Friday, December 31, 2004

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Say "good bye" to consideration and empathy for the individual at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital!

Here is another hospital to completely avoid in the Chicagoland area, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.

If you smoke, don't check in or visit here! Gottlieb has joined ranks with "Loyola University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwest Community Healthcare, St. Francis in Blue Island and four Advocate hospitals: Christ Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Good Shepherd Hospital and Lutheran General Hospital".

"Patients' families and visitors, especially, are at the hospital under stressful circumstances and may question a total smoking ban, but we hope everyone will cooperate, realizing that this is a place of healing and promoting good health."

Say "good bye" to consideration and empathy for the individual at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital!
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Gottlieb plans smoking ban

Gottlieb Memorial Hospital will ban smoking on its entire Melrose Park campus, effective June 1, 2005.

"Smoking has been prohibited inside all campus buildings for many years now," said hospital President John Morgan. "But the time has come to make a strong statement against the No. 1 cause of preventable illness and early death. It's time to provide clean, safe air outside as well as inside for all our patients, visitors, volunteers and physicians. As a hospital, we should be modeling healthy behaviors for the rest of our community."

Among area hospitals that already prohibit smoking on their campuses are Loyola University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwest Community Healthcare, St. Francis in Blue Island and four Advocate hospitals: Christ Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Good Shepherd Hospital and Lutheran General Hospital.

For the past four months, a Gottlieb task force has been planning and implementing a gradual transition to a smoke-free campus to help smokers acclimate to the change.

The hospital will not require that employees quit smoking, but for those who want to kick the habit there are: Discounts in the Professional Building Pharmacy on smoking cessation aids; a free stop smoking course, and lots of resource information, including the best Web sites and toll-free phone numbers to help them quit.

The task force will be working on other forms of assistance in the New Year as well.
Currently there are three designated outdoor smoking areas -- away from building entrances.

These will be eliminated one at a time starting April 1.

"We're very much aware of the potential for resistance as we phase out these areas and finally go smoke-free on June 1," said Jack Weinberg, chairman of the hospital's board of directors.

"Patients' families and visitors, especially, are at the hospital under stressful circumstances and may question a total smoking ban, but we hope everyone will cooperate, realizing that this is a place of healing and promoting good health."

Anyone found smoking on campus after May 31 will be asked politely, respectfully, but firmly, to comply with Gottlieb's policy.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hi Thomas,

I agree!! The non-smoking policies (especially in hospitals) are inhuman and purely a matter of dictatorial policies innovated by those in control. Stress, anger and frustration created by unreasonable rules do not contribute to an individual's health and recovery. (Can you visualize the arguments that must take place among smokers about the length and frequency of visits to loved ones and friends recovering in these smoke free campus hospitals? To me, a smoke break was always a welcome respite from the oppresive hosipal atmosphere.)

Hospitals are already competing with each other on the advertising mediums here. What if smokers begin to boycott hospitals that are so concerned with non-smoking politically correct campuses? What if patients begin requesting/demanding health care that respects the individual preferences of the "inmates"/patients and their visitors? Hospice and home care are becoming more popular.

Regarding smoking in your own car on hospital property, I would start up my car and leave if someone bothered me--of course I would return--once I had finished my cigarette. I get so furious! When we allowed seat belt laws to be passed, we gave up our rights for our automobiles to be respected as our private property.

I think I mentioned once before, in an earlier post, that even our legal system still makes certain concessions to smokers. Illinois has had a "clean air" law in effect for years that forbids smoking in public buildings. When I had to do my jury duty last year (2003), it was in Waukegan, Illinois. I was surprised to find that the court house provided one smoking room in the entire building--and it was for jurors only.

For the long, boring days that about 80 other unfortunates and myself were the property of the Lake County court system as potential jurors, we were not supposed to leave the courthouse all day. I'm sure the court system knew that smokers would go outside if not provided with an area to smoke. Our legal system considered our sequestering more important than all the non-smoking laws. Exceptions can be made anywhere!
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Thomas Laprade wrote:

Thunder Bay Regional Hospital has no smoking on the grounds and not even in your own car (that's the hospitals rules)

Can you see a security guard knocking on your car window and saying put that smoke out..This is unbelievable

Doesn't "Compassion" enter into the equation."promoting good health'??

They kicked the paraplegic out of the hospital and closed the smoking 'room', even though the hospital is his 'home' (he has to smoke outside and somebody has to hold his cigarette).

There is one hospital in Thunder Bay that has a smoking room, and yet they still advertise.."A smoke-free hospital, can't have all theses nurses standing outside smoking, now can you? Especially there is a nurse shortage in Canada

What the hell is wrong with 'Live and let live?'

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tillery's firm sues big tobacco again - Madison County, IL

Letter to:

The Madison County Record
301 N. Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025

Attn: Brian Timpone, Publisher
Steve Gonzalez, Courts Reporter
Ann Knef, Editor

RE: Tillery's firm sues big tobacco again - Opinion

Dear Madison Record:

First, thank you for your excellent, informative and unbiased news articles.

However, why am I not surprised that the infamous Madison County, IL is in the news again? This new lawsuit is obscene and would be an insult to any court system in our country. I wonder if the Kruegers and their attorneys can be sued for filing a frivolous lawsuit a second time, after requesting the case be dismissed "without prejudice" the first time? I wonder how Rebekah Krueger can live with herself, knowing that she is using her husband's illness in such a despicable manner?

Consumers (to the best of my knowledge) still voluntarily make their own choices when they make retail purchases. I have not learned of any lawsuits against the FDA, food manufacturers and retailers for selling "low fat" products under false pretenses for over twenty years.

Were these small convenience store chains even in business 24 years prior to 2000? Did Salem Lights exist in 1976? I am also curious as to what brand of cigarettes Gerald Krueger now smokes and where his cigarettes are now purchased. I doubt if he has quit smoking voluntarily after so many years.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Tillery's firm sues big tobacco again
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
By Steve Gonzalez - Edwardsville Bureau

Represented by trial attorney giants Korein Tillery of Belleville and SimmonsCooper of East Alton, a Nashville, Ill. couple filed a 12-count lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds (RJR) and Huck's Convenience Store in Madison County Circuit Court Dec. 28 for misrepresenting the amount of tar and nicotine contained in his smokes.

Gerald Krueger was diagnosed with lung cancer on Dec. 6, 2000, which he claims was caused by smoking 20-30 Salem Lights a day for more than 24 years.

He didn't know that he was receiving higher levels of tar and nicotine than RJR represented or that the smoke produced by Salem Lights is more mutagenic than regular cigarettes, Krueger claims.

Gerald’s wife, Rebekah Krueger, is also seeking damages alleging she has suffered “loss of the consortium, society, companionship, fellowship and other valuable services of her husband” since he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The Kruegers are seeking at least $600,000 in damages caused by RJR's and Huck’s alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, product liability and negligence.

According to the complaint, the first day Huck’s placed Salem Lights cigarettes into the stream of commerce, Hucks individually and jointly engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and courses of conduct that induced Krueger to purchase Salem Lights trough unfair and deceptive acts.

“Krueger would not have purchased Salem Lights but for defendant’s unfair and deceptive acts and practices,” the complaint states.

As a result of the alleged unfair practices and acts, Krueger alleges he did not receive lower tar and nicotine cigarettes when he purchased Salem Lights and the defendants allegedly violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, which Krueger claims led to his lung cancer.

Krueger claims he relied upon the implied warranty that Salem Lights were merchantable; however Huck’s allegedly breached the implied warranty in that they were not merchantable.

Rebekah Krueger also claims she is informed and believes that she is entitled to actual damages against Huck’s by reason of loss of consortium and society.

Gerald Krueger filed a lawsuit against RJR, Huck’s, Park N Shop supermarkets and Hit & Run in December 2003, but asked for the case to be dismissed without prejudice.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Court: State law doesn't prohibit local smoking ban

Hi Samantha and whaleyman999,

You know it's funny, because I sent this article to myself last night when I saw the Google alert. I was not sure how I felt about this mess in Montana, initially.

For what it's worth, I think our government officials and the courts are only beginning to comprehend what they have initiated by creating dictatorial smoking ban laws. They are creating their own "can of worms" by attempting to tack on more legislation to amend legislation that never should have been instituted in the first place. The elected officials in Montana seem to be getting a taste of the same tactics that are being inflicted upon private citizens and businesses all over the world.

What a massive misuse of government authority and our court systems. This seems to be a case of "poetic justice". It's a shame for the casinos, and I hope they sue. I will definitely sign the petitions.

"In December 2002, City Judge Myron Pitch ruled the ban was unenforceable because it did not allow someone charged with violating it to seek a jury trial. That decision was appealed by the city of Helena and is expected to be heard by a District Court judge."

The perfect outcome would be if the District Court judge completely overturns the Helena ban. It would set a precedent for ALL the other smoking bans!
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

December 28, 2004
Last modified December 28, 2004 - 3:00 pm

Court: State law doesn't prohibit local smoking ban
Associated Press

HELENA -- A state law intended to prohibit local governments from imposing smoking bans in gambling establishments has no force, the Montana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
In a 5-2 decision, the justices said the law the 2003 Legislature passed failed to "expressly" prohibit such bans, and therefore has no effect on any local ordinance that bans smoking in all public buildings, including bars and casinos.

"The state argues that although the Legislature did not use the word 'prohibited,' the exemption created by the statute is tantamount to a prohibition. We disagree," Justice William Leaphart wrote for the majority. "To exempt is not to prohibit."

The case was brought over a bill lawmakers passed in response to a 2002 voter-approved smoking ban in Helena. That ban prohibited smoking in all public buildings, but has been on hold while several legal challenges were mounted.

The Legislature responded by passing House Bill 758, which exempts businesses with gambling machines from the ordinance and any other local laws stricter than the state's indoor-air laws.
Backers of the smoking ban, including 11 state and national health organizations, sued to overturn the law excluding casinos. Rather than go through the usual process of a District Court trial, they asked the Supreme Court to take the case.

They argued the Legislature overstepped its constitutional bounds in passing the law exempting casinos from local smoking restrictions.

The majority of the justices concluded that lawmakers do have authority to prohibit such a ban from being enacted. However, they said that HB758 did not do that. Instead, the bill only "exempted" certain businesses from the ban.

"The Legislature did not effect an express prohibition of self-governing powers," Leaphart wrote.

He was joined in the majority by Justices James Nelson, Patricia Cotter, Jim Regnier and Chief Justice Karla Gray. Gray, however, filed her own opinion, in which she also dissented with a portion of the court's ruling on the validity of local indoor smoking ordinances.

Cotter, in her own concurring opinion, wrote that HB758 likely violated the Montana Constitution because it attempted to grant a "special privilege to the video gaming industry."

"Nothing in the constitution or the laws of this state gives the Legislature the authority to at once allow the exercise of power by a self-governing city, while declaring that certain entities or establishments shall be exempt" from self-government authority, Cotter wrote.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Warner, who was joined by Justice Jim Rice, wrote that the state's power to regulate gambling "includes the power to regulate the premises wherein it is conducted."

"The decision whether to allow smoking where gambling is allowed is within the power of the state," he argued.

Mark Staples, an attorney and lobbyist for the Montana Tavern Association, was out of his office Tuesday and did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Rich Miller, executive director of the Montana Gaming Industry Association in Helena, said he had not read the opinion and couldn't comment.

Jim Reynolds, an attorney for supporters of the Helena ban, said he was "obviously very pleased" with the court's ruling.

Dr. Bob Shepard of Helena, one of the chief backers of the Helena smoking ban, said he was relieved by the court's decision, which will allow other pending litigation over the ban to now move forward.

"It means we're now going back to the public health aspect," he said, "which is what the real issue here should be, protecting the health of Helena residents who voted for this smoking ban."
Tuesday's ruling had nothing to do with the constitutionality of Helena's ban itself. That issue still is expected to come before a District Court judge.

In December 2002, City Judge Myron Pitch ruled the ban was unenforceable because it did not allow someone charged with violating it to seek a jury trial. That decision was appealed by the city of Helena and is expected to be heard by a District Court judge.

Copyright © 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Looks like the New York Dept of Health, hiding behind a group called Reality Check, has messed with the wrong people this time.

...the group actually wants the smoking scenes removed from classics like "Casablanca," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


New York Post, 2004-12-27
Richard Johnson with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson

December 27, 2004 --

NOT content with trampling smokers' rights, the New York State Dept. of Health has launched an insidious campaign to erase all traces of tobacco from the movies.

The department's tobacco control program was behind the formation of Reality Check, a well-funded group supposedly started by and for teens against smoking. One of R.C.'s missions is to eradicate smoking from the movies, and their methods have put some noses out of joint.

In fact, it's causing conflict between state agencies, since R.C.'s programs are clashing with the artistic freedom espoused by the New York State Council on the Arts. In particular, R.C.'s operation to sponsor independent film festivals and then demand that no smoking be shown has caused some hard feelings.

The Arts Council helps fund the Woodstock Film Festival, based in the arty upstate burg bearing its name. Reality Check sponsored this year's festival as well, which was attended by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Laura Linney, Sam Rockwell, Fisher Stevens and Matt Dillon.

A couple of months ago, filmmaker Ford Crull was planning to make a promotional trailer for this year's Woodstock festival, done as a spoof on film noir and naturally containing a smoking scene. But he was told to scrap it because of R.C., which demanded an on-screen smoking ban.

Crull informed Karen Helmerson, director of electronic media and film at the state arts council, of the censorship. Helmerson has now blasted R.C.'s "subversive repres- sion of creative interpretation and creative speech."

"I will certainly bring this to the attention of our chairman to learn what, if anything, we can do as a state agency and arts funder," Helmerson wrote to Crull. "This is atrocious, of course. Made worse by the bogus claim that this is a youth-initiated movement."

Insiders say Reality Check plans an even more outrageous campaign, however. In addition to pressuring studios to keep smoking and cigarettes out of new movies — beginning with all films rated G, PG and PG-13 — the group actually wants the smoking scenes removed from classics like "Casablanca," "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Dept. of Health spokesperson Claire Pospisil promised to look into the issue.

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Of Smoking and Despots

Below is a very quotable excerpt from an editorial by Rudy Takala, found in the Smokers Club Newsletter, Issue #309.

