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Burned out by butt-inskis
Boston Herald.com ^ | May 20, 2006 | Michael Siegel

Posted on 05/21/2006 4:00:08 AM PDT by SheLion

As a physician who has devoted 21 years to advocacy in tobacco control, conducting research and publishing a number of studies on the hazards of secondhand smoke, it is not surprising that I favor a wide range of anti-smoking measures. But anti-smoking tactics adopted by some municipalities, companies and organizations do not serve smokers or the public. The methods are mean-spirited, unsupported by science and attempt to stamp out smoking by punishing and marginalizing smokers. They go too far.

The City Council in Calabasas, Calif., recently enacted an ordinance - supported by several anti-smoking groups - that bans smoking in just about all outdoor areas of the city, including streets and sidewalks, unless there is no other person within 20 feet.

The expressed purposes of the ordinance are to protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke and to reduce “the potential for children to associate smoking and tobacco with a healthy lifestyle.”

The hazards of exposure to smoking in the workplace have been proven, but there is no scientific evidence that shows that small, transient exposures to secondhand smoke in outdoor areas - places where people can easily avoid prolonged exposure - represent any serious public health problem.

The argument that these policies are needed to prevent children from seeing people smoke in public would ostracize citizens for pursuing a legal activity. What comes next? Laws that ban fat people from the public square so that children won’t associate obesity with public acceptability? Laws that prohibit people from eating fast food in public so children won’t see this behavior and associate it with a healthy lifestyle?

Frustrated by its inability to outlaw smoking, this arm of the anti-smoking front seeks to outlaw smokers. I’m all for efforts that make smoking seem less glamorous, desirable or cool, but it is wrong to restrict people’s rights because you do not like what they do.

Equally disturbing is another trend applauded by the anti-smoking movement that would have employers fire or refuse to hire smokers. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a Washington, D.C.-based anti-smoking organization: “Firing smokers is an appropriate and very effective way to stop burdening the great majority of employees who wisely chose not to smoke with the enormous unnecessary costs of smoking by their fellow employees.”

Michigan-based Weyco Inc., announced a policy of denying employment to smokers last year, and it has been followed by the World Health Organization, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Crown Laboratories, the city of Melbourne, Fla., and Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo.

ASH, along with these employers, argues that these policies are appropriate because they will reduce the increased health care costs associated with smoking. But what they also do is make smokers second-class citizens, depriving them of the right to make a living to support themselves and their families.

Is ASH serious? Should smokers not be allowed to hold jobs? Does it somehow promote public health to make the families of smokers go hungry? Should our society have two distinct classes, one that can work and another which cannot, simply because of a lawful, off-the-job behavior?

An appropriate public health policy for work-site health promotion would provide smoking employees with smoking-cessation programs, not fire them.

I fear that the anti-smoking movement is on the verge of running amok. Ultimately, what is at stake is the credibility of the tobacco-control movement, as well as the integrity of its evidence-based approach to the protection of the public’s health. If we lose that, then the truly legitimate, science-based aspects of tobacco control will be undermined. And then it will become difficult, if not impossible, to advance any policies to protect the public from the hazards of tobacco.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: anti; antismokers; augusta; bans; bigbrother; budget; butts; camel; caribou; chicago; cigar; cigarettes; cigarettetax; coffinnails; commerce; corporations; epa; fda; governor; individual; interstate; kool; lawmakers; lewiston; liberty; maine; mainesmokers; marlboro; moretolifethansmokes; msa; niconazis; osha; pallmall; pipe; portland; prosmoker; pufflist; quitsmoking; regulation; rico; rights; rinos; ryo; sales; senate; smokers; smoking; smokingbans; smokingnazis; taxes; tobacco; winston
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1 posted on 05/21/2006 4:00:11 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Radix; Just another Joe; Madame Dufarge; Cantiloper; metesky; Judith Anne; lockjaw02; Mears; CSM; ..

