Monday, July 31, 2006

Sent this letter to the Globe and Mail Aug. 1/06

Mr. Watson states, casinos and the hospitality industry will bounce back??
For your information Mr. Watson, Thunder Bay had a no smoking by-law for three years and the casino and the hospitality industry never, till this day,'bounced back'.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

Two months later, pro-smoke lobbyists still fighting Ontario smoking ban
July 30, 2006 - 12:33


TORONTO (CP) - Two months after Ontario finally decided to kick the habit, lobbyists who fought the province's sweeping ban on smoking in public places say it's having precisely the negative impact on their industries that they had feared.
In May, smoker's rights group Mychoice.ca, which is funded in part by the tobacco industry, joined forces with pub owners, veterans, and charities in voicing concerns about the economic impact of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
They predicted that the bill, which took effect May 31 and prohibited smoking in most enclosed public places and workplaces, would sound the death knell for bars, casinos and bingo halls - long considered among the smoker's last remaining indoor haunts.

Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson begs to differ.
"I'm pleased to report that the sky did not fall down," said Watson, noting that only 82 charges have been laid for smoking violations since the ban took effect - a sign the minister cites as evidence that the public has overwhelmingly adapted to the new law.
But Mychoice.ca president Nancy Daigneault said her group has grown in membership since the ban came into effect.
"I think the ban has prompted more people to join because they realize now how intrusive it is," Daigneault said.
"A lot of (smokers) are going out less often, and I think that's been reflected in some of the stories coming in from the various regions in Ontario."
Bar owners across the province are already feeling the effects of the ban, said Randy Hughes, a spokesman for the Pub and Bar Coalition of Canada.
The impact will be amplified significantly when the cold weather returns and smokers are less inclined to stand outside for a puff, he added.
"Two months is too early to tell," said Hughes. "I think what we'll see over time is that the strong will survive, but certainly the industry is losing good business people."
In Windsor, where there was no anti-smoking bylaw in place prior to May 31, Casino Windsor recently laid off 329 employees, citing lost revenue from the smoking ban as a cause. A bingo hall in the region has also closed its doors, displacing dozens of local charities.
In May, Ken Coulter, executive-director of the Windsor Essex Nonprofit Support Network, asked the government to set aside a contingency fund to help charities that he said would lose out if charity bingo halls began closing as a result of the ban.
That request fell on deaf ears, said Coulter.
"What we are looking for is some kind of subsidization... a contingency fund that could be tapped into by charities that are effected, and if there are no long lasting effects then their contingency fund would be safe," he said.
Watson said he's concerned about the charities in Windsor, but remains optimistic the gaming establishments will bounce back as they have in other regions where municipal anti-smoking bylaws predated the provincial ban.
And while Watson said he recognizes the importance of charity bingo halls, he's less sympathetic towards pub and bar owners.
"I think people understand that smoking is not good for you and your health is more important than the all mighty dollar," Watson said.
Daigneault and Mychoice.ca fear Watson and the anti-smoking lobby will soon take steps to ban smoking in cars, homes, and outdoor parks.
"These are the things we're going to be keeping tabs on," Daigneault said.
Health activist Michael Perley, director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco and a vocal supporter of the ban, said he knows of no calls for a ban on smoking in private residences or in outdoor parks.
Certain regulations restricting smoking in cars, particularly when kids are present, would be welcome, however, he added.
"I think there is grounds for looking at a ban on smoking in vehicles where children are present," Perley said.
Watson said he's now concentrating on phase two of the ban, which would require convenience stores to hide their tobacco products from view - a move to which many retailers who depend on cigarette sales are staunchly opposed.


In Tyler, Texas, in order to have a drink and a smoke at a bar you have to present your membership card. These cards are two or three dollars each.
Tyler is in a "dry" county in the great U.S. of A. One has to drive 24 miles across the county line to fetch your own beer to drink at home. Why couldn't we do this in Calgary and buy a "smoking" card to a club of our choice and non-smokers won't have to ever open this door again?

Sara Tempest

(Somebody is probably already working on it.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I'm sick of reading about the smoking controversy. How much money is being spent on this long debate when the money could be used for so many other things. Come over to my garage. I'll go in there for two hours and smoke. When I'm done, you drive your vehicle in, sit in there for two hours while it's running and then tell me which is worse.
J. Schultz
(No thanks.)

Perhaps Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart wouldn't be so quick to take risks of legal action by bar owners, if she was paying the bill out of her own pocket, rather than taxpayers.
Donna Chambers
(If the smoking bylaw is fair, there won't be any lawsuits.)

Friday, July 28, 2006


Still smoking

Although Mr. Matt Skala agrees that it may be true that “second-hand smoke fails to meet some arbitrary risk ratio,” he puts the onus on smokers to prove that it is safe before they light up in his presence. What kind of reasoning is this?
Nothing in life is 100 per cent risk free. Should we be asking Mr. Skala to prove that pushing his shopping cart at the grocery store is totally safe for the other shoppers before he’s allowed to do so? Or perhaps he can prove without a doubt that his ball will not hit another player over the head before he’s admitted to the golf course? Come on, Mr. Skala, you can do better than to give the readers this totally silly argument. Why don’t you just admit straightforwardly that you dislike the smell of tobacco smoke? It’s quite alright if you do. Most smokers do not wish to inconvenience people intolerant of tobacco smoke. What they are asking for is the right to be able to congregate in some designated smoking establishments, while those who choose not to enter such venues can be catered to elsewhere. Obviously this is too much to ask for in a free society!

Iro Cyr

Treat smoking report with sceptism

The current surgeon general's report on the risks of secondhand smoke is just a rehash of 20 years of false data. This report needs a warning label that says "contains mix of facts, speculation, and downright hyperbole." It does correctly report a few things, which the media did not report, such as there is no causal relationship between secondhand smoke and breast or cervical cancers, congenital malformations, behavioral developments or childhood cancers. It also showed no causal relationship to asthma in children or adults.
The most important statement this report makes is that even the smallest dose of secondhand smoke can be dangerous. This goes against the basic tenet of toxicology: only the dose makes the poison. The measurements made in these studies use nanograms – that's one millionth of a gram, folks!
These measurements do not even come close to exceeding OSHA's standards for air quality. The closest they reach is 5,000 times safer than OSHA's standards.
This only shows that air filtration devices can increase dramatically the atmosphere of an establishment that allows smoking. I have said before that the 1993 EPA report is false, but here is one example of the data. It states that the lifetime risk for nonsmokers getting lung cancer is 1-in-10,000. The EPA report further states that spousal exposure to secondhand smoke increases that risk by 20 percent. Therefore, you would have to have 50,000 people exposed to secondhand smoke to cause one more fatality.

This just shows that secondhand smoke is an insignificant risk.
All of my data comes from their sources. I am not making this up. It's about time people used a little skepticism around doctors like they do around politicians.


Letter sent to the Ottawa Sun

Dear Editor, June 2/06

Mr. Watson said he believes this law will save lives, and that the overwhelming majority of Ontarians support it.
Mr. Watson knows that Cancer is a multifactor situation and smoking could be one of those factors
No one on this planet ever got cancer, solely from second-hand smoke.
His agenda is to de-normalize smoking and passing no-smoking legislation is a big part of his agenda.
It is not about health and it never was about health.
It is all about de-normalizing smoking.
Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is caught in the cross-fire.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.


In Roy Clancy's July 26 column "Smoke and heat," he writes: "Sure, there will be plenty of grumbling by smokers. Tobacco is an extremely addictive substance, so their unhappiness is understandable." I'm afraid this misses the point. I'm not a smoker but I am a believer in private property rights, liberty and freedom. Period. Why must government step in to make the bar owners' decision for them?

What's next?
Big Macs?
Helmets for all?
Bruce Korol
(They are already working on it.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 5, 2006
A Pack of Lies
The surgeon general hypes the hazards of secondhand smoke.
Jacob Sullum
According to Surgeon General Richard Carmona, secondhand smoke is so dangerous that you'd be better off if you stopped going to smoky bars and started smoking instead. "Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke," claims the press release that accompanied his new report on the subject, "has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer."
Among smokers, these diseases take many years to develop. So if you got your health tips from the surgeon general, you'd start smoking a pack a day as a protective measure.
But you may want to look elsewhere for medical advice. Carmona is so intent on promoting smoking bans—a key element of the government's campaign to reduce cigarette consumption—that he absurdly exaggerates the hazards of secondhand smoke, hoping to generate enough public alarm to banish smokers from every location outside the home.
As the report itself makes clear, there is no evidence that brief, transient exposure to secondhand smoke has any effect on your chance of developing heart disease or lung cancer. The studies that link secondhand smoke to these illnesses involve intense, long-term exposure, typically among people who have lived with smokers for decades.
Even in these studies, it's difficult to demonstrate an effect, precisely because the doses of toxins and carcinogens bystanders passively absorb are much smaller than the doses absorbed by smokers, probably amounting to a fraction of a cigarette a day. Not surprisingly, the epidemiological studies cited by the surgeon general's report find that the increases in lung cancer and heart disease risks associated with long-term exposure to secondhand smoke are small, on the order of 20 to 30 percent. Among smokers, by contrast, the risk of heart disease is between 100 and 300 percent higher, while the risk of lung cancer is about 900 percent higher.
Because the associations found in the secondhand smoke studies are so weak, it's impossible to rule out alternative explanations, such as unreported smoking or other lifestyle variables that independently raise disease risks. Although the surgeon general's report concludes such factors are unlikely to entirely account for the observed associations, the truth is we don't know for sure and probably never well, given the limitations of epidemiology and the difficulty of measuring low-level risks.
Reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of these ambiguous data, and it's not surprising that supporters of smoking bans like Carmona are inclined to see a clear causal relationship, while opponents (like me) are inclined to be more skeptical. But there is no excuse for the kind of scare mongering in which Carmona engaged when he implied that you could drop dead from the slightest whiff of tobacco smoke.
Even supporters of smoking bans, such as longtime anti-smoking activist Michael Siegel, faulted Carmona for gilding the lily (blackening the lung?) by saying things such as, "There is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure." This position contradicts the basic toxicological principle that the dose makes the poison. Since it's hard to measure even the health consequences of heavy, long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, how could one possibly demonstrate an effect from, say, a few molecules? "No risk-free level" is an article of faith, not a scientific statement.
Speaking of which, Carmona was at pains to say he was merely summarizing the science, not making policy recommendations, even though he emphasized that smoking bans are the only way to eliminate the "serious public health hazard" posed by secondhand smoke. He is right about this much: The issue of what the government should do about secondhand smoke is independent from the issue of exactly how risky it is. Whether smoking bans are a good idea is a question not of science but of values, of whether we want to live in a country where a majority forcibly imposes its preferences on everyone else or one where there is room for choice and diversity.


