It Can’t Happen Here


Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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61 Responses

  1. Trumwill says:

    Virginia’s smoking ban is actually a little less restrictive than I am used to. They at least add provisions for ventilated rooms and don’t seem to regulate patio-smoking.Report

  2. Will Wilson says:

    A hearty second to that sentiment, O Other Will.Report

  3. Musician says:

    Why should they be any stricter in Va. You guys have it made.
    In my state, even in what is to be a busy holiday season, we are all struggling for work and have for the last few years this damn ban stole work from us.

    Yes, the word is STOLE and it is still STEALING from us.

    Fraudulent ballot language and general fraud in even collecting the petitions was also the agenda with the antismoking lobbyists here in Ohio.

    So they steal, they lie, and they have committed fraud.

    If a private citizen does any of these things, they get the proverbial bread and water behind barbed wire fences.

    May it be so concerning the crooks that pose as antismoking lobbyists.Report

  4. smokedbacon says:

    In case you did not know it Virgina’s Governor received from the Johnson Foundation (Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical company) a check for $1,000,000 the day after he signed the smoking ban. Johnson and Johnson manufacturers Nocoderm and Nicorete Gum which they promiote the sales of in the wake of smoking bans with the punishment conditioning aimed at smokers. Let do a bit of game play here.
    To assist those wishing to quit, VDH will be expanding the Quit Now Virginia hotline to serve more than 3,500 smokers annually. The cost of the Nicoderm treatment is about $35 per week. This would be a total of $350 for the recommended 10 week program x 3,500 smokers = $1,225,000.00. Now mind you this drug has a very low success rate which creates repeat users. So let’s say 75% repeat it Johnson and Johnson reaped in $2,143,750.00!
    Now mind you that $1,000,000 the Governor received was for children’s health insurance. How many sick children will get Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to them?
    Sure does look like the governor was asleep in business!Report

    • Trumwill in reply to smokedbacon says:

      No idea if what you’re saying is true, but it brings to mind an interesting thought. Perhaps those that want to change public policy (by, say, curbing smoking), maybe the best way to do it is to so is to try to find some sort of countermarket (smoking cessation) and then let the corporations lobby for change.Report

      • virgilk in reply to Trumwill says:

        That is close to what they are doing. Pharmaceuticals give Grants to agencies like the ACS, ALA etc. In turn these agencies use Grants (bribes) to buy Smoking Bans. It is a brilliant Marketing Plan to sell NRT’s.Report

  5. Gridiron Grille says:

    You can still smoke some places in Virginia.

    In Williamsburg at least 🙂Report

  6. Scott says:

    I have nothing against smokers except that many think they have a right to give me lung cancer while they give it to themselves in publicReport

    • virgilk in reply to Scott says:

      I guess you did very little research. Not one person has been proven to have died due to SHS.

      Worried about your right to breath clean air?
      It’s not in;
      your homes because of the materials it’s built from.
      your own Kitchen because of cleaning products.
      your yard because of the insecticides you spray.
      your car because of the materials used in the upholstery and the fumes that come into your car while driving.
      Nowhere outside because of the pollution due to gas/diesel engines.
      See chart.
      Ignore the fact that the EPA Report was vacated as fraudulent.
      Ignore over 250+ studies showing no harm from SHS.
      They don’t tell us that living close to major traffic hi-ways or large Urban areas increase the incidence of Cancer or Heart Disease by 50% or more.
      Ignore the businesses going broke across the Country because of Bans.
      We do have, agencies using misinformation to control others for profit not health.Report

    • snowbird in reply to Scott says:

      You do not get Lung Cancer from second-hand smoke.
      Can you name me three people who got Lung Cancer solely from second-hand smoke??Report

  7. marbee says:

    Tobacco is a natural plant. Tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine itself has many major health benefits. Big pharma is lobbying hard to get the Food and Drug Administration to make many natural supplements available only by prescriptions. Does anyone remember how to play dot-to-dot?Report

  8. Sam M says:


    “I have nothing against smokers except that many think they have a right to give me lung cancer while they give it to themselves in public”

    Huh. the realtive risk for SHS is something between 1.19 and 1.3. Which means that about 1 person out of 50,000 exposed will develop a temrinal illness from it. If you accept the science.