2 posted on 05/21/2006 4:00:37 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: SheLion
Despite all the absolute demands for tolerance, you are still allowed to hate Christians, smokers, meat eaters and fathers.
3 posted on 05/21/2006 4:09:19 AM PDT by Doctor Raoul (Liberals saying "We Support The Troops" is like OJ looking for the real killers.)
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To: SheLion

As a person with severe Asthma, I appreciate the smokefree businesses but I agree that banning smoking in outdoor areas is wrong. My workplace is smokefree inside but there are outdoor smoking areas and I am free to avoid them. My asthma is triggered by cigarette smoke and my pulmonary specialist says that I could have a fatal attack if confined indoors where people are smoking.

It's my choice to never patronize businesses that allow smoking. I'm not talking about businesses that have smoking areas because those don't work. If there isn't a notice on the door that the establishment is smokefree, I don't go in. That is my choice. I would never consider supporting a law to force private businesses to ban smoking on their property.


4 posted on 05/21/2006 4:14:39 AM PDT by Melinda in TN
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To: Doctor Raoul
Despite all the absolute demands for tolerance, you are still allowed to hate Christians, smokers, meat eaters and fathers.

*sigh* I see you let your NYT/Boston Globe subscription lapse again.

Those are GOOD Hates!

5 posted on 05/21/2006 4:19:06 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: SheLion
I fear that the anti-smoking movement is on the verge of running amok.

Oops! Too late...

6 posted on 05/21/2006 4:21:47 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: SheLion
Now, finally, a topic I can get smoked about. I quit smoking cigarettes about 30 years ago but have been smoking cigars for about 4 months, one a day, good quality hand rolled Fuentes. My current favorite is Gran Reservo.
There is an emotional satisfaction in smoking that goes well beyond nicotine's addictive nature. Part of that satisfaction is akin to punching certain puritans in the nose. Another aspect is the pure enjoyment of a fine cigar.
There are lots of ways to kill oneself. Determining one's destiny should remain sacrosanct in a free society. There is nothing high minded or superior about those who condemn others for their personal choices. I would much rather work alongside the smokers I know than the prissy prudes who wrinkle their noses at a whiff of tobacco smoke. Anti-this-that-and-the-other-thing zealots must be made outcasts. Getting their noses out of joint by smoking a cigar has become a joyously serendipitous pastime.
7 posted on 05/21/2006 4:27:31 AM PDT by Lou Foxwell
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To: SheLion
ASH, along with these employers, argues that these policies are appropriate because they will reduce the increased health care costs associated with smoking.

Maybe if there's enough of this, people will realize that letting your employer control your health insurance is a bad idea. Of course, many people still think government schools are a good idea, so maybe they won't connect the dots on this issue, either ...

8 posted on 05/21/2006 4:33:06 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: Lou Foxwell
There is an emotional satisfaction in smoking that goes well beyond nicotine's addictive nature. Part of that satisfaction is akin to punching certain puritans in the nose.

LOL!

9 posted on 05/21/2006 4:36:27 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Aquinasfan

I STILL REMEMBER THAT WHEN ALL THIS STARTED, BREATHING THE AIR IN MILAN WAS THE EQUIVALENT OF SMOKIONG 20 PACKS OF CIGS A DAY. (opps sorry about caps)


10 posted on 05/21/2006 4:44:39 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: Doctor Raoul
Despite all the absolute demands for tolerance, you are still allowed to hate Christians, smokers, meat eaters and fathers.

You said a mouthful!!!  The general public has very little tolerance today for Christians, smokers, meat eaters AND fathers!  You are right!


11 posted on 05/21/2006 4:53:31 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Melinda in TN
I would never consider supporting a law to force private businesses to ban smoking on their property.

And there is the answer!  It should be left up to the business owner and his patrons to have smoking or not.  NOT the government!

