Friday, April 11, 2008

Hackers target pro choice websites

Looks like the anti-smokers are at it again. Long time members of will remember when this site was hacked 2 years ago by some non-smoking zealots, and the site was down for a while. Couldn't stop me for long! We were back up within hours. Looks like they're going after a few groups in the UK now, just rec'd this press release:

The websites of two prominent pro choice organisations campaigning against smoking bans were yesterday targeted by hackers in a "pharming" incident that redirected traffic to the NHS Smokefree website. The DNS poisoning, a high level and sophisticated hacking technique, affected all UK based internet service providers.

Andy Davis, Vice Chairman of Freedom to Choose, one of the affected websites, says: "It appears that Freedom To Choose has annoyed someone high up, it seems they don't want the truth to get out."

Stephanie Stahl, President of Forces International, claims: "To re-direct our UK visitors to an anti-smoking website shows that the antismoking movement must be very nervous about the information our pro-freedom groups provide. Domain names are sacred on the free-spirited information super highway; we trust that those responsible for this serious violation will be identified and held accountable. "

Both groups campaign against government interference in private life and property, maintaining that blanket smoking bans are based on fraudulent scientific claims about passive smoking. According to Andy Davis: "5 out of 6 studies show second hand smoke to be entirely harmless. In the UK the ban is needlessly devastating the hospitality and entertainment industries, yet modern air filtration can remove 99.97% of airborne particles and make indoor air cleaner than outdoor, regardless of smoking."

The hacking incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and is under investigation. In the meantime, both and have restored normal service.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Smoking Ban Increases Accidents 12 Percent

Ban on smoking causes crashes - study

A ban on smoking in American bars has increased the number of accidents apparently caused by drinking and driving.

US jurisdictions with a smoking ban have seen, on average, a nearly 12 percent rise in the number of drink-related accidents at the wheel, researchers say in a paper published in the Journal of Public Economics.

It's based on data from 2000 to 2005, drawn from counties that enforced a ban on smoking in bars during this period and from accident statistics before and after the ban was introduced.

Researchers found that instead of heading to their local bar for a drink and a puff, smokers ventured farther afield in search of a place where lighting up is still allowed

They may not be drinking more than before but they are certainly driving more - and that's what is increasing the risk of a crash.

The study said: "Banning smoking in bars increases the fatal accident risk posed by drunk drivers.

"Our evidence is consistent with two mechanisms -- smokers searching for alternative locations to drink within a locality and smokers driving to nearby jurisdictions that allow smoking in bars."

According figures cited in the report, nearly a one-third of the US population lives in cities, counties or states where there are restrictions on smoking in bars.

Study authors Scott Adams and Chad Cotti of the University of Wisconsin say the increase in drunk driving has to be weighed against "potential positive health impacts" from smoking bans, and this may take years to determine. - Sapa-AFP