    But let’s say you do accept the science. Fine. “Exposed” in this case does not mean getting an occasional whiff at a bar or a ballgame. Exposed means exposed to a full-blown cloud of SHS for a full career, meaning eight hours a day, five days a week, for 45-50 years as a worker.

    If you work at an Applebees that allows smoking, and you work every day, and the every hour you are working has the restaurant packed full of people chain smoking, and you work there for, say, 20 years, there is virtually no chance that you will develop lung cancer or heart disease due to this exposure, even accepting the science put forward by people supporting the ban.

    But fine. Let’s say you do work in that environment for a full career, unlike almost anyone who works in that field. And let’s say 49,999 of your closest friends do the same.

    Statistically, accepting the science, ONE of you might die due to that exposure.

    It is very likely that you stand a much better chance of dying on the job because you fell down the stairs.

    But don’t let that get in the way of your narrative, in which smokers are “giving you lung cancer.”

    All the same, if that smoker gave up cigarettes and instead decided to watch a few movies every week, you probably would be in greater danger due to the fact that he drives to the theater more often, and every time exposes you to the risk of an accident.Report

    • Scott in reply to Sam M says:

      I don’t know where you get your facts, but the National Cancer Institute has a different idea about how harmless second hand smoke is.

      • virgilk in reply to Scott says:

        Don’t putall your egges in theNCI basket. They liefor profit.

        The Politics of Scientific Research.doc
        U.S. cancer establishment, the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society; the NCI budget has increased 20-fold since passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act
        Preview Hide preview M…\246 The Politics of Scientific ResearchReport

      • Pam in reply to Scott says:

        The NCI? Are you kidding? They get their funding BASED on the lies they perpetrate. Look at the money in Tobacco Control. Look at Big pHARMa whose “non” profit foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, paid for smoking bans. RWJF was created by the founder of Johnson & Johnson with JnJ stock. Who has the market cornered on the patches, gum and lozenges? J&J!!! Why do you think the American L-U-N-G Association is in a snit about dissolvable orbs? They have NOTHING to do with the lungs but they have to protect their funder, J&J via RWJF. The ACS/AHA and ALA shared $99,000,000 given to them in”grants” by RWJF. Lord, look these people up. They’re in the White House more than Obama’s family. Who first pushed the war on OBESITY? RWJF. Who sells Splenda? J&J. Who owns EthiconEndo Bariatric Surgery company and devices? J&J. They buy the laws that drive the need for their products. Virginia has been had…just like the rest of the country. They couldn’t force people to quit so they had to make it appear that we “harmed” other people with something that is 99% water vapor. Why do you think OSHA doesn’t regulate SHS? Don’t they have power over every other “workplace” safety issue? It’s because OSHA knows it’s BS, too.Report

      • smokedbacon in reply to Scott says:

        Nation Cancer Institute ” No doctor can tell you who or why a peson will develope cancer”Report

  9. Sam M says:


    Lots of things cause cancer. Yet we don;t ban them becfause the risk is small. For instance:

    “The Surgeon General estimates that living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker’s chances of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent”

    But the thing is, spontaneous lung cancer is EXTREMELY rare. So a 30 percent increase in risk is still an incredibly small risk. (By the way, the idea of a 30 percent increase confirms the estimate of a relative risk of 1.3.)

    The fact of the matter is, most smoking bans do not ban smoking in homes, which is where most people get the toxic load, by living with a smoker.

    Note that you have to LIVE with the smoker. Spending many, many hours a day in the same room with him. For many, many years.

    There is virtually no risk in sitting next to a smoker at a ball game. Or even working around smokers for ten or 20 years.

    Your link confirms this. It does not refute it.

