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Tobacco compainies targetting teenagers

By enterfornone in MLP
Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:44:25 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

According to this article on Excite, tobacco giant Phillip Morris has come under fire for being behind a website Wavesnet (warning, major Flash overload), which advertises fashion parades and rave parties. It is claimed that as the web site appeals to young people, having a tobacco company running it will encourage young people to smoke.


Of course Phillip Morris denies that they deliberately target their product at teenagers, but should they have to defend themselves? In Australia it is almost impossible to market tobacco products. They are banned from TV advertising, tobacco companies cannot sponser sporting events, and cigarette packets have to be covered in health warnings.

No other legal products have these restrictions. Alcohol can be advertised anywhere. Other products that are potentially health damaging such as Coke and KFC are blatantly advertised to young people. Why are tobacco companies being treated so unfairly?

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Poll
Tobacco should
o be banned 32%
o not exist as far as teenagers are concerned 16%
o be freely marketed to all 38%
o only be allowed in prisons and psyche wards where better drugs are banned 12%

Votes: 116
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o article
o Wavesnet
o Also by enterfornone


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Tobacco compainies targetting teenagers | 96 comments (92 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Alcohol advertising (3.13 / 15) (#1)
by Delirium on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 06:46:47 PM EST

No other legal products have these restrictions. Alcohol can be advertised anywhere.

This is incorrect - in the United States alcohol cannot be advertised on television (at all, not even cable) or in magazines which have a certain percentage of readers who are under 18.

Not incorrect (2.80 / 10) (#2)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 06:51:28 PM EST

Just not true for the US.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
i hate how k5 doesn't automatically put Re:subject (2.83 / 6) (#3)
by Delirium on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 06:53:29 PM EST

That's why I said in the U.S. He made a general statement that tobacco is the only legal product whose advertisement is even limited, and I responded by pointing out that alcohol's advertisement is also limited in some countries (of which the U.S. is one...whether it's the only one or not I'm not sure). In either case his general statement is incorrect.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough (2.42 / 7) (#4)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 06:58:40 PM EST

Guess i assumed that people would realise the alcohol statement followed from the "In Australia" part above.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Wazaaaaaaaap! (3.14 / 7) (#15)
by magney on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:45:11 PM EST

Alcohol is most certainly advertised on TV (see subject line). But yes, there are restrictions. I forget the details, but I believe that one of them is that the product may not be consumed during the commercial. I also believe that hard liquors can't be advertised on TV. I'm not sure about wine.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

No alcohol on US TV? (2.50 / 2) (#67)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:04:33 AM EST

in the United States alcohol cannot be advertised on television

Clearly you need to cut back on your drinking. Liquor can't be advertised on TV. Beer and wine are all over the place. (My current favourite: "Sorry, we're from Denmark. We didn't know light beer was supposed to suck.")

[ Parent ]

Almost (2.50 / 2) (#81)
by cpt kangarooski on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 01:44:38 PM EST

Liquor can be advertised on TV. There was a bit of a ruckus a couple of years ago when some brandy (IIRC - I don't drink so I really don't pay much attention) put on a couple of ads.

That ban is voluntary - the companies involved don't want to rouse ire, so they avoid touchy subjects. Rather like how there's no requirement that movies be rated, or that theaters honor ratings, but they try to do it anyway to avoid getting in trouble with the government.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Part of the issue... (3.60 / 10) (#5)
by Miniluv on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:02:41 PM EST

One difference between KFC and tobacco is that nicotein is one of the most physically addictive substances that man consumes. The physical addiction, as I remember being taught in rehab, is on the order of heroin except for the withdrawl symptoms. KFC, however tasty, is not physically addictive.

On a tangent of this issue, I take exception to smokers being attacked in recent ad campaigns, most notably the "The Truth" ads. I am a smoker, I traded addictions to get my life back under control from the clutches of alcoholism. I'm not ready to quit smoking, and while I don't think it's exactly healthy I also don't consider it nearly as damaging as alcohol abuse was.

I wonder if the anti-tobacco lobby is feeling a bit elated about their recent US court victories, to the point that they're convinced the tobacco manufacturers are suitable targets for any type of attack. While I don't approve of targeting ads at an age segment that is legally restricted from buying the product being advertisted, I also don't think it's fair to blame tobacco companies for making money supplying a product people like myself buy willingly, despite the known risks.

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

Coke and KFC (3.37 / 8) (#6)
by fluffy grue on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:04:04 PM EST

Let's see. If I drink Coke or eat KFC, it doesn't hurt those around me. Coke and KFC are both mildly addictive (Coke for the caffeine, KFC for the MSG), but not to the extent that an addict has an impossible time quitting. Coke and KFC don't cause cancer or emphysema; okay, they contain large caloric contents which lead to obesity and heart problems and the like, but that's more due to the lifestyle of someone partaking in those foods and not due to specific effects of those foods. Okay, so Coke's caffeine is a diuretic which causes dehydration and KFC's MSG is high in sodium which causes high blood pressure, but somehow that seems quite different to me than the tar and other crap in cigarettes.

In the United States, medications, diet supplements, etc. have huge advertising restrictions, liquor has huge advertising restrictions (hard liquor can't be advertised on TV at all, beer has pretty massive timeslot restrictions and the ads can't show people actually drinking it), hell, even cars have restrictions ("Professional driver in a closed course," "always wear your seatbelt," etc., needs to fully disclose loan/financing terms, etc.)... foods are one of the few things which don't have huge restrictions on top of normal advertising restrictions, really, and that's another thing: Coke and KFC are food, not drugs. They're not the healthiest things around but they're hardly the same class of unhealthy as cigarettes.

I know that you're talking about things in terms of Australia, but it's still a strawman argument to compare (admittedly unhealthy) food with cancer sticks.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

OK, how about milk? (2.16 / 6) (#7)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:10:16 PM EST

The fact that one is food and the other is drug is of little importance. They are still both doing things that damage your health.

There is a lot of evidence that milk causes prostate cancer. Yet the milk lobby is still able to target milk at young people as an essential health food. Yet tobacco cannot be advertised even with all the health warnings that come with it.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I don't drink milk :) (2.75 / 4) (#8)
by fluffy grue on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:14:00 PM EST

That is a good point. Hadn't thought about that one... the thing is, is there any direct evidence for that?

Also, everything can damage your health in sufficient quantities. It just so happens that tobacco is in much lower quantities, and that there are no possible health benefits to smoking, whereas eating McDonalds is much better than, say, starving.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Minor quible (1.00 / 1) (#27)
by FlinkDelDinky on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:24:42 PM EST

there are no possible health benefits to smoking

I don't have a specific source on this but I heard it on the Dr. Dean Edel radio show, you can check out his page. and look for something there if you want.

Anyway, as I recall you've got a 50/50 chance or greater of dying from smoking related illness if you take up smoking. But, you chances of getting muscular disease is significantly less. Kinda strange.

[ Parent ]

And it probably reduces obesity ... (1.00 / 1) (#32)
by MoxFulder on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:50:00 PM EST

Tobacco is an appetite suppressant. So although it has destroyed countless lungs, it has probably also protected some people from getting fat, which carries enormous health risks as well. Not that I'm defending tobacco, mind you ... the costs certainly outweigh the benefits.

"If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?"
--Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]
Altzhiemer's (1.00 / 1) (#68)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:13:32 AM EST

According to some doctor on Regis the other day (I just love quoting scholarly sources), there's also a lower incidence of Altzhiemer's Disease among smokers, although he conceded the strong possibility that it's due to shorter lifespans.

Still, it's an ill wind that blows nobody good. Almost anything that interacts with your body will have a beneficial effect under certain circumstances. A knife in the gut is a terrible accident -- unless it's wielded by a surgeon.

[ Parent ]

CFR (1.00 / 2) (#53)
by kaboom on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 02:26:48 AM EST

There is a lot of evidence that milk causes prostate cancer.

No there isn't. CFR.

[ Parent ]

Minor point... (3.50 / 2) (#9)
by Miniluv on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:14:56 PM EST

If I drink Coke or eat KFC, it doesn't hurt those around me
Those of us who smoke and are around non-smokers on any regular basis tend to develop habits which minimize, if not eliminate, the health threats to our environment. There are things which I believe are common courtesy issues that smokers SHOULD concede to non-smokers without exception. These include: At restaurants even a single non-smoker means the whole party defaults to non-smoking section unless otherwise specified by the non-smoker, smokers ask before lighting up when other people have food in front of them at the same table, smokers take their cigarettes and second hand outside unless specifically told they do not need to by their comrades. Most of us do these things already, and being in a group standing outside with a couple smokers reduces second hand smoke to a minimal threat.

