Opposition To Smoking Bans Heats Up III

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By Norman E. Kjono, February 21, 2007

There's good things happening in Colorado. Hard working hospitality trade folks are standing to duty. They're not only protecting their right to earn an honest living, they are also standing up for every citizen's right to earn a living in honest trade or business as they choose. We'll discuss that further below. 

First, however, we attend to a few administrative matters.  

1. As evident from the title, this work is the third in a series about opposition to smoking bans. The preceding works may be of interest to new readers on this subject (in order by Forces posting dates): 

February 20 [02:00 GMT] - Opposition to Smoking Bans Heats Up - With all the bad news these days about smoking bans it is important not to let the mainstream media's biases obscure the good news that, believe it or not, is percolating through society.  Norman Kjono has compiled an impressive list of serious efforts to overturn various smoking bans.  He discusses these positive trends on the Chuck Baker Show today.  As we all know the foundation upon which all smoking bans are based is made of sand.  Getting the word out is critical.  We thank Chuck Baker for allowing us to present the facts about smoking bans and we recommend that those who live in Colorado and can access 1580 AM give Mr. Kjono a listen.  An Internet stream is available for those outside the area.  The Chuck Baker Show begins at 1:06 PM (Mountain States Time). NOTE: See 2. below for MP3 links.


February 21 [03:00 GMT] - Opposition to Smoking Bans Heats Up II - Norman Kjono's appearance on the Chuck Baker show yesterday provided food for thought to the growing opposition to smoking bans.  We expect a link to the show to be available soon.  In the meanwhile Mr. Kjono features an extremely interesting dialog he is having with a Colorado resident who lustily endorses smoking bans.  The tired canard of "show me where in the Constitution it states that you have the right to smoke" makes a vacuous appearance and is deftly answered, especially considering yesterday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the tobacco industry.  We don't often post anti-tobacco, anti-smoking or anti-smoker comments but in this case we felt the confrontation between Mr. Kjono and a dyed-in-the-wool and doctrinaire layman would be useful and entertaining for our viewers. 

2. I appeared on the Chuck Baker radio talk show yesterday and today. Click on the MP3 audio links for yesterday's broadcast segments: 

Chuck Baker Show Segment 1

Chick Baker Show Segment 2

I recommend listening to Mr. Baker's two hour show by clicking on the above links. You will hear Allen Campbell, with Colorado's Coalition for Equal Rights, express the views of bar and tavern owners statewide. A statement by Don Smith, Vice Commander Colorado VFW, is also presented. And readers may gain significant insight into important issues such as the facts about Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS), the views of authoritative sources such as our federal courts and OSHA about the alleged science behind tobacco control smoking ban mandates, and the special-interest mercantile agendas behind tobacco control advocacy.  

3. Readers may also be interested in my debate on Voice of America last year with tobacco control guru Stanton Glantz from the University of California at San Francisco. That 40 minute segment vigorously addressed the December 1992 EPA report on seoncdhand smoke. Click on the link to listen in: 

April 3 - Kjono goes head-to-head with top anti-smoker zealot - Today, FORCES spokesperson Norm Kjono took on anti-tobacco zealot Stanton Glantz on the Voice of America program Talk to America. It's a debate that you shouldn't miss - and be sure not to miss Glantz's rapid back-peddling when Kjono nails him on the facts about the Osteen court decision on passive smoke! Kjono argued that the extreme intolerance now being shown toward smokers - in calls for denying them employment, housing, and parental rights - can be traced to a mercantile agenda on the part of anti-smoking entities and certain pharmaceutical companies that have used the anti-tobacco issue to coerce a massive "brand switch" from cigarettes to nicotine cessation devices. And he outlined how federal grant and tax break programs are actually enabling the process of turning America's smokers into real pariahs.  

