Smoking - Harms within minutes

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Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby mystic_aura » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:30 pm UTC

For those who've had trouble conceiving his or her future after a puff before, here you go:

'Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes of inhaling.'

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2011 — In research described as "a stark warning" to those tempted to start smoking, scientists are reporting that cigarette smoke begins to cause genetic damage within minutes — not years — after inhalation into the lungs.

[Full article linked above]
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:44 pm UTC

That may be so, but it makes you look cool

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:27 am UTC

Would it really be that hard to invent a cig that doesn't fuck you up or addict you? I mean if you want to look cool that badly then it shouldn't matter if it's not addictive or perhaps doesn't taste as nice or something.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby poxic » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:42 am UTC

Thing is, setting fire to things and inhaling the results tends to be problematic regardless of the substance. Tobacco is known to be particularly evil this way, but most smokable materials will cause issues with long-term use. (You can buy tobacco-free herb/molasses mixes for hookah smoking, for one.)

Edit to add: if there's no reward for smoking -- i.e., no rush or high or feel-good moment(s) after inhaling something mildly-to-moderately damaging to oneself -- then it's unlikely to sell very well. The herbal mixes mentioned above seem to flourish mostly in cultures where tobacco/hookah smoking is woven into social habits, so people who want to be social can still hang out and hookah with others without doing tobacco. Sort of like non-alcoholic beer in Western culture.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:52 am UTC

SO?

I took up smoking well aware of all the risks, over three months ago I gave up smoking because I felt social pressure to do so, recently I started smoking again... because I enjoy smoking, all the faff and paraphenalia associated with pipe smoking helps me chill out greatly, and whilst quitting caused me to undergo nicotine withdrawal at first, I can stop any time I choose (I'll just get tetchy for a week, and crave for a week after that).

If it shortens my lifespan, so fucking what? Gotta go sometime.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby poxic » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:55 am UTC

Yeah, but going as a result of lung (or other) cancer is a pretty shitty way to die, full of pain and tubes and radiation and general "oh god why was I such an idiot" feelings. And you might think "meh, five or ten years off, so what" when you're under 40. Wait until you're 50. You'll think a bit differently then. :wink:
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Chandani » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:01 am UTC

There's isn't much data in that article cited, and they did use a pretty small sample, but if it is true, doens't that just make secondhand smoke even more dangerous?

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:47 am UTC

The data in the article seems incomplete. The headline says that it causes genetic harm within minutes, the text says that presence of a substance that can cause genetic harm can be detected within minutes. The important information that is not included in the article is, will having any quantity of this substance in your bloodstream necessarily cause genetic harm? If not, how likely is it that it will? How likely is it that a cell with genetic damage will become cancerous?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always learned from anti-smoking campaigns that the link between smoking and cancer wasn't cumulative, it isn't like your body stores all these toxins and eventually they give you cancer (not that there aren't cumulative effects as well, unrelated to cancer), it's just that every time you smoke you have a very small risk, and habitual smoking means you have more opportunities to get unlucky. If so, how does this really change what we already knew?

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:55 am UTC

Afaik the way most pathology works is by an accumulation of "damage" to the body, whether it be genetic, or cellular or whatever. Smoking directly damages your body and that damage accumulates. The more damage you have the more likely you are to develop certain pathologies, but it's not a linear function. As I understand it there are sort of threshholds that after a certain point you start to become much more susceptible to complications and stuff (think old people). Of course, everyone is different and the rate at which their body is damaged and the threshhold at which it starts getting really dangerous varies.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:07 am UTC

poxic wrote:Yeah, but going as a result of lung (or other) cancer is a pretty shitty way to die, full of pain and tubes and radiation and general "oh god why was I such an idiot" feelings. And you might think "meh, five or ten years off, so what" when you're under 40. Wait until you're 50. You'll think a bit differently then. :wink:


I've known enough cancer patients that if I didn't have a realistic chance of survival when it was caught, I'd be dying doped up to my eyeballs on opiate analgesics and doing my damnedest to keep doing all the things that I love until the extra stress (especially that of the pain management narcotics on my kidneys) did for me; Fuck fighting for a couple more months in a quasi-alive state.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby poxic » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:18 am UTC

Then there's emphysema (now called COPD), heart disease of various sorts, blindness, impotence, ulcers, strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and (less seriously) making you look worse (pale, wrinkled, and with yellow teeth and brown gums).

Seriously, future you will hate current you for not quitting when it was easy.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:46 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Would it really be that hard to invent a cig that doesn't fuck you up or addict you? I mean if you want to look cool that badly then it shouldn't matter if it's not addictive or perhaps doesn't taste as nice or something.
Well, e-cigs are safer, and you can put something in them besides nicotine.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Lewton » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:26 pm UTC

^ Beat me to the punch

E-cigs arguably looks cooler than normal cigarettes... .. At least if you're techgeek
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby savanik » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

The Surgeon General's Office recently published a report saying much the same thing:

"... there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke."