I'd also wager that you receive more toxins standing in a parking garage near a running car than you do standing near a smoker. Cigarettes are unhealthy, no doubt about it, but so are an awful lot of other really common things that get ignored in favor of the "evil tobacco".

"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

What about total strangers? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by fluffy grue on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:24:04 AM EST

I have asthma. It's not as bad as it used to be, but I still have occasional asthma attacks. There are many times when I have to hold my breath to get past all of the smokers who lounge near the main entrance of the CS building. The smoke is very thick there. I wouldn't mind so much if they would go to the side of the entrance, but they lounge and smoke by the entrance, where there's a bit of a depression and eddy currents which trap the cigarette smoke there.

Also, although I don't doubt that there's group etiquette at restaurants, what about the random people outside the group? Same goes for, say, people at a concert, or at a bar. There are no non-smoking sections at concerts, and so there's a very high probability that I end up inhaling a large amount of cigarette smoke whenever I go to either.

Obviously, smokers can't be expected to accomodate all the non-smokers in the world, but comparing smoking to eating KFC and Coke is hardly fair. Again, me drinking Coke doesn't cause random other people to, say, go into seizures, but other people smoking can cause me to have an asthma attack. Smokers fuck with other peoples' bodies, not just their own.

I don't know about you, but personally, I don't spend very much time in parking garages, and I strongly support auto emission controls and the like, and I don't really know what other "really common things" there are which put toxins into my blood. And still, smoking vs. drinking Coke is such a bad strawman argument. And stuff.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

I see your arguments... (none / 0) (#83)
by Miniluv on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 05:14:27 PM EST

Concerts and bars are exceptions rather than rules. Most restaurants have fairly separate smoking and non sections, and if you sit in smoking it's only fair to expect to smell/inhale smoke, no?

My point about auto exhaust is that you DO in fact breathe it all the time if you live in a metropolitan area and drive anywhere. Breathing is unhealthy just about anywhere on Earth, it's just that alternative is even less healthy.


"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

YHBT. YHL. HAND. (1.73 / 19) (#10)
by boxed on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:16:35 PM EST

This is a troll.

Tobacco doesn't just affect the user.... (3.08 / 12) (#11)
by tewl on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:19:29 PM EST

No other legal products have these restrictions. Alcohol can be advertised anywhere. Other products that are potentially health damaging such as Coke and KFC are blatantly advertised to young people. Why are tobacco companies being treated so unfairly?

For one, tobacco is one of the most addicting legal products, more so than even heroin.

When someone overeats, while it is damaging to one's health, it is only directly affecting his/her's health and well being.

While alcohol can rip peoples lives apart, including their loved ones and family, it only directly affects his/her's health.

The effects of second hand smoke are staggering, and it has long been known to be a danger to innocent bystanders. Smoking doesn't just affect the smoker's health, it affects anyone in close proximity to him/her.

Tobacco companies are pushing a product that kills 1200 people a day, including many people that are only around smoke, that don't partake in the habit themselves. They should accept some responsibility...



They should accept some responsibility... (3.00 / 5) (#12)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:28:55 PM EST

by not smoking around other people. And non-smokers should take responsibility by not being around people who smoke.

Crashing my car will affect the health of innocent bystanders too, but we don't ban cars.

In Australia there are restrictions on smoking in virtually all enclosed public areas (workplaces, resteraunts etc. bars will be smoke free as of next year). To smoke you pretty much have to do it outside or in your own home.

Virtually all cases of health problems due to passive smoking have been people who are constantly around large numbers of smokers in enclosed areas (bus drivers, waiters etc), places where smoking is mostly banned (and of course, these people chose to work in areas where they were at risk).

It seems too often these days that people want the government to be their parents. You, not the TV, are in control of whether you smoke or choose to be around smokers.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I'm sure I've just got a hook in my mouth, but... (2.30 / 10) (#18)
by kumquat on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:11:54 PM EST

For one, tobacco is one of the most addicting legal products, more so than even heroin.

Show me proof that tobacco is more addictive than heroin. I'm not disputing it, I just want proof. Just because everyone says it doesn't make it true.

When someone overeats, while it is damaging to one's health, it is only directly affecting his/her's health and well being.

The primary argument about negative health aspects of tobacco is how much it costs society as a whole in terms of medical treatment. Do you really believe that the eating habits of, say, the US, don't cause at least an equal degree of required medical treatment?

While alcohol can rip peoples lives apart, including their loved ones and family, it only directly affects his/her's health.

Oh, sure. The mental (and frequently physical) abuse done by alcoholics never affects the health of those around them.

The effects of second hand smoke are staggering, and it has long been known to be a danger to innocent bystanders. Smoking doesn't just affect the smoker's health, it affects anyone in close proximity to him/her.

Are you sure? Show me proof instead of echoing hearsay scare tacticts.

Tobacco companies are pushing a product that kills 1200 people a day, including many people that are only around smoke, that don't partake in the habit themselves.

Again, if you are going to throw around figures you better be prepared to back them up with facts from reputable sources.

[ Parent ]

Proof? (4.00 / 6) (#31)
by tewl on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:45:55 PM EST

Show me proof that tobacco is more addictive than heroin. I'm not disputing it, I just want proof. Just because everyone says it doesn't make it true.

You want proof? Read this link.

The primary argument about negative health aspects of tobacco is how much it costs society as a whole in terms of medical treatment. Do you really believe that the eating habits of, say, the US, don't cause at least an equal degree of required medical treatment?

That WAS NOT my argument though! My argument was how tobacco affects more than just the user, health wise.

Oh, sure. The mental (and frequently physical) abuse done by alcoholics never affects the health of those around them.

I am a daughter of a recovering alcoholic, I know what it can do. But, as I stated clearly, my argument was how tobacco affects the health of not just the user, but others around him/her. I wasn't talking about abuse as you were, that's a whole other debate.

Are you sure? Show me proof instead of echoing hearsay scare tacticts.

Read the information on this website again. For more on second hand smoke, try this link.

Again, if you are going to throw around figures you better be prepared to back them up with facts from reputable sources.

Try reading this link again. Or go to your library and do some research. Ask a doctor. Read the surgeon's general warning. As you will read on this website "Tobacco use kills three million people worldwide each year, and is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the developed world, accounting for close to 20% of all deaths. (1) (2) Cigarettes kill nearly 500,000 people in the US each year-- more than heroin, cocaine, all other illicit drugs, auto crashes, homicides, and suicides combined.(3) "

Do the math, I actually underestimated, 500,000 people die in THE UNITED STATES ALONE each year, divide that by 365 days in the year and you have close to 1400 people dying A DAY in the United States.



[ Parent ]
...or maybe not... (2.40 / 10) (#41)
by kumquat on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 11:14:22 PM EST

You want proof? Read this link.

I did and I'm still waiting for any sort of reasonably objective proof. The site is an anti-corporate den of hostility towards large companies. Their source for the heroin reference is the American Heart and Lung Association, which is a group who's best interests are definitely served by underhanded tacticts like linking tobacco to heroin.

My argument was how tobacco affects more than just the user, health wise.

Which you haven't backed up.

Read the information on this website again. For more on second hand smoke, try this link.

The first time was enough. Have you read the bibliography for that first link? Do most of those sources strike you as impartial and objective observers? And more importantly, you have totally ignored the two links I supplied in my post; links which very intelligently call into doubt many of your assertions.

The primary point of most anti-smoking holy crusaders these days, including you, apparently, is that we horrible smokers are killing thousands of innocent non-smokers. I provided you with two pieces that strongly suggest this is a flawed view. Your reply was to throw the same pablum at me that I've had crammed down my throat for years. Does this mean that you have a valid reason to entirely dismiss my argument, or does this mean that you, like most other anti-smoking zealots, are on a Righteous Mission From God, and as such you have no need to consider any evidence contrary to your firmly held beliefs?

[ Parent ]

How to spell (3.30 / 10) (#43)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:17:50 AM EST

I'm sorry, but I have to pull you up on this one:

It's spelt tactics.

