Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ASH Ireland Creates Smoking Ban to Further Own Existence

Here's a prime example of why the gov't was duped into creating smoking bans by self-interest groups. ASH Ireland is one of those bogus anti-smoking groups who popped up a few years ago to collect tobacco settlement money to prevent smoking. They started getting false scientific claims that second-hand smoke is bad for the public's health (despite massive evidence to the contrary that secondhand smoke is NOT bad for anyone).

So then they convinced the Irish gov't to ban smoking. Now, you may ask, why does this group still exist? Their sole purpose was to ban smoking; they did, but here they are a few years later and they won't go away. They want to self-preserve. So what do they do? Come up with more and more false scientific claims to create ever more restrictive bans on smoking so that they can stay in existence and continue to draw more taxpayer's money into their own pockets.

Their latest claim is that secondhand smoke in cars is worse than smoking indoors. If this was true, why didn't they ban car smoke in the first place? Why rush to ban indoor smoking if it wasn't the worst kind of secondhand smoke? The truth is there is no medical evidence to support the claims of any kind of secondhand smoke danger, so they create it to line their pockets and further their own existence.

It is only a matter of time before the public realizes they are only crying wolf. As more and more indoor smoking bans are being revised and repealed, these groups will have plenty of reason to exist -- hiring lawyers to defend their false claims!

Article from the Irish Examiner follows:

Anti-smoking group, ASH Ireland, said passive smoke in a vehicle is 23 times more toxic than it is in buildings or open spaces.

The group, which successfully lobbied the Government to introduce the work-place tobacco ban, is calling for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children under 16.

ASH chief executive Dr Angie Brown said the workplace ban protects adults from the harmful effects of passive smoking, and it is now time to focus attention on protecting children.

ASH said smoking in cars carrying children has been banned in parts of Australia, Canada and the USA.

Dr Brown said: "In households where parents smoke, children are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses. Often it exacerbates a child's asthma.

Research shows that passive smoking might be even more harmful in a confined space like a car, even if the windows are open."

She said: "It will not only have an effect on their health, it also has an effect on their schooling because they might have to miss school if they become ill."

ASH said it would eventually like to see an all-out ban in cars, but the protection of children under 16 is its main priority.

"We would much prefer a total ban on smoking in cars as it is such an unhealthy practice," said Dr Brown.

"Children are unlikely to ask adults to stop smoking, so we must take this important decision out of their hands," she said.

Dr Brown denied that her organisation wants to create a so-called "nanny state".

"An adult can make their own decision whether they want to smoke or not. We have to protect those who can't protect themselves."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another smoking ban revised

Looks like Kansas City is the next place to come to it's senses and left a previously restrictive smoking ban. Now they will allow smoking in 25% of public places, and in any bar where only patrons 21 and older attend:

KC Council revises smoking ban

A revised smoking ban becomes effective in Kansas City on March 23.

About two weeks later, in an April 8 special election, Kansas City voters will consider another, different smoking ban.

Previously, it appeared that voters would have to weigh both a petition initiative and the City Council's ballot measure to limit smoking. But on Thursday, the council stubbed out the ballot measure it had approved earlier this month, instead changing the city's existing smoking ordinance.

Now, voters can override the current ordinance with the petitioners' ban.

The city's revised ban excludes generally 25 percent of hotel and motel rooms, tobacco stores, bars and casino gaming floors. Businesses with liquor licenses that admit only people 21 or older can be exempted from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. or closing if they post a sign indicating smoking is allowed.

Establishments with both a restaurant and bar could allow smoking in the bar if it is completely enclosed and separately ventilated.

"What we tried to do ... is if it's an establishment that those under 21 are able to be admitted, then there's a smoking ban," Councilman Ed Ford said Friday. "We tried to be consistent."

The petition initiative would exclude only casino floors and concourses at Truman Sports Complex.

Regarding indoor establishments, the petition initiative would exclude only casino floors.

Ford said there probably would be a "vigorous campaign" to tell voters about the council's action and educate them about the differences between the bans.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Look at other side of smoking ban

This letter to the editor appeared in Chicago's Daily Herald today - thought it was worth repeating:

Look at other side of smoking ban

To the anti-smoking folks writing letters to the media: There seem to be two major themes coming through loud and clear.

First is a patent hatred of people who smoke. These are your friends, relatives, co-workers, employers and employees, not to mention perfect strangers who have done you no harm. Somewhere between 60 and 90 million of us … depending on who is counting.

It takes a special kind of hate and heartlessness to force people from all walks of life, race, economic status, age, disability, etc. out into the cold to smoke. And outdoor smoking areas --no more than three walls mind you -- can't serve drinks, food, entertainment, TV, heat? This is America?

The second notion is that somehow smokers are forcing you to inhale their smoke. Can someone cite one instance where a smoker forced a non-smoker into an establishment that allows (excuse me, allowed) smoking? Maybe it's just me, but if there is something about a place I don't like, I don't go there. What is so difficult about this concept? A cigar bar? Why then Mr. and Ms. Non-smoker, don't go there if it offends you. But rather the attitude of these people seems to be "change the world to suit me". After all, isn't it "all about me"? No compromise? Again, this is America?

The most successful propaganda is based on the theory that the biggest lie repeated often enough sinks into the subconscious. Then, it becomes religion-like.

Spencer Hendron
Lake Barrington

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Virginia Smoking Ban Opposed By Some

Staunton's Depot Grille went to a smoke-free environment 18 months ago, and Manager Erin Smith said the response has been positive.

"A lot of customers wanted it," Smith said Monday.

The restaurant had previously only allowed smoking at its bar.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine renewed his legislative request Monday for a statewide ban on smoking in Virginia restaurants, including public and private clubs.

The ban would include any area of public or private clubs where food is available and includes the restaurant areas where the food is prepared, served or consumed. The ban would be indoors only.

Kaine, whose proposal was defeated in the General Assembly a year ago, said the health risks associated with secondhand smoke offer convincing evidence for the ban.

"Recognizing the negative health effects and high public costs of secondhand smoke, Virginia must act to protect the workers and consumers in its restaurants," Kaine said.

The Virginia Department of Health estimates that 1,700 deaths a year are caused by secondhand smoke in the commonwealth.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids says Virginia spends $124.9 million a year on health-care expenditures related to secondhand smoke exposure.

Smith said the Depot's smoke-free environment attracted employees who wanted to get away from cigarette smoke.

Another Staunton restaurant owner, Jennifer Lynch of the Baja Bean, said operating a bar without smoking would be tricky.

She said such a prohibition could lead to smokers cutting back on cigarette consumption. But it could also affect bar business at her restaurant.

"A lot of people who smoke do so when they drink," she said. Lynch said many of her employees are smokers.

Area legislators don't favor the Kaine bill.

Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton, said he prefers a smoke-free environment in a restaurant, but does not think all restaurants should have a smoking ban.

"I don't support a ban on every place. I'm a bigger fan of someone's liberty to smoke," he said.

Saxman said it is a case of government going too far.

"If I don't like something on TV, I don't watch it. I rent the movies and watch the movies I want to," he said.

Both Saxman and Del. Steve Landes said they voted against the legislation a year ago and will do so again.

Landes, R-Weyers Cave, said while many restaurants are voluntarily elminating smoking, they should have the option to allow it.

"If a business wants to cater to smokers, shouldn't they be able to do it?" Landes said.

Gordon Hickey, Kaine's press secretary, said the restaurant industry is already heavily regulated.

And he said none of the 25 states that have already insituted a similar ban on restaurant smoking has repealed it.

"It [smoking ban] has been done quite a lot around the country and no one has regretted or repealed it," he said.