Let’s ban people who tell others what to do
A recent letter writer from Elk Grove Village suggests a ban on all tobacco and to make it a crime to use it. Since non-smoking zealots can no longer claim they can’t avoid secondhand smoke, they want to make it a crime for anyone to smoke. Presumably, this would make me a criminal when I have an occasional cigar in my own home after work.
He points to higher insurance rates for all because of tobacco. Last time I checked, there were different rates for non-smokers and smokers.
Why leave out any mention of obesity and alcohol when talking bout higher insurance rates?
Could it be that the letter writer likes an occasional cocktail or beer and doesn’t feel anything he enjoys should be banned?
Also, no mention of the recent story about a boy who died because he received some “bad” heroin and the reaction of his parents was more like he didn’t know it was “bad” rather than he should not be taking any drugs, anytime.
What we should ban is people who try to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t do.
My friends can’t tell if I’m a Democrat or Republican because on all the issues I believe people should be left alone to lead their lives so they see fit as long as they are not harming anyone else.
It is people who manufacture reasons they are being “harmed” by someone else’s behavior that we need to avoid.

Allen C. Kershner

Nowhere in the Surgeon General's report does it conclude that brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease or lung cancer, and there is no scientific evidence that a brief exposure is enough to cause these chronic diseases.
No need to exaggerate; the truth is enough

July. 23, 2006 Dr. Michael Siegel

The release of the Surgeon General's report on the effects of secondhand smoke is an important landmark in the government's recognition of the significance of this public health hazard. Tobacco control researchers like me have for years been trying to convince the public that chronic smoke exposure can cause heart disease and lung cancer and that acute exposure has potentially severe respiratory consequences.
However, the Surgeon General has taken the scientific evidence a step further by claiming even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer. According to the press release issued to accompany the report: "Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer, the report says."
There's just one problem with this statement: Nowhere in the Surgeon General's report does it conclude that brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart disease or lung cancer, and there is no scientific evidence that a brief exposure is enough to cause these chronic diseases.
Not only is the scientific evidence for such an assertion lacking, but the claim flies in the face of common medical sense. Even active smokers do not develop heart disease after only a "brief" exposure. It takes many years for the process of hardening of the arteries — atherosclerosis — to occur. It is quite unusual to see smokers presenting with heart disease until at least age 35, suggesting that no less than 10-15 years of active smoke exposure is required to produce the chronic changes that result in heart disease. How could passive smoke produce such changes in just minutes or hours?
Similarly, there is no scientific evidence or reason to believe that merely a "brief" exposure to secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. The studies reviewed by the Surgeon General, from which it was concluded that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, examined individuals who were exposed to spousal or workplace smoking for many years.
While it's accurate to state that brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system (this is well documented in the report), to jump from these acute and transient physiologic changes in artery elasticity, coronary lining cell function, lipid metabolism, and platelet activity to the development of chronic arterial disease is more than just a leap of faith: it's a misrepresentation of the scientific evidence.
Interestingly, the Surgeon General's report itself is scientifically sound: It concludes that chronic exposure to secondhand smoke causes chronic diseases (such as heart disease and lung cancer) and notes that acute exposure can precipitate asthma and cause other acute respiratory problems.
But it does not conclude or even suggest a brief exposure can cause an individual to develop heart disease or lung cancer. What appears to have happened is that the results of the report were exaggerated and sensationalized, perhaps to increase the effect of the report on the public's perception of secondhand smoke risk.
One might argue that this is a good thing, since the more the public fears secondhand smoke, the more it is likely to avoid such exposure. But it also carries a serious risk of its own: the possibility public health authorities may lose credibility if they cannot be trusted to accurately deliver health information to the public.
The message from the Surgeon General's report is an important one and Americans need to be aware secondhand smoke is a significant and even severe health hazard. But there is no reason for the public to be concerned that if they are briefly exposed to secondhand smoke, they are at risk of developing heart disease or lung cancer.
It seems to me the truth is enough. We don't need to exaggerate or misrepresent the science in order to promote smoke-free environments. It's enough to just stick to the scientific facts.
In my view, the misrepresentation of the findings of the report highlights an increasing tendency among tobacco control practitioners to exaggerate the science in order to promote our cause. I think we are risking losing credibility with the public, something which will hurt the public health cause far more than any transient gains to be obtained by scaring people about these hazards.
As public health practitioners, it's too important for us to retain public trust to unduly scare people with inaccurate health claims. We should leave blowing smoke to the tobacco companies.Read

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Has anybody bothered to explain to all these anti-smoking fanatics they are not obliged to go to places where smoking is still allowed?
I, and I am sure 99.9% of all other smokers, fully comply with and respect all no-smoking signs.
We understand our second-hand smoke is hazardous and offensive, so we stay away from places where we're not welcome. Why do these non-smokers have a problem showing the same respect for the "this is a smoking area" signs.
Perhaps instead of a full smoking ban , we should institute a full public ban on all persons too stupid to stay out of places where they are uncom- fortable or believe a hazard to their health exists.
Scott Beaton (Letters, July 26), seems to feel non-smokers' rights supersede those of smokers.
He is angry because the government won't stop smokers from gathering socially in places where smoking is still allowed. He feels smokers should not be allowed places to gather socially, since that would exclude the pink lungs.
At least he has the brains to say, until such time as these places are totally banned, he will continue to go only to places where smoking is not allowed.
Bully for him. Why doesn't he take some of those nut-job anti-smoking jokers with him.

Robert McMechan

Victoria Manor residents can continue to light up smokes

It appears as though residents of Victoria Manor in Lindsay will have a place to go to smoke beyond this year. City council passed a resolution on Thursday to create a Controlled Smoking Area in the manor under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, despite the fact that a staff report recommended against it. The report, prepared by Victoria Manor acting administrator Shirley Gostlow and health and social services director Bob Knight, states that only 11 of the 165 residents smoke, and that construction and operation of the smoking area will be costly. The Controlled Smoking Area must be completely enclosed and will require a new ventilation system. "If a (Controlled Smoking Area) were developed at Victoria Manor, it would be the only such long-term care home in the City. All others plan to go entirely non-smoking indoors," reads the report. "Victoria Manor would be the home of choice for smokers applying for admission to a facility." Under the resolution passed by council, the room can cost up to $39,300, with the funds coming from the development charge reserve for Victoria Manor, the Victoria County reserve for air conditioning, the Victoria County reserve for manor special projects, and the Treasurer's Maintenance Fund for Victoria Manor. The staff report indicates an estimated increase in the manor's annual operating costs of $8,100, relating to special cleaning requirements, ventilation system maintenance and annual inspections. The new room will also create more work for staff because under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, they can't clean the room until two hours after it has been used. This means they will have to schedule smoking times and monitor the room to ensure compliance. Coun. Sal Polito, Ward 9, asked Mr. Knight if creating the room would place manor staff at any risk. "If someone has a health event, an adverse health event, in that room, (staff) will have to go in and help them," said Mr. Knight. City staff must now prepare detailed drawings and specifications for the room and submit them to the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion by July 31. This will give the City until the end of the year to construct the new room. If the drawings are not submitted, the manor would be completely smoke free starting next month. The Smoke-Free Ontario Act came into effect on May 31, but the Ministry gave long-term care providers until June 30 to write a letter expressing interest in creating a Controlled Smoking Area. City staff did so, then brought the matter before the community and emergency services committee on July 10. The committee requested a report on the subject, and staff presented it on Tuesday. In making the motion to create the Controlled Smoking Area, Coun. Donna Villemaire, Ward 8, echoed the sentiments expressed by Coun. Faye McGee, Ward 5, at the community and emergency services meeting. "My issue is, for the residents that live there, this is their home. I don't want to be the one who at 70 or 80 years old tells them they can't have a cigarette," said Coun. McGee. If council decided against constructing the smoking area, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care would have funded the cost of medication for residents with nicotine withdrawal, reads the staff report.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Council speeds up smoking ban
Reprieve given businesses with smoking rooms

