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Old 08-09-2007, 04:24 PM   #91
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Re: smokers tax

But people can live without smoking. Fatty or not, food sustains you.

It'll lead to an early grave, but not as early as not eating period.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:26 PM   #92
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Re: smokers tax

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I fail to see the difference if they both lead to premature death.

You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?

Now if you're a smoker, stop smoking now, do not smoke ever again, then see what happens to you. You'll live a lot longer, and life will be clearer and smell better.

See the difference now?
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:28 PM   #93
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Re: smokers tax

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But people can live without smoking. Fatty or not, food sustains you.

It'll lead to an early grave, but not as early as not eating period.
exactly.

I will admit eating at McDonalds for every meal won't get you far, but how many people actually do that?
The ones that do, are just as dumb as those that smoke a pack or two a day.

ps- not all the food that fast food joints sell are bad for you.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:28 PM   #94
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?

Now if you're a smoker, stop smoking now, do not smoke ever again, then see what happens to you. You'll live a lot longer, and life will be clearer and smell better.

See the difference now?
Well.......if he quits eating, it will kill him!
If he quits smoking, he may come kill you!
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:30 PM   #95
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Re: smokers tax

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Well.......if he quits eating, it will kill him!
If he quits smoking, he may come kill you!
LOL.
He may, but he'll get over that urge and live and long and fruitful life.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:46 PM   #96
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Re: smokers tax

I still fail to understand how cigarettes equate similarly to fast food. Again, fast food in and of itself IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. What is bad for you is the amounts of it you eat. There is not a single thing in fast food that is only destructive. Every ingredient has healthy benefits as much as any other food we eat. It is not the food that is inherently bad. It is our eating too much of it. Cigarettes on the other hand have no positive benefits in any quantity. The only thing they do...the one singular thing... is kill you.

To me the two are not even in the same ballpark. In fact I cannot think of anything legal that is in the same ballpark as cigarettes. Possibly alcohol but there are numerous studies that show some benefits of alcohol consumption in proper quantities.

As far "the betterment of society issue". Our country long ago decided that we should govern consumption and use of certain things. Many drugs are illegal because they are harmful for example. Because of the uniqueness of cigarettes I really don't see taxing them out of existence as a step onto the slippery slope. I just think if we are allowed to make things illegal like drugs then there is no reason cigarettes should be legal. Seeing as they are legal and making them illegal would put major companies out of business I'd prefer that a less direct action be taken and they get taxed into oblivion.

I'ma conservative and firmly believe the government should stay out of my busniess but I don't think the government should stay out of all of my business without exception. Ridding our society of illegal drugs and other products that kill us prematurely seems like a pretty good job for our government to me.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:51 PM   #97
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Re: smokers tax

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I still fail to understand how cigarettes equate similarly to fast food. Again, fast food in and of itself IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. What is bad for you is the amounts of it you eat. There is not a single thing in fast food that is only destructive. Every ingredient has healthy benefits as much as any other food we eat. It is not the food that is inherently bad. It is our eating too much of it. Cigarettes on the other hand have no positive benefits in any quantity. The only thing they do...the one singular thing... is kill you.

To me the two are not even in the same ballpark. In fact I cannot think of anything legal that is in the same ballpark as cigarettes. Possibly alcohol but there are numerous studies that show some benefits of alcohol consumption in proper quantities.

As far "the betterment of society issue". Our country long ago decided that we should govern consumption and use of certain things. Many drugs are illegal because they are harmful for example. Because of the uniqueness of cigarettes I really don't see taxing them out of existence as a step onto the slippery slope. I just think if we are allowed to make things illegal like drugs then there is no reason cigarettes should be legal. Seeing as they are legal and making them illegal would put major companies out of business I'd prefer that a less direct action be taken and they get taxed into oblivion.

I'ma conservative and firmly believe the government should stay out of my busniess but I don't think the government should stay out of all of my business without exception. Ridding our society of illegal drugs and other products that kill us prematurely seems like a pretty good job for our government to me.
Good points.
It's called grasping for straws for the sake of an argument.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #98
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Re: smokers tax

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Good points.
It's called grasping for straws for the sake of an argument.
I think I understand where the point of view comes from because I firnly believe in limited government but I also believe in nuance. This is a very limited but nuanced view I hold. I think nuance is the biggest thing missing in politics today.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:08 PM   #99
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Re: smokers tax

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You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?
We were not discussing food in general, we were discussing fast food. So, you're above quote is perplexing. You should have asked, "OK, stop eating fast food right now. Do not eat any fast food ever again, see what happens to you." I would suppose if you stopped eating fast food altogether, you'd probably be a more healthy individual and, for some, you'd probably be a hell of a lot thinner.

