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Health - Tobacco kills 5 million per year. Mass murder?

Discussion in 'Tobacco' started by Alfa, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member

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    Tobacco kills 5 million people per year.[sup]1[/sup]
    So can this be qualified as mass murder or mass manslaughter by tobacco companies?

    [sup]1[/sup] World Health Organization
     
  2. beentheredonethatagain

    beentheredonethatagain Silver Member

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    yes, if the owner of a headshop that sold bath salts gets charged with murder for selling a product that killed a young mother, then does the store down the street or the tobacco companies have the same comming to them? I believe so.
     
  3. Shanty

    Shanty Titanium Member

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    Is it mass murder.... or population control?

    Considering in 1999 the world population reached 6 billion. It's 2012, and its now above 7 billion.
    In the 1960's population reached 3 billion. Will we have enough resources to feed an exponential number of mouths? We'll find out. Meanwhile in the sunny fields of America, farmers are doing their patriotic chore, slowly poisoning people and slowing down population growth.

    http://www.google.com/publicdata/ex...=region&ifdim=region&tdim=true&hl=en_US&dl=en


    I agree, tobacco companies are assholes. Commercial Tobacco should be illegal, at least the shwag cigarette tobacco. The habit costs heartache and pain to almost everyone in the world.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  4. eatingleg4peanut

    eatingleg4peanut Silver Member

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    Its more like mass suicide, nobody forces anyone to smoke. People who smoke know the risks, they know alot of people die from smoking tobacco cigarettes, rather your addicted or not its your choice. Unless it was sold to a minor who somehow directly died of tobacco before becoming an adult, the person's/store selling should not be responsible for someone dying using a substance that is well known for killing alot of people every year. I mean there's a label on the pack, commercials galore, magazine ads, its taught in school what the hell else can they do short of visiting every person individually in the world and tell them the dangers.

    So my answer is no its not mass murder and no they should not be liable at least on a common sense level, on a legal level I have no idea.

    If you purposely hit someone with a car its murder, accident its manslaughter, if someone knows they are gonna die from intentionally running in front of your car should you be responsible for their death (manslaughter) or is it suicide?

    Smokers intentionally smoke knowing the risks, enough said. Just because a Headshop owner gets charged (thats BS as well) does not mean the man running a gas station should have his life ruined for selling a legal product to an of age person(s) who dies from legal use of said product (using bath salts to get high isnt legal, but thats on the consumer not the person selling it as bath salt or so one would think would happen).

    If anybody should be responsible for these deaths (other than the educated consumer) it should be the government. If the government really cared if you lived or died or about all these death's smoking would be illegal. Too much money is made by the tobacco industry. Even if somehow they bid make it illegal smokers would unite and protest bringing it back to being the consumer to blame.

    What I don't understand is why us as a society can look down on people for using/becoming addicted to some illegal drugs that are far less dangerous but we can look at people that are heavily addicted to cigerettes (chain smokers) as "normal". For example the average citizen who knows only what has been taught to them by our government (Alfa or others I am talking specifically about USA here as I don't know your countries practices) from grade school level would see a person doing a line of coke in public or lighting up a bowl and be appalled, and probably call the cops. That same person sees a person chain smoking and doesn't raise an eyebrow or takes a step to the side to avoid the smoke.

    BTW although I think its absolutely horrible that many people die every year from smoking (including my grandfather and uncle) I am not against it. Its your choice, I used to smoke for 8years, and one day I just asked myself why, and without an answer I just stopped and never looked back.
     
  5. Nertplor

    Nertplor Silver Member

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    The vast majority of people I know who smoke. started when they were around 10-13 years old...

    Back then their immature minds told them they were immortal... sure the schools informed them of the risks (well some did)... but young minds being young minds couldn't grasp or take in these ideas.. All that mattered was being cool... peer pressure, curiosity.. yada yada yada...

    puff puff puff.. addiction forms and so on....

    so when you say, "nobody forces anyone to smoke" ... intro the idea of addiction. Ive never smoked so I truly dont know how bad it really is.. but I 'hear' its bad.. so I guess the 'smoking' forces you to continue smoking...

