Articles Archive 1997-2002
Who pays for the smoking bans? - December 19, 2002 - It has become quite clear that when pharmaceutical money is bestowed upon a government a smoking ban is sure to follow. In a perversion of "privatization", special interest money greases the gears of government and out pops legislation that favors one particular private business over the interests of small business people who own and operate bars and restaurants. These people always oppose smoking bans yet too often their legislators take the drug money and ban.
Norman Kjono, a guest on WWL in New Orleans, had the opportunity to offer a brief and to-the-point assessment of this public-private collaboration. The linked outline is useful to understand the financial angle not of those who initiate smoking bans. Mr. Kjono relates that the segment's host said 83 percent of the radio call-ins believed that smoking bans should be the choice of the business owner and not that of the government. They felt, moreover, that government was too intrusive on personal choices.
Leadership By Example - October 15, 2002 - Having kicked off and supported targeted discriminatory taxation of targeted citizen consumers during the 1980's through Washington's 1980's tax on cigarettes to clean up Puget Sound, Governor Evans now writes, and The Seattle Timespublishes:
"Civic, city, and civil all come from the same Latin root civis, meaning 'member of a community, citizen.' If we are to succeed as a great community and state, then we must all be members of the community. If we are to be true citizens, then we must do more than vote. We must be continuing active participants in the civic arena."
The hypocrisy of Governor Evans in making such a statement, and that of The Times in publishing it, should be evident. Two leaders of civic discourse, a former Governor and the region's largest newspaper who have done more than most to promote unfairly taxing and hurtfully ostracizing citizens who lawfully consume legal tobacco products, now lecture us about not being members of their community. Those who have ostracized, taxed, and demeaned us for years now imply that we are somehow lacking because we "don't fit in."
Norman Kjono recommends that you follow former Governor Evans' advice: get involved with government, and by all means vote. The results, however, will hopefully be different than what political insiders expect. The current status quo of discriminatory taxation and ostracization of "Target Group" persons who smoke is the product of a bipartisan effort. If both Republicans and Democrats did not approve of discriminatory taxation, tobacco taxes would not have increased as they have. If both Republicans and Democrats did not approve of ostracizing and demeaning persons who smoke, anti-tobacco policy would not be in place today. Failing to vote is abdicating your right to express your own interests. Failing to vote incumbents out of office assures that they will be back next year with more taxes and more ostracization.
Dear Ms. Enerson - The Pacific Northwest and NBC's Seattle affiliate, KING 5 TV, have reached new lows on pandering for pharmaceutical favor and advertising revenues. Based on the content of an August 30, 2002 HealthLink soundbite, it appears that children in Seattle are to take the rap for Anchor Jean Enerson's apparent dislike of adult parents who smoke.
According to King 5 and NBC, children of parents who smoke are more likely to steal or damage property, among a host of other undesirable behaviors. Apparently it never occurred to Ms. Enerson or King 5 that negative labeling and unfavorably stereotyping children, based on their parents' lawful behavior of consuming legal tobacco products is wrong. Perhaps we should have seen this coming based on anti-tobacco's decades-long vilification campaign, but it's still a disgusting surprise to now see school children as the current "Target Group" for hurtful missives. Jean Enerson, King 5 and NBC owe an apology to kids.
NEW YORK, A "BRODY-FREE" ZONE and (Enclosures) - August 29, 2002 - Despite its "pro-choice" position, it's no secret that The New York Times believes that only one "choice" deserves respect. Beyond the right to chose to have an abortion, the Times hews remarkably to an anti-choice line. No where is its hypocrisy more apparent than its determination that all choice regarding smoking tobacco must be eliminated. The paper, therefore, is firmly behind Mayor Bloomberg and his anti-smoker buddies in driving the evil smoker from every restaurant and bar in the city.
The Times, of course, can editorialize any position it wishes, but can't it do something about a so-called health reporter editorializing her pet peeves and scientific disinformation under the guise of hard news? Jane E. Brody's recent screed (A Jubilant Barroom Toast to Smoke-free Air, August 27) was a repository of stale clichés, a pig-headed refusal to face facts and a hatefulness that belies the New York Times' lip-service worship of "inclusiveness." How such an old sourpuss sustains such hatred without a coronary is a tribute to the restorative benefits of corrosive bile.