Also, I said cigarettes and fast food are analogous, not identical. Both have an adverse effect on the general health of the population, regardless of whatever few redeeming qualities each has. If the reason for taxing cigarettes is that they have an adverse effect on the population, I see no reason why one should simultaneously oppose taxing fast food.

Finally, it appears that a fast food tax may be on the horizon in some cities.
http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/09/news.../fastfood_tax/
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2002/...tes021004.html
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:17 PM   #100
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Re: smokers tax

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Also, I said cigarettes and fast food are analogous, not identical. Both have an adverse effect on the general health of the population, regardless of whatever few redeeming qualities each has. If the reason for taxing cigarettes is that they have an adverse effect on the population, I see no reason why one should simultaneously oppose taxing fast food.
Exactly, they are not identical so why would taxing cigarettes mean you should tax fast food? They should not be treated identically since they are not identical in nature. That's my whole point. I am advocating taxing the stuff that IS bad for you and not the stuff that MAY be bad for you. One is complete social control where the line between black and white is completely gray and therefore impossible to get right when deciding how to fairly tax it. The other is clearly black and white and would be very easy.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:23 PM   #101
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Re: smokers tax

SGG...do you support the legalization of all drugs?
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:14 PM   #102
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Re: smokers tax

I believe the context of the discussion is taxing fatty/fast food, not food in general...and by the logic being used here one can argue that you don't NEED fatty food to sustain you. You could do with fruits and veggies and live a healthy and happy life. In any case, according to NIH approximately 440,000 people die from smoking and about 280,000 die from obesity related illness (the latest stats I could find).
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #103
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Re: smokers tax

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SGG...do you support the legalization of all drugs?
No, but IMHO, the difference between cigarettes and crack is just a tad more significant than the difference between cigarettes and fast food. Moreover, I do support the legalization of some drugs, just not the ones that will make you a raging lunatic (e.g., PCP) or hallucinate and possibly harm others (e.g., LSD).
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #104
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Re: smokers tax

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Schneed, check this study out. We went over this argument a few pages ago, but basically, some believe that cigarettes actually save the government money because smokers often die before they get their social security checks, before they use a lot of medicare payments, etc. While cancer treatments aren't cheap, nursing home care is ridiculously expensive.
OK I read through it, this study is pretty flimsy. First it offers no data, it's just a text. Any good study shows the results of statistical tests. But even getting past that, it does not account for the following:

- People who die at 60 of smoking-related problems obviously do not work past age 60. A percentage of those who live past 60 continue to work, contributing tax dollars and to the nation's GDP. The cost side is not the only concern here.

- The cost associated with healthcare to those who don't smoke, but are affected by second-hand smoke. The study only analyzed the health affects on smokers - second hand smoke is responsible for the development of asthma in young children that they often don't shake. Asthma medications are some of the most expensive medications on the market.

- The study was done in 1998. In the last 9 years, costs of healthcare have dramatically increased, especially for pulmonary functions. Lung volume reduction surgery is now a generally accepted methodology for treating emphysema - this surgery came to bear in the last 3 years. It is incredibly expensive and requires very long rehab stays in hospital rehab units. In addition, cardiac catheterizations, cardiac stents, and the usage of ventricular assist devices has become much more prevalent since 1998. These surgeries are also extremely expensive. The costs of nursing home care have not dramatically increased since 1998 - the standard of care in nursing homes has not changed. It is not a section of the healthcare system that sees great growth in expense - all you're paying for is nursing hours, and as any nurse can tell you, they haven't seen many pay increases over the years. I don't have any links, I'm just exposed to this stuff through working in the finance department at a network of hospitals.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:04 PM   #105
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Re: smokers tax

Schneed,

You raise all fair points. I don't pretend to know all of the answers and I never said the study's conclusion was 100% accurate (though it might be). I just think that before people start making arguments as to why smoking should be heavily taxed on economic/tax grounds, we should know that it causes a net increase in government spending.
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