    I know there are ways around it... patches, drugs and what not...

    But, as far as the mass murder topic goes... why are these substances legal... we all know it... 'mon-ey'... governments earn trucks full of cash from taxes and related. If a similar substance was released around the same time cigs became available that was linked to brain tumors, the government would have legalized it and make it available to all adults if they could profit from it.
     
  6. Phungushead

    Phungushead Twisted Depiction Staff Member

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    I think a lot of the conflict here exists between the ideas that:

    1. It is a personal choice whether or not you make the decision to smoke or otherwise use tobacco products (hell, if someone wants to grow their own tobacco and use it, then a tobacco company isn't even necessary), and...

    2. Tobacco companies are manufacturing, marketing, and selling a product that they know kills or inflicts harm on many who use it. In a way, it could be seen as a product liability issue, as the companies are full aware that they are selling a lethal product.

    Personally, my opinion is that while the industry is certainly morally screwed up to some degree, it is not mass murder.

    I read somewhere that tobacco alone is predicted to kill a billion people during the 21st century, if current trends hold. While this is certainly a huge number, according to the World Health Organization every year around 1.2 million people worldwide are killed in car accidents, while in the US alone approximately 115,000 die prematurely as a result of alcohol abuse, and 100,000 die every year from prescription drugs. These are still fairly significant numbers.

    The point I'm trying to make is that if we wanted to set the precedent that companies are liable for their products even though the consumer is aware of their risks, then the same type of argument could logically be used on car manufacturers, alcohol manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers... Or gun manufacturers, fast food manufacturers, or really any manufacturer of anything that you could possibly think of that could kill people or is otherwise detrimental to health and well-being..

    Murder also implies that their motive is to kill. It is not - Rather, they want people to keep coming back year after year and spend money on their products. The beauty for them is that tobacco kills you very slowly, and it can become extremely hard, if not impossible, to prove individual liability over very long periods of time. If someone is seventy-five years old, has been a chain smoker most of their life, and is dying from lung cancer, chances are that it was due to cigarettes. But it is also plausible that the cancer was naturally occurring or caused by something else as well.

    So ultimately, no - I do not think the tobacco companies are guilty of mass murder. What I do think is wrong, and was rightfully dealt with, was when tobacco companies were deceitfully promoting their products under the view that smoking was completely safe and healthy. I think back then, you could state that they were guilty. But in this day and age, I highly doubt such an accusation would hold any kind of legal ground. These days, I doubt that there is anyone who smokes that isn't aware that there are inherent risks and dangers.

    Just some thoughts.


    The tobacco industry is the greatest killing organization in the world. The harm done by all the armies in the world combined, will not begin to equal the damage inflicted upon the human race by the combined activity of the cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors of tobacco.”—Dr. Jesse M. Gehman, Smoke Over America (East Aurora, N.Y: The Roycrofters, 1943), p 216.

    “For decades tobacco companies have killed more Americans than all the armies, terrorists, and criminals combined.”—Ronald H. Numbers, Hillsdale Prof. of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin, cited at frontispiece, The Cigarette Century, by Prof. Allan M. Brand (New York: Perseus Books, 2007).
     
  7. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member

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    Personally I think anyone is free to harm himself through smoking. But before doing so the person in question should understand, agree with and be able to understand exactly what pain, illnesses and addiction they are likely to suffer as a result from that. The health costs flowing from their use is something that tobacco companies should be liable for. Otherwise it places the costs upon the rest of society.

    There also is the issue of secret ingredients and the motivation for including such ingredients. Its known that cigarettes have additives to increase addictiveness of tobacco. Users should be made aware whats added, why and the consequences of that.

    Free will only exists if people have a choice. Having information clearly available is part of having a choice.

    If a true free choice is not available, while the consequences of the choice is death and suffering, then the producer is liable to manslaughter in my view.
     
