Some people were upset about smoking begin restricted... Non-smokers were pretty pleased as were most smokers who want to quit (a large proportion), even full-time smokers I've spoken to are happy that it has reduced the amount the smoke and generally improved public spaces.

 

The aim was to improve the health of the nation and to allow non-smokers not to have to breathe second hand smoke.

 

Given the high obesity rate in the US (and many other countries), is it not time for the government to make fast food the next target?

 

*Warning labels on Fast food (Crappy foods cause heart disease etc) similar to cigarette packets could be a start.

*Changes to food supplied in school canteens,

*education of parents to help them stop child obesity (and there own obesity!),

*compulsory nutrition and cooking classes in schools including demonstrations on what happens to the body of the obese.

*Stricter Guidelines and then Large fines for fast food companies (and food manufacturers) that do not meet a minimum nutritional standard in their food.

 

People KNOW that smoking is unhealthy, some will still do it. It seems completely understated in comparison just how unhealthy fast food is, people should still have the choice to eat it, but more in your face education to get through to people.

Tags: fast, food, smoking

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One can argue that fraud is a crime against property.  I paid x amount for x amount of property.  If you gave me less then x amount of property, you are depriving me of property that I rightly paid for, thus being a crime against my justly acquired property. 

I don't find anything that anyone does that has no effect on me or others to be objectionable at all. You shoot up as much as you like, but if you need to commit crime to fund your habit then we have a problem... hopefully you don't. If you claim social benefits because your drug habit prevents you from holding a job, then we have a problem.

 

I'm not blaming individuals for addictions, society is responsible and thats why I believe society has a duty of care to citizens to look after them. If your drug taking has no negative effects on society then they should leave you alone, but a large proportion of people do cause problems in society because of addictions and unfortunately how do you target them prior to there addiction getting out of hand without targeting everyone? I would be interested in some practical suggestions.

"I don't find anything that anyone does that has no effect on me or others to be objectionable at all. You shoot up as much as you like, but if you need to commit crime to fund your habit then we have a problem... hopefully you don't. If you claim social benefits because your drug habit prevents you from holding a job, then we have a problem."

 

Agreed.  That's why we shouldn't offer them benefits, and we shouldn't imprison people if they use or possess drugs.  If they commit crimes against property, we should punish them for that. 

 

"I'm not blaming individuals for addictions, society is responsible and thats why I believe society has a duty of care to citizens to look after them. If your drug taking has no negative effects on society then they should leave you alone, but a large proportion of people do cause problems in society because of addictions and unfortunately how do you target them prior to there addiction getting out of hand without targeting everyone? I would be interested in some practical suggestions."

 

The reason why addiction has such a huge impact on society is because of the simple fact that the drug of choice of the addict is illegal.  You really don't hear about people committing property crime for beer and cigarettes all that much.  It happens, but not like it does with other substances.  The reason it happens with other substances is because of the absurdly inflated price due to government interference in the market place.  You want a guaranteed way to increase the price of something you're selling to insanity?  Convince the government to make it illegal.  If the prices weren't so inflated, and there wasn't the stigma attached with illicit drug use, you'd see a lot less detrimental effects of addiction on society.  Would the harm be there?  Yes, it's always going to be legal or otherwise.  The harm would be less if it were legal though.  We could have better research, less stigma, cheaper prices, more access to treatment, etcetera. 

I have to say I find it hard to imagine disagreeing with you Tom much more than I presently do on most of this matter. "Society is responsible"? I don't think so. No one put a gun to my head. I am responsible for my own bad decisions thank you.

I agree with you so far as you saying it is not ok to make it anyone else's problem or responsibility. But that is just it. It is MY responsibility.

BTW, I also thought that the point you made in an earlier post about obese people isn't any more legitimate a position than me demanding that only good looking women he allowed to go out in public. Some people are morep pleasant to be around. Past a certain low point it is not required that people be more pleasant. It is required that people not initiate force or fraud. Anything else that is voluntary is not anyone else's business.

And I apologize for being abrupt and short with you on this.

""Society is responsible"? I don't think so."