Norman Kjono takes each of Brody's points and punctures her conceits and falsity like a lance to a fetid boil. On his way to a thorough reaming of the bitter Brody, Kjono contrasts her mendacity and bigotry with Edward R. Murrow, an icon of journalism, whose purpose was to dig out the facts and inform people rather than push a special interest's narrow agenda. Murrow's legendary reputation and his enjoyment of cigarettes is a permanent repudiation to the narrow-minded and agenda-driven journalism that prissy hacks like Brody practice. While hugging her hatred to her shriveled breast, Brody can take comfort that in her New York, Murrow -- along with Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill -- would not be welcome while anti-smoker Adolf Hitler would be the toast of the town.
VIRUS QUARANTINE - January 6, 2002 - Interesting ruminations by Norman Kjono on a species of individual that occurs in an environment that encourages, rationalises, and even funds hatred and intolerance. Authority figures, media, and activists put great resources behind pseudo-scientific rationalisation of hatred; they lie to their own people to purge society from "disease"; they teach health and hatred to children, and show them how to snitch on their parents to get rewards; they encourage humiliation and segregation of their victims, who are portrayed as aggressors – and they stand complacently silent when the worse abuses are perpetrated. We are not talking about Stalin’s USSR, nor do we refer to Hitler’s Germany. While the players have changed, the spirit has returned: welcome to America 2001, the new Fatherland of the Therapeutic State.
WORLD WIDE TOBACCO BAN - November 29, 2001 -
Is it feasible to ban tobacco sales worldwide?
Why should there be a distinction between tobacco and other forms of drugs?
What would be the economic impact of this move?
Are there any benefits to banning tobacco sales?
These questions are answered in a thought provoking article by Norma Kjono. Most people believe it is impossible to completely ban tobacco, a perception that is reinforced by anti-tobacco itself. The paradox of an ideology that preaches daily about the devastating evil of an industry and a product that it claims causes massive amounts of deaths while asserting that it has no intention of eliminating the cause of all the carnage is one that needs examination.
Of especial interest is Kjono's exploration into the reasons some individuals need to assert their will over their fellows. What makes the anti's tick? It isn't pretty.
DRKOOP.COM SETTLEMENT: CAVEAT EMPTOR - August 31, 2001 - A settlement of the initial class action litigation filed against Drkoop.com in July 2000 has been proposed. The proposed settlement includes $4.25 million in cash and 4 million warrants to buy Drkoop.com stock at $2.50. According to the Drkoop.com press release the cash component will be paid by the issuer's insurance company.
As of August 30, 2001 Drkoop.com is trading at about 12 cents per share. The IPO was at $9 per share, and rose to $45 before falling off.
Now there's a deal:Insiders - including Doc Koop and Dr. Nancy Snyderman of ABC News - walk with millions from selling out at $9 to $10 per share, and class action lawyers potentially rake in millions more from insurance companies. Meanwhile, back at the NASD Bulletin Board, shareholders would receive warrants to buy a 12 cent stock for $2.50!
It's the "Anti-mentality:"Public investors, like consumers, are there to be looted at the convenience and pleasure of political and media insiders.
Then again, when special-interests and political insiders score $206 billion on consumers in the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, a mere $90 million IPO is truly small potatoes. But small investors are left in the wake of the "elect" foisting their stock.
Perhaps there is hope, after all:Several new lawsuits were recently filed against Drkoop.com. Those complaints allege "laddering" of Drkoop.com stock. Laddering is where investors are allocated IPO shares with the tacit understanding that they will purchase more stock at higher prices after the IPO is effective. The effect of laddering is to support the IPO price and to artificially inflate the secondary market price of the stock. Tacit insiders - those who received preferential IPO allocations - make out, and small investors ultimately loose.
Drkoop.com investors who have an interest in these issues should go to www.bigcharts.com(symbol/keyworld: drkoop). Announcements of recent news and current lawsuits are presented below the stock chart at that Web site.
MERCANTILE YOUTH ADDICTION - August 27, 2001 - False advertising is a serious issue under any circumstance. But when attorneys general supervise and fund billboards that target youth with a message that sustains youth smoking and therefore assures kids will continue to fund tobacco Master Settlement Agreement payments parents and children are in deep trouble. Are attorneys general and media now so shameless in pursuit of tobacco bucks that they willfully publish information they know to be false, to assure the tobacco-buck gravy train keeps rolling?
