Meanderings.. taxes, bribes, health, euro

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
fuzer
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Postby fuzer » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:29 pm

Brill idea to split the thread - great common sense - keeps us moaning gits in the throng.
ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU STAR

SatCure
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Postby SatCure » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:49 pm

filippos wrote:Can you give the sources of peer reviewed research findings that conclude absolutely that smokers damage others through their habit. Certainly, there are negative aspects like stale smoke odours on clothes and in hair but where's the evidence for damage to health?.


Haha, you are playing "devil's advocate"! :D

OK, I'll bite:
That's a daft question, which ranks alongside "can you prove that God doesn't exist?". I bet Roy Castle is laughing in his grave.

Cigarette smoke is injurious to health. It doesn't matter whether it passes through the cigarette or simply rolls off the tip. Ask any asthmatic person.

Radioactive Pollonium is still radioactive, whether it's breathed in by the person holding the cigarette or some other unfortunate victim.

http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/strsfs.html

Topdriller
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Postby Topdriller » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:12 pm

scooby wrote:Is this comparable to the UK, instead of an envelope you just go "private". So apart from the tax dodge, not much difference IMO.


It's my understanding that NHS consultants are contracted to work an agreed number of hours per week. What they then do in their 'spare time' whether golf or private work is up to them. If they decide to work privately then those who can afford or want to go privately reduce the NHS waiting list e.g. hip operations. What's more, everyone pays an NI contribution, whether rich or poor, and therefore if someone decides to have a private hip operation there is more money in the NHS pot for those who can not afford a private operation.

Equally importantly, those who elect to go privately are able to arrange their work schedule to fit in with a privately paid for operation and if something relatively small will often take holiday leave which is not always possible if on a NHS waiting list.

How this system is comparable with paying an IKA doctor 'a bung' to move you to the top of the IKA hospital waiting list and thus depriving others from getting their operation in a timely fashion is beyond me.

Jon
We need men who dream of things that never were.

fuzer
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Postby fuzer » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:41 am

I propose a ban on drinking alcohol > because of the mega number of people killed or harmed by drinkers - whether by driving - fighting - arguments - falling - >> The fact is alcohol is the cause of social dysfunction - death - injury a million times greater than that alleged to be caused by smokers. You do not need a degree to know that smoke is bad for you - my point is the moaning pontificating non smokers who never address the alcohol argument in fact they become deaf to it. I dont know of any case where PASSIVE smoking has wiped out a car full of teenagers, but I do know of numerous such cases as a result of drinking.
ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU STAR

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:32 am

Topdriller wrote:..How this system is comparable with paying an IKA doctor 'a bung' to move you to the top of the IKA hospital waiting list and thus depriving others from getting their operation in a timely fashion is beyond me.
Jon


It isn't. Greece and the UK run virtually directly equivalent systems. There are doctors who solely work for NHS/IKA. There are doctors who work both for NHS/IKA and privately. There are doctors who work solely privately.

The main difference is that the UK has a single National Insurance Scheme and the hospitals are part of the NHS. Greece has many national insurance schemes, depending on occupation, so the general hospitals are not part of IKA. The general hospitals operate independently and each insurance scheme pays for the service.

A second difference in Greece is that you can go directly to a specialist consultant without a referral from a Pathalogos.

You can pay to go privately in Greece, either individually or with private insurance, just as you can in the UK and doing so will usually, but not always, get you faster service than going through IKA. You can go for a private consultation and still go for whatever treatment the consultant recommends through IKA as you can in the UK. As an example, a couple of months ago my wife was recommended to have a CT scan by a private consultant in Chania. The "prescription" for the scan was done electronically by the private consultant using my wife's AMKA number and was, therefore, largely paid for by IKA. About 75 % I think. She was then sent for radiation therapy in Heraklion which was paid for wholly by IKA. From walking into the consultants office to receiving the first dose of radiation was almost exactly 24 hours.

The small amount of corruption that exists is completely outside this system. My wife and I have both had significant amounts of treatment in Greece. Some we have paid for privately and some has been free or subsidised through IKA. Some of the paid for service has been very cheap and some has been very expensive. All has been excellent. We have never been asked for an under the table payment once in 15 years. It happens but it is not common.

Warwick

bobscott
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Postby bobscott » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:07 am

fuzer wrote:I propose a ban on drinking alcohol > because of the mega number of people killed or harmed by drinkers - whether by driving - fighting - arguments - falling - >> The fact is alcohol is the cause of social dysfunction - death - injury a million times greater than that alleged to be caused by smokers. You do not need a degree to know that smoke is bad for you - my point is the moaning pontificating non smokers who never address the alcohol argument in fact they become deaf to it. I dont know of any case where PASSIVE smoking has wiped out a car full of teenagers, but I do know of numerous such cases as a result of drinking.


I freely admit that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and statistics can be manipulated to prove or disprove just about anything.

However, a quick trawl on the internet looking for UK death by smoking and UK death by alcohol showed that:

In 2009, 814,000 people died of smoking or smoking-related causes and

in 2010, 8,790 died from alcohol related diseases (interestinly a rise of 126 from the previous year). The figures for alcohol wouldn't I imagine include deaths by drunken drivers, but even so ................................. Draw your own conclusions.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:38 am

filippos wrote:...Can you give the sources of peer reviewed research findings that conclude absolutely that smokers damage others through their habit...


It is not possible to conclude this absolutely. The studies are invariably epidemiological and such studies cannot prove causality. The impossibility of proving causality has been used very effectively by the tobacco industry, and other industries where hazardous substances have resulted in death, to defend themselves against litigation.

Some of the studies show such marked effects, however, that the authors stated that there was "a high probability of causality" or "causality was virtually certain". Below are a list of articles from respectable journals that approach the subject in a variety of ways. Note that some of them pull together evidence from many studies. Note also that some look at evidence that markers for nicotine are found in children exposed to passive smoking. If a child is absorbing nicotine from passive smoke he/she is also absorbing the 40 or so carcinogens present in cigarette smoke.

As with any exposure to hazardous substances it is highly probable that the level of exposure is critical. A nightclub worker who works in a closed environment where there is a high percentage of smokers present for many hours per day is going to be at higher risk than a farm worker who works in a field alongside another farm hand who smokes.

It is interesting that some smokers are happy to believe epidemiological evidence that alcohol causes adverse health effects but reject such evidence when it relates to smoking?

If you want "absolute" proof you can't have it. If people wish to ignore the preponderance of epidemiological evidence in order to support their life style choices that is of course their right.

Warwick

Hackshaw, A.K., Law, M.R., Wald, N.J. (1997) The accumulated evidence on lung cancer and environmental tobacco smoke. British Medical Journal 315: 980-988.

He, J., Vupputuri S., Allen, K. et al. (1999)Passive smoking and the risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. New England Journal of Medicine 340: 920-926.

Hecht, S.S., Ye, M., Carmella, S.G. et al. (2001)Metabolites of a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in the urine of elementary school-aged children. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 10: 11, 1109-1116.

Jarvis, M., Goddard, E., Higgins, V. et al. (2001)Children's exposure to passive smoking in England since the 1980s: cotinine evidence from population surveys. British Medical Journal 321: 343-345.

Rapti, E., Jindal, S.K., Gupta, D., Boffetta, P. (1999)Passive smoking and lung cancer in Chandigarh, India. Lung Cancer 23: 3, 183-189.

Royal College of Physicians. (1992)Smoking and the Young. London: RCP.

Samet, J.M., Yang, G. (2001)Passive smoking, women and children. In: World Health Organization. Women and the Tobacco Epidemic. Geneva: WHO

US Department of Health and Human Services. (1986)The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking. A report of the US Surgeon General. Washington, DC: US DHSS.

US National Research Council. (1986)Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Measuring exposures and assessing health effects. Washington, DC: US National Research Council.

Zhong, L., Goldberg, MS., Gao, Y.T., Fin, F. (1999)A case-control study of lung cancer and environmental tobacco smoke among non-smoking women living in Shanghai, China. Cancer Causes Control 10: 6, 6-16.

