Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Smoking License

Cigarettes become extinct
 
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Statistics show that smoking is a serious problem. The number of smokers in the world is going up, and people are finding it harder and harder to quit. There's something like 3 smoking-related deaths per second in the world (although I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised). Let me add, at time of writing, I am not a smoker, although I've reached the age and social rank now whereby if you don't smoke, you're not popular, and your life isn't worth living. Stupid, isn't it?

Even more problems are caused with the risks of passive smoking. Many people unceremoniously die just because they share a room with a chimney.

Well, obviously, there are just a few big-name corporations churning out the tobacco, and a lot of poor little souls hooked on the darn things. I've seen ideas for nicotine-free cigarettes in this category. They're darn good ideas, and I bet they're already in circulation in a few parts of the world. My proposal is to introduce a ban on smoking, but impose it lightly on the unsuspecting population.

To qualify for a Smoking License, at the time of the law being brought out, you must be:-

a) Over the age of 18 (legal age to buy cigarettes), b) Be able to prove that you're a medium smoker.

In order to obtain a Smoking License, you must get a Doctor's Approval, and then show that to the government, who will in turn grant you the license. Your nearest hospital or surgery will be able to make a quick test on you so they can determine the crap content in your lungs. They're also able to tell if you've just smoked a 1000 cigarettes in a row just to make it look like you're a heavy smoker (which may be the case if you wanted to illegally sell the license you subsequently earn to other people, who would forge it to bear their name).

Once the law is firmly in place, only previously-smoking adults are legally allowed to smoke, by showing their license upon purchase of tobacco products. Soon we will see a steady drop in the number of world smokers. Over the course of the next 70 years, all the smokers will die out, and the cigarette will be extinct.

But what about all these multi-million dollar tobacco industries, you might ask? Yes, it's a harsh thing to do to them, but it is almost certain that the government could find ways of repaying them. I believe that buying the majority of them out would count for most of the costs (the sooner the law is put in place, the better!). Other steps that could be taken include higher pricing on tobacco products, and also fines for those teenage no-bodies who think it would be really cool to go out, buy and smoke a packet of 12. All money raised from the fines goes straight into the pockets of the tobacco corporations. Sounds stupid, but it's the only way to repay them, surely?

The costs are great, but the eventual product is well worth it. With the only serious idea it has ever created, the Monkey seriously believes that the extinction of smoking could change the world.

monkeyseemonkeydo, Feb 21 2003

kinda like this... http://www.halfbake...river_27s_20license
[futurebird, Oct 04 2004]

Penn & Teller's Bullshit! http://www.sho.com/...opics.cfm?topic=shs
[thumbwax, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       What sane doctor is going to approve a person for a smoking license? This is moronic: if people want to risk their own lives in the pursuit of pleasure, why should the government or anyone else stop them?
DrCurry, Feb 21 2003
  

       Yeah. Great. one more thing for the Effing government to get their stinking paws into. There oughta' be a law against all you idiots who want to make a law for everything. </rant>
ato_de, Feb 21 2003
  

       Your response is equally moronic, though, Curry. By that logic, playing Russian Roulette should be legal.   

       I agree with the intent, msmd, but this ain't the way to go about it.
waugsqueke, Feb 21 2003
  

       Irrespective of whether the license "allows" you to buy or smoke cigarettes (and I'm not sure which is the intention), this is absolutely unenforceable.
my face your, Feb 21 2003
  

       Buying them out? With what? Do you know how much money you're talking about? I sure don't, even after a couple of minutes on Google.   

       I wonder what the effect on the world economy would be if everyone everywhere immediately quit smoking.   

       Perhaps people could be convinced to stop smoking but still remit the money they previously spent on tobacco to Philip Morris, et al in the interest of keeping the economy stable.   

       Or perhaps we could find away to charge people money *not* to smoke.   

