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Attn: Smokers in the US

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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:56 pm

Fivelives wrote:I'll happily challenge the statistical sampling.
Good that's an argument that is fair to make.

Fivelives wrote:Plus, you seem to agree with the "weight of the evidence" theory?

Well no. I have made no assertion about smoking at all, just the argument being made. My point was merely that if you accept the fact that smoking increases your risk of getting cancer it's not only reasonable and consistent but also undeniably accurate to say that smoking causes cancer.

We speak in those terms with a whole host of conditions, despite the fact that when broken down to very finite causes it's not precise. However, it's certainly accurate enough and effective at communicating a point, so it's hardly a surprising component of the vernacular.

I've never really given smoking statistics much thought though. Neither myself, nor anyone in my family (even extended) has ever smoked so that's probably why. I don't really have much reason to doubt all the studies, though I'm well aware of the bias towards the industry, and have no doubt that some studies are less than impartial. At the same time, it doesn't seem like such a stretch that inhaling carcinogens on a regular basis increases your risk for a whole host of ailments.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:19 pm

Fridmarr - most non-smokers don't consider the smoking statistics, and they never have a reason to challenge the claims made by the anti-tobacco movement. But it does seem kind of a stretch that cigarette smoking affects every single system of the body - from a single cause. That's just my feeling though; it's just a little too "pat". To me, it seems like smoking has become the modern-day "the devil/witch/evil-eye did it" excuse for all the ills that plague us. There's simply no possible way that a single trigger could affect every single systemic process in the body the way that smoking is blamed for.

I can see where you're coming from on the increases risk/causes argument, but it's still fallacious thinking (and not semantically so!). It's effective as a shock tactic that people have fallen for hook, line and sinker - partially because (as I said pages and pages ago) people want something to blame when Bad Shit Happens™, and smoking is a convenient source of blame. In the grand scheme of things, the carcinogens in cigarettes are a small amount of the whole that you take in daily - everything from the food you eat to the air you breathe and the very sunlight you walk around in contributes to cancer risk, not to mention the uncontrollable factors of genetics and viral infections. In comparison, the contribution made by cigarettes is incredibly minor, at best. So if you're going to say that smoking causes cancer, then you also have to admit that EVERYTHING causes cancer. Nobody seems willing to accept that as part of the vernacular, so again - why should I accept it in regards to smoking? That's in addition to the correlation vs causation argument.

If there wasn't so much obvious bias against tobacco, then the studies wouldn't be quite as questionable as they are. It's VERY RARE to come across an unbiased study regarding tobacco usage, and almost unheard of in the US.

As far as inhaling carcinogens being bad for you, well, it's a drop in the ocean. It's not as bad for you as the anti-smoking movement would have you believe. It's not healthy, by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not as bad as they say.

Now, Koatanga.

For some reason, everything you've said in this thread does nothing but piss me off with the sheer blindness of your statements and refusal to see any of the points we've raised.

If you absolutely insist on your analogy, it would be the raid wiping because the fire is un-fucking-avoidable. You simply cannot go through life without ingesting various toxins, almost all of which have been linked to cancer. See above. It's like you're holding a discussion with yourself where you do nothing but agree with the things you shout at the top of your lungs and congratulate yourself on your brilliance.

You're also rather blatantly ignoring the science behind the issue because you're more interested in parroting someone else's opinion so fucking loudly that you simply can't hear the discussion going on around you.

The simple fact that you consider yourself "my worst nightmare" as an opponent in a debate is laughable and sad in equal measure. Laughable because hey - let's face it. You're not. And sad because you honestly believe that you are.

My "worst nightmare" as you so succinctly put it, would be someone that has done their homework, read the studies, knows something about how they can be applied to real situations, and does more than just stick to the same tired line that's been bandied about by any number of lobbyists before you (even as more and more studies showing the actual causes of cancer are coming to the fore in fields like microbiology and genetics). That disqualifies you on every level.