NAAGING QUESTIONS - August 20, 2001 - The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) recently issued a press release headlined "47 Attorneys General Cite Decline In Youth Smoking As Sign Of Progress." Washington Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire credits those declines to the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. It turns out, however, that when comparing tobacco settlement declines 1998 - 2000 with historical youth smoking rate trends (steeply decreasing youth smoking rates 1977 - 1984 before anti-tobacco began its interventions with kids at school) Ms. Gregoire and her AG cronies are bragging about accomplishing less than one-half of nothing as being "a sign of progress"!. Even adjusted for annualized rates present declines in youth smoking under the Master Settlement Agreement are remarkably similar to those before anti-tobacco interventions began.
Leave it to a politician who has staked her career on looting consumers she is legally mandated to protect from price gouging to omit material information that exposes the sham she supports. Not satisfied with merely looting adult tobacco consumers, Ms. Gregoire now turns her legal guns on children that members of her own task force have taught for years to believe that they permanently and hopelessly addicted to buying Joe Camel's products forever. Needless to say, members of Ms. Gregoire's task force and the State of Washington share in the munificence that $1.17 per pack in cigarette taxes provides.
SMOKE SCREEN: ANTI-NICOTINE ACTIVISM BENEFITS BIG TOBACCO, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES - Los Angeles Daily Journal (www.dailyjournal.com) - Reprinted with permission - Publication Date July 27, 2001. Note: subscribers to the LADJ can also access the article directly on the site, in the OP-ED.
THE DUKE OF NICOTINE - June 14, 2001 - Professor Jed E. Rose of Duke University responds to Norman Kjono's commentaries "Will The Real Nicotine Addicts Please Stand Up?" (May 24, 2001) and "Nicotine Free Smoke" (May 26, 2001). Not only does Prof. Rose have a vested interest in nicotine patch royalties, but he also accepts research money from tobacco companies as well. And, according to Duke's Web site, Prof. Rose's colleague, Dr. Eric C. Westman, has now developed a nicotine solution that can be added to soft drinks. Why is it not a surprise that Duke University concludes in its recent study, "Individual Differences In Smoking Reward From De-Nicotinized Cigarettes," that people could smoke to quit smoking, while using nicotine patches or gums?
"The Duke of Nicotine" is third in a series about the Duke University study and article that conclude smoking cigarettes like Philip Morris' Next, possibly in conjunction with nicotine replacement therapy (in other words that consumers smoke tobacco company sponsors' cigarettes for satisfaction, while also using pharmaceutical nicotine sponsors' gums or patches to ingest nicotine), may be a "fruitful" approach to smoking cessation therapy.
When does Washington Attorney General Christine O. "Christine, Queen of Nicotine" Gregoire's tobacco Master Settlement Agreement begin to pay for Philip Morris' Next cigarette as a smoking cessation aid, in addition to its current subsidies of GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson "Tobacco Free" nicotine delivery device products?
Professor Rose was interviewed by Mr. Kjono May 31, 2001. After the interview Mr. Kjono invited Prof. Rose to submit a written statement on any subject he chose about the two preceding commentaries. As promised to the professor, his statement is published here verbatim.
Prof. Rose makes the underlying science behind the Duke University conclusions an issue in his statement. Accordingly, a .PDF of the study article galley proof received from Dr. John Hughes of the University of Vermont is also included with this report.
Such studies are obviously published with a purpose of influencing public policy about smoking cessation, clearly the "scientific conclusions" of such studies are relied on by public officials, and policy derived from studies is often promulgated without public knowledge or meaningful opportunity to comment. We believe that earnest public discourse between those who promote tobacco control policy and those who are effected by it is important and valuable. It is for that purpose - informed public discourse about public policy - that we publish the galley proof.
We encourage readers to contact Dr. John Hughes at the University of Vermont (802-656-9610 firstname.lastname@example.org) or the study's lead author, Lisa H. Brauer, at the University of Michigan (612-626-5018 email@example.com), who should be able to provide information regarding access to the final article when it is published in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Professor Rose may be contacted at 919-416-1515 firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend that readers contact Dr. Hughes, Ms. Brauer, or Prof. Hughes to express their views about the Duke University study, and to request additional information.
