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Do smokers have any rights?
eco-logic Powerhouse.com ^ | February 15, 2005 | Alan Caruba

Posted on 02/15/2005 8:24:48 AM PST by SheLion

Do people who enjoy smoking have any rights? Increasingly, the answer is no. It is essential to keep in mind that smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is an entirely personal choice. No one is required to smoke. Millions voluntarily stop smoking every year. People have been smoking, and enjoying tobacco products for a very long time, but now they have been demonized and ostracized.

Using the power of government, to tax, smokers are being ripped off at every level. Recently, New York City sent letters to 2,300 residents giving them thirty days to pay the taxes on the cartons of cigarettes they had purchased over the Internet. It's the law.

A single pack of cigarettes in New York City comes with a state tax of $1.50, a city tax of $1.50, and a federal tax of 39 cents. A pack of Marlboro cigarettes will cost you $7.00. A ten-pack carton will cost you more than $55.00. Purchased at an international airport's duty-free store, the same carton retails for just $16.00.

There are few, if any, people who do not know there is an element of risk involved in the decision to smoke. There is risk involved when any American gets into his car and goes anywhere. Driving kills over 40,000 Americans every year. It is the price we pay for the mobility, and other benefits cars and vehicles provide. There is, in fact, risk in every human activity, including the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages and even the simple act of eating.

The U.S. engaged in a hugely failed experiment, called Prohibition, to stop people from drinking alcoholic beverages at their favorite saloon. It took a Constitutional amendment to end it. For many years now, the same thinking that imposed Prohibition has been at work to achieve the same outcome with smoking.

It is un-American in the most profound sense of that term. In a nation founded on the individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, preventing people from the enjoyment of smoking runs contrary to the inherent right to enjoy this lifestyle option if you want.

Consider, however, some events in 2004. The first worldwide antismoking treaty - the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - was ratified, and is now in effect. It is yet another example of the United Nation's intention to control every aspect of the lives of everyone on planet Earth. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is the lead organization in America, and it has promised to "now concentrate on enforcement efforts."

During 2004, six nations imposed a no-smoking ban. Among them were Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden. These nations are notable for their liberal, i.e., socialist political agendas. Here in the U.S., so-called "nonsmoker's rights" became law in Idaho, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. At the local level, thirty-two jurisdictions passed comprehensive workplace smoking laws in 2004, along with "less comprehensive smokefree workplace laws."

There's more. Eleven States, including Virginia, where historically tobacco was the crop that encouraged its establishment and growth as an American colony, substantially increased their cigarette taxes. Consider the example of New York City, and multiply it by other cities and states, cashing in, while at the same time, banning smoking, indoors and out. That is obscene.

Now imagine a similar level of taxation on a candy bar, a cup of coffee, or soft drink. Think it can't happen? Think again.

ASH has big plans for 2005. It plans to "take advantage of a new ruling which now makes it possible for sensitive nonsmokers to sue states which do not provide them with reasonable protection from tobacco smoke pollution."

These suits will eventually cost taxpayers millions, draining vital financial resources from serious needs such as infrastructure improvements. ASH will push for more and more bans, on people who smoke outdoors on beaches, and elsewhere. In California, it is already against the law to light up on the beach.

Let's say you've just bought a condo, or moved to an apartment. ASH intends to encourage and assist lawsuits by apartment dwellers who object to neighbors smoking in their own apartments. In the name of protecting children, ASH will pursue laws that ban parents from smoking around their children, by getting courts to issue orders to ban smoking in custody cases, or by a foster parent, or in a car, while driving children anywhere.

All this is happening in the "land of the free, and the home of the brave," as well as around the world, where the U.N. antismoking treaty bans any advertising for tobacco products, requires health warning labels similar to those on products sold in the U.S., bans any secondhand smoke in workplaces, public transport, and indoor public places.

