Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Disney Bans Alcohol At Disney World But Alcohol Is Highly Encouraged...Party On Mickey!

In their constant effort to be politically correct, the Walt Disney Company is banning smoking at all of its 22 Orlando hotels and time-share resorts. The ban, effective June 1, permits smoking at designated outdoor areas and is based on hype and pressure, not fact.

The theme park's spokesman Jacob DiPietre said the company is simply responding to demand from their guests who must want less smoking and more drinking! He says the ban follows a 2000 measure that restricted smoking throughout Disney's theme and water parks, limiting smoking to designated areas. Guests caught smoking after the ban could face cleaning surcharges up to $500. And what about those guests who puke their guts out after consuming gallons of Stoli at one of the club bars? They don't even have to pay...and I get to see it and step in it!

Abraham Pizam, dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality at the University of Central Florida says "Nonsmokers are really belligerent," Pizam said. "They want a smoke-free environment and they don't want to be affected by second hand smoke."

At least on one positive note, some hotels located on Disney property are not owned by the theme park and will still offer smoking rooms after Disney's ban takes effect next month.

Everything in life has risk; just going to work each day has risk. Are we supposed to live our lives in bed, hiding under the blanket in case a tornado should come into our bedroom? Lung cancer is not in even in the top 5 causes of death, it is only #9.

According to Dr. James P. Siepmann, MD published in the Lancet, a medical journal,

"Yes, it is true, smoking does not cause lung cancer. It is only one of many risk factors for lung cancer. I initially was going to write an article on how the professional literature and publications misuse the language by saying "smoking causes lung cancer" but the more that I looked into how biased the literature, professional organizations, and the media are, I modified this article to one on trying to put the relationship between smoking and cancer into perspective. (No, I did not get paid off by the tobacco companies, or anything else like that.)

When the tobacco executives testified to Congress that they did not believe that smoking caused cancer, their answers were probably truthful and I agree with that statement. Now, if they were asked if smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer, then their answer based upon current evidence should have be "yes." But even so, the risk of a smoker getting lung cancer is much less than anyone would suspect. Based upon what the media and anti-tobacco organizations say, one would think that if you smoke, you get lung cancer.

Would you believe that the real number is < style="font-weight: bold;" size="3">We (and I included) hear things like, "if you smoke you will die", but when I actually look at the data, lung cancer accounts for only 2% of the annual deaths worldwide and only 3% in the US!

Now let's take a look at alcohol which is not and will not ever be banned at a Disney complex. I mean, how the heck would Goofy be so freakin' goofy? Every year, more money is spent promoting the use of alcohol than any other product. Perhaps through its elaborate and creative marketing, the most basic, yet important fact about alcohol is often overlooked — alcohol is a drug — the most commonly used and widely abused psychoactive drug in the world.

One concept that many people find difficult to accept is that alcoholism and alcohol problems are a disease. Research has shown that alcohol interacts with the body’s systems in predictable ways to lead to physiological addiction. Even at low doses, alcohol significantly impairs the judgment and coordination required to drive a car or operate machinery safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol can also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic violence and child abuse. I'll bet you 10 dollars that you could name more people injured or killed by alcohol and alcohol-related things than you can cigarette related things!

According to the CDC, here are some facts about alcohol. Remember...facts from the medical community. These should make you go hmmmmmm...
Each year, a typical young person in the United States is inundated with more than 1,000
commercials for beer and wine coolers and several thousand fictional drinking incidents on television.

Alcohol is involved in 50% of all driving fatalities and in the United States, every 30 minutes someone is killed in an alcohol related traffic accident.

Over 15 million Americans are dependent on alcohol. 500,000 are between the age of 9 and 12 and an average American may consume over 25 gallons of beer, 2 gallons of wine, and 1.5 gallons of distilled spirits each year.

Each year students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol, more then they spend on soft drinks, tea, milk, juice, coffee, or books combined and 56% of students in grade 5 to 12 say that alcohol advertising encourages them to drink. In 2000, almost 7 million persons age 12 to 20 was a binge drinker; that is about one in five persons under the legal drinking age was a binge drinker.

The 2001 survey shows 25 million (one in ten) Americans surveyed reported driving under the influence of alcohol. This report is nearly three million more than the previous year. Among young adults age 18 to 25 years, almost 23% drove under the influence of alcohol.

Drunk driving is proving to be even deadlier then what we previously know. The latest death statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a new method of calculation show that 17,488 people where killed in alcohol related traffic accidents last year. This report represents nearly 800 more people where killed than the previous year.

43% of Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in their families. Nearly one out of 4 Americans admitted to general hospitals have alcohol problems or are undiagnosed alcoholics being diagnosed for alcohol related consequences.

Four in ten criminal offenders report alcohol as a factor in violence. Among spouse violence victims, three out of four incidents were reported to have involved alcohol use by the offender. In 1996, local law enforcement agencies made an estimated 1,467,300 arrests nationwide for driving under the influence of alcohol.

When I look at the data the lifetime relative risks are surprising. That means that even using the biased data that is out there, a smoker has only an 8x more risk of dying from lung cancer than a nonsmoker. It surprised me too because I had always heard numbers like 20-40 times more risk. The alcohol statistics shocked me too.Statistics that are understandable and make sense to the general public, what a concept!

In conclusion, (well almost), many smokers agree that smoking is bad. Heck, even I do but I still do it. It's my choice although not a good one. But if I have one ciggy, the risk of me killing you or your family member is pretty slim. I would say nil. But if I go and have one shot of any alcohol, and then jump in my car, the risk for you increases dramatically.

There is no chance in hell that we will ever do anything about alcohol. There's too much money out there. Advertising especially. Our economy would be devastated if we did to the alcohol industry what we did to the tobacco industry. Tons of jobs would be gone. Look at prohibition. Did that do any good? Ever hear of Moonshine? Poeple go to greater risks to get booze than cigarettes. And that's a fact. Put that in your hat and smoke it!

The bottom my humble and maybe stupid opinion, leave the smoker's alone. We understand it bothers you and most of us have learned the courtesy to not smoke where it'll bother restaurants. Why not take some of your energy and stop the ass@#$! who is going to hurt someone because he's under the influence. Look at the statistics and make the right choice!

Alcohol and alcohol related problems is costing the American economy at least $100 million in health care and lost of productivity every year making it the number 1 drug problem in America.
Of course, that's just my opinion, Disney is always right and I am usually wrong!