Nice of you to step in and act as a financial consultant to those working people. Anything else you feel they shouldn’t “waste” their money on? Maybe there are more cost-effective, and healthier, ways for them to spend their money on food, too. Are you going to propose a ban on Big Macs? Pork rinds?
Sheesh. Talk about paternalistic.
Also, if you’re that worried about the cost of smoking to working people, you could just argue for a reduction in cigarette taxes.
Yes, I know you are on the same page here, I was just trying to articulate the issue in a little bit more detail. The bottom line is that the Democrats cannot in good conscience try to do this shit and then ask why their support has dwindled with the working class. I see pious posts on Facebook every day from educated academics and armchair political wonks who live in $450,000 houses, about how it’s the DEMOCRATS who support unions, it’s the DEMOCRATS who support higher wages, it’s the DEMOCRATS who are the friends of the workin’ man so Christ almighty WHY oh WHY can’t the poor workin’ man stop voting against his own interests and support the Democratic Party already?!?! These exasperated choir-preachers, by and large, have never worked a working-class job.
There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health.1,2,6 Comprehensive smokefree policies have been successful in protecting those who do not smoke, and are the only way to fully protect their health.1,2,7
Health Effects in Adults
In adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause:
** Heart disease*
For adults who do not smoke, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels.1,4,6*
Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among adults who do not smoke.1*
People who do not smoke, but are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work, experience a 25-30% increase in their risk of developing heart disease. 1*
** Lung cancer1,8*
Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 7,300 deaths from lung cancer among people who do not smoke.1*
** * Each year, more than 8,000 deaths from stroke can be attributed to secondhand smoke.1*
Chronic diseases such as these are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They may also increase risk with respect to other illnesses.1
Health Effects in Infants and Children
** Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.1*
Adults exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have newborns with lower birth weight, increasing the risk of health complications.2*
** Infants exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have significantly higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).1,2,3*
** * Chemicals in secondhand smoke appear to affect the brain in ways that interfere with its regulation of infants’ breathing.2,3*
Infants who die from SIDS have higher concentrations of nicotine in their lungs and higher levels of cotinine than infants who die from other causes.2,3*
** Exposure to secondhand smoke causes multiple health problems in infants and young children, including: 1,2,3*
Respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath)*
Acute lower respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia*
** Children with asthma who encounter secondhand smoke have more severe and more frequent asthma attacks. 1,2,3*
Most of the science on secondhand smoke is exaggerated and has proven to not hold up under later scrutiny, the risks from secondhand smoke appear to be minor, and now that we have to my knowledge an all but national ban on smoking in most public accommodations and other enclosed public spaces, I do not believe secondhand smoke is a significant matter of public interest. People exposed to secondhand smoke in private homes are not the purview of government.
By the way if you check the Slate link it makes very specific links to peer reviewed scientific articles specifically saying many of the claims of some years ago about heart risks from even “minimal” secondhand smoke are not supported by larger, higher quality data sets. I note this because the heart stuff is one of the first things mentioned in the CDC link you provided and the actual data doesn’t hold up very well for that. Unfortunately while the CDC is a decent public health organization, it tends to be glacial at revising guidelines based off of further additional study, not just as pertains to smoking but a great many things (the CDC continued to have guidance up about sanitizing surfaces for coronavirus for ages after we knew it was nonsense.)
## People at risk of coronary heart disease should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
Even without future studies or replications of these findings1 the data are sufficient to warrant caution regarding exposure to secondhand smoke.223–24 Clinicians should be aware that such exposure can pose acute risks, and all patients at increased risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should be advised to avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking.3516 Additionally, the families of such patients should be counselled not to smoke within the patient’s home or in a vehicle with the patient. In addition to its impact on heart disease, exposure to secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in non-smokers, respiratory infections and asthma in children, and even death in exposed infants.21730 As the US Surgeon General and the US Community Preventive Service Task Force have noted,22324 much of this important health risk is preventable by the implementation of comprehensive smoke-free policies similar to the policy that was implemented in Helena for six months
Exposure to secondhand smoke from burning tobacco products can cause sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory infections, ear infections, and asthma attacks in infants and children, and coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer in adult nonsmokers (1). There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure (2). CDC analyzed questionnaire and laboratory data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to assess patterns of secondhand smoke exposure among U.S. nonsmokers
People at risk of heart disease should avoid secondhand smoke because it increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns in a commentary in the April 24 issue of the British Medical Journal ( BMJ . 2004;328:980-983).
