Let's Be Reasonable 
    Newspaper, Magazine and Periodical Columnist's Opinions & News

When you're done with this collection there's more!
No smoking, please:
Marketplace has solution to restaurant smoking
The Union Leader - December 31, 2001
LAST FRIDAY, we criticized Nashua for attempting to ban smoking in all restaurants in the city. That same day, The Union Leader reported that the owners of the Merrimack Restaurant in downtown Manchester have banned smoking in their establishment.

We support the Merrimack and other restaurants that choose to eliminate smoking on their own premises. They show the regulation-happy Nashua aldermen that even without a city-wide smoking ban, families can enjoy a meal out without inhaling tobacco fumes.

The owners of the Merrimack voluntarily banned smoking so they could make more money. Nothing wrong with that. Other Manchester restaurants have banned smoking in recent years, including the Puritan Back Room and the Red Arrow. If this trend continues, as some in the business expect, it will mean increased business for the restaurants that ban smoking. However, it also should prove lucrative for those that allow smoking. As the number of smoking sections diminishes, those left will be in higher demand, providing a win-win situation for everyone.

Contrast this to the situation that would occur in Nashua should aldermen there ban smoking in all restaurants. Some restaurants would gain business, others that cater to clientele who smoke would suffer serious losses, and smokers would be driven to out-of-town restaurants. That would be a win-lose situation, which shouldn't be an outcome pursued by government.

Ashes in Nashua:
Restaurateurs remain free, for now
The Union Leader - December 28, 2001
NASHUA’S [New Hampshire] RESTAURANT smoking ban has gone up in smoke, for now, as it was defeated by a vote of 8-6 on Wednesday. But as one Nashua restaurateur said of Nashua’s cigarette police, “They’ll be back.”

There can be no more clear-cut case of a municipality’s intrusion upon its residents’ civil liberties than a town’s attempt to ban smoking in private buildings such as restaurants. But amazingly, even here in “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, politicians continue to stomp on individual rights as if they were stomping out a cigarette butt.

Lighten up, America!
TownHall.com - Jacob Sullum - December 21, 2001
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry offers several rationales for her ban on smoking in city parks. People leave cigarette butts in sandboxes, she says, and smoking causes air pollution.

But L.A. already has a law against littering, and tobacco smoke in the open air hardly seems like a pressing environmental concern. Unless Perry plans to shut down all automobile traffic and industrial activity in Los Angeles, her zero-tolerance approach to pollution is strangely selective.

Fatwa on Obesity Carries No Weight
LA Times - By BRIAN DOHERTY (Brian Doherty is an associate editor of Los Angeles-based Reason magazine.)
December 19, 2001
The surgeon general of the United States has hit the American people with a public health bombshell: Being too fat can be bad for your health.

David Satcher vows that he will launch a campaign against girth that is equivalent to the one the office launched in 1964 against smoking.

People warned that the government's war on tobacco launched it on a slippery slope.

So far the surgeon general is just talking about education on the perils of poundage.

That's how the tobacco wars started. They ended in massive legislation, smoking bans, new taxes and huge lawsuits. Satcher appears set to launch us down that same slope when it comes to our eating habits.

Seasonal symbols make some people see red
TownHall.com - John Leo - December 17, 2001
There's another new wrinkle in inclusiveness ideology. Call it the sensitive person's veto. Last year, the city of Eugene, Ore., barred Christmas trees from public property, then backed down a bit and allowed firefighters to put up a tree on Christmas Eve and Christmas. But the city manager said that if one person objects, the tree must come down. This allows the most sensitive person in town to set policy. Kensington, Md., banned Santa Claus from this year's tree-lighting ceremony because of two complaints.

The sensitive person's veto was born in the anti-smoking campaign and has spread to other fields. Now it's showing up in the wars over Christmas and Hanukkah. Those who want to keep those traditions alive in the public square had better push back. The sensitive person's veto requires only one vote to topple any norm. And that vote will always be easy to find.

No sooner does John Leo make this observation than it is substantiated by the following action:

Peanut Butter Banned From Norwalk School
Aroma Could Trigger A Severe Reaction
TheIowaChannel.com - December 13, 2001

NORWALK, Iowa -- Peanut butter is off the menu at a central Iowa elementary school.

School officials at Oviatt Elementary School in Norwalk are also asking parents to keep peanut products out of lunch sacks.

The move comes after the parents of one student asked that peanut butter be removed from the menu because their child is allergic to peanuts and could have a life-threatening reaction.

School officials said medical experts have concluded that even peanut oil on the child's skin or the aroma of peanuts could trigger a serious reaction.

Principal Tom McLaughlin said the school sent a letter informing parents of the situation. School officials said most parents were sympathetic with the child's situation.

Fat is next target for overreaction
Pioneer Press - Joe Soucheray - December 16, 2001
Obesity will be the next anti-smoking movement, and its true believers will probably mimic the tactics of the anti-smoking crowd, which is looking for a new cause. For example, I would be extremely nervous if I owned or invested heavily in the fast-food industry. It is only a matter of time before there will be a surgeon general's warning on a Big Mac. Age requirements for the purchase of fast food will follow and, ultimately, there will be zones in the city where fast-food franchises are forbidden.

And just as cities passed anti-smoking ordinances right and left, they will begin to pass exercise-on-demand ordinances. Maybe at10 a.m. or noon, a siren will sound and you will have to drop what you are doing and meet in the town square for 30 minutes of calisthenics.

City Hall smoking room should stay put
Green Bay News-Chronicle - Warren Bluhm - December, 2001
Workers at Green Bay City Hall are the last government employees in Brown County who do not have to brave the elements to exercise their perfectly legal habit. For years a ventilated smoking room in a corner of the sixth floor of that six-story building has been a refuge for tobacco addicts.

But now the busybodies who assail you with TV ads about how tobacco company executives are liars and cheats - but sanction the censorship that prevents those people from running ads to defend themselves - have targeted that refuge and asked the City Council to take it away.

