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"Study: Alcohol, Tobacco Worse Than Drugs"

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#1 sierraleone

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 10:09 AM

I don't think this is a surprise to many

http://www.washingto...7032300284.html

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LONDON -- New "landmark" research finds that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study.

In research published Friday in The Lancet magazine, Professor David Nutt of Britain's Bristol University and colleagues proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks posed to society. Their ranking listed alcohol and tobacco among the top 10 most dangerous substances.

Nutt and colleagues used three factors to determine the harm associated with any drug: the physical harm to the user, the drug's potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use. The researchers asked two groups of experts _ psychiatrists specializing in addiction and legal or police officials with scientific or medical expertise _ to assign scores to 20 different drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD.

For the impact on society did they factor in how much of the population regularly uses it? I'm actually hoping they didn't, thought of course its relevant, but those numbers could change, so they should not use that, and then as numbers increase/decrease governments and organizations can focus on whats becoming more dangerous because of number of users.

One thing though... how many long term studies can be done on the impact of other drugs compared to tobacco and alcohol to the user or society? Has other drugs shown to cause the user cancer or (incase of inhaled drugs) others?
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#2 Bad Wolf

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:13 AM

No surprise at all.  In terms to damage to the body alcohol is worse even than speed or heroin.  Not to say that the other stuff isn't bad for you.
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#3 Nonny

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:30 AM

I know my life would be better if I didn't have to deal with the constant snorts of smoke stench from others.
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#4 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 12:57 PM

I call bullsh!t on the alcohol part of the story for one very important reason-

I've heard that folks like the Italians have wine with every meal-they drink in moderation. I haven't heard about folks like this, who are careful with their intake, becoming alcoholics.

And there's the key-moderation. You can't do that with smoking. Smoking has chemicials in it that are desgined to make you an addict. That's something I know about from living with my father, who was a smoker for 36 years. He was also an alcoholic, so I know something about that, too. It's why he became a diabetic-he f*cked up his pancreas.

I know people who drink responsibly, who didn't become alcoholics. So-what does that say?

:rolleyes:
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#5 Rhea

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 01:52 PM

^I agree with you about moderation in one sense, but alcohol and tobacco are abused far more often than any other drugs, and are abused by a bigger percentage of the population. A glass of wine is fine, and good for you, but that's not how it's used by millions of people.
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#6 Hibblette

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 01:58 PM

I thought Alcohol and Tobacco were considered drugs?  They were when I was in school at least.  Of course that was in the 70's :p

Pure Tobacco's better then this crap they sell in the cartons.

And moderation with Alcohol is something that can be feasible.

We Americans though I guess have a problem with that. :rolleyes:
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#7 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 02:09 PM

View PostRhea, on Mar 24 2007, 01:52 PM, said:

^I agree with you about moderation in one sense, but alcohol and tobacco are abused far more often than any other drugs, and are abused by a bigger percentage of the population. A glass of wine is fine, and good for you, but that's not how it's used by millions of people.


And again, the question for me revolves around whether either has been designed to be addictive. Cigarettes are designed to be addictive. Phillip Morris has admitted as much. Wine and other forms of alcholic beverages? Not that I know of. As far as I see it, the latter involves self-control to manage. When you have a product that is designed to be addictive, it's that much harder to quit. Phillip Morris is no different than the drug lords of the Medillin Cartel.

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 02:10 PM.

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#8 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 02:15 PM

You may want to view this thread I did. It further goes into the argument I posed here.
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"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#9 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 02:18 PM

Whoops-there's this thread as well. Read them both so you get a better idea of where I'm coming from.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#10 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 02:19 PM

The thing with alcohol is that some people cannot drink it in moderation - and even drinking in moderation impairs judgement - so in a study about affects on society - alcohol has to rank up there as pretty negative - just DUI alone is enough to do that.

And fact is - public policy based on real impact is a good idea.  The widespread consumption of alcohol ensures that the ill effects of alcohol will be readily visible throughout the population.  So we need to deal with real facts so that sensible measures can be taken - not just a "war on drugs" which doesn't do anything to solve the addiction-seeking behavior of a good portion of our society.

Please note my phrase - addiction-seeking.  If you think about it - you'll see that we have lots of behaviors, social reinforcements, etc. that encourage addiction.

QT

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 02:34 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Mar 24 2007, 02:19 PM, said:

The thing with alcohol is that some people cannot drink it in moderation - and even drinking in moderation impairs judgement - so in a study about affects on society - alcohol has to rank up there as pretty negative - just DUI alone is enough to do that.

