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Thread: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    That's not what I said.

    A car from 60 years ago, brand new and well maintained, produced many times the level of pollution at that time as a new well maintained car does today. Cars today produce less pollution than cars did half a century ago, due to improved technology. Of course, a well maintained ten year old car will do better than a poorly maintained newer car. A 1960 model can't be made to produce less pollution without adding modern improvements.



    Fewer people smoke today than 50 years ago, due to our understanding of the health risks. That doesn't do a thing to improve the pollution coming from those who still do smoke. A burning cigarette produces the same level of pollution that it did 50 years ago.



    Nor you.





    If someone wants to sit for hours and watch soaps, let them. If they want to smoke in their own homes, with no innocent children inhaling their poisons, let them. Not all six hour a day soap opera watchers have health problems from inactivity, either, but most do.



    True, and if anyone wanted to leave their car ideling in my favorite restaurant, I'd object to that too.
    the earth may seem BIG but compared to the universe it is about as big as your favorite restaurant is compared to the earth.

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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I know that. We have beaten that portion of the debate to death. Where we disagree is in jumping to the conclusion that outdoor exposure could also be harmful. You think we shouldn't do a ban until the jury is in; I disagree, based on prior precedent of smoking being harmful in other situations. I don't see why this disagreement makes me dishonest, it just makes our standards for forming laws different.
    I'm saying that extrapolating general data to the specific situation, as you had been doing prior to our debate on the subject, was intellectually dishonest. I wasn't trying to say you are dishonest as a person. If that's how you saw it, my apologies for not making my position clear.

    And what you are saying above is a far cry form the "If I smell it, I'm breathing in toxins and therefore I'm in danger" type argument you had presented before.

    While your reasoning is still the fallacy of accident (which is applying the general into the specific), at least it isn't a distortion of the facts anymore because you are essentially admitting that you are engaging in that fallacy for the sake of "erring on the side of caution".

    That approach is far more accurate than some of the previous arguments I had seen from you in this thread.



    Without scientific evidence, how can you know without a doubt that it's indeed the exact opposite situation? That is as equally as preposterous as you claim my position is. Based on your own standard of evidence, you would need conclusive proof before forming such an opinion. Or does that standard only apply to me?
    I believe I have been careful to not say that there is no danger presented from fleeting exposures to SHS in open environments, only that the risk presented by such a situation is indeed minimal. This can be garnered by the evidence which suggests that the risks of SHS are correlated with two factors: prolonged exposures and enclosed environments. In essence, the evidence you've presented, which does show that duration and enclosed environments are a factor in the dangers of SHS supports my claims that the effect is likely to be minimal for fleeting exposures in open environments.

    The issue at hand with regard to my argument is that the thing being supported in my argument is a negative. It is untestable because of that. There will never be a study that can state "There are no negative effects of fleeting exposures to SHS in open environments". The negative (or null hypothesis) can only be supported by a lack of evidence for the positive (Which would be the hypothesis that you are promoting: that fleeting exposures to SHS in open environments are dangerous).

    There is inductive evidence to suggest that my argument has merit (the existence of "acceptable" levels of toxins in an environment, the correlation and proportional nature between dangers of SHS and length of exposure and enclosed environments, etc).

    I have admitted that I am unable to "prove" my position because it can only be supported by inductive arguments. I can only show that it makes sense to assume it is correct.

    No matter how many studies are done on fleeting exposures to SHS in an open environment, the only conclusion that will ever be achieved is "There is no evidence that suggests that fleeting exposures to SHS in open environments is dangerous" because that is all that can be determined by such research.It wil never be a case where one can say "There is no danger from fleeting exposures to SHS in open environments."

    What I've been asking you for research-wise can exist. What you've been asking me for cannot exist.

    Because of the position I am taking would be called a tentative acceptance of the null hypothesis, which is the scientifically correct approach to take when the evidence does not directly support the hypothesis, I cannot provide proof of my position outside of the fact that there is a lack of evidence supporting the hypothesis, which is what I have been doing.

    Because the position you have been taking would be called tentative acceptance of the hypothesis, which is the scientifically correct approach to take when the evidence does directly support the hypothesis, you should be capable of providing proof of your position by showing the evidence that exists which supports the hypothesis.

