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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another reason NOT to smoke

From the article:

"Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released.

"In fact, researchers said the 'effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream,' in findings described as a 'stark warning' to those who smoke."

Tobacco kills 440,000 Americans every year, and about one out of every two people who smoke will die from it, losing on average fourteen years of life, then dying a slow, agonizing, expensive death. Compare this with marijuana, a drug that kills less than two people per year every year.

Which is illegal? Yep, the safer one.

To put it in perspective, Appalachian State University has about 16,000 students. If 30% of those smoke tobacco (seems like it), then more than 5,300 students smoke. More than 2,600 of them will one day die from smoking-related conditions.

How many are being arrested for tobacco? None.

And for marijuana? Dozens every year.

And the Chief of Police at Appalachian says marijuana is safer than alcohol, yet keeps arresting people for smoking pot.

Makes sense to me.


  1. A 2009 National Center for Health Statistics report stated that in order to induce death, a smoker would "theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes." Arguably, marijuana as the sole contributing factor has not been proven to have caused any one fatality in its long history. Although it seems nonsensical, in light of the Chief of Police's personal views, he and his department still bear a responsibility to enforce and apply the law. Given that, the legalization of marijuana and the government's ability to tax its use would make more room for real criminals in prison and chip away at our overwhelming deficit. The number of tobacco smokers would likely decline, decreasing the number of deaths caused by lung cancer and secondhand smoke. Although it would be an arduous process, with complications and consequences of its own, the end result would certainly not be the deaths of nearly 500,000 Americans per year.

  2. Moral panics over drugs have occurred throughout history. Moral panic was created during the 1930s because of the drug marijuana. Today, law enforcement still has to enforce laws against the use of marijuana even though marijuana use is viewed as more acceptable by society. Medical marijuana use is legal in California. A law has been proposed to legalize the use and sales of marijuana in California. So far, voters have declined the law but it could change in the future. If marijuana was legalized in the United States, perhaps the prevalence of cigarette smoking and second hand smoking would be reduced. If so, then the number of deaths due to tobacco each year could be reduced. The legalization of marijuana would hurt the tobacco companies in the process.