September 20, 2004
Of Smoking and Despots
Rudy Takala

".......If in a thousand years someone wonders how America fell, there will be no mistake: it was because America’s government collapsed under the weight of its responsibilities. Its subjects were too stupid to walk out of a bar filled with smoke; so they made government rectify the problem. They were too forgetful to use suggested safety precautions; and because they were too apathetic to dispose of their own money as a reminder when they forgot to use them, they made government dispose of it for everyone. They were easily influenced by the power of suggestion; so they made government outlaw things they saw advertised to keep from buying them. And finally, someone noticed that they didn’t know how, when or where elections were held because government had exiled the former rappers who used to explain it to them; therefore, elections were discontinued in the name of voting equality.

Smoking isn’t special; it’s just another excuse for government to become despotic. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but at least it’ll be smoke-free."

Thursday, December 23, 2004 11:49 AM
Smoking ban will crimp charitable gambling - Bloomington, MN

Ironically, it is the insatiable progressive do-gooders so infatuated with creating "pseudo-communities" who cannot recognize that authentic community is inevitable collateral damage in their misguided war on secondhand smoke.

.......But then the self-righteous will be able to drink and dine without the annoyance of other people's bad habits. What is value of an American flag on the coffin of a war veteran compared to a benefit like that?


Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004
Smoking ban will crimp charitable gambling

'Civil society" is the free and voluntary association of individuals in families, churches, schools, clubs, fraternal societies, veteran's organizations and the like. "Civil society" may be broadly defined in the single word "community."
Community is the natural way for society to take care its own. People in trouble first turn to family, then friends, then charitable organizations within their community. However, for a community to take care of its own, it must have funds to do so.

Ironically, it is the insatiable progressive do-gooders so infatuated with creating "pseudo-communities" who cannot recognize that authentic community is inevitable collateral damage in their misguided war on secondhand smoke.

Last week at VFW Post 1296 in Bloomington, in a conference room with ashtrays on the table, representatives from Bloomington veterans' organizations and service clubs talked about their charitable contribution to the community and how it might be affected by that city's smoking ban. Much of it will go up in non-existent smoke.
Organizations sponsoring charitable gambling donate almost $900,000 annually to Bloomington and contiguous cities. Most revenue comes from charitable gambling — pull tabs and raffles — and revenue associated with bingo. Once the smoking ban goes into effect, organization officers predict a sharp decline in charitable funds. Bloomington Eagles Club Trustee James Crary estimates revenue will decrease 70 percent.

As documented where smoking bans are in place, from the province of New Brunswick, Canada, to the states of New York and California, neighborhood bars and restaurants have seen significant declines in customers and in the time customers spend eating and drinking.

For example, a survey by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association during the first month of the province's ban that took effect Oct. 1, found New Brunswick's smoking ban was having a negative impact on establishments with bars, pubs, taverns, legions and night clubs. In this survey, 71 percent of respondents reported sharp declines in liquor sales. In small businesses the effect was pronounced, with pubs, taverns and bars reporting that liquor sales fell almost 14 percent from the same time a year earlier. At legion clubs, the survey found, the decline was almost 19 percent.

For the Bloomington organizations, such an effect would translate into fewer pull tabs and fewer raffle tickets.

Plus, added service club member Jim Algeo, studies have documented a connection between gambling and smoking. Smokers gamble more, a connection that has an even greater impact on bingo halls.

Estimates range as high as 60 percent for the number of bingo players who smoke. Crary and Jim Newcomer, commander of VFW Post 1296 predict that once the smoking ban goes into effect, bingo will die as a source of charitable funds in Bloomington and player will migrate to the Indian casino at Mystic Lake. For the VFW, which rents the attached space next to its club for use as a bingo hall, that could mean as much as $182,000 in lost revenue.

What do losses like that mean to the community? Steve Enebo, a VFW trustee, and Patty Gustner, club manager for American Legion Post 550, rattled off a number of contributions to veterans organizations and to active service men and women and their families — everything from washers, dryers and television sets for the VA medical center to "care packages" for military personnel to Cub Foods certificates for military families to honor guards for funerals to a hospice suite at the VA medical center.

Along with the Eagles and other service organizations, the VFW and American Legion contributed to the Bloomington fire department for the purchase of thermal imaging equipment, technology that enables firefighters to quickly locate an unconscious person in a smoke-filled room — three units at $17,000 each.

Groups benefiting from Eagles Club contributions include Creekside, a community center for senior citizens, the city's police department Canine Corps and Cornerstone Advocacy Services, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

Algeo cited a pair of full tuition scholarships to Bloomington Kennedy and Jefferson students attending the University of Minnesota. Gustner noted that the Legion Post provides funds to purchase books for Kennedy High School. All the organizations make contributions to Bloomington youth athletic teams, scouting organizations and other youth activities. The list goes on.

Many, if not all of these community-inspired charitable contributions may well be wiped out by the smoking ban. Some will be replaced by tax dollars. Some, the most personal and most appreciated, will prove too trivial for the bureaucracy to bother with and simply cease to be.

But then the self-righteous will be able to drink and dine without the annoyance of other people's bad habits. What is value of an American flag on the coffin of a war veteran compared to a benefit like that?

Westover is an Afton writer who blogs at www.craigwestover. .
E-mail him at .

Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - Madison, IL
First Smokers – Now Eaters; What Next?

I wanted to share this excellent Letter to the Editor from Madison, Illinois.

Madison County's Legal Journal

First Smokers – Now Eaters; What Next?
Sunday, December 19, 2004

To the editor:

Phew!!! I now enjoy a relatively risk-free life from dying from lung cancer, thanks to the stop-smoking busy bodies who saved me from second-hand smoke.

I can’t express enough gratitude for the way they forced otherwise good, hardworking, God-fearing citizens to retire to the middle of a hay field to enjoy the full-tilt flavor of a Merit® Ultra Lights 100®. Now I have to write a bunch of thank you notes to the Centers for Disease Control for their attempts to save me from second-hand flab!

Even though the science behind the ill-effects of second-hand flab is no better than that for second-hand smoke, the CDC is going out of their way to force those same good, hardworking, God-fearing citizens to have to run back and forth from their jobs to the middle of the same hay field to ward off the ill-effects from enjoying the full-tilt flavor of a McDonalds® Happy Meal®.

Doctor Julie Gerberding of the CDC, in spite of mathematical errors that made a recent study absolutely worthless, explains that 400,000 of 2.4 million fat people who died in the year 2000 may have caught their condition via second-hand flab.

Second-hand flab is what you risk when you stand behind a fat person while in line at the grocery store. Unhealthy food may get mixed up on the unsanitary food conveyor at the checkout counter. You risk it when sitting next to a fat person at a lunch counter. Shared gravy is a common source of contamination from second-hand flab. “It ought to be against the law!” says Doctor Julie.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who himself is recovering from second-hand flab, sites the mathematically-challenged CDC study when addressing members of Congress and third-grade classrooms. He urges the Food and Drug Administration to more rapidly to approve drugs designed to ward off or prevent second-hand flab and encourages the children to line up for anti-flab vaccinations.

Dixie Snider, who is the Chief of Science of the CDC (the job comes with an Indian headdress much like the one worn by Chief Screaming Eagle in the F-Troop TV Series; which is weird because he was a peace pipe smoker!), admits that the CDC study isn’t worth the paper is written on, but nevertheless knows in her cholesterol-laden heart that the ill-effects of second-hand flab can not be overstated.

“Congress must do something about this!” she stresses.

Senator Ted Kennedy, himself a reformed flabber (though he relapses from time to time; heck, who doesn’t?), is not surprisingly proposing a flab tax to put an end to second-hand flab. Of course, this tax will be levied by the pound.

Andrew P. Palmer

Steven V. Dubin
PR Works has recently moved Corporate Offices to -
51 Lot Phillips Road
Kingston, MA 02364
(Direct line) 781-582-1061
(Cellular) 781-864-1837

December 2004
States With Laws That Prohibit Employers From Discriminating Against Smokers

As of 1997, 28 states had passed laws forbidding employer discrimination based on smoking status. These states are: Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.
Following are copies of my letters to the ACLU and WSJ, though I received no response from either one....

Attn: American Civil Liberties Union

RE: Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against smokers

Dear Sir/Madam:

The following story from The Wall Street Journal states "Such antismoking policies are problematic for companies with employees in states with smokers' rights laws. Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against smokers. As a result, Weyco will continue to employ one smoker in Illinois, even after its policy in Michigan goes into effect, Mr. Climes says."

I would like to know if corporations in the states with laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against smokers (Illinois in this case) are employing one "token" smoking employee in the same manner that employers kept one "token" racial minority employee on their payrolls in past years.

What measures is the ACLU taking currently to fight this kind of discrimination? I am a member of the ACLU and would like to know if my membership is still worthwhile.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281


Danforth Austin, General Manager
Robert Bartley, Vice President; Editor
Marcus Brauchli, National News Senior Editor
Paul Steiger, Managing Editor
Laurie McGinley , Health Pod Leader
KRIS MAHER / WSJ Staff Reporter

RE: Companies Are Closing Door On Job Applicants Who Smoke ($$)

Dear Sirs/Madam:

Mr. Kris Maher stated in The Wall Street Journal story referenced below, "Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against smokers."

I live in Illinois. I would like to know the names of the other twenty-eight states that have laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against smokers. Your assistance will be most appreciated.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Companies Are Closing Door On Job Applicants Who Smoke ($$)
The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition


Kick the habit -- or don't bother applying for the job.

That is the dictum at a growing number of companies that are adopting tough measures to eliminate smokers from their ranks in an effort to rein in health-care costs. Some are requiring job applicants to undergo nicotine testing or respond to questions about their smoking habits. Others are forcing current employees who won't quit smoking to give up their jobs.

On Jan. 1, Weyco Inc., a small medical-benefits administrator, no longer will employ people who smoke at its Okemos, Mich., headquarters . . .

Such antismoking policies are problematic for companies with employees in states with smokers' rights laws. Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against smokers. As a result, Weyco will continue to employ one smoker in Illinois, even after its policy in Michigan goes into effect, Mr. Climes says.

Nevertheless, smokers increasingly face hiring hurdles even at companies that don't have formal antismoking policies. "There is discrimination at many companies -- and maybe even most companies -- against people who smoke,"

RE: Smoking Foes' Survey Finds Ban Backing

Attn: Chris LaFortune
Pioneer Press - Oak Park, IL

Dear Mr. LaFortune:

Thank you for an excellent and unbiased article. It appears that Oak Park does not have much of a majority among residents to propose a village ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places. In addition, 70% of Oak Park restaurants already are voluntarily smoke free.

Downtown Oak Park's board of directors, Executive Director, Donna Ogdon Chen "said that the campaign's results were different than the village's own resident satisfaction survey earlier this year. That reported 85 percent of those polled said second-hand smoke in public places was either not a problem or a minor problem."

This is just one more case of the local health department and the American Lung Association refusing to respect individual rights or opinions on smoking ban issues in a community, and using misleading questions on a survey to obtain the distorted results they so relentlessly pursue to retain their funding dollars.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Smoking foes' survey finds ban backing

Survey results released Thursday by the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Oak Park found that 66 percent of respondents support a proposed village ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

The survey polled 301 Oak Park residents and 300 others from Forest Park, River Forest, Berwyn, Cicero and Elmwood Park. The telephone survey was conducted at random and has a margin of error of 4 percent, said Mark Peysakhovich of the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Oak Park.

Forty-four percent of Oak Park residents said they would be more likely to vote for a mayoral or village trustee candidate who supported a smoke-free ordinance, the survey found.

Oak Park's Health Department has proposed the ban based on the established hazards of exposure to second-hand smoke for both workers and customers of public places. The Village Board is expected to consider the proposed ordinance next month.

Peysakhovich, an American Lung Association spokesman and village resident, said most Oak Parkers want the Village Board to protect restaurant patrons and workers from the health dangers of second-hand smoke.

"It's simply unconscionable if the Village Board devotes hundreds of hours of attention to whether you can have two dogs or three, and meanwhile, people are being gassed to death when they work or eat in dangerous environments," he said.

Downtown Oak Park's board of directors decided Thursday to oppose the proposed ban, before it saw results of the survey, Executive Director Donna Ogdon Chen said.

"There is a concern for our members who feel that there would be a potential negative impact . . . if this ban were to take place," she said.

Ogdon Chen said that the campaign's results were different than the village's own resident satisfaction survey earlier this year. That reported 85 percent of those polled said second-hand smoke in public places was either not a problem or a minor problem.

"I think different ways you ask different questions can produce different results," Ogdon Chen said.

The campaign's survey also found that 53 percent of respondents are more likely to go to a smoke-free restaurant, and that 61 percent think non-smoking sections don't provide enough protection from second-hand smoke.

Twenty percent of Oak Park respondents at least occasionally leave the village to find smoke-free restaurant options, the survey found. Seventy-six percent said it made no difference.

"That fully a fifth of the customers leave Oak Park has got to be a scary statistic for our village leaders and the village business community," Peysakhovich said. "It means losing lots of revenue and tax dollars."

Fifty-three percent of residents said they would be either more likely or much more likely to go to a restaurant if they knew it was smoke-free, according to the survey. Six percent said they would be somewhat or less likely to go to such a restaurant.

"Most sit-down restaurants in Oak Park allow smoking," he said. "This is a huge problem.

But 70 percent of Oak Park restaurants already are smoke free, Illinois Restaurant Association President Colleen McShane, and Oak Park resident, said Monday. That figure includes institutional dining spots including school and hospital cafeterias.

Businesses need the flexibility to be able to serve all customers, McShane said, smokers and non-smokers.

"I think this is a perfect situation where we have a solution looking for a problem," she said.

Chris LaFortune can be reached at

Tobacco suit bond to pay off debt on Criminal Courts Building

How enlightening to learn that Madison County is spending bond funds provided by their court system, nicknamed a "judicial hellhole" in some legal circles", to benefit themselves.


Posted on Wed, Dec. 15, 2004

Tobacco suit bond to pay off debt on Criminal Courts Building

Madison County will smoke the mortgage on its new Criminal Courts Building because of a $10.1 billion tobacco lawsuit verdict that brought criticism to its court system.

The county plans to pay off the $1.7 million mortgage with about $2 million it has received for holding bond money for parties in the Phillip Morris light cigarette lawsuit.

Paying off the 10-year loan will save the county $200,000 a year in interest, County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan said Tuesday.

"It's a windfall," Dunstan said. "The ideal place for it to be used is to pay for the Criminal Courts Building."

The county has spent another $2 million renovating the former Florist Mutual insurance office building in downtown Edwardsville. The remodeled building on St. Louis Street is scheduled to open next month.

he renovation has been financed with part of $6.5 million the county received from the sale of prime commercial land it once owned on Troy Road, off Illinois 159 in Edwardsville.

