Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Jun 13, 2005
Please veto the Illinois Clean Air - Home Rule Amendment bill!

The Honorable Rod R. Blagojevich
Governor of Illinois
207 Statehouse
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Blagojevich:

Please Veto the Illinois Clean Air - Home Rule Amendment!

Do you really want to be responsible for signing this legislation that will potentially be harmful to small businesses all over the state, and distract cities and villages statewide from addressing more important local governmental issues. Do you believe in Free Trade and our original Constitution's concepts? Please respect Illinois voters enough to allow them to make their own decisions without unnecessary government intervention.

This respect for individual choice was the original concept behind the passage of the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act - 1990. Just last year HB 3996, CLEAN AIR-REPEAL HOME RULE was defeated. Even though HB 672 and SB 254 do not propose a state-wide smoking ban, this legislation will pave the way for many additional community bans in our state.

To this day, second hand smoke (ETS) has still never been proved to be harmful -- even with all the expensive studies performed, and not one health expert has been able to produce any conclusive test results proving passive smoke creates health hazards without heavily relying on the terms "possibly", "may" and "casual association" as key words in their findings.

Does this type of legislation, promoted by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and other anti-smoking special interest groups, need to become a time consuming topic of controversy in every Illinois municipality? This is the typical anti-smoking advocate strategy for opening the door to statewide bans. They divide and conquer, till it is time to come back and mop up any remaining freedom-to-choice issues they may have missed on the first, second or third round.

This is why Highland Park now has a ban and this Clean Air Amendment came before the IL Assembly two years in a row. Even though ban proposals are defeated, the self proclaimed health dictators of our society continue to return over and over till they are successful. Springfield, Lindenhurst, and many other Illinois communities are already under attack and will become victims of health fanatics once this law is enacted.

In addition, elected officials faced by lobbying from these unrelenting so-called charitable and "grass roots" anti-smoking groups tend to drop other important issues that city councils should be addressing as governing bodies. Smoking bans show no respect for a large percentage of Illinois constituents.

Illinois smokers' rights advocates are steadily increasing their power of resistance to anti smoking laws through greater visibility from Illinois Smokers Rights http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/ , Forces Illinois http://forces-illinois.org and The Smokers Club, Inc. http://www.smokersclubinc.com . Our numbers are growing and we are dedicated volunteers in no way connected with big tobacco. Illinois is not like New York or California. Luckily, we have had time to learn from their errors.

This is not about health, it is about personal freedoms!

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!

cc: Mayor Richard M. Daley - City of Chicago, cityclerk@cityofchicago.org

Jun 12, 2005
Mandeville bans smoking - Tuscaloosa, LA

They make me so mad with these bans. Thomas gave me a "heads-up" about it, and I was in just the right mood to write to this newspaper in Louisiana. The letter should work for other papers in other states in the future too, with a few revisions!


RE: Letter to the Editor at Tuscaloosa News.com - "Mandeville bans smoking"

Dear Mr. Ben Windham, Editor:

The new smoking ban in Mandeville, LA is obscene. A vote of 3-2 by the Council is a bit close to determine the choices of so many people to use a legal substance.

I do hope the smokers of Mandeville and Shreveport will support the smokers' boycott of contributions to the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Heart Association. These health organizations that spend so much time on political lobbying, using the very contributions they receive from individuals and businesses to eliminate right-to-choice and free trade, do not deserve to be classified as charitable organizations.

The fanatical phobias some people have developed regarding second hand smoke would be funny, if they weren't so dangerous and subversive to the very principles this country was founded upon. Health experts keep claiming ETS is harmful, but whenever they are asked to produce any documentation of one death from passive smoke, they refuse to reply and have never been able to supply even one name.

I am referencing another news article supplied today by an AP reporter in Illinois at http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/11878945.htm . I was quoted as stating:

Smoking supporters similarly challenge statistics that second-hand smoke causes up to 40,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,000 from lung cancer every year.

"That has never been proven conclusively. It's been a witch hunt for the last 25 years," said Garnet Dawn, Midwest regional director of The Smokers Club Inc., a national informational network that supports smokers' rights.

One more time, I would like to issue the same challenge to Tany Ramsey. PROVE once and for all CONCLUSIVELY (not with smoke-and-mirrors, bogus inconclusive slanted studies or double talk) that second hand smoke is harmful.

Tanya Ramsey, with the American Cancer Society's north shore chapters, called the ordinance "a progressive and brave step."

"This is a health issue and not a freedom issue," she said.

Ms. Ramsey is VERY WRONG or not telling the truth, smoking bans ARE a freedom issue, NOT a health issue!

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!


Mandeville bans smoking
The Associated Press
June 10. 2005 3:28PM

This scenic town on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain has become the second city in Louisiana to ban smoking in most public places and private business, both indoors and out.

Under the ordinance that passed 3-2 on Thursday night and take effect immediately, smoking is barred inside public buildings and workers who want to smoke will have to walk 25 feet away from the outside walls. Smoking also is banned at the Mandeville Trailhead, along the lakefront, the city harbor, Sunset Point Park and the new fishing pier, the playground behind City Hall and the Tyler Thomas Park.

The ordinance is designed similar to one adopted in May in Shreveport and another being debated by officials in Lafayette.

Exempted are restaurants and bars with state liquor licenses, but those establishments can, under state law, establish their own smoking bans or create designated smoking and no-smoking areas.

Mandeville police will enforce the ban. An individual violator can be fined $50 maximum; a commercial owner can be fined $200 for each offense.

Council President Denis Bechac pushed hard for the measure and fought back amendments by Councilwomen Zella Walker and Adelaide Boettner that would have reduced the 25-foot, no-smoking barrier to 10 feet or to zero, and would have exempted public parks and playgrounds.

Tanya Ramsey, with the American Cancer Society's north shore chapters, called the ordinance "a progressive and brave step."

"This is a health issue and not a freedom issue," she said.

Information from: The Times-Picayune,

Jun 12, 2005
In China, cigarettes are a kind of miracle drug

Well, if the rest of the world goes non-smoking (which I don't think it will!) there is still always hope left in China!

Garnet Dawn

In China, cigarettes are a kind of miracle drug
The state-owned tobacco monopoly sells about a third of the world's smokes

Saturday, June 11, 2005 (Page A14)

GUIYANG, CHINA -- Here's some exciting medical news from the Chinese government: Smoking is great for your health.
Cigarettes, according to China's tobacco authorities, are an excellent way to prevent ulcers.

They also reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, relieve schizophrenia, boost your brain cells, speed up your thinking, improve your reactions and increase your working efficiency.

And all those warnings about lung cancer? Nonsense.

You're more likely to get cancer from cooking smoke than from your cigarette habit.
Welcome to the bizarre parallel universe of China's state-owned tobacco monopoly, the world's most successful cigarette-marketing agency.

With annual sales of 1.8 trillion cigarettes, the Chinese monopoly is responsible for almost one-third of all cigarettes smoked on the planet today.

If you believe the official website of the tobacco monopoly, cigarettes are a kind of miracle drug: solving your health problems, helping your lifestyle, strengthening the equality of women, and even eliminating loneliness and depression.

"Smoking removes your troubles and worries," says a 37-year-old female magazine editor, quoted approvingly on the website. "Holding a cigarette is like having a walking stick in your hand, giving you support.

"Quitting smoking would bring you misery, shortening your life."

Such statements are widely believed in China.

Two-thirds of Chinese men are smokers, and surveys show that as many as 90 per cent believe their habit has little effect on their health, or is good for them.

Even in China's medical community, 60 per cent of male doctors are smokers. Few are aware of the studies forecasting that cigarettes will soon be responsible for one-third of all premature deaths among Chinese men.

Little wonder that Western tobacco companies are hungrily circling the Chinese market, lobbying eagerly for entry into this lucrative market of 360 million smokers, the biggest market in the world.

So far, 99 per cent of the market is controlled by the Chinese monopoly, but Western tobacco companies are convinced they will soon crack it, especially now that China is a member of the World Trade Organization and is obliged to reduce its tariffs on foreign cigarettes.

For the anti-smoking movement, China is the ultimate challenge. Nonetheless, this week, a group of Canadian experts arrived in southwestern China in a bid to convince Chinese smokers that cigarettes might not be quite as beneficial as they believe.

They distributed anti-smoking posters, visited cancer patients, showed the graphic warnings on Canadian cigarette packs, and lectured on how the anti-smoking campaign has reduced Canada's lung-cancer rate. But they admitted that they face an uphill struggle in a country where the tobacco industry provides 60 million jobs and 10 per cent of national tax revenue.

"The magnitude of the problem is overwhelming," said Jean Couture, a Quebec surgeon who has been travelling to China since 1990 to work on cancer-education programs.