 

I suppose it depends on how you view human behavior. I believe that the way society has started to accept obesity as the norm, the way junk food is advertised etc. are all influences that create an unhealthy world overall. No one is putting a gun to your head, I'd liken it more to someone lurking around outside with a gun, you can ignore them but there is always a pressure and some people just don't have the will power that you might.

Still, there are two meanings of the word "responsible" in this discussion, one as the cause, and one as cleaning up the mess. I think society has a role in both. Society also provides rehabilitation for addicts, medical care for people who can't afford private (and in many countries, medical care for everyone). I think its good that when you have no one else to turn to we have public services. but a lot of responders on here seem to feel that people shouldn't have made a mistake in the first place, just accept it and die. Its not that I don't think that is a valid position, just that I'd like to think that if the government is bound to protect life that they won't just give up on people, and that prevention is normally better than treatment (Cars with air bags are better than reconstructive face surgery).

 

Its clear the consensus on here is that health warnings, education are seem to be ok, and NO to taxes on bad foods. That would be better than nothing! and if thats the majority opinion I would just have to live with it.

 

"the point you made in an earlier post about obese people"

I'm assuming this is about being stuck on a plane. there's an old joke about this "hey lady, when i wake up tomorrow I can go to the gym, you still gonna be ugly!". People who are ugly do not infringe on my personal space, and they can't do anything about it short of spending thousands on plastic surgery (which some do), they were born that way, obese people made the choice to be obese (whether because of society or not).

 

"I apologize for being abrupt and short with you on this"

no worries. I try to avoid being emotional in debates, but sometime you get pissed about something :-)

Test
Smokers die young, thus saving Social Security a LOT of money.

I think there was a study showing that, in the long run, smokers saved the health care system a lot of money.  My dying of lung cancer in their 50s, say, there were no costs incurred for illness and frailty running the next 10 years.

 

Oh, here's a nonscientific report.  USA Today.

However, smokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers, according to the CDC, and those premature deaths provide a savings to Medicare, Social Security, private pensions and other programs.

Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

Its an interesting point. It would be interesting if it applies similarly to obesity as that would make that side of my argument invalid... Of course, regarding smoking, I think saving the government money was not really the primary reason for a public ban, passive smoking would be the main thing, and helping addicts quit also seems to have been an important factor. Similarly, helping junk food addicts get healthy (or not get addicted in the first place) is really more important than the financial aspect, although until evidence is provided counter to my argument I would still stand by it as I think we are all affected by addictions in society - especially in the UK where the tax payer directly funds the health service that treats obesity.

Medicare covers health care costs for most Americans after 65 years old.  All of that diabetes, heart disease, caused by obesity, incurs a lot of expense.  In addition, pain management and joint replacements.  The next 20 years will be interesting, because we are going to see the first generation to really be obese and in some cases, extremely obese, as they age.  Medicare also funds weight loss surgery for people who qualify, which is another huge cost.  Obesity isn't as lethal as smoking, but it strongly increases the liklihood or severity of some miserable and costly chronic conditons.

I have to say I find it hard to imagine disagreeing with you much more than I presently do on most of this matter. "Society is responsible"? I don't think so. No one put a gun to my head. I am responsible for my own bad decisions, thank you.

I agree with you so far as you saying it is not ok to make it anyone else's problem or responsibility. But that is just it. It is MY responsibility.

Also, I thought that the point you made in an earlier post about obese people isn't any more legitimate a position than me demanding that only good looking women he allowed to go out in public. Some people are more pleasant to be around. Past a (certain low) point it is not required that people be more pleasantor to others liking. It is required that people not initiate force or fraud. Anything else that is voluntary is not anyone else's business.

And I apologize for being abrupt and short with you on this. I simply don't know how to disagree with someone this vigorously any other way.
Non-smokers were pretty pleased as were most smokers who want to quit (a large proportion), even full-time smokers I've spoken to are happy that it has reduced the amount the smoke and generally improved public spaces.

The implication here (and through what follows) is that the smoking bans represent an ultimate gain in human welbeing. But given that you cannot measure the subjective utility/well-being associated with smoking, I'm curious about how you've come to this conclusion, and how you can be confident enough of it to use it as the basis for advocating further state-imposed restrictions on consumer markets.

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