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(io9)   Large-scale data analysis shows smoking is beneficial to your health   (io9.com) divider line 27
    More: Unlikely  
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4203 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Aug 2013 at 7:27 PM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-25 07:11:11 PM
If she smokes, she pokes.
 
2013-08-25 07:29:45 PM
Come on, subs

With a name like Simpsons Paradox you had some good material to make a headline
 
2013-08-25 07:55:23 PM
Hard to go a week without seeing a study in the media that didn't account for co-factors.
 
2013-08-25 08:09:55 PM
That's not a paradox, that's just idiocy.

Who the hell would simply average longevity statistics among a group of individuals of widely different ages, and try to draw any kind of conclusion from it. Just sloppy statistics.
 
2013-08-25 08:32:23 PM
i291.photobucket.com
 
2013-08-25 08:44:44 PM

Doc Daneeka: That's not a paradox, that's just idiocy.

Who the hell would simply average longevity statistics among a group of individuals of widely different ages, and try to draw any kind of conclusion from it. Just sloppy statistics.


Tobacco companies. Probably oil companies and investment banks, too.
 
2013-08-25 08:56:04 PM
I was actually thinking about this earlier, in conjunction with the claim that smokers end up costing less health care wise in virtue of dying younger--and the analog, that obese people die younger and hence suck up less health care costs. These claims are generally given to argue that smokers and obese people should not have to pay higher premiums. But, this is really sloppy.

The problem is, end of life care is very expensive. The two main "natural" causes of death are cancer and heart problems (esp. heart disease), which as we know smoking and obesity bring on earlier. If smoking and obesity take off an average of 10 years each, then it makes sense that a 50 year old smoker (or obese person) would pay the rates of a 60 year old since they are as likely to be entering into end of life care.

The same point might be reached from the other direction by noting that, even if smokers and obese people statistically cost slightly less over their lifetimes, they would put much less into the pool if they were paying the same rates.
 
2013-08-25 08:58:29 PM
Well duh.  They prevent cancer by blocking all of the radiation floating around in the atmosphere.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-25 09:00:27 PM
Simpsons' paradox? I thought was the idea the Simpsons has sucked since [insert favorite season here], but I haven't watched it in [insert arbitrary number of years here].
 
2013-08-25 09:13:08 PM
I thought the Simpsons paradox was if it don't fit you must acquit.
 
2013-08-25 09:16:02 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-25 09:20:16 PM
The Gunslinger said smoking was only bad for kids with undeveloped lungs.
 
2013-08-25 10:18:07 PM
Of course it is, look at how many hours of stress free time smokers get to be away from their desks every day.
Where I work, smokers get a minimum of 2.5 hours a day more breaks than non-smokers. I've taken to going out there with candy cigarettes just to get caught up. Not a single manager has dared to say a word for fear that their smoke breaks would get cut.
 
2013-08-25 10:19:58 PM
When I started coughing up black shiat and had a wheeze that wouldn't go away, that's when I knew I was in peak shape.
 
2013-08-25 10:30:36 PM
No Simpsons joke?

Subby should die in a fire tractor accident.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-25 10:42:15 PM

ArmednHammered: Of course it is, look at how many hours of stress free time smokers get to be away from their desks every day.
Where I work, smokers get a minimum of 2.5 hours a day more breaks than non-smokers. I've taken to going out there with candy cigarettes just to get caught up. Not a single manager has dared to say a word for fear that their smoke breaks would get cut.


If true, your story in genius.  So as a serious question, if smokers get smoke breaks, do you have to prove you are smoking on your break to get it?  Would it be a HIPAA violation if someone asked you to prove that you actually smoked?
 
2013-08-25 10:42:43 PM

goatleggedfellow: No Simpsons joke?

Subby should die in a fire tractor accident.

[i.imgur.com image 466x334]


Pa!
 
2013-08-25 10:49:33 PM
"whether it has any health affects. "

Author is a moran.
 
2013-08-25 11:02:28 PM

ZoeNekros: I was actually thinking about this earlier, in conjunction with the claim that smokers end up costing less health care wise in virtue of dying younger--and the analog, that obese people die younger and hence suck up less health care costs. These claims are generally given to argue that smokers and obese people should not have to pay higher premiums. But, this is really sloppy.

The problem is, end of life care is very expensive. The two main "natural" causes of death are cancer and heart problems (esp. heart disease), which as we know smoking and obesity bring on earlier. If smoking and obesity take off an average of 10 years each, then it makes sense that a 50 year old smoker (or obese person) would pay the rates of a 60 year old since they are as likely to be entering into end of life care.

The same point might be reached from the other direction by noting that, even if smokers and obese people statistically cost slightly less over their lifetimes, they would put much less into the pool if they were paying the same rates.


I think y'all are very close.

I don't have the research in front of me, but specifically recall that reduced total lifetime healthcare expenses for those whose deaths were attributed tobacco could be directly attributed to prolonged 'end-of-life' health care stages for non-users--like 25% longer, while per-year expenses were similar for both groups. This reduction in 'end-of-life' expenses for users, on average, was considerably greater than additional premiums paid by non-users associated with increased longevity. I believe the same study also compared healthy smokers to healthy non-smokers found that the 'healthy' smokers exacted a slightly lesser cost on a per-year basis, w/ only speculative attribution. There was some calculus involved with tying these numbers to fair premium adjustments. I don't recall much about the results.

Regarding your last point that a younger smoker is more likely to enter end-of-life stages of health care: You are correct... However, unlike social security, health care is an incremental risk investment where the terms are generally established by a profitable entity--the insuree only accepts terms. There is no pool into which your lifetime funds are accumulated--the line of reasoning which underlies such a sentiment gives the insurance industry leverage they have not earned and do not deserve.

I fully agree that any insurance company can and should determine if they want to charge tobacco users (or the obese) more. However, believing that any such change will result in reduced premiums for non-smoking w/ lower BMIs requires a narrow-minded view of how capitalistic businesses operate.
 
2013-08-25 11:03:58 PM

Doc Daneeka: That's not a paradox, that's just idiocy.

Who the hell would simply average longevity statistics among a group of individuals of widely different ages, and try to draw any kind of conclusion from it. Just sloppy statistics.


Yep, but that doesn't stop folks from using similar methods to manipulate outcomes.
 
zez
2013-08-25 11:19:32 PM
Or perhaps it was Simpson's paradox. Simpsons paradox is named after Edward Simpson

barfblog.com

I was positive it was named after something in the show
 
2013-08-25 11:58:19 PM
sounds like it's not a paradox, just not including all relevant environmental factors/conditions, like age.  i know there's a latin term for that, just can't think of it atm.
 
2013-08-26 01:42:27 AM
*Paid for by Phillip-Morris.
 
2013-08-26 02:00:51 AM

Harry_Seldon: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 304x400]


My grandparents have smoked those all my life. Second nastiest cigarettes I've ever smelt.
 
2013-08-26 03:07:34 AM

RogermcAllen: Well duh.  They prevent cancer by blocking all of the radiation floating around in the atmosphere.

[i.imgur.com image 850x455]


Nice. I loved that movie. Damn scary.

/"Can I come with you?"
 
2013-08-26 08:09:54 AM
 
2013-08-26 08:43:14 AM
img.gawkerassets.com
 
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