I find it extremely odd that you demand proof from reputable sources, then discount any statement, article or report that runs counter to your own beliefs on whatever grounds suits you at the time. Why, then, should we pay any attention to the horseshit you dredged up in other posts to support your arguments? Why do you consider "www.straightdope.com" to be a more accurate/reputable source than the EPA, the Heart and Lung Assocation, the American Medical Assocation and the Surgeon-General?

Could you please provide a set of guidelines, with examples, for what you will consider to be acceptable material for the purposes of supporting statements about the hazards of smoking? Seeing as medical science appears to be out of bounds with you, perhaps we should do as you do, and rely on the semi-literate ramblings of online fringe-lunatic rant sites.

Take a clue: It's not anti-corporate propaganda. It's medical fact. It's not junk science, it's statistics. I know you're probably annoyed incessantly by whiney non-smokers who like to present you with little factlets about why you should quit. It's a habit almost as irritating as smoking. The sad truth is, much as they annoy you, they are actually right. You are killing yourself. Pity it's going to take you so long. I'd send you a carton of filterless Camels to help you on your way, but you aren't worth the price of postage, let alone the carton of fags.

P.S. Smoking makes you smell bad. Real bad. I hope I don't need to provide some sort of citation to back this one up.

[ Parent ]

That's a lot of words for you to put in my mouth (3.00 / 5) (#50)
by kumquat on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 01:39:34 AM EST

I find it extremely odd that you demand proof from reputable sources, then discount any statement, article or report that runs counter to your own beliefs on whatever grounds suits you at the time.

I never said or implied that the American Heart and Lung Association was disreputable. I said they are biased, and as such it is very easy for them to toss off something like "nicotine is more addictive than heroin". This is an entirely subjective statement that furthers their goal of eliminating smoking.

Why do you consider "www.straightdope.com" to be a more accurate/reputable source than the EPA, the Heart and Lung Assocation, the American Medical Assocation and the Surgeon-General?

I said it was more objective than any of the above groups you mention. All of those groups have an agenda that will tend to bias them towards anything negative regarding smoking. The author of the article I linked to does not. His agenda is to evaluate all evidence on a topic and not be proven wrong later. That makes him far more objective. I did not link to studies by tobacco companies or those funded by tobacco companies. If I had that would be the flip side of what tewl did - linking to anti-smoking groups. I am only interested in an honest, intelligent view from a neutral 3rd party. Is that asking too much?

Could you please provide a set of guidelines, with examples, for what you will consider to be acceptable material for the purposes of supporting statements about the hazards of smoking?

The current guidelines are just fine. It is the interpretation of the results by those with an agenda that I take issue with. It is public policy based on inconclusive evidence that I find wrong.

Seeing as medical science appears to be out of bounds with you, perhaps we should do as you do, and rely on the semi-literate ramblings of online fringe-lunatic rant sites.

A cheap shot which does not merit a response.

It's not anti-corporate propaganda.

"...purpose is to stop life-threatening abuses by transnational corporations..."
"...widely exposing the human toll of corporate power throughout our political system...
"...a victory for corporate accountability and grassroots pressure ..."
It's medical fact.
fact n 4: a concept whose truth can be proved; "scientific hypotheses are not facts"
It's not junk science, it's statistics.

Fill in the blank:
"...lies, damn lies, and __________."

As a final note to your comments on smoking and my health, that is not what this thread is about. This thread is entirely centered on whether or not second-hand smoke constitutes a real threat of serious health problems to those people occassionally exposed to it. The key words in the preceding sentence are second-hand, real, serious and occassionally.

[ Parent ]

kumquat's dictionary: (2.80 / 5) (#51)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 02:08:16 AM EST

Objective: In accordance with the will of almighty kumquat.

Just because the Heart and Lung Association consistently reports that smoking is bad does not make them guilty of bias. It means that tobacco is bad for your heart and lungs, in their medically informed opinion, that is all.

"The current guidelines are just fine."

For my benefit, please, what are those guidelines? I ask again since you don't seem interested in accepting any evidence that doesn't support your point of view. It would seem that you are appraising the references presented to you on your own purely subjective terms.

Please explain what is wrong with the surgeon-general's opinion, the AMA's opinion and what exactly they hope to gain by opposing tobacco smoking?

Furthermore, could you provide references to unbiased scientific research demonstrating that there is no connection between secondhand smoke and diseases? The tobacco industry contesting the EPA's report does not constitute evidence of anything other than the litigiousness of the tobacco industry.

[ Parent ]

ha! (2.42 / 7) (#52)
by kumquat on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 02:25:22 AM EST

In accordance with the will of almighty kumquat.

I'll get back to responding to you as soon as I finish laughing. I think I'll get that printed on a t-shirt...

[ Parent ]

I've got links. How about you? (3.00 / 5) (#54)
by kumquat on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 03:24:39 AM EST

For my benefit, please, what are those guidelines?

These will do just fine.

I ask again since you don't seem interested in accepting any evidence that doesn't support your point of view. It would seem that you are appraising the references presented to you on your own purely subjective terms.

Hey, look! Here's someone else who agrees with me:

In most environmental science literature the acceptable confidence interval is 95%.
This is interesting, because the EPA study used a 90% confidence interval. Not only that, but they didn't do any real studies of their own. They just "interpreted" existing studies.
While the 11 U.S. studies are not, by themselves, conclusive, they do support the conclusion that secondhand smoke is causally associated with lung cancer.
This type of "study" does not meet acceptable practices in my opinion or that of Charles V. Shorten, Ph.D., P.E.

Please explain what is wrong with the surgeon-general's opinion, the AMA's opinion and what exactly they hope to gain by opposing tobacco smoking?

They are agencies concerned with public health. What they hope to gain is increased public health. What is wrong with their opinions on this topic is that they are based on flawed methodologies of study. Laws have been passed based on inconclusive evidence. This is wrong.

Furthermore, could you provide references to unbiased scientific research demonstrating that there is no connection between secondhand smoke and diseases?

Actual text? No, but how's this:

Overall, 37% (39/106) of reviews concluded that passive smoking is not harmful to health; 74% (29/39) of these were written by authors with tobacco industry affiliations.
So there have been 10 studies between 1980 and 1995 that were independant of the tobacco industry and concluded that second hand smoke does not present significant harm.

Is it really so hard for you to accept that the EPA has misrepresented their studies to produce a desired outcome? Do you really think the tobacco industry is the only side that will lie to get what it wants?

Is second-hand smoke carcinogenic? I don't know for sure, and neither does anybody else.

[ Parent ]

I don't need links. (3.80 / 5) (#62)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 05:45:15 AM EST

I'm not the one trying to defend a ridiculous stance. Links have already been provided to you. They more than adequately provided cause to assume that passive smoking is a health hazard. You chose to cover your eyes, put your thumbs in your ears and sing "I'm not listening! Nananana!" I'm not going to waste further time copying the endless lists of links obtained by doing a simple websearch, in which the health organisations of many of the major governments of the world, plus the WHO soundly condemn passive smoking. You'll only dismiss them en masse as the product of deluded junk scientists.

Your guidelines are too stringent for weblinks. Organisations seldom put entire scientific reports online, so it is difficult to provide these documents as a link. I note that you have been unable to obtain any evidence matching your requirements also. Perhaps you need to accept that your guidelines are nothing but a ploy to enable you to dismiss otherwise acceptable references.

Overall, 37% (39/106) of reviews concluded that passive smoking is not harmful to health; 74% (29/39) of these were written by authors with tobacco industry affiliations.

Those are the statistics upon which you base your opinion? I would have thought you'd have something a little more substantial! Let's see: 61 studies say that secondhand smoke is dangerous, 10 studies say it isn't and 29 are discounted for probable bias. 10 vs. 61. What does this suggest? It certainly doesn't lend weight to your viewpoint. Is it so hard for you to accept that the 61 studies were actually correct?

You seem to be claiming that a flawed methodology of study constitutes proof of incorrect results. This is not true, particularly when the primary complaint you raise against the reference given as that the confidence interval used was 90% instead of 95%. In other words, they are 90% sure that passive smoking is a health hazard. That's pretty sure. I'd be willing to believe them, since it apparently stands a chance of saving 3000 lives a year in the US alone.

Is second hand smoke carcinogenic? Apparently 61 of 71 studies are 90% sure that you are poisoning those nearest to you.

[ Parent ]

You are a moron (2.25 / 8) (#82)
by kumquat on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 03:03:00 PM EST

Yes, this is an honest-to-god flame, so put on that asbestos suit. That way we'll at least have one agreed upon carcinogen in this thread.