Tony Seskus and Kim Guttormson, with files from MichelleLang, Calgary Herald, Calgary HeraldPublished: Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Calgary will ban smoking a year earlier than planned, although an amendment to delay enforcement for bars, bingos and casinos with separate smoking rooms has left the proposal's real impact in a haze.
In a surprise decision that delighted anti-smoking activists and enraged bar owners, city council voted 10-5 Monday to bump up Calgary's smoking ban for indoor public places.
Council then voted 11-4 to allow establishments that built ventilated smoking rooms to continue to offer a smoking environment until January 2008, while others would have to go non-smoking by January 2007.
That move immediately raised questions over whether the changes would apply to bars that view their establishments as one big "smoking room."
The future of the ban now seems to lie with the wording of a draft bylaw that returns to council for approval this fall.
"What is a smoking room?" asked Mike Joseph, president of the Calgary Pub and Bar Association and vice-president of Penny Lane Entertainment, which owns some of the city's biggest nightclubs. "There's a ton of ambiguity around it."
Mayor Dave Bronconnier said the vote doesn't bring the city closer to being smoke-free because it wasn't a clear decision.
"I think it was somewhat a political sleight of hand," he said.
"It's going to be very difficult for administration to draft this bylaw because you now have smoking premises, smoking rooms."
But Ald. Bob Hawkesworth, one of six aldermen who proposed moving up the ban, said there's a clear distinction between a "smoking room" and "smoking premises."
With the changes, only businesses with smoking rooms -- about 100 -- will be exempt until 2008, he said. The other 3,500-plus establishments will have to follow the rules beginning New Year's Day.
"I suppose there are people out there who are always testing the law," Hawkesworth said. "But . . . our bylaws are basically enforced on a complaint basis, and if the public feels someone is not living up to the bylaw, they will ask us in to enforce it."
Nearly four years ago, council voted to impose a smoking ban in January 2008. Other attempts to move up the date failed.
But Monday, six aldermen pushing for a new ban date won over four of their colleagues, surprising observers on both sides.
Joseph, whose company operates smoking establishments such as Cowboys, and non-smoking ones such as Zen 8, said council has broken its word.
"It's an almost unethical process here," he said. "What message is city council sending out to potential business owners who want to do business in Calgary?"
But anti-smoking activist Robyn Hefferton was delighted. Now council needs to stick to the intent of the amendment and ban smoking in most establishments, she said.
"The decision is the right one," agreed Alberta Health Minister Iris Evans. "They may have saved lives today. . . . You just know it's a healthier choice they've made."
- - -
Council votes to start smoking ban on Jan. 1, 2007
Ald. Madeleine King
Ald. Dale Hodges
Ald. Druh Farrell
Ald. Joe Ceci
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart
Ald. Andre Chabot
Ald. Bob Hawkesworth
Ald. Craig Burrows
Ald. Helene Larocque
Ald. Barry Erskine
Ald. Linda Fox-Mellway
Ald. Gord Lowe
Ald. Ric McIver
Ald. Ray Jones
Mayor Dave Bronconnier
© The Calgary Herald 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Calgary Story is now national


Sunday, July 23, 2006

July 19/06

Subject: RE: This information is a 'must' before you make your decisions on the smoking ban
Dear Mr. Laprade,
I wish to acknowledge your recent e-mail to Mayor Bronconnier. Your comments on this issue will be kept on file for Mayor Bronconnier’s review. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with Mayor Bronconnier.
Please contact us again with any additional questions or concerns.
Best regards,
Sharon McCormick Liaison to City Administration for Mayor Bronconnier
Office of the Mayor www.calgary.ca/mayor
The City of Calgary #8069 P.O. Box 2100 Stn. M. Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M5
403-268-5622 (phone) 403-268-8130 (fax)

From: Thomas Laprade [mailto:snowbird@tbaytel.net] Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:36 AMTo: Office of the MayorSubject: This information is a 'must' before you make your decisions on the smoking ban Importance: High
Dear Dave, July 18/06

I have been following the smoking issue for quite some time..in Calgary and Edmonton.
I have mailed you some very important information concerning a smoking ban.
I hope you will share this information to the undecided aldermen and to whomever you think will benefit from this very important information.
I also sent the same information to Barry Erskine(alderman) and to Bruce MacKenzie..the owner of Riverbend Station Neighborhood Pub.

This very important information was compiled by Michael J. McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers' Brains

Why You Should Fight a Smoking Ban.

Section 1: The Health Arguments

Section 2: The Economic Arguments

Section 3: A Ban is NOT inevitable


My name is Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Ph. 807 3457258
I live in Thunder Bay, Ont.
A smoking by-law was passed by a Plebiscite a couple of years ago
and it devastated the hospitality industry.
A number of business before the ban were hanging by their finger tips.
After the ban those businesses closed.
business losses were between 30 to 80 per cent.
Workers were laid off(singles Moms)
Tobacco Free Thunder Bay(Simon Hoad..The health promoter and Dr. Jim Morris employed by the Health Dept. of the Ontario Provincial Government) pulled off a plebiscite.
They knew that 80 per cent of the public didn't smoke.
We lost 4 to 1 ratio
The Health Dept. all across Canada and the United States are using Thunder Bay as an example on how to pass no-smoking bylaws.
The previous Thunder Bay Council could have dismissed this smoking fiasco, but politicians would rather be popular than 'right' , so they said,"Let the people decide"
Personally, we had quite a few 'gutless' wonders on Council.
They were re-elected on the backs of the hospitality industry.

It is the owners business's and they should decide if they want to go smoke free or not.
Take no offence Dave, but politicians are elected to run the business of the city, not the city's businesses.

God Bless

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay. Ont.

Got a Light??

