Wednesday, February 07, 2007


A recent study states that American cigarette packs are the least effective in their messages, which have almost no impact on cigarette smokers whatsoever. To be effectively deterrent, they need to follow in the footsteps of Canadian cigarette packs, which display graphic depictions of what can and will happen to smokers. I believe that we should follow in the footsteps of the Canadians and recommend this photo to start with:

Of course, American politicians are cozy with the tobacco industry, which contributes greatly to their war chests. But Americans are still fighting back. In California they recently passed a law that makes it child abuse if an adult is smoking in a car with a child present. I applaud the Californians for recognizing this, and I hope that the rest of America follows suit.

My mother and her two brothers have never smoked a day in their life, because their parents did. My uncle once told me of a particularly horrible memory that he had when they were small children, driving in the car with my grandparents, as my grandparents smoked. The windows were open but it didn't help much. In fact, it may have increased the smoke that was flowing in the back seat, and the children felt smothered. It was a terrible, suffocating feeling that made an indelible impression on my uncle, who swore he would never touch a cigarette.

The Californians are speaking for the children, who cannot.


~Deb said...

Saur, as much as I love my dear parents, I am going to tell you a little bit about how I grew up…and yes…in your comment section. (Delete if necessary!) ha…

Anyway, while in my mother’s womb, she smoked. She drank. In fact, she had two martinis while 9 months pregnant with me and she started to go into labor. My foot came out while making a left turn to the hospital. I was a breech baby. (Feet first birth.)

While growing up, my father smoked 4 packs of Camel’s non-filtered cigarettes per day and my mother smoked 2-3 packs per day. When driving to the supermarket, my mother would smoke with the windows shut and totally rely on her ashtray. I remember her dumping her ashtray a few times during the course of our ride to the store.

When sitting in the living room watching TV, dad smoked so much that there was a thick fog that lingered on way past the time he left the room. They were constant chain smokers. They blamed it on ‘oh way back when’, but these days, I now see my parents doing the same exact thing to their grandchildren. I have spoke up about it time and time again, and it doesn’t seem to be effective. So I sometimes take the kids out of the room and other times I can’t do a thing because their mother is there (my sisters) and they don’t say a thing.

They tell me, “Well we all grew up with this and we’re fine.”

Meanwhile, I have asthma, chronic bronchitis and other breathing related ailments. I see my niece coughing so much and it hurts me to see this. I can’t do anything though. I’ve tried. My sister lets my mother baby sit and it tears me apart when I see her smoking with the child. Yes, I do yell at her when my sister’s away. But after seeing what I went through, why can’t they see how dangerous it is for my niece?

Ugh….very touchy subject, but I’m glad I stopped by to read this. Thanks Saur!

Matt said...

My father wondered, "Why does everyone have asthma?"

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Saur,
I'm on too minds about this one
We are all going to die of something - sure smoking aggravates most things, candy rots kids teeth, and reckless sex kills

Do you think they should put live pics of aids victims on packs of contraceptive pills - stay safe or play dead? - the condom industry and nicotine patches are a growth industry in the US and worldwide.

The Lazy Iguana said...

So, what that photo would say is:

"WARNING! Smoking will turn you into a fruity looking dude with lungs that look like a meth mouth"?

js said...

well i can't say I agree. I don't smoke but I wonder how to take the folks out there that agree with abortion then try to help them out right after they are born. Odd. I also don't advocate smoking or smoking with kids in cars etc but everytime big bro tells me what to do I'm against it.

Senor Caiman said...


Even though that Dude has a gaping hole in his chest, he looks gay.

Why can't the American farmer grow tobacco? Because the government wants the Cig Co's to buy foreign tobacco.

Makes me mad.

Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

in my experience, i would say that picture would not stop a committed smoker. every smoker is committed to smoking, and although they say they are trying to quit, if they really were trying, they would have stopped by now. they lie. they lie to us, and they lie to themselves. it's fate, and the toss of a coin. there are people who smoke all their lives, and live to be old. there are people who die at age 40 from lung cancer. one never knows.

but in the meantime, what they are gambling with their own body affects everyone who loves them or has to be around them, and guess what. they don't care. because they are more committed to their smoking than they are to the ones they love. smoking is king, it is god, and it owns them. it dictates their schedules, and consequently their whole life revolves around it.

and this will get me in trouble, but a committed smoker is one of the most selfish people you will ever meet.

R2K said...

Hi I just wanted to invite you to participate in my 3rd Caption Contest:


The Lazy Iguana said...

JS - how about the people opposed to abortion, and also opposed to welfare for the kid after it is born?

Anyhow - I voted against the indoor smoke ban here in FL. I do not smoke. The way I see things, if you want to go to a non smoking bar, and one does not exist around you - OPEN ONE YOURSELF! Instant moneymaker there!

Not wanting to get in the way of someone and their business idea, I voted no. If all the bars are non-smoking, then your competitive edge for "The Non-Smoking Bar And Grill" or "The Family Beer Shack" is gone.

Now people I worked with said that if I had kids, I would not see it the same way. So I asked them how often they take their kids to a bar. I got yelled at.

js said...

I am in Fl and I also voted against it. My fear is when the g'ment get into anything the f it up. I don't want the regulating me on anything. This issue is somewhat different though because it might effect the kids, so their behavior (the smokers) might hurt someone else. But the kids are theirs. What kind of resoning is it to say ok you can kill a kid pre-birth but don't do things that might hurt them post birth? Thats just idiotic.
And some folks are puking over the g'ment listening to phone calls to Iraq because they feel their rights threatened??????? come on now.
thats my take

The Lazy Iguana said...

The issue is when does a lump of cells become a person? At conception? A week later? Two weeks later?

But once a child is born it IS a person. No question about it.

The phone call snooping relates to laws. There is an established way for the government to obtain phone taps - but the President decided that he could ignore that. And if he can decide that he can ignore one set of laws, what about another set of laws? Why follow ANY set of laws? Courts? Who needs them. Just let the Executive branch do whatever it wants to do.

You have to see why that is a bad idea.

js said...

I understand the rule of law. I also understand how babies are made. My thought is simply why would anyone be ok with abortion and good with telliung parents how to raise their kids? How could any rational person be against listening in on phone calls and for telling an american, a tax apyer, a worker that they arent allowed to smoke in the vehicle they paid for. Seems like it out of line to me on both accounts.

Saur♥Kraut said...

JS & LI, I voted for the ban on smoking in restaurants. I'm a chronic asthmatic, and let me tell you that it wasn't about the government banning the freedoms of smokers! It was about the government protecting the non-smokers. I'm a chronic asthmatic, and let me tell you that there were some restaurants I simply couldn't enter. Even with designated smoking areas and the best ventilation possible, smoke was always everywhere. I've sat in the "non-smoking" section, with a guy in the smoking section behind me, blowing toxic fumes my way. I was often forced to either move, or ask them to move. And if they didn't want to move, they didn't have to. Now MY right is protected: The right to breathe.

JS, the non-smoking act was decried by two groups: Those that were in the thrall of cigarettes, and those that were either directly or indirectly funded by the tobacco conglomerate. Don't be fooled. Why should someone else's freedom trump MINE, when they can smoke elsewhere and it's a choice to begin with... when my asthma and allergies to smoke is NOT my choice?

