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[P]
EU sues Philip Morris for smuggling tobacco

By codepoet in MLP
Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:03:25 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Of all the odd headlines to run across, there's this one on Yahoo! today. The basic story is that Philip Morris (ever the clean company) is overshipping to an unnamed European country and then smuggling the tobacco into other European Union (EU) countries to skip on taxes.


The first lawsuit, according to the article, was thrown out for various reasons. This is the second. Of course, Philip Morris denies all allegations, etc.

Current Philip Morris stupidities:

Go Big Business, go! (morons)

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Poll
The people of Philip Morris
o are working to make a difference (TM). 11%
o are wankers. 20%
o are, for the most part, just doing their job. 9%
o are, for the most part, just doing their job, which they know is wrong. 52%
o are smokers working to further their addiction with free cigarettes. 6%

Votes: 129
Results | Other Polls

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o this one on Yahoo!
o thrown out
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o not entitled
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o really
o off-color
o report
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o causes
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o as difficult to stop smoking as crack cocaine
o Also by codepoet


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EU sues Philip Morris for smuggling tobacco | 78 comments (63 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
Anti-Smoking Propaganda Filled With HalfTruths (3.80 / 15) (#2)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 01:11:09 PM EST

The basic story is that Philip Morris (ever the clean company) is overshipping to an unnamed European country and then smuggling the tobacco into other European Union (EU) countries to skip on taxes.

We must have read different articles then. The article claims that the tobacco companies oversupply Eastern European countries so that the surplus is smuggled into other EU countries from Eastern Europe. This is rather different from claiming that tobacco companies are engaged in smuggling.

In my opinion this is a frivolous lawsuit that will be exceedingly hard to prove. What are they going to do; find memos where Phillip Morris execs calculate the total smoking population of some countries, then plan to ship twice as many cigarrettes there, after which they contact some smugglers to ship them to Western Europe and give them a cut. This is quite frankly rather ridiculous.

A smoker has a criminal history so he's not entitled to $3B in damages for health problems from smoking because he could be lying, say Philip Morris lawyers.

Giving someone $3B for being too stupid to read the warning packets on cigarrettes is yet another indication of how the litigation industry has spun the fuck out of control. If I was Phillip Morris' lawyers I'd do my damndest to make sure that money isn't paid.

Ridiculous? (4.85 / 7) (#6)
by zastruga on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 01:31:29 PM EST

Here is an excerpt from the The Economist (July 5th, 2001, "The price is not quite right"):

Perhaps the most extraordinary document shows the minutes of a meeting between managers from BAT and Philip Morris at Pennyhill Park, a hotel near London, on August 5th 1992 (see illustration above). Among those present were Peter Scheer, then president of Philip Morris's Latin American operations, and Keith Dunt, a BAT executive who went on to become the company's chief financial officer. The minutes reveal that the executives discussed fixing prices in several Latin American countries, in both the legal market and the "DNP" market. DNP stands for duty not paid--ie, smuggled.



[ Parent ]
Kinda funny to me (4.14 / 14) (#4)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 01:12:46 PM EST

The study mentioned was *right*, but in this world of political correctness, of course, pointing out that smoking actually saves the government money when the current belief by the majority is the opposite causes Phillip Morris to have to apoligise instead of the idiots in big government who fed the unsuspecting public this lie in the first place.

In other words, it isn't whether or not they're right; it's whether they agree with you. Damn, I hate that.

As to whether tobacco companies target women or not, who cares? If people want to smoke, that's none of your business. It's unbelievably funny to me that idiots attempt to limit *how* tobacco companies can advertise. If you want them to stop advertising effectively, you're just going to have to stop them from advertising at all. The funniest thing of all was forcing tobacco companies to advertise *against* their product.

I guess I have a problem with most people who say that smokers are victims, as there have been labels on those things in the US for forever, and it hasn't deterred anybody. Reduction in smoking often follows an increase in education. Spend your efforts there, not harrassing tobacco companies.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
labels and warnings? (4.44 / 9) (#8)
by Defect on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:15:08 PM EST

For fuck's sake, you're inhaling hot smoke into your lungs. People die from smoke inhalation in burning buildings all the time, any fucking moron should immediately see a connection between inhaling smoke and, well, inhaling smoke.

It doesn't take a god damned genius to realize that cigarettes are bad for you, and that's what pisses me off with all these whiny ass sons of bitches who claim that the cigarette companies owe them money. If i stick my fucking penis into a blender and suddenly wonder where half my crotch went to, i'm not going to be able to sue some kitchen supply company because i was retarded. If you do something that is blatantly harmful to your body you shouldn't get any money for it, let alone half a quadrafadillibizzilion dollars.

I'm a smoker, by the way.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
I'm not a smoker (4.25 / 8) (#10)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:08:54 PM EST

I'm a gun nut. When the gummint sued 'big baccy' (WTF? almost all of the tobacco made is made by huge food concerns; yes, suing them just raised the price of Kraft cheese. More big government helping the little guy), I and all other gun nuts began ducking and covering. Sure enough, they started suing gun makers next. However, the gun lobby is much stronger than the tobacco lobby, so we got off fairly easy.

Anyway, the real problem is that we've now got the government working on morality (smoking is bad), and massive health projects (and bad for you), while *at the same time* subsidising tobacco farmers. Gad, what idiocy.

People should have the right to do exactly as they please to themselves. If tobacco companies told you that smoking would help your health and it was widely known that it did not, that's a truth in advertising issue. However, when tobacco told people that, the truth was that it was not known one way or the other. A lot of people thought so, but that doesn't make it so.

It's like silicone breast implants, which have *never* been shown to cause cancer at a higher rate than the norm, yet companies still lost lawsuits over that. This society is just too trigger happy and too unwilling to take responsibility.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Are we missing something here? (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by Danse on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:08:49 PM EST

As I understood it, people weren't suing tobacco companies because their product is harmful when used as directed. At least none of the ones that are remotely likely to win their case. They were suing because the tobacco companies lied and/or covered up the fact that cigarrettes are highly addictive. Sure, it's not smart if I inhale smoke into my lungs. But it's not something that will kill me outright normally. Most smokers can smoke for a good 40 years before they start having serious problems. The fact that once you start, it's incredibly hard to stop, is the real problem. And since the tobacco companies conveniently forgot to mention this little tidbit, a lot of people are rightly pissed.

