Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What the kids do

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  • chris, in reply to Sacha,

    The evidence is apparently against you on that one.

    Can you link to that Sacha?

    I’d take a guess that this is also a result of the legal status of the substance – They are probably a lot more likely to seek assistance from ill effects of a legal substance than they are from an illegal one, or at least they wait til things are a lot worse on the illegal ones.

    True Jeremy.

    My dreadlocks tend to have teens relax around me and quite comfortable to chat about drugs.

    No longer being a teen and having never laid eyes on the dreads, you have a very chilled and understanding manner that makes you seem very approachable. +1

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to chris,

    Banning this or that location from sale seems little more than diluted prohibition. In China, corner convenience stores traditionally sell cigarettes, beer and 57% rice wine (1$NZ for 600ml), ID-less transactions, and there aren’t paralytic or even drunk youths on the streets, nor are their 12 year olds smoking in the bike sheds.

    To be fair, five million Chinese youths start smoking every year and the WHO has predicted that a third of the 300 million young men in China will die prematurely of smoking-related ailments. The Chinese government does seem to be trying to curb availability, including by banning vending machines.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    Can you link to that Sacha?

    No, but I believe Russell has, many times.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    more likely to seek assistance from ill effects of a legal substance

    a cornerstone of harm minimisation approaches

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    To be fair, five million Chinese youths start smoking every year and the WHO has predicted that a third of the 300 million young men in China will die prematurely of smoking-related ailments. The Chinese government does seem to be trying to curb availability, including by banning vending machines.

    40c (NZ) for a pack of cigarettes and dubious population control methods give that curb a rather sinister angle Russell. In all honesty I’d attest that the Chinese Government are doing the bare minimum to curb smoking, and I’ve never seen a vending machine here, but I have 3 convenience stores within 100m as I type.

    British American Tobacco has tried (so far unsuccessfully) to set up a joint venture to manufacture cigarettes in China. U.S. giant Altria, formerly Philip Morris, has also been negotiating with the government to manufacture and sell its top-selling Marlboro brand on the mainland. Indeed, with most Chinese smokers hacking away from the harsh, high-tar brands produced by the state-owned monopoly, the China National Tobacco Corporation, foreign companies have been stumbling over themselves to hawk their wares.

    Pretty much speaks for itself. There's something in that for the NZ govt methinks - Beehive beer.

    These are telling statistics Russell, in that again they point to the role socialization plays in our use of drugs. 2/3 of Chinese males are smokers while only 7% of females are smokers. That’s a huge gap, and given that there is no significant large scale gender segregation, this indicates that proximity to the drug positively withers against the powerful forces of social conditioning.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to chris,

    Why thunk you Chris. I'll blame my parents for that. And I never saw lotsa booze or cigarettes around them or their hippy friends. Odd bit of vino and what I learn't later, my Dad did partake. And another thing I know was, there was always a way around 10pm closing, back in the olds days. And gambling. Ahh, Prohibition. Can bring out some fascinating stories. We human animals live in a survival of the fittest society.
    Could the Kings kids be, because they live up to the comfortable end of the spectrum, with all that the trimmings supply, simply, have less survival instinct, and get noticed more via their known surname when, they die. That and not so bright, Silver spoon possibly?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Could the Kings kids be

    I'd say they're not that different to the thousands of other NZ teens who get in trouble with alcohol every year and those who die from it every week.

    Loss of young lives is a tragic waste, wherever it happens. Some get more publicity, sure. And no doubt have better access via wealth too. But I doubt it's cos they're soft or stupid.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Susannah Shepherd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And the rejoinder was salient too. 13 and 14 year-olds coming smack-bang into a pretty serious high won’t have the skills to tell what’s going on, or to help each other.

    I can vouch for that, having been inadvertently sent on a very bad trip by the medical profession at the age of 13. Full-on lucid paranoid hallucinations are not fun, or even trippy. It was easily the most frightening 8 hours of my life, and if I hadn't already been in hospital, I (or the people around me) would have been looking for one pretty quickly.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    But we do all die Sach. I don't know when I will, but it will happen, and reading today (3rd time this last month) over hundreds are still alive and healthy, so not everyone who dies tomorrow/next day is old. Accidents can be tragic, death maybe not. Education is what helps anywhere, anytime, Public Transport I say.
    I can't remember who said this but it has stuck ever since and if anything happens to me,accident or not, I will always have nice knickers on :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    You change your knickers to avoid being considered a navvy.

