Friday, July 29, 2005

Dear Editor, Sent to the Chronicle Journal

July 30/05

Why does it have to be so complicated and so controversial? We all agree that smoking is not good for you, that children should not start smoking, that second hand smoke may have harmful effects. However adult Canadians should have a choice. Here is a practical plan that would satisfy reasonable people: The Province sells permits that allow a restaurant to permit smoking. The Province controls the number of permits sold at a number of maybe 10 or 15% of the number of restaurants in the Province. The Province sets minimum air quality standards and monitors it through the Board of Health that already monitors the food and cleanliness in the restaurants. Workers have a fair choice of where to work, 85% no smoking 15% smoking. Customers have a choice of where to eat. The Province collects revenues and overseas the air quality. The business owner has a choice of having an air filtration system and allowing their smoking customers to eat and smoke in peace.

Really not that complicated.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

To :

Subject :
Smoking ban losses!!!

Dear Editor, July 29/05

I beg to differ with Ms Fayette Royal concerning smoking ban losses

If she is capable of untruth statements then how can anybody believe anything she says.


I trust that anything she says , it ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

To: <mailbag@edmsun.com
Subject: 1,000 deaths from second-hand smoke???
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 16:24:40 -0400Dear

Dear Editor, July 28/05

Les Hagen, Action on Smoking and Health executive director said,"1,000 Canadians die annually from second-hand smoke.

"Mr. Hagen gets those figures from a 'risk' computor called SAMMEC.


In other words, there are no bodys, no death certificates
No one has ever died or got cancer from second-hand smoke.

Thomas Laprade

Thursday, July 28, 2005


No more anti-smoking compromises

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I agree with and fully support Steve Riedl's position (Public Forum, July 24) that a smoking ban in Chicago will greatly reduce the city's tax revenues; and this reduction needs to be studied and converted into dollar figures also. However, I do not agree with his idea to further compromise with anti-smoking interests.
The hospitality industry has already made too many concessions to smoking bans in both this country and in Canada. One concession will lead to another and another. It will never end, as other cities all across our country are learning. It's time for hospitality representatives to hold their ground and make no further attempts at compromise. This is no longer about health. Chicago is a metropolitan city that is large enough to satisfy a diverse population with varied tastes. Smoking ban proposals are a byproduct of what has become the wealthy and powerful anti-tobacco industry, controlled by extremist special interest groups.
Private property rights and capital investments by restaurant and bar owners are being threatened by this proposed smoking ban. Our legislators need to realize that "for your own good" ordinances are not a part of their responsibilities. They are in violation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It may "only" be the life investments of restaurant and bar entrepreneurs threatened at the moment, but how will the rest of our population feel when their rights are invaded by more unnecessary legislation?
Chicago certainly does not have to follow the paths Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City have taken! Chicago has always been an original and independent city, commanding respect. Let's continue to set trends, not follow them.

Garnet Dawn Scheuer
Midwest Regional Director
The Smoker's Club Inc
.Lake Bluff

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

To :
thunderbay@on.lung.ca July 27/05
Subject :
Honest answers to honest questions

Dear Sir,

I noticed you are selling tickets for a car raffle Before I buy a ticket, I would like to ask you a few honest questions, hopefully to get a few honest answers.
How much do you pay your top three executives?(Canada)
How much money that is donated to your association is used to lobby politicians to pass Smoke-Free legislation?
Sincerely Yours,

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

To :

Power walls???

Dear Editor, July 27/05

No teenager has ever started smoking because of Power walls.

Could these Purists please leave the corner store owner alone.

He is just trying to make an honest living.

In the grand scheme of things it is all about denormalizing smoking.

Unfortunately the corner store and the hospitality sector are caught in the cross-fire.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The way I see it