Phillip Morris last year lost a class-action lawsuit that claimed it deceived smokers into believing its light cigarette has less nicotine than its regular.

The cigarette maker has appealed the $10.1 billion judgment.

The county got its windfall because both sides agreed to give the county 20 percent interest for holding bond money until a ruling on the appeal is handed down, Dunstan said.

Dunstan said he doesn't expect the county to collect much more money because a court ruling is expected soon.

The Phillip Morris case is one of several high-money, class-action lawsuits that have brought allegations that Madison County courts favor civil injury lawyers. The national reputation earned it the nickname "judicial hellhole" in some legal circles.

The courts were not directly involved in the holding of the bond money.

The decision to spend the bond interest money on the Criminal Courts Building was made by the County Board.


Here, in the ALA's own words, is what they have doing this year. Know your enemies!
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


From: American Lung Association Action Network
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 10:49 AM
Year End Update from American Lung Association Action Network


Thanks to the hard work – and quick response – of American Lung Association Action Network activists, progress was made on several federal issues during 2004.

Your calls, letters and other contacts with federal policymakers are clearly having an impact. We look forward to working with you in 2005!


We had some success on tobacco this year but, unfortunately, we still fell short.
For the first time ever, the full Senate approved legislation to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the contents and advertising of tobacco products. On two occasions, the Senate passed FDA legislation first as part of a larger corporate tax bill then as a stand-alone FDA regulation bill (S. 2974), introduced by Sens. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The House of Representatives blocked the FDA provision added to the corporate tax bill and declined to consider S. 2974. The Lung Association is meeting with our champions in Congress to ensure that FDA regulation legislation is re-introduced early in the new 109th Congress in 2005.

During House consideration of appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we prevented the use of taxpayer funds to pay for the $10 billion buyout of tobacco grower’s quotas. That successful measure was drafted by Reps. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

On a global note, on May 10, 2004, at the urging of Lung Association advocates, the Bush Administration signed the first-ever international public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), aimed at curbing tobacco use around the world. Now we are urging President Bush to send the treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification. Meanwhile, Peru became the 40th nation to ratify the pact. (Click here to see our press release.) The American Lung Association Action Network will continue to press the president to send the treaty to the Senate for ratification so that it can take effect in this country.

In other tobacco-related issues, American Lung Association Action Network advocates continued to push for an increase in the federal cigarette excise tax by $1.00 to fund public health programs (defeated in the Senate) and supported legislation to limit youth access to tobacco products via the Internet. The Internet legislation passed the full U.S. Senate and a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee but Congress adjourned before further action was taken. We will continue to work on these issues during the 109th Congress.


On the air quality front, American Lung Association Action Network advocates fought to protect public health by defending the Clean Air Act.

Network members urged Congress to oppose legislation (H.R. 999/S. 485), the Administration’s so-called “Clear Skies” bill. That measure would repeal key Clean Air Act enforcement programs, limit the ability of states to protect their citizens from air pollution and sentence another generation of Americans to breathing dirty air by delaying needed pollution reductions for decades. Lung Association advocates let Congress know that simply enforcing the current Clean Air Act would provide greater pollution reductions sooner than the Administration plan. Thanks to your opposition the 108th Congress ended without taking action on H.R. 999/S. 485.
Network participants also pushed the EPA to require steep, nationwide cuts in emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from fossil-fueled power plant smokestacks and large industrial facilities by 2009. The EPA had proposed a weaker approach that would allow the plants to pollute until 2015.

On December 11, 2004, EPA announced it was delaying action on the power plant clean up to allow consideration of the so-called "Clear Skies bill". The Lung Association remains opposed to that approach and will be calling on Congress to oppose this bill and urge EPA to adopt the nearly complete power plant clean up regulations as soon as possible. Look for action alerts in January 2005.

On May 10, 2004 EPA finalized the rules to clean up heavy equipment and other nonroad engines and diesel fuel. This action was a big victory for public health. In 2003, network members had sent thousands of comments urging EPA to adopt these rules that are estimated to save 12,000 lives a year when fully implemented. In the summer, the Lung Association asked EPA for a tough new rule to clean up the last remaining underregulated dirty diesel engines – locomotive and marine engines. The Lung Association asked Leavitt for tough new standards as soon as possible and no later than 2011. We are waiting for EPA to take the next step on these regulations.

EPA continues its review of National Ambient Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particle pollution (soot). The Lung Association supports stronger long- and short-term standards for fine particles in order to protect the people most sensitive to particle air pollution – infants and children, especially those with asthma, the elderly, and people with pre-existing lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.

American Lung Association Action Network advocates joined forces to support legislative and regulatory action on influenza, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and tuberculosis.

Thousands of advocates sent comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support a proposed rule that would make air travel easier for oxygen-dependent people, including those who suffer from COPD. The FAA rule would permit the use of certain portable oxygen concentrator devices on aircraft. The Lung Association considers the rule a step in the right direction for passengers with lung disease who require supplementary oxygen. The FAA has yet to take final action on the proposal. We will contact you with the results.

As the 2004 influenza vaccine shortage was making headlines, Network participants began contacting Congress to urge passage of the Flu Protection Act (S. 2038/H.R. 3758). Among other things, that measure requires the CDC to contract with vaccine makers to ensure an adequate supply in coming years, expand public education and public availability of influenza shots, and invest in faster research for alternative vaccines. Although this comprehensive legislation did not pass before Congress adjourned for the year, we did succeed in getting an allocation of $100 million for the secretary of health and human services to purchase influenza vaccine to ensure a year-round supply and to develop and implement rapidly expandable influenza vaccine production technologies. We will be meeting with key congressional leaders to plan next steps to address the influenza vaccine issue.

Network participants throughout the country signed the American Lung Association Asthma Bill of Rights, a petition promoting a series of rights to help children with asthma better manage their illness. Those rights include access to regular medical care and affordable medicine; a cleaner environment at home, at school and in their communities; a better understanding of their asthma and development of an action plan to help manage it; and a safe, supportive asthma-friendly school. There is still time to sign onto the petition, which will be presented to President Bush in 2005. (To sign the petition, click here.)

Network advocates joined the American Lung Association’s World TB Day 2004 efforts on March 24 by urging their Members of Congress to cosponsor the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act (S. 1559/H.R. 2068), introduced by Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Heather Wilson (R-NM). The bill would increase funds for TB training, treatment and education programs, and authorizes $240 million for TB vaccine development. No action was taken on the bill before Congress adjourned. We will continue to work with our champions on the Hill to see funding increased for domestic and global TB programs.

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2004
Smoking bans test families, but experts point out benefits

Attention: Virginia Anderson
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dear Ms. Anderson:

I hope the Antis and Health Experts, who are lining their pockets with smokers' tax dollars, are pleased with themselves. They will not be satisfied until smoking is completely eradicated! I wonder where they will find their endless funding grants if they should succeed?

Now, they are polarizing families through their Junk Science studies and the false unsubstantiated beliefs they have propagated. Just why is it that Asthma cases continue to increase in our population as people have been exposed less and less to smokers? Perhaps the "health experts" should do still another study to find out.

This whole smoking issue is going to come down to a world wide domestic civil war at the rate we are progressing!
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!
Smoking bans test families, but experts point out benefits

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 12/21/04

Tessie Marks loves going home for the holidays.

The 33-year-old Atlanta mother of four can lie on her mother's bed and relax, letting the stresses of raising four children, going to school and working melt away.

"Mom's house is always cozy and warm and inviting," said Marks, a dialysis technician who is studying to become a nurse. "Going home feels like a big hug."

This year, however, Marks may not be going home for the holidays. Her mother, Marie Sanders, is drawing a line in the smoke: No one, not even her children, can smoke in her Atlanta apartment.

That means that Marks, who is trying to quit smoking but has been unsuccessful, may skip the Christmas get-together. She isn't sure she can go all day without a cigarette. She also is a little thrown off by the boundary her mother has drawn.

Her mother said she is doing it to protect her 18-year-old son Jonathan's health.

"I started getting more stern because my baby boy is asthmatic," Sanders said of Jonathan, who lives at home. "So I drew the line. I started putting up the tree last night, and Jonathan said, 'Why are you doing that?' No one's coming.'"

The line may be hard, but many doctors cheer it.

Evidence grows each year that secondhand smoke not only greatly increases a person's risk of lung cancer but also contributes to asthma, middle ear infections, sinus infections and chronic lung disease. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last spring suggested that secondhand smoke can even trigger a heart attack.

The observational study in Helena, Mont., showed that hospital admissions for heart attack declined by about 40 percent during the six months in which a smoking ban in public places was in effect. The number of admissions rebounded after the ordinance was suspended.

As a result, advocacy groups like the American Lung Association and many doctors who treat people with asthma and other chronic lung diseases recommend banning indoor smoke and its residue altogether.

That means no smoking in garages, basements or sun porches, and it means declining an invitation to take children to the home of smoking adults.

Doctors who treat patients with lung diseases insist that there's no room for negotiation because no room is safe when cigarette smoke is around.

"Smoke doesn't have barriers," said Dr. Kelvin Holloway, associate professor of medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine and a board member of the American Lung Association. "It clings to drapes, carpet, clothes, everything."

Sanders decided she reached her limit this year after Marks was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that causes inflammation in the body's tissues.

Marks said she desperately wants to quit but has struggled because of the stressors in her life. She's recently divorced, a single mother of four, a dialysis technician and a student. She also struggles financially.

Experts suggest that smokers discuss their smoking and the family's reaction to it before the holiday.

Nonsmokers should be supportive of efforts by smokers to stop smoking. Nonsmokers should try to limit guilt trips and self-righteousness but be firm that smoking is a no-no.

That's a delicate balance, doctors say. "It's so dependent on the family dynamic," Holloway said.
He recommends that all parties stay as calm as possible and keep focused on the health issue, not shame and guilt. "And if you cannot press upon them that they need to cease for health's sake, then you may need to look for other options," he said.

As Sanders and Marks have pondered their choice of a Christmas without each other, they feel unhappy.

Marks said she may soften by Christmas, as the thought of her mother's apartment beckons.

"My mother is a wonderful person," Marks said. "I want to make her proud. I really, really, really want to stop."


If smokers visit you:

• Ban all indoor smoke; do not allow smoking in separate rooms of the house or garage.

• Allow smoking only outdoors. Going into another room or even the garage does not keep the cigarette poisons out of the air.

• Tell smokers the nonsmoking rules in advance.

• Ask what you can do to support their cessation efforts.

• Provide a "smoking jacket" for the smoker to use outside, and then remove before coming back indoors. The jacket could be an old bathrobe or shirt.

• Make sure they know you are banning smoke because you love them and value good health.

If you plan to visit a smoker:

• Renegotiate, particularly if you have young children. If you or a child have a chronic lung condition such as asthma, doctors suggest having the family gathering at a nonsmoking location. Nonsmokers are well within their rights to decline an invitation to a smoker's house, but be prepared for some hurt feelings.

• Educate the smoker that drapes and furnishings will still contain smoke that could trigger an attack even if they don't smoke during a visit. Explain your position gently and stress health rather than point fingers of blame.

For example, you could say, "I've read that cigarette smoking contains as many as 200 toxins. Doctors now link it to several cancers, not only lung cancer. It can trigger asthma and a heart attack. I want to keep my family, including you, healthy. So I'd like you to consider coming to my house for the holidays." That could be more productive, experts said, than something like this: "I've really had it with your disgusting habit. It stinks. I don't know why you can't quit. We're staying home this year."

• Educate smokers about the dangers of second-hand smoke and its devastating effect on children.

• Make sure they know you are banning smoke because you love them and value good health.

• Ask the smoker if he or she would like to stop. If so, pledge your support and give him or her the number for the Georgia Quit Line.

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2004

Congratulations to the movie industry for "stonewalling the states Attorney General, sandbagging leading health organizations" and refusing to be intimidated by the Antis. Also, nice to know that "" has the funds to advertise in major publications....
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Smoke Free Movies has launched a series of print advertisements in the Variety and other publications. Their advertisement first ran on December 20, 2004:

• AD: It wasn't from a lawyer, Mr. Farrell, just a hopeful kid in Wellsville.
Source: Smokefree, 2004-12-20

Envelope and glimpse of actual letter signed with first name only. How much effort did it take for kids to send 100,000 letters to the likes of Colin Farrel, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Cameron Diaz? Less than it takes for each letter to be refused and returned unopened. For the second year in a row, your biggest fans have told you that they don't want their sisters and brothers manipulated into smoking by youth-rated movies. What would it cost your industry to agree with them? Nothing. Because smoking doesn't sell movie tickets. But movies keep on selling smoking. Even shareholders are growing concerned.

Meanwhile, the studios are still stonewalling the state attorneys general and sandbagging leading health organizations. But just in case liability catches up, the studios are also busy drawing a distinction between themselves, as mere distributors with no input into films, and all those willful producers, directors and actors they can't control.

Fact: No PG-13 movie would show teens playing Russian roulette, putting even one life at risk. Yet 80% of PG-13 movies show smoking larger than life, helping to replace every smoker who dies with 390,000 new young smokers a year.
Why doesn't anyone answer the kids?

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2004

Alright! Way to go! Pierce Brosnan joins in objecting to smoking bans along with Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt.

Suave actor PIERCE BROSNAN has attacked his native Ireland for its recent ban on smoking in public places.

The 51-year-old complains he has to travel to London to enjoy cigarettes and alcohol with friends, because the new law has destroyed pub culture in his homeland.
He says, "I can only enjoy the boozer in London. In Ireland you can't smoke, so that's slowly changing pub culture. It's a shame. The old cigarettes are good.

"When you are with a bunch of mates at 3am and the ciggies are flying around and you're shooting the breeze, owning the world, ruling the universe and having the best ideas, ciggies are great."

Mon Dec 20, 2004
FDA Regulations on Dangerous and Misrepresented Pharmaceutical Products


Although the American Progress Report is a political newsletter, the excerpt below on currently dangerous and misrepresented pharmaceutical products is relevant to Smokers Rights. The pharmaceutical industry seems to be given free reign, while tobacco products are focused upon as being dangerous. Current federal regulations can only be justified by legislators living in an "Alice in Wonderland" fantasy. If our health experts are so concerned about national health, they need to devote more attention to the major drug companies.