  8. Mindless

    Mindless Gold Member

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    This thread provides a detailed review of how cigarette companies make their products more addictive. The basic idea is that the pH of cigarettes determines the level of freebase nicotine, which is more addictive than the protonated form of nicotine found in tobacco. 'Ammonia technology' is used to adjust the pH value of cigarette smoke. Additives such as cocoa, which produces theobromine when burned, allow deeper inhalation. It does seem that tobacco companies have deliberately made their products more addictive.

    I don't know if this qualifies as murder, but my own impression is that at the least this displays a blatant disregard for the well-being of consumers. Manslaughter seems an appropriate label for such underhand and reckless manipulation.

    "By the early 1960s Philip Morris had also begun using ammonia to “freebase” the nicotine in cigarette smoke, creating low-yield (reduced-tar or -nicotine) cigarettes that still had the nicotine kick necessary to keep customers “satisfied” (i.e., addicted). We show that Philip Morris discovered the virtues of freebasing while analyzing the impact of the ammoniated recon used in Marlboro cigarettes.

    We also show how Marlboro’s commercial success catalyzed efforts by the rest of the tobacco industry to discover its “secret,” eventually identified as ammonia technology, and how Philip Morris later exploited the myriad uses of ammonia (e.g., for flavoring and expanding tobacco volume) to defend itself against charges of manipulating the nicotine deliveries of its cigarettes."

    Source: The Secret and Soul of Marlboro. Phillip Morris and the Origins, Spread, and Denial of Nicotine Freebasing. Terrell Stevenson, BA and Robert N. Proctor, PhD, 2008.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  9. Anamo7tram

    Anamo7tram Silver Member

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    i already mentioned this numerous times, smoking DOESN'T kill, it just shaves off a few years of your life.

    obesity kills more people then smoking, good luck suing KFC for your heart attack.
     
  10. Grimace

    Grimace

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    If there were death's from acute toxicity, I could see the murder (or at least manslaughter) angle. But "tobacco-related deaths" are caused by diseases that only occur following years of chronic use, and it's been generally accepted knowledge for decades that tobacco causes these health problems, so it is no surprise.

    If, on the other hand, a tobacco company secretly added an ingredient that is responsible for adverse health-effects, then it becomes a poisoning and they deserve to be sued out of business and arrested.
     
  11. Eeeee Dub!!!

    Eeeee Dub!!!

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    Mass murder? More like mass suicide! At this point we all are educated in the dangers of tobbaco . We should all know better including me!

    Now where is my pack of reds? I need a smoke.
     
  12. beentheredonethatagain

    beentheredonethatagain Silver Member

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    #1 [​IMG]
    [​IMG] 18-05-2009, 07:15
    [​IMG]beentheredonethatagain [​IMG]
    Silver Member
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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]



    tobacco companies increasing the nicotine content in cigarettes
    Are tobacco companies increasing the nicotine content in cigarettes?
    [​IMG]this is a post from a few years back

    It may seem absurd, or perhaps just a little over-the-top conspiratorial, to think that while major cigarette companies have been paying millions for anti-smoking campaigns, they've been secretly increasing cigarettes' nicotine content to make them more addictive.

    But that's exactly what two separate studies, one by the Massachussetts Department of Public Health and the other by the Harvard School of Public Health, have found. The results of the most recent research, published in January 2007, show that nicotine levels in cigarettes from all major manufacturers increased 11 percent from 1997 to 2005.

    Cigarette manufacturers deny the results of the studies. Philip Morris in particular claims that natural variations in the nicotine content of the tobacco plant can account for the variations found in both studies, and that the variations go both ways. Ultimately, the company says, the nicotine concentrations over a large enough number of years balances out.

    This was the primary argument made by the tobacco industry in response to the first study, the one by the Massachussetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), which found an average increase of 1.6 percent per year from 1998 through 2004. The state of Massachussetts is one of three that requires cigarette manufacturers to submit nicotine-content analyses for their brands every year, and this is the data the MDPH used in its study.

    When the results were made public, tobacco companies insisted across the board that the data they'd sent Massacussetts simply did not back up that type of overall trend. They also said that if the MDPH had included data from 1997 (the earliest year for which Massachussetts had data available) and 2005, the results would have been different.

