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dpw
Posted: Monday, October 07, 2013 12:03:54 PM

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Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
I read an article recently that was of the view "If tobacco had been discovered in the 20th or 21st century it would be illegal by now. What do you think.
I don't want you to just bash the smokers as I am one, but think about the money we've put into public funds through taxation.
seeker4
Posted: Monday, October 07, 2013 12:26:48 PM

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The statement itself is probably right. Any new addictive drug seems to go straight on to the banned list. Whether that's right or not is the question. Here in Ontario, Canada tobacco is tightly controlled, rather like alcohol, and that's where I'd like drug policy in general to go (controls rather than outright and often expensive/difficult to enforce bans). More focus on controlling supply and suppliers and helping addicts recover and less on tossing common users in jail.


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Milly
Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 3:20:54 PM

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dpw wrote:
I read an article recently that was of the view "If tobacco had been discovered in the 20th or 21st century it would be illegal by now. What do you think.
I don't want you to just bash the smokers as I am one, but think about the money we've put into public funds through taxation.



Yeah, the article is probably right. Seeker took the words out of my head - just think how quickly these new legal highs quickly become banned. It does seem like a rather useless idea though as another legal high is always waiting to take its place.

I don't know enough to throw words like decriminalisation around but I do believe government money needs to go into targeting those who are a genuine danger/nuisance/hindrance to society and helping those who are suffering as a result of drug abuse.

However, criminalising your average joe who pays in and contributes for puffing on a joint when he/she gets in from work or getting a little messy at the weekend in the privacy of his/her own home with some friends, to me, seems incredibly pointless.
I do believe ALL drugs can be used in a responsible manner.
Ruthie
Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:02:45 PM

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If tobacco were discovered today, why would anyone want to smoke it? It does nothing for the smoker except cause disease and early death. It doesn't even get the smoker high. At least the designer drugs that keep popping up have the advantage that they cause some sort of enjoyable effect before they kill you. All smoking does is give you a cough and make you smell bad.

I can't imagine how advertising agencies would go about trying to interest people in a new product like tobacco. "Try this. It does nothing but kill you." That's not a very good selling point.
Tranquil
Posted: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 7:11:35 PM

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Being a former smoker, i think if it was found in this world then yes it would be band but i would also like to point out the taste of real tobacco without the chemicals etc is rather delicious. it is the todays cigarettes that are rather yuck. I still enjoy a beautiful cigar on new years.

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Magical_felix
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 1:59:56 PM

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Ruthie wrote:
If tobacco were discovered today, why would anyone want to smoke it? It does nothing for the smoker except cause disease and early death. It doesn't even get the smoker high. At least the designer drugs that keep popping up have the advantage that they cause some sort of enjoyable effect before they kill you. All smoking does is give you a cough and make you smell bad.

I can't imagine how advertising agencies would go about trying to interest people in a new product like tobacco. "Try this. It does nothing but kill you." That's not a very good selling point.


As a former smoker, I can say that it does do something for the smoker. It acts like an appetite suppressant. It relaxes you when tense, nervous or frustrated. It is social.

They probably wouldn't realize it killed you until many decades later... Just like they didn't realize it in the 50s.



Ajax
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 2:04:21 PM

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Cancer treatment is big business. whether it's smokeable or chewable, tobacco isn't going anywhere.
Alex7
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 3:35:33 PM

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For me, smoking is a crutch, it's a tool. It's an excuse to leave the room when a situation becomes too intense. It's also a good way to socialise while at work, or at the pub. Also, I get severe anxiety from time to time, so having a smoke for five minutes allows me to put things back into perspective. But to answer the basic point, no there's no way in hell that tobacco would be legalised. Unless there was a way that government could make some money out of it....

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Buz
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 5:07:19 PM

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I have always chewed tobacco when at the hunting lodge for the weekend but it can be as dangerous as smoking tobacco, causing lip or mouth cancer. So I have quit chewing it.

One of the problems with smoking tobacco is that the tobacco companies did decades of genetic alterations and crossbreeding to create a tobacco that is much more addictive than the stuff the Indians gave Sir Walter Raleigh.

I admit I do smoke cigars occasionally and enjoy them very much.

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dpw
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:27:00 PM

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Joined: 9/15/2013
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Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Alex7 wrote:
For me, smoking is a crutch, it's a tool. It's an excuse to leave the room when a situation becomes too intense. It's also a good way to socialise while at work, or at the pub. Also, I get severe anxiety from time to time, so having a smoke for five minutes allows me to put things back into perspective. But to answer the basic point, no there's no way in hell that tobacco would be legalised. Unless there was a way that government could make some money out of it....

