EPA Fraud

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SOURCE: National Smokers Alliance

Federal Ruling Overturning EPA Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke Should Cause Re-Evaluation of Smoking Bans and Restrictions

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Since 1993, the National Smokers Alliance has urged elected officials around the country to resist public smoking bans because the science related to environmental tobacco smoke is simply not sufficient to alter public policy.

Those elected officials who have resisted the pressure tactics of anti- smoking activists and researchers now have further reason to believe their more measured approach is correct.

United States District Judge William Osteen has overturned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's conclusion that environmental tobacco smoke is a Class A carcinogen. Despite widespread and well-reasoned criticism, that EPA report has been used as the ``definitive'' basis for extreme measures.

``EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; excluded industry by violating the Act's procedural requirements; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency's public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act's authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme intended to restrict Plaintiffs' products and to influence public opinion ... Using its normal methodology and its selected studies, EPA did not demonstrate a statistically significant association between (secondhand smoke) and lung cancer,'' Judge Osteen wrote.

According to Thomas Humber, president of the National Smokers Alliance, ``Unfortunately, far too much bad public policy has been made on the basis of a federal agency's report that has now been thoroughly discredited.

``In California, bar and restaurant owners are suffering because California legislators accepted the arguments of the prohibitionists who waved the EPA report, the imprimatur of the federal government, as evidence. In Massachusetts, activists, including many on the state payroll, wave the same report from city to city, township to township, bullying local elected officials to impose extreme restrictions or bans on smoking.

``Throughout New York State, appointed board of health officials attempt to usurp the legitimate powers of local elected officials to impose arbitrary smoking bans, all under the banner and authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, now adjudicated to be little more than a fraud,'' said Humber.

``In cities and counties in state after state, front groups like Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights toss around the authority of the EPA to enhance their supposed standing and reputation to rip off more and more federal grants of taxpayer dollars to move along to the next city to wave the same report,'' Humber said.

``Judge Osteen's ruling should put a stop to this, though we know it won't. EPA spin doctors are already attempting to minimize the ruling, even though it is both thorough and devastating, detailing a wide variety of EPA abuses. Other anti-smoking activists cite numerous other sources, knowing full well that the same flawed and limited body of science has been used as the basis for virtually all the pronouncements.

``At a minimum, policymakers now have ample authority to re-evaluate bans and restrictions that relied on the EPA report. The ruling also provides sufficient reason for policymakers considering legislation to question and thoroughly scrutinize the so-called 'science' behind the claims of those seeking the prohibition of smoking,'' Humber said.

The National Smokers Alliance is a non-profit grassroots organization with 3 million members nationwide which fights discrimination against smokers and supports the rights of business owners to make their own decisions on how to serve their customers without unwarranted government interference. The NSA receives funding from its members, from three cigarette manufacturers on behalf of their customers and from hundreds of other businesses and corporations.

SOURCE: National Smokers Alliance

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