"In China today, the economy comes first and everything else is secondary, including health care," Dr. Couture said. "You wonder if anyone in the government is conscious of how great the smoking problem is. There's no public education program. The Chinese anti-smoking association is very weak and has almost no money. Within 20 years, China could have the majority of all smoking deaths in the world."

Chinese doctors have called Dr. Couture a "second Norman Bethune" -- a reference to the Canadian surgeon who became a Chinese hero after dying while giving care to Chinese Communist soldiers in 1939. The Quebec doctor, who has helped create an 80-bed cancer unit at a hospital in northeastern China, is now leading an anti-smoking campaign in four Chinese provinces.

When the Canadians arrived this week in Guizhou province in southwestern China, they were worried about the power of the local tobacco industry. The province is filled with tobacco farms and cigarette factories. As they distributed posters at a hospital in one of Guizhou's biggest cities yesterday, the Canadians saw a number of people smoking in the hospital. A hospital shop was openly selling cigarettes.

"The tobacco industry is so huge and the anti-tobacco movement is so weak," said Mark Rowswell, a Canadian television personality and Chinese celebrity (under the name Da Shan), who helps promote the anti-smoking campaign. "What we're doing is just a drop in the ocean."

While smoking rates have fallen sharply in Canada in the past two decades, the rate in China is still rising.

"Ten years ago, when we first came to China, it was unheard of for young women to smoke," said Nicole Magnan, executive director of the Quebec division of the Canadian Cancer Society, who was in the Canadian delegation this week. "Now there are more and more of them."

While China has proclaimed that the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be a smoke-free Olympics, it has done little to discourage smoking. The number of Chinese smokers is growing by three million a year, despite an estimated 1.3 million tobacco-related deaths annually.

Chinese cigarettes are cheap -- as little as 30 cents a pack -- and the health warnings are hidden in small print on the sides of the packages. Though cigarette advertising is technically illegal, tobacco companies are allowed to promote their corporate names. When sprinter Liu Xiang won a gold medal for China at the Athens Olympics last summer, he promptly went out and filmed a television commercial for China's biggest cigarette company.

Children can easily buy cigarettes at Chinese shops, despite an official ban on sales to those under the age of 18. "Shop owners never refuse to sell us cigarettes," said one 16-year-old boy who was smoking as he played pool near a Guizhou school this week.

"They only care about money."

Che Chuangao, a construction worker, started smoking when he was 20. "More than 90 per cent of my friends smoked, so I couldn't be different," he said. "And it's helpful for my work. Offering a cigarette is a social greeting, whenever you meet a friend or a stranger. I know that smoking isn't good. Once I stopped smoking for a month or two. But my friends persuaded me to smoke again."

While their task is daunting, the Canadians are scoring some small successes. After listening to a speech by the Canadians this week, 27-year-old medical student Li Dongbo said he was inspired to work on anti-smoking projects.

The student's uncle, who had smoked for 30 years, died of lung cancer in February. To spare his feelings, his family had never told him the truth about his illness.

"I was shocked," Mr. Li said. "The government should be doing more. We need promotion campaigns to tell people about it."

Jun 12, 2005
Bill lights up debate over smoking in Illinois bars, restaurants - IL

We are in the news again (at least in Illinois), and our coverage is from the Associated Press. Jan Dennis has written an excellent overview of the issues applying to potential smoking bans in Illinois. It is gratifying to know that Smoking Rights Advocates are beginning to receive media coverage along with the Anti-Smoking special interest groups, so this news should be encouraging to other states fighting smoking bans as well.

Even if our coverage is not large in this story, our views are being published.

Smoking supporters similarly challenge statistics that second-hand smoke causes up to 40,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,000 from lung cancer every year.

"That has never been proven conclusively. It's been a witch hunt for the last 25 years," said Garnet Dawn, Midwest regional director of The Smokers Club Inc., a national informational network that supports smokers' rights.

Garnet Dawn

Posted on Sun, Jun. 12, 2005

Bill lights up debate over smoking in Illinois bars, restaurants
Associated Press

EL PASO, Ill. - Donna Pinkham lit up a cigarette, then lit into a state bill that could snuff out smoking at the small-town bar where she passes time ribbing friends and sliding quarters into a video poker machine.

"I think they ought to leave us alone. Why should we not be able to smoke anywhere just because nonsmokers don't? We have our rights, too," Pinkham, 62, said between drags at the bar in El Paso.

Health advocates argue that nonsmokers also have a right - to clean air. They support the legislation sent to Gov. Rod Blagojevich that would give each of Illinois' 1,200 cities, towns and villages the authority to enact local tobacco restrictions, including bans for bars and restaurants.

Across the state, the bill has fired up a debate pitting the hazards of second-hand smoke against whether government should be mandating what happens inside private businesses.

Blagojevich will sign the legislation, spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said Thursday. Still, supporters and mayors around the state predict few communities will be quick to jump on the smoke-free bandwagon.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said a majority of the city council has already agreed that banning smoking is a decision for restaurant and bar owners, not city government.

"We think it's antibusiness to legislate something like that," Ardis said.

Salem Mayor Leonard Ferguson, a former smoker who has had two heart attacks and bypasses, supports more restrictions but suspects his council will side with free enterprise. Even officials in Alton, where none of the city council members are smokers, would be reluctant to adopt a ban, fearing it could chase customers to neighboring towns, said Alton Mayor Don Sandidge.

"Think about it, most drinkers smoke. So would they drive to Bloomington if we banned smoking here?" said Mayor Shaun Hermes of Hudson, a small town whose 15 businesses include two bars.

Health advocates have lobbied for local control since 1989, when Illinois adopted statewide restrictions on smoking in public places that barred cities from adding stricter regulations, such as on restaurant and taverns.

The only exceptions were 21 cities that already had their own smoking ordinances in place. Only four - Wilmette, Skokie, Evanston and Highland Park - have passed additional restrictions. But efforts continue in other exempted cities, including Chicago, where another bid to go smoke-free is expected this summer.

"This isn't really about a ban, about telling other people what to do. It's about our expectation that if we walk into a place that's public that our environment is as reasonably safe as possible," said Mark Peysakhovich, senior director of advocacy for the American Heart Association's regional office in Chicago.

Eleven states and dozens of cities and counties around the country now ban smoking in restaurants, bars or both.

But Illinois mayors worry that local bans could put bars and restaurants at risk, particularly if neighboring towns don't ban smoking. Roughly 12 percent of state and local sales taxes comes from bars and restaurants, according to the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association.

Steve Riedl, the association's executive director, said bars and restaurants in cities that have banned smoking have lost 10 to 35 percent of their business, and many went under.

Eric Blackmore predicts his bar in El Paso, a town of 2,500 people north of Bloomington, would lose half its business and wouldn't survive.

"A bar has always been a smoking establishment. Your smokers are going to quit coming in if they can't smoke. It'll ruin business for a small town," Blackmore said.

Health advocates reject those economic arguments. Steve Derks, CEO of the American Cancer Society's Chicago office, cited a cancer society poll in which 87 percent of Chicago respondents said they would go to bars and restaurants as much or more if smoking were banned.

"The economics are irrefutable ... there has been no negative economic impact on restaurants, bars or workplaces," Derks said.

Smoking supporters similarly challenge statistics that second-hand smoke causes up to 40,000 deaths from heart disease and 3,000 from lung cancer every year.

"That has never been proven conclusively. It's been a witch hunt for the last 25 years," said Garnet Dawn, Midwest regional director of The Smokers Club Inc., a national informational network that supports smokers' rights.

Linda Childers, a smoker from El Paso, thinks the decision should come down to common sense. She says she could accept a ban in restaurants, where children would be exposed to the smoke, but not in bars.

Many restaurants are already policing themselves by using filtering systems and non-smoking sections, said Colleen McShane, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association. She said there had been a 70 to 90 percent increase in nonsmoking seats over the last five years.

Cities have other options besides bans if the bill becomes law, such as requiring large, brightly colored labels outside bars and restaurants alerting customers that smoking is permitted, said Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton.

"It's not a black-and-white issue, it's gray," he said. "Still, I would hope that people would make an individual decision to avoid smoking for their own health as opposed to not smoking because of a ban."

Jun 11, 2005
Protesting excise sales tax from internet sales

Hi Linda,

I don't personally know any immediate solutions, but I'd like to give you this link for a Michigan website that has already been fighting back against tobacco tax bills to residents http://www.b-u-t-t.org/ .