As always, we at FORCES remain committed to a fundamental premise: Citizens have an inalienable right to make their own decisions about public policy, based on a broad scope of available information. To that end, you may access .PDF documents by clicking ojn the header. Moreover the documentation has been sent via U.S. Mail to the following people:
`NICOTINE FREE' SMOKE - May 29, 2001 - Well, anti-tobacco gave us their sponsors' "Smoke Free" nicotine, so we suppose it's only fair that they will start pushing "Nicotine Free" smoke, too. According to galley proofs of a forthcoming article about a Duke University study to be published in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, distributing Philip Morris' low-nicotine Next cigarette as a smoking cessation aid "may be fruitful."
ABC News did a report on the study May 21, 2001, headlined "Patch May Not Help You Kick The Habit." Jeffrey Schneider at ABC News in New York confirmed that ABC World News Tonight was the network feed for the story. So, according to ABC News, if one gets their nicotine from Glaxo/SmithKline and their satisfaction from Philip Morris, apparently everything is in proper order.
For those who wonder why mainstream journalists' credibility is rated on par with or less than tobacco executives and politicians, here's a prime example: In its report that pushes the fact consumers get equal satisfaction from cigarettes with or without nicotine ABC News excluded mention of using Next cigarettes for an alleged smoking cessation aid, as recommended in the study that they quoted. We submit that had ABC News reported the full story without that exclusion the public would realize how blatantly mainstream media panders to corporate special-interests. With that exclusionsuppressionABC News gets to have it both ways: Millions per year in revenues from pharmaceutical nicotine advertisements and millions more per year from tobacco companies through tobacco "settlement" advertising that targets kids.
Which raises an interesting spectre: Smoke "Nicotine Free" Philip Morris Next cigarettes for satisfaction and chew SmithKline Beecham's "Smoke Free" Nicorette gum for nicotine, to be in step with the consumer reality that tobacco control activists have created for us.
Of course, one will still be required to stand outside in the elements and make a spectacle of oneself to smoke because the politically correct cigarettes would allegedly contain 3,999 toxic chemicals (4,000 less nicotine), according to anti-tobacco. Given the political and regulatory absurdities that anti-tobacco has managed to foist to date, perhaps we'll see an indoor smoking ban exemption for consumers who smoke Philip Morris' politically correct Next cigarettes!
Undoubtedly the Duke University study will open up a vast new "smoking cessation" market for Philip Morris' Next, which will certainly create more sales of Nicorette to folks who continue to smoke, which, in turn will help boost tobacco tax and "settlement" revenues. Which is what anti-tobacco is about at its core, to begin with: Crafting bizarre justifications to provide mercantile advantage to corporations that cow to their party line, and lining their own pockets with consumer dollars by doing so. What should be any different about anti-tobacco's latest scheme, that people should smoke in order to quit smoking?
We invite our readers to printout, read and distribute copies of the 4 page .PDF for Norman Kjono's second work in our series on the Duke University study, "Nicotine Free Smoke." Mr. Kjono also wrote Geoffrey C. Bible, CEO of Philip Morris, and to Washington's Secretary of Health Mary C. Selecky about that study. Readers can read and print out copies of those letters in the 2-page .PDF document "Nicotine Free Correspondence." The previous work "Will The Real Nicotine Addicts Please Stand Up," is available in a 4 page .PDF, as well. For an example of the pressure put on kids to use pharmaceutical nicotine, click here.
For those who would like to acquire a copy of the study we suggest that you contact two sources: Dr. John Hughes at the University of Vermont who edited the galley proof and provided a copy to Mr. Kjono, or Lisa H. Brauer at the University of Minnesota who was the study's lead author while at Duke University. Dr. Hughes can be reached at (802) 656-9610, E-Mail email@example.com. Ms. Brauer can be reached at (612) 626-5018, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, any reader who would appreciate comment from ABC News about their reporting on this story can contact Jeffrey Schneider at ABC News public relations in New York. Mr. Schneider can be reached at (212) 456-4040, E-Mail email@example.com.
WILL THE REAL NICOTINE ADDICTS PLEASE STAND UP? - May 24, 2001 - Follow-up on the non-addictiveness of nicotine story (see Patch Might Not Help You Kick The Habit). Today we publish a well documented article by Norman Kjono. We recommend tthat our readership carefully read, download, and distribute this article, and the ones that will follow.