My Opinion
July 26/05 Government imposed smoking bans have hurt the hospitality industry everywhere they have introduced in the world. It's not shocking that the supposed "hordes" of non-smoking customers have never materialized in your city. Many people who favour government mandated smoking prohibitions within the private hospitality sector fail to understand the danger these unneeded regulations represent to everyone's personal freedoms, livelihoods and property rights in modern society. It doesn't matter whether someone chooses to believe the junk science and erroneous, fanatical claims of the professional anti-smoking lobby. The second-hand smoke "kills" myth is one of the biggest shams of the entire century. Smoking bans imposed by government decree have nothing to do with worker's or public health. They are merely a means to introduce "positive" social engineering. To supposedly help smokers quit their habits. A form of "well-intended" behaviour modification.Smoking bans also allow thegovernment to strip the private property rights of business owners against their wills. It's a fact that if non-smoking hospitality industry establishments really were as popular as the anti-smoking lobby and politically correct politicians claim them to be... No government mandated smoking prohibitions would be required in the privatehospitality industry. It is true that close to 70% of the population are not regular smokers.An obvious majority. But, by the same token... From 50%-90% if the regular, patron-base of most adult hospitality industry venues are regular or part-time smokers. Since people for the most part are "creatures of habit"... Government imposed smoking bans ostracize and disenfranchise a huge segment of these private businesses' regular clientele. Smokers, their families and friends for the most part will not patronize theadult hospitality industry as frequently when a smoking bans is in place.A good number of these people will stay home and boycott the private hospitality sector when smoking bans are imposed.People get used to entertaining at home where they can smoke in indoor comfort.They also save agreat deal of money by not paying high mark-up on alcoholic beverages, food and tips. It's not just the smokers who avoid and shun the private hospitality sector,as I said their families and friends usually will stick with them as well. Many non-smokers themselves do not care if smoking is permitted in adult hospitality venues, providing there is good ventilation in the establishment. It's a fact that most smokers drink more alcohol, stay for longer durations of time, tip higher and spend more money overall than non-smokers on average. Smoking and drinking go hand in hand for many people. Especially when socializing. Most hospitality industry establishments operate on profit margins of 8%-30%, smoking bans will obviously have a huge negative impact upon these entertainment venues. No matter what the anti-smoking lobby claims. Since most people are slaves to routine, it is a givein that the small number of non-smokers who completely avoided or rarely patronized the hospitality industry on account of smoking being permitted will ever replacethe disenfranchised smoking customers. It would take many years for this to happen, if ever. Especially in cold andwet Fall-Winter conditions. It is completely absurd to attempt to compare most restaurants with adult hospitality establishments where smoking bans are concerned. The hospitality industry is one of accommodation. Give the people what they want and they shall come. Firstly, all hospitality industry establishments are not created equally. These private businesses live or die by catering to a certain segment of thepopulation.Many of these people just happen to be regular or part-time smokers. It takes many years to establish a loyal, regular patron base in the hospitality industry.It only takes a few months or years under a smoking banto destroy that clientele base.Most hospitality industry businesses cannot afford to wait for a new non-smoking clientele to appear, not at the low profit margins they usually operate under. Most small hospitality establishments never recover and many of them will gobankrupt or those that survive will do so under smaller profit margins. I firmly believe that government imposed smoking bans are a terrible idea. I have no problem with businesses going smoke-free of their own choice. They key-word here is CHOICE. In fact, the anti-smoking lobby know all too well that government mandated smoking bans are very, bad for business in the private hospitality sector.Ifprivate business owners were afforded the choice of setting their own smoking or no-smoking policies, the anti-smoking cartel knows that many businesses that voluntarily chose to go smoke-free would return to allowing smoking if they had that choice. This is why they are so vehemently opposed to anything except 100%, government imposed, indoor smoking bans with no exemptions. The anti-smoking lobby will never accept sane compromises such as separate, ventilated smoking rooms or ventilation systems capable of rendering a hospitality venue 99% smoke-free, which would also make it's air quality cleaner than the "fresh" outdoor air.There is no logical reason that ventilation solutions cannot be accepted as a workable solution as opposed to total indoor smoking prohibition. Well actually there is... The anti-smoking lobby and their slobbering minions hate the smell of tobacco smoke. This is not a health issue.It never has been. As I said previously stated without the phantom health risks of second-hand smoke, the anti-smoking lobby would have no means of imposing their selfish wants upon a good portion of the private hospitality industry. Even if people foolishly believe that ETS is a serious health concern, the vast majority of those people also would be willing to accept a ventilation solution that could accommodate virtually everyone, except the rabid anti-smoking hysterics. To be fair I fully understand that many people despise or dislike the smell of tobacco smoke. I also understand that some people actually believe that second-hand smoke is a very,real health concern. The mainstream media, the anti-smoking lobby and the medical-pharmaceutical community are all guilty of perpetuating this myth as a means to help reduceover-all smoking rates. Their intentions may seem well-meaning on the surface, but the stark realityof negative smoking ban impacts, such as unemployment and business failures outweigh any positive consequences that government imposed smoking bans might spawn, such as helping smokers to quit their habits via attempted social conditioning.


The Facts About Second Hand Smoke(Finally)
The American anti-smoking crusade has been very successful. There are now more ex-smokers in America as there are smokers. But even after thirty years of constant urging to kick the habit, about a quarter of the population still chooses to smoke.
America was built on a live and let live attitude. We usually let people do what they like, even if they're hurting themselves, as long as they're not hurting anyone else. We only step in if an unwilling bystander is being harmed. This leaves the door open for the Second Hand Smoke (SHS) attack on smokers.
If SHS really is as dangerous as the government, political organizations and charities claim, efforts to prevent it and contain it are justified. But is it? We're bombarded by endless proclamations telling us of its horrors. These claims are usually accompanied by impressive sounding numbers. Are smokers really hurting every stranger in the vicinity? The answer to that question is obvious once you know the facts.
We're not going to rely on hype or hysteria. We won't tell you we have The Truth. We'll just present the hard cold facts and let you figure out The Truth for yourself. Every effort has been made to verify everything on this site, to make sure it as accurate and factual as possible.
This site will not only make you an expert on the subject of SHS, but also leave you well equipped to deal with anyone using numbers to support health claims.
The Epidemiology 101 page will give you a good overall understanding of the science used to generate the numbers we hear so often. Epidemiology 102 explains common errors in epidemiological studies, and how to spot them. These sections may be a little difficult, but you'll find it's worth the effort. It will equip you to deal with numbers and studies from all sources and on all subjects, not just SHS.
We'll take a detailed look at two SHS studies. The first, the EPA 1993 report, is the basis for most of the SHS legislation and restrictions in the US. Once you see exactly what they did, and how they did it, you may never trust the EPA again. The second study, carefully conducted by the World Health Organization, had some very surprising results.
We make no attempt to cover every study of SHS, but to give you examples of good and bad studies to help you learn how to tell which is which. Armed with the information here, you'll be able to spot bogus studies with ease.
We also have several pages about how smoking bans effect businesses. These include a chart of many business that have been hurt, some to the point of closing, because of bans.

Site Layout
Fact: This is a fact. Anything headed off by the word "Fact: " is a solid, proven, verifiable fact, presented as accurately as possible.
Comments on these facts appear above and below the indented text. They may contain opinions, interpretations, or explanations of the facts. If you're in a hurry, or uninterested in our comments, you can skip them entirely and just read The Facts.
Some of the phrases and abbreviations we use may be unfamiliar, so here's a brief explanation of them.
SHS, ETS - Common abbreviations for Second Hand Smoke and Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Both terms mean the same thing and are interchangeable. The term ETS is preferred in most scientific journals and studies, while SHS is more common everywhere else.
EPA - The Environmental Protection Agency, a US government agency.
CDC - The Center for Disease Control, a US government agency.
WHO - The World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations
CRS - The Congressional Research Service. The CRS is a research service provided to members of congress.
Epidemiology - A crude science used, and often misused, to gather information on health trends. You'll need to know the basics of this science before you can determine the validity of any medical study. Fortunately, we've provided a couple of lessons that will let you debunk (or confirm) studies like an expert.
Antis and Nannies - Anti-tobacco activists. The phrase "Anti" comes from the prefix in Anti-tobacco. On this site it will usually refer to anti-tobacco activists, but it describes anyone who thinks they should be able to tell other adults how to live. It includes the militantly anti-booze and anti-meat and anti-fat and anti-SUVs and anti-anything-else-they-see-someone-else-enjoying.
This site is designed as a starting point, not an ending point. If you spend some time on it you'll understand statistics well enough to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. If you use the opportunity, not just on smoking issues but on any statistical claims, you'll be absolutely amazed at how much bogus information is being fed to the public.
Although I retain copyright to these pages, anyone may use the text here, in whole or in part, however they like, with just one restriction: It can't be sold.
Anyone who stands up to the nicotine nanny's propaganda is automatically branded, by them, as a front for big tobacco. It is one of their favorite and most common lies. This site has never had any affiliation with big tobacco, whom I despise. I've never received any money from any tobacco company for anything. However, many years ago, I sent in a bunch of Marlboro UPCs and they sent me one t-shirt. It had a picture of a cowboy on it.

