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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-09-2008 10:45 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

That I don't understand what you are getting at by comparing smoking and driving. To me, they're different issues.



They might be different issues to you, but to an insurance provider they are the same thing - a risk factor. Unfortunately we have yet to address the externality represented by our automobile based culture. It not only causes similar problems as smoking but has exacerbated the obesity problem as well.



I think the connection between health, smoking, automobiles, and insurance should be obvious.
02-09-2008 08:55 AM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

What are you getting at? Just spit out what you want to say.

That I don't understand what you are getting at by comparing smoking and driving. To me, they're different issues.
02-09-2008 07:28 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Yes. And if the difference between people's attitudes to smoking and to driving is based on the difference in risk/reward, is there something problematic there?



What are you getting at? Just spit out what you want to say.
02-09-2008 07:08 AM
GhostUser Not to me. Seems sensible.



That said, car exhausts are toxic - much more so than cigarette smoke at close range. I'm imagining a restaurant with a smoking section and a car exhaust section. I know which one I'm choosing. Granted it's not real life - but I thought I'd throw it out there.
02-09-2008 07:00 AM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkk View Post

It's risk vs. reward. If smoking a cigarette allowed you to get from point a to point b at a rate of 80 miles per hour while staying out of the elements and cars weren't available to do the same job, many more people would smoke.

Yes. And if the difference between people's attitudes to smoking and to driving is based on the difference in risk/reward, is there something problematic there?
02-09-2008 06:54 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkk View Post

If smoking a cigarette allowed you to get from point a to point b at a rate of 80 miles per hour while staying out of the elements and cars weren't available to do the same job, many more people would smoke.



Good Point.
02-09-2008 06:51 AM
GhostUser It's risk vs. reward. If smoking a cigarette allowed you to get from point a to point b at a rate of 80 miles per hour while staying out of the elements and cars weren't available to do the same job, many more people would smoke.



Currently the rewards from smoking are a hacking couch, a reduction in savings, and a social stigmitization.
02-09-2008 06:46 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

And why do you think that is?



Because more people are addicted to driving than drugs.



Because our society revolves around the automobile.



Because gas taxes bring in greater revenues than cigarette taxes.



Because no one wants to admit that their behavior might be the problem when they can blame it something else.
02-09-2008 06:37 AM
Sevenseas Why do you think so many people drive?
02-09-2008 06:20 AM
GhostUser Wild guess. Health concerns?
02-09-2008 06:19 AM
Sevenseas And why do you think that is?
02-09-2008 06:16 AM
GhostUser Maybe because only 20-25% of adults smoke while a much larger % drive.
02-09-2008 06:12 AM
Sevenseas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other.

And why do you think it's easier?
02-08-2008 04:04 PM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

I'd be curious for a link to those studies. I walk frequently, so does it cause health problems if there are frequent cars in the area?



Check out this thread:



https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...smoking&page=2



You can search yourself but be careful - google links to a lot of ant-smoking zealot propaganda.



One quick test for determining the difference in smoke and exhaust is stand in a room with a cigarette burning and a car running. See which one kills you quicker.
02-08-2008 03:02 PM
Eclipse It would cause quite a lot of problems for city people yes?.
02-08-2008 02:03 PM
rainforests1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.

I'd be curious for a link to those studies. I walk frequently, so does it cause health problems if there are frequent cars in the area?
02-08-2008 01:59 PM
Quinoa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

2. I am sick of non-smoking zombies regurgitating falsehoods.

Kind diction.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.

I can't. A working day in a room filled with SHS has reduced my brain capacity too much...

By the way, I am not a driver, and never have been.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post


There is no difference between health insurance and car insurance.

There is a difference between people and cars though...



Further info on the Dutch Health Care System for whoever is interested:

http://www.minvws.nl/en/folders/z/20...-languages.asp

(mind the illustrations )

http://www.minvws.nl/en/nieuwsberich...le-choices.asp

(even though this was published before the study, I doubt that the Dutch government will start promoting smoking and obesity now, in order to reduce costs...)
02-08-2008 01:57 PM
JLRodgers Well I guess I'm fairly unique then. I quickly analyze up to ten side effects for all situations I do on a daily basis (from what to eat, when to leave, what card to throw during cards, etc). Almost treat life like a chess game. And it doesn't bother me in the slightest on any emotional level, nor take more than a few (well, under 10) seconds to a minute. On any given day I play out almost every imaginable situation while talking to someone. And there's no fear of anything from it, things happen, you can't stop that; but you can influence the end goal.