I'm so sorry! You sound really disgusted and discouraged. I don't blame you, but remember establishments maintained by the state (through our tax dollars) are now going smoke-free too. Please try contacting the owner of the Michigan site and reading the information there. He may have more suggestions than we can supply. You sure aren't alone! Here is an e-mail I just sent to another IL resident on Thursday.....I wish I could give you some better answers, but this is all I have for you right now.

Hi _______________,

I have not heard of one case where the city or county came after anyone, in Illinois or any other state, and NY started this. I have done some more checking, and you may want to read http://www.nycclash.com/Taxes.html on the New York who/what/why/how regarding these back tax bills. It was written for NYers it applies basically to anyone, anywhere, who gets a bill.

I suggest you join both Illinois Smoker Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/illinoissmokers/ and also the Michigan group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michigansmokersrights/ . You really don't need to give any personal information, if you don't want to. Both groups are very concerned about internet taxes and we are fighting back. We have links to other Smokers Rights Advocates groups too. However, it takes time..... We have had many discussions about this topic on the IL Group, but not in the last couple of weeks. I will go back and find some of the posts (to be able to give you the post numbers) so you can find them, but I don't want to keep you waiting forever for an answer. Please join us!

I have also written to Rick Sherwood at http://www.b-u-t-t.org/ to see what kind of advice he has been giving most recently to those receiving tax bills in Michigan. Read what others are saying about all this, you won't feel so alone. I know other people are not paying in a lump sum.....I also know it's on the MI group where I corresponded with a guy who was very upset just a little while back. The only problem is, I think the government charges interest when you can't pay all at once.......bottom-feeding leeches!!!!

I will send you more information, but I have already given you a lot to read in your spare time.....we need more people to start fighting back. Learn a little about all we have been trying to do...it's beginning to work! Also, when you have time, take a look at Illinois Smokers Rights (see the link below in my signature block). I have really worked hard to supply a lot of information sources for smokers......some are even funny!

Take care,
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights -
http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/ mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!

P.S. Samantha is the President of the Smokers Club, Inc. and a great friend. You really need to check the Newsletter site too!!! She will be able to supply you with additional information, should you desire it.


From: loveluray....
To: illinoissmokers@yahoogroups.com
Saturday, June 11, 2005 6:17 PM
Protesting excise sales tax from internet sales

Hi All;
Am new to this group but received my bills today from the State for
taxes due on internet purchases of cigarettes. Can anyone tell me
what will happen to me if I refuse to pay them? Can my assets be
seized? Can I transfer my assets immediately and instead allow myself
to be arrested. I would prefer to "work" off my debt by allowing the
state to house me, clothe me, feed me, and perhaps while I'm there I
can get some medical issues taken care of. :) I would like to become
the poster girl for "average Joe" who is tired of being taxed to death
and would be willing to contact the media for coverage but am not sure
where to start something like this. I am wondering if there are any
other groups being organized to protest these excessive bills. Any
help would be greatly appreciated.

Jun 11, 2005
Why B-U-T-T?

Illinois needs to begin a group of the same nature that Rick Sherwood has in Michigan. Only we need to concentrate on Lisa Madigan (our A.G.). Illinois residents are now receiving the same back tax bills for tobacco purchases, over the last five years, that smokers in other states have been receiving. We need someone to concentrate on this issue alone.....any takers?

Garnet Dawn

When I learned the State of Michigan was obtaining the names/addresses of internet tobacco purchasers so it could collect more taxes from Michigan smokers, it was the final straw for me. It prompted me to:


Write the Attorney General for an official opinion on the constitutionality of the continual discrimination of the smoking class to which I belong;

Seek the support of my state senator and representative for fair and equitable use of state taxing authority;

Seek support from my internet tobacco provider and preferred cigarette manufacturer to help with the cause;

Create this website to help others, like myself, who are fed up and ready to convert years of pent up frustration to action.

Because I formed the group, I guess I can decide what it's for and what it's against - and calling to roll back or eliminate tobacco taxes just doesn't seem practical in the current environment.

What does seem fair and reasonable is that tobacco purchasers be treated no differently than similar groups of Michigan residents. For this reason, B-U-T-T seeks to eliminate the:

Unequal taxing of a minority segment (tobacco purchasers) of a much larger group of state residents who have purchased products via the internet;

In other words, we suggest the State devote proportionate staff and financial resources to collect the estimated $350 million it will be owed by state residents who make internet/catalog product purchases in the current fiscal year. Why is it that State tax arrows always find tobacco users (who will owe only $49 million in the current fiscal year)?

Unequal taxing of a minority segment (tobacco users) of much larger groups (such as those afflicted with today's Number One cause of disease and death - being overweight) as an instrument to induce lifestyle changes;

I don't think there's much debate that being overweight - which 60% of Michigan residents are - is levying a growing cost on the State. Yet, I'm not finding a per-gram-of-fat tax on any product I buy. Are you?

Is there another reason I'm overlooking that makes tobacco users so unique that they deserve to be onerously taxed? Until I'm provided an answer, the only conclusion I can draw is that we're very easy to target and even easier to tax - and those facts should never be THE rationale for taxation.

Jun 11, 2005
Congressman Moves to Block Cigarette Mailings - National

Below is the latest proposed Congressional bill to eliminate delivery of mail order cigarettes. I don't have a subscription to the New York Times though. It doesn't appear this bill is very realistic though. I think ACLU v. Pataki will be used as precedent to negate this proposed enforcement by the U.S. Post Office.

"In ACLU v. Pataki, a coalition of public interest organizations
successfully challenged New York state’s “little CDA” law, which
prohibited making sexually explicit materials available online to
minors. The court held this to be an unconstitutional burden upon
interstate commerce. This holding rests directly upon the unique
nature of the Internet." http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj17n2/cj17n2-2.pdf

Why can't this country's lawmakers simply admit they have made a mistake by overtaxing cigarettes? The more laws they attempt to institute, the more this issue becomes Constitutionally questionable. It's all going to have to "come to a head" eventually.

Garnet Dawn

Congressman Moves to Block Cigarette Mailings

The House of Representatives is considering a bill that would bar the U.S. Postal Service from delivering cigarettes by mail, the New York Times reported June 9.

The Postal Service has been criticized for refusing to ban shipments of cheap cigarettes sold over the Internet to residents of states with high cigarette taxes. A measure introduced by Rep. John M. McHugh (R-N.Y.) would declare cigarettes an "unmailable" item. McHugh serves as chair of the House's Special Panel on Postal Reform and Oversight.

"Unfortunately, this is an area that is ripe for abuse in terms of tobacco sales to minors," said McHugh. "The data shows that of the some 400 sites that are engaged in tobacco sales over the Internet, there are virtually no meaningful age enforcements."

States like New York ban direct shipment of cigarettes and the delivery of cigarettes by private carriers like Federal Express. Credit-card companies have agreed not to process payments from Internet cigarette sellers. But the states have no power over the Postal Service, a federal agency.

"We appreciate the concerns that the McHugh bill seeks to address," said Postal Service spokesperson Gerald McKiernan. "However, we see real practical problems with its implementation were it to become law, since the sanctity of the mails provision remains in place."

McHugh, however, said the measure simply adds cigarettes to an existing list of items banned by the post office. "There are other products that they don't currently allow onto the mail stream, and they have protocols to address that," he said.

Jun 11, 2005
Smoking ban planned; Ordinance to be proposed if governor signs bill - Springfield, IL

As if there were any question whether smoking bans in Illinois communities will multiply like rabbits once legal, here is one of the newer proposed ordinances -- this one threatening Springfield.

Politicians are just chomping at the bit, waiting for Governor Rod Blagojevich to sign the amended Illinois Clean Air Act - Home Rule recently passed by the Illinois legislature. As of mid last week, according to the Governor's office, he had not yet made a decision.

Garnet Dawn

The State Journal-Register

Smoking ban planned
Ordinance to be proposed if governor signs bill


Smoking would be banned in all enclosed workplaces in Springfield under an ordinance Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom said Thursday that he will introduce sometime this summer.

Strom said he is pushing the ordinance and that Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith will co-sponsor it. Strom said the ordinance has not yet been drafted, but he hopes to introduce it sometime this summer.
"The whole issue has to do with health, the health of employees, the health of patrons and the health of people who are already vulnerable, the very young and the very old, those people who have ongoing health conditions like asthma," Strom said.

Strom pointed to a study released in late May by the University of California at San Francisco that said nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke are 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease.

"There's a lot of health-related justification for restricting the smoking in enclosed areas," Strom said.

The council does not yet have the power to ban smoking, but it will if Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs a bill that would give local governments the power to regulate smoking. The governor has not yet indicated his position.

Strom said his ordinance would be written to go into effect the date the state legislation would take effect, Jan. 1.

The proposal will no doubt be controversial after a spring legislative session that pitted the restaurant and hospitality industry against anti-smoking groups like the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.

Supporters say restaurant and tavern workers should get to work in smoke-free environments as most other Americans do. Many restaurant and bar owners say they ought to have the right to determine their own smoking policies based on what's good for business.

Right now, the prospects for passage of such an ordinance in Springfield appear bleak.

Four Springfield aldermen have already indicated they are not likely to vote for the ordinance: Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz and Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath.

Three aldermen, Ward 5 Ald. Joe Bartolomucci, Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney and Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager, have indicated varying degrees of willingness to consider a ban.

Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger has said he will not take a position until Blagojevich acts.

If Bartolomucci, Mahoney and Yeager joined Smith and Strom in voting for the ordinance and Selinger voted against it, the council would be tied 5-5. It would fall to Mayor Tim Davlin to break the tie.

At a news conference on an unrelated matter, Davlin said he would oppose the ordinance.

"I've said for a long, long time ... that I think it should be up to the individual businesses. Those that don't want to have smoking there should certainly cater to the nonsmokers," Davlin said. "It should always be a business decision.

"We're starting to meddle in somebody's business that we have no right to do. I think we should do what we can, those of us who are nonsmokers, to promote those places that are nonsmoking."

Smoking bans have become all the rage in areas in the East and California. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island ban smoking in all private workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

Five other states ban smoking in restaurants but not stand-alone bars. South Dakota bans smoking in restaurants but not their bar areas. Georgia bans smoking in bars and restaurants, except those that serve and employ only those above the age of 18.

In addition, 104 municipalities or counties nationwide ban smoking in all workplaces, including taverns and restaurants.

Strom said he realizes how contentious the debate could get.

"Whether people will change their minds, I don't know," he said. "But I believe the dialogue in our community needs to begin on this."

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or chris.wetterich@sj-r.com .

Jun 10, 2005
Government Defends Downsized Penalty In Tobacco Trial - RICO

Hmmmm! From $280 billion to $130 billion and now $10 billion. Going once, going twice.......

Garnet Dawn
National News

Government Defends Downsized Penalty In Tobacco Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tobacco industry lawyers seized on federal prosecutors' downsized penalty in a racketeering trial against major cigarette makers, calling it proof the case is in shambles.

"The plaintiff's case is disappearing, and this is a desperate effort to stop the fall," Brown & Williamson lawyer David Bernick said Thursday.

In closing arguments in the trial, which started in September, Justice Department lawyers told U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler that they tried to focus a nationwide stop-smoking program on future smokers who might become hooked if cigarette makers continue their alleged racketeering.

Prosecutors said they were seeking a $10 billion, five-year nationwide smoking-cessation program as a penalty against the industry for what the government claims is a decades-long conspiracy to deceive the public about the health risks of smoking.

Though prosecutors said the plan could be expanded if tobacco companies misbehave in the future, the proposal was a fraction of the $130 billion, 25-year program suggested by government witness Michael C. Fiore, a University of Wisconsin medical professor.

Unlike Fiore's proposal, the $10 billion program would be limited to a certain number of people -- decided by estimating how many smokers may become hooked as a result of any misbehavior by the companies within a year after the trial.

Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum told reporters outside the courtroom that the program's services would be open to any of the 45 million smokers in the United States, not just future smokers.

Defense attorneys chided the government for seeking the reduced amount of money after their own witness recommended the far higher penalty.

The government's case was "in total disarray," Philip Morris lawyer Dan Webb said.

"Even if they were to prevail with Judge Kessler, they could never prevail in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals," he said.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers for a second consecutive day questioned the government's decision to scale back its proposed remedy. Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Martin Meehan of Massachusetts on Thursday asked to expand an earlier request to have the Justice Department's internal investigator look into whether political influences were a factor.

They asked the investigator to look into whether political appointees at the agency have connections with the tobacco industry and whether prosecutors asked one of their witnesses, Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, to tone down his testimony. They also noted it was "immensely difficult to ascertain exactly what the department's new position actually is."

In February, an appeals court barred the Justice Department from seeking $280 billion in allegedly ill-gotten tobacco profits, saying the law required "forward-looking" remedies. Fiore's proposal was the next most-expensive penalty mentioned during the trial.

McCallum resisted the idea that political appointees at the Justice Department had asked for a reduction in Fiore's proposal, saying they had worked with career employees to "to devise the most appropriate strategy."

Myers said government lawyers called him saying "they were uncomfortable" with his recommendations, though they had worked closely together. He said he declined to tone down his testimony, which included a comparison of the 1998 settlement that cigarette makers reached with states and a failed 1997 agreement that would have restricted industry activities. Most of his testimony was eventually thrown out.

Justice Department spokesman Eric Holland said lawyers had asked him to narrow certain proposals because they might have raised First Amendment issues.

Kessler is not expected to make a decision in the case for months. Under a schedule she set this week, both sides would file various documents through the summer.

The defendants in the lawsuit are Philip Morris USA Inc. and its parent, Altria Group Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.; British American Tobacco Ltd.; Lorillard Tobacco Co.; Liggett Group Inc.; Counsel for Tobacco Research-U.S.A.; and the Tobacco Institute.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Related Links
Justice Department tobacco litigation
Altria Group Inc

Jun 9, 2005
"To Smoke and To Smoke Not" - Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Hi, we are in the newspapers again! Wyoming and Montana will now be aware of us and our upcoming Las Vegas conference. Read the last three paragraphs! John Algood is definitely a "friendly" to smokers!

"Planet Jackson Hole
is a weekly print and online newspaper covering news, entertainment, and arts in Jackson Hole, WY and the greater Yellowstone region."

Garnet Dawn

Planet Jackson Hole
Volume 3, No. 25

(Page 3:)

To smoke and to smoke not

Lander’s landmark watering hole, the Lander Bar and Grill,
has packed up its ashtrays and gone smoke-free.
The Lander Bar has joined at least 17 other Lander food
service businesses that prohibit lighting up. Statewide, the percentage
of smoke-free restaurants has grown to 68 percent, up
from 45 percent five years ago, according to Wyoming
Department of Health officials.

“The main driving force behind the decision is the health of
my employees,” said Lander Bar owner Jim Mitchell, who lives
in Jackson and also owns the smoke-free Cowfish restaurant,
also in Lander.

Owing to the Lander Bar’s traditional “Wild West” atmosphere,
Mitchell said he resisted making the change until he
started losing good employees to smoke-free establishments.

“The Mangy Moose here in Jackson went smoke-free a couple
of years ago, and I find I go out there to listen to music,” Mitchell
said. “I just think it will eventually happen everywhere.”

On the other hand, those who oppose the move toward a
smoke-free society might consider attending the International
Smokers Rights Conference scheduled for June 27-29 at Caesars
Palace in Las Vegas, Nev. In the interest of civil liberties, private
property owners’ rights, and healthcare issues, the inaugural
conference will serve as a clearinghouse and workshop for
information on tobacco regulation, political activism, and
emerging public policy issues.

Garnet Dawn, the Midwest Regional Director of the
Smoker’s Club, Inc., blames the “supposed” harm caused by second-
hand smoke for anti-smoking regulations in the private and
public sectors. “However, they have never been able to prove
that one death was caused by second-hand smoke,” she said.
“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of
wolves,” Dawn concluded, quoting 20th-century French statesman
and journalist Bertrand de Jouvenel.

For information about the conference visit the web site
www.smokersclubinc.com or e-mail info@smokersclub.com . To
either congratulate or chastise Jim Mitchell at the Lander Bar –
enjoy a smoke-free beer or burger – visit 126 Main St. or call
(307) 332-7009.
— John Allgood

Jun 9, 2005
Airport Lighter Policy

garnetdawn asked me to post this to your group as she found it as humorous as I did!

My husband Lou and I took a trip to Taipei on May 16 of this year.
During a lay over in San Francisco, we had to leave the airport to smoke a cigarette before our e x t r e m e l y long flight to Tokyo. ( which also meant having to go through the long security check line again!)

While we were enjoying our smoke a nice young security guard for the airport came up to me and asked, "excuse me...do you have a lighter I can use?",, I immediately reached down into my purse to grab my make-up bag which stored my "illegal lighter" which managed to slip through X-ray twice already, and handed it to him so he could light his cigarette!

I ask........what's wrong with THIS PICTURE?!

Jeanne Williams
Owner: Aarons Make Yor Own Cigarettes
email: aaronsmyo@yahoo.com

Jun 9, 2005
TSA Airline Lighter Regulations

Thanks for the info Don,

I wish the TSA would now publish a manual on how to suck the lighter fluid out of a favorite Zippo.......before packing it. Obviously, lighters are going to be packed with fluid still in them. Maybe it would make more sense to remove the flints......or (unspeakable idea) hide the lighter!

