What The Nannies Are Up To
CONCLUSIONS: Focus group participants indicated that industry manipulation and secondhand smoke are the most effective strategies for denormalizing smoking and reducing cigarette consumption. Youth access, short-term effects, long-term health effects, and romantic rejection are not effective strategies.
Anti-tobacco activists admit politics more important than science
In league with Mr. Glantz in such blatant disregard for honesty in order to reach their ends is Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health. In an article posted on the Americans for Non-Smokers Rights web page (a group founded by Glantz) Siegel advises anti-tobacco activists, "Do not get into arguments with the industry about scientific evidence... Instead, the best approach is to expose the tobacco industry ties of the so-called scientists making the arguments."
In other words, when you can't impeach the opponents' work, impeach the opponent.
We provide you with testimony written by someone who has such hatred for tobacco that he distorts Hitler's anti-smoking campaign and seeks to prove that the German Nazis should receive accolades for their research on smoking and cancer. Had the author said that research by the Nazi medicos was the first to provide the link between smoking and cancer then that simple statement would be perfectly acceptable. But the underlying anti-semitic nuances and support of the regime in general is a testimony of hate. Excerpt: "And yet outstanding scientific work was being done, meant to save lives, not destroy lives." He'll demand they be praised for research that could have started saving lives as far back as the early 1940s. Our question to him is how many compared to the 6 million they took?
APARTMENTS: Complexes must be 80% smoke-free by 2012, Calabasas decrees.
CALABASAS - The first city to snuff out smoking in public has now voted to limit smoking in apartments.
The Calabasas City Council on Wednesday night unanimously passed a law to regulate smoking in rental-apartment housing, the second such measure in the state.
Opponents of smoking say banning butts in condominium homes or single-family houses could be next. Defenders of freedom to smoke call it an incursion into personal rights.
"This is another significant step in protecting public health from preventable disease," said Calabasas City Councilman Barry Groveman, co-author of the ordinance. "The only rights at issue here are the rights that protect people from injury to their health and safety.
"The next step is to see whether or not it's applicable, or reasonable, to see if this applies to condos."
The new law will ban smoking in 80percent of rental-apartment buildings by Jan. 1, 2012. Up to 20percent of buildings can be set aside for smokers, and smokers in apartments designated as nonsmoking will be "grandfathered" in to puff away until they move.
The newest Calabasas law prohibits smoking on apartment patios, balconies and porches. Landlords will be required to set up outdoor areas for smokers. Violators could face eviction and/or misdemeanor fines or jail time.
Officials say that no one has objected in public comments or letters to city government. A poll found that 75percent of residents supported a public smoking ban.
Nevertheless, some said the law discriminates against smokers who want to use legal tobacco in the privacy of their homes.
"It's beyond the sphere of Big Brother, ... telling us what we can and can't do in our own homes," said Edward Best, a smoker from Ventura and state coordinator for The Smoker's Club, an advocacy group for smokers' rights.
"They're creating second-class citizens, and by the definition of this country, that's just wrong. It's just prohibition. In the past, it's never worked."
Best not only questioned studies about the dangers of secondhand smoke, but also said the new law raises enforcement questions - whether warrants will be issued to search apartments for smoking or neighbors will be used to testify against neighbors.
"There's no middle ground with these people," he said. "It's ban, ban, ban. But they don't ban the sales of tobacco because they want the tax money."
Proponents argue that 500 studies show that secondhand smoke kills and is a major cause of preventable disease. They say smoke inside apartments can affect neighbors by wafting through walls, air-conditioning systems and open windows.
This year, motorists in California who light up behind the wheel with children in the car face fines of up to $100.
Anti-smoking groups hailed the Calabasas decision as a model to further stem smoking around the globe, such as the recent Paris ban on cafe butts.
"Every time we get a victory like this, it affects cities around California, the United States and the world," said Steven Gallegos of the American Lung Association of California in Los Angeles.
"There will be many cities that will follow, I'm certain of that," said Julia Robinson Shimizu, spokeswoman for Breathe California of Los Angeles County. "It may be the next step to ban smoking in private homes and single-family houses, because smoking doesn't just affect the smoker."
In March 2006, Calabasas became the first city in the nation to limit public exposure to secondhand smoke in malls, parks, restaurants and bars and apartment common areas. Since then, Burbank and Beverly Hills have followed with similar measures.
Then last fall, Calabasas proposed an even more extensive ban: to prohibit all smoking inside apartment complexes. But officials backed off from a complete prohibition when Mayor James Bozajian said residents should be allowed to smoke in their own homes as long as tobacco is legal.
Later, in Northern California, Belmont became the first city to ban smoking inside apartments.
Meanwhile, Robert Phipps, director of the Sherman Oaks-based Attorney Search Network, is encouraging fellow lawyers to seek out plaintiffs to take on landlords who rent to smokers.
He lit up three packs a day for 12 years, then quit smoking 40 years ago and thinks the habit causes needless property damage, injury and death.
He's been eagerly following the action in Calabasas and hopes the movement will take hold.
"There's no justification for smokers to harm people with secondhand smoke or harm people's property," Phipps said. "If they want to kill themselves, that's fine, but they shouldn't do this to other people."
"There is no constitutional right to smoke."
As 19-year-old Jon Little crossed Magnolia Boulevard on Dec. 10, cigarette in hand, he failed to notice the police officer on Olive Avenue.
As he crossed the street, Little, a student at Antelope Valley College, was cited and fined $200 for smoking in Downtown Burbank, a violation of the citywide smoking ban that bars smoking on all sidewalks, alleys and other pedestrian areas Downtown, as well as on city property, including Chandler Bikeway and in parks.
“I was here to see a movie and had no idea there was a citywide ordinance,” he said. “This is an unreasonable law.”
The City Council passed the ordinance 3-2 in March. The ban took effect May 12, but Burbank Police didn’t begin enforcing the law until August. Since then, 301 people have been cited for violating the ordinance, Police Chief Tim Stehr said.
Though Burbank Police have cited more than 300 people since August, the department has not been bogged down by the added enforcement, Stehr said.
“It’s just one aspect of our job that indicates we are enforcing the law,” he said. “It’s not taking away from anything else. We have not seen a huge increase in response time because of the ordinance.”
The base fine for smoking in areas where lighting up is banned is $50, though that fine can be more than $200, Stehr said.
While police have been citing more smokers, the fines do not represent a financial windfall for the department or the city, he said.
“We get a very small percentage of [the fine],” he said. “We’re not out there making money.”
The city receives about 10% for each ticket, with the rest allocated to various court-assessed fees, Stehr said, though the exact amount of money the city and the court receive is incalculable.
“All fees from the smoking ordinance are lumped in with all other citations,” Principal Planner Michael Forbes said.
Other cities have also grappled with smoking bans in public places.
In 2006, smoking was banned in a number of outdoor places in Santa Monica, including the 3rd Street Promenade, beaches and the Santa Monica Pier.
Since the ban went into effect on Thanksgiving Day in 2006, more than 100 people have been cited, said the city’s consumer affairs specialist, Paula Rockenstein.
“It has been a success, though more work needs to be done,” she said.
The number of people cited in Calabasas, whose ban of smoking in public places went into effect in March, also pales in comparison to Burbank’s enforcement.
As of September, Calabasas has issued 240 warnings and 20 citations, said Michael Hafken, the city’s public information officer.
Still, Burbank Police say the number of citations officers write is exactly where it should be.
“We’re trying to balance both sides of the debate between people who think we’re not doing enough versus people who think we’re doing too much,” Sgt. Travis Irving said.
“Three-hundred tickets is really not that much. It doesn’t seem lacking or excessive.”
Enforcement aside, some residents are calling for an increase in education.
“You’ve got a lot of people who are truly ignorant of the law,” said Michael White, 47. “Writing tickets is one thing, but educating people is another. It’s not just a matter of citing people.”
To that end, officials opted for a more accurate anti-smoking sticker on doors and windows of Downtown businesses that would better reflect the law.
Old signs posted in business windows that said “No smoking within 20 feet of all entrances and exits” have been changed to read “No smoking in Downtown Burbank.”
“We realized it was leading to some confusion everywhere,” Forbes said.
“People were under the impression that as long as they moved 20 feet away, it was OK to smoke.”
City Hall also changed from the 20-feet sign to “No smoking on city property.”
“The feedback we’ve gotten is that the [new signs] send a better message,” Forbes said.
Embedded in the ordinance is an exception to the smoking ban for certain businesses that can apply for immunity for a section of their restaurant.
In Downtown, three establishments have applied for and received approval — Fantasia Billiard, Cafe Gitana and Café O’s — and another, Burbank Bar & Grill, applied for the exception but was denied, Forbes said, because it is primarily a restaurant.
“Burbank Bar & Grill applied and didn’t get it because they have a conditional-use permit that limits the function of their business to alcohol in conjunction with a restaurant,” he said. “Cafe Gitana and Café O’s are hookah bars, and Fantasia is a billiard hall with an exception for their outdoor dining area.”
For one restaurant, the exemption has not increased patronage.
The crowd hasn’t necessarily been larger,” said Momtse Orriols, who works at Café O’s. “We have maintained the same crowd.”
Officials are still mulling a public area Downtown where smoking could be permitted, but they haven’t found the right location.
“We have not designated an area because we haven’t found one we really think is appropriate where somebody would not be exposed,” City Manager Mary Alvord said.
“We looked at the alleys, but that’s how a lot of people enter Downtown.”
HELENA (MT) — Helena Housing Authority commissioners have decided to ban smoking at all HHA-owned property, beginning July 1.
HHA Executive Director Colleen McCarthy said the ban was merited in the authority’s 366 apartments because she has received complaints from nonsmoking tenants about the smell of smoke migrating into their apartments from other units or through windows; and because some tenants use tanks of highly flammable oxygen.
McCarthy also said cleaning apartments after smokers move out is expensive and sometimes ineffective.
Those caught smoking would be subject to eviction. The HHA has previously evicted residents who used oxygen tanks and continued to smoke.
Montana Legal Services Association lawyer Amy Hall said she was concerned the smoking ban would create more problems than it solves by leaving low-income people without a place to live if they couldn’t or wouldn’t quit smoking.
Commissioners initially proposed a rule that would have allowed residents to smoke if they stood more than 25 feet from any building. Residents had time to review the proposal and about 20 attended Tuesday’s meeting.
After a discussion over how the policy could be approved without changing the lease, Commissioner Steve Netschert said he wanted to “cut to the chase.” He proposed the smoking ban on all properties, which the other three commissioners pres-ent supported. Three other commissioners were absent.
Netschert said he doesn’t like the idea of people in low-income housing spending money on cigarettes.
“I don’t know how to tactfully put this — a pack of cigarettes costs three or five bucks a day,” he said.
Hall asked commissioners to spend more time to study the issue and to come up with a policy fair to both smokers and nonsmokers.
A new lease containing the smoking ban will go into effect April 1 and all tenants will have to sign the new lease.
AUGUSTA - Mainers on Medicaid who smoke would be offered incentives to stop smoking and could face sanctions for not quitting under a measure being introduced by Sen. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake.
Martin said the state should consider both incentives and penalties to get Mainers on the state Medicaid program, called Mainecare, who are smoking to stop. He said Mainecare currently offers smoking cessation programs at no charge to recipients, so the state needs to consider additional steps to encourage Medicaid recipients to quit smoking.
MUNCIE, Ind. - Delaware County's ban on smoking in most work places has become a problem for some nursing homes, which are both work places for employees and homes for the residents...
...To fix the problem, Delaware County commissioners have introduced an ordinance to exempt nursing homes from the smoking ban. But two of the three commissioners say they don't plan to approve the exemption when final action is taken on Oct. 2.
Commissioner Larry Crouch said smoking should not be allowed in nursing homes.
"How many people are in these nursing homes because of a smoking habit?" Crouch asked.
Red Wing, Minn. Workers for the Public Health Service here no longer will be inhaling secondhand smoke in patients' homes.
The Public Health Board on Tuesday approved a policy restricting patients from smoking in their homes when staff are there.
"It's not like we're telling them they can't smoke ever," said Sue Morgan, the service's director of nursing.
If a client can't keep from smoking during the usually hourlong visits, Public Health Service can't assure there will be an employee willing to work in the smoky residence.
"Maybe the clients will take it to heart and quit smoking," Morgan said.
They chase each other at high speed wielding axes and hammers. But the famous cartoon duo of Tom and Jerry are in trouble in Britain for smoking on screen.
A channel airing the cartoons has agreed to cut scenes which glamorize smoking after British media regulator Ofcom received a complaint from a viewer who took offense at two episodes.
In the first, "Texas Tom", the hapless cat Tom tries to impress a feline female by rolling a cigarette, lighting it and smoking it with one hand. In the second, "Tennis Chumps", Tom's opponent in a match smokes a large cigar.
In a bulletin posted online, Ofcom noted "concerns that smoking on television may normalize smoking", and said that the Turner company, licensee for Boomerang which aired the cartoons, had agreed to edit some smoking scenes out of Tom and Jerry.
"The licensee has ... proposed editing any scenes or references in the series where smoking appeared to be condoned, acceptable, glamorized or where it might encourage imitation," Ofcom said, adding that "Texas Tom" was one such example.
But it would not cut all smoking scenes, it added.
Ofcom said it recognized smoking was more generally accepted when cartoons were produced in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, but noted that the threshold for including such scenes when the audience is predominately young should be high.
MID MICHIGAN (WJRT) - (08/17/06)--Smoke-free apartment complexes could soon be coming to an area near you.
A major national apartment complex development and management company that owns thousands of apartment units across the country is doing what no other company like it has ever done before.
They're prohibiting tenants from smoking in their units and on company property.
That company is First Centrum Communities, which manages apartment complexes in six states, including Michigan.
And starting Sept. 1, it'll be in their rental agreements. Residents and their guests will no longer be allowed to smoke.
This is said to be a landmark announcement. First Centrum Communities has apartment complexes in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Michigan.
The company says it's concerned about the health effects of second hand smoke. That's what promoted it to make no smoking a clause in all of its rental agreements.
The agreement prohibits tenants and their guests from smoking inside the units or on property grounds.
DUBLIN, Calif. -- Officials in the East Bay city of Dublin are the first in the Bay Area to take a tough stance on secondhand smoke.
The Dublin City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to declare secondhand smoke a public nuisance if it drifts into homes or back yards.
The ordinance doesn't ban secondhand smoke, though the city already has a law on its books banning smoking in parks, common areas of housing developments and other public places.
The new law lessens the burden of proof if nonsmokers sue in small claims court.
[NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: Items in red are outright fabrications]
SACRAMENTO - Should it be illegal for parents to smoke in the car while their children are in the back seat?
One day after the U.S. Surgeon General released the most damning study yet on secondhand smoke, a state Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow police to stop drivers guilty of puffing in the confines of their car when a child passenger is secured in a safety seat.
If the measure becomes law, violators who smoke a "lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette containing tobacco or any other plant" would receive a warning on the first offense, and a $100 fine the next time they are pulled over.
Under the bill, a smoker could be found guilty even if the car is parked or on private property. It would not, however, apply if the child were at least 6 years old -- old enough to legally not have to be in a safety seat.
"There's no excuse in today's society for any mother of any age, or any level of education, to do something which I consider akin to child abuse," said Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento, chair of the Senate Health Committee, which approved the measure.
AB379, introduced by Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, previously passed the Assembly on a 49-30 vote and still needs to be approved by the full Senate and signed by the governor.
Similar measures two years ago failed, but Koretz and health professionals who testified on behalf of the bill were encouraged because of the recent studies, which show the effects of secondhand smoke on children -- including high rates of bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma -- are more alarming than previously thought.
Koretz's position also was bolstered by the Surgeon General's report that stated that brief, secondhand smoke can cause immediate harm.
"For children who live in households where someone smokes, as I did growing up as the son of two chain smokers," Koretz told the committee, "the effects are worse during the first five years." He added: "A child exposed to one hour in a smoking room or car is inhaling as many dangerous chemicals as if he or she smoked 10 or more cigarettes, according to the Mayo Clinic."
Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-San Luis Obispo, also voted in favor -- and told of a recent experience that disturbed him.
