Friday, October 27, 2006

My letter published in The Thunder Bay Source Oct. 27/06


Dear Editor, Oct. 16/06

Any politician who serves more than two terms in office tends to develop a dictatorial attitude rather than representing their constituents wishes.

The President of The United States cannot run for a third term in office for exactly the same reason. As a general rule our city would be better off if we voted almost everyone out of office after two terms.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Roy Harrold's letter published in The Chronicle Journal Oct.25/06

Regarding; "Mother claims business did not train daughter to sell cigarettes" - the serious moral and ethical failings of the fifteen year old entrapment agent were not discussed. The Criminal Code of Canada defines criminal False Pretence as: "361. (1) A false pretence is a representation of a matter of fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise, that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it." Simply by requesting to buy a tobacco product, these underage entrapment agents falsely portray themselves as having a legal right to purchase them. They know that this is false and that they are intentionally inducing the store clerk to act upon this false pretence. The fact that governments pay children to commit such acts of fraud and deception is a disgrace.

Roy Harrold
Edmonton, AB

Iro's letter published in The Chronicle Journal Oct. 25/06

To the editor in reference to your article in the object ( )

It is very disturbing to see the dangerous levels that the tobacco control movement has reached. When government pays minors to entrap their peers, it no longer has anything to do with health promotion. If not halted immediately, the day is not far when our youth will be turning in their parents and grandparents for smoking, overeating, not exercising, having that extra beer, or over a friendly poker game. What is even more disturbing is the fact that carefully orchestrated social marketing has brought society to the point that most people don't, or refuse to see the slippery slope that the ''for your own good'' public health policies have engaged us in. ''For all the right reasons'' of course.
Iro Cyr - Vice President - C.A.G.E. (Citizens Against Government Encroachment)
Montreal, Qc

A Canadian and an American Oct. 25/06

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, offering a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian or an American, any Canadian or American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what a Canadian or an American is, so they would know when they found one.

A Canadian is English, French, Italian, Irish, American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Australian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese,Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

A Canadian or an American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians or Americans.

A Canadian or an American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada and America than in Afghanistan . The only difference is that in Canada and America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

A Canadian or an American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

A Canadian or an American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Bill of Rights (or in America, Declaration of Independence) which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

A Canadian or an American is generous. Canadians and Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Canadians and Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

Canadians and Americans welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America .

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill a Canadian or an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Canadians and
Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the
embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is a Canadian or an American.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Chairman Silverstein, Senator Cullerton and members of the board.

Thank you for inviting me to speak today. My name is Garnet Scheuer and I am the president and chairman of Illinois Smokers Rights. We are a relatively new organization that has developed from the ground swell of smokers and non-smokers who object to wide spread discrimination and moral persecution of smokers. We promote pro-choice alternatives and share informational and educational materials. We are a grassroots organization devoted to the promotion of limited government, protection of personal property rights and preservation of personal life style choices..... We are truly grassroots, and are creating new alliances within Illinois communities, colleges, newspapers, and private businesses to build a network of informed citizens on personal freedom issues. We will continue to gain strength as more and more of the public becomes aware of the pro-choice issues at stake.

First and foremost, the health risks of second-hand smoke are vastly exaggerated. The poison is in the dose...and the dosage from SHS in a decently ventilated establishment cannot pose health threats. To date, no tobacco studies have been able to conclusively prove the health risks from Environmental Tobacco Smoke. Smoking bans are not about health. They never have been. They are about power, money and control. Our previous Surgeon General Carmona issued a massive (727 page) study as one of his final accomplishments, stating that “The debate is over”. However, contrary to his media statements and the Executive Summary, the report was simply a rehashing of the same studies that have already been circulated and are still inconclusive. In response to his report, many written and verbal rebuttals by recognized and qualified professionals in the scientific and medical communities have also been published.

Since the Illinois Clean Indoor Act in 1989 banned smoking in public buildings, tobacco smoking has been eliminated from all indoor areas where the public may be required to go, and has greatly reduced any exposure to tobacco for people who find it objectionable. Now, the remaining private businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, and the great out-doors are being targeted by tobacco control activists. A fact seemingly ignored is that approximately 70% of restaurants and bars have already elected to become smoke-free....and that should be their choice because they are still privately owned businesses and on personal property....even if the public is invited to enter. People are not stupid. They are not children. They can make their own choices and they can also see ashtrays on tables or smoking patrons. Individuals need to retain their right to choice without interference from government.
That is why this country was created as a Constitutional Republic with a Bill of Rights. The common belief that we are a “Democracy” is wrong. We are not governed by mob rule. We are all Americans, and smokers deserve respect too. Our Veterans, who are also being targeted with smoking bans in their own private clubs are also being persecuted. That is a very poor way to say “thank you” to the men who have fought to preserve OUR freedom.

Illinois has a population of over 12.7 million people. According to the United Health Foundation.org in 2005, smokers still represent 22.2% of that number in Illinois. That means over 2.8 million smokers are being targeted by Tobacco Control Activists in Illinois alone.

Our organization is named Illinois Smokers Rights because smokers have rights too! Smokers may be in the minority, but their rights are no more and no less than non-smokers and tobacco control activists. All our rights are intended to be equal.

That means free trade should determine the preferences of business owners and individuals. Business owners need to have their property rights defended, not removed.

More restrictive smoking bans in restaurants and bars will not save one single life. The carcinogens inhaled by a patron from alcohol evaporation originating from a martini in one hour are greater than the threat from second hand smoke from an evening in a smoky bar.

Small businesses account for two thirds of the jobs and sales revenue in our country. A great number of those small businesses are hospitality establishments. (According to 2002 Census stats and NIASC records, we have over 12,400 individual bars throughout Illinois!)
Smoking bans do hurt small businesses. Economic studies that bundle together revenue levels from large chain restaurants, previously smoke-free businesses and fast food operations with privately owned restaurants, bars and bowling alleys, do not reflect the true damage done to the individuals who have been brave enough to invest their future, money and time into their businesses.

State-wide smoking bans do NOT create a level economic playing-field; they create a level economic basin. This is easily validated when financial growth levels in states with smoking bans are compared with the growth rates of other smoke-friendly states.

Smoking ban activists are highly paid professionals who need to continue to expand smoking bans to ensure continued funding for their agencies and organizations. These bans are promoted by massively wealthy Charitable Organizations, such as the American Cancer Society. As is common knowledge, the ACS spent $4 million dollars to promote passage of the Chicago smoking ban A minority of tobacco control representatives are promoting these bans. The public is not crying out for them. What do you think would happen to public support if Tobacco Control funding to flood the media with anti-smoking/anti-smoker messages was stopped?

There is a lot more at stake here than just “smokers rights”. The attack on smokers and bars and restaurants is the tip of a dagger aimed at the heart of all our liberties. This is about our basic American values: Individual liberty, freedom to associate with others, the right to privacy and to private property. Wars have been fought over this...America’s War of Independence was fought for these rights. When smoking is banned at George’s Pub and Grill, you don’t just inconvenience smokers or strike a blow for public health. You violate my private property rights, and simultaneously violate my individual liberty, my right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

This is happening to ALL of us, and that is why we have almost as many non-smoking supporters as we do smoking supporters in Illinois Smokers Rights are why our numbers and determination will continue to grow.
Thank you for inviting me to testify on behalf of pro-choice advocates in Illinois.

To: tbaysource
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 11:26 AM
Subject: Fines, Fired and Frustrated
Dear Editor, Oct. 26/06

I have a new job Mommy.

The government pays me to pretend I'm of legal age and sucker unsuspecting retailers into breaking the law by selling me smokes! Isn't that great, Mommy! I'm a professional fraudster and con-artist for Tobacco Control!

