Thursday, March 31, 2011

Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds win another Engle case

29 Mar 2011. US District Judge Gladys Kessler granted a request from BAT that under US law it is no longer subject to an initial ruling she made in 2006 that found tobacco companies had breached racketeering laws by collectively deceiving the public about the dangers of smoking.



Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds win another Engle case

BAT wins court battle

29 Mar 2011. US District Judge Gladys Kessler granted a request from BAT that under US law it is no longer subject to an initial ruling she made in 2006 that found tobacco companies had breached racketeering laws by collectively deceiving the public about the dangers of smoking.



BAT wins court battle

Ill. House OKs lifting casino smoking ban

“Ladies and gentlemen, if we’re serious about our budget crisis in Illinois, let’s be real. This is not about the smoking issue. This is about the money,” said Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, the bill’s House sponsor.


Isn't it always about the money? One thing is for certain: Democrats in Chicago are not cut from the same cloth as Democrats in California. In my home town, some politicians are waking up not only to the fact that smoking bans impose unnecessary and onerous regulations upon private business owners, but that they also have deleterious effects on the overall economy. No longer do they believe the claims of anti-smoking bureaucrats when they tout no economic losses due to bans. Here in California however, our politicians seem to be intent on poking more holes into an already sinking ship. Home has never looked so good.

http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/4569114-418/ill.-house-oks-lifting-casino-smoking-ban

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tobacco ban is unlawful and a bad idea

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News
But Bullitt County Attorney, Monica Robinson, says that's not the issue before the court. She contends the health department cannot pass laws.


Exactly....and neither can the un-elected bureaucrats who work for the WHO.

Video | Blog | TABEXPO | Tobacco Industry Guide | Tobaccopeople | Death of e-cigarette smoker prompts research plea

He said that the brand Miller had been using seemed to involve a mixture of nicotine and oil.

"There's extensive literature in the medical world on damage to the lungs due to inhaling oil, which looks very similar to his disease," he said.



Hmmmmm...I've never heard of an e-cigarette brand that uses "oil". The only ingredients that I have ever come across when doing research on e-cigarettes are nicotine, propylene glycol (or its substitute glycerol), and food additive flavorings. A quick google search on this story turned up no other links on this yet to develop(?) story either.


Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dr. Attacks Smoker By Car

Dr. Attacks Smoker By Car
Dr. Jeffrey Reed Thompson got so angry that a man was smoking outdoors in the garage that he yanked the cigarette out of the man's hand, then tried to hit him with his car. Dr. Thompson faces felony charge of aggravated assault with a vehicle.


Forest Eireann - Voice of the smoker in Ireland - Home Page

..Here's to hoping that the ban can be amended in Ireland.

Forest Eireann - Voice of the smoker in Ireland - Home Page

Monday, March 28, 2011

Laughter And Music Could Lower Blood Pressure Just As Much As Cutting Salt

In the study, Japanese researchers found that people who took part in bimonthly group sessions built around music or laughter lowered their systolic blood pressure (the top number in the reading) by an average of five to six points after three months. By contrast, the average blood-pressure reading in a control group that received neither therapy didn't budge.


This makes sense to me, but if you are a smoker, make sure to stay away from anti-smokers when attempting to take part in any activities that induce smiling or laughter, as the resulting effect(s) would surely be canceled out by their vile and abhorrent nature.


Laughter And Music Could Lower Blood Pressure Just As Much As Cutting Salt

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Check out the latest news from Tobacco Reporter-


Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

The Dennis Prager Show

Millions of Americans agree with these judges that smoking is a moral flaw. That is one reason the government airbrushes cigarettes out of pictures of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and other famous Americans. If a young American were to see President Roosevelt smoking a cigarette or Sir Winston Churchill smoking a cigar, what might happen to that child's wholehearted acceptance of the smoking-is-bad (not merely unhealthy) brainwash?



What's happened to my country?



The Dennis Prager Show

FDA Headbangs With Condoms, Not Cigs - Page 1 - Katie Kieffer - Townhall Conservative

The FDA’s packaging mandate sounded a tad extreme to me until I remembered that every smoker I’ve ever known has literally sent every nonsmoker within ten feet of them to the graveyard and every female smoker I’ve ever known was an irresponsible baby-hater. I’m just relieved we have the FDA to keep adults and babies completely safe.


..Gotta love the integrity of the FDA..


FDA Headbangs With Condoms, Not Cigs - Page 1 - Katie Kieffer - Townhall Conservative

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preventing tobacco smoke diseases by network antioxidants

http://www.trdrp.org/fundedresearch/Views/Grant_Page.asp?grant_id=400


Antioxidants can ameliorate the oxidative effects of cigarette smoke.


.....and...

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage protein, DNA, or fats via an oxidative process. Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals because antioxidants react faster with free radicals than do the cell components.


.....and..

Study Results. Treatment for two months with vitamin C significantly reduced F2-isoprostanes in smokers..


...and there's more..

Smoking is associated with significantly lower plasma levels of vitamin C and three carotenoids antioxidants, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin and lutein.


....and in conclusion..

it does indicate that vitamin C reduces one of the probable mechanisms in the causation of smoking-related diseases.