"I was at a stoplight and this young woman, I don't know how old she was, in a small little car, smoking up a storm inside the car, two kids in the back," he said. "I just couldn't understand the concept."
Opposition to the measure was succinct.
Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, voted against the bill, concerned over the state government regulating someone's "private space," such as an automobile. He also suggested the proposed law is inconsistent because older children would still be able to ride in the front seat with a parent who smokes.
Sen. Dave Cox, R-Roseville, jokingly asked if the ban would exempt drivers in convertible cars. (The answer was no. In fact, studies show, secondhand smoke affects children in cars even if the windows are rolled down, Alicia Sanchez of the Children's Advocacy Institute, testified).
A leader of the Santa Clara County Libertarian Party expressed opposition to the measure in a telephone interview.
"This just demonstrates the state of government today -- and this is why I'm active in the Libertarian party, to try to fight this type of mommy and daddy government, or nanny government," said Lois Garcia of San Jose. "The Libertarian view is against any sort of government interference in a person's personal life and choice," she said, "including the way that they raise their children."
Representatives of pro-health organizations spoke in favor of the measure; no one from the public opposed it.
"A recent study published by the Pediatrics journal confirmed that more children die of secondhand smoke exposure than all other accidental causes of injury and death combined," said Brendan Twohig of the American Heart Association. "We see AB379 as an extension of California's commitment to protecting the health of our most vulnerable population, our children."
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - In what may be the first litigation of its kind, the father of a 5-year-old girl with asthma is suing the Woodland Hills apartment complex where they live because of secondhand smoke.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Van Nuys Superior Court on the girl's behalf by her father, John Birke, who is an attorney, against Oakwood Apartments in Woodland Hills, where young Melinda Birke lives with her parents.
The family's lawyer, Michael Sohigian, said it may be the first time someone has filed a lawsuit attempting to have secondhand smoke declared a public nuisance.
Melinda has had pneumonia three times since 2003, and she has suffered from asthma and chronic allergies since she was 18 months old, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified general and special damages, alleges a public nuisance exists at the apartment complex because management allows smoking by tenants and visitors in outdoor common areas.
Jessica Shih, a spokeswoman for Oakwood Worldwide in West Los Angeles, owners of the Woodland Hills complex, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, secondhand smoke from cigarettes and cigars at the Oakwood Apartments can be smelled at the swimming pools, the barbecue areas, the children's playground, the outdoor dining area and the entrances to the rental office and clubhouse.
"In addition, there is no area in the entire ... complex where one cannot find multiple cigarette butts, including all of the walkways, planted areas and the stairwells," the lawsuit states.
Melinda has picked up butts from sidewalks within the apartment grounds, and other toddlers may have touched the butts or put them in their mouths, according to the lawsuit.
The secondhand smoke conditions at Oakwood Apartments are harmful to one's health, indecent and offensive to the senses, and interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life, the lawsuit asserts.
John Birke complained repeatedly about the conditions to management, but nothing was done, according to the lawsuit.
Management encourages smoking by putting ashtrays near the swimming pools and other outdoor locations on the apartment complex grounds, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says an Oakwood representative told Birke that management had made a "business decision" not to ban smoking in outdoor areas.
CANADA - Turning the tobacco industry into a non-profit or Crown agency could end tobacco marketing, some public health officials say.
Public health officials are looking for ways to stop marketing that draws new smokers and undermines anti-smoking messages.
It's reasonable for corporations to use marketing and other tools to maximize profits, but not for companies that sell a harmful and addictive product, said Cynthia Callard, executive director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. The group aims to reduce tobacco-caused illness by cutting smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
Callard suggests it's time government buy out the tobacco industry and change its mandate from profit to public health.
"We anticipate by taking over the companies, voluntarily or involuntarily, and running them in the public interest, we would actually save governments and save the economy more money than it would cost to do this," Callard said.
A non-profit agency, charged with ultimately putting itself out of business, would not try to increase the market for cigarettes the way the tobacco industry does.
LITTLE ROCK - A Hot Springs legislator who led the charge to ban smoking in cars with children present says the state should also consider prohibiting smoking during pregnancy.
Rep. Bob Mathis, D-Hot Springs, told lawmakers Friday that children born to smokers face the risk of long-term health problems and questioned whether it was "constitutional" for a mother to smoke while pregnant.
"I don't know that it'd be constitutional if what the mother is doing is harming the child," he said.
Mathis urged lawmakers to study the issue before the Legislature goes into session in January.
In a special session called in April to address Arkansas' school funding problems, Mathis introduced a bill that makes it illegal for someone to smoke in a car that contains children in car seats. The bill, along with an indoor workplace smoking ban, passed easily in both chambers and was signed into law by Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Mathis noted that both recently passed bills "seem to have passed constitutional muster."
"Well, maybe we ought to take a little step further and if the lady's pregnant maybe she shouldn't be smoking."
PETERSBURG, Va. -- Central State Hospital will ban smoking by all patients by summer's end.
Administrators at the state-run mental health center in Dinwiddie County question whether a hospital that promotes wellness should tolerate a habit universally condemned as unhealthy.
Patients who smoke, meanwhile, say a couple of drags a day is one of their only pleasures.
A survey by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors last year found of 124 state mental hospitals, 25 had banned smoking everywhere on their grounds.
Central State patients get four chances a day to smoke. Doctors say the drive for nicotine is enough to trigger fights and near stampedes.
"Smoking, that's all we look forward to," said Shaketa Vinson, a 10-year resident who was up to three packs a day before she came to Central State. "You need to smoke, with all the stress we get."
But doctors here blame smoking for new stresses. They say patients often haggle over cigarettes and stomp on each others' feet as they rush outside for a smoke break.
The nicotine can interfere with their medications, requiring larger doses to be effective.
And then there are moral questions.
Walter, a 24-year-old patient who preferred not to use his last name, said he was once an athletic student. Now smoking is the highlight of his day.
"When I was in high school, I could run a mile in six minutes," he said. "Now I'm not sure if I can run a mile at all."
The death of a long-term patient from lung cancer last November only intensified ethical concerns.
"We put in a lot of time and staff to make sure people don't kill themselves here," said hospital director Charles M. Davis, who grew up on a North Carolina tobacco farm. "We try to prevent suicide. ...Smoking is suicide."
The smoking ban applies to Central State's 100 civil commitment patients. The 177 patients in the forensic unit already were denied smoking privileges, said Dr. Ronald O. Forbes, Central State's medical director.
The ban extends to smokeless tobacco. Hospital workers are exempt from the policy.
"There's much more smoking among people who have serious mental illness," Forbes said of patients, who he said have had a range of reactions to the plan.
Over the next few weeks, the hospital will send letters to patients' relatives explaining the new smoking policy. A multi-week education program on the dangers of tobacco also is planned.
Doctors will diagnose patients with nicotine dependency and may issue nicotine patches or other smoking cessation aids to those for whom going cold turkey would cause major problems.
Officials say it will take about three months to unroll the program by summer's end.
"We're doctors treating patients," Forbes said. "We're supposed to provide safety and security, we're supposed to treat and help people to health and dignity. And smoking doesn't fit."
In the days leading up to last month’s special legislative session, Gov. Mike Huckabee’s office pushed to restrict public comment on his smoking ban bill, and the governor prepared to publicly shame legislators who opposed it.
“An ad doesn’t help unless it’s personal,” Huckabee wrote in a March 31 e-mail.
There were no public hearings on the bill prior to the special session, but politics swirled behind-the-scenes for two weeks in late March as Huckabee sought to rein in legislators to his point of view, according to documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
More than 1, 200 pages of e-mails supplied by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the state Department of Health and Human Services show that, despite the wide margins of passage for the bill, gathering support for it wasn’t an easy task.
The e-mails, many labeled as being from the governor and those who answer to him, also illustrate how involved Huckabee can be in legislation he wants passed, despite his being criticized by some at the Capitol for too often being detached from policy debates.
A few days before the session, Huckabee officials believed they were short of supporting votes in the House, and his deputy chief of staff, Kelly Boyd, urged Huckabee to organize rallies to embarrass legislators opposing the bill.
“TEFRA their asses,” Boyd wrote March 31.
Boyd was referring to the public scathing Huckabee received in 2002 over the administration’s plan to eliminate a Medicaid program, called TEFRA, for developmentally disabled children when state spending had to be cut because of a slump in revenue growth. Boyd said anti-smoking supporters could learn from the tactics employed by Medicaid advocates four years ago.
Huckabee replied to Boyd: “Good ideas.”
Boyd also opposed giving the proposal a public airing in a committee meeting before the special session.
“You only want legislators hearing your side of the story,” Boyd wrote Health and Human Services Director John Selig on March 23.
Act 8 of 2006 bans smoking in most workplaces throughout Arkansas. Exceptions include nursing homes and restaurants and bars that serve and employ only people 21 and older. It goes into effect July 21.
Two hours after Huckabee signed the bill April 7, Selig sent an e-mail congratulating his staff for their work. He told them the governor gave them the “formidable challenge” of gathering enough support in less than two weeks. The desire to have a “profound health impact” on Arkansas drove his staff, he wrote.
“It made for some long days and some frazzled nerves, and until today, we didn’t know if victory would be ours,” Selig wrote.
Huckabee, a Republican, is exploring a possible 2008 run for president based largely on his health advocacy.
He took a role in managing public relations strategy for the proposal.
In a March 21 e-mail, the governor said he didn’t want promotional “talking points” that said the proposal would “ban smoking.” Instead, he directed they “say it will provide a safe and clean breathing environment.”
The same day, Joe Quinn, Huckabee’s policy director, wrote the governor about the American Cancer Society’s strategy for passing the bill. The “first phase” involved an “under the radar” lobbying effort of legislators serving on the committees that would consider the bill. A broader public relations campaign would come after that.
The following day, Boyd complained to Quinn about Quinn’s use of the phrase “anti smoking” in a previous e-mail to the governor.
“I think you should feel honored to the be the first person to place a dollar in the ‘smoking’ kitty since you failed to heed my earlier warning about the requirement to use ‘clean air’ instead of ‘& %$ * $ & %’ when referring to this issue,” Boyd wrote.
Quinn responded, “Put a jar on your desk. I will bring you a dollar.”
Later that day, Huckabee Chief of Staff Brenda Turner admonished Quinn for spending too much time on the issue, especially since she wanted governor’s staff to focus on the education bills. The primary issue for debate during the special session was to respond to the state Supreme Court on public school funding.
“Joe, this feels like this is being coordinated from our office when I actually prefer that the lead be taken by [state health officer ] Joe Thompson and the DHHS folks,” Turner wrote.
On March 23, Boyd wrote Selig that he opposed placing the smoking ban on the agenda for a meeting March 27 of the House and Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committees.
“Why give the bill more shots and more public airing ?” Boyd said. “All you are going to get is folks who oppose the bill coming in and giving legislators something to think about. You have enough resources at your disposal to visit with each individual legislator numerous times during the next week. You only want legislators hearing your side of the story and going to committee is about as opposite a way to do that as I can think of.”
Huckabee, through a spokesman, said Friday, “There was no attempt that I’m aware of to limit discussion” on the bill. He said there was “every attempt” made to “fully discuss the issue.”
Boyd on March 24 told Selig it wasn’t good enough to get commitments to vote for the bill; they had to extract promises not to amend it.
“I hear a rumor that a run will be made to amend it to ban all smoking in Arkansas,” Boyd wrote. “Likely [or ] not, those folks at Cancer and some of the [health division ] folks will think this is the best idea since sliced bread. All they will be doing is killing the bill.”
Three days later, Rep. David Johnson, D-Little Rock, wrote Thompson that the key to the bill passing would be the change of heart by Republican legislators who voted against a smoking ban bill in 2005. The bill was tailored to restaurants, not workplaces in general, and Huckabee didn’t actively support it. That bill failed.
“Without Huckabee’s lobbying,” Johnson wrote. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar fate for this bill.”
On March 29, Thompson sounded uncertain of success in an e-mail to Turner.
“Tide is turning but may not have time to solidify support,” he wrote.
Thompson counted 25 yes votes in the House, 26 short of passage.
But the next day Thompson wrote Huckabee that he had had a “good day” and had gained nine more commitments in the House, particularly from the House speaker-designate, Rep. Benny Petrus, D-Stuttgart. Thompson told the governor that Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis “desperately wants an exemption.” He said he told the track’s lobbyist that could be arranged if the lobbyist was able to persuade more House Rules Committee members to vote for the bill.
Huckabee replied that “we’re gaining steam” but demanded staff get “firm commitments” from legislators, especially Rep. Denny Sumpter, D-West Memphis. Three years ago, Huckabee alleged Sumpter broke a pledge to support a sweeping reorganization of state government, something Sumpter has denied.
“Get Sumpter’s in blood,” Huckabee wrote Thompson. “He can’t be trusted.”
The same day Huckabee thanked Rep. Steve Harrelson, D-Texarkana, who has recently been chosen as Democratic leader for 2007, for supporting the bill.
“I’m so very proud of you !” Huckabee wrote. “I am indebted to you and hope to find ways to show it. With 99 more like you, we’d take Arkansas to the top !”
The morning of March 31 brought a flurry of e-mail hours before Huckabee issued the proclamation for the special session to start three days later.
At 6: 34 a. m., Selig e-mailed Huckabee saying that Petrus “may need some massaging by you.”
Two minutes later, Huckabee responded that local health officials needed to be more involved.
“The more docs and health care pros that do this from back home, the better,” he wrote.
At 6: 57 a. m., Boyd chimed in: “Bus in folks by hundreds.”
Boyd called for daily news conferences on the Capitol steps, during which legislators’ names would be announced as supporting or opposing the bill.
“Imagine Benny Petrus’ angst if two or three of his constituents stand up there in front of the cameras and call him out on this,” Boyd added. “There are five good days to do this... calling these guys out individually will scare them to death... watch them sweat... wear their butts out publicly. My recommendation ? TEFRA their asses. HARD. If we don’t embarrass and separate them, we won’t win. Go for the jugular and make them bleed where it hurts worst, in their home districts with their own constituents.”
Huckabee, using his alternate e-mail account (jetsdad@arkansas. gov, a reference to his dog, Jet ), replied, “Good ideas. I agree that an ad doesn’t help unless it’s personal. A better approach is a large ad or poster with a list of those who support, those who don’t and the undecided. With a question that says ‘ Will you vote for your health or the tobacco lobbyists. ’”
Boyd responded to Huckabee, “We need to constantly think TEFRA. You were on the receiving end and we all clearly remember how un-fun that was. It is time to use what we learned.”
Those kinds of events didn’t happen. There was a news conference the week before the session and a rally on the first day of the session, but they didn’t try to shame any individual legislators.
Petrus said last week he wasn’t aware of Huckabee and Boyd talking about or implementing any such tactics. He said the e-mails didn’t bother him.
“They went all out, didn’t they ?” Petrus said after being shown the e-mails by the Democrat-Gazette. “Full-court press. They ain’t bashful about what they put in [e-mails ] are they ? I’ll just say it’s humorous. [Huckabee ] worked the hell out of [the smoking bill ].”
He said the only problem he had with the way the administration was pushing the smoking ban was that a lot of local state health officials were lobbying their legislators. He questioned whether that was proper.
Huckabee said Friday through a spokesman that the strategies described by Boyd weren’t “appropriate or necessary.
“ There were many discussions with numerous organizations, advocates and legislators, as to the importance of passing the bill, but support for the bill grew on its merits and by the time of the session there was a comfortable margin of votes for passage in both houses,” Huckabee said.
On April 2, a Sunday and the day before the session started, Kevin Dedner, the Arkansas lobbyist for the American Cancer Society, wrote Thompson with several concerns about the wording of the bill.
Thompson wrote back that he’d deal with it in the morning.
“Cancer is a key partner,” Thompson told Dedner. “I need to ask, however, that your national folks extract themselves from trying to micromanage — we are now in a political fight. Is national cancer on board with this bill and the political process we are going to undertake or not ?”
The following morning, Dedner replied that the suggested changes, while minor, had potentially far-reaching consequences if not made.