Now most smokers that started before it was well known and proven that nicotine was on par with heroin and the like as far as addictiveness goes are dead now. How nice for the tobacco companies, huh? I think that they are getting exactly what they deserve for their decision to lie about and hide the facts about nicotine addiction. Maybe a lot of the current cases aren't all that great, but the government did have to shoulder the burden of healthcare costs for millions of people over the years due to smoking-related illnesses. It's about time they get their pound of flesh from the tobacco companies.

That said, I think lawsuits against gun manufacturers are bullshit, pure and simple.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]

addictive as heroin? (3.83 / 6) (#29)
by gunner800 on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 01:05:43 AM EST

Now most smokers that started before it was well known and proven that nicotine was on par with heroin and the like as far as addictiveness goes are dead now.
Bah. Quitting smoking is easy; I do it all the time.

---Ignore poorly-chosen handle for purpose of gun-control discussions.
[ Parent ]
Nonsense (2.66 / 3) (#33)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:32:16 AM EST

It is a probed fact that most people can't quit.

If you can you should be very grateful.

Or were you trying to be ironic?
------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Ironic. =) (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by codepoet on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:10:35 AM EST



Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]
yes, missing a lot (4.00 / 3) (#47)
by Ender Ryan on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:43:12 AM EST

Tobacco companies have known for longer than anyone else how addictive nicotine is. They're huge multi-billion dollar corporations, they do their own research. In fact, before anyone else knew for sure if nicotine was addictive, tobacco companies were adding chemicals to boost the addictive affects of their products, while at the same time lying saying they did not believe nicotine is addictive. They lied in court, lied in their advertising, etc. That's purjery, false advertising, and mass manslaughter.

It's really not as simple as suing a company for someone destroying their own life, most people filing these suits were lied to when they were unknowingly becoming nicotine addicts. They have every right to be fully compensated for what they deem their life or lives of dead loved ones to be worth.

With that said, to start smoking today when everyone knows how bad smoking is is just pure idiocy and they deserve no compensation for the willful harm they do to themselves. It absolutely sickens me when people blame their problems on companies when it's their own stupidity that got themself in their unfortunate situation.

It works both ways. Corporations have the responsibility to be honest about how harmful their products are, and people have a responsibility to NOT INHALE TOXIC SMOKE!


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


[ Parent ]

Everyone? (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by greenrd on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:55:17 PM EST

everyone knows how bad smoking is

I wouldn't be so sure about that. A frighteningly large number of people in countries like the US and Britain aren't even literate.

And then you get teens who get hooked on it before they have either the knowledge or the maturity to know to stay away.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

My point (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by weirdling on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:33:54 PM EST

I wouldn't mind a darn bit if the ones who were lied to or their survivors sued tobacco companies for those lies. However, the *government* sued to recover *damages*, which weren't *there*. The government's case was punitive, pure and simple.

Then, after these lawsuits began to calm down, a lot of the same activists, mainly the AMA and so on, decided that if it worked on tobacco, it can work on guns. You claim there is a huge difference between the two suits, but, really, the only difference is lack of proof that gun companies intended to do the alleged deeds.

Essentially, the theory argues that gun companies provide a product that is injurious to their users through increased suicides and accidental deaths. The product is injurious to society through increased crime. The gun companies have known about these side effects for far longer than tobacco companies have known about tobacco side effects. Also, some suits have the added element of conspiracy to over-supply one area in order to increase gun availability in another.

The gun companies have never had memos lying around stating their objective to increase civil unrest so that they could sell guns, that is true, but the rest of the case appears, prima facie, to be pretty solid and very similar to the just-won tobacco case. However, there were problems:

Tobacco companies are huge conglomerates with lots of money and evaporating public support for the tobacco operation. As such, they had to employ their own lawyers and they have money, so other lawyers, hired guns, smelled blood in the water and joined the suit. Gun companies are small and not particularly flush with cash but are in possession of a huge and effective lobby, not to mention stables of dedicated lawyers who will work for free to defend guns. Without potential cash payoffs, it is hard to get hired guns...

The second problem facing these lawsuits is that guns, unlike tobacco, are not consumer items. They have a special place and are exempt from consumer regulation. As such, advertising and marketing law does not really apply.

The third problem was that guns have a significant, demonstrable ameliorative effect. In other words, guns help a lot more than they hurt, unlike tobacco.

Anyway, all that being said, it was the fact that both lawsuits were designed to enforce policy through suit, in other words, change what is allowed by harrassing a company legally, rather than to recover real damages that bothered me about them. If there'd been victims suing these companies, it wouldn't be so bad, but it was DAs suing them *in order to reduce smoking*, which is wrong.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Bottom line... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by Danse on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 08:27:32 PM EST

Tobacco companies knew their product was highly addictive and even worked to make it more addictive. They lied about this and tried to cover up the facts. Gun companies have done nothing of the sort. They make products that can kill people. This is what they are designed for. Everyone knows this. There has been no deception. That is the difference.

Unfortunately since there are a lot of bad people in this world, we don't have any better way to defend ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, it won't matter if he has a gun, a knife or a baseball bat, he could easily kill me. My only real defense would be to have the best possible weapon to defend myself and my family with. That would be a gun. Even if we decided that only the government should have guns (a REALLY bad idea IMO), that wouldn't change the fact that criminals will get them anyway. How many guns was the FBI unable to account for again? What about local police agencies all over the country? If people want them, someone will supply them. Either it'll be corrupt cops or smugglers. We haven't been able to stop drugs coming into the country. We won't be able to stop guns either.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
But do realize.. (4.40 / 5) (#27)
by Inoshiro on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:52:41 AM EST

That for some of us, we don't get a choice. Second hand smoke is evil. I'm incredibly sensitive to it, but I didn't want to impose on you when you picked me up at Logan. It makes my nose go numb, and in extreme cases can cause my lungs to hurt. Generally, people aren't nice enough to not smoke around me.. so I just try to avoid situations where my body will be hurt by the second hand smoke. That's why I rented the entire house here originally when I could -- the previous tenant would have one smoke on the outside porch in the morning, and it'd wake me up like a shot regardless of how much sleep I'd had.

People like me should've been getting the money, not the people who choose to smoke.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
I agree (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by jethro on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:21:09 AM EST

Yes, maybe we should band together and sue tobacco companies. It would make more sense.

I'm in the same boat as you, except I wish I had the same reaction as you to smoke. I actually gag and choke, and if I'm exposed to it for over 5 minutes I sound like a freaking grinding machine for the next week.