Remy: Why They Fought

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWloySIHcvg

"ASTURIAS PLEDGE" CALLS ON WHO TO GLOBALLY GOVERN CANCER PREVENTION

http://www.who.int/phe/news/events/international_conference/Call_for_action_en.pdf

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cancer risk no higher with menthol cigarettes - Health - Cancer - msnbc.com

"The key finding was that the risk of lung cancer was no higher in menthol smokers.

"In fact, it was a bit lower in mentholated compared to non-mentholated smokers...


Gee, one would have thought that they (the do-gooders) would have told us this pertinent information sooner. Yeah...here's to wishful thinking. Now how about informing all of us adult smokers of the difference(s) in relative risk(s) with regards to all tobacco products for a change instead of telling us that "A" is the same as "B", and that "B" is the same as "C"? I know..I know...the only option is to quit or die, right?

Cancer risk no higher with menthol cigarettes - Health - Cancer - msnbc.com

Badass of the Week: Hideaki Akaiwa

A modern-day, real-life action hero.


Indeed. May the divine forces of nature bless this man.

Badass of the Week: Hideaki Akaiwa

YouTube - LA Food Police Ban Burger Joints: Is Your City Next?

It's a free country, we should be able to eat what we want to.."


YouTube - LA Food Police Ban Burger Joints: Is Your City Next?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT ENCROACHMENT CITOYENS ANTI GOUVERNEMENT ENVAHISSANT: FROM THE HEART: Part II

Thanks again to Daniel Romano of CAGE Canada for giving me yet one more place to voice my discontent with the current abolitionist anti-smoker establishment. It's time for us all to stick together now. It doesn't matter whether you are from the Left or from the Right, or if you are somewhere in the middle like me. Freedom and the pursuit of happiness is a value that should be held to the highest regards by all.

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT ENCROACHMENT CITOYENS ANTI GOUVERNEMENT ENVAHISSANT: FROM THE HEART: Part II

Smoking banned on home patios in Laguna Woods - Orange County Register

That's somewhat of a concern, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Greg McKeown. He said the fire authority advises smokers to light up outdoors if possible. Fire officials also advise people not to smoke while impaired, in bed or in a home where oxygen is being used.

"Smoking indoors can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren't taken," McKeown said.


So they don't want the elderly (or anyone for that matter) to smoke inside, but then they don't want them to smoke OUTSIDE. Just where, prey tell, is one supposed to go to have a cigarette? ..And what about the disabled, just what are THEY supposed to do? It's quite astounding how cruel and dumbed-down we have become; ok, not all of us are sleeping, but too many of us are.

Oh, and by the way, isn't Orange County supposed to be "Conservative"..ie., for smaller government and less intervention into the private lives of everyday, law abiding citizens? Apparently not.

Someday I am going to be arrested in my own home...or evicted..for merely being a smoker, and no one is going to care, not the ACLU, not my "Liberal" neighbors, and certainly not any of my elected "representatives".

What can I say? Every day I read about more and more draconian laws being passed in the Sunshine state, most of which seem to be directed at the tax paying smokers of a legal product. I think that it is safe to say that I don't want to grow old in California. Now, I suppose that it wouldn't be too bad living here if I were rich and lived somewhere hidden away in the hills in a large house with a large, intimidating gate surrounding the perimeters; but no, life for most Californians is down here in the ground, or in the bario, so to speak. The mountains and the scenery are what clearly makes California so beautiful, and I especially love the desert, but just where is there room in this state for a quirky, somewhat eccentric, individualist like me? Nowhere apparently.

The right to be an individual is one of the core tenets of being a free citizen in what is supposed to be a free society that respects that everyone has the right to pursue happiness in ways that the individual sees fit. How else can one be creative or "free", when one is not even allowed to express yourself in one's own home or privately owned business? Smoking is an act of expression that is encompassed by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as is the Right to Assemble. How is it that the 1st Amendment applies to everyone, EXCEPT for smokers? This is an egregious abuse of power that can only lead to anarchy in the future as the core pillars that were designed to uphold the very laws that protect all of us are dismantled and left in the dust to die a slow and lonely death. How is one to respect the law if there is no law?

Smoking banned on home patios in Laguna Woods - Orange County Register

Daily News Editorial: Los Angeles City Council and Villaraigosa are going to have to toughen up on City Hall - LA Daily News

..But the budget has been approached in crisis mode and leaders make temporary, survivalist and sometimes self-serving decisions that don't always make sense.


No kidding. That's an understatement. So why is it that we keep re-electing these same leaders? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense either.

Daily News Editorial: Los Angeles City Council and Villaraigosa are going to have to toughen up on City Hall - LA Daily News

Simon Clark - Taking Liberties - Welcome to the Liberty League

To put this development in perspective, until a few years ago Forest fought a fairly lonely battle when it came to defending the sale and consumption of tobacco. Now a significant number of groups and individuals (including Clare Fox and David Bowden at the Institute of Ideas) are prepared to take a stand on the issue, and the wider implications.


I knew that it was only a matter of time until freedom loving individuals from across all shades of the socio-economic and political spectrum would wake up to realize one core principle: If you allow the liberties and rights of one group of people to be taken away, you have paved the way for your own freedoms to be taken away as well. It seems that many in Britain are realizing this simple fact. I'm waiting for the same epiphany to strike the masses here in the U.S., especially on the coasts.