What a great thing to train teenagers to do.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.

Sent this to your Chronicle-Journal:

cigarettes" - the serious moral and ethical failings of the fifteen year old entrapment agent were not discussed. The Criminal Code of Canada defines criminal False Pretenceas:"361. (1) A false pretence is a representation of a matterof fact either present or past, made by words or otherwise,that is known by the person who makes it to be false and that is made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it. "Simply by requesting to buy a tobacco product, these underage entrapment agents falsely portray themselves as having a legal right to purchase them. They know that this is false and that they are intentionally inducing the store clerk to act upon this false pretence. The fact that governments pay children to commit such acts of fraud and deception is a disgrace.

Roy HarroldEdmonton, AB

Monday, October 23, 2006

*CIGARETTE SMOKERS. WHY DO WE NOT OFFER THEM PROTECTION ?*Much has been written about the evils of ‘passive smoking’, but the evidence for any deleterious effects of environmental tobacco smoke on non-smokers is misleading, exaggerated, or at worst contrived. It is not surprising therefore that a more careful examination of the deleterious effects of active smoking leads us to question the validity of the medical evidence. Is it the other lifestyle risks of the smoker which are responsible in some measure for the 120,000 deaths per year in the UK alleged to be due to smoking?The damage caused by smoking is due to the presence of extra ‘free radicals’ or ‘reactive oxygen species’ in tobacco smoke (in addition to those constantly produced within the body), which cause oxidative damage to tissues and exacerbate the cancer process and heart disease. These free radicals are neutralised by substances called enzyme antioxidants and chemical antioxidants, the former being produced within the body and the latter being largely present in vegetables and fruit.*Smokers have other lifestyle risk factors that accompany smoking. Many studies have demonstrated that they are more stressed and take less exercise than non-smokers. A recent analysis of more than 50 studies relating to diet, showed that smokers on average have an increased intake of total and saturated fat and a lower intake of polyunsaturated fat, fresh vegetables, fruit, folate and fibre compared to non-smokers. Statistically, on the weight of evidence, the probability of this being wrong is less than one chance in 100,000. All these dietary abnormalities are also important risk factors for cancer and heart disease, as indeed are the effects of stress and lack of exercise and it is extremely difficult to separate the effects of these from the effects due to smoking. Many studies have demonstrated that increased exercise is as valuable as smoking cessation in the promotion of good health. A recent study in males has shown that smokers of 1 pack a day who exercise live longer than sedentary non-smokers. Perhaps we should refer to ‘smokers’ related diseases rather than ‘smoking’ related diseases, to encompass all the other lifestyle risk factors of the smoker.*Lung cancerIt is now 50 years since the first reports showed that there was an association between cigarette smoking and an increased risk for lung cancer. This has been amply confirmed over the years, and although this risk varies widely in different parts of the world, it is roughly tenfold or 1000% compared to non-smokers.During the last twenty five years, a very large number of studies similar to those which attributed smoking to the risk of developing various diseases, have shown that the risks to smokers may be reduced. The risk of developing lung cancer is more than doubled for those smokers on a low intake of fruit and vegetables and doubled for smokers who have a high intake of saturated fat. The smoker thus suffers from a double defect, a decreased intake of fruit and vegetables to neutralise the higher free radical load and an increased instead of a decreased intake of saturated fat. Although it is frequently stated that it is better for a smoker to quit, a four to fivefold reduction in the risk for lung cancer by a healthier lifestyle in continuing heavy smokers cannot be ignored, and they should be advised of this.Bronchitis and emphysema are attributed to smoking, but there are also many other factors involved. In a large study in 31 different countries it was shown that geographically there is no simple correlation between cigarette smoking and bronchitis. Southern Mediterranean countries and Japan, which have the lowest incidence of bronchitis, also have a high incidence of smoking, and similar anomalies have been observed for both lung cancer and heart disease.Cancer of other sitesMany studies have shown a slightly increased risk for cancer of other sites apart from lung and throat amongst smokers, but these cancers are also strongly associated with reduced intakes of fruit and vegetables, exactly the situation which applies to smokers. As an example, smokers have a slightly increased risk of stomach cancer, but a large study in China in a region with a very high rate of gastric cancer showed that persons with low blood levels of vitamin C had 5 times the risk for gastric cancer compared to those with high levels. Smokers have low intakes and levels of vitamin C. Is it therefore smoking or low intakes and levels of vitamin C or other micronutrients which give them a slightly higher risk for gastric cancer? In view of the much greater risk associated with low fruit and vegetable intake compared with the risk for smoking it could be argued that smoking is protective against gastric cancer in those smokers with a high intake of fruit and vegetables. The risk for colon cancer is not increased amongst smokers although it is increased in persons with a low intake of fruit and vegetables, therefore why is the risk not increased amongst smokers? Ulcerative colitis is also largely a disease of non-smokers.*Heart* *disease *Of all diseases, more deaths from smoking are attributed to heart disease simply because there are more deaths in the general population from heart disease. In the UK, smokers on average have about 1.7 times the risk for heart disease compared to non-smokers, or a 70% increased risk. The evidence linking smoking to heart disease is therefore much weaker than that linking smoking with lung cancer. The problem with assigning risks to smokers, is that they have so many of the risk factors which contribute to heart disease (and there are alleged to be more than 200) that it becomes difficult to separate the effects of smoking from the other major risk factors of the smoker. The population studies that have ascribed this increased risk to smoking have failed lamentably to allow for other factors. This may mean that the risk is due to other lifestyle risks which accompany smoking and that the risk in continuing smokers may be reduced or eliminated by reducing these risks.Smokers who quit are a self-selected, usually health conscious group, and population studies have shown that apart from quitting they may modify other lifestyle risks, notably diet and exercise. Many studies have demonstrated that there is a smaller but continuing increased risk of heart disease after cessation of smoking and that this is dependent on number of years and packs per day of smoking. Other studies have shown that the increased risk is virtually eliminated after one to two years of quitting, which embarrassingly suggests that smoking does not cause any irreversible deleterious effect on either the arteries or the heart.Although the great majority of studies show an increased risk for heart disease with smoking, many of these have made no allowance for confounding factors, and there are many discrepancies. One of the corner stones of population studies on smoking and heart disease is an ongoing study of the population of Framingham in the US. Surprisingly, this showed that ex-smokers had a considerably lower risk of heart disease than never-smokers and smokers of 1 to 10 cigarettes per day had a lower risk than non-smokers. A very large self reported Australian National Health Survey also showed that the prevalence of heart diseases in continuing smokers over the age of 45 was marginally less than for non-smokers. In a British study of female doctors there was no increased risk for smokers of 1 to 14 cigarettes per day compared to non-smokers.There are also large geographical differences in smoking and the risk of heart disease. There is a high incidence of smoking in Japan and Southern Mediterranean countries, yet the Japanese and Southern Mediterranean populations have a lower incidence of heart disease than North Americans and Northern Europeans. An extreme example is found in one of the Melanesian islands in the South Pacific, where heart disease and stroke are ’unheard of’ and yet 80% of both men and women smoke black unfiltered tobacco. Their diet however consists of root tubers, fruit, fish and coconuts coupled with low salt and fat. This absence of heart disease and stroke is unlikely to be due to genetic factors because when the Melanesians are indigenous to New Zealand they have the same incidence of heart disease as the New Zealanders. Similarly, when the Japanese are indigenous to the US they have the same incidence of heart disease as the Americans.All these observations are irreconcilable with the simple statement that smoking causes heart disease. It would be more truthful to say that there is an increased risk of heart disease amongst smokers, which is due to smoking coupled with the other lifestyle risk factors of the smoker.Is it the poor diet of smokers in the main that contributes to the increased risk? There are two types of cholesterol, the good (HDL cholesterol) and the bad (LDL cholesterol). Population studies have shown that the diet of the smoker produces higher levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol. This is bad enough in itself, but laboratory studies have demonstrated that