And fact is - public policy based on real impact is a good idea.  The widespread consumption of alcohol ensures that the ill effects of alcohol will be readily visible throughout the population.  So we need to deal with real facts so that sensible measures can be taken - not just a "war on drugs" which doesn't do anything to solve the addiction-seeking behavior of a good portion of our society.

Please note my phrase - addiction-seeking.  If you think about it - you'll see that we have lots of behaviors, social reinforcements, etc. that encourage addiction.

QT

Dealing with "real facts"?!? :blink: :blink:  :blink:

The U.S. government makes blood money by taxing cigarettes-which are as deadly as coke and heroin. The U.S government is no different than the Medillin Cartel in that regard-and I've already outlined why in the two threads I linked to. There's no need for me to rehash all that.

Tell me how the U.S government is dealing with THESE "real facts." :sarcasm: Puh-leeze. :smirk:

And again-I haven't heard widespread stories of folks becoming alcoholics via moderation. I don't doubt that some folks are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, but those people have to take some responsibility as well and know how their bodies handle alcohol.

:sarcasm:

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 02:46 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#12 Hibblette

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 03:21 PM

You've got to remember DM that there are those that believe that if you just drink a glass of wine then you're an alcoholic.

I don't think QT is saying this though.  But I have people in my family that are of this opinion.  And you will not sway them.

Personally I find it interesting how everyone goes on about Alcohol and the reasoning capabilities and then you read up on your HBP meds and find out that a lot of those will have a possible side effect of effecting reasonable thinking. :blink:

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#13 Rhea

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 04:00 PM

View PostDigital Man, on Mar 24 2007, 12:09 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Mar 24 2007, 01:52 PM, said:

^I agree with you about moderation in one sense, but alcohol and tobacco are abused far more often than any other drugs, and are abused by a bigger percentage of the population. A glass of wine is fine, and good for you, but that's not how it's used by millions of people.


And again, the question for me revolves around whether either has been designed to be addictive. Cigarettes are designed to be addictive. Phillip Morris has admitted as much. Wine and other forms of alcholic beverages? Not that I know of. As far as I see it, the latter involves self-control to manage. When you have a product that is designed to be addictive, it's that much harder to quit. Phillip Morris is no different than the drug lords of the Medillin Cartel.

What difference does it make if it's designed to be addictive if that's the effect it has on millions of people? There are a lot of drunks in the world. And even most people I know that drink wine regularly find those two glasses stretching into three or more on a regular basis, and they're not alchoholics as I think of them. Perhaps if we could drink in more moderation the way they do in Europe with wine...but hard liquor could vanish tomorrow and I wouldn't shed a tear. I bet if you counted how many people on this board have alcoholics in their families you'd be surprised.

Hibbs, my father drank himself to death, literally. So I have a pretty good idea of what a social drinker vs. an addict is. I think that Saul is so vehement about cigarettes because they killed his father, and I'm pretty adamant about the damage drinking does because my father died quite painfully of cirrhosis of the liver, which doesn't just affect skid row drunks. (And had my dad not been a two-pack-a-day man he likely wouldn't have needed a quadruple bypass either, according to the doctors.)

Edited by Rhea, 24 March 2007 - 04:02 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#14 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 05:45 PM

View PostRhea, on Mar 24 2007, 04:00 PM, said:

View PostDigital Man, on Mar 24 2007, 12:09 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Mar 24 2007, 01:52 PM, said:

^I agree with you about moderation in one sense, but alcohol and tobacco are abused far more often than any other drugs, and are abused by a bigger percentage of the population. A glass of wine is fine, and good for you, but that's not how it's used by millions of people.


And again, the question for me revolves around whether either has been designed to be addictive. Cigarettes are designed to be addictive. Phillip Morris has admitted as much. Wine and other forms of alcholic beverages? Not that I know of. As far as I see it, the latter involves self-control to manage. When you have a product that is designed to be addictive, it's that much harder to quit. Phillip Morris is no different than the drug lords of the Medillin Cartel.

What difference does it make if it's designed to be addictive if that's the effect it has on millions of people? There are a lot of drunks in the world. And even most people I know that drink wine regularly find those two glasses stretching into three or more on a regular basis, and they're not alchoholics as I think of them. Perhaps if we could drink in more moderation the way they do in Europe with wine...but hard liquor could vanish tomorrow and I wouldn't shed a tear. I bet if you counted how many people on this board have alcoholics in their families you'd be surprised.