The studies that have been cited to "prove" that secondhand smoke is lethal do not prove any such thing. The reason you believe secondhand smoke is dangerous is because of the Big Lie theory - if you repeat a Big Lie often enough, people start to accept it as fact.

Cigarette Nazis on the march
WorldNetDaily - Walter Williams - December 5, 2001
America's cigarette Nazis, like any other tyrant, cannot be satisfied. In the '60s, when they started out, they wanted no-smoking sections on airplanes. Had they revealed their complete agenda of no smoking in airplanes, airports, restaurants, jobs, streets – not to mention confiscatory taxes – they wouldn't have gotten anything.

Regarding confiscatory taxes, cigarette Nazis are being challenged by one of my heroes – the smuggler.  Why is the smuggler my hero? It's easy. People want to and have the right to engage in peaceable, mutually agreeable, voluntary exchange, and a third-party – government – tells them no.

The smuggler thwarts the government's mission of interference. Before we go bad-mouthing smugglers, we might consider that a number of the men we celebrate each Fourth of July, including John Hancock, the first signer of our Declaration of Independence, were smugglers. At that time, it was the British Parliament imposing confiscatory taxes – today it's federal, state and local governments.

Confiscatory taxes are an abuse of power regardless of what government levies them.

Stop throwing money at CDC
TownHall.com - Michele Malkin - December 5, 2001
Neither Congress nor the public should fall for Satcher's poorhouse rhetoric. The CDC's overall annual budget is nearly $4 billion -- and growing every year. Over the past decade, the agency has abandoned its primary focus on infectious diseases and instead splurged on kiddie condom ads, "anti-bullying" lessons, anti-smoking propaganda, gender inequity awareness, anti-gun junk science, public relations campaigns against politically incorrect "social" diseases (such as TV violence), and other Big Brother behavior modification programs that treat individual vices -- personal lifestyle choices -- as germs to be eradicated.
Bars, restaurants resist amid rising trend of smoke-free workplaces
The Business Journal Phoenix - Y Angela Gonzales - November 30, 2001
Smoke steams out of Roger Egan's ears when he hears about proposals to mandate smoke-free workplaces.

The owner of McDuffy's Sports Bar and the Bash Nightclub in Tempe says it would be wrong and unconstitutional to prohibit customers from smoking in his bar and restaurant.

Egan, who is a nonsmoker, said nearly every one of his 85 employees smoke.

Tobacco sales ban defeated, 15-1
Minnesota Daily - November 30, 2001
Dana Dreikosen, a CLA junior, said she buys cigarettes on campus one or two times per week.

 “I was concerned with the convenience of tobacco sales for students; I’m confident they made the correct decision,” Dreikosen said. “I think we have a right to choose. We’re adults by the time we get to college. An organization or
group of people should not take away that right.”

Hollywood Up in Smoke
FrontPage Magazine - Larry Elder - November 30, 2001
Both cigarette smoking and obesity, for the most part, come from voluntary behavior. We demonize one habit, while erecting a no-fly zone over the other. We make moral judgments about and condemn the character of cigarette smokers for their unhealthful but voluntary behavior. But Hollywood considers it politically incorrect to apply the same standard to obesity.
Global Ridicule Extinguishes Montgomery's Anti-Smoking Bill
Washington Post - November 28, 2001
This is part of a week-long saga of the most restrictive smoking regulationproposed in the country [click here for more]. It ends on this note, thankfully and sanely:

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) yesterday vetoed legislation that would have regulated smoking in the privacy of people's homes, reversing course after a rash of worldwide attention and a public opinion backlash.

Escalating the war on tobacco
Metro West Daily News - John Gregg - November 22, 2001
So the anti-tobacco crowd is waging a new offensive in their incremental ground war against smoking.

This time, Michelle Zeamer, Framingham's tobacco control agent, has suggested that the town could ban smoking altogether in restaurants, bars and private clubs.

Truth be told, I can't stand tobacco smoke. I hounded my older sisters before they quit smoking, and I've seen relatives and family friends die of lung cancer. We all have.

But I also know that bars and cigarettes go together like turkey and stuffing. Even I appreciate the smoke in rockin' bars. Some nights, it adds to the atmosphere.

And hold the sympathy for the folks who work in bars. Everyone in the industry knows smokers are big tippers, and many bartenders and waitresses collect sizable tips that rarely make it onto their tax forms.

If they don't like the smoke - and they certainly know the hazards - they can go work in a smoke-free restaurant.

Health budget can take cuts too
Boston Herald editorial - November 15, 2001
The state of Massachusetts has a substantial Public Health Department, supported by many outspoken advocates. Outspoken, but afflicted by tunnel vision.

The state faces a financial crunch. But that doesn't seem to matter. The advocates want to protect their programs down to the last penny. And never mind whether the program is essential, useful or something that we can do without in a pinch.

``Public health'' in Massachusetts, according to the governor's budget request 10 months ago, includes a mind-boggling expenditure of about $680 million in 147 different programs.

``Public health'' includes $12.7 million for ``Expansion of smoking prevention and cessation programs.'' That's in addition to $50.4 million for ``Smoking prevention and cessation programs.'' That's in addition to $1.7 million to go with a federal grant for ``Tobacco use prevention and control.'' That's in addition to $6.2 million for ``Community health center services, including smoking cessation programs.'' Just how many smoking cessation programs do we need, anyway?

Spending the Tobacco Money: Smoking ban fights split towns
Star Tribune - David Phelps and Deborah Caulfield Rybak - November 19, 2001
Advocates of the bans have alienated business owners, city officials and restaurant patrons. The campaigns have pitted chambers of commerce against city officials, pastors against their congregations, and friends against neighbors.

This is but one in a series of reports exposing the misrepresentation of good faith and the outright deception of the anti-tobacco efforts in Minnesota by Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco (MPAAT).  They are not alone when it comes to pointing the finger.  MPAAT is aided and abetted by anti-smoking organizations around the country who also are guilty of the same accusations being leveled at MPAAT.

Read the Series:


The survey that went nowhere - Perhaps no survey has ever been heralded so enthusiastically and then buried so thoroughly.The results from several questions were inconsistent with MPAAT's anti-smoking strategy. The survey found that while many smokers wanted to quit, public smoking restrictions were not much of a motivating factor.