Cheers to Simon Clark, to David Atherton, and to everyone who has ever put in their time, heart, and soul fighting for what they believe is right.

Simon Clark - Taking Liberties - Welcome to the Liberty League

Monday, March 21, 2011

Freedom To Choose - Smokers have the Wight to choose!

Maybe we smokers in California can follow the lead of our British friends by banding together. Hmmmmm... We could pool together our money and purchase one of the Channel Islands, lol! Now, how cool would that be? All smokers welcome! Cigarette, pipe, cigar, hookah smokers unite! Oh, and pot smokers are welcome too:-)

Freedom To Choose - Smokers have the Wight to choose!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 states seek to kick habit of raising cig taxes - Yahoo! News

CONCORD, N.H. – As some states look to tobacco tax increases to plug budget holes, a few are bucking the national trend and saying, "If you smoke 'em, we got 'em," looking at dropping the rate to boost cigarette sales.



3 states seek to kick habit of raising cig taxes - Yahoo! News

Friday, March 18, 2011

Menthol cigarette ban: FDA panel weighs menthol cigarette ban - latimes.com

The FDA wants to take away menthol because "it makes low tar cigarettes more satisfying". Well, isn't that the point? Would they rather that we all go back to smoking cigarettes with no filters and 40 mg of tar? Are they serious? This goes against everything that Dr. Gori, who headed the Tobacco Working Group at the NCI, studied and observed with regards to developing less hazardous cigarettes. What, we should smoke cigarettes that are more carcinogenic? Would someone please explain to me the logic here? Without flavor modification, folks have no incentive to switch to cigarettes that emit less toxins. Oh, yeah, that's right, there's absolutely NO difference between a cigarette with 2 mg of tar and a cigarette that has 20, 30, or 40, right? ..And everyone is going to magically quit tomorrow, well because the pious popes of do-gooderism said so. I can see the unicorns and fairies coming 'round the bend right now. Wow, wait...there's one right outside my window now. Not. Somebody's been lying to us.

Menthol cigarette ban: FDA panel weighs menthol cigarette ban - latimes.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Measures to tweak smoking ban spark three-corner debate in the House | Wichitopekington | Wichita Eagle Blogs

House Bill 2039 would revoke the section of the law that exempts gaming floors in casinos — which the state calls “Expanded Lottery Gaming Facilities.”

– House Bill 2040 would allow bars that sell lottery tickets or have lottery keno screens to allow their patrons to smoke.

Since last year, many owners of bars and taverns — especially small ones — have complained of dramatic declines in business since the smoking ban took effect.


Now, would someone please explain to me why in the hell business owners would be pleading with the Kansas state legislature for exemptions and amendments to the current smoking ban if there are indeed no economic effects of smoking bans on privately owned businesses?

Measures to tweak smoking ban spark three-corner debate in the House | Wichitopekington | Wichita Eagle Blogs

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Healthcare for All! Unless You're Fat | Patrick Basham and John Luik | Cato Institute: Commentary

Yet another brilliant commentary to come out of the CATO Institute-

Refusing medical treatment to an individual who not only requires it but who has has financially contributed more than the average to its funding, as a means of coercing him or her toward healthier behaviour, is undemocratic and borders on tyranny.


Exactly. Now how come our politicians don't see things this way here in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere around our shrinking globe?

Several Canadian economists had earlier calculated the benefits to non-smokers and costs to smokers. The University of Montreal's André Raynauld and Jean-Pierre Vidal estimated that in 1986 Canadian smokers paid more in tobacco taxes than they cost the country's healthcare system – that is, smokers paid a $363 (£230) subsidy to each non-smoker in the country.


Wowza! I can only imagine how many times over smokers subsidize non-smokers here in the U.S., now that we're well into the 21st century where American smokers are subjected to city, state, federal, AND the de facto taxes that are collected via the Master Settlement Agreement. Oh, how I wonder....

Remember this article the next time some pompous, know it all do-gooder tries to convince you that you are costing HIM or HER money. Remind them that you are contributing to the roads that they drive on and the parks that they have banned you from. Oh, and don't forget to tell them to do some research before they make such assumptions. That oughta shut 'em up real quick.

Healthcare for All! Unless You're Fat | Patrick Basham and John Luik | Cato Institute: Commentary

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

It doesn't appear that the anti smoking hysteria is going to be slowing down any time soon, thanks to the WHO's FCTC treaty. So much for sovereignty.

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bhutan: Monk Becomes The First Victim Of The Tobacco Act · Global Voices

Congratulations to the anti-tobacco fanatics for demonstrating to the world at large the fact that they are willing to deal with despots in order to achieve their agenda of a a smoker-free world. Is what we are witnessing in Bhutan telling of the true intent of the WHO's FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) treaty? Was its goal the criminalization of 20% of the world's population? ..One cannot help but wonder.

Bhutan: Monk Becomes The First Victim Of The Tobacco Act · Global Voices

Arizona County Workers Being Tested for Nicotine Use - FoxNews.com

Who's next? Drinkers? Meat eaters?