when the bad cholesterol is oxidised by free radicals in tobacco smoke, this produces the deleterious effects on the arteries. In addition the smoker has a lower intake of antioxidants to neutralise this process. The health pages of the tabloids implore us to eat 5 to 7 helpings of fruit and vegetables daily and more than a hundred studies have demonstrated the protection afforded by a high intake of vegetables and fruit against the risk of heart disease. Quite extraordinarily, only seven of these have considered the effect separately for smokers and non-smokers. Five of these studies showed that the protection afforded against heart disease by a high intake of fruit and vegetables was only for smokers, and the remaining two showed that this was mainly for smokers. The increased protection against the risk of heart disease for smokers with high intakes compared to low intakes averaged approximately 150%. This degree of protection against heart disease must be weighed against the overall increased risk for the smoker of 70%. The benefit afforded to smokers by a high intake of fruit and vegetables also explains the low incidence of heart disease, where the incidence of smoking is high in southern Mediterranean countries such as France, Spain and Greece where a Mediterranean diet is followed, and in Japan where the traditional diet consists of rice, fish, fruit and vegetables. A large question mark therefore hangs over the statement that smoking /per se/ causes heart disease, until adequate allowance is made for these confounding factors. On the available evidence the figure of 70,000 to 80,000 excess deaths per year from heart disease in the UK amongst smokers may be true, but to attribute this to the simple act of smoking and not to consider other confounding factors is a blatant misinterpretation.Many contrived animal studies have been designed and the results where it has been convenient, extrapolated to humans, to demonstrate the deleterious effect of tobacco smoke on the arteries. One study which was the largest and most rigorously conducted, has conveniently been forgotten. This study was on 220 beagle dogs for 2 years, who were fed a 5% cholesterol diet and exposed via the trachea to mainstream smoke containing increasing amounts of nicotine and carbon monoxide. The unexpected result was that increasing levels of cigarette smoke, nicotine and carbon monoxide reduced the severity of lesions in the arteries. The final report concluded “these results appear more indicative of a possible protective effect from cigarette smoking and/or carbon monoxide inhalation than of an atherogenic (/fatty plaque forming within the arteries/) effect”.Other reports have shown that a small daily dose of aspirin which is used to reduce the risk of heart disease, benefits smokers to a greater degree than non-smokers.Drugs used to lower cholesterol levels in patients who are at high risk of, or have had a heart attack, have an equal benefit for smokers and non-smokers, yet they are prescribed less for smokers.The reduced coronary circulation which is found in smokers has also been shown to become normal after short term supplemental vitamin C. Peripheral artery disease which is due to constriction or obstruction of the arteries in the legs, and leads to pain on walking and ultimate immobilisation, affects smokers more than non-smokers Studies have shown that progression of this can also be reduced by supplemental vitamin C which is lacking in the smoker.Although smokers will benefit from supplemental vitamin C, the answer to smokers’ related diseases, is of course not a supplemental pill, but a healthier lifestyle and diet including a high intake of fruit and vegetables. The reason for this is that the latter contain many hundreds of antioxidants and the few that have been studied such as vitamin C and beta carotene may simply be markers for many others which have equal or greater benefit. The evidence from population studies for the benefit afforded to smokers by a change to a healthier diet is now overwhelming. But we hear very little if anything, about how smokers may protect themselves from heart and circulatory diseases as well as lung cancer. The only advice seems to be ‘quit smoking, or crawl away and die’. This is an appalling attitude on the part of the medical institutions.*Genetic implications for the smoker*Although the antioxidants in a healthy diet combat the cancer forming constituents in tobacco smoke which are a contributory cause of smokers related diseases, it would be over-simplistic to suggest that diet is the complete answer. Only 1 in 10 heavy smokers die of lung cancer and 1 in 10 cases of lung cancer are in non-smokers. If smoking causes lung cancer why do not all smokers die from lung cancer? Similarly, if smoking causes heart disease why do some smokers never develop heart disease and many non-smokers do? Part of the answer is to be found in the genetic composition of different individuals. There are many genetic abnormalities in which smoking may exacerbate the development of lung cancer. Two recent studies have shown that the presence of an abnormal gene called APOE _4 concerned in lipid metabolism renders the smoker three times more susceptible to heart disease. This of course does not increase the risk of heart disease amongst smokers generally, it simply pin points those who are at greater risk if they possess the abnormal gene, and smoking cessation propaganda might well be directed at this group, rather than all smokers. Smokers who possess this gene also benefit more from cholesterol lowering drugs. What these studies did not emphasise was that despite the increased risk of heart disease, possession of this gene by a smoker also bestowed a 13 fold protection against the development of early onset Alzheimer’s disease in those with a family history of dementia.More recently, an enzyme concerned in the repair of DNA lesions has been shown to be at very low levels in those who develop lung cancer, both in smokers and non-smokers. The study showed that smokers had an 18 fold increased risk for lung cancer compared to non-smokers. It also showed that smokers with low levels of the enzyme had a 34 fold increased risk, and smokers with very low levels had a 124 fold increased risk for lung cancer compared to non-smokers with normal levels of the enzyme. Even non-smokers with very low levels of the enzyme had a 7 fold increased risk for lung cancer compared to those with normal levels of the enzyme. It is clear that smoking cessation directed at smokers with low levels of this enzyme would lead to a substantial decrease in the incidence of lung cancer amongst smokers.It is becoming apparent from genetic studies that in the not too distant future it will be possible to identify individuals who by their genetic composition are at greater risk for smokers related diseases; they are the persons who will be targeted, not just by smoking cessation advice, but by the modification of other lifestyle risks.*Dose Effects *The greatest ill effects from smoking are for heavy smokers of two and three packs a day. Risks are much lower for light smokers. Studies on lung cancer and heart disease have shown that for those who smoke 10 a day or less, the risks are very much lower. In a study on female British doctors, there was no increased risk for heart disease or lung cancer in those smoking 1 to 14 cigarettes per day. In the Framingham study, for smokers of 1 to 10 cigarettes per day the risk for heart disease was lower than that for non-smokers.*Other effects of smoking*Apart from the protection which could be afforded to smokers by a healthier lifestyle, all is not doom and gloom. The vast majority of studies have shown unequivocally, that smokers have half the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease compared to non-smokers. They also have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have attempted to show that the protection against Alzheimer’s disease for smokers is less than previously thought. In the ongoing study of 50,000 British doctors over 50 years it was shown that the incidence of Alzheimers disease was the same in smokers and non-smokers, but this was achieved by comparing active smokers against the group of never-smokers and ex-smokers lumped together. This exercise diminishes the protective effect of smoking, because any protection afforded to the ex-smokers is included with the never-smoking group. When active smokers and ex smokers were compared with never smokers, the former had a reduced risk of about 20% Smokers, because of their increased consumption of saturated animal fat and antioxidant imbalance (which could be corrected, if they took the advice to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit) are more likely to develop blood clots in small blood vessels. This may cause development of a type of dementia called vascular dementia, similar to Alzheimer’s. Many cases of vascular dementia in smokers may be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, and it is becoming clear that there is also an associated vascular element in Alzheimers disease. What is needed to demonstrate unequivocally any protection that cigarette smoking has against the development of dementia is a comparison of smokers who have otherwise healthy or unhealthy lifestyles. Several earlier studies on identical twins who were both alive, also showed that if one twin smoked, then that twin had half the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It should be remembered that there are around 700,000 cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in the UK.Most studies have shown that because of the anti-oestrogenic effect of smoking, women who smoke have half the risk of developing cancer of the womb compared to non-smokers. Similar findings have been found for smoking and breast cancer but studies have been complicated by the anti-oestrogenic (protective) effect and the potentially cancer forming effect of cigarette smoke. A recent large study found that women who started smoking within 5 years of puberty had a 69% increased risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer and this was given prominent coverage in the press. But in the same study, for a smaller group of those who started smoking after their first full term pregnancy and who gained weight during life (the majority), the risk for post-menopausal breast cancer was halved, which represents a 100% reduction in risk.The effects of smoking are also complicated by alcohol intake. This question has recently been solved by the largest study of its kind, a collaborative reanalysis of over 58,000 cases in 53 studies. Increasing alcohol consumption resulted in increasing risk for breast cancer for smokers and non-smokers alike, but in non-drinkers, cigarette smoking did not produce any increased risk for breast cancer. The protective effect of high intakes of vegetables and fruit against the risk of breast cancer is well documented. Smokers have markedly lower intakes, so on balance, the anti-oestrogenic effect of smoking coupled with a healthy diet is likely to be protective.Is it a coincidence that the doubling of the incidence of childhood asthma parallels the decrease in smoking? A very large study in 57 countries showed that countries with the highest air pollution (and ETS exposure) had by far the lowest incidence of childhood asthma.Apart from the increased consumption of ‘junk food’ the increase in obesity with its attendant diseases such as heart disease and diabetes has also paralleled the decrease in smoking. How many GP’s say to their patients ‘quit smoking and then we will deal with the weight problem later’, but never do? The home of anti smoking is the U.S. and the Americans have the highest incidence of obesity in the world (30%). Obesity we are now told claims more deaths than smokers related diseases.Perhaps most importantly, the modern drug culture has paralleled smoking cessation propaganda and inculcation with the dangers of smoking. This is not a coincidence. Since cigarettes are so dangerous, ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine must surely be safer. This belief is borne out by a recent poll which showed that most young people think drugs are safer than tobacco. The real problem with drugs is that more than 50% of all crime is drug related. Drug addiction has resulted in the most appalling crimes to pay for the addiction, and innocent people are usually the victims. Did anyone ever mug an old lady for the price of a cigarette? Perhaps after all it was safer to experiment with a quick fag behind the school bike shed, and become addicted to tobacco, rather than drugs.There are also the stress associated diseases involved in quitting smoking. A few brave cardiologists will say to a patient after a heart attack ‘Perhaps it would be better for you to reduce your consumption of cigarettes rather than quit altogether because of the stress involved’.There are several other rare diseases for which smoking is protective, for example women who smoke have half the risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.One of the more ridiculous claims of the anti-smoking lobby which appears as a warning on cigarette packets is that smoking increases facial wrinkling. Smokers have an increase in skin wrinkling of about 1/20^th compared to non-smokers. However, skin wrinkling is caused by the formation of a substances called metalloproteinase I, which is increased by lack of vitamins C and E. Smokers on average have significantly lower intakes of 16% for vitamin C and 11% for vitamin E than non-smokers and it is equally likely that any increased skin wrinkling is caused by these low intakes. The message is clear for smokers, eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.It is frequently stated that the Risk/Benefit ratio of smoking is 100/1. This is simply not true. The greatest number of deaths attributed to smoking, are from heart disease. The evidence however is not convincing for smokers who have otherwise healthy lifestyles. When we consider the beneficial effects of high intakes of fruit and vegetables in preventing heart disease, 5 out of 7 studies showed that the benefit was entirely for smokers, whilst in the remaining 2 the benefit was largely for smokers. For all diseases related to smoking it is necessary to study the difference between smokers who have otherwise healthy or unhealthy lifestyles. This has not been done. Even if we accept the dubious evidence that the increased risk of heart disease is due to the act of smoking and is not coupled to the other lifestyle risks of the smoker, we would have to completely ignore the protection afforded against Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, post menopausal cancer of the womb, and the potential protection against cancer of the breast, stomach and colon.ConclusionsHistory abounds with anti-smoking fascists. Apart from the infamous Adolf Hitler, there were extremists like King James I of England and Mikhail Feodorovitch the first of the Romanov czars. Perhaps the most notable was Sultan Murad IVth of Constantinople, who in 1633 decreed the death penalty for smoking tobacco. He punished his own soldiers for smoking, by beheading, hanging, or crushing their hands and feet to be left helpless at the hands of the enemy.It can be argued that amongst smokers with _otherwise healthy lifestyles,_ the protection from diseases such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, post menopausal cancer of the womb, breast cancer and obesity is considerable compared to the attributable risk for smokers related diseases.Why then, are smokers not told how they may protect themselves from smokers’s related diseases? The answer is simple, this advice may prevent them from quitting, and the Holy Grail is to quit smoking at whatever cost. The hard fact is that we have become so brain-washed, that to advise smokers how they may protect themselves is politically incorrect.The anti-smoking campaign has produced a polarisation in smoking habits. Better off, health conscious and more intelligent people have paid attention to what they believed was sound medical advice and have quit. Had they continued to smoke, their healthier lifestyle would have resulted in a much lower risk of developing any smokers’ related disease, and the protection afforded by smoking would have resulted in a lower incidence of other diseases. These are the people who have been misled. On the other hand, the poorer and less intelligent people have continued to smoke without altering their lifestyles, and these are the most vulnerable in our society. The extortionate and immoral tax on tobacco affects this section of society to the greatest degree. It would be more to the point to advise smokers how they may protect themselves, and then to collect the £10 billion in taxes rather more ethically. Is it not time to abandon this manic witch-hunt against smoking, and turn our attention to the problems of drugs, alcohol, obesity, dietary factors and the ‘couch- potato’ existence?The 27% of people in the UK who continue to smoke are a sizeable minority compared for example to the 3% Muslim minority and 5% minority of homosexuals, and yet they are far more tolerant and less vociferous than the latter, and more tolerant than anti-smokers in general. This is in the face of extremist bans on smoking in public places, introduced because of the perpetuated myth of ‘passive smoking’. They are tolerant because they have been brainwashed into believing that cigarette smoking is a vile, filthy and dangerous habit and inflicts damage to others, which is totally untrue.Of more than 70,000 papers published on the effects of smoking, not one in a thousand doctors ever read them in detail. They simply don’t have the time. They may glance at the abstract, but in the main they take advice from those who publish them without questioning the validity of the communications, and say what they are told to say.Statistically it is difficult to allow for confounding in parameters that are correlated and smoking is highly correlated with unhealthy lifestyle risk factors for heart disease and to a lesser extent, lung cancer. Nevertheless common sense dictates that such confounding must be considered. The entire medical establishment has been brainwashed by studies which have not allowed for confounding. What hope therefore has the lay public of learning the truth. It is no longer a case of how many deaths are attributed to smoking, but of how many smokers’ lives could easily have been saved, by telling them how to protect themselves against their other lifestyle risks associated with smoking, instead of indulging in this medieval witch hunt against smoking. The medical establishment, from the World Health Organisation to National Medical Institutions involved in the anti-smoking campaign, have kept this information from the lay public, during the thirty years or so that it has been available. There are elements within the anti-smoking medical institutions that are really no better than the tobacco companies whom they continually castigate.We now have draconian bans on smoking in public places in the absence of any concrete evidence for the deleterious effect of passive smoking, to force people to quit smoking. In this era of ‘human rights’ and the compensation culture how long will it be before somebody challenges the Chief Medical Officer or any authority imposing a ban, and take their case to the European Court of Human Justice, not for preventing them from smoking, but by doing so, subjecting them to an increased risk for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases, rather than an increased risk for lung cancer? Choice is a human right and it is likely that the judges will take a far more dispassionate view of the evidence for both passive and active smoking than the medical establishment.Where are the brave young doctors and medical scientists who will look at the evidence more closely and challenge this puritanical and sanctimonious dogma of the anti smoking campaign? In exposing the exaggerations and arriving at the truth they will contribute more to medical science, than swimming with the tide.