It empowers a vast law enforcement program against smuggling, and there will be smuggling, leading to cartels that rival illegal drugs. There's more, but the ultimate objective is to eliminate smoking anywhere on the face of the Earth.

This is pure fascism - using the power of the state to deny this simple pleasure from being enjoyed anywhere. And, when the national and global antismoking campaign is successful, these same people will turn their attention to banning the consumption of meat, fish, cookies, candy, potato chips, soft drinks, or anything else they decide you should not enjoy.

Do smokers have any rights? Apparently not.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: addiction; allergies; antismokers; asthma; bans; butts; cigarettes; fda; individualliberty; lawmakers; maine; niconazis; peeeeyew; plssmokeathome; pplneed2breathe; professional; prohibitionists; pufflist; regulation; right2breathe; rinos; senate; smokersstink; smoking; stayhomeandsmoke; stench; taxes; tobacco
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1 posted on 02/15/2005 8:24:48 AM PST by SheLion
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To: Just another Joe; Great Dane; Madame Dufarge; Gabz; MeeknMing; steve50; KS Flyover; Cantiloper; ...

Ping

2 posted on 02/15/2005 8:25:44 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion
Bumper sticker on my car.
You only have the RIGHTS that you are willing to FIGHT for!
3 posted on 02/15/2005 8:27:33 AM PST by HMFIC (Fourth Generation American INFIDEL and PROUD OF IT!)
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To: SheLion

I read an article yesterday that ten years ago if someone had told us that gays would have the right to get married and adopt children but smokers would be fired for smoking, we'd have thought they were crazy.


4 posted on 02/15/2005 8:27:49 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: SheLion

Only smokers of the baloney pony have rights.


5 posted on 02/15/2005 8:28:08 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: SheLion
I'm a smoker, and I believe you should have the right to smoke. However, I am going to try to quit because Phillip Morris contributes the the ACLU!
Join the Fight at StoptheACLU discussion forum
Join the Fight at StoptheACLU discussion forum


Prayer for the Youth

"Join the Fight at StoptheACLU Blog">
Join the Fight at StoptheACLU Blog


6 posted on 02/15/2005 8:29:04 AM PST by Jay777 (Join The Resistance at www.stoptheaclu.org)
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To: SheLion

The only RIGHT smokers have, is to pay huge, obscene TAXES to the government in exchange for the "privilege" to practice thie habit....but fear not smokers, the government WILL NEVER outlaw cigarettes. Money is more important than your life.


7 posted on 02/15/2005 8:29:18 AM PST by EagleUSA
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To: HMFIC
You only have the RIGHTS that you are willing to FIGHT for!

Good bumper sticker. But when the highly paid professional anti-smokers have all the money in their corner, it's kinda hard to fight a good fight for Freedom of Choice.  Money talks today, not the constituents.

8 posted on 02/15/2005 8:29:19 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion

If you smoke, when you die, you go to HELL.

That's the deal these days.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


9 posted on 02/15/2005 8:30:26 AM PST by RexBeach
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To: SheLion

In another thread I posted,

"Time for the tea chest to hit the water again."

Enough said.


10 posted on 02/15/2005 8:30:33 AM PST by HMFIC (Fourth Generation American INFIDEL and PROUD OF IT!)
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To: Jay777
I'm a smoker, and I believe you should have the right to smoke. However, I am going to try to quit because Phillip Morris contributes the the ACLU!

Don't get me started about the evil corrupt Phillip Morris.  They talk out of both sides of their mouth.

Switch brands or try rolling your own.

11 posted on 02/15/2005 8:30:34 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: HMFIC
"Time for the tea chest to hit the water again."

I can't wait!

12 posted on 02/15/2005 8:31:41 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion

I have a right and a left. I hate the left but I need it for balance.


13 posted on 02/15/2005 8:35:34 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: Conspiracy Guy
I have a right and a left. I hate the left but I need it for balance.


