St. Louis County Council considers smoke-free air bill

Out of the blue, the St. Louis County Council stepped into the secondhand smoke limelight when Councilwoman Barbara Fraser introduced a smoke-free air bill on Tuesday night [July 21, 2009]. If approved, it would mean voters will have a chance to vote on a county bill in the November elections.

The first hint I got of this was inadvertent: I happened to refresh a page on my computer as I was preparing to do one last thing before retiring at 12:30 am that Tuesday morning, only to see this headline staring at me:

St. Louis County may put smoking on ballot

The story, by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel, kept me up until 2 am!

I was already planning to meet with one of the county legislators that afternoon to discuss the subject of secondhand smoke but this initiative floored me, since I have good relations with Councilwoman Fraser and I would have expected some notice of her intentions. It was apparently a hurried decision, possibly because there isn’t much time for county council approval to get it on the November ballot.

At this stage, there is no draft bill, only a placeholder, so I cannot judge the merits of the proposed legislation, but nonetheless I felt it worthwhile testifying in favor during the public comments portion of the county council’s meeting that evening, when members of the public have three minutes to address the council. (I’ve pasted my comments below in full.)

I was the first speaker called and the only other person to address the council that evening during the public comment period was Mr. Bill Hannegan, a vigorous opponent of smoke-free air already known to readers of mogasp’s blog (e.g. see “Hannegan continues SHS deception” posted on July 12, 2009). I was able to find a good synopsis of his comments posted on the county council website the following day here – quick work by St. Louis County personnel! – and I’ve pasted them below ahead of my own testimony.

After we each addressed the county council Mr. Hannegan and I were interviewed in turn outside the council chamber by KMOV News 4 reporter, Mark Schnyder, and the story was near the top of the 10 o’clock news on Tuesday evening and also posted on the KMOV website here.

News 4 reporter Mark Schnyder outside St. Louis Cty. Gov. Ctr.

Reporter Mark Schnyder outside St. Louis County Government Center, Clayton

Councilwoman Barbara Fraser before start of meeting

Councilwoman Barbara Fraser (center left) during county council meeting

Mr. Bill Hannegan during interview outside council chamber

Mr. Bill Hannegan during interview outside council chamber

Bill Hannegan:
“I’m worried about the County bars. I don’t want to see them stuck with a smoking ban and St. Louis City bars have no ban at all. Or any business, I would like to see each business make up their own mind and set their own policy.”

Martin Pion being interviewed outside council chamber

Martin Pion being interviewed outside council chamber

Martin Pion:
“This is just like a virus. The only difference is that you just put up a sign, take away the ashtrays, and problem gone. It’s not complicated science.”

The following is the St. Louis County Council transcript of Mr. Hannegan’s address, as officially recorded in the minutes of the meeting on the web:

“Mr. Bill Hannegen (sic), 5399 Lindell, St. Louis, MO, representing Keep St. Louis Free, addressed the County Council and related his discussion this date with Mr. Roger Jenkins, “a lead Scientist with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory”. Mr. Hannegen stated that Mr. Jenkins’ group did a study of 16 cities, with St. Louis included among the cities, to determine how much smoke employees in the cities across the country were actually being exposed to. He stated that the most smoke exposure the study could find was equivalent to one cigarette per week, which was located in a very smokey bar with no ventilation or air filtration.
Mr. Hannegen stated that air filtration is very affordable and is being employed throughout St. Louis County, and that air filtration can bring out the high point of one cigarette a week down to a very, very tiny fraction. Mr. Hannegen stated that bars and restaurants across St. Louis City and County are putting in the
air filtration machines, “they take out not only the second-hand smoke but all the other concerning airborne hazards, swine flu, they take 100% of swine flu out of the air of any bar or restaurant. That certainly is a concern coming up this Fall as St. Louis is threatened with a swine flu pandemic.”
Mr. Hannegen also shared his understanding of St. Louis City’s attempts to implement a smoking ban, noting that he does not think the St. Louis City bars will be included in its smoking ban. Mr. Hannegen expressed his concerns related to a strict smoking ban being voted in by St. Louis County residents and the resultant restrictions that would then hinder St. Louis County government from altering this ban at a later date. He proposed that the St. Louis County Council itself pass a smoking ban if necessary which would then allow the St. Louis County Council to make changes to the ban at a later date.”

Evidently, Mr. Hannegan has contacted Dr. Roger Jenkins, a scientist who has frequently conducted studies in collaboration with and for the tobacco industry, including the well-known “16-cities” study cited. I’ll deal with that and some of his other comments in greater detail in another blog to follow.

As to Mr. Hannegan’s statement that if a smoke-free referendum in November was successful the council would not be able to easily amend it, here’s an e-mail reply I received from Patricia Redington, County Counselor:

Subject: RE: Legal question re. petition initiative not allowing subsequent council amendment 
Date: July 22, 2009 5:00:22 PM CDT
To: mpion@swbell.net

Dear Mr. Pion –
 
The St. Louis County Charter does not prohibit repeal or modification of voter-approved ordinances.  I have not researched the case law on this matter.
 
Pat Redington

Below is the full text of my address to the County Council. Each member of the Council received a copy prior to the meeting. Note that County Executive Charlie Dooley was absent so I omitted reference to him in my opening address:

Testimony during Public Comments of St. Louis County Council Meeting of Tuesday, July 21, 2009, by Martin Pion, President, Missouri Group Against Smoking Pollution.

“Madam Chairman & Members of the council:

Let me first thank you for considering this important public health issue and Councilwoman Barbara Fraser for initiating it.