       Okay, I will stop now.
snarfyguy, Feb 21 2003
  

       waugs: guns are licensed because their principal purpose is to harm others, but I was not aware that playing Russian Roulette was illegal (having played it myself).
DrCurry, Feb 21 2003
  

       // perhaps we could find away to charge people money *not* to smoke. //   

       Like selling them nicotine patches, nicotine inhalers, or nicotine gum?
pottedstu, Feb 21 2003
  

       [DrCurry] - yeah, right.
sild, Feb 21 2003
  

       Are you smokers, or do you just naturally fishbone all of my ideas?
monkeyseemonkeydo, Feb 21 2003
  

       //I've reached the age and social rank now whereby if you don't smoke, you're not popular, and your life isn't worth living.//   

       What age and social rank is that? I'm 42 now, and not quite sure what you mean by social rank, but I somehow have not yet encountered the circumstance you describe. Or is it still looming in my future?
beauxeault, Feb 21 2003
  

       Yeah we really need more laws telling me what I can't do to my own self. I drcurry, but here in the states, suicide is illegal, which would make russian roulette illegal. <anger>Funny how we have separation of church and state, but all of our laws are based on christian morals.</anger>   

       But if we keep passing laws to protect people from themselves, they are going to start using their stupidity against others more often. (i my self smoke, and and obviously dumb for it.)
notme, Feb 21 2003
  

       Okay okay, you lot are obviously too clever for me. I'll just post non-moral ideas in the future, okay?   

       Look, I honestly think it's wrong you lot are cussing my idea just because I'm trying to save people's health instead of giving into peer pressure, like a considerable number of you seem to have already done. I'm obviously getting a good education and putting it into practice.   

       The whole conclusion behind this is that the problem (or success, however you wish to call it) is just so big, people can't really be stuffed to mend it. I'm not trying to tell you all how to run your lives or anything!   

       How many of you are smokers anyway, and from those, who actually enjoy smoking?
monkeyseemonkeydo, Feb 21 2003
  

       Switzerland has pretty relaxed legislation regarding suicide, so it's probably a good place to go if you don't want to get in trouble for playing Russian roulette. I think they allow smoking too.
snarfyguy, Feb 21 2003
  

       //Okay okay, you lot are obviously too clever for me. I'll just post non-moral ideas in the future, okay?//   

       I think you misunderstand... I don't think there are many that would even TRY to argue that the number of smokers should be reduced. The problem here is the method.   

       1) It's unenforceable. There'd be as much chance of this being accomplished as the "War on Drugs" succeeding, for exactly the same reasons. At best, you'd just drive cigarretes underground.   

       2) It curtails freedom. It is possible to do a **lot** of stupid or dangerous things in life, and smoking is but one of them; shouldn't we legislate those too? Chainsaw licenses, cutlery licenses, computer licenses, football licenses, etc etc ad infinitum.   

       In short, I don't think solutions to social problems can be imposed from above..
Corona688, Feb 21 2003
  

       Mustaphaker: What're you in for?
Akbar: Smoking without a license
Mustaphaker: Bend over.
thumbwax, Feb 21 2003
  

       I intend to print this idea out and roll a big fat cigarette from it.

<blowing smoke ring at monkeyseemonkeydo>
X2Entendre, Feb 21 2003
  

       TomBomb, Canada does exactly what you're saying. They pile the taxes to cigarettes, and use those tax revenues to pay for the health care system. (I heard prices were approaching $9.00 a pack up there.)
waugsqueke, Feb 21 2003
  

       Yeah, well, $ 9.00 *Canadian*...
snarfyguy, Feb 21 2003
  

       There's no exchange involved tho, snarf. That's the real value to the Canadian health care system, and the real price Canadians have to pay. (Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it.)
waugsqueke, Feb 21 2003
  

       This is bound to work because making it illegal to smoke marijuana has obviously totally eliminated its use.
pottedstu, Feb 21 2003
  

       Well it's worth a try, isn't it?
monkeyseemonkeydo, Feb 21 2003
  

       no
Worldgineer, Feb 21 2003
  

       I think it is a good try monkey and I also think marihuana should be legalized. Those who smoke it will agre with me, and those who don't and think it's stupid to say it, they should consider that some laws are keeping people from playing russian roulette, not letting people do whatever they want with their lives.   

       But wait, I may find out first: are ideas about search for freedom also "banned" on the help file? I see why everyone fishboned this idea.
Pericles, Feb 21 2003
  

       Playing Russian roulette is illegal. In my area they call it "reckless endangerment"... if you win.   

