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Should we be allowed to live ourselves to death?

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Irviding
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#1

Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:41 PM Edited by Irviding, 20 May 2012 - 01:10 AM.

Basically, should we as a society allow people to "live themselves to death" i.e. should we support the healthcare of smokers, obese people, drinkers and the like?

The answer is unclear, though right now we are in fact doing that. We pay higher premiums for people who have heart disease from a life of smoking or unhealthy eating, thus costing insurance companies tons of money. We pay in our taxes for people on Medicare and Medicaid who blow government money because of their drinking habits. The question, though, is should these people be allowed to do this? It's hard to answer because though many of us will say no, once we understand that this would result in some of our friends and family losing care because of their habits, we change our minds. In other countries, Britain for example, NHS pays for not only perhaps the Briton who takes great care of himself, but the dickhead who smokes 3 packs a day as well. Are you alright with your tax dollars going to those people? In America, are you alright with your premiums constantly rising because of stupid people?

There is no easy answer to this, and many will come in here and probably say "oh yeah cut them off", but I think either side has a hard argument to make. If you 'cut them off', you just won't provide medical care to people who have unhealthy habits? Or should you go the route of banning things that make people sick. Ban tobacco, ban McDonald's, ban alcohol, etc. What's the best choice? Or is the status quo really the best we can do? I'm really on the fence and not sure where I stand on this yet. It's an issue I honestly never thought much of.

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#2

Posted 20 May 2012 - 12:18 AM

If you don't want any more people dieing because of Smoking. Ban tabacco. But that's not gonna happen.
So, if society allows people to do this harmful things (And encourages it) they better accept to take care of them when they are on the edge.

El Diablo
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#3

Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:17 AM

you only get one life.
you should be able to live it however you want as long as you are not doing harm to others.

obesity is probably the one thing I detest.
you can be a drug addict and smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day. as long as you're not pregnant or raising an infant, go crazy.

but if you're just fat - and don't have a really good reason, like diabetes or a real medical condition - then you're pretty much a piece of sh*t who should be executed.
I mean, we'll give these fat bastards a warning, like you've got 6 months to drop X number of pounds. and if you fail to do so, we put you to death.

I hate fatness.
unlike chain smoking or shooting heroin into your eyeballs, being fat actually affects other people. fatties put a tremendous burden on the health care system that could be completely alleviated if they would just stay in shape. it's amazing the number of chronic conditions and diseases that can be prevented by simply not living a sedentary lifestyle or stuffing your gut with lard.

otherwise you can't really tell people not to do something.
short of looking out for the safety of others, we only get one life and one body (as far as we know...) and so we should be allowed to use it how we choose.

Irviding
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#4

Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:20 AM

QUOTE

unlike chain smoking or shooting heroin into your eyeballs, being fat actually affects other people. fatties put a tremendous burden on the health care system that could be completely alleviated if they would just stay in shape.

So do people who chain smoke, and people who shoot heroin also put strain on the health care system too.

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#5

Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:19 AM

it's not the same as obesity.

chain smoking doesn't affect everyone equally.
some people smoke their entire lives and never develop cancer or other related conditions. dumb luck.
and drug addicts usually avoid hospitals unless someone drags them there during an overdose.

being fat affects everyone the same way.
you can't be obese (for very long) and not develop a host of chronic medical issues. obesity results in a far greater burden on the system than tobacco and other drug users.

and the problem with drug addicts is that their behavior is treated as criminal.
it should be treated with preventative medicine. this is the fault of our system, not the person who decides to use drugs.

we could save billions each year if we would stop automatically throwing drug offenders into prison.
they don't get better in prison and usually their drug use only becomes worse. if they were truly rehabilitated then their burden on health care would be even less than it is now (which is still far less than that caused by obesity).

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#6

Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:21 AM Edited by Chunkyman, 20 May 2012 - 05:29 AM.

Since it's agreed upon by the majority of people that we should fund healthcare collectively, we must prevent all individual activity that puts a burden on the collective.

We need to stop pussyfooting around; we must end all behavior that causes healthcare costs to rise for the collective. Ban smoking, Big Macs, high fructose corn syrup, base jumping, alcohol, motorcycles, firearms, trans fats, soda, boxing, raw oysters, rare steak, sharp objects, etc.

Of course this isn't enough. If we are serious about caring for the sick and keeping our collective costs down, some changes are in order. Instead of a military draft, we draft all fat people into Weight Watchers. Not showing up for weigh-ins constitutes desertion, and not the kind of deserting fat people enjoy. We can put fat people on big gerbil wheels to have them lose weight and provide energy for our entire country. That's killing two birds with one lard ass!

If you don't agree with my you want poor people to suffer and die from expensive healthcare and long wait lists. You don't hate poor people, do you?



But in all seriousness, this is one reason why I hate socialized medicine. When you accept the premise that it is the role of the state to pay for everyone's healthcare, you open the doorway for banning/forcing any behavior that can be in any way related to healthcare costs. Since a massive amount of different activities can increase healthcare costs for a collectivist system, it becomes acceptable to ban things that should be an individual's choice and no one elses. Since I believe very strongly in individual liberties, I would have no restrictions on the above things I mentioned.

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#7

Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:40 AM

Yes we should. The world is full of life, too much life to be sustained in fact. These habbits aid the economy and keep the rate of death up via cancer and all other manner of nasty afflictions. Population control is a vital, supremely important thing so we should not encourage people to live to a ripe old age. An aging population is a terrible thing, a massive drain on the economy and a constant obstacle to progress. Would it be so awful if more people died young?

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#8

Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:13 AM

I think socialized medicine works just fine for the most part and we could cover the financial burden of those who live recklessly by introducing very steep consumption taxes.

I.E. a sales tax on cigarettes (which many places already have) should be DIRECTLY applied to medicare funding. Motorcyclists who renew their license should pay a steep fee that goes directly to medicare. Furthermore, if people want to renew their drivers license or pollute the air with fossil fuels, they should be once again forced to pay into the kitty because after all car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury.

It would be unfortunate to take away universal health care simply because of a burden placed by a minority. We are all guilty of unhealthy habits and practices (it comes with the nature of modern urban living) so rather than point at a few scape goats we need to learn to equitably distribute the burden.

As someone mentioned above, geriatrics are going to be the number one burden on our medicare system and it's only going to increase with time. Unfortunately there's not much Gen X and Y can do about their Boomer parents, and we will probably end up paying taxes up the wazoo to keep nurses wiping their asses. I think since the baby boomer generation got the golden ticket in terms of low-taxes and great opportunities it should be expected that they cover a part of their long term health care. No politician will ever have the balls to say it (probably because they are all boomers themselves).

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#9

Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:29 AM

I don't think that a socialised healthcare system intrinsically leads to needing to ban anything that can be considered harmful. In the UK, we already deny care to people who act abusively, inappropriately or destructively in hospitals, so I see absolutely no reason why care couldn't be denied to people who had illnesses caused of their own volition- or at the very least force them to pay their own care costs directly. The alternative, of course, is to very heavily tax apparently "dangerous" things to cover the increased costs to the healthcare system, but that's a less than perfect alternative because it penalises the healthy for the sake of the ill.

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#10

Posted 20 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Saturday, May 19 2012, 20:17)
but if you're just fat - and don't have a really good reason, like diabetes or a real medical condition - then you're pretty much a piece of sh*t who should be executed.

But what if, for example, fatty is actually a contributing member to society in the sense that he has a job and pays his taxes, which go to fund health care and other social programs as opposed to a crack addict who lives on the streets and isn't paying taxes and hence, not putting money towards social programs? If I had to pick one of them to be executed, I'd pick the crack addict. At least fatty is covering a portion, albeit a small one, of his health care should he have a heart attack or stroke or <insert medical condition here> in relation to his obesity.

Granted, the above hinges on the drug addict being jobless, which isn't always the case. This is just Scenario #1 of thousands. tounge.gif

As for my opinion, I'm with Diablo on this. If what you're doing doesn't bring harm to anyone, knock yourself out. It's your body. I would only be concerned if what you do causes harm to someone else (e.g. second-hand smoke around children).

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#11

Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:53 PM

QUOTE (Icarus @ Sunday, May 20 2012, 10:13)
[font=Arial][color=orange]But what if, for example, fatty is actually a contributing member to society in the sense that he has a job and pays his taxes, which go to fund health care and other social programs as opposed to a crack addict who lives on the streets and isn't paying taxes and hence, not putting money towards social programs?

even if he has health insurance, it doesn't change the fact that being fat still means he'll be taking more out of the system than he's putting in.
and the longer he stays fat, the greater the chance that he'll eventually be unable to work and lose his health insurance anyway.

about the drug addict; I already addressed the notion that this isn't as much the fault of the user as it is the system.
the system treats drug addicts like criminals instead of with preventative / rehabilitative medicine.

but even as the system stands right now, fat people account for monumentally greater hospital bills (based on the average annual) than any combination of drug abusers.

