every time I check in.
You should definitely check in more often, then :)
The logic in this thread ranges all the way from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Tenth - I've always wanted to work that into a conversation.
I leave you guys for one night--one night--and this is how the thread unravels?

Saje, I think it's a situation of "heads, I win, tails, you lose." In which I'm the "I" and you're the "you." If that made any sense. Or something. One of these days, I will best you, you wily, clever, person!

...Then again, maybe not--I am, after all, an American living in America. Where's the advantage in that??
You get apple pie and freedom, BandofBuggered. Also a scary national debt. And football, which I would happily trade for more soccer.

Ok, sometimes it's just pie. But it's apple.
Possibly sprayed with pesticides and chock-full of heavy metals but apple. Or apple flavoured at least (and we get football too, ours is even played with feet ;).

Starting to wonder about the freedom though.
I too would trade American football for the other football. As for apple pie, it's so damned expensive thanks to rising gas prices. And I prefer cherry pie anyway.

And yup, the freedom is...well...*cough* Look at the pretty kittie! Suffice it to say that I would not be in the least bit surprised if my phone were tapped.

But, I do get baseball and the Yankees. So things could be worse.
Saje is Scottish - but lives in England. Confusing I know

I knew it, into Loch Ness with him!

So I'm the most generic "American" mix west of the Mississippi (English, Irish, French, Dutch and Cherokee) and live in Hawaii.
Wacky migrants, indeed. ;-)

And sometimes David Boreanaz smoking a cigar is just .... David Boreanaz smoking a cigar. Although you'd never know it from this thread. ;-)

I'd rather see James Marsters eating apple pie, no second-hand calories.

Someone please please please tell me how to do the itty-bitty font, none of the tags make it happen.:(
Shey - it's as easy as putting small and then /small within the <> and around the text you want to shrink. Thusly.
Cheers to you all for this insightful and sometimes hysterical discussion thread. It has provided a heap of enjoyment. I've nothing clever to add, just my thanks and a clink of the glass :)

*oh, and Shey, can we house-swap sometime??? ;-) Hawaii is my happy place.*
Thank you, SNT, obviously no rocket scientist here. ;)

Visit maybe, SaltyGoodness but no house-swap. No offense, but San Diego is not my happy place. ;-) Although I think David B. once smoked a cigar there.
And besides, you'd have to become a parrot slave (I'm owned by three Amazons).
Nice, Shey, we are overlorded by a cockatiel and an English Bulldog. Not to OT this whole thing. Neither of them smoke, by the way ;)
Nice save yourself, zeitgeist ;-) My ex and I used to have 'tiels. I just got this picture in my head of a cockatiel sitting on the head of an English Bulldog.
With DB in the room smoking a cigar and me admonishing him to put it out because birds are even more sensitive to second-hand smoke than humans. :)

patting myself on the back for that one. :)

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