Hibbs, my father drank himself to death, literally. So I have a pretty good idea of what a social drinker vs. an addict is. I think that Saul is so vehement about cigarettes because they killed his father, and I'm pretty adamant about the damage drinking does because my father died quite painfully of cirrhosis of the liver, which doesn't just affect skid row drunks. (And had my dad not been a two-pack-a-day man he likely wouldn't have needed a quadruple bypass either, according to the doctors.)

Wrong, Rhea. Alcohol killed my dad. It severely damaged his pancreas and gave him diabetes. Cigarettes exacerbated the problem.

And as far as I'm concerned, it DOES make a difference. We can go on and on about this-but I suspect that we're just going to have to agree to disagree. As I see it, cigarettes being designed to be addictive makes a BIG difference.

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 05:48 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#15 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 05:51 PM

View PostHibblette, on Mar 24 2007, 03:21 PM, said:

You've got to remember DM that there are those that believe that if you just drink a glass of wine then you're an alcoholic.

I don't think QT is saying this though.  But I have people in my family that are of this opinion.  And you will not sway them.

I would just have to agree to disagree with those folks, and leave it at that. I'm not easily swayed, either.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#16 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 05:58 PM

I should add a bit more to what I said here:

Quote

And again, the question for me revolves around whether either has been designed to be addictive. Cigarettes are designed to be addictive. Phillip Morris has admitted as much. Wine and other forms of alcholic beverages? Not that I know of. As far as I see it, the latter involves self-control to manage. When you have a product that is designed to be addictive, it's that much harder to quit. Phillip Morris is no different than the drug lords of the Medillin Cartel.

By this, I mean that if you start consuming alcohol in large quantities, then yes-your body can develop an addiction. The road to addiction via cigarettes is MUCH quicker. If those folks who drink in moderation became alcoholics on a widespread basis, then I would view alcohol differently.

(edited to add content)

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 06:00 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#17 SparkyCola

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 05:58 PM

The problem with alcohol is that, ok, it is not addictive like cigarettes. But where as smoking is not that cool these days, binge drinking and excessive alcohol consumption are a big problem in the UK. Probably worse than in the US. It's a cultural thing. Underage kids think that getting trolleyed every single night is "fun" or somehow the way to live their lives.

In Italy and France, it's a drink with a meal. Alcohol in itself is not THAT evil. (Let's face it, coca cola is hardly *good* for you) - it's the attitudes towards it which are the most harmful, and in the UK the attitude is BAD.

Personally I prefer to treat alcohol as a treat. It's an expensive drink after all. For me it was never some kind of "means to an end"  - the end being to get drunk. If an alcopop tastes just like lemonade, I'd rather save my money and drink lemonade, thanks.

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 06:08 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Mar 24 2007, 05:58 PM, said:

The problem with alcohol is that, ok, it is not addictive like cigarettes.

..which is precisely my point.

Quote

But where as smoking is not that cool these days, binge drinking and excessive alcohol consumption are a big problem in the UK. Probably worse than in the US. It's a cultural thing. Underage kids think that getting trolleyed every single night is "fun" or somehow the way to live their lives.

And in this case, its recklessness than can result in the possibility of becoming an alcoholic. Actually, cigarettes too-if you're stupid enough to start, given everything that's out there about their dangers. But cigarette smoking is a much faster road to addiction.

Quote

In Italy and France, it's a drink with a meal. Alcohol in itself is not THAT evil.

I would REALLY like to know how many of these folks become alcoholics, as a result of responsible drinking. And responsible drinking must exist-otherwise, everyone who drank an occasional drink would be an alchoholic.

BTW Rhea-I wouldn't miss alcohol either-ALL of it-if it vanished from the planet.

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 07:10 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#19 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 06:09 PM

View PostDigital Man, on Mar 24 2007, 03:34 PM, said:

View PostQueenTiye, on Mar 24 2007, 02:19 PM, said:

The thing with alcohol is that some people cannot drink it in moderation - and even drinking in moderation impairs judgement - so in a study about affects on society - alcohol has to rank up there as pretty negative - just DUI alone is enough to do that.

And fact is - public policy based on real impact is a good idea.  The widespread consumption of alcohol ensures that the ill effects of alcohol will be readily visible throughout the population.  So we need to deal with real facts so that sensible measures can be taken - not just a "war on drugs" which doesn't do anything to solve the addiction-seeking behavior of a good portion of our society.