But with things that matter, it's more important to seek out the side effects before acting -- if you don't you'll end up with, well,





Car and human insurance is similar in general function, but the items they cover operate completely differently in similar situations. A car costs a lot more to get replaced if it's new than old. A human's medicine, doctor's visit costs the same no matter what the age, weight, or smoking status (overall, exceptions might be raised with complications, but assuming it's the same condition). Have different models of a car (or different years in some cases), and you'll have different prices even with identical damage because the parts aren't the same.

Based on your comment about insurance, the same can be said for loans, business startups, new project development, changing jobs, attending college, or even having children (well, not rates so much directly, but it does alter your tax rate). It's just a general comment that fits to cover many things (well, the word "rates" would have to be changed to fit better with some things). They're all just risk factors, projected costs, and rewards that are analyzed to get the best return for the least expense.
02-08-2008 01:10 PM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

Things aren't always a simple cause/effect type of thing. It's more like a rock dropping into water: the effect ripples out touching more and more things, and sometimes ripples back.



Economists call it the 'Law of Unintended Consequences', however if we take your position on things, always worrying about 'what if?', we begin to suffer from 'paralysis by analysis'.



We will never have the 'whole picture' so we make decisions based on the information we do have. If we wait and wait we never make a decision then everybody suffers.



There is no difference between health insurance and car insurance. Rates are based on risk factors and projected pool costs. Risk factors are calculated based on studies such as the one in question here amongst other things.



Think big, we are discussing policies which will affect millions of people, anecdotes and 'what ifs' (outliers) aren't considered because they aren't relevant to the group being protected with either auto insurance or health insurance (public or private).
02-08-2008 12:56 PM
Kraut
Quote:
Originally Posted by isowish View Post

I don't know enough about money (or taxes/retirement in the US) to even guess at the answer, but my first thought/question is... I wonder if 'healthier' people do/could work for enough time longer than 'unhealthy' people that they would pay the difference in cost of medical care in their taxes? In an overall healthier society, would the cost of healthcare increase, but the length of someone's working life increase too, perhaps enough to make up for it?



disclaimer: this isn't rhetoric to say it WOULD, I seriously don't know. I'm just pondering.



I agree with you that its a complicated issue with huge $$$ involved. Lots to ponder.



As another data point, smoothing each group's lifetime HC costs over each groups lifetime, you get the following monthly health care expense:



healthy - $543/month of life

obese - $515/month of life

smoker - $476/month of life



Interesting that the HC costs were not higher simply due to longevity differences as food costs probably would be.



These monthly cost also hint at what people would need to pay as HC insurance premiums or HC taxes. Each person would have to pay over $500+/month for the Netherlands' HC program to be fiscally sound.
02-08-2008 11:45 AM
JLRodgers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post

That's not punishing - that's just the way insurance works. You make an educated estimate on the risk and cost, and charge accordingly.



I never said that part was punishing -- just pointing out that insurance companies had no need to raise insurance rates because of the study, because they already compensate for the rising costs (which also kind of proves the study never needed to take place since the people already knew).



There's a thing called "what if"; my entire way of posting here asks that question: what if companies/governments used that bit of information to "encourage" people to lie about smoking or gain weight by punishing people for being healthy.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post

It's not about blaming or punishing. But if your are one to frame your policy arguments in "you cost us more, therefore you have to pay more", than why the resistance when things get turned on their head?



And if you don't like the smoking example, how the the fast food taxes that people like to trot out? Maybe we should be subsidizing fast food to the extent it saves us on health care dollars?



Just read the part about about the "what if". That's the one thing people don't do enough of these days. They read something, then pass judgment/laws on it based on what they see -- never asking "what if" first. Like with the fast food, what type of people eat it, the rich or the middle/lower class? What if you did raise the price? What will people do that are fired because of the higher prices? (no answer needed, just pointing it out as an example for my "what if" part for how I think).



Things aren't always a simple cause/effect type of thing. It's more like a rock dropping into water: the effect ripples out touching more and more things, and sometimes ripples back.
02-08-2008 11:32 AM
Red
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

When people get older, they DO increase the rates to cover extra costs (and about every 5 years, and more if you have more claims as I was told by mine). There'd just be no reason to punish young people with a greater chance of living longer.



That's not punishing - that's just the way insurance works. You make an educated estimate on the risk and cost, and charge accordingly.
02-08-2008 11:28 AM
Red
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

Smokers can cause others to suffer disease that they otherwise wouldn't have. Healthy people suffer from diseases that all people will (or at least have a good possibility of having). Big difference there. One's the natural course of human life and development. The other's an outside influence that's beyond some people's control. People don't (generally) blame or punish someone for living -- of course that's debatable considering how the world runs, but in theory at least.



It's not about blaming or punishing. But if your are one to frame your policy arguments in "you cost us more, therefore you have to pay more", than why the resistance when things get turned on their head?