And as for the Patriot Act, the Constitution guarantees us that we are to be allowed to live relatively unmolested by the government. Illegal wiretapping was the reason that Nixon was about to be impeached, and it would have happened, if Ford hadn't stepped in an pardoned him. The reason that the Watergate Scandal WAS a scandal is because the wiretapping went against the laws and Constitution of our land. Bush was trying to get an exception, and his excuse was a flimsy one that no President had ever used before. The main worry was that (even if Bush's excuse was a genuine one, which I doubt) it could be used to keep tabs on people for all sorts of reasons: And George Orwell's book 1984 would be one step closer to reality. It wasn't written to be entertaining fiction. Orwell was genuinely concerned about how all governments seem to go for power grabs eventually. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

And as for the abortion/welfare for babies issue: I grant you that it's a direct conflict. But most liberals don't want to see suffering ... in fact, I don't either. So for them, if they don't have to view an abortion on camera every time it's done, then they don't "see" the violence or suffering. However, if you see a mom in rags on a streetcorner with a starving baby, you can't close your eyes to it. Hypocrites? Yes, but at least they worry about the live babies. I suppose that's something...

I urge you to rethink "everytime big bro tells me what to do I'm against it." If you don't like the laws at times, get involved in politics! Write letters! But don't be a knee-jerk reactionary to everything. Consider each thing separately. There are times that the laws help us as a whole. For instance, I was initially opposed to the helmet laws for motorcycles, but there turned out to be a lot fewer injuries and less dead bikers.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Deb, I've heard your story before and I'm glad you shared it again. It's such a ghastly thing to have to see the children go through it. I applaud you for being brave and trying to protect them when you can. Believe me, you may help lessen their health problems later on. *hugs* I'm sorry it's such a tense, difficult situation for you.

Matt, right!? Exactly!

Quasar, But condoms aren't bad for your health... they protect the user. On the other hand, cigarettes certainly don't protect smokers. On the contrary, they endanger them and us. And we're talking about life-threatening situations, not merely rotted teeth. As for candy, if you brush, it usually takes care of the problems. Of course candy can add weight and lead to other health problems, but at least with candy - if you eat it moderately, it's no problem. However, you can't partake of cigarettes moderately, because studies show that any use is terribly detrimental.

Senor, you goofball. ;o)

Badoozie, I agree, all the way. Thanks for the contribution! Good thoughts.

R2K, I'll pop over!

Ed Abbey said...

I would have voted for the ban and have done so here in Iowa. A public place is and should be for everyone. When they cater to smokers who endanger the lives of those around them, it is no longer for everyone.

When I lived and worked in Minnesota, the plant had a smoking shack made with all glass sides so that the smokers could enjoy the "view". However, whenever I walked by it, all I could see was a cloud of smoke and all the people from the knees down. A lot of people I knew who smoked, saw how rediculous they looked and quit. I always thought that might be a good solution by requiring restaurants to enclose the smoking area in large glass panels with a detox chamber to enter.

Iowa's liberal government is ready to vote a $1 per pack tax increase on cigarettes to pay for all the medical bills that the state gets stuck with. I say why stop there, make it $2 per pack.

js said...

I do alot of things and can suppose I have been wrong before, seldom but sometimes. I never ever do anything knee jerk. Why should I give a damn if someone wants to ride without a helment? That isn't for me or anyone else to regulate. I understand that you don't/cant like the effects of cigarrete smoke. Use the power of capitalism, the way it should have worked instead of big bro telling them not to allow smoking in their establishment the market should have told them. I hate the smell of cig smoke, hate it and I feel your pain but why should the g'ment tell them they can't? The libs are playing both sides?? You don't say!!!!! haaa thats what they do, the only have 1 position, pro abortion well sorry they have 2 we have to add anti conservative.
As long as the g'ment will leave me the hell alone (and you and everyone else) everyone will be happier and better off.

Saur♥Kraut said...

JS, I was a staunch dyed-in-the-wool Republican until George W. came into office and I began to question what the neo-cons were spouting. I'm by no means a liberal, but I'm also not an anarchist. There are reasons that capitalism won't work in it's purest form, but the primary one is that mankind is greedy. If pure capitalism is in place, there is no economic incentive to care about our fellow man. Granted, this can go to extremes, but if you look at the history of England in the 1800s, you see what pure capitalism can create. At that time people were starving to death, child labor abounded, women and children (and even men) were often abused with impunity, and prostitution was at it's height.