The tobacco settlement - MPAAT's $202 million represents 3 percent of Minnesota's $6.1 billion tobacco settlement. About three-quarters of the settlement went into the state's general fund while the remainder went to youth smoking prevention programs and medical education. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota received a separate $469 million in the settlement.

It's who you know - Four out of five MPAAT grant dollars have gone to organizations or individuals with ties to the MPAAT board of directors or its advisory committees. The committees were disbanded a few months before grants were awarded. [Chart of recipients provided on site]

Spending the tobacco money: Is this what the court had in mind? - MPAAT was given a straightforward mission -- to help smokers quit -- by the court order that created it from the 1998 settlement of the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. But the nonprofit organization has taken a radically different path.

W.Va. jury tosses healthy smokers' suit
November 15, 2001
WHEELING, W.Va. - Jurors yesterday rejected a lawsuit that sought to force four tobacco companies to pay for annual medical tests for 250,000 healthy West Virginia smokers.

The six-person jury, nearly all of them former smokers, said people with a five-year, pack-a-day habit had a higher risk of disease but did not need monitoring.

**NOTE** ----> Jurors also concluded that cigarettes were not a defective product and that manufacturers were not negligent in designing, making or selling them.

"The case never should have been tried," said John Finley, a lawyer for Brown & Williamson.

The lawsuit, structured as a product-liability case with medical monitoring as the proposed remedy for wronged consumers, was the first of its kind to be tried in the United States.

The plaintiffs contended they deserved the tests because, they said, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Brown & Williamson made and sold a defective product with no regard for their customers' health.

The smokers wanted free annual lung tests for people 45 and older and more-sophisticated exams for those 50 and older.

The companies said the testing technology was experimental. R.J. Reynolds lawyer Jeff Furr also noted the plaintiffs could have continued to smoke.

"They wanted to have your cake and eat it, too," Furr said.

Dimond pool hall goes private to allow smoking
HOT SHOTS: With business off, owner wants smokers back.
Anchorage Daily News - Lisa Demer - (Published May 31, 2001)
When the doors open at Hot Shots Billiards each morning, no one is waiting to get in. Even on a Friday night, there's often a table free. The people who do come don't spend like the old crowd. The smoking crowd.

So Hot Shots is taking down the no-smoking signs and setting out the ashtrays. Starting Saturday, it's declaring itself a private, members-only billiards club where smokers will be welcome.

'Environmental' ills often psychosomatic: study
Reuters Health - By Ned Stafford - October 11, 2001
As many as 60% of patients with symptoms that they attribute to environmental pollutants are in fact suffering from psychological problems, according to a recently released German study.

Ebel told Reuters Health that 60% of study participants who displayed symptoms of such "environmental" illnesses were instead suffering from mental problems.

"This is really not a surprise," he said. "Other studies, in Sweden, the US and UK, have reached the same conclusion."

As an example we provide the following letter from someone who wrote to NYC C.L.A.S.H. complaining about how "sick" cigarette smoke has made her:

    Last Saturday I was at a gathering of some of my husband's friends out by a pool.  No one had been smoking so I felt safe and eventually let my guard down.  It was too late when I discovered a man nearby had lit a cigarette.  Even though I left immediately I choked, coughed, and struggled to breathe for approximately the next eight hours.
Listing of Estrogen as 'Known Carcinogen' Hotly Debated
Reuters Medical News - October 8, 2001
Several speakers questioned the logic of naming "a natural substance that is found in the body" as a carcinogen while others asked if the Dr. Frederick's group was considering naming testosterone as a carcinogen since it promotes the growth of prostate cancer.

Dr. Frederick particularly inflamed the audience when he said that the cancer risk associated with estrogen is similar to the "risk of environmental tobacco smoke." Several physicians protested, pointing out that tobacco has no benefit for humans and Dr. Frederick attempted to calm the audience by pointing out that he didn't intend to imply that tobacco and estrogen were comparable. "I just mean that the risk associated with environmental tobacco smoke is slight, as is the risk with estrogen."

McRae's World
Earl McRae - Ottawa Sun - October 2, 2001
"We got caught with our pants down," says Ed Mitchell.

Ed Mitchell's talking about the city's no-smoking bylaw, but things have changed, the fight is on, the troops confident of victory, and they've got more than one ace in the hole against the city's medical health department they accuse of deliberately deceiving the public.

One of them, says Mitchell, owner of the Duke of Somerset pub, is the curious absence in the report to the public and city council of the department's November 2000 survey showing three-quarters of respondents approved smoking in "enclosed rooms, ventilated to the outside."

Don't for a minute dismiss that the same shenanigans don't go on all over the United States just because this is a report for Canada.  When the health experts whip out their polls and surveys at local city council hearings they must be made to answer how many of their respondents replied that they would be happy as long as there was a SEPARATE smoking section.  And if that question is not included in their polls they must be demanded to answer why not.

Smoking With Liver Disease - A No-No
MedicineNet.com - Author: Jay W. Marks, M.D.
In patients who have chronic liver disease that is due to alcohol or viruses, the damage to the liver is primarily caused by the alcohol or virus. However, other factors can modify, or aggravate, the amount of liver damage. An interesting study published in the July issue of the journal, Hepatology, focused specifically on the effect that smoking cigarettes has on the liver damage caused by a common chronic liver disease, hepatitis C.

In observational studies, observations are made--in this case, a history of smoking and examination of liver biopsies--and then associations are looked for among the observations. Although this is a good way of looking for relationships
between observations, it is a weak method for determining cause and effect. For example, the authors suggest, on the basis of the association they found, that smoking cigarettes worsens the liver damage. The same association might also occur if patients with more severe liver disease are more likely to smoke!

A doctor who sees the illogical for a change. And you thought we mistakenly placed this article here based on the title.  Tut tut.

Attacks Put Legislative Health Agenda on Back Burner
Reuters Medical News - September 12, 2001
"The political arguments of Monday and last week are dead," said Sen. John Breaux, D-La., who has spent much of the year working on a Medicare reform plan as well as a tax-credit proposal for the uninsured.