    The logic behind why one should wear fresh undergarments when one leaves the house is to preserve one's dignity, if you have your old daggy knickers on whilst out and have an accident that puts you into hospital the nurses will laugh at you when they have to undress you and get you ready for theatre - one needs to avoid being considered to have come from a family of navvies.

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/navvies.htm

    Groups of navvies would often turn up in smaller towns or villages and live outside in the elements, until they were paid by the locals to either repair a road or just go away.
    Navvies living rough were often considered unclean and smelly having not washed their garments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to DexterX,

    Mine was more, excuse for nice knickers, price being always justified ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    :D coming back to the topic, if I may:

    The problem has really arisen through Kronic’s owners pushing it into suburban dairies and, more recently, the priceless promotion of panicky media stories.

    This is a 20th century diagnosis of a very 21st century problem Kronic Triple stack quarter ounce combo $309.95 add to cart. that's right there, in front of you. The closest dairy. Similarly with legislation to ban branding on cigarettes: Waste of time and money for everyone involved. Having just completed a month of 100% online household shopping, I'm convinced that these so-called solutions are an all expenses paid extraction of urine by the NZ Government.

    So basically: "long term solutions are all very well but we need to deal with problem on the ground, Urgently!"

    You deserve better. Legislation appealing to our intelligence is more likely to beget intelligent behaviour, whilst Legislation appealing to our stupidity...

    Mr Dunne said the changes would mean police would "feel more confident they have a package of things to enforce". He said the planned new restrictions would ensure sales were largely limited to "the person who knows that's the store to go to, to buy it.... I'm not sure the cat's out of the bag permanently. It's certainly having a bit of a run around the field at the moment." (linked below)

    The cat's gone dude. You smoked it.

    Thank you kindly for your point in the right direction Russell, I learned that despite the vast amount of diddling around the NZ Govt has done with age limits, packaging, branding, advertising, accessibility, roughly 23% of New Zealanders still smoke (2006) , compared with approximately 23% of Chinese (2008) (40c). Giving and taking numbers, shit still doesn't begin to stack up in favour of the diddlers, who callously and unscientifically omit the quantifier "too much" in their slogan; "smoking ________kills".

    I found this perspective interesting Jeremy;

    He said people who went to hospital were unlikely to own up to taking illegal drugs, and were more likely to blame the legal products so they didn't get into trouble.

    Sorry, I know I'll go on, stopping.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    I'm convinced

    Again, does not trump the evidence that restricting availability works.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Don't confuse correlation with causation. Just saying.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to chris,

    Thank you kindly for your point in the right direction Russell, I learned that despite the vast amount of diddling around the NZ Govt has done with age limits, packaging, branding, advertising, accessibility, roughly 23% of New Zealanders still smoke (2006) , compared with approximately 23% of Chinese (2008) (40c).

    The more commonly quoted figure, and the one cited by the WHO and the Chinese Ministry of Health, is a rate of 36% among Chinese over 15.

    The rate in New Zealand is variously estimated at 20-22%, down from 30% in the mid 80s. The number of cigarettes smoked per adult has halved since 1991.

    I really do think you're drawing a long bow saying that the Smokefree policy has had no effect.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    Don't confuse correlation with causation

    I'll leave that assessment for those more familiar with the international evidence base. Over the years Russell has posted a lot on this topic. All I'm doing is stating the conclusions I recall from it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to chris,

    Honey, I shrunk the country...

    There’s something in that for the NZ govt methinks – Beehive beer.

    perhaps a whole new reality tv series
    - Mead Men

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Don’t confuse correlation with causation. Just saying.

    I think it's pushing it to suppose that the raft of public measures to curb the smoking rate has had no role in the halving of the number of cigarettes smoked per adult since 1991. Can you propose a cause that bears no relation to any smokefree policy?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Do you include greater knowledge about the dangers of smoking under "smokefree policy"?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Do you include greater knowledge about the dangers of smoking under “smokefree policy”?

    I think so. An education campaign was in the first set of measures in 1985. Public awareness advertising campaign in 1986. Prominent health warnings on cigarette packaging arrived in 1987. Amazingly, domestic airlines didn’t go smokefree until 1988.

    Between 1985 and 1990, New Zealand had the most rapid rate of reduction in smoking consumption of any OECD country.

    And this was before the Smokefree Environments Act 1990 (which sharply curtailed visual advertising for tobacco products) and the halving in cigarette consumption per capita between 1991 (when prices went up 17% and consumption decreased 15%) and 2001.