They more than adequately provided cause to assume

Science and medical research according to all commonly accepted practices does not allow assumption to be the basis for conclusive findings.

I'm not going to waste further time copying the endless lists of links obtained by doing a simple websearch

Because you can't find any that are from impartial sources.

You'll only dismiss them en masse as the product of deluded junk scientists.

I never have and I won't. I'll view them as BIASED, and as such, suspect. What is it about the word "biased" that you don't understand?

Let's see: 61 studies say that secondhand smoke is dangerous, 10 studies say it isn't and 29 are discounted for probable bias. 10 vs. 61. What does this suggest? It certainly doesn't lend weight to your viewpoint.

Yes, it does. 16% (a very conservative number) is a huge discrepancy when dealing with research statistics of this nature.

You seem to be claiming that a flawed methodology of study constitutes proof of incorrect results.

NO! For the 500th fucking time, I am saying they are INCONCLUSIVE results!

In other words, they are 90% sure that passive smoking is a health hazard.

Apparently 61 of 71 studies are 90% sure that you are poisoning those nearest to you.

With these two sentences you have demonmstrated a complete lack of any understanding of statistics. You are not qualified to argue these points because you don't know what the hell you are talking about.

The conclusions drawn by the EPA do not meet the accepted criteria for medical research. I have shown what that criteria is. I have shown why the EPA's findings don't meet it. Governmental policy decisions have been based on a conclusion that does not meet accepted scientific standards. That is wrong. Scientific methods do not allow you to apply looser standards to research just because you have a vested interest in the outcome.

One more time for those with thick skulls:
I have never claimed that second-hand smoke isn't a carcinogen. What I have done is proven that linking secod-hand smoke to cancer is a guess, an assumption, an unproven hypotheses. When you make public policy based on guesses and assumptions you do a serious disservice to the interests of valid research. That's why there are such rigid standards for research in the first place - to eliminate the possibility of tainting; to promote a set of guidlines such that, if they are followed, there can be no reasonable debate about the outcome. This was NOT done with the EPA study. This is why there is controversy. This is why they were sued. This is why a state supreme court ruled against the study as being valid for basing laws on.

Since you have put so many words in my mouth, allow me to return the favor:
You are saying that the issue of whether or not second-hand smoke is carcinogenic is important enough to completely disregard accepted research practices. If you can not see the fallacy, and outright danger, of this position then you are an absolute fool.

[ Parent ]

I need proof (5.00 / 3) (#85)
by chuckles on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:20:10 PM EST

Give me proof that HIV causes AIDS, and not by the drugs adminstered to weaken the virus, of which pharmaeutical companies make BILLONS.

[ Parent ]
Whoops! That's BILLIONS... (3.00 / 2) (#86)
by chuckles on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:31:46 PM EST

...but who's counting...

[ Parent ]
THAR SHE BLOWS! (4.20 / 5) (#90)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 07:04:30 PM EST

Because you can't find any that are from impartial sources.

I consider all the sources I did find to be nominally impartial. Your definition of impartial seems to preclude the use of the word "health" in an organisation's title. Could you provide some examples of impartial participants in the smoking debate for your side? I have yet to see you provide one. If you must have some links, search for "passive smoking" on google.

From your buddy with the Ph.D:

In most environmental science literature the acceptable confidence interval is 95%. This means that we are 95% sure that a stated condition is true.

So essentially, you are pettifogging over 5%, where the question of correct or incorrect is the question of whether or not 3000 lives a year are endangered. I'd take a ten percent risk of being wrong if it stood a chance of saving 3000 lives.

Most things upon which we base our lives and laws are unproven hypotheses by the definition of fact you gave earlier. You must have a huge problem with the psychiatric profession.

to promote a set of guidelines such that, if they are followed, there can be no reasonable debate about the outcome.

Why do I think that you'd be having this debate no matter what guidelines the EPA followed?

If you can not see the fallacy, and outright danger, of this position then you are an absolute fool.

I can see the danger to 3000 lives a year.

[ Parent ]

Aye, Ahab. Blowing you off. (3.20 / 5) (#93)
by kumquat on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 10:52:42 PM EST

Finally, after all your tangential spurs and attempts to steer this argument away from the primary topic, you have admitted that your opposition to smoking is strong enough for you to bend or break the rules used to detirmine the validity of a medical hypothesis. There are descriptive words and phrases for people such as yourself - zealot, narrow minded, tunnel vision, hypocrite, selfish, dogmatic - but those are your opinions and by god you can have them. I certainly don't want them, because I understand that allowing one instance of such rule bending opens the door to much greater abuses.

I would like to change the subject myself somewhat, if I may.

Treanor is pointing out that the logic used to support filtered drinking water could also be used to support additions to the water that may not be entirely justified. This is not a slippery slope argument. It would be a slippery slope if he had stated that "If filtered drinking water is allowed, then chlorine will be added, and if that happens, then flouride will be added..." This would certainly be a slippery slope, and a ridiculous one at that. This is not what he is doing.

It does not require a "citation of ever having occured". It is a demonstration of faulty logic.

Do you recognize those words? Of course you do, but do you see the relevance? I doubt it.

[ Parent ]
Ugh! For someone who has trouble spelling tactics (3.50 / 4) (#94)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 11:58:22 PM EST

You certainly are pompous. Let's see now...you are ignoring the findings of most of the medical profession based on a quibble over 5%, you claim that this is the action of a good scientific method, but I'm the hypocrite. You smoke, and believe that your noxious fumes are not harmful to others, but I'm selfish. You ignore the wealth of documentary evidence that demolishes your point of view, but I have tunnel vision. You singlemindedly reiterate tobacco company dogma, but I'm the zealot.

Get down of your high horse. You've taken a minor discrepancy in a methodology and elevated it to the level of discrediting the report. It's not good science on your part. It's burying your head in the sand.

The rule that was broken determines the validity of a claim of accuracy of findings as opposed to say that the findings are probably true. In this case, the EPA was justified in saying that passive smoking very probably causes considerable damage to the health of non-smokers.

I really don't think you care that much about scientific methods. You are merely clutching at straws to find any valid defence for your policy of poisoning innocent people with your carcinogens.

My pointing out the distinction between slippery slopes and demonstrations of faulty logic isn't at all relevant here, to my mind. What have I missed? Is someone claiming that clean, smoke-free air is a human right?

[ Parent ]

You argue very badly (3.20 / 5) (#96)
by kumquat on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 12:53:50 AM EST

As evidenced by the frequency with which you resort to personal insults and attacks to defend your position, not just in replying to me, either. Time and again I have bolstered my side of the debate with relevant links and logical conclusions. Each time you have replied by trying to shift the topic, and failing each time to provide so much as one single link or reference source anywhere in this thread. I gave you the link to the EPA's defense of their study and you still couldn't come up with anything to hold against me other than your own rhetoric.

I will address one more error in your "arguments" and then I will attempt to break the Godwin's Law addendum by calling you a Nazi, because now you're just boring me. I strongly suspect that you will prove the addendum correct because you strike me as someone who just has to have the last word.

In this case, the EPA was justified in saying that passive smoking very probably causes considerable damage to the health of non-smokers.

The EPA defined second-hand smoke as a Group 1 carcinogen. The definition of Group 1 is "Known human carcinogen", and as such the restrictions on a Group 1 substance are quite severe. By your own admission this an improper classification. According to words that you wrote the EPA should have classified it as Class 2A or 2B. Your failure to research and/or understand the topic at hand has just forced you into proving that I am right.

Congratulations. You lost. Badly.

You're a Nazi. HAND

[ Parent ]

"Objective Sources" (3.37 / 8) (#48)
by Lord Kano on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:47:06 AM EST

Ok, so straightdope.com is more reputable than the American Medical Assocation, the EPA, the Heart and Lung Assocation, and the Surgeon General?

PUH-LEASE! Are you one of those conspiracy theorists? Do you believe that everyone is out to get you because YOU have a habit you can't control? Besides, big tobacco could just cover up anything that is damaging, but coming from these REPUTABLE sources, they obviously have no control over what their product does.

I bet you have enough tar in your lungs to pave my driveway. I'll also bet that your lung capacity is less than a quarter of what it could be. Think before you go spurting out junk as facts, especially from straightdope.com. Call the Surgeon General and enlighten them with your findings that smoking is not infact harmful, but be prepared to be laughed out of the country...