Smokers Rights Newsletter



Roxxon's Smokers Rights Page


Canadian Newspapers in Canada



Tobacco TidbitsUPdate spring 2005

Researchers in New Zealand recently concluded the largest ever study on mortality due to second hand smoke. The study found 15% more deaths in people who had never smoked but were exposed to secondhand smoke at home, compared with people who had never smoked who lived in a smoke-free household.
The study was based on census data from two different periods. Because of the unparalleled sample size of the study, the results strengthen the case that exposure to secondhand smoke leads to illness and death.
Surprisingly, few studies have examined the link between exposure to secondhand smoke and mortality. The results of the New Zealand study are consistent with the largest previous study of the subject. The study is summarized in the British Medical Journal, April 2004.
Ontario has announced one of the strongest smoking bans in Canada. As of May 2006, smoking will be banned in all public places and workplaces. The ban covers bars, casinos and legion halls and no longer allows “designated smoking rooms” except in long term care homes and hotel suites. It also bans “power display ads” for cigarettes in corner stores. Nova Scotia’s smoke free legislation allows smoking in bars after 9 pm, and in restaurants with enclosed and separately ventilated smoking areas. Ontario’s move is applauded by the Ontario Medical Association and the Lung Association. New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have also passed strong smoking bans, and Quebec has announced plans to do the same.
Tobacco interest groups are still attempting to cast doubt that second hand smoke exposure is harmful. The National Post recently ran an article by long time tobacco industry consultant John Luik. Luiskattacked Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Sheela Basrur for her “junk-science crusades against the alleged dangers of secondhand smoke...” Luik is co-author of a book called “Passive Smoke: The EPA’s Betrayal of Science and Policy’, in which the authors blame the Environmental Protection Agency for producing “junk science.”



The Fair Air Association of Canada
We support the Canadian hospitality sector in its efforts to promote ventilation solutions.
We encourage research of ventilation options and technologies for the Canadian hospitality industry.
We speak on behalf of the hospitality industry to decision-makers and the general public.
We provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on issues of concern to the hospitality industry.
We are an 'Association of Associations' bringing together groups of concerned businesses and individuals. We speak on behalf of a business community that wishes to serve its clients and continue contributing to the economy.
The Fair Air Association of Canada is involved in a number of research projects that provide advice on a range of issues of interest to the hospitality industry. From studying the economic impact of smoking bans to testing effective ventilations solutions in a wide variety of locations, we are committed to providing scientifically sound information to help inform those in the decision-making process.
We speak on behalf of individuals and groups that include hundreds of bar and pub owners; more than a thousand hotel operators; charitable gaming (bingo) operators and charities in Ontario and eastern Canada. Our diverse membership also includes tobacco and ventilation manufacturers, ventilation engineers and many others.
The Fair Air Association of Canada believes that through promoting scientific facts, cooperation and innovation we can find solutions that accommodate the interests of all.


PUBCO Releases Economic Impact Study Highlights Of The Report
This study is the most comprehensive analysis yet conducted on the economic impact of complete smoking bans on bars and nightclubs.
This report is unique - it is based solely on economic impact on bars – previous studies included restaurants, fast food chains and donuts shops etc.
The paper shows smoking bans in several Ontario cities had a real and dramatic impact on revenue.
Bars and pubs sales were reduced: 23.5% in Ottawa, 18.7% in London, 24.3% in Kingston and 20.4% in Kitchener.
This study provides clear proof of the negative impact full smoking bans have on bars and nightclubs but other sectors of the hospitality industry are at risk too - specifically, charity bingos and Royal Canadian Legions.
The Report:
Measures actual sales and revenue data from the government of Ontario, Ministry of Finance (Ontario)
Authored by Michael Evans, a former professor of economics, Kellogg Graduate School of Management. The author is a former consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U. S. Treasury.
The report has been verified by noted Canadian economist Wade Cook, Ph. D, Associate Dean of Research, Schulich School of Business, York University.
The report was paid for by the Pub and Bar Coalition of Canada and the Fair Air Association of Canada.
The majority of so-called studies that have reported no economic impact from smoking bans are marked by serious errors. Generally, these studies either used insufficient timelines, or cherry-picked data.
The types of establishments studied were bars and nightclubs in the downtown core. Each bar was on the Brewers Retail list of top sellers.
Designated Smoking Rooms A Working Solution
The Province of British Columbia has developed a compromise solution that allows businesses to prosper while protecting the rights of all patrons – separate, ventilated smoking rooms.
Designated Smoking Rooms have been scientifically proven to work by one of Canada’s leading environmental testing consultants, Stantec.
British Columbia offers Ontario a successful model. B.C.’s Occupational Health and Safety Act permits DSRs if they meet a prescribed ventilation standard and limit employee time spent in the smoking room.
British Columbia’s legislation did not result in a proliferation of DSRs...92% of theprovince’s hospitality establishments decided to be smoke-free.
employees may choose never to enter into or work in the designated smoking room; employees who choose to work in the designated smoking room may not spend more than 20% of their work period in that area.
the room designated for smoking must be ventilated by a non-recirculating exhaust ventilation system and/or an air cleaning system in which (a) the flow of air is from the non-smoking area to the smoking room, (b) the air flows into the designated smoking room at a minimum ventilation rate of 35 CFM/person, and (c) the air only discharges in a manner that does not recirculate or transfer it from a designated smoking room to a non-smoking area.