Never mind the fact that we smokers already pay more in taxes than we receive in return for our investments. We pay for the health insurance coverage of other other people's children via SCHIP. We balance state budgets. We are taxed four times over via city, state, federal, and de facto MSA excise taxes and yet we are told that we need to pay higher premiums for health insurance coverage. Here's an idea for the Nanny Staters: Stop stealing our money and we'll pay for our own health insurance with the taxes that you are extorting from us.

Many people who smoke are indeed healthy; some are not. Is this not the also the case with folks who partake in other risky vices and activities? Why single out one group? The only answer that I can conjure up is this: HATE....Oh, and GREED.

Arizona County Workers Being Tested for Nicotine Use - FoxNews.com

Tobacco firm challenges 'prohibition' proposals | Stuff.co.nz

Prohibition is what they've been aiming for all along. That's really what all of these restrictions are about...incrementalism..

Tobacco firm challenges 'prohibition' proposals | Stuff.co.nz

Comment: The bully state reemerges in Andrew Lansley's anti-smoking crusade - politics.co.uk

Comment: The bully state reemerges in Andrew Lansley's anti-smoking crusade - politics.co.uk

Democrat Wants to Ban Candles - Nanny State - Fox Nation

Where have all of the Liberals gone?

Democrat Wants to Ban Candles - Nanny State - Fox Nation

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Act of Tobacco Prohibition Proposed for California

California State Senator and Assembly Member Propose Act of Tobacco Prohibition for The Golden State!! Call/e-mail your reps! This would mean that you will not be able to smoke ANYWHERE, not even at your own private party. ...and to those who are proponents of legalized weed, this includes you too...smoke is smoke..

In the form of one of the worst pieces of legislation of its kind currently pending in the nation, California State Senator Mark DeSaulniers, D-Walnut Creek, and Assembly Member and Chairman of the Majority Caucus, Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, have just introduced a sweeping piece of tobacco prohibitionist legislation that seeks to close every existing exemption to enjoying perfectly legal tobacco products in the State of California.



Cigar Rights of America

Friday, March 11, 2011

FORCES International - Powered by reason, driven by passion

Recent news from Forces International:-)

FORCES International - Powered by reason, driven by passion

Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard | NBC Los Angeles

Mechanics who work with the Smart Start System say you don't have to be over the legal limit to stall out.

"Normally what they should calibrate it at .03. I believe for most people that's the warning level," said Garrett Benedict, a mechanic.



So now the nannies are going after anyone and everyone who ever has a glass of wine at dinner or a beer at a ballgame or concert. Of course, many of us in the blogosphere have known that measures like this were not far off when the nanny state battalion of de facto, prohibitionist buffoons started to legislate away a smoker's right to assemble. We saw it coming, but no one listened. Now they're coming for you too drinkers.


Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard | NBC Los Angeles

Johnny Depp - Anti-Smoking Campaigners Fuming Over Depp's Rango - Contactmusic News

Johnny Depp - Anti-Smoking Campaigners Fuming Over Depp's Rango - Contactmusic News

Government confirms end to tobacco displays

The government said Wednesday it plans to ban the display of tobacco products in shops and said it keeps an "open mind" on plain packaging for cigarettes.


An open mind? Are they serious or just simply delusional?

Government confirms end to tobacco displays

Seventh state proposes tax hike

Haven't these "lawmakers" ever heard of the term TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION? Do they realize that what they are doing fits the very definition of EXTORTION? I do. For those of us who are not aware of the word's meaning, here it is in a rather brief definition of the word: Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage.

Where's our health insurance that we've already paid for 10X over?

Supporters of the tax hike say the money would pay for many social programs, such as Meals on Wheels, Senior Companions and the Tobacco Use Prevention Program, which are slated to be cut come 1 July 2011.



Seventh state proposes tax hike

Proposal to extend flavour ban to little cigars

A Canadian health critic on Tuesday announced her introduction of a bill that would tighten the rules around the sale of flavoured little cigars and smokeless tobacco, reports CBC.


Proposal to extend flavour ban to little cigars


..It never ends..

Newsweek Publishes Disgraceful Article on Antioxidants (Action Alert) | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA

If we’re taking individual vitamins, use all forms of each vitamin in its natural pattern—mixed tocopherols, mixed carotenoids, B-complex, and so on. If you’re not sure of the safety of a particular supplement—even though the Association of American Poison Control Centers 2008 report [4] noted that not even one death from use of vitamins, minerals, or botanical supplements for that entire year—check with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine. And lastly, for likely the next decade at least, be very skeptical of “health advice” offered by Newsweek or any of the “mainstream” media, particularly if it’s about the natural approach to healthcare.

—Jonathan Wright, MD



Newsweek Publishes Disgraceful Article on Antioxidants (Action Alert) | Welcome to the Alliance for Natural Health - USA

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The vested interests of the anti-smoking lobby - Big Brother Watch

Thanks to Belinda Cunnison of Freedom 2 Choose Scotland for posting this on Facebook-

The vested interests of the anti-smoking lobby - Big Brother Watch

BBC iPlayer - The Peter Levy Show: 10/03/2011

Listen to David Atherton speak (@ 1:28) about the tobacco display ban on the Peter Levy Show-BBC Lincolnshire.

BBC iPlayer - The Peter Levy Show: 10/03/2011

The Global War on Celebrity

Our ever-vigilant news media cannot stop reporting on the war. Each day, journalists engage us with in-depth, hour-long explorations of every facet of the war. Tireless reporters report on location about the war's smallest details and the war's mounting causalities. Despite cynicism about the indifference of the American public, all that relentless attention has got the whole country talking about the war.

