Barack Obama and the Rise of the Casual Smoker

The other day, Matt Welch noted that President-elect Obama admitted to Tom Brokaw that he still sneaks a cigarette now and then. Addiction expert (and reason contributor) Stanton Peele notes that Obama exemplifies an increasingly common type of smoker that anti-tobacco activists and public health officials like to pretend does not exist:

Barack Obama quit his early drug use when he got serious about life. Now, Barack is tackling the biggest taboo of all—cutting out his cigarette addiction but not quitting smoking altogether!

Last Sunday Tom Brokaw grilled Obama on Meet the Press about his furtive smoking. Obama answered that he had quit, but that he falls off the wagon sometimes. Brokaw pounced: "Then you still smoke!" Obama replied, "I have done a terrific job under the circumstances of making myself much healthier."

The data show that cutting back smoking or smoking occasionally is possible, and it does improve your health....

Contemporary college students who smoke do so less intensively—about half as many (7%) smoke a half pack or more of cigarettes daily today as did so in 1980 (13%). Most smoke less. Of course, smoking any number of cigarettes regularly is harmful; but smoking fewer cigarettes is less harmful—and potentially life saving over time. That more young people seem to be able to smoke casually instead of addictively is good.

Or at least that's what Barack Obama's example and statements would indicate.

Over at The Huffington Post, the Drug Policy Alliance's Tony Newman, who has himself repeatedly quit smoking, offers a similar observation:

Some see failure in Obama's current smoking status. I see success. While Obama could be a regular smoker, going through a pack a day, it sounds like he is an occasional smoker and has one here, one there. That is not a setback, that is progress! Obama shows that it is not all or nothing, but that moderate use may be attainable for some smokers.

According to the National Health Interview Survey, the share of American adults who were current smokers (i.e., people who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lives and now smoke "every day or some days") fell from 37 percent in 1974 to 21 percent in 2006. At the same time, the share of current smokers who consumed fewer than 15 cigarettes a day increased from 32 percent to 53 percent, while average daily cigarette consumption among current smokers fell from 20 to 14.

Wherever Obama's consumption falls on the continuum from chipper to pack-a-day smoker, one thing is certain: Even if he did resume his former habit, he might suffer embarrassment, but he would not be arrested. "While it seems crazy to lock up someone who relapses over cigarettes," writes Newman, "it makes no more sense to lock up a cocaine addict who relapses."

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  • ||

    I smoked daily for 10 years and probably never consumed over 10 cigarette in a single day. Most of the time I'd have a pack for three or four days. Quitting consisted of not buying a new pack one day. I have a cigarette, while drunk, maybe once a year and regret it every time. It is always a precursor to vomiting in the yard.

    Let the man occasionally sneak a smoke, maybe a slightly tarnished halo might be preferable to Saint President Messiah.

  • ||

    "it makes no more sense to lock up a cocaine addict who relapses."

    Nonsense, cigarettes don't cause violence and other societal problems the way cocaine does.

  • ||

    *snorts line*

    I take that back, cocaine is...awesome

  • Naga Sadow||

    Epi is that you?

  • Naga Sadow||

    Does this mean that the health nannies will back off of everyone for a while?

  • Technomist||

    The biggest taboo of all?

    You have someone called an 'Addiction Expert" who writes this stuff? Good grief.

  • Eric Hanneken||

    What is the source of that Stanton Peele quote? Private correspondence?

  • ||

    I smoked daily for 10 years and probably never consumed over 10 cigarette in a single day. Most of the time I'd have a pack for three or four days. Quitting consisted of not buying a new pack one day.

    Me, I was about a pack a day for 4 or 5 years. I quit the same way, bummed a few cigarettes at parties for a few months, and haven't even been tempted since.

    I really don't get the big foofaraw about how hard it is to quit cigarettes.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Then you still smoke

    I smoked two cigarettes and drank a bottle of wine at the beach with Mrs TWC's sister in August 2007.

    OMIGOD! Still a smoker!

    Stop pointing at me!

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I really don't get the big foofaraw about how hard it is to quit cigarettes.

    It's hard if you don't really want to quit but you think you should.

    It is harder than some habits because it is such an integral part of your life. Cigarette and coffee, cigarette after lunch, cigarette and beer, etc.

    But once you get serious about it, it isn't as hard as everyone thinks.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I never saw the appeal of smoking. Even women haven't been able to talk me around to trying a cigarette. Though women are responsible for just about everything else I've tried.