PUFF, THE MAGIC CAMEL - May 12, 2001 - While there are numerous arguments, well supported by tobacco control's own data, that disprove the theory new taxes materially reduce youth smoking, we believe history speaks clearly to the issue. History says that not only are Mr. Corr and the campaign deceiving parents and legislators, but they are doing so to line the pockets of their pharmaceutical sponsors and to keep their own gravy train delivering the grant bucks.
TAXING TEENS - May 9, 2001 - Make no mistake about it, Professor Gruber supports taxing teens as much as Nicotrol's Campaign for Tobacco-Free (but certainly not "Nicotine Free") Kids. After publishing the above observation on page 17 of his NBER working paper professor Gruber goes on to blithely recommend taxes on cigarettes to allegedly deter teen smoking. The above contrasting statements simply go to the proposition that tobacco control activists will advocate and vociferously demand new taxes on tobacco, regardless of what their own data say. The article is linked with "Joe Camel's Confound Samples," which includes 25 years of University of Michigan youth smoking data.
PLEASE, GEORGE DUBYAH, SAY IT AIN'T SO - April 26, 2001 - On Tuesday April 24 we posted a link to Sidney Zions' April 23, 2001 editorial in the New York Post regarding President Bush retaining Hillary Clinton's smoking ban at the White House. Mr. Zion correctly pointed out that there is no credible evidence independent of the tobacco control enterprise's self serving Junk Science that supports continuing such bans. Mr. Zion also reminded The Post's readers of U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen's scathing Memorandum and Opinion conclusions regarding EPA science that accompanied his order to vacate the December 1992 EPA Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke. We share with Mr. Zion being somewhat perplexed about the stony silence on tobacco control issues at the Republican White House. After all, isn't it Republicans who are supposed to stand for lower taxes, reduced bureaucracy, and less intrusive government?
PRODUCT LIABILITY? - April 24, 2001 - What is the liability of an organized enterprise that aggressively sells a new belief to consumers that they are permanently addicted to a product that the enterprise describes as "The only product that, when used as directed, kills"? Before the tobacco control enterprise began its aggressive sales pitch in 1988 to convince consumers they are and were addicted to tobacco according to Centers for Disease Control "National Health Interview Surveys" data adult Former Smoker populations steadily increased. Beginning in 1990, immediately after Dr. C. Everett Koop's report that declared nicotine addictive, the adult Former Smoker population group stabilized, fewer people quit each year.
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE - April 20, 2001 - What happens when a tobacco control sting goes awry? The expedient course of action for the prosecution is to intimidate most of the store clerks who were cited for selling cigarettes to a minor into copping a plea, and then dismiss with prejudice charges against the one soul who refused to go along. But that scenario then leaves serious and nagging questions about how or why those who pled "Guilty" or "No Contest" to the same charge for the same sting were induced to do so. Norman Kjono presents a compelling report, "Dismissed With Prejudice," about an unsavory sting in Hawaii that may have included using fake ID's to entrap convenience store clerks. Whether or not fake ID's were used, which the facts indicate probably did occur in this case, the January 2001 sting in Maui, Hawaii raises additional and very troubling issues: What is a private special-interest foundation, the American Cancer Society, doing financing criminal prosecution of citizens? Where does the "anti" jihad end, when professional activists openly mandate prosecution of "Target" citizens, to suit their own revenue agenda?
FAME - April 13, 2001 - Well, kids, The Seattle Times says that Friday the 13th of April is the last day that you can submit your application to spend the weekend on a reality television show with Piggy from MTV. Better call up the www.outrageavenue.com Web site and get your application in. Of course the Washington State Department of Health says that it's mandatory for kids to smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco to be considered for the celebrity program and their shot at fifteen minutes of nationwide television fame. Nonsmoking youth need not apply. For parents with a better idea, or who want to understand how tobacco control and its political supporters explicitly target our kids as permanent nicotine consumers, we recommend "Fame."
THANK YOU FOR SEEPING - On April 7, 2001 The Seattle Times published an article "Get An Early Start To Battle Smoking," byline Jan Faull, in its Saturday edition Lifestyles section. Ms. Faull is a child development and behavior specialist who also writes for The Times. As with all editorial or commentary works, truth is in the eye of the reader. Read The Times' article and our commentary, then you be the judge. Our view of it is that with such seepage into society and the body politic we should not be surprised that politics today has become a special-interest cess pool. We believe that Ms. Faull's article merits parental comment to The Seattle Times. Read "Get An Early Start To Battle Smoking," consider the views in "Thank You For Seeping," (to download Adobe Acrobat, click here) reach a personal conclusion about what those two works say, and then let The Seattle Times know what you think about that as a parent or citizen.