“No other organization has invested the type of resources we have into this effort and it seems borderline insulting for our recommendations to be discounted,” Dedner wrote. “I have worked like crazy to hold the national tobacco [control ] community together... to keep them from fighting this bill. You owe us this.”
Thompson replied that most of the suggested changes were minor and would be made.
“We are cool,” Dedner replied.
Also that Sunday, Boyd emailed Huckabee saying he believed the bill was eight to 10 votes short in the House and was even short in the Rules Committee. Huckabee said he was confident enough votes would be there. “I really feel we’ll get them,” the governor replied.
It passed the Senate, 30-4 on April 4 and the House, 63-32 on April 6.
At 7: 40 a. m. April 8, the day after he signed the bill, Huckabee wrote Selig and Thompson that he was considering staging an “Eat and Breathe Easy Day” when the law takes effect. On that day, he would encourage people to eat out and “choose healthy items from the menu.”
Huckabee wrote that he hoped a “record revenue day for restaurants” would result because he wanted to “build some bridges” with restaurant owners and their lobbyists, “at least the reasonable ones,” who had opposed the bill.
He then listed several promotional ideas, including “discard the ashtray photo ops” at various businesses.
“The air already smells better on this beautiful Saturday !” Huckabee said.
PORTLAND, Ore. - Just months into Washington's strict new smoking law, Oregon is moving to put its own on the ballot next year.
However, there is another anti-smoking movement brewing behind the scenes, with the potential to reach much further into people's private lives.
The movement is to make smoking around kids a form of child abuse. The crime would include smoking while you are pregnant, smoking around kids inside your home and smoking inside a vehicle with kids inside.
KATU News research shows a majority of people think it is about time, but it is politically difficult to pull off with worries about big brother.
Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds is a member of the informal, unorganized and quiet movement toward making it a criminal act to smoke around kids.
The physician is the father of Washington's new sweeping anti-smoking law for public places. He believes protecting children from smoking parents is next.
"Children are even more susceptible than adults to second-hand smoke," Covert-Bowlds says. "They are breathing faster, they're metabolizing faster, they're absorbing the carcinogens quicker and we know it's even more deadly for them as their lungs are developing."
Doctors tell KATU News that nicotine causes the placenta to receive less blood flow, meaning less oxygen to the baby's body and less oxygen to the baby's brain.
Results from a KATU News/Survey USA poll show that a strong majority of people in our area think smoking should be considered child abuse, whether it is while pregnant, while in the car with a kid or inside your home.
However, there have been almost no legislative efforts to specifically protect children.
"How would you implement something like that? How would you enforce something like that?" asks Courtni Dresser with the American Cancer Society of Oregon.
For the anti-smoking organizations like the American Cancer Society, it has been an uphill political battle against tobacco and restaurant lobbyists to get any smoking legislation.
Raising it to a crime is an even tougher sell that is not on the American Cancer Society's radar right now. Banning smoking from public places and helping smokers stop is their focus.
"We aren't here to criminalize smokers," says Dresser. "What is happening to them is an addiction and we know that. And we know it is very hard to quit."
However, there is legal precedent for protecting kids. Both Oregon and Washington bar foster parents from subjecting foster kids to secondhand smoke.
In court last year, Washington joined Oregon and became approximately the 17th state where a custody battle had smoking as a central issue.
The doctor on the witness list to testify was Chris Covert-Bowlds. Still, he knows that tackling people's behavior in their home is dicey political business.
"We certainly propose education efforts preceding legislative efforts," says Covert-Bowlds. "I think eventually there will be legislation to say that exposing kids to smoke in your own home is not right."
"It's just not good for them," says mother Ashley Ambeuh. However, when asked about smoking while she was pregnant, she said "I did. I'm a bad person. But I have two healthy kids and I'm grateful for that."
Our KATU News/Survey USA poll shows that a majority of people would choose the path taken so far - first wanting to ban smoking in public places like Washington has done, before banning it in homes with children present.
Bristol, Vermont - Lunch time at the Village Corner Store in Bristol keeps the deli busy. In addition to sandwiches, cigarette sales make up a sizeable portion of the store's bottom line.
"We deal with several thousand dollars worth of tobacco a week," says Leon Smith of the Village Corner Store.
And when people buy smokes, they typically purchase other items too.
Now, a selectman has proposed the town stop issuing tobacco licenses. It would ultimately ban the sale of tobacco in Bristol.
Doug Corkins calls it a public health issue.
"It's more of a symbolic thing, it doesn't outlaw smoking in Bristol, we're not going to allow tobacco to be sold in Bristol," explains Corkins. "The government has said it's dangerous. Whatever we can do to get kids not to start smoking is a step in the right direction."
The state reports more than 80 tobacco licenses in Bristol. It should be noted that many licensees don't actually sell tobacco products. But businesses that do, say a ban could have significant financial impacts.
"It would just be another burden on businesses," says Smith.
And smokers call it a violation of rights: "It's my right to buy them if I want to. I'm not a child. I can make those choices for myself. I don't need my government or people in my community to make those choices for me," says Marietta Pomainville.
20 minutes south in Middlebury, a similar proposal was considered by the Middlebury Selectboard. The town's public health officer wants tobacco licensing stopped-- also calling it a public health threat. Signs in stores, he says, send a subliminal message that smoking is okay.
Ending tobacco licensing could cost the state. Vermont raked in more than $46 million in cigarette taxes last year. Granted-- if banned in Bristol, or Middlebury-- smokers would likely drive to other towns to buy cigarettes. But not all.
Corkins says Vermont shouldn't rely on those tax dollars anyway: "If you want to solve the health care crisis caused by smoking-- stop it to begin with, not tax it to get revenue. That's crazy."
Before it could happen in Bristol, Corkins needs to convince at least two other selectmen to follow suit. In the mean time, he's stopped adding his name to tobacco licenses. But those licenses are still being issued, so it will be at least a year if ever before the measure could take effect.
The same goes for Middlebury. A committee is examining the issue and voters will have their say next Town Meeting Day.
SMOKERS may one day need a licence if they want to indulge in their habit, a public health academic says.
Simon Chapman, of Sydney University, said smokers might have to pass exams about tobacco addiction and its deadly impact on health.
"I don't think it is inconceivable or absurd to suggest that, down the track, governments could introduce a licensing scheme for tobacco users," he told state MPs reviewing the anti-smoking laws.
"Just as a young person of the age of 17 goes along to the RTA and gets a big fat book, pays for it and reads it and then has to go and do a test, the same would apply to a person who wished to become a smoker.
"He or she would go along, sit for a test and be given a licence to smoke on the understanding that they knew the risks they were taking.
"Then they would be able to put their card over the counter and say: 'I want a carton of Benson and Hedges.'
"Like all ideas like this, it will probably be in the paper tomorrow with exclamation marks all over it, but 15 years from now it may be seen as what you do."
Professor Chapman and other health experts last week gave evidence to an all-party select committee chaired by independent MP Richard Torbay, which is examining further ways to curb smoking and considering if it is practical to enforce a ban in cars when children are on board.
Professor Chapman, an anti-tobacco activist, criticised the Iemma Government's recent concession to the pub lobby allowing smoking rooms in 25 per cent of licensed premises.
"We must finish the job with pub bans," he said. "The 75 to 25 per cent thing is simply farcical."
Tony Thirlwell, chief executive of the National Heart Foundation of Australia, also criticised the "messy compromise" between the Government and the pubs to partially restrict smoking.
"The clearest thing should be just no smoking in clubs or pubs," he said. "This messy compromise will basically come back and bite a whole lot of people with liability problems for years to come.
"It just astounds me that anybody would come up with such a compromise that is largely unworkable."
HOUSTON -- A proposed state law would ban smoking in foster homes, KPRC Local 2 reported Wednesday.
John Banzhaf heads a national anti-smoking organization called "ASH," which stands for Action on Smoking and Health. ASH has helped four states pass legislation to ban foster parents from smoking in their own homes or vehicles.
"(Foster children) can't control their environment, so they ought to be entitled to some protection," Banzhaf said.
"Right now we really don't have a policy whether or not foster parents can use tobacco products or smoke around our foster children," said Estella Olquin, with Harris County Child Protective Services.
Maria Douglas was a foster mother to three girls whom she ended up adopting.
"It takes a lot to open your home, open up your life in order to serve, to give back. It's a lot to ask people to volunteer," she said.
Douglas understands the need for a healthy smoke-free environment for children, but she is worried.
Harris County CPS currently has 4,000 children in its custody and a shortage of families able to pass extensive criminal and financial background checks, as well as annual safety inspections.
"Is a child sitting in a shelter a better situation than in a foster home that would've been a loving home except that someone smoked in that home? I don't know that answer," Douglas said.
But ASH believes that the government should supersede all parental rights when it comes to secondhand smoke.
"You can't have sex in front a child. You can't abuse alcohol in the presence of foster children. Both actions aren't prohibited, but it's harmful to the child. So does exposing them to a known carcinogenic substance," Banzhaf said.
The rules and requirements for foster homes in Harris County are quite lengthy.
For example, the Douglas family will spend $3,400 on home inspections just to maintain their license.
"When there are unintended consequences of not being able to recruit and retain foster families, in the end the kids lose. The kids lose," Douglas said.
The Douglases do not smoke but are aware that CPS is proposing a new smoking ban in the home and cars of foster parents. But that change has to be approved by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
"We really think this is healthier for children. But whether it passes or not is up to the public," Olquin said.
CPS said it welcomes e-mails and letters responding to the foster family smoking ban proposal. Letters should be sent to 2525 Murworth, Houston, 77054.
A public hearing is scheduled for March 23 in Austin.
Meanwhile, ASH is gearing up to convince Texas lawmakers to pass a bill that bans all smoking in vehicles where children are present. The penalty would be as harsh as child restraint and seatbelt violations in Texas.
Four states -- Vermont, Oklahoma, Washington and Maine -- currently have a ban on smoking in foster homes as a law or regulation. In addition, many California cities have it as an ordinance. Twelve other states are considering it.
SAN DIEGO -- Del Mar is considering imposing some of the harshest smoking restrictions in the country.
The City Council has already adopted a ban on smoking at beaches and parks, and it is also studying a possible ban on city streets and sidewalks, NBC 7/39 reported.
Del Mar officials said the city of Calabasas adopted a similar law recently and that the council will review that ordinance. Other cities to adopt beach bans include San Francisco, Solana Beach, Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica.
Officials insist they want to respect smoker's rights.
"If you want to smoke, you just need to be aware that it does affect others and do it in a way that does not infringe upon the rights of others to have fresh air," said Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford.
The beach and park ban is expected to go into effect in March.
An Albert County man says a Moncton doctor refused to operate on his leg because he's a smoker.
Robert Randall, 42, broke his knee in a snowmobile accident two years ago. He's already had four operations and is waiting for a fifth.
Randall says his doctor refuses to operate, even though he has screws sticking out of his knee, his femur is bent and his right leg is about 7.5 cm shorter than the left.
Randall was scheduled to have surgery last week, but two days before the the scheduled operation, he says Dr. Steven Massoeurs' receptionist phoned him to cancel. "She just said that Dr. Massoeurs has informed her that as I was still smoking that they weren't going do the surgery and that was that."
Randall has been smoking for more than 30 years, since before he was 10 years old. He smokes about two packs a day and doesn't intend to quit anytime soon.
But Randall says that's no reason to deny him health care, and has contacted the College of Physicians and Surgeons with plans to file a formal complaint.
HOUSEHOLDERS are to be asked not to smoke up to an hour before a visit by council workers. And they'll be urged not to light up while civil servants are in their homes.
The guidance, aimed at protecting health and council staff from the risk of passive smoking, was announced by the Executive yesterday.
Health Minister Andy Kerr was quick to defend the legislation. He said: "Passive smoking kills. The evidence is now irrefutable and the smoke-free legislation will significantly reduce exposure to second-hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in the majority of enclosed public places.
"We've made it clear that residential accommodation is exempt from the legislation"Otherwise it would be an infringement of human rights.
"But we recognise there are instances where people will visit a residential property to do their job.
"This will help ensure workers are exposed to as little passive smoke as possible." The legislation gives clear advice to help workers who may be exposed to second hand smoke in people's homes, which will not fall under Scotland's public smoking ban.
And it says staff should not expect to make return visits to houses where they are likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke.
The 52-page document also includes advice to the NHS, local authorities and other care-service providers on drawing up smoking policies for staff, visitors and those using their services.
Employers are already required to address the risks to workers subjected to the effects of second-hand smoke.
Maureen Moore, chief executive of campaign group Ash Scotland, said: "Everyone deserves protection, no matter where they work, regardless of what they do.
"I'm delighted these new guidelines, which we helped draw up, will help protect employees and service-users from second-hand smoke."
A SICK dad blasted NHS “bullies” yesterday after a hospital consultant refused to treat him unless he stops smoking.
Ailing Fred Smith, 60, was told he must quit cigs for at least six months before he even gets an appointment.
Fred was referred to the specialist with blocked veins which could have led to him losing a leg.
But he was horrified to be told: “Stop smoking first.”
The snub is thought to be the first time in NHS history a potentially very ill person has been refused an appointment because they smoke.
Fred, who gets through 15 hand-made roll-ups a day, said: “This man has never even seen me yet he has the affront to say he doesn’t want to treat me.
“As a taxpayer I’ve helped pay his wages and train him. Now he’s paying me back by using bullying tactics.”
The painter and decorator, of Lincoln, first reported leg pains last month.
His GP referred him to Lincoln County Hospital and asked for an appointment with surgeon Andrew Lamerton — who wrote straight back to snub him.
Dad-of-two Fred said: “It’s ridiculous.”
Last night the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust defended the surgeon, saying: “The most important factor that can help patients with vascular problems is to stop smoking.”
Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes -- especially those with children.
Their efforts so far have contributed to regulations in three states -- Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont -- forbidding foster parents from smoking around children. Parental smoking also has become a critical point in some child-custody cases, including ones in Virginia and Maryland.
In a highly publicized Virginia case, a judge barred Caroline County resident Tamara Silvius from smoking around her children as a condition for child visitation.
Mrs. Silvius, a waitress at a truck stop in Doswell, Va., calls herself "highly disappointed" with the court's ruling.
"I'm an adult. Who is anybody to tell me I can't smoke or drink?" she said in an interview yesterday.
An appeals court upheld the ruling, but not before one judge raised questions about the extent to which a court should become involved in parental rights and whether certain behavior is harmful or simply not in a child's best interest.
Mrs. Silvius says she complied with the decision by altering her smoking habits.
"My children know not to come around when I'm on the front porch with my morning coffee, tending to my cows or out in my garden, because I'm having a cigarette," she said.
Still, she thinks this was not a matter for the courts because it was not proven that she posed a risk to her children's health.
"If a child suffers from asthma or some sort of problem, the courts shouldn't even have to be told to [step in]," Mrs. Silvius said. "That should be the parent's better judgment. But my kids aren't sick. If there's no health issue, it isn't the court's place to say someone can't do something that's perfectly legal, just because the other spouse doesn't want them to."
The smoking-at-home issue also sparked debate about whether such rulings will lead courts to become involved in such matters as parents' making poor TV programming choices for their children.
The nonprofit group Action on Smoking and Health is among the most outspoken on stopping parents from smoking around children.
"Children are the most vulnerable and the most defenseless victims of tobacco smoke," Executive Director John F. Banzhaf III said. "They should be entitled to the same protection as adults."
Mr. Banzhaf, also a professor of public interest law at George Washington University, said most complaints are made by nonsmoking ex-spouses, although some are filed by neighbors, relatives and physicians.
Maryland's Department of Human Resources, which provides adoption services, considers smoking a factor in deciding who will receive a child, but guidelines do not specifically address the issue.
"It's discussed and presented and looked at by caseworkers," said Judith Eveland, a program manager for the agency.
However, Miss Eveland said the agency would welcome regulations on restricting smoking in the homes of foster children.
"We certainly would be supportive [given] all the health issues associated with smoking," she said.
Adele L. Abrams, an attorney in Prince George's County specializing in child custody, divorce and family law, said smoking has been a factor in several custody disputes in recent years.
"Restraints might be put on visitation if one parent insists upon smoking or bringing in a girlfriend or boyfriend who smokes," said Ms. Abrams, whose practice serves the District and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties.
