What motivates smoke-free air opponents so strongly? Bid to repeal O’Fallon’s new law latest example.

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“Tell me: Why are the pro-tobacco guys almost always so much more energized?”

I posed the above question to members and supporters of Missouri GASP some monts ago after noting the volume of responses to a mogasp blog from opponents of smoke-free air. I received a detailed reply from Daniel K. Duncan, Director of Community Services at the St. Louis chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA-St. Louis).

It’s apropros, given the latest twist in the saga of efforts to obtain comprehensive smoke-free air in O’Fallon, Missouri, where opponents have announced plans to try and overturn the recently-approved law despite it having garnered nearly three-fourths of the vote in the April 5 election and before it has even taken effect.

Below is pasted a report by Mark Schlinkmann in yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, followed by Dan Duncan’s observations.

O’Fallon, Mo., smoking ban foes seek another election

BY MARK SCHLINKMANN • mschlinkmann@post-dispatch.com > 636-255-7203 | Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6:16 pm | Comments (104 as of April 21, 2011, 1:49 pm)

O’FALLON, Mo. • Just 15 days after voters passed a comprehensive smoking ban, opponents on Wednesday disclosed plans to gather signatures to spur another election on the issue.
         A group called Repeal The Ban notified the city of its intention to petition for a referendum on the ban at a special election in November.
         The ban – covering bars, restaurants and other indoor public places in St. Charles County’s largest city – is scheduled to take effect June 16. Supporters got it on the ballot by petition as well.
         None of the three people listed on the repeal group’s paperwork submitted to the city – Carrie Ellis, Roman Bettag and Marina          Bishop – could be reached for comment Wednesday.
         The ban, put on the ballot by a group called Smoke-Free O’Fallon, was approved by more than 72 percent of voters in the April 5 election.

Councilman Jim Pepper, O'Fallon

         City Councilman Jim Pepper, an outspoken opponent of the ban, said he supports the petition group’s goals but that he didn’t initiate the effort himself.
         He has said he would try to get the council to change the ban to allow more exemptions.
         Under the city charter, petitioners for a referendum or an initiative law at special elections must get more signatures than those seeking a vote at a regular election such as the one earlier this month.

Dan Duncan, NCADA-St. Louis, submitted the following comment:

Dan Duncan,
NCADA-St. Louis

You have asked why there’s so much stronger a response from those against smoke-free legislation as opposed to those who support smoke-free legislation efforts.
         For decades we have seen the exact same phenomenon as it relates to any substance of abuse or addiction, whether it be tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs.
         Why is this?
         I think it pertains to the dynamic of denial and the self-protection that is part and parcel of any addiction. This self-protection mechanism is how an addiction survives. Challenge any kind of
addiction in any way and you can expect a strong, passionate (for lack of a better word) response. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those who support efforts to address addictions are less passionate, it’s just that there is not such an immediate or close perception of attack on something they want or need to perpetuate.
         Same thing essentially pertains to greed. Attack greed and see what happens. The individual who has greed and feels they have something to lose (that being money) is likewise going to push back if you do anything that might in any way cause them to have or generate less money. Protect the supply applies here, as well.
         I would say there are three basic groups or ‘types’ of individuals who are going to protest smoke-free efforts, that would be:

1) those addicted to nicotine
2) those who make money off of those addicted to nicotine
3) those individuals who genuinely feel their overall ‘rights’ are being attacked (although it’s obvious some of the addicted or those making money off the addicted will use the ‘rights’ ploy as a means to gen up rancor and support).

         There are many supporters who desire smoking not just be diminished, but to disappear or go away entirely. But are their passions so inflamed that they’re going to show up to testify, write letters to newspaper editors or blog about it? Most will not.
         They will, however, express their support if given the opportunity to cast a vote.

Daniel K. Duncan, LCSW
Director of Community Services
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) – St. Louis Area

38 responses to “What motivates smoke-free air opponents so strongly? Bid to repeal O’Fallon’s new law latest example.