And if you don't like the smoking example, how the the fast food taxes that people like to trot out? Maybe we should be subsidizing fast food to the extent it saves us on health care dollars?
02-08-2008 11:19 AM
JLRodgers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

This point is contentious and likely not true. Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second had car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level? Let's start tacking HC costs onto gas taxes.



What's wrong with that? If you drive a Ferrari you might not be more likely to have an accident, but you will cost a lot more is you do.



Is that a problem? Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables? We have all read the study, now it's up to the individual to decide what to do with that information.



There'd be nothing wrong with doing a more conclusive study that actually showed results of things -- but that's just not what they did. They only looked into a small thing relating to health and money, and not the whole picture.

However, there's a difference between the car and health analogy for insurance. For one, the cost of replacing a car is a lot higher for a more expensive car; even the cost of a minor accident would be higher. An expensive claim could hit any second of any day. You wouldn't even have to be driving to have a claim filed (storms, hit while parked, etc).



For a person, a healthy person and a smoker/obese person -- both go to the doctor and they have the same bills if they had the same tests. Healthy people (during the years they're alive with the "unhealthy") wouldn't pay any more than them overall*. So there'd be no reason to charge them more when there's no additional cost. When people get older, they DO increase the rates to cover extra costs (and about every 5 years, and more if you have more claims as I was told by mine). There'd just be no reason to punish young people with a greater chance of living longer.









* that is to say that both groups would have an equal chance of having illiness/disorders that people have unrelated to the "unhealthy" people's conditions.
02-08-2008 09:42 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinoa View Post

Im really sick of smokers saying things like

But car pollutants are worse than second hand smoke, etc.

Two wrongs dont make a right!

Sorry, off-topic mini-rant.



1. I am not a smoker

2. I am sick of non-smoking zombies regurgitating falsehoods.



Quite a few studies have shown that car exhaust is much worse than cigarette smoke, and much more prevalent, but because it's easier to bully smokers than drivers we hear about one and not the other. Give it some thought.
02-08-2008 09:42 AM
Quinoa
Quote:
Originally Posted by otomik View Post

wouldn't a more sensible solution be to have a red LED implanted in everyone's palm that starts flashing at an age appropriate to ritual suicide?

The LED implantation could be financed by a tax on breathing.
02-08-2008 09:36 AM
Quinoa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second hand car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level?

Im really sick of smokers saying things like

But car pollutants are worse than second hand smoke, etc.

Two wrongs dont make a right!

Sorry, off-topic mini-rant.
02-08-2008 09:35 AM
otomik
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketchy View Post

Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables?

wouldn't a more sensible solution be to have a red LED implanted in everyone's palm that starts flashing at an age appropriate to ritual suicide?
02-08-2008 09:24 AM
GhostUser
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

Smokers can cause others to suffer disease that they otherwise wouldn't have.



This point is contentious and likely not true. Even if we accept the somewhat questionable claims about SHS what about second had car exhaust? I don't drive but I have to endure all those pollutants at street level? Let's start tacking HC costs onto gas taxes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

They could've done a lot better and more conclusive study that was actually worthwhile... like the quality of life of healthy vs. obese people vs. otherwise non-healthy people (including mental states). Whether preventative care changes the lifespan of people with a health problems (or obese people). You know, something that actually matters? Not something that's obvious and probably no one other than insurance companies care about, since they'll think of doing a "obese? lower rates. Healthy? Double/triple rates."



What's wrong with that? If you drive a Ferrari you might not be more likely to have an accident, but you will cost a lot more is you do.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRodgers View Post

The study itself could easily be used to justify "unofficially" promoting people to die young to save the government and insurance companies money. And considering the study's own reasons for doing it, that is a possibility.



Is that a problem? Are you afraid that they will start handing out smokes in elementary schools and injecting saturated fat into vegetables? We have all read the study, now it's up to the individual to decide what to do with that information.
02-08-2008 09:16 AM
otomik
Quote:
Originally Posted by isowish View Post

I don't know enough about money (or taxes/retirement in the US) to even guess at the answer, but my first thought/question is... I wonder if 'healthier' people do/could work for enough time longer than 'unhealthy' people that they would pay the difference in cost of medical care in their taxes? In an overall healthier society, would the cost of healthcare increase, but the length of someone's working life increase too, perhaps enough to make up for it?



disclaimer: this isn't rhetoric to say it WOULD, I seriously don't know. I'm just pondering.

excellent point, the study seemed weak in connecting the financial costs to longevity. another demographic trend seems to be that smokers and the obese are more likely to make less money. Though smokers pay enough taxes on cigarettes they easily cover associated health costs.
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