I’d like to begin by briefly putting this into historical perspective. In 1987, tobacco lobbyist John Britton nearly succeeded in passing a very weak state Clean Indoor Air law with preemption which would have forbidden any stronger local ordinance. Weak preemptive state laws were a nationwide strategy of the tobacco lobby at the time and Missouri GASP, of which I’m president, played a major role in defeating it in Missouri.

Then in 1993, the Missouri Clean Indoor Air Act passed without preemption, and that generated a lot of activity throughout the state, including metro St. Louis, with many jurisdictions not only adopting the state law but strengthening it. 

St. Louis County was no exception. In 1995, over strong tobacco industry opposition, it enacted an ordinance making all county-controlled buildings and vehicles smoke-free. Before that, smoking was allowed in this building, the County Government Center, for example.

In 2005 St. Louis County Council considered a bill to substantially extend smoke-free air protection to the private workplace. By then the tobacco industry had lost credibility so it was up to surrogates to whom they are closely allied, or others who were persuaded they would lose business, to fight the proposal. 

James Repace, an internationally recognized expert on the science of secondhand smoke, gave a compelling half-hour PowerPoint presentation at a hearing before the Justice and Health Committee in April 2005 on behalf of Missouri GASP. 

The bill finally came to a vote in August, 2005, when this council chamber was jammed with employees bussed in by Harrah’s Casino to oppose it. After a very lengthy public comments portion the bill was defeated 4:3. A similar bill introduced the following year was also defeated.

County Executive, Charley Dooley, made it known that he opposed these efforts then and remains so today. That opposition is apparently based on concern for the negative impact on business and resulting loss in tax revenue. I suggest Mr. Dooley reviews the experience of New York CIty, which passed a comprehensive smoke-free air ordinance years ago and has not seen these effects. In fact, when I spoke to a representative of the New York Restaurant Association some years ago he said they no longer opposed the NYC ordinance. 

In conclusion, I would prefer that you emulate Clayton and enact a comprehensive smoke-free air ordinance to protect the public health, but if that’s not politically feasible, we would support a public referendum.”

80 responses to “St. Louis County Council considers smoke-free air bill

  1. Changing what the people have voted on is legal but politically very difficult.

    • It didn’t stop the state legislature overturning the people’s will when it came to a concealed weapons ban in Missouri. Modifying language would be even easier at the local level I would predict. I think you are raising unnecessary alarms and I’m not sure why.

  2. Nice work. You are certainly the nosmoking gadfly… and St. Louis owes you its breath.

  3. If the ban passed in St. Louis County that only exempted casinos and the City later passed a ban that allowed smoking in bars, wouldn’t there be on outcry if the Council moved to also exempt bars in St. Louis County?

  4. This is sad news. I am in the planning stage of moving to Missouri and opening 2 businesses there. If there is a smoking ban, I will move elsewhere where big pharma has not yet misled the public and the elected officials. The results of studies concluding second hand smoke as a danger were paid for by big pharma. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation paid just through 2005 over 446 MILLION DOLLARS for tobacco control. $99 million to the ACS, ALA, AHA for bans. $84 million to create/fund Tobacco-Free Kids. RWJF was created by the founder of Johnson & Johnson. RWJF owns tens of millions of shares of J&J stock. J&J sells Nicotine Replacement Therapy products (CESSATION). In order for smoking bans to be passed, it was necessary to create an atmosphere of hatred toward smokers, to work people into a frenzy over a threat to their
    health, whether the threat was real or not. That such monumental lies have been instrumental in the passage of smoking bans is a measure of the gullibility and scientific illiteracy of the general public and elected officials. The highly respected, non-partisan Congressional Research Service concluded: “It is possible that very few or even no deaths can be attributed to
    ETS [environmental tobacco smoke].” Further, it stated that nonsmokers exposed
    to pack-a-day ETS every day for 40 years have “little or no risk of developing
    lung cancer”—much less dying from it. The CRS is part of the Library of Congress
    and has all the resources of that esteemed institution at its disposal. I beseech you to do your research before trampling the constitutional private property rights of small business in your state and cities. I wish to leave Wisconsin for this very reason, and have such hope to move to your great state!

  5. A note: Ohio lost over 300 hospitality businesses and 5400 jobs in the state in the first year of the smoking ban. That was over 2 years ago, the economy was NOT the underlying factor, and many are struggling to stay open. Minneapolis lost 327 hospitality businesses including the last VFW due to their smoking ban.

  6. Voting is forbidden by the tobacco control activists. It’s on page eight of the their instruction book. see for yourself.

  7. A U.S. Supreme court decision during the early 1970’s
    ((Lloyd Corp v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551 (1992)) said a place of business
    does not become public property because the public is invited in.

    By using that same reasoning. A restaurant or bar is not public property.
    We need to support small business and stop regulating them out of
    business.”

    The air inside a building is, in essence, “owned” by the
    building owner. That means that the building owner, is in a
    Position to control the amount of smoking (if any) that is
    Permitted in the building.

    Just because you invite someone into your home (private property), does not give them the right to tell you how to run your home.

    Government has the right to collect Taxes and other fees. The Health Department is responsible for protecting the public from un-seen health threats such as cleanliness and infestation by rodents, roaches, etc, which are not seen by the general public.

    Smoking/SHS is not an un-seen threat. Everyone has the right to walk out if an establishment does not suit their preferences. They control if a business survives by their right to spend or refuse to support that business.

    Signage, at the entrance, is sufficient warning needed to make an informed decision. This supports free choice.

    • Virgil Kleinhelter: I did some quick checking on the case you provided and found a reference at http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=14193
      It noted that “The issue before the Court was whether a privately owned shopping center could prohibit the distribution of handbills on its property when the handbilling was unrelated to the operations of the shopping center.”
      What has distributing handbills on private property got to do with requiring a private business to provide a safe environment for either its employees or patrons? None whatsoever, that I can see, but maybe I’m missing something obvious here!