So, given how addictive smoking is (more addictive than heroin, many experts say), and how dangerous it is (now more dangerous than VX-7 nerve gas), why haven't we banned it globally and made it as illegal as producing cocaine?

Oh right - because those statements are easily demonstrably as complete bullshit, that's why.

Practically everyone know someone who smokes. These people are not monsters who would literally kill people for a smoke. They're not breaking into houses to feed their nicotine habit. They get a touch cranky if they haven't had any in a while, but if it were suddenly unavailable to them, they wouldn't keel over and die from withdrawal - like some drug addictions can actually do.

Similarly, there is no safe level of exposure to many things - people die from eating spinach due to food poisoning. I wouldn't tell them to stop eating it, though. I would say there is no safe level of exposure to life. Grow a pair, move on, and if you want to save lives, focus efforts on places where resources will do the most good to save lives, like providing sanitary drinking water for impoverished people. Anything less is feel-good, authoritarian bullshit.

Disclaimer: I am not a smoker. I quit two years ago. I failed to kill or injure anyone in the process.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Nordic Einar » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:40 pm UTC

savanik wrote:So, given how addictive smoking is (more addictive than heroin, many experts say), and how dangerous it is (now more dangerous than VX-7 nerve gas), why haven't we banned it globally and made it as illegal as producing cocaine?


savanik wrote:Practically everyone know someone who smokes. These people are not monsters who would literally kill people for a smoke. They're not breaking into houses to feed their nicotine habit. They get a touch cranky if they haven't had any in a while, but if it were suddenly unavailable to them, they wouldn't keel over and die from withdrawal - like some drug addictions can actually do.


savanik wrote:Similarly, there is no safe level of exposure to many things - people die from eating spinach due to food poisoning. I wouldn't tell them to stop eating it, though. I would say there is no safe level of exposure to life. Grow a pair, move on, and if you want to save lives, focus efforts on places where resources will do the most good to save lives, like providing sanitary drinking water for impoverished people. Anything less is feel-good, authoritarian bullshit.


I suppose arguing with strawpeople is easier than arguing with real people. With a fun little red herring thrown in at the end there, too!

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:58 pm UTC

savanik wrote:people die from eating spinach due to food poisoning
Yes, accidentally eating food contaminated with diseased cow shit is EXACTLY THE SAME as choosing to engage in a stupid, destructive habit.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby savanik » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

If only it were true that I was arguing with straw men. First, read the report that the Surgeon General sent out. Then tell me if the verbage they're using makes it sound as if second-hand smoke is a form of nerve gas that will immediately poison everyone in the room if you light up.

Reporters from the New York Times have published in the past about how nicotine is harder to kick than heroin. This was only recently refuted - slightly - by a chart from a 2007 survey of health professionals that shows tobacco as more addictive than anything except cocaine and heroin - and cocaine just barely.

The 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nicotine Addiction, still quoted today by the American Heart Association here, stated 'Pharamalogical and behavior characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.'

And finally, if you think that no one would follow the authoritarian trend to its logical conclusion, Bhutan banned smoking in their entire nation several years ago. They even have tobacco-sniffing dogs to hunt down smugglers and illicit tobacco. No one in the country is allowed to sell tobacco. You can import the equivilent of 100 cigarettes a month, but even then you must have proper receipts for it on you at all times. If you're caught with tobacco and no receipt, you're going to jail - just like any other illegal drug. Keep in mind that enforcing this ban on tobacco is costing Bhutan a significant amount of money that could be spent elsewhere, such as improving the percentage of women who have births attended by trained physicians - 57% in 2006.

I am not engaging in hyperbole when I say that every article posted about tobacco's dangers is a step closer to having drug-sniffing dogs checking your crotch for illicit cigarettes. If we're truly looking at improving people's lives, there are better places to spend resources than a witchhunt that will end up infringing on our liberties.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

(1) You're wrong.
(2) NYT is smarter than you.
(3) American Heart Association is smarter than you.
(4) Bhutan is not the USA.
(5) Introducing (4) is a straw man. No one has mentioned banning tobacco but you. Congrats, you're debating yourself... again.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

Daddy daddy, how do I become a good debater?

Son, just claim strawman and insult your opponent. :/

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby M.C. » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

savanik wrote:So, given how addictive smoking is (more addictive than heroin, many experts say), and how dangerous it is (now more dangerous than VX-7 nerve gas), why haven't we banned it globally and made it as illegal as producing cocaine?