Topdriller
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Postby Topdriller » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:44 pm

Warwick,

I've heard of two specific cases here over the last five years where friends have been asked to and have paid 'bungs' to consultants to have their operations done quickly. The first was as previously described and the second was an ex-pat who needed a heart operation. I've also heard of a number of other incidences but they have been second hand stories so I can't confirm their veracity.

I've never heard of anyone being asked to or indeed paying an NHS consultant to advance them up a NHS waiting list.

My own experiences with the medical system here have been limited but when our paths have crossed the treatment has been excellent and all above board.

Jon
We need men who dream of things that never were.

fuzer
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Postby fuzer » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:02 pm

Re bobscott > I am one who tends to draw his own conclusions as I do not trust any statistics. Deaths specifically may be arguable but social unrest and dysfunction can be put directly at the door of alcohol. Town centers - domestic issues - hospital bills etc - alcohol blows smoking out of the water.
I am not saying other people should tolerate passive smoke but i am saying some non-smokers really get on their high horse but never address the problems caused by alcohol - perhaps they rightly enjoy a drink. I rightly enjoy a smoke.
ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU STAR

SatCure
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Postby SatCure » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:29 am

There's no doubt that alcohol causes problems but they are different problems from those caused by smoking. Nobody suffers from second-hand drinking. Alcohol doesn't drift out of a glass and into someone else's lungs.

In that sense, therefore, alcohol drinking is not damaging someone else (but obviously the actions of an alcoholic might cause damage and that makes it just as selfish as smoking if you drink with the knowledge that it makes you antisocial).

fuzer
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Postby fuzer » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:42 am

I have yet to see a person light up a cigarette then after a 4th or 5th cigarette be so affected by said smoking that they burst into loud, aggressive anti social thugs. Alcohol is always a contributory factor. I have yet to read the Monday Morning papers - TV<Radio> "The town high streets were no go areas because a gang of young men were walking down the street SMOKING !! But every weekend we see police resources used to restrain thugs fighting in the streets. Innocent people are affected - queuing in hospital - fear walking down a town or city street - cost of health care - prisons - ambulance service - family breakdown etc etc - alcohol is a major problem including affecting law abiding people.
I am not at all minimising the discomfort of smoke - but when they make a TV series called > "POLICE CAMERA ACTION" with a police officer running down the street after a smoker (this may happen) then you deniers of the conspicuous serious alcohol problems will be satisfied.
Smoke harms people - OK, but explain why the obviously more serious drug of alcohol, the Elephant in the room, pushed into the background.
ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU STAR

bobscott
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Postby bobscott » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:21 pm

Back to the economic situation for a moment. Just got this from a friend and it seems singularly apt just now. Pity we haven't learnt anything in the last 2067 years!

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

- Cicero - 55 BC
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

scooby

Postby scooby » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:55 pm

Two old ladies were outside their nursing home, having a smoke when it started to rain. One of the ladies pulled out a condom, cut off the end, put it over her cigarette and continued smoking.

Lady 1: "What's that?"

Lady 2: "A condom. This way my cigarette doesn't get wet."

Lady 1: "Where did you get it?"

Lady 2: "You can get them at any drugstore."

The next day ... Lady 1 hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms. The guy looks at her kind of strangely (she is, after all, over 80 years of age), but politely asks what brand she prefers.

Lady 1: "It doesn't matter as long as it fits a Camel."

Just to lighten the mood a bit :) It's good to have a laugh a day and if you can't manage that, try smiling..

fuzer
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Postby fuzer » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:47 pm

Too true Bob. Good joke Scooby - yes we do need a laugh - what did the dog say to the constipated Cat ??
ALWAYS FINISH WHAT YOU STAR

Tim
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Postby Tim » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:09 pm

fuzer wrote:Too true Bob. Good joke Scooby - yes we do need a laugh - what did the dog say to the constipated Cat ??


?? Have a Break. Have a Sh*t-Kat ??

Tim


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