  1. MoGASP I object to the term “pro-tobacco”, that statement is as inaccurate as calling you an “anti-smoker. The fight is about liberty and property rights. Plain and simple. Even the health rational is not valid. If you enter a bar, you are going there to consume a known carcinogen yet you would deny that same bar to allow their clientele to consume an alternative carcinogen because you object to it.

    In a free society the non-smokers and the anti-smokers have every right to boycott any establishment they want based on the business practices or choices. They do not have the right to expect the government to step in and set those terms. Forbes had an interesting article on property rights. Smokers saw a 2400% tax increase to pay for the SCHIP program simply because they are a minority and then that same government is telling businesses that they can’t cater to smokers. People are fed up with the “nanny state” and demand that the government adhere to the Constitution as it was originally intended.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp response: There is a fundamental flaw in suggesting that smoking is simply a matter of personal choice. Smoking also produces secondhand smoke which affects others and THAT is the reason this is a health issue which is rightly the subject of government regulation.

  2. Dan Duncan’s argument about greed is a classic example of the mindset of tobacco control, he said ‘ Same thing essentially pertains to greed. Attack greed and see what happens. The individual who has greed and feels they have something to lose (that being money) is likewise going to push back if you do anything that might in any way cause them to have or generate less money.” To which I submit an interview on Donahue with Sidney Friedman.

    Non-smokers have every right to boycott any business that allow smoking. The real question is where do individual and property rights end and the government’s tight to intervene.

    Marshall Keith

    mogasp: Your two comments combined total over 1,600 characters but I’ll allow them. Please try to adhere to the 1,000 character limit though. BTW, you wrote Sidney Friedman; I think you meant Milton Friedman.

  3. Well, if either you or Friedman really don’t understand what greed is I think most would agree it would be defined as an excessive desire for wealth; an example of excessive being wealth accumulated at a cost to or detriment of others. I think an example of this is those who make money off the production and sales of tobacco and fight any restrictions thereof…their actions over the years have laid out a very clear picture. They operate out of greed, plain and simple. It simply doesn’t matter if tobacco is harmful to individuals, just get out of their way of making money, lots and lots and lots of money. They can couch their arguments in the ‘rights’ arena all they want, but it’s really about greed. If you really want to make smoking about ‘rights’ then I would say yes, smokers do have rights. But, they are not unlimited rights. They have the right to smoke in their own homes or cars but they do NOT have the right to smoke where their smoking is going to impact others who do not smoke because non-smokers have rights, as well. I subscribe to the notion that the smoker’s ‘rights’ end where the non-smoker’s rights begin.

    mogasp comment: 1,134 characters will be allowed since it’s the author’s reply and Marshall Keith has already been allowed over 1,600 characters.
    Dan Duncan refers to ‘rights’ to which I would add the following observation:
    A cigarette is a commercial product which happens to be highly addictive and estimated to cause the premature death of half its users. But users don’t enjoy any special privileges. In particular, it is perfectly legitimate to prohibit the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products when they harm those being involuntarily exposed. That includes fellow workers, employees in a private business or members of the public, children in the home or car, and extends to adults in the private home unless they specifically agree to be exposed. There is no special ‘right’ to smoke.

  4. mogasp response: “There is a fundamental flaw in suggesting that smoking is simply a matter of personal choice. Smoking also produces secondhand smoke which affects others and THAT is the reason this is a health issue which is rightly the subject of government regulation. ”

    No flaw. If you enter an establishment where you know smoking is taking place you are a willing participant not an innocent bystander, As far as your health issue comment, there are reasons that low relative risks are not considered proof of anything,
    http://www.cancernetwork.com/lung-cancer/content/article/10165/1513259

    mogasp replies
    “BTW, you wrote Sidney Friedman; I think you meant Milton Friedman.’

    LOL I was watching MASH when I wrote that.

    Marshall P Keith

  5. mogasp comment: “Dan Duncan refers to ‘rights’ to which I would add the following observation: . . . . In particular, it is perfectly legitimate to prohibit the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products when they harm those being involuntarily exposed.”