Agreed Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who has been leading the charge on a prescription drug reimportation proposal, "everything is less important" than dealing with terrorism issues.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he has not given up on addressing health issues this year, but conceded that "it's hard to get people interested. There will be a slowdown" in legislation.

Lobbyists were even more pessimistic. "It's gone," said one health lobbyist of the health agenda for the fall. "Asking members if they want to talk about UPL [a Medicaid financing technique that has been under Congressional scrutiny] seems pretty trite right now."

It is so unfortunate that it took an act of war to wake people up to what are the true and genuine threats to our safety. The war on tobacco and adults who choose to indulge in that product should end now that the true threats to our well-being are brought into perspective.  Smoking is a personal choice.  Concentration on public health should be focused on those who bomb us without permission.

The weed of all evil
Jewish World Review - Evan Gahr - September 10, 2001
Smokers huddled outside office buildings may seem beleaguered, but they should count their blessings. The freedom to puff a cigarette downstairs at work is slowly being extinguished. With little fanfare, smoking has quietly been prohibited even outside the premises of many companies. Meanwhile, college students are told they can do most anything inside their dorm rooms, except, of course, smoke.

Close examination of these latest salvos against tobacco punctures the anti-smoking movement's self-serving myth that it represents the common good. Their bold-faced assault on individual rights - in this realm and others - is disguised as a non-partisan crusade to protect the health of innocent bystanders. But the real issue is personal preference, not health.

Smokers take bylaw protest to City Hall
Court challenge begins today
The Ottawa Citizen - Karina Roman - August 27, 2001
Despite the pelting rain, more than 200 people turned out for the Pub and Bar Coalition of Ontario rally at City Hall last evening to protest Ottawa's smoking bylaw. Their message was clear: bar owners should have the freedom to choose how to run their businesses.
Smoke-Free or Free to Smoke?
Reason Magazine - Robert A. Levy - August 23, 2001
For starters, any law that bans smoking on a private playground -- much like the existing ban in private restaurants -- should be scrapped. Offended parties need not patronize private places that permit smoking. Public property, on the other hand, belongs to all of us. Citizens, through their elected representatives, should ordinarily be able to decide
what is permissible on that property. Still, there are limits to the exercise of political power. Non-smoking majorities cannot arbitrarily stamp out the rights of smoking minorities. For a regulation to be valid, there must be a close connection between the regulation itself and the goal it seeks to accomplish.
Research fails to justify smoking ban in restaurants
StarBulletin.com - Editorial - August 19, 2001
CITY COUNCILMAN John Henry Felix has introduced a bill that would prohibit smoking in Oahu restaurants, but his proposal should not be considered seriously. While tobacco smoke is annoying to many restaurant employees and patrons, the evidence that it causes health risk is doubtful. Hawaii's restaurants should continue providing smoking and nonsmoking sections but should not be subject to a total ban.
Label ban a smokescreen for government agenda
National Post - Pierre Lemieux - August 17, 2001
Allan Rock [Canadian Health Minister] says the government is banning 'light' and 'mild' labels on cigarettes because they mislead the public. Is he just blowing smoke?
The economics of smoking
National Post - Pierre Lemieux - August 17, 2001
When tobacco companies claimed that there was no evidence that smoking was dangerous to smokers' health, they were scolded as liars. Now that they have been bullied into admitting that they are nasty while politicians and bureaucrats are nice, they are attacked for drawing the public finance conclusion that smokers statistically die younger.
Chain smoker finds loophole in bylaw
Argument based on interpretation of 'employee'
The Ottawa Citizen - Melanie Brooks - August 9, 2001
And if the nannies don't want to be reasonable.....

The new loophole was discovered by Mike Kennedy, a chain-smoking champion of the right to choose. To work around the bylaw, he started Smokers Choice, a group of two smokers and two non-smokers. "What I'm offering people is the chance to remain a smoking establishment. It can be done legally, within the bylaw," he said.

Under the Smokers Choice plan, a restaurant or bar owner would sell memberships, making the establishment a private club. But any place with employees is considered a workplace, and thus falls under the bylaw.

So Mr. Kennedy is proposing to get rid of the employees, in a way. The bar owner could pass their employees' payroll and benefits responsibilities to a third party: Smokers Choice.

A Stand for Scientific Independence
Medical Journals Aim to Curtail Drug Companies' Influence
Washington Post - Susan Okie - August 5, 2001
Editors at the world's most prominent medical journals, alarmed that drug companies are exercising too much control over research results, have agreed to adopt a uniform policy that reserves the right to refuse to publish drug company-sponsored studies unless the researchers involved are guaranteed scientific independence.

Companies are eager to publish studies in these prestigious journals because doctors view them as credible sources of information to help them decide which drugs to prescribe to patients.

[NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: Like 'The Patch?']

Editors said the new policy is a response to companies' increasingly tight hold over how research is done -- and, in many cases, over whether and how the results are made public. In recent years, drug companies have become the dominant funder of biomedical research, especially of large studies of medicines' safety and effectiveness.

Oregonians who find smoking detestable need to lighten up about lighting up and remember that smoking is legal and that smokers have rights, too
Oregonian - Doug Bates - August 5, 2001
(That really is the title of the article.  Not much more needs to be said in the body here to give you any more of an idea)
Why Uncle Sam May Secretly Want You to Smoke
Time - Frank Pellegrini - July 30, 2001
Philip Morris takes a pasting for touting smoking's public-finance benefits. But it's not just Big Tobacco that profits handsomely from smokers. The government gets its cut too.

... But it’s time government stopped fleecing them all the way to the grave — all in the name of helping them quit.

Neo-Nazi nannies lay siege to our homes
Sunday Times - July 29, 2001
Lambert was commenting on the government's drive to enforce its new smoking prohibitions. In connection with the protection of children from the toxic effects of tobacco she had this to say: "It has long been a matter of grave concern to me that the legislation we drafted was not able to reach into people's homes to protect children from tobacco smoke."