14 posted on 02/15/2005 8:37:04 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion

Cigarette smuggling is becoming increasingly attractive to "narcotraficante" groups out of Mexico. They already have the system intact and now they have a vastly expanded market, not to mention a customer base which they can "interest" in their other wares. Substitute Mexicans for Italians and it's Prohibition all over again.

Idiocy is trying the same solution over and over and expecting different results.


15 posted on 02/15/2005 8:40:15 AM PST by NaughtiusMaximus (Progressives are just liberals with an Earl Scheib paintjob.)
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To: SheLion

Let's say you've just bought a condo, or moved to an apartment. ASH intends to encourage and assist lawsuits by apartment dwellers who object to neighbors smoking in their own apartments.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Over my dead body!!!!!! I'm just itchin' for a good fight.


16 posted on 02/15/2005 8:40:39 AM PST by Mears ("Call me irresponsible".)
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To: SheLion
As usual, none of the alphabet-soup groups mentioned in the article mention the simple expedient of making all tobacco products illegal.

Why not?

17 posted on 02/15/2005 8:42:07 AM PST by Publius6961
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To: NaughtiusMaximus

Hey ask any libturd and they'll tell you Socialism works! No matter that it's FAILED everywhere else, we just haven't tried it HERE yet!


18 posted on 02/15/2005 8:44:56 AM PST by HMFIC (Fourth Generation American INFIDEL and PROUD OF IT!)
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To: Publius6961

When tax revenues drop low enough, they will.


19 posted on 02/15/2005 8:46:11 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: SheLion

I just received a notice from my usual cig supplier. They are no longer offering cigs and recommended a different company. Their reason was that they were not willing to fight the government to stay in business. They were unwilling to provide their customer lists and realized that they would not be able to afford the court battles. I respect them for that.....

Now that my cheap cigs are no more, I will be considering rolling my own. Do you have some good resources for me? I would need to purchase everything on line, papers, filters, tobacco, etc. I would also need a recommendation of tobacco brands and flavors.


20 posted on 02/15/2005 8:47:20 AM PST by CSM ("I just started shooting," said Gloria Doster, 56. "I was trying to blow his brains out ....")
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To: SheLion

As a smoker that is the best I can do. No rights for me! Off to the smoker's colony for life.


21 posted on 02/15/2005 8:47:58 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: Mears
Guess you missed this little gem
Posted on Thu, Jan. 29, 2004

Smoker agrees to judge's limits
June trial set on neighbors' demand for tighter rules on outdoor puffing
By Phil Trexler Beacon Journal staff writer
A Stow man fuming over his neighbor's cigarette habit smoked a peace pipe of sorts with the woman Wednesday in court.
Robert Zangrando and his wife, Lisa Pace, had sued this month seeking a restraining order against their neighbor, Nicole Kuder. They wanted a judge to force Kuder to stop smoking within 30 feet of their condominium unit.
In court Wednesday, the two sides agreed to a temporary resolution suggested by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Marvin Shapiro.
Kuder agreed to smoke only outside her unit's back door and only for 15 minutes at the top of each hour. She cannot smoke outside her front door.
the no smoking neighbor lost"
22 posted on 02/15/2005 8:49:12 AM PST by boxerblues
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To: SheLion

Did anyone see Boston Public on Sunday? One of the story lines was about a town that decided to ban red meat as a health issue. The so-called "dept of health" is out of control. Leave it to the government to abuse and increase any power it is given. It's no longer about health, it's political and power grabbing.


23 posted on 02/15/2005 8:52:48 AM PST by Annie03
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To: HMFIC
"Time for the tea chest to hit the water again."

I've seen this type of response posted on other threads dealing with this subject.

Fighting back sounds noble. But ... how?

24 posted on 02/15/2005 8:52:56 AM PST by usgator
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To: HMFIC

Yeah? Just hide the tobacco contraband inside the shipment of tax-free coke and pot.