To access most the links supplied below, you will need to go to the original American Progress URL and register with the various linked news agencies--well worth your time.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!
Another Painful Case
The drug maker Pfizer "reaffirmed its commitment" over the weekend to keep its prescription painkiller, Celebrex, on the market, despite a disclosure last week that the drug more than tripled the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death among those taking high doses in a national trial. That level of risk is even greater than the one found in patients taking the similar painkiller, Vioxx, in a similar trial that led Merck to withdraw Vioxx in September. The results have "raised new questions about how well federal drug regulators protect the public and worsened drug makers' already dismal image." Indeed, reports following the discovery have shown Celebrex, "fast-tracked" by the agency and never even proved it protected the stomach from gastrointestinal problems associated with aspirin and ibuprofen – its primary advantage over existing pain relievers.

MARKETING TO MIDDLE AGE: Celebrex and Vioxx were designed for senior citizens, who have the highest risk of stomach bleeding – "principally people over 65 years who have suffered from gastrointestinal problems," – but marketed aggressively to middle-aged Americans, who could have benefited just as well from traditional painkillers like aspirin. Dorothy Hamill, the 1976 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, "was the middle-aged celebrity face of Vioxx," while commercials for Celebrex targeted "baby boomers beginning to suffer from arthritis." Many medical experts "now say that Celebrex and Vioxx, selling for $2 or $3 a pill, have been too widely prescribed to patients who could safely obtain the same pain benefits from over-the-counter drugs costing pennies apiece." Under pressure from the FDA, Pfizer now says it will halt advertising to consumers, but not to doctors.

THE PASSING LANE: Celebrex, like Vioxx, was "fast-tracked" by the FDA, because it was suggested the drug would help cut the rate of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with older painkillers. That meant the FDA took only six months to approve the drug, even though scientists concluded it had not "sufficiently demonstrated" it reduced the rate of the gastrointestinal problems compared with existing painkillers. Later studies by Pfizer "were never convincing enough for the agency to remove the warning from Celebrex's labeling." In other words, Celebrex "has never been proven to the FDA's satisfaction to have the stomach-protecting benefits that originally were supposed to be the point of that category of drugs."

THE 'SPECTACULAR' FDA: Celebrex and Vioxx are not the only drugs to come under scrutiny lately. On the same day the Celebrex study broke, "in less than 12 hours," AstraZeneca reported that a trial of Iressa, a lung cancer drug approved in the United States last year, showed that the drug did not prolong lives. Eli Lilly warned doctors that Strattera, its drug to treat attention deficit disorder had caused severe liver injury in at least two patients. And doctors writing in a prominent medical journal recommended that physicians stop prescribing Pfizer's Bextra painkiller. So what was the White House's reaction to the finding that several FDA approved drugs are ineffective or dangerous? White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said the agency was doing a "spectacular job."

The Washington Post reports the FDA, "which regulates almost one-quarter of the U.S. economy, has been without a permanent chief for almost two-thirds of the time that President Bush has been in office." The agency also has had a "high number of temporary appointees administering its centers, offices and divisions, including the key positions running the offices that evaluate new drugs and monitor the safety record of approved medications." The White House's negligence plays right into the hands of major drug companies, which would rather "have no one there than someone who favors a proactive stance that might slow down the industry or raise hard questions about profitable drugs." Observers say the agency's lack of leadership has made it "less able to respond quickly and effectively to emerging problems."

Sun Dec 19, 2004
Pharmaceutical Company STILL funding smoking bans in West Virginia and other states

The following is from and .
This is how the RJW, also the manufacturer of nicotine patches and gum operates.
From: "Darlene"
Friday, Dec 17, 2004

Back in April 7, 2002, the RWJ Foundation had 47 states in their pockets.

The more restrictions, control and bans on smoking a state did, the more the grant money they would receive from the RWJ Foundation.

So, when your hospital and/or health care facility goes smoke-free, it's because they cut off the head of the smokers for blood money.

Also, when a hospital goes smoke-free, think about all that money they are getting for kicking us out.

Friday, December 17, 2004
Pharmaceutical Company STILL funding smoking bans in West Virginia and other states
From: Maryetta Ables,1854,575431,00.html
RWJF Awards 25 Tobacco Policy Change Grants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded 25 grants totaling
$2.2 million for nationwide tobacco-prevention and cessation initiatives
under its Tobacco Policy Change program.

Grants will fund local, regional, and national organizations pursuing
policy change to increase local or state tobacco taxes, comprehensive
clean indoor air laws, public funding for prevention and cessation
programs, restrictions on advertising and product placement, as well as
other initiatives.

Award values range from $50,000 to $100,000. This round is the first
under the foundation's Tobacco Policy Change program, which looks to
award $12 million over the next three years.

For a complete list of grantees and their organizations, visit the
foundation online.


Alaska Native Health Board
Anchorage, AK
Annette Marley, 907-743-6110

American Cancer Society Inc., Hawaii Pacific, Inc. / Mauli Ola (Breath
of Life)
Honolulu, HI
Deborah Zysman, 808-595-7500

American Cancer Society Inc., Ohio Division, Inc.
Dublin, OH
Tracy Sabetta, 614-889-9565

American Lung Association of Georgia
Smyrna, GA
June Deen, 770-434-5864

American Lung Association of Illinois-Iowa
Des Moines, IA
Katherine Drea, 515-278-5864

American Lung Association of New Hampshire
Bedford, NH
Mindy Sweeney, 603-669-2411

Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI
Patricia McManus, 414-933-0064

Boys & Girls Club of Northern Arapaho Tribe
Riverton, WY
Glenda Trosper, 307-856-2637

California Tobacco Control Alliance
Sacramento, CA
Kristen Hansen, 916-554-0390

Center for MultiCultural Health
Seattle, WA
Shelley Cooper-Ashford, 206-461-6910

Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance
Denver, CO
Chris Sherwin, 303-756-6163

Families Under Urban and Social Attack Inc.
Houston, TX
Helen Stagg, 713-651-1470

Greater Cleveland Health Education and Service Council
Cleveland, OH
Joyce Lee, 216-851-2171

Kentucky ACTION, Inc.
Louisville, KY
Stephanie Uliana, 512-587-8641 (invalid e-mail) 12/20/04

MedChi Foundation Inc.
Baltimore, MD
Kari Appler, 410-539-0872

Medical Foundation Inc.
Boston, MA
James White, 617-451-0049

Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
Onamia, MN
Peggy Frisch, 320-384-0149

Mission City Community Network Inc.
North Hills, CA
Nik Gupta, 818-895-3100

North Carolina Pediatric Society Foundation / NC Alliance for Health
Raleigh, NC
Pamela Seamans, 919-839-1156

Partnership of African American Churches Inc.
Institute, WV
James Patterson, 304-768-7688

Public Health Foundation Enterprises Inc. / California Youth Advocacy
City of Industry, CA
Gordon Sloss, 310-699-7320

Sociedad Latina Inc.
Roxbury, MA
Melissa Luna, 617-442-4299

The Institute of Medicine and Public Health of New Jersey, Inc. / New
Jersey Breathes
Lawrenceville, NJ
Larry Downs, 609-896-1766

University of Kentucky Research Foundation / Kentucky Center for Clean
Indoor Air Policy
Lexington, KY
Ellen Hahn, 859-257-2358

Whitman-Walker Clinic Inc.
Washington, DC
Donald Hitchcock, 202-797-3516

Wednesday, Dec 15, 2004
Highland Park considers idea of a smoking ban

The Highland Park City Council is edging closer to a decision about whether to ban smoking in business establishments.

"We're concerned about patrons of restaurants, but also the health of employees," said council member Michael Brenner. "I honestly feel the majority of the council, if we voted on it, would support this."

Proposed regulation of smoking in the city so far has yet to cause a major public discussion beyond the council's deliberations. Brenner said as few as four restaurants in town may be the only locations where patrons may smoke, usually in bar or lounge areas.

At a Nov. 22 committee-of-the-whole meeting, council members referred the issue to both the Business and Economic Development Commission and Healthy Highland Park for their recommendations after hearing from two local restaurant owners and the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce and

Public comment at a council meeting may be taken in January if a recommendation to consider an ordinance is received from the Commission.

The Chamber of Commerce has supported the right of business owners to decide individually whether to ban smoking. Chamber Executive Director Ginny Anzelmo Glasner said the board unanimously voted in August to recommend the council leave a smoking policy decision to individual business owners. One board member abstained from the vote.

Business decision

Glasner said that although the Chamber itself does not condone smoking, its members recognize the rights of business owners to make their own decisions about smoking policies in their establishments.

The results of the Chamber vote were conveyed to the council in early November. At the presession meeting, two restaurant owners affirmed their support for allowing local businesses to make a decision about whether to ban smoking.

Bluegrass Restaurant owner Jim Lederer operates his no-smoking restaurant on Old Deerfield Road, and he argued in favor of business owners being allowed to make their own decisions about patron smoking. He opposes the idea of a local no-smoking ordinance.

He said if business were to permit him to remain open in the late evening hours, he would want the option to allow his customers to smoke.

"That's what happens late in the evening," he said. "It's part of the mix, good or bad."
Bluegrass has a patio area where customers can step outside for a smoke, and Lederer said he would want ventilation technology inside the restaurant if he allowed smoking there.

The Business and Economic Development Commission is expected to discuss the issue during January. Its agenda is posted on the city Web site often by the Friday before any meeting, said Chairman Rick Nelson.

Assistant City Manager Will Jones said the Commission members will want to hear testimony from restaurant and business owners before voting on a recommendation for or against a smoking ban. He said the public also can comment at Commission meetings, and another opportunity will occur if and when the council considers a recommendation to pass a no-smoking ordinance at a regularly scheduled council meeting, sometime after mid-January.

"The people who are most susceptible to smoking are the young and elderly," said Brenner.
As a result, some places in Highland Park only permit smoking in their establishments after 8:30 p.m., a time when families and the elderly may not be dining.

"That is one of the options we would look at," Brenner said.

Contact Kenneth L R. Patchen at

Wednesday, Dec 15, 2004
Smokers Misinformed About Light Cigarettes

To Whom It May Concern:

Oh come on now, smokers know what they are doing when they smoke a cigarette. We enjoy it!! We are aware of our choice. No wonder the individual citizen is be treated like livestock by governments in our current time. Smoking is a life style choice, the kind we all make every day. It is an individual choice....stop whining! This is just like the "low fat" craze that lasted for twenty-plus years. People knew better than to believe that they could eat what ever they wanted just because some label told them it was "low fat". If a consumer wants to smoke a "low tar, nicotine, etc." cigarette, that is their choice. They spent their money for it....if they were stupid, they can only blame themselves. Believing everything one reads is simply wishful thinking. We pay for our life choices.....that's the way it is. No one can claim to be so stupid as to not understand marketing concepts in this day and age. The anti-smokers are using them every day. They call them national programs for the "denormalization" of smoking.

If we are going to prosecute those creating advertisements for "light" cigarettes, we should prosecute all those responsible for the low fat claims by food manufacturers who were also trying to give consumers an excuse to do what they wanted to do in the first place, along with all the anti-smoking organizations that are trying to lie to us and distort/magnify the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke with endless questionable studies. What about the pharmaceutical companies who are turning our world population into drug addicts? If the funds being directed against smoking were being used in constructive programs to help world-wide epidemics, we would be able to eliminate some of the real global health threats.

Come on consumers, get real! You can't have your cake and eat it too. You are capable of making intelligent choices. Stop going against your better judgment and blaming everyone else for your problems. Enough of treating a legal product like it's a mass murderer! Enough of cop-outs and blaming everyone else for our personal choices! It's time we took responsibility for our lives and defended our right-to-choice.

To quote Denis Leary: "Smoking takes 10 years off your life. Well, it's the 10 worst years, isn't it, folks? It's the ones at the end! It's the wheelchair-kidney-dialysis-fucking years. You can have those years! We don't want 'em, all right!?" And with that in mind, light up, everyone, and have a good day".
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Note: Letter was sent to over 80 media e-mail contacts
Smokers Misinformed About Light Cigarettes

A new survey finds that the majority of smokers are still misinformed about the health risks of light and ultra-light cigarettes, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The Light Cigarette Survey included 1,046 adult smokers nationwide, particularly those who smoke Marlboro Lights, the leading light-cigarette brand. Researchers with the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., looked at how much participants knew about the health effects of smoking, the ingredients in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, and the differences among regular, light, and ultra-light cigarettes.

The survey found that nine out of 10 Marlboro Lights smokers were not aware that light cigarettes deliver about as much tar as regular cigarettes. Furthermore, only one-third of Marlboro Lights smokers knew that the filters on their cigarettes have ventilation holes designed to reduce the amount of tar and nicotine contained in smoke. Smokers who are unaware of the holes often block the vents with their fingers, thus reducing or eliminating any benefits gained by ventilation.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, light and ultra-light cigarettes accounted for 85 percent of all cigarettes sold in the United States in 2002.

Based on the survey's results, the researchers recommended that cigarette makers discontinue using the terms light, ultra-light, and mild on labels of cigarette packs and in marketing efforts. The researchers also called on cigarette companies to fund a public-education campaign that would provide information to smokers about filter vents, tar levels, and cigarette additives.

The survey's findings are published in the December 2004 supplemental issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Friday, Dec 10, 2004
Radio Host Donates Smokes for Soldiers - Rebuttal
My letter to Fox News and Joel Africk, ALA.

To: ; ;
Friday, December 10, 2004
Radio Host Donates Smokes for Soldiers - Rebuttal

Attn: Mr. Jeff Goldblatt

cc: Mr. Joel J. Africk, American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago

Bravo for radio host, Mike North! He has revived the true meaning of supporting our military men and women overseas because he cares, not because he wants force unwanted "for-your-own-good" mandates on them.

Referencing your news report, perhaps Joel J. Africk, CEO of the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago, should leave his air-conditioned offices at the ALA and visit our troops in Iraq to tell them personally about his views on the evils of smoking cigarettes. I'm sure they will be very receptive. It's cowardly to attempt control over their right-to-choice in Iraq from Skokie, Illinois.

In the interest of unbiased reporting, if you want to call attention to the fact that Skokie has a restaurant/bar smoking ban, you should also include that Skokie is one of only two Chicago suburbs (Wilmette being the other) with this kind of ban.

I would also like to see a copy of the referenced memo from Donald Rumsfeld (and distributed by the ALA) published for the public to review. I have been unable to locate it. Perhaps our Defense Secretary prioritizes controlling our military's tobacco consumption over the armored vehicles they so desperately need to save their lives.