I understand the idea, but it was always against the law to pack lighters in check-on luggage. When was the law changed? These guys just seem to make it up as they go along. Obviously, some people with very expensive lighters complained. If some smokers are used to a favorite lighter, they don't want to be stuck with a possibly "child-proof throw-away" all the while they are on vacation. I remember buying lighter fluid after my last plane trip for a vacation, so I could refill my lighter. I just left the fluid behind, when it was time to go home. Now, how am I supposed to get rid of the fluid in the lighter before I pack it? I don't want to leave a pet Zippo behind, just to please these idiots! The more regulations they make, the more problems they cause.

Garnet Dawn

whale12812@..... wrote:

The deal at airports is this. You are allowed 4 books of matches. I just went thru philly airport. It is non smoking now, they had a perfectly good smoking lounge. Please write and complain. Detroit airport, nice smoking lounge. Fox Sports Bar. Cancun. No smoking on arrival, but the secure departure area has 2 lounges. Took matches down to Mexico. No Problem. Brought the lighter back, i had to buy in Mexico, it was confiscated at Detroit. The Tsa Guy acted like he had just saved the world. I just rolled my eyes as he lectured me about the law. Then i called him a dick within ear shot about 8 times. The i went to the Fox Sports bar and had a smoke and a beer..............so that's now the story. My understanding is, you can carry regular zippo type lighters in your suitcase as long they have no fluid. My other thought is the guy who makes a lighter that looks like a book of matches on an xray will make a ton of money................... don

Jun 7, 2005
Cook County Jail To Go Smoke-Free - Prohibition enters Cook County jail

Congratulations to (Nazi) Sheriff Michael Sheahan!!! He has the power to make 10,000 prisoners suffer and be able to justify it for their health. I'd like to stick him in general population with the prisoners for the first week cigarettes are banned and see if he thinks his idea is still so great by the time he gets out!!!

Nothing like kicking somebody when they are down!!!!

Maybe prison inmates aren't the elite of society, but county prisoners don't qualify on the ten-most-wanted list either. This is sick. I have been reading about other smoking bans in prisons. The administrators are having to remove bibles from inmates' cells to keep prisoners from rolling cigarettes out of the tea from teabags and using bible pages as the wrapping paper to create a "smoke". Tobacco will just become a new contraband and an excuse for extra punishment.

Health is really an issue...sure....right!! Just the idea of being incarcerated in enough punishment....this has been established in the past. Cruel and unusual punishment is illegal. If our eternal "big brother" is so concerned about health in prisons, let them ban products that are illegal....oh, that's right, it's been done already....and it didn't work either.

These health expert freaks make me sick!!!

Garnet Dawn

Cook County Jail To Go Smoke-Free
Official: Health Concerns Outweigh Possible Confrontations

POSTED: 10:42 am CDT June 7, 2005

CHICAGO -- Sheriff Michael Sheahan says the Cook County Jail will become smoke-free before the end of the summer.

Sheahan said the health benefits of having a smoke-free jail outweigh a potential black market for cigarettes and possible confrontations between jail guards and inmates.

A Cook County sheriff's spokesman said about 10,000 inmates are smokers.

Beginning June 15, inmates will be limited to purchasing five packs of cigarettes a week. On July 1 that number will drop to three a week, and on July 15, inmates will only be able to buy only one pack a week.

On Aug. 1, the jail will become smoke-free.

The jail plans to offer counseling for inmates who experience nicotine withdrawal, but inmates will not be given nicotine patches or gum.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

From: "T.G."
Jun 7, 2005
Cook County Jail To Go Smoke-Free - Prohibition enters Cook County jail

There are a lot of “inmates” in the Cook County jail that can’t make bail and their trial dates are 90 days or more away. These are folks who will spend 3 or more months in jail over misdemeanors and many will be found not guilty. Some of those “inmates”, after 60, 90, or more days waiting for a court date will plead guilty in exchange for time served even though they are innocent. This is nothing short of coercion. Cook County doesn’t care. This is also the home of the notorious strip search where during in-processing each male prisoner has a long Q-Tip inserted in his penis to test for V.D. I know about the Cook County jail.

Freedom Now.

Jun 8, 2005
County jail is set to ban smoking - Current TSA Regulations
Letter to the Chicago Tribune comment page at

"To whom it may concern:

My comments do not relate to the reporting or writing of this story, but to the content. This is definitely not an attack on writer of this article.

Following the news story released yesterday, announcing Cook County Jail would become smoke-free this August, this idiotic "crock" of Cover-Your-Ass reasoning doesn't hold water. This is a purely sadistic move on the part of Cook County Jail decision makers regarding prison policies, meant to curry political and special interest goups' favor. Stop with the excuses! Fire was not the reason for this dictate!! How stupid do our officials really think our society has become?

Maybe those who have recently been arrested are temporarily not entitled to enjoy many materialistic pleasures, but the majority of offenders incarcerated in Cook County have not even been convicted of a crime.

Currently, the airline traveling public does not receive much better treatment than suspected criminals. I would like to know what has happened to Federal Law regarding the continuing flip-flops by the TSA on lighter/match regulations, too. What happened to the original Congressionally approved bill on this issue? I don't believe I have seen a bill passed recently, allowing lighters (not filled) to be allowed in checked luggage..... Now, matches are back on the "approved" list. What is wrong with the agencies in this country. If a corporation was managed in this manner, they would be bankrupt.

I am waiting for the first report of a major airliner blowing up in mid-air (due to flammable material stored in the cargo area) which of course will never be admitted....
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!"

County jail is set to ban smoking
Published June 8, 2005

CHICAGO -- In an effort to limit the flow of matches that can sometimes start fires inside the Cook County Jail, the facility will ban cigarettes as of Aug. 1.

Officials with the Cook County sheriff's office said smoking would be phased out over the coming weeks, with inmates allowed only one pack of cigarettes a week after July 15. Officials also said smoking-cessation classes would be offered at the jail's hospital.

The idea has been in development since late last year, said Bill Cunningham, a spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan.

Leaders in the office had previously put off the idea of a smoke-free jail, fearing that the inmates might be edgier and more prone to violence without their smokes, Cunningham said.

Concerns about possible disturbances were allayed in recent months after officials talked about the proposal with leaders of other institutions around the country that do not allow smoking, he said.

Jail staff members also will not be allowed cigarettes inside the facility.

Jun 7, 2005
We're Back!!!

You may still need a little "attitude adjustment" time..... Welcome back from the other side of the world!!! So glad to hear from you.....I'll bet you have soooo many great stories!

From: aaronsmyo@yahoo.com
To: garnetdawn@comcast.net
June 07, 2005
We're Back!!!

We're Back...well, as soon as the 'programmers' punch in our new info!!!
AaronsMYO was unable to process credit cards due to the ever restricting changes in tobacco
legislation, it appears that some elements of government struck a deal with the Major Credit Card Companies
not to accept Internet purchases or sales of tobacco products, effective as of March 17, 2005. We have procured the services of a new merchant processor that supports Visa, Mastercard and soon to be added Amex and Discover.

Interested in what's happening, take this link and read: http://www.smokersclubinc.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=893

Jun 7, 2005
Tobacco Prosecutors Wrap Up Case After 5 Years - RICO update

I am looking forward to reading these upcoming news stories:

''I think it's fair to say that what you're going to see from the defendants is a blistering and well-deserved attack on the government's case,'' said William S. Ohlemeyer, vice president of Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA.
Garnet Dawn

Tobacco Prosecutors Wrap Up Case After 5 Years
Published: June 7, 2005
Filed at 2:44 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than five years after filing suit, prosecutors started summarizing their racketeering case against major cigarette makers Tuesday, arguing for penalties including restrictions on the marketing of tobacco products.

''During the course of this trial, the United States has met its burden of proof,'' said Justice Department attorney Sharon Eubanks, describing a ''decades-long pattern of ... misrepresentations, half truths, deceptions and lies that continue to this day.''

Cigarette makers deny the government's allegations that the companies conspired for decades to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking. The companies argue that the law severely limits any sanctions the trial judge can impose, even if she finds against them.

The Justice Department filed the case in 1999 under the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler has been hearing the non-jury trial that started in September.

The department asked for a list of penalties against the companies, including funding a nationwide smoking cessation program and educational campaigns designed to counter tobacco marketing and a series of restrictions on practices such as price discounts and in-store displays.

Government lawyer Stephen Brody suggested Kessler issue injunctions to ensure the companies do not mislead the public about the risks of smoking and require the companies to pay for court-appointed monitors to ensure compliance. Changes the monitors could recommend if they find misconduct includes the removal of senior management, Brody said.

