EppsNet Archive: Smoking

Lose the Pastels and the Mopey Attitude

9 Jul 2015 /

Human of New York

  1. Americans love gay people. Since this photo has been posted, it has 60,000 shares, 60,000 comments (including presidential candidates) and 640,000 (that’s six hundred and forty thousand) likes. In the short time since the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling there’s been a national competition to see who can demonstrate the most elation about it. (OK, if you’re gay, a few bad apples will dislike you based on that alone but that’s true if you’re identifiable as a member of any group, which we all are.)
  2. I’m afraid about the future. I’m afraid people won’t like me. Leave out the part about being homosexual and you could post a picture of anyone. The percentage of Americans who can’t get through the day without medication — I’m including self-medication via alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, etc. — is a lot closer to 100 than it is to zero. Nobody’s life is a fairy tale, kid.
  3. How old is this boy? He looks about 10. Is he really old enough to have fully sussed out his own sexuality? Maybe he is but it seems far from certain.
  4. Find some role models, like Ellen and that Doogie Howser kid. Lose the pastels and the mopey attitude. Dress like a man and keep it peppy.

Doogie Howser   Ellen

Bad Personal Ad

10 Jul 2014 /

The Best-Laid Plans . . .

15 Nov 2013 /

As if any more evidence was needed that smoking is bad for your health.

Should I ever happen to kill myself while trying to perform a simple task — I’m trying not to, but if it does happen — please don’t publish a photo of me in a college hoodie.

Au revoir, professor!

UT alum

Thank You for Smoking

31 Oct 2013 /

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking kills about 1 in 5 people in the United States.

Is that bad? If so, why? You’ve got to die somehow. Would it be better if those people died from some other cause? How would you prefer to see them die?

James Bond

Also: Some percentage of Americans would rather be dead than alive anyway. I don’t know what that number is, but I’d bet it’s higher than 1 in 5.

(If you Google “percentage of people who would rather be dead,” the top results all point to a 2008 survey in which 52 percent of respondents said they would rather be dead than disabled.

If you change the search to “percentage of people who would rather be dead than alive,” you get a mishmash of links, including a few more links to the “dead vs. disabled” survey, but you still don’t get the number you’re looking for. Phoning up random Americans and asking if they’d rather be dead is evidently not considered an appropriate thing to do, although it seems like a highly relevant question to me.

Slight digression: I also found a survey in which people were given the option of saving either their pet dog or a foreign tourist from in front of an onrushing bus. Forty percent chose the dog, which seems low to me.)

Anyway, the American Cancer Society goes on to say:

About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Where does that number — 443,000 — come from? The problem with throwing out numbers on smoking deaths is that there’s no way to know that any given smoker died because of smoking.

If a smoker dies from lung cancer, is that automatically counted as a smoking-related death? There’s no way you can know that. Because non-smokers get lung cancer too. Not as often as smokers, but they get it.

You can look at a lot of cases collectively and say that smoking is associated with a higher risk of lung cancer. You could even say that smoking causes lung cancer. But for any given person, you can’t say that this person’s lung cancer was caused by smoking and if he didn’t smoke, he would not have died of lung cancer.

Same thing with other diseases — if a smoker dies of heart disease or a stroke, is that because of smoking? There’s no way you can know that.

The second problem with the numbers is that if smoking kills 1 person in 5 (20 percent), and half of all smokers die because of smoking, then you’d have about 40 percent of Americans as smokers. That’s too high. According to the CDC, 19 percent of U.S. adults are smokers (as of 2011).

Why not keep it real, skip the bogus numbers and say, “Smoking helps some people get through the day. It revs them up or it calms them down or I don’t know what it does, but it helps them get through the day. That being said, there are other ways to get through the day, and setting a vegetable product on fire and inhaling the smoke into your lungs is clearly not the most healthful thing you can do.”

First They Came . . .

29 Sep 2010 /

I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.

— Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008

There must be some mistake then because I just got an email from our accounting department stating that effective January 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs will require a doctor’s prescription when an FSA claim for reimbursement is submitted.

That doesn’t even make sense. Of course I don’t have a prescription for OTC drugs. Why would I pay a doctor to write me a prescription for something that I can just walk into Walgreen’s and buy it?

Hi Doc, I’ve got a terrible cold so I just stopped by to drop a $30 co-pay and get a prescription for some Nyquil.

And if I can no longer pay for ibuprofen, aspirin, cough/cold medication, etc., with pre-tax dollars through my FSA, that makes my taxes go up. Did I mention that I earn less than $250,000 a year?

They came first for the smokers with last April’s increase in the cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 (even for smokers making less than $250,000), and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker.

Then they came for the tanners with the 10 percent tanning bed tax (no exemption for tanners making less than $250,000), and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a tanner.

Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up . . .

Twitter: 2010-07-26

26 Jul 2010 /
  • RT @joshcomers: May take up smoking again just as a way to get out of terrible indoor conversations. #

Jack LaLanne at 88

19 Sep 2002 /

From a Dateline NBC interview with fitness guru Jack La Lanne, who will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sept. 26, his 88th birthday:

Keith Morrison: A lot of people, once they start to get older, have things like strokes and heart attacks, high blood pressure, arthritis, those kinds of diseases that are associated with age. Have you had a heart attack?

Jack La Lanne: I can’t afford to. It’d wreck my image. I can’t afford to die, man.

Continue reading Jack LaLanne at 88