[ Parent ]
Definitely on a mission from God (2.28 / 7) (#73)
by dieMSdie on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 10:02:15 AM EST

It's the latter ;-)

You get this stuff shoved at you from an early age, it tends to sink in. Seen those commercials sponsored by "thetruth.com"? Sheesh.

Sad to say, hard facts are ignored in this debate. Does smoking harm you? Yes. Does it kill 400,000 a year? I don't think so. Show me proof. They always reply with the same sources. But people who have checked the sources find it is not so cut and dried.

Tewl, I dare you to read this.


[ Parent ]
It's hard to come up with proof... (3.66 / 3) (#87)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:33:31 PM EST

When the word "health" in the title of an organisation writing a report is taken as evidence of bias. What proof would convince youe? Should we exume the bodies of suspected deaths from smoking and examine their lungs?

[ Parent ]
Liberalism at it's finest :) (2.00 / 8) (#71)
by dieMSdie on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:53:14 AM EST

1200 a day eh?
More addictive than heroin? Maybe, to some, not to all.

And you know this how? Statistics? And who comes up with these statistics? People who have an financial interest in the anti-smoking holy war.

This isn't about "the children" or public health. This is about a gravy-train of tax money.

Yes, I can see a non-smoker who spends decades in smoky rooms perhaps having problems. But walking by someone smoking a cigarette? Yet you see hysterical reactions. And the hysteria just keeps on and on...


[ Parent ]
Ok.... (3.50 / 4) (#77)
by tewl on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 11:33:40 AM EST

Perhaps you didn't read my follow up post. This is what I wrote:

You want proof? Read this link.

The primary argument about negative health aspects of tobacco is how much it costs society as a whole in terms of medical treatment. Do you really believe that the eating habits of, say, the US, don't cause at least an equal degree of required medical treatment?

That WAS NOT my argument though! My argument was how tobacco affects more than just the user, health wise.

Oh, sure. The mental (and frequently physical) abuse done by alcoholics never affects the health of those around them.

I am a daughter of a recovering alcoholic, I know what it can do. But, as I stated clearly, my argument was how tobacco affects the health of not just the user, but others around him/her. I wasn't talking about abuse as you were, that's a whole other debate.

Are you sure? Show me proof instead of echoing hearsay scare tacticts.

Read the information on this website again. For more on second hand smoke, try this link.

Again, if you are going to throw around figures you better be prepared to back them up with facts from reputable sources.

Try reading this link again. Or go to your library and do some research. Ask a doctor. Read the surgeon's general warning. As you will read on this website "Tobacco use kills three million people worldwide each year, and is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the developed world, accounting for close to 20% of all deaths. (1) (2) Cigarettes kill nearly 500,000 people in the US each year-- more than heroin, cocaine, all other illicit drugs, auto crashes, homicides, and suicides combined.(3) "

Do the math, I actually underestimated, 500,000 people die in THE UNITED STATES ALONE each year, divide that by 365 days in the year and you have close to 1400 people dying A DAY in the United States.



[ Parent ]
Financial interest? (3.66 / 3) (#89)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:39:43 PM EST

What financial interest? I fail to see how medical organisations make money from pointing out the dangers of smoking. Seems to me it would be more profitable for them if they kept quiet. Who has a financial interest in anit-smoking offensives? Chewing gum companies?

[ Parent ]

The other effect of second-hand smoke (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Misagon on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:36:00 PM EST

The effects of second hand smoke are staggering, and it has long been known to be a danger to innocent bystanders. Smoking doesn't just affect the smoker's health, it affects anyone in close proximity to him/her.
And because of tobacco's addicitive qualities this is also how most smokers have become smokers, in my experience. Nobody starts smoking by himself, it is a social drug. Having an addiction is technically being mentally ill - thus smoking is an airbound mental disease. Sounds absurd, but it is true. There is no illegal drug that is more addictive than tobacco btw.

The only reason why tobacco is permitted at all in the western world today is because of the already large population of smokers (acting on a craving to continue smoking) and the large amount of tobacco producers (acting to keep their jobs, applies to the US). Any politician who openly proclaims that he/she wants to ban smoking would be committing political suicide.
--
Don't Allow Yourself To Be Programmed!
[ Parent ]
What a hypocrisy! (3.40 / 5) (#13)
by MeanGene on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:32:34 PM EST


If I'm not mistaken Philip Morris also owns Kraft Foods, and until recently RJReynolds owned Nabisco.

Also, when states whine about cost of Medicaid/Medicare they seem to forget about decades of "sin tax" they have collected on tobacco and alcohol. Where did THAT money go?

If they really care about public health, they'd force McDonalds and Burger King and KFC to serve at least moderately healthy foods.

As far as singling out tobacco for "innocent bystander" deaths, tell it to the people hurt by drunken drivers!

WHAT?!! (3.66 / 3) (#29)
by Spinoza on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:30:20 PM EST

"As far as singling out tobacco for "innocent bystander" deaths, tell it to the people hurt by drunken drivers!"

Your point being? Drunk driving is quite illegal most places. In Australia, if you have a minor accident whilst driving with anything above the normal blood alcohol level you stand a chance of doing prison time or community service and will almost certainly lose your license on the spot. The drunk driver situation is receiving considerable attention. What exactly are you trying to illustrate here? That there are other ways to hurt innocent bystanders? We already knew that. That things need to be done to discourage people from drunk driving? Sure, but they are being done. That you are an imbecile? You're coming through loud and clear on that one.

[ Parent ]

The difference (2.00 / 3) (#40)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:52:03 PM EST

The act of drink driving is illegal because drink driving is dangerous. However smoking is only dangerous to others in certain situations, you can generally choose whether or not to hang around smokers, you can't choose who you share the road with.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Have you ever walked into a smoke filled bar? (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 10:16:37 AM EST

And how is that different from risking your life on a road from drunk drivers with whom you may or may not collide? If we're arguing about various public health threats, certainly second hand smoke -- which has been shown across many studies to increase the risks many ailments -- deserves just as much attention as drunk driving. This is not to trivialize drunk driving, but to show that you trivialize second hand cigarette smoke.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

What if passive smoking were ignored? (none / 0) (#91)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 07:12:41 PM EST

Think: Smoking on planes, in trains, etc. This used to be the norm. Today we can, to some extent, avoid passive smoking. This is due to the efforts of various groups to highlight the dangers of passive smoking and eliminate smoking from public places.

[ Parent ]

McDonalds and Burger King do serve healthy foods. (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by streetlawyer on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:37:11 AM EST

In purely nutritional terms, the typical product of these companies is actually somewhat better than the average Western diet. Westerners eat too much red meat and too much fat, but they don't buy it all from McDonalds and Burger King.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
McDonalds and Burger King do serve healthy foods. (none / 0) (#64)
by MeanGene on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 08:02:42 AM EST


I often wonder if there's anything at all in their menu (besides perhaps coffee) that is not genetically modified, reprocessed, etc.


[ Parent ]
ENAJ (3.42 / 7) (#14)
by Holloway on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 07:39:12 PM EST

A favourite saying of mine is "Everyone needs a Jew" (to be taken in a retrospective look at WW2 Nazi Germany). One could do things to a Jew that one couldn't to any other person - as a Jew was the scapegoat. One could push through agendas claiming it will deal with Jews. Jews are the victim of irrational hate. Jews, as a group, suffer uneven surveilence, and suffer unequal punishment for crimes they commit.

Everyone need a Jew, and Tobacco companies are today's Jew. There are Tobacco companies that have not known of the health risks or kept reports quiet for the sake of profits - yet some lump them all together.

Governments enforce huge taxes and, by and large, do not put the money into the areas afflicted by tobacco. One doesn't go after McDonalds for food related illness. (I have read that...) Marajuana has a much more harmful affect on the lungs than cigarettes.

I'm not a smoker, but anti-smoking laws (ha!) are pushed through in a manner that makes me angry. Smoking is the Jew. People are banned from smoking in open-air public places (!) ... one wonders if they would think drinking milk should be similarly banned.

OK, I need to go now. Girlfriend got a new car and five minutes until I go has slipped into 30 ... argh!