       I agree with you, Pericles, that marijuana should be legalized. That may surprise some. But I also believe that smoking (anything) should be legally confined to one's residence, and permitted absolutely nowhere else. I would like to go one further and insist that it should be illegal to smoke even at home if there are any residents under 18 present, but I know that's totally unenforceable.
waugsqueke, Feb 21 2003
  

       Zen fascist pig
thumbwax, Feb 22 2003
  

       Um, waugs, wouldn't that be "reckless?"   

       'Dya ever notice how small the intersection is between "reckless" and "wreckless?"
beauxeault, Feb 22 2003
  

       I didn't think that looked right. Thanks beaux.
waugsqueke, Feb 22 2003
  

       Talk to Wreckless Eric (British 70's punkoid) about it....
snarfyguy, Feb 22 2003
  

       [Pericles] no ideas are "banned" here. Some are just beyond the scope of the site, as is this one, I suspect. And [monkey...] "we" are not (all) smokers and "we" do not (all) fishbone your ideas. Four 'bakers weighed in positively for your idea. You don't need to feel bad.
snarfyguy, Feb 22 2003
  

       Anti-smoking advocates have not a clue what they're talking about.
True, there is a 25% increase in mortality among those who die of lung cancer - with second-hand smoke being attributed to the cause of death.
*But(t)*, here's how that 25% increase breaks down:
1 out of every 100,000 nonsmokers: dies of lung cancer > has not been around second-hand smoke.
1 out of every 80,000 nonsmokers: dies of lung cancer > *has* been around second-hand smoke, but this doesn't mean the second-hand smoke contributed to the death. It just means these 2 individuals had been around smokers at some point in their lives - you know, didn't lead a sheltered existence. <personal opinion>Methinks the chances of them getting lung cancer from inhaling gas fumes at a gas station are higher, let alone bus fumes at a bus stop.</personal opinion>
Big difference between these figures and //Many people unceremoniously die just because they share a room with a chimney.//
1 smoked fish comin' at ya
thumbwax, Feb 23 2003
  

       // there is a 25% increase in mortality among those who die of lung cancer //   

       I would have thought there's a fairly constant 100% mortality rate among those who die of lung cancer.
pottedstu, Feb 23 2003
  

       [UnaBubba] The only problem is when the other 57.3% use the 42.7% as their basis of research.
reap, Feb 23 2003
  

       What almost everyone has completely missed is:   

       Smoking is not just something you "do to yourself". Not even if you live alone and only smoke at home. I ought to know because someone smokes next door to my dad, and his place usually REEKS from their smoke because it leaks through the walls.   

       This is the crux of the matter, and the reason smoking is *banned in public places*. It harms other people.   

       //guns are licensed because their principal purpose is to harm others//   

       [Curry], even though cigarettes' principal purpose is not to harm others (I'm not too sure of that anymore), it is one of their *pincipal effects*. It's like carrying a gun that goes off in all directions, all the time it's lit.   

       Yes, smoking is very harmful. Yes, it's harmful to others. Yes, it should be eliminated. Is this idea the way to go about it? I don't know, but I sure don't like breathing the stuff, and I've heard enough of how the (filthy rich) tobacco companies keep people hooked. The fact is: most smokers won't admit it, but they are HOOKED. Addicted. Most smokers don't enjoy smoking. But they are hooked on the stuff. And everyone who knows anything about it knows that tobacco has been PROVEN to be more addictive than heroin, so it's *very* hard to quit.   

       Therefore, more money (and effort) should go into helping smokers quit, and raising the price of smoking helps (who's gonna smoke if it's too expensive?). Besides, as was pointed out, the money that pays for secondhand-smoke-related illnesses should come out of the pockets of those who put them in the hospital.   

       Also, smoking should be banned in more public places, and the laws should be enforced. I don't like going somewhere in my good clothes, smelling just fine, and getting stunk up by others' smoke.
galukalock, Feb 23 2003
  

       "All good ideas should be mandatory, all bad ideas should be prohibited." Bah.   

       Freedom's dangerous. But we're each here to conquer our own idiocies, not everyone else's.
lurch, Feb 24 2003
  

       Actually - //It harms other people// is a crock. The numbers were skewed in order to achieve an outcome, you know, all objective-like 'n stuff. Crock, crock, crock.
thumbwax, Feb 24 2003
  

       I see, that we can't agree on whether or not smoking harms other people. Most smokers will argue it doesn't, while most non-smoker will argue that it does. Being a non-smoker you can guess how I stand on the issue.   

