Skip to comments.NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE: Tobacco ban gets lit up in House
Posted on 01/22/2003 3:56:17 AM PST by SheLion
BISMARCK - North Dakota House representatives Monday voted overwhelmingly against a bill proposing to ban tobacco sales in the state.
The measure, which would make selling or using tobacco products except for using it for relgious purposes misdemeanors, failed by an 88-4 vote.
The bill would have made it a crime to sell or use tobacco in North Dakota, with sellers facing a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The bill labeled smoking, chewing or using smokeless tobacco as a less severe crime, punishable by 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The bill's sole sponsor, Grand Forks Republican Rep. Mike Grosz, said he was disappointed by Monday's vote.
But "it did get a fair day in the sun and generated a lot of discussion," said Grosz, a member of the House Finance and Taxation Committee, which heard the bill last week.
Before the bill went to a vote on the floor, Grosz told his fellow representatives that tobacco costs the state close to 1,000 lives every year and $351 million in medical and productivity costs. Tobacco taxes are expected to bring $39.7 million to North Dakota's treasury during the state's current two-year budget period, which ends in June.
"It seems the only gainers from allowing the use of this product are the big tobacco companies and groups, such as the government and organizations, which tax the product or sue the companies," he said.
Grosz said he would vote against all other measures on tobacco, including a tax increase, because trying to reduce tobacco use through those measures is like "putting a bandage on a severed leg."
Gov. John Hoeven's proposed two-year budget for North Dakota state government includes an increase in tobacco taxes, which would increase the levy on a pack of cigarettes from 44 cents to 79 cents.
Rep. Wes Belter, R-Leonard, chairman of the Finance and Taxation Committee, said he decided to vote no on the floor Monday because he believe prohibition would drive smoking underground.
His committee heard the bill last week and recommended a "do pass" on the bill by a 9-4 vote. Six of the nine committee members who voted yes on the bill changed their vote on the floor Monday.
Belter told the House that committee members were frustrated last week with the testimony from anti-tobacco groups that testified against the tobacco ban, including the North Dakota Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, North Dakota Public Health Association and North Dakota Nurses Association.
There's no evidence banning tobacco would prevent and reduce tobacco use because no such approach has been implemented, the groups argued. The ban also could take away certain funding forthese groups for tobacco control programs.
The North Dakota Grocer's Association supported the bill. Tom Woodmansee, the association's president, told lawmakers during the committee hearing that retailers have to spend too much time and money training employees on proper procedures for proof-of-age in selling tobacco products. He said retailers are subject to undercover stings by local law enforcement, fines and license suspension.
Belter did point out that legislators are "hooked on tobacco," even though not all smoke.
"It is time for us to think about just how hooked we are on tobacco, whether we smoke or not," he said.
Zhang covers the North Dakota Legislature. She can be reached at (701) 255-5520 or email@example.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Actually, several recent studies have shown Lockjaw to be right (as usual). According to researchers at Duke University's Nicotine Research Program, "the urge to light a cigarette can be more compelling than the physical need for nicotine."
Oh there is no doubt that the psychological addiction is quite substantial. And in all people one can be more compelling than the other.
But the physical addictive properties of nicotine, which are very substantial, have been know for well over 30 years, long before the cigarette nazi's came to power.
Depends on your definition of "addiction." Until anti-smoker crusader C. Everett Koop changed that definition in 1989 (it wasn't officially accepted until 1996), smoking was a "habituation." Now, of course, the term has been so corrupted it covers everything from video games to sex to chocolate--just so it could include smoking.
From the Harvard School of Medicine: "Distinctions Among Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction" - "Even under most established constructions of addiction, not all drug dependent patients evidence addictive behavior. For example, in most civilized countries, under nearly all traditional circumstances, people who are nicotine dependent do not evidence addiction with its attendant anti-social behavior pattern."
And from Surgeon General Luther Terry: ""Undoubtedly, the smoking habit becomes compulsive in some heavy smokers but the drive to compulsion appears to be solely psychogenic since physical dependence does not develop to nicotine or to other constituents of tobacco, nor does tobacco, either during its use or following withdrawal, create psychotoxic effects which lead to antisocial behavior...In contrast to drugs of addiction, withdrawal from tobacco never constitutes a threat to life. These facts indicate clearly the absence of physical dependence." --'Relationship of Smoking to Use of Addicting Drugs' (Surgeon General Luther L. Terry's Report on Smoking and Health)
Ask yourself how, if smoking is so damned addictive, there are 48 million ex-smokers in this country today, and the vast majority of them quit without "smoking cessation" aids and products.
Perhaps you should read the Surgeon Generals Report of 1988, delivered to Congress by Otis R. Bowen M.D., a Republican, who was Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, under George H.W. Bush, also a Republican, at the time. The report can be found here: Nicotine Addiction
In his transmittal letter to the House of Representatives Dr. Bowen states the following:
"The issue of tobacco addiction has been addressed in previous Surgeon General's Reports and in the medical literature beginning in the early 1900s"
Notice that Dr. Bowen uses the phrase tobacco addiction and not tobacco habituation. That statement alone gives one cause to have to seriously consider your allegation of a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy (VLWC) occurring in 1989 and officially accepted in 1996.
But if you read through the report you will find much more useful information concerning the addictive properties of Nicotine and many references to other sources of information concerning the topic. Of particular interest to perhaps yourself and others on this thread is the following quote, which can be found on page 4 of the Introduction to the report.
1. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting.
2. Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction
3. The pharmacologic and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
IOTW I don't care what the facts are, I am going to believe what I believe. I got to tell you that sounds like every other rational I have heard from an addict.
Is there something else at issue for you here?
I provided you with FACTS at odds with your statements, but you--as is typical of zealots--choose to discount or ignore them. Your first sentence above describes you perfectly, and your last is proof that the hysteria has worked, at least on you.
Is there something else at issue for you here?
There certainly is. As a friend of mine wrote recently: "This is a holy war about a belief system, a religion if you will, a religion that can only see tobacco smoke as some great Satan to be exorcised. Facts don't matter in this debate nearly so much as beliefs matter. This modern-day Inquisition tolerates no opposition, no dissent. Any who question the accepted beliefs is damned. Any who doubt the message are cast out of the holy ranks. Any who voice a contrary opinion are treated as heretics (branded as "addicts").
Now, would you care to address the PROOF I posted?
No. Because the issue you are trying to debate is so well established that it is now days currently beyond debate.
Sorry you can't see the truth for what it is.
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