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

Weed more dangerous than tobacco? (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by Nick Ives on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:10:43 PM EST

Nicotine is carciogenic. THC (the active componant of weed) isnt. Cannaboids in general are not carciogenic. The only cancer causing substance in weed is tar, which I believe is present in higher quantities than is found in tobacco. All the evidence gathered thus far suggests that Cannabis is much safer than tobacco, and even if it is more harmful its nowhere near as addictive.

I could go on, but then this would turn into a drug legalisation debate and im way too tired for that atm...

[ Parent ]

I think weed is more harmful (2.50 / 4) (#23)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:49:56 PM EST

but because it tends to be used a lot less the effects are less (you don't often see people taking a break every hour for another bong hit).

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
More specifically... (none / 0) (#84)
by magney on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 05:22:26 PM EST

...what you're trying to say is that weed is more harmful than tobacco in equal volume, but that weed is less harmful in they actual typical dose.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

public smoking affects others (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by cgrabe on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:17:04 PM EST

People are banned from smoking in open-air public places (!)

First let me say that I don't smoke, I don't like smelling smoke, and I think it's a terrible habit to get into. With that said let me say that I believe it's a personal choice and not a choice to be made by legislatures. Public smoking is a different issue though because when you smoke in public, you're not the only one smoking your cigarette/cigarello/cigar/pipe/bong/whatever. Everyone around you must breathe that same air and sometimes they have no choice but to be near you or walk past you. Just as you have the right to inhale smoke, everyone else has the right to choose not to. Inevitably, one of you will have his rights infringed upon. Guess what; it's the smoker because he will suffer no harm by not smoking but a passer-by will suffer harm by breathing your smoke. My personal opinion of course.

[ Parent ]
So? (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by DJBongHit on Wed Dec 13, 2000 at 12:36:18 AM EST

Public smoking is a different issue though because when you smoke in public, you're not the only one smoking your cigarette/cigarello/cigar/pipe/bong/whatever. Everyone around you must breathe that same air and sometimes they have no choice but to be near you or walk past you.
Note that I'm talking about outdoor smoking here, not indoor.

So what? So you have no choice but to smell something that you think is unpleasant? Should it be made illegal to fart in an elevator? Should there be a penalty for having body odor? They're the same thing. You just end up smelling something that you don't like to smell. Somebody smoking near you outside will not force you to inhale a significant amount of smoke - you'll probably inhale more crap just walking around a major city for a day.

But like I said, I'm not talking about indoor smoking... 2nd hand smoke indoors is a lot worse for you. But they shouldn't ban indoor smoking - just make a separate smoking section. There's nothing more obnoxious for a smoker than having to eat at a non-smoking restaurant.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
They do not need to be shielded (3.62 / 8) (#16)
by maketo on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:01:15 PM EST

You cannot hide your child from all the evil in the world. However, you can raise them to distinguish right from wrong and know what is good from then and what is not, and know not to fall under peer pressure. If you dont have time for that, please do not hide behind the evil outside trying to spoil your child. Instead admit that you are a bad parent.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
Another point.. (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:20:04 PM EST

by making cigarettes taboo are we encouraging kids to use them? If we give them the fact and leave it to them to make an informed choice perhaps many will make the right decision.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
From a teenagers perspective (4.57 / 7) (#20)
by ObeseWhale on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:40:10 PM EST

Well, to begin, the comparison of tobacco towards KFC is shoddy and unfounded at best. Tobacco is addictive, has a very high potential to be fatal, yadda yadda yadda, the arguments are outlined better in previous posts.

I think there are far better issues for us to begin to deal with here. First, we need to actually know if there is a correlation between tobacco ads targetting kids and kids actually turning to smoking. I've been seeing a lot of the government's line on this issue, but as of yet, no statistics seemed to have shown up. I would think that kids are FAR more influenced by what they see in everyday life than what they see in a print/website advertisement. EG, if John goes to a rave party and sees all his friends smoking, he might give it a try. Somehow I doubt that John would try it because he saw some models on a website doing it. I sure hope that our generation isn't that stupid! Perhaps free software fanatics should start running ads with Playboy playmates using Debian, we might just get an influx of impressionable teenage boys into the community! Clearly, the logic here is flawed.

Furthermore, we must question our government's place in censoring speech, be it that of corporations (however evil), or that of the people. I find it clear that showing a picture of ravers having a smoke is covered by the first ammendment. If our government can censor one act that they consider "evil", what next, censorship in our public schools (oh wait a minute, that one's covered already!)? My main point here is that the more we allow our governments to infringe upon speech rights we consider unnecessary, even dangerous, the more legroom we give them to censor further speech, speech we may value dearly.

---

"The hunger for liberty may he suppressed for a time; yet never exterminated. Man's natural instinct is for freedom, and no power on earth can succeed in crushing it for very long."
-Alexander Berkman
or (2.40 / 5) (#21)
by hotgrits on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:43:16 PM EST

They could get some chippendales to model with debian to encourage some women geeks. Hell we have enough teenage boys in free sortware already.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (3.66 / 3) (#22)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 08:46:07 PM EST

I didn't put it in the article, but I beleive in no censorship, period, under any circumstances. Any time you give the government the power to take away the things you don't like you are giving them the power to take away the things you do like as well.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
"Censorship" (4.33 / 3) (#28)
by Eimi on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:26:22 PM EST

So should any company be allowed to say absolutely anything they want in any advertisement (or, of course, any other medium)? What about things that aren't true? Is "truth in advertising" also censorship? After all, it severely limits what companies can say. My point is that having absolutely no limits on what can be said is cool from a freedom point of view, but it can lead itself to some severe abuses.

[ Parent ]
Different issue (4.00 / 3) (#30)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:39:51 PM EST

Like defamation, false advertising is a sepearate issue. Censorship is about removing free speech simply because you do not like what is being said. False advertising causes harm to consumers who are misled.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
"I sure hope this generation isn't that stupi (3.33 / 3) (#58)
by streetlawyer on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:35:12 AM EST

Somehow I doubt that John would try it because he saw some models on a website doing it

Doesn't it worry you, in that case, that all the products which are aggressively marketed and advertised, are really popular, while products that aren't promoted tend to be minority niche interests?

My main point here is that the more we allow our governments to infringe upon speech rights we consider unnecessary, even dangerous, the more legroom we give them to censor further speech, speech we may value dearly.

And a very good point it isn't. Everyone can tell the difference between a cigarette advertisement and a political tract. In Germany, Nazi political views are entirely illegal -- put that in your pipe and smoke it! (so to speak) And yet, I don't see any harmful effects on German democracy; it's actually in rather good health. Free speech absolutists often make apocalyptic claims with surprisingly thin evidence; I think that this is one such case.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Assuming tobacco companies are rational... (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by meeth on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 11:39:40 AM EST

First, we need to actually know if there is a correlation between tobacco ads targetting kids and kids actually turning to smoking.

It's a basic assumption in economic theory that firms act to maximize their profits, and while there are reasons to doubt that the assumption is true in all cases, I see no reason why it wouldn't be true here. Why would tobacco companies put up advertisements for underage smokers if these advertisements are not effective? Presumably tobacco companies have studied the correlation and found it to be strong enough to make it profitable for them to pay for the advertisements. Absent some other plausible explanation for why tobacco companies spend money advertising to kids, it is reasonable to assume the advertising is effective.

[ Parent ]

Death if uses as intended (3.60 / 10) (#24)
by BOredAtWork on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:14:20 PM EST

Tobacco is the ONLY product you listed that kills if used entirely as intended. One alcoholic drink per day is harmless. One coke a day is harmless. One piece of chicken per day is harmless. One pack of cigarettes per day (the "average" amount consumed by the "average" smoker) will almost certainly contribute to your early death.

That's the big difference, and more than enough justification for limiting its advertisment to children. Cigarette companies themselves say that they don't feel it's possible to "abuse" or "overuse" cigarettes, because they're (yeah, right, ask anyone trying to quit) not addictive, and just a harmless pleasant habit. No beer seller I've ever met will say that their product can't be misused. Cigarettes, by their manufacturers' admissions, have no "overuse", so what they define as "normal" useage will indeed kill you eventually, unless you're very, very lucky.

Tobacco should... (2.75 / 4) (#26)
by psicE on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 09:23:43 PM EST

be sold with VERY high taxes, along with all other drugs, which are put in a special fund dedicated to helping people recover from these drugs. :)

From a nicotine addicts perspective (3.88 / 9) (#33)
by maynard on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:04:20 PM EST

OK. I smoked for nearly ten years on and off (mostly on). I haven't touched a cigarette in over three and a half years, so I'm one of those former smokers who hates cigarette. You have been warned.