The warning accompanied a study concluding that smoking bans at work and in public places may be associated with reducing morbidity from heart disease ( BMJ . 2004;328:977-983).
And hell, lets bring in Ireland too, which talks about Helena:
But if New York - as well as other cities and municipalities - is ever tempted to rescind its smoking ban, it should look at the goings-on in Helena, Montana. The citizens of Helena voted in June 2002 to ban smoking in all public buildings - including restaurants, bars and casinos. Soon after, doctors at the local hospital noticed that heart-attack admissions were dropping. So, in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco, they did a study to measure the potential short-term effects of a smoking ban.
Helena is a perfect place for such a study: relatively isolated, with enough people in the region (66,000) for a meaningful population sample, and only one cardiac-care hospital within a 60-mile radius.
So it was easy to control the study sample and methodology: if you get a heart attack in Helena, there’s only one place to go for treatment.
The study showed two trends. First, there was no change in heart attack rates for patients who lived outside city limits.
But for city residents, the rates plummeted by 58 per cent in only six months.
“We know from longer-term studies that the effects of secondhand smoke occur within minutes, and that long-term exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a 30 per cent increased risk in heart attack rates,” says Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine who conducted the study’s statistical analysis.
“But it was quite stunning to document this large an effect so quickly.”
It was also stunning to witness what happened next.
The Montana State Legislature, under pressure from the Montana Tavern Association and tobacco lobbyists, rescinded the ban in December.
The result: heart-attack rates bounced back up almost as quickly as they dropped.
The bottom line of Helena’s plummeting, then soaring, heart attack rate is painfully obvious: secondhand smoke kills. Only 30 minutes of exposure to it causes platelets in the bloodstream to become stickier. When that happens, blood clots form more easily, which can block arteries and cause heart attacks.
So if that slate article has evidence, let us see the cites.
Thirdhand smoke consists of the tobacco residue from cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products that is left behind after smoking and builds up on surfaces and furnishings. Tobacco smoke is composed of numerous types of gasses and particulate matter, including carcinogens and heavy metals, like arsenic, lead, and cyanide. Sticky, highly toxic particulates, like nicotine, can cling to walls and ceilings. Gases can be absorbed into dust in a room, carpets, draperies, and other fabrics or upholsteries. A 2002 study found that these toxic brews can then re-emit back into the air and recombine to form harmful compounds that remain at high levels long after smoking has stopped occurring.
No, it’s very different. Churches were very important in my white working-class neighborhood as well. They sponsored Scout troops, hosted potluck suppers, bingo nights, and youth group dances, and conducted baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Nobody’s saying churches in white communities haven’t been important, just that the roles of Black churches in Black communities has always been different in key ways.
Unlike white churches in white communities, Black churches were borne of struggle and oppression in the late 1700’s. White Christian churches segregated Blacks, refused to allow them a role in church leadership, and preached that slavery was sanctioned by God. Free Blacks established separate Black churches in the North, and eventually (and not without struggle), those churches sprang up in the South as well. Here Blacks held leadership positions they were generally refused elsewhere, and the churches were a safe sanctuary for Blacks to conduct political activities that were usually forbidden anywhere else. These churches played an important role in coordinating political activities in ways white churches never did and never needed to.
The unique and powerful role Black churches played in Black communities is a major reason they played a crucial and seminal role in the Civil Rights Movement. For all the issues have faced white working class communities, there’s simply been no parallel to the segregation and oppression Black communities faced and Black churches fought before and during the Civil Rights era. And there’s a reason that to date at least 64 Black churches have been bombed and burned: when white supremacists want to attack the heart of the Black community, there’s no more obvious target than Black churches.
I think it’s important to find commonalities between groups, but it’s just as important to understand the key differences.