    So the MDPH called on the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) to perform a non-government study (which ended up being funded by the American Legacy Foundation and the National Cancer Institute, both anti-smoking organizations) using data from 1997 through 2005.

    But the HSPH didn't just analyze the smoke-nicotine data, which is collected from what is essentially a machine smoking a cigarette and reporting on the amount of nicotine it's "inhaling;" it also analyzed the cigarettes themselves to find out how the design may be affecting nicotine intake.

    The results of the Harvard study back up the findings of the MDPH: According to Harvard scientists, nicotine levels increased an average of 1.6 percent per year from 1998 to 2004 and 1.1 percent per year from 1997 to 2005. The group's examination of how that increase may have come about pinpoints two major areas: nicotine levels in the tobacco plant and the design of the cigarette.

    The Harvard study claims that cigarette manufacturers have intentionally increased their plants' nicotine levels in order to produce a more addictive product -- an assertion the tobacco companies reject. In terms of cigarette design, researchers found, among other changes, a steady increase in the number of "puffs per cigarette" over the timeframe they studied, which may mean the delivery of more nicotine per cigarette smoked.

    According to both studies, one of the largest-selling Philip Morris brands, Marlboro, showed no increase in nicotine content from 1997 through 2005. Newport (Lorillard Tobacco), Camel and Doral (R.J. Reynolds) brands showed the greatest overall increases in nicotine content.

    As of January 2007, cigarettes are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so individual state requests for nicotine levels and other data are the only indicators of cigarette contents, and the reports aren't standardized.

    Since the release of these two studies, members of the U.S. Congress have announced their intentions to fight the Supreme Court decision that places tobacco products outside of FDA control.



    by Julia Layton
    http://health.howstuffworks.com/nicotine-increase.htm
    __________________


     
  13. Ontario

    Ontario Silver Member

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    I just wanted to throw this out there although kinda random.

    I have been smoking on/off since a young teen and have never gotten addicted. Its so strange, I can smoke a pack a day for a few days then stop and not even notice, or I just have one or two every couple weeks when the situation arises, but I mean I have smoked packs for weeks on end and never "fiend" a smoke.
     
  14. Anamo7tram

    Anamo7tram Silver Member

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    to beentheredonethatagain,

    nicotine isn't why cigarettes are "harmful", so adding it doesn't count.

    The tobacco industry WANTS you alive, why would they want to lose customers?
     
  15. loud

    loud

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    IMO I say no, because it is the smokers choice to go through the process of buying a pack, lighting it up, and smoking it down. Just my 2cents, lol.

    - loud
     
  16. Makeup_Junkie

    Makeup_Junkie Silver Member

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    I think a lot of good points have been made to both sides of this discussion. On the "no" side of the question (whether it's considered mass murder), I think it's fair to say that it's not the tobacco company's fault we became addicted. When I started smoking, no one put a gun to my head saying "you better smoke these cigarettes until you get addicted". I wasn't even peer pressured into it. No one told me "come on, smoke with me. It'll be fun!" I started smoking because I felt like it. My roommate in college was a smoker and I smoked with her for a bonding experience. We had some great conversations just laying back smoking a cigarette. Sure, I didn't have to smoke to bond with her but it made it more fun (don't know why, but it did). I knew the risks in smoking (we all do) but I did it anyway because it made me feel good.

    Now on the other side of the discussion, I do agree that tobacco companies put in extra chemicals to make us more addicted and for that, I do find them responsible but what can they do? Putting in the extra additives make people addicted therefore making them more money. And isn't that what it's all about? Making more money? Thats why they charge so much money for a pack. They know we'll buy them. I'm sure if it got to the point that cigarettes started costing $20 a pack, people would still buy them. Sure, many people would quit due to the staggering costs, but there would still be people out there who will pay it because they are addicted.