It's ironic that I support the legalization of marijuana, while considering nicotine one of the most dangerous drugs out there and worthy of criminalization. If heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine as highly addictive drugs are criminal, how the hell can nicotine remain legal? I can't tell you the hell I went though giving up cigarettes: cramps, dizziness, and diarrhea. "It's your choice" my ass! It's a fucking addictive drug. You ever have to stand by a friend cleaning out from heroin? I have -- it's not pretty. This guy told me he had a harder time giving up smokes than smack. He still smokes; no more smack. Three and a fucking half years later, whenever I smell someone smoking a butt while walking down the street, or in a bar, I still feel a craving for a smoke! It's insidious.

So, I'm sorry but those free thinking libertarians who believe that tobacco, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, et all should be not only legal but advertised, frankly I think you're full of shit. I doubt you've ever felt a physical addiction. I doubt you've ever had to help someone clean out from a hard drug. It's not pretty, and the sight might make you rethink your strategy on drug abuse. And frankly, I consider nicotine a hard drug; it's addictive!

That said, I still think drugs should be legal and managed by the medical community; just not advertised and marketed. The only reason I think drugs should be legal is because organized crime and the intelligence community takes advantage of the underground desire for drugs to profit from the market, which is more dangerous to society than legalizing the drugs themselves. But if you have ever known a drug addict, I can't imagine you would support legalizing the marketing of drugs. And if you don't recognize cigarettes and nicotine as a major addictive drug, then you're simply an idiot.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

The government is not your mother (1.00 / 1) (#34)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:10:17 PM EST

If you are addicted to something there are places you can go to for help. The government shouldn't be required to make something illegal because you began using it *by choice* and could not give it up.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Did you even READ my post? (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by maynard on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:17:03 PM EST

Did I state that nicotine should be criminalized? NO. I said that marketing of nicotine should be criminalized. For that matter, I said that all drugs should be legalized, but only because the threat of organized crime and the intelligence community is greater than the threat an addict community from hard drug abuse. But did you read my note? No, you wrote a knee jerk reaction which completely missed my point.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Marketing (2.33 / 3) (#39)
by enterfornone on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:46:01 PM EST

My point still stands. Just because they are marketing something that is potentially harmful doesn't mean the marketing of it should be banned.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
why not? (2.50 / 2) (#57)
by streetlawyer on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:29:55 AM EST

Just because they are marketing something that is potentially harmful doesn't mean the marketing of it should be banned

Why not? It strikes me as a rather good reason why the marketing of it should be banned.

To allow the marketing of toxic products places a burden on me to find out what's toxic or not, perhaps even to carry out epidemiological and pharmalogical research to which I am unsuited. To delegate tiresome tasks like that is exactly the sort of thing I employ a government for.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Heroin hyperbole (4.00 / 3) (#35)
by Demona on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:14:14 PM EST

I'm an ex-cigarette smoker myself, having given them up cold turkey with little to no craving after a heavy habit of about seven years; YMMV. But heroin is far from the screaming bogeyman people on all sides of the drug debate make it out to be. Stephen Halstead (William? I may not be remembering the right name) was a respected 19th century physician who got addicted to cocaine and "cured" himself in the approved manner of the time - by switching to heroin. He remained an addict for the rest of his life. But because he was a doctor, he didn't have the same problems the hoi polloi had with obtaining a reliable and pure supply - which enabled him to function in a perfectly normal fashion, and in fact pioneer a number of surgical innovations in his time. He died a loved and respected member of the community, with only a few friends aware of his habit. As with any drug, the human consequences of prohibition far outweigh any danger from the chemical itself; as long as you have a reasonably healthy lifestyle in terms of diet, fresh air and exercise, even a heavy heroin habit would only make you rather constipated in terms of its physical effects (a side effect common to all opiates to some extent).

[ Parent ]
Some smokers quit easier than others (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by maynard on Mon Dec 11, 2000 at 10:27:53 PM EST

I'm convinced that susceptibility of addiction to various chemicals is genetic. Some people are more likely to become addicted to a particular substance than others, though a physical addiction to those susceptible can be quite hard to give up.

I admit that heroin is less damaging to the body than either cocaine or methaphetamines. I see crack addicts walk down my street every day and they are nothing like what I'd call human. The same for methamphetamine addicts... these people completely blow out their brains. Heroin just addicts one to the drug, but like nicotine it doesn't appear to permanently damage one's cognitive abilities.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

genetic blah blah blah (2.00 / 1) (#65)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 08:29:46 AM EST

I'm sorry for being blunt, but...
I'm convinced that susceptibility of addiction to various chemicals is genetic.
Your stating the bloody obviouse. Of course its genetic. Your genetic make up, intrinsicly effects every aspect of who you are.

The rest of your post is perfectly valid. I just neaded to say that.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Addiction is NOT prima facie genetic (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 08:50:26 AM EST

No. Look, I believe that given enough research scientists will discover the genetic underpinnings of physical addiction. Most probably all of these drugs bind with their own receptors which after doing so inhibit the production of whatever natural substance is generated for the receptor. And, of course, that natural substance would have to be genetically encoded. That doesn't mean it is always the case. Nobody knows. The best we have are statistical studies of populations and some identical twins studies, which suggest some genetic susceptibility to physical addiction. This is NOT the same as understanding and mapping out the underlying mechanisms gene by gene and protein or enzyme by protein or enzyme. There is NO factual evidence which states conclusively that physical addiction is entirely genetic in basis. I'd say that there is GOOD anecdotal and statistical evidence which suggests this, however. And a suggestion is by no means conclusive enough to claim a factual basis in the record.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

evolutionary theory, neo-darwinism (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:45:08 AM EST

May I assume you accept, or are at least familiar with evolutionary theory, neo-darwinism, and the work of Richard Dawkins?

In which case it shouldn't be a huge conceptual leap to realise that as your genes define who you could be, that they have an influence over every aspect of your physical existence. Especially the way you react to your environment.

While environmental factors may swamp the influence of genetic variation within the species, to say that it is not genetics is idiotic.

I reassert; to say that one can be genetically predisposed to a physical addiction is correct to the point of being useless. It says nothing. Your genetic makeup is the seed, the key, the blueprint of your existence. This is not the same as genetic determinism, the environment is, almost by definition, a contributing factor, but it is not the only factor, and cannot be, as without the influence of your genes, you would not exist.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Identical twins studies show you wrong (2.00 / 1) (#72)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:58:16 AM EST

Look, I'm not arguing against evolutionary theory in support of "creationism" here, so don't even go there. But Richard Dawkins has NO problem accepting that environment has a significant effect on gene expression over the course of an animal's life. Gene's are not some static state whereby an animal receives all direction in life, they code for proteins -- that's all. These proteins cause certain morphological and physiological effects over the course of an animal's life, some of which can be predicted. But it's a HUGE interrelated system of expressions that's still poorly understood.

The best evidence for this are blind identical twins studies. Here you have two people who are genetically identical, who may have been raised in separate homes and have lived separate lives in a completely different environment. There one can see the envelope of morphological encoding, compared to environmental insults, over time. These studies show that a significant morphological reaction to life come from environmental stress. However, they are all statistical studies, none of which show genetic CAUSE. This is because the human genome is still not completely mapped, nor has each gene been studies alone or in combination with others. Until that work has been done, your argument is just pseudo-scientific babble.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

LISTEN! (none / 0) (#75)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 10:43:35 AM EST

Godamnit.

Look, read my post. I actually said that the enviromental factors can swamp the genetic ones. I said that! My point is that your genes can always be said to be an influence, no matter how small, because they determine that start point.

Twin studies can help mesure the influence of enviormental factors by eliminating the genetic vairation from the study. The oposite is impossable, you cannot bring up genetically different things in identical enviorments.

My point doesn't require the human genome to be mapped or understood, it simply requires that you accept that your genes have an influence, no matter how tiny, on every aspect of your existance.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

No, you chastised me for stating the obvious. (none / 0) (#76)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 11:02:41 AM EST

Which isn't so. I've spent this whole thread pointing out that my original statement, that I believe that drug dependence is most likely genetic, is not an obvious nor proven statement. You replied that it was "bloody obvious". NO IT ISN'T! It isn't proven. No one has a model for how addiction works beyond what statistical studies show. If you can cite a published reference from a peer reviewed medical journal which shows in detail how multiple addiction cycles work at the molecular level, and then extrapolates an addiction model which predicts physical dependence for all drugs -- then you have a point. Until then, you're full of shit. You're just trying to use evolutionary theory to cloud the issue... it's your point which is fucking obvious! Duh.