    The issue is the fact that lung disease is so rare. To analogize, I think that visiting a zoo drastically increases your chance of being attacked by an orangutan. Because zoos in America are one of the few places that have such creatures. So even though the INCREASE in risk is huge, the risk is so small in the first place as to be inconsequential.

    You will note that smoking bans are carefully worded to protect WORKERS, not patrons. That is because the exposure needs to be chronic over a long period of time.

    But look at what’s not protected. For instance, as I have pointed out before, NYC has banned smoking in Madison Square Garden, because workers ihhaling the smoke might be injured by it. At the same time, NYC allows other workers in that same venue, such as boxers and hockey players and MMA guys, to engage in FAR more dangerous activities.

    Unless of course you would rather fight Mike Tyson than sit next to a smoker.

    Is that the case?Report

    • virgilk in reply to Sam M says:

      Sam M. You have been doing some digging. I started research to see if my smoking was causing my Daughters Athletes Asthma. After a lot of digging I found the truth. She later worked in the smoking section at Texas Road House because smokers tip better. She doesn’t like the smell but it no longer bothers her. This is why I started researching SHS back in 1998.Report

  10. Smoking bans are not about health and it never was about health.
    The reasons:

    1. Quarantine/isolate the smoker
    2.De-normalize smoking
    3. Big Pharm to sell their nico products


    • Scott in reply to Thomas Laprade says:

      Since I don’t smoke I don’t need Big Pharma.Report

      • virgilk in reply to Scott says:

        You will if they have their way. They want everyone on drugs. They start with children while they are in grade school. Get your H1N1 Vaccine yet? A few years ago the head of Vaccines for the CDC stated that none of his family would ever be vaccinated. That should make everyone stop and think.Report

  11. Smoke from tobacco in a decently ventilated venue is a statistically insignificant health riskReport

  12. Scott says:

    The chance may be small but I don’t want to develop cancer and limiting exposure to SHS is an easy fix. I try to avoid smoke just like I try and avoid exposure to heavy metals. Also, we aren’t just talking about lung cancer but many other diseases as well. We are talking about public areas and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to enjoy them without the smoke being forced on me by others.Report

  13. No one has ever got cancer ‘solely’, from second-hand smokeReport

    • Scott in reply to Thomas Laprade says:

      I’d be really careful with words like “ever” unless you can actually prove it. Can you?Report

      • virgilk in reply to Scott says:

        Ever may be a bit strong but no one has been proven to have died due to SHS. From what I have seen, Mr. Laprade does his research and seldom uses the wrong wording. Pharmaceuticals put an awful lot of misinformation out on a 24/7 basis in order to push their own agenda. Opinions are formed by what we are subjected to in media weather it’s true or not. Before Pharmacy got involved in smoking bans, not one study found a connection of SHS to any disease.Report

  14. Here is a easy fix for this solution.

    The owners can put a sign in their doors:

    This is a smoking venue.

    This is a non-smoking venue.

    This solution gives the owners and the public choices.
    Isn’t this the American way??Report

  15. Bob Cheeks says:

    What I wouldn’t give for two fingers of Buffalo Trace over ice, and a Montecristo!Report

  16. Sam M says:

    “We are talking about public areas and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to enjoy them without the smoke being forced on me by others.”

    In what sense is it being forced on you? Some people are very sensitive to noise, to smoke from barbecues, and any other number of things. Open fire pits, as favored by many BBQ joints, are real fire risks. It’s actually quite dangerous to be a spectator at a stock car race. Tires have a way of getting loose and hitting people. Ouch.

    For me, I really don’t like racing, so I can eliminate the risk entirely by simply not going to NASCAR races. Or… I can lobby to have NASCAR racing banned and not allow anybody to take this risk, however minimal. Perhaps these raceways would then offer something I like. So it’s win-win. For me. But I honestly can’t see how OTHER people accepting this risk in a public place in any way “forces” me to accept the risk, too.

    There is a growing number of venues that are going smoke-free voluntarily, with fewer and fewer adults choosing to smoke, that number will likely increase.