No, not that war.


..This is precisely one of the major reasons why we're all screwed.

Oh, if we only had a media.

The Global War on Celebrity

Ban these evil coloured boxes! | spiked

...Looks like voters got more of the same in the U.K.

Ban these evil coloured boxes! | spiked

WHO Working Group Gives Guidelines To Fight Bad Medicines; IMPACT In Exile | Intellectual Property Watch

After three days of intense negotiations on the role of the World Health Organization in the fight against low standard or falsified medicines, delegates provided recommendations for the UN agency. A subject of dissent was the relationship between the WHO and its taskforce against counterfeit medicines, with some countries calling for a suspension of the taskforce’s work, though in the end no consensus was found.


WHO Working Group Gives Guidelines To Fight Bad Medicines; IMPACT In Exile | Intellectual Property Watch

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT ENCROACHMENT CITOYENS ANTI GOUVERNEMENT ENVAHISSANT: FROM THE HEART

Last week I was approached by Daniel Romano of CAGE Canada to write a guest piece about my personal experiences with smoking bans and anti-smoking legislation. The foreword is written by Daniel. Thanks Daniel!

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT ENCROACHMENT CITOYENS ANTI GOUVERNEMENT ENVAHISSANT: FROM THE HEART


FROM THE HEART

Today, March 8th, 2011 is a special day for two reasons. It is the International Women’s Day, a special event that has been observed since the 1900's. It is a day to celebrate the achievements and advancement of women the world over, as they exercise greater rights and self-determination, mainly as a result of greater economic potential.

This year, March 9th will also be the day that the City of L.A. extends smoking bans to outdoor patios and spaces surrounding restaurants. One young woman, Juliette Tworsey, a talented singer who also, as so many do, makes ends meet by working in the hospitality industry, explains what this means in real terms. She explains how these bans affect her aspirations, and her livelihood. She does not address the issue as an economist or as a political scientist, although she is fully familiar with those respective approaches. She relates to us, on a personal level, how the smoking bans affect her and her entourage. Her message is clear and sound, and needs to be heard because she speaks from the heart, and she speaks for many.

FROM THE HEART

My personal experience with the Smoking Bans

As a songwriter, performer, and hospitality worker that has worked consistently in one form or another for many years in bars, restaurants and concert venues, I can from my personal observations and experiences say that smoking bans and the war on smokers in general have detrimental effects on my personal life, my social life, and my ability to prosper and make a living.

The economic and social effects

Before coming to Los Angeles from my hometown Chicago with my band, finding extra work in the hospitality business had never been an issue, as there was always something available in what has always been well known as being an industry with high turnover rates, especially in venues with a demographic that’s largely comprised of transient students, artists, musicians, authors, and working class folks who often live from paycheck to paycheck.

After moving to Los Angeles in the early 2000's (note, this is long before the advent of our current recession), one of the first things that I noticed was the difficulty in finding a service or bartending job. Granted, Los Angeles is a town that is subject to a constant onslaught of young people moving into town from all over the country looking for work in the entertainment industry, along with immigrants from all over the world looking for work; hence, there is a high demand for work. However, keep in mind that both the service and the entertainment industries have high turnover rates; therefore, this fact alone does not explain the lack of jobs in these fields. One thing that comes to mind is the state smoking ban that came into effect in the late 90s.

Upon the observation of countless numbers of smokers standing outside of establishments, especially those restaurants, bars and venues that were not equipped wit the money or space to retrofit their establishments with smoking patios, the realization came to me that many folks were just not hanging out as long or spending as much as they used to. When people don’t hang out as long or spend as much there are going to be social and economic consequences. I have witnessed, time and time again, a mass exodus from live music venues as soon as a band hits its last chord. Often the fans and friends of any already known act do not return to the club to check out the next new and unknown act. This was not my experience as a performer in what was then a smoke-ban-free Chicago.

Blanket smoking bans and over-regulation have the unfortunate consequence of making it even more difficult for a new act to acquire the much needed exposure that it needs by adversely affecting the prospects of future bookings, due to the fact that many clubs now demand that an act have a pre-existing audience so that the club may insure that it makes enough money to cover its overhead costs without having to lay off bartenders and waitresses. It has never been so difficult. Again, these difficulties were apparent before, not after the current recession. Now it has only gotten worse. This leads me to my next point….

When one sector of the hospitality or industry is hurting, a domino effect is set into motion. It is so hard to find a bartending job here now, that some have even said that in order to get a job here, someone needs to either move out of town or die in order for there to be an opening. That’s not a joke, I’ve really been told that, and I do have a resumé. Another unintended consequence of smoking bans has been the disappearance of the neighborhood bar. There are a few to be sure, mostly in affluent neighborhoods, but largely the establishments that once accommodated many in the working class, as well as students and starving artists have gone by way of the dinosaurs. These neighborhood bars also once served as springboards for aspiring bartenders and musicians trying to get their foot in the door, as well as important social breeding grounds for many folks who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to go out.

