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Old 06-25-2012, 03:44 AM   #1
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Should smoking be illegal?

A few friends and I were talking about smoking tobacco, the risks associated with it, and whether or not it should be illegal. They brought up some interesting viewpoints.


Pros of smoking tobacco:
- Generates money from taxes.
- Relaxing/Aids Anxiety and depression
- Is part of a long tradition/ has been done for a long time.
- Weight loss.
- Seems to help prevent certain kinds of ulcers.

Cons of smoking tobacco:
- Has a serious carcinogenic effect.
- Causes part of your body such as your skin, hair and teeth to yellow.
- Addictive.
- Smoking-related diseases kill one in 10 adults globally.
- Every 8 seconds, someone dies from tobacco use.
- Risk of birth defects if cigarettes are smoked during pregnancy.
- Secondhand or passive smoke alone can cause significant increase in various diseases/risk of cancer. The effects are even worse for the one smoking.
- Smoking does not just hurt you, it hurts the people around you.

What do you think?

I'm of the opinion that prohibition does not solve anything and just forces things into an underground market. I am unsure of what a good alternative, besides strict laws about when/where you can smoke, would be.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:54 AM   #2
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No I don't think so, though I'm more anti about this than I used to be. I'm glad you can't smoke indoors at most places here. I used to enjoy a cheeky fag when I was drinking, but I haven't had a full one since April 24 last year. Just makes me feel yuck.

I do wish they'd legalise pot though. I very much enjoy smoking weed, as infrequently as it happens.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:28 AM   #3
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Make it illegal and watch it go underground. Simple as that.

The policy toward pretty much all drugs is hopelessly confused. Sending-a-message, pragmatism, revenue-raising.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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North America is definitely backwards on this subject. We've banned things far less harmful without a blink of an eye yet turned a blind eye on cigarettes. We've criminalized marijuana, which is much safer regarding long term health. I think part of the reason is that it's difficult to reverse gears on something like this. I'd like to see us someday be consistent about the things we allow ourselves to put into our bodies on a daily basis.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:06 AM   #5
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No, it should not be illegal, but it should be regulated as it is now - ie. no sales to children, no smoking indoors in enclosed spaces, on planes, etc.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:34 AM   #6
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Much as I dislike it, I don't think it should be illegal. As a non-smoker who detests the smell of cigarette smoke, I have benefited a lot from the public smoking bans that have popped up just about everywhere in the past decade, both directly and indirectly by the fact that I think they've helped to stigmatize public smoking. However, part of me does feel bad for the business owner. I'm not sure if I ideologically agree with that sort of regulation or not. In a way, though, I'm not sure if it's totally relevant. Society in the US seems to be moving away from tobacco. Eventually, businesses have to change their policies anyway to maximize profit. I think public smoking laws have just accelerated this.

I feel roughly the same way about marijuana, as long as there are absolutely enormous penalties against smoking pot and driving. Legalizing hard drugs is a little too much for me, except for maybe non-addictive psychedelics (LSD, shrooms). At the very least, I don't think they should be excluded from medical research, as they are in the US.

Alcohol has the potential to destroy lives, as I've seen first-hand. I've seen marijuana wreck people too, but I have a hard time thinking that it's any worse.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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Yes it should be illegal and funds allocated to help people give up.

The current policy is pure hypocrisy - in reality, governments love the fact that many people continue to smoke as they need the revenues for their tax coffers.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVS View Post
We've criminalized marijuana, which is much safer regarding long term health.
Marijuana can cause severe, difficult to treat, mental illness. I don't think you'd be calling marijuana safe regarding long term health if you'd been sectioned in a mental institution with marijuana-induced pychosis.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy

Marijuana can cause severe, difficult to treat, mental illness.
Do you have any reliable science I can look at?
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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Studies show that it may speed up the onset of schizophrenia, but isnt the cause
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Marijuana can cause severe, difficult to treat, mental illness. I don't think you'd be calling marijuana safe regarding long term health if you'd been sectioned in a mental institution with marijuana-induced pychosis.
I've heard of things like this, but my impression is that it's fairly rare for marijuana to have such negative effects, no? I've seen smart people become lazy, unmotivated, and apathetic from pot (this is a very unscientific observation, mind you, and not universal - and keep in mind that this is all just from my observations), but I've never actually heard of a specific person falling into deep mental illness from it.

I came across this a few weeks ago, but I question its legitimacy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18283689
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jive Turkey
Studies show that it may speed up the onset of schizophrenia, but isnt the cause
Yeah, this is the only science I've ever seen linking the two.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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cannabis can exacerbate symptoms of schizophrenia (fact, Merck), and i've read that it can trigger psychosis in susceptible individuals... (have seen that happen first hand, actually)

the thing with cannabis is, if you smoke it, it's equally damaging to the lungs as cigarettes...

when it's drunk or eaten it can cause pancreatic cancer... although i have friends who drink it as a herbal teas, for "health" benefits...

it's mad though, in the little town i used to live in, in the UK, half the people i knew were on antidepressants, and the other half smoked weed, and it's pretty much the same here among people i know in my rural community in France, figure that out! lol
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:35 PM   #14
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Gotta use a vaporizer to smoke it. Much cleaner.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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The information is out there, no one who starts smoking today does it not knowing its addictive, expensive, and bad for you. If adults want to make poor decisions that harm themselves but not others, let them do it. If I want to drop $8 bucks for a pack of smokes, let me get my copd in peace.

I was going to suggest we bring back prohibition and ban cheeseburgers, but I was afraid not everyone would realize it was a joke and start quoting statistics of alcoholics and people with severe over-eating disorders vs folks addicted to product containing a naturally addicting, and ridiculously difficult substance to quit. But if people are allowed to slowly kill themselves via baconator, I should be able to give myself lung cancer. It's not like I'm fucking up my liver and expecting to get a transplant later or anything.
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