Please note my phrase - addiction-seeking.  If you think about it - you'll see that we have lots of behaviors, social reinforcements, etc. that encourage addiction.

QT

Dealing with "real facts"?!? :blink: :blink:  :blink:

The U.S. government makes blood money by taxing cigarettes-which are as deadly as coke and heroin. The U.S government is no different than the Medillin Cartel in that regard-and I've already outlined why in the two threads I linked to. There's no need for me to rehash all that.

Tell me how the U.S government is dealing with THESE "real facts." :sarcasm: Puh-leeze. :smirk:

And again-I haven't heard widespread stories of folks becoming alcoholics via moderation. I don't doubt that some folks are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, but those people have to take some responsibility as well and know how their bodies handle alcohol.

:sarcasm:

I've never suggested that any government actually deals with the real facts - I said we need to - which inherently implies that we aren't currently.

While it's all nice and good to talk about people taking some responsibility, the fact remains that for some people that's hard - some people are predisposed to be addicts by life circumstances and possibly by genetics.  The only responsible thing is to NOT drink, smoke or drug, in my opinion.  It's kinda too late to find out that you're one of those people who can't drink without becoming drunk AFTER you start drinking.. you see my point?  If additives or nicotine levels are artificially inflated for the sake of addictiveness in cigarettes, then perhaps good public policy is to put the "proof" of nicotine on the label, like they do with alcohol.  

BUT, another good public policy is to encourage, and reward entertainment venues that support sober fun, tax television, movie and music offerings that glorify drunkenness, cigarette smoking or drug use.  No - we won't censor you - but we're going to make you pay dearly - and we're going to actively GIVE money to those venues that don't encourage this kind of thing.

Maybe we ought to look into why people actively seek addiction - why people WANT to zone out of their lives so often, and call it "fun."  Maybe public policy should research that question.

And the only way to get that conversation going is to admit openly and honestly that alcohol and tobacco belong in the same category as heroine, cocaine (in all forms), ecstacy, etc.

QT

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 06:34 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Mar 24 2007, 06:09 PM, said:

I've never suggested that any government actually deals with the real facts - I said we need to - which inherently implies that we aren't currently.

"We" doesn't just involve you and me, and other like-minded folks. Big Tobacco™ is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Democrats and Republicans alike who've been funded by Big Tobacco™ have their hands stained in blood-my father's blood,  the blood of Rhea's father...need I go on?

No president-Democrat OR Republican-would have gotten to where they are without Big Tobacco™ and its supporters. Anyone denying this fact means, quite frankly, that those particular folks have their heads up their asses.

Quote

While it's all nice and good to talk about people taking some responsibility, the fact remains that for some people that's hard - some people are predisposed to be addicts by life circumstances and possibly by genetics.  The only responsible thing is to NOT drink, smoke or drug, in my opinion.

And some folks, quite frankly, are DUMB-ARSES. The info is out there as to what these things can do.

Quote

It's kinda too late to find out that you're one of those people who can't drink without becoming drunk AFTER you start drinking.. you see my point?

Umm...if you learn from the very beginning that you get tipsy real quick from drinking a small bit, then isn't that enough of a hint? You only need to stick your hand in the fire ONCE to know that fire burns.  :rolleyes:

Quote

If additives or nicotine levels are artificially inflated for the sake of addictiveness in cigarettes, then perhaps good public policy is to put the "proof" of nicotine on the label, like they do with alcohol.

Bullsh!t. That won't happen, because LOTS of taxes can be generated from that Blood Money™. To think otherwise is very naive.

Quote

BUT, another good public policy is to encourage, and reward entertainment venues that support sober fun, tax television, movie and music offerings that glorify drunkenness, cigarette smoking or drug use.  No - we won't censor you - but we're going to make you pay dearly - and we're going to actively GIVE money to those venues that don't encourage this kind of thing.

Nice, but very idealistic. Again-if the very people who are the leaders in this country haven't given cigarettes the same negative view they give drugs like coke and heroin after all this time-do you honestly think they'll start now?  :sarcasm:

And you want me to be even MORE sinister? Hospitals are businesses. They can make a good amount of money if you get sick. Big Tobacco and hospitals working hand-in-hand? It may not be as crazy as it sounds.

To quote a line from a Rush song, "The Big Money"...

Big Money got no soul.

Saul

Edited by Digital Man, 24 March 2007 - 06:37 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait



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