25 posted on 02/15/2005 8:54:24 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: Mears
Let's say you've just bought a condo, or moved to an apartment. ASH intends to encourage and assist lawsuits by apartment dwellers who object to neighbors smoking in their own apartments.

This ASH business is the biggest bunch of control freaks on the face of the earth.  And they have the backing of the American Cancer Society and  The American Lung Association.

They have become totally obsessed with banning people who smoke at every corner. 

With the taxes smoker's pay on cigarettes and grant money from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the rest of their ilk, it's pretty hard to fight the bans.  Money talks and who listens to the constituents anymore.  No one.

26 posted on 02/15/2005 8:54:43 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: Annie03
town that decided to ban red meat

That happens in my town and I turn into one of the zombies from Dawn of the Dead and hunt the living.

hmmm .... maybe that's how that whole thing started.

27 posted on 02/15/2005 8:54:49 AM PST by usgator
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To: Publius6961
As usual, none of the alphabet-soup groups mentioned in the article mention the simple expedient of making all tobacco products illegal.

That's why!

And the more bans, control and restrictions they put upon smoker's, the more the money flows in.  I wish someone could come up with a way to put a stop to their cash flow.

I have said over and over just ban the damn stuff and be done with it.  But alas!  These people wouldn't be living the high life with our money any longer.  Totally disgusting.

28 posted on 02/15/2005 8:57:19 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: CSM
Now that my cheap cigs are no more, I will be considering rolling my own. Do you have some good resources for me? I would need to purchase everything on line, papers, filters, tobacco, etc. I would also need a recommendation of tobacco brands and flavors.

 
and

Smokers United

Roll Your Own Tobacco Store

Roll Your Own Magazine


29 posted on 02/15/2005 8:59:35 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: boxerblues

Unbelievable.


30 posted on 02/15/2005 9:00:31 AM PST by Mears ("Call me irresponsible".)
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To: Conspiracy Guy
As a smoker that is the best I can do. No rights for me! Off to the smoker's colony for life

I will stay home and roll my own.  NO one will get my money.  The state can pound sand.

31 posted on 02/15/2005 9:00:41 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion
I will stay home and roll my own. NO one will get my money

If enough people did this it would send a message but ... they'll find some way to tax this stuff to compensate for their loses, wouldn't they?

32 posted on 02/15/2005 9:03:28 AM PST by usgator
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To: SheLion

Smokers enjoy the same rights as anyone else. Of course they have rights.

But their right to burn tobacco around other people may not exactly be covered by the Ninth Amendment.


33 posted on 02/15/2005 9:07:27 AM PST by PeterFinn (Why is it that people who know the least know it the loudest?)
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To: SheLion

They have unalienable rights but smoking isn't one of them!


34 posted on 02/15/2005 9:07:29 AM PST by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: Annie03
Did anyone see Boston Public on Sunday? One of the story lines was about a town that decided to ban red meat as a health issue. The so-called "dept of health" is out of control. Leave it to the government to abuse and increase any power it is given. It's no longer about health, it's political and power grabbing.

I hear that is a good show.  I should start watching it.

Well, the anti's have found out how much money can be made through tobacco and cigarettes so they are trying to find out what they can control next to keep the big bucks coming in.

35 posted on 02/15/2005 9:08:22 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: HMFIC
"Time for the tea chest to hit the water again."

Only this time, it is the tobacco chest. I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life, but I believe it is a matter of freedom. If you want to smoke, that is your right. I also believe, however, that if a person gets sick from it, it is their own problem.

36 posted on 02/15/2005 9:09:18 AM PST by Mark17
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To: SheLion

Okay, it also vexes me that the same people who want to ban tobacco want to legalize marijuana.

Why is it PC to smoke pot in public but not tobacco?


37 posted on 02/15/2005 9:09:19 AM PST by PeterFinn (Why is it that people who know the least know it the loudest?)
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To: usgator
If enough people did this it would send a message but ... they'll find some way to tax this stuff to compensate for their loses, wouldn't they?