SELLING ADDICTION TO KIDS - II - Norman Kjono reveals and documents why the antismoking gangs and their media servants spend so much effort to convince smoking kids and adults that they are irreparably addicted to nicotine, while there is no scientific proof that the addiction is real - in fact, the very existence of addiction in general as a medical reality is severely questioned by many serious scientific scholars.
SELLING ADDICTION TO KIDS - I - Few can forget Rep. Waxman's nationwide publicity stunt on prime time television a few years ago where he hauled tobacco executives before the House Commerce Committee, demanding that they concur with his decree that nicotine is is "addictive'.
WHAT PRICE, INTOLERANCE? - "California tavern owners are losing hundreds of millions in revenues per year, not to mention lost tips and wages from cut-backs... Hundreds of millions per year seems to be a paltry estimate... Adding tobacco and hospitality wages together, we are looking at $1 billion or more in lost wages... Oh, I see: this isn't about intolerance. It's for the public good, to eliminate the evils of tobacco from society."
SAND-BAGGED IN VIRGINIA
1994 $ 149,063 University of Virginia
1996 $ 65,622 Hayes, Domenici & Assoc.
1996 $ 749,992 University of Virginia
1996 $ 83,830 The Lewin Group
Those RWJF grants are 1,048,507 reasons why tobacco workers in Virginia are fighting for their economic lives. Jobs and livelihoods are on the line in Virginia, to assure appreciation of a New Jersey foundation's $6 billion plus asset base.
A IS A - "Several excuses and contradictions have come to light since "Targeting Kids For Drugs" was published. Telephone conversations and e-mail have outlined important subject areas..."
TARGETING KIDS FOR DRUGS - "Drug companies know that they will create a new generation of kids hooked on nicotine: a spokesman who advocates kids on nicotine patches edited the 1988 surgeon general's report that concluded nicotine is addictive. The same Dr. Neal Benowitz says that nicotine patches for kids as young as fifteen is '. . . worth a try.' You bet it's worth a try: according to The Wall Street Journal, the nicotine market is $25 billion per year." Click here for THE MONEY TRAIL
LET'S DO SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR A CHANGE! - "There may be a positive opportunity in the tobacco wars, something that can work for everyone. The opportunity has to do with medicine, and it has to do with directly addressing the complaints about smokers so vociferously touted by anti-tobacco activists. Best of all, this opportunity can put a portion of any tobacco settlement dollars to work in a positive way."
A WELLCOME RESPITE? - "Postponing the Senate Commerce Committee vote provides an opportunity to reconsider the direction that public policy should take. We can start reconsidering public policy with a February 27, 1998 article in The Wall Street Journal, by Suein L. Hwang, headlined "Drug Makers See a Risky New Role for Nicotine:"
"The drug makers' new strategy [long term use of smoking cessation products] has some obvious advantages."
THERE AIN'T NO MORE SECONDHAND SMOKE EXCUSES - Muncie Indiana - The first of many nails to be driven into the coffin of professional anti-tobacco activism went home soundly in Muncie yesterday. May the hundred of remaining second-hand smoke lawsuits go as straight and true.
GLAXO WELLCOME AND SMITHKLINE DRUG MARKETING - "Drug company support of anti-tobacco and anti-smoking activists goes back years: back to when the patches and gums appeared on the market more than a decade ago. It's just that such drug company support of anti-tobacco and anti-smoking activists has become so brazen today that it is no longer quietly hidden or overlooked. Is smoking now regarded by drug companies as a gateway habit, leading to the really good stuff? And the good stuff is FDA approved, with studies from the National Institutes of Health supporting the 'safety' of its use."
BICKERING PICKPOCKETS - Well, Stanton Glantz at University of San Francisco and Mike Pertschuk of the Advocacy Institute are still at it. I suspect that their anti-tobacco "policy" feud on www.smokescreen.org is a hormonal thing. This anti-tobacco faction dust-up appears to have started in December 1997 with an e-mail spat about what anti-tobacco faction is most responsible for the dramatic increase in teen smoking rates (30%, or so) over the past several years. It's gone downhill since then.