No one, save for a lucky few, starts at the top of any business. This lack of work in bars and music venues leads to more demand for jobs in the restaurant sector, making it more difficult to find work there as well. Many restaurants (up until now) managed to survive California’s indoor ban by retrofitting their establishments by building outdoor patios as a way of keeping their smoking patrons. This was a semi-workable situation, due to California’s temperate climate, along with the use of outdoor heating devices in the winter and tent/overhangs in the rainy season, though I have to admit that I, along with many of my smoking friends, have not been regular patrons to any facility that does not at least provide some sort of hospitable place for its smoking customers. That is how it has been up until now.

The city of Los Angeles is currently about to introduce a comprehensive smoking ban of its own that supersedes the California smoke-free act as of this Tuesday, March 8th, 2011. This new ban will now extend to all outdoor spaces of restaurants, coffee shops within the entire city limits. The patios that so many restaurants, bar/restaurants, and coffee houses built to accommodate their smoking customers is now being taken away from them against their will. It shouldn’t be a hard sell in convincing non-believers that this is going to be yet another blow to the hospitality industry, its workers, and those looking for work within the industry. Smokers are indeed a part of the overall economy and the hospitality industry in particular, is one industry which cannot be outsourced. I know from personal experience, as I am yet again on the search for work. Many places are already not doing so well; now they’re going to have to turn away many of their customers as well.

In considering the economic effects of the current smoking ban on restaurants, bars, and music venues in aggregate, it is clear that the smoking ban has had a very real and profound effect on my ability to find work, my social life, and my ability to advance my music career. Never in my life has it ever been so difficult, and remember, these difficulties began before, not after, the current economic crisis; hence, it is safe to assume that smoking bans create their own economic deficits by not allowing establishments to accommodate the demands of the free market.

Prospects for the Future

It is so hard to find work in L.A. in the music AND in the hospitality industries already as is, and NOW there's a new outdoor smoking ban set to take effect this Tuesday. I'm currently looking for work in an environment that is already plagued by the over-regulation of the little guy, as well as the empty storefronts that now litter many of our once prosperous boulevards (even in once affluent neighborhoods). It’s everywhere you look around this city, even in those areas that were once considered as being recession proof. It is time for us all to work together, smokers and non, wealthy and working class, Left and Right, so that we may demonstrate to the world at large and the deaf ears of the mainstream media that we all have a right to exist, and that yes, we smokers have a right to exist and yes, we are indeed a part of the overall economy. We also have the right to assemble as persons of free will. An affront on this most basic of liberties, harms not only the overall economy, but the notion of freedom itself.

To learn more about Juliette Tworsey and her band “Firebug”, we encourage you to visit their website at:

http://www.firebugmusic.com/

Say Anything » North Dakota Anti-Tobacco Officials Finally Admit The Obvious: They’re Prohibitionists

Thanks to Lordsid for posting this on Freedom 2 Choose-

The time, if there ever was one, when it was reasonable to expect the taxpayers to fund anti-tobacco efforts has come and gone. It’s time to end the taxpayer subsidy of these efforts and let this new prohibitionist movement engage in their political activities on their own dime.


Amen to that! Now the challenge is to educate folks on how their tax dollars are being spent.

Say Anything » North Dakota Anti-Tobacco Officials Finally Admit The Obvious: They’re Prohibitionists

Monday, March 7, 2011

What About 'Corrective Statements' for the Government? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

In any event, what the DOJ portrays as a nefarious plot to hook customers—increasing or maintaining nicotine delivery while reducing exposure to combustion products—is also the only way to make tobacco products less dangerous.


Exactly. This is exactly what Dr. Gori, who headed the Tobacco Working Group at the NCI for over a decade, said.

What About 'Corrective Statements' for the Government? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine

New tool may help detect cancer genes

Now this is progress.

New tool may help detect cancer genes

Weight and cancer: Cancer risk shown to rise for overweight Americans - latimes.com

What's even more disturbing than the article itself, are the comments that follow.

They are very telling about the kind of society that we are evolving into. No longer is is unacceptable to refer to our fellow human beings as "fatty", as the term is used several times when referring to many of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends without any intervention or condemnation. Many of us smokers have already become accustomed to the venomous insults perpetrated against us by the new, healthist elite; hence, we predicted that the tent of the persecuted would expand to include more than just smokers. It looks like we were right. The vitriolic hatred towards everyone and anything that does not fit into the newly annointed, eugenicist notion of health is clearly on the rise, and that is clearly unhealthy. Striving for health is one thing, but losing our humanity is another.

Weight and cancer: Cancer risk shown to rise for overweight Americans - latimes.com

Marijuana tax: Pot dispensaries turn against Los Angeles' marijuana tax proposal - latimes.com

..Maybe they've been taking note of the way that tobacco smokers are treated..

Marijuana tax: Pot dispensaries turn against Los Angeles' marijuana tax proposal - latimes.com

L.A. city elections: Budget woes dominate City Council elections - latimes.com

Somehow, I don't see how they're going to have the resources to enforce the new outdoor smoke ban that is set to go into effect tomorrow, so if you smoke, relax and smoke when and where you feel like it. This city is screwed.

