Lawmaker to pursue statewide smoking restrictions
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Thunder Bay, Canada
#1 Nov 14, 2008
Government power real health hazard
The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.
Indeed, the bans are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved â the cancer of unlimited government power.
The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or is in fact just a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: If it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?
Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than trying to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the bans are the unwanted intrusion.
Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and offices â places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is negligible, such as outdoor public parks.
The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.
All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.
Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Smokers are a numerical minority, practising a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.
That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
#2 Nov 14, 2008
This letter, from a non-smoker. represents all anti-smoking bans.
Anti-Smoking Facade Crumbling
The conclusions of the following information coincides with the fact that the Ontario, Canada's Liberal government's demoralizing, dictatorial smoke-free legislations make people emotionally/psychologically ill. Good emotional/psychological health makes physical health work, not the reverse.
'Councilman James Gennaro is introducing a bill to ban smoking in automobiles if a minor is present,' New York, August 15, 2007. Robert Madden, M.D., Former President of the New York Cancer Society wrote in The New York Sun, "He wants to control everyones behaviour. And he can't, he can only try. These efforts are based on data, both old and new, on the effects of secondhand smoke. This data is scientifically weak and controversial. The most recent example of this is found in the 2006 Surgeon General's report on the effects of secondhand smoke."
Also stated by Dr. Robert Madden, "To me the most offensive element of the smoking bans is the resort to science as "proving that environmental smoke, second-hand smoke, causes lung cancer." Not only is this unproven, but there is abundant and substantial evidence to the contrary. It is frustrating, even insulting, for a scientist like myself, to hear the bloated statistics put out by the American Cancer Society, of which I am a member and the American Lung Association used to justify what is best described as a political agenda.
'Medical Journal critcizes WHO for neglecting evidence, The Associated Press, May 7, 2007.' When developing evidence-based guidelines, the World Health Organization routinely forgets one key ingredient: evidence. The medical journals (Lancet) criticism of WHO will shock many in the global health community, as one of WHO's main jobs is to produce guidelines on everything from fighting the spread of bird flu and malaria control to enacting anti-smoking legislation. WHO's director of research policy Dr. Tikki Pang said that some of the WHO colleagues were shocked by Lancet's study, but he acknowledged the criticism had merit, and explained that time pressures and a lack of both information and money sometimes compromised WHO work.
The actual result of the Liberal's "pet project," anti-smoking, is increased fear, anxiety, depression and therefore mental and physical illness. It affects smokers, their families, and other children whose minds are being preyed upon by constant government attempts to control their smoking behaviour.
Anti-smoking is not only a loss of rights...it is the foothold of Fascism! Do we care?
#3 Nov 14, 2008
This letter, from a non-smoker, represents all anti-smoking bans.
LOW SELF-ESTEEM DISCREDITS SMOKE-FREE
Low self-esteem is the # 1 preventable killer in Ontario, Canada today, not smoke-free. Smoke-free is merely an afterthought. Low self-esteem negatively alters onesâs body chemistry, thus attacking and weakening the immune system. Susceptibility to mental disease and most forms of serious physical disease then becomes higher risk.
Robert Reasoner, President of the International Council for Self-Esteem says, "Self-esteem has been called the underlying psychodynamic mechanism underlying all deviant behavior. Low self-esteem has been identified as the most significant problem in the lives of alcoholics, and the universal common denominator among literally all people suffering from addiction. It is the major symptom of eating disorders, as well as the most common factor among those who engage in violence, become pregnant as adolescents, drop out of school or attempt suicide."
Noted Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden states, "Self-esteem is the single most important psychological subject in the world; positive self-esteem is, in effect, the immune system of the consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration. The level of our self-esteem has profound consequences for every aspect of our existence. The need is inherent in human nature."
This governmentâs constant dire warnings, their dictatorial smoke-free legislations, their pernicious treatment of smokers, their attempted exploitation of childrenâs thinking, disrupt, jeopardize the fragile, often traumatic, process of our youth gaining positive self-esteem,âfinding themself.â
For parents, positive self-esteem is the most promising opportunity one can ever bestow upon their children. It is their future. A wise poet wrote, "From within a child learning to share, by choice, self-esteem is born." This is the spark, but the actions of this government would extinguish that spark forever.
Governments with a master/slave mentality require that the citizens be mentally, emotionally, and physically weakened, in a demoralized state, causing low self-esteem. This is a prerequisite in order to rule. Documentation has recorded the abhorrent history of anti-smoking regimes. Is this why the Ontario government has not informed us; or why their many advisors/physicians remain silent about such a critical human requirement?
Glenview Nas, IL
#4 Nov 17, 2008
Tell those legislators in Indiana not to believe what they hear, about Illinois having a smoking ban. It exists only on paper. There is no smoking ban as a practical matter in Illinois. The smokers simply ignore it.
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