AND THEN, THERE WERE NONE... - March 8, 1998, The Daily Telegraph, an article headlined "Passive Smoking Doesn't Cause Cancer - Official", byline Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent: "The World's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect." Considering the nationwide anti-tobacco feeding frenzy here in the USA, as escalated to a $368 billion dollar special interest feast on lower income and ethnic minority pocketbooks by EPA "science" regarding secondhand smoke, disclosing how false the secondhand smoke claims of anti-tobacco are should be very big news.
TIME TO COME UP FOR AIR - Download and read at your leisure. This long piece is worth it, and it will be an eye-opener for anyone who believes that smoking bans are about workplace air quality. Why, for example, would a large business organization lobby against indoor air quality regulation, and aggressively support smoking bans in the place of (as a substitute for) such regulation? Big interests are blowing smoke behind the smokescreen of anti-tobacco....
THE LIGHT BEGINS TO BREAK THROUGH - "...we know, to the decimal, who will pay the new tobacco taxes so fervently advocated by President Bill Clinton and Senator Ted Kennedy: lower income, less educated, blue collar and ethnic minority citizens. We know this is true because the anti-tobacco Trough Skimmers who Bill and Ted so adamantly support defined those folks as a "target group" for new and specifically directed taxes more than eight years ago."
ATTENTION RESTAURANT OWNERS AND MANAGERS - "Cutters Bayhouse, 2001 Western Ave., Seattle (206-448-4884), was the first major restaurant in Seattle to go smoke-free free in 1992. But they paid a price, `We immediately lost 25 percent of our bar business and never recovered it,' said lunch manager Greg Stevens." What made restaurant owners think, in the first place, that they could serve political crap instead of good food to their smoking customers and still build a steady and reliable clientele?
AIR: ORGANIZING THE GOOD STUFF - Lucky John's, Too in Westminster, California sponsored a smoke-in that was broadcast live via a syndicated radio talk show. The owner of the Almond Tree Lounge in Auburn, California will stand trial; facing $1,300 in fines, rather than telling customers in his bar that they cannot smoke on his premises. Bar owners across California are turning off their Keno machines. Business owners in the hospitality industry are showing up in droves to support each other when confronted with the smoking police and their intrusive mandates.
MORE GOOD STUFF: ALMOND TREE LOUNGE - Auburn CA - A seventy-year-old man faces prosecution in California. His crime: permitting customers to consume a legal product on his business premises. According to an Associated Press article, as reported in The Seattle Times on February 14, 1998, Bill Ostrander is scheduled to have a nonjury trial March 13, 1998. He faces up to $1,300 in fines for allowing patrons to smoke in his bar.
INTOLERANCE PAYS: 1998, THE YEAR OF THE LOOTER - "Government funds the studies, doctors sign them off, lawyers pronounce what's bad this week, and media touts the cause."
MORE ANTI-TOBACCO VIOLENCE - "The myth persists: that one can be anti-smoking without being anti-smoker. That delusion is a nonsequitur. One cannot be anti anything that people do without also being anti to the people who do it. This is amply demonstrated by some of the responses to the Los Angeles Times questions."
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S 97% PENALTY - "Given a choice between the food budget for a lower income family or new dollars to the antis, the antis choose their own pocketbooks over family food. To save the kids, of course."
GOOD STUFF: LUCKY JOHN'S II - This story is about the good stuff that worthwhile things in life are made of. It's about someone who has the personal moxy to stand up for what he believes to be the right thing. Mr. John Johnson is the proprietor of Lucky John's pubs in southern California. According to John, there are four Lucky John's pubs. I think Lucky John's II, 1549 Beach Blvd. in Westminster, California, is going to become a shrine.
ANTI-TOBACCO VIOLENCE UPDATE - "A Long Island police officer has been charged with harassment for allegedly slapping a 15 year old who didn't put out her cigarette quickly enough."..."I called the Port Washington police department and spoke with Captain J. Ellerby, who provided the telephone number for Steve Ressa, general counsel for the police department. Mr. Ressa is with the law firm of Ressa & Aitkin."..."I do wonder, however, why officer Nakelski was only charged with second degree harassment. This incident involves a 15-year-old girl who appears to have been assaulted by a 36-year-old man."