  • ||

    Naga,

    It's oddly calming and a fantastic prop if you love to gesticulate.

    Although, I will admit, I think I liked my Zippo more than the actual smoking.

  • ||

    I've got an aunt who's had one cigarette per day for the past 35 years.

    Not two. Not zero. One.

    Different people have different levels of withdrawal when they quit cigarettes. I had one friend who would smoke a pack a day for six months, then just not buy another pack when he ran out, and felt nothing. I've got another who I saw literally reduced to tears trying to quit without the patch. There was some recent research that suggests a genetic component.

  • Elemenope||

    I really don't get the big foofaraw about how hard it is to quit cigarettes.

    Some people have it (comparatively) easy, and some have a much harder time. Probably has to do with genetic and environmental factors that influence how strongly the person's brain associates reward with action.

    All brain drugs are wacky that way. Some people are utterly useless on marijuana while others use it to help them study more effectively.

  • ||

    Epi is that you?

    Only in spirit, Naga.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    Ah. The johnny on the spot with the lighter guy is cool. I'll give you that.

    Epi,

    Whoa!!! You can astral project?

  • Elemenope||

    Ah. The johnny on the spot with the lighter guy is cool. I'll give you that.

    And if you carry around a cool lighter and *don't* smoke, you get annoying questions.

  • ||

    He is everywhere, Naga. When a hot college girl bends over in a short skirt, Epi is there. When a moron struggles with vocabulary on the board, Epi is there. When a lone sparrow falls from the sky, Epi is there.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Elemenope,

    Ahem. Bartender (points to self). I'm supposed to be that guy even if I don't smoke.

    SugarFree,

    (Tears up) I feel him in my heart to!!!

  • ||

    Naga,

    Zippo or some cheap disposable? Or a cool cigar blowtorch?

  • ||

    He is everywhere, Naga. When a hot college girl bends over in a short skirt, Epi is there. When a moron struggles with vocabulary on the board, Epi is there. When a lone sparrow falls from the sky, Epi is there.

    I am everywhere...and nowhere. Mostly nowhere.

    (Tears up) I feel him in my heart to!!!

    That was your heart?

  • ||

    I quit in 2000. My last cigarette was what kept me from having another.

    After two full weeks without smoking. I took one cigarette with me when I headed to the bar. After I took my first sip on my second drink, I decided it was time to treat myself and have a smoke... And it was SO fucking good. I knew I could never be an occasional smoker. If I had one, I'd have another and I'd be back to half a pack a day in under a week.

    It was THREE FRICKING MONTHS before I had a day I didn't crave a smoke.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Episiarch,

    Well I certainly didn't feel you in my pants!

  • ||

    I had a zippo from my dad that had a picture of Snoopy on his back on his doghouse with a thought bubble that said "Fuck it."

  • Naga Sadow||

    Which is a good thing.

  • ||

    I had a "raw" Zippo, one that was only the brass base they all have before they are electroplated. I still have it, but it got dropped in battery acid and it stained green and never really worked well afterwards.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Just saw an ad on Wikipedia offering one to join 1800 women on a lesbian cruise ship. Wonder if Epi will be there.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    I did use these cool looking matches but management bitched over my practice of lighting the womans cigarette and then giving away three or four packs of the match books. I apologized to management for my errors and have ever since told people "I don't smoke", "Cutbacks forced us to get rid of matches", and my favorite, grabbing the cigarette from the woman and using the candles to light it.

  • Elemenope||

    Ahem. Bartender (points to self). I'm supposed to be that guy even if I don't smoke.

    Fair enough. I never had such a good excuse.

  • Naga Sadow||

    TWC,

    I believe they are on the cruise because of Epi's prowess in the sack.

  • ||

    I never saw the appeal of smoking. Even women haven't been able to talk me around to trying a cigarette. Though women are responsible for just about everything else I've tried.

    Naga,

    Me too! We're products of all the anti-smoking propaganda. Although I recently allowed a man to talk me into it. (The shame!) Fun when drunk, I have to admit.

  • Naga Sadow||

    OH!!!!!!! Yeah I went there!

  • Egosumabbas||

    "..but it got dropped in battery acid and it stained green and never really worked well afterwards."

    There's another story buried in there that I'm kinda scared of hearing.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Fun when drunk? I bet you are.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Quiet down Marchwarden. I'll ask. Why . . . why . . . how did you drop it in . . . battery acid?