Welcome to the Pub and Bar Coalition of Canada (PUBCO) website.PUBCO was formed to unite those whose businesses were threatened by the infamous Ottawa 100% smoking ban, implemented on September 2001.With over a year's experience under our belts, we now possess incontrovertible evidence that 100% bans are disastrous for the pub and bar industry, as well as bringing similar misery to bingos and pool halls. Despite being provided with this concrete evidence, Ottawa councilors have steadfastly declined to admit that they have made a horrendous mistake. They have stubbornly refused to even meet with PUBCO to discuss compromise solutions that would ensure the survival of many small businesses. Instead, they have stuck their heads firmly in the sand while establishment after establishment has been forced to close its doors. The same attitude has prevailed in Kitchener-Waterloo Council, the proud possessor of similar repressive legislation.A clear lesson PUBCO has learnt is that, once these by-laws are in place, politicians and health departments have no qualms whatsoever in employing sophisticated subterfuges and cover-ups to conceal the extent of the financial damage and personal hardship they have caused to innocent entrepreneurs, their families and employees.Fortunately, the truth about what has happened in Ottawa and Kitchener - Waterloo is now slowly spreading across the province. Wiser politicians are beginning to seriously consider the real threats associated with the 100% smoking bans that their Health Units are touting. In addition, owners are also increasingly becoming aware that smoking bans can seriously affect their financial health and are turning to PUBCO for assistance. PUBCO now has members throughout the province and the number is growing daily.Owners must act in unison to oppose the imposition of 100% bans. If this is not done than the by-laws will roll over them, and the Health Units will be off looking for their next victims.It must be stressed that while PUBCO is not pro-smoking, we are pro-small business, pro-democracy and pro-freedom of choice. While we can sympathize with Health Units' objective of reducing smoking, we are equally appalled to see blatant social engineering being carried out on the backs of small business persons. The provincial government is acting in a totally irresponsible manner in permitting individual municipalities to ride roughshod over small business while, at the same time, creating a patchwork of widely differing legislation. It is time for Queens Park to reassume control and to establish a provincial standard as has already been done by their more responsible provincial counterparts in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. Lastly, PUBCO is not a one issue organization. Smoking bans are naturally dominating our agenda at present, but there are many other important issues facing bar owners that need addressing. As we continue to grow we intend coming to grips with all of these matters. However until we do grow sufficiently, smoking bans must remain our top priority as they pose the greatest threat that our industry has ever had to face.Please explore our site. You will find an online forumwhere you can express your opinions. You will also find a wealth of information that can be used to refute the arguments of the smoking ban zealots. Second Hand Smoke is not the killer the Health Industry would have you believe it is. Become informed.CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOMEDIF YOU BELIEVE IN FREEDOM, HELP US IN OUR FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE. CHEQUES MAY BE SENT TO THE ADDRESS PROVIDED UNDER "CONTACT INFORMATION" PAYABLE TO "PUBCO"



Font Size: Epidemiology Beyond Its Limits
By Iain Murray

In 1995, science writer Gary Taubes warned that the science of epidemiology (tracing the source and causes of disease) was reaching a crisis point. In "Epidemiology Faces Its Limits" (Science, Jul. 14, 1995), Taubes argued that modern epidemiology was in danger of becoming a "pathological science" because it had devolved into a data dredging exercise, mindlessly searching an ever-expanding pool of danger for marginally significant associations unpredicted by any a priori hypothesis. For instance, researchers might discover by sifting through volumes of data on ovarian cancer that women who eat yoghurt every day suffer the illness marginally more than non-yoghurt eaters and therefore decide that yoghurt is a risk factor for cancer. The future did indeed seem bleak.
Yet traditional epidemiology had its stout defenders. There were certain rules guaranteeing the sanctity of epidemiology. For instance, while Taubes argued that marginal relative risks were being touted as proof of causation when they could not possibly tell us anything certain, the medical journals did not accept that (a relative risk is a number that describes how much more likely someone with the risk factor is than the general population to suffer the relevant disease. Thus, if yoghurt eaters suffer ovarian cancer twice as much as other women, their relative risk is said to be 2). The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) told Taubes that, "As a general rule of thumb, we are looking at a relative risk of 3 or more [before accepting a paper for publication]." A former statistical consultant backed this up, but said, "If it's a 1.5 relative risk, and it's only one study and even a very good one, you scratch your chin and say maybe."

Yet in the years since Taubes' article, things have changed somewhat. For instance, a study published in NEJM's equally venerable competitor the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2002 argued that air pollution was strongly associated with early death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. The study was extensive. Yet the relative risk was a total of 1.12 -- nowhere near even the "maybe" level of 1995. The assertion of strong association was breathless in its effrontery.

Now it seems that even the golden rules of epidemiology are being tarnished by the pathological desire to turn epidemiology into a giant blame game. John Brignell of the UK's Number Watch web site spotted something quite momentous in the back of a recent report by the British Medical Association into the supposed negative effects of smoking on human reproductive health.

In 1965, Sir Austin Bradford-Hill CBE DSC FRCP, a giant in the field of epidemiology, published "The Environment and Disease: Association or Causation?" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. He set out rules for establishing cause and effect in medical research that have formed the gold standard for assessing causation ever since. The BMA appears to endorse these rules once again. But at the same time as reprinting them in its report, it has insidiously added riders that effectively reverse their intent.

Here are the rules with their modern riders, directly quoted from the BMA study's appendix A, with emphases added:

Strength of the association

Strong associations are more likely to be causal than weak ones. Weak associations are more likely to be explained by undetected biases. However, this does not rule out the possibility of a weak association being causal.

Consistency of the association

An association is more likely to be causal when a number of similar results emerge from different studies done in different populations. Lack of consistency, however, does not rule out a causal association.


For an exposure to cause an outcome, it must precede the effect.


Is there a biologically plausible mechanism by which the exposure could cause the outcome? The existence of a plausible mechanism may strengthen the evidence for causality; however, lack of such a mechanism may simply reflect limitations in the current state of knowledge.

Biological gradient

The observation that an increasing dose of an exposure increases the risk of an outcome strengthens the evidence for causality. Again, however, absence of a dose-response, does not rule out a causal association.


Coherence implies that the association does not conflict with current knowledge about the outcome.

Experimental evidence

Experimental studies in which changing the level of an exposure is found to change the risk of an outcome provide strong evidence for causality. Such studies may not, however, always be possible, for practical or ethical reasons."