  8. The WHO has been working on how to fool the people about SHS/ETS since 1975 when they were told the only way to get people to stop smoking was to make the public believe that SHS/ETS was killing their children and all the people around them. So, if Cigarettes were to be introduced now it would take many years to get the people brainwashed to swallow this fraud that SHS/ETS WAS KILLING PEOPLE.
    Anyone over 30 has been raised around SHS. If it were as dangerous as they would have us believe, everyone over 30 would be DEAD.
    The longest/largest studies by the ACS, the WHO and over 250 other studies found no connection to Cancer or Heart Disease. It’s about time people were catching on to the fraud.
    The 1993 EPA report has been vacated as a fraud by Federal Judge Osteen and by two Congressional Committees. Why hasn’t the media exposed this? Could it be that they are paid too well to keep it hidden? IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT PROFIT NOT HEALTH. WAKE UP.

  9. Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, [snip]
    ***
    or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. ***

    If a smoking ban passes, who will compensate a bar owner?

  10. mogasp-do YOU own a bar? I do in Ohio. You have NO IDEA the devastation it’s had on bars in Ohio. I am forever amazed that people feel they need to stick their noses in where free market reigned quite well. Is St. Louise going to reimburse owners for their losses? When they band together they CAN ask for redress if they can show harm. Do you know Ohio has spent over $5,000,000 to enforce the ban and have only collected $147,000 in fines? Can St. Louis afford that? Do you know in just the first year, bar owners lost 67.44 MILLION DOLLARS in liquor sales? That doesn’t include beer sales losses. In fact, 313 drinking places (that don’t sell food) closed out of 2,345. So you think those who invested their life savings into opening a business are insignificant? What’s wrong with signs? That’s what our town had and it worked fine.

    Here are the people who PAY for smoking bans..and here’s their grant that is paying for St. Louis’ ban. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced over $2 million in new grants to support policies aimed at decreasing tobacco use and exposure and addressing other public health problems. The grants will be awarded to 11 community organizations nationwide to help people most directly affected by tobacco and additional public health threats. ” And here’s the grant recipient-University of Missouri-Columbia Medical School Foundation, Columbia, Mo.
    Kevin D. Everett, (573) 882-3508, everettk@health.missouri.edu

    Welcome to the world of bought laws by non-profits!! By the way, did you know the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was created by the founder of Johnson & Johnson? They own tens of millions of shares of J&J stock. Guess who profits from the 98.6% failure rate patches? Guess who makes the addictive Nicorette, that’s candy flavored? Yep. And guess what else-RWJF has just name Missouri as the most obese state. They’re coming for you on obesity next.

    Oh, yeah-J&J owns Splenda and the bariatric surgery company, EthiconEndo but I’m sure it’s all coincidence.

    • This contains many accusations and erroneous information I’ve seen before, not least the conspiracy theory about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It’s reminiscent of the current nonsense being hurled at those wanting true healthcare reform, which includes a public option to keep the health insurance industry honest.

  11. ‘mogasp’ could care less about the people a smoking ban will put on welfare. Ask Ohio!

    A long trip to ones home land of ancestry needs to be done and then ask ‘why did my ancestors move to the USA’.

    Free choice and signs is a wonderful invention OR do ‘you’ go into an Italian restaurant and demand Chinese?

  12. Hello, How about a REAL ‘clean air law’, based on SCIENCE? Smoke is actaully about 98% WATER VAPOR. So called ‘clean’ smoke free air is ANYTHING BUT. Air also contains bacteria, viruses, dust mites, dust mite EXCREMENT, mold, fungii, spoors, animal dander, chemicals (such as formaldehyde & other chemicals from paneling, carpeting and other building materials, as well as from perfumes, aftershave lotions, scented candles and commercial scents, etc), flakes of dead human skin, and MORE. By the way, I read somewhere that 80% of the ‘dust’ in restaurants is flakes of human skin, which can settle on our food, so reastaurant patrons are already ‘second hand canibals’?

    Persoanlly, I have allergies. I think you should ban all the grass, trees and flowers; force all perfume wearers to stand outdoors in weather it’s probably illegal to force my dog to stay out in, and put all the scent companies out of business so those of us with allergies ‘can breathe’. Or, maybe I should just continue with taking my allergy meds, and using the manners my mom taught me with the folks who love to take baths in stuff I think stinks, and makes me sick??? BY the by the way, allergens are all PROTEINS, and there are NO proteins in smoke. Those who think they are ‘allergic to smoke’ in fact are NOT. It’s in their head.

    • You are bringing no revelations to this issue. Secondhand smoke is rated as the third or fourth leading cause of preventable death in this country. It deserves to be addressed seriously as a public health and welfare issue. You want to brush it aside with absurdities, just like the tobacco industry. Allying yourself with them does you no credit.

      • Having immediate family in the funeral business for more than 55 years, I can assure you that no one has died from secondary tobacco smoke that I am aware of. The claim is merely more propaganda to fund the pharmaceutical companies.

  13. It’s not a theory, mogasp. RWJF buys the laws that drive their founding organization’s products. J&J profits. RWJF profits.

    Please tell me ONE erroneous thing in this post so that I may provide you the PROOF.

  14. mogasp-the number 1 killer of those ages 12-24 are accidents. Should we ban them from riding in or driving cars? Should we make them stay indoors so they don’t have an accident on the playground or on their bikes?

    Exactly WHERE do people like you stop??