My parents used to smoke next to me when I was young, despite my complaints ever since I learned to talk, despite doctors telling them not to smoke next to me, despite it giving me croop attacks until I was 11 (croop is a disease which is supposed to go away at the age of 6). That is the power of addiction - it makes you lie to, and hurt your children. I should post a real comment.

--
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
[ Parent ]
I'm hurt too... (2.33 / 3) (#60)
by tekk on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 05:50:18 AM EST

...because I'm allergic to morrons. Every time I see or hear a morron I cough and sneeze and everything. Yet I don't see any 'No Morrons' signs on restaurants, no 'Quit being a morron' ads on the tube, no 'Second hand stupidity' issues, nothing.

So to ease my pain I choose not to be in the places where there are morrons. Simple as that.

If you've got problems with second-hand smoking DON'T GO TO PLACES WHERE PEOPLE SMOKE. I'm not gonna stop smoking because you're allergic or have asthma, because it's YOUR OWN problem, so you're gonna have to stop going to places where I go, or suffer.

Don't get me wrong, if I'm at your house, and you don't want me to smoke, I surely won't do it. But if we're in a public place, you're gonna have to tolerate it, just as I tolerate morrons, drunks (like in: people who drink alkoholic beverages -- I don't drink and don't like when people around me) and other stupid monkeys. I respect your rights to be dumb, drunk or anything else, and expect you to do the same.

-- [tek.] a brand new way to peel an orange.
[ Parent ]

Spewing toxic chemicals (none / 0) (#74)
by vectro on Mon Aug 13, 2001 at 12:11:22 PM EST

You seem to think it's OK to spew cigarette smoke into the air. How about other chemicals? Is it OK for me to release chlorine triflouride into the air? I enjoy it's sweet odor. How about nitric oxide? I sniff it to forget my troubles.

Why is it that people should be allowed to release one set of highly toxic chemicals (cigarette smoke) and not others? Perhaps you can explain the difference to me.
You cite being stupid or alcoholic as undesirable things that should be allowed in public. But ultimately, while possibly undesirable, there is no evidence that it is toxic to be around these people. Alcoholics don't make you drink booze and stupid people don't lower your IQ.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
re: Spewing toxic chemicals (none / 0) (#75)
by tekk on Mon Aug 20, 2001 at 08:50:05 AM EST

This may have something to do with people not willing to give up polluting the air with toxic chemicals using a specialy designed utilities, such as cars.

You think my cigarette is gonna strip the trees from leafs? Well, a single "proud american SUV" car can pollute the air at a rate I'm never gonna keep up with with my cigs.

And as for your last sentence: I'm not saying alcoholics or stupid people are toxic, it's just it's like with cow dung -- it's not harmfull, but sticking around it doesn't seem to be a great way to spend an afternoon.

As a side note: chlorine triflouride and nitric oxide are poisones, are know as such and releasing them into the air would serve no other purpose than making other people sick. Cigaretes, like it or not, became a part of the culture, just like booze, illegal drugs and bar-fights. It's not something we should be proud of, but it's something we do.

The only problem I see when it comes to smoking in public places is this: is your right not to inhale smoke from my cigarette is more important than my right to smoke it? I see it as that I am tolerant to most of your irritating activities (such as drink, being stupid, fart, and such) and you should be tolerant to mine (smoke, being stupid, fart, and such).

And if we're not gonna be tolerant, than explain it to me, why should I tolerate the stupid drunk people, who are still _far_ more dangerous with their fists, broken bottles and cue-clubs than me with my Marlboro Lights? Live and let others live goddammit.

-- [tek.] a brand new way to peel an orange.
[ Parent ]

Poison (none / 0) (#78)
by vectro on Thu Aug 23, 2001 at 08:31:22 PM EST

Even if you have athsma, being around an SUV does not pose an immediate health hazard. It may be that ultimately it puts more pounds of pollution in the air, but the environmental consequences of cigarette smoking are not what's important -- it's the health consequences that are.

Yes, chlorine triflouride and nitric oxide are poisons - and so is cigarette smoke; that's my point. Tobacco smoke, especially that from cigarettes, will cause an instant reaction in someone who suffers from athsma, long-term exposure leads to asthma and eventually lung cancer, and short-term exposure can cause coughing fits, watery eyes, and sore throat. The difference between cigarette smoke and a two-step gas is merely one of degree.

I stipulate that smoking in public is NOT a widely-accepted social convention, else we would not be having this discussion. And even if it were, it used to be socially acceptable to go lynch some blacks. Social constructs are hardly static and we should embrace their improvement, not commit ourselves to the status quo.

Finally, you continually attempt to chalk up cigarette smoke as nothing more than an annoyance - but, as I have shown, it is not merely an annoyance, it is a health hazard. Thus being around a smoking person, particularly in enclosed spaces, is materially different from being around someone one finds distastful, be it due to stupidity, drunkedness, or something else. And yes, drunks (as well as others) who go around breaking things, whatever be their preferred implement, should be stopped.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
apples and oranges. (none / 0) (#72)
by chopper on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 11:20:06 AM EST

If i stick my fucking penis into a blender and suddenly wonder where half my crotch went to, i'm not going to be able to sue some kitchen supply company because i was retarded.

no, but sticking your penis into a blender (choke) is an action you have control over; its not addictive (thank god).

now, if for example, you bought the new Cuisinart HypnoChopper 5000 which includes a feature unmentioned on the box, a hypno-disc and recording which hypnotizes you and says in Vincent Price's voice 'puuuuut your peeeeenis iiiin the blenderrrrr.... presssss liquifyyyyy...' then you'd be pretty pissed off when you woke up a eunuch, no?

yeah, bad example. but it would be a cool gift to give someone you don't like.

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

This is why I hate all people. (4.33 / 9) (#15)
by jacob on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:32:15 PM EST

The study mentioned was *right*, but in this world of political correctness, of course, pointing out that smoking actually saves the government money when the current belief by the majority is the opposite causes Phillip Morris to have to apoligise instead of the idiots in big government who fed the unsuspecting public this lie in the first place.

Nobody ever seriously claimed that the study was a lie. The claim is that the study is evil. There is a giant difference.

The study was right -- the Czech Republic does in fact spend money on health care for old people, and therefore it would save money if they just died. In fact, they spend lots and lots of money on services for people who are alive, and almost nothing on dead people, so it would actually be a phenomenally good economic idea for them to just kill all their citizens! Can you imagine the savings? No cost at all for services!