Tonight I make the sort of announcement usually designated "a public service." Since I am not yet required to wear a label on my forehead or a placard around my neck, it is only fair to warn you: I am a danger to your health.
I smoke cigarettes.
If ever you enter my apartment, you will risk intense exposure to secondhand smoke, which, the Surgeon General has recently concluded, is an even more hazardous hazard than we thought. I read somewhere that spending a full night in a place as dangerous as my apartment will subtract two full minutes from your life. I like to think I'm worth that, but hey, it's your life, and those last two minutes in the old age home or in that hospital with various machines and tubes attached to your person may be precious, so best give it some thought. I don't desire to rob you of anything, even two minutes' worth – hence this public-service announcement.
I offer the small comfort that your appearance in my apartment is unlikely. See, I'm a Scorpio and, especially as we age, Scorpios are famously standoffish. Also, I'm Sicilian. There are few things more rare than crossing a Sicilian's doorsill unless you've undergone the equivalent of pricking your finger, swearing the oath of Omerta on pain of death, and otherwise proving that you won't be a pain in the ass. We're really awful that way. Think I'm kidding? I have a very close relative, we're related by blood – in fact, we have the same mother and father – and I have never seen the inside of this relative's apartment. Never. And that's when we're getting along! But this relative knows I'm a pain in the ass. We Sicilians are like that.
So I probably won't endanger you in particular. Still, one never knows. Lillian Hellman said, "Crazy people are crazy all the time," to which I add: Dangerous people are dangerous all the time. No getting around it: I am a hazard to your health.
It is perhaps in bad taste, but I must admit that I find amusing such headlines as I'm about to report: "Tobacco Will Kill 1 Billion in the 21st Century" (CNN, July 10).
For the sake of argument, let's say they know what they're talking about. I propose a counter-headline: "The Universe Will Kill Everyone Born in the 21st Century"! The universe is like that. It killed or is in the process of killing everyone born in the 20th century, the 19th, the 18th, and on and on back to when people didn't even know what century they were in because they hadn't figured out how to count. The universe makes life very interesting – to cop a line from Babylon 5, "Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else!" – but the universe demands payment for being so entertaining: 100% casualties.
Headlines like CNN's – and they are legion – present themselves as though if tobacco didn't kill you perhaps you'd live ... forever? We forget the lesson a crusty old coot once told me: "You're born with a hand grenade up your ass. And you never know when or why it'll blow."
A billboard I saw recently (I didn't take notes, so I may be getting the numbers wrong, but this was the gist): "One out of Four Women Will Die of Breast Cancer." OK, cancer is no joke. It's killed my friends and my family. The joke is the billboard's and headline's unconscious implication. Tobacco may kill 1 billion in the 21st century, many will die of breast and prostate cancer, all kinds of cancers, but I look at that billboard and think: I hope they beat breast cancer but, if they do, a more pertinent headline will remain: Four out of Four Women Will Die. So will four out of four men. The inconveniently inserted grenade will blow eventually.
Ban me from restaurants, bars, beaches, parks – I'm a hazard, and the present consensus is that hazards must be banned. I do believe these venues will be less interesting without me, but, hey, you'll get a few extra years in the nursing home, where you'll be lucky if your kids visit once a month and luckier still if you can remember who you are. (If you have enough money, the place may not even stink and the attendants may give a damn.) So, ban me. I have no objection to being banned, nor to higher tobacco taxes (if the money goes to education). My one and only objection is to the way the tobacco hazard, and all other hazards, are presented. The headlines, and the slant of the news stories, imply that without tobacco or cancer we're less likely to die. Ban what you please, but ... you, in particular, are going to die. Me too. And it likely won't be easy or pretty.
To put it mildly, we're not very consistent about our health preoccupations. Our inconsistency presents some queer sights. For instance, in Los Angeles, in an expensive part of town, there's a boulevard called San Vicente. Lovely place. Two lanes of traffic run on either side of a substantial grassy "island" studded with trees and wide enough for maybe eight or 10 people to walk abreast. Joggers jog. Power-walkers walk powerfully. Mothers wheel strollers. And four lanes of busy traffic rush by on either side. I bet those joggers, power-walkers, and moms would not let me smoke in their homes. But as they take their healthy strolls and runs, they breathe a concentration of exhaust fumes engineered to be almost scentless (as far as our urbanized nostrils are concerned). Those fumes are really bad for you. There's a little label on every gas pump telling you how bad. It makes no impression. The joggers and power-walkers especially scoop the fumes into their lungs with every deep aerobic breath. The poor little babies are breathing the stuff! And everybody's just sort of unconscious of it. When I lived in L.A. I asked my MD and then my acupuncturist if 20 minutes on that island, especially jogging, wasn't the equivalent of smoking a pack a day. They both said the same words: "At least."
Another strange sight and occurrence. There's a school where I love to teach. It's a marvelous place. Great kids, dedicated teachers. The school is on a lovely hillside in a well-heeled suburban neighborhood. There's a wide driveway up the hill and a traffic circle at its top. For about 20 minutes before 8am, and another 20 minutes or so after 3pm, a long line of mostly SUVs idles and/or slowly rolls up and down the hill as parents transport their kids. Used to be, in an area by the main office enclosed by a high plank fence, teachers and staff who smoke could smoke on our breaks. There were always a few passionate puritans who wanted to ban us, but they weren't successful until (I'm told) a parent and/or parents smelled cigarette smoke wafting over the fence. We hazardous teachers – or rather, our smokes – were banned. Fine. But no one has addressed how for 40 minutes a day the air is thick with the scentless (to us) exhaust from two lines of slowly rolling and idling SUVs and cars (one going uphill, one downhill), while children, parents, and teachers inhale a concentrated cloud of deadly glop.
In fact, we breathe this stuff by the lungful every time we drive. Or sit idling in traffic. Or walk the streets of any major city.
Where's the Surgeon General's report on that? Where are the headlines and billboards? Are there studies of the effects of our daily and (in urban areas) constant exposure to these deadly fumes? If they exist they don't get much coverage. I'm a news addict, I scan two or three major newspapers a day, I read at least two news magazines a week, I've been doing so for years, and I've seen not one mention of this health hazard. As I write, the World Health Organization is calling on all nations to ban smoking in all public buildings, workplaces, and "public spaces." Fine. Where are warnings on exhaust fumes? I guess the Surgeon General wants us not to fear our major mode of transport. Breathe all the crud we can as long as it's good for the economy.
Americans inhale a constant toxic mix of illusions of safety and illusions of fear, a brew more dangerous to the polity, to the world, and to our physical and mental health than all the cigarettes ever lit. Meanwhile, most real and present dangers go unaddressed and unnoticed – though they are right under (and in) our noses, our food, our entire way of life. Ban tobacco. Fine. You'll spend more time in a nursing home than me. But the reason for the publicity about banning tobacco is that it's an easy target and gives you the illusion of being safer when you're really, really not.
For myself, I'll take these lines from Ursula K. Le Guin's earthy translation of the Tao Te Ching: "To live till you die/is to live long enough."


Global Warming might cause problems. Second-hand smoke may be hazardous. But there's an element that, when living things are exposed to on a continuous basis, they all eventually die. No exceptions. What is this horrible element? Oxygen. Don't believe everything you're told or read, especially from so-called scientific sources.

David E. Lucas

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 22:46:42 -0400http://west.niagaracommunitynewspapers.com/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=109413&catname=Opinion

Dear Editor, July 22/06

I feel that the Grimsby Legion Branch 127 and all other legions be granted special status as far as the new smoking laws are concerned.These veterans fought in the wars to fight for freedoms for other countries.And now they can't smoke in their own legion?? Is that how Dalton McGuinty treats our veterans??
At least the Ontario Provincial government could give them the option to go smoke-free or not to go smoke free.
At least they should have an option.
One shoe does not fit all.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

The chips are down for casinos
Rising loonie and gas prices, smoking ban and on-line rivals hurt industry
The rising dollar, soaring gas prices and tighter restrictions on smoking are hurting Canada's casino industry, which is already losing ground to on-line upstarts.
Yesterday, Casino Windsor laid off 329 employees, roughly 8 per cent of its total work force. Revenue at the casino has been falling steadily this year but business has been slowing down even more recently because of a provincial smoking ban which took effect on June 1. Prior to that date, Ontario's big casinos were largely exempt from anti-smoking rules.
Holly Ward, a spokeswoman for the casino, said the smoking ban was only one factor in the layoffs. She said high gas prices, the stronger loonie and tighter scrutiny at the border have also hurt business. About 80 per cent of the patrons of the Windsor casino come from Detroit, which now has three of its own casinos.
"I don't recall a time other than perhaps after Sept. 11 where you had things that were world events that were really beyond your control," Ms. Ward said. "But dealing with so many issues at the same time, I don't think it has ever happened before."
In a recent report, Moody's Investors Service Inc. cited the smoking ban in Ontario as a significant boost for the Detroit casinos, which have also seen a slowdown this year.
It's not just Windsor that is feeling the pinch. Casinos across the country are facing similar issues, said Bill Rutsey, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Gaming Association, which represents casinos, race tracks, video lottery terminal operators and bingo halls.
"Tourism has been hit generally and gaming is part of the tourism industry," Mr. Rutsey said.
North American casinos have been expanding into new areas, such as entertainment, conventions and hotels, as a way of diversifying revenue from betting. Over all, many analysts say the industry has enjoyed strong results recently, but it could be in for a fall if consumer spending continues to slow.
Revenue at Ontario's commercial casinos increased to $1.69-billion last year from $1.6-billion a year earlier. However, much of the revenue gain came from the opening of a new casino in Niagara Falls. Revenue at the Windsor casino fell by 3.1 per cent to $109.7-million in the latest quarter ended March 31.
The stronger dollar, gas prices and border issues are "all kind of creating the prefect situation for people to not come from the United States," said Teresa Roncon, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., which regulates the industry.
Gambling at all levels has soared in recent years in Canada. Net revenue from casinos, lotteries and video lottery terminals jumped to $12.9-billion in 2005 from $2.7-billion in 1992, according to Statistics Canada. Of the $12.9-billion, $7.3-billion was profit.
Mr. Rutsey said the biggest long-term issue facing the industry is the rapid growth of on-line gambling.
As in the United States, on-line betting is illegal in Canada, but the government has done little to enforce the rules. Several other countries, notably Britain, have legalized Internet gambling and many companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange.
This week, U.S. officials charged 11 people who run Internet gambling sites, including the chief executive officer of a British gambling site, with various offences including racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. American legislators are also close to approving new measures to toughen the existing ban. The crackdown in the United States drove down the shares of many companies connected to Internet gambling, including Canadian businesses such as CryptoLogic Inc. and Fun Technologies Inc.
Canadians spend an estimated $300-million annually betting on line, and that is expected to grow to $1-billion within eight years.
"That's a lot of money disappearing into the ether," Mr. Rutsey said.
He added that the Canadian government should either crack down on Internet betting or regulate the industry and allow existing casinos a chance to compete. Discussions have been under way between federal and provincial officials about the issue. A private members' bill in Ontario would also ban advertising by on-line gambling sites.
David Shore, an analyst at Desjardins Securities, said in a report this week that he expects the U.S. will ultimately drop its ban on Internet gambling. "With jurisdictions such as the U.K. enacting legislation that embraces on-line gaming, we believe it is inevitable that the U.S. will eventually follow suit," he said.
If that happens, the Canadian government would almost certainly do the same -- something Mr. Rutsey would welcome. "It's a very complicated matter. One would hope that the exiting legal [casinos] wouldn't have one hand tied behind their back from a competitive position, as they do now."
Rolling the dice
Revenue at Casino Windsor had been falling steadily this year even before a recent provincial smoking ban -- a factor in the casino laying off roughly 8 per cent of its work force yesterday.
Employees: 3,632, however 329 layoffs were just announced.
Facilities: 3,300 slot machines; more than 80 table games.
Revenue: Fell 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter ended March 31, to $109.7-million.
Expansion plan: Aims to tap into new business. It is adding a 400-room hotel and 100,000 square feet of convention space.
Competition: Three casinos across the river in Detroit, which are also expanding, can now tout their smoking policy as an advantage over their Canadian rivals.
Other challenges: Rising gas prices, the stronger loonie and tighter border scrutiny are all affecting cross-border traffic.

