News Should smoking in all the public places (indoors and outdoors) be banned?

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Vanadium 50

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. The main reason is the fact that it harms the smoker. The fact is, some people tend to abuse their freedoms and cause harm to themselves and others. Harm which ought to be stopped.
You're right. People should not be allowed to make bad decisions. In fact, I believe the State should decide where you live, where you work, what you eat, who your spouse is and how many children you have. Otherwise, people might make bad decisions.
 

russ_watters

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As for banning anything that could harm an individual I don't agree at all. So long as that individual is of sound mind and is aware of the risks I think it is way beyond the mandate of government to stop them doing it. If we start using the premise that if it harms an individual it has to be banned we might as well ban alcohol, extreme sports, fast food etcetera. What is so morally wrong about an individual who is well aware of the risks of an activity choosin to partake in it if it does not harm others? What gives anyone else the right to stop them?
Shared-cost heathcare.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Shared-cost heathcare.
Unless something is crippling healthcare costs I don't see a reason to ban it (instead tax it as much as practical to mitigate said costs). Not to mention that the point of a socialised health care system is that it helps everyone regardless of their circumstances.
 

russ_watters

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Smokers pay insurance, social security taxes, income taxes, and cigarette taxes throughout their working age and then they die, right about at retirement age. They are not a big burden on social security and Medicare. Smokers are the optimal aged citizen from the perspective of the government. Social security and Medicare wouldn't be in near the bind they are in if everyone died at 65 the way smokers tend to do.
I'm sure the SS part is true, but I doubt the Medicare part is unless no attempt is made to treat the cancer.
 
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You are still somehow missing the point. Can you just answer whether or not you understand what I mean when I talk about the frequency of close proximity to smokers outdoors and why it matters?

As for banning anything that could harm an individual I don't agree at all. So long as that individual is of sound mind and is aware of the risks I think it is way beyond the mandate of government to stop them doing it. If we start using the premise that if it harms an individual it has to be banned we might as well ban alcohol, extreme sports, fast food etcetera. What is so morally wrong about an individual who is well aware of the risks of an activity choosin to partake in it if it does not harm others? What gives anyone else the right to stop them?
"Can you just answer whether or not you understand what I mean when I talk about the frequency of close proximity to smokers outdoors and why it matters?" - Yes. The frequency of close proximity to the smoker is often observed in the real world situations. And outdoor smoking should be banned even before such studies will be carried out, as the evidence up to date is enough to do so. As I've already said, evidence isn't black and white. If one can make logical deductions from the evidence up to date with a mild degree of certainty, and the said degree of certainty provides us with the evidence that there might be a big risk associated with the conclusions of our reasoning, then some action ought to be taken. Of course, this doesn't mean that further studies shouldn't be carried out. Of course they should be - this will give more credibility to the evidence up to date.

For example, if medical studies have been carried out on the effects of cardioversion, and the effects have been proven to be positive in a given set of environments, this means that we can make logical deductions from the said data in order to extrapolate it to different environments in the conditions of an absence of evidence in a different set of environments. And given the logically deduced probable risks of not using cardioversion in various environments and individuals, the procedure should be carried out.


You're right. People should not be allowed to make bad decisions. In fact, I believe the State should decide where you live, where you work, what you eat, who your spouse is and how many children you have. Otherwise, people might make bad decisions.
That's a straw man and a slippery slope fallacy.
 

russ_watters

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Unless something is crippling healthcare costs I don't see a reason to ban it (instead tax it as much as practical to mitigate said costs). Not to mention that the point of a socialised health care system is that it helps everyone regardless of their circumstances.
Do cigarette taxes get used to pay healthcare costs? Is the tax calculated for that? I always thought cigarette taxes were just made arbitrarily high as a deterrent?

Also, I didn't say "socialized" (I was considering it...). Normal insurance is shared-cost too. Still, isn't it self contradictory say that it is wrong for government to coerce action while simultaneously saying it is fine to force others to pay for one's bad decisions? Why do you not consider that harming others? I get the feeling that people who favor socialized whatever think that simply declaring it socialized changes the moral picture. I don't see that it does.

How about seat belt laws?
 

Ryan_m_b

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"Can you just answer whether or not you understand what I mean when I talk about the frequency of close proximity to smokers outdoors and why it matters?" - Yes. The frequency of close proximity to the smoker is often observed in the real world situations. And outdoor smoking should be banned even before such studies will be carried out, as the evidence up to date is enough to do so. As I've already said, evidence isn't black and white. If one can make logical deductions from the evidence up to date with a mild degree of certainty, and the said degree of certainty provides us with the evidence that there might be a big risk associated with the conclusions of our reasoning, then some action ought to be taken. Of course, this doesn't mean that further studies shouldn't be carried out. Of course they should be - this will give more credibility to the evidence up to date.

