Smoking still accounts for a half million deaths a year in the US, 1 of every 5 deaths.1 out of every 650 Americans dies from cigarettes yearly.
This isn't news. MAD Magazine used to run iron lung parodies in the 60's. We know smoking kills, a lot faster than global warming.
Driving has 1/15th the number of fatalities, and we make Google self-driving cars take precautions.
15% of adults - 36.5 million Americans - smoke. More than 16 million have a smoking-related disease - slow suicide.
You might think it's looking better, only 15% compared to 21% 12 years ago - but that's still an awful lot of stupid. *MORE* people smoke in the 25-44 range than over 65.
(65+ is only 8% - let's hope the 13% for 18-24 year olds means a sea change)
You think you can change people's minds with well-crafted arguments, logic, common-sense? 15% of your neighbors will clean their gun loaded pointed at their head.
In a rare display of equality, blacks and whites smoke at the same right. Hispanics smoke less, Asians even less. Guess what demographics look like for 2050?
Here's a funny one - a GED causes 1/3 of people to smoke. A real high school diploma only 20%. An associate's degree 17%. And an undergrad degree? 7%. So there you have it, the payback for completing college is not only a better paying job, but less time in the lung cancer ward at your local hospital, a later departure to the morgue. Maybe those extortionary loans are still worth it...
But still, at 8 years old I got my parents to quit smoking - it wasn't that hard to figure out, even with a 4th grade education.
And those smartass liberals in the West and Northeast? yep, smoke less - though only a third less from those light-me-up fatalistic rust belt MIdwesterners, just a wee bit less than Southerners.
But where Hal might find justification and inspiration is that people below the poverty line smoke *twice* as much as those above. Poverty kills - even if by their own hand.
Sadly but not surprisingly, the disabled smoke 50% more than the non-disabled.
Stranger is that the LGBT demographic smokes 50% more than straights - really folks?
Anyway, just a concrete example that there's a baseline crazy, self-destructive, nonsensical behavior out there - it certainly doesn't stop with smoking, and certainly isn't confined to Republicans or conservatives.
In the case of smoking, it's largely smokers themselves that suffer. Other areas of illogical, self-destructive behavior affect us all. Most advanced country on earth, and we can't shake the habit? Pretty pathetic.