  • ||

    Naga,

    It's all about the Zippo tricks and matchbook fun. Like lighting a matchbook one-handed or popping a Zippo open and snapping to light it. Women love a man proficient with fire. Let's her know she won't have to subsist on raw mastodon.

  • Dylboz||

    I've managed to be a very occasional smoker for years and years. The secret? My brand is OPC's.

    Other People's Cigarettes.

    Works for me! I only get what I can charm off the chicks at the bar or the chums out back on the smoking porch. I never have them at home or in the car, because I never buy them. I'll go smoke-free for weeks and weeks, and then have a few in a night, or sometimes a friend will leave a pack around, and it'll take me weeks to kill it.

    See, tobacco isn't crack, and yet crack is supposedly less addictive than nicotine...

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    It was THREE FRICKING MONTHS before I had a day I didn't crave a smoke.

    I'm not sure that ever goes entirely away. Every once in a while somebody lights up, and if it's a chick, I'm tempted to say let me have a hit off that (I don't share smokes with dudes).

    One foolproof way to get over the cravings is to spend an hour on the sofa at my dad's house, which is where the fraudulent EPA second hand smoke study was conducted. Those who survived the smog at Dad's place went back to DC and wrote the study and you know the rest.

    I swear, if you spend an afternoon on his couch and you'll never crave another smoke.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    In that case I got a tip for ya. If your wife drinks cosmos slice the top of an orange off. Squeeze over a lit match . . . awesome effect plus it changes the flavor of the drink.

  • Naga Sadow||

    TWC,

    Very wise of you. Taking a hit off a guys cigarette can send the entirely wrong picture.

  • ||

    Not that interesting. A friend of mine was draining an old type of car battery (the kind you used to periodically feed water) to scrap the lead and I fumbled my lighter into the pan. The solution was weak, but it corroded the hinge enough to keep it from flipping open well and you had to take a pair of pliers to slide the fluid sleeve out to fill it. I replaced it with another one, but never loved it as much as the first one.

  • ||

    If your wife drinks cosmos slice the top of an orange off.

    For your sake, I hope she never finds out you suggested that she drinks cosmos.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Ahh, yes, fancy match tricks and Zippos that explode into flame. Love that stuff. It's just so cool.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I never got a zippo or anything like it due to the refiller crap. A friend of mine had one and called me over one day to help fill it. I thought he was just nervous till I read the fine print on the canister. Don't let it touch you, don't breath it, if you get any in you eye call 911 immediately, etc . . . I told him to fuck off with that shit. He came to school with bizarre looking burns on his left hand the next day but he never admitted anything.

  • Zeb||

    "Me, I was about a pack a day for 4 or 5 years. I quit the same way, bummed a few cigarettes at parties for a few months, and haven't even been tempted since.

    I really don't get the big foofaraw about how hard it is to quit cigarettes."

    People like you fucking suck. And you always have to go around gloating about it too.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Taking a hit off a guys cigarette can send the entirely wrong picture.

    Indeed it does. Or can. Or something.

  • Naga Sadow||

    A chick that doesn't drink cosmos? I'm intrigued. Do you have her trained on cheap beer or somethin'?

  • ||

    Youthful indiscretions, TWC. That's all.

  • Naga Sadow||

    TWC,

    I'm hip and with it so I will let you in on a sort of code. Apparently to prevent harassment, gays/lesbians have the cigarette thing worked out as a sort of "I'm gay. Cool to talk to me" type of code or some such nonsense in Biloxi.

  • ||

    I really don't get the big foofaraw about how hard it is to quit cigarettes.



    Ditto. I quit three years ago, and it was a snap. I didn't have the shakes, didn't have withdrawals, didn't turn into the world's grumpiest man, didnt' gain fifty pounds. I didn't have a nasty cough for about a month, but that was it. The trick is to just quit. Get the patch or gum if you want, but just quit.

    But you have to want to. Your nagging wife can't do it for you. The nagging politicians can't do it for you. You have to do really want to quit all on your own.

  • ||

    Naga,

    She's expensive beer, Islay scotch, tequila shots, and the occasional dry gin martini. She hates sweet drinks. She's not even a fan of our lovely local bourbons, finding them too sweet.

    If my wife didn't insist on being an adult all the time, she'd be the perfect woman.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Naga, wrong kind of Zippo. You have to get the kind that takes traditional lighter fluid. Blue and yellow can with the tilt out nozzle. Forget the butane, real men do not do butane lighters.