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#12

Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Sunday, May 20 2012, 02:17)
you only get one life.
you should be able to live it however you want as long as you are not doing harm to others.

obesity is probably the one thing I detest.
you can be a drug addict and smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day. as long as you're not pregnant or raising an infant, go crazy.

but if you're just fat - and don't have a really good reason, like diabetes or a real medical condition - then you're pretty much a piece of sh*t who should be executed.
I mean, we'll give these fat bastards a warning, like you've got 6 months to drop X number of pounds. and if you fail to do so, we put you to death.

I hate fatness.
unlike chain smoking or shooting heroin into your eyeballs, being fat actually affects other people. fatties put a tremendous burden on the health care system that could be completely alleviated if they would just stay in shape. it's amazing the number of chronic conditions and diseases that can be prevented by simply not living a sedentary lifestyle or stuffing your gut with lard.

otherwise you can't really tell people not to do something.
short of looking out for the safety of others, we only get one life and one body (as far as we know...) and so we should be allowed to use it how we choose.

Your a complete f*cking moron. Diabetes doesn't make you fat, you get diabetes from things that lead to being fat.

Amoking doesnt affect other people? What about secondhand smoke?

Again I say, your a complete f*cking moron.

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#13

Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

QUOTE

but even as the system stands right now, fat people account for monumentally greater hospital bills (based on the average annual) than any combination of drug abusers.

Not when you add alcoholics and smokers into the equation.

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#14

Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:44 PM Edited by El_Diablo, 21 May 2012 - 10:55 PM.

QUOTE (SPMovies @ Monday, May 21 2012, 11:18)
Your a complete f*cking moron. Diabetes doesn't make you fat, you get diabetes from things that lead to being fat.

I didn't say that diabetes made you fat.
if you actually read my entire post, you'd notice that I was talking about conditions that make it difficult for someone to maintain a healthy weight.

dumbass....

QUOTE
Amoking doesnt affect other people? What about secondhand smoke?

I already acknowledged that, too.

I never said smoke wasn't bad for people.
but most smokers cannot smoke around non-smokers given the amount of anti-smoking areas in the US. most smokers can only smoke at home or outdoors and away from public settings. so if you're only smoking by yourself or with other smokers, then you're not harming anyone but yourself.

I already said that if you're pregnant or supposed to be raising a child in the home, then you should definitely not smoke.
which implies that you shouldn't smoke around people who don't.

so I've already addressed these things.
next time you might want to slow down and READ what people have written before you open your big dumb mouth.

dumbass...

QUOTE (Irviding @ Monday, May 21 2012, 12:39)
Not when you add alcoholics and smokers into the equation.


but alcohol and tobacco are not treated the same way as illegal narcotics.
that's who I was referring to when talking about "drug" users.

because if we're going to go down this route, then we might as well lump caffeine and sugar users into the same category.
caffeine and sugar being drugs just like alcohol and tobacco with equally detrimental side effects when abused.

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#15

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

Well, people chain smoke and overeat and shoot heroin because they have reasons. They don't simply do it because they're "stupid" and vices aren't something that can simply be avoided. Maybe if people weren't chain smoking they'd be headed to an early grave because of stress; that could burden the healthcare system equally, or more. My point is, avoiding vices isn't always the healthiest and most attractive option, and anyone who suggests that it's so black and white needs a serious reality check.

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#16

Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:15 AM Edited by finn4life, 22 May 2012 - 11:29 AM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 20 2012, 20:29)
but that's a less than perfect alternative because it penalises the healthy for the sake of the ill.

Well there is already large amounts of tax on cigarettes, i think here it is around 30 or 40% tax on cigarettes (At a guess), does that Tax make enough money to cover the burden created by smokers?

Perhaps a Fat Tax is in order too like you suggested as an alternative.


QUOTE
I don't think that a socialised healthcare system intrinsically leads to needing to ban anything that can be considered harmful. In the UK, we already deny care to people who act abusively, inappropriately or destructively in hospitals, so I see absolutely no reason why care couldn't be denied to people who had illnesses caused of their own volition- or at the very least force them to pay their own care costs directly. The alternative, of course, is to very heavily tax apparently "dangerous" things to cover the increased costs to the healthcare system,


I want to ask, where is the line drawn in terms of what is ones fault? How does the government know that a mans heart disease was caused by being overweight 10 years ago? What if it was genetic and the man actually did deserve the healthcare at governments expense?

As for making smokers pay for their own healthcare, well coming back to the tax on cigarettes, is the tax large enough to cover their medical expenses? How do they prove he was smoking?
--
Those are just some of the questions than came to my mind.