    The standards I am working with are the scientific method. Since you are taking the position that you are taking, there is a certain standard of evidence that you must adhere to in order to be scientifically "correct" in making that claim. Since I am taking the position that I am taking, there is a certain standard of evidence that I must adhere to in order to be scientifically correct in my claim.

    In this instance, I have adhered to the standards required for my claim (a lack of direct evidence supporting the hypothesis), while you have not adhered to the standards required for yours (the existence of direct evidence supporting the hypothesis.

    The fact that you cannot acknowledge that this too is an assumption lacking in evidence shows some lack of logic on your side as well.
    The problem here is that the lack of evidence is in fact the support required to make my assumptions logically and scientifically correct.

    As was established before, each person is different. Some people can die from merely smelling a toxin or allergen. Some people can smoke their whole lives and never get cancer; some people can develop cancer from SHS. The bottom line is, exposure should always be a choice.
    Your bottom line is an impossible standard. Both for the allergens and the SHS. Even if a person makes all of the correct choices, they will still be exposed to these things. They can only take precautions to minimize their risk for exposure.

    As I said earlier, I would support making it so that a portion of the parks and beaches in a region are smoke-free to assist people in taking such precautions. I'd even support making the majority of them smoke free. But a uniform prohibition of smoking at all parks is something I do not support.

    I agree about the second part... toxicity has medical uses, but not always.
    But the point was that there exists an acceptable level for almost every type of toxin.


    I am well aware (after you pointed it out) that I don't have evidence for the outdoor claim, but I am comfortable making the educated assumption based on what SHS does in other situations. I would rather side with caution given prior precedent, and I believe that's what the different municipalities are doing.
    If your awareness stems from my pointing it out, that validates the claims I had made in the process of pointing it out, Orion.

    As I said earlier, I wasn't trying to call you dishonest (the above admission itself indicates that you , as a person, are honest and supports my existing hypothesis that you, as a person, are honorable and worthy of my respect). I apologize for that having come across as such. Teh point I had been trying to make was that your argumetn was "intellectually dishonest". When I say that, I don't presume that the perosn is always making such an argument willfully.

    I've made intellectually dishonest arguments inadvertently myself in the past, but I consider myself to be an honest person.

    Admittedly, I often make the mistake of thinking that others perceive things the same way that I do. I've called my own positions hypocritical in the past, for example, and have often admitted that I was ignorant about a subject. I don't perceive these as pejoratives, nor do I consider an intellectually dishonest argument that was inadvertent to be a defect of character.

    But I need to be more mindful about how others perceive these things. For that inconsideration, I apologize.

    Right, and I don't agree. That is the crux of this debate.
    True. My belief is that positive action taken about a positive claim should be supported by evidence. A lack of action on a positive claim should be the default status when the claim is not supported by evidence.

    This is because I feel adherence to that basic standard is the best way to remain objective on an issue. My positions often follow the standards set up by the scientific method.

    We disagree on that, and you are correct that this is the crux of the debate.

    Thus, my position shifts toward my approach being more objective and less prone to being tainted by personal bias.

    I think maybe you are annoyed because of what this implies for individual rights, but you are expressing that frustration in the form of intellectual attacks. Simply acknowledging that we have a difference of opinion in approach would suffice, at this point.
    I hope I've explained my approach sufficiently above. It is not frustration that drives me. It is actually a flaw in myself, which I am working on, where I assume that people perceive certain things the same way that I do. I did not intend fro my comments to be attacks on you. I made the errenous assumption that you would view my comments the same way that I would view them if directed at me.

    Again, for that I apologize.

    I rejected it because it is impractical on a policy level to create and enforce. The pubic shouldn't have to choose between a healthy side and a side with SHS exposure. The people smoking should go elsewhere. In fact, it's not even that hard to exit a park and go to the street level where smoking is still allowed.
    I don't agree that this is impractical at all, and I don't believe you have provided sufficient evidence to support the claim that it is impractical. Enforcement would actually be easier with separate smoke-free and smoking parks because there would be fewer parks where enforcement would need to occur.

    I don't see how designating some parks as smoking and others as smoke-free is impractical. Again, I'm not talking sections of the same parks, but entirely separate parks.

    I discovered another implication as well, at least for the pacific northwest. Another reason Vancouver banned smoking in parks and beaches is because in the summer time the risk for forest fires is high, and many have been started by people tossing their butts into the woods.
    This would make sense with parks, but why beaches?