    The anti-smokers love to play th victim, I was unaware that we lived in a forced labur society. Were you actually forced into your profession and to work under conditions you found objectionable? Please tell me about the laws that prohibited you from starting your own business and set the rules. Tell us about all of the smoking establishments that your were forced into. There was nothing involuntary about it!

    I also love how the anti-smokers love to use the addict card to paint the smoker in a bad light. Please show us all the clinics helping those poor nicotine addicts stop eating potatoes, tomatoes etc etc etc.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp response: Where to begin? Your arguments bear little or no relationship to reality. Smoking is not part of any job description of which I’m aware. Tell me one?

  6. Mogasp, how would anyone be “involuntarily exposed” in a bar or restaurant frequented by smokers, staffed by smokers, and with a big sign on the door saying “This Is A Free-Choice Facility: Smoking Is Allowed If You Wish.”

    You could argue that there might be an innocent desperate nonsmoker out there unable to find any other job who might have to work in such a place for 40 years and incur one extra chance in a thousand of getting lung cancer, but I haven’t noticed folks like John Banzhaf et al shedding any tears over the “poor addicted smokers who can’t quit” being denied jobs by nonsmoker-hiring-only facilities.

    And I’m quite surprised that a professional like Mr. Duncan could overlook such an obvious fourth category of those supporting Free Choice:

    (4) People who enjoy smoking or who love or care about someone who does.

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

    mogasp comment: You can make up similar arguments about many behaviors which harm others. That doesn’t make it right.

  7. No one it seems, is the least bit concerned with how the owners of these properties feel about being forced to surrender their right to use their property for any and all legal purposes. Least of all the Anti-smokers screaming about their “right” to breath “clean air” while at the same time, lecturing the owners about non-smokers “right to be there”. There is no “right to breath clean air” nor any right to go wherever you want with assurance that you won’t be annoyed by something you don’t like when you get there. If you don’t like the environment you find yourself in, then clearly, you chose poorly and have every right to be annoyed, but only with yourself. You can not however, fault the business owner for providing an environment that caters to a specific segment of consumer if you’re not among that group but choose to enter those venues anyway. A business owner that allows smoking is clearly prepared to forego your patronage if you decide you prefer a non-smoking environment.

    mogasp comment: It’s the perennial “property rights” argument. No private property owner doing business with the public or operating as a private employer can do so absent safety laws. It seems only when it comes to lighting up a cigarette do all such laws cease to exist, according to those opposing smoke-free air laws.

  8. mogasp response: “Where to begin? Your arguments bear little or no relationship to reality. Smoking is not part of any job description of which I’m aware. Tell me one?”

    There is an inherent risk with all Jobs. You can argue what is necessary but then the same argument can be made that nothing is necessary. That ozone emitting photocopier and laser printer is not necessary in the office environment. Bars are there to cater to those willing to take the health risks involved in drinking alcohol. Those employees are at much greater risk from intoxicated patrons then they ever would be from second hand smoke.

    Furthermore the low risk ratios associated with second hand smoke are so small that no substance in history has been considered toxic at such levels. Care to name a fiew? There are none.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp response: If the risk is job-related that is one thing, but an employee behavior which puts fellow employees at risk, or creates significant indoor air pollution, is another entirely. And it IS significant for some individuals, so don’t try and dismiss it because it doesn’t bother you.

  9. MoGasp, you wrote, ” No private property owner doing business with the public or operating as a private employer can do so absent safety laws. It seems only when it comes to lighting up a cigarette do all such laws cease to exist, according to those opposing smoke-free air laws.”

    That’s not true MoGasp. Those on the Free Choice side believe that what you perceive to be a “safety law” is actually just a law pushed for political and social engineering purposes, and supported by other small groups with other motivations. See: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/128768-Recognising+Anti-Smoking+Types for a quick summary.

    Also, I didn’t say that because people enjoy smoking that that makes it right. I simply said that Dan Duncan showed his bias by seemingly not even realizing that it was a significant group that a professional in the area should certainly note in his analysis.