Second, while the relationship holds in the Czech Republic, that's only because the Czech Republic can't afford adequate health care. Think about it: if a visitor to Marlboro Country dies immediately, that costs very little to anyone. On the other hand, the hospital can save the patient's life, that probably means heart or lung surgery, lots of medication, and an extended hospital stay -- i.e., lots of money, and inevitably that cost is going to get back to the government some way or another. From that perspective, it makes sense (and additionally is true) that in poor countries, a citizen's death to long-term illness is cheap, but in wealthy countries, it's expensive. So showing that smoking death saves money in the Czech Republic shouldn't be interpreted as meaning that smoking is good, but rather that the Czech Republic has inadequate health care and can continue to save money by causing more chronic illness as long as its health care remains inadequate.

Those two arguments indicate that while we have no reason to believe that the study is a lie, we should certainly object to its implied conclusion that smoking is a good thing for the government to support. Smoking is only good for the government in a moral system in which making money justifies killing people on purpose. So, it's no wonder that Philip Morris, the company that makes its money by convincing children to kill themselves, wouldn't realize what the problem was until it was pointed out to them by angry throngs. It concerns me that this is not obvious.



--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
Your slant differs (3.00 / 6) (#16)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:36:35 PM EST

First of all, any time you ask a *government* to decide life and death issues on purely economic grounds, you're going to get this sort of quandry. However, it should be pointed out that this is clearly true in any advanced country, and in a non-advanced country, irrelevant, as non-advanced countries generally have people dying of other things much younger.

Anyway, we have a definate slant here. Personally, I do not blame Phillip Morris for making a product *people want*. The idea that they are trying to get kids to kill themselves totally ignores the basic problem of teenage smoking: rebellion and absentee parentism. In other words, the majority of teenage smokers would anyway, even if they had to grow their own.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Re: Your slant differs (4.33 / 6) (#17)
by jacob on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:35:43 PM EST

I'm not trying to establish what the basic problem with teen smoking is; I'm trying to establish that Philip Morris is an evil company. Philip Morris knows that teenagers want to be rebellious and that a lot of them don't have enough parental supervision to stop them from making stupid choices. How does it respond? By trying to sell them a highly addictive unhealthy product. Philip Morris knows that their best customers are the teenagers who got hooked when they were susceptible to trying dumb things once or twice, so they try their best to hook those teenagers by marketing to them as best they can legally. That is not the reaction that any decent person could possibly have. It is the reaction of an evil person. In this respect, nothing differentiates Philip Morris from a rapist or a murderer except that it has a better lobby.

That teenagers don't get enough parental guidance is a shame. That one of the most successful companies in the world owes its success to preying on and killing those teenagers is a moral travesty.



--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
Duh (none / 0) (#63)
by weirdling on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:12:29 PM EST

Phillip Morris sells tobacco. They also sell cheese. It is evil in the one case to target children, but not the other? Have you seen the targeted ads for Kraft 'cheese and maccaroni'? Clearly targeted at kids. Dang, those evil bastards.

What's your point? Phillip Morris didn't take a gun and make these kids smoke; that would be wrong. They didn't tell the kids that smoking is good for them; that would be wrong. They're required by law to inform their customers that smoking is bad for them. What's so wrong with targeting advertising?

Blame the friggin parents. Why totally ignore the causes of teen smoking? You seem convinced that Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco *cause* the phenomenon of teen smoking through *advertising* as if *causing* jumping off a *cliff* can be done through *advertising*. No, advertising can only take advantage of a perceived *need*, meaning that we'd do a heck of a lot better to solve the problems that cause that *need* rather than simply attack someone who is providing relief to that need.

In other words, myopia where smoking is concerned only creates a larger beaurocracy and funnier laws (tobacco companies have to advertise against their product yet anti-smoking concerns claim they're not doing it right? WTF?), but it hasn't done a thing towards fixing the problem, which, as I said earlier, is largely a parental problem, including rebellion and absentee parents.

I swear, anti-smoking zealots won't rest until there's an outright ban on smoking and we have another bleeding 'war on drugs' that we can't win.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
blah blah Philip Morris blah (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by jacob on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 01:03:48 PM EST

We don't like to believe it, but we're all very susceptible to influence. Why do you think advertising works? It's not because they're making persuasive rational arguments. Look into psychology, social psychology, or sociology to find some really amazing examples of how people can be influenced far more than you or they would think possible.

Of course teenagers want to be rebellious, and that's not Philip Morris's fault. I agree with you wholeheartedly that the best way to solve social problems with teenagers is to focus on parenting rather than making laws that restrict companies' actions. But I'm not talking about that now, I'm talking about why Philip Morris is evil, which it can be even if it doesn't singlehandedly cause all problems teenagers have. True, if it weren't cigarettes, it'd probably be something else. But so what? The fact that there's a demand does not make the supply moral (though sometimes I doubt many Americans realize that).

As for why Philip Morris is evil, it's simple: it knows how to influence children, and it uses that influence to get them hooked on drugs for its own profit at the expense of their lives. Plain and simple. None of the other factors you keep bringing up have anything to do with that.

Also, you seem to think I want smoking to be illegal. I don't. I think drugs should be legal too, though I think drug-dealing is generally evil.



--
"it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring

--Iced_Up

[ Parent ]
Hmm. (none / 0) (#76)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 23, 2001 at 06:29:18 PM EST

Ok, so to you, evil does not imply the need to regulate. Perhaps we can have a rational discussion.

Anyway, I'm still going to have a problem with the term 'evil', as that is totally a value judgement, and many smokers I know view their tobacco company as 'good'.

As to influence, you are right; it does influence, but it does not *create*. Were that true, advertising would be a lot more effective than it is. Also, targeted advertising seldom works outside its target, insisting that you really are taking advantage of an extant need, no creating one.

Children who smoke at a young age do not do so because of advertising. They choose a brand through advertising. The smoking normally starts when the child enters a peer group that is already smoking. Same goes for drugs. These peer groups are a result of two things: parents who aren't there for their children while the children fight their way through adolescence and children who are allowed free range, unsupervised. Don't get me wrong; you're going to have to go to where the children are in order to supervise them, but that will be far more effective than simply ignoring the problem, which you do not seem to be doing. Anyway, all advertising does is take advantage of this.

BTW, I'd like to see some hard numbers correlating the kids who smoke to adults who smoke. Most importantly, I'd like to see a subjective survey that shows that kids who smoked as kids really *wanted* to quit as adults and failed to do so. Tobacco is very addicting, but most physical addictions are easily kicked. It's the mental addiction that kills you.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
You forget that the product is addictive. (4.00 / 5) (#32)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:27:44 AM EST

People want the product because otherwise they could not live without it.

