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Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:00 PM

 

America's new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor did not.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/americas-new-tobacco-crisis-the-rich-stopped-smoking-the-poor-didnt/2017/06/13/a63b42ba-4c8c-11e7-9669-250d0b15f83b_story.html?utm_term=.44fe90ad85b9

"MARTINSVILLE, VA. — After decades of lawsuits, public campaigns and painful struggles, Americans have finally done what once seemed impossible: Most of the country has quit smoking, saving millions of lives and leading to massive reductions in cancer.

That is, unless those Americans are poor, uneducated or live in a rural area.

Hidden among the steady declines in recent years is the stark reality that cigarettes are becoming a habit of the poor. The national smoking rate has fallen to historic lows, with just 15 percent of adults still smoking. But the socioeconomic gap has never been bigger.

Among the nation’s less-educated people — those with a high-school-equivalency diploma — the smoking rate remains more than 40 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer at rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers. By nearly every statistical measure, researchers say, America’s lower class now smokes more and dies more from cigarettes than other Americans."


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Cigarette smoking (and associated tobacco taxes) is in America today, a habit shouldered almost exclusively by the poor.

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Reply America's new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor did not. (Original post)
EL34x4 Jun 2017 OP
angstlessk Jun 2017 #1
kimbutgar Jun 2017 #2
leftynyc Jun 2017 #6
EL34x4 Jun 2017 #8
leftynyc Jun 2017 #9
FreeStateDemocrat Jun 2017 #11
EL34x4 Jun 2017 #13
MFM008 Jun 2017 #3
Shell_Seas Jun 2017 #4
MFM008 Jun 2017 #10
Joe941 Jun 2017 #5
LanternWaste Jun 2017 #7
WillowTree Jun 2017 #12
EL34x4 Jun 2017 #14
WillowTree Jun 2017 #16
hunter Jun 2017 #15
Lord_at_War Jun 2017 #17
Vinca Jun 2017 #18
EL34x4 Jun 2017 #19

Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:14 PM

1. Well, if the rich still smoked, tobacco taxes would be WAY lower...

there's the real indicator!

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:15 PM

2. In California a pack of cigarettes costs about $10

I was in a gas station recently and went into the store, a guy ahead of me was paying a lack of cigArettes. He also was getting $20 worth of gas. I was stunned how much cigarettes cost. Too expensive of a habit to sustain. And the guy did not strike me as a guy with a lot of money.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:51 PM

6. Closer to $14 here in NYC

 

It's unbelievable.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:21 PM

8. That is a significant chunk of monthly income.

 

Round it down to $400/month to smoke. That might be more than they spend on groceries.

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Response to EL34x4 (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:28 PM

9. Or on health care premiums

 

Hard to hide from the fact there is plenty that $400 would pay for.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:14 PM

11. Road trip to Virginia $5.25, many Maryland smokers @$7.75 buy'em, over the line, by the cartoons!

 

Far less peer pressure in the underclass, I know by personal experience.

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Response to FreeStateDemocrat (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:59 PM

13. I think this is a lot of it, peer pressure.

 

I smoked for years. Eventually, I felt like the last smoker left in my peer group. I was often made aware of how bad I stunk after finishing a smoke. The ostracism worked and I quit cold turkey two years ago. Additionally, smoking cessation programs were available at my workplace which also supported a strong physical fitness culture.

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:25 PM

3. Some who are not

Poor can't quit.
My dad tried many times. Even used pills.
It was just to addictive.
It killed him in the end.
As it always does.

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:35 PM

4. I quit

Switched to nicotine gum.

Been addicted to nicotine gum now for about 8 years.

I don't worry about lung cancer so much anymore, but my blood pressure is probably higher than it would be without the gum.

Nicotine is EXTREMELY hard to get off of.

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Response to Shell_Seas (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:01 PM

10. congrats

my mom quit but my Dad never could.

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:51 PM

5. Another conclusion might me...

 

smart people quit and less smart people did not. Also smokers are wasting an enormous amount of money on cigarettes - maybe that is why they are poor?

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Response to Joe941 (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:56 PM

7. After this, therefor because of this... the most popular logical fallacy in America.

"smokers are wasting an enormous amount of money on cigarettes - maybe that is why they are poor?..."

After this, therefor because of this... the most popular logical fallacy in America.

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 02:21 PM

12. Interesting.

The never-endingly increasing price was what finally gave me enough momentum to quit. I may be wrong, but I would think that if I was actually poor, I would have reached that point much sooner.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 06:48 PM

14. Price for me wasn't a factor.

 

No matter what, I always found the money for smokes, even in my younger days when I was practically destitute.

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Response to EL34x4 (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 10:49 PM

16. It wasn't that I couldn't afford them anymore.......

.......it had just reached the point where I was no longer willing to pay what they cost. And that was just the last straw on top of all the other reasons there were to quit.

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 14, 2017, 07:04 PM

15. In rougher parts of town I've seen single cigarettes being sold.

The clerks behind bullet proof glass keep an open pack under the counter.

It's not legal, hardly anymore than selling a single oxycontin tablet is legal, but the addiction is that bad.

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Response to hunter (Reply #15)

Thu Jun 15, 2017, 06:10 AM

17. Ask Eric Garner...

 

Selling single cigarettes also kills...

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Response to EL34x4 (Original post)

Thu Jun 15, 2017, 07:13 AM

18. That seems apparent just by watching people on the street, but why???

Cigarettes still make you sick whether you're rich or poor. That can't be a secret after all these years. And they're expensive! I live in a state where smokers amass because cigarettes are cheaper than in surrounding states, but they're half a week's groceries a carton. When I was in my late teens and early 20's I smoked off and on and it only took about 3 years and a chronic cough to figure out it wasn't a good idea. And they were cheap back in the 1960's so it wasn't a money thing. People can't possibly be so ill informed they don't know coughing and hacking and spitting up glop isn't bad. I just don't understand it. It's a bad addiction, but it's not an insurmountable addiction.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 15, 2017, 10:29 AM

19. Cigarettes are bad in countless ways. But they are also enjoyable.

 

I loved smoking! Sure, I knew it was bad but I truly enjoyed every puff, every drag.

Maybe for poor people who have enough struggles, smoking is one of the few joys they have.

The question we need to ask ourselves as a society is do we need these massively exorbitant tobacco taxes that are now shouldered almost exclusively by the poor? Particularly with studies showing they are much less likely to quit as opposed to wealthier Americans who could easier absorb the costs of smoking.

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