Lastly, please do not allow a know representative of an anti-smoking organization (such as the American Lung Association) to throw out the number of "400,000 annual deaths attributed to smoking" so casually. At least get a reference source, because that figure has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked by experts. In example, 'The 400,000-deaths figure is not a body count, but a 'COMPUTER-GENERATED estimate based on assumptions that are heavily biased'......" by Robert A. Levy and Rosalind B. Marimont and published by the Cato Institute.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Radio Host Donates Smokes for Soldiers
Friday, December 10, 2004

SKOKIE, ILL. — Radio host Mike North took his show on the road for what he believed was a good cause: Collecting cigarettes for soldiers overseas.

North urged his listeners in Skokie, Ill., to donate cigarettes to be sent to the troops. He called the campaign “Smokes for Soldiers” and said he got the idea from the picture of James Miller, the 20-year-old Marine in combat in Iraq photographed with a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth.

“His picture was plastered all over the newspapers and I started reading … and he says, ‘I’m just doing what’s supposed to be done, but guess what? There’s a shortage of cigarettes out here,’” North said.

The American Lung Association opposes the “Smokes for Soldiers” drive, saying troops should be sent care packages that don’t kill, and distributed a memo from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in which he advised that tobacco should be avoided because it impacts troop readiness.

“Tobacco use presents an immediate and real danger for our soldiers who are on the lines today,” said Joel Africk of the American Lung Association. More than 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses.

Ironically, Skokie — where North is conducting his campaign — has a ban on smoking in restaurants because of health concerns.

North said he understands where the association is coming from and said the drive wasn't trying to encourage nonsmokers to start lighting up — but instead was designed to help soldiers who already are in the habit. The campaign has generated 100,000 cigarettes in all.

Tue Dec 14, 2004
Should we send smokes?
Follow-up to the Mike North, radio host story. The soldiers in Iraq will get their cigarettes.
Source: Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, 2004-12-11
Author: Tom O'Konowitz Daily Herald Staff Writer


Steve Buchman, executive producer of the "Mike North Morning Show" on The Score, said that listeners have responded positively to the cigarette drive and that most of the complaints came from the lung association. He said The Score won't hold any more cigarette drives in the near future, but if more arrive he'll make sure they get to the troops.

"It's to support the troops -- that's the whole thing," Buchman said. "If one of them wants to light up and we can make that happen, it's the least we can do for them being in harm's way."

Tue Dec 14, 2004
Critics fired up over tobacco treaty delay

Article of interest on status of FCTC Treaty. Too bad it's not just about new pictures on cigarette packages... I don't think pictures are going to change many minds.


Critics fired up over tobacco treaty delay U.S. hasn't sent pact to Senate yet
By James R. Carroll
The Courier-Journal

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said he thinks the treaty "is unnecessary and could negatively impact tobacco farm families in Kentucky."

WASHINGTON — Seven months after signing a treaty requiring tougher restrictions on smoking and bigger health warnings on cigarette packs, the Bush administration hasn't submitted the pact to the Senate for approval.

Public health groups and their allies in Congress say it's time to take that step, but they're worried about how the pact might be received because top Senate leaders are from tobacco states.

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opposes approval and says any more regulation of tobacco should be decided by Congress, not by a treaty coming out of the United Nations' World Health Organization.

"I believe it is unnecessary and could negatively impact tobacco farm families in Kentucky," said McConnell, who is No. 2 behind Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

But proponents say it's time to put into effect the world's first public health treaty aimed at attacking smoking-related diseases that annually kill nearly 5million people.

"The treaty is going to dominate tobacco control worldwide for the next decade at a minimum, and the U.S. needs to be part of it," said Thomas Glynn, director of international tobacco programs at the American Cancer Society. He called the approval delay embarrassing.

For Americans, approval would mean an expansion of the small health warning on the side of cigarette packs. New warnings, possibly with pictures, would have to cover at least 30 percent of the front and back of packs.

The treaty also would ban the use of "light" and "low tar" designations on cigarettes and require protection of nonsmokers from smoke at work and in public places.

The treaty also says nations must take measures to reduce tobacco smuggling.

"Terrorists are using smuggling as a means of raising money, and drug cartels are using cigarette smuggling to launder drug money," said Judith Wilkenfeld, director of international programs for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Forty countries approve

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson signed the treaty in May.

"The United States has long been a world leader in anti-smoking efforts," Thompson said after the signing at the United Nations. He has since resigned his Cabinet position.

The United States was among 168 countries that signed the treaty. But only 40 countries have approved it, with Peru becoming the 40th last month.

The treaty will become law Feb. 28 in the countries that have approved it.

But in the United States, various federal agencies — including the departments of Justice, Commerce, Agriculture and Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the United States trade representative — are looking at possible legislation that might be needed to accompany the treaty.

For example, putting larger warnings on cigarette packs would require legislation.

Neither the White House, the State Department, nor the Health and Human Services Department would comment for the record on the treaty, which would first be discussed by a committee if it is sent to the Senate.

A multiyear effort

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., wrote to President Bush on Nov. 30, urging him to send the treaty to the Senate "as soon as possible."

"The United States' participation in this treaty would be an important signal to the international community that the United States takes its responsibility as a leader in global public health seriously," Durbin wrote.

Wilkenfeld said she expects the approval path will be a "multiyear effort."

U.S. negotiators at one point proposed letting each nation opt out of any clause it did not like or found unconstitutional, but the idea failed to get support from other nations, according to a Washington Post story that said letters with the proposal were sent to WHO members.

The perception among public health groups was that the administration was trying to protect the tobacco industry during the negotiations, said Kathryn Mulvey, executive director of Corporate Accountability International, a Boston-based nonprofit advocacy group.

"The issue is, will the Bush administration have the political will to move this forward, especially in the climate we've had (in which the White House) has not been favorable to multilateral measures," she said.

Mulvey cited a global warming environmental treaty that was negotiated by the Clinton administration but opposed by the Bush administration.

She and others also pointed out that the United States has signed other treaties that have not been ratified.

`Like a bully'

Glynn, of the American Cancer Society, said the delay in approval "makes the U.S. continue to look like a bully" protecting tobacco companies.

But Philip Morris International, in a statement, said the treaty "provides an opportunity for countries around the world to adopt sensible tobacco regulation."

"Our industry needs regulation that addresses society's concerns and that ensures that all tobacco companies follow the same rules," the company said.

he Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, which this year agreed to federal regulation of tobacco in exchange for a buyout of farmers who held government rights to grow the crop, probably would not support the treaty, said Danny McKinney, chief executive officer of the Lexington, Ky.-based group.

The $10.1billion buyout ultimately passed without federal regulation.

With bigger warnings on cigarette packs, "will we wake up tomorrow and say, `Oh, no, they put pictures on it, we're out of business?' I don't think so," McKinney said. "But it means less tobacco sold in the future."

Homer Best, a Glendale, Ky., farmer who grew about 900 pounds of tobacco this year, said he wasn't worried about the treaty.

"I don't know if it makes too much difference," he said. "Those who smoke are going to smoke."

Mon Dec 13, 2004
Smoking Ban Survey Results

I received this post from Thomas Laprade on what a smoking ban has done to the Canadian Thunder Bay area and wanted to share it with Illinois Smokers. What a shame! It may be in Canada right now, but we are all facing the same problems.

Thomas Laprade - Freedom Fighter for your Personal and Business Rights
Smoking Ban Survey Results
Web Posted: 12/13/2004

Watch This Newscast

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce has released details of a new survey on the impact of the City smoking ban and it shows several business bars in particular are being badly hurt.

The survey polled restaurants, coffee shops, bars, lounges, bingo halls and the Casino . Of those, 93-percent of the bars and lounges contacted say they have suffered losses since the ban was imposed. Of those who say business is down, average losses reportedly averaged 43-percent.

All of them say they have laid off or reduced staff and they also say reduced sales have forced them to cut back on the business they do with their suppliers.

Bingo Halls, meantime, say their losses are at 30-percent or more and the Thunder Bay Casino is also reporting losses, although specific numbers were not made available. Restaurants appear to be affected the least with 74-percent reporting no change in business.

The smoking ban has apparently been good news for bars outside of the city not subject to the ban. The Chamber survey says operators near Thunder Bay are enjoying significant increases especially on weekends. The Casino at Grand Portage, where smoking is also still allowed, is also reporting an increase in its numbers.

Mon Dec 13, 2004
Denormalization of smoking

Hi Tom,

Terrific letter. Also, the link you included is very informative--and frightening. These anti-smoking Fascists are everywhere. This sounds like "The Futures" from the CDC. It's really a massive conspiracy. Even "Mulder" would have been a bit overwhelmed.

Thomas Laprade
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Denormalization of smoking

Dear Editor, Dec. 11/04

What is de-normalization?

According to documents created by participants in a Health Canada denormalization conference; "Denormalization, in the context of social behaviour, aims to change attitudes toward what is generally regarded as normal or acceptable behaviour, including through social marketing. When attitudes change, behaviour will also change because humans generally want to act in ways that are acceptable to others. " In other words, de-normalization is about turning previously acceptable behaviors into socially unacceptable behaviors. This is acheived by manipulating people's attitudes toward the behavior through "social marketing". What is "social marketing"? It is a polite way of saying that professional public relations and advertising companies will be (have been) hired, to manipulate people into "buying" new attitudes toward smoking, just as they create campaigns which manipulate people into buying new products. As we all know, this is not done by extolling the virtue of the product itself (or the real facts about the health dangers of second-hand smoke), but by associating the product with other desirable things in people's minds. Cars are sold by associating them with freedom, independence, sexual attractiveness, power, and other "values" that the target audience might hold. Public smoking bans are "sold" TO MUNICIPAL REPRESENTATIVES, in a similar manner - by associating them with "leadership", "saving lives", "preventing deaths", and other values held by the target audience of municipal representatives.


You were deliberately targeted by professional public relations campaigns in exactly this manner. If you don't believe this, follow this link; There, you will find the Health Canada conference on de-normalization of smoking, and within that discussion you will find this statement; "Target politicians (narrow casting)." TARGET POLITICIANS ! to receive a public relations campaign specially designed to manipulate them, based on professional research into what values are of greatest importance to public office holders!

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258
Thomas Laprade

The Smoker's Rights Website:
Visit my Blog for Current Letter Writings:

Friday, December 10, 2004
More Americans Getting Hooked on Hookahs

An article of interest. Here is a byproduct of college smoking bans that was not anticipated.

The health experts just can't get it through their heads that smoking is a social and physical activity, or that tobacco use is pleasurable to a great many. They also cannot understand why the real issue is not just about "getting nicotine into the system". Nicotine patches and gum don't work by themselves because they don't replace the pleasures lost by abstaining from smoking.

I also noticed a direct contradiction to recent studies stating that people do not smoke more after being forced to abstain from smoking for extended periods of time, such as smoke-free places of employment or flying. It seems the health experts' "truths" change, depending on their application.........

"We saw something similar with filtered cigarettes. Smoking is really all about getting nicotine into the system. So, with filtered cigarettes, people just dragged harder and longer on the cigarette to get the same amount of nicotine," he said.

Eissenberg agreed, adding that the time is now to nip the hookah craze in the bud.
"We don't want to get caught by surprise," he said. "I think we need to be vigilant when it comes to any new tobacco use method that comes into vogue."

These antis are crazed by their own self importance and obsession to control "demon" tobacco and other people's lives--for their own good, of course! LOL.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

December 10, 2004

More Americans Getting Hooked on Hookahs - Smoking tobacco through water pipe is no safer, experts warn
By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, Dec. 4, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The practice of smoking tobacco through elaborate water pipes called hookahs emerged centuries ago, in the palaces and harems of the Middle East. But experts say hookahs are now almost as popular in Denver as they are in Damascus, with the current fad for water-pipe use growing among U.S. college students.

Many young Americans may be attracted to hookahs because they believe smoke that passes through water is somehow filtered and safer, experts add.
Unfortunately, that's just not true.

"The data we have clearly shows that carbon monoxide is present in large amounts in smoke from water pipes, as is nicotine and the compounds we call 'tar,' " said Thomas Eissenberg, a researcher at the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

"In fact, carcinogen exposure in hookah smoke is equal to, or more than, that found in cigarettes," said Eissenberg, who has published research on the health dangers of the hookah fad in numerous medical journals.

The hookah, also called nargile, is comprised of four parts -- the head, where burning charcoal heats a bed of tobacco; the body, through which inhaled smoke is drawn into the third section, a water-filled bowl at the hookah's base, and the hose, a flexible pipe through which the user inhales the smoke after it has bubbled through the water.

"What you get, then, is smoke that has been cooled by the water," Eissenberg said. Hookah use is, by its nature, a very social act, with groups of users often sharing the same pipe.

"Water pipes have been around for centuries, but it looks like they are making a real comeback," Eissenberg said. "They're making a new appearance in the U.S., but they're also coming back in the Middle East. They've also shown up in Germany and Brazil, and in Thailand -- where they were recently outlawed."

The exact number of water-pipe users in America remains unknown, he said, but new users typically discover hookahs in local Middle Eastern restaurants or bars, where they can be rented for short-term use.

"Then later they might say, 'Hey, this would be cool for me to have in my dorm,' and go to the Internet and buy one. They aren't expensive," Eissenberg said.

While traditional Middle Eastern hookah users tended to favor harsher, dryer tobacco, American users prefer maassel -- sweetened tobacco with tempting flavors like apple, watermelon, and licorice.

"The upsurge in use of water pipes, here and in the Middle East, is highly correlated with the mass-production of these sweetened and flavored tobaccos," Eissenberg said.

He stressed that the U.S. hookah fad isn't restricted to fringe populations in cities such as New York or San Francisco. "Washington state, Louisiana, Tennessee, here in Virginia -- it's popping up everywhere," he said.

While cigarette use has largely fallen out of favor with the college crowd, the exotic allure of hookahs -- and the misperception that hookah smoke is filtered and safer -- may be driving the trend.

"We really need to counter this idea that, just because there's water present, the smoke is safe," Eissenberg said. "We really need to get that across to people."

Legal restrictions might be in order, too, he said. "I suspect that we need to discourage the renting of water pipes, especially to underage individuals. They should be controlled in the same way that cigarettes are controlled."

The real danger, according to Eissenberg, is that hookahs may be getting many young, new users hooked on nicotine.

"Water pipes aren't convenient to use," Eissenberg pointed out. "So if somebody begins to find a water pipe and tobacco pleasurable, but they don't have a lot of time, what are they going to do? They're going to pick up cigarettes. So hookahs are, unfortunately, a potential gateway to smoking for young adults, and we certainly don't need a new gateway to tobacco use."

