The message I got from this wasn't that people who abstain are retarded. The message I got from this was that people who abstain because the media tells them that they'll get cancer are victims of fear. It's not like everyone who smokes will end up getting cancer, but it's made to seem like that's the case. Everything you do will probably have a risk involved, so why avoid everything just because there's a chance it could happen?
Just like Cody said; "I just want to know when did the risk apply the things trump the ability to have fun in doing them?".
Then out of curiosity I ended up looking at statistics from here;
"Consider the case of a 51-year-old woman who smoked a pack a day from age 14 until she stopped at age 42. The model puts her chances of getting lung cancer in the next decade at less than 1 in 100. Compare that with a 68-year-old man who has smoked two packs a day for 50 years and hasn't quit. He has a 1-in-7 chance of getting lung cancer by his 78th birthday. If he quits, his 10-year risk drops to 1 in 9.
So what's a smoker to think? A 1-in-7 chance of getting lung cancer will scare some folks into quitting, but you might be tempted to shrug off a 1-in-100 chance and think to yourself, As long as I quit by 42, I'm O.K. Think again. More smokers die of heart disease than lung cancer--not to mention that smokers have greater susceptibility to emphysema and other chronic illnesses."
They're telling us that there's a 1/100 chance of getting cancer if you smoke a pack a day for 28 years, yet right near the end remind us to think again. What the fuck? Does every pack of cigarettes have to keep reminding us that we can get cancer? It's like the whole image is saying that we WILL get cancer.
I smoke occasionally and with pipe tobacco. Looking at these statistics the chances of me getting anything seem way to slim to even be worrying about getting cancer.
So for you smokers and non-smokers, what do you think about the media trying to implement fear into everything and anything that's enjoyable?
95% of all medical needs were preventable in the first place. A single payer, no hassle system, is able to reduce the obsession with generating revenue by healing desperate people and refocus on prevention. Of course the Canadian system may not be perceived as terribly efficient in the area of prevention. Because so much of our policies are based on bogus pseudo-science studies like those demonstrating that cyclists' lives are saved by helmets... Yep, lots of bogus science around.
Nonetheless, the Canadian system, tho certainly not the top system in the world, on a basis of health/investment, but it certainly has nothing to envy of the USA medical system. The only factors relevant to the debate are total money spent in exchange for total health achieved. Everything else is moot.
We must also realise that there never would have been so many smokers in the first place had good medical systems been in place. We've known for generations that smoking regularly significantly shortens the life-span and increases medical costs. But the nicotine corporations controlled the minds of the weak and the minds of government and kept nicotine in everyone's face. OUR nicotine companies are still aiming all their advertising in the third world at hooking children.
So it's NOT always about individual decisions and responsibilities, the role of a responsible government and a responsible preventative healthcare system is not to prohibit an unhealthy practice, but to make it unappealing and to take power out of the hands pushing the harm onto the population in the first place.
On another thread regarding legalising of drugs there is much discussion about addiction. People with addictive personalities do not have control over their propensity to get hooked. As a society, we can either incur the additional cost to cure the harms done, or spend less money on pharmaceuticals and focus on prevention instead. Single-payer, hassle free medicine has this as a goal. General health and happiness.
We need to strip away all regulations favouring nicotine sales, regulate it as a drug, along with a decriminilisation of the presently illicit drugs and create a comprehensive harm mitigation policy for all addictive substances.
I don't think fear should be used to make people think that lighting up once will undoubtedly give them cancer. However, I feel that education is important here. While there is no guarantee that cigarettes will give you cancer, I think that letting people know that they may increase your chances of getting cancer is important.
Personally I've never smoked (anything of any sort) once in my life. It wasn't from fear of cancer, or my parents, or anything like that. Just the simple fact that from a very young age I couldn't stand the smell of the smoke. It could give me a headache, feel sick, etc. (When it came time to buy my first car, I had to walk away from otherwise nice cars, because they smelled like a chimney). So smoking was the last thing on my 'to try' list. As time went on, I grew to consider it to be an expensive and dirty habit from viewing my relatives and others I knew that smoked. That said, I don't view the smokers themselves as 'dirty', but the habit is very unappetizing top me. I have since grew to tolerate the smoke much better, but would still never consider giving it a try.
I see it as very beneficial to quit or not smoke to begin with. I don't know that the fear card should be played as it is, but maximizing the public understanding of potential implications can't be a bad thing.