    A Zippo will also work fine with BBQ lighter fluid. I know, I found an old Zippo out in the hills one morning while taking my constitutional. Didn't have any regular lighter fluid so I improvised. Dam thing still works. It was worn to brass in places, faded, full of dirt and little rocks, no telling how long it was lying out there. Probably some guy on a dirt bike lost it five years ago.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    I'm very much impressed with the Islay but no bourbon? Dump her. You can do better.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Thanks for the tip, Naga.

    BTW, speaking of gay, today is A Day Without A Gay

    Wonder why Reason isn't covering it.

  • Naga Sadow||

    TWC,

    I've never owned a Zippo or anything like one. I always used the cheapos from Wal-Mart. From Wal-Mart not the convenience stores. They were like a dollar more for a pack of em!

  • ||

    Srsly, dude. You're close to witness protection level of danger. She's going to be in Savannah soon; she'll spare a side trip to hurt you.

  • Naga Sadow||

    TWC,

    Just tryin to give you a heads up before some guy wearing ass less chaps hits on you. I'm good like that.

  • ||

    I believe they are on the cruise because of Epi's prowess in the sack.

    I get busy at work for a while and Naga almost manages to slip this one past. I'll have you know that they were lesbians before I nailed them.

    As for lighter tricks, they are fun and impressive with the zippo, but to do bottle tricks, you need a disposable butane lighter. Tricks like letting off a bunch of butane into an empty beer bottle and then lighting it, causing a jet of blue flame to burst out, which you light a smoke with. Also, the cupped hand of blue flame trick with butane is groovy too.

  • ||

    BTW, speaking of gay, today is A Day Without A Gay

    Now that you mention it, where is Pro Libertate?

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    Your talking to a guy who just found out one of his ex's is in jail for running a meth lab in her house. I got crazy women up the wazoo down her to protect me. Granted I'm down one now.

  • ||

    Your talking to a guy who just found out one of his ex's is in jail for running a meth lab in her house.

    You were a fool to leave her. Once all her teeth fell out, it'd be a non-stop party.

  • ||

    the oval full-size bic lighter is a fantastic tool, far superior to the zippo. it's disposable, but the feul lasts longer than it will take you to simply misplace it. it opens beer bottles, it can crush things into fine powder, and it lights things on fire. It is lighter, bottle opener, and mortar and pestle in one! clearly a coke-snortin, bong-tokin, alcoholic's best friend.

  • Naga Sadow||

    No she was a nice thick and toned chick a few years older than me . . . (sigh) Apparently she was fired from the casino she worked at back in March and couldn't make her house notes. She "rented" out her house to an old boyfriend(not me) who just happened to be a junkie and apparently it snowballed from there. Bizarre.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Phalkor,

    LMAO!!! It lights things on fire? AWESOME LINE!!!

  • Naga Sadow||

    Alright. It's time to knuckle up. Later.

  • ||

    Zippo Lighter Tricks

    Ends up being a weird cross between a butterfly knife and a Rubik's Cube.

  • ||

    The Zippo has panache, but you care if you lose it and it doesn't do all the extra stuff phalkor mentioned. The Bic lighter has no style, but is dirt cheap, instantly replaceable, and grinds oxycontin into a fine powder when necessary.

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  • ||

    I'm still a tobacco addict but due to lifestyle changes and constant effortI've reduced a two p[ack a day habit to 6-8 ciggiebutts.

    Not good, but not near as bad.

  • ||

    I've had a total of about 3 cigarettes in my life. Smoke half a cigarette. Throw up. Wonder what the fuck the attraction is. Try again a few years later due to peer pressure. Throw up.

    How the hell does anyone smoke enough of this crap to get addicted?

  • B Adams||

    Well, basically, I started smoking when I was around twenty-five years old. I was in college, drinking beer, attending parties… and a friend of mine offered me a cigarette or two while I was buzzing. Prior to that, I just hated smoking. I remember before I started, too. I use to smell people, and I couldn't stand the smell on their clothes. Hello!? Now, I'm one of them. I've been smoking for thirteen years, and now I'm trying to quit. I'm down to FIVE or less cigarettes a day. It takes discipline, but I'm determined to quit. Today is my first day smoking only THREE cigs a day. The last one I smoked almost made me ill, which is a good sign in my book.

  • ||

    One foolproof way to get over the cravings is to spend an hour on the sofa at my dad's house, which is where the fraudulent EPA second hand smoke study was conducted.