The effect of these riders is to say that the rules as normally understood shouldn't be thought of as rules. A weak association can be as valid as a strong one. An inconsistent association can be as valid as a consistent one. Lack of a known biological pathway merely exposes our ignorance. A dose-response reaction is an optional extra. And one need not worry about lack of experimental evidence if one doesn't have the resources or if one has an ethical objection. The absurdity of these statements can be made apparent if one applies them to the argument that prayer has provable medical efficacy. Prayer clearly passes the new BMA test for epidemiological causation.

As Richard Lindzen of MIT said apropos of the global warming debate, "Science is a tool of some value. It provides our only way of separating what is true from what is asserted. If we abuse that tool, it will not be available when it is needed." Epidemiology has been one of the most valuable scientific tools ever devised. Yet it has suffered so much abuse it is barely recognizable. When even the British Medical Association joins in the abuse, who will stand up for science?

Iain Murray last wrote for TCS about extreme weather and science.
If you are a producer or reporter who is interested in receiving more information about this article or the author, please email your request to interview@techcentralstation.com.

In Defence of Smokers


Monday, July 25, 2005

Letter to Editors July 25/05
Daily Southtown
Main offices6901 W. 159th St.Tinley Park, IL 60477

RE: Smoking ban would 'devastate' hospitality industry - Yet, Another Take

Attention: Dennis Robaugh, Managing editor
Ed Koziarski, Director of Editorial and Commentary
John Hector, Director of Editorial and Commentary

Dear Mr. Robaugh, Mr. Koziarski and Mr. Hector:

I agree with and fully support Steve Riedl's position that a smoking ban in Chicago will greatly reduce the city's tax revenues, and this reduction needs to be studied and converted into dollar figures also. However, I do not agree with his idea to further compromise with anti-smoking interests.

The hospitality industry has already made too many concessions to smoking bans in both this country and in Canada. One concession will lead to another and another. It will never end, as other cities all across our country are learning. It's time for hospitality representatives to hold their ground and make no further attempts at compromise. This is no longer about health. Chicago is metropolitan city that is large enough to satisfy a diverse population with varied tastes. This is no longer about health. Smoking ban proposals are a byproduct of what has become the wealthy and powerful anti-tobacco industry, controlled by extremist special interest groups.

Private property rights and capital investments by restaurant and bar owners are being threatened by this proposed smoking ban. Our legislators need to realize that "for your own good" ordinances are not a part of their responsibilities. They are in violation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It may "only" be the life investments of restaurants and bars entrepreneurs threatened at the moment, but how will the rest of our population feel when their rights are invaded upon by more unnecessary legislation?

Chicago certainly does not have to follow the paths Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City have taken! Chicago has always been an original and independent city, commanding respect. Let's continue to set trends, not follow them!


Garnet Dawn

Sent to Winnipeg Sun July 25/05

Dear Editor,

If protecting non-smokers and workers from exposure to ETS were the true basis for smoking bans imposed by government mandate...It would make much more sense for the governments and anti-tobacco lobby to accept improved ventilation solutions and DSRs.

And there is no proof that other workplace smoking bans have helped many smokers quit their smoking habits

Sent this letter to the Winnipeg Sun
To :

Teens smoking

Dear Editor, July 25/05

Think back when you were a teenager.

Did certain teens smoked because of Power Walls? Smoking parents? peers?
Certain teens did not smoke even under those same conditions.
Could it be that some teens were genetically inclined to be smokers?
Just like certain people are genetically inclined to be alcoholics

Friday, July 22, 2005

Smoking bans are the real threat to Democracy(Longer version.USA)

July 20/05

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation - from New York City to San Antonio - has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke. Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of unlimited government power. The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision? Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion. Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously negligible, such as outdoor public parks. The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on. All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbors. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbors, and only his own judgment can guide him through it. Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behavior. That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. The tobacco bans are just part of one prong of this assault. Traditionally, the political Right has attempted to override the individual's judgment on spiritual matters: outlawing certain sexual practices, trying to ban sex and violence in entertainment, discouraging divorce. While the political Left is nominally opposed to this trend - denouncing attempts to "legislate morality" and crusading for the toleration of "alternative lifestyles," - they seek to override the individual's judgment on material matters: imposing controls on business and profit-making, regulating advertising and campaign finance, and now legislating healthy behavior. But the difference is only one of emphasis; the underlying premise is still anti-freedom and anti-individual-judgment. The tobacco bans bulldoze all the barriers to intrusive regulation, establishing the precedent that the rights of the individual can be violated whenever the local city council decides that the "public good" demands it. Ayn Rand described the effect of this two-pronged assault on liberty: "The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories--with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington. The liberals see man as a soul free-wheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread," or, today, when he crosses the street to buy a cigarette. It doesn't take a new statistical study to show that such an attack on freedom is inimical to human life. No crusade to purge our air of any whiff of tobacco smoke can take precedence over a much more important human requirement: the need for the unbreached protection of individual rights.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Smoking bans take Lawmakers to a New Level


Friday, July 15, 2005

Secondhand Smoke: Joe Dawson
The Big Lie

Anti-smokers have long tried to restrict smoking on the grounds that it was bad for smokers' health. But this sort of paternalism, while it has many adherents, is not very effective when it comes to getting laws passed. At least not in this country. In recent years, however, they have made great progress using the theory that smoking is bad for the health of others: that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) can, in fact, be deadly.
The principal ammunition used in the war on smokers consists of these claims:
The EPA says secondhand smoke causes 3,000 cancer fatalities in Americans each year.
The American Heart Association says that secondhand smoke causes 50,000 fatal heart attacks in Americans each year.
An unspecified number of Americans are dying each year from "respiratory illnesses" attributable to secondhand smoke.
All of these falsehoods depend for their general acceptance on the credibility of those disseminating them and upon the inability of the typical listener to perform simple sanity checks using common sense and arithmetic. The simplest is this. It takes 20 years or more for damage to manifest itself in a smoker. ETS is hundreds of times more dilute than mainstream smoke. Non smokers would have to live with ETS for upwards of 2,000 years to incur the same damage. Here's another. Smoke from charcoal contains many of the same components as those most feared in tobacco smoke (carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, carcinogens and so forth). A ten pound bag of charcoal produces as much smoke (and harmful chemicals) as 160 packs of cigarettes. Are you going to quit barbecuing? Probably not. Yet the slightest whiff of tobacco smoke gives many anti-smokers apoplectic fits. Are they being hysterical? Read on and decide for yourself.