So our nanny government wishes to "reach into people's homes" to ensure we do what it believes is good for us. What next?

Bring back smoking, say pilots
Sunday Times (South Africa) - July 15, 2001
The international organisation of airline pilots has made a plea for smoking to be allowed in aircraft on long-haul flights.

The organisation says this would go a long way to reducing the increasing number of potentially dangerous incidents of sky rage.

"The ban on smoking is recognised as one of the biggest contributors towards sky rage which directly affects the safety of passengers, crews and the aircraft."

[One Example: Indianapolis-To-NY Flight Diverted to Cleveland; Passenger Unruly In Dispute Over Cigarette]

Smoking out lawsuits
Ralph Reiland - Worldnet Daily
Don't say lawsuits can't be fun.

Like the woman in Knoxville who's suing McDonald's because the pickle on her Big Mac was too hot. This "dangerous and defective product" slipped out of the bun and put a blister on her chin, allegedly causing some problems in her marriage. She says she'll put the matter to rest for $125,000. Or the Texas guy who's suing a topless bar, saying he got neck and back injuries when an exotic dancer bounced over and knocked him off his chair with her ample bosom.

Cell phones head down divided road
CNET News.com - July 3, 2001
Steering his Range Rover from San Francisco to Mountain View, Calif., Brian Bogosian, chief executive of mobile access company Visto, has a message for politicians and safety advocates who want to stop drivers from talking on cell phones: Don't tell me what to do.

"To get government in your car with you is one step from having them in the bedroom with you."

The Politics of 'Science'
Cato Institute - Patrick J. Michaels - June 12, 2001
For several hours, we raised a number of objections concerning facts and uncertainties about climate change. Finally Barron announced that if we didn't stop objecting he was going to stop the meeting.

This is how legitimate scientific dissent was handled!

Anti-smoking images lose impact: study
Smokers eventually tune out graphic warnings, survey suggests
The Ottawa Citizen - Jack Aubry - June 17, 2001
The impact of health warnings on cigarette packs had worn off by the end of 2000, with only a small minority of smokers claiming the messages were influencing them to smoke less, a recently released survey suggests.
California Smokers Use Prohibition Tactics to Get Around Ban
FOX News - Claudia Cowan - June 9, 2001
Today, booze is legal — but in California restaurants and bars, cigarettes aren't. Three years ago, voters passed a ban to protect employees from second-hand smoke.

But many patrons are still lighting up at bars that secretly accommodate their habit.

"I think it's fair to say a lot of the bar owners have gone out of their way to avoid the law, to circumvent the law," said Christopher Arriola, assistant district attorney of Santa Clara County. "You do see some sort of what people might call Prohibition-era tactics."

Fullerton bar wins victory against anti-smoking law
A county judge finds the ban unconstitutionally targets taverns.
The Orange County Register - Greg Hardesty - June 2, 2001
A popular Fullerton bar has won a legal battle over an anti-smoking law that taverns have been fuming about since 1998.

An Orange County judge, in what is believed to be one of the first rulings of its kind, declared Thursday that the anti-smoking law unconstitutionally targets bars.

Second-Hand Smokescreens
FOX News - Steve Milloy - May 31, 2001
World No-Tobacco Day 2001 was yesterday. Sponsored by the World Health Organization, the theme was secondhand smoke. The event’s poster featured “Secondhand Smoke Kills” emblazoned over a photo of the Marlboro Man riding into the sunset.

WHO proclaimed, “Second-hand smoke is a real and significant threat to public health. Supported by two decades of evidence, the scientific community now agrees that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke… The evidence is in, let is act on it.”

That’s quite an ironic statement, though. It appears the WHO doesn’t even put much faith in its own research on secondhand smoke.

Future hazy for beleaguered Duluth smoking ban
Star Tribune - Larry Oakes - May 20, 2001
In January, Duluth became the second city in Minnesota, after Moose Lake, to ban smoking in restaurants.

But they're still lighting up at Sammy's Pizza. They're still puffing away at the 21st Delight, the Country Kitchen by the mall and Jim's Hamburgers in Lincoln Park. The ban has been about as effective as Prohibition was.

Give Loony Columnists a Night in Jail
More kids get sick despite second hand delusions
By the Cynic - May 25, 2001
As if I needed more fuel for my last column's fire (Neuter the Ignorant), Orlando Sentinel columnist, Mike Thomas, decided to serve us an extra splash of lighter fluid.

In his most recent column (Give parents who smoke night in jail) Mr. Thomas suggests that parents who smoke in the presence of their children be arrested. It seems that Mike got his nits in a twist over finding a couple of cigarette butts in the sand at the beach. Then, after witnessing a smoker enjoying his habit on the beach -- with his child lying beside him--he came to the only "logical" conclusion he could: Let's jail them nasty smokers!

Maybe Mr. Thomas was absent that day in fourth grade when his teacher explained the properties of heat and how smoke rises above cooler air. Maybe he wasn't paying attention all 382 times that his parents told him that he should mind his own business.

Why Not Just Make Everything a Crime?
GOP News & Views- May 24, 2001
"Are we, as a society, losing our ability to distinguish between what we don't like and what ought to be criminal?  Every day, we see some glorious scheme being proposed to make us all safer, healthier, or wealthier, or to give us whiter teeth. To evaluate whether violating that law ought to be a crime, we need to ask: 'Are you really willing to shoot someone
over that?'

"Before you say, 'We're not going to be shooting anyone for smoking in public/not wearing a seatbelt/not wearing a helmet/not hiring the proper demographic in his office; we're only talking about a $50/$100/$250 fine!' think: 'What if they won't pay their fine?' The response, 'Then they'll have to appear in court, and the court will make them pay.' The reply, 'But what if they still refuse to comply with the court order?' 'Then they'll be thrown in jail.'

"Even further, what if they refuse to allow the police in their home, or refuse to pull over their car when the officers try to arrest them? What if they are so tired of being nitpicked to death by nanny-statism that they just snap and refuse to be taken alive?  Oops.  At some point, somewhere along the way, if something is made a crime, someone may have to shoot somebody to enforce the law."