Dr. Norman H. Edelman, director of scientific affairs for the American Lung Association, said hookah users are taking a big chance if they think water pipes are safe.

"I've seen no data to support that. They're really rolling the dice when it comes to their health," he said.

Even if hookah smoke was somehow filtered, it probably wouldn't make any difference in terms of the actual amount of carcinogens inhaled per puff, Edelman said.

"We saw something similar with filtered cigarettes. Smoking is really all about getting nicotine into the system. So, with filtered cigarettes, people just dragged harder and longer on the cigarette to get the same amount of nicotine," he said.

Eissenberg agreed, adding that the time is now to nip the hookah craze in the bud.

"We don't want to get caught by surprise," he said. "I think we need to be vigilant when it comes to any new tobacco use method that comes into vogue."

More information

To learn more about the dangers of smoking, and for tips on quitting, go to the
American Lung Association.

SOURCES: Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D., associate professor, department of psychology, and Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Norman H. Edelman, M.D., director, scientific affairs, American Lung Association
Last Updated: Dec-04-2004


To: ;
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2004 3:52 PM
Subject: Fw: More Americans Getting Hooked on Hookahs

A Division of ScoutNews, LLC
83 East Avenue Suite 210
Norwalk, CT 06851

Dr. Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Psychology and Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies,
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA

Dear HealthDay Editors and Dr. Eissenberg:

I am forwarding my rebuttal to your story (below) on "More Americans Getting Hooked on Hookahs". Your responses will be appreciated.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

From: "Thomas Eissenberg" <>
To: "Garnet Dawn" <>
Friday, December 10, 2004
Re: More Americans Getting Hooked on Hookahs

Dear Mr. Dawn:

I'm just heading out of the office for the weekend, so I must be brief.

I've attached the paper that justifies the statement about waterpipe smoke containing more carcinogens (see the second paragraph of the discussion) --
I'll note that when people compare waterpipe use with cigarette smoking,
they need to realize, as I do, that they are comparing a much longer smoking
period (for waterpipe) to a much shorter one (for cigarettes). This
difference is why I spoke about the SMOKE not the carcinogen exposure of
people. Smoke toxicant content does not always equal smoker exposure, and I
hope to address this issue with future research. To put the issue in clearer> terms, if a waterpipe was used for only 5 minutes (it isn't usually, but I'm
speaking hypothetically) the carcinogen content of the smoke may be equal to> or less than a cigarette (which is usually used for five minutes or less).
As Dr. Shihadeh notes in his paper, the different temperature of waterpipe
tobacco versus cigarette tobacco may lead to different carcinogen content of
the smoke.

As for the second point, I believe that the speaker (not me) was referring
to the changes in puffing behavior that are observed when a smoker of
regular (or full flavor) cigarettes switches to "light" or "ultra-light"
cigarettes. there are varying hypotheses for why this occurs, and I, like
you, am uncertain if those data are relevant to waterpipe use. In my lab I
too have seen that abstinent smokers often do not change their puff size or
number relative to when they have recently smoked. That result is an
interesting one.

Finally, for the record, I don't think that the solution to tobacco-related
death and disease is banning tobacco: a ban was not effective with alcohol,
isn't effective with cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, and I doubt it would be effective with tobacco.
I hope this message interests you.

Tom E.

Dear Dr. Eisenberg:

Thank you for your sincere and thoughtful response. I will share the information you have supplied and appreciate your time and interest.

I truly believe that people (college students in particular) will always find ways to circumvent and fight unreasonable, government mandated, regulations on their personal choices.

Garnet Dawn

Thursday, Dec 9, 2004
Bars plan smoking protest

The following is from our friends at Smokers Rights Canada. Our Canadian neighbors in New Brunswick are having the same problems with their smoking ban that the USA is currently having in smoking ban areas. It will be well worth following to learn the results from the Bar Owners' protest plan.

Times & Transcript / E-Brief
As published on page A1/A2 on December 8, 2004

Bars plan smoking protest
Owners say lack of enforcement has created uneven playing field as some bars still allow smoking

Times & Transcript Staff

Bar owners in New Brunswick are planning "something big" to show their displeasure with New Brunswick's anti-smoking legislation."It will be a big thing," is all bar owner and organizer André Doiron would say yesterday, although speculation is that many in the hospitality industry will ignore no-smoking laws this Friday.

Some pub operators, however, won't wait that long.

Some are reportedly already allowing smoking in contravention of the law while some others, upset over the lack of enforcement that has left them facing unfair competition, are taking matters into their own hands.

Doc Dylan's Grill and Ale House on Main Street in Moncton has asked for estimates on the cost of building an enclosed and ventilated smoking room."

Sometimes you have to make a business decision," co-owner Tracey Durling said yesterday. "But first we're waiting to see what happens with these other bars.

"Since Oct. 1, it's been illegal to light up anyplace in the province where people eat, drink or work. Those pubs that have followed the law are upset over the drop in business and are particularly angry over reports that some bars still allow patrons to smoke yet no one has ever been charged under the law.

Tracey and husband Tim have owned and operated Doc Dylan's for the past nine years, and they as well as most other bar owners have always believed non-smokers' concerns could be addressed through an enclosed, heavily ventilated smoking room that staff wouldn't have to enter if they didn't wish to.

They're ready to make that move if other bars continue to flout the law.

"It's just not a level playing field," Tim said.Doc's markets itself heavily and also attracts much of its clientele because of its food service. But bars without kitchens or that are not as well known are in terrible shape, the Durlings say.

Doiron and the Durlings both say revenues from video-lottery terminals and liquor sales have been hit the hardest, food service less so.

"We have a couple of bars that are ready to announce they will be closing after the holiday period," Doiron said.

In Doiron's view, allowing a place for smokers to puff indoors will salve the wounds created by the law.

"We just have to have a place where people don't have to step outside."

Besides that gripe, operators say the timing of the smoking ban could not have been worse. It came into effect at the same time as the post-tourism slow season, it discourages the hosting of Christmas and New Year's parties at pubs and bars and the cold-weather months are just arriving for their annual five-month visit, discouraging publicans who must go outside to smoke.

Implementing the law in the spring would have been the lesser evil, they complain.

What's happening now, at the most popular nightclubs, dozens of people congregate outside to smoke, at times, which is a recipe for trouble because door staff are busy inside and can't keep an eye on things.

At many bars, customers are going to their cars to smoke and having tailgate parties at the same time. Bartenders and door staff then can't keep track of how much a patron has had to drink.

Customers are being harassed by panhandlers when they step out for a puff.

And you can no longer run a tab and pay for your night on the town as you leave the premises, because miscreants could nip out for a butt - never to return.

The result, bars say, is fewer customers overall, customers who arrive later and leave sooner, less revenue, less tip money, fewer hours of work for staff, fewer staff and fewer spinoff jobs - for example, less live entertainment and fewer supplies to be ordered.

The Durlings wonder what's the problem with the province allowing - or even licensing - smoking rooms in bars that choose to allow smoking.

"We'd still go with the smoking room. We don't want to promote smoking. We're not saying it's healthy," Tim Durling says."

All we're saying to government is, let's try it."

Thu Dec 9, 2004
Butane lighters banned from airliners

Article of interest. Does that mean that zippos are next? Matches are still allowed. I wonder if matches are supposed to make a different kind of fire than lighters make? Leave it to the genuises in D.C. to think of something like this.
Dec. 8, 2004
Butane lighters banned from airliners
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Passengers already are barred from smoking on commercial flights. Now they won't be allowed to bring their butane lighters on board either.

As part of the intelligence reform bill passed today, Congress added the lighters to the long list of banned items, including scissors, pen knives and box cutters.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota had pushed for the change for more than a year after learning the Transportation Security Administration allowed them on planes.

"When I found out that they had explicitly, in their rule, said you could take two butane lighters and four books of matches on board, I thought, 'What have they been drinking?'" Dorgan said. Matches still are allowed.

Dorgan cited FBI reports that would-be "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid would have been able to ignite his explosive and blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner three years ago if he'd brought a butane lighter with him.

Wyden and Dorgan were so persistent in their campaign against the incendiary devices that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joked earlier this year that he never thought butane lighters would get so much attention.

"This is probably not the biggest thing in the world," Dorgan said. "But it's one of those areas where a big government agency couldn't develop a little bit of common sense about something so obvious."

The ban takes effect 60 days after President Bush signs the intelligence reform bill into law.

Thu Dec 9, 2004
A Hard Habit To Break

For those of you who may have missed this story in the Smokers Club Newsletter, I am posting a copy of it below. Enjoy.

Posted on Thursday, December 09 @ by samantha

It all started with the smokers.

Like all modern workplaces, is proud of its smoke-free environment. And, like all modern workplaces, we have set aside an area outside our main entrance for the smokers on our staff to indulge in their nicotine cravings. A place where they may huff and puff while sucking in and spewing out their toxic fumes into the atmosphere that so clearly defines our hometown of Fresno, California.

But it didn't stop there. Even though our designated smoking area prevented the staffers who smoke from contaminating the ultra-clean environment where tour dates, such as the new ones for Norah Jones, are processed, we quickly learned that second hand smoke was only one of the dangers that threatened our operation. So it was just a matter of time before we allocated some more room outside our front entrance for those needing to sink their teeth into a quick chaw of Skoal in order to relieve tensions that often accumulate from running the world's largest third-party concert info database.

But while the smokers were smoking and the chawers were chewing, we soon came to learn that methane gas was also a threat to the pristine conditions where dates for Kreator, Donny Osmond and The Damnwells are prepared for public consumption. Therefore, we established a flatulence zone, and placed it directly between the smokers and the chewers.

Of course, we soon discovered that our workers had other personal habits that might ruin or otherwise hasten the decay of tour data, thus making us set aside even more space outside our front door, such as the tooth-flossing area and the nostril-evacuation area. But it was well worth it, for it allowed our employees to calm their collective nerves after assembling a new routing, say for Zao or Don Carlos, as well as keep the hallways completely free of smoke, spit, gas and tartar.

You can probably guess the rest. No sooner had we established these "zones" for our workers that the nail biters on the staff wanted their own area. As did the chronic toe-tappers, the obsessive finger-drummers and the compulsive wipers. In fact, we eventually ended up declaring various areas outside our front door for every conceivable habit, quirk and idiosyncrasy practiced by members of the staff.

Which brings us to our problem. Although we're used to seeing our workers take five from slamming dates for Riddlin Kids or Big Bad Voodoo Daddy into our system, so that they may smoke, chew, belch, pass gas, floss, wipe, drum and bite, we didn't foresee the dilemma that would face us come quitting time. And that appears to be the sticking point. For while we took steps to ensure that every employee's need was satisfied by declaring the appropriate zone outside our front door, there was one factor that was completely overlooked. A situation that needed to be resolved before that final whistle blew at the end of the day.

That's right. Come 5 pm there's no one left inside our building to turn out the lights. Oh, well. Maybe it's time to invest in the Clapper.

Belleville News Democrat
Proposal makes it illegal for minors to have tobacco in Mount Carmel
Posted on Friday, Dec. 03, 2004

MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. Mount Carmel is considering a new ordinance that would make it illegal for minors to possess or use tobacco products within city limits.

The mayor of the southern Illinois community, Tom Meeks, says the ordinance would impose fines of up to 500 dollars for anyone under 18 caught with tobacco.

Meeks says he expects the City Council to approve the measure Monday.
Although state law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors, Meeks says municipalities must determine what is and isn't allowed when it comes to tobacco use.

Mount Carmel is following in the footsteps of nearby Olney, which drafted a similar ordinance in 1997.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, Nov 26, 2004
Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack

I thought I would share my letter to the Associated Press, regarding their latest article (copied below) on "Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack". The media just won't leave this one alone. You will also enjoy my next post containing editorials from our friend, Robert A. Levy (Chicago Sun Times) "Smokers pay a heavy price".
To: ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Friday, November 26, 2004 3:05 PM
Subject: Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack

The Associated Press
450 W. 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor
Frank Baker, General Assignment Editor
Kim Clarke, News Editor
Carole Feldman, News Editor
Ann Levin, National News Editor
Michael Silverman, National News Editor

Dear Editor and Decision Makers at Associated Press:

RE: Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack ,
Nov 26, 2004

Please print a correction to your referenced news article (copy below), correcting the funding source and motivation behind this book/study.

When the Chicago Sun Times first published the story on "Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack", October 21, 2004 about the new study and soon-to-be released book by Frank Sloan at Duke University, I sent a rebuttal letter to them. They published an editorial with a different perspective on November 13, 2004, "Smokers already are paying a high cost for their habit," I am now sending my same letter and documentation to your attention at the Associated Press.

I strongly believe that AP and their reporters should validate facts before submitting a story for publication. This "study" was, in fact, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation... friends of the Nicotine Patch and Nicotine Gum industry, validated by Frank Sloan in writing (see below).

Please get your facts straight before you publish an nationally released article. In the interest of "truth" and "honesty", a second story/editorial clarifying the real funding for this book would be in order to preserve AP's current image of reporting facts.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional DirectorThe United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Subject: Rebuttal to "Actual costs of smoking estimated at nearly $40 a pack"
350 N. Orleans
Chicago, Illinois 60654

Dear Editor,

Jim Ritters' Oct. 19th book review about how cigarettes should cost $40 a pack left out one VERY important piece of information. Not really his fault: the authors of the study don't seem to have been very "up front" with it.

The book exposing the "horrendous cost of smoking" had background funding from guess who? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation... friends of the Nicotine Patch and Nicotine Gum industry.

It's similar to the "Hershey Chocolate Childrens' Foundation" funding a study, saying that M&M's prevent cavities.

The news media need to show a little more responsibility when it comes to showing the dirty side of the Antismoking industry.

Garnet Dawn
Lake Bluff, IL

P.S. Please reference documentation from emails below:
My mail to Dr. Sloan:

Thursday, October 21, 2004 wrote:> >>>>
Frank A. Sloan, PhD, Director
J. Alexander McMahon Professor of Health Policy, Law and Management
Professor of Economics
Box 90253
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708

Dear Dr. Sloan:

Referencing the recent Chicago Sun Times story (attached as a document), I would like to learn where I can find more information about your study prior to the release of your book. I am an Illinois resident. Also, I am curious as to the other sources of funding for your study, because the newspaper only said that it was "Funded in part by the National Institute on Aging". This information could be very helpful to me in the future for additional projects.

Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation.

Garnet Dawn
Lake Bluff, IL
His response to me:

From: <>
To: "Garnet Dawn" <>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2004
Subject: Re: Actual costs of smoking estimated at nearly $40 a pack

The book will be published in early December. I do not have a copy of the
book either. I have a galleyproof, but I am reluctant to distribute this in
advance of publication.

We were funded by the National Institute on Aging which is part of NIH for > this particular book. Our other funding on smoking has come from the Robert > Wood Johnson Foundation. The Foundation has a specific program on substance > abuse. You can find them by going to the Foundation's web site. Frank Sloan

Nov 26, 2004
Study: Cigarettes Cost Society $40 a Pack

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Cigarettes may cost smokers more then they believe. A study by a team of health economists finds the combined price paid by their families and society is about $40 per pack of cigarettes.

The figure is based on lifetime costs for a 24-year-old smoker over 60 years for cigarettes, taxes, life and property insurance, medical care and lost earnings because of smoking-related disabilities, researchers said.

"It will be necessary for persons aged 24 and younger to face the fact that the decision to smoke is a very costly one - one of the most costly decisions they make," the study's authors concluded.
Smokers pay about $33 of the cost, their families absorb $5.44 and others pay $1.44, according to health economists from Duke University and a professor from the University of South Florida. The study drew on data including Social Security earnings histories dating to 1951.
Incidental costs such as higher cleaning bills and lower resale values for smokers' cars were not included.

Most smoking studies rely on a snapshot of annual costs, said co-author Frank Sloan, an economics professor and the director of the Center for Health, Policy, Law and Management at Duke's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

Despite the finding that smoking is a costly habit for individuals, society carries less of a burden than generally believed, the study's authors determined.

"The reason the number is low is that for private pensions, Social Security, and Medicare - the biggest factors in calculating costs to society - smoking actually saves money," Sloan said. "Smokers die at a younger age and don't draw on the funds they've paid into those systems."

Given the high costs, it is "remarkable," the authors conclude, that money from the 1998 settlement involving 46 state attorneys general and major tobacco manufacturers largely are not being spent on smoking-cessation or related programs.

But even after taking into account the cost savings from early deaths, smoking still costs society $2.20 a pack for such things as sick leave, life insurance outlays and medical care not paid by smokers. The researchers concluded that after subtracting the 76 cents a pack smokers pay in state and federal taxes, society's net cost is $1.44 a pack.

Many states use the money to cover budget deficits or, as in North Carolina, on economic development in tobacco communities.

The study's other co-authors are Jan Ostermann, Christopher Conover and Donald H. Taylor Jr. of Duke, along with Gabriel Picone of the University of South Florida. Their research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Wed Nov 24, 2004
No child left unmedicated

I posted an article on this topic once before, entitled "IL launches compulsory mental health screening for children and pregnant women", dated September 30, 2004 (Message #400). The following article gives a few details of the enforcement procedures being instituted for this new "social engineering" Illinois government mandate.

The entire idea is horrifying.

No child left unmedicated
Phyllis Schlafly (archive)
November 23, 2004

Big Brother is on the march. A plan to subject all children to mental health screening is under way, and pharmaceutical companies are gearing up for bigger sales of psychotropic drugs.

Like most liberal big-spending ideas, this one was slipped into the law under cover of soft semantics. Its genesis was the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health created by President George W. Bush in 2002.

The commission recommends "routine and comprehensive" testing and mental health screening for every child in the United States, including preschoolers. The president has instructed 25 federal agencies to develop a plan to implement the commission's recommendations.

The commission proposes using electronic medical records for mental health interrogation of both children and adults for mental illnesses in school and during routine physical exams. The commission also recommends integrating electronic health records and personal health information systems.

It recommends "linkage" of these mental examinations with "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific medications for specific conditions." That means prescribing more expensive patented antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs.

Illinois became the first state to jump on board. By near-unanimous votes in 2003, the General Assembly passed the $10 million Illinois Children's Mental Health Act creating a Children's Mental Health Partnership, which is expected to become a model for other states. The partnership's plan, released July 16, calls for periodic social and emotional developmental examinations to be administered to all children, and for all women to be interrogated for depression during pregnancy and up to a year postpartum. When the partnership showcased this plan with five public hearings stacked with bureaucrats and social service workers, a political tempest erupted, with state legislators saying they had no idea this was what they had voted for.

Illinois legislators were shocked to hear the details. The plan includes periodic developmental exams for children ages 0-18 years, a statewide data-reporting system to track information on each child, social-emotional development screens with all mandated school exams in kindergarten, fourth grade and ninth grade, and report cards on children's social-emotional development.

The plan is to add mental health assessment to the state's physical examination certificate, along with mandatory immunization records. All children in Illinois, unless religiously exempt, are required to have up-to-date health examinations and immunizations for school entry.

The partnership requires the Illinois State Board of Education to develop and implement a plan that incorporates social and emotional standards as part of the mandated Illinois Learning Standards, which are due on Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's desk by Dec. 31. This inevitably opens up screening for politically incorrect attitudes and nonconformity with liberal attitudes of tolerance.

Mental health diagnoses are inherently subjective and social constructions, as even the diagnostic manuals admit. Many thousands, if not millions, of children would receive stigmatizing diagnoses that would follow them for the rest of their lives.

"State-of-the-art treatments" will result in many thousands of children being medicated by expensive, ineffective, and dangerous drugs. The long-term safety and effectiveness of psychiatric medications on children have never been proven.

The side effects of suggested medications in children are severe. They include suicide, violence, psychosis, cardiac toxicity, and growth suppression. Several school shooters, such as Eric Harris (Columbine) and Kip Kinkel (Oregon) had been on antidepressants or stimulants when they committed their crimes.

The validity of much scientific research has lost its credibility because the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the pharmaceutical industry to withhold data not favorable to their products and because people in the pay of the pharmaceutical companies are the ones recommending medications.

The current controversy about links between suicide and antidepressant drugs that have not been adequately tested has contributed to the uproar. The FDA posted an analysis in August that some antidepressants pose a risk of suicide in children.

Parental rights are unclear or nonexistent under these mental screening programs. What are the rights of youth and parents to refuse or opt out of mental screening?

Will they face coercion and threats of removal from school, or child neglect charges, if they refuse privacy-invading interrogations or unproved medications? How will a child remove a stigmatizing label from his records?

A Columbia University pilot project of screening students called TeenScreen resulted in one-third being flagged as "positive" for mental health problems, and half of those being turned over for mental health treatment. If this is preview of what would happen when 52 million public school students are screened, it would mean hanging a libelous label on 17 million American children and putting 8 million children into the hands of the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry.

©2004 Copley News Service

Tue Nov 23, 2004
State smoking ban better, backers say, evens economic playing field


When will people like Glantz stop lying? It is obvious that many people do not like smoking bans, or local bans would not hurt businesses. These Antis need to press for statewide smoking bans to satisfy their greed for power and new grants. They contradict themselves with distorted statistics on states with smoking bans already in effect, and are ignoring the backlash activities resulting from these smoking bans in other states and countries.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


State smoking ban better, backers say
Evens economic playing field

Kerry Fehr-Snyder and Robbie Sherwood
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 23, 2004

Snuffing out smoking in public places hasn't been a drag on bar tabs and restaurant bills in communities with statewide smoking bans.

Tough local laws, on the other hand, hurt businesses because customers can easily go elsewhere to drink, eat and light up.

Expect arguments along those lines as health advocates in Arizona push to get a statewide smoking ban before voters in 2006.

Nationwide, seven states have enacted statewide bans. Four others ban smoking in restaurants and bars that serve food, making an exception for bars that sell alcohol only. In some states, bar and restaurant receipts have actually increased by attracting more non-smokers, backers of smoking bans say.

"These claims of economic chaos and people changing where they go to eat is just baloney," said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

"There's not a shred of evidence to support that."

In Arizona, several cities have restrictions on smoking. Supporters of a statewide ban hope to make the restrictions consistent from city to city. It would overrule less comprehensive ordinances but would allow cities or counties to adopt more stringent codes if local leaders wish.

The state's liquor distributors and the hospitality industry are so concerned about the proposed statewide ban that they are contemplating a less stringent competing ballot proposition of their own.

he tourism industry in Arizona has been split on the issue of a statewide ban and is taking a wait-and-see approach."

Part of the split is because of concerns about foreign visitors, and part of it is disagreement over whether a ban should be statewide or city by city," said Barry Aarons, lobbyist for the Arizona Tourism Alliance.

"We're looking to see if some consensus develops there."

In states with statewide bans, communities generally agree that the bans are better than city-by-city bans:

• "If anything, now that it's a level playing field, it's been more fair," said Gail Anastas, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Massachusetts instituted a statewide ban in July after years of bans in some cities.

A study by Glantz found that smoke-free laws did not reduce profits for charitable bingo parlors in Massachusetts. The study was paid for by the National Cancer Institute.

• The California Restaurant Association, meanwhile, took a pass on studying the smoking ban impact there because "it became law with such an overwhelming majority and we couldn't do anything about it anyway," said Jordan Rasmussen, spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association.

• New York officials attempted to gauge the impact by looking at employment and slot-machine sales in bars and restaurants.

Employment increased by 5,000 jobs, to 455,000, and revenue from Quickdraw slot machines grew 3 percent in the year after that smoking ban, according to an analysis by the American Cancer Association of New York.

"What's critical here and sort of proven by the New York experience, by both New York City and the state, is you have to include bars in the ban," said Michael Bopp, director of advocacy for the New York association. "In New York City, there was a bit of shift from restaurants with bars (that had to ban smoking) and bars that serve food that didn't."

The statewide ban fixed the disparity by including all bars that serve food. But stricter city ordinances had to be adjusted to meet the state law since, in New York, state law can create a floor but not a ceiling."

If you have the opportunity to get a strong statewide law, you should do that," Bopp said.

Some states with smoking bans have exceptions for private clubs, and bars tried to skirt the law by claiming they should be exempted."

What some of the bars did was put out a pad and had people sign up and said, 'Oh, we're a private club,' " said Allison Levine, spokeswoman for Delaware's health department.

She called the 2-year-old law "the most protective smoking ban in the country."

California restaurant owners tried to bypass its law by building restaurants with three walls, but the courts saw through that, according to Paul Macintyre, former government relations adviser to the California Restaurant Association and founder of Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke.

Initially, the association fought smoking-ban ordinances city by city until it realized a statewide ban was inevitable and wouldn't hurt restaurants sales, he said.

Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004
Subject: Accepting Responsibility for Damage Caused by Smoking Bans

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004-2400

Dear Mr. Romero,

I have signed the ACLU's Refuse to Surrender Pledge and taken another step to defend our liberty by referring 10 friends to sign it also. I am a card carrying member of the ACLU and believe in defending our Constitution and Bill of Rights against the Patriot Act and other legislation designed to invade citizens' liberties.

Now, I hope you will listen to my request. Perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union should begin addressing the rights of smokers by supporting the rights of everyday Americans who choose to use a legal product in a legal fashion! Please take a few minutes to read the following editorial.

This article is published in The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter and was referenced on the Smoker Club Forum at I have forwarded it to the ACLU, Illinois Smokers and Smokers Fighting Discrimination at

Please be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this editorial to lean about some of the victims of smoking bans to date.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


In order for these people to strike back it will be necessary for them to seek help from the "bottom-feeders" of our society.

A Commentary on Accepting Responsibility for Damage Caused by Smoking Ban
By Robert Hayes Halfpenny
November 20, 2004

I realize in some corners, expecting groups or individuals to accept responsibility for their actions may not be Politically Correct. However, it is long past due for the concept of P.C. to be thrown onto the trash heap where it has belonged for quite some time. Because of political correctness we have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed, bullied, and berated into thinking our values, our ideals and our principles are either unworthy or outdated. One of the biggest P.C. issues we have today concerns the “life threatening dangers” of Second Hand Smoke. Organizations such as the American lung Association, National Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and several special interest groups have for the past several years squandered over 1 and ½ billion dollars in converting 155 cities and municipalities to non-smoking venues. Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, along with funds extorted from major tobacco corporations have funded these activities. “Their Reign of Scare” has been based primarily on junk science, half truths, and lies. They have been aided and abetted by the World Health Organization, A.S.H (Action on Smoking and Health), John Banzhaf (founder of A.S.H. and “Sue America First” proponent), Stanton Glantz (Professor of Medicine U.C.S.F.), C.S.P.I. (Center for Science in the Public Interest), and Dr. James Repace, a former employee of the E.P.A. and “self anointed” Guru of the evils of Second Hand Smoke.

Their efforts have brought about the passage of smoking bans so Draconian in nature one might think we were living during the time of Nazi Germany. In fact, it was that unholy trinity of Adolph Hitler, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, and Nazi Germany that first designed the anti-smoking campaign techniques we see being so successfully used today. For all the efforts of these “Minions of the Minority”, one point stands out, immutably above all others. They can not name one single individual whose death can be directly attributed to Second Hand Smoke. Nor, for that matter, can they name one single individual whose death from cancer can be attributed directly to smoking. In fact no one even knows for certain what causes cancer. Through such catch phrases as, “we are doing this for the children”, “we need to protect the safety of bar and restaurant workers”, “most people really want smoking bans”, and the most ridiculous one of all, “it will be good for business,” these self righteous do-gooders have bullied cajoled and intimidated numerous governmental agencies into passing these hated smoking bans. However, the bans have created an effect that no one might have suspected. THE BANS THEMSELVES, ARE INJURING AND KILLING PEOPLE!

These injuries and deaths are not some computer generated profile or statistical report. They are real live flesh and blood people with real names and real addresses. To date, there are over 25 people who have been raped, beaten, or killed as a direct result of the smoking bans.

Perhaps it is now time for those who have been injured and the relatives whose loved ones have been killed or committed suicide because of the effects of these bans to strike back. It is an irrefutable fact that the A.S.H., W.H.O., E.P.A., Heart, Cancer, and Lung organizations along with people like Banzhaf, Repace, and Glantz are directly responsible for pushing the smoking bans. City, County, State, and even Federal governments are no less responsible and in fact perhaps even more culpable for these ill-conceived smoking bans.