Dr. K.W.E. DensonThame

Thrombosis and Haemostasis Research Foundation. * The author will be glad to provide references to any papers or statements made in this article. * The author and this establishment, have no liaison with and are not funded by any of the tobacco companies.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Feed us facts on ingredients, not legislation

By Jay Evensen

Deseret Morning News

The E. coli-in-spinach scare came at just the right time — the right time, that is, to put some perspective on the trans fatty acid scare. The perspective is this: It's pretty darned hard to go through life knowing exactly what's going to hurt you and what isn't. And, therefore, it's fairly ridiculous for governments to try to micromanage what we consume. If the point is to protect us against ourselves, good luck. Next thing you know, someone will be suing Popeye. Meanwhile, the best we can do (statistically, anyway) is to follow common sense. Even at that, history teaches there is a high likelihood we're all going to die someday. I know, that's startling news to read on a peaceful Sunday morning. In some ways, this is a difficult column to write. A decade or so ago I was defending my support of the nation's first smoking bans in buildings, airports, etc., against people who assured me the government, if it won that fight, would soon come after the things we eat. And, well, here we are. But if I have to admit that some supporters of smokers' rights were correct, that doesn't mean it's wrong to continue expanding bans on cigarettes in public places (as Salt Lake City currently is contemplating). Nor does it mean it's wrong to draw the line somewhere, such as at the dinner table. Simply put, we know beyond a reasonable doubt that some things are harmful, not just to the people who consume them but to people who are around the people who consume them. If the person in the seat next to me is eating an unusually tasty order of french fries, I'm not likely to get hurt no matter how much I inhale. But if I'm gorging myself on fatty foods all the time, not exercising and gaining lots of weight — well, I shouldn't need a bureaucrat to tell me I'm heading in the wrong direction. This has become an issue in recent weeks, because the health commissioner in New York City, backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has proposed a citywide ban on the use of trans fats in all restaurants. Chicago has at least looked at a similar ban, and other cities are likely to follow suit. The New York mayor even brought Robert De Niro into the debate, noting the actor owns several restaurants that don't use the fats. Bloomberg stood right next to De Niro and admitted he loves oily popcorn, fries and other fatty foods but that he eats them without trans fats, which are made by a chemical process first developed in the 19th century to make certain oils last longer. Does this mean he pigs out on this stuff using saturated fats? Frankly, that doesn't sound too smart, either. I'm no expert, but it seems there is conflicting scientific data on what trans fats can do. This much seems certain: Trans fats add significantly to cholesterol levels and, subsequently, heart problems. But then, saturated fats can do the same if you eat tons of them all the time. Common sense ought to dictate that people eat more fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise. But you can't legislate that. At least, you shouldn't. Meanwhile, if government begins outlawing trans fats, it needs to look seriously at all the other potentially harmful ingredients in things we eat. There's no end in sight once you embark on that road. And, as with DDT, cyclamates and other substances thought to be horribly unsafe, further research may produce different results. Why not simply rely on a good dose of education and some faith in the market, which seemed to work well in alerting people about the problems with spinach and lettuce? Require labels on foods that contain trans fats, if you must, including at restaurants. The market already gives us no-caffeine Coke, and a growing number of products have "no-trans fats" labels. We should be allowed to make our own choices, and pay the consequences either way.
Jay Evensen is editor of the Deseret Morning News editorial page. E-mail: even@desnews.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Smokers Diet

Before I went on this diet I use to get at least three or four colds a year. Since I went on this diet I haven't had a cold for at least 5 years.:)

Here is the 'big' kicker for "Fatty' Acids!!

Consume every day:

One teaspoon of Flaxseed Oil
One teaspoon of Extra Virgin Oil
Mixed the Oils with your salad

One tablespoon of Crushed Almonds and/or Walnuts.
Sprinkle the Almonds on your fruit salad.

I crush the Flax seeds (If I buy whole Flax Seed and also crush the Almonds, (Walnuts) in a Coffee Grinder)
Refrigerate in a plastic container.

Eat fish (Salmon at least three times a week)

A fruit salad(you can freeze the fruit)
Which would consist of apples,oranges pineapple(crushed), blueberries,strawberries peaches,plums,bananas,etc.
A small bowl at lunch and supper(veggies and fruit salad)

Veggies(shredded)..I know it's lots of work..butt..You can make a big bowl and it will last you as long as you want:)
cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots, celery, green onions, green and red peppers, etc.

What does it cost you for a 48 oz. of V-8 Juice? 2.00? V-8 consist of the 'Juice' of the veggies..mine contains all the veggies
Your cost to make my concoction would be about 50 cents for a 48 oz. bottle or maybe even less.
The beauty of these recipes is you get a good cross-section of everything that is grown from the ground.

V-8 equivalent: My juice drink...

Put your veggies in a blender(equal amounts)
garlic(half a clove)
A bag or whatever of leafy Spinach(frozen if need be)
Add a can of Tomato Juice(48oz.) or two to the condensed mixture.(Freeze the remainder for future use.)

By the way, Dr. Weil M.D. appeared on Larry King a few months ago and he said,"Americans don't eat enough 'fatty' acids.
That is why they are sick all the time:)



Friday, October 20, 2006

Letter sent to The Chronicle Journal

Dear Editor, Oct. 16/06

Any politician who serves more than two terms in office tends to develop a
dictatorial attitude rather than representing their constituents wishes.

The President of The United States cannot run for a third term in office for exactly the same reason.

As a general rule our city would be better off if we voted almost everyone out of office after two terms.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Private clubs OK
As a non-smoker, I am pleased that on my visits to Calgary I can go to a bar without having to smell cigarette smoke, but are we not being too dictatorial? If smokers want to have their own private club so they can enjoy a drink and a smoke why not. Who are we that we can stop other people's enjoyment because it it not what we want. We do live in a free country.
Alan Robinson
(No argument there.)

Bylaw burns
"Welcome to fascist Calgary"is what they should put on the signs entering the once fair city by the Bow. I no longer live in the over-populated, over-bylawed city I grew up in, and I do not miss many things about it. The new anti-smoking laws being introduced take away from a segment of the populations' freedom of choice. In Kelowna, where I now reside, the smokers (I am a non-smoker) have rooms and patios where I can hang with my smoking friends).
Calvin Barr
(The smoke hasn't cleared yet.)

Bell courts criticism
I support the new anti-smoking bylaw. I disagree with the hypocrisy displayed by Rick Bell in his Oct. 19 column. It appears Bell is all for minority rights when it is for a cause he agrees with. He might find it "ironic" but he should embrace rather than discount the fact the Calgary Pub and Bar Association still has the right (as does any other legitimate group) to access our court system.

Jim Stallings

Overeaters, smokers and drinkers: the doctor won't see now.


Overeaters, smokers and drinkers: the doctor won't see now.


Letter sent to the Calgary Sun

To the editor: Oct. 19/06

Obviously Mr. Bell you have confused democracy with tyranny of the majority. A majority cannot violate property rights and citizens' lifestyles on the say so of some well funded lobbyists. Science does not support the hysteria on second hand smoke. Only political and financial interests do. Let the courts expose it for what it is: artificially created hysteria!

Iro Cyr
C.A.G.E. (Citizens Against Government Encroachment)
Montreal, Quebec


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Doctor won't see you now
Overeaters, smokers and drinkers: the doctor wonhttp://www.macleans.ca/topstories/health/article.jsp?content=20060424_125702_125702


Smoking ban cost debated

Come on smoking ban endorsers. Let's hear that all of you will cover damages, since you're so confident there won't be any economic damages and hospitality owners and charities are wrong. What do you say mayor and Clean Air Coalition? Will you cover the losses? Let's hear all the endorsers put their money where their mouth is? Will your organizations take true re-sponsibility now?

