Last month Virginia again killed a statewide smoking ban but as incoherence reigns next year we may see the reverse.
Virginia is a tobacco growing and cigarette manufacturing state but it also has a long tradition of elevating the individual over the state government. Smoking bans, elevating the state over the individual, are a tough sell there but the tobacco control industry is nothing if not patient and unless business owners address the secondhand smoke fraud a smoking ban will snuff out individual rights in Virginia before long. Unfortunately the hospitality industry is conditioned to behave as news outlets, such as the Washington Post, which authored the story to which we link, want it to behave, particularly by neglecting to point out that there is no evidence that secondhand smoke is hazardous to health.

Thus there is not one word here about the fact that anti-tobacco, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, has never found any harm in exposure to secondhand smoke. If critics mentioned it, the goose-stepping Post would surely ignore it, but most likely they never did. The paper, of course, is not above lying as it states that the move towards banning smoking in restaurants and bars is gaining momentum because of a 2006 study by the U.S. Surgeon General that concluded secondhand smoke causes disease and death.

There was no such study, merely a rehash of antitobacco talking points in which Surgeon General Richard Carmona spouted viciously alarmist rhetoric, shortly before he left his position. Such is the technique whereby anti-tobacco recycles the same old junk and pretends that new evidence has just been discovered. Nothing, in fact, has been changed since the Environmental Protection Agency released its secondhand smoke report early in the Clinton administration. That report has been completely debunked and, in fact, was vacated by a federal judge.

The Washington Post betrays its prejudice immediately, with its headline "Hopes for Public Smoking Ban Are Snuffed Out" suggesting the Post’s own hopes, but the paper accurately notes that in Virginia no one who is bothered by secondhand smoke need subject himself to a restaurant where smoking is allowed. Statewide only one third of the restaurants allow smoking and in the prissy, hysterical enclaves near Washington DC, the area from which the smoking ban proposals originate, the vast majority of restaurant owners voluntarily prohibit smoking on their property. So what is the problem and why is there a need to ban smoking?

The Post quotes a restaurant owner who makes the case for the state setting everyone’s smoking policy:

But Lorene E. Alba, a former restaurant owner in Hampton who works for the American Lung Association, told the committee that restaurant managers are worried about losing customers who smoke and need the state to act. "The industry is not able to make this decision" itself, she said.

Well, that settles it! Here we have an employee of the Big Pharma-funded American Lung Association, a lady who couldn’t make it personally in the restaurant business, screeching that all other restaurant owners are too stupid to make their own smoking policies. With ban proponents as idiotic as this stooge, those who support freedom should have little trouble, prevailing over prohibitionism. The idiots, however, will prevail unless the business owners remove themselves from the insane template anti-tobacco has imposed on the political process. They must address the core issue. That is the scientific fraud.



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