Oh right - because those statements are easily demonstrably as complete bullshit, that's why.


Yes, it's because health professionals are liars, not that the tobacco lobby is incredibly powerful.

Truth is, smoking is shit for you. While some people exaggerate the claims, (as wuth any danger) I'm not sure living with crippling emphysema Iis really something I'd want to risk for rthe reward of.... smelling like ass and having my teeth stained yellow?
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby savanik » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:25 pm UTC

So let me get this straight - I claim that people say X, I'm told I'm attacking strawmen. I quote, source, and cite actual people saying X, and I'm told that I'm wrong because they're smarter than me? Isn't that a logical inconsistency?

M.C. wrote:Yes, it's because health professionals are liars, not that the tobacco lobby is incredibly powerful.


One could just as easily say that many health experts attacking tobacco are in the employ of pharmacuetical companies - since Big Pharma profits more from their nicotine alternatives every time Big Tobacco loses. Of course, the correct solution is to rigorously investigate each individual cite for funding sources, but who wants to do that?

I've not claimed that smoking is healthy. There are proven, solid, statistically significant links between emphysema and smoking, and smaller but statistically significant links to various cancers. What I am saying that health professionals are overstating the risks, governments are using the profesionally stated risks to infringe on liberties, and that this is wrong.

Look back at the original article. 'Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes of inhaling.' This is fearmongering, pure and simple. If you know a smoker, you know that within minutes of inhaling, they did NOT suddenly grow an extra arm or die from cancer in the next few days.

Another recent story of similar phrasing making the rounds is polonium-210 in cigarettes. Yes, it's true that polonium-210 can now be detected in measurable quantities in cigarettes. This is not because they are more harmful than they were yesterday. It's because we've got better equipment and can actually measure it to statistically significant figures above background noise.

Many things in life can kill you. If we react to things out of fear without weighing the relative risks and rely on people providing poor information, we will make poor choices.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Chandani » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:39 pm UTC

savanik wrote:Look back at the original article. 'Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes of inhaling.' This is fearmongering, pure and simple. If you know a smoker, you know that within minutes of inhaling, they did NOT suddenly grow an extra arm or die from cancer in the next few days.

I know there may be some hyperbole going on here, but...no. Just no.

Genetic damage!= cancer. Genetic damage is when DNA gets a mistake in the base pairs. Mistakes happen during replication (at a pretty low rate, but they do) and most don't do much because of their neutral status.Cancer is when genetic damage is caused to certain places that regulate growth of cells (like tumor suppresor regions).

Is saying that genetic damage 'fearmongering'? Probably not. Sure, the more genetic damage you get, the more likely you're going to get cancer, but it doesn't mean you're going to get cancer NOW. The article is just saying that the damage caused by cigarette smoke happens faster than people thought it would. It is NOT implying that everyone gets cancer after inhaling smoke once.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Greyarcher » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:51 pm UTC

savanik wrote:Look back at the original article. 'Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes of inhaling.' This is fearmongering, pure and simple. If you know a smoker, you know that within minutes of inhaling, they did NOT suddenly grow an extra arm or die from cancer in the next few days.
Seriously, you just make a caricature of your own position when you engage in hyperbole like that. Same with the VX remark. And you wonder why anyone mentioned straw mans?
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:48 am UTC

Except that the study is dubbed "a stark warning", and the article didn't describe what genetic damage actually means, or even mention the fact that cells can repair these damages. You know what else cause genetic damage?

cell-phone http://www.rfsafe.com/research/rf_hazards/dna_damage/intro.htm

x-ray http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16080442

red meat http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Red-meat-and-colon-cancer.shtml

No one is saying that smoking is not unhealty, but to suggest by comparison that smoking tabacco is somehow comparable to the same level of dangerousness as injecting heroin is just insincere.

"Be fearful" is the aim of the artical, and calling it fearmongering is not hyperbole.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:16 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:to suggest by comparison that smoking tabacco is somehow comparable to the same level of dangerousness as injecting heroin is just insincere.


You're the only person making that claim.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:35 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:You're the only person making that claim.


Hey look, something posted merely hours ago. Pay attention, wll you please

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/29/magazine/nicotine-harder-to-kickthan-heroin.html

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4753

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:51 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:No one is saying that smoking is not unhealty, but to suggest by comparison that smoking tabacco is somehow comparable to the same level of dangerousness as injecting heroin is just insincere.


Why? According to the World Health Organization 13,293 people die every day from cigarettes. Shit, seems worse than Heroin to me.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:56 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:You're the only person making that claim.