CancerThe reason science enjoys such weight and credibility is that it has generally been structured so as to encourage a wide scrutiny of methods, data and findings, peer review and a healthy debate from all viewpoints. In the end, faulty data and fanciful theories are laid to rest, and truth emerges the winner. Usually.
Scientists, like everyone else, are subject to personal bias. They can set out to prove a pet theory, they can ignore data which contradicts a favored hypothesis, and they can read into data facts which simply aren't there. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, their employers can be biased. Employers can put pressure on researchers or even research firms to validate a preordained position or to produce a desired result. Not that they really have to, since it is much easier to hire or retain investigators who agree with them to begin with. And even that is not necessary, since the employer gets to write conclusions and recommendations. Scientists who dissent can effectively be buried simply by not publishing what they have to say.
In an open and honest world, all of this would amount to little, since all sides would have their say and we could count on disinterested observers to wade through the fancy and glean the facts. In the case of secondhand smoke, however, it is near impossible to find anyone who is both disinterested and of sufficient standing to be heard. What we have instead is a war of credibility over conflicting interpretations of biased reports. What we have is politics.
On one side are anti-smokers and the EPA. On the other, smokers and the tobacco companies. At this moment, the antis and the EPA clearly have the upper hand, enjoying as they do a credibility which is just as clearly undeserved. No one is surprised that the tobacco companies have a financial agenda. The same people, on the other hand, express astonishment at the suggestion that the government might actually have a political agenda. Or at the fact that the government, too, is an employer, with more power than most to select and pressure the scientists it employs and to bury the ones that dissent. Nowhere is this power more abused than on the subject of ETS. Last year's EPA report on ETS, the cornerstone of the anti-smokers' arguments, is worse than just bad science.
It is corrupt.
Corrupt science has two salient characteristics. First, instead of starting with a hypothesis and data and deriving from that a conclusion, it does just the opposite: starting with a desired conclusion, it then selects data in order to support the hypothesis. Second, it stifles dissent by excluding dissenters from the process of review and by using ad hominem arguments to question their character and motives. The EPA is guilty on both counts.
Of the 30 studies on spousal smoking referred to in the EPA report, only 6 found any statistically significant association between ETS and cancer in nonsmokers married to smokers, and none found a strong relative risk. The studies actually used by the EPA were limited to 11 studies done in the United States. Using the EPA's own Guidelines for Carcenogenic Risk Assessment, none of these showed a statistically significant risk. These guidelines call for a 95% Confidence Interval. By lowering it to 90%, only one of the 11 studies showed a statistically significant risk. More importantly, the two largest and most recent studies, one of which was partially funded by the National Cancer Institute, were omitted from consideration altogether. Had these two been included, no statistically significant risk would have been found even after lowering the Confidence Interval to 90%. Even after violating its own guidelines, in other words, the EPA could still show no statistically significant risk without selecting data to fit its hypothesis. This cooked data is the EPA's only basis for declaring ETS to be a "Group A" carcinogen. ("Group A", incidentally, does not mean "extra deadly". It simply means "human".)
The EPA's studies on ETS operate under a "zero threshold" hypothesis, or the assumption that if huge quantities of something are dangerous, then microscopic quantities are dangerous also. The data they used, however, fails to bear this out: virtually all of the studies used either found no risk at all or a risk so weak that it would not be considered significant if applied to other subjects.
A "strong" risk is one with an "odds ratio" of 5 to 20 - reflecting an incidence of the problem five to twenty times higher in a group that was exposed to something than in a control group that wasn't. 5 in a population of 100,000, say, compared to 1. (Or 500 vs 100, or 5 in a million vs 1; since it is a ratio, it indicates nothing about the size of the risk itself. Only the relative risk.) A ratio of 1 indicates no risk at all. Odds ratios under 3 are usually considered so low as to be the possible result of random variation or margin of error. The odds ratio of contracting cancer from chlorinated tap water, for example, has been calculated by the EPA to be 1.5 - not enough to worry about, in other words. Yet the EPA used an odds ratio of 1.19 - considerably smaller than that of chlorinated tap water - to classify ETS as a human carcinogen.
One of the largest and most recent studies of ETS is the Brownson study, partially funded by the National Cancer Institute. This study found odds ratios varying from .7 in non-smoking spouses of smokers exposed for fewer than 40 years, to 1.3 in those exposed for over 40 years. .7 is a negative correlation, meaning that those exposed to ETS for less than 40 years experienced fewer cancers than the control group. Since the implication that ETS actually protected those subjects from cancer is biologically implausible, the only other conclusion that can be drawn is that the study's margin of error, caused by random variation, is .3 or higher. This means that the 1.3 figure is equally suspect. The total risk for all groups averages out to exactly 1, or no risk at all.
The Brownson study was available to the EPA, but was not used in its report. Had it been included, the conclusions would have had to have been revised downwards to show no risk.
Though the EPA claims a "19% increase in risk", the actual order of magnitude is less than intimidating. Even if the odds ratio of 1.19 is eventually found to be accurate and not the result of random variation, what this would mean is that instead of the 6 lung cancers per year normally expected in a population of 100,000, we might find 7. Put another way, the average lifetime risk of dying from exposure to ETS (as opposed to eventually dying of something else) would be about 1 in 700. Furthermore, the risk (if real) is concentrated among the non-smoking spouses of smokers exposed to ETS (a heavier exposure than that found elsewhere) for upwards of 40 years, and cannot be extrapolated to include the general population. By way of comparison, the December, 1989 study by the Department of Transportation estimated the probability of contracting cancer from the cosmic radiation at cruising altitude as being some 2,000 times greater than the risk posed by ETS while on the aircraft. The question is, is this sufficient grounds to justify the subjugation of 50 million people? Before you answer, consider this: driving across town to your favorite restaurant entails a risk many times higher - 17 to be exact - than inhaling any secondhand smoke once you get there. If you include the risks associated with the food and drink you are likely to consume there, that multiple rises to over 450. And if you choose one of the many non-smoking restaurants provided by a free market, you get no exposure at all.
A look at the people who worked on this study explains this twisted methodology. Leading anti-smokers pervade both the EPA and the Science Advisory Board responsible for reviewing its analysis, and some of the work was contracted to the founder of a prominent anti-smoking group. It should come as no surprise that the EPA's Workplace Policy Guide was written well before the ETS risk study was completed.
The underlying philosophy at work here is that the end justifies the means; that since a smoke-free society is deemed to be a worthy goal, manipulation of data and even lies are permissible in achieving it. The EPA official responsible for the report admitted in "Science" magazine (7/31/92) that "she and her colleagues had engaged in some fancy statistical footwork" in order to arrive at the indictment of ETS. The opinions of dissenting EPA scientists were ignored, and references to works not in accordance with the EPA position were omitted from the bibliography of the report. Finally, those gainsayers who actually manage to make themselves heard are refuted not with data and reason but with character assassination.
Corrupt scientists have always been eager to ride the bandwagon of popular opinion. Early in this century, Russian scientists drew diagrams purporting to show that the skulls of Jews were smaller than average, reflecting a smaller brain and therefore a lowered intelligence and moral sense. This "justified" the pogroms. In our own country, studies claiming a lower IQ among African Americans (referred to in the studies as "Negroes") "justified" segregation. The damage done by these studies took decades to undo, while millions suffered. Both conclusions share an insidious and horrifying circularity: if the subject of the slur has the temerity to question the evidence, the response is "You can't believe him, he's stupid. Look: my charts prove it!" And that is exactly what is being repeated today. Using corrupt science, the EPA has manufactured a conclusion which states, in effect, that smokers and the tobacco companies are killing 3,000 Americans each year and are by implication morally corrupt. When anyone disagrees, the anti-smokers have the perfect counter argument: "You can't believe them, they're morally corrupt. Look: the EPA report proves it!"
"Political science" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Heart DiseaseWith the appellation of "Doctor" and his little black bag of anti-smoking calculations, Dr. Stanton Glantz is generally assumed to be a medical doctor. Nor is he eager to dispel that notion among his listeners. Actually, he has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and no medical training at all. His field of expertise notwithstanding, he gets paid handsomely for doing what he loves most: slandering smokers.
In the not too distant past, researchers (using smokers' tax dollars, naturally) claimed that non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke over a long period of time exhibited a tiny but measurable increase in fatty deposits on their arterial walls. Given the bias of such researchers, their tendency to make leaps of faith when interpreting inconclusive data and the difficulty of eliminating confounding factors, one cannot accept with any degree of certainty that what they claim is true. However, let us assume for the sake of argument that the phenomenon is real, and proceed.
The arterial deposits in question are caused by diets rich in fats and cholesterol, and by lack of exercise. When coronary arteries become so clogged up that sufficient blood can no longer pass, a fatal heart attack can result. Clearly, this does not happen until a critical degree of obstruction, or "threshold", has been reached. A microscopic buildup in an otherwise healthy person is simply a curiosity, nothing more.
Enter Stanton Glantz, PhD. Each year some 1,000,000 Americans die from heart disease. Ignoring the concept of a threshold, Glantz "reasoned" that if the fatty buildup claimed by the researchers to be attributable to ETS was only one-twentieth as thick as that required to produce a heart attack, then surely it must be producing a twentieth of the heart attacks, or 50,000 of them. He then wrote a thick paper saying so. This is like saying that if a million people cross a body of water ten feet deep and 100,000 drown, then 1,000 would drown if the water were an inch deep. This claim is not just absurd. It is pure fantasy.
Stanton Glantz knows this.
No matter. His paper was his ticket to the lucrative anti-smoker lecture circuit, where his adoring audiences hear what they most want to hear, namely that smokers are killing people. He also found a receptive audience in the American Heart Association, which acts as a sort of wholesale distributor for his misinformation. AHA representatives are to be seen and heard at every City Council hearing on proposed anti-smoking ordinances, where they parrot this pernicious poppycock ad nauseum.
Doubtless the more educated members of the AHA realize what is going down. Perhaps they justify this to themselves by rationalizing that the claim is not really theirs, but rather the "work of a credible expert". Warranties, in other words, are the responsibility of the manufacturer, not the distributor. And since smoking itself is associated with heart disease, and since the goal of the AHA is to get smokers to quit, by outlawing tobacco if necessary, the end justifies the means. Doesn't it?