As for your skill at "debating", I'd rank you somewhere between a broken toaster oven and a block of moldy cheese. Go figure out your own opinion based on facts rather than OMG *tear* SOMEONE I KNOW DIED OF CANCER. Then, back that opinion up with those facts and research my position and find holes in my argument that aren't based on a fucking video game that has absolutely no applicable bearing to the way things work in the real world whatsoever.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:21 pm

It's not necessary for me to inject facts and findings, because we both agree that smoking is harmful. You said so yourself back on page 4. There is no point bringing forth facts and figures for a position that we agree on.

I have never limited the definition of "harmful" to be exclusively "causes cancer" - that's entirely your own thing, as if beating the cancer drum loudly enough will deafen people to the myriad other issues around smoking. Whatever, suit yourself. When the zombie apocalypse comes and you get run down due to diminished lung capacity, don't come looking for my braind to eat.

With regard to my admittedly simplified analogy, taking damage in the encounter is indeed unavoidable. Contributing to that damage through harmful behaviour such as standing in the fire is the part we can control, and, in-game at least, seek to avoid.

Out of game is apparently another story. Out of game you can stand in as much fire as you like provided no one can prove with 100% certainty that fire causes death, even if we all agree that the fire is in fact harmful (as we did on Page 4).
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:26 pm

Did you even read the post you just replied to, Koatanga?
Fivelives wrote:Fridmarr - most non-smokers don't consider the smoking statistics, and they never have a reason to challenge the claims made by the anti-tobacco movement. But it does seem kind of a stretch that cigarette smoking affects every single system of the body - from a single cause. That's just my feeling though; it's just a little too "pat". To me, it seems like smoking has become the modern-day "the devil/witch/evil-eye did it" excuse for all the ills that plague us. There's simply no possible way that a single trigger could affect every single systemic process in the body the way that smoking is blamed for.


Reading comprehension. It's good for you.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Dorvan » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:31 pm

There's simply no possible way that a single trigger could affect every single systemic process in the body the way that smoking is blamed for.


This quote tells me that you know absolutely nothing about medicine. Our bodies made up of a series of complex and tightly interconnected systems...it would be shocking if a significant stress on one of these systems *didn't* have repercussions for other systems.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:36 pm

Fivelives wrote:Did you even read the post you just replied to, Koatanga?
Fivelives wrote:Fridmarr - most non-smokers don't consider the smoking statistics, and they never have a reason to challenge the claims made by the anti-tobacco movement. But it does seem kind of a stretch that cigarette smoking affects every single system of the body - from a single cause. That's just my feeling though; it's just a little too "pat". To me, it seems like smoking has become the modern-day "the devil/witch/evil-eye did it" excuse for all the ills that plague us. There's simply no possible way that a single trigger could affect every single systemic process in the body the way that smoking is blamed for.


Reading comprehension. It's good for you.

Irrelevant. You conceded that smoking is harmful on Page 4. We agree on that. Move on.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:12 pm

Dorvan wrote:
There's simply no possible way that a single trigger could affect every single systemic process in the body the way that smoking is blamed for.


This quote tells me that you know absolutely nothing about medicine. Our bodies made up of a series of complex and tightly interconnected systems...it would be shocking if a significant stress on one of these systems *didn't* have repercussions for other systems.


Our systems aren't as tightly interconnected as you might think. The only system that communicates with any other system in our body is the nervous system, and since that's split off into the sympathetic and parasympathetic, it's simply not possible for cigarettes to be responsible for conditions that are related to the sympathetic AND the parasympathetic nervous system. Why is that? Because as you stimulate one, you depress the other. They function much like a see-saw with one primary difference - the parasympathetic (autonomic) nervous system is always active at some level. If cigarettes damaged that, our hearts would stop beating, our livers would cease producing enzymes, and we would just die.

That doesn't happen, yet smoking is "linked" to various autonomic disorders such as Crohn's disease (which even the NIH admits is a stretch - "Why smoking increases the risk of Crohn's disease is unknown, but some researchers believe that smoking might lower the intestines defenses, decrease blood flow to the intestines, or cause immune system changes that result in inflammation." (source: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/smoking/ ).

So let's debunk this, shall we?

Nicotine is a stimulant. It increases blood flow, just like all other stimulants. Therefore, it can't be responsible for decreasing the blood flow to one area all on its lonesome. Our circulatory system is like a hose - you can't muck about with the water flow in one part of the hose without mucking about with the water flowing through every other part of the hose; it's an impossibility. So that's debunked.

Lowering the intestines defenses? How can that be, when smoking is also related to autoimmune diseases, which are essentially hyperactive and overcharged immune reactions to our own body? Again, you can't both stimulate AND depress an immune system response. It's either on or off. Let's assume for a minute that it does in fact depress the immune system, then the third reason "immune system changes that result in inflammation" is also impossible.

One of the immune responses is to swell affected areas by releasing heparin and histamine. This increases blood flow and allows a greater response by the various assorted cells that are released into our bloodstream for the purpose of fighting off infections. So wait... Smoking both increases and decreases the immune system's response ... simultaneously!?

That's just ONE example, Dorvan. Smoking is blamed for a damn sight more problems than it is physiologically possible for a single chemical cocktail to affect. I could go on

Ulcers - these have been shown to be caused by infections of Heliobacter pylori rather than stress or, except in rare cases, illness.

Acid reflux - caused by a bad esophageal sphincter or the stomach overproducing acids that back up into the esophageal tract. Again, this is impossible, because nicotine depresses the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for both the movement of the esophageal sphincter and the secretion of stomach acids.

Gallstones - again, the NIH cites these as related to smoking, but then backpedals and says "Several studies show that smoking may increase the risk of developing gallstones and that the risk may be higher for women. However, research results on this topic are not consistent and more study is needed."

So yes, Dorvan, I do in fact know my shit.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Barathorn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:11 am

Can I just reiterate that what Fivelives and I are saying is that yes we completely agree smoking is bad for you.

What we don't agree with is how it is portrayed as the 'end of the world disease' that must be erradicated and how it is the sole cause of cancer in our time.

If you can't understand that then this debate is pointless.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Koatanga » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:49 am

I have never portrayed smoking as the root of all evil and the ultimate downfall of mankind. All that hyperbole has entered the discussion thanks to Fivelives. It's easier to win the argument if you extend the opposing viewpoint to ridiculous extremes.

What I object to is the spreading of the self-justifications that smokers use to kid themselves that it's OK so they don't feel the need to kick their nicotine habit. Anyone who reads this uses the lame excuses to justify his own continued smoking has been done harm.

I understand the self-justification. It's not an easy habit to break, and the best way to live with it is through self-denial. If it's not that bad, then you can continue doing it.

And I also understand the classic crouching position. Non-smokers attack smokers all the time, and smokers get bloody tired of it.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Shyrtandros » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:33 am

Koatanga wrote:And I also understand the classic crouching position. Non-smokers attack smokers all the time, and smokers get bloody tired of it.


I wouldn't attack them if their nasty odor wouldn't attack my nostrils. :lol:
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fivelives » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:43 am

Koatanga wrote:What I object to is the spreading of the self-justifications that smokers use to kid themselves that it's OK so they don't feel the need to kick their nicotine habit. Anyone who reads this uses the lame excuses to justify his own continued smoking has been done harm.


Fucking ridiculous. After all these posts and all of the evidence presented to the contrary, you're still insisting that we're somehow trying to justify our smoking? You're either too stupid to live, or purposefully yanking my chain to get a rise out of me.

I'm done arguing with you, Koatanga. Go be stupid somewhere else.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Nikachelle » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:53 am

This thread is beyond aggravating.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Fivelives » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:59 am

Nikachelle wrote:This thread is beyond aggravating.

^ Yep. And I'm sorry - it's partly my fault.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby Aubade » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:07 am

Fivelives wrote:
Koatanga wrote:What I object to is the spreading of the self-justifications that smokers use to kid themselves that it's OK so they don't feel the need to kick their nicotine habit. Anyone who reads this uses the lame excuses to justify his own continued smoking has been done harm.


Fucking ridiculous. After all these posts and all of the evidence presented to the contrary, you're still insisting that we're somehow trying to justify our smoking? You're either too stupid to live, or purposefully yanking my chain to get a rise out of me.

I'm done arguing with you, Koatanga. Go be stupid somewhere else.
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Re: Attn: Smokers in the US

Postby laterna » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:16 am

Theres an inbuild ignore function in these forums as far as I know... (goes to both parties)
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