QUOTE (melchior)
Maybe if people weren't chain smoking they'd be headed to an early grave because of stress


Smoking doesn't really relieve stress, smokers do feel better after a smoke but that feeling is the equivalent of what you would feel all the time if you didn't smoke, this is because smoking increases your blood pressure, when you have a cigarette your blood pressure is lowered to what your blood pressure would be if you didn't smoke. (I think anyway)

Same story with Caffeine, if you are not Caffeine dependant drinking some coffee will make you feel more alert, if you are Caffeine dependant and drink the same amount of coffee everyday, the effect it has on you is equivalent to how you would feel if you were not Caffeine dependant This is because Caffeine replaces Adenosine (Makes you sleepy) in the brain, your body recognizes this and simply creates more Adenosine, so unless you continue to up your dosage of Caffeine, the effect it has on you (If you are dependant) is...i can't seem to think of a word actually



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#17

Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (finn4life @ Tuesday, May 22 2012, 21:15)
Smoking doesn't really relieve stress, smokers do feel better after a smoke but that feeling is the equivalent of what you would feel all the time if you didn't smoke

This is not true in the slightest. I remember being taught that in PDHPE, but it is an out-an-out lie. Every cigarette I've ever had is relaxing, otherwise I wouldn't smoke them. I could not smoke - or even think about smoking - for weeks, but a smoke would still relax me. What you're implying is that the addiction 'tricks' people into thinking they enjoy smoking.

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#18

Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:44 PM

Diablo, the notion that smoking can be equated with overusing caffeine and sugar and have equally detrimental side effects is completely misguided.

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#19

Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:38 PM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Tuesday, May 22 2012, 07:44)
Diablo, the notion that smoking can be equated with overusing caffeine and sugar and have equally detrimental side effects is completely misguided.

but I'm talking about how these things are treated by our health care system and society right now.

caffeine is just another drug. consuming too much too often will negatively impact your blood pressure and circulation.
this will lead to higher risk of stroke, hypertension, and vascular disease each of which lead to dementia. people who drink a lot of caffeine have higher rates of sleep apnea which is responsible for a host of chronic conditions.
caffeine is addictive and will produce withdrawal effects. it is also suspected (studies ongoing) that caffeine increases the risk of breast cancer in woman and digestive cancer in both men and women.

and we all know that too much sugar consumption leads to poor blood-glucose levels which can easily cause Diabetes, obesity (which leads to a plethora of other conditions), hypertension, Macular degeneration, tooth decay, and (recently) the link has even been made between excess sugar intake and Alzheimer disease.

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#20

Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

That's all true, but I feel like you're marginalizing the negative effects of smoking. Smoking is terrible for people, even in moderation. If I came out with a product and it had the same side effects of smoking, it'd never make it ti the market. The FDA would laugh in my face. I'm honestly not surprised drug companies haven't sued them yet saying, how could you take my drug odf the market but allow another that shortens the lifespan and literally destroys the lungs of people? It's crazy.

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#21

Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:05 PM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 01:21)
QUOTE (finn4life @ Tuesday, May 22 2012, 21:15)
Smoking doesn't really relieve stress, smokers do feel better after a smoke but that feeling is the equivalent of what you would feel all the time if you didn't smoke

This is not true in the slightest. I remember being taught that in PDHPE, but it is an out-an-out lie. Every cigarette I've ever had is relaxing, otherwise I wouldn't smoke them. I could not smoke - or even think about smoking - for weeks, but a smoke would still relax me. What you're implying is that the addiction 'tricks' people into thinking they enjoy smoking.

YEah most smokers i know tell me this.
A smoke may make you feel more relaxed than usual, but you would still feel better most of the time if you didn't smoke.

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#22

Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:26 AM

QUOTE (finn4life @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 09:05)
QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 01:21)
QUOTE (finn4life @ Tuesday, May 22 2012, 21:15)
Smoking doesn't really relieve stress, smokers do feel better after a smoke but that feeling is the equivalent of what you would feel all the time if you didn't smoke

This is not true in the slightest. I remember being taught that in PDHPE, but it is an out-an-out lie. Every cigarette I've ever had is relaxing, otherwise I wouldn't smoke them. I could not smoke - or even think about smoking - for weeks, but a smoke would still relax me. What you're implying is that the addiction 'tricks' people into thinking they enjoy smoking.

YEah most smokers i know tell me this.
A smoke may make you feel more relaxed than usual, but you would still feel better most of the time if you didn't smoke.

No I wouldn't? You're basically trying to convince me that smoking makes you stressed all the time, apart from when you're having a cigarette.

