Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Up In Smoke

Considering the obvious externalities of a nation of over one billion people still in the process of industrializing and modernizing, with all the messy externalities that entails, I don't think the word "crisis" means what these people think it means.

One million people a year will die from tobacco smoking in India during the 2010s, research predicts.

The New England Journal of Medicine study found smoking already accounts for 900,000 deaths a year in India.

The study warns that without action, the death toll from smoking will climb still further.

Right. The planet is not quite overpopulated enough, so Something Must Be Done about this self-inflicted pandemic. I know they're just doing what doctors are supposed to do, but a "crisis" this is not. More like job security.


woodguy said...

Infuse birth control into the cigarettes and institute the health care system of the US.

Problem solved.

Marius said...

Similarly, The Economist urges us, in last week's issue, to save a billion lives by putting the brakes on smoking in the Second and Third Worlds.

There's no discussion as to what to do with that billion of extra souls. But it's known that, at The Economist, they think economic growth can pretty much take care of everything--from genital warts and subprime lending to peace in the Middle East and human mortality.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, I guess I'm just enough of a misanthrope to not try to talk people out of their self-destructive habits.

But objectively, it seems as if these subsets of professionals might even be more misanthropic. On one hand you have the health-care practitioners with their stern lectures and high-volume, low-service revenue model. On the other hand there's the number-crunching Masters of the Universe, endlessly tweaking their spreadsheets to figure out just how many of their fellow humans can be crammed asshole-to-teakettle in exurban honeycombs scrounging on peanuts and soma, while they themselves toast each other in gated communities and fast-track their spoiled progeny into the right schools.

There's a lesson for all the kids out there -- don't be a smoker, be a shareholder. Or a dancing monkey on a reality show.