For example, if medical studies have been carried out on the effects of cardioversion, and the effects have been proven to be positive in a given set of environments, this means that we can make logical deductions from the said data in order to extrapolate it to different environments in the conditions of an absence of evidence in a different set of environments. And given the logically deduced probable risks of not using cardioversion in various environments and individuals, the procedure should be carried out.
So you admit that it isn't established whether or not frequency to outdoor smoke is enough to make it a health concern but you're willing to assume it is? It isn't logical what you're doing, it's irrational to suit your beliefs that people shouldn't smoke.
Do cigarette taxes get used to pay healthcare costs? Is the tax calculated for that? I always thought cigarette taxes were just made arbitrarily high as a deterrent?

Also, I didn't say "socialized" (I was considering it...). Normal insurance is shared-cost too. Still, isn't it self contradictory say that it is wrong for government to coerce action while simultaneously saying it is fine to force others to pay for one's bad decisions? Why do you not consider that harming others?

How about seat belt laws?
I admit I was being overzealous in my response that if an adult is in full possession of the facts blah blah because this thread has gone on for 4 pages now and hasn't gone anywhere. It's immensely frustrating. I agree that there are circumstances when certain things, like seat belt usage, should be legally enforced. I don't agree that smoking is one of those things and with regards to socialised healthcare fixing people from bad decisions that they were fully aware of is quite rare. Honestly Russ we both know we have differing views on this, is there any point in having a discussion on it?
 
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As for banning anything that could harm an individual I don't agree at all. So long as that individual is of sound mind and is aware of the risks I think it is way beyond the mandate of government to stop them doing it. If we start using the premise that if it harms an individual it has to be banned we might as well ban alcohol, extreme sports, fast food etcetera. What is so morally wrong about an individual who is well aware of the risks of an activity choosin to partake in it if it does not harm others? What gives anyone else the right to stop them?
The problem is, even individuals who are of sound mind can make logical errors, and fail to interpret the risks in question and their implications under the conditions of nicotine addiction. The state should intervene in order to help rehabilitate those who are frequent tobacco smokers.
 

Ryan_m_b

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The problem is, even individuals who are of sound mind can make logical errors, and fail to interpret the risks in question and their implications under the conditions of nicotine addiction. The state should intervene in order to help rehabilitate those who are frequent tobacco smokers.
That's true but you've failed to take into account that this isn't purely a matter of logic but one of values. You might value all the consequences of smoking lower than the benefits but that doesn't mean everyone will. I'm perfectly fine with the idea of free treatment for giving up smoking but don't try to argue that smokers are illogical or irrational.
 
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So you admit that it isn't established whether or not frequency to outdoor smoke is enough to make it a health concern but you're willing to assume it is? It isn't logical what you're doing, it's irrational to suit your beliefs that people shouldn't smoke.
That's a straw man fallacy. This isn't what I said at all. I'm not willing to assume it is. I'm not even willing to use terms such as "is". I simply interpret the questions in terms of the degrees of certainty with the evidence gathered up to date. Certain logical deductions with varying degrees of certainty can be made if the premises are empirical, but if the evidence on the conclusion is lacking. As I've already said, there's no reason to think of empirical evidence as having only two conditions. As it doesn't, due to the fact that inductive reasoning has to be used in a world where attaining perfect information is impossible.
 
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That's true but you've failed to take into account that this isn't purely a matter of logic but one of values. You might value all the consequences of smoking lower than the benefits but that doesn't mean everyone will. I'm perfectly fine with the idea of free treatment for giving up smoking but don't try to argue that smokers are illogical or irrational.
In no way am I trying to argue that they are. However, the conditions of nicotine addiction, by their definition, hinder the self-retention and cost-benefit analysis mechanisms in regards to the source of the said nicotine.
 

Ryan_m_b

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That's a straw man fallacy. This isn't what I said at all. I'm not willing to assume it is. I'm not even willing to use terms such as "is". I simply interpret the questions in terms of the degrees of certainty with the evidence gathered up to date. Certain logical deductions with varying degrees of certainty can be made if the premises are empirical, but if the evidence on the conclusion is lacking. As I've already said, there's no reason to think of empirical evidence as having only two conditions. As it doesn't, due to the fact that inductive reasoning has to be used in a world where attaining perfect information is impossible.
There is no degree of certainty because there is no evidence at all to suggest that frequency of close proximity to smokers outside means that the short term exposures add up to significant health risks.