    I do think the data are such that anyone who proposes a mere correlation needs to suggest some alternative causes.

    Timeline here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    I'm inclined to agree with Chris' China comparison re availability, although I think he downplays the smoking issue. Certainly, there is plenty of booze and cigarettes available, and so long as you're in at least a village, you're never more than a five minute walk from a drink or smoke. I've seen very young kids buying a bottle of booze and some cigarettes for Daddy from their neighbourhood store, and nobody bats an eyelid. The young people stumbling drunk down the street late at night are generally expats.

    As for smoking, what I've seen seems to be what the WHO and Chinese MoH statistics Russell posted are describing. Smoking seems to start in high school, and having worked in a couple of high schools, I've seen more than a few 15, 16, 17 year old boys smoking on fire escapes, in toilets, in secluded corners of buildings, down narrow lanes, and other areas they think we don't notice. Smoking rates are much higher in men than women, although it does seem more and more young women are smoking. But given the traditionally rather negative view of women smokers here, young women tend to be a lot more discrete about their smoking.

    But here comes the socialisation thing: China and New Zealand are both binge drinking cultures, but Chinese do their binge drinking in a very different way. Traditionally Chinese drink over a meal, and the men will often drink to get hammered, but when the meal ends, the drinking ends. It is true that more and more younger Chinese from urban affluent backgrounds are embracing more Western styles of socialising and getting wasted, but they account for a very tiny proportion of what is really a very conservative country.

    So for me the China-New Zealand comparison bolsters my suspicion that politicians and moral panickers waffling endlessly about drinking ages, availability, restrictions and bans is all a collossal waste of time and resources - and possibly quite a deliberate waste. The real problem, which very few politicians and moral panickers seem willing to talk about, lies in the parenting (or apparent lack thereof in some cases) that many have talked about in this thread.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do think the data are such that anyone who proposes a mere correlation needs to suggest some alternative causes.

    I was asking because when I was a kid in the seventies I was well aware of the dangers of smoking, unlike my parents before me, and in spite of the lack of any antismoking campaigns. And so when the age came when I would have taken up smoking otherwise, ie the mid eighties, I didn't, like many of my peers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I’m inclined to agree with Chris’ China comparison re availability, although I think he downplays the smoking issue. Certainly, there is plenty of booze and cigarettes available, and so long as you’re in at least a village, you’re never more than a five minute walk from a drink or smoke. I’ve seen very young kids buying a bottle of booze and some cigarettes for Daddy from their neighbourhood store, and nobody bats an eyelid. The young people stumbling drunk down the street late at night are generally expats

    OTOH, ethnic Chinese in New Zealand generally drink far less than European New Zealanders. New Zealand has a bingeing culture right back to colonial times, and I think it’s a factor in consumption of other drugs too – BZP, for example, which was often heavily tied in to binge drinking.

    But here comes the socialisation thing: China and New Zealand are both binge drinking cultures, but Chinese do their binge drinking in a very different way. Traditionally Chinese drink over a meal, and the men will often drink to get hammered, but when the meal ends, the drinking ends.

    There's a superb documentary called The World's Biggest Chinese Restaurant, which captures the Chinese bingeing style basically as you describe it. The owner -- a middle-aged woman -- goes from table to table greeting guests and, because it seems to be expected, knocking back large glasses of wine with each group. She ends up absolutely slaughtered.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I was asking because when I was a kid in the seventies I was well aware of the dangers of smoking, unlike my parents before me, and in spite of the lack of any antismoking campaigns. And so when the age came when I would have taken up smoking otherwise, ie the mid eighties, I didn’t, like many of my peers.

    Smoking prevalence had been slowly trending down in Italy (it was still 30%+ in 1990), but the rate of cessation doubled 2004-2006, after Italy’s own smokefree legislation was introduced:

    Conclusion. The drop in smoking prevalence and consumption is due, at least in part and particularly for younger generations, to the comprehensive smoke-free legislation adopted in Italy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    OTOH, ethnic Chinese in New Zealand generally drink far less than European New Zealanders.

    In my experience (I work in IT, after all) this is true - but I also often see ethnic Chinese co-workers who do drink, when exposed to the New Zealand work-function-drinking culture, completely fail to keep their shit together. New Zealand certainly has a binge-drinking culture, but (perhaps within some subset of well educated, professionally-inclined adults) we have also developed a lot of behaviours which can mitigate its impact.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

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