The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter

July 8, 2005 Issue #336

"The government is best which governs least."  - Thomas Paine

Private Property Rights:
Privacy Tidbits.  I can also see it threatening the private-property rights argument against smoking bans, because the Court's ruling basically gives the government, not the owner, the right to decide how a property is to be used.
NH:  Proposal Made to Seize Souter's Property.  Following a Supreme Court ruling last week that gave local governments power to seize private property, someone has suggested taking over Justice David Souter's New Hampshire farmhouse and turning it into a hotel.
Let's all unite for a smoke-free world.   By Jim Stingl.  Boy, the nerve of these bar and restaurant owners who want to decide for themselves if they will allow smoking for their customers without government interference. They must think we're living in a free country or something. Don't make us come in there with our eminent domain powers and turn all these smoky joints into Walgreens stores.

DC:  D.C. Smoking Ban Proposal Withdrawn.
DC's Councilmember, At-Large Carol Schwartz speaks on smoking bans.  "As you know, I withdrew the alcohol ban legislation the same day as I introduced it, as I had planned to do all along. I had a point to make and I made it. I had to point out the slippery slope the Council and Mayor would be embarking us on if they begin taking away legal choices from consenting adults, as the smoking ban would do. I hope this will be a wake-up call that once you start toying with people's liberties, you never know where it might end."
Smoke Gets In Your Lies.  By Radley Balko.  I'd urge the D.C. city council to resist this tide of tyrannical healthism. Trust the residents and business owners of the nation's capital to make their own decisions about personal habits. You were elected to govern us, not to baby-sit us.
Backers of D.C. Smoking Ban Split on Tactics.  By Eric M. Weiss.  They also offered to vote against any effort next week to bypass Schwartz's committee and bring an emergency bill directly to the full council. Schwartz, chairman of the Public Works and the Environment Committee, has said she will block legislation from reaching the full council.

Tobacco treaty unratified in U.S.  Pact signed in 2004, but never sent to Senate.But Schneider said Altria, unlike R.J. Reynolds, favors having the Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco products and is using its influence in Congress to get a bill passed. "We believe the best and most effective way to implement [the goals of the treaty] is through FDA legislation," Schneider said.

Fire-safe cigarettes pose health risks.   The Assembly bill, set for a Senate hearing and then likely swift final approval, has advanced without discussion of data buried in a Harvard School of Public Health study this year that shows fire-safe cigarettes contain at least 10 percent more of two harmful ingredients.

UC Irvine Scholar to Study Embedded Anti-Smoking Messages in TV Sitcoms.  A $480,000 grant to research the potential effectiveness of incorporating anti-smoking messages in the plots or dialogues of major television shows.

Federal Funding for Mental Health Screening of Kids.  By Ron Paul.  If we act now, we still can prevent the federal government from creating a nationwide, mandatory program that will place millions of American youngsters into a stigmatized, drugged, mental health ghetto.

We Are Everyday People:

Anti-smokers lie about 'evils' of tobacco.  By Barbara Aucoin.  The anti-smokers are at it again, demanding that they have total control over how people live their lives.

IN MY VIEW: Fashioning an Effective and Appropriate Remedy to Restrain RICO Violations.  By Michael Siegel.  If public health groups really want to help the D.C. District Court fashion effect and appropriate remedies in the tobacco case, then I think their focus should be not on monetary remedies, which have no chance of being upheld, but rather on the non-monetary remedies, which is where I think the action is.

Puffed Up.  They huddle outside of bars, pack themselves into tiny, haze-filled rooms in airports and sneak away from restaurant tables for a quick cigarette on the sidewalk. In the past few years, smokers have been banished from a variety of public spaces. Now they're starting to get annoyed.

Smokeless Tobacco.  Groups say products are indeed safer.  Tobacco and other industries should be able to provide customers with all kinds of information, not just the what the government says is relevant.

From The Mailbag:

AL:  Fairhope Council rejects ban on smokers.
CA:  As Smoking Bans Grow, Some Say, 'Butt Out.'  Business Owners Say Sales Suffer From Ever-Tighter New Restrictions.
CO:  Steamboat Springs Update.  Ban leaves smokers fuming.
FL:  State ban on smoking still evokes emotions.
IL:  Chicago alderman introduces smoke-free ordinance for restaurants, bars.
IL:  Chicago.  Cameras put police ears to the ground.  Welcome to crime-fighting in the 21st century.
LA:  Why stop with ban only on smoking?
LA:  Smokers, not industry killed cigarette tax hike.
ME:  Fuming over tax.   Snow and other smokers wonder what would happen if the Legislature tried to levy an excise tax on coffee or scratch tickets or any other more acceptable habit. They figure nonsmokers should be concerned that one of their favorite activities will be targeted next.
MI:  Weyco Update.  Taking a stick to smoking costs may draw legal challenges.
MI:  Smoke and Terrors.  By Michael D. LaFaive.  Given the costs of such crime, the state should consider addressing Michiganís cigarette smuggling problem by cutting the excise tax that has made cigarette trafficking so popular.
MN:  Meeker County revises smoking proposal.
MN:  Smoking Ban Hurts Communities.
MO:  County panel cancels vote on smoking ban.  Pressure from Harrah's Casino and some restaurant owners in St. Louis County led supporters of a proposed smoking ban to pull the legislation Tuesday rather than gamble on its fate with the full County Council.  
ND:  Grand Forks Smoking ban passes.  It exempts a few businesses from the ban, most notably bars, including enclosed bars in hotels and bowling alleys.
NH:  Papers Pull Housing Ads After Complaints.
NM:  Smoking Ban Voted Down In Gallup.
OH:  Toledo smoking battle subsides.  Complaints fall since ban was softened.
OH:  Smokers fire back.  Tax increase prompts calls to file complaints.
OR:  Alan Bates: It's interesting to note that when you poll smokers about this, the numbers of smokers who support this tax is higher than the general public.
TX:  Brownsville Update.  Smoking ban will cost city jobs, revenue.
WI:  State Update.  Wait a minute! Some alders want to repeal smoking ban.
WI:  Internet Sales Records.
WI:  Smokers fume as Madison's smoking ban takes effect.  "We went too far,'' said Alderman Paul Skidmore, a sponsor of the council resolution to restore smoking in bars and eateries.
WI:  Anti-smoking proposal unveiled in Milwaukee.
WV:  The bar is owned by Ohio County Delegate Chris Wakim. Wakim told News9 he would not comply with the smoking ban regulation. 
WY:  Laramie considering relaxing smoking ban for some businesses.
Africa:  Doubling of Foreign Aid to Africa will not Lead to a Take-off into Self-sustained Growth.  These factors include adequate protection for property rights...
India:  Govt softens stand on smoking ban in films.
New Zealand:  Smokersí homes to stay chilly.   Organisers of a special project set up to insulate and draught proof older, colder homes for free are to be asked by Masterton District Council to give priority to non-smoking households.
New Zealand:  Owner Cleared.  He says country bars are suffering under the Smoke-free Act.
Scotland:  Tolerance goes up in smoke at debate.
USA:  All the USA Smoking Ban Alerts.
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter. All the Canada news.

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