    Why does it bother you SO MUCH to think that five guys might go to a bar you don’t like and suck down a few Marlboros with their Bud Lights?Report

  17. Sam M says:

    On the other hand, there is a long tradition of simply banning things because we don’t like them. In many cities, you can’t play loud music in public places. I guess there is some public safety angle justification for this, but mostly it’s because people hate being bothered by nuisance noise. In many places, you can’t put a car up on blocks in your yard, because people hate looking at that stuff. So i suppose you could justify a smoking ban on those grounds, especially in truly public places like streets and parks. What’s interesting in the case of smoking bans is that they did not first go after these public places. instead, they went after public accomodations like offices and bars and restaurants. Seems to me that the ban would be MORE justified on the street, which is truly communal property. As mentioned, you can choose to go into a bar. Or not.

    Why this order? Specifically, it was because nobody could make a public health case for wisps of smoke at bus stops. The only impact anyone has ever found was in people exposed to very, very high levels of smoke for very, very long periods of time. Meaning people who work around smoke.

    It simply is not true that occasional exposure to secondhand smoke poses a severe health risk. even people who aregue in favor of smoking bans know this. Which is why the bans are structured the way they are.

    Again, you can still make the case for bans. But you have to be very clear about what you are doing: banning things that annoy you. It might be worth it to you. But to me, it seems like a huge can of worms.

    F0r what it’s worth, I am a nonsmoker. I prefer smokefree bars and restaurants. But I can track those down on my own, thank you very much. This Google thing works wonders.Report

  18. Scott Tennant says:

    We went through this in Chicago a few years back- – lots of yelling and screaming on both sides. But then the ban took effect, and the furor seemed to die down. (of course this is purely anecdotal on my part. For all I know a grass roots movement is forming- – organizing a quarter K run for smoker’s rights)
    In principal though, I’d have the say that the people who argue against the bans are right. But, I don’t lose any sleep over it, and I like coming home from my local pub not smelling like a smokestack.Report

    • virgilk in reply to Scott Tennant says:

      Go back some time. You may find it harder than you think to find non-smoking bar. We have a 100% ban here in Louisville and an undercover TV expose found 9 out of 12 were still smoking. Of Course they don’t brag about that.Report

    • Trumwill in reply to Scott Tennant says:

      Every place I’ve lived has accepted the smoking bans super quick. Even most smokers I know, including myself, began to see the upsides (namely that non-smokers will come with us now) pretty quickly. And we learned that life did not end if we have to outside to have a puff.

      I’d personally like to see a regime where bars can get smoking licenses. Limit the number of smoking bars, make them pay for the privilege (so they won’t unless it’s important to them), and then everybody has a bar to go to.

      The problem for marketeers is that before these bans, almost no bars were willing to take the chance of becoming completely smoke free. Now that they’ve already done it and life went on, I suspect that a significant number of them would stay that way even if the laws were repealed completely tomorrow.Report

      • Pam in reply to Trumwill says:

        Interesting. You want US bar owners to pay for our freedom, our property rights? Doesn’t Virginia get cold? It does in OHIO!! Our few cutomers we have left huddle around a propane heater on our patio. Most of our old customers pick up a case of beer and head to each other’s homes to party. Must be real good for DUIs and domestic violence. It just SLAYS me that people who do NOT own a bar, who have NOT invested every dime they have into a business, think they know what’s best for that business. Come talk to the bar owners in Ohio. The unemployment figures just came out. Since our ban, we’ve lost 7,300 jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry. Don’t EVEN try to tell us it’s the economy. OUR economic slide to hell started the day after enforcement began.Report

        • Trumwill in reply to Pam says:

          I don’t think that bars are in any position to talk about DUIs. If all the bars went out of business tomorrow, DUIs would plummet.

          You’d be paying for the right to do business in a venue that allows smoking.