    Heh. For a couple of years, whenever I walked into a smokey bar or smokers house, it would totally trigger the "I want a cigarette" response. But now I find cigarette smoke, especially stale cigarette smoke, just as disgusting as everyone else does. I won't kiss a smoker, but I make it a point not to be a dick anti-smoker. I don't try to nag others into quitting. I don't complain about people smoking (unless they're smoking in a designated non-smoking area) I even keep ash trays in the house. Although since I quit I haven't brought any smokers home.

  • ||

    Flat metal rectangle, guys. It's like crushing garlic with the flat of a knife blade. And the top is curved for your fine grinding action.

    And the Zippo doesn't have to be modified to remove the child safety shit.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Just tryin to give you a heads up before some guy wearing ass less chaps hits on you. I'm good like that. LOL

    Thanks, but, experience has shown that gay guys don't appreciate my finer qualities anymore than straight chicks do.

  • ||

    The naptha fueled cigarette lighter has not been improved on since the invention of the Zippo. That is some quality engineering design.

    Hetero men use the full sized ones. Chrome is OK but the engraved brass ones are coolest.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    the oval full-size bic lighter is a fantastic tool

    And you can make a dandy little bomb out of the thing. Easy as pie, too.

  • Elemenope||

    BTW, speaking of gay, today is A Day Without A Gay

    Wonder why Reason isn't covering it.


    Because they couldn't find a gay to comment, because...you know...it's a day without a gay...

  • ||

    The best use of a Bic lighter is actually for the Zippo. Dig the flint out of a dead Bic and use it in your Zippo. Works exactly the same and last about 5 times as long. (Or more if you sacrifice a new Bic.)

  • ||

    Put me down as a Bic man. I think I only took two Bics from new to empty (they came out with the mini Bics right about the time I stopped smoking). I picked up roughly as many as I lost, and there was always a fresh one in the drawer.
    I tried two Zippos, but lost one and damaged the other. Besides, when guys like me try to act cool its always counter productive.

  • economist||

    Cigars, my friends, cigars.

  • ed||

    Absolutists like AA and The American Cancer Society see it as either-or. Quit and you're a saint (albeit self-admittedly flawed). Don't quit and you're a devil. There is no middle ground in their dogma. They can't even conceive of one.

  • ||

    BTW, speaking of gay, today is A Day Without A Gay



    Is this the day gays are supposed to all call in sick and stay home so everyone knows how vital they are? Funny how no one seems to be absent today. I'm, here in the heart of libruhl Californya working onsite at a major "Hollywood Left" company, and everyone seems to be present.

    Oh well, maybe Barney will stay home day and postpone the bailout 24 hours.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    IN RE: Zippos.
    I can't believe no one has referenced Tarantino's segment of "Four Rooms" yet.

  • name withheld to protect the g||

    I think there must be a strong genetic component to substance addictions in general. I'll add my anecdotal 2-cents to the rest: In college and after I'd go through periods of smoking maybe 3 or 4 cigarettes on 2 or 3 nights a week out at the bar or at a party. It was purely a social thing as it turned out to be much much easier to meet and talk to girls outside in the smoking area.

    At parties and with friends I've also, more than a few times over the years, smoked marijuana, used cocaine, prescription amphetamines, snorted crushed ritalin, etc. All good stuff that made for a fun night. But all done only occasionally, often with weeks and even months of non-use in between. I've never felt any compulsion or strong desire to do any of them, I've never used any of them on my own (i.e. while not at a party or bar or with a girl), and I've never come close to using any of them on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy them, they were fun, and when the chance came up to do them again at a subsequent party or with a girl I typically would, but like drinking it was because I enjoyed it, not because I felt I needed it. In no way did I ever become even close to addicted to any of those things or even alcohol which I have no problem going weeks or months without (though I typically have a few drinks on the weekends, again because I enjoy the social aspect of it).

    On the other hand, I have heard and/or seen people who certainly seemed addicted to many of those same things. People who clearly seemed to need one or more to function. For me, that seems incomprehensible and I really don't pretend to understand what it's like because I simply don't. I'm just thankful that I've never had that problem. It is also my impression that the same people that have problems with one substance tend to have problems with others leading to the suspicion that addiction is much more about the person than the substance.

  • Mad Max||

    "I think there must be a strong genetic component to substance addictions in general."

    It's too bad the gays are on strike today, or they would be able to point out the public-policy implications of the genetic idea.