/21/06 Smoking Bans: Yet Another Liberty Down The Drain
By: Christopher Friend, Special To The Evening Bulletin
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The biggest threat America faces is not from outside invasion or the possibility of a terrorist attack. Rather, it comes from the American people themselves when they allow their Constitutional rights and privileges to be taken away. And the point that needs to be stressed here is that too many people are voluntarily surrendering their freedoms and liberties to a usurping government because they have bought into the guise that "they will be safer" and that "they have nothing to hide."Nothing could be further from the truth.I have always advocated "truth and accuracy" over "fair and balanced," because if you present an accurate portrayal of the truth, then there is no need to be artificially "fair." The truth is reality, plain and simple. The problem arises when certain segments of our society choose not to acknowledge the white elephant in the room, and in turn, pander to people's innate fears to gain more power.One example that clearly illustrates this point is the rise of smoking bans.There is currently a bill on Mayor Street's desk that will effectively outlaw smoking in all public buildings in the city, including restaurants and bars. What is absolutely mind boggling is the reason that the Mayor has given for not yet signing the ban. He has stated that the bill did not go far enough with the ban, because outdoor cafes would be exempted. Mind you, he wasn't concerned about uniformity with the law (in other words, if inside restaurants had to abide by the ban, then so should outdoor cafes). No, his reasoning was infinitely more out of left field. He said that smoke from OUTDOOR cafes could produce harmful second hand smoke to those people walking down the street. Additionally, all that billowing smoke would blow back into the restaurant, thereby affecting the patrons eating inside. I was unaware that smoke was a living, breathing and thinking malevolent entity that makes a concerted effort to do irreparable lung damage in the seven seconds it takes a passerby to walk by a restaurant. But that's just the beginning. The smoke, now on a high after a fresh kill, thirsts to commit more debauchery and makes a beeline through the door whenever it happens to open, seeking out all the other unsuspecting diners. What's really scary is that Mayor Street has a law degree. Not that I am a big fan of lawyers, but I thought law school taught logical and rational thinking. Did Mayor Street miss that part of the training?Here's the deal. Does secondhand smoke cause cancer, premature death and other health problems? The answer is inconclusive at best, especially since the EPA's 1993 study about the ill-effects of secondhand smoke was found to be "junk science" and wrought with technical and procedural errors (it was later invalidated by a federal judge based on these reasons). The EPA had concluded that secondhand smoke generated severe ill-effects, but concluded this BEFORE it actually conducted the study and compiled data in a very selective manner, cherry-picking only that information which supported its "conclusion" (can anyone say "WMD in Iraq"?).Common sense needs to be applied here. If there are children living in a household where smoking is prevalent, then yes, resultant ill effects such as asthma are likely to occur. The same holds true if one's work environment is smoky on a regular basis. No argument here. But is secondhand smoke really harmful to people walking down a public sidewalk? Are people truly susceptible to smoke traveling (and dissipating) from outside a restaurant to the inside? What Mayor Street has to understand is that, while an indoor smoking ban is acceptable to a large percentage of the population, his version is too extreme. There will be a backlash, which would be a good thing. Perhaps people will finally focus on how smoking bans are extremely detrimental to business, such as the data coming out of New York and New Jersey. When the neighborhood tavern closes after several generations of operation, there will be no question as to why. (As a brief aside, New Jersey demonstrated unprecedented hypocrisy when it passed a statewide ban on smoking in most public places and restaurants - except the casinos. What an insult to its people! You cannot have it both ways. Is this about health ... or money?)Here's the key. Smoking is still legal in this country. Until that changes, the government should not have any legal authority to meddle in the affairs of private, free market companies and impose undue regulations on them. That is the beauty of a capitalistic society - let the market decide the fate of smoking. A generation ago, smoking was much more accepted, and there were considerably more smokers than there are today (remember when smoking on an airplane was commonplace?). Now, however, smoking is generally viewed as a disgusting and shameful habit, with more and more smokers lighting up in private so as to avoid disdain from their friends and co-workers. And given this change of public opinion, more restaurants are exercising their business sense and eliminating smoking altogether. So why the need for a ban? It is just another power grab by a government that thinks it has all the answers and knows what is best for its subjects.No one is forced to patronize a restaurant that allows smoking; that is the free choice of an individual. If one does not like a smoke-filled restaurant, there are two obvious choices. He or she can either choose the "Non-Smoking" section, or choose to spend his or her money elsewhere at a restaurant that, on its own accord, does not allow smoking. An increasing number of establishments are even installing a separate, sealed room for smokers. Whichever paths these restaurants choose, they are making business decisions, driven by the forces of the free market. What is the most startling aspect of this whole debate is the number of smokers who somehow think that, by being politically correct and agreeing with smoking bans, that they will somehow remain in the good graces of colleagues. What they don't yet understand is that smokers are the last minority in this country with no rights, and by surrendering their legal right to smoke a legal cigarette, the door is shutting on them that much more.The mentality among those advocating a smoking ban is the same as many people's blind acceptance of the federal government's program of reading its citizen's e-mail, sifting through phone records and eavesdropping on phone conversations. It is increasingly commonplace to hear statements such as "I have no problem with the government listening to my phone calls or reading my e-mail. I have nothing to hide." That's not the point, and also happens to be completely inaccurate. Everyone has personal aspects of their lives that they want and need to be kept confidential and private. That said, the U.S. government is the last entity on earth that one would want to have access to personal data. Is there anything the government can keep secret or not botch? The opportunity for a massive, bureaucratic government to take personal information and use it against its citizens is too tempting to pass up, and has already been in practice for some time. Is it really anyone's business, especially that of the government, to know what books you buy at the bookstore or check out of a library? Once a right is taken away, or voluntarily given up, regardless of its nature, it is rarely reinstated. Conversely, more rights are targeted. What will it be next? Alcohol? Fast food? Both have aspects that could be construed as contributing to "ill health." Why not regulate them, or ban them altogether? Efforts for both are well underway.We should be much more concerned about voluntarily giving up our rights rather than having them taken away. When America's system of free markets, liberties and personal choices erode, we will have become the very essence of everything we have always fought not to become. And that will be the greatest travesty of all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Letter sent to The Mayor of Calgary July 22/06

Mr. Mayor,

My name is Iro Cyr and I am vice-president of a true grassroots organisation in Quebec, C.A.G.E., advocating for civil liberties in Canada. I am taking the liberty to write to you today to give you my views on the smoking ban issue and respecfully ask that you consider your decision of fast-tracking the smoking ban in Calgary very carefully, as there is a lot more at stake than the insignificant health risk factors of second hand smoke. Sir, it is high time that the anti-tobacco cartel is reduced to the levels that it should be, i.e. educational. When one observes what the zealotry of these professional career activists have done to this country, one cannot remain indifferent. When we vote someone in power it is because we trust their judgement and decisions. These radical lobbyists have stolen our proxy and influence every government decision to such an extent, that our elected officials seem like puppets whereby the interest groups are pulling all the strings, pretending to talk on behalf of the public.
The public did not elect these activists and government agency bureaucrats and by allowing them to abuse of the public funds and the trust vested in their prestigious titles, democracy in itself takes a severe beating.
When these radical groups do not get their way they hold a whole population hostage such as they are presently doing with Calgary, whereby, they are threatening to take their conventions elsewhere where comprehensive smoking bans exist. Sir, the health risks of second hand smoke are at best inconclusive and a court challenge in Quebec sometime this fall will attempt to prove so, through the voices of expert witnesses from all over the world. The insignificant risk factor that a minimal number of epidemiological studies come to, does not warrant all the harm smoking bans are causing this country. Especially when most studies show no significant results and a good number are even negative.
We hear of businesses closing making both owners and employees unemployed, charity organisations suffering due to bingo hall closures, veterans kicked out of the legions, doctors refusing to treat smokers, smoking candidates being refused jobs solely because of their smoking habit, elderly and handicapped people being pushed outside of the old age homes in the elements to smoke as is the case in Ontario. This has got to stop and it is only by taking the wind from the zealots' sails that it can. You have the golden opportunity to do so by not bending to their unreasonable and selfish demands. They will get their smoking bans in 2008, why kneel to their pressure and advance the ban by a whole year ? Sir, I know there is very little time for you to examine all the facts of the other side of the coin, but if you find the time, I cordially invite you to take a look at our website at www.cagecanada.ca where you will read facts that you couldn't imagine were possible. I realize your decision is very difficult, but I trust you will do it with integrity and good judgement

Yours Truly,
Iro Cyr Vice-President

The Calgary Sun July 20/06

The statistics anti-smokers come up with never fail to amaze me. The latest batch provided by Matt McFarlane (Letters, July 18) appear to be new ones,particularly the figures attributed to second-hand smoke. The numbers seem to grow exponentially with anti-smokers' zealotry. I challenge anyone to find a death certificate which attributes the cause of death to second-hand smoke. I very much doubt even Heather Crowe's death certificate cited second-hand smoke as the cause of death. Teachers beware! A second new math has come into being.



I'm guessing most people, except politicians, find this control agenda (smoking bylaw) offensive. Politicians might not find this offensive because controlling lives is their stock in trade. We do not elect politicians to control and manipulate our behaviour. They are in office to serve us, not vice versa.

Thomas Laprade

Calgary, please don't make the same mistake Ontario, Quebec and other provinces have made. Businesses, old age people, veterans and ordinary citizens suffer while a court challenge against the government awaits hearing in Quebec. Calgary is not being ridiculed, it is the rabid anti-tobacco zealots who will eventually be totally covered in ridicule as more and more people discover the lies behind their fear-mongering propaganda on second-hand smoke.