She said children have a "more protective status" and that laws should protect children from secondhand smoke just as they are protected from parents and guardians who drink excessively or use drugs.
"Frankly, if it was a factor before the divorce, it's going to be a factor after the divorce," she said, "particularly if the child has asthma or some other respiratory disease."
Mindy Good, spokeswoman for the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, said foster parents are not prohibited from smoking, but prospective ones are screened to fit a child's best interests.
"People who smoke are not barred from becoming foster parents," she said. "However, we are careful about children who have certain medical conditions. We would not, for example, place a child who has asthma in the home of a smoking foster parent. We are careful about those issues."
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Beginning next October, smoking will be significantly more expensive for employees of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.
Lighting up, even at home, will cost them their jobs.
Many other companies also are focusing on smokers, whether by raising their health-insurance premiums or not hiring them.
Scotts took dramatic action because it wants to hold down health-insurance costs by "helping people live healthy lifestyles," said James Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive.
The Marysville company pays for medical claims using its own funds, "so why would we admit someone into this environment when they're passing risk along to everyone else?" he asked.
"Our view is we shouldn't and we won't."
With operations across the country, Scotts can fire smokers legally in 21 states, including Ohio, company officials said.
Scotts appears to be one of only a few companies that will fire employees if they light up.
The Society for Human Resource Management found in a 2004 survey that 4.4 percent of those polled preferred to not hire smokers. Less than 1 percent of the 270 professionals surveyed said their companies have a formal policy against hiring smokers.
Weyco Inc., a Michigan company, began firing smokers earlier this year and received widespread attention.
Scotts has given employees a year - and free counseling, nicotine patches and cessation classes - to quit smoking. The company has not determined how it will verify compliance with the new policy, said Jim King, a spokesman.
The president and chief operating officer of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Lynn J. Beasley, sits on Scotts' board of directors. Beasley, whose term on the board expires in January, declined comment.
The no-smoking mandate is part of a broader effort at Scotts to control health-care costs. The company also opened a $5 million fitness and medical facility for employees.
Some smokers, already frustrated by bans in the workplace, restaurants and bars, are saying enough is enough.
"It's discrimination," said Terry Rieser, of Pickerington, taking a frigid smoke break outside a state office building Downtown this week. "Look at what people are putting into their bodies by way of their diet. I know people who didn't smoke who keeled over with heart attacks. You can't tie all the death rates to smoking."
Others are more philosophical.
"I can understand their situation, coming at it as a business," said a co-worker of Rieser's, who wouldn't give her name. "It does bring a higher risk of some conditions. I guess it comes down to your choice. If you want to keep smoking, you'll pay higher rates." Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, spoke out against Weyco's policy and said this week that he also disagrees with the new Scotts policy. His New Jersey not-for-profit organization is focused on expanding human rights in the workplace.
"What you do in your own home on your own time is none of your boss' business," Maltby said.
People who smoke do incur higher medical costs, Maltby said, but employers can protect themselves in other ways, such as charging smokers more to participate in company-sponsored medical plans.
An increasing number of companies are doing that.
In central Ohio, Cardinal Health, Children's Hospital, Gannett, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Longaberger Company are among those charging higher health-insurance premiums to smokers.
Chase, one of the region's largest employers with 13,700 workers, also charges smokers higher rates for supplemental life and long-term disability insurance.
To avoid the higher charges, an employee must not have smoked any cigarettes, cigars or pipes in the 12 months prior to Jan. 1 or must complete an approved stop-smoking class, spokesman Jeff Lyttle said.
The extra charge applies even if the employee doesn't smoke but a dependent covered under the employee's health insurance does.
Bank One charged smokers more before it was acquired by Chase in July 2004. The policy was implemented companywide this year.
"It really speaks to how big the issue of rising health insurance has become," Lyttle said.
Cardinal Health began discounting its health premiums for nonsmoking employees up to 15 percent in July 2002.
"People with less-healthy habits have higher absence rates, they're out of the office more and have higher health-care costs," spokesman Jim Mazzola said.
Publisher Gannett Co., which owns The Advocate in Newark, the Chillicothe Gazette and the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, will begin charging smokers $50 extra per month in 2006.
But the company is giving smokers an out: The fee can be waived if the employee completes a stop-smoking class, which Gannett pays for, spokeswoman Tara Connell said.
As for how an employer will know if the worker is a smoker or not, most companies say it's an honor system.
"We're not in the business of policing our employees, but we expect them to be honest with us," Connell said. "If they're not, they're subject to discipline up to and including termination." William Hayes, president of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, said employers are clamping down on smokers because unhealthy workers cost them more.
The institute, located in Columbus, is an independent, nonpartisan, health-care research group.
The National Business Group on Health estimates that each smoker costs employers $3,856 a year in added health-care costs and lost productivity.
Some wonder whether employers will take aim at other health factors, like obesity.
"The question becomes how much more exacting will companies become on out-of-workplace behavior in an effort to lower their total health premium," Hayes said.
Gregg Lehman, chief executive of Gordian Health Solutions, a Tennessee company that administers wellness programs for employers, said his firm advises clients to use a carrot, rather than a stick, in dealing with smokers.
That includes creating voluntary programs that address unhealthy habits and discounting premiums for people who participate.
The stick approach creates an adversarial environment in the workplace, Lehman said.
"People that smoke, that tends to be a habit that developed over a number of years," he said. "The person didn't get into it overnight, and you're not going to fix it overnight either."
DOCTORS are to be issued with new guidance permitting them to refuse to treat a patient if they judge that an illness is self-inflicted.
The guidelines will be introduced as a poll shows that one in five doctors admits that he or she has already denied patients treatment because they drink heavily, smoke or are obese.
This weekend Sir Michael Rawlins, chairman of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said the guidelines would ensure that the limited National Health Service budget was well spent.
He singled out alcoholics by saying the institute’s new social value judgments will make it clear that if patients continue to drink they will not be given a liver transplant.
“Alcoholism rots the liver and if the patient is going to continue drinking, giving them a liver when there is already a shortage of organs is not a sensible use of resources,” Rawlins said.
“We are not punishing alcoholics, it is just that it is pointless spending all that money and using a liver that could be used for someone else.”
The poll of more than 400 doctors for the medical website Doctors.net.uk found that 19% of respondents had withheld treatment because of a patient’s unhealthy lifestyle.
Dr Julian Randall, a GP in Dudley, in the West Midlands,said he had denied treatment to a smoker: “Vascular surgery on a patient who still smokes is almost certainly doomed to fail. Unless the limb needs to be saved immediately, I refuse to refer them until satisfied that their condition is no better after six months of not smoking.”
Randall added: “In Dudley we lost a vascular surgeon, which has increased the waiting list. The remaining surgeons will need to prioritise the patients they operate on. We delay operating on those who are still smoking to take pressure off.
“I tell patients, ‘It is the wicked weed that has caused this. You will develop gangrene unless you stop’. My end of the bargain is to refer them to smoking cessation clinics.”
The Nice guidelines state that care cannot be denied simply on the grounds that a condition is self-inflicted. However, according to a draft of the code to be debated next week, the treatment can be withheld if the patient’s lifestyle affects the success or cost effectiveness of the operation.
Last week primary care trusts in east Suffolk ruled that obese patients will no longer be given hip and knee replacements on the NHS. GPs and consultants agreed not to refer anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 to a specialist until they lose weight.
Capital Health is forbidding thousands of senior citizens to light up in their own homes when a care worker is there.
A new policy that kicks in Dec. 1 will prohibit the estimated 10,000 home-care clients in the Edmonton area from smoking in the presence of home-care workers.
Most of the clients are seniors.
The crackdown means elderly puffers will have to wait until their worker leaves before lighting up - or step outside for a butt if they just can't wait for a nicotine fix.
And that's infuriating some seniors' advocates.
"When you've been smoking for 70 or 80 or 90 years, it's very difficult to stop," said Ruth Adria, a spokesman for Elder Advocates of Alberta. "It will just add to distress and illness."
Adria, a non-smoker, said health officials have a limited understanding of seniors' needs.
"This is their home," she said. "They should be able to determine what transpires there."
The crackdown applies to all of Capital Health's community sector programs, which also includes visits to mental-health clients.
Gerry Predy, the agency's medical officer of health, said the policy is being put in place to protect the health of workers.
Scofflaws won't be fined nor will service be refused to them, he said.
Predy refused to say what would happen if someone insisted on smoking.
"We don't anticipate that's going to be a problem," Predy said. "If people don't co-operate, certainly there will be a discussion with them."
Patients have generally been co-operative in other cities with similar policies, including Calgary and Winnipeg, Predy said.
"I think most smokers are understanding," he said.
Johan Berns, a member of Edmontonians for Choice - a lobby group that fought against the city smoking ban - said this is a shoddy way to treat the elderly.
"This should be an alarming news story," he said. "Those who paid their dues should be able to enjoy their twilight years as they choose."
But Ron Ellis, executive director of Seniors United Now, said the butt ban isn't a big deal.
"I would anticipate it would not disturb the vast majority of seniors in the least," he said.
Ellis said it's common courtesy to butt out when a home-care worker is around.
Predy said there's nothing stopping home-care clients from stepping outside for a cigarette.
Predy said in the case of "exceptional circumstances," Capital Health would consider waiving the policy.
The policy is not as strict as Winnipeg's, where home-care clients are prohibited from smoking in their homes for one hour before a home-care worker arrives.
Have you seen this disturbing sight in Boston's Longwood medical area? Patients wearing hospital johnnies, sitting in wheelchairs, towing IV poles, and puffing on cigarettes, right outside some of the nation's best hospitals. Two weeks ago, Brigham and Women's Hospital decided to put a stop to this visual dissonance, and painted a thick blue line along the outside edge of the sidewalk in front of the main building on Francis Street and the words ''no smoking" every few feet.
But the city said no way. A public works inspector called Brigham executives last week and told them to erase the line, saying people are not allowed to paint public sidewalks.
The Brigham agreed and made plans to move the blue line to a wall that marks the perimeter of the hospital's property and where smokers often sit. Then, Mayor Thomas M. Menino asked the city's Public Health Commission to develop regulations that would prohibit smoking in front of hospitals.
Whether anything short of a security patrol will work is another matter. One sunny day last week, several Brigham employees blissfully ignored the blue ''NO SMOKING" right at their feet and enjoyed their cigarettes on the sidewalk.
Outdoor smoking is a growing issue in Longwood. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center employees this year became so concerned -- both about patients harming their health and about them doing so outside a premier Harvard Medical School teaching hospital -- that executives decided to extend the inside smoking ban outdoors.
When employees returned to work last Monday, they found a thick yellow line painted along the perimeter of the hospital's property, declaring it off-limits to smoking. (Beth Israel Deaconess steered clear of painting on the sidewalks.) ''This is a health-care organization, and there were people out there under doctors' care doing things that are not good for themselves," said one staffer. ''It didn't look good."
[In other words, become a patient and lose all your autonomy and become a prisoner, not a patient with free will. Those that don't take their doctor's ADVICE will be PUNISHED like children]
[The following is utter nonsense based on nothing more than the existing junk science studies -- not real human beings and hospital records]
Second-hand tobacco smoke is costing the U.S. economy more than $10 billion a year, according to a study released Wednesday, although those costs are significantly lower than they were before programs initiated to limit smoking in workplaces and other public facilities.
The study, sponsored by the Committee on Life Insurance Research and conducted by members of the Society of Actuaries and researchers at Georgia State University, estimated medical costs associated with second-hand smoke at about $5 billion. It also pegged lost wages at about $4.6 billion, and doesn't include the effect of smoking on children who become ill or die from exposure, which adds considerably more to the tab.
Researchers came to those estimates after a review of previous studies on the health effect of second-hand smoke, known in the insurance industry as environmental tobacco smoke, the report said.
The study points out that these costs are only a fraction of the estimated $150 billion a year in estimated costs of use of tobacco by smokers. And it estimates that the costs of second-hand smoke are down about $5 billion, or roughly a third from where they were 15 years ago.
The research could play a roll in debates about new measures to limit smoking. It also suggests that it could lead insurers to charge higher life insurance rates for those exposed to second-hand smoke, including those who live with smokers or those employed in workplaces that still allow smoking.
Patients caught smoking in or around Dudley hospitals could be thrown off the site under a planned ban due to come into force next year.
Staff discovered lighting up anywhere on the site will face disciplinary action under the proposals.
The board of Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust yesterday said it favoured a total ban on smoking on all trust-owned sites, including buildings and surrounding grounds.
Patients who sneak off the wards for a crafty cigarette could be discharged.
Most board members also supported a smoking ban on medical staff living in residential accommodation provided by the trust.
Director of operations Paul Brennan said that, although he smoked himself, he favoured a total ban on all trust sites.
Mr Brennan said there were already problems with staff and patients gathering outside entrances where smoking was banned inside the buildings.
He said that providing “smoking shelters” around the grounds could cause further problems, with patients having to cross roads and walk across car parks to get to them.
Mr Brennan told the meeting: “There should be support and help for people wanting to give up smoking but, once the ban is in place, it will have to be enforced.
“Staff caught smoking would be subject to disciplinary action and we may have to tell patients that, if they continue to smoke on the premises, we will have to discharge them.”
The board agreed to press ahead with plans for a total smoking ban on trust sites, to come fully into play by April 2006. But associate medical director John Delamere opposed a complete ban, saying staff should be able to smoke in their own homes even though it was accommodation owned by the trust.
Non-executive director Kathryn Williets said: “There is a huge responsibility on the trust to take the best decision morally – that is to ban smoking on the whole of the hospital sites.”
Cigarette prices should be increased by 50% a year to persuade people not to smoke, a leading medical journal said.
An editorial in The Lancet called for the policy to be adopted by rich and poor countries alike to prevent a worldwide epidemic of lung cancer.
The disease - almost entirely caused by smoking - was the world's most common cancer, the journal said.
Of the 1.4 million individuals diagnosed with lung cancer this year, more than 85% would die before 2010.
Public information campaigns and regulation had helped curb smoking rates in the UK, the United States, Canada and northern Europe, said The Lancet.
But in many developing countries, poor literacy, poverty and primitive health systems had got in the way of the message.
Within 20 years, 75% of people dying from cancer would be from the developing world.
Tobacco was estimated to cause five million deaths worldwide each year - almost 20% of total global mortality.
The most effective solution, according to The Lancet, was massive rises in tobacco taxation.
The World Bank estimated that a price rise of 10% could reduce demand for tobacco products by 4% in high income countries and 8% in low and middle income countries.
"We urge all governments to commit to annual price increases of 50%," said The Lancet. "That is the only way to begin to reduce demand for a product that causes such endemic tragedy."
"This is the new frontier in combating secondhand smoke," said Jim Bergman, director of SFELP, in Ann Arbor.
GENESEE COUNTY - No pets. No smokers?
A smoke-free apartments campaign is under way urging landlords to ban smoking in their buildings to reduce their tenants' exposure to secondhand smoke.
The Genesee County Health Department; Smoke-free, Multi-Agency Resource Team; and the Smoke-Free Environments Law Project of the Center for Social Gerontology announced the campaign Tuesday.
Landlords were sent a survey this month to determine how many smoke-free apartments are available. The listing will be posted on the Web site www.mismokefreeapartment.org.
"The information on the Web site also makes it clear that going smoke-free saves money for landlords," said Kay Doerr, a member of the Genesee County Board of Health. "Smoke-free policies reduce maintenance costs and risk of fires."
But landlords say smoke-free policies could create a new headache.
"It would be almost impossible to police," said Becky Abbott, manager of River Hollow and River Forest Apartments in Flint Township, which prohibit smokers from lighting up in hallways and stairwells. "We aren't in their apartments every day. Do you follow the smell of smoke?"
The smoke-free apartment campaign began this month in Genesee, Ingham, Ogemaw, Sanilac, Washtenaw and 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula.
Genesee County is one of three in Michigan that legally bans smoking inside most workplaces. Hotels, bowling alleys and restaurants are the exceptions.
But SMART Coalition Coordinator Ann Golden, a health department staff member, said residents have complained to the county about secondhand smoke seeping into their apartments.