- California state Sen. Ray Haynes, 5/14/01

Study Links Nicotine as a Combative Agent Against TB Nicotine might be a surprising alternative someday for treating stubborn forms of tuberculosis, a University of Central Florida researcher said Monday.

The compound stopped the growth of tuberculosis in laboratory tests, even when used in small quantities, said Saleh Naser, an associate professor of microbiology and molecular biology at UCF.

It worked even when used in doses smaller than what's found in a single cigarette which can be administered in pill and liquid forms. Naser said such small quantities are not likely to cause addiction. But no one is suggesting that people with TB take up the potentially deadly habit of smoking.

Note:  Smoking has been so villianized that they'd rather you die of TB, which is known to be an absolute killer if gone untreated, than smoke cigarettes which only might cause disease but seems to clear up TB long before you get tired of lengthy treatments and stop taking your pills.

Good Wins Out
Wall Street Journal Europe - May 17, 2001
Maybe this is what we find so insufferable about this latest bit of nanny-statism: It isn't the message, it's the messenger. As you probably already know, smoking is awful, terrible, atrocious, smelly, the pits. But somehow that doesn't strike us as being quite as noxious as the odor of sanctimony steaming up from the antismoking corner. Smoking is a serious health risk; the antismoking lobby has succeeded in transforming it into a moral defect. This itself is kind of sick.
Incinerate all these anti-smoking laws
National Post - May 5, 2001
In the case of smoking bans, politicians seldom acknowledge how the restrictions they pass amount to a limited confiscation of private property. Nor, in their rush to satisfy the vocal, well-funded and fashionable anti-smoking lobby, do they stop to ponder whether the public-good benefits claimed by the antis are sufficient to justify the infringement of the right to enjoy one's own property without interference by the state.
What's a Tobacco Company to Do?
Philip Morris lobbies for FDA regulation, antismoking activists against it. What's going on?
By Jacob Sullum - Wall Street Journal - May 5, 2001
Philip Morris sees FDA regulation as the best way to continue selling cigarettes, and the ability to advertise government-vetted claims of lower risk is an important part of its plan. The activists, by contrast, want to see Philip Morris and others go out of business. Seeking to eliminate rather than merely reduce smoking's hazards, they're uncomfortable with policies that tolerate the industry's continued existence.
Silencing scientists didn't stop with Galileo
Critics are still trying to squash researchers they don't like
Vancouver Sun - April 28, 2001
Two recent incidents cause us to worry about the state of scientific inquiry in Canada, and the freedom of scientists to pursue their research.
Home invasion - Anti-smoking ads
Natasha Hassan - National Post - March 22, 2001
'What bothers me is that in the quest to stamp out smoking (while profiting handsomely through high sin taxes), governments are intruding in our homes."
Smoking (Out) Fascists
by Russell Madden - The Laissez Faire City Times - April 2, 2001
First came California. The Left Coast statists succeeded in outlawing smoking in "public" places, not only in restaurants but in those traditional havens for hazy atmospheres, bars. Then came small time, East Coast statists who attempted to ban smoking even on sidewalks. (A law subsequently shot down.) Now comes the Big Apple.
A Fat Target
Yond lawyers have a lean and hungry look.
By Collin Levey, Wall Street Journal - March 15, 2001
"With reporters yearning for a new industry to tackle after Big Tobacco, food hysteria was almost inevitable."
Secondhand Smokescreen
Column by Steven Milloy, FOX News - March 9, 2001
[Read another related view supporting this article]
"Study: Wives of smokers absorb cancer chemicals from smoke," alarmed an Associated Press headline.

Dr. Stephen Hecht and other University of Minnesota researchers compared blood samples from 23 women who lived with smokers with blood samples from 22 women who lived with nonsmokers.

"If spin were science, Hecht would win a Nobel Prize."

Why not a No Sermonising Day?
Mick Hume, Spiked On-Line - March 8, 2001
"...These sermons are not delivered in the old language of hellfire and damnation. Nobody would listen if they were. Today we are faced with a moralism that dare not speak its name. Instead, it presents itself as public health promotion, or advice on avoiding risks."
Passive smoke gets in their eyes
by Brendan O'Neill, Spiked On-Line - March 8, 2001
'Why should I have to inhale your second-hand smoke?'

This is a common refrain of those who want to ban smoking in public places: that it is one thing for smokers to destroy their own lungs, but why should the rest of us have to face the health risks of passive smoking?

But the facts about passive smoking are far from set in stone.

Diner's Habitues Find Refuge From City's Tobacco Laws
Washington Post - February 19, 2001
When smoking was banned, one restaurant nearly went under until owner fought back.
The Science & Environmental Policy Project
In a recent editorial column, the Atlanta Constitution condemned environmental activists for "the politicization of diseases and illnesses to achieve political objectives, whether it is to 'improve' air quality or mandate medical insurance benefits or to justify politically correct assaults on out-of-favor industries…"   While paying particular attention to activist attempts to link children's asthma to environmental conditions, the editorial cautioned that "too many groups have been only too willing to fill that role, piling on junk science to gain the sympathy, funding and following to increase their power and push their agendas --- anti-growth, anti-automobile, anti-industry, you name it. "Environmental racism is a Trojan horse," the article said. "There is no statistically significant difference in the asthma rate between blacks and whites…In spite of these facts, we're watching government agencies expand past mission critical and become pawns of environmental extremists and environmental justice advocates." The editorial criticized EPA, saying the agency "lost credibility and earned lawsuits from industry groups questioning its science and the minimal benefits compared to the high costs of tougher regulations." Calls by the Pew Environmental Health Commission for the creation of a nationwide tracking center at the CDC to identify and prevent environmental health problems were also criticized. "Supporting the Pew proposal is foolish. It raises the specter of a quixotic CDC carrying
out 'environmental justice' as it seeks out mythical cancer 'clusters' and asthma epidemics, spurring emotional but unjustifiable lawsuits against industry and corporations."
Smoking Does Not Cause Lung Cancer (According to WHO/CDC Data)*
By:  James P. Siepmann, MD - printed in The Journal of Theoretics
"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"1,2, 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.)"