These companies create a physical dependency on the drug and and then profit from that, well knowing that this product is damaging the health of their costumers.

Tobbaco addiction is a recognized and well studied illness,people don't smoke because they want to, they do it because they need to.

In spite of that, people are free to fill that need, but I find moraly reprehensible if goverments do nothing to at least leave the choice to become dependant on this drug to fully grown well informed adults.

In today's hyper-informed world, that should mean no advertisement at all of this addictive, health destroying stuff.




------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Two points (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by weirdling on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:06:00 PM EST

One, it's simply not that addictive. Most smokers could quit; they don't. The reasons are complex, and mostly psychological, not physical. In other words, the majority of people who smoke do it to relieve stress.

Two, it really isn't any of the government's business. Sorry, but when people start saying 'morally reprehensible' and 'government' in the same sentence, I think 'religious persecution' no matter what people say the basis for their morality is. In other words, there's absolutely no difference between your moral requirement that the government 'stop teenage smoking', hopefully a little more competently than it has 'stopped teenage drinking' and 'teenage drug use', is no different from a fundamentalist's insistence that it 'stop fornication' or 'stop killing babies'. All morally derived, so all wrong.

No, present a pragmatic argument that a) demonstrates conclusively that these people can't stop smoking rather than simply don't want to (simply comparing quitting rates doesn't do this), b) that the government *could* stop the problem without removing the rights of adults, c) that the government has a vested interest to do so, d) that the rights and interests of the people are not significantly harmed by doing so, and d) that it is worth our time and money in the end.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Placebo? (none / 0) (#71)
by craigtubby on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 05:00:49 AM EST

You said ... Most smokers could quit; they don't. The reasons are complex, and mostly psychological, not physical.

By this reasoning if I replaced "tobacco" with some other substanace that burns, but doesn't produce nictotine - without people knowing - no one would crave for thier nicotine intake?

Right, thanks for pointing that one out - how stupid we have all been for not knowing this.

[ Parent ]

Of course (none / 0) (#77)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 23, 2001 at 06:35:45 PM EST

Replace it with anything that burns properly, smells right, but lacks the nicotine, and people will get pissed, just like I do over caffeine-free soda. However, my addiction to caffeine is quite psychological. I've been all the way through withdrawals from caffeine several times, and *still chose to start again*. Quitting a physical addiction is bloody easy. However, tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol all have social elements, as the other poster rationally pointed out: if friends smoke, it's almost impossible to quit, which isn't the tobacco company's fault.

Physical addictions are easy to break, and nicotine patches don't cause cancer, so if nicotine really was the answer, simply switching to the patch would stop smoking, but it is the other factors that are involved that keeps smoking in the forefront. To simply believe that it is the addictive power of nicotine that *forces* people to smoke is helplessly naiive.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
you sound like my dad (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by chopper on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 11:34:12 AM EST

One, it's simply not that addictive. Most smokers could quit; they don't. The reasons are complex, and mostly psychological, not physical. In other words, the majority of people who smoke do it to relieve stress.

um... no. well, kinda. see it varies; some people can quit easily, some can't. it varies from person to person.

i've quit smoking a few times, but only once for an extended period of time (1.5 years). it isn't easy. i've never had the displeasure of quitting heroin, but i can understand the comparisons.

i would like to stop smoking. unfortunately, at this point, that would mean completely dumping every single one of my friends, all of whom smoke like chimneys. and i don't want to do that. but i don't blame the tobacco companies for that reason. its my fault i don't quit, because of the lifstyle changes it would make. now i dislike them for helping put me in this situation, but i'm not suing for something i did, with or without their help.

i do find it funny that with all the money big tobacco has, they can't do the research to discover a drug which can effectively and safely end nicotene cravings; there is that one anti-depressent, i think, which has been used to help kick tobacco, but i mean a real knock-down, drag-out nicotene block, safe and effective and widely available. because coming up with something that effective would mean that cigarettes are addictive, and we can't admit that, right?

give a man a fish,he'll eat for a day

give a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish
[ Parent ]

Even in wealthy countries (4.00 / 4) (#49)
by ttfkam on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:55:45 PM EST

Many studies have shown that while, yes, medical costs can seem to drive the cost of tobacco use up to unacceptable levels, in fact when other factors such as Social Security payments and other government subsides for the elderly are factored in, the costs go in the smoker's favor.

Heavy smoking can take anywhere from 10-15 years off an average lifetime. The average lifetime is 75-80 (or somewhere thereabouts) in the U.S. with variance due to gender (women live longer than men). Take 10-15 years away from that average. This number ends up getting awfully close to the age that someone starts getting Social Security et al. Factor in the cost of Social Scurity payments from the lifetimes of the two groups (smokers and non-smokers) and the economics look a little different.

Also take note that when the expensive operations such as organ transplants come up, preference is almost always given to non-smokers for a variety of reasons.

That being said, I have no love for the tobacco companies; they deserved getting reamed just out of principle. However, they may indeed be correct in that they are not quite the economic burden that many accuse them to be.

For the record, I am a non-smoker who learned to smoke without choking for a play years ago. After a few packs over the course of two weeks or so, I had cravings. I know what they feel like. I also stopped smoking before they got too serious. I definitely do not think tobacco should be taken lightly, but it is ultimately the individual's decision to start.

I do not remember a single point in my life (I am 27) where common knowledge suggested that they were harmless. People who started smoking _actively_ ignored the warnings. You reap what you sow. Anyone's smoking habit at this point is their own responsibility. Am I suggesting that we should deny them health coverage et al? Of course not, but I have reservations about denying a smoker the means of taking responsibility for their actions/lifestyle.

You choose to smoke outside at clubs when hanging with your mates. You choose to smoke in the car on the way to work in the morning. You also choose to shorten your life by 10-15 years. I have no problem with the decision, but if you get the benefits, be prepared to pay the toll.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Interesting poll choices... (3.25 / 4) (#5)
by Elendale on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 01:23:31 PM EST

Because they're definately working to make a difference.
In their wallets, anyway.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Lovely US tobacco corps and WOD (4.25 / 8) (#14)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:07:06 PM EST

When Thailand attempted to put up barriers against import of American tobacco, in the early 90's late 80's, some Americans considered retalitating with sanctions against Thailand, while at the mean time actively begining to further unwind the war on drugs (some of which, like marijuanna, have yet to kill a single human being). Personally I am against the huge anti-smoking campaign. Big corporations should be held liable for mis-advertisement, and generally scuminess. Countries should be able to kick out American corps regardless of the industry too.