Iro Cyr

C.A.G.E. (Citizens Against Government Encroachment)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sent letter to The Austin Daily Herald

Dear Editor, July 21/06

Dr. David Strobel states that 'second hand smoke kills'
I find that the good doctor would make an outlandish statement like that.
He knows full well that nobody ever died, soley from second hand smoke.

If he believes what he has said, then I would assume that the gracious doctor can produce names and death certificates that would state,'this person died soley from second hand smoke'

What do you say Dr. Strobel??

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

Sent letter to the Toronto Sun

Dear Editor, July 21/06

The law, enacted May 31, is "designed to protect health care workers from the adverse effects of tobacco," says a spokesperson for Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson.
But in the meantime the elderly are shovelled outside in all kinds of adverse weather conditions.

It is obvious to me that Mr. Jim Watson's priority list is topsy-turvy.

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


the statistics anti-smokers come up with never fail to amaze me. The latest batch provided by Matt McFarlane (Letters, July 18) appear to be new ones, particularly the figures attributed to second-hand smoke. The numbers seem to grow exponentially with anti-smokers' zealotry. I challenge anyone to find a death certificate which attributes the cause of death to second-hand smoke. I very much doubt even Heather Crowe's death certificate cited second-hand smoke as the cause of death. Teachers beware! A second new math has come into being.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

From the CATO institute.
Anti-Alcohol Fanatics Set Their Sights On Your Beer
by Radley Balko
December 5, 2003
Radley Balko is a policy analyst for the Cato Institute (www.cato.org) and author of the Cato study, "Back Door to Prohibition: The New War on Social Drinking."
Hold on to your barstool. The nanny statists are coming again. After considerable success with tobacco, where they've managed to restrict advertising, impose mammoth excise taxes, and strip tobacco companies of the class action defenses afforded to most every other defendant, the ''public health'' activists are now coming for your beer.
There's a rhetorical tool in the world of debate called reductio ad absurdum. You take your opponent's argument to its most extreme conclusion -- the more absurd, the better. If done right, your audience will see that the other guy's argument can be applied to achieve an end that most people would find laughable, and you'll have your opponent backpedaling.
Unfortunately, reductio arguments don't work so well anymore. That's because we live in an age that's becoming increasingly comfortable with absurdity.
Take the emerging nanny state. When the first tobacco lawsuits found their way into court, the reductio line of attack seemed a potent one. How could we hold tobacco companies liable for injuries incurred by people who chose to smoke, particularly those who took up the habit after smoking's ill effects were well-known? Doesn't the consumer assume some responsibility for his own actions? What's next, suing Coca-Cola or McDonald's for making people fat? Uh, yes.
And so now they set their sights on alcohol. Armed with a slew of junk science studies from organizations such as the Center for Science and the Public Interest, the Center for Alcohol Marketing to Youth, and Columbia University's Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, anti-alcohol advocates are finding receptive audiences in state legislatures, Congress, and federal agencies for all sorts of nasty bills and public policy initiatives aimed at restricting your access to alcohol.
Just as they did with tobacco, they're attacking on several fronts. They want to raise taxes on alcohol, and restrict alcohol manufacturers from advertising on billboards, at sporting events or in mainstream magazines. They want to use zoning laws to limit the number of places alcohol is sold. They want to curb consumption with overly aggressive drinking and driving laws (and enforcement). And they want to force restaurants and bars to take a variety of other measures to encourage their customers -- you -- to drink less.
In the last two years, 29 states have either passed or are attempting to pass bills to increase excise taxes on alcohol. Oakland, San Diego, Baltimore and Chicago have either banned or restricted alcohol manufacturers from advertising on city billboards. Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Albuquerque are considering similar controls.
Since 2002, more than 100 new pieces of legislation have been introduced in 31 states aimed at reducing drinking and driving. All but a handful of states have adopted the new, lower legal blood-alcohol threshold for drunken driving (0.08 on a breath test), despite studies showing that drivers aren't significantly impaired at that level, that the overwhelming majority of drunk driving fatalities occur at levels twice that high, and that drunk driving deaths have dropped by 40 percent since the early 1980s, and stabilized over the last several years.
Twenty-two states have imposed restrictions on ''happy hour'' drink specials. A spokesman for the Fairfax County police department recently defended police raids on local taverns by telling the Washington Post, ''You can't be drunk in a bar.'' In Bloomington, Ind., cops began arresting of-age college students for walking home from off-campus bars while intoxicated. When asked if he'd rather drive students home, a Bloomington cop told the Indiana Daily Student, ''Alcohol abuse is the problem, not whether or not you're going to be driving.''
Forty-four states now have laws that hold bar owners liable for any damages caused by their alcohol-consuming customers, after they leave the bar. Another 31 states apply those same liability standards to private residences. In Chicago -- a town rich with the lessons of Prohibition -- 400 of the city's 2,705 precincts are now dry, and each election adds a few more.
None of this happened by accident. A well-funded, well-organized campaign is afoot to make it as difficult to drink a beer as it is becoming to smoke a cigarette. This ''neo-prohibition'' has advocates in the news media, academia and most certainly in government. Sandy Golden, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Kids, has said, ''We're 10 to 15 years behind the tobacco people, and we want to close the gap.''
You thought it was absurd when city and state officials told you that you could no longer smoke in a bar.
Just wait until they tell you that you can't drink in one, either.
This article originally appeared in The Chicago Suntimes on December 5, 2003.

My letter sent to the Calgary Sun

Dear Editor, July 18/06

In response to Matt McFarlane's letter to the Editor, July 18/06
'1,000 to 7,800 die from second-hand smoke each year.'

Mr. McFarlane gets these numbers from a 'risk' computor called SAMMEC.

In other words there are no names, no death certificates, no autopsy reports..nothing.
No one has ever died soley from second-hand smoke.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.

Re: Fight for rights is on

An open letter to Barb Fraser and co-workers at Swiss Chalet

'Barb Fraser said she and her co-workers at Swiss Chalet have started a petition against the move to close smoking rooms at six Thunder Bay nursing homes.' Fraser said they were furious when they saw the story - Smokers fighting another 'dictator' - in Thursday's edition of the Chronicle-Journal. "As soon as I read your headline," Fraser also said. "If we start taking away the rights of seniors, we're no longer Canada, we're Russia."

You wonderful people show greater moral courage than any leader of industry in this province, in this country. It is still Ontario, Canada, despite the putrid political machine that we have in this province. With people such as yourselves taking action, we will never become Second World War Germany, from which the history of the anti-smoking agenda has spewed.

With much pride, please include my name on your petition. Thank you.

If you would also like your name included in Barb Fraser and her co-worker's petition, please contact her at wozny324@hotmail.com.

Edited version July 19/06

Moral Courage July 19/06

An open letter to Barb Fraser and co-workers at Swiss Chalet Thunder Bay re "Fights for rights is on: Petition backs nursing home smokers" (July 14)
YOU wonderful people show greater moral courage than any leader of industry in this province, in this country. It is still Ontario, Canada, despite the putrid political machine that we have in this province. With people such as yourself taking action, we will never become Second World War Germany, from which the history of the anti-smoking agenda has spewed.
With much pride, please include my name on your petition.

Ken Hill
Niagara-on-the-Lake. Ont.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Aldermen try to sway colleagues in quest to get new law in motion by 2007By MICHAEL PLATT, CALGARY SUN

Momentum is building toward a Jan. 1 2007 indoor smoking ban, as seven aldermen lobby for the single vote needed to move the anti-tobacco law up by one year.
So far, six aldermen have signed the motion calling for a butt ban one year ahead of schedule, while Ald. Ray Jones said he will support the motion at next Monday's council meeting, so long as aldermen are willing to allow smoking on patios.
"If we're going to take something away from the bar industry, we should give something back," said Jones.
With the support of Jones, city council needs only one more alderman to reach an eight-vote majority, and at least two politicians -- Dale Hodges and Linda Fox-Mellway -- are undecided on the issue. Both say they want to hear what voters have to say on the issue, before Monday's vote.
Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart is spearheading the early smoking ban, along with aldermen who feel Calgary should join every other major city in the country in outlawing tobacco from public indoor places.
Colley-Urquhart said a divided council makes it all the more important for Calgarians to e-mail or phone their aldermen, letting them know how they feel.
"It's critical that Calgarians tell us what to do -- we need their direction on this one," said Colley-Urquhart.
Those opposed to the change of dates include Ald. Ric McIver and Mayor Dave Bronconnier.
They say council should stick to the deal struck with businesses that gave five years to prepare for an end to indoor tobacco.
But Colley-Urquhart said that bargain was struck when businesses still feared a loss of smoking areas meant a major loss of customers, something that has happened in other cities.
"I know we made that decision, but a lot has changed since then," she said.
Meanwhile, Ald. Barry Erskine says he will bring a counter-motion to Monday's meeting, asking that the original think-tank which proposed the five-year wait -- including bar and restaurant owners -- be consulted again.
In favour:
- Diane Colley-Urquhart, Ward 13
- Craig Burrows, Ward 6
- Joe Ceci, Ward 9
- Druh Farrell, Ward 7
- Bob Hawkesworth, Ward 4
- Madeleine King, Ward 8
- Ray Jones, Ward 5
- Barry Erskine, Ward 11
- Ric McIver, Ward 12
- Andre Chabot, Ward 10
- Gord Lowe, Ward 2
- Helene Larocque, Ward 3
- Mayor Dave Bronconnier
- Linda Fox-Mellway, Ward 14; Dale Hodges, Ward 1

The Mayor Of Calgary

Dear Dave, July 18/06

I have been following the smoking issue for quite some time..in Calgary and Edmonton.
I have mailed you some very important information concerning a smoking ban.
I hope you will share this information to the undecided aldermen and to whomever you think will benefit from this very important information.
I also sent the same information to Barry Erskine(alderman) and to Bruce MacKenzie..the owner of Riverbend Station Neighborhood Pub.