          Anyway, make me out to be the villain if you want to, but I’m in favor of expanding venues’ rights to allow smoking.Report

          • Pam in reply to Trumwill says:

            Actually, in states with total bans including restaurants, DUIs increased. In Ohio, carryout sales have exploded while wholesale to the bars who resell have plummeted. People are partying at each others’ houses. People are DRIVING to and from other peoples’ houses and there is no liquor license on the line for overserving. More liquor is being sold in Ohio than ever before. So, in actuality, we’ve placed more drinkers on the road than before.

            If the Ohio Attorney General’s website were updated consistently with communities consistently reporting the same data, I’d bet my last buck there would be proof of increased domestic violence. Too bad the data is so bad…can’t be analyzed.Report

      • Will in reply to Trumwill says:

        Trumwill –

        In Virginia, at least, there were quite a few non-smoking options for customers before the ban was enacted:

        “By February, when the legislature finally passed the ban after years of lobbying by anti-smoking advocates, about 66 percent of restaurants had already gone smoke-free in response to customer demand. A week ago, that proportion was about 75 percent.”

        • Trumwill in reply to Will says:

          Restaurants learned a long time ago that going non-smoking is (often) good business. They learned this in part, however, because of large-scale smoking bans that proved not to cause any real problems. Had the anti-smokers not leaped into action, it’s possible that most restaurants would still be smoking.

          Bars are a different bird. They have mostly gone non-smoking kicking and screaming the entire way. I think that they largely needed the push. This was all particularly true before laws forced people to realize that non-smoking bars were viable.Report

      • virgilk in reply to Trumwill says:

        I agree with Pam. The slide started immediately. Now that bans have been in effect, I believe a better alternative would be to end the bans completely. Those who saw little effect on their business may tend to stay smoke free but others should have the choice. Simple signage would now be all that is needed to avoid smoke.Report

    • Sam M in reply to Scott Tennant says:

      “But, I don’t lose any sleep over it, and I like coming home from my local pub not smelling like a smokestack.”

      That’s fine. Me too. At the same time, I don’t like coming home from places with my ears ringing. So I choose not to go to punk shows. There are all sorts of things I want to come home without. (Herpes. A bloody nose. Bears.) I just think it’s up to me to find places where these things are not part of the atmosphere. If one does not exist, I should open one. Or suffer, and wait until society catches up with my forward-looking views. Because as much as I like to think the local pub is my pub… it isn’t, really.

      What’s important here is that there are lots of people, like you, who don’t like the smell of smoke. And they actually like the bans for that reason, and support them accordingly. But the basis for the ban has not, up to now, been the avoidance of an annoying stench. It has been the idea that SHS is killing people. And the general belief among the public seems to be that a random whiff will knock you out cold. Which is false. A lie, in fact.

      And I do happen to lose sleep over this: A while back I was walking past a day care center. The kids were playing outside. A guy was on the other side of the street, walking, having a cig. One of the little monsters smelled it. She actually ran up to the fence and started berating the guy. “You’re going to die! You’re going to die! Put that out! Put it out! EEEWWWW.”

      For heaven’s sake. Everyone is turning into obnoxious, intolerant boobs. Ever see someone cough and spit and cry when someone is smoking at a bus stop?


      • Jaybird in reply to Sam M says:

        There is an old legal concept called “moving to a nuisance”.

        You don’t get to move next to a military base and then sue the army because you can hear the shots at the firing range and they stress you out. You don’t get to move next to a rendering plant and then sue the company because everything smells funny. You don’t get to move next to Mile High Stadium then sue Denver because the lights shine into your bedroom at night.

        We’ve pretty much abandoned the concept, of course.

        People have the right to sleep at night without lights shining through their windows, after all.Report

        • Trumwill in reply to Jaybird says:

          This is one of the reasons that I make a distinction between banning smoking in restaurants and banning smoking in bars (I supported the former and vociferously opposed the latter). Young people don’t have the mobility or means to avoid smokey restaurants. Bars, on the other hand, are filled with people that are there completely on their own volition. One thing to consider is to allow smoking in venues that only allow adult admittance.