    – MJM

    mogasp response: It’s not a “free choice” when you insist on a right to pollute the air others must breathe, whether in a store or similar business open to the public, or a private workplace. There’s no inherent right to behave thus with any consumer product, with the possible exception of one’s private home and even there safety rules apply. That’s an inherent part of a modern civilized society like the U.S.
    And it’s no answer to say that those not wishing to be exposed to SHS can patronize someplace else, or find a different job. That argument is totally unacceptable in the case of an easily regulated air pollutant as serious as SHS.

  10. You can state and restate these same old arguments over and over and over again but the majority has spoken and continues to speak all over the country. If, when these issues came to a vote and the majority did not support clean-air legislation then your point of view would be predominant and that’d be that. BTW, I don’t think I overlooked anyone. Those that enjoy smoking are the addicted, I mentioned them first. As far as those who love a smoker, I think it more likely that someone who loves a smoker would rather their loved one quit than advocate their loved one should be able to smoke wherever they want?

  11. Dan Duncan said “You can state and restate these same old arguments over and over and over again but the majority has spoken and continues to speak all over the country. If, when these issues came to a vote and the majority did not support clean-air legislation then your point of view would be predominant and that’d be that?

    I love the way these bans are passed on off year elections with low turn outs. Thankfully we live in a constitutional Republic and not a Democracy.

    John Adams defined a constitutional republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.” Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the “tyranny of the majority” by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.
    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/constitutional-republic/

    mogasp comment: Your history lesson is definitely flawed. The major smoke-free air initiative, Prop N, went on the ballot in St. Louis County, population approximately 1 million, in November 2010, the year Barack Obama was elected.
    America certainly has a more complex electoral system than England, where I was born, and is enormously influenced by money, but it appears to operate on substantially the same principle of one man (or woman) one vote and representative government, so I think your argument is simply an irrelevance.
    I would disagree with Dan Duncan in one respect: As a public health issue, this shouldn’t be about a majority vote in a local election. The only reason that some supporters of smoke-free air have turned to ballot initiatives is that elected officials in many cities have failed to do their duty to protect the public health and welfare.

  12. Mr. Duncan, a majority of Americans favor allowing some smoking in bars and casinos. If we put an exemption for “over 18” workplaces on the ballot, I think we will win. If a citizen is old enough to buy cigarettes, they are old enough to choose whether or not to patronize or work in places that allow smoking.

  13. Thanks for the response Dan!

    1) Antismokers used to advocate against popular votes because they knew they would lose before the population was prepared properly. They lost MANY city and state legislature votes and never ONCE did they ever say ” that’d be that.” and let the majority rule.

    2) If you insist on your absolute equation of enjoyment = addiction then chocolate lovers, Oprah fans, etc etc are all addicts.

    3) I disagree that someone who loves a smoker necessarily believes they should impose their own values on that person and want to manipulate their lives for their own satisfaction rather than the other’s.

    – MJM
    P.S. MoGasp: don’t forget my 04/22 3:06 comment up there! 🙂

  14. Oh! Sorry! I hit enter too fast.

    Dan, please point out to me ANYWHERE where I have said smokers should be allowed to smoke “wherever they want” or please retract.

    Thank you.

    – MJM

  15. mogasp note: Power went out here last night due to tornadic weather in North St. Louis County which caused significant property damage nearby in Ferguson where I live. Fortunately my wife and I were spared and power was restored surprisingly quickly.

    Glad to hear that you are ok. Hope no one was killed or injured in the storm.

    mogasp: Thanks for your good wishes. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a report featuring a nearby church destroyed in the storm together with video. It’s a little way down the page under the headline “ FERGUSON:” http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_cb9c8f1e-6dc2-11e0-8a86-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=story

  16. mogasp response: It’s not a “free choice” when you insist on a right to pollute the air others must breathe, whether in a store or similar business open to the public, or a private workplace. There’s no inherent right to behave thus with any consumer product, with the possible exception of one’s private home and even there safety rules apply. That’s an inherent part of a modern civilized society like the U.S.