12 posted on 05/21/2006 4:55:22 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Lou Foxwell
I would much rather work alongside the smokers I know than the prissy prudes who wrinkle their noses at a whiff of tobacco smoke. Anti-this-that-and-the-other-thing zealots must be made outcasts. Getting their noses out of joint by smoking a cigar has become a joyously serendipitous pastime.

heheh!  High Five!!!

13 posted on 05/21/2006 4:57:13 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Tax-chick
Maybe if there's enough of this, people will realize that letting your employer control your health insurance is a bad idea

People don't like change. The only way to get them to accept an idea is to promise them more unfortunately.

14 posted on 05/21/2006 5:00:01 AM PDT by EVO X
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To: Lou Foxwell

Nothing more politically or socially disgusting than a prissy prude who sniffs her nose at smokers as she dismounts from her V8 powered SUV.


15 posted on 05/21/2006 5:07:14 AM PDT by muawiyah (-)
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To: Tax-chick

The hypocrisy remains since those businesses that have banned smoking have not cut their insurance costs and they cannot guarantee they will not go up.


16 posted on 05/21/2006 5:09:27 AM PDT by secret garden (Dubiety reigns here)
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To: Tax-chick
Maybe if there's enough of this, people will realize that letting your employer control your health insurance is a bad idea. Of course, many people still think government schools are a good idea, so maybe they won't connect the dots on this issue, either ...

If smoking makes health care more costly then health care cost should be at their lowest historical rates since the 50's, since smoking has decreased per capita since then.

17 posted on 05/21/2006 5:09:53 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Lou Foxwell

I love the smell of a good cigar or pipe but my condition (see post #4) doesn't allow me to sniff. LOL Some of my favorite childhood memories are of helping my grandfather roll his own Bugler cigarettes. Of course at that time, we didn't know why I was so sick when around the smoke.

I think it should be a personal choice and not a ban by the government. I mean, where does it stop? Things like that should be left up to the people, business owners and patrons.


18 posted on 05/21/2006 5:14:58 AM PDT by Melinda in TN
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To: muawiyah

Next time walk up to her and fart and some how smoke won't smell so bad tell her she has an option.


19 posted on 05/21/2006 5:16:28 AM PDT by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: Tax-chick
If smoking makes health care more costly then health care cost should be at their lowest historical rates since the 50's, since smoking has decreased per capita since then.

I put that in bold so it would catch the eye.  But you know what I mean.  Smoking has reported to have dropped over the years, so blaming higher health care on smokers shouldn't be the problem anymore.

It's all the illegal aliens that our hospitals have to treat that is forcing us to have higher health care costs.

20 posted on 05/21/2006 5:21:41 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Tax-chick
If smoking makes health care more costly then health care cost should be at their lowest historical rates since the 50's, since smoking has decreased per capita since then.

I put that in bold so it would catch the eye.  But you know what I mean.  Smoking has reported to have dropped over the years, so blaming higher health care on smokers shouldn't be the problem anymore.

It's all the illegal aliens that our hospitals have to treat that is forcing us to have higher health care costs.

21 posted on 05/21/2006 5:21:44 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: SheLion
"...What comes next?..."

I'm sure the Anti's would like to take a page form the Iranians and pass a law to make smokers wear a special patch or armband to designate them in public.

Also, when smokers are kicked out of their apartments, home (by lenders), and such ... will we begin to see "Smoker Ghettos" reminiscent of Warsaw in the 1940's?
22 posted on 05/21/2006 5:22:11 AM PDT by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you! (MaDuce = M2HB .50 BMG))
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To: MaDuce
Also, when smokers are kicked out of their apartments, home (by lenders), and such ... will we begin to see "Smoker Ghettos" reminiscent of Warsaw in the 1940's?

Oh my, what a horrible thought!

23 posted on 05/21/2006 5:23:38 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: SheLion

ping


24 posted on 05/21/2006 5:27:49 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (Here come I, gravitas in tow.)
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To: SheLion

Love the T-shirt!