Lynda Duguay

The reputation of second-hand smoke over the years

Here's the problem.
Almost nobody was "bothered" by others' smoke until it was put into their minds that it was a "health hazard."
Oh, sure.
There were a few, but VERY few. You know. The ones who would deliberately cough and wave their arms around.
Now, because of the social engineering that has taken place since 1993, when the EPA claimed that for now and forever, "secondhand smoke," a term unheard of 20 years ago, was a "Class A Carcinogen," just about every nonsmoker has developed a seething hatred of smokers.
I would say that pure "Anti-smokers" would be more along the lines of 90% of the 75% of those nonsmokers; in other words, about 67% of the population.
They have completely ignored the fact that the EPA's Report was declared invalid in 1998. We need to go back to a time when smokers and nonsmokers coexisted peacefully. Smoking sections and nonsmoking sections worked for decades until the ridiculous hysteria of secondhand smoke was orchestrated by prohibitionists. Now we have idiotic claims that, somehow, the smoke from a puny cigarette will travel through walls and vents to other sides of buildings, attach itself to an innocent nonsmoker's lung, and begin a malignant growth. Or cause a heart attack in as little as 30 seconds. We have morons who claim they can smell cigarette smoke from other cars cruising down the highway at 70 mph. The whole notion of "secondhand smoke" being dangerous or "deadly" is astoudingly insulting to basic intelligence and common sense. This is like saying that if you fill a Dixie cup full of oil and dump it off the coast of Greenland, a fish swimming near Australia will be poisoned..............

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lawmakers could tamper with State Issue 5

Monday, October 16, 2006

In regard to the Oct. 2 Dispatch editorial "For State Issue 5," which read, "Issue 5 would be a powerful weapon in the fight against deadly diseases. Because it would be a statute, it could be refined, as needed, by lawmakers in the General Assembly, a much easier process than changing a constitutional amendment."

I take issue with this, as the door is being left open to even more draconian smoking-ban legislation in Ohio. We can look to current California legislation banning smoking outside, including, but not limited to, parks and beaches as Issue 5’s "refinement as needed," just for starters. "Issue 4 would allow smoking in restaurants, bars and bowling alleys, where secondhand smoke can sicken workers and patrons. And it would become part of the Ohio Constitution, changeable only by a statewide vote of the people on another constitutional amendment."
One clause of the Issue 4 amendment is left out many times in editorials urging voters to vote for Issue 5. This is the requirement for all Ohio restaurants to have an enclosed, isolated room for smokers. No nonsmoking restaurant patrons would come into contact involuntarily with cigarette smoke.
The open-air smoking section in restaurants would simply be a thing of the past across all of Ohio under Issue 4. I urge readers to read the proposals in their entirety and make the decision that best fits their conscience. Creating economic hardships by imposing a one-size-fits-all smoking ban on longstanding businesses that depend on the business of patrons who smoke should be considered when making this decision.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Letter sent to The Chronicle Journal

Dear Editor, Oct. 16/06

Any politician who serves more than two terms in office tends to develop
a dictatorial attitude rather than representing their constituents wishes.

The President of The United States cannot run for a third term in office for exactly the same reason. As a general rule our city would be better off if we voted almost everyone out of office after two terms.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Secondhand data on secondhand smoke
October 8, 2006 12:50 am

HELVETIA, W.Va.--The federal government's 30-year anti-smoking crusade has been so successful that there are now more ex-smokers than smokers in the United States. But about a quarter of the population continues to smoke cigarettes, and over the past decade a new health hazard has been fabricated and publicized.
The news media have parroted the idea that secondhand smoke is harmful, and a recent survey finds that more than 80 percent of adults now believe this. But the secondhand-smoke scare is based largely on speculation reminiscent of superstitions from the Middle Ages, before the discovery of the scientific method.
The 2006 surgeon general's 709-page report "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke" further promotes this sham. The report claims that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause immediate harm and cites reports that estimate secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and tens of thousands of heart disease deaths among nonsmokers each year.
It concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure, and recommends "smoke-free policies" to eliminate all indoor smoking. Surgeon General Richard Carmona himself stated at a June 27, 2006, press conference, "The science is clear: [secondhand smoke] is a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and non-smoking adults."
The Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, and American Cancer Society all concur. The California Air Pollution Authority has labeled secondhand smoke a toxin and the EPA has initiated a "Smoke-Free Home Pledge Campaign."
Marriott has announced that its 2,300 hotels will become totally smoke-free by October 15 of this year. In June, a California state Senate committee approved a bill to ban smoking in private cars with children.
But the science is not "clear." In fact, there is no credible scientific evidence to support any of this. Whereas the association of cigarette smoking with heart disease and lung cancer in epidemiologic studies is strong--an increase of 100 to 300 percent and 900 percent respectively--the association found between secondhand-smoke exposure and heart disease and lung cancer in the studies cited by the surgeon general is very weak, an increase of about 30 percent for each.
In addition, the report cherry-picks studies that support its claims and ignores other important ones that do not. For example, it cites a 1993 EPA meta-analysis of 30 studies, that has since been discredited, and ignores an excellent 1998 World Health Organization large single study that showed a reduced association for children of smokers and no association for spouses and co-workers.
The largest single study of all, a 39-year analysis of over 35,000 Californians published in 2003 in the British Medical Journal, found no connection between passive smoking and mortality. It was not cited.
Epidemiology is the study of disease in populations. Epidemiologists collect data using poorly controlled observational studies and evaluate it by using statistical methods.
These methods are not adequate to test the hypotheses required by the scientific method, so epidemiology can never prove or disprove anything. It uses "relative risk" to report its findings of association. An RR of 1.0 is average, while an RR of 3.0 or more--a 300 percent increase--is required to suggest causation.
The epidemiologic studies cited by the surgeon general's report cannot determine causation largely because they are unable to control for inherent systematic errors. These include measurement errors, confounding factors, and at least 56 different biases, including "recall bias."
In the studies cited by the surgeon general, not only do the researchers have no control over the exposures to secondhand smoke, they don't even know what the data are.
A weak association is a fortuitous finding. Converting it into a causal link bypasses the scientific method, and has been termed "statistical malpractice" in the literature.
This unethical application of statistics to the imperatives of health policy is a common occurrence in politically motivated science.
The report claims that the weak statistical associations found in the studies "were not determinant" in making causal inferences, but instead, "judgments were based on an array of considerations." What these considerations were, and why they were more important than the results of the studies cited, is not apparent.
Finally, a basic principle of toxicology is that "the dose makes the poison." The surgeon general's report admits that secondhand smoke "is rapidly diluted as it travels away from the burning cigarette," and that it cannot be defined or measured.
It takes many years of persistent exposure for cigarette smoking to cause disease. For example, a patient's smoking one pack of cigarettes (22 cigarettes) a day for 10 years alerts a physician to search for lung disease. But even in the smokiest of smoke-filled rooms, nonsmokers inhale only a fraction of one cigarette a day.
To be beneficial, public policy must be based on good science. Bad science inevitably leads to bad public policy.
All government bureaucracies have one hidden agenda--to increase their funding and power. This leads to misrepresentations like the secondhand-smoke scare.
The 2006 surgeon general's report reminds us that one ongoing peril for citizens is being misled by government bureaucrats seeking to expand their power.
We need to shape our policies on the basis of good science, instead of shaping the science to fit the policies.

