T Nation

Secondhand Smoke Costs Billions


Here's a paper from the Society of Actuaries estimating that secondhand smoke in America costs about $10 billion a year in health care, lost wages, etc.


There's a PDF file you can download.


If you don't like what someone else is doing move yourself. It's not there problem if what they are doing hurts you. I don't smoke but all these people bitching about second hand smoke is retarded.


People never take into account that anyone who lives in a city, will have black lungs just like a smoker. Yet people feel the need to blame it on second hand smoke. Mostly it comes from smog, or car exhaust, or hell...maybe even the nuclear power plant that is barreling out smoke all day? naw, it has to be from a tiny little bit of smoke off of the a cig...



It's not my fault if the stray bullet from my gun killed an innocent bystander...they shouldn't have been at the mall when I ran out of Prozac.

Are you retarded?


It's a big problem for children who live with smokers. They can't just pick up and leave. And they do have a whole host of respiratory ailments to greater degrees than children who live with nonsmokers.


I see your point, but when smokers develop lung cancer, heart disease, etc. and end up on medicare or medicaid, those costs get distributed (via payroll taxation) to everyone.


Nuclear power plants don't put out smoke. Many other types of power plants do, however.


What you are proposing then kombat is if I get up on the bar and start screaming in your face, you should move. To a sensible non smoker, smoke is very offensive as me screaming in your face is. How about since it's destructive habit to you and everyone around you it should be banned in bars and restaraunts and done in private just like they do in NYC.


the power plant near me has a huge generator that barrels out smoke all day.

as for kids, yes, the parents shouldnt smoke around their kids, or in their home or car, if they have kids.

but people always try to find a scape goat, and blame it on cigs. look at a damn diesel truck! its not just cigarettes, but of course everyone thinks it is, because the gov't and "doctors" say so.

now go eat your healthy soy, and make sure to stay away from those crazy things called steroids, they will kill you.


It's both. Pollution is a problem too of course and can hurt people's health. So can second-hand smoke. I'm not trying to go on a crusade against public smoking either. I think it's been limited to the degree it should. But you act like doctors saying it makes it less valid. Who's more believable? You who've formed your opinions based on I don't know what. Or doctors who actually have a background.


As was stated before, Nuclear power plants don't put out smoke. It is excess steam being vented off. Trust me, I work for the biggest nuclear power company in the world.


my information comes from a close friend who is studying for @ the university of california Davis. When she was disecting her cadaver, he had black lungs. she asked the teacher if he was a smoker, and the teacher stated "nope! most people who live in an sort of city will have lungs like this."

im not saying second hand smoke is good. but i also dont think its the main source of the problem. it just gives something for people to bitch about, without trying to stop the bigger problems causing the un-clean air.

and for the power plant....yes that is steam, i know the difference between steam and smoke. and like i said, the one nearest has a thing called a "generator" that runs for whatever reason i dont know, and has smoke barreling out of it. now, dont try to tell me that a generator doesnt have smoke comming out of it.

my main point is this. second hand smoke does contribute to lung cancer in some people, but its a very, very small percent. the pollution from all the other shit thats in that air causes the cancer a lot more then second hand smoke.


I have got to disagree with you. I do not necessarily believe smoking in public be made illegal, but the smoker should do everything in his power to be considerate.


Interesting. I'm not sure how small the contribution of secondhand smoke is to lung cancer. Really, I don't think anyone is. I don't think the studies have been done well. (I could be wrong) It's very hard to determine given the confounds of environmental pollution that you mention. The best way would probably be to compare a group of nonsmokers exposed to smoke in low pollution (likely rural) areas with a group of nonsmokers in highly polluted areas (like LA). I'm not sure if this has been done.


My biggest beef with smokers is that 99% of them appear to be giant inconsiderate litterbugs.

When smokers finish their cigarettes, they almost always just throw them on the ground wherever they were standing.

When I drive my car, people are always throwing butts out the window.

Who else litters like this? If you see a person finish their Big Mac and throw the box on the sidewalk and walk away, or someone take a piece of gum and then toss the wrapper on the ground, or drop their starbucks cup in the middle of the street when they're done, you're going to think, "What an idiot."

But smokers almost always just throw their butts on the ground and walk off.

I live in an area dominated by forests, and every summer the whole place becomes a giant tinderbox. A fire can take out thousands of acres and do millions or billions of dollars worth of damage.

All of the local trails have giant signs posted up, "HIGH FIRE HAZARD".

Matches, lighters, these things really aren't even ALLOWED in the forest under these conditions.

But what do you see when you go for a hike or a bike ride? People smoking in the middle of the dry forest, throwing their butts down on the trail when they're done. They could pretty much take out several miles of forest, kill a few people, and destroy an entire neighborhood but apparently the nicotene fix and the need to litter is far more important.

All I can say is WTF, man, WTF.


Im with you on the littering part. especially in the forest, or coastal areas.

but as far as a cig catching the forest on fire, it is very unlikely. I have personally tried (this was in the rural desert area, with mostly miles of brush in a fire pit, that i, along with my forestry service buddy made) we put 2 whole lit cigs in this pit that we put a whole bunch of brush in. and it did not light it, the reason is their is no spark from a cig, there is also not a whole lot of heat being let out. granted, ashes could possibly catch the brush on fire, but its not very likely.

i also tried it by pouring gas on the brush, then throwing a cig into it, and it also didnt light. the reason is once again, no spark to ignite the fuel, and not enough heat. actually, the gas just put the fire out.

Im not in anyway trying to state people should throw their butts everywhere....i was just showing another side of the story, that i myself, expiremented with.


It costs billions. But do smokers (only) get the bill? No. Fucking shit. They should factor in health costs of these products based on a user-payer tax. Guess what, fast food wouldn`t be that cheap in the end.


So if I'm driving on the sidewalk at 60MPH and I hit and kill you, it's your fault for not removing yourself from my way?

I mean, it's not MY problem if what I was doing hurt you, is it?

Do you think I could sue your remaining family for the costs of the car repairs?


Wow then i guess all the home fires started by cigarettes and the need for developing fire retardant fabrics for furniture is because of sparking cigarettes? Ofcourse not. Cigarettes start fires because of their heat, it just takes the right conditions.


Even if it isn't a guaranteed fire, we're talking about a numbers game. With millions of acres of forests and thousands upon thousands of hikers and campers, and given the extent of damage that can be done - millions and millions of dollars plus other intangible damage - we simply can't tolerate the risk.