25 posted on 05/21/2006 5:28:39 AM PDT by fanfan (I mean, I wouldn't be so angry with them if they didn't want to kill me!)
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To: fanfan
Love the T-shirt!

Hehe!  I have had this photo for quite awhile and I got it in here.  I can't remember who first used it. :)

26 posted on 05/21/2006 5:32:02 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: SheLion

That's a good point in the aggregate; however, in terms of an individual employer's group health insurance costs, smoking or nonsmoking could be a significant factor.


27 posted on 05/21/2006 5:40:25 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: secret garden

That would be an even better reason for employees to support health savings accounts and other employment-independent options.


28 posted on 05/21/2006 5:42:33 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: Black Birch
People don't like change. The only way to get them to accept an idea is to promise them more unfortunately.

I fear you are right.

29 posted on 05/21/2006 5:44:02 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: SheLion

Then why don't we just ostracize the anti-smoking nazis?


30 posted on 05/21/2006 6:23:11 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: freekitty

After all they are just the pimps of anti-freedom.


31 posted on 05/21/2006 6:24:57 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: freekitty
Then why don't we just ostracize the anti-smoking nazis?

Because they are highly paid anti's with a whole lot more money then us.  And they are being paid out of the taxes smoker's pay on cigarettes.

Smokers are paying for their own personal abuse in all of this.  Nuts, eh?

32 posted on 05/21/2006 6:41:02 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Tax-chick
I fear you are right.

I'd go with a HSA and a high deductible since I've quit smoking, but there is no way the overweight people I work with would stand for it. They have high blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems and etc. They are constantly going to the doctor.

33 posted on 05/21/2006 6:42:39 AM PDT by EVO X
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To: Black Birch

I have babies all the time :-).

People would take better care of themselves, use prescription drugs more wisely, etc., if they were responsible for a greater portion of the cost. Unfortunately, because decisions have been taken from the consumer, people seem to think that "health insurance" means anything you want, and somebody else pays.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, here!


34 posted on 05/21/2006 6:53:43 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Knights of Columbus martyrs of Mexico, pray for us! Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: SheLion
"The methods are mean-spirited, unsupported by science and attempt to stamp out smoking by punishing and marginalizing smokers. They go too far."

Exactly what I've been saying for YEEEEAAAAARS, something no one needed to convince me of, btw.

Good to hear a doctor say it.

35 posted on 05/21/2006 7:54:04 AM PDT by TAdams8591
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To: Tax-chick
"I have babies all the time :-)."

Yeah, we know.

36 posted on 05/21/2006 7:55:21 AM PDT by TAdams8591
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To: SheLion

I like the t-shirt.


37 posted on 05/21/2006 7:58:03 AM PDT by proudofthesouth (Mao said that power comes at the point of a rifle; I say FREEDOM does.)
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To: proudofthesouth
Love the T-shirt!

Hehe!  I have had this photo for quite awhile and I got it in here.  I can't remember who first used it. :)


38 posted on 05/21/2006 8:22:14 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: TAdams8591
Good to hear a doctor say it.

Right.  Even the medical field is getting sick and tired of this junk.

39 posted on 05/21/2006 8:23:25 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: Lou Foxwell
Part of that satisfaction is akin to punching certain puritans in the nose.

The only thing between me and your taking Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to the hospital is this cigarette.

40 posted on 05/21/2006 8:26:04 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (ISLAM: The Other Psychosis)
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To: SheLion; MaDuce

Also, when smokers are kicked out of their apartments, home (by lenders), and such ... will we begin to see "Smoker Ghettos" reminiscent of Warsaw in the 1940's?


Oh my, what a horrible thought!


Sad to say, I wouldn't doubt such a thing. I have never seen a campaign to ostracise people like these anti tobacco folks put on.