People with asthma and lung diseases have requested information about smoke-free places to live, she said, but no list has been available.
"This is the new frontier in combating secondhand smoke," said Jim Bergman, director of SFELP, in Ann Arbor.
"People who live in apartments and condominiums have a need and a right to be protected from secondhand smoke that insidiously creeps into their apartment from a neighboring unit."
For now, the campaign aims to persuade landlords to voluntarily adopt smoke-free policies, Bergman said in a news release, and they've made no moves to create legislation.
"Currently very few landlords are aware they have a legal right to adopt smoke-free policies in their buildings and that there is no 'right to smoke,' " he said.
Renters who smoke don't have much recourse, said a legal expert. Private landlords can ban smoking, said Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
Georgetown Park in Fenton does not ban smoking in its apartments, but it's beginning to field questions about smoke-free units, said property manager Jolene Sarlund.
"It's a great idea, and I'd love to do it if, honestly, just to save time picking up cigarette butts every day," she said. "Still I think from the management side, (a smoking ban) would be a nightmare to enforce."
Sharon Stroud, property manager at Kings Lane in Burton, said she has reservations about the smoke-free campaign on principle.
"Even though it's a rental, it's still the privacy of their home," she said.
How sweet it isn't at the Meadowside Elementary School in Milford, Conn. That's where Principal Robert Davis has banned all sweets, including cakes, cupcakes and cookies, from classroom birthday and holiday parties, saying it'll help cut down student obesity. But parents like Jack Fowler say the "fat police" have taken over the school.
Following up on a landmark report that revealed the risks of exposure to second-hand smoke, the Ontario Medical Association is advising the province to extend public smoking bans into private places.
[It did no such thing. This is the scariest piece of propaganda and falsehoods to be written in recent times]
Commenting on the report, "Exposure to second-hand smoke: Are we protecting our kids?" OMA executive director Dr. Ted Boadway says smoking in cars and private homes poses a significant risk, especially to kids.
Although the OMA praises the Ontario government for passing a law banning smoking in public places, it says more must be done to protect those who have little control over their environment, and are yet exposed to second-hand smoke.
The OMA is recommending government turn its attention to raising awareness around the issue and, possibly, instituting a ban on smoking in any homes, vehicles or facilities that offer childcare services.
[This report fails to explain that their plan doesn't stop at "childcare services." OMA clearly shows interest in ordinary private homes]
"We believe Ontario could stand out to be a leader on this continent, if in upcoming legislation, the government were to include a ban on caregiver smoking in vehicles where kids are being transported," Boadway said.
The reason, Boadway said, is that cigarettes release gaseous chemicals in smoke that condense on surfaces, and are then re-released later.
"When you stand beside a smoker in the elevator and they have that stink about them -- that's because they're off-gassing," he explained. "That's exactly what happens in a home or car."
"So the idea that one can smoke and then stop when the kids come home -- all that does is expose them to what you did before and that really is no help at all."
[Utter and complete nonsense]
The simplest way to curtail online tobacco sales is to make cigarette sites hard to find. It would take Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines a few hours to remove directory listings for cigarette sites that do not have ironclad proof-of-age procedures. Our petition asks them to do just that.
There are basically two ways to attack the growing problem of Internet tobacco sales to minors: top-down regulation or bottom-up/peer-to-peer activism.
How can the threat to tobacco control posed by internet sales be countered? Regulatory action by federal, state, and local agencies would be most direct and might be implemented by empowering existing agencies, drafting new legislation, or possibly through litigation, which could test the applicability of existing tobacco control laws to internet commerce. Internet vendors' noncompliance with existing laws might be redressed through litigation by state attorneys general in cooperation with federal agencies or consumer protection groups.
Unfortunately, the Internet was designed to provide a universal, global resource, free of local constaints, able to develop and grow in a decentralized manner. Governments in the United States, Canada and Western Europe have generally applauded this approach and taken a hands-off approach.
The success of direct regulatory approaches has been mixed. New York State, which has the highest state excise tax on cigarettes and the largest number of American Indian-reservation internet cigarette vendors, attempted to ban internet cigarette sales. Brown and Williamson successfully challenged the measure in federal court. The judge ruled that the New York law violated the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause, prohibiting one state from regulating interstate commerce. Rhode Island, however, was successful in enacting legislation requiring proof of age at the point of delivery.
Private enterprise sometimes provides solutions. United Parcel Service has a system that permits age-verification at delivery, but the US Postal Service and Federal Express do not. One internet site, www.nativecigarettes.com, proudly proclaims "your purchases are NOT reported to any outside agencies as recently upheld by the NY Supreme Court."
Bottom-up (or demand-side) counter measures may offer a more effective weapon. Blocking cigarette sales sites with internet filtering programs designed to prevent children's access to sites with objectionable content has been tried, though most teen-agers are able to defeat the programs with a little effort.
It may be that tobacco control forces will have to use the Internet as effectively as the e-merchants of death. They might, for example, flood the internet with easily accessible sites for smoking cessation, public service announcements, and the latest scientific evidence regarding smoking hazards.
Taking a lesson from the spammers who disguise their sales pitches through a variety of measures, anti-smoking sites could be disguised as cigarette sales sites. A relatively new occupational speciality is known as "SEO" -- "search engine optimization," basically referring to those who use trickery to achieve high ranking in Google, Yahoo and other search engines.
Smoking teachers set bad example
Trentonian - October 14, 2004
They make their journeys out of the building with great regularity.
Dying for a hit of nicotine, they are as committed to their charge as mail carriers. Through rain, sleet and other stuff, nothing deters that desired puff.
My morning commute and other daily travels take me past a particular city school where teachers and other Trenton School District employees, pushed off the premises by smoking restrictions, smoke just outside of school boundaries.
On a sidewalk near the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School,several workers regularly form a cigarette klatch in plain sight of students. So much for character-builders and those hired to shape our sons and daughters. Students receive a first-hand primer on reading, writing and the pursuit of Camels.
"We have no jurisdiction regarding employees smoking off of school property,’’ said Gene Wesley, Trenton School District spokesperson. "We uphold the rules as we were directed. In terms of smoking prevention, I don’t know how far you take it.’’
State officials enacted a ban on smoking on school grounds effective in 2001.
Students attending Trenton High can see their teachers puffing away in a parking lot just off of Chambers Street.
One Trenton High instructor agreed that teachers smoking in view of students makes smoking seem cool.
"The smoking likely influences the students. There’s no doubt about that,’’ he said. "But on the other side of this argument is that the students see teachers abiding by the rules and regulations. In that sense, the teachers are models of excellence.’’
Hardly. Sounds like a point of view that may have been influenced by a contact high from medicinal marijuana. Banning smoking in homes, workplaces, and near schools undoubtedly reinforces the unacceptability of smoking. But smokers who move to the curb of school premises for a fix fail as paragons of virtue and at best skirt the issue of their responsibility as role models.
The same can be said for police officers and firefighters who smoke while in uniform. While their professions often inspire youngsters to follow their lead into honored and respected employment, the same can antithetically be said about their smoking vice.
The time has come for state officials and lawmakers to enact tougher rules regarding smoking by teachers while in and around school.
There are no ifs, ands or butts about that.
MICHIGAN -- On Jan. 1, all of Weyco Inc.'s 200 employees will be nonsmokers - or lose their jobs.
On that day, the Okemos-based insurance benefits administrator will make it a fireable offense to smoke anywhere, anytime - including in the privacy of an employee's own home after business hours.
"You can do whatever you want, but if you're going to work here, you can't be a smoker, like you can't be a drug user," owner Howard Weyers said.
It's a move sure to spark controversy in a state where nearly 26 percent of all adults smoke.
Nonsmokers who support the policy say it will pare health care costs and improve employees' lives.
"I think it's great. The intent of the policy is to help employees become healthier," said Mari Damerow, a benefits manager for Weyco.
Smokers say it tramples their rights and invades their privacy.
"I think it's pretty stupid," said Cooley Law School student Cal Eustaquio, 42, as he puffed on a torpedo cigar at the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. "If other companies go the same way, smokers will be marginalized to the point they go underground."
Strict anti-smoking policies have been drafted elsewhere, but Weyco is believed to be among the first companies in mid-Michigan to institute such a rule, local experts say. CNN, the cable news network, is among employers that have implemented a similar smoking ban from the workplace to the home.
Indeed, there's no law to prevent Weyco from taking such action, said David Houston, an attorney with law firm Dickinson Wright who helped write Weyco's policy.
"This is the U.S. of A., and you, or an employer, can do whatever you want to do as long as it is not prohibited," he said. "There is no constitutionally protected right to smoke."
Under the policy, employees can be tested to determine if they smoke. The test is sensitive enough to distinguish people exposed to secondhand smoke from those who are smokers. Those who fail the test will be fired.
Weyers says the reason for the policy is his concern about health care costs associated with smoking. Studies show smokers are more prone to lung problems, including emphysema and cancer.
Said Weyers: "I don't want to pay for the results of smoking."
In keeping with his mission, Weyers has helped employees quit smoking by paying for cessation methods. He's also paid an acupuncturist to treat employees who thought acupuncture might help them quit.
The policy hasn't been popular with everyone. One employee already has quit, and Weyers said more are likely to either quit or be fired.
"I'm not worried about that," he said.
Weyco isn't the only company smokers need to worry about these days.
A growing number of employers are prohibiting smoking, said John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group with 100,000 members nationwide.
"Smoking adds to the cost of health and disability insurance, and that expense is ultimately borne by the employer and fellow employees," he said.
ASH has helped several employers in court when the policies have been challenged, Banzhaf added. The employers have won every time.
Still, those who disagree with the policy contend it goes too far.
"Where does that kind of thinking stop? Do you not hire employees who smoke or drink or are overweight?" wondered Marshall Kirk, co-owner of the Creole Cigar Factory in downtown Lansing. The American Civil Liberties Union "is going to have a field day with this."
The ACLU of Michigan agrees the policy might be challenged.
"Tobacco is a medical addiction, and there is some question of whether that could fall under the" Americans With Disabilities Act, spokeswoman Wendy Wagenheim said.
"Companies that do something like this are ripe for the picking."
Others oppose such policies because they give employers too much control.
"This is an indicator of how far corporate culture has invaded personal life. It's disconcerting to me that any business would worry about what someone does on their own time in their own home," said Todd Heywood, a former Lansing Community College trustee.
Heywood helped draft a policy when LCC went smoke-free last year. He agreed with making workplaces smoke-free, but drew the line at after-hours smoking.
"A company does not own you when they pay you," he said.
Oklahoma -- ...a law passed in 2003 prompted Department of Human Services officials to enforce regulations requiring foster parents to stop smoking around foster children. Effective Oct. 1, smoking will not be allowed in foster homes or automobiles that are transporting children in state custody. DHS spokesman George Earl Johnson Jr. said the agency expects some resistance, but does not expect to lose foster parents. "It's their home and any person has a right to do anything that's legal in their home -- period," Johnson said. "However, being the Department of Human Services, we've been given a tremendous responsibility. And our goal is to provide the children in our care with a safe and healthy environment." According to the agency, foster parents who smoke in the home will have no new children placed with them until they comply with the policy. The agency will not remove children from a home because of smoking, Johnson said. Foster parents who are interested in quitting smoking will be directed to resources that will help them stop. Agency employees also are subject to the new policy.
SUDBURY, Ontario, Canada
A member of the Sudbury Elder Abuse Committee says preventing residents of long-term care facilities from smoking in their “home” is a form of elder abuse.
“When you’re talking about 40-below weather in the Sudbury area, you can’t do that,” Marianne Scharf said yesterday.
The committee wants to meet with city council to discuss changing the city’s smoking bylaw.
Under the bylaw, all designated smoking rooms in public spaces—including doughnut shops, Bingo halls, and seniors’ residences—will be phased out June 1.
As a result, residents in senior facilities will have to go outside for a puff.
“We really feel [seniors] are not being treated fairly,” Scharf said. “People in prison have more rights than people who are in nursing homes paying $1,500 or $2,000 a month.”
Scharf said council should explore invoking a so-called grandfather clause: facilities that have enclosed smoking rooms should be exempt from the bylaw.
The Sudbury Elder Abuse Committee is an independent group established in 1989 and consists of seniors, volunteers, and health care professionals.
In Port Orange, it's now against the law to smoke in city parks when children are present. Less than a year after the statewide ban on smoking in restaurants went into effect, the city last month joined the growing list of places to restrict outdoor smoking. Inspired in part by Port Orange, Ormond Beach officials plan to take up the idea later this month.
More than 100 places across the country have adopted some type of ban on outdoor smoking, said John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, a national anti-smoking organization. Restrictions that target playgrounds and other places children are present are part of a growing national trend, he said. "We want to discourage inappropriate behavior," Banzhaf said. "We don't want young people to be exposed to the behavior we feel is not good for them to emulate."
Wanda Hamilton, a spokeswoman for the smokers' rights group FORCES International, calls such bans absurd.
"It's simply a feel-good, politically correct thing," she said.
The Port Orange ordinance bans smoking in city-owned parks such as ball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, skate parks and the performing arts center, said Glen Walker, parks and recreation director. However, the ban is only in effect at children's events or when children are present, Walker said.
"We're basically saying if you're in the grandstands watching your son or grandson playing ball, we're asking you to put that cigarette out," Walker said. "It's a common-sense situation."
Walker said he does not expect any problems enforcing the ban and he hopes parents and coaches will help out. The parks and recreation staff will give smokers three warnings before calling the police. Smokers who refuse to comply can be fined up to $500 or spend up to 60 days in jail, said Kent Donahue, a city spokesman.
Brevard County adopted a similar ban about four years ago that restricts smoking at all outdoor youth athletic facilities, including the bleachers, playing fields, restrooms and concession areas of city parks. Smokers can be expelled from a park or fined.
Chuck Nelson, Brevard's parks and recreation director, said the ordinance has been successful in stopping most people from smoking during children's activities.
"It gives us the ability to correct a problem," Nelson said. "We get improved compliance, but a 100 percent (compliance)? I doubt it."
Audrey Silk, founder of New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, said outdoor smoking bans such as these are an attempt to legislate values to residents and children. She fears the regulations will snowball.
"It's an outrageous piece of legislation," Silk said. "One group of people is sentencing another group of people to banishment so children don't see what one group doesn't approve of."
Ormond Beach Mayor Fred Costello said the intent of his city's proposed legislation would be to give nonsmokers a legal right to ask smokers to put out their cigarettes and cigars.
"Nonsmokers should be protected from having to accept the secondhand smoke from smokers, and I think the law should reflect that," Costello said. "You've got to have that legal clout to make sure the smokers will be responsive to the nonsmokers' requests to stop (smoking)."
Everyone knows you can't smoke in the office anymore.
But increasingly, you can't smoke outside work either.
At Rhode Island Hospital, employees have a nickname for their designated outdoor smoking kiosks: butt huts.
The workers, however, could consider themselves indulged that they're allowed to puff on the hospital's sprawling property at all.
Because a few miles away at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, in Cranston, employees who want a cigarette must punch out, get in their cars, and drive off store grounds. Workers who sneak a smoke in their cars in the Lowe's parking lot can be disciplined under a corporate policy that went into effect in September. Workers at Beacon Mutual Insurance Co., in Warwick, also aren't allowed to smoke in their cars in the parking lot, or it could lead to a note in their personnel file.
Molly Clark, director of environmental health programs at the American Lung Association of Rhode Island, says the smoke-ban trend is "regulating outdoors as well" as indoors.
Companies send smokers outside, she said, only to find them huddled by the front doors in a cloud of stale smoke.
But the outdoor restrictions aren't only about secondhand smoke and unwelcoming whiffs at the front door.
Some employers, believing that smokers drive up health-care costs, are unabashedly trying to get them to quit. Companies might run into legal problems if they refuse to hire smokers, but they can make it a hassle to be one.
When toymaker Hasbro Inc. created a designated outdoor smoking area last year, "we tried to make it as inconvenient as possible," said Robert Carniaux, senior vice president of human resources. "We were hoping that we might effect some change in behavior."