This very important information was compiled by Michael J. McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers' Brains

Why You Should Fight a Smoking Ban.

Section 1: The Health Arguments

Section 2: The Economic Arguments

Section 3: A Ban is NOT inevitable


My name is Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Ph. 807 3457258
I live in Thunder Bay, Ont.
A smoking by-law was passed by a Plebiscite a couple of years ago
and it devastated the hospitality industry.
A number of business before the ban were hanging by their finger tips.
After the ban those businesses closed.
business losses were between 30 to 80 per cent.
Workers were laid off(singles Moms)
Tobacco Free Thunder Bay(Simon Hoad..The health promoter and Dr. Jim Morris employed by the Health Dept. of the Ontario Provincial Government) pulled off a plebiscite.
They knew that 80 per cent of the public didn't smoke.
We lost 4 to 1 ratio
The Health Dept. all across Canada and the United States are using Thunder Bay as an example on how to pass no-smoking bylaws.
The previous Thunder Bay Council could have dismissed this smoking fiasco, but politicians would rather be popular than 'right' , so they said,"Let the people decide"
Personally, we had quite a few 'gutless' wonders on Council.
They were re-elected on the backs of the hospitality industry.

It is the owners business's and they should decide if they want to go smoke free or not.
Take no offence Dave, but politicians are elected to run the business of the city, not the city's businesses.

God Bless

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay. Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Windsor Star July 17/06
SUBJECT: Smoke 'em if you've got 'em...
The craziest thing about the so-called "province-wide" smoking ban is the millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars that were wasted just so McGuinty and his band of Liberal pranksters could pat themselves on the back with the wallet they took from your pocket. It isn't a province-wide smoking ban at all and the only large city in the province it impacts is little old Windsor. Think about it. Essex County, Toronto, London, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and scores of other municipalities are already smoke-free so the provincial ban won't affect them. But it will affect us. Maybe Duncan and Pupatello could lobby their cabinet mates to call the ban what is truly is -- A Windsor smoking ban. They spent a tonne of your money and had a whole platoon of bureacrats working on this file just so they could ban smoking in Windsor and a couple of other bergs. Absolute insanity. Is this what we paid or health levy for? The battle has been lost but the province should still come up with the cash to offset any economic hit workers in this city are socked with. I'm not sure it will affect the downtown bars and restaurants — people are still going to need to get drunk and you don't get lucky nursing a bottle on the couch at home — but it will probably have a negative effect on Casino Windsor considering there's three casinos in Detroit just a hop, skip and a puff away. But the Casino sure as hell aint going to go out of business and if it lays anybody off it isn't because it's actually losing money. It's because it isn't making enough. There's a difference. If a place that ruins lives and sends hundreds of millions of dollars across the border every year to filthy rich owners decides to lay off local residents for the sake of a few more bucks then we should nationalize the Casino and put it back into Canadian hands. We can meet at the river. I'll bring the pitchforks if you bring the molotovs. But the thing that really burns me is banning smoking in Royal Canadian Legion Halls. I think its arrogant and disgusting the province is telling the seniors who patronize those places what they can and can't do in a private club they pay to join. It's all the more galling when you consider our government gave these seniors smokes along with chocolates in their rations back when they were risking their lives and watching their young friends take bullets in the bloody fields and forests of Europe. The thing about Legion Halls is that they offer companionship and support for seniors who have lost spouses or live alone because their grown children live far away and are focused on their own families. These seniors smoke and they're lonely but they find friendship at Legion Halls where they play Bridge or Euchre or are in a Darts league. When was the last time you were in a Legion. It's a community that takes care of its own. They care for each other in there and most of them smoke so much the air is as blue as their hair. When this ban comes into effect, many of these seniors are going to stay home instead of playing cards or darts. Not only will Legion halls — living monuments to freedom and bravery and sacrifice — be forced to close but seniors will die alone, clutching cigarettes, in apartments rarely visited. Thanks a lot Dalton. You're a real prince. That's my rant for today and here's a rant from nearly a decade ago. It's an article I wrote for The Vancouver Sun back when I worked at Starbucks in Kitsilano. It's basically a glorified letter to the editor but they put my mugshot in there and everything. It's how I felt then about smoking bans and it's how I feel now. I still smoke.

Here it is:
The Vancouver Sun Tuesday, August 20, 1996 Page: A2
I wish my modest literary abilities afforded me the luxury of composition without nicotine, but they do not. When I write, only my stolid platoon of Virginian soldiers -- a venerable pack of privates I refer to as my Salvation Army -- allows me to finish the job. And this is unfortunate. Being a non-smoker would lend a legitimacy to my following argument. But, alas, I am an unrepentant smoker and some might be advised to take my grumbling with a grain of salt. And, if readers are so inclined, a lemon wedge and a shot of Cuervo. The issue of second-hand smoke is real and it presents a moral quandary. Although I am fiercely fond of my vice, I cannot, in good conscience, concur with the notion that those who can't stand the heat should get back into the kitchen. Smoking becomes a public problem (as opposed to the obvious individual one) when the action adversely affects someone else. Smoking in your bedroom is fine (despite the exhortations of the fire department) but smoking in the presence of others who deem the act objectionable is morally egregious. The Vancouver ban on smoking in restaurants, which attempts to redress this problem, is an unnecessary catalyst to a solution that was finding itself without a bulwark of bureaucratic cost. Faced with heightened sensitivity to public smoking, businesses responded accordingly. Some restaurants and coffee houses closed their doors to smokers and remained fiscally strong. The crux of the issue is not the ban itself. Smoking is banned in hospitals, office buildings, libraries and many other public institutions. And these bans are respected. Smokers congregate outside buildings like statues and although there are more complaints than coughs, there is no real talk of revolution. Common areas command common courtesy. My beef is not with the indignity of the ban, but the implied distinction that a restaurant is a common area. Common areas are those places where people must go or the only available venue, like the office and GM Place. But no one is ever forced to eat in a restaurant that allows smoking. The decision should be left to the owner who is trying to make money and the consumer who is seeking value for it. I am neither a disciple of Adam Smith nor Karl Marx. My loyalties lie with the middle of the political spectrum. But like any brash, young, dissolute dreamer hunched over notebooks in coffee shops and bars, I lean to the left. I never paint the town red. I prefer to paint it pink. Rarely do I find myself in the position of defending free-market economics, but this issue compels me. It compels me because it solves the problem of second-hand smoke in restaurants without political waste and posturing. And it compels me because a solution is achieved at no expense to the taxpayer. The state has no place in the barrooms of the nation.Posted by
Don McArthur on 5/25/2006 4:33:25 PM

Noble experiment" gone wrong
by Paul Jackson
I've just been scanning The World Book Encyclopedia and The Canadian Encyclopedia and reading up on the "noble experiment" of prohibition in the United States and Canada.
Paradoxically, when most of us think about the banning of beer, wine and hard liquor in the U.S. in the 1920s we tend to think not of that vaunted "noble experiment" but of gangsterism run wild.
In 1920, the powers in Washington decided they had to protect average Americans from themselves and so they passed the 18th amendment to the Constitution and banned outright the sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages. A lot of men and women didn't pay much notice to the new law, and the likes of Al Capone were more than happy to quench their thirst and take their loot.
Canada also tried prohibition, starting in the First World War as a "patriotic duty." With the exception of Quebec, every province had degrees of prohibition but soon resorted to strict government control of alcoholic beverages, which lasts to this day in some parts of the country.
Fascinating aspects of the Canadian experience was "rum running" to the U.S. - Al Capone is still thought to have had a secret tunneled hideaway in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Samuel Bronfman, of the Seagrams empire, was rumoured to have built the foundation of his family's fortune on the illegal liquor business.
Yet, as with all laws that can't be enforced, or are rejected with contempt by large segments of the population, in 1933 the U.S. Congress finally repealed the 18th. amendment and beer, wine and spirits flowed legally again. The only people hurt by that were the "rum runners" in Canada who found their U.S. market "drying up" By the way, Prince Edward Island was the last Canadian province to finally give up on the "noble experiment" – in 1948.
What spurred me to look up 'Prohibition' in The World Book Encyclopedia and The Canadian Encyclopedia was the implementation in Ontario and Quebec of laws banning smoking in all public places in those provinces. With these laws, Ontario joined the likes of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in having the most draconian smoking bans in the nation. Other provinces have varying degrees of strictures, and they're getting tougher all the time.
One might suppose today's politicians might have learned a thing or two from the intolerance and heavy-handedness of U.S. and Canadian governments in the 1920s. The prohibition laws created a shambles in society, and the huge organized crime families in the U.S. today - with their investments in both illegal activities and legitimate businesses are a direct result of that.
Today, we know heavy federal and provincial taxes on cigarettes have created smuggling rings operating through Indian reserves, and now reserves are building gambling casinos that may or may not conform to the laws the rest of us have to face.
As with prohibition, the tobacco and gambling industries are going underground where they are 'untouchable'. Meanwhile, the drug trade flourishes.
The future may show us that the fall-out from the overzealous assaults on smoking may be as wrong-headed, and as disastrous, as that of prohibition.
Paul Jackson is an award-winning journalist and Editor Emeritus of the Calgary Sun

Sent this letter to the Chronicle Journal

Dear Editor, July 7/06

My sympathy goes out to Mr. Forbes wife.
Your wife and Heather Crow were in the 'right' place at the 'right' time.
There are many reasons that cause Lung Cancer.
Genetics, pollution, smoking,diet, etc.
How do you explain the fact that many people get Lung Cancer who never smoked and never or very seldom breathed in second-hand smoke.
The Cancer Society neglects to mention concerning carcinogens,
"Poison is in the Dose."