Well, I will probably be dead by the time the government bumped up taxes so high on a bag of loose tobacco.  Right now, they can just charge a surcharge for the imported bags of tobacco.  And that's 25 cents a bag.

I'm sure they are thinking about it, but they are pretty much dug in over Internet sales right now.

38 posted on 02/15/2005 9:10:30 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: Mark17
Only this time, it is the tobacco chest. I have never smoked a cigarette in my entire life, but I believe it is a matter of freedom. If you want to smoke, that is your right. I also believe, however, that if a person gets sick from it, it is their own problem.

That's it in a nutshell, Mark. You don't smoke but you get it! Thank you!! :)

39 posted on 02/15/2005 9:12:08 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion
Now imagine a similar level of taxation on a candy bar, a cup of coffee, or soft drink. Think it can't happen?

No, because these are not addictive. Only addicts can be controlled enough to be willing to pay confiscatory taxes in order to "enjoy" (read avoid withdrawal symptoms) a cigarette.

40 posted on 02/15/2005 9:13:09 AM PST by Raycpa
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To: SheLion

Interesting. This might be a good idea. Thanks. Will look into it thru the links you provided.


41 posted on 02/15/2005 9:13:11 AM PST by usgator
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To: PeterFinn
Why is it PC to smoke pot in public but not tobacco?

I'm not sure if it IS legal to smoke in public.  I know a lot of people are getting pot through prescriptions, so maybe they can smoke it in public.  I haven't been following marijuana.

42 posted on 02/15/2005 9:13:53 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: Raycpa
No, because these are not addictive.

Who says they can't make them addictive? Didn't tobacco companies do exactly that?

43 posted on 02/15/2005 9:15:01 AM PST by usgator
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To: Mark17

Correct-a-mundo!

Smoke em if ya got em but I DON'T want to breathe it and if ya get sick, suck it up.


44 posted on 02/15/2005 9:15:05 AM PST by HMFIC (Fourth Generation American INFIDEL and PROUD OF IT!)
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To: Raycpa

45 posted on 02/15/2005 9:15:29 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: SheLion
ASH will pursue laws that ban parents from smoking around their children, by getting courts to issue orders to ban smoking in custody cases, or by a foster parent, or in a car, while driving children anywhere.

Why should a child of a person be forced to breathe SHS while the employee of the same person is protected from having to breathe SHS ?

46 posted on 02/15/2005 9:15:33 AM PST by Raycpa
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To: SheLion

Actually, it boils down to simple discrimination!


47 posted on 02/15/2005 9:16:23 AM PST by beachn4fun ("Resistance is futile, but I may be placated with chocolates")
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To: SheLion
I have asthma and am extremely allergic to cigarette smoke. One good whiff can land me in the ER.

However, even I realize that places of establishment, such as a restaurant, should have the right to CHOOSE THEMSELVES if they will allow smoking. There are places here that banned smoking before it became law. Those are the places I enjoy going as it was their choice to accommodate me.

The gov't should have no right to prohibit smoking in privately owned establishments. However, those public buildings such as city hall's that I have to go to, I think should be smoke free.

The gov't,however, seems to think they should be able to control it anywhere-seems YOUR HOME will be next! And it won't stop with smoking!

48 posted on 02/15/2005 9:18:40 AM PST by housewife101
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To: beachn4fun
Actually, it boils down to simple discrimination!

Worse then that!  They outlawed discrimination (it's even against the law to attack gays), but I guess smoker's are fair game.

49 posted on 02/15/2005 9:19:02 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: PeterFinn

You got that. Of course the 9th doesn't cover their right to burn candles, charcoal or propane gas around others.

Take a look at the 11th, there you will see it is the right of the property owner to allow tobacco burning on his property.


50 posted on 02/15/2005 9:19:51 AM PST by CSM ("I just started shooting," said Gloria Doster, 56. "I was trying to blow his brains out ....")
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