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Poof of concept
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Governments around your planet have attempted
to discourage smoking of cigarettes by various
means; taxation, bland packaging, and large
warning labels such as "Smoking kills" and
"Smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease".
This has not been notably effective.
The problem is clearly
one of psychology.
Humans seem predisposed to a sort of inane
optimism which flies in the face of rational analysis,
which can be summed up as, "Every day things fail
to go wrong confirms us in the unjustified belief
that everything is all right."
What is needed is a greater element of certainty.
Simply, this consists of treating a tiny portion of
tobacco with a fast-acting volatile toxin and
inserting it into one in every 5000 cigarettes.
The labels then just read, "1 in 5000 chance of
Since this figure is much higher than the average
risk of developing a smoking-related fatal disease
in the same timeframe,
all other causes of death become insignificant and
the smoker has only one highly reliable factor to
consider (At five cigarettes a day, 5000 cigarettes
will be consumed in 2.7 years).
This has many advantages.
1. Massive reductions in healthcare costs. Treating
smoking-related diseases is expensive, lengthy,
and untimately unlikely to provide prolonged
benefit. Since abrupt death is not treatable, the
financial benefits are clear.
2. Smokers continue to pay tax right up to the
moment they die.
3. The judicious choice of toxic agent would allow
for harvest of organs for transplant. A short-lived
non-persistant CNS agent would be ideal. The fact
that the deceased is still clenching a cigarette in
their cooling fingers would be a generally
recognised de-facto organ donor alert.
||Cool, I always wanted to drive taxis. You should use the
opportunity to take the law into your own hands. I'd get one of
those Private Investigator licenses, and solve mysteries based on
leads from fares.
||You could drop wanted criminals you pick up right in front of the
police station. Sounds like a dumb thing to take a cab to end up
running away from it.
||What happens when there is the instant death of a driver in a vehicle on a busy road?
||The cigarettes don't need to be 1/5000 lethal, the public just needs to think that they are.
||I was surprised by one of the statistics regarding
smokers. Over the long term, almost all of them
(about 1/3 the US adult population in the 1970s)
end up with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease) --which of course explains all those drug
commercials regarding treating COPD-- but less
than 20% end up with cancer.
||So, perhaps your poison, for the purposes of this
Idea, could be a simple chlorine-releasing
compound, which will damage the lungs and cause
the equivalent of COPD rather quickly.
||Hey, guys, just shoot the fuckers and have done
||Of course, the prudent smoker would simply skip every 5000'th cig and go straight to the 5001'st.
||The thing you've failed to explain, [8th] old girl, is
why the average enjoyer of the civilized weed would
buy such cigarettes, as opposed to the existing
ones, which seem to be quite popular.
||Simply because all cigarettes would be
modified in the same way.
||I think this is unlikely, comrade.
||Then it would make you look even cooler. This is a great marketing plan, flog it to Philip Morris.
||[marked-for-deletion] punish people who do <x>.
||// [marked-for-deletion] punish people who do
||Ah, but this is about punishing smokers, so that
Equally, it's fine to state that smokers cause a net
deficit to the
country (average net profit to UK of a 20-a-day
smoker from age 20
in 1980 until death: £37,500 ; this takes into
health costs due to smoking-related illness, offset
against tobacco tax, reduced pension cost, and
shortened chronic healthcare needs in later life),
and also to point out that cigarettes are
responsible for global
warming and knife-crime.
||Now, if the idea had been "Make 1 in 5000 burqas
"make 1 in 5000 handgun rounds shoot backwards",
then you'd have
a point. Those things would be irrational,
||[*I stand by my right to use an Oxford comma.]