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New Jersey is prioritizing cigarette smokers for COVID-19 vaccines

Discussion in 'News & Current Events (Articles Required)' started by ThatRobGuy, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    One link is behind a "create free account" wall, so I'm posting two....

    New Jersey is prioritizing cigarette smokers for COVID-19 vaccines because of their risk of severe disease

    Smokers in N.J. Are Eligible for Vaccine. No Proof Needed.


    "I'll take rewarding people for bad decisions for $500, Alex" (RIP)


    I fail to see how someone making perpetually poor decisions (that increase the likelihood of poor Covid outcomes) should warrant them moving to the front of the line.

    By that logic, a state could make a case to prioritize anti-maskers for the vaccines since their voluntary behavior is leading to a higher likelihood of a poor covid-related outcomes. (much like the voluntary behavior of smoking does)

    Of course, the glaring flaw with this plan:
    NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said in a press conference Wednesday that the state will not ask for proof that people smoke if they show up for a shot.

    "No documentation of the medical condition or your age will be required," she said.
     
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  2. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The answer of the health commissioner is that we're trying to protect people who are most at risk, and smokers are in that group. Diabetes often has to do with eating habits. Lifestyle impacts the risk of heart problems. Doctors aren't in the business of judging people, but trying to protect their health.
     
  3. Rene Loup

    Rene Loup Saved Wolf Among Sheep

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  4. Elliewaves

    Elliewaves Untouchable internet saint

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    Yes, they are in an at risk group.
     
  5. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    ...but as I said, by that logic, anyone who engages in particularly risky health behavior would fall in that category.

    IE: Anti-maskers are at higher risks from covid than people who wear a mask and socially distance. How well do you think it'd go over with the public if they announced that they were going to prioritize people who identified as being "opposed to mask wearing" for the vaccine?

    Also, the last part...where they claim they're not going to ask for any proof that a person is a smoker...I think we all know what's going to happen there. There are going to be hundreds (if not thousands) of people who lie about that just to cut the line.
     
  6. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    As are anti-maskers...and people who refuse to abide by the advice of medical professionals with regards to covid. You cool with them getting bumped to the front of the line as well?
     
  7. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    It may be that targeting smokers will reduce the demand for ICU beds assuming that infected smokers are more likely to have COVID complications. Looked at this way, vaccinating smokers may save other lives with the benefits for smokers as incidental.

    Proof ?- easy - sniff'em (I'm an ex smoker).

    OB
     
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  8. Elliewaves

    Elliewaves Untouchable internet saint

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    Right but smokers have been probably smoking BEFORE the pandemic. They came into it at risk. While it's not the smartest healthwise to smoke, they didn't know there would be a pandemic beforehand putting th em at risk of hospitalization for covid. Anti maskers know of the pandemic and choose to deny it or put themselves at risk in the midst of it. Even if smokers have quit during the pandemic , they are still at a disadvantage of complications if they get it. This is more likely to take up hospital space. I don't know if antimaskers are cool with getting a vaccine anyways so it might be a moot point.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  9. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    That's a dumb argument, but I don't want the vaccine anyway, so it's all moot to me.
     
  10. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Smokers tend to have a job to support their addiction.

    Therefore, in the most cynical way of looking at it, it's a no brainer to ensure workers continue in good health - more money.
     
  11. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    ...mmmm...not sure if that reasoning plays.

    According to the CDC, Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.

    And the medical/scientific community has been trying to get them to change their ways for decades.

    Not knowing there would be a pandemic that would kill 365k people in a year isn't much of a defense if they've already been engaging in an activity that kills 480k per year plus another 41k via second hand smoke. (with this knowledge being widely available for decades)

    So if you look at the parallels...

    Both groups have been warned about the consequences of what they're doing and the risks, and still choose to not modify their behavior. Both put others in jeopardy with their behavior.
     
  12. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    ...most people I know who are anti-maskers fall into the same category, so that's still not really much of a distinction.
     
  13. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    They're not even asking for proof (which is a major design flaw in this plan...since there's going to be a lot of people claiming to be who aren't)

    ...apart from that, removing your mask to inhale deeply through your nose to detect if someone is a smoker probably isn't in-line with covid protocols...just a hunch lol.
     
  14. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Yeah, but perception is everything. Since smokers are addicted to something that causes respiratory problems, they fall into a risk group and are given it first.

    Furthermore, since the government hasn't made cigarettes illegal, they need to take responsibility for that decision.

    I don't smoke and will probably get the vaccines last anyway since I don't fall into a group.
     
  15. Elliewaves

    Elliewaves Untouchable internet saint

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    I'm more bothered by politicians getting it that downplayed it and were also antimask. It doesn't bother me that an at risk group gets vaccinated before me. I don't think they should "get what they deserve" for smoking or anything like that. I do know a smoker that got covid and was in the hospital. They barely made it. I'm glad they are still alive and I wish they had access to the vaccine beforehand so that would have been prevented.
     
  16. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    I should have added the :) to my sniff'em comment.

    Seriously - it may be that the gains made by reducing smoker demand for ICU beds are seen to outweigh the problem of queue jumpers. I don't know and I don't agree with the strategy, but there is at least a rational argument for vaxxing smokers if we can put aside our moral indignation.

    In my part of the world there are different priority strategies based on local factors. I recently heard that one of our small Pacific near neighbours (possibly Papua New Guinea) has opted to prioritise younger people based on the country's much younger (compared to Aus/US/Europe) age profile. The theory seems to be to get the worst spreaders first.

    OB
     
  17. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    I think the biggest outcry would come from the anti maskers who don't want the vaccine anyway. You need to find yourself another i.e, one that would actually take the vaccine.
     
  18. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    I have both smokers and anti-mask people in my immediate family. I'm not hoping for a bad outcome for anyone...

    With regards to being bothered by politicians who downplayed it but still getting the vaccine...it's still not much of a distinction between them and smokers.

    Both were refusing to follow the advice of medical experts, both were well-informed of the risks.

    The CDC has even published articles telling people the importance of "kicking the habit", especially because of covid...and were urging people to quit smoking back in April because of the benefits (even in the short term for people who had been long-time smokers) of quitting.

    So to be jaded about one, but supportive of the other, seems to be an inconsistent standard.
     
  19. Elliewaves

    Elliewaves Untouchable internet saint

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    Well, according to you. ....I understand your moral outrage, but I don't share it. Anti mask politicians are not a high risk group of themselves.
     
  20. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    It's probably because the scent from all the 2nd hand cigarette smoke is the only thing that makes it possible to stomach the real smell of New Jersey.
     
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