To: mayor@GoColumbiaMo.com; ward1@GoColumbiaMo.com; ward2@GoColumbiaMo.com; ward3@GoColumbiaMo.com;
ard4@GoColumbiaMo.com; ward5@GoColumbiaMo.com; ward6@GoColumbiaMo.com
Mayor Darwin Hindman 1223 Frances Drive Columbia, MO 65203-2317
Dear Council Members I am so disappointed that four Columbia Council Members were fooled by this secondhand smoke hoax into voting for a smoking ban. There is no evidence that smoke in a bar or restaurant is anything more than an irritant and nuisance. Irritation and annoyance are not sufficient causes to justify such a Draconian restriction of freedom on private property, especially when proper ventilation can easily clear the problem away. I am sending to Columbia bars and restaurants by regular mail the following two studies so that they can fully understand the pointlessness of your intrusion into their lives well before the actual ban starts. Arbitrary and capricious laws lack legitimacy and authority, and so can be rightly resisted, evaded and undone. I hope to help Columbia bars, restaurants and their patrons show your new law the same respect our grandparents showed to Prohibition http://www.data-yard.net/2/21/rtp.pdf http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/326/7398/1057

Why we should defend Smoker's Rights

Why we should defend smokers, and how we can win - Joe Bast, Heartland Institute
October 8, 2006

Joe Bast to Decatur Illinois Chamber of Commerce:

Thank you _________ for that kind introduction, and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today on smoking bans .I've got five points I hope to convey to you today:

1. The health risks of second-hand smoke are vastly exaggerated. This isn't a debate about how to protect the public's health
.2. The public isn't calling for more bans on smoking. The voices you are hearing are from a small minority, most of them working full-time for the anti-smoking movement.
3. Exposure to second-hand smoke is way down from what it was just five or six years ago. Current regulations and voluntary actions have solved the problem already.
4. Bans really do hurt bars and restaurants.
5. And fifth, and the real reason I drove four hours to be with you this morning, is there's a lot more at stake in this debate than"smoker's rights." We're talking about basic American values are being put at risk, and somebody ought to stand up and just say no.---------------------1. The health risks of second-hand smoke are vastly exaggerated. On June 27, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona said "the debate is over. The science is clear: Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health hazard." He released a massive report- 727 pages - this is it , printed two sided and two pages to a page - on secondhand smoke that says, and I quote: Secondhand smoke is a major cause of disease, including lung cancer and coronary heart disease, in healthy nonsmokers ... In 2005, it was estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke kills more than 3,000 adult nonsmokers from lung cancer, approximately 46,000 from coronary heart disease, and an estimated 430 newborns from sudden infant death syndrome.
To really understand this report, you should read this 426 page report- - the "Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Second Edition," from the Federal Judicial Center, 2000. It's the official guide for judges to understand and rule on science introduced in
courtrooms. According to this report, nearly all the claims in the Surgeon General's report wouldn't pass muster in a court of law because the sample sizes are too small or the effects they show on human health are too small to be reliable. You don't have to take my word for it. Over 90 percent of the research cited in this report was rejected by a federal judge in 1993, when EPA first tried to classify secondhand smoke as a human carcinogen.The judge said EPA cherry-picked studies to support its position, misrepresented the findings of the most important studies, and failed to honor scientific standards. The Surgeon General's report relies on the same studies and makes the same claims as EPA did a decade ago. I can prove it. The largest and most credible study ever conducted of spouses of smokers, by Enstrom and Kabat, was published in the May 12, 2003 issue of the British Medical Journal. They found, and I quote:
“The results do not support a causal relationship between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality. The association between tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed. ”The study is mentioned just once in the Surgeon General's report, on page 673, in an appendix listing studies that were too recent to be included in the report. But it was published three years ago, and the report quotes other more recent studies. In fact, the "findings" I quoted General Carmona saying were not from some new study released before the British Medical Journal study in 2003. It was taken from a 2005 report ... and not a scientific study, but just another report produced by California's EPA, mostly citing the same studies the federal judge rejected in 1993. The British Medical Journal study isn't the odd exception among all the studies that have been made of secondhand smoke.* A 2002 analysis of 48 studies [also published in the British MedicalJournal,] found only seven showed a relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and lung cancer; 41 did not.
* A 1998 World Health Organization study covering seven countries over seven years actually showed a statistically significant reduced risk for children of smokers and no increase for spouses and coworkers of smokers. No one is saying being around smokers is actually beneficial for kids. The World Health Organization study just illustrates how close to zero the effects of second hand smoke are. When the effect you are trying to find is extremely small, some studies will find no effect and some will even find a positive effect. Okay, enough with the numbers. I'm not trying to prove that smoking isn't bad for your health; it is. I'm also not saying secondhand smoke may not pose a risk to the health of some people who work or spend a lot of time in smoky bars.It might. But the health risks of secondhand smoke have been grossly exaggerated. Banning smoking in bars and restaurants won't save a single life. Period. Bans are unnecessary. So why are we debating bans on smoking?
2. The public isn't calling for more bans on smoking. It's not because the public is calling for more bans on smoking. In Chicago, only 16 people filed complaints with the city about smoking in bars and restaurants in 2001. It was a non-issue until antismoking advocates made it one. It took a lot of paid propaganda -- such as the American Cancer Society's $2 million ad campaign in Chicago -- to create the appearance of public support for smoking bans, and that $2 million was just the top of the iceberg - the American Cancer Society spent millions more on other things, and other groups spend millions more on top of that. What do you think would happen to that support if they stopped running ads and launching new campaigns to ban smoking? Secondhand smoke would go back to being the non-issue it was in 2001, before the media hype and multi-million dollar advertising campaigns. Surveys show that support for smoking bans usually drops from about 55% to 33% or less when people are informed that most restaurants and hotels already have nonsmoking areas, and that a ban could cause the loss of jobs or closure of small businesses. So no, the public doesn't want more smoking bans. The voices you are hearing are from a small minority, and a surprising number of them work full-time for the anti-smoking movement.
The anti-smoking movement has become a well-funded industry, with funding flowing in from government grants, foundations, and corporations that sell smoking cessation aides. Billions of dollars are being spent to discourage and ban smoking. I'm not exaggerating. Let me name some of the funders and the dollar amounts involved .The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $200 million to anti-smoking groups. Do you know why it's so opposed to smoking? It owns $5.4 billion in Johnson and Johnson stock, and its board is controlled by former Johnson and Johnson executives. Johnson & Johnson is the manufacturer of Nicoderm and others moking cessation products. By demonizing tobacco, they're creating a market for their products. Glaxo Smith Kline, another drug company that makes nicotine replacement products, is also pouring millions of dollars a year into the anti-smoking campaign. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created the Center for Tobacco-Free Kids with a $20 million grant in 1996. The Center for Tobacco Free Kids helped negotiate the Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry and state attorneys general in 1998. The Master Settlement Agreement in turn funded the American Legacy Foundation, which runs the television ads you often see attacking smokers and tobacco companies. The American Legacy Foundation spends $130 million a year opposing smoking and has awarded grants of more than $150 millionto other groups since its inception. It has net assets of more than $1 billion. About a month ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire, pledged to personally give $125 million to anti-smoking causes. $125 million ... from one person! Attacking smokers has become a full-time job for thousands of people, and they have life-long funding. What do you think they'll do if Decatur passes a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars? Just go away? You've got to be kidding. This is their careers. They're going to be back next year proposing new enforcement provisions on the ban, then expanding to ban to cover all bars and restaurants, then hotel rooms, condominiums, and parks, then cars ...then they'll press for smokers to be denied custody of their children following divorces. They're not going to stop until they've banned smoking ... and not just smoking, but even smokeless tobacco.So ... scientifically, bans are unnecessary, and the public doesn't support them. But why should we actively oppose them?
3. Bans really do hurt bars and restaurants. They really do hurt bar and restaurant owners. This is a contentious area, where the other side claims to have studies show little or no effects on bars and restaurants following smoking bans. The effects of bans depend on climate - in California, it's easier to ask smokers to smoke outside on a deck or sidewalk than it is in Chicago or New York; the extent of the ban and enforcement; rate of growth in restaurant and bar sales prior to the ban and after; distributional effects - how easy is it for smokers to find bars and restaurants in neighboring towns that allow smoking?; and passage of time. Smoking ban advocates often cite a 1994 study by Stanton Glantz and Lisa Smith which was entirely debunked by Prof. Michael Evans at Northwestern University in 1997. Evans found "that in virtually every city where Glantz and Smith alleged a smoking ban was imposed, there was a significant decline in sales of eating and drinking establishments."And Glantz isn't exactly a neutral researcher. He's the founder of Americans for Nonsmokers Rights. Another study you might hear cited is a Cornell University report claiming to show no impact of NY state's smoking bans, but actually two of the five counties suffered significant drops in restaurant sales --9.0 and 9.8% respectively -- in just a single year. The Cornell study and others are aggregate studies of business trends which include restaurants that already banned smoking voluntarily and chains that don't serve alcohol ... they ought to be excluded, since a smoking ban shouldn't affect them. A 2002 survey of 300 businesses in CA by KPMG, the big accounting firm, disaggregated sales and employment results by type of restaurant and bar, and found 59 percent of bars and restaurants that served alcohol experienced a decrease in business, the average decline in sales was 26 percent, and 29 percent laid off staff. A 2004 study by Deloitte & Touche for NRA disaggregated restaurants and bars and found declines in annual sales of 36 percentat restaurants in communities with smoking bans. That same study found a positive impact where the ordinance requires a majority of seats for nonsmokers but allowed some smoking. Entrepreneurs who own restaurants and bars say the effect would be big; some have made major investments in ventilation and segregated seating; who are we to second-guess them?Which leads to my fourth point: Voluntary efforts to reduce exposure by nonsmokers to secondhand smoke are working.
4. Exposure to second-hand smoke is way down from what it was just five or ten years ago. In most cities and towns, 70% of restaurants are already non smoking by choice, or about half when you take out fast-food restaurants. Virtually all have seats reserved for nonsmokers, and a growing share have physical room dividers and ventilation systems to prevent smoke migration. Very few smokers who share a home with a nonsmoker smoke indoors anymore, or at least not in rooms likely to be occupied by nonsmoking family members. All this is working. Exposure to second-hand smoke, as measured by the amount of cotinine in the blood of nonsmokers, fell 68% for kids and 75% for adults from 1990 to 2000.(These figures are cited in the Surgeon General's report. The Surgeon General also says cotinine is the only reliable biomarker for exposure to secondhand smoke ... which should tell you that all the other potentially harmful chemicals that might exist in secondhand smoke are in such low concentrations that they can't be distinguished from background levels.) The dramatic decline in exposure to secondhand smoke - 68% for kids and 75% for adults from 1990 to 2000 - occurred before smoking bans were all the rage. You can be sure exposure has fallen even more rapidly in the last six years than it fell in the ten years from 1990 to 2000.So we're at ... what, 90 percent less exposure than in 1990? How much lower would that be than levels in 1980? Or 1970? Or 1960? The British Medical Journal and other studies of secondhand smoke covered periods of years in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Even exposure to much higher levels of second-hand smoke hasn't been plausibly associated with negative health effects ... so how likely is it that today's much lower levels of exposure are a real public health threat? Not very. But I digress. The point is that voluntary measures to separate smokers and nonsmokers are working. I believe it makes sense to ban smoking in places where nonsmokers have no choice but to be present - buses, planes, airports, courthouses, and other government buildings. But there needs to be a more compelling reason to ban smoking in other areas, such as restaurants and bars when there are plenty of nonsmoking restaurants and bars to choose from. People choose to go to bars and restaurants that allow smoking, and they can choose to go to bars and restaurants that ban it. People aren't stupid ... they can read signs and see ashtrays. Bar and restaurant owners aren't stupid either: They can tell if they would gain business or lose business by allowing or banning smoking. They should all - customers and business owners - be free to choose. Anti-smoking lobbyists don't respect that freedom to choose. They want to ban smoking in the few places left for smokers to go to enjoy their habits, even though smoking in these places does not expose nonsmokers to any risk. That's just plain wrong, which brings me to my fifth and final point.
5. The real issue at stake isn't "smoker's rights." It's about freedom. It is about the freedom of business owners to cater to customers and run their businesses as they see fit. It's about people being able to make choices and accept the consequences of those choices. It's about our right to be left alone. We're talking about basic American values: individual liberty,freedom to associate with others, the right to privacy and to private property. The attack on smokers and bar and restaurant owners is the tip of a spear aimed at the heart of all of our liberties. The other side understands this. This is why all sorts of liberal and left-wing advocacy groups sign on to anti-smoking campaigns. They know this is part of their bigger agenda for bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulations on business. Unfortunately, a lot of people on the other side of the debate - who support less government, lower taxes, and free market solutions to social and economic problems - don't get it. They stand on the sidelines and say, "I don't smoke, so this isn't my issue."Or they smoke and blame themselves for being poor parents or poor citizens - they believe what the television ads say - and so they don't turn out to vote against smoking bans. This is serious stuff, folks. Wars have been fought over this ... in fact, America's War of Independence was fought for this right. We shouldn't abandon it without a fight. Smoking bans violate the private property rights of bar and restaurant owners, and increasingly of other private property owners including hotel and mall owners, condominium owners, and soon even private home owners. Richard Pipes, a great historian, wrote in 1999, "what a man is , what he does, and what he owns are of a piece, so that the assault on his belongings is an assault also on his individuality and his right to life."When you ban smoking in Joe's Bar and Grill, you don't just inconvenience smokers or strike a blow for public health. You violate my private property rights, and simultaneously violate my individual liberty, my right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."Thomas Jefferson once wrote,I believe a principle of our Revolution was simply the recognition that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs. Nor [for] a few booted and spurred ready to ride him by their own political devices or by the grace of their own particular God. Smoking bans are another saddle the enemies of the American Revolution are trying to put on your back. Don't let them get away with that. Talk to you neighbors, friends, and customers, tell them smoking bans are necessary to protect the health of nonsmokers, that voluntary efforts have already solved the problem that once existed, and that smoking bans destroy jobs and businesses.Let your elected officials know. Don't vote for politicians who don'tpledge to oppose smoking bans. Period. Become a single issue voter. That's not a bad thing. Any politician who thinks private property rights can be violated in the name of a trumped up and make-believe health threat like secondhand smoke can't be trusted on any other issue that is important to you. Don't vote for him. I and every person in this room stands up and opposes this smoking ban. Otherwise, cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and even smokeless tobacco products will soon be snuffed out ... and the rest of our freedoms, one by one, will follow. I think we've traveled a long way from Jefferson's insights and the principles of the American revolution. The attack on smokers epitomizes that journey and all the dangers it poses to our liberty. Don't let it happen. Don't let them put that saddle on your back.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wichita Falls and the smoking issue. Oct, 3/06

A small amount of smoke from a handful of crushed leaves that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is harmful to your Health??Kem Hogue and these 'other' organisations know full well it is not about health and it never was about health. It is all about denormalizing smoking.Unfortunatley, the hospitality industry is caught in the cross-fireThe hospitality industry can put signs on their doors. This is a smoking venue or this is a smoke free venue.That way it gives the owners and the public choices.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.http://www.timesrecordnews.com/trn/local_news/article/0,1891,TRN_5784_5038302,00.html

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