    You ignore the fact that it still is private property and entrance is neither mandatory or a right. You repeatedly ignore the fact that the RRs of ETS are so low that they are proof of nothing. If they were you would also be pushing for a ban on all public cooking.
    http://news.discovery.com/human/fatty-foods-cooking-health.html
    Here is a study that produces lung cancer rates for cooking fumes exactly the same as those claimed for ETS.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11032925

  17. Isn’t it time to remove unlabeled, toxic, cancer-causing, fire-starting, addiction-enhancing, untested additives, fake tobacco, and other non-tobacco adulterants from typical cigarettes?

    To discuss this is as if it’s about tobacco (itself) is preposterous.

    See “Fauxbacco” http://fauxbacco.blogspot.com and Bill Drake’s “Cultivator’s Handbook…” http://www.cultivatorshandbook.com

    Hypocritical anti-smokers serve Big Cig by blaming victims—smokers– for the effects of some 450 or so tobacco pesticide residues, and for dioxin from chlorine adulterants, and much more.

    Big Cig likes to sell cigs, of course, and promotes “right to smoke”, but the Big Money is in their evasion of Trillions of dollars in liabilities for what they’ve done to smokers who believe and are told they are just smoking tobacco. It is sad and tragic that so many support the cigarette makers that secretly poison them and treat them as Guinea pigs.

    Tobacco yes. Why not? Adulterated and fake tobacco…NO.

    mogasp character count = 978. Thank you for resubmitting your comment.

  18. There really is no difference between someone who voluntairily smokes, and someone who voluntairly secondhand smokes. They both volunteer to do it. If MOGASP supports someone;s right to first-hand smoke in their own home, or away from others,under certain conditions, then MOGASP has to also support anyone’s right to voluntairly secondhand smoke. and secondhand smokers voluntairly do it when they enter a smoking establishment. As long as it is legal to smoke, then it should be just as legal to secondhand smoke.

    mogasp comment: This is a rather convoluted argument which leaves me mystified. You seem to be saying that if nonsmokers don’t care whether or not they’re exposed to SHS that should make it OK for the rest of us.
    If there are members of the public out there who don’t care if you drink and drive, is that an argument more making it legal when it threatens others?

  19. MOGASP, your drunk driving argument fails because while everyone must use the roads , not everyone must patronize a smoking establishment. Have you ever been to a demolition derby? it’s a kind of auto race where people on a closed race track crash their cars into each other. The last drivable car is the winner. Most importantly these kinds of races are legal as long as held on a closed racetrack where drivers who don’t want their vehicles trashed can avoid. Do you oppose demolition derbys because someone might get hurt? –even though every participant is there willingly and knows the risk.

  20. and the only reason why we care about drunk driving is because of the possibility of a crash. so my demolition derby argument makes sense, except I believe my “demolition derby” (aka secondhand smoke) is really safe.

  21. mogasp comment: “This is a rather convoluted argument which leaves me mystified. You seem to be saying that if nonsmokers don’t care whether or not they’re exposed to SHS that should make it OK for the rest of us.
    If there are members of the public out there who don’t care if you drink and drive, is that an argument for making it legal when it threatens others?”

    The road is truly public space and you have a reasonable expectation that drunks aren’t driving. A bar is not public property and you have no inherent right to use the space as you do with public property. If you enter a smoking allowed establishment it is voluntarily and as such assumption of risk applies.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp reply: A bar is not typically public property but the argument that somehow that dispenses it’s owner from health and safety rules is clearly absurd. Since you brought it up, in a bar you’re more likely to encounter drunks but does that mean drunken brawls are also allowable?
    If so, I suppose the bar owner could just put up a sign: “Drunken brawls allowed here!’