    You think people who own the businesses that will close because of a smoking ban are just names? They’re PEOPLE. Do you not care at ALL abouth them? Who bails them out when you push your “denornalizing behaviors” off on them? Do you stop with tobacco? Or do you move on to alcohol, sugar and pop? What gives you the right to speak for other people?

    All a business owner needs to do is put up a sign. If being smokefree is SO lucrative, then there would be smokefree businesses everywhere anyway. It’s NOT. The anti-smokers never did replace the smokers. So, do you move on to close ice cream shops? They push sugar and heavy cream, you know. Chocolate contains caffeine. Better hurry up and start the push against Ben & Jerry.

    The thing is, you people just want more and more and more and more.

    BTW, you never DID tell me what erroneous information I posted. I’m dying to provide you with the proof. Bring it on.

  15. This is not hard to find out, and is certainly not a conspiracy theory. All of this hysteria was begun by big pharma, namely the major shareholder of Johnson & Johnson, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in their effort to de-normalize behaviors. Why? For corporate greed! A “non-profit” foundation funds smoking bans. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation paid just through 2005 over 446 MILLION DOLLARS for tobacco control. $99 million to the ACS, ALA, AHA for bans. $84 million to create/fund Tobacco-Free Kids. RWJF was created by the founder of Johnson & Johnson. RWJF owns tens of millions of shares of J&J stock. J&J sells Nicotine Replacement Therapy products. Michael Fiore of the U of WI received grant money from RJWF; Fiore helped write federal mandate that doctors tell patients they MUST use drugs, not to quit cold turkey and yet, NRT products have a FAILURE RATE OF 98.4% for quitting for one year or longer. It’s ok for the drug companies to sell alternative nicotine products? What a scam. On their own website they say that in 2009 begins the war on alcohol, they have a new drug now. They will spend millions to de-normalize just to market their new product. It took almost 30 years to get where they are regarding tobacco and with that ball rolling, the alcohol drug and the obesity drugs should take much less time. Smokers, drinkers, and eaters beware, big pharma will take care of you!

  16. mogasp…RWJF funds the majority of SmokingBans for their mosts perofitable products, Smoking Cessation Products. They use grants to pay Anti’s to push for bans.
    Smoking in the US has dropped from 54% to less than 24%. Cancer has risen by more than smoking has dropped.
    The 1992 EPA Report was vacated by Anti- Tobacco Federal Judge Osteen and was backed up by independent Scientists working with him and two Congressional Committees. The ACS had to remove an Ad in the NY Times because they could not prove their 53,000 deaths due to SHS/ETS. Over 250 studies find no connection of SHS to Cancer or Heart Disease. Even the ACS and WHO, in their largest studies, found the same conclusion.
    This push for Smoking Bans and higher Taxes is The Marketing Plan by Big-Pharma to sell Smoking Cessation NRT’S.
    Tobacco is used to make Cancer and Heart Disease fighting drugs.
    So who is lying about Tobacco?
    Think Diesel, infection and virus you will find the real culprit along with Big-Pharma.

  17. mogasp…The only reason SHS is on the Carcinogenic listing is because the EPA insisted it be included in 2004, using its Fraudulent 1992 Report of 3,00 deaths per year.
    The third leading killer in the U.S. is Doctors with Hospitals and FDA approved Drugs taking the top two spots. You need to check sites other than those approved by the ACS,ALA,EPA,CDC,RWJF or any Government connected agency including Health Departments with none of those agreeing on any number from 3,000 to as many as 1 million killed by SHS. I hope you don’t mind being lined up to get the N1H1 vaccine with the rest of the sheep. The RWJF has had a large part in writing our Health Reform. I hope we can survive it.

    • As a scientist I feel duty-bound to carefully assess the evidence on secondhand smoke and it’s now overwhelming. I suggest you inform yourself better, starting with the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on secondhand smoke, issued in 1986 and posted on-line at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/index.html

    • Virgil Kleinhelter: The EPA report is not fraudulent and has been supplemented by the California EPA report. To believe otherwise is to swallow the tobacco industry line.
      Deaths due to medical errors in hospitals is a major concern, so I agree with you there, and probably rivals deaths due to secondhand smoke. However, it’s a lot easier to deal with the latter as has been proven repeatedly, i.e. legislate that indoor spaces be smoke-free.
      The RWJF conspiracy theory I just don’t buy at all. Sorry.

  18. Don”t think that just passing a ban will end the shouting. Once the tobacco control lobbyists found gullible lawmakers, they’ll be back for the patios later, AFTER business owners spend thousands of dollars to build them to accommodate their many smoking patrons. They have ABSOLUTLY NO CONCERN about local issues or businesses. Read page seven about the “inside out” instructions in their book.

    http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/CIA_Fundamentals.pdf


    http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?ia=143&id=14912

  19. Mogasp, get a clue dude, you are never forced on the business owners privately owned business property. Are you aware that ban supporters like yourself are declaring yourselves too stupid to think and decide for yourselves at the owners door whether to enter or not enter.

    All anyone has to do is look at Ohio to see the damage of the anti smoking org,’s lies about no harm to business , not to mention the loss to the state because of the smoking ban.

    Get off your selfish high horse and just not enter any business that is not to your liking, the owners , employees, their families and even the childrens living depends on it.

    BTW, do you anti smokers have keys to the businesses or your names on the deeds? Of course not, the owner is the one who invest their own money time and labor and you have every right to simply stay off their property and they have every right to earn their living on their own property.
    Geez, you act like the owners forces you to enter their doors.

    Do whatever it takes to learn to think for yourself without gov. nanny holding your widdle hand, its simple, enter or don’t enter. Stop being so simple minded!!