    If I was dishonest, then so were you for making the shellfish comparison in the first place. I simply went with an analogy that you brought up. You asked why shellfish shouldn't be banned since it also harms people, and I gave you reasons: barely anyone is affected, the deaths are less than 100 per year, and people have measures like epi-pens to provide some protection for accidental exposure. Shellfish does not present a universal risk to people as smoking does. I believe this conclusively debunks your comparison to shellfish. Apples and oranges.
    I disagree with this assessment for multiple reasons.

    1. The use of the shellfish analogy was to describe how I am personally affected by having to engage in the same types of avoidance behaviors that non-smokers would have to engage in for much more pressing reasons.

    2. My analogy was primarily related to the "public health" argument where fleeting exposures to SHS in outdoor environments is being treated as a danger, even in the absence of supporting evidence for that hypothesis. Also the claim that fleeting exposures to SHS in open areas is dangerous to all is not accurate at all. You even talked about how there are smokers who can smoke all of their lives without developing cancer. Not everyone who is exposed to SHS develops a health problem from it. Therefore, we can accurately conclude that the risks associated with SHS are not really universal. They are very much akin to the risks of shellfish allergies because shellfish allergies can develop at any time in one's life. Essentially everyone has some degree of risk of developing such an allergy. Obviously some people are more prone to it than others. Just because you've never been allergic to shellfish before doesn't mean that the next time you eat it you will not have an allergy attack. And I also provided evidence supporting my comparison.

    3. Just because the analogy is not perfectly identical does not mean it is not a legitimate comparison, especially when it was given in the context of what I personally have to deal with regarding my allergy, which place me at a very high risk of eventually becoming one of those 100 people.

    cont'd in next post
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Possibly... but again, you would need proof of that and you don't have it, do you?
    Again, in this case, the total lack of evidence contradicting my belief is a logical reason to accept that belief as probably being accurate.

    I already explained my reasoning. I even went a step further to define for you the crux of our disagreement. It comes down to the criteria you think are needed for laws to be created versus mine when it comes to health.
    True. I would even go a little further than just health claims and break it down as it coming down to my criteria for taking positive action on positive claims in the absence of evidence supporting those claims.

    I feel that this is the most objective approach and the least prone to bias and hyperbole.



    Edited to add: somehow I deleted my response to the last part of your post when I was continuing the post from above. I hope that I've explained what I had meant by the "intellectually dishonest" comments and such and that you accept my apology for how they were perceived. That was not my intention.
    Last edited by Tucker Case; 09-28-10 at 12:22 PM.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    Do you jam that thing in your leg all rambo style?
    Luckily, I haven't had to use it, but that's what I am supposed to do with it.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Luckily, I haven't had to use it, but that's what I am supposed to do with it.



    I'd buy you dinner to see that.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    I'd buy you dinner to see that.
    My wife says that if she ever wanted to off me, she'd just "accidentally" put some shrimp juices into my dinner and misplace my epi-pen. Needless to say, I've been doing my own cooking since then.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Partly true, but a huge factor has been cracking down on people who sell cigarrettes to minors. Most of the people I know who smoke (myself included) became addicted to them when they were quite young at a time when health risks were'nt something that they had any real understandign of (I was 11 when I first started smoking, by 13 I was a regular smoker). Back then (and it isn't all that long ago. It was the late 80's early 90's) I was able to walk into a gas station and buy cigarrettes with money I got from mowing lawns and such. It was disturbiungly easy to get them. Now, if someone were to sell cigarrettes to an 11 year old they can receive massive fines and even lose their business license.

    This is the kind of government regulation that I fully support.
    Absolutely, 100% correct. Anything we can do to make cigarettes less available to youth is a good thing. One of the best actions was stores keeping tobacco behind the counter, where little sneak theives can't get their hands on it so easily. I often wondered when cigarettes were kept near the door and in plain view if the industry wasn't inviting theft on purpose, but that's just based on my cynicism, which is wrong about 10% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    And more people are quitting now than ever, and that is in no small part due to the increased resources available to assist them in quitting. Patches, e-cigarrettes, gum, pills, etc have all made it so that quitting is easier today than it was 20-30 years ago, but it is still a very difficult thing to do. Anyone who has battled with an addiction can understand that it is an ongoing process and that relapes will occur.