But if a smoker really wasnts to smoke, let him do it, as long as the government stays consistent and legalizes less dangerous drugs such as marijuana as well. In case of teenagers, war on smoking is probably the leading cause of teen smoking. I can't find a single reason to pick up a cancer sticks (you don't even get a buzz), but from what I remembered in junior high, it quickly became a popular hobby, since listening when adults tell you not to do something (even if you know they are right), is just as Cartman says "not coo".



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Nobody is stopping smokers killing themselves (4.28 / 7) (#30)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:12:50 AM EST

They have the freedom to make their last years alive a misery, they can light at home (if they have relatives or housemates foolish enough to let them do it) or where allowed.

But their freedom to smoke stops when the right to breath clean air of others begin.

Any dangerous activity that could harm other people is regulated. Smoking should not be different.



------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
So (1.66 / 3) (#55)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 06:22:54 PM EST

Countries should be able to kick out "American corps." Well, ok. Of course, the US should be able to kick out foriegn businesses too, on this logic, and furthermore, since other countries have steep taxes and other methods of preventing exportation of goods to their markets, we can have those too.

Of course, if we in the US do that, you do realize that we'll put several hundred million people into outright starvation in a matter of weeks, right? All those people who ship their goods to the US, which consumes them at a ridiculous pace, stuck starving in their pathetic little two bit countries because there's nobody to buy their crappy goods. I bet they'll be real happy about their autonomy from EEE-vile US business.

Trade barriers are not the solution to any problem. They are a problem unto themselves, for all nations, whether wealthy or poor, importers or exporters.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Shit (4.50 / 2) (#56)
by strlen on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 07:59:40 PM EST

Oh no. First economic regulation is theft post? US ALREADY has tarrifs and other types of barriers against other countries. Ever heard of TVR (the makers of some of the fastest stock, street cars)? They can't be imported into the United States, because they fail emissions standarts that apply only to foreign cars. I believe there's also similar types of trade barriers against Japanese auto-manufacturers as well. It's a part of world market that it happens.

And why the arrogant attitude of US is better then everybody else and everybody else will starve without the United States? I've lived in a country which exports virtually nothing to the United States, and imports very little from them, and didn't find the sort of starvation you were talking about. Nor do most of the US import countries have their own industries as well. Ask Iranians or Guatemalans what your CIA friends did when they told American corps to go fuck themselves in 50's and 60's.

Not to mention the fact you're just asking for an off-topic, deep, flame war. Free trade is bad for emerging economies, its only results is basically neo-mercantalism: the third world becomes the sort of raw supply and labor, while the rich in first-world get richer.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
s/sort of/source of/ (2.00 / 2) (#57)
by strlen on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:14:34 PM EST

fucking a.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
No (3.00 / 1) (#61)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:02:40 PM EST

Free trade does not make poor countries poorer. There is no evidence of this, because there has never been any free trade; what there IS evidence of is the fact that the only ways to become wealthy are either to have lots of natural resources and exploit them ruthlessly or else to trade with others. We're telling these countries not to do the former even if they can, and then people like you tell them to make trade as inconvenient as possible too!

The simple fact is, free trade, over time, will equalize wages, standards of living, available goods, and so on, and its lack will prevent that. Where there are no political barriers, companies act on economic interests, and those interests are finding the lowest cost - of labor, goods, or whatever else. However, that very act pours money into the area, raising standards of living, wages, and hence, costs - and prices too, as it happens. Meanwhile, the companies that do this are not doing that business in the wealthier nations, which tends to bring them down somewhat unless they're still creating new industries. That last effect is what unions are afraid of - their people might have to actually adapt to a changing world and learn some economically useful skills, if they can't use their clout to pretend we're still living in the industrial revolution.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Well, close. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by codepoet on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:30:31 PM EST

You're right about the equalization, but remember that equilization is like pouring warm water into near-freezing water: the end result is slightly warmer cold water. If a country like America, with an economy that is strong, but currently damaged, were to have free trade with a country (oh, I don't know, Mexico [cough]) whose economy and standards of living were poorer then when it all leveled out, America would be the worse for it. Then, say, this "new" America opened free trade with, oh, I don't know [cough] Canada. Well, the same would happen there, and the once-strong nation would actually damage the other country's economy once all was leveled out.

Free trade is good, but only between countries that are already at similar strengths (US and Canada, at the moment, do no suffer from this between each other). When you throw a weak economy into the mix then everyone goes to hell.

Take it now, now that cheap labor is available at no extra cost just south of the border. American workers are now at slightly lower wages and many are out of jobs as plants close. Only a few have done this, but it only takes one to ruin a few hundred lives for the sake of congressional short-sightedness.

Yeah, yeah, I'm from South Texas and biased. Whoop. It's still true and I've still seen it, no matter how pointed I am about it. Sitting there making theories are one thing, practice is quantifiably another, and current practice post-NAFTA is that shit happens on this side of the border. While you can sit there and criticize people for not learning "some economically useful skills" all you do is come across as an igorant technology person whose vision is that of Gore. Sorry, but America was built on industry and a large portion of it still thrives today. We are at once an industrial and post-industrial nation, it just depends where you look. If you look at South Texas then you will see the industrial part. If you look at East or West Texas, you will see the industrial part. Look at Central or North and you will see the post-industrial part. (Yes, those are all capitalized. That's how we do things. Don't like it, don't move here. ;)

To ignore that is to ignore reality, really. While some (Gore) would have you believe that our future is technology and importing industry and agraculture, the fact is that America has always been self-supporting and we need to remain that way. Reliance on a greatly-changing world economy puts the entire nation at risk of supply shortages (oil, hello) that would never affect us if we were self-sufficient. Free trade encourages support on the world economy and is, thus, a Bad Idea (TM).

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]

Ah (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:48:16 PM EST

Well, I've never been accused of being like Gore before:) In any case, all this talk of remaining independent of other countries is pretty much foolishness; we're not independent of other countries, never have been, and probably never will be, because it doesn't make sense. The cost is so high that unless you just assume we're constantly going to be at war with everyone, it makes no sense at all. Even during the world wars, we weren't economically independent - we used quite a bit of military and political pressure to coerce people from many places to send us raw materials we needed, let us use facilities we needed, and so on. Look into WWII rubber supplies sometime for a prime example.