41 posted on 05/21/2006 8:50:21 AM PDT by 383rr ((those who choose security over liberty deserve neither; GUN CONTROL=SLAVERY)
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To: 383rr
Sad to say, I wouldn't doubt such a thing. I have never seen a campaign to ostracise people like these anti tobacco folks put on.

Well, I have to agree with you.  When their war on the smokers didn't work, then they turned to the general non-smoking public telling them that second hand smoke is KILLING everyone.  And pity those that actually believe this junk.

But if they totally succeed with getting rid of smokers, you know they won't stop there.  They have more groups they want to stamp out.  I wish they would get a life and stay out of ours!

42 posted on 05/21/2006 8:52:47 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: muawiyah
Nothing more politically or socially disgusting than a prissy prude who sniffs her nose at smokers as she dismounts from her V8 powered SUV.

My personal favorites are the ones who start coughing when you take out the pack. (No, you have not lit a cigarette, they just saw the pack.) What are they 'allergic' to?

43 posted on 05/21/2006 8:58:16 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: Doctor Raoul

Burger King has a great new politically incorrect burger commerical, I AM MALE a parody of Helen Reddy's I Am Woman, where men want their meat and burgers. One of the best parts is they trash the automotive symbol of the soccer mom and the nanny state which is a minivan.


44 posted on 05/21/2006 8:58:43 AM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: SheLion
When laws become outrageous, they also become impossible to enforce. I was in a locality recently that bans talking on cell phones when driving. About one out of five people I saw driving were on a cell phone! Why? Because who's going to stop them?! On my entire four day business trip, I never saw a police car. Thus, the law is unenforceable (like most liberal laws).
45 posted on 05/21/2006 9:04:12 AM PDT by ExtremeUnction
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To: SheLion

"But if they totally succeed with getting rid of smokers, you know they won't stop there."

That's just the thing. I don't think this will stop until they get in our homes. The lies are just outrageous, and the propaganda they spout is insane.

And like you say, they're doing all this on our dime!


46 posted on 05/21/2006 9:06:29 AM PDT by 383rr ((those who choose security over liberty deserve neither; GUN CONTROL=SLAVERY)
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To: Smokin' Joe
My personal favorites are the ones who start coughing when you take out the pack.

Maybe an ex-smoker with COPD?

47 posted on 05/21/2006 9:07:34 AM PDT by EVO X
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To: Biblebelter

That commercial is hilarious!


48 posted on 05/21/2006 9:08:42 AM PDT by 383rr ((those who choose security over liberty deserve neither; GUN CONTROL=SLAVERY)
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To: ExtremeUnction
When laws become outrageous, they also become impossible to enforce. I was in a locality recently that bans talking on cell phones when driving. About one out of five people I saw driving were on a cell phone! Why? Because who's going to stop them?! On my entire four day business trip, I never saw a police car. Thus, the law is unenforceable (like most liberal laws).

That's right.  And the police have no time to enforce this petty annie stuff.

When California forced a smoking ban on the bars, the bars started a "phone tree."  They would smoke until they got a call that the smoke police were on the prowl.  Then, they would put away all the ashtrays.  What a horrible way to have to run a business!


49 posted on 05/21/2006 9:30:55 AM PDT by SheLion
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To: 383rr
That's just the thing. I don't think this will stop until they get in our homes. The lies are just outrageous, and the propaganda they spout is insane.

And like you say, they're doing all this on our dime!

Well, when you hear of a state's "pet programs," these are the very programs they are talking about.  Overly paying the anti's working in the Boards of Health.  They are screaming they want smoke free everything, but I sure don't believe that.  If a state went totally smoke free, these idiots would be out of a job.

I know a lot of FReepers hate smoking, and that's fine.  It's not for everyone.  But the more we can get the word out about what they are doing to us and private businesses, it will help to make people more aware of what is going on.

50 posted on 05/21/2006 9:33:43 AM PDT by SheLion
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