       But beside the 'harming-thing', there's another aguement, that smokers cannot disregard (exept the most hard-headed ones) - passive smoking is very annoying/uncomfortable/unpleasant to most non-smokers. It stinks, it makes my hair, clothes and skin stink, it bothers my respiration (I can feel when it's not oxygen going down) - is directly dangerous for the asmatic - it makes my eyes sting and water and it gives me headaches.   

       I don't think it is a good idea illegalizing cigarettes - it didn't work so well with booze in the 30'ies, now did it? But appealing to smokers to show common sense and consideration for others doesn't really seems to work either. The only solution I can see, is to ban public smoking (USA have already done this, no?), and instead have public smoking-rooms where smokers can puff away all they like. Would that please everyone? What to do about private smoking (like the smoking nextdoor neighbour), I just don't know.   

       Since we can't stop people from harming themselves, maybe at least we can stop them from harming/annoying others.   

       In Denmark we have a saying (maybe other places have a similar one?): Againt stupidity even the gods fight in vain. I think it applies here.
Loweyes, Feb 24 2003
  

       //I've reached the age and social rank now whereby if you don't smoke, you're not popular//
So you're what, twelve?
angel, Feb 24 2003
  

       If the government wants to save medicare/social security, it should actively encourage smoking, since people who smoke tend to die off before they develop extremely expensive conditions or draw too much from SS.
supercat, Feb 24 2003
  

       Too much of anything will kill you (except the thing with the monkey), and there are lots of self-destructive activities people will pursue despite prohibitions and taxes (including the thing with the monkey).
The difference: smoking is just one of those activities that is very lucrative--big profits for the tobacco industry, and huge source of tax revenues for governments.
So despite the rants, the situation is probably at stasis. RJ Reynolds will continue to make cigarettes, smokers will continue to overpay for cigarettes, governments will continue to reap in taxes on cigarettes, and tobacco growers will continue to receive subsidies from governments to continue producing tobacco for cigarettes.
I don't see the cycle stopping anytime soon. All we do is assuage our consciences by making sure kids can't buy or smoke cigarettes. </lie>
roby, Feb 24 2003
  

       //Because smokers pay a lot of your taxes//
//huge source of tax revenues for governments//
Exactly. That's why the EPA came up with the Bullshit numbers regarding passive smoke.
thumbwax, Feb 24 2003
  

       Let smokers smoke, and let them die from it; it's a good population controller.
Flex, Feb 24 2003
  

       From a taxation point of view, surely it would be better to encourage people to smoke whilst denying them the benefits of the health care system? That way the government still gets the tax revenue, cuts down on public expenditure and doesn't have to get involved with the expense of setting up and running a licensing scheme.

From a healthcare standpoint, wouldn't it be better to just ban smoking in your own country whilst encouraging cigarette exports abroad? Thus creating a healthier nation whilst avoiding having to close down a revenue generating industry.

Oh, and kudos to snarfyguy for knowing about Wreckless Eric. He came from Newhaven you know. That's just 5 miles from Lewes.
DrBob, Feb 25 2003
  

       I love Australia. Mostly cause cigarrettes were too expensive for me to smoke regularly while I lived there. All because of the taxes. I am a smoker and I think that taxes on cigarretes should be higher cause thanks to that I could control my smoking habit (more concerned about my pocket than my health).
Pericles, Feb 26 2003
  

       I know I should stay away from this issue, but I can't.   

       I'm in Canada, in one of the cities that has basically become a cigarette hater.   

       Smoking inside of buidings is only permitted if those under 18 are not allowed implicitly ( bingo halls and some restaurants have chosen to go to adult only - bars and smoking lounges have stayed the same ) and there are more changes coming (For example; smokers are causing a problem by smoking within 1ft of all entryways or in some cases in the doorway with the door open).. Now, I do feel bad for the average smoker in this situation since it's starting to feel like a witch hunt, but I also think that those smoking right now should be the last ones smoking cigarettes ever.   