Kessler asked the government to look for legal precedents that would back their request.

''Here you are essentially asking for judicial oversight of private corporations. These are very weighty issues, I'll leave it at that,'' she said.

The defendants in the lawsuit are: Philip Morris USA Inc. and its parent, Altria Group Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.; British American Tobacco Ltd.; Lorillard Tobacco Co.; Liggett Group Inc.; Counsel for Tobacco Research-U.S.A.; and the Tobacco Institute.

In February, an appeals court stripped the government of its biggest stick against the defendants, denying a request to seek $280 billion in allegedly ill-gotten gains.

The companies argue that many of the other suggested penalties aren't permitted under civil RICO law. As they begin closing arguments on Wednesday, defendants will likely focus on how the statute restricts what Kessler can do.

''I think it's fair to say that what you're going to see from the defendants is a blistering and well-deserved attack on the government's case,'' said William S. Ohlemeyer, vice president of Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA.

On the Net:
Justice Department tobacco litigation: http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/tobacco2/

Jun 5, 2005
Crackdown hits online cigarettes - National/Kentucky

All these newspaper stories trying to scare the devil out of internet tobacco purchasers are so much bologna! Ther are still retailers that cannot be forced to open their books to the individual States.

I have personally verified that Sovereign Indian tobacco retailers are still alive and well. The Attorneys General cannot revoke Federal treaties with the Indian Nations. Only our Federal government can do that and I don't think they want to face the repercussions from violating these treaties.

I never did trust ordering cigarettes over the internet. Use your telephone....that's why it's there! (At least until our government can tap our phones too, without due cause.) The only difference, at this time, is that the credit card companies will no longer get a percentage of the purchase price total bottom line, and you need to have the money in the bank first. To me, it's worth it!!!

Sovereign Indian tobacco retailers that are legitimate, are still doing business and cannot be forced to open their books to U.S. state/federal agencies. I have verified that personally. Once your account is established, the retailer can make a bank transfer (the same way you pay your bills online), once given (and verifying) the routing and bank account number to be charged. This information has to be kept private and secured by the retailer.

Take heart! I know my source, but maybe smokers should compile a (private) list of Indian retailers that can be trusted. Private "word of mouth" (now private e-mail too, even if we have to develop codes) has worked throughout history...it still should......

Any ideas to help other smokers will be welcomed.......

Garnet Dawn

Crackdown hits online cigarettes

By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer

Smokers looking for cheaper markets since Kentucky's tax increased last week from 3 cents to 30 cents a pack may have a difficult time buying on the Internet.

Internet Web sites that once advertised that customers could escape state taxes by buying cartons online have stopped taking credit cards - the main currency in cyber commerce - after pressure from state and federal regulators.

Several states, including Ohio, have successfully collected sales taxes from people who bought cigarettes via the Internet.

"We will collect the (55-cent-per-pack) tax," Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins said in a recent statement. "So, if you buy cigarettes from a merchant out of Ohio that's not collecting and remitting Ohio cigarette taxes, don't be surprised when you get a bill from this department."

It is illegal to buy cigarettes online because consumers are avoiding paying taxes.

Under a 1949 law known as the Jenkins Act, anyone selling cigarettes across a state line to anyone but a licensed distributor is required to report the sale to tax collectors in the buyer's state.

State tax collectors are using the law to get the names of buyers from Internet sites and then sending the consumers tax bills.

In March, the Ohio Department of Taxation mailed nearly 1,200 letters that assessed a total of $93,018 in taxes on such cigarette purchases. The highest individual tax bill is $803.

"We know who these people are because of a federal law that requires companies, such as Internet firms, to provide the names, addresses and number of cigarettes purchased by persons in Ohio," Wilkins said.

Kentucky has not seen much reason to send bills in the past because until Wednesday the state had the lowest cigarette tax in the nation, said Jill Midkiff, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet.

Prices at Kentucky retailers were generally comparable to those found on Internet Web sites.

"Up until this point we haven't seen a reason to send (tax collection) letters ... because the tax was so low," Midkiff said. "But now that the tax has gone up we expect people will look to the Internet and if that happens we will be sending letters to people who buy cigarettes on the Internet."

But those buying with credit cards are going to find some sites no longer accept plastic.

In March, major credit card companies, at the urging of the National Association of Attorneys Generals and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agreed to no longer process Internet cigarette sales.

The effort was aimed at collecting tax dollars and curtailing sales to minors.

"Cigarette sales over the Internet in New York are not only illegal; they are also a direct threat to public health, because they increase smoking rates, which leads to increases in lung cancer and other smoking-related illnesses," said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said in a statement.

"By working with all the major card companies, we will severely restrict the ability of the Internet retailers to make these illegal sales," Spitzer said.

Some Internet sales sites continue to tout that credit card payment is accepted.

But sites such as Overnightsmokes.com and Senecacigs.com have posted online notices that "we are currently unable to process credit cards at this time."

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com

Jun 5, 2005
Health costs of obesity exceed smoking and drinking - Athens, Greece

The CDC may be trying to bury these statistics and do a quick side-step on obesity related health costs, but this story from Reuters out of Athens will not let the problem be delegated into oblivion by the USA. Seems like the CDC can't deal with any competition while concentrating on smoking prevention as their pet project.

Garnet Dawn

Health costs of obesity exceed smoking and drinking
By Patricia Reaney
Fri Jun 3, 7:37 AM ET

ATHENS (Reuters) - Treating obesity-related disorders costs as much or more than illnesses caused by aging, smoking and problem drinking.

It accounts for 2 percent of the national health expenditure in France and Australia, more than 3 percent in Japan and Portugal and 4 percent in the Netherlands.
A review of research into the economic causes and consequences of obesity presented at the 14th European Congress on Obesity showed that in 2003 up to $96.7 billion was spent on obesity problems in the United States.

"An increase in the prevalence of obesity increases the healthcare costs," Anne Wolf of the University of Virginia School of Medicine said.

"As age increases so do healthcare costs for obesity."

Obesity, which is a risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, is calculated using the body mass index (BMI) -- dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.

A BMI of more than 30 is considered obese, more than 40 is very severe.

The costs of dealing with the consequences of obesity rise along with the severity of the disorder. Being overweight or obese increases the odds of suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis which are the major reasons for obesity healthcare costs.

"Each unit increase in BMI is associated with a 2.3 percent cost increase," said Wolf.

Although most of the cost analysis for obesity has been done in the United States, where about 30 percent of adults are obese, Wolf said the figures would be comparable for other western countries with rising rates of obesity.

An estimated 10-20 percent of men and 10-25 percent of women in European countries are obese.

Along with hefty health costs, obesity is also associated with a greater loss of productivity and increased rates of disability.

Studies in the United States have shown that about 6 percent of people with a healthy weight are unable to work but the figure rises to 10 percent or more among the obese.

Much of the healthcare spending on obesity-related problems is due to prescription drug costs and more hospital stays.

Obese patients are more likely to require medication for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pain relief, asthma and other illnesses than people with a normal weight, according to Wolf.

Despite the health and economic consequences of obesity, which affects more than 300 million people worldwide including a growing number of children and adolescents, health experts believe it is one of the most neglected public health issues.

"It is a very serious problem," said Wolf. "The excess costs of obesity are present in all ages."

Monday, June 13, 2005

Jun 4, 2005
Press Release -
The International Smokers Rights Conference,
hosted by The Smoker's Club, Inc. is scheduled for June 27-29


The International Smokers Rights Conference, hosted by The Smoker's
Club, Inc. is scheduled for June 27-29, 2005 at Caesars Palace in Las
Vegas, Nevada.

In the interest of civil liberties, private property owners' rights,
and healthcare issues, this conference has involved dozens of
organizations to meet for the first time in history. The conference
will serve as a clearinghouse and workshop for information on tobacco
regulation, political activism, and emerging public policy issues.

Conference speakers include:

· Dr. Brad Rodu, University of Alabama-Birmingham, author of
the book, For Smokers Only
· Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach addressing "Government Imposed
· Joe Bob Briggs will provide his "Profoundly Disturbing" views
on the fight against "Smoking In The Movies"
· Luc Martial will expose the Anti system, as a previous
insider, in his discussion "The War On Smokers"
· Norm Kjono of Forces International discussing "Smoking &
Civil Rights"
· Attorney Ryan M. Pacyga will speak on the "Legalities of
Smoking Bans"
· Leaders from the Libertarian Party will discuss "Private
Property Rights"
· Freedom group leaders along with Warren Klass, Michael J.
McFadden, Sue Jeffers, David W. Kuneman, Steve Helfer, and Terry Gray
will discuss various topics.