Nooo! We can't smoke at work or in the pub anymore, those pleasures are long gone. We are now the pariahs and are vanquished to the outside. My point is the income for the government, it is huge, much more than the NHS spends on smoking related illness. I also read that they may be taxing the e-cigarettes soon
dpw
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:36:09 PM

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Buz wrote:
I have always chewed tobacco when at the hunting lodge for the weekend but it can be as dangerous as smoking tobacco, causing lip or mouth cancer. So I have quit chewing it.

One of the problems with smoking tobacco is that the tobacco companies did decades of genetic alterations and crossbreeding to create a tobacco that is much more addictive than the stuff the Indians gave Sir Walter Raleigh.

I admit I do smoke cigars occasionally and enjoy them very much.

This brought a smile to my face, chewing tobacco and hunting lodges. It's so American, I love it.
angry9
BikeBoy
Posted: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 9:34:17 PM

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Ajax wrote:
Cancer treatment is big business. whether it's smokeable or chewable, tobacco isn't going anywhere.


Bingo!

A person I know has worked in respiratory health care for ~20 years and has been on the front lines with smoking cessation programs for many of those so my perspective may be skewed. Call it somewhat informed if you like. The hypocrisy of our government, who collect a massive boatload of tax revenue from smokes, tossing a token amount into those programs is ridiculous. Adding to it is that they have an extremely tight fist, pretty much an outright ban, on employee education/training in that field.

footnote: "Token amount", considering my location Regaeman Man, should be considered for a POTY Award (Pun of the Year).
elitfromnorth
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:30:16 AM

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Tobacco and alcohol would both be banned if they had been discovered today, had we known all the negative effects. There are no real positive sides that can outweigh all the negative effects for it.

As for what smoking does, as Felix said it does relax the smoker. The nicotine does raise your heart rate, but it lowers your blood pressure and it gives your brain a relaxed feeling. I had my bloodpressure taken right after a smoke and the nurse had to ask if I was feeling alright.

But the extra taxes on tobacco is big business for all the governments. Look at the EU. They're trying to appear proper by working on a ban on certain tastes to cigarettes, like menthol, but they've still banned snus, a Swedish form for tobacco that you put under your lip. I've tried the US version and it's not the same. Point is that snus reduces the risk of cancer by 90%, basically meaning it's healthier. So where's the common sense in saying you want people to stop smoking, but you outright ban something that has helped a lot of smokers quit is retarded. It's like banning drugs and then saying you also ban methadone.

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Mazza
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:11:25 AM

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I like to think that tobacco would not be made legal, were it discovered today...

You could say the same about sugar actually - it's much more addictive than tobacco (so I've heard) - in fact, did you know that one of the reasons that cigarettes are so very addictive is due to their high sugar content? (certainly in the UK - I'm not sure on percentages in other countries, but off the top of my head, I believe it's 14-16% sugar - which goes some way to explaining why people seem to find it difficult to differentiate between a nicotine pang and a sugar pang when that try to quit - hence the tendency to gain weight)

Think about the things kids (and adults) will do for sugar, they way they can behave when they crave it (or worse, when they're full of it!), the way they will often try and hide their use/consumption of it, the ay we can use it to 'control' kids, the way it's hidden in so many things... It's a big "socially acceptable" drug... Really big, and the health implications associated with it are massive, but sadly not really in the public domain

Sugar is carcinogenic, addictive, bad for the body and also has a very similar history to tobacco - the labour used to produce it and stuff I mean. It makes for an interesting read actually, really makes you think...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/10314705/Sugar-is-addictive-and-the-most-dangerous-drug-of-the-times.html

(there are tons of articles on this, this was just one of the first ones)

However, cash is king, isn't it? You know, when Aspartame was first discovered, it was advised that it never be made public/legal, however there was a complete turnaround on that one, again, cash induced as far as I can see - it's even worse than sugar - I think we'll be seeing the fall out from that for a long time to come actually... Scary thought.

Like any 'big bucks' industry, there's huge controversy regarding the safety of Aspartame - those with a vested interest say it's safe, everyone else, not so much - I've seen and treated the effects first hand in quite a few cases, certainly enough for me to believe it ain't all that good for us... Anyway, it's worth doing a little reading into it, if you're interested...

http://www.swankin-turner.com/hist.html

I note with interest that Coke are about to launch an ad defending the safety of aspartame - I bloody bet they are! Their product line would be somewhat diminished without it, huh?



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