Common Sense

Seen on Taking Liberties, Simon Clark being fisked by some anti:

“Parents must be allowed to use their common sense, and most of the time they do. There is no need for further regulation.”

Yes there is. 16% have no common sense and their drug addiction clearly takes priority over their children’s health.

What’s common sense? In my use of it, it’s what most people personally experience – what they see, hear, touch, etc – , and the judgments they draw from that experience, usually in common with most other people.

And my common sense view of smoking around children is that it’s entirely harmless, because my father was a smoker throughout my childhood (and my mother was an occasional social smoker), and so were lots of other people, and I suffered no ill effects whatsoever from their smoke. Nor did any other children that I knew of. That was our common, shared experience.

Wikipedia agrees:

Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.”[1] Thus, “common sense” (in this view) equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way”.

So what’s this ‘common sense’ that smokers seem to lack? It may not mean ‘personal experience’ but instead ‘common opinion’  As with Cicero:

In Cicero, common sense was the common practice, custom, speech, views, and mentality of the crowd whose tastes the orator had to take into account if he were to influence them

Seen in that light, in a world in which a great many people believe that firsthand smoke is very dangerous, and secondhand smoke is almost as bad, smokers indeed have no ‘common sense’, in that they disregard common opinion.

Smokers, it might be said, trust their own judgment above the judgment of others. They rely on their common sense experience of life, and not upon common opinion, however insistent that might be.

And in the case of smoking, common sense is at odds with common opinion.

Rather than smokers having no common sense, it might better be said that they’re more or less the only people who have any left.

I know which I’ll stick with. But it always surprises me how many people will readily ditch common sense in favour of received wisdom from assorted authorities and experts.


About Frank Davis

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16 Responses to Common Sense

  1. dave says:

    SPECIALIST…..Knows everything about nothing
    EXPERT……….Knows nothing about everything

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Freedom means the right to be stupid if you want to without criminal charges being made!

    In todays madd world common sence isnt quite so common left is right right is left no one makes sence any longer………Its up to us to show them what common sence is again after they spent so many trillions destroying it!

  3. waltc says:

    OT (or not) Grant to study effects of “smoke exposure” on grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of the “exposed.”

    As for Russia (yesterday’s thread), btw, remember they still discreetly shoot you if you disagree with Putin or at least put you in jail if you set it to music.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Sounds like VooDoo research from deep dark africa………………mystical and magical or simply some witches holloween curse for the holiday!

    • Messalina says:

      Oh FFS! What science fiction will they come up with next!

    • jaxthefirst says:

      They’ve got to be a little bit careful with this generations-after-the-fact business, though, haven’t they? Because the more far-fetched it becomes, the more it gets to the point whereby people who might be inclined to smoke, but have decided not to “for the sake of their health” or “for the sake of their children,” start to realise that if their great-great-grandmother smoked (or was exposed to ETS, which is even more likely) it doesn’t actually make a blind bit of difference whether they do or not – their children are affected by it already, before they’ve even been born.

      It’s a bit like third- and fourth- and fifth-hand smoke – there comes a point back in the not-too-distant history whereby it’s impossible not to be coming into contact with the much-vaunted “tobacco residues” even if you’ve never touched any tobacco in your life. So people might as well go ahead and smoke anyway.

      I wonder if they’ve thought of that – but I suspect not. The claims being made these days sound more and more like a bunch of desperate people clutching at straws – any straws, no matter how fragile or tenuous – with every single new “pronouncement.” A sure sign of a movement in steep decline.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Councils reluctant to enforce smoke laws

    New laws have come into place in South Australia banning smokers from lighting up near playgrounds and public transport but councils are reluctant to commit resources to enforce them.
    Print page Email this Permalink
    3ShareThree Riverland councils – Berri Barmera, Loxton Waikerie and Renmark Paringa – do not have an authorised officer under the new legislation.

    Without an authorised officer, the councils do not have the power to issue the $75 expiation fee or $200 fine for breaches of the legislation.

    South Australian Health Minister John Hill said this week more than 100 cautions and 30 fines had been issued across the State since the legislation was introduced on May 31, 2012.

    Under the new laws, councils can apply to make outdoor areas or community events smoke-free, such as was the case with this year’s Royal Adelaide Show.

    Berri Barmera Council has not applied to make the Berri riverfront smoke-free for the Riverland Wine and Food Festival, on Saturday October 19.

    Loxton Waikerie Council has nominated certain events, including its Christmas street party, as smoke-free but admits it does not have the power to enforce the smoking ban.

    Renmark Paringa Council officer Paul Day said there was no intention to authorise a council staff member to enforce the smoking legislation.

    “There hasn’t been a demand in the community for it, no one has had any complaints in the past 18 months,” he said.

    “The idea from the State Government that they have introduced this without additional resources to enforce it makes it extremely difficult [for council] to take on that role.”

    Mr Day said council would review its position if ongoing problems arose in the future.

    Loxton Waikerie officer Ruth Firstbrook said the legislation had been rolled out without any additional resources or subsidies.

    She said council had not yet discussed the matter but that enforcing the smoking laws would be additional duties for its environmental health officer or general inspector.

    “We certainly talked about it when the bylaws came up but haven’t discussed this as a council,” she said.

    “It would really be about the time that would be needed and how we could do that with all the other duties.”

    Berri Barmera Council officer Gary Brinkworth said council would be open to declaring community events smoke-free in the future because of concerns about health impacts, passive smoking and littering but that it would require consultation with event organisers.

    “With events that do come under the licensing arrangements for the service of alcohol, most event organisers do prefer to have that,” he said.

    He said that costs to council would be a consideration.