4. Finally, some may want to read an excellent, recent article published by the Wall Street Journal about Nicotine Replacement Therapy advocates' conflicts of interest. I provided a link to that article in my February 12 posting: 

February 12, 2007  - The Light Begins to Break Through, II - Giving meaning to the old adage of "better late than never", the mainstream press is finally taking a gander at the ties between the anti-smoking movement and the pharmaceutical industry.  Ties may be too mild noun for the relationship between Big Drugs and anti-tobacco.  Partnership is more appropriate as evidence emerges that prominent anti-smoking spokesmen are being paid by the manufacturers of smoking cessation nostrums to rail against smoking and to tout the usage of the products that purportedly make quitting smoking a breeze.  Norman Kjono, who has been aware of the tight links between the anti-tobacco movement and the pharmaceutical industry for a very long time, takes us through the webs that operate more for the financial benefit of corporations than for public health. 

Having attended to administrative matters and presented important links, we can get back to what's going on in Colorado. 

Colorado Springs, Colorado: A Voice Heard Round the World 

As this is written a peaceful civil disobedience campaign is under way at Murrary Darts, 501 Murray Ave. in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The good folks are gathering there to stage a smoke-in, stating their opposition to regarding Colorado's draconian smoking ban passed by the legislature in 2006.  

As of about 2:00 PM this afternoon the owner of Murray Darts reported that about 50 people had already gathered. An hour later he reported that folks were coming in by 2s and 3s, pushing the number toward 100. given that trend, I suspect that by the time folks get off work and begin to wander in there will be a rip roaring time crowd this evening.  

Public health officials and legislators are cordially invited to Murray Darts. They have an opportunity to witness firsthand constituent's response to self-serving special-interest legislation that gives Big Drugs a market push for "Smoke Free" Nicotine Replacement Therapy delivery devices such as Nicorette gum, NicoDerm CQ patches, and Commit Lozenges. Perhaps they will understand that everyday folks are fed up with elected representatives paying more attention to demands by out-of-state special-interests than the needs of their local constituents.  

With Forces.org posting yesterday's Chuck Baker show to its Web site, Colorado will - quite literally be heard around the world. It may be a good idea for readers to send a note of thanks to Mr. Baker at cbakers@adelphia.net.  Let him know that his efforts are appreciate across this land and around the globe.  

Good luck to the folks in Colorado! I'll be following up on that story.  

They're Hollerin' in Washington and Hawaii, Too! 

The below news excerpts make it clear that folks at the Coalition for Equal Rights in Colorado are not fringe group malcontents venting their spleen about an unimportant regulatory issue. To the contrary, they are at the forefront of well-established, deeply-committed and rapidly-expanding grass roots opposition by small business owners and consumers-two groups conspicuously absent from the bargaining table where Big Tobacco, Big Drugs and Big Foundations sit down to divvy up the proceeds of special interest advocacy. Moreover, it should be clear by now that they are responding to substantive and important issues that adversely affect their daily lives. 

But there are also core groups of committed opponents emerging in several other states, as noted below. Bless their hearts. Those folks are standing to duty for the American way of true Democracy. The good news is that this time the tea party is not limited to one city, Boston. Today we have simultaneous tobacco parties going on in at least Colorado Springs, Honolulu and little Finley, Washington. Who says we the people haven't progressed in the past 230 years? Bet your sweet bippy we have, and there's more to come. 

Funny thing is the distributor of Nicorette gum, NicoDerm CQ patches, and Commit Lozenges, GlaxoSmithKline is a British corporation. I suspect that their most recent scheme for taxation without representation and bas without representative objections will be about as successful as King George's Stamp Act about tow centuries ago. It seems that we just can't peel the colonist stigma off with some of those Tories. Well, ok,  they called the game; now its time for we citizens to send their Tory butts (pun most definitely intended) packing once again.  

From the Tri-City Herald, February 17, 2007, "Tavern to fight Ban on Smoking," by John Trumbo: 

"If and when the smoke clears at the Longbranch Bar and Grill in Finley, the state's nonsmoking law will have been put to the test and tavern owner Shirley Britton will have had the day in court she says she wants. Benton County has filed a civil complaint in Superior Court. Deputy Prosecutor Kathleen Fitzgerald alleges Britton and her employees have allowed patrons to smoke in the bar despite a year-old state law -- the Washington Clean Indoor Air Act -- prohibiting smoking inside any establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. "I've retained an attorney (because) I believe it is a bad law and unconstitutional law," Britton said Friday during a phone interview from the Longbranch. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction against Britton, who lives in Lewiston, Idaho, noting that there have been at least six surprise inspections by employees of the Benton-Franklin Health District since January 2006. The lawsuit says the inspectors found dozens of smokers and employees who showed no interest in complying with the law." 