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

My letter published in the Chronicle Journal Sun 17/06 (edited)

Sympathy for woman with lung cancer

My sympathy goes out to Mr. Forbes' wife. Your wife was in the 'right' place at the 'right' time.
There are many reasons that cause cancer: genetics, pollution, smoking, diet.
How do you explain the fact that many people get lung cancer who never smoked and never or very seldom, breathed in second-hand smoke?

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay

Saturday, July 15, 2006


RE: COMMENTS by Les Hagen of Action on Smoking & Health in the July 11 Sun. Apparently, Hagen, no one in your organization has ever raised a teenager. The more forbidden, evil and mysterious you make something, the more teens are going to want to do it. Teens today have expensive cars, clothes, cellphones and lots of cash in their pocket. Increasing the tax on cigarettes will not deter them in the least.
Joy Timothy
(Sadly, you're probably right.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tax increase caused Teen smoking Jump July 14/06

There is no other viable explanation for the big jump in teen smoking rates in Alberta, exposed by Stats Canada's CTUMS survey numbers. 17% of Alberta teens were smoking in 2000, before the massive $2/pack tax increase instituted in Alberta in 2002. By 2003, the teen smoking rate had fallen to 14%, but climbed steadily thereafter reaching a peak of 21% in 2005. This means, the teen smoking rate in Alberta is dramatically higher now than it was before the huge tax increase. Action on Smoking & Health is blaming discount-priced cigarettes for the increase, but discount-priced smokes are available in many places across our country and the CTUMS figures show that teen smoking rates have been stable in every province except Alberta. What makes Alberta unique? Only one thing - the biggest tobacco tax increase the world has ever seen (as Les Hagen of ASH likes to brag) instituted in 2002. This is a dramatic vindication of the Gaison Hypothesis:http://www.geocities.com/whyteenssmoke/TheTruth.htmlRobin Gaison, author of the hypothesis, predicted in 2002 that the massive tax increase would be so disruptive to the stability of teen access to tobacco that it would cause an equally massive rebound and a dramatic increase in teen smoking rates over the following years. He was right, it has played out exactly as he predicted it would. Ironically, the culprit appears to be the large drop in teen smoking that followed immediately after the tax increase. Teen smoking rates fell to 14% in 2003, a drop of 25% in the relative rate. The tax did cause a sudden, large drop in teen smoking rates during the first year after the tax. But, Gaison explains that this sudden drop is the underlying cause of the subsequent steady increase in teen smoking in the following years.Modest, gradual tax increases don't disrupt the stability of teen smoker's access to tobacco - but they do help to discourage initial experimentation and hence a gradual attrition in the teen smoking rate. Sudden, massive tax increases seriously disrupt the social reciprocity networks teen smokers rely on to stabilize their access to tobacco - the 'circle of friends who smoke' and who can be relied on to help teen smokers cover any shortfall in their own supply. If Joe or Jane Teen runs out of smokes, their buddies share some of their own supply or lend them money or otherwise assist each other to ensure the stability of everyone's access to supply. If 25% of a teen smoker's reciprocity circle suddenly "drops out" because of a massive tax increase, they are likely to respond to this threat to the stability of their access by "recruiting" as many new smokers as possible from among their non-smoking peers, siblings and relatives. This social recruiting process takes time and the full effect of this virus-like social process won't be apparent for several years, but it is quite relentless. Teen "A" needs new smoking-buddies to replace the ones who dropped out, so he seduces Teens "B" and "C" into taking up smoking, and each of them recruit 2-3 friends who each recruit 2-3 friends, and one day the teen smoking rate is discovered to be dramatically higher than it was before the tax increase. Tobacco control is a dramatic failure. Not only has it consistently failed to acheive it's principle goal of preventing teen smoking, it has been directly responsible for the biggest jumps in teen smoking rates recorded in North America over the past 20 years.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Letters/2006/07/10/1676564.html Mon, July 10, 2006
Watson takes on Tory
As Minister responsible for Ontario's progressive anti-smoking legislation, I was saddened and angered when PC leader John Tory attacked the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation, a very reputable not-for-profit organization ("Grits blasted for funding heart-stroke ad campaign," July 4). The Heart and Stroke Foundation produced the very effective ads featuring Heather Crowe and my ministry provided the funding to air the commercials. Tory alleges that these ads are in breach of the laws governing advertising, yet he offers not one shred of evidence to support that allegation. In his misguided attack, Mr. Tory also fails to mention that the McGuinty government passed a law banning the waste of millions of dollars spent on partisan and self congratulatory ads - such as ads that previous PC governments ran while they were in power. I commend the Heart and Stroke Foundation for their partnership with our ministry. We have equally effective partnerships with many other organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Lung Association, the Ontario Medical Association and many others champions in the fight against tobacco. And we will continue to work with these groups to see smoking rates fall - particularly among young people. I am proud to be a part of Premier McGuinty's team and I was embarrassed for John Tory when only members of his party stood and proudly voted against the Smoke Free Ontario Act
Jim Watson, MPP
Minister of Health Promotion

(Tory said the ads, which clearly support your government's policy, appear to skirt the ad law, not violate it)

Here are two letters I sent to the Toronto Sun July 11.06

Dear Editor, July 11/06

There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and filtration systems kills or harms anyone.As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern ventilation technology.Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious contaminants that are independent from smoking.
Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.

Dear Editor, July 11/06

Mr. Jim Watson and The Heart and Stroke Foundation knows full well that nobody has ever died, soley from second-hand smoke and that includes Heather Crowe.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Re: Surgeon General's report slams second-hand smoke

".....ignorant... or just richer..."

Ominously, in relation to health costs, definite emphasis is on the latter and the resultant empire-building and power of control that ensues with this major push and change in status.

"....definition of a smoker?... very important...is a person who smokes then we smokers have been denied the right to gather in public... of course the argument is "of course you can gather... just not smoke"..."

Indeed, this is the basis of the definition and the "right to gather in public" is being and will continue to be denied unless stopped by the courts. You simply cannot ban cigarette smoke absent the smoker.

"{Whatever or Whoever} for a Smoke Free Canada" and "Smoke Free {Whatever} Act" are the clear and unmistakable buzz words to the end-game.

Under this deliberately, targeted(smokers only) scenario the clear intent is to deny "the right to gather"(indoors for now, outdoors next--note the shift in emphasis to public places) even if that public is 100% smokers.

This is wrong, no matter the proffered justifications.The inflicted wrong is compounded when the proffered justifications are based on tenuous, biased, exaggerations of reality firmly rooted in and on "estimates".

In essence, this becomes no different in ultimate effect than "For Whites Only".
Granted, and a very important point to note, race is not involved, but many of the reasons and rationalizations for FWO are not that far removed, and in fact closely mimic, the current rationalizations for Smoker Bans.
Similarly, in this context, a very important point to note is that smoker bans have "created" a new, multi million minority to whom government approved and enacted sanctions, some clearly abusive and bereft of all reasonable compromise, now apply.

"of course you can gather...just not smoke" is not an argument. It is an illogical and senseless convenient justification for forced, unfair, arbitrary, unreasonable, and at times abusive impositions ending up in a clear "denial of the right to gather" on egalitarian terms.

".....isn't there a law somewhere that is supposed to protect everybody from this kind of tyranny?"

There is and are, but they must be appropriately and properly invoked, through timely, studied and careful court action.

Government imposed laws, completely devoid of any clear attempt at reasonable and justifiable accommodation, and promoting deliberate, narrowly focused exclusion via systemic, outright dismissal rather than inclusion, are destined to be tempered and amended.


Doug Jenson wrote:
ignorant... or just richer... hmmmm... I wonder... or... you know some people just love promoting segregation, oppression, intollerance and hate... in any case... lulabye and good night to individual rights and freedoms... the masses are so much easier to control (read get money from) when relieved of the pesky responsiblity of having to make personal decisions.
Ok... what is the definition of a smoker?... very important because if the defintion of a smoker is a person who smokes then we smokers have been dennied the right to gather in public... of course the argument is "of course you can gather... just not smoke"... confussing isn't it... isn't there a law somewhere that is supposed to protect everybody from this kind of tyrany?Nick Melnyk wrote:
As stated in a previous e-mail:
"the lie belongs squarely in the misleading".
Ricky Carmona the S-G should be ashamed of himself for believing and regurgitating all the drivel contained in his anouncement.

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