Funny that you call straw man before presenting one. Nowhere did I suggest perfect information or black and white evidence, I'm simply pointing out you do not have enough to meet a good degree of certainty to back up your claim.
 
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There is no degree of certainty because there is no evidence at all to suggest that frequency of close proximity to smokers outside means that the short term exposures add up to significant health risks.

Funny that you call straw man before presenting one. Nowhere did I suggest perfect information or black and white evidence, I'm simply pointing out you do not have enough to meet a good degree of certainty to back up your claim.
There are degrees of certainty as there are empirical premises. Such as, the levels of nicotine accumulated by the victims of the second-hand outdoor smoking. There's also the empirical premise of the effects of cigarette smoke. These, as well as other premises add up to a medium to low degree of certainty on the harm of second-hand outdoor smoking. However, the risks of such consequences are so high that they make up for the lacking evidence with regards to policy making. The risks plays as an additive factor. However, in no way does the risk relate to the degree of truth of the conclusion - as I've already said, it serves as an "additive factor".

Here's a more concrete example to illustrate my point:
If getting ran over by a car has been proven to cause rather frequent death in all the areas where such accidents have already happened, one can make inferences and extrapolate the effects of getting ran over by a car to other locations. The reason one can do that is due to a set of empirical premises giving the conclusion a rather high degree of certainty.
 
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Ryan_m_b

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There are degrees of certainty as there are empirical premises. Such as, the levels of nicotine accumulated by the victims of the second-hand outdoor smoking. There's also the empirical premise of the effects of cigarette smoke. These, as well as other premises add up to a medium to low degree of certainty on the harm of second-hand outdoor smoking. However, the risks of such consequences are so high that they make up for the lacking evidence.
You are missing a huge chunk of evidence. The frequency in which this occurs. The studies posted in this thread show that close proximity to an outdoor smoker for hours per day is significant (akin to second hand smoke indoors with a live-in smoker) but you cannot infer from that that outdoor smoking is a significant risk to public health if you do not know whether or not that proximity and time scale is the norm.

If you want an example it would be like saying that evidence suggests that 10 hours per day in close proximity to people wearing cravats is a risk to health then banning cravats even though there is rarely-never any circumstance wherein someone is in such close proximity for so long.
Here's a more concrete example to illustrate my point:
If getting ran over by a car has been proven to cause rather frequent death in all the areas where such accidents have already happened, one can make inferences and extrapolate the effects of getting ran over by a car to other locations. The reason one can do that is due to a set of empirical premises giving the conclusion a rather high degree of certainty.
You can do that because we know that car use is fairly homogeneous. This is not the case with what we are discussing because the data we have is from a situation that we do not know is very typical or highly atypical.
 

russ_watters

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You entered the thread before I did, Ryan. I don't seehow the fact that you know I disagree means I shouldn't express it.
 
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You are missing a huge chunk of evidence. The frequency in which this occurs. The studies posted in this thread show that close proximity to an outdoor smoker for hours per day is significant (akin to second hand smoke indoors with a live-in smoker) but you cannot infer from that that outdoor smoking is a significant risk to public health if you do not know whether or not that proximity and time scale is the norm.

If you want an example it would be like saying that evidence suggests that 10 hours per day in close proximity to people wearing cravats is a risk to health then banning cravats even though there is rarely-never any circumstance wherein someone is in such close proximity for so long.

You can do that because we know that car use is fairly homogeneous. This is not the case with what we are discussing because the data we have is from a situation that we do not know is very typical or highly atypical.
Even without the frequency of occurrence statistics, certain low-to-medium credibility deductions can be made. Also, there are population density, infrastructural statistics and urban planning statistics which add up and can play a role of a premise for such a statistic.

For example, if we know the smoking population, and if we know the outdoor places where smoking has a very high chance of occurring, and if we know that such places are often population-dense, we can still make low-to-medium risk deductions.
 

WannabeNewton

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I couldn't care less of smoking harmed the smoker. They have all the right to systematically destroy their lungs if they want. What does annoy me is when they get that disgusting smoke in my face. I don't want to have any contact with that barbaric act but I have no choice when people are free to smoke in public.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Even without the frequency of occurrence statistics, certain low-to-medium credibility deductions can be made. Also, there are population density, infrastructural statistics and urban planning statistics which add up and can play a role of a premise for such a statistic.

For example, if we know the smoking population, and if we know the outdoor places where smoking has a very high chance of occurring, and if we know that such places are often population-dense, we can still make low-to-medium risk deductions.
So if asked you can provide all this data that you claim you have?
 