       That's not to say that other options aen't valid (I smoke a tobacco pipe myself), but the tobacco companies hae distorted and misshapen the average cigarete into a horrible and lethal concoction. I wouldn't support marijuana being legal in a laced form either.   

       I also don't care if it's a quick buck for the govt.   

       And as to the argument that smoking only affects the smoker, and any smoker has the right to do what she/he wishes, thats a pile of crap.   

       Every adult individual (Or those proven to be mature enough), no matter the sex, race, or culture, should be able to do what pleases them _AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS_   

       Smokers affect people other than themselves in a harmful way and you cannot dispute it. You can dispte the amount, but the amount is irrelevant. The fact is that it affects others.   

       Two things to leave smokers with:   

       - Why do you smoke? (The fact that you /can/ is not a reason)   

       - If you do believe that smoking is non harmful to those who smoke second hand, /try smoking from the lit end, not through the filter, not filtered by the tobacco itself. Do that for a month and let me know how it feels.   

       P.s. Yes, I know tere are some spelling mistakes.
JackandJohn, Feb 26 2003
  

       Could someone please count the number of smoking/cigarette/tobacco-related ideas posted on the halfbakery since I first started this idea?
monkeyseemonkeydo, Feb 26 2003
  

       Yum, yeasty cigarattes!
snarfyguy, Feb 26 2003
  

       You non-tobacconists keep your filthy Aflatoxins, Alcoholic Beverage Consumption, 4-Aminobiphenyl, Analgesic Mixtures Containing Phenacetin, Inorganic Arsenic Compounds, Asbestos, Azathioprine, Benzene, Benzidine, Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds, 1,3-Butadiene, 1,4-Butanediol Dimethylsulfonate (Myleran®), Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds, Chlorambucil, 1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea (MeCCNU), bis(Chloromethyl) Ether and Technical-Grade Chloromethyl Methyl Ether, Chromium Hexavalent Compounds, Coal Tar /Pitches, Coke Oven Emissions, Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporin A, Diethylstilbestrol, Dyes Metabolized to Benzidine, Erionite, Steroidal Estrogens, Ethylene Oxide, Melphalan, Methoxsalen with Ultraviolet A Therapy, Mineral Oils, Mustard Gas, 2-Naphthylamine, Nickel Compounds, Radon, Respirable Size Crystalline Silica, Solar Radiation, Soots, Strong Inorganic Acid Mists Containing Sulfuric Acid, Exposure to Sunlamps or Sunbeds, Tamoxifen, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); "Dioxin", Thiotepa, Thorium Dioxide, Vinyl Chloride, Ultraviolet Radiation, Broad Spectrum UV Radiation and Wood Dust away from me.
thumbwax, Feb 26 2003
  

       Or, alternatively, you can have my Aflatoxins, Alcoholic Beverage Consumption, 4-Aminobiphenyl, Analgesic Mixtures Containing Phenacetin, Inorganic Arsenic Compounds, Asbestos, Azathioprine, Benzene, Benzidine, Beryllium and Beryllium Compounds, 1,3-Butadiene, 1,4-Butanediol Dimethylsulfonate (Myleran®), Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds, Chlorambucil, 1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea (MeCCNU), bis(Chloromethyl) Ether and Technical-Grade Chloromethyl Methyl Ether, Chromium Hexavalent Compounds, Coal Tar /Pitches, Coke Oven Emissions, Cyclophosphamide, Cyclosporin A, Diethylstilbestrol, Dyes Metabolized to Benzidine, Erionite, Steroidal Estrogens, Ethylene Oxide, Melphalan, Methoxsalen with Ultraviolet A Therapy, Mineral Oils, Mustard Gas, 2-Naphthylamine, Nickel Compounds, Radon, Respirable Size Crystalline Silica, Solar Radiation, Soots, Strong Inorganic Acid Mists Containing Sulfuric Acid, Exposure to Sunlamps or Sunbeds, Tamoxifen, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); "Dioxin", Thiotepa, Thorium Dioxide, Vinyl Chloride, Ultraviolet Radiation, Broad Spectrum UV Radiation and Wood Dust when you pry them out of my COLD DEAD HANDS!
snarfyguy, Feb 26 2003
  

       'wax, you got the best of both worlds.
waugsqueke, Feb 26 2003
  
      
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