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Quantify the number of tobacco-related deaths and
illnesses as well as their financial impacts, load on health
care systems and other infrastructure, etc. Work the
figures out annually world wide and also break it down by
country or region, as some are impacted more than others.
appropriate number (365, 52, 12) if you need to
work out daily, weekly or monthly time-dependent
Then, when any disaster occurs causing significant loss of
life or property, compare it the tobacco impact scale. If
the number of lives or dollars lost to any event ... a
disease, a dam collapse, a hurricane season, a war, etc...
is less than whats caused by smoking in a similar length of
time, just shrug it off.
||Thought this might be an idea to compare damages
done as a result of being hit by falling boxes of
different types and quantities of tobacco products.
[bone not mine - I seldom bone any idea]
||The first downvote (was) my own - I often do that on my
sarcastic grumpy ideas. I changed it to neutral a moment ago.
||We vote for it - we like sarcastic, grumpy ideas.
||Trouble is, this as a general concept is well used. You smoke the equivalent of three elephants weight of tobacco over the course of your lifetime; this shortens your life by the same percentage as a mayfly which lives at 50m higher altitude. The distance you have to run to offset the negative health benefits is the length of 20 olympic sized swimming pools. If you swam the same distance then you would get as much extra benefit as if you gave up smoking for three months - that's the same amount of time it would take the mayfly to fly the same length (assuming it was an immortal mayfly) etc.
||What if it's the elephant that flies the length of 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools ?
||Poc, yes, people make these kinds of comparisons often to
off of smoking. But my suggestion of an aggregated scale here
is to assess* how individuals and societies respond to fast or
slow moving disasters.
||* "assess" ... or to call out bullshit and virtue signalling
||Yes, and in general its good to quantify risks so that people can have a sense of the relative likelyhood of death from riding in a car, sleeping on a bed, or eating a pop tart.
||Love the idea of risk comparison, whether it be to
tobacco, car accidents, opioid overdoses.
||Perspective is a casualty of this disaster and it's being
used by the power brokers to their advantage.
||Impact scales for the following slow moving disasters:
Road traffic offences
American sitcoms, post Cheers
Illegal drugs (aggregated or individual)
||With only a little over 300,000 deaths so far Covid barely
||Well of course it doesn't compare, you have to introduce a second thing to compare it to.
||"With 300,000 deaths so far Covid barely compares"
Sure it does, and we can use this to refine the Tobacco
Impact Scale, show how to apply it locally as well as
||We're about 6 months into this pandemic, with a sharp rise
in mortality in past couple of months, though it may be
tapering off. Don't know if there will be another wave or if
it will disappear completely. But let's take a SWAG and
figure potentially 500,000 annual deaths.
||That's 1/16 the annual/global estimated death toll of
8,000,000 from tobacco. By that measure, an exobiologist
watching from off-planet might say it's only 1/16 as bad.
Though they might make allowance for the fact that 7/8 of
tobacco deaths are self-inflicted, only 1,000,000 or so
are due to second-hand smoke. So Covid is "only" killing
as many people planet-wide as tobacco kills non-smokers.
though your opinion might vary if you're an earthling
rather than that notional exobiologist.
||But on a local level? Averaged out for an entire year in the
USA tobacco accounts for some 1300 DAILY deaths,
fewer than 200 of those are presumed to be from second-
smoke. Compared to more excess deaths than that in the
day for the past month of the pandemic. In some locales,
FAR more deaths.
||So at this time, for people living in hot spots like NYC and
Detroit ... Covid is
MUCH bigger problem than tobacco.
||So if the self-inflicted tobacco mortality rate is
standardized, say as T, then subsequent comparisons can be
written as .8T for 80% as deadly as tobacco or .8T$ for 80%
as costly as tobacco, etc.
||Whatrock, I like the idea of separate scales for finance and
health impacts. But I'm not sure how to factor mortality
impacts for tobacco users vs non-users. The former put
themselves in harm's way so maybe they shouldn't count
(volenti non fit iniuria). By excluding smokers, a million
deaths a year is 1T rather than 0.125T.
||As an aside, I'm writing this as a non-smoker. I hope nobody
tries to apply a similar calculus to coffee.
||What about the difference between self-inflicted harm
and harm to others?
What about counterfactual deaths? For example, what if
someone smoked a calming cigarette instead of getting
into a fight in which someone died? What if someone
died because the national health budget no longer had
the benefit of taxes on tobacco?
What about multi-factorial deaths? E.g., someone gets
drunk and commits a sectarian murder by running
someone over. Will you put that death against alcohol,
sectarianism or road traffic offences? One particular
difficulty in this area is that a large and increasing
number of bad behaviours are being defined as
psychiatric conditions in the DSM. How much credence
will you lend to these medicalisations in themselves, and
to any particular aetiological model put forward for
them? For example, if a smoker is found to have an
addictive personality, do you put down their death to
tobacco, or to whatever cause is attributed to Addictive
Personality Syndrome, or whatever it might be called?
||What if you looked at aggregate numbers instead
of what-iffing every imaginable outlier?
||That's easy: then you would misunderstand the causal
relationships and make bad decisions with unintended
consequences. Why do you ask?
||What if you spent all your time looking at relative risks and rewards, so that you became inactive, fat, short-sighted, socially isolated and with no other real-world skills? You should make sure to give "comparing relative risks and rewards" its own relative risk score.
||//what if someone smoked a calming cigarette instead of getting into a fight//
||I got to know many people through smoking. As far as I'm concerned bars died when the indoor smoking ban happened and a whole chunk of social life got eradicated from the planet. Maybe thats linked to the rise in numbers of sanctimonious idiots ?
||//As an aside, I'm writing this as a non-smoker. I hope
nobody tries to apply a similar calculus to coffee.//
||Coffee has been really, REALLY looked at as a possible
cause of all sorts of things. For this kind of thing you can
get pretty good data. Unlike most drugs, people tend not
to lie as much when asked about consumption. We have
sales figures. There are countries that drink a lot vs
countries that drink very little. Plenty of people who
don't drink any at all. There's decaffeinated drinkers and
lots of other granulatiry in a MASSIVE global user
||Noone can make caffeine/coffee extracts do anything in
the standard carcinogen tests. There is a bit of a
correlation between coffee consumption and some
cancers: but the biggest consumers are a: food/drink
service types & b: scientists. There's a bigger difference
between those two than between high and low
consumers. So it looks like lifestye.
||Interestingly, there is a real protective effect of
coffee/caffeine in some GI pathologies. Bowell cancer
negatively correlates. I spent some of my PhD looking at
why people who drink a lot of coffee tend to do a lot
better when they get acute pancreatitis. So far, caffeine
is one of the only things that you can get protective
effects in mouse models of pancreatitis in post treatment
(as opposed to having the drug in the mouse before you
induce pancreatitis). The mechanism still isn't clear.
||Mmm, the smell of coffee candles in the morning.