  20. mogasp…As a scientist I feel duty-bound to carefully assess the evidence on secondhand smoke

    If you are a Scientist, I can see why we have so many dieing due to our Health Industry. The so-called expert, James Repase, is the one who cherry picked the studies used by the EPA. In order to show harm, those same studies had to be adjusted. The EPA report was found to be Fraudulent by an Anti-tobacco Federal Judge Osteen with the help of independent SCIENTESTS and two Congressional Committees. The SG report should be read again to see he never said what was reported in the Media. He was replaced shortly after his report on Smoking and SHS. Mr. Bill Hannegen had all his facts correct and you need not be an expert to check them. See this link for some truth.
    http://www.pipes.org/Articles/Bliley.html

    • Virgil Kleinhelter, your assertions are not persuasive but merely repeat the tobacco industry line. See elsewhere on my blog where I’ve provided answers, since I don’t want to keep repeating them. As for Mr. Hannegan, I’ve concluded he’s a most unreliable source, and no better than the tobacco industry.

  21. This may give you a good idea about how the ACS (read RWJF flunkies) operates.

    Cancer society: Smoking-ban vote would violate constitution
    http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/event/article/id/35942/group/News/
    http://www.tobacco-facts.net/2009/08/sd-smoking-ban-legal-fight-focuses-technicality
    PIERRE — The American Cancer Society wants a South Dakota circuit judge to declare the new smoking ban passed by the Legislature “necessary for the immediate preservation of public health” and throw out the request for a statewide vote.
    Sioux Falls attorney Richard Casey, representing the American Cancer Society, is claiming in newly-filed court papers that South Dakota’s expanded smoking-ban law can’t be referred to a public vote because it would violate the state constitution.
    See link for full article.

  22. As a scientist, if you feel duty bound to assess evidence, I suggest YOU inform yourself better! Much of the second hand smoke propoganda is just that. Propoganda that benefits big pharma! On Friday July 17, US District Court Judge William Osteen struck down the findings of a landmark 1993 study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that classified environmental tobacco smoke as a “Group A” (or known human) carcinogen. Did you assess this evidence? Or perhaps this is also a conspiracy theory!

    • marbee, if you care to do a Google search about the Osteen decision I think you’ll find another conclusion if you don’t look exclusively at sites supporting the tobacco industry, of which there are certainly plenty. Here’s a recent e-mail I received on the subject which covers it pretty well:

      “No one who brings it up [the Osteen decision] ever mentions that it was thrown out, and when someone points that out, they say it was thrown out on a technicality not related to its merits. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Osteen’s decision on January 10, 2003. The tobacco companies have not successfully appealed the appellate court’s decision. A readable review of the Osteen decision can be found at:

      http://www.tobaccocontrol.neu.edu/tcu/tcu03.1/Features/epa_article.htm

      Osteen’s court was in Winston-Salem, and he did have previous tobacco industry ties. It is interesting to note that there have been no further successful challenges to the EPA report since Osteen’s was thrown out. On the contrary, there have been lots of decisions that have gone against the tobacco companies, e.g. the Mishler decision. That is far more applicable to the present instance than the repudiated Osteen decision.

      In Sayville Inn v. County of Suffolk, Judge Jacob Mishler of the United States Federal District Court for Eastern District of New York denied plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction against a county ordinance prohibiting smoking in bar areas of restaurants while allowing it in “stand-alone” bars. In denying plaintiffs’ motion, Judge Mishler stated, “It is beyond dispute that second-hand smoke is a carcinogen…. The risk to the health of non-smoking patrons of restaurants and its employees, when exposed to second-hand smoke, is obvious.” Also, the US Supreme Court in Helling v. McKinney determined that forcing an inmate to share a cell with a smoker constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Another case they don’t want you to know about.”

  23. Sorry, thought I was being censored prematurely!

  24. Odd. Somehow the internet seems to have accidentally swallowed my posting. Well, here it is again… 🙂

    ====

    Mogasp, I hope you don’t mind my chiming in here. I’ve read the SGR’s on secondary smoke exposure, as well as most of the ones dealing with smoking itself since 1964, usually in hardcopy no less and with extensive annotations. I have not yet had time to read the 2006 Report in detail, but paging through it led me to believe it didn’t add a whole lot of new material. I *did* find it curious that Enstrom/Kabat’s paper finding ETS fairly innocent came out “too late” in 2003 to be analyzed, while somehow the Report was able to include material from 2004 and 2005. Maybe H.G. Wells had an off-day at the SG office or something.

    I find it interesting that you discredit Roger Jenkins on the basis of some of his funding (I believe actually a minor part overall, though I may be mistaken in that) while highlighting James Repace, almost all of whose funding comes from antismoking groups. You mention Repace’s “compelling” half hour presentation, but neglect to say what GASP et al paid him for it. I believe he gets paid in the thousands of dollars for such little show-and-tells. Want to share the details? Or are those “secret antismoking industry papers” that the public shouldn’t see?

    Are you using Klein’s employment research as part of your efforts? The half-million-dollar research they got by promising to deliver antismoking results BEFORE actually doing the research? You might enjoy reading about it, and how they covered up the absolute decimation of bar employment. Read Jacob Grier’s May 27th column AND the aftercomments to it at:

    http://www.jacobgrier.com/blog/archives/2210.html

    I’d love to hear what you or the Klein researchers have to say about it. Always open to substantive criticisms and corrections.

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    • Michael, Thanks for your submission. I haven’t checked submissions to the blog for several days due to extensive time devoted to a long blog which I’ve yet to finish, hence the delay in allowing your comment. All I can tell you is that I’m not interested in manipulating the science or deliberately misleading the public. As a scientist myself that would be heresy and doesn’t help the cause of smoke-free air. However, I’ve learned over the years that the tobacco industry has had a deliberate policy of attacking the science on both active and secondhand smoke. Its goal has been simple: To protect its enormous profits and deny the disease and death its product causes.