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I couldn't care less of smoking harmed the smoker. They have all the right to systematically destroy their lungs if they want. What does annoy me is when they get that disgusting smoke in my face. I don't want to have any contact with that barbaric act but I have no choice when people are free to smoke in public.
This also is a big factor for my support for banning outdoor public smoking. The effects of cigarette smoke on my eyes (irritation) as well as on my otolaryngological system (coughing, irritation) have also been observed. This often happens when I simply pass by, or when I'm in a given tight outdoor public place.
 
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So if asked you can provide all this data that you claim you have?
Sure. The data in question is the population density data, as well as the infrastructural information and urban planning data (ex: bus stops). You can access it via a search engine, as providing the said data for the entire world would be more than problematic and not very time efficient.
 

Ryan_m_b

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Sure. The data in question is the population density data, as well as the infrastructural information and urban planning data (ex: bus stops). You can access it via a search engine, as providing the said data for the entire world would be more than problematic and not very time efficient.
You claimed you were basing your conclusion that exposure to outdoor second hand smoke was significant based on this. Are you now saying you haven't looked at it?

Even so the data you suggest wont give anything more than a back of the envelope guestimation (bearing in mind that none of that will give you accurate information on smoking habits). Not something fit for deciding public policy!
 

AlephZero

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I couldn't care less of smoking harmed the smoker.
You should, unless you don't care about paying more for your medical insurance to cover part of their higher treatment costs.
 
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You claimed you were basing your conclusion that exposure to outdoor second hand smoke was significant based on this. Are you now saying you haven't looked at it?

Even so the data you suggest wont give anything more than a back of the envelope guestimation (bearing in mind that none of that will give you accurate information on smoking habits). Not something fit for deciding public policy!
"You claimed you were basing your conclusion that exposure to outdoor second hand smoke was significant based on this."

Not at all. I was claiming that this gives a mild to a moderate credibility to the evidence up to date. There's no reason to think of empirical evidence in terms of true or false, as one has to use inductive reasoning in a world with imperfect information, which doesn't yield true or false results in every case by its definition (the truth of the conclusion doesn't depend on the truth of the premises).


"bearing in mind that none of that will give you accurate information on smoking habits"

It will give some estimation, especially after looking at the statistics of the percentage of the smoking population. Based on the said percentage, one can make regional population distribution inferences for a given time period and connect them to the infrastructural properties, adding some credibility to the conclusion of harm of outside second-hand smoking.

Of course, this won't have a high degree of certainty, and I never claimed it would be. However, the risk plays as an additive factor of taking an action on the issue, as the public health risks are a second factor of our decision making process.
 

Ryan_m_b

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"You claimed you were basing your conclusion that exposure to outdoor second hand smoke was significant based on this."

Not at all. I was claiming that this gives a mild to a moderate credibility to the evidence up to date. There's no reason to think of empirical evidence in terms of true or false, as one has to use inductive reasoning in a world with imperfect information, which doesn't yield true or false results in every case by its definition (the truth of the conclusion doesn't depend on the truth of the premises).
You are completely missing the point, again. Unless you've looked at this evidence how do you know it will back you up? You stated:
Yes. The frequency of close proximity to the smoker is often observed in the real world situations. And outdoor smoking should be banned even before such studies will be carried out, as the evidence up to date is enough to do so.
I asked you what this evidence was after pointing out there is none. You've stated that by looking at population density and smoking demographics that we can get a rough idea (btw as standards of evidence goes that's mildly better than anecdotal and shouldn't be treated as anything more than that. It's not even anywhere close to a preliminary study and certainly nothing of strong enough note to start creating policy over unless you want all policy decisions to be so ill informed) but you admit you haven't looked so you are just assuming that it will back you up based on...?

"bearing in mind that none of that will give you accurate information on smoking habits"

It will give some estimation, especially after looking at the statistics of the percentage of the smoking population. Based on the said percentage, one can make regional population distribution inferences for a given time period and connect them to the infrastructural properties, adding some credibility to the conclusion of harm of outside second-hand smoking.

Of course, this won't have a high degree of certainty, and I never claimed it would be. However, the risk plays as an additive factor of taking an action on the issue, as the public health risks are a second factor of our decision making process.
It will not give you a reasonable amount of data to base policy on. Population distribution is based on where people live, not how close they get to each other. You keep saying infrastructual properties so perhaps you can provide some data to what you mean and how it helps your case.

Responding with "use a search engine" is not good enough, the burden of proof is on you and if you make a claim you are the one who has to provide the evidence for it (especially if you claim such data exists and supports you).
 

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