In looking forward to his presentation at the conference, speaker
Chuck Muth stated, "This is a great opportunity to showcase the
present day threats to our basic liberties. The consumer freedom
themes being discussed at this conference are universal and clearly
extend beyond the narrow issue of tobacco control."

For more conference information, please see the web page at

Samantha Phillipe
The Smoker's Club, Inc.
PO Box 814
Center Conway, NH 03813
Email: info@smokersclub.com

Jun 3, 2005
Restaurants are smoke free for Father's Day - Bureau County, IL

If you live in Bureau County and smoke, you'd better find another county for dining over Father's Day weekend. Listed below are the restaurants going smoke free June 17-June 19. Residents can thank the Putnam/Bureau County Smoke-Free Restaurant Challenge Committee. If you can't smoke, don't go!

Garnet Dawn

Bureau County Republican

Restaurants are smoke free for Father's Day
By Donna Barker dbarker@bcrnews.com

BUREAU COUNTY -- Eating out for Father's Day this year could be a healthier experience for everyone involved.

The Putnam/Bureau County Smoke-Free Restaurant Challenge Committee has worked to make this Father's Day weekend, June 17-19, a smoke-free experience in all area restaurants.

An estimated 53,000 people die each year in the United States from secondhand smoke with non-smokers consuming the equivalent of four cigarettes in two hours.

Area restaurants agreeing to be smoke-free for the weekend include:

DePue -- Giant's Den.

Ladd -- Ladd Moose Lodge, Rip's Tavern and Scrub's Pub.

Princeton -- Crown Lanes, Super Wok Buffet, Austin Parker Naturals, Beetz Me, Burger King, Casey's, Country Comfort Home, Culver's, Eco Expresso Caf/, Fast Stop, Galleria, Greenfield Home, Johnny Ray's BB Ribs, Chicken and More, Light Post Restaurant, Maria's Pizza, McDonald's, Monical's Pizza, Oriental Gardens, Perry Memorial Hospital Park Avenue Caf/, Phoenix Inn, Pizza Hut, Stagecoach Spaghetti Express, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Wal-Mart Radio Grill and Wyaton Golf Course.

Sheffield -- Chestnut Street Inn, Casey's and Hidden Lake Country Club.

Tiskilwa -- Indian Valley Inn, Belluccio's and Casey's.

Hennepin -- Ray's Place and Country Stop.

LaMoille -- Fast Stop.

Neponset -- Fast Stop.

Ohio -- Ohio Filling Station.

Spring Valley -- Hardee's, Jimmy John's, Las Palmas, Pizza Hut, Spring Valley Nursing Home and St. Margaret's Hospital Food Service.

Walnut -- Our Home and Yours.

Wyanet -- Coffee Depot.

Working on the committee are representatives of the American Cancer Society, the Bureau/Putnam County Health Departments, St. Margaret's Hospital, Perry Memorial Hospital, Dr. Kurt Crowe and Dr. Damian Grivetti.

Other committee members are Connie Doran, Debbie Feeney, Darcia Ferrari, Sue Gorman, Marcia Hartwig, Kirsten Herman, Heather Higgins, Terry Judd, Doria Martuzzo, Ellen Parks and Nancy Sims.

June 03, 2005
SMOKE BAN BEGINS - Highland Park

Highland Park City Hall
1707 St Johns Ave
Highland Park, IL 60035

Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
508 Central Avenue, Suite 206
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone 847-432-0284

RE: SMOKE BAN BEGINS - Highland Park http://www.dailyherald.com/search/searchstory.asp?id=56372

Dear Mayor Belsky, Councilman Brenner, Councilwoman Barnes and the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce:

cc: Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago, cityclerk@cityofchicago.org
Sahah Fairwell, Staff Reporter, Daily Herald

I am a neighbor who resides in Lake Bluff, and I have frequently spent afternoons shopping and meeting friends for lunch in Highland Park. However, now that Highland Park has enacted this smoking ban, I will never again spend a single penny in your city. I will go elsewhere. The majority of restaurants were already non-smoking and this legislation was unwarranted and not necessary.

You have allowed yourselves to be influenced by anti-smoking special interest groups, and I doubt if the smoking ban in your city would have been approved so easily if both the Illinois Senate and House had not just passed the Clean Air Act - Home Rule. You are intentionally hurting Highland Park small business owners who are also voters.

Even though passive smoke it is now called a health hazard in many circles, not one study has ever been able to supports these claims. Inescapable vehicle emissions or the smog alerts we have to endure every year are the real health hazards. Non-smokers were never forced to ferret out the few places that still allowed smoking in your city.

Are any of you aware that the commonly used statistic that second hand smoke kills 53,000 (or more) people in this country every year came from Stanton Glantz, not the CDC or EPA? http://forces.org/research/files/acs.htm

"Glantz was the real source behind the widely quoted statistic 53,000 second-hand-smoke-related-deaths per year. The EPA denied it, after the CDC released it to a couple of Florida newspapers. The number was never retracted..." See http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/stanton_glantz_doctor_of_what.html

One last piece of interesting information about Dr. Glantz , the trusted source who initiated all the second hand smoke claims, is that he does not have his Ph.D. in a field even related to health. His title originates from a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering!

I hope the Highland Park officials who passed this ban will live to regret it and then will repeal it, as so many other municipalities across the country have done.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional DirectorThe United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!

Good bye Highland Park!
Friday, June 3, 2005

Smoke ban begins
By Sara Faiwell
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, June 02, 2005

Highland Park enacted Lake County’s first smoking ban Wednesday, a move local health officials say is something they hope all municipalities will soon consider.

It means all indoor public areas, including restaurants, taxis and places of work, in the city are off limits to smokers. The ordinance was approved by the city council in April.

“The second-hand smoke issue is becoming really big,” said Bill Mays, the county health department’s director of community health services. “Highland Park’s leadership in this regard is an important precedent.”

Health department officials say the action is the most sweeping they’ve seen. That’s due, in part, because Highland Park is one of 20 communities in Illinois that can legally enact smoking bans tougher than state standards.

All that is poised to change if Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs off on a plan that would allow individual municipalities to snuff smoking on their own turf. The plan, in the works for more than a decade, was recently approved by the state legislature and awaits approval from the governor.

However, Highland Park’s smoking ban is not without opposition.

Richard Holleb, owner of Norton’s Restaurant on Sheridan Road, said he had 350 customers sign a petition against the ordinance before it was passed. His restaurants turn into bars at night, where he used to permit smoking once the kitchen closed.

“My guess is that I will lose business,” Holleb said.

For local residents like Simon Pestell, who walked through downtown Highland Park Wednesday with a cigarette in hand, the ban foreshadows what’s to come over time in most cities.

“Personally, I think it’s stupid because restaurants have good ventilation systems now,” he said.

At Rosebud restaurant, general manager John Folinazzo said he knows non-smokers will be happy cigarette and cigar fumes won’t be coming from the bar area anymore.

“In the summer, people can come and sit on the patio to smoke, but the winter is a whole other story,” he said

Highland Park officials were not available for comment.

Mays said he hopes other communities follow Highland Park’s example if the governor enables them to do so.

“It’s an important public health principle,” he said.

Jun 2, 2005
Tillery files suit against PM, then asks for dismissal - Madison County, IL
The Madison County Record
301 N. Main Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025

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

RE: Tillery files suit against PM, then asks for dismissal - Opinion

Dear Mr. Gonzalez,

Thank you once again for writing an excellent and informative news story on the continuing saga of frivolous lawsuits that have made the Madison County court system famous.

This filing of lawsuits by greedy immoral people who are represented by the already infamous trial attorney giants, Korein Tillery of Belleville and SimmonsCooper of East Alton versus Philip Morris (also Huck's and R.J. Reynolds), is becoming a vicious cycle that is wasting the Court's time and taxpayers' money.

It appears Tillery-and-company will continue to encourage clients to file and request voluntary dismissals of these law suits at the same time, until they believe the political climate to be more favorable for their clients. Every time these cases are dismissed "without prejudice", it means they can be re-filed within a year.

The pattern has already become clear, as my compiled records on the subject illustrate. It is not the first time these tactics have been employed, when these morally-challenged lawyers have represented clients in similar law suits.

First, I had the letter published last December by the Madison County Record when Tillery initiated these same motions:
"....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."
Next, documented below, Tillery filed eight more lawsuits of the same kind and the LaTempt's were named in that article among the plaintiffs..
February 9, 2005, "Convenience stores sued over cigarette advertising"

"Another plaintiff, Debra LaTempt claims she was not aware of the high levels of nicotine and tar in Marlboro Lights until after she was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2003. LaTempt is also seeking a $50,000 punitive judgment, medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and loss of life expectancy."
Also, in March, this was published.
Philip Morris Wins in Replay of Cancer Trial
The cigarette maker is not liable for the death of a Marina del Rey man, an L.A. jury rules.