REGARDLESS of what's happening at the [Rhode Island] General Assembly, a nonprofit agency called the Worksite Wellness Council of Rhode Island is working with Rhode Island companies to change smoking policies.
The wellness council uses the tobacco grant money to send Debra Foley, a consultant, to workplaces. Foley said it is her job to assist employers in achieving a smoke-free status.
Policies are the most effective way to encourage smokers to quit smoking, she said.
DR. RICHARD BROWN, director of addictions research at Butler Hospital and Brown University, found it interesting that some companies are enforcing policies as a way not only to keep the air cleaner, but to change habits.
"My personal reaction is that it's a little more controversial," he said.
People tend to not like to have behaviors dictated to them, he said.
He said those workplace smoking policies, however, could be positive if the strict rules are paired with education and support for the smokers. Hasbro, Beacon Mutual, Lowe's and other companies said they did phase in their smoking policies and have offered to help employees quit with smoking cessation-classes and health fairs. Hasbro even brought in a hypnotist.
Beacon Mutual started educating and warning its smokers long before the company moved 2 1/2 years ago from rented offices to its privately owned headquarters overlooking Route 95 in Warwick. As a tenant, it could not stop employees from puffing in the hallways; as owner of its headquarters, it could.
"We told them a year before we moved that there would be no smoking on the grounds," said Johnson, the vice president of community relations.
And that there would be no smoking in the parking lot.
Some employees said, but it's my car. The company told them that they were on private property. "A couple of people did get caught," Johnson said, but it never went beyond a verbal warning. However, future offenses could result in a written warning that would become part of their personnel file.
Once in the new building, the company also banned the informal practice of smoking breaks.
"The rest of the people were saying, 'How come smokers get a break and go outside and we don't?' " Johnson said.
"We said, 'You're absolutely right. That's not fair, because we're rewarding bad behavior.' That's when we said to supervisors, you've got to stay on top of it and make sure smokers are not allowed to take breaks."
MOST OF THE NEW hires come with the understanding that they will have to go until lunchtime without a cigarette. Johnson said Beacon is doing its employees a favor.
"We can't afford to do all these self-destructive behaviors, and people are finally waking up to that fact," he said.
[Silver lining? These people are so corrupted by evil, they clearly don't know they're evil.]
It may be a dim silver lining to a particularly dark cloud, but one apparent result of the Aids pandemic in Swaziland is that fewer people in the country are smoking.
“When people learn they are HIV-positive, they are counselled to live a healthy lifestyle to prolong their lives. The shock that they may die prematurely of Aids is just the type of trauma that gets people to stop smoking,” says John Kunene, principal secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Several of these HIV-positive people have lost their jobs because of illness -- or are working fewer hours -- leaving them with less disposable income for cigarettes.
Ten years after California set a national precedent by banning smoking in restaurants and bars - and months after prohibiting it within feet of government buildings and playgrounds - many of the state's coastal cities are now banning smoking at the beach.
Health and environmental officials say the moves are a logical extension of smoking bans in other public places and are necessary to meet state and federal antipollution requirements.
Some legislators, however, fear the government is prying too far into private lives, with unnecessary and overly puritanical dictums.
Solana Beach was the first California city to ban smoking at the beach when it enacted its prohibition last September. San Clemente imposed a similar ban last week. Santa Monica is likely to follow suit Tuesday, and Encinitas may vote on the issue within a month.
With the momentum of early victories, antismoking activists are taking their arguments to other coastal cities, from San Diego to Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and beyond.
Los Angeles is also drafting a no-smoking ordinance for Venice, Dockweiler, Will Rogers, and Cabrillo beaches.
In Sam Clemente, the issue was more contentious. "I don't smoke and I don't like the smell, but I have never in 20 years of living on the beach heard anyone complain about second-hand smoke or cigarette butts," says Wayne Eggleston, one of two city council members who voted against the measure. He says more cigarette butts wash up from storm drains or are flicked by passing drivers than are left by smokers in the sand.
And, he says, if officials wanted to get serious about litter, they would prohibit soda cans and candy wrappers, which he says present far more of a problem. "I was really quite astounded by this vote," says Mr. Eggleston. "I just think there is a limit to what government should dictate to its citizens."
The beach smoking ban is "great," says Dorothy Snook, a retired teacher's aide, who spent a recent afternoon at Solana Beach with her husband Darrell and a wet chocolate Labrador retriever named Sammy. "It's hard to enforce, but it's another deterrent. It gets the message across that it's not good to smoke, especially for the young people."
[NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: And there you have it. Behavior control by government edict.]
The health threat from legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco is much greater than those of illegal narcotics, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
The first report of its kind by the global body found that dependence on alcohol and cigarettes has a much greater cost for societies than illegal drugs like cocaine and crack.
The Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence report said that drug addiction is a growing problem, especially in poor countries which have rising rates of alcohol consumption and smoking.
[NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: "Especially in poor countries." They mean where more people die from disease before they could ever reach the age where tobacco might begin to have an effect?]
There are about 200 million illegal drugs users worldwide, or 3.4 percent of the world population, it said. Illegal drugs contributed 0.8 percent to global ill health in 2000, while alcohol accounted for 4.1 percent and alcohol 4 percent. [sic]
The percentages are based on a measurement used by WHO which gauges the burden that premature deaths and years lived with disability impose on society.
The "main global health burden is due to licit rather than illicit substances," the report said.
Men in rich countries are especially vulnerable to suffer from alcohol- and cigarette-related bad health.
"Health and social problems associated with use and dependence on tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances require greater attention by the public health community," WHO Director-General Dr. Lee Jong-Wook said in a statement.
The report also found that it may not be possible to fully cure drug dependence because of long-term changes to the way the brain works.
Health experts need to consider a range of factors in treating drug dependence because it is a disorder caused by genetic disposition, as well as psychological and cultural factors, it said.
"Like major psychiatric disorders, substance dependence may not be curable but improved effectiveness of available treatment has contributed significantly to recovery," said Dr. Catherine Le Gales-Camus, assistant-director general of noncommunicable diseases and mental health at WHO.
The global launch of the report took place in Brazil, a country with spiraling drug-related violence, which has in the past led to rough treatment of drug users.
Any person can become a drug addict and that dependence is a disorder, making it crucial to eradicate the stigma suffered by drug users that can make treatment more difficult, the report said.
City council members in Port Orange passed a controversial law that bans outdoor smoking in front of children at public parks and recreation properties, according to Local 6 News.
Port Orange council members said the smoking ban is to protect kids from second-hand smoke and to prevent them from starting in the first place.
The law was passed unanimously Tuesday night and goes into effect Wednesday morning. It reportedly includes city funded sites including playgrounds, ball fields, and amphitheaters.
Several people who smoke told Local 6 News that they should be able to decide when and where they can light up while they are outside.
Officials say they will politely ask smokers to put out their cigarettes up to three times -- then they'll call police.
Repeat violators could be arrested and spend up to 60 days in jail and face a $500 fine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a checklist for countries outlining actions required to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In the document, the WHO says countries must take measures to “restrict or prohibit duty-free sales of tobacco products.” According to the International Travel Retail Confederation (ITRC), this violates the final text of the FCTC, which states that countries may choose to implement restrictions on duty-free sales of tobacco, but are not required to do so.
Keith Spinks, the director-general of the ITRC, says, “The WHO is re-interpreting the Convention in an effort to convince signatories to the treaty that banning duty-free sales is mandatory. However, this is not how the final agreed text of the Convention reads.”
The guidelines are part of an undated, informal paper entitled “Requirements of the WHO FCTC to be fulfilled by Parties through action at the national level,” subtitled “Checklist.” The paper defines the required legal actions as “adopting policies, enacting legislation and taking related action to regulate issues such as pricing and taxation of tobacco products, restriction of duty-free sales, protection from exposure to tobacco smoke, restricting or prohibiting advertising, and preventing illicit trade.”
The paper was one of three informal notes described as guideline papers on implementing the FCTC treaty found on the WHO’s Western Pacific Regional Office Web site. They do not appear on any other WHO public site, says the ITRC.
Spinks adds, “This ‘informal paper’ is a clear indication that the WHO intends to use its influence with national governments to press for action against the duty-free trade. I believe this development must finally convince the global industry that it remains under direct threat from the WHO’s tobacco treaty, and that it must continue to fight for its business.”
The US was accused yesterday of trying to scupper the World Health Organisation's guidelines designed to curb the rising epidemic of obesity and disease, which could be damaging to its food and drink corporations.
The WHO's executive board is to approve a global strategy on health next week, which will spell out to all member governments the links between a bad diet and disease.
Among the recommendations are that governments should act on TV advertising to children and should urge people to cut down on fats and sugars in their diet.
In a confidential letter to Lee Jong-Wook, the director general of the WHO, which the Guardian has seen, the US department of health and human services makes it clear that it disputes some of the scientific evidence on which the proposals are based.
That evidence was collated by experts in a technical report published in April, known as Report 916.
The letter, dated January 5 to Mr Lee, says the document is not a "credible report". There is, says the letter signed by William R Steiger, special assistant to the secretary for international affairs, "an unsubstantiated focus on 'good' and 'bad' foods, and a conclusion that specific foods are linked to non-communicable diseases and obesity (eg energy-dense foods, high/added sugar foods and drinks, meats, certain types of fats and oils and higher fat dairy products).
"The US government favours dietary guidance that focuses on the total diet, promotes the view that all foods can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet, and supports personal responsibility to choose a diet conducive to individual energy balance, weight control and health."
Critics said these were the arguments continually cited by the food industry: that all food is good in moderation and that exercise matters at least as much as diet.
Kaare Norum, a professor at Oslo University who headed the group of scientists advising the WHO on diet and health, said: "I think it is tragic that the US is opposing this because the problem is very, very serious in the US. I think it is the multinational companies who are mainly behind this attack on the science."
Food industry trade groups including the Sugar Association and the Grocery Manufacturers Association disputed the links between certain food types and obesity and disease in their response to the report during the consultation period and said anything could be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
Commercial Alert, a US-based non-profit organisation, condemned the US government for attempting to "head off" the WHO initiative.
Gary Ruskin, its executive director said: "The Bush administration is putting the interests of the junk food industry ahead of the health of people - including children - on a global scale.
"The administration's arguments border on the ludicrous. Does anyone outside the administration and the junk food industry truly doubt that the consumption and marketing of high-calorie junk food plays a role in obesity and other chronic diseases?
"Why would this administration - or any administration - invoke the moral authority of the United States on behalf of the junk food and the obesity lobby?
"If the Bush administration is successful in halting the WHO's initiative, in the long term it could potentially cost millions of lives in terms of needless deaths due to obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases."
Prof Norum said he was surprised at the offensive launched against the technical report, because the global strategy, which is a policy document, was not wholly based on it. The executive board would also have the advice of the reference group of scientists in making its decision next week.
"We know much more about the science than is in the technical report," he said.
The British government is known to be supportive of the global strategy. The Food Standards Agency produced a report linking children's diets to TV advertising. Tessa Jowell, the culture minister, has asked the advertising industry to consider its position while the Department of Health wants better labelling of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
REDWOOD CITY -- The San Mateo County Tobacco Education Coalition is smoking after a handful of Peninsula cities refused to post its free signs warning that it is against the law to light up within 25 feet of public playgrounds.
The coalition reports that Atherton, Brisbane, Burlingame, Millbrae, Pacifica and East Palo Alto are the only cities in the county to reject the 12-inch by 18-inch green and white metal signs that read: "No smoking within 25 feet of the playground and tot lot areas."
The fine print cites a law passed in January, AB-1867, that outlawed smoking near the play areas.
Similar signs already grace parks in San Carlos, Foster City and Half Moon Bay. And Belmont, Daly City, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Bruno and South San Francisco have all pledged to put up the coalition signs soon.
A coalition release quoted Daly City Parks and Recreation Director Mike Stallings as saying the sign "provides a valuable service."
One man's valuable service is another's eyesore.
"It is a matter of how many signs you want to have in your playground," said Randy Schwartz, director of parks and recreation for the cities of Millbrae and Burlingame. Schwartz said the coalition promised he could always get the signs later should he change his mind. He noted that the cities' own sign shops could produce similar warnings at any time, should smoking near play areas become a problem.
Crews clean playgrounds daily in the cities Schwartz serves and he said they find "extremely few" cigarette butts -- one of the prime complaints of parents involved with the coalition.
What's more, Schwartz wonders whether smokers determined to light up near playing children would heed the signs anyway. "I always question how effective signs are," he said.
If the discretionary signs keep one person from smoking near children playing that is enough for Stacey Newell, mother of a 16-month-old in San Mateo.
"Absolutely," she said. "I can't stand being around people who are smoking outside."
Schwartz said he thought smokers already knew not to smoke near parks. But Newell isn't so sure.
"Here in California everyone knows you can't smoke in restaurants and bars but I think most people think they can smoke wherever they want to outside," she said.
The coalition points to three reasons why it is important to eliminate smoking near playgrounds:
- Exposure to second-hand smoke is disproportionately harmful to children.
- Cigarette butts and other tobacco-related litter, such as plastic cigarette packaging, could be a choking or burning hazards to children.
- Studies have shown adult smoking behavior significantly influences children who witness the habits of their elders.
The Lancet said tens of thousands of lives would be saved by making tobacco an illegal substance and possession of cigarettes a crime.
It said 80% of Britons were non-smokers, who had "the right to freedom from exposure to proven carcinogens".
An estimated 1,000 people a year in Britain died from inhaling second-hand tobacco smoke, its editorial claimed.
Smokers group Forest greeted The Lancet's call with "amusement and disbelief".
It said: "Like it or not, people choose to smoke, just as they choose to drink alcohol, eat certain types of food, or take part in extreme sports."
According to the Lancet passive smoking not only kills, but makes it more difficult for smokers to quit.
It highlighted a study by the Royal College of Physicians, which said that if all the workplaces in the UK became smoke-free 300,000 more people would stop smoking.
That alone would save 150,000 lives, it said.
Dr Astrid James, deputy editor of the Lancet, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that smoking created a "public health burden", killing 120,000 in the UK and 4.2m worldwide every year.
She said bringing an end to smoking would prevent a third of deaths due to cancer in the UK, one in seven deaths from heart disease and most deaths and illness due to chronic lung disease.
"Why do we allow a product that kills?" she said.
But chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association Tim Lord said millions choose to smoke despite knowing the risks.
He said a suggestion by Dr James that many smokers and non-smokers didn't realise the extent of the burden on society, was "patronising".
"To say that people don't understand the health risks associated with smoking when on every single pack there are enormous health warnings, I just find unbelievable," he told Today on Friday.
The medical journal also argued that the cost of cigarettes and tobacco was less important than availability and acceptability.
"Cigarette smoking is a dangerous addiction," it said.
"We should be doing a great deal more to prevent this disease and to help its victims. We call on Tony Blair's government to ban tobacco."
Dr James said the government had already shown it was willing to pass similar legislation, such as banning the use of hand held mobile phones while driving.
She said: "That was in the face of 20 deaths over five years."
"Why is the government not taking a stronger stance here?"
The Lancet also questioned the government's claim that the British public was still to be convinced of the need for a public smoking ban, as introduced in parts of the US, Canada, Thailand, and southern Australia.
It said ordinary people were better equipped to consider the arguments than the government, "perhaps because the UK public does not have to consider directly the £9.3bn per year raised in tax revenue on tobacco".
In comparison, the £1.5bn cost to the NHS of smoking-related diseases was "paltry", the Lancet argued.
It made its case a month after leaders of the 18 Royal Colleges of medicine wrote a letter to The Times attacking the government's failure to ban smoking in public.
Forest director Simon Clark said the Lancet was "the true voice of the rabid anti-smoking zealot".
He said smokers should not be treated as criminals, adding: "The health fascists are on the march.
"What next? Will they urge the government to ban fatty foods and dairy products?"
Health Secretary John Reid said the government had made a big investment in trying to help people give up smoking.
But he said: "Despite the fact that this is a serious problem, it is a little bit extreme for us in Britain to start locking people up because they have an ounce of tobacco somewhere."
Deborah Arnott, director of the anti-smoking charity ASH, said: "A legal ban on smoking is neither possible nor desirable. We want to help and encourage people not to smoke, not to force them."