          Of course, this distinction goes back to what Sam is saying about the exaggerated dangers of SHS. But since these bans have proven to be so popular (and accepted even among smokers I know), my proposed compromises have become less ambitious.Report

      • Scott in reply to Sam M says:

        Sorry, try a better argument. If I choose to go to a punk show that would be one thing, but I don’t choose to have to inhale someones second hand smoke. Why should a person who doesn’t want to smell like smoke be forced to stay away from a public place or a public accommodation to not smell like someone else smoke?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Scott says:

          “(hack hack) you knew the name of the bar was ‘Smokey’s’ when you (hack ptooey) walked in the door”


        • Sam M in reply to Scott says:

          I don’t understand how this is different. I hate loud music. Therefor, I should not go to bars that feature loud music.

          I don’t like smoke. I should not go to bars that allow people to smoke.

          I don’t like ballroom dancing. I should not go to venues that have ballroom dancing.

          Doing a cost-benefit analysis of class-five whitewater rafting, it seems far too dangerous to justify any enjoyment I might get out of it. So I should not go whitewater rafting.

          On the other hand, I do enjoy shooting guns. So I go to a local range. This clearly exposes me to some level of risk that I would not be exposed to if I did not go the range. But to me, the enjoyment i derive from this is worth the risk. So I engage in it.

          From time to time, these forces interact. I would not normally choose to go to a a smokey bar, but sometimes my friends are meeting at one. In this case, I can do several things. I can refuse to go. Or I can go. Or I can talk them into meeting somewhere else.

          In none of these situations is anyone forcing me to do anything. In all of these situations, it is up to me to decide what level of risk I am willing to face, and to weight that against any benefits I might receive.

          Why is this so difficult to understand?Report

        • smokedbacon in reply to Scott says:

          Why should I haver to care about YOU? Why is it ALWAYS YOU? A minority when it comes to the percentage of bar patrons that do smoke and those patrons that do not smoke but get along with the smokers? Why is it you, you, you? Ask yourself that question!Report

        • smokedbacon in reply to Scott says:

          Why should I have to care about YOU? Why is it ALWAYS YOU? A minority when it comes to the percentage of bar patrons that do smoke and those patrons that do not smoke but get along with the smokers? Why is it you, you, you? Ask yourself that question! If you are so special perhaps YOU ought to live as a hermit and leave others alone!Report

  19. greginak says:

    Lets assume marijuana is legalized as a lot of us hereabouts think is a good idea.

    Should there be restrictions on where people can smoke? In public? Around kids?Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to greginak says:

      Sure. Though it’s not necessarily about the “save the children” aspect as it is about setting certain types of social values around drug use. It’s a form of demand intervention really than consumption intervention which some people don’t seem to quite grasp. One of the things that the Netherlands does with marijuana for example is that they regulate thc levels and with their legalized soft drugs through coffee shops regime, they set a certain social standard on how people view smoking pot. (ie it’s made them prefer low/moderate level THC in products over high THC ones)Report

    • Sam M in reply to greginak says:

      Interesting question. I assume we could treat it the same way as booze, meaning it would have to happen in the home or in “licensed” establishments. This happens to be the opposite of the way we treat smoking right now, in which we ONLY allow people to smoke on the street.

      On the other hand… was carrying an open container of alcohol always illegal? I think you used to be able to walk around with a beer.

      Either way, politically, that would never fly, and I presume the weed smoking would hav eto go on in a “coffeehouse” or dispensery.Report

  20. Jaybird says:

    I see all of these new names and I am tickled pink. Where are they coming from? Hey! Guys! Where are you all coming from?

