Saturday, April 12, 2008

SMOKERS Bans are all about "Showing the states the moolah!"

I bet those mothas running Maine would be saying "DA@N! If we didn't raise our cig taxes WAY over the top, we probably would've collected at least $10k from Darlene over the past 5 years in her cig purchases if she neