[FoRK] Smoking

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 13 09:52:14 PDT 2005


Ian Bell:
>MY statistics earlier (can't find them, too busy to try) were strictly for 
>Lung Cancer deaths (they were around 40K-50K in the US per year).  
>According to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, 105,000 
>Americans die annually from alcohol-related causes which could include 
>everything from falls to drunk driving accidents to cirrhosis
>of the liver. .. CDC studies on death due to obesity are similarly 
>controversial, citing 300,000 deaths in 1990 and 400,000 deaths in 2000. ..

Pie, liquor, and tobacco, oh my.

The problem with trying to throw the blanket of "public
health" over every health issue is that it obscures the
differences that should be obvious. Your obesity has
almost no effect on my health. Your addiction to cigars
almost as little. Alcohol is more troublesome -- your
drinking won't hurt my liver, but your driving afterwards
might kill me. On the other hand, if you're carrying TB,
that puts at risk every diner in the restaurant where
you work.

Am I old-fashioned to think these kinds of differences
are important in determining how intrusive we can
get into other people's lives, in the name of public
health?




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