Hey look, something posted merely hours ago. Pay attention, wll you please

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/29/magazine/nicotine-harder-to-kickthan-heroin.html

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4753


I see no support for the claim that "people say tobacco is as dangerous as heroin" only people saying that they're equally addictive.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:59 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:Why? According to the World Health Organization 13,293 people die every day from cigarettes. Shit, seems worse than Heroin to me.


Well I'll be damned, I didn't realize death tolls of a legal and popular substance and that of an illegal one can be compared to make a case for their relative dangerousness.

In other news: cars are more dangerous than heroin, FEAR IT.

Glass Fractal wrote:I see no support for the claim that "people say tobacco is as dangerous as heroin" only people saying that they're equally addictive.


I did say suggest by comparison right? Dangerousness is a comprehensive term, and addictiveness is definitely an aspect of it.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:03 am UTC

My point is, they both literally destroy your body, and lead to miserable medical conditions. I don't understand how comparing them isn't fair.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:04 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:My point is, they both literally destroy your body, and lead to miserable medical conditions. I don't understand how comparing them isn't fair.


I guess you haven't seen a heroin addict then? Do that, then tell me it's comparable.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:07 am UTC

I've lost a friend to Heroin, so yes, I have. Just because Tobacco withdrawal isn't as serious as Heroin withdrawal doesn't mean both drugs aren't seriously fucking dangerous. Either way you're killing yourself.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:09 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:I see no support for the claim that "people say tobacco is as dangerous as heroin" only people saying that they're equally addictive.


I did say suggest by comparison right? Dangerousness is a comprehensive term, and addictiveness is definitely an aspect of it.


So then you admit that no one is saying that heroin and tobacco are equally dangerous, it's just a transparent attempt on your part to paint people that disagree with you as fearmongering fascists? Well that's good then. There's not much point in debating a person who's sole tactic is to convert any statement of the facts into a wholly unrelated claim that is credited to the opponent.
Last edited by Glass Fractal on Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:13 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:12 am UTC

Well I am, but in the long run really.

Shooting up Heroin once and smoking a cigarette once are very different.

But if you persist, in the long run, yeah, you'll very likely prematurely die a painful death. So there's that.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:So then you admit that no one is saying that heroin and tobacco are equally dangerous, it's just a transparent attempt on your part to paint people that disagree with you as fearmongering fascists? Well that's good then. There's not much point in debating a person who's sole tactic is to convert any statement of the facts into a wholly unrelated claim that is credited to the opponent.


petercai wrote:but to suggest by comparison that smoking tabacco is somehow comparable to the same level of dangerousness as injecting heroin is just insincere.


Yet I never said that anyone is saying that heroin and tobacco are equally dangerous, so I gotta ask, who is this person you speak of.

Glmclain wrote:I've lost a friend to Heroin, so yes, I have. Just because Tobacco withdrawal isn't as serious as Heroin withdrawal doesn't mean both drugs aren't seriously fucking dangerous. Either way you're killing yourself.


Sorry for your lost, and sorry for the inconsiderate comment, as a person whose culture is defined by the shame and memories of colonial war aided with opium, I get angry when people trivialize serious drug addiction, but that's no excuse.

Back to the debate though, there is no long run when you are talking about heroin addiction, you will die very soon if you don't stop, that's not the case with niccotin addiction.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:33 am UTC

No, you're right, with a Nicotine addiction it just takes a while to kill you.
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:43 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:No, you're right, with a Nicotine addiction it just takes a while to kill you.


Look, I am not advocating for cigarette company and I am certainly not arguing that cigarette is not dangerous. I am just saying that it's not comparable to the level of dangerousness of heroin, which I think you agree with.

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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Ortus » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:45 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:Daddy daddy, how do I become a good debater?

Son, just claim strawman and insult your opponent. :/



There's a fine line between refuting your opponents arguments, assuming you can refute them without undue effort, and skipping the part where you assume and going straight to the victory party. I guess some call it... a slippery slope.
roband wrote:Face, yes. Chest, probably. Pubic area, maybe. Scrotum, not a fucking chance.

PeterCai
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby PeterCai » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:03 am UTC

Ortus wrote:There's a fine line between refuting your opponents arguments, assuming you can refute them without undue effort, and skipping the part where you assume and going straight to the victory party. I guess some call it... a slippery slope.


wut

No there isn't. You don't get to assume you win an argument in a debate, that's just not how it works.

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Dthen
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Re: Smoking - Harms within minutes

Postby Dthen » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

PeterCai wrote:
Ortus wrote:There's a fine line between refuting your opponents arguments, assuming you can refute them without undue effort, and skipping the part where you assume and going straight to the victory party. I guess some call it... a slippery slope.


wut

No there isn't. You don't get to assume you win an argument in a debate, that's just not how it works.


Exactly.
Dthen wrote:I AM NOT A CAT.


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