Tobacco tax causes slow burn

Tax hike: Eric Christie, owner of Christies House of Pipes and Cigars, uses a cigarette machine to roll cigarettes. Full Story
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Wildone

Philadelphia, PA

#1 Mar 26, 2009
Someone has to pay for all the cancer that smoking and second hand smoke causes. So it might as well come from the source.
I want the truth

Shermans Dale, PA

#2 Mar 26, 2009
well keep on taxing, and this president is a joke as I knew he would be! All he wants too do is be s celebrity. as to the tax...well remember the Boston Tea party? well then lets be fair lets tax the heck out of alcohol too. oh and fast food both these are also destroying America and the health of Americans and then whts next gas is already taxed to the hilt. Time to speak up , and do something or are we the laz Americans that just roll over now? turn the other cheeck? food gas, smokes, electric oil whats next?
America rocks

Carlisle, PA

#3 Mar 26, 2009
"Some say they're going to quit."

Good...Tobacco is a proven cause of cancer.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 26, 2009
Convenience store owners should make sure their security cameras are in working order. With these price increases, I can see tobacco products being the objects of robberies and break-ins.
non smoker

Carlisle, PA

#5 Mar 26, 2009
Wildone wrote:
Someone has to pay for all the cancer that smoking and second hand smoke causes. So it might as well come from the source.
But when does it stop, this taxing? Are we going to have to soon pay taxes on anything with sugar in because we may become obese?

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#6 Mar 26, 2009
Wildone wrote:
Someone has to pay for all the cancer that smoking and second hand smoke causes. So it might as well come from the source.
FOX NEWS ARTICLE
March 8, 1998

Passive smoking doesn't cause cancer - official
By Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent

THE world's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect.

The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organization, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report.

Despite repeated approaches, nobody at the WHO headquarters in Geneva would comment on the findings last week. At its International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon , France , which coordinated the study, a spokesman would say only that the full report had been submitted to a science journal and no publication date had been set.

The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)- and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups.

Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer. The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers.

The results are consistent with their being no additional risk for a person living or working with a smoker and could be consistent with passive smoke having a protective effect against lung cancer. The summary, seen by The Telegraph, also states: "There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood."

A spokesman for Action on Smoking and Health said the findings "seem rather surprising given the evidence from other major reviews on the subject which have shown a clear association between passive smoking and a number of diseases." Roy Castle, the jazz musician and television presenter who died from lung cancer in 1994, claimed that he contracted the disease from years of inhaling smoke while performing in pubs and clubs.

A report published in the British Medical Journal last October was hailed by the anti-tobacco lobby as definitive proof when it claimed that non-smokers living with smokers had a 25 per cent risk of developing lung cancer. But yesterday, Dr Chris Proctor, head of science for BAT Industries, the tobacco group, said the findings had to be taken seriously. "If this study cannot find any statistically valid risk you have to ask if there can be any risk at all.

"It confirms what we and many other scientists have long believed, that while smoking in public may be annoying to some non-smokers, the science does not show that being around a smoker is a lung-cancer risk." The WHO study results come at a time when the British Government has made clear its intention to crack down on smoking in thousands of public places, including bars and restaurants.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#7 Mar 26, 2009
non smoker wrote:
<quoted text>
But when does it stop, this taxing? Are we going to have to soon pay taxes on anything with sugar in because we may become obese?
Dont worry the blackmarket thats resulting nationwide due to this new round of prohibition and high taxation is going to blow up in these libtards faces.........just as it did in the 1920s.....in 1921 27 states had smoking prohibition by 1933 all were repealed along with alcohol prohibition.
Todays prohibition movement is no diferent from what these zealots tried back then as now.
We just have to wait for the winds of political change to come about and its happening as we type.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Mar 26, 2009
non smoker wrote:
<quoted text>
But when does it stop, this taxing? Are we going to have to soon pay taxes on anything with sugar in because we may become obese?
Guns will probably be next to have high taxes put on them unless they're outlawed.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#9 Mar 26, 2009
THE AIR ACCORDING TO OSHA

Though repetition has little to do with "the truth," we're repeatedly told that there's "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

OSHA begs to differ.

OSHA has established PELs (Permissible Exposure Levels) for all the measurable chemicals, including the 40 alleged carcinogens, in secondhand smoke. PELs are levels of exposure for an 8-hour workday from which, according to OSHA, no harm will result.

Of course the idea of "thousands of chemicals" can itself sound spooky. Perhaps it would help to note that coffee contains over 1000 chemicals, 19 of which are known to be rat carcinogens.
-"Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities" Gold Et Al., Science, 258: 261-65 (1992)

There. Feel better?

As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."
-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Indeed it would.

Independent health researchers have done the chemistry and the math to prove how very very rare that would be.

As you're about to see in a moment.

In 1999, comments were solicited by the government from an independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke.

Using EPA figures on the emissions per cigarette of everything measurable in secondhand smoke, they compared them to OSHA's PELs.