Letter to Dr. Siepmann - Political Correctness and Smoking

April/May 2002 Comments - More on Smoking and Cancer 

Suit: State Seizing Smokers' Assets
Associated Press -  February 22, 2001
More challenges to the Master Settlement Agreement.  One day it's going to cave like a house of cards.

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts is unfairly taking the property of dead smokers to pay for medical care even though  the state has been reimbursed as part of a multibillion-dollar tobacco settlement, a lawsuit contends.

ANTITRUST & TRADE REGULATION, HEALTH LAW Not a magazine, newspaper or periodical opinion but an Opinion of the courts.  Even the legal system is slowly returning to sanity concerning litigation against "Big Tobacco."

ASS'N OF WASHINGTON PUB. HOSP. DIST. v. PHILIP MORRIS INC., No 00-35117 (9th Cir. February 22, 2001)
Public hospital districts may not bring federal and state claims against tobacco firms to recover their unreimbursed costs for treating patients suffering from tobacco-related illnesses under federal antitrust laws, RICO or the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

    To read the full text of this opinion, go to:

Smoke Screen
Wall Street Journal - February 20, 2001
As a result of the tobacco lawsuits the country got a new, unlegislated tax  on smokers designed to enrich a small group of  lawyers as well as state budgets. The lawyers, who say they're filling in for legislatures that have failed us, openly brag about using their winnings as seed money for new  class-action lawsuits against HMOs, paint makers, drug companies and the like.
Two Hacks and a Wheeze
By Autumn Miller
vote.com magazine
"I dread the day I'll land in a city and find I can't smoke anywhere, inside or out. But it looks like that day is coming, and that's the day I'll have an official police record - for refusing to let an officer pry a burning cigarette from my tightly clenched lips."
Cherry-picked Science on Secondhand Smoke
By Martha Perske - February, 19 2001
Copyright 2000 Junkscience.com
"No matter how prestigious-sounding a professional organization may be, if there is deliberate omission of facts in order to promote a point of view or goal, that organization cannot be seen as a credible source of information for determining public policy."
Smoking may be good for children
The Cynic - 2/14/2001
"OK, the title is a bald faced lie. Smoking is not good for children, but I think that if politicians can base a whole series of legislation on lies for the sake of 'the children,' I should be able to title my column under the same premise."
Bullying of smokers
Daily Telegraph - Feb. 5, 2001
News: Cigarettes seized by the coachload

CUSTOMS and Excise officers are mounting a systematic campaign of persecution against smokers who choose to buy their cigarettes in other EU countries.

Burning Out On the Crusade Against Smokers
By Marc Fisher
It would take an awful lot to build sympathy for people who, after four decades of massive education campaigns and nonstop media, government and legal attacks, continue to smoke.

But the incessant efforts to banish and ostracize smokers have finally achieved something: a well-deserved backlash against self-appointed nannies who take pleasure in dumping on the poor saps who smoke.

Secondhand Smoke
Facts and Fantasy
Regulator Magazine - W. Kip Viscusi is the George G. Allen Professor of Economics at Duke University.
Cancer researchers generally note that the body is resilient in the presence of some carcinogens. One whiff of ETS is proportionately less likely to be risky than massive and sustained exposures. Government agencies such as the EPA and OSHA have not made such distinctions, focusing instead on linear dose-response relationships. It is nevertheless instructive to assess the extent of the risks that the agencies have estimated. It should be noted at the outset that the consensus among economic researchers, including the Congressional Research Service, is that the state of science with respect to ETS is too uncertain to warrant estimation of the health consequences.
Unhealthy Charities Hazardous to Your Health and Wealth
by Professor James Bennett.

Lecture to the Cancer Control Society 1995.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen it’s a pleasure to be here and to speak to a group that is truly concerned about cancer, the suffering that it causes, the economic losses that occur every year as a result of this disease. I wish I could say that the same description would apply to the American Cancer Society which is one of the three groups that are analysed in Unhealthy Charities Hazardous to Your Health and Wealth.
Japanese Airline Revokes Smoking Ban
December 1, 2000
TOKYO — A struggling Japanese airline revoked its ban on in-flight smoking Friday in a bid to attract customers and revive profits.
To smoke or not to smoke?
The Cancer Journal - Volume 5, Number 2 (March-April 1992)
This editorial by G. Zajicek reviews the methods by which smoking has been linked to health hazards and re-raises the questioning of these methods first posed by the late R.A. Fisher, "one of the greatest statisticians of our century, creator of statistical genetics, analysis of variance and maximum likelihood."  When Fisher was asked does smoking cause  lung cancer he responded,   "Of course it does not! "
Showcase Anti-Smoking Project Fails
AP News - December 19, 2000
WASHINGTON (AP) - It was to be a showcase, world-class demonstration of how to persuade school children not to smoke.

The $15 million program used the latest smoking prevention theories from the best social scientists. From the third grade on, children attended special classes and were meticulously instructed by trained teachers how to resist tobacco use.

But after 14 years, experts declared Tuesday that the project failed.

Young smokers in line of fire
Cigarette-makers, anti-tobacco activists vie to make impression
Journal Sentinel - Vikki Ortiz and Kawanza L. Griffin - July 28, 2001
While the number of smokers in other age groups in Wisconsin and across the country has declined in recent years, the number of smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 in the state is the highest it's been since 1984, when the state first began surveying the public about smoking and other health risks.

Marketing to young adults

R.J. Reynolds has two programs set up specifically to attract bar- or coffeehouse-going smokers. Under the Camel Club and the Winston Bar programs, representatives scan the bars and coffeehouses for people who are smoking or carrying a pack of cigarettes, according to Howard.

When they identify people as smokers, they check ID - and take digital pictures of ID cards - to be sure a smoker is at least 21. Then they offer their product.

The critics speak

"They're newly old enough to drink. They can do all those things that people told them they were not old enough to do before. And the tobacco industry is right there waiting for them," Foldy said. "I think it's cynical, intentional and
effective. It's also outrageous."