    If there's a gene for addiction, that means that it's perfectly OK to be addicted to cigarettes, heroin, beer, etc., because it's "perfectly natural" (or "the way God made you," if you're into religion). And that means that neither the government nor private agencies should discriminate in any way against those who yield to this addiction. Not only should the government eliminate all laws and policies discouraging addictive behaviors, but it should forbid private companies from discriminating against addicts just because they give in to their addiction.

    Any insurance company who denies coverage, or increases their rates, for smokers, drinkers, drug-abusers, etc., should be found guilty of discriminatory practices because they are cruelly punishing people for a genetic condition.

    Not only that, but the government should recognize the relationship between addicts and their dealers, providing licenses recognizing the addict/dealer relationship and providing tax and other benefits for addicts and dealers, comparable to spousal benefits.

    Anyone who disagrees is a fascist nazi religious nut.

  • ||

    I am SO disappointed to see how Barack prevaricated about the smoking question. Why not just fess up? Be assured I will be listening for his future slippery language.

  • Jeremy||

    I dont't understand why anybody cares...he's smoking--it's a bad habit; it's not like he's killing anyone. In order to get keep young people from taking up smoking in the US we have brainwashed everyone into believing that smoking is evil. It's not evil; if you should feel any way towards people who smoke, it is sympathy. Something in their life, that they may no be proud of drove them to smoke, and the rest of us are lucky enough to not have that kind of stress (or had the education to know otherwise).

    Leave him alone; he's trying.

  • Paul||

    Obama exemplifies an increasingly common type of smoker that anti-tobacco activists and public health officials like to pretend does not exist



    *raises hand*

  • Elemenope||

    It's too bad the gays are on strike today, or they would be able to point out the public-policy implications of the genetic idea.

    Thankfully we have you instead.

    If there's a gene for addiction, that means that it's perfectly OK to be addicted to cigarettes, heroin, beer, etc., because it's "perfectly natural" (or "the way God made you," if you're into religion). And that means that neither the government nor private agencies should discriminate in any way against those who yield to this addiction. Not only should the government eliminate all laws and policies discouraging addictive behaviors, but it should forbid private companies from discriminating against addicts just because they give in to their addiction.

    Yeah, genetics is a *sufficient* condition for acceptance. I've certainly heard that argument seriously used before. I think I was sitting in a high school classroom at the time.

    Any insurance company who denies coverage, or increases their rates, for smokers, drinkers, drug-abusers, etc., should be found guilty of discriminatory practices because they are cruelly punishing people for a genetic condition.

    Well, *if it does happen to be genetically determined* denying medical care to people more likely to get ill is fairly cruel. Whether it is acceptable is another question entirely, and usually revolves around whether we are talking about public or private parties.

    Not only that, but the government should recognize the relationship between addicts and their dealers, providing licenses recognizing the addict/dealer relationship and providing tax and other benefits for addicts and dealers, comparable to spousal benefits.

    Or, and this is crazy, I'll admit, they could leave them alone.

    Anyone who disagrees is a fascist nazi religious nut.

    Nobody does self-flagellation like Christians. They simply can not be beat.

    Except by themselves, obviously.

    Jesus did say something about dickheads on street-corners being attention whores...

  • K.T.||

    That would be me too... it takes me about 4 months to go through a pack of cigarettes. I never smoke in the town where I live, only when I'm out of town visiting old high school or college friends. But, I almost never drink either... maybe one night every 2 months. I've got other addictions, like yardwork and a job, that keep me pathological.

    My doctor laughs at me when I admit to smoking and prepare for a lecture. He says "I'm not even going to waste my breath on 3 packs per year."

  • Formerly Jennifer ||

    How many cases of "air rage" were caused by smokers having a nicotine fit?

    Give thanks for ATL, where they still have indoor smoking rooms. Gross-smelling as they are, I don't think I would have made it from WA to FL without going crazy.

  • ||

    I just recently read Barack Obama increased Apple MAC sales. Everyone wants one now. In this article, our president-elect is smoking. Now every one wants to smoke. what the hell is that? This basically means. Barack Obama says one thing. Everyone should do it and I should do it to? Those who quit smoking are smoking now? This is ridiculuous. He's the new president and he should definitely represent positive and good things in America, not try to influence all americans to smoke or to buy macs, than those americans try an influence me, saying "oh yah, Obama smokes. Obama uses a MAC, ALL AMERICANS ARE DOING IT, so you should too." Bunch of Morons!

  • oat willie||

    You can be a casual cigarette smoker and that's OK, but if you smoke cannabis casually, you are abusing drugs. Just trying to keep track.

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  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

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