As tobacco has become less socially acceptable and home buyers are more aware of indoor air quality, houses that reek of cigarette smoke are becoming a harder sell, experts report.
"It definitely is a major turnoff," said Michael Wilson, a real estate agent with Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors in Brandywine Hundred. "Buyers immediately think about what they'll have to do to eliminate the odor. It's a real drawback and a real negative."
Real estate agents said most sellers who smoke are aware of the negative impact smoke smells have on the marketability of their homes. So some sellers are paying for costly professional cleanups that some agents estimate can range from $2,500 to $12,000, depending on the size of the house and the work involved.
In the future, some experts believe sellers will have to disclose on home condition reports if there was smoking in the house. Others in the antismoking camp believe it's only a matter of time before a buyer sues to try to force a seller to cover the cost of a major cleanup.
For now, more smokers are choosing to keep their homes smoke-free by lighting up on porches or other outdoor areas for a variety of reasons, experts said. In 1994, 27 percent of smokers with children 6 and younger regularly smoked in their homes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 1998, that number had declined to 20 percent.
Dawn Allen of North East, Md., saw the yellow film that collected on her television screen, the windowpanes and blinds in the house she lived in for 10 years. "It's almost like smoke damage if you had a fire. It permeates everything," Allen said.
So when Allen moved into a new home in July, she made the decision not to smoke in the house. Now, when she wants a cigarette, Allen goes out on her front porch.
Social norms changed
For years, tobacco odors were not an issue when it came to selling a house, real estate agents said.
With people lighting up in restaurants, theaters, offices, bars, hotel rooms and airplanes, many Americans were accustomed to tobacco odors.
At the peak in 1966, 42.6 percent of the adult population smoked, according to the CDC.
"And they smoked everywhere. You'd go to the movies and it was just a haze," said James L. Repace, head of Repace Associates Inc., a secondhand smoke consulting firm in Bowie, Md. "It was just widely accepted."
But aggressive antitobacco initiatives, public awareness campaigns and smoke-free legislation at the state level slowly have changed social norms, according to health and environmental experts.
John Banzhaf, executive director for Action on Smoking and Health, a national antismoking organization, estimated that the percentage of potential home buyers who smoke is probably less than the general population since smoking prevalence is higher among poorer Americans.
Bonnie Ortner, a real estate agent with Patterson-Schwartz & Associates Inc. in Brandywine Hundred, said smoke odors have become so unacceptable that some sellers who don't smoke will complain if a smoker tours the house.
Experts said there are no reliable studies on the health hazards of occupying a house where people have smoked. But some people, particularly those with asthma, allergies or respiratory problems, may be particularly sensitive to the pollutants that come from drapes and carpets. Pollutants also can bleed from walls, woodwork and other porous materials, experts said.
Pollutant levels can be particularly high if homeowners have smoked in the house for years. Repace's research has shown that the average smoker has 28 cigarettes a day, or 10,220 cigarettes a year. Probably half of those cigarettes are smoked at home, he said.
Cleaning services popular
If a house reeks of smoke, real estate agents sometimes will advise sellers to hire professional cleaners who wash, seal and repaint walls, clean ductwork and run ozone air purification units in the house.
Richard L. Ventresca, president of Diamond Chemical & Supply Co., said his business from cleaning smokers' houses has risen 30 percent to 40 percent in the last five years.
Real estate agents estimate that the cost of a typical cleanup for an average-sized 2,100-square-foot house runs about $2,500. For a major cleaning, which involves painting and the cleaning of ductwork, the cost can reach $12,000.
It's not enough just to paint the walls and woodwork, experts said. They have to be thoroughly scrubbed with a heavy duty cleaner that removes nicotine and tar. Then the walls should be washed with a product that counteracts the smell, Ventresca said. In some cases, sealant is used.
"If you just paint, it loosens the nicotine and it bleeds right through," said Edward Raniszewski, a paint manager with Frank B. Shinn Paint Co. in Wilmington.
Ozone air purification units also can be used to eliminate odors.
Often, though, sellers try to mask the smell with plug-in air fresheners, incense, scented candles or paint, experts said.
"Once they see the cost of professional cleaning, some of the smokers try to cover it up with a coat of paint," said Dan Ayers, marketing manager with Servpro of Kennett Square/Society Hill, a Pennsylvania cleaning and restoration company.
Some don't light up at home
As smokers have become more aware of the negative impact on their home environment, more are trying to create smoke-free houses.
A 1999 California tobacco study found that 47.2 percent of smokers in that state had smoke-free homes. In 1993, only 20.1 percent of smokers had restrictions on smoking in their houses, according to the California Department of Health.
Currently, sellers do not have to disclose to potential buyers that they smoke, real estate agents said. The property condition report supplied by the Delaware Real Estate Commission has no questions about smoking in the house, although there is a question about pets in the house.
Secondhand smoke expert Repace sees a day when the question will be added to disclosure forms. "It's a contaminant," he said. "It will have to be disclosed like lead or asbestos."
Banzhaf of the antismoking organization said he eventually expects lawsuits to be filed by home buyers who discover after settlement that there was smoking in the house. Lawsuits challenging smoking in apartments and condominiums have already been filed by landlords, condominium associations and neighbors, Banzhaf said.
"If you have a $5,000 or $6,000 cleanup bill after you buy a house, that's a very unpleasant surprise," Repace said.
Biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars should carry graphic warnings about the health risks of obesity, experts have told the Government.
High-fat and sugary foods should display warnings in the same style as cigarette packets in a bid to combat rising rates of obesity, doctors say. They have even called for clothes above a certain size to carry obesity warnings.
Experts say the Government has to take a direct-action approach to halt the problem.
"Parents are feeding their children sweets and chocolates and high-fat food and letting them become obese," he said. "It really is a mild form of child abuse. You are harming your child.''
Fifty-two youth from Ohio's stand tobacco counter-marketing campaign stormed MTV's Total Request Live (TRL) today, chanting, "We want our MTV smoke-free" and calling for the popular youth network to
take responsibility for its part in the glamorization of tobacco by making its programming -- both videos and original programming -- tobacco free.
The stand kids, backed by the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation (TUPCF), raised the issue of tobacco use glamorization through an Ohio-wide petition and survey drive that launched on World No Tobacco Day (May 31, 2003), asking kids around the state how they felt about the glamorization of tobacco. The results indicated that 99% of kids surveyed had a negative reaction to tobacco use and thought that celebrities who use tobacco in movies and/or music television are "uncool," "lame" or "gross."
Empowered by the results of their survey, the 52 Ohio youth are targeting the entertainment industry because research indicates that teens repeatedly exposed to smoking in movies are three times more likely to try tobacco. Additionally, teens who watch five or more hours of music television per week are 18 percent more likely to begin smoking. If their favorite stars smoke, they are 16 times more likely to have positive attitudes toward smoking in the future.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: There appears to be a contradiction here. If the kids surveyed found smoking in movies "uncool," "lame" or "gross" then why would they choose a star as their favorite in the first place if they smoke and then emulate them? As usual, a case of saying what fits at a particular moment rather than being concerned with honesty. And boldly doing that in the same piece one paragraph apart.
Seems that even though the message not to smoke is prevalent among their surveyed kids they can't abide other people's behavior and must make them stop it.
SHUTESBURY, Mass. (AP) -- People who attend Shutesbury's upcoming town meeting will be segregated by scent to avoid disturbing those hypersensitive to chemicals and odors.
Splitting the meeting hall into three sections May 3 is part of a two-year-long effort that also has produced ``fragrance-free'' hours at the library.
One section of the room will be reserved for people who never use perfumes or scented deodorants, detergents or other products. The second will be for those who sometimes wear fragrance but not on the day of the meeting, and the third will be labeled, ``Seating for those who forgot and used cologne and perfume.''
Using fragrances in public is similar to smoking, said Town Administrator David Ames, who is also responsible for making the town compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said the Massachusetts Office of
Disabilities recommended establishing the fragrance zones.
A local survey found that nine of 52 respondents identified themselves as afflicted with multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome, although the National Institute of Environmental Health Science says the very existence of
such an affliction is in dispute.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: And not only do we find that this is a one time event but a policy the town has established and posted on their website! Get a load of this: "Fragrance-free is a civil rights issue."
You've got to read it to believe it -- and not even then will you believe what you're reading.
Health officials have suggested that it be made illegal to sell junk food to children.
They want a ban written into a new health law to meet concerns about child obesity.
A minimum legal age for being able to eat such food is one of a number of ideas floated in a Ministry of Health discussion document that aims to restrict children's access to food considered unhealthy.
Other possibilities include restrictions on the number, size and location of outlets selling certain types of food.
One group wants soft drinks, pies, sweets and chocolate included in the controlled category.
Submissions on the discussion paper have now closed, and any proposals the Government adopts are likely to be included in the Public Health Bill which will replace the 1956 Health Act.
A study in Auckland two years ago found that one in seven primary school age children was obese.
Experts say the figure will now be higher.
The Herald has examined the child obesity problem this week in a three-part series.
The ministry's discussion document called for submissions on how food should be advertised and marketed to children, and on how awareness of healthy food options can be improved.
More than 400 submissions were received including those from Fight the Obesity Epidemic, a diabetes and obesity prevention group.
Spokeswoman Robyn Toomath, a consultant endocrinologist at Wellington Hospital and president of the Society for the Study of Diabetes, said the group believed regulation and legislation was urgently needed.
"We have to stop the kids from gaining weight. We have to take a deep breath and say what are the significant factors influencing our children in this epidemic."
Her group's main aims were to stop advertising directed at children and stop schools selling junk food.
The group also wants controls on the quality of food sold within 1km of a school.
"What the heck are we doing selling soft drinks, fruit drinks, chips and pies, sweets and chocolates in schools?" said Dr Toomath.
"These are the foods that are contributing to obesity because they are calorie dense and nutrient poor.
"Its about time we started getting serious about it and stopped promoting them to children in schools.
"We want to regulate the school environment so these things are not able to be sold in schools any more than we would be able to sell alcohol or cigarettes.
"These things are not far-fetched.
"In the long term, they are what will be required."
Warning: This study can also be found in joke book material
"The findings suggest that spousal smoking exerts a negative effect on cardiovascular health of women who smoke, in addition to and independent of the classical cardiovascular risk factors."
More material itching to "prove" that secondhand smoke is worse than smoking yourself.
This bill would prohibit the smoking of tobacco in the indoor and outdoor common areas of multifamily residential housing.
The Legislature finds and declares that the drifting, wafting, or blowing of tobacco smoke of any kind into the interest of any other person in a common interest development is a nuisance that is injurious to health, indecent and offensive to the senses, an obstruction to the free use of property, and an interference with the comfortable enjoyment of that property.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: My God, put your cabbages away... Talk about "offensive to the senses."
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The chief of the World Health Organizationon Tuesday called on developing nations to raise taxes on tobacco, curb cigarette advertising and fund education campaigns to reduce the impact of smoking-related deaths and illnesses.
The conference brought together government representatives from dozens of wealthy nations and developing countries to help prepare negotiations for an unprecedented anti-tobacco treaty. Talks resume Feb. 18 in Geneva.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is due to be adopted at the WHO's annual assembly in May, but nations have been divided over proposals for sweeping restrictions and a possible ban on advertising.
However, several crucial issues such as banning the terms "mild" and "light," warnings on packages and whether all advertising will be banned are still open.
WHO wants to stop young people from taking up the habit and to persuade adults to quit through measures including price hikes; clearer warnings on packaging; prohibitions on the use of terms like low-tar and mild; stronger anti-smuggling measures and restrictions on vending machine sales.
The U.N. health agency says restrictions are vital to prevent the smoking-related death toll from topping 10 million annually within the next 30 years.
The restrictions will take effect only if countries adopt the convention.
NYC C.L.A.S.H. Note: "Persuade" by jacking up prices? Sounds like force to us.
Exposing children to second-hand smoke is tantamount to child abuse, the Canadian Lung Association says.
The lung association is not the first group to label smoking near children as a form of abuse.
In 1997, James Garbarino, an internationally recognized expert on child protection, caused a furor when he made a similar declaration. And in 2000, researchers at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit declared that physicians have a duty to encourage parents to quit smoking and to report the abuse to child-welfare authorities if they do not.
The Los Angeles City Council, which pioneered smoking bans by prohibiting people from lighting up in restaurants, theaters and workplaces, was urged Wednesday by a group of health activists to ban smoking in half of the new affordable apartment buildings subsidized by the city.
"A smoker has died after Australian doctors delayed a life-saving operation because he refused to give up tobacco."
ban on smokers
February 8, 2001
"Doctors are refusing smokers potentially life-saving surgery until they quit their habit."
Smoking in Renal Transplant Recipients
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 11:753-759, 2000
"Thus, every effort should be made to encourage transplant candidates to quit smoking. Indeed, it may even be in the public interest to deny renal transplantation to patients who do not make a serious attempt to quit smoking. The interests of both the individual and society may be best served by such an approach."
Years of twisted and false medical information about smoking, the proliferation of junk science, the unrelenting campaigns of instigation against smokers, and their social marginalisation. These are the results. The assassins can be proud. Click here to read more about this ethically offensive direction the medical world has taken.
INTERNATIONAL STAND-BY ALERT: FORCES INTERNATIONAL HAS SENT A LETTER to those involved in the Australian medical edict; an email address list of those who have received this letter is provided. If you're concerned about the direction our health care may take, please bring this situation to the attention of your elected officials and let them know that this type of 'medicine' is not tolerable. This is the proverbial 'shot across the bows'; it's a warning that should not be ignored.
But There's Even More on this Topic
Found to Fare Worse After Bone Surgery
Reuters - March 5, 2001
``We won't flat-out refuse to do it,'' McKee said. ``But we ask them to stop smoking.''
Because the surgery requires patients to wear a frame that is attached to the healing bone for several months, McKee said smokers must quit for a ``6-month window,'' beginning several weeks before the procedure.
WON'T GET BONE OPERATION
CTV-BCTV News - March 1 2001 7:46 PM
Doctors at a Toronto hospital have provoked controversy by saying they
will no longer perform certain bone
reconstruction operations on smokers.
St. Michael's Hospital must have gotten a little shook up by this report. They offered a clarification statement. Unfortunately it really doesn't clarify the outstanding argument; that those who do not quit will not be treated.
The Montreal Gazette published an opinion piece, Our society's moral confusion runs deep, by George Jonas, in which the author explains that in general, "We were inexorably moving toward the elimination of both individual responsibility and autonomy." This column is the result of the statement by Dr. McKee, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. He writes:
"The problem isn't, of course, that McKee advises his smoking
patients of these findings. The problem isn't that he strongly urges them
to stop smoking to improve their chances of keeping their limbs. The problem
that he reportedly refuses to operate on them unless they follow his advice."
smokers surgery: doctors
News Interactive - April 4, 2004
SMOKERS should be denied joint replacement surgery, breast reconstruction and a wide range of other elective surgery, doctors said today.
Medical ethicist Nicholas Tonti-Filippini said to deny smokers surgery would be to violate human rights.
"A doctor who did not provide a needed treatment to a smoker, on the grounds that he or she was a smoker, would be in violation of that person's fundamental human right to health care and their right not to be discriminated against because of a disability," Dr Tonti-Filippini said.
"Taken to an extreme such an attitude would be akin to advocating capital
punishment for smoking."
£40,000 for widow of smoker 'denied bypass'
The Montgomery County Council yesterday approved one of the most restrictive anti-smoking measures in the nation, setting stiff fines for people who smoke in their homes if it offends their neighbors.
County Passes Restrictive Anti-Smoking Measure
FOX News - November 21, 2001
"Moral police" in a wealthy Washington suburb are giving new meaning to the phrase "nosy neighbors."
Residents in Montgomery County, Md., may be fined up to $750 if their
neighbors complain about tobacco
smoke odor from their homes, according to a new measure.
Here we go again. Friendship Heights, a community within Montgomery County, first tried to ban smoking on the streets last year but was defeated in the courts. (click here to read more).