    “It comes at a cost to council to monitor and potentially taking them off other duties as well,” Mr Brinkworth said.

    “It is something we’ve considered and at this stage we’ve chosen to monitor the impact of the legislation.” … 613696.htm

  5. smokervoter says:

    Did Putin run on a platform to increase the price of a popular consumer item enjoyed by 40% of the population by more than 135%? And the vote in the Duma was 406-0. They all ran on the same platform?

    Likewise in Cook County, located in the state of Illinois, a Democrat woman by the name of Preckwinkle managed to get elected with a proposal to increase cigarette taxes to a level of $5 (county+state) per pack. For a pack-a-day smoker that would amount to an annual tax of $1,825 from just those two entities. That amounts to 11% of a minimum-wage earners annual gross income.

    Is the compulsion to vote Democrat (the working stiffs great defenders) in Chicago really that deeply embedded? That defies any shred of common sense to me.

    I’ve read that the black market for tobacco products is thriving in Chicago. Now that makes all kinds of common sense.

    Preckwinkle wants $1 a pack cigarette tax hike

    • smokervoter says:

      I’d like to add that I picked that story up from the mega-popular DRUDGE REPORT website. That’s the second story in a week that featured injustice towards we smokers. Bully for you Matt Drudge. This brings a multitude of eyeballs to our plight.

      I’d like to see this blog listed on his extensive list of links.

      Eyeballs mean hearts and minds. Hearts and minds spell defeat for the Clean Living Movement #3 (as per Ruth Engs). And their defeat means a return to common sense.

  6. garyk30 says:

    Common Opinion usually has nothing to back it up and has no connection to reality.

    Common Opinion believes that bans are needed to keep hospitality workers from dying from smoking ’caused’ diseases like lung cancer and that such deaths are common.

    Using American data we can show that, in a city the size of London, there is only 1 hospitality worker’s death per year from lung cancer that might be said to be caused by SHS/ETS exposure.

    That is ONE server’s lung cancer death, due to SHS out of a population ,of about, 8 million people!!!!

    The death rate is 1 per 20,000 exposed servers and 19,999 per 20,000, per year, will NOT die from lung cancer ’caused’ by SHS.

    Thus; a server exposed to SHS/ETS has, in any given year, a 99.995% probability of NOT dying from a lung cancer ’caused’ by that exposure.

  7. garyk30 says:

    Common Opinion vs Common Sense

    Common Opinion says that there are, in America, 400,000 smokers’ deaths every year due to the diseases ’caused’ by smoking and that this is a terribly huge number.

    Common Sense says that number has no validity unless it is used in comparison to some other number.
    Such a number would be the never-smokers deaths from those same diseases.

    Doll’s 50 year long study of doctors’ deaths tells us that 85% of smokers’ deaths were from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking and that 84% of the never-smokers’ deaths were from those same diseases.

    400,000 deaths is 85% of a total of 470,588 deaths.

    Out of that same 470,588 deaths to never-smokers, 84% or 395,294 would be from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking.

    400,000 is not so terrible; when you consider that, 395,294 would have died anyway!!!

    Opinions are like asses.
    Everyone has one and some do not pass the stink test!!!

    • smokervoter says:

      Helloooo Gary ! I came up with a similar conclusion once that you asked me about a long, long time ago (this June I believe it was).

      I quoted 7.4 annual deaths/1,000 to current non-smokers (as opposed to never smokers) resulting in 340,400 for heart, cancer and respiratory causes.

      I’ve got a 700-word email explanation stored on the hard drive that I didn’t want to bore you to death with.

      To short cut it, I had a Eureka moment one night on a website that I failed to bookmark. That is where I got the 7.4/1,000 figure. The article was primarily focused on those three death causes, but for some reason they filtered out the smoking related causes.

      That ratio jived reasonably well with my own marathon, chaotic (and poorly labeled) spreadsheet cogitations.

      I believe you came up with 306,820 annual never smoking deaths per 46 million adults. I’m conjecturing 340,400 per current non-smokers. We’re pretty close there.

      I’ve tried to retrieve that article using search engines but I never seem to enter the precise combination of phrases to nail it down and it drives me up the wall.

      If we split the difference (7.035/1,000) that would be 323,610 deaths per 1,000 adults. Common sense tells me that is pretty damn close to reality. That’s 82.3% vs Doll’s 85%.

      • garyk30 says:

        The problem with the 400,000 number is that, the CDC inclludes the deaths to ex-smokers from the diseases said to be caused by smoking.

        Most ‘quit smoking’ sites say that 15 years after quitting, ex-smokers have the same risk of dying from those diseases as does a never-smoker.
        Why else quit?

        Thus, their death from those diseases could not caused by their having smoked.

        In 1990 there were bout 44 million ex’s and by 2005 there were about 48 million ex’s.
        A little over 90% of the ex’s have the same risk of those diseases as do the never-smokers.

        That is another fact that ‘common opinion’ is clueless about.

      • smokervoter says:

        that would be 323,610 deaths per 1,000 adults.

        That was meant to read 323,610 annual deaths per 46 million adults.

        It also occurred to me that the 393,000 (as per CDC) might be overstated (as per Levy & Marimont). Which would bring it closer to the approximate 15% differential I used on that article I wrote which uses 340,400 vs 393,000. All these numbers are giving me a migraine.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    All I want is to be free to smoke in my old haunts again! To think weve fought day in and day out for that simple right going on for years now. Can anyone imagine what we would do if they outlawed ciggys!

    Id be a bootlegger for sure,maybe even a continent jumping bootlegger with sources and customers worldwide………………I might even become a TOBACCO CZAR in Columbia.

    Oh well back to fighting nazis………….

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