    (I admit: The deeply cynical part of my brain wonders if they’re all showing from RJR/Nabisco or something.)Report

    • virgilk in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m from Kentucky and I don’t want this Smoking Ban disease to spread. We should all be concerned. Every new ban is a loss of freedom over a nonexistent threat. Now it’s moving to take away other freedoms from those who are overweight. All of this is fueled by the Pharmaceuticals plus Government in their lust for new revenue. Before Pharmacy funding to increase their profits, there were no studies that found a connection of smoking to any disease. It was suggested in 1975 that the only way to get people to stop smoking was to foster the belief that the smoke was hurting those around the smoker. That is when, save the children came into use. With the use of the right phrasing you can convince people of anything. This method was widely used by Edmond Bernays in the 40’s and the same techniques are being used today. All it takes is unlimited funding and 24/7 repetition. It is just a form of brainwashing and it works. After a while our opinions have been set by those who will profit from the information we hear, read and see everyday 24/7. Our children are being educated in group thinking right now.Report

    • virgilk in reply to Jaybird says:

      I hope you read, above, why I started research on SHS. I also get no funding from any source other than my retirement check. I could use the money. I just read Mr. Hill’s comments below. He says it exactly as I have found it but in a more educated way. Don’t miss his opinion, it is worthwhile.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to virgilk says:

        No, it’s cool. I’m an ex-smoker who enjoys a cigar every now and again (and, in Vegas, a pack or three of smokes… it stays there).

        I’m down with all that stuff and am one of the crazy libertarian types who believes in all sorts of wacky rights and whathaveyou. (One of them is the right to allow people to smoke on your property, if you are so inclined.)

        I’m just surprised to see so many people bubble up for the first time in a thread about smoking bans. Now, don’t get me wrong. I can see how someone might shrug at the idea of gay marriage, universal health care, theology, global warming, and the usual topics that bubble up from time to time and then, when that someone sees a topic that really pisses them off, they sit down and write a screed. I *TOTALLY* can see that happening. When a large number of folks seem to do it at once, I get sort of weirded out.

        Then again, when I smoked, the idea of a smoking ban pissed me off in a much more immediate way than, say, global warming. So I could see that being a factor too.

        Anyway, please stick around and argue! Your take on things is wanted on all those other topics! Needed!Report

  21. Ken Hill says:

    This letter, from a non-smoker refers to all anti-smoking legislation.

    *An open letter that was emailed to all (103) Ontario, Canada political MPP’s in early May, 2008. No replies! This non-response reflects government without a sense of responsibility or a foundation for their actions!

    Betrayal, Anti-Smoking Message is Like Fascism that Preys Upon Our Children

    We must not look within ourselves. We may discover what we are becoming!

    Moral judgement is the mirror, mirror, on the wall image, always lurking in our mind, like an alter-conscience, prepared to reveal the frightening truth, in our soul, such as the undeserved vengefulness, at any cost, wielded against smokers. Even betrayal, of the next generation, becomes palatable within self-betrayal.

    This remorseless mental/emotional preying upon, our precious children, recklessly poisons their mind and spirit, under the government’s pernicious slogan “health and safety.”

    By supporting anti-smoking, we endorse and promote Fascism, an historically proven scurvy upon humanity!

    The inevitable shame, of our past actions, can still be averted, by rescinding this government agenda!

    The most”dangerous smoke” comes not from cigarettes, instead from the government smoke screen to obscure from view, that the real issue is Capitalism and science versus Fascism and politicized environmentalism, not ‘health and safety.’

    Science and politicized environmentalism are colliding worlds, science being the height of pursuing truth, politicized environmentalism the depth of distorting truth. Anti-smoking is part of politicized environmentalism and the attempted foundation of Fascism!

    Do we therefore side with Capitalism, science, Second World War troops and our allies– honour; or do we side with Fascism, politicized environmentalism, our enemies of the Second World War– disgrace? Thus far we blindly follow our enemies and disgrace!

    From the mouth of Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, “It doesn’t matter what is true; it only matters what people believe is true…..You are what the media define you to be. Greenpeace became a myth and a myth-generating machine.” We deserve truth, not half-truths and propaganda!

    For any high ranking government official that lack this critical knowledge, they are in their office under false pretenses. They are unprepared to govern. Their present course of anti-smoking legislations is the proof of that statement.