Respiratory IllnessesThe phrase "respiratory illnesses", when used in connection with ETS, is usually found appended to a list of other claims, as in "cancer, heart disease and ...". It seems to round off the list nicely and is purposely left vague. If pressed, anti-smokers will, as if by rote, recite "... such as asthma, colds, influenza and pneumonia". But none of these ailments is caused by smoking, much less by ETS. Pressed further, the antis will backpedal to the claim that ETS "aggravates" these conditions. The degree of this "aggravation" I shall examine in a moment. First, however, some interesting numbers bear looking at.
Since 1979, the number of smokers has declined significantly, from about 33% of adults, or higher, to a proportion varyingly reported as being from 20% to 25%. During the same period, a host of anti-smoking laws have dramatically curtailed smoking in public places. Today, exposure to ETS is not one tenth of what it was in 1979. Yet, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News (October 12, 1993), fatal asthma attacks have nearly doubled in that time. More than 5,100 Americans suffered fatal asthma attacks in 1991, up from about 2,600 in 1979. Clearly, some scapegoat other than ETS will have to be found.
So where are the mystery deaths caused by "respiratory illnesses" that can be blamed on ETS? There aren't any. The diabolical innuendo of the phrase "... cancer, heart disease and respiratory illnesses" causes many to believe people die this way and to repeat the rumor. But it is akin to saying "nuclear bombs, biological warfare and firecrackers."
So far, in this country anti-smokers have enjoyed free rein to make wild claims about ETS without having to back them up with rigorous evidence in an objective, impartial setting such as a court of law. With the pending challenge to the EPA's report, that is about to change. For a preview of the truth likely to emerge, we have only to look at a recent Australian court case in which the Australian Department of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare was pressing a complaint against a casino in an attempt to enforce a no-smoking law.
The question of "respiratory illnesses" quickly became a question of whether the effect of ETS should more properly be characterized as an "irritation" [the defense] or an "inflammation" [the prosecution]. After considering the evidence and witnesses from both sides, the judge likened it to "the experience of ordinary people who sneeze, or whose eyes water when peeling onions." The infamous "respiratory illnesses", in other words, were boiled down in the crucible of truth to simple runny noses.
In addition, the prosecution introduced as part of their evidence the January '93 EPA report on lung cancer and ETS. About this report the judge had these words: "I would have thought that these reports would be those which supported the prosecution case most strongly, but they appear not to. One of these reports is the American EPA report... Chapter 7.9 of the report covers passive smoking and respiratory symptoms and lung function in adults. Table 7.11 tabulates 6 studies and their results, which really show the contrary to what the prosecution witnesses say." The decision, handed down in Perth on September 17, 1993, concluded: "Whilst ETS is annoying and of discomfort to non smokers it has not been proved at the required standard, or at all, that it is a risk to the health of the employees at the Casino."