"The Los Angeles County Superior Court decision published in the Los Angeles news story below may be helpful to Huck's Convenience Store chain. They are the defendants in eight law suits Korein Tillery has filed in Madison County, IL.
http://www.smokersclubinc.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1038 "
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Rights - http://www.illinoissmokersrights.com/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - Respect Freedom of Choice!

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 - http://www.smokersclubinc.com
Illinois Smokers Group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/illinoissmokers/
mailto:garnetdawn@comcast.net - 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.

Convenience stores sued over cigarette advertising

February 9, 2005
By LEN WELLS Courier & Press correspondent (618) 842-2159 or rlwells@shawneelink.net

The Madison County, Ill., law firm that won a $10.1 billion lawsuit against Phillip Morris Tobacco in 2003 has filed eight lawsuits against Carmi, Ill.-based Martin & Bayley, operators of the Huck's Convenience Store chain.

Each suit alleges that Martin & Bayley violated Illinois consumer fraud laws by representing that "light" cigarettes were safer than regular.

The suits were filed Monday by the Belleville, Ill., law firm of Korein Tillery in Madsion County Circuit Court. Within the text of the suits, the plaintiffs allege that Huck's "engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and conduct that induced the plaintiffs to purchase cigarettes through unfair and deceptive acts."

Salem and Marlboro Lights were specifically named in the suit as allegedly being represented as "safer" than regular cigarettes.

Martin & Bayley has been in operation since 1960. The company was established by partners Bob Martin and Frank Bayley of Carmi. Martin died in 1998.

The firm opened its first Huck's store on Illinois 1 in Grayville in 1974 by converting a former Standard Oil service station into a convenience store. There are now more than 150 Huck's stores operating in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. The company's web site states its current employment stands at about 1,500.

Huck's is an employee-owned company, announcing recently the implementation of an Employee Stock Ownership Program.

Martin & Bayley Chairman and CEO Randy Fulkerson was not available for comment on the lawsuits.

Michael Kelly is one of the eight plaintiffs suing the Carmi firm. Kelly is the administrator of the estate of his father, Everett Kelly who died of lung cancer on June 4, 2003.

The suit alleges that Huck's Convenience Stores "fraudulently represented and sold Phillip Morris' Marlboro Lights cigarettes as having less tar and nicotine than regular cigarettes."

Kelly is seeking a punitive judgment in excess of $50,000.

Another plaintiff, Debra LaTempt claims she was not aware of the high levels of nicotine and tar in Marlboro Lights until after she was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2003. LaTempt is also seeking a $50,000 punitive judgment, medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and loss of life expectancy.

All eight plaintiffs live in Madison, St. Clair or Monroe Counties, which are located in the Metro-east St. Louis area. Each claims to have purchased "light" cigarettes at Huck's Convenience stores in their neighborhoods and have contracted lung cancer within the past few years.

Officials with the Springfield, Ill.-based Illinois Association of Convenience Stores said they're appalled by the lawsuits.

"We're a law-abiding industry that sells a legal product to responsible adults," said Bill Fleischli, Executive Vice President of the association. "It's like me suing the butcher because I contracted arteriosclerosis - it's just not correct."

Martin & Bayley is a longtime member of the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores. Company president Mark Bayley is in line to be president of the association, which represents 500 company-owned convenience stores throughout Illinois. Officials with Korein Tillery did not return calls about the lawsuits.

Mar 5, 2005

May help Huck's in IL -
Philip Morris Wins in Replay of Cancer Trial - Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court decision published in the Los Angeles news story below may be helpful to Huck's Convenience Store chain. They are the defendants in eight law suits Korein Tillery has filed in Madison County, IL.

The Madison County, Ill., law firm that won a $10.1 billion lawsuit against Phillip Morris Tobacco in 2003 has filed eight lawsuits against Carmi, Ill.-based Martin & Bayley, operators of the Huck's Convenience Store chain.

Each suit alleges that Martin & Bayley violated Illinois consumer fraud laws by representing that "light" cigarettes were safer than regular.

The suits were filed Monday by the Belleville, Ill., law firm of Korein Tillery in Madsion County Circuit Court. Within the text of the suits, the plaintiffs allege that Huck's "engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and conduct that induced the plaintiffs to purchase cigarettes through unfair and deceptive acts."...........



Philip Morris Wins in Replay of Cancer Trial
The cigarette maker is not liable for the death of a Marina del Rey man, an L.A. jury rules.
March 5, 2005
By Myron Levin, Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles jury handed a legal victory to Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA on Friday, ruling that the nation's top cigarette maker was not responsible for the lung cancer death of a longtime smoker of its Marlboro and Benson & Hedges brands.

Jurors in Los Angeles County Superior Court found that Philip Morris had concealed information about the risks and addictiveness of smoking, with deliberate intent to defraud smokers such as Fredric Reller of Marina del Rey, who died in September 2003 at the age of 64. However, the jury also found that Reller was aware of the dangers and therefore had not been deceived.

The jury deliberated less than two days before reaching a verdict in what was a partial replay of a 2003 trial. In the earlier case, Philip Morris was absolved of five of six claims: negligence, failure to warn, marketing a defective product and two counts of fraud. The jury deadlocked on a claim of fraudulent concealment.

After Reller died, it became a wrongful-death case on behalf of his widow, Madeleine, and the concealment claim was retried beginning in January.

"Mrs. Reller and I are disappointed," said her attorney, Michael Piuze, in a statement issued after the verdict.

In Fredric Reller's videotaped deposition, "he admitted that he was ashamed and embarrassed that he had believed Philip Morris' lies and deceit that there was no valid scientific proof that their cigarettes caused lung cancer," Piuze said. "Philip Morris has never admitted any shame or embarrassment about its lies and deceit."

William S. Ohlemeyer, vice president and associate general counsel at Altria, said the evidence showed that Reller "made an informed decision as to whether to smoke."

Throughout the trial, Piuze had peppered the jury with internal documents dating to the 1960s, in which executives of Philip Morris and the Tobacco Institute spoke of creating "doubt about the health charge" so that addicted smokers would have a "psychological crutch" to rationalize their habit.

In closing arguments, he said Philip Morris' defense boiled down to "saying Frederic Reller was wrong to believe what it said."

But Philip Morris attorney Beth A. Wilkinson told jurors the deception claims were a smoke screen, because Reller "was an intelligent, sophisticated and successful businessman" who "was aware of the dangers."

She cited testimony by Madeleine Reller about her husband's reaction to a 1994 appearance before Congress of tobacco chief executives. When the CEOs stated under oath that they did not believe smoking was addictive or a proven cause of lung cancer, both Rellers "said they were liars," Wilkinson said.

Opening arguments are set for Monday in Riverside in another case against Philip Morris — this one filed by ex-Marlboro smoker Bruce Coolidge.

Altria's shares closed Friday at $66.05, up 36 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.


Tillery files suit against PM, then asks for dismissal

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
By Steve Gonzalez (
steve@madisonrecord.com )

On the same day Jack Latempt of Roxana filed suit against Philip Morris USA seeking damages for losing his wife's valuable services--he filed a motion for voluntary dismissal on May 27 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Latempt's wife, Debra, was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago. She filed a lawsuit against Huck's convenience stores on Feb. 8 in Madison County claiming she would not have chosen "light" cigarettes had Huck's been truthful in its advertising.

“(Jack) Latempt has suffered the loss of the consortium, society, companionship, fellowship and other valuable services of his wife, and believes he is entitled to actual damages against Philip Morris by reason of said loss,” his complaint stated.

The newer case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Jack LaTempt can re-file within one year. Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn granted the dismissal.

Latempt's attorneys, Stephen Tillery and Donald Flack of Korein Tillery of St. Louis, were seeking a sum “reasonable and equitable” plus all costs of the suit and attorney fees.

Debra Latempt was a 30-cigarette-a-day smoker for 28 years. Her pending suit blames Huck's for placing cigarettes into the stream of commerce, and alleges the retailer "engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and conduct that induced her to purchase cigarettes through unfair and deceptive acts."

In his suit, Jack Latempt claimed Debra received higher levels of tar and nicotine from her Marlboro Lights than Philip Morris represented and that the smoke was also more mutagenic than regular cigarettes.

"Each milligram of tar from Marlboro Lights cigarettes actually increases the mutagenicity (genetic and chromosomal damage) of the tar delivered to the consumer and increases the levels of most of the harmful toxins delivered to the consumer," Latempt alleged in the suit.

Latempt claimed his wife would not have purchased Marlboro Lights if he was aware of Philip Morris' alleged deceptive practices.