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#23

Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:35 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 08:26)
QUOTE (finn4life @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 09:05)
QUOTE (Melchior @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 01:21)
QUOTE (finn4life @ Tuesday, May 22 2012, 21:15)
Smoking doesn't really relieve stress, smokers do feel better after a smoke but that feeling is the equivalent of what you would feel all the time if you didn't smoke

This is not true in the slightest. I remember being taught that in PDHPE, but it is an out-an-out lie. Every cigarette I've ever had is relaxing, otherwise I wouldn't smoke them. I could not smoke - or even think about smoking - for weeks, but a smoke would still relax me. What you're implying is that the addiction 'tricks' people into thinking they enjoy smoking.

YEah most smokers i know tell me this.
A smoke may make you feel more relaxed than usual, but you would still feel better most of the time if you didn't smoke.

No I wouldn't? You're basically trying to convince me that smoking makes you stressed all the time, apart from when you're having a cigarette.

I'm with Melchior here. Finn, care to provide some evidence to support your point?

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#24

Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:18 AM

I guess what he's saying is, not smoking would result in generally all around happier and healthier feelings?

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#25

Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 11:18)
I guess what he's saying is, not smoking would result in generally all around happier and healthier feelings?

I get that, but I don't get the specific association with stress. Why would a smoker who wasn't in the process of smoking be more stressed than a non-smoker?

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#26

Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:02 AM Edited by finn4life, 25 May 2012 - 12:20 AM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 23:51)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, May 23 2012, 11:18)
I guess what he's saying is, not smoking would result in generally all around happier and healthier feelings?

I get that, but I don't get the specific association with stress. Why would a smoker who wasn't in the process of smoking be more stressed than a non-smoker?

Well call it government brain-washing or whatever but i seem to see that a smoker on average will be more stressed than a non-smoker until they have a smoke all over the place, taught in school, on the news, the newspapers, magazines and of course the internet.

Points out how from the smokers perspective what is being said may seem un-true.

Government website mentions how the effect of smoking is how you would feel normally if you did not smoke


The Reputability of this site is questionable but "For adult smokers, the research shows that the positive mood changes experienced during smoking may only reflect the reversal of unpleasant abstinence effects. "Regular smokers, therefore, experience periods of heightened stress between cigarettes, and smoking briefly restores their stress levels to normal"

This website here mentions how smoking won't really help someone who is stressed, it is like a band-aid, temporarily you will feel better but otherwise it doesn't really help.
http://www.sc.edu/he...ressAndMood.pdf

Also so i didn't get totally biased results i also searched "Smoking makes you more relaxed" "Smoking relieves stress" and these came up.

Illustrates all the reasons smoking (In general) stresses you and why having a cigarette is relaxing

Daily Mail, most smokers mistakenly claim cigarettes relieve stress.

http://ezinearticles...lax?&id=4183523
---
Those sites seem to do an Ok job at explaining it, so either they are right, or it's just a total brainwashing of the whole system and you guys are right, i suspect it meets somewhere in the middle.

I do not make these claims without evidence tounge.gif , because there is an undeniably large amount of it.

Anyway enough with this, this debate isn't about smoking and whether it makes you feel good or not.

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#27

Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:14 AM

Exactly smoking is like a band-aid, and what are band-aids good for ? small wounds just as to some a smoke can help de-stress over trivial matters. Sure a smoke after being fired isn't going help but to many a smoke after a long days work is a good stress reliever.

I don't smoke myself (fags anyway) but its not hard to understand that it actually does help relive stress when all my friends do it and there well beyond the "doing it to look cool" stage.

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#28

Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:13 PM

The worst thing with a topic like this is the fact it will be mainly biased, but not from everyone.

It's our life though, and yes, we should be able to do whatever the hell we want, even if it means we are slowly killing ourselves in the process. The most that the Government/whoever should do is just warn us about the effects of whatever it is, and let us make our own minds up. Yes, it's annoying to see how much money goes into paying for these habits and lifestyle choices, but the way I see it is, people are also admitted to hospital for stuff that wasn't due to their own doing, and this could cost just as much.

Anyway, will leave this following story in here...kinda relates to the whole 'paying for fat people' etc...


http://www.todayonli...teen-from-house

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#29

Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:03 AM

We can do whatever we want but its better that we stay healthy and hale.
But in process, we shouldn't be trouble to others and in all our actions think about our fellow man.
Smoking leading passive smoking is an example, if do sh*t, keep it to yourself.
Don't spoil others.

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#30

Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

But are we not spoiling others by costing taxpayers billions on our smoking habits?




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