    In the words of Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, “I was acutely conscious of the pressure to ‘adapt’ and to absorb the values of the ‘tribe’—family, community and culture. It seemed to me that what was asked was the surrender of my judgement and also my conviction that my life and what I made of it was of the highest possible value. I saw my contemporaries surrendering and losing their fire. Why was growing up equated with giving up?”

    Philosopher/Novelist Ayn Rand wrote, “If some demagogue were to offer us, as a guiding creed, the following tenets: that statistics should be substituted for truth, vote-counting for principles, numbers for rights, and public polls for morality–that pragmatic, range-of-the-moment expediency should be the criterion of a country’s interests, and that the number of its adherents should be the criterion of an idea’s truth or falsehood–that any desire of any nature whatsoever should be accepted as a valid claim, provided it is held by a sufficient number of people–that a majority may do anything it pleases to a minority–in short, gang rule and mob rule–if a demagogue were to offer it, he would not get very far. Yet all of it is contained in–and camouflaged by–the notion of ‘Government by Consensus.”

    ‘Rule by Consensus,’ (Rule by health care pressure group) is todays’ anti-ideology in government. Appeasement of these power-lusting, health care pressure groups is of higher priority than our children and all other tax payers, voters, and citizens. The permeating emotion from ‘Rule by Consensus’ is demoralizing, debilitating fear instead of an optimistic view of the future.

    Note this recent example, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wouldn’t entertain a ban (smoking in cars with children) because it amounts to “too much intrusion into people’s private lives.” The logical interpretation of this statement is that the entire anti-smoking movement eliminates smoker’s individual rights, and has always been an intrusion into a smoker’s family dynamic. Now, the Ontario government is prepared, in predictable flip-flop fashion, to enact such a ban.

    In ignobility, many people have misaligned themself with politicized environmentalism, despite the fact that 1930’s, 1940’s, Germany used “politicized ecology and public health” to base its rationalizations. Are we predisposed to mistakenly mirror the historic footsteps of self-loathing mass destruction? No! Everyone has an individual mind and conscience, above party politics. Be true to them, follow your courage (truth) and dethrone your fear (fallacy). Rescind this government’s shameful anti-smoking agenda.


    Paul Watson – Environmental Overkill, (Whatever happened to common sense) – book
    Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – book
    Ayn Rand – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal – bookReport

  22. Ken Hill says:

    Government Will Make Smokers, Children, Families, Sick

    Government’s that foster anti-smoking policies lead the real health epidemic, government interference. They are not using science as their competent guide into the future. Instead they use the deep festering envy of politicized environmentalists (those unable to compete on a level playing field) to revisit remnants of the dark ages. The profound statement of philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand echoes the truth that smothers us, “Today, we live in the age of envy.”

    I am a life-long non-smoker, who has lost the four most precious people in my life. Cancer was the effect, a consequence, but not the cause. Yet, I will not help to propagandize health into dictatorial policy through anti-smoking. I do not wish to repeat the 1930’s, 1940’s. Do you?

    Exactly how can our government “create a healthier society for all” when they betray the smoker’s sense of trust, demoralize their self-confidence, disrupt their employer-employee relationships, upheave their family life, and undermind their efficacy by alienating them from their own human nature?

    This destructive mind/body dichotomy will subject smoker’s to long-term emotional and mental disorders, thus leading to serious physical ailments. In reality, our government is making them sick.

    A particularily foreboding feature of the mind/body dichotomy is the government’s suffocating negative influence while aggressively restricting young people from making their own decisions. Government aggression will severely jeopardize each young person’s struggle to form a necessary sense of self-confidence. This fragile process is usually a traumatic experience, especially when that negative influence is hidden under the misconception of government benevolence.

    In reality, our government lacks the knowledge of the trigger mechanism that sets off most cancers or most other major diseases to then become a critical danger for human beings. It is not smoking, nor second-hand smoke. Then why does government pathetically use smoker’s as their scapegoat, perhaps they require an example in order to intimidate other industries?

    Chicken Littleism is no longer a silly joke. It is now a snarling threat. Stamp out politicized environmentalism, not smokers.Report