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EL34x4

(2,003 posts)
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:00 AM Jun 2017

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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America's new tobacco crisis: The rich stopped smoking, the poor did not. (Original Post) EL34x4 Jun 2017 OP
Well, if the rich still smoked, tobacco taxes would be WAY lower... angstlessk Jun 2017 #1
In California a pack of cigarettes costs about $10 kimbutgar Jun 2017 #2
Closer to $14 here in NYC leftynyc Jun 2017 #6
That is a significant chunk of monthly income. EL34x4 Jun 2017 #8
Or on health care premiums leftynyc Jun 2017 #9
Road trip to Virginia $5.25, many Maryland smokers @$7.75 buy'em, over the line, by the cartoons! FreeStateDemocrat Jun 2017 #11
I think this is a lot of it, peer pressure. EL34x4 Jun 2017 #13
Some who are not MFM008 Jun 2017 #3
I quit Shell_Seas Jun 2017 #4
congrats MFM008 Jun 2017 #10
Another conclusion might me... Joe941 Jun 2017 #5
After this, therefor because of this... the most popular logical fallacy in America. LanternWaste Jun 2017 #7
Interesting. WillowTree Jun 2017 #12
Price for me wasn't a factor. EL34x4 Jun 2017 #14
It wasn't that I couldn't afford them anymore....... WillowTree Jun 2017 #16
In rougher parts of town I've seen single cigarettes being sold. hunter Jun 2017 #15
Ask Eric Garner... Lord_at_War Jun 2017 #17
That seems apparent just by watching people on the street, but why??? Vinca Jun 2017 #18
Cigarettes are bad in countless ways. But they are also enjoyable. EL34x4 Jun 2017 #19

kimbutgar

(20,626 posts)
2. In California a pack of cigarettes costs about $10
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:15 AM
Jun 2017

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.

 

EL34x4

(2,003 posts)
8. That is a significant chunk of monthly income.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:21 PM
Jun 2017

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

 

leftynyc

(26,060 posts)
9. Or on health care premiums
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 12:28 PM
Jun 2017

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

 

FreeStateDemocrat

(2,654 posts)
11. Road trip to Virginia $5.25, many Maryland smokers @$7.75 buy'em, over the line, by the cartoons!
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:14 PM
Jun 2017

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

 

EL34x4

(2,003 posts)
13. I think this is a lot of it, peer pressure.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:59 PM
Jun 2017

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.

MFM008

(19,747 posts)
3. Some who are not
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:25 AM
Jun 2017

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.

Shell_Seas

(3,305 posts)
4. I quit
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:35 AM
Jun 2017

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.

 

Joe941

(2,848 posts)
5. Another conclusion might me...
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:51 AM
Jun 2017

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?

 

LanternWaste

(37,748 posts)
7. After this, therefor because of this... the most popular logical fallacy in America.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 11:56 AM
Jun 2017

"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.

WillowTree

(5,325 posts)
12. Interesting.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 01:21 PM
Jun 2017

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.

 

EL34x4

(2,003 posts)
14. Price for me wasn't a factor.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 05:48 PM
Jun 2017

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

WillowTree

(5,325 posts)
16. It wasn't that I couldn't afford them anymore.......
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 09:49 PM
Jun 2017

.......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.

hunter

(38,217 posts)
15. In rougher parts of town I've seen single cigarettes being sold.
Wed Jun 14, 2017, 06:04 PM
Jun 2017

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.

Vinca

(50,086 posts)
18. That seems apparent just by watching people on the street, but why???
Thu Jun 15, 2017, 06:13 AM
Jun 2017

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.

 

EL34x4

(2,003 posts)
19. Cigarettes are bad in countless ways. But they are also enjoyable.
Thu Jun 15, 2017, 09:29 AM
Jun 2017

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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