Simply put, as long as wages are lower in Mexico(and that's a temporary state of affairs, if they clean up their government and we keep investing there,) it makes no sense to build cars or make clothes or whatever in the US. Of course, if you cleaned up the Mexican government, you'd see people who have the relevant skills from the US moving to Mexico, since not only wages, but also cost of living is lower there. You would also see people getting jobs in other fields, or in related jobs that the US still does better, like precision machining for high performance engines and so on.

I am not one of the pie in the sky economic airheads who says there's never any growing pain, but if you base policies on keeping people comfortable by maintaining the status quo, you lose so much in the long run that it is hard to contemplate doing this. Remember, prosperous and happy ferriners are peaceful, amiable ferriners - even if you're from Texas! Also, the US can and does create whole new industries in which to work - you don't see much of that in Mexico. There will always be good jobs here, for those willing to do what it takes. If you really want to be a Ford assembly line worker, why not go where that's what people do? (See below before answering that, and after seeing below, think about, say, Canada. If cars were made there instead of Mexico, would it seem as bad? Granted, I hate socialized health care and high taxes, but that's another rant for another time.)

Of course, all of this IS predicated on cleaning up the Mexican government. That is a valid argument against trade - there can be no free trade where there is lawlessness and corruption. Until that happens, we ought to slow down with Mexico.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Personal note? (2.60 / 5) (#19)
by Signal 11 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:44:57 PM EST

I've smoked, oh, maybe a dozen cigarettes in my life. I fail to see how this can be as addictive as people say it is - maybe after several dozen packs, I might get addicted... but I have tried it, and (suprise) I'm not smoking cigarettes every day. Crack cocaine, however, really can cause addiction on the first try. That's why so many people refuse to go anywhere near it!!




--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

Picking nits (4.00 / 5) (#20)
by crashman on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 08:19:43 PM EST

I beleive he said that quiting smoking was as difficult as quiting crack, not that it was as initially addicting. A small difference in language, big difference in meaning.

[ Parent ]
Wrong (4.20 / 5) (#38)
by spiralx on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:29:56 AM EST

Actually, official figures show that about 80% of occasional users of nicotene become addicted, compared to about 30% for heroin and 25% for crack. Nicotene is by far the most addictive drug.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Wow, actual facts! (2.50 / 2) (#44)
by ronin212 on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:09:49 AM EST

Thanks for the right numbers, spiralx. It's good to see someone who knows what they're talking about.


--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
[ Parent ]
official figures? (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by BurntHombre on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:04:23 PM EST

Come on now, you should know that you can't cite figures like that without giving a link to a supporting study. Not that I necessarily doubt your word, but appealing to "official figures" without a citation always makes me suspicious.

[ Parent ]
Figures (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by spiralx on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 04:17:56 AM EST

We'll they're from the article in the Economist mentioned a couple of comments up from here, can't remember the exact source they quoted though, but look for one of the charts.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

yes, but... (4.50 / 6) (#25)
by montjoy on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:17:21 AM EST

I've always assumed by this they mean it's as hard to quit as crack cocaine.

I was just reading in The Economist "the relapse rates for those who try to give up (nicotine) are higher than those for herion or crack cocaine" They've got a big article on why they think drugs should be legalized. It's a good read, esp. since it's in a pro-business somewhat conservative British magazine. (Jul 28-Aug 3 issue 01).

[ Parent ]

the Economist (4.75 / 4) (#40)
by kraft on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:28:23 AM EST

I just wanted to give a "me too" shout for the Economist cover story.

Over the last two years I have been really interested in drug politics and have read everything I could find on the matter (fiction, like Huxley, medical descriptions and details, like Andrew Weil) and this is one incredible set or articles. Good news: They are all online :-)

Basically, they are in favour of legalising ALL drugs, and they qoute John Stuart Mill:

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

--
a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
[ Parent ]
Agreed (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by Aztech on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:30:17 AM EST

Well since they're obviously economically focused you would assume they have prototypical conservative views across the board, and in some cases they do i.e. telling the govt to butt out when it's needed, but it seems this only applies to financial stories.

When it comes to social commentary, politics and call for reform, The Economist is remarkably liberal. I guess you call that Libertarianism in the US, except they're not gun touting. Their progressive thinking and pro-business bent is remarkably rare, and certainly makes BusinessWeek appear somewhat unenlightened and repetitive.

[ Parent ]
Biology is not exact since (4.00 / 4) (#37)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:54:56 AM EST

You are lucky.

Statistical evidence collected for years shows very clearly that you are in a minority.

A personal anecdotal case is proof of nothing.

Scientific evidence collected for decades is what should guide an informed attitude towards tobacco.


------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
EU doing it for the money (3.42 / 7) (#22)
by sneakcjj on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:43:56 PM EST

The EU is doing this just for the money. They don't want to put the tobacco companies out of business nor do they care that tobacco can kill their citizens (hell, they chose to). They doing it because they want the tax money. Tobacco SELLS and they want a piece of the pie.

The tobacco bigots are getting behind this as if the EU wants big tobacco gone. Well, let me tell ya, they don't and neither do you unless you want your taxes to go up.

Tax could go up anyway. (3.00 / 3) (#31)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:17:41 AM EST

The more smokers a country has, the more strain will be put in the health services.

For countries with goverment run health services this only means more taxes.

In countries with health services supported by private insurers, the premiums for smokers rise.

So given the choice I would prefer a situation in which people is healtier, even if that means loosing tax revenue from the tobbaco companies.
------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
[ Parent ]
Health Insurance (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by sneakcjj on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 07:29:07 AM EST

Giving people who smoke large health plans is no one's fault but the health insurance companies (or the government).

Nothing I have ever read states that full health coverage is a right. If you are going to do something that you KNOW is self-destructive, you should not get the same benefits as someone who does not engage in those activities.

[ Parent ]

Not A first Time Offender either (3.25 / 4) (#23)
by turtleshadow on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 10:55:37 PM EST

This has happened before in Latin America and I'm sure other places world wide.
It's important to note that I did recieve a mailer today saying that for 130 UPCs of a certain brand I could send away for a free sold oak birdhouse. At $X a pack that makes sense.

