Monday, March 19, 2012

Birth control and smoking

Recently, on my Comstock Laws post, I raised some hackles.  Hopefully, I also gave some pause for thought.
Someone made the comment (since the person chose to remain anonymous, I can't say who it was.) that sex is not a need.  That would be correct.  As far as survival goes, it is not a need.  However, it is an inborn biological drive that few try to ignore.  Where in or out of wedlock, I'd say it's a fair bet that 90% of human adults will have some form of sexual contact during their lifetime.
Which brings me to smoking.
I am anti-tobacco.  I've never smoked a cigarette in my life.  I think it's dangerous, unhealthy, and stupid.  I made Builder give up smoking before we got married.  I fully support the Clean Air Act, in all forms.  I think any parent who smokes, especially around their kids, is extremely irresponsible.  I would never allow it in my home or vehicle.  And, if a person gets emphysema or cancer as a result of smoking, that's just too damned bad.  Smoking is neither a need, nor is it a biological drive, so I think it is fair to say that the percentage of adult humans who choose to smoke at some point in their lives is below 90%.
That said, I also do not support passing laws that would cut funding, insurance coverage, or training for treatments of smoking-related illnesses.  I would not support firing anyone who smoked.  I believe that smoking cessation programs of all types should be covered by insurance.  I also believe that all children should learn about the dangers of smoking from a young age.
Replace "smoking" with "sex", "smoking cessation" with "birth control" and "smoking-related illnesses" with "prenatal testing and amniocentesis," and you get the idea.  And, as a reminder, we are discussing birth control, not elective abortion!  Any comments on that topic will be deleted!


  1. 1) Half the time I'm the "anonymous". Your commenting system doesn't seen to recognize me.
    2) You can't compare birth control with smoking. Pregnancy and birth are natural, healthy processes. Yes, there are some risks associated with them but there is risk with eating peanuts as well (choking, anaphylaxis, etc). No one gets pregnant with the thought "Boy I'm putting myself at risk". Smoking is the opposite of all this. It is unnatural and anyone who thinks he's not harming himself is in denial or an idiot.
    It is quite reasonable to argue that insurance companies should charge different premiums to people who engage in harmful behaviours. Race car drivers, extreme sports enthusiasts and smokers all do things which statistically increase their risk of physical harm and death. They should be charged extra accordingly.

    Garnel Ironheart

  2. Really? Then why do health insurance companies treat it as a disability? Why, until about a century ago, was childbirth the LEADING cause of death in women (and still carries some extremely high risks?)
    Also, no one smokes because they want cancer.

  3. I can't speak for the US but up here in Canada it's not a disability and isn't treated as such. Mat leave is a leave of absence with compensation, not sick leave.
    And yes, it used to be a leading cause of death in women but working in mines and on railroads was a leading cause of death in men.

    Garnel Ironheart

  4. In the US, you get twelve weeks total, without pay, only if your company has a certain number of employees, and you may not get your job back afterwards.
    There was a time when contraceptives were considered a responsible choice...

  5. Wow, that is a different system. Here's it's anywhere from 6-12 months and Heaven forbid you don't yet your job back yet.

  6. I suppose you could compare it to treatment for anything diet-related (severe obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, severe allergies, etc.)

    Eating and sex are basic drives.

    Food and sex can be used in ways that can be healthy or unhealthy.

    I'd argue that "just close your legs" is about as helpful as "just close your mouth", from a public health perspective (which is to say, not helpful at all.) For some people, Lipitor or bariatic surgery or Epipens are a legitimate health need. Some goes for birth control.

    Personally, I use it because the thought of my uterus bursting open (a realistic possibility after 3 c-sections, the last of which was somewhat botched) doesn't appeal to me.


I'm not Monty Python. I hate SPAM.