In order for these people to strike back it will be necessary for them to seek help from the “bottom-feeders” of our society. I refer of course to the attorneys, lawyers, ambulance chasers, shysters, and Shylocks whose extortion of the major tobacco corporations helped to fund the very bans we have today. I would urge every person who has been violently touched as a direct result of these unconstitutional smoking bans initiate both civil and criminal lawsuits against any and all official supporters of the smoking bans. It is high time these offensive groups be held accountable for the misery and deaths that have occurred because of their rapacious and Fascistic desire to control the lives of other people. Perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) might like a change of pace from supporting the rights of Ku Klux Klan members and Neo Nazis by supporting the rights of everyday Americans who choose to use a legal product in a legal fashion! The names and/or incidents are as follows:
Ban Damage: Deaths, Injuries, Rape, and more!

Return to free choice
Below is an excellent editorial from Thomas Laprade, one of our IL Group members. Well worth reading.

Thomas wins again.

The Toronto Star
Nov. 22, 2004. 01:00 AM

Return to free choice
Business owners should be able to post sign saying whether or not they offer smoke-free environment

Freedom of choice

The issue of smoking in public areas has been on the table for years. The idea of having designated smoking areas seemed to be a logical and workable solution. So, without a lot of fuss, people became accustomed to having to locate themselves in the area of their choice.

"Quit-smoking" aids were introduced and a great deal of educational media was released to inform all of the possible dangers of smoking. The results were positive, since the percentage of people who now smoke has greatly declined. Once again it was these individuals' choices to quit or at least attempt to quit. Good for them.

It sounded like smokers and anti-smokers were willing to work on this together and it appeared to have been effective. Well, apparently, not in the eyes of the anti-smokers. Now it's to a point of we've been given an inch, let's take a mile and ban smoking altogether.

We all need to be educated on the possible negative economical impacts of a smoking ban. We are already facing a rapidly shrinking rural economy. Please be open minded; what works for some does not work for all. Many small bars and restaurants will not only suffer but will, in fact, close. Many businesses cannot afford even the slightest decline in their consumer base. Many youth, sport and charitable organizations will lose huge amounts of revenue from fund raisers such as bingo.

Why don't we stop wasting taxpayers' dollars and allow choice to be the ultimate dictator, not the government at any level?

Business owners could simply be required to post a very inexpensive sign indicating: We do not offer a smoke-free environment or we do offer a smoke-free environment or we offer designated smoking areas. How much simpler can it be. As a bonus, business owners would then be relieved of the responsibility of enforcing a law they may not necessarily agree with.
Whether you are for or against smoking, as a consumer the locations you patronize become your choice. As a business, the consumer base you wish to attract becomes your choice, not that of government.

Thomas Laprade, Thunder Bay, Ont.

Mon Nov 22, 2004

I just had to share this article. I found it on and really enjoyed it.

Jewish World Review Nov. 18, 2004/ 5 Kislev 5765

Tobacco Finally Gets a Win: It's a Moral Matter Executives at Philip Morris USA probably had to furtively step outside last week —gloating is forbidden at this pariah company —but you know the high-fives and revival of the catch-phrase "You've Come a Long Way, Baby!" resounded within the tobacco industry.

Talk about early Christmas presents. At a time when smokers are considered barely more tolerable than convicted child molesters, a Los Angeles Times photographer snapped a young Marine in Fallujah with a cigarette dangling from his battle-scarred mug, and instantly we're back in Marlboro Country again. The picture was printed, according to the Times, in over 100 newspapers, and subsequently the 20-year-old Kentucky native, James Blake Miller, is the object of female adoration and gung-ho partisans of the war in Iraq.

"If you want to write something," Miller told Times reporter Patrick J. McDonnell, "tell Marlboro I'm down to four packs and I'm here in Falloujah till who knows when. Maybe they can send some more. And they can bring the price down a bit." Effin' A, dude! The article appeared on Nov. 13, and it's a safe bet that Philip Morris has already sent a plane filled with cigs for Miller and his buddies.

The photographer, Luis Sinco, certainly deserves a Pulitzer for the iconic image, but I suspect that the Chateau Margaux-sniffers who pick the winners each spring won't go near it. It's probably a quandary as well for the Times editors: On the one hand, what daily doesn't want another Pulitzer for its lobby trophy case; on the other, such an award would probably be viewed as tainted goods since the stench of tobacco would envelop the honor.
But who knows, if Maureen Dowd is correct in predicting that the United States is making a return to the 1950s cultural ethos —all because of George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney (but not, of course, the lame-duck Colin Powell) —maybe even Michael Bloomberg will rescind his ban on smoking in New York City bars.

And, if this longshot and regrettably whimsical theory has any merit, it's even possible that Time magazine will not only ditch its stupid "Person of the Year" headline for its last issue of the year —"man" or "woman" or "idea" remains more accurate —and submit to the obvious choice of Bush for its cover. Until young Miller became not only a symbol of the Marines, but embattled smokers as well, I was convinced Time's editors would snub the President and settle on a choice more palatable to its editorial point of view. Say a split cover of Michael Moore and Mel Gibson. Or "The Rising Evangelicals." More likely, "A Polarized Nation."

Oh, wait, this just in: a mole at the mag has forwarded the front-running selection. It'll be "The American Voter," with the cover image of a brain clogged by competing thoughts like stem cell research, gay weddings, abortion, Freedom Fries, Swift Boat vets, George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Locally, the New York Post wasted no time in appropriating Sinco's photo, devoting its Nov. 11 front page to Miller, with the headline "Smokin': Marlboro men kick butt in Fallujah." Say what you will about the inside contents of the Post —slipping, I'd say, as long as Dick Morris remains as an op-ed columnist, a monumental lapse in judgment that's just barely compensated by Deborah Orrin's excellent political coverage —but the Marlboro cover was just the first in three straight knockout Post front pages.

The next day featured a dead terrorist, with the magnificently truthful words "Arafat Dead: And he won't be missed" accompanying a photo of the tyrant who French president Jacques Chirac (and citizen of the world Jimmy Carter) praised upon his passing. As an encore, the Post's Nov. 12 edition was another punch to the gut, with this headline: "The Arafat Lady Sings: Rich widow's farewell to Yasser."

JWR contributor "Mugger" -- aka Russ Smith -- is the editor-in-chief and CEO of New York Press ( Send your comments to him by clicking

MUGGER Archives

An editorial well worth reading.

Quit nagging the smokers, will ya?
J.D. Mullane
Fri Nov 19, 2004
Bucks County Courier Times

Today is the day we set aside each year to badger, harass and pester that marginalized subculture of Americans, the Doorway People.

You know the Doorway People. They stand in doorways at work or at the mall smoking cigarettes because lighting up in mixed company has become as distasteful as nose-picking.

Yes, today marks the 27th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, where modern incarnates of pinch-mouthed prohibitionists attempt to further ghettoize smokers.

Now, it's not that I think smoking is good. I have friends who smoke. I wish they didn't. On average, they will trade 10 years of their lives to enjoy their habit. But we're all grownups. Smoking is their demon and I have enough of my own demons to wrestle with.

But, unlike anti-smoking zealots, I sympathize with smokers.

That's because I was a smoker. When I quit for good in 1996, I was burning through 2 1/2 packs a day. I ditched the habit because each time I coughed, my lungs rattled as if someone had backed into metal trash cans.

Still, I loved every puff. I still miss it. In fact, I still have nicotine cravings.

So I'm sympathetic to smokers and believe they should be free to enjoy their addiction, which, last I checked, remains legal. Which is why I dislike the anti-smoking scolds. They are trying to criminalize smoking.

From New York City to Dallas, from Toledo, Ohio, to Eugene, Ore., anti-smoking zealots have racked up successful campaigns to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, the last bastion of peace and acceptance for smokers.

Eventually, the anti-smoking "movement" will have won enough smoking bans in enough cities in enough states to introduce national no-smoking legislation, said Zoe Mitchell, co-founder of Ban the Ban, which recently defeated efforts to enact similar no-smoking legislation in Washington, D.C.

"Ultimately, their goal is to make it a national issue based on their success at the local level," she said.

Anti-smokers say they're acting in the best interest of public health.
They say all those smokers burden the healthcare system with their cigarette-related maladies. It costs all of us more in healthcare premiums, they say.

Nonsense. Smokers die sooner than most of us nonsmokers, never collecting a cent from Social Security, which they've paid for decades.

Also, smokers pay outrageous cigarette taxes on each pack of smokes, which pours billions of dollars annually into government coffers.

At best, the money argument is a wash.

When an anti-smoking nut steps into a place like the Puss N' Boots Tavern in Fairless Hills, all they see is the blue-gray cloud of smoke hovering over the patrons crowded around the bar.
When I walk into the Boot, I see it differently.

I see a local cop who's seen more than his fair share of tragedy.

Or an emergency room nurse who was up to her elbows in blood just a few hours before.

Or a construction guy who's sacrificed years of Saturdays to work overtime so he could save for his kid's college tuition.

Or a middle-aged father worried about his son, who's fighting the war.

These are the good people the anti-smoking zealots want to stigmatize as public health leeches.
And if they accomplish their goal, they won't go away.

They will persecute the overweight, stigmatize SUV drivers and haul into court those who don't recycle.

They've got the money and the time and the lawyers.

They're coming for you.

Mullane's opinion column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
November 18, 2004

Wed Nov 17, 2004
Madison County, IL
Philip Morris target of another ‘light’ suit ; James and Debra Mills v. Hucks Convenience Stores, Brown & Williamson Tobacco, RJ Reynolds


Below is information from the latest anti-tobacco law suits entered into our court system in Southern Illinois. I have included the headline article on the website today (below), along with the Madison Record's two articles on the subject, and a few responses from readers of the Telegraph.

In case most of you don't know where Madison County is located (I wasn't sure either), I found a map showing it's location. The already infamous law firm of Korein-Tillery are once again pursuing a new tobacco extortion law suit on behalf of greedy clients through Judge Nicholas G. Byron, the Madison County Circuit Judge, who
"awarded the $10.1 billion class action whopper against Philip Morris".

This is the real atrocity: James and Debra Mills and Barbara Sandrowski, represented by Korein-Tillery, are ganging up against a small convenience store chain also, for selling cigarettes to the plaintiffs. (I was only able to locate three locations for Huck's Convenience Stores in southern Illinois.)

When will our court system draw a line on frivolous law suits and begin to question our judges' ethics? What must small businesses do to protect themselves against biased judges, greedy law firms and irresponsible individuals?
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Group - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Philip Morris target of another ‘light’ suit

EDWARDSVILLE -- The law firm that caused a nationwide stir with a class action suit against cigarette maker Philip Morris is again taking the corporate giant to court, this time claiming an individual client suffered lung cancer.

The firm of Korein-Tillery filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court late last week claiming the company violated the state’s consumer fraud act, which lead to the lung cancer, suffered by its client, Barbara Sandrowski of Collinsville.

Many of the claims made in the Sandrowski suit are the same as those in the class action suit in that they claim the company sold "light" cigarettes, claiming they would be lower in tar and nicotine, while knowing they would actually be higher.

"Among other things, the plaintiff was without knowledge that she received higher levels of tar and nicotine than defendants represented, or that the smoke produced by Marlboro Lights cigarettes is more mutagenic (potential for causing cancer) than regular cigarettes," the suit claims.

Company officials could not be reached.

The famous class action suit made similar claims. Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas G. Byron awarded all Illinois smokers of light cigarettes more than $10 billion in damages after a bench trial in 2003.

The Illinois Supreme Court last week heard arguments on the company’s appeal. The company is claiming there are too many differences among the members of the class for the case to have been certified as a class action.

The suit claims Sandrowski began smoking as a teen-ager and was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 28, 2000. She bought and smoked, on average, 40 Marlboro Lights per day for 17 years. She did not know of the company’s deceptive acts until 2003, the suit claims.

The suit claims Philip Morris represented Lights as low tar and nicotine and concealed the fact that Lights "actually increases the mutagenicity of the tar delivered to the consumer and increases the levels of most of the harmful toxins delivered to the consumer."

The suit is asking for an unspecified amount of damages for the plaintiff’s injuries, past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of wages, past and future pain and suffering, disability and lost of life expectancy.
©The Telegraph 2004
New Lawsuits: Monday, Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
By Steve Gonzalez - Edwardsville Bureau

James and Debra Mills v. Hucks Convenience Stores, Brown & Williamson Tobacco, RJ Reynolds
J-Moran; PA-Stephen M. Tillery
· Debra claims she was diagnosed with cancer in November 2002 after smoking around 40 light cigarettes a day for 24 years. She is seeking at least $1,150,000 in damages.04 L 1270
Barbara Sandrowski v. Huck’s Convenience Stores
J-Matoesian; PA- Stephen M. Tillery

· Sandrowski of Collinsville alleges she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000 after smoking an average of 40 Marlboro Light cigarettes a day for 17 years. She is seeking at least $250,000 in damages.04 L 1271

Barbara Sandrowski v. Philip Morris USA
J-Kardis; PA-Stephen M. Tillery

· li> Sandrowski of Collinsville alleges she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000 after smoking an average of 40 Marlboro Light cigarettes a day for 17 years. She is seeking at least $250,000 in damages.04 L 1272

The Telegraph:;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;PAG=461&dept_id=25271&rfi=6

Present Smoker
Nov, 16 2004

Are you kidding me? Is there ever going to be an end to this ridiculous crap? We ALL know what cigarettes can do to us right?....enough said!
Fellow Smoker
Nov, 16 2004

I sincerely hope that the higher courts are capable of seeing through the "smoke". Eventually someone is going to hold people responsible for their own actions. I smoke and I'm 20 lbs. over weight. Hey can I sue Schnuck's or Shop and Save for that?
Former Area Resident
Nov, 16 2004

Whatever happened to "be responsible for your own actions and words"? It seems that a lot of people are trying to avoid taking responsibility for their actions which were made at some point in their life and blame others who can possibly afford to pay for their irresponsibility. Both of my grandfathers died in the mid-1960's from cancer years after they quit smoking. They didn't blame anyone else for their health problems when they learned about their cancers. It seems that when someone needs money they decide to blame someone and file a lawsuit. It's these people who cause the higher cost of all items and in turn may cause many to lose their jobs. Maybe those who lose their jobs as a result of the costly lawsuits against their employers should file a lawsuit against those who filed the lawsuit against the businesses. And in turn maybe the "money" and "greedy" lawyers will think twice before taking on any lawsuit in which personal responsibility should be looked at first. In this story it mentions that the plaintiff didn't know about certains things about smoking. Where did she go to school? Did they have a reading program? You'd think she would have learned to read first before using anything. I hope that the jurors on this case do like the ones in Florida did a few weeks ago and go in favor of the tobacco industry.
Reader Poll
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