      I believe Mr. James Repace to be honorable, honest, and scrupulous in his work. He is the most informed scientist I know on the subject of secondhand smoke, which he’s made his specialty over many years. When I asked him to give a presentation during a public hearing in 2005 I had every expectation that it would be comprehensive and based on the facts. Missouri GASP didn’t pay for him to lie: that doesn’t help our cause. You can believe what you want but I try to be scrupulously honest in what I write and any research our organization undertakes or commissions. We have truth on our side, in my view, so why jeopardize our credentials?

  25. “….This contains many accusations and erroneous information I’ve seen before, not least the conspiracy theory about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It’s reminiscent of ….”-mogasp

    So then you’re aware that RWJF is part of the Johnson & Johnson Company…..correct? And that J & J manufactures Nicoderm, Nicorette, Commit etc? I just can’t imagine why this pharmaceutical nicotine company and foundation (RWJF) would want to ban tobacco nicotine use? Thank you mogasp for nipping that tinfoil hat conspiracy theory in the bud….before somebody made a real fool of themselves.

    http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2007/02/smoking-bans-good-public-policy-or.html

    • To my knowledge foundations are required to be independent entities in order to maintain their not-for-profit status. I don’t see anything sinister here. In fact, RWJF funds many worthwhile causes. I see this as purely an effort to create controversy where none exists, and deflect the discussion away from the real issue: secondhand smoke pollution in public places and the workplace, and the easy solution to that problem.

  26. Harry S. Truman is probably rolling in his grave. Have you people no shame? Not a thread of decency in you. Show me State? Show me you still believe in America and the Constitution. Never mind just get in Line behind the coward of the county.

  27. I’ve written 3 responses to “mogasp’s” replies…..apparently they are irrefutable because he has removed them……COWARD.

  28. Ohio Senator Bill Seitz send a letter to Ms. Klein asking that she separate the data on bars from restaurants, as the NAIC data was given to her separately in the first place. He asked if she would not do so, that she send the data to him so he could. Combining bars and restaurants to claim “smokefree policies do not harm the hospitality industry” is an old Tobacco Control trick. Bars ARE hurt but when you lump the fairly small number of them in with larger numbers of restaurants, their stats get rather lost. Klein’s study used employment figures. In Minnesota, restaurants outnumber bars 5:1. Nationally, restaurant employees outnumber bar workers 10:1. Let me give you data on Ohio. The first year after the ban, 313 of 2,346 drinking places closed. Liquor permit holders lost the potential of $180,489,338 in sales since the ban. This does NOT include lost beer sales, vending, etc. The State of Ohio lost over 12 million dollars in sales taxes from the liquor alone. However, home consumption has risen alarmingly. Is it a coincidence that tobacco bans are first before going after alcohol? Seems a good strategy by those who wish to control American People’s behaviors. Afterall, closing as many bars as possible with smoking bans makes it easier to go after alcohol. Look out Ben and Jerrys. Obesity and sugar will close you down next.

  29. And I am no tobacco shill. I’m a very angry bar owner.

  30. ( mogasp : I personally try not to direct personal attacks at smokers, although if they persist in using false or debunked tobacco industry-funded studies I’m not going to let that pass.)
    I do not believe that I said I was a smoker! Nor is there any study cited in my comment other than the Congressional Research Service, part of the Library of Congress, hardly tobacco funded. Nice try!

  31. The tax exempt American Cancer tricked the voters of Ohio into voting for a ban with exemptions, only to have them removed AFTER they were voter approved. If they got away with it once, you know they’ll do it again. “Thank you American Cancer Society, we never knew all you do” The private vets clubs of Ohio who thought they were exempt according to the ballot know what they do. I’m sure they are remembering them with with their donations.and estate plans.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/04/30/smoking.html

  32. Since MOGASP is a “scientist”, I suggest he take his “evidence”, one by one and put each of those studies on trial using the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence and FOLLOW what the law prescribes. http://www.fjc.gov/public/home.nsf/autoframe?openform&url_l=/public/home.nsf/inavgeneral?openpage&url_r=/public/home.nsf/pages/610

    As far as Repace, right after issuing his Indoor Air Study, he received a $300,000 “grant” from, of course the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation” for being an “innovator”. Right. http://www.rwjf.org/programareas/resources/product.jsp?id=21651&pid=1135&gsa=1

    I thought scientists were supposed to explore and ask their own questions. You owe it to science to not just accept the tripe that’s passed off as “evidence”. My guess, though, is you prefer to think the Earth is flat.

  33. mogasp said. “What has distributing handbills on private property [got to do with SHS?].” You said it, Private Property.

    The owner had the right to control his Private Property. We don’t pay his/her bills or Taxes for them. They pay out of their profits. Health Departments regulate unseen health dangers like rodents, insect or infectious germs etc. Smoking is not an unseen threat.

    • You are being remarkably obtuse. A privately owned business is still subject to government rules and regulations when it comes to both the health of its employees and members of the public invited inside for the conduct of commerce. It seems that you think only smoking is uniquely protected against such government intervention.

  34. Mogasp said.. To my knowledge foundations are required to be independent entities in order to maintain their not-for-profit status.

    You finally said something correct. After that sentence you blew it if you can’t see whats going on. The ACS got in trouble for funding Smoking Babs and created ACSCAN as a separate for profit to funnel their funds to front groups. Their Tax records gave them away. If you can’t see the connections between the RWJF, ACS and J&J. You have a definite lack of comprehension or just a pure paid Anti.