  22. Mogasp, I had written above, “Mogasp, how would anyone be “involuntarily exposed” in a bar or restaurant frequented by smokers, staffed by smokers, and with a big sign on the door saying “This Is A Free-Choice Facility: Smoking Is Allowed If You Wish.” ”

    And I’m pretty sure that’s what you responded to with, “You can make up similar arguments about many behaviors which harm others.”

    Actually, after giving it a bit of thought, I can’t think of any for any legal behavior that a sizeable chunk of people enjoy engaging in. Seriously: I’m not being obtuse here. If there are indeed “many” can you just name three for me to think about? Thanks!

    Also: I didn’t notice any response to the substance of John’s post as summed up by “Tobacco yes. Why not? Adulterated and fake tobacco…NO.” Do you have a comment on that? Would it make a difference in your campaign or activities if Free-Choice folks pushed only for no bans for pure tobacco?

    – MJM

    mogasp response: When I wrote that I had in mind the argument that bars and restaurants should therefore just be excluded from building codes or food handling requirements and simply put up signs accordingly, e.g. “This Is A Free-Choice Facility: Staff hand-washing optional.” Or “This Is A Free-Choice Facility: Electrical wiring does not meet code.”

    Regarding the comment concluding “Tobacco yes. Why not? Adulterated and fake tobacco…NO.” I don’t consider that it has any relevance to the substance of this blog, but I allowed it anyway.

  23. marshall, i agree, just like if i drive my car onto a race track during a demolition derby, I can expect it to get crashed. But on a public road, i can expect everyone including me to be careful NOT to get into an accident.

    mogasp question: What relevance does a demolition derby have to inviting members of the public into your premises to purchase meals or alcohol, or in which you have employees?

  24. MoGasp, you wrote, “There is a fundamental flaw in suggesting that smoking is simply a matter of personal choice. Smoking also produces secondhand smoke which affects others and THAT is the reason this is a health issue which is rightly the subject of government regulation. ”

    I think it is important to note that a slight paraphrase of your statement would make just as much sense: “There is a fundamental flaw in suggesting that outdoor swimmingpools or patio dining are simply a matter of personal choice. Outdoor indulgence in those activities requires employees to expose themselves to UV radiation and malignant melanoma risks as well, and THAT is the reason this is a health issue which is rightly the subject of government regulation. ”

    And, just as with smoking, the simplest, fastest, and most effective regulation is to simply ban the use of outdoor swimming pools and dining patios during daytime hours — although some might argue that moonlight is as deadly as thirdhand smoke.

    – MJM

    mogasp reply: All I can say is: “Ha! Ha!”

  25. The demolition derby argument has substance because the only reason why we ban drunk driving is because of crash risk. IF drunk drivers did not crash more often that sober drivers, then drunk driving would not be banned. Remember, MOGASP brought up the drunk driving argument. All I’m saying is that during demolition derbys, all participants agree to get into crashes..thus agree to the risk,,and that is legal ( not banned).

  26. this is what antismoking activists never seem to ‘get” …exposure to secondhand smoke, these days is completely voluntary. Just like driving in a demolition derby is voluntary. — ( both should be legal)

    mogasp comment: There’s no comparison, Dave. No one should have to tolerate secondhand smoke (SHS) in order to hold a job. No child should be involuntarily exposed to SHS by a parent at home or in a vehicle.

  27. To assume that a majority of those that oppose smoking bans do so is because they are addicted is unfortunate. I’ve heard this argument several times and I consider it a lazy way to dismiss those that disagree. If you assume that they only oppose you because they are addicted to nicotine then you don’t have to account for property rights and freedom arguments. Its easy to say that you only feel that way because you are a slave to nicotine.
    When I hear that phrase “your an addict” I know that they have no answer for the question I asked them.

    mogasp comment: I agree that not every smoker is addicted to nicotine, but I understand that many smokers are. However, that is irrelevant to SHS pollution issues, in my view. Likewise, “property rights” appears to be a relatively new argument against smoke-free air, and I don’t believe it’s a valid one.
    Finally, “freedom” from what? It’s a much abused term in this discussion, initially hijacked by the tobacco industry. Smoke-sensitive nonsmokers have had their freedom curtailed for decades because smoking was considered a sacrosanct activity not subject to regulation. That’s finally changing in Missouri.