L.A. city elections: Budget woes dominate City Council elections - latimes.com

Japan halts Pfizer, Sanofi vaccines after four die - Yahoo! News

Japan halts Pfizer, Sanofi vaccines after four die - Yahoo! News

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Illinois Lawmakers Mull Smoking in Casinos, Bars

Two current bills under consideration by the Illinois General Assembly are expected to generate increased revenues for the state. They would allow smoking in gaming facilities and eligible businesses that have liquor licenses. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association favors both proposals and today urged their passage.


Wowza! I just might have to move back to my hometown Chicago in order to get some work:-)

Illinois Lawmakers Mull Smoking in Casinos, Bars

Here is the Full Text of HB1310:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?GAID=11&SessionID=84&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1310&LegID=57595&SpecSess=0&Session=0

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Provides that the local liquor control commissions have the power to issue a smoking license to certain eligible establishments. Provides that an eligible establishment must be able to document that (i) it has disclosed to all employees that if a smoking license is granted to the establishment, smoking will be permitted on the premises and (ii) all employees have acknowledged receiving the disclosure. Provides that if the eligible establishment has a liquor license, it must be in compliance with all of the terms of the liquor license in order to receive a license to allow smoking on the premises. Amends the Smoke Free Illinois Act. Provides that smoking is allowed in any eligible establishment that has obtained a license to allow smoking on the premises from the local liquor control commission. Provides that an eligible establishment must post prominent signage notifying the public that the establishment has been designated as a smoking establishment. Effective immediately.


It's nice to see a bit of common sense for a change. A sign was all that was ever required to enable folks to make the choice of patronizing, or not patronizing, an establishment that allows smoking.

And...........

To issue a smoking license to the following eligible
establishments:
(A) any bar that can provide written documentation
that less than 10% of its total revenue comes from the
sale of food;
(B) any venue where gambling operations are
conducted pursuant to the Riverboat Gambling Act or the
Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975;
(C) any venue for adult entertainment where a
person must be at least 18 years old to enter;
(D) any private club, as defined in Section 10 of


Well, sometimes I like to eat a little something when I'm having that glass of wine with a ciggie, but none to worry as one can always join a private club, now that the very definition of the word has come around full circle to encompass its original meaning.

And here's a clause that even harbors a bit of humanitarianism! I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true!

6) Common smoking rooms in long-term care facilities
operated under the authority of the Illinois Department of
Veterans' Affairs or licensed under the Nursing Home Care
Act that are accessible only to residents who are smokers
and have requested in writing to have access to the common
smoking room where smoking is permitted and the smoke shall
not infiltrate other areas of the long-term care facility.


I suppose that this means that I can put to rest my fears of growing old someday, should I ever decide to move back to my home state and hometown of Chicago and end up in a nursing home. No longer will I have to worry about the prospects of being thrown out into zero degree weather and dying from pneumonia. There's now a strong chance that senior citizens who smoke may actually be treated like human beings with rights once again. Can you imagine?

The bill, btw, was introduced by Representative Anthony DeLuca (D). Thank you Rep. DeLuca for standing up for private property rights, for my right to find a job, for a smoker's right to assemble, and for the elderly.

...................................


Now onto the full text of Illinois House Bill 171:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=171&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=54744&SessionID

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Smoke Free Illinois Act to include in the list of areas where smoking is allowed, designated segregated ventilated smoking rooms in gaming facilities that are licensed, provided that the segregated smoking room is only accessible to persons who have requested in writing to have access to the smoking room and the smoke from the room shall not infiltrate into any other areas where smoking is prohibited. Imposes conditions on any rulemaking authority.


That's all that we've ever wanted: A place to go where we can socialize with other adults who have chosen to do so at their own free will.

Here are the bill's co-sponsors:

Representative André M. Thapedi (D)
32nd District

Representative Randy Ramey, Jr. (R)
55th District

Representative Anthony DeLuca (D)
80th District

Representative Franco Coladipietro (R)
45th District

Representative Rita Mayfield (D)
60th District

Hence, it appears that there is even bi-partisan support for amending the Illinois Smoke-free act. I just might fall over from shock! Imagine that, our representatives working together to protect our freedoms and American way of life. Double wowza!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Tool for Detecting Cancer Genes

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/health/your_health&id=7993649&cmp=emc-kabc-Top_stories_|_ABC7_Los_Angeles-030411-Health_&_Food1-7993649

L.A. Smokers Beware: Starting March 8, You Could Pay Up to $500 for Smoking Near a Restaurant or Food Truck - Los Angeles News - The Informer

So, here it is...L.A.'s outdoor smoking ban is set to take effect this Tuesday, which ironically is Election day. I suppose that they don't think that we smokers vote. The sad fact is that many of us don't vote, this is precisely why our despotic "representatives" get away with the outright bullying of an already over-taxed minority.

L.A. Smokers Beware: Starting March 8, You Could Pay Up to $500 for Smoking Near a Restaurant or Food Truck

This "enforcement" of this ordinance falls under California Code 36900B, which makes one wonder: Just who has the ability to write these tickets? ...and just what is California Code 36900B?

(a)Violation of a city ordinance is a misdemeanor unless by ordinance it is made an infraction. The violation of a city ordinance may be prosecuted by city authorities in the name of the people of the State of California, or redressed by civil action.

(b)Every violation determined to be an infraction is punishable by (1) a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a first violation; (2) a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year; (3) a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.