  35. mogasr… Correct again. No one who brings it up [the Osteen decision] ever mentions that it was thrown out,

    But it was thrown out because of jurisdiction not the conclusion. The conclusion was correct. Again you got it only partially right but you do keep trying.

  36. mogasp said…You are bringing no revelations to this issue. Secondhand smoke is rated as the third or fourth leading cause of preventable death in this country.

    You do hang in there don’t you. Again you have no verifiable studies to back that up. Actually, the Health Industry is the leading killer. That includes Hospitals, Doctors and Drugs. Doctors are deceived by the Drug companies in their Ghost Written information by Doctors who are paid handsomely to write what is need to sell the drug. Like Smoking Cessation drugs which are 98.6% ineffective and dangerous.

    Sat 04.26 >>
    Dr. John Abramson will discuss a breaking scandal of ghostwritten drug trials which puts the actual efficacy of many new drugs into question.
    http://www.overdosedamerica.com/

    THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE U.S.
    IS THE HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM
    http://www.angelfire.com/az/sthurston/Leading_Cause_of_Death_in_the_US.html

    This is a list of all the SHS studies from 1981 to 2006

    A full explanation of how to read results before the study listing.

    To access a comprehensive list of 150 ETS studies to date: click on link

    http://www.forces.org/evidence/study_list.htm

  37. I have a compromise. I say let the bans march on through the countryside, pillaging everywhere. And every single dime the BUSINESS OWNER loses can be reimbursed by the Government. If the Government wants to impede the ability of a person to make a living (on their OWN PROPERTY), then the Government can pay all those losses. What do you say, MOGASP? Do you think it’s fair that bar owners, who are primarily the businesses hurt the most by smoking bans, should have to pay for a law with their businesses? Should they lose their life saving to accommodate a law? Let big franchises be smokefree and allow the little businesses decide for themselves. That gives employees and patrons choices. No one even asks the employees what they want. ALL of our employees smoke and they want to work where they can smoke (and they miss their big tips). But the ACS is greedy. No room for compromise. Maybe we could find an employee who wants to sue the ACS for unwanted forced protection.

  38. How on earth did mankind survive thus far? They cooked and heated with wood (far more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke), and survived the industrial revolution before regulation! We should all be dead. Airports spew jet fuel fumes with carcinogens equivalent to billions of cigarettes. Don’t see them dropping dead either! I will not live near an airport because of this, but it is MY choice, not the government’s or a city council. I guess I will move somewhere else with my 2 businesses.

    • marbee: The expected lifespan in western industrial societies has increased markedly over the last century as a result of all the improvements that have been made, including such things as the replacement of coal to heat homes with gas and electricity. The federal Clean Air Act has played a part in this improvement. I suppose you don’t believe that smoking cigarettes is harmful to health and you’re going to going to argue that they don’t cause over 400,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year. Next time you visit your doctor ask him or her if smoking and secondhand smoke are major risks to public health and welfare or not.

  39. Here, MOGASP scientist. Refute this.

  40. Public officials in San Francisco have enacted a ban on tobacco sales in drug stores, and similarly Boston officials have promulgated regulations that also ban tobacco sales in retail outlets with a pharmacy — including grocery stores and chain stores. Other state and local governments are considering similar measures. Why? Because tobacco is the competition for big pharma’s nicotine!

  41. mogasp wrote…they don’t cause over 400,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year.

    This part of the sentence is correct. That figure was picked out of thin air by Stanton Glantz. The ACS had to remove their ad, in the New York Times, which stated 53,000 were killed a year by SHS because they could not provide the study or any verification of deaths caused by SHS. You are drinking the same Kool Aid passed out by Tobacco Control which has no proof. You love to write about false info of Pro-smokers but at least they do have some facts to back them up. All you have is stuff straight from the ACS/RWJF BS book. YOU SHOULDN’T TALK ABOUT ANYONE NOT ADDING ANYTHING TO THIS CONVERSATION. You have an empty bucket. You have nothing to keep this going. I will no longer waste my time here.

  42. Mogasp… I’m baaacckk. Give this a watch and listen. I’ll bet you sound just like one guy in it.

    Great Video on 2nd Hand Smoke http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1-bX2SmU-c&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fbanthebanwisconsin.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F03%2F11%2Fsecond-hand-smoke-bs%2F&feature=player_embedded

    or try http://tinyurl.com/p4737l

    Just a parting shot.

    • Thanks for the parting shot, Virgil! I just got around to checking the video on YouTube and it’s wonderful. It has some of the most prominent individuals who have been trying to either dismiss the dangers from secondhand smoke or at least suggest they’ve been overrated, despite contrary conclusions in several relevant U.S. Surgeon General’s Reports, going from 1986 thru’ 2006. They are a far more reliable source of information than these individuals, who have an axe to grind or in some cases have no scientific background. That applies in particular to Bob Levy of the Libertarian CATO Institute, in Washington, DC, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and debating recently. He’s a nice man but completely misinformed and just toeing the party line.

  43. Mogasp says

    they say it was thrown out on a technicality not related to its merits.

    That is exactly what happened. They did not overrule the findings, they found that because the report was advisory and not law the lower court did not have jurisdiction. Your tobacco control spin site can spin their wheels all they want but it does not change the facts that the EPA faked the report.

    From the actual court document.

    Because the Report is not reviewable agency action under the
    APA, we vacate the judgment of the district court and remand for dismissal.

    http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/982407.P.pdf

    So yes it was indeed thrown out on a technicality.