It's obvious this collection of elitists have gone too far by the amount of flak their action has generated on the opinion pages of newspapers across the country:
Smoke detectors - Rocky Mountain News
What was the council smoking? - Washington Times
Propriety Police Given A Boot-Hold In Montgomery - Washington Post
Cigarette Nazis on the march - By Walter E. Williams - World Net Daily [A Minority View]
Then finally some came to their senses while others showed they had no sense which to come to:
Global Ridicule Extinguishes Montgomery's Anti-Smoking Bill - Washington Post
TALLAHASSEE, Jan. 28 – Sponsors of a petition drive to ban all smoking in restaurants and workplaces say they hit the 500,000 mark Monday with a signature from a Tallahassee restaurateur.
"Half a million Floridians have registered a complaint against secondhand smoke," said Martin Larsen, chairman of Smoke-Free for Health.
To get its proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot, Smoke-Free needs 488,722 verified signatures and a stamp of approval from the Florida Supreme Court, which reviews all citizen initiatives for scope and clarity.
PAY ATTENTION!! This is a state CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, not a law looking to be passed by the legislature but a change in the constitution of the state. You can write the Florida Supreme Court Justices at firstname.lastname@example.org
ban initiative has rival
A second proposed amendment, backed by restaurateurs and the tobacco industry, would not change the law.]
banned from Brazilian university
Ananova - June 8, 2002
A Brazilian university is refusing to take students who smoke.
The Centro Universitario da Cidade University has put an advert in the
city's newspapers saying it will no longer
accept applications from smokers.
The university's principal, Paulo Alonso, said students who cannot control
their addiction will have to look for another
college to attend.
The move has been described as discrimination.
But the the university in Rio de Janeiro says 90% of its students are already non-smokers.
The Organisation of Brazilian Lawyers said it can forbid smoking inside
its buildings but cannot forbid smokers from
A spokesman said: "It is illegal. It is discrimination."
Light smokers — people who smoke just a few cigarettes a day — may reasonably assume that they are in less danger than heavier smokers. But a new study offers evidence to the contrary when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
The researchers wanted to look at the effect smoking has on the thin layer of cells that line blood vessels and are known as endothelial cells.
They examined three groups: nonsmokers, people who said they smoked about three cigarettes a day and those who reported smoking 20 cigarettes a day or more.
Regardless of the amount of tobacco use, smokers exhibited the same
changes in the blood vessel lining, the
The researchers did not try to establish how long the test subjects had been smoking, nor did they try to learn how long it would take the body to repair itself if someone stopped smoking.
First they trust what smokers, those who have been called the scum of the earth, report about how much they smoke, then they admit they don't know exactly what they have. Didn't establish how long someone has smoked? Might that matter? They don't even conclude that it's permanently damaging.
WATERLOO REGION -- Stubborn bar owners may face jail for letting their customers smoke in Waterloo Region.
Health staff have proposed asking justices of the peace for orders prohibiting convicted owners from breaking the smoking bylaw.
Owners could then be jailed for contempt of court if they breach the order and permit smoking.
It's thought the jail threat may be what's needed to dissuade 28 hard core premises that continue to flout the smoking ban after two years.
Health staff say the crackdown, to be considered by councillors today, addresses complaints that a few establishments are stealing business away from 99 per cent of the industry that complies with the ban.
Oh really? Law breakers that allow smoking are stealing customers? Aren't smoking bans what the people want or aren't they? It's the health staff noting the complaint, not just some disgruntled bar owners making what the anti-smokers call a false claim -- that business goes down when smoking bans are passed. The health staff supports the fact that business is negatively affected by bans.
Should all teenagers be given a vaccine that blocks the effects of nicotine and so prevents them from becoming addicted to the evil weed?
This controversial possibility is on the horizon thanks to the development of two pioneering vaccines for nicotine addiction. The vaccines were designed for people who repeatedly relapse after giving up smoking. But since most countries are failing to cut the number of children and teenagers taking up cigarettes, many will ask if the vaccines should be used far more widely if they prove to be effective.
Mark Soufliers of Nabi is also cautious. "The challenge is at what age you'd give the vaccine, and whether you'd need to give regular boosters. Also, how much right does the child have to say no?''
As I walk the humid streets of Midtown Manhattan, I find myself staring at the clusters of workers outside every building. They are the smokers, puffing languidly or frantically as their day allows, and I glance at them the way I glance at the homeless, my awkward interest mixing with pity.
I am not a smoker. In fact, I border on self-righteous about secondhand smoke, and I was part of a mini-rebellion at this newspaper back in 1986, creating a six-desk smoke-free zone when law and newsroom tradition offered scant support for such a thing.
But when I pass the clustered smokers this summer, I see more than just a precancerous condition. I also see an emblem of today's workplace.
They weren't there 15 years ago, when they could smoke at work. And I'll wager they won't be there 15 years from now, because employers and landlords are beginning to reclaim the space outside the building, too.
NEW YORK — Want a class-action lawsuit with that burger?
A New York City lawyer has filed suit against the four big fast-food corporations, saying their fatty foods are responsible for his client’s obesity and related health problems.
Samuel Hirsch filed his lawsuit Wednesday at a New York state court
in the Bronx, alleging that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC Corporation
are irresponsible and deceptive in the posting of their nutritional information,
that they need to offer healthier options on their menus, and that they create a de facto addiction in their consumers, particularly the poor and children.
In December, then Surgeon General David Satcher declared obesity America's soon-to-be number one killer, and urged for there to be a healthier range of food available to consumers.
KEY WORDS: health problems; irresponsible;
deceptive; addiction; children
Same language, different product. Regulation and government dictating diet is about to bite you in the rear.
See our library of stories on Obesity and the Health Police
ATLANTA--The first work from gkv communications and public relations partner Porter Novelli for Maryland's Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation program broke last week.
The $14 million "Smoking stops here" campaign, half advertising and half grass-roots initiatives, seeks to change what gkv officials called a "social norm."
"We started from the plain fact that no matter how provocative we make them, the last thing the world needed was another commercial about the dangers of cigarette and second-hand smoke," said Jeff Millman, creative director at gkv.
Instead, the Baltimore agency, which won the account last December, decided to undercut what Millman called the "tacit approval of smoking in public places."
"We decided we'd talk to the seven out of 10 Marylanders who are not satisfied with the idea that smoking in public places is OK."
In the commercials, directed by David Butler of Butler Films in Annapolis, Md., a montage of citizens talk about where they do not want others smoking.
HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Pa. Gov. Mark Schweiker, Secretary of Revenue Larry P. Williams today announced that the department is cracking down on illegal Internet sales of cigarettes.
"The number of Internet sites selling cigarettes has increased dramatically, and many of those websites are falsely advertising that cigarettes may be purchased tax-free. In Pennsylvania, smokers who possess more than one carton of cigarettes purchased from outside the state are committing a criminal offense.
"The Internet is a great resource, but some individuals are using it to thwart Pennsylvania tax law. We owe it to our Pennsylvania retailers to stop this illegal practice."
If a Pennsylvania resident is found in possession of more than one carton of cigarettes which are not marked with Pennsylvania tax stamps, they are subject to up to 90 days imprisonment and a fine of $300.
This begs two questions:
1. Are they going to conduct a house to house search to determine who has more than one carton?
2. Are they going to conduct a house to house search for ALL purchases made over the Internet, whereby taxes were circumvented? That would be only fair, right? Otherwise, what we have here is a persecution of only one set of tax evaders. Why is that?
CLEVELAND (AP) -- A judge has ordered estranged parents not to smoke around their 8-year-old daughter in a ruling family law experts say is the only known example of a court raising the issue of secondhand smoke without being asked.
Judge William Chinnock's ruling says the child is healthy and makes no mention of any testimony about possible health threats posed by adults smoking in her presence.
Instead, he cites in detail dozens of studies on the negative health effects of secondhand smoke, and concludes it is the court's obligation to act in the best interests of the child to limit exposure to smoke.
You can read the Judge Chinnock's actual propaganda filled ruling
We are in big trouble. NYC C.L.A.S.H. comments appear between paragraphs:
ALBANY - The state Health Department has been ordered to get its arms around the widening problem of obesity in New York.
NYS residents are about to be ordered to change their diet against their will.
Among a beefed-up list of bills signed into law this week by Gov. Pataki
was the little-noticed Obesity Prevention Act,
which mandates a major study into the growing battle of the bulge within the state.
Money needed to combat immediate dangers will be spent to study how the government should begin to manipulate your behavior to comply "for your own good."
Sen. Guy Velella (R-Bronx) said he laughed when he was first approached by Assemblywoman Gloria Davis (D-Bronx) to sponsor the bill.
"I thought it was nonsense," he said. "I thought, let people go on a diet. What's the big deal?
"But she convinced me, this is a legitimate health problem," he added.
Sound familiar? Your personal eating habits have now become their business by calling it a "health problem" instead of personal choice. Making it a "public health problem" gives them the green light to control you.
Bill sponsors say obesity affects up to one-third of all Americans and leads to serious ailments such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
Sound familiar? Also note, they have changed the standard by which someone is determined to be obese. That makes it a lot easier to control that many more lives. Just like they reinvented the definition of addiction to justify outside intervention.
Some 300,000 deaths a year nationwide are linked to excessive weight problems, making it second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death, according to the sponsors.
And there you go... the link to smoking, which we all know they insist must be stopped whether one wants to or not even though it's a legal product. How soon before they legislate your candy machine out of your office so that you will not have easy access to your midday Snickers bar? They've already done it in schools "for the children."
The study will focus on the effectiveness of traditional and alternative
methods of treatment as well as the impact of
In other words, "alternative methods" means legislation intended to "discourage" the ingestion of foods THEY say are no good for you.
It will also look at the current fiscal impact obesity has on health-care costs.
McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken have already been sued. The same trial lawyers involved in the suits against the tobacco industry are involved in a personal lawsuit against "Big Food" for causing one man's obesity, hence health problems. How soon before the real lawsuit against the food industry that claims to recoup millions spent on treating those "addicted" or "unable to resist advertising?" And how soon until fat people are accused by their fellow citizens for burdening the health care system? And if you are burdening the health care system then it is only right that they insist/force you to modify your diet because it "affects others."
Velella said it could provide the impetus for lawmakers to enact legislation
requiring insurance companies to cover
prevention efforts ranging from fat farms to physical-fitness programs to dietary programs.
And who, in the end, is going to pay for these programs? Why, those who tip the scales of course. Food identified as "unhealthy" will be taxed to cover these programs.... or that new highway.
A final report is due to the governor and Legislature next June.
Presently, one in four adults and one in five children are considered
obese, according to the American Obesity
For adults, that's the same number of smokers that are now punished for their behavior. For children, the time will come when giving your child that extra cookie will be considered child abuse. Spouses that are divorcing will begin to document the child's meals and snacks and use it to gain custody away from the "abusive" parent.
Nearly 18.5 percent of adults in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region are obese, according to the AOA.
"It's well known we drive more than we walk, we eat fast food more and
drink more soda and less milk - and that leads
to problems," said Assembly bill co-sponsor Ronald Canestrari (D-Cohoes).
Assemblyman Canestrari needs to get his head out of the sand. The lawyer involved with the tobacco suits, and now the fast food suits, has stated to the press that he plans to go after milk too. Whole milk, you see, isn't healthy -- skim milk is -- and the whole milk industry has failed to make the public aware of that.
It's estimated by the AOA that the health-care cost associated with obesity is $100 billion.
Stockpile your fries folks. The tax man cometh.
Liquor companies should be forced to pay damages to the victims of liquor-related crimes, just as tobacco companies are forced to pay restitution to second-hand smoke victims, says the head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"I wish we were as advanced as the people fighting the tobacco industry," said MADD Canada chapter president Louise Knox.
"I don't see why we aren't already forcing liquor companies to pay damages for liquor-related crimes."
Casinos could lose billions of dollars of revenue under strict indoor air-quality standards sought by special-interest groups, attendees at a gaming industry conference and tradeshow heard last week.
Breath mints won't cut it anymore for students who have been smoking in the bathroom--some schools around the country are administering urine tests to teenagers to find out whether they have been using tobacco.
Screenings can detect cotinine - a metabolic byproduct that remains in the body after smoking or chewing tobacco - for up to 10 days in regular smokers of about a half a pack, or 10 cigarettes, a day, McAlpin, director of marketing for EDPM, a Birmingham drug-testing company said. Experts say it is unlikely that cotinine would collect in people exposed to secondhand smoke.
They throw in that emphasized remark so that teens can't use the excuse that they were only around smoking and not smoking themselves. Sort of like being around marijuana and saying you got a "contact high."
Except that every study conducted by the anti-smoking crusaders to prove that employees or children are being exposed to harmful levels of cigarette smoke has rested on their ability to measure cotinine in their subjects!
So which is it? Or as usual, when the shoe fits, throw it at the media?
AUSTRALIA - SMOKERS would be forced off the streets and into addict-style "safe ingesting rooms" under a radical plan by Victoria's top health authority.
Sealed smoking rooms would be set up across the city under the VicHealth plan, with signposts directing office workers in need of a nicotine fix. Busy shopping strips could also get the designated rooms and smokers could be made to pay to use them, much like some public toilets.
Dr Ron Borland, co-director of VicHealth's Centre for Tobacco Control, said smoking outside city buildings was a problem that demanded action.
Dr Borland said with growing bans on smoking indoors, "there may be a need to consider if we should set up safe ingesting rooms".
"Just as we don't want heroin addicts shooting up in back alleys, so too we don't want to push smokers into those situations," he said. "I believe there will be moves to ban pavement smoking as a public annoyance issue.
"It is difficult to justify this ban on public health grounds.
"But in terms of the annoyance factor, people have to walk through clouds of smoke to get into buildings and stand behind smokers and this will become an increasing problem."
A judge has ordered a four-year-old boy removed from his mother's home because she was exposing him to second-hand smoke.
"I am not prepared to play with the life and health of this child," Mr. Justice Bruce Glass wrote.
One of several articles was written in response to this story. Before we post it, to sum up the details, both parents smoked marijuana and both say they have given that up. But the mother has not given up smoking cigarettes. The father claims that his son responds asthmatically to the smoke even though there is no evidence to show that. When the mother first got pregnant the father wanted her to abort the pregnancy, she refused. We now join the article that responds to this case:
Tobacco use disqualifies Ontario mother
I don't know if either or both of these people are fit to raise a child or if one is more fit than the other, but I suspect that I wouldn't want either of them raising any kid of mine. I do know, because judges as addle-brained as this Ontario judge have ruled on such cases in the past, that, had the roles been reversed during the pregnancy, the results would have been different. That is, if the mother had wanted to end the child's life and the father had not, she would have had easy access to an abortion and he would have had nothing to say about it. Whatever either one of them smoked, wherever and whenever they smoked it, would have had nothing to do with it. That's the kind of country we live in -- where a child can be taken from a mother because she smokes tobacco and given to a father who wanted to kill him.
National Post - October 22, 2002
It is preposterous, and heavy-handed, for a court to determine who wins a custody battle because one parent smokes and the other does not.
...but the danger has been vastly overblown by anti-smoking lobbyists and vote-cadging politicians. The United Nations has found that while smoking two packs a day for 40 years raises a smoker's lung cancer risk by 2,000%, the cancer risk of living with that smoker for 40 years is raised by less than 1/100th of that amount.
Although it is unwise and unhealthy to smoke in any circumstances, and additionally selfish to do so with children around, it does not come close to being a proper reason to separate a child from a parent. Judge Glass's remarks and ruling take us further down the road toward the nationalization of children. In case after case, the rights of parents to bring up their children are being trampled. Anti-smoking pressure groups are willing to endorse even the grossest acts of official interference if the demon tobacco is involved. More voices need to be raised, not just soon, but now, to cry halt to this overweening state impertinence.
Having a degree does not make their word the final word OR the truth.
From this interesting piece on scientific orthodoxy/ heresy, another scientist (Stephen Schneider, Discovery Magazine, 1989) defends lying for a "good" cause (in this case global warming):
"[We] are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like
most people we'd like to see the world a better place…. To do that we need
to get some broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That,
of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer
up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little
mention of any doubts we might have…. Each of us has to decide what the
right balance is between being effective and being honest."