You want to get pissed off at me for my replies, you go ahead. But your conclusion is wrong. My statement on belief is non-obvious and not supported in the factual record, which is why I prefaced it as a statement of belief. Your statement that it was bloody obvious looks simply like a ruse to generate a minor flame fest at this point. Go away.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

not a ruse to troll (none / 0) (#79)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:19:03 PM EST

I am not a troll! This is not a ruse to promote a flamefest. I honestly think you've missed the point that I am trying to make. This may well be my fault.

(I didn't even expect a reply to my first comment. 'Twas a throw away remark about the way genetics is generaly treated by the public)

I'm sorry that I was abbrupt, and if I have offended you, that was not my intention.

I am not trying to prove any scientific point, and I know that what I say cannot be proved statistically or by modeling. (Or, rather, I can't prove it.)

My point is this, and I will repeat it here as clearly as I can, and then stop.

If you accept simple evolutionary theory then it becomes a matter of fact that physical responce is IN PART determined genetically. Therfore suseptibility to addiction is IN PART influenced by genetic makeup, as is EVERYTHING.

I would urge you to read Dawkins, and try to understand this idea. His writing is much better than mine!

Please, re read what I am saying without the assumption that I am goading you.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Flames dissipated. Correlation != Causation (none / 0) (#80)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:26:19 PM EST

OK, so we both over-reacted making asses of ourselves in public; welcome to the Internet. I'll boil my argument down to "correlation is not causation" and leave it at that. We're both right to an extent, and this entire thread is mostly redundant. Oh well.

Cheers
--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

OT: PS: I've read plenty of Dawkins - great stuff. (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:47:26 PM EST

And I think his only book which really shook up my thinking on the matter was "The Extended Phenotype", which suggests that genetic expression to phenotypic morphology is strongly affected by an organism's local environment. That is, genetic drift across time is correlated with and affected by selection pressure caused by competing organisms which express their own phenotypic morphology in a similar fashion. His point is that we cannot just look at singular organisms and draw evolutionary trees over time to explain what they're doing, one must look at it's local competitors and local environment to explain how the organism changes over time as well.

One of the most interesting insights I gained from this was the thought that extinction is really a function of environmental change over time against the top speed at which an organism evolves to meet selection pressure per reproductive cycle. This means that if change occurs so quickly that the environment is unlivable within one reproductive cycle, no organism can survive, while the likelihood of any organism surviving can be expressed by the speed of it's reproduction cycle against the potential for genetic drift to meet selection pressure within it's genome per unit reproduction cycle. Fascinating stuff.

BTW: I've cooled off and wanted to also apologize. Sorry about blowing my head.

Cheers
--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

toxicity (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by streetlawyer on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:27:34 AM EST

Heroin, and opiates in general, are highly toxic -- it is in fact quite hard to cut heroin with anything that is not safer to inject than heroin itself, and almost all injection deaths are the result of particularly pure rather than impure heroin. Long-term heroin users will die young as a result of liver failure, in the same way that long term alcoholics will (many alcoholics lead extremely productive lives).

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Excellent point (none / 0) (#69)
by maynard on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 09:27:50 AM EST

OK, I happen to have had one very close friend and three acquaintances die from heroin overdoses. Back in the early '90s here in Boston heroin just took off as a popular drug. Predictably, people started dying like flies drawn to a bug zapper until folks within the community figured out again just how dangerous the stuff really is. This is like crack addiction within a community, it's self limiting because the effects are so extreme.

The toxicity (or LD50 -- lethal dose in 50% of cases at a given body mass) of heroin is particularly high. That is, the margin between an effective and lethal dose is extremely slim, so given it's tenancy to generate strong tolerance in the user, combined with it's high toxicity, it's quite easy to kill oneself playing with this drug. Heroin is nothing to fuck around with. Frankly, I'd call you an idiot even if you were only screwing around with prescription opiates. It's dangerous, period.

That said, heroin doesn't appear to cause significant brain damage when abused over the long haul. If the user is significantly careful about the potential for overdose, he or she may live a long life addicted to the drug; witness William Burroughs.

This is NOT the same for other common street and legal drugs. Alcohol when abused over the long term WILL cause permanent brain damage. Cocaine, methamphetamines, PCP, and (new neurological studies show) MDMA, or X, all cause significant brain damage. Each of these drugs has different toxicity levels, so the issue here is on the one hand which drug is more likely to kill you immediately if taken in overdose, compared to which drug is more likely to destroy your ability to function cognitively over the long haul.

I note that neither Nicotine nor caffeine, both highly addictive drugs, appear to cause long term brain damage. I also note that marijuana has never shown any toxicity. In fact it's LD50 has never been determined. The best researchers have been able to do is kill test animals by asphyxiation from smoke inhalation. Nor has it ever been shown to cause physical addiction. This is not to say that it's abuse is without detriment, just that compared to the others listed it's long term abuse is less damaging cognitively than even the legal alcohol and tobacco, while it has no potential toxicity dangers from overdose.

--Maynard

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

ENAJ (3.00 / 4) (#47)
by Holloway on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 12:41:55 AM EST

A favourite saying of mine is "Everyone needs a Jew" (to be taken in a retrospective look at WW2 Nazi Germany). One could do things to a Jew that one couldn't to any other person - as a Jew was the scapegoat. One could push through agendas claiming it will deal with Jews. Jews are the victim of irrational hate. Jews, as a group, suffer uneven surveilence, and suffer unequal punishment for crimes they commit.

Everyone need a Jew, and Tobacco companies are today's Jew. There are Tobacco companies that have not known of the health risks or kept reports quiet for the sake of profits - yet some lump them all together.

Governments enforce huge taxes and, by and large, do not put the money into the areas afflicted by tobacco. One doesn't go after McDonalds for food related illness. (I have read that...) Marajuana has a much more harmful affect on the lungs than cigarettes.

I'm not a smoker, but anti-smoking laws (ha!) are pushed through in a manner that makes me angry. Smoking is the Jew. People are banned from smoking in open-air public places (!) ... one wonders if they would think drinking milk should be similarly banned.

OK, I need to go now. Girlfriend got a new car and five minutes until I go has slipped into 30 ... argh!


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

Weak analogy (1.50 / 4) (#49)
by Spinoza on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 01:15:29 AM EST

Jews were the victims of irrational hate, as you say. Tobacco companies are the victims of societies rational decision to make it hard for companies to profit massively from a billion dollar industry of death. They are also the victim of legislation that is designed to prevent companies from selling poison to children. See how it isn't really the same thing?

[ Parent ]
Nope. (2.66 / 3) (#55)
by Holloway on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:26:08 AM EST

Not really, sorry ;)

As you say, society has made a decision to stop profit from a industry of death. But so far as I see it's not equal. Factories pumping out air polutants, or the many foods that - in excess - cause health problems, or alcohol (drunkards and their liver damage), or the pocket of fat - the twinkie! - I really don't see an equal punishment for the crime.

ps. Sorry about the double post. I refreshed the page (after a drive in our new car, w00p!) like the fool I am.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

False analogy (3.50 / 4) (#60)
by StrontiumDog on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:48:48 AM EST

Since 1990 smoking has become the single largest cause of death in the West. Furthermore, like alcohol, but unlike twinkies, nicotine is a very powerful addictive substance and users, once hooked, do not have the same freedom of choice to quit as non-addicts who eat twinkies.

[ Parent ]
somewhat disgusting (2.66 / 3) (#61)
by streetlawyer on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 04:57:06 AM EST

To compare the regulation of an actually harmful business to the systematic persecution of a harmless racial group is a bad analogy and skates over important distinctions. In the context of the events of the last century, the analogy crosses the border from being merely bad to actually unpleasant.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Milk (none / 0) (#63)
by Nickus on Tue Dec 12, 2000 at 06:03:00 AM EST

If your milk would spread all over the place when you are drinking it I think it would be banned too :-).

It is like have a separate part of a swimmingpool for peeing. It don't bother others if they don't come to that area.



Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
[ Parent ]
Tobacco compainies targetting teenagers | 96 comments (92 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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