  28. Tony Palazzolo

    MoGASP
    You shouldn’t take offense but when you dismiss “property rights” and “freedom” as tobacco industry propaganda its equally lazy. It would be far easier for me to dismiss anything you say as pharma interest propaganda.

    There was a time when smoking was allowed in all places. For the most part business took care of 99% on its own. Without bans you couldn’t smoke in nearly all business by their choice. The last places a smoker could enjoy a cigarette, cigar, hookah or pipe was in bars and some restaurants. People are smart enough to avoid a place that allows smoking. You can go to your non-smoking restaurant and I can go to a bar and enjoy a cigar. Everyone’s freedom is preserved from the customer to the establishment owner.

    mogasp reply: My point was that these real issues or words have been misappropriated. The “Big Pharma” argument appears to be propaganda, pure and simple, generated to counter “Big Tobaccos” efforts spanning decades.
    Places of employment should be safe from known avoidable hazards to people’s health and welfare. Why shouldn’t that apply to secondhand smoke?

  29. Tony Palazzolo

    You see there you go again dismissing “Big Pharma” as propaganda from “Big Tobacco”. No political movement gets any movement without funds. As much as many pubic health advocates would like to tell you that their money comes from public donations that is for the most part simply untrue. While it comes from several different directions most of it is in the form of grants from Phizer and Johnson & Johnson. However I believe that Mogasp is not funded by “Big Pharma” as much as Keep St Louis Free is not funded by “Big Tobacco”.

    As to making everyplace free of harms. It sounds good but life just doesn’t work that way. Thousands of people drown at pools every year. Why then are we allowed to spend public money to open pools when they are such a hazard. There are many taxpayers that can’t swim and can’t use pools. Its not fair to them, so shouldn’t we ban pools because they can’t use them? If we ban smoking based on the level of risk then quite frankly we shouldn’t be allowed out of our houses.

    mogasp reply: “There I go again” because that’s what I believe to be the truth, based on all that I’ve read during the past 25 years. The opposition to SHS regulations is built on conspiracy theories and attempts to dismiss it as a non-issue or comparable to a host of others that those supporting smoke-free air are also supposed to get exercised about. I’m not aware of similar arguments being directed at other single-issue organizations.

  30. mogasp response: If the risk is job-related that is one thing, but an employee behavior which puts fellow employees at risk, or creates significant indoor air pollution, is another entirely. And it IS significant for some individuals, so don’t try and dismiss it because it doesn’t bother you.

    If a bar chooses to cater to smokers then exposure is job related. What you suggest is that you and the government can choose who business can cater to.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp comment: And if a bar chooses to allow its customers to excrete in the middle of the floor that’s no business of government either, by this argument.
    Just butt out government and others meddling in MY business.

  31. Tony Palazzolo

    MoGASP,

    Why did you dismiss my analogy using the risk associated with public pools and use an analogy of people pooping in a bar?

    mogasp reply: Tony, I really don’t recall now. Occasionally my little grey cells fail me, more so now than before.

  32. mogasp comment: “And if a bar chooses to allow its customers to excrete in the middle of the floor that’s no business of government either, by this argument.
    Just butt out government and others meddling in MY business.”

    Check your laws. I am sure there is no such law on the books, why not? Probably because no owner would allow it, not to mention I doubt they would get much business. I wouldn’t go there would you???

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp comment: This was intended as an exaggerated comment to emphasize that government has the right to regulate, even if a business wishes to allow a behavior that is either harmful to customers or employees, or in this case, outside the norm of what is acceptable. There is absolutely no reason of which I’m aware why smoking should be allowed in places of business, as a known human carcinogen as well as a serious irritant to others. If you’re denying either of those two descriptions then there is absolutely no point in discussing the issue.