And Sumner said she believes the marketing has changed only because the tobacco industry can't reach out to teens since the 1998 settlement. The high number of smokers in the 18- to 24-year-old age group is a direct result of the
shift, she said.

There is absolutely no satisfying the anti-smoking cartel.  This is unbelievable.  They force a legal industry to change their advertising tactics (no ads that youth under 18 might see), against their constitutional rights of free speech, and then still complain when their own demands are met.  Of course the marketing has changed!  They made sure of that.  Now what?

Deaf ears

"I never pay attention to (the ads). I usually make fun of them," Nichels [age 17] said.

She [Ana Hansa-Ogren, 20] said it's nice that companies are putting information out on the health risks associated with smoking - "but people can make their own choices."

Leonard said he believed young people are also more apt to smoke when they're discouraged from doing it, because the rebellion is exciting. "Once people started telling me I couldn't, then it was a must."

Seems the deaf, dumb and blind are the anti-smoking campaigners.  Want to place blame where blame is due?  Look no further than the uptight figure in the corner preaching about the evils of tobacco to your average young adult.

Cigarette Maker Sues on Settlement
AP News - December 18, 2000
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A small Virginia company that claims to have developed a safer cigarette is challenging the constitutionality of the national tobacco settlement.

Star Scientific Inc. filed the federal civil action against Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley in Richmond on Friday, seeking relief from the $206 billion agreement over health care costs signed in 1998 by leading cigarette makers and the attorneys general from 46 states.

Note:  For a full analysis of what the national tobacco settlement means and how it affects tobacco business and the states see:  Constitutional and Antitrust Violations of the Multistate Tobacco Settlement

Justices To Air Cigarette Ad Dispute
AP News - January 8, 2001
The court said it will hear tobacco companies' argument that limits on cigarette and cigar advertising at retail stores in Massachusetts violate constitutional free-speech protections.
Don’t ban smokers...   ...burn them...and lots of others, too
The Economist - Jan 11th 2001
This newspaper has expressed disgruntlement with the element of  intolerance that is increasingly manifesting itself within America’s anti-tobacco movement. It must be said, however, that doughty Friendship Heights has discovered an approach that liberals can embrace. Private property is its owners’ sanctuary, but the public rules in public spaces. Undeniably, the streets belong to the government; what happens in them, therefore, is the government’s business.

On this worthy principle, smoking should be merely the beginning.

Legislating a Childhood Without Risk
By John Tierney
Peter F. Vallone, defended his proposed new smoking restrictions in restaurants by saying, "My concern here is basically for children and the health effects of smoking."

Mr. Vallone, a mayoral candidate in need of publicity, and his colleagues with their own needs. But they aren't being merely self-serving. They're also catering to the fears of hyperprotective parents, a group that has reached record numbers.

I AM A SMOKER... I hate you too
By Carina Chocano, Salon Health and Body - Feb. 8, 2000
"I smoke because every patriarchal society needs a scapegoat. Because so many people Rollerblade with impunity. Because longevity is overrated. Because every silver lining has a cloud. Because everyone should have a hobby. Because persecution makes a tribe scrappy, resourceful and smart. Because there's a (surprise) epiphany in every pack. Because nothing is truly worthwhile that is not worth dying for. Because I'd rather crave nicotine than fascism."

Read Let's Be Reasonable in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002!

Some of the titles to visit:


Why you should buy cigarettes on the Fourth of July (even if you don't smoke)

EPA Lung Cancer Study Based on Faulty Data

Treatment more costly now than 50 years ago

They're coming after you

Social hypochondria

Lighting Up

Promoting the general welfare

Cutting Through The Fat Of The Smoking Issue

Smoking ban initiative has rival

Like pretty pictures? Close-ups of freedom sometimes are ugly

Where There's Smoke There's A PC Hand-Wringer

Proposal to boost cigarette tax could go up in smoke

Joe Bob's America: Dog pile on the smoker

Anti-smoking campaign backfires

Selling smokers down the river

Smoke and lose your son

Politicizing science degrades research, one scholar warns:  Special interests replace objectivity on critical issues

Taxing Ways

Is it the government's job to protect you from yourself?

No Smoking as a Way of Life

Cigarette taxes and terrorism

Tommy Thompson Floats New Tobacco Tax

Bad Science Never Dies

Calculated Risks

Big Fat Lie

A New York Smoker? Considering a Second Mortgage?

Thanks to smokers for budget bailout

Cigarette Taxes

In war on fat, it's the food's fault

Cigarette Taxes Are Hazardous To Our Health

Other Opinion: Anti-smoking campaign takes tyrannical turn

Prohibition is back?

Whose business is it?

The unfree society of Michael Bloomberg

Assignment America: Smoke screens

Litigation: The death of democracy

Butting Heads
Puritanical politicians impose their morals on everyone else

The Marlboro woman

Tobacco control can wait

Lawmakers to scrutinize anti-smoking group's activities

Anti-smoking group delays grants

Discarding truth

Hatch request could affect latest round of anti-smoking grants

Hatch: Group should give up smoking-ban campaigns

2 eateries to allow smoking, no kids

Who may harm whom?

The Fat Tax Cut

Child-Free Dining
A smoking ban backfires

Airports Open Smoking Facilities To Combat Drop-Off in Travel

Tobacco ratings may be offensive to free thinkers

In film, where there's no smoke, there's a fire

Tobacco's road to Hollywood

Disturbing Statistics

Workers oppose a ban on smoking

Budgetary Drag

Butting In 

The Puritans Run Amok Over Smoking

Tax Happy

Smoke get in your eyes?

Smoked Out

New Round Fired in Fat Wars

French Fry Scare, Part II

Van Dough

Smokers, the new minority

Fat chance: food cops are closing in

Beware of high-fat tort-feasors

Supply-Side Smokers

The fast food III vs. the whopper

Cigarette smuggling

Anti-smoking crusade is noble but misquided

A Bite Out of the Freedom Apple

The World Without Cigarettes

Smoking's bad, big government is even worse



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