    One of the things that non-smokers tend to say is that "smoking is a choice, smokers only have themselves to blame for their problems" and that's true to a point. Ultimately I made the decision to become a smoker when I was a kid and I have control over quitting now. But the fact that the decision to become a smoker, and subsequent addiction that I developped came about because of a choice made when I was very young, and very, very stupid, is something to take into consideration. I'm not in the minority. Most smokers today became smokers because of stupid choices they made when they were young and stupid and considered themselves invincible.

    This is why most smokers support most the types of government regulations that are effective in preventing underage smoking. It's why I personally don't have as much of a problem with the extremely high taxes on cigarrettes that exist (because the high prices are also a factor in preventing children from smoking).

    But one thing I disagree with is the demonization of smokers that exists today. I think that can be counter-productive to the ultimate goal of preventing kids from smoking. Kids are naturally rebellious. They do things specifically to piss off their parents. I believe treating smokers like they are a scourge on society adds an apeal to smoking for the rebelious child.

    But treating smokers as if they are sick (and addiction is a form of sickness) and require help and treatment would not create this "rebel" aura for smoking. It would accurately give it the appearance of a personal weakness that smokers have (which it is). It's a weakness that stems from childhood stupidity in many, many cases.
    Yes, all true. Of course, the same could be said of a lot of addictions, couldn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Personally, I would support making some parks and beaches smoke-free environments while having some where smoking was allowed. But the anti-smoking agenda has taken on a stance of demonizing the smoker and has shown itself to be unwilling to make such compromises based on a ack compassion for the plight of the addicted.
    That's how it is, isn't it? Are all parks and beaches smoke free now?

    Really, the only problem with allowing smoking in outdoor areas is the propensity for some smokers to toss their butts on the ground and leave them there. That is the same problem with anything that produces garbage, as there will be the trashy people who leave their trash everywhere.

    My position is still that adults should be allowed to smoke anything they like, so long as it is outdoors and downwind.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Yes, all true. Of course, the same could be said of a lot of addictions, couldn't it?
    Absolutley.

    That's how it is, isn't it? Are all parks and beaches smoke free now?
    The issue that triggered this thread was a proposed ban on smoking at "parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas throughout [New York] city."

    Really, the only problem with allowing smoking in outdoor areas is the propensity for some smokers to toss their butts on the ground and leave them there. That is the same problem with anything that produces garbage, as there will be the trashy people who leave their trash everywhere.

    My position is still that adults should be allowed to smoke anything they like, so long as it is outdoors and downwind.
    Totally agreed.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    The difference between smoking and cars is that cars increase our standard of living and provide many benefits and because of that we accept a certain amount of risk to drive them. Cigarettes do not increase our standard of living and there is no valid reason we should accept their risk.
    Your getting into slippery slope territory with that comment.
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    Re: Smokers Beware! Proposed New York City Smoking Ban Targets Outdoor Facilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    A car from 60 years ago, brand new and well maintained, produced many times the level of pollution at that time as a new well maintained car does today. Cars today produce less pollution than cars did half a century ago, due to improved technology. Of course, a well maintained ten year old car will do better than a poorly maintained newer car. A 1960 model can't be made to produce less pollution without adding modern improvements.
    While this is true any gains in pollution reduction has been easily nullified by the shear amount of cars on the road today. So....what point were you trying to make?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Fewer people smoke today than 50 years ago, due to our understanding of the health risks. That doesn't do a thing to improve the pollution coming from those who still do smoke. A burning cigarette produces the same level of pollution that it did 50 years ago.
    Which is around 9.41 and 14.9 micrograms in an enclosed area in a 24hr period. A car will produce enough carbon monoxide to kill a person in an enclosed area in a very short period of time. Even today's cars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Nor you.
    I haven't stated any misinformation yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    If someone wants to sit for hours and watch soaps, let them. If they want to smoke in their own homes, with no innocent children inhaling their poisons, let them. Not all six hour a day soap opera watchers have health problems from inactivity, either, but most do.
    Again comes the double standard. It's ok to let people do something unhealthy...unless it directly affects you. Then it's a no no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    True, and if anyone wanted to leave their car ideling in my favorite restaurant, I'd object to that too.
    Ah but this thread is not about indoor toxins. It is about NY attempting to ban smoking outside. We might be using indoor statistics in this thread but that is not what this thread is about. Using indoor statistics is all that we really have to go by atm so it's what we have to use. So, is it ok to let someone let their car idle outside your favorite restaurant?
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