    So how can we fault the tobacco companies for selling a product we chose to use on our own free will? Can we fault high end cosmetic companies for selling us products costing ridiculous amounts of money just because the company has a famous name? We can choose to buy these products as opposed to drugstore brands which are sometimes just as good, but because the price is jacked up, we assume that the product is better.

    I realize it's not the same thing but I'm just trying to make a point that we still buy things that may not necessarily be good for us (or our wallet) because they make us feel good.
     
  17. Hey :-)

    Hey :-)

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    I think the majority of smokers probably started smoking at a young age . I think its fair to say that eleven or twelve years old isnt an uncommon age to begin experimenting .

    At this young age , i dont think its fair to say a child really understands addiction .

    As far as the dangers go , i dont think children really get it either . OK maybe a few , those who have witnessed a family member dying .

    The mentality of children generally i think is also one of 'i've got forever' .. 'I've got my whole life ahead of me , i'm not going to die tomorrow by trying a smoke .. and one isnt going to kill me'

    I think we also need to remember that laws are there regarding minors , in various situations . This is to protect children , who are naturally more vulnerable , and who havent lived and experienced the world for as long as we have . They are disadvantaged this way .

    All these things considered , is it fair to say we as children were in a position to make the best choice ? No we were not . The tobacco companies know how this works too , they're not stupid .

    And then at some point , that 'choice' turns into addiction . Addiction is always invisible . By the time you consider it , its done , its already happened .
    .......................
    OK ,

    Apart from the fact that the tobacco companies seem to hide what is actually in cigs (someone correct me if i am wrong please) , the fact is that if someone dies from a smoking related disease , which cig did it ..?

    On the face of it , it seems an easy answer . ie You cannot pinpoint the exact moment/cig . This ALSO benefits the tobacco companies in that if charges were brought against them , no point in time can be had .

    But there is also this way of thinking ;

    Which was the cig that finally changed the DNA of a cell to turn from cancerous to tumour (beginning of).. ?

    And going back further in time , which was the cig that first changed a healthy cell into a cancerous one ..?

    It seems to be a very long chain reaction , that started with the first cig . Which we experimented with as children .
    ..........................
    Ok ,

    A couple more things to consider . The advertising on packets .
    How many of you adult smokers occationally notice the pictures ..? My guess is you do exactly the same thing as i do and either turn the packet over , turn away , or think about something else .
    There is an obvious fear reaction , even if its a small one .
    Now whats the first thing we do when we feel fear ..? or many emotions for that matter .. we light up .

    So , although the tobacco companies have these pics on their packets of cigs , what it may actually be doing in a lot of cases is increasing how much we smoke .
    The tobacco companies know how this works too , they're not stupid .

    Ok , so overall we have tobacco companies made up of adults , knowing about child psychology and about addiction , keeping the ingredients of their products a secret , producing something that eventually kills about half of us .. i'd call that manslaughter .
    .............................
    Ok ,

    Anamo7tram ,

    Nicotine causes the pancreas to stop/reduce production of insulin . This causes blood sugar levels to rise -hyperglycemia .

    This is why smoking inhibits appetite . Smoking , especially chain smoking may play a part in vitamin deficiency .

    I disagree that nicotine is harmless , and your comment ''smoking DOESNT kill'' is rediculous .
    ............

    Hey
     
  18. Anamo7tram

    Anamo7tram Silver Member

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    Nicotine may have some mild side effects but it isn't the reason smoking is harmful. I would say Nicotine in moderation is beneficial considering it fights obesity,Alzheimer ,Parkinson disease and may protect against breast cancer.

    Smoking doesn't kill, you don't see young people overdosing on cigarettes, smoking does shorten your life span though.
     
  19. Teknicality

    Teknicality

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    I tend to see it as a mass drawn-out suicide. A long term solution to the problem of being alive. Like some people want to die so bad that they slowly kill people around them by spewing addictive toxins in every direction with total disregard for societal quality of life. I don't think this is mass murder more like a suicidal sub culture that perforates pretty much everything worth doing. Smoke em if ya got em
     
  20. Anamo7tram

    Anamo7tram Silver Member

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    maybe smoking is an evidence of Freud's death drive?