I don't understand why these guys are in business... oh yea Congressional Buddies.
Turtleshadow

Ok... (3.00 / 3) (#26)
by xriso on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:40:27 AM EST

So PM is being insensitive and uncaring, in order to make more money. It's called business. If you don't like 'em, don't buy their products.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
Almost. (4.00 / 3) (#42)
by codepoet on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:26:19 AM EST

That would almost work, really, except their products killed my grandfathers and my grandmother, uncles, and father can't quit. I'm subjected to their crap every day and growing increasingly tired of their tobacco products intruding into my daily life.

It's called being an unwilling second-hand smoker. I consider it no different than being pinned down and having a lit cigarette forced into my mouth, and, frankly, that's not a good thought.

It's not just my not using the products, it's the fact that I don't have a choice sometimes and that not having a choice is based on their lying about the addictiveness of their tobacco products.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]

Usually... (3.66 / 3) (#50)
by beergut on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 01:01:52 PM EST

... I agree with a lot of what you say.

But, this time I don't. If you're so offended by your grandparents, uncles, and parents smoking, leave the house (of course, this is harder if you're younger.) Run a hepa filter in your room, and sleep with the window open. Sit on the porch and read a book when they're smoking in the living room watching television. Eat on the porch when they're smoking at the table eating dinner. Wash your own clothes, and seal them in plastic baggies when you put them away. Soon enough, they'll ask what's the problem, and you can simply inform them that you're disgusted with breathing and reeking of crap. If they're inconsiderate enough to not step outside to relieve their addiction, then you should do so to preserve your own health.

It's tough to buck your parents, but you'll have to do so soon enough, anyway. I refused to allow my mother to smoke in my car. After she got over the initial shock and being pissed off that I would dare to do such a thing, she stopped smoking altogether. If you have your own place, this is a lot easier. Simply say, "No, you can't smoke here." It's easy. I do it all the time.

Quitting smoking can be done. Witness the multitudes that do so. If your folks are such that they cannot stop smoking, even though they know (and were affected by) the dangers of smoking, well, there's not much that can be said for them.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

On my own. (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by codepoet on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:52:31 PM EST

I'm already on my own and married; that was me growing up. While they tried to be considerate and keep it outside, it really didn't work. I really couldn't go outside for various reasons (and I mean a lot of various reasons), I didn't have the money for a HEPA (in fact, it wasn't even available then ;) and several times I did bring it up. You're lucky that your mother quit. My father really did try, but he just couldn't do it. He quit for six months at one point, only to be next to a co-worker and off he went again.

There's a lot of variables between families, so just because it worked in and on one family does not really mean that it's going to work everywhere. Wish it did, but it doesn't. Personal experiences differ because people differ.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]

So (3.66 / 3) (#54)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 06:22:33 PM EST

At what point do your family's personal problems become the tobacco industry's problems? Addiction is not a magic wand by which you become absolved of responsibility for your own actions. People can quit, and they do. It may be difficult - but that's a difficulty you bring on yourself when you choose to do something you clearly should not do.

Since some idiot will inevitably say I don't know what I'm talking about, let me make a couple of points against that claim here. This issue does have a special relevance to me right now, because I don't smoke, and someone very, very important to me does, but I will not blame her smoking on anyone else, and I don't think she would either. I don't smoke because I know it isn't good for me. An uncle of mine died recently - drinking and smoking were the real causes. I know what tobacco can do - but I also know that tobacco is a product you choose to buy, and choose to smoke - and nobody else is responsible for that.

In short, I do not let my emotional reaction to tobacco cloud my judgement; I do not seek someone to blame unless he is genuinely to blame. This pattern of not allowing feelings to run the show and actually sticking to a consistent set of principles is something most people seem to sorely lack.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Nice shot, but you missed. (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by codepoet on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:11:19 PM EST

Beautify shot strawman, really, but you built it so the destruction wasn't terribly impresive.

I have emotional reasons, yes, but as I have outlined in other areas of the story my main reasons are really that they knowingly sell a product whose sole action is slowly killing people. That's just, well, evil, and needs to be stopped, curbed, or controlled, even if it's just through more intense education about the stupidity of smoking.

Yes, they are popping off my family one-by-one, but that's just a sign that it's gone too far, not my cause for disliking them. My cause is the lack of business ethics. It just so happens that the reason I don't ignore it as was suggested is because it's personal now. Nothing wrong with having a cause ([cough] DMCA, Dmitry, RIAA, MPAA, CSS, Linux, Open Source [cough] GPL, K5, /., anti-MS bigotry [cough]) these days.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]

Ah (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by trhurler on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:15:05 PM EST

my main reasons are really that they knowingly sell a product whose sole action is slowly killing people.
Actually, it has a great many effects, most of which are rather subtle, and only two of which are actually sought by users. It kills the craving, which of course is the addictive aspect, and it also gives a mild caffiene-ish rush, which has to do with why so many people, for instance, like to smoke after sex. However, all of this is not particularly relevant. People willingly and knowingly consume products and use services in untold numbers which are bad for their health, and which, in the long run, can be fatal. Why single out tobacco?
even if it's just through more intense education about the stupidity of smoking.
I'm fine with that, but how long was it since you were in school? At least in the US, you pretty much cannot possibly grow up without being nearly constantly bombarded with both information and misinformation campaigns by the anti-smoking crowd, so I doubt education is the problem. I think at this point, new smokers are mostly trying to be "cool," and among the ways to rebel, smoking is seen as relatively harmless. (Well, really, it IS relatively harmless when the comparison is to things like heroin, crack, sleeping around, alcohol abuse, and so on.) I suspect the fastest way to kill it would be to make it acceptable but seen as stupid, rather than allowing it to keep its present "lawless and edgy" feel for kids in their early teens.
My cause is the lack of business ethics.
I agree insofar as it can be shown that companies do things like lie to customers. However, I have no real problem with a company that sells you a product which you know is going to harm or kill you in the long run, and makes no bones about it. That's the present situation, in the US anyway - if you buy, you knew what you were buying. In the past, it wasn't always so, but the courts will settle any leftover messes, and then what?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Criminal History. (3.75 / 4) (#43)
by ronin212 on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:54:47 AM EST

Not like they're nitpicking over a jaywalking ticket here. The guy was involved in a big-time scam in the 80's. So he's "smart" enough to try to run a large scale and definitely illegal operation himself, but not smart enough to see through cig advertising and realize it's bad for you?

If I were a judge, and even a judge who'd consider awarding *anyone* money for the consequences of their own stupid actions, it would *not* be 3 billion to that guy.


--
Now is the time... get on the right side! You'll be godlike.
EU sues Philip Morris for smuggling tobacco | 78 comments (63 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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