  33. MoGasp, I know you are weary of my argument on this, but I assure you that I am equally weary of hearing:

    “No one should have to tolerate secondhand smoke (SHS) in order to hold a job. No child should be involuntarily exposed to SHS by a parent at home or in a vehicle.”

    My statement below is fully as valid. You do not have to respond to it, but it is important for fairness that it be presented as balance. It is, after all, an almost perfect duplicate of your content with simply the carcinogenic subject changed:

    “No one should have to tolerate UV Radiation (sunshine) in order to hold a job. No child should be involuntarily exposed to sunshine by a parent at home or in a vehicle.”

    The main difference is that I, for the sake of logical consistency, reject both notions within reasonable bounds while you promulgate one as unquestionable truth while simultaneously refusing to consider the merits of the other, particularly regarding the workplaces of daytime patio dining and outdoor pools.

    – MJM

    mogasp response: You’re attributing things to me that are inaccurate. Why are you trying to confuse the issue by extending the argument regarding one issue to another to which it is totally unrelated? It is reminiscent of the “slippery slope” and “where will it all end” arguments that are typically irrelevant.

  34. Mogasp, I am most certainly NOT inaccurately attributing things to you! Please see your post above (04/27 6:06pm) where you quite clearly say: “No one should have to tolerate secondhand smoke (SHS) in order to hold a job. No child should be involuntarily exposed to SHS by a parent at home or in a vehicle.” Please apologize, retract, or explain.

    Also: How can you *possibly* call the slippery slope argument “irrelevant” given the history of smoking bans? The entire timeline since the ’80s has been nothing but one “slip” after another — from sections in planes, to short flights, to long flights, to children’s restaurants like McDs, to all restaurants, to bars, to private clubs, to casinos, to tobacco shops, to outdoor playgrounds, to parks and beaches, to condos, to private apartments, to removing children from custody of smokers, to firing smokers from jobs if they dare to smoke in their bathrooms at home… How can you possibly say a slippery slope is “irrelevant”?

    – MJM

    mogasp comment: Bravo! The above is exactly 1,000 characters. Regarding the substance, this is a novel view of the “slippery slope” argument. As normally used it is the “Where will it all end” argument. The reality is that one issue is not linked to the other.

  35. Actually, I think I’d disagree with, “this is a novel view of the “slippery slope” argument. As normally used it is the “Where will it all end” argument. ”

    Back in the 90s it might have been “Where…end” but, but today the points have already arrived — so it’s simply showing the truthful nature of the slippery slope here. Remember, simply because there’s a “label” for a style of argument doesn’t mean it’s invalid.

    E.G. as an initial argument, saying “I’d believe the Surgeon General before believing Joe Blow at the bar,” isn’t a bad start. Argumentum ad verecundiam (Arguement To Authority) has some basis. HOWEVER, it’s only a start, and a poor one for anyone with background in the matter they’re discussing. It needs backup by a reasoned, fact-based reubuttal of what Joe Blow said. In my “slippery slope” argument, the facts are historical so it’s a valid argument.

    Heh… it took me a while to pare that post down to 1,000 characters! Thanks for the appreciation!

    :>
    MJM

  36. mogasp comment: Bravo! The above is exactly 1,000 characters. Regarding the substance, this is a novel view of the “slippery slope” argument. As normally used it is the “Where will it all end” argument. The reality is that one issue is not linked to the other.

    You are incorrect on the slippery slope issue. If our courts adheared to the Constitution as intended none of these laws would pass muster. All bans would require a Constitutional Amendment, (A rather large hurl.) The ADA which you closely cling to would not pass muster when it comes to property rights.
    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/property-rightsconstitution-new-deal-or-raw-deal/

    More on the fifth amendment.
    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/takings.htm

    Marshall P Keith

  37. I have written a lengthy response to Mr Duncan’s misconception of what greed is and your dismissive attitude toward the influence of Big Pharma on tobacco control. There was no way I could respond in 1000 characters. Both you and he are free to respond with no restrictions.
    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/greed/

    Marshall P Keith

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