The following excerpt and chart are directly from their report and their Washington testimony:

CALCULATING THE NON-EXISTENT RISKS OF ETS

"We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained--very few, of course, because it's difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS.

"We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.

"Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.

"Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.

"For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold.

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

"At the lower end of the scale-- in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?

"Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room -- a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we've been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.

"It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat."

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#10 Mar 26, 2009
-"Toxic Toxicology" Littlewood & Fennel

Coming at OSHA from quite a different angle is litigator (and how!) John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Banzhaf is on record as wanting to remove healthy children from intact homes if one of their family smokes. He also favors national smoking bans both indoors and out throughout America, and has litigation kits for sale on how to get your landlord to evict your smoking neighbors.

Banzhaf originally wanted OSHA to ban smoking in all American workplaces.

It's not even that OSHA wasn't happy to play along; it's just that--darn it -- they couldn't find the real-world science to make it credible.

So Banzhaf sued them. Suing federal agencies to get them to do what you want is, alas, a new trick in the political deck of cards. But OSHA, at least apparently, hung tough.

In response to Banzhaf's law suit they said the best they could do would be to set some official standards for permissible levels of smoking in the workplace.

Scaring Banzhaf, and Glantz and the rest of them to death.

Permissible levels? No, no. That would mean that OSHA, officially, said that smoking was permitted. That in fact, there were levels (hard to exceed, as we hope we've already shown) that were generally safe.

This so frightened Banzhaf that he dropped the case. Here are excerpts from his press release:

"ASH has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against OSHA...to avoid serious harm to the non-smokers rights movement from adverse action OSHA had threatened to take if forced by the suit to do it....developing some hypothetical [ASH's characterization] measurement of smoke pollution that might be a better remedy than prohibiting smoking....[T]his could seriously hurt efforts to pass non-smokers' rights legislation at the state and local level...

Another major threat was that, if the agency were forced by ASH's suit to promulgate a rule regulating workplace smoking,[it] would be likely to pass a weak one.... This weak rule in turn could preempt future and possibly even existing non-smokers rights laws-- a risk no one was willing to take.

As a result of ASH's dismissal of the suit, OSHA will now withdraw its rule-making proceedings but will do so without using any of the damaging [to Anti activists] language they had threatened to include."
-ASH Nixes OSHA Suit To Prevent Harm To Movement

Looking on the bright side, Banzhaf concludes:

"We might now be even more successful in persuading states and localities to ban smoking on their own, once they no longer have OSHA rule-making to hide behind."

Once again, the Anti-Smoking Movement reveals that it's true motive is basically Prohibition (stopping smokers from smoking; making them "social outcasts")--not "safe air."

And the attitude seems to be, as Stanton Glantz says, if the science doesn't "help" you, don't do the science.
PLEEEEAS

Marcus Hook, PA

#11 Mar 26, 2009
Wildone wrote:
Someone has to pay for all the cancer that smoking and second hand smoke causes. So it might as well come from the source.
There is no solid proof that second hand cigarette smoke causes cancer, it's all a THEORY.
Leftist

Honey Grove, PA

#12 Mar 26, 2009
This thread will get good, post after post of mindless drivel from pathetic folks with an addiction to tobacco!
Lost

Chambersburg, PA

#13 Mar 26, 2009
PLEEEEAS wrote:
<quoted text>There is no solid proof that second hand cigarette smoke causes cancer, it's all a THEORY.
OK why don't you prove your theory. Spent an evening around smokers and the next day go to your Doctor and get your blood tested and see what the results are I promise you it won't be good.
yada-yada

Lansdale, PA

#14 Mar 26, 2009
I want the truth wrote:
well keep on taxing, and this president is a joke as I knew he would be! All he wants too do is be s celebrity. as to the tax...well remember the Boston Tea party? well then lets be fair lets tax the heck out of alcohol too. oh and fast food both these are also destroying America and the health of Americans and then whts next gas is already taxed to the hilt. Time to speak up , and do something or are we the laz Americans that just roll over now? turn the other cheeck? food gas, smokes, electric oil whats next?
This is a state tax! Obama had nothing to do with it. The federal tax was added last month.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#15 Mar 26, 2009
Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger
Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D.
Published In: Environment & Climate News
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an unpleasant experience for many nonsmokers, and for decades was considered a nuisance. But the idea that it might actually cause disease in nonsmokers has been around only since the 1970s.

Recent surveys show more than 80 percent of Americans now believe secondhand smoke is harmful to nonsmokers.

Federal Government Reports

A 1972 U.S. surgeon general's report first addressed passive smoking as a possible threat to nonsmokers and called for an anti-smoking movement. The issue was addressed again in surgeon generals' reports in 1979, 1982, and 1984.

A 1986 surgeon general's report concluded involuntary smoking caused lung cancer, but it offered only weak epidemiological evidence to support the claim. In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged with further evaluating the evidence for health effects of SHS.

In 1992 EPA published its report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," claiming SHS is a serious public health problem, that it kills approximately 3,000 nonsmoking Americans each year from lung cancer, and that it is a Group A carcinogen (like benzene, asbestos, and radon).