Government must intervene at times, because it goes against the human nature of the individual to do otherwise. There is no profitability in helping others.

As to why it's the helmet law: Hospital and insurance costs go down when accidents lessen. Also, many of these people did not have health insurance, so the taxpayer ultimately footed their bill which was a direct result of their foolish decisions. The same is true of other poor health choices: We, the people, often foot the bill.

HOWEVER, we also have to decide how far we want to go in regulating someone's poor health choices. My rule of thumb is that if it affects me in some way, I don't want it. That means smoking in public should be banned (unless it's outdoors) because it adversely impacts others. Helmets should be enforced, because it really ruins rush hour when you have to drive by the latest motorcycle casualty and view the smear of brains down a cordoned-off street.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ed, excellent and interesting contribution. Thank you! I can just picture the smoking den!

Kathleen said...

Excellent post!

My father was a smoker for many years. He finally quit smoking in his late fifties. He died of a heart attack at the age of 65. My mother died of lung cancer at the age of 81. She never smoked a cigarette in her life. Smoking around breathing things can kill them.

js said...

Well Saur I just cant agree. The helmet thing is a good one to argue though. Should the g'ment regulate sky diving? Should they make me wear my seatbelt? Should they tell me I cant eat fried chicken? The difference between me and those that want all these regulations is that I believe in the American person, I think they are smart enough to make their own decisions.

And then please point out for me what form of G'ment produced more wealth than ours? What form of g'ment lasted longer while prospering? What country has contributed more to the welfare of the world ever?
I have seen your transformation from Rep to more left. I don't excuse the pres, nor do I make excuses for him. Imagine being thrown into the situation he was. I dont like him mind you, I dont like any of them really but i think that he does deserve a little leeway (sp) I mean after going into Iraq what are we to do? Leave them like we left the Vietnamese? Can you say cambodia killing fields? I bet the V's love the american weak and soft libs.
Anyway, I'm non-party but I am pro individual, G'ment should stay the F*#% out of my biz. and just keep me from getting attacked and I will always prosper.
Your blog is great I hate to disagree with you because you have well thought out points and you don't drink the koll-aid on either side.

Ed Abbey said...

I've often said on my own blog, I would be in favor of getting rid of all helmet and seatbelt laws if everyone signed a waiver stating that if they aren't wearing a helmet or a seatbelt, they forego all medical treatment to save their lives should they be in an accident. The only reason I vote for helmet and seatbelt laws now is because those who choose not to use them directly affect my wallet.

Sky diving shouldn't be regulated because accidents usually mean no survivors and rarely if at all effects my life. Your eating fried chicken also falls into this category. Dying of a heart attack at home or work, doesn't affect those around you. Cigarettes do.

Cranky Yankee said...

JS - Right now China's "gmint" is driving an economy that is kicking our ass. How about the Romans, the Persian, The Egyptians, the Ottomans. They had extremely wealthy economies under their gmints. America's economy is a relative snowflake compared to what those nations had.

The problem with your logic is that you measure things in terms of how well you are doing, or in term of how rich the richest are. The thing that made our story a relative success was how narrow the gap between the haves and have nots had become. That was achieved through opportunity for the poor that did not exist on those other cultures. Up until recently our economic systems had built in protection for those opportunities, like access to good education and health-care. Now 98% of the people in this country are one tragedy away from poverty.

As far as seat belt laws and helmet laws. They are not required where I live for anyone over 18. I wear a helmet on my motorcycle and snowmobile, but must admit that I don't always get my seat belt on. That is a stupid ignorant thing for me to do, but I can be lazy. My family deserves better and common sense dictates I should wear it. Even though, I don't see these laws as Personal Freedom issues. It is silly to put the Freedom to fly through your windshield on the same constitutional grounds as freedom to be secure in your person and home. That is a disingenuous silly argument.

Not to mention that if you read the fine print of your auto insurance you may have signed an agreement to always wear a seat belt.