July 13/05
Subject: Letter to the Editor:
Proposed smoking ban
I sent this letter to 4 different Chicago newspapers. Asking some basic questions that make the antis squirm.
I love to watch em sweat.Dave Pickrell-SFD---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Politics! It certainly would be a fun game if the stakes we not so high. Who did what when, what hidden memo uncovered what secret? And those conflicts of interest! It is a circus played out in the news every day.But what about a political strategy that took such a strong hold that it created a almost billion dollar a year industry? I am talking about anti-smoking. Funded mainly by taxpayers, tobacco taxes and pharmaceutical tobacco replacement product companies.The city of Chicago has had some of its leaders propose a very restrictive smoking ban that would be in effect almost everywhere. In order for this proposal to have the moral and health authority it seeks, a series of tough questions need to be answered first on the science and so called facts that justifies the action.A smoking ban by definition is a zero tolerance action to whatever harm there might be to tobacco smoke in the environment. It is a reaction that is almost never taken with any other substance of concern. Why just tobacco smoke? Have human immune systems suddenly stopped working and have ventilation systems that we have always depended on for our indoor air quality been that pitiful before the idea of smoking bans came along? How did we all survive before the new rules of engagement were dictated to us by the smoke police?Why is it that passive smoke is considered dangerous when 80% of all the studies ever done on this subject point to weak and non-conclusive results by traditional standards set by the National Research Council and others? No legitimate and well conducted studies on this subject have reached the 200-300% additional risk considered a minimum before legitimate concerns can be founded? Most studies have found a rather small 15-40% additional risk increase.To the surprise of many, OSHA is who Congress gave the authority to regulate indoor air. They spent 12 years examining the issue and in 2000 dropped the desire to regulate passive smoke. Why? There was no justification for it.Why is this debate not over when a study of exposure to tobacco smoke of almost 40 years in length found no harms for the exposure of a population of over 100,000 subjects? It was released in 2003.Why is it that the Doctors of the American College of Chest Physicians started to use the lungs of smokers, even smokers of over 20 years, to transplant into the bodies of patients who need them to live? Since the exposure of a non-smoker is about 0.3% as much as a smoker inhales it is estimated, this give on a picture of the real harms that some Doctors are betting their patients lives on.The rights of property owners demands an investigation into the redefining of legitimate health issues by government. Especially if it stands to hurt legitimate businesses, jobs and the tax base that all residents of the city depend on.Do not allow this ill-conceived idea a life in Chicago. A free people and free enterprise deserve better.
Dave PickrellPresident and founderSmokers Fighting Discrimination, Inc.
A not for profit organization
P O Box 5472Katy, Tx 77491
Phone: Eve: 281-347-8780
Day: 713-977-2456
Email: sfdsmoke@hal-pc.org
SFD is 100% grassroots fundedPickrell has been an unpaid activist for the fair treatment of smokers since 1993 and a crusader against the use of junk science in public policy matters.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Wrong Threat

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My letter published in the Chicago Tribune July 12/05

My letter is good enough to be printed in the Chicago Tribune, but not good enough for the Chronicle Journal?? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0507120015jul12,1,5835969.story

Dear Editor, July 12/05

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke. Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades throughout the body politic. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of unlimited government power. Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," smoking bans have actually targeted many privately owned places such as bars and shops - places whose owners should be free to ban smoking or not and whose customers are free to patronize or not. Outdoor bans even harass smokers in places where others’ health is obviously not the issue. The decision to smoke or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question for each individual to answer based on his own values and judgment. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives. All lifestyle decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; many are controversial and invite disapproval from others… but the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free, because his life belongs to him, not to others, and only his own judgment can guide him through it. Yet when it comes to smoking this freedom of choice for a minority, is being seriously limited by a majority made baselessly fearful through massive media campaigns often funded by tax dollars. The real threat we face here, no matter how strongly it is denied by the anti-smoking lobby, is the systematic and unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour. They are in office to serve us, not visa versa.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Globe and Mail
June 28/05
Micco-organism that grown in damp conditions on or in anything, including dirty glass, dry walls, wood, plastic, fabric. Exposure can cause asthma, allergies, respiratory diseases. Not always easy to recognize: often looks like a stain: some times smells musty or earthy CANADIAN CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION, HEALTH CANADA And the anti said it was second-hand smoke that causes these diseases!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sent :
July 5, 2005 5:52:04 PM
To :
"Al Llaakkonen" , "Dick Waddington" , "Joe Vanderwees" , "Lynn Peterson" , "Lawrence Timko" , "Robert Tuchenhagen" , "Bill Scollie" , "Ian Angus" , "Joe Virdiramo" , "Lynn Rydholm" , "Mark Bentz" , "Rebbaca Johnson" , "Trevor Giertuga"
Subject :
Another lie from Tobacco Free Thunder Bay(Simon Hoad)

Dear Mayor and Council July 5/05

If protecting non-smokers and workers from exposure to ETS were the true basis for smoking bans imposed by government mandate...It would make much more sense for the governments and anti-tobacco lobby to accept improved ventilation solutions and DSRs.THE REAL BASIS FOR SMOKING BANS IS TO FORCE SMOKERS TO QUIT SMOKING.And there is no proof that other workplace smoking bans have helped many smokers quit their smoking habits.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

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