(c)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of local building and safety codes determined to be an infraction is punishable by (1) a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a first violation; (2) a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year; (3) a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year of the first violation.


So, do we have the right to challenge out accusers in court? If so, I say clog up the damn courts until this atrocity of an ordinance meets its deserved demise.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chantix lawsuits

Ok, like don't take Chantix, ok? You think that smoking can kill you? Chantix can kill you quicker..Read on...

Chantix lawsuits

PS..More on the L.A. Outdoor Ban and the upcoming Los Angeles City Council election this Tuesday and its accompanying ballot initiatives tomorrow...er..after a cup of coffee, some rest, and some smoking stress management.

Freedom To Choose - Viva Venezuela

You mean that folks have the Freedom to Choose in Venezuela, but not in the U.S. or the U.K..? What ever is going on in this world of ours? I mean, I don't necessarily agree with the politics in Venezuela, being a old school liberal with social and (some) fiscal Libertarian tendencies, but I have to give it to the folks in Venezuela for telling the WHO to stick it where the sun doesn't shine; there's something that a LOT of us can agree on. Ironically, they're beginning to sound more Conservative (w/ regards to individual liberties and basic economic sensibilities) every day. What a strange world it is. When it comes down to it, no one likes to be dictated to.

Freedom To Choose - Viva Venezuela

Los Angeles City County election: Tom LaBonge challenged by two newcomers - latimes.com

Here's to hoping that we Angelenos get several new councilmen...

Los Angeles City County election: Tom LaBonge challenged by two newcomers - latimes.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Facebook To Share Users' Home Addresses, Phone Numbers With External Sites

Who has the time to keep up with this sh*t?

Facebook To Share Users' Home Addresses, Phone Numbers With External Sites

E-cigs to be banned by DOT

Ok, like e-cigs don't cut it for me....BUT...on what grounds are they doing this?

E-cigs to be banned by DOT

Muammar al-Gaddafi Competes With Charlie Sheen - The Colbert Report - 3/1/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

Muammar al-Gaddafi Competes With Charlie Sheen - The Colbert Report - 3/1/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central

YouTube - Nanny of the Month (Feb 2011): Would-Be Brothel Banner Sen. Harry Reid!

YouTube - Nanny of the Month (Feb 2011): Would-Be Brothel Banner Sen. Harry Reid!

YouTube - What We Saw at the Students For Liberty Conference 2011

YouTube - What We Saw at the Students For Liberty Conference 2011

The Los Angeles Fire Department is being whittled away - latimes.com

To compensate for dwindling resources, the department has been forced to adopt what it calls a "modified coverage plan," a rolling system of "brownouts" — daily closures of fire facilities because the department is stretched so thin.


This is simply unacceptable! It is clear that the politicians who run the city of Los Angeles have no priorities. Example: Instead of using our stimulus money wisely, last year the city, instead of helping the Fire Dept, funneled millions of dollars (via D.C. and our tax dollars) into an anti-smoking campaign. The stimulus $$ was supposed be about preserving jobs and creating new ones. We can start by protecting the damn Fire Dept fer chrissakes. What does that say about the folks who are running the show here?


The Los Angeles Fire Department is being whittled away - latimes.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Indoor smoking cabins promoted in Bahrain

Smokers who were once banished from malls and office buildings in Bahrain may again find relief with the introduction there of indoor smoking cabins, according to a story by Rebecca Torr for the Gulf Daily News.


Wow! What a concept! Oh, the world wide anti-tobacco front won't like this one bit. I mean, we can't have it, can we? Smokers should be treated like people and therefore should be able to assemble with one another in relative comfort, ie., shielded from the elements of mother nature? We should have chairs? ..and heat? ...and gasp, be able to do that in a restaurant or shopping mall? Oh, tsk tsk, how preposterous!


Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Smoking – or how to avoid unpaid child minding

More news from tobacco reporter:

Will they start taking children away from their families in the U.K. or the U.S. if there is a smoker in the family? You can't make this stuff up. I grew up around 2nd hand smoke as a child, as you know what? I NEVER got sick, and I didn't develop asthma. In fact, I was quite a healthy child. How in the world did we ever survive prior to this madness?

The magistrate apparently ruled that the father should be required to keep his children away from anyone, including the paternal grandmother, smoking any cigarette or tobacco product “in the presence of the children”.


Stop the insanity.

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Jail sentences sought for public-places smokers

From Tobacco Reporter:

People in Uganda who smoke in public places will risk being imprisoned for up to two months if a draft bill on tobacco control is enacted, according to a story by Sylvia Nankya for The New Vision.


The worldwide tobacco control cartel sure loves to encourage the abuse of citizens around the world by advancing their agenda via dealing with rouge regimes and despots. These are very despicable people indeed.

Tobacco Reporter Magazine - News

Lorillard and RJR sue FDA: — TobaccoToday

Beginning last year, the two companies and others urged the FDA to ensure that members of the panel were free of conflicts. Those concerns, however, were either summarily rejected or entirely ignored.


Of course..When it comes to the issue of tobacco, you have no right to demand fairness, no right to demand objectivity and honesty in science, no right to seek out real forms of harm reduction, and no right to defend yourself...especially if you're a smoker. That's how these people think.

Lorillard and RJR sue FDA: — TobaccoToday
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