From FOX News, February 18, 2007, "Bars Openly Disregard Hawaii's Tough New Smoking Ban

HONOLULU -  There's a revolt going on in Hawaii as some bar owners openly defy the state's new anti-smoking law, one of America's toughest, by letting their customers light up. So far, they're getting away with it, although a recent protest smoke-in brought police to one downtown bar. "We're being rebellious. Look at the Boston Tea Party. Look at Prohibition. They rebelled and they won," said Fred Remington, vice president of the company that runs O'Toole's Irish Pub. Hawaii is one of 16 states that have banned smoking in all public places. Its law, which took effect in November, even covers open malls and popular outdoor dining areas, and it doesn't allow bars or offices to set aside rooms for smokers. Penalties start at $100 and increase up to $500 after the third offense. Bars could lose liquor licenses and customers could be fined $50. Backers said the law was needed to protect the health of employees in bars and restaurants who can't avoid inhaling secondhand smoke, but bar owners complain that it is ruining their business. Lance Gomes, owner of Pigskins Sports Bar, said the ban cost him nearly half of his customers, although business has rebounded since he decided to disobey the law.  

Finally, we look at what's coming down the pike in Oregon. From the Oregon Statesman Journal, February 17, 2007, "Indoor Smoking Ban Could Expand,"  by Steve Law: 

In 2001, the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber agreed to ban smoking at indoor workplaces except taverns, bars at restaurants, bingo parlors and bowling alleys. Corvallis, Eugene and Philomath, which had gone smoke-free, were allowed to keep their ordinances, but other cities were barred from following their lead. Now anti-tobacco groups are pushing bills in the Legislature that would remove the exemptions in the 2001 law. They are emboldened by Washington voters' recent approval of an indoor smoking ban, plus the takeover of Oregon's Legislature by Democrats less sympathetic to tobacco and allied business lobbies.  . . . Ten feet away, Salem resident Mike Smith sat puffing a cigarette while drinking beer with three buddies. 'I don't think that's fair,' Smith said of the proposed smoking ban in bars. 'There's other places they can go to where hardly anybody smokes,' he said. 'They got the right to not smoke; I got the right to smoke.' Bill Perry, a lobbyist for the Oregon Restaurant Association, doesn't dispute that secondhand smoke is unhealthy. But he said people know that they will find drinking, smoking and perhaps gambling when they go inside a bar. 'I don't care if you're an employee or anybody else, they're not expected to be a healthy atmosphere.' A coalition of the Oregon lung, heart and cancer societies counters that 35,000 workers shouldn't have to breathe cancer-causing chemicals while working. They have proposed two bills in the Senate and House. The Senate Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on the measure Friday. 

Those who thought they could stand by and say nothing because it didn't affect them are now experiencing hard lessons learned. The fact is Agenda-Afflicted activists are well-funded, tightly organized, and out in force to assure next year's grant by reducing small business owner's and consumers' rights today. Be assured that next year's grant will expand the agenda further just as the smoking ban agenda has now expanded to includes bars, taverns and restaurants. If they can mandate what legal products customers lawfully consume on business premises today under anti-tobacco, what will stop them from mandating what food restaurants can serve in the name of anti-obesity next year? Small business owners, taxpayers, and consumers beware: the same special-interest group that funded $446 million in tobacco control grants, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has also put its clout behind anti-obesity. 

I corresponded with a long-time acquaintance in Oregon about the legislative hearing last week. It turns out that only two people reportedly showed up at the hearing to oppose expanding the ban. When will Oregon bar, tavern and other hospitality small business owners find the moxy to follow their brethren's lead in Hawaii, Washington and Colorado? 

I'll be writing about some other groups who are standing to duty in the near future.  

Be well, do good, and best always,  

Norman E. Kjono

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