SOME THOUGHTS FOR MAINSTREAM MEDIA - "Which statement by Mr. Glantz is the real "truth"? Is it that the Project ASSIST anti-tobacco campaign failed to reduce smoking rates, or that Project ASSIST has successfully reduced smoking rates by 7% in 17 states? With a 1,500 percent increase in ASSIST funding on line in the tobacco settlement terms, this is a critical fact."
HANDS OFF OUR KIDS - Anti-tobacco is not, and never has been, primarily about our kids or our public health. Anti-tobacco is about bucks and clout. Using kids to gratify an urge for bucks and clout is the lowest form of economic pedophilia that there is. Put the junk science bums in jail.
OBFUSCATION AND EVASION 101 - It seems that an amazing phenomenon occurs when folks leave the protected life of higher education and begin their ascension in the ranks of the employed. Some folks spend the rest of their lives proving that the tuition they paid was a waste. They engage in a career path of denying that A is still A, or trying to prove that 2 plus 2 now equals something other than 4.
LOOTING 101 - That anti-tobacco is about dogma for bucks has been obvious since December, 1989, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) published its "standards" for the $135 million American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (Project ASSIST). Those "standards" make it clear that using the experience of activists to reduce tolerance of smoking, therefore of "target group" people who smoke, was "state of the science".
ELEMENTARY BUSINESS FINANCE 101 - "...Fact is, were government to confiscate the entire net worth of every tobacco company in the USA tomorrow, the amount they looted would pay considerably less than ten percent of the $368 billion tobacco settlement, let alone the $700 billion plus King Willie's promoting. Where does the other ninety percent plus come from?"
LET'S REALLY SAVE THE KIDS - "So, my good young son, here's what I have to say to you about smoking:"
"Never do something just because someone demands that you do what they want. Likely as not, you will find that those making the loudest demands have the deepest hidden agendas. Your life is about you and those you care about, your life is not about gratifying the needs of someone with an axe to grind."
GOOD ADVICE FROM THE U.S. SUPREME COURT - The case before our highest court, reported in "A right to lie? Court is truly skeptical", The Seattle Times December 3, 1997, involves the federal Merit Systems Protection Board removing extra punishment imposed because federal employees lied about their activities. Paul Marth, Esq., attorney for defendants, apparently argued that "employees should be allowed to falsely deny allegations of wrongdoing without fear that they'll face stiffer punishment than if they told the truth."
MODEM MADNESS - First, "A directed threat of violence in any form is a crime." Second, the fact that a defendant aimed their hate speech at specific individuals does distinguish their writings from ". . . idle words scrawled on a bathroom wall." The above quotes are from an editorial titled "Hate Crimes By Modem", concerning e-mail received by Asian American students at UC Irvine. The editorial was published in The Seattle Times on December 3, 1997. Good for them. Someone in the newspaper business seems to have a sense of standards we should applaud.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVIST CAMPAIGN FINANCE - Seattle Times Olympia Bureau, Byline Kery Murakami, "Group wants public money to finance election campaigns". Perhaps by accident, but with this article the press forgot about or overlooked its vested interest in protecting the $500 million per year plus revenue stream for anti-tobacco public advocacy advertising, as is written into the tobacco settlements. Stuff happens.
PROVIDENCE JOB DISCRIMINATION - I think we're supposed to be impressed and grateful. Providence Hospital has announced that it is no longer considering a ban on hiring persons who smoke. Jeez, that makes me feel good. Management at Providence has decided that they will not deprive themselves of the labor assets smokers contribute to help run their hospital. Wow!
KING GEORGE REINCARNATED - There is one good thing about anti-tobacco: it provides credible evidence of reincarnation. King George III has returned as William Jefferson Clinton.
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND CHINESE TOBACCO - Why does the U.S. government court foreign tobacco interests while seeking to punish domestic manufacturers?
ANTI-TOBACCO VIOLENCE - Violence against smokers is growing in the United States. The only question left is: what are state and federal law enforcement officials going to do to stop it?
Public Safety alert! Announcing the evolution of a dangerous species:
SKIMMUS ACTIVUS LOOTIS - Remember killer bees? These days a new unsavory critter is multiplying and causing harm wherever it goes. The Trough Skimmer (Skimmus Activus Lootis) feeds on public money, and has a nasty bite. Its venom "induces a state of righteous euphoria without positive moral standards." Here's a field guide description.