The report has been used by the tobacco-control movement and government agencies, including public health departments, to justify the imposition of thousands of indoor smoking bans in public places.

Flawed Assumptions

EPA's 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.

Even so, the EPA report was cited in the surgeon general's 2006 report on SHS, where then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona made the absurd claim that there is no risk-free level of exposure to SHS.

For its 1992 report, EPA arbitrarily chose to equate SHS with mainstream (or firsthand) smoke. One of the agency's stated assumptions was that because there is an association between active smoking and lung cancer, there also must be a similar association between SHS and lung cancer.

But the problem posed by SHS is entirely different from that found with mainstream smoke. A well-recognized toxicological principle states, "The dose makes the poison."

Accordingly, we physicians record direct exposure to cigarette smoke by smokers in the medical record as "pack-years smoked" (packs smoked per day times the number of years smoked). A smoking history of around 10 pack-years alerts the physician to search for cigarette-caused illness. But even those nonsmokers with the greatest exposure to SHS probably inhale the equivalent of only a small fraction (around 0.03) of one cigarette per day, which is equivalent to smoking around 10 cigarettes per year.

Low Statistical Association

Another major problem is that the epidemiological studies on which the EPA report is based are statistical studies that can show only correlation and cannot prove causation.

One statistical method used to compare the rates of a disease in two populations is relative risk (RR). It is the rate of disease found in the exposed population divided by the rate found in the unexposed population. An RR of 1.0 represents zero increased risk. Because confounding and other factors can obscure a weak association, in order even to suggest causation a very strong association must be found, on the order of at least 300 percent to 400 percent, which is an RR of 3.0 to 4.0.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#16 Mar 26, 2009
Scientific Principles Ignored

An even greater problem is the agency's lowering of the confidence interval (CI) used in its report. Epidemiologists calculate confidence intervals to express the likelihood a result could happen just by chance. A CI of 95 percent allows a 5 percent possibility that the results occurred only by chance.

Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology's gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19--an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality--the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.

EPA Study Soundly Rejected

In November 1995 after a 20-month study, the Congressional Research Service released a detailed analysis of the EPA report that was highly critical of EPA's methods and conclusions. In 1998, in a devastating 92-page opinion, Federal Judge William Osteen vacated the EPA study, declaring it null and void. He found a culture of arrogance, deception, and cover-up at the agency.

Osteen noted, "First, there is evidence in the record supporting the accusation that EPA 'cherry picked' its data.... In order to confirm its hypothesis, EPA maintained its standard significance level but lowered the confidence interval to 90 percent. This allowed EPA to confirm its hypothesis by finding a relative risk of 1.19, albeit a very weak association.... EPA cannot show a statistically significant association between [SHS] and lung cancer."

In 2003 a definitive paper on SHS and lung cancer mortality was published in the British Medical Journal. It is the largest and most detailed study ever reported. The authors studied more than 35,000 California never-smokers over a 39-year period and found no statistically significant association between exposure to SHS and lung cancer mortality.

Propaganda Trumps Science

The 1992 EPA report is an example of the use of epidemiology to promote belief in an epidemic instead of to investigate one. It has damaged the credibility of EPA and has tainted the fields of epidemiology and public health.

In addition, influential anti-tobacco activists, including prominent academics, have unethically attacked the research of eminent scientists in order to further their ideological and political agendas.

The abuse of scientific integrity and the generation of faulty "scientific" outcomes (through the use of pseudoscience) have led to the deception of the American public on a grand scale and to draconian government overregulation and the squandering of public money.

Millions of dollars have been spent promoting belief in SHS as a killer, and more millions of dollars have been spent by businesses in order to comply with thousands of highly restrictive bans, while personal choice and freedom have been denied to millions of smokers. Finally, and perhaps most tragically, all this has diverted resources away from discovering the true cause(s) of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Concerned

Shippensburg, PA

#17 Mar 26, 2009
This is nuts, I am not a smoker, but how in the name of GOD can anyone increase the tax more than the product.???
This has to be stopped.
Locke

Royersford, PA

#18 Mar 26, 2009
yada-yada wrote:
<quoted text>
This is a state tax! Obama had nothing to do with it. The federal tax was added last month.
Wrong answer. The Federal Excise tax was approved in Feb and is just now going into affect.
laughable

Downingtown, PA

#19 Mar 26, 2009
America rocks wrote:
"Some say they're going to quit."
Good...Tobacco is a proven cause of cancer.
What happens when most of the smokers do quit? Then, who pays to upkeep the programs that these taxes are going to?
mav

Upper Darby, PA

#20 Mar 26, 2009
A little off topic, but I'm sure this is coming ... paying for postal service! After reading yesterday that the USPS is in the hole for consectutive straight years, I don't think it will take long before they pass the monetary issue on to the public. Not only will your mail carrier be delivering your mail, but he will be dropping off a bill for his service too!

Just like paying for garbage service, we'll be paying for mail service as well!

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