    • The report is valid despite the attempts to refute it. It’s conclusions are consistent with the later California EPA report on secondhand smoke, and the results have been confirmed in the latest U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on SHS published in 2006 and on-line here.
      These unfounded accusations keep popping up just like cadavers that have come back to life and they get their breath from sites on the web that might as well be run by the tobacco industry because that’s who benefits from this disinformation, not the general public.

  44. MOGASP-what is your definition of “premature death”? Do you have an expiration date stamped on the back of your head? Is “premature” anything earlier than aged 79? Just exactly what IS “premature death”? If I have a heart attack while having sex, is that premature and we should ban sex? Interesting that this article says mortality rates have dropped for an 8th consecutive year (bans haven’t been around for 8 years, MOGASP) with the average life for women at 80.4 and men 75.3. The same article claims ” Meanwhile, another report, from LiveScience, links neurosis to early death. Says the story: “The finding adds to a mountain of evidence suggesting personality and psychological traits — from mellowness to anger and even degree of social engagement — help determine how long you’ll live and how healthy you’ll be.” http://www.examiner.com/x-13854-West-Palm-Beach-Health-and-Happiness-Examiner~y2009m8d20-In-the-news-The-link-between-personality-and-longevity

    So all you anti-smoking zealots should chill. Your neurosis will kill you earlier!

    I’ll leave you with this study: U.S. state and local governments are increasingly restricting smoking in public places. This paper analyzes nationally representative databases, including the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, to compare short-term changes in mortality and hospitalization rates in smoking-restricted regions with control regions. In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that workplace bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a workplace ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature. http://www.nber.org/papers/w14790.pdf

    • My sister and only sibling died in England two weeks before her 58th birthday from incurable, inoperable lung cancer in November, 1988. She was looking forward to visiting me in the United States but her plans were cut short. The cause of death listed on her death certificate doesn’t mention secondhand smoke but I know, based on some of the people at her funeral, that some of her best friends were heavy smokers. And in her job as a Principal Lecturer at a Teacher Training College I discovered when I visited her earlier that year that she was exposed to plenty of secondhand smoke in her workplace but wasn’t bothered by it as I am.

      I have no way of proving that she died from secondhand smoke exposure but it could well have been the cause. If there were no secondhand smoke in the workplace that might have saved her life. I consider a woman living in a western industrial society who dies at age 58 to have died prematurely.

  45. MOGASP: Just who do you think benefits from smoking bans and high taxes that force poorer people to quit? Big Pharma with their own brand of nicotine perhaps? I wonder how well treating alcoholics with alcohol would go over. Or treating obese people with food? Get real.

    • You can quit without nicotine patches or other aids. Why do you subscribe to this conspiracy theory? It doesn’t convince me. I know of several former smokers who quit thanks to hypnosis.

  46. I thought you said you were a scientist? You make statements like “based on some of her friends being heavy smokers” you draw the conclusion you did? Seriously? What of her environment? Family history? England’s poor health care system? You jumped from A-Z because you hate tobacco smoke. I live near a now torn down trash burning power plant that blew enough dioxins into our air to affect the next 6 generations of my family and yet I’ll go down on record when I die as having been a nasty smoker. I am so terribly sorry for your loss but no way can you “know” the conclusion you made. Think with your head, not your heart.

    • Pam P., let’s take one thing at a time:
      1) I’m a scientist because I have degrees from London University, England, in Physics & Math., and was employed as a scientist for many years both in England and the U.S.
      2) I am speculating on the cause of my sister’s death from secondhand smoke because, as I pointed out, her death certificate didn’t specify SHS as the cause of death. However, NO certificate in this country would do so either, even if the doctor were convinced that was the cause. The same for a smoke who had died of a smoking-related disease.
      However, the conservative estimate is that 20% of all lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers are the result of SHS exposure. That’s a significant number.
      3) You really are ignorant regarding England’s health care system. I know from first-hand experience that overall it’s better than the one in the U.S. It covers everyone and the costs of care are low. Concern over the quality of care I would receive in the U.S. was a major concern I had about whether or not to get a job transfer to the U.S. Having lived here for over 30 years I can say it’s an inferior system to that in the U.K. The fact there are tens of millions of Americans lacking affordable health insurance is a national disgrace.
      4) Dioxin exposure is not something to be happy about but that doesn’t change the fact that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and if you smoke but were to quit that would substantially improve your health and chances of living a longer, healthier life. You must know it’s harming you, so why not quit and thumb your nose at the tobacco industry?

  47. The Congressional Research Service also found the EPA report severely lacking.
    http://www.forces.org/evidence/files/crs11-95.htm

    The surgeon generals report, please it was written by the same activist in white coats that brought us the EPA report.

    Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., and the 1992 EPA Report
    One might wonder how omissions, distortions, and exaggerations like those pointed out above could occur in a document as important as a Surgeon General’s Report on ETS. To better understand this phenomena one must realize that Samet has dealt with the ETS issue in this manner for many years. In particular, he played a major role in the epidemiologic analysis for the December 1992 report on Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders: The Report of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2164936#B17

    • There is plenty of “smoke” swirling around out there that’s designed to obscure the truth. FORCES is certainly not a reliable source of information. I’ve visited their site. There are reliable rebuttals if you take the time to research them.

  48. Jonathan M. Samet also was the head author for the ASHRAE Position Document which is quoted in the surgeon generals report.

    http://www.ashrae.org/docLib/20090120_POS_ETS.pdf

    If you notice the same activist names keep popping up and they expel anyone who doesn’t agree with their groupthink.
    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/02/on-mccarthyistic-element-in-tobacco.html

    • Samet and other names are likely to appear if they’re acknowledged experts in the field. That in itself certainly doesn’t disqualify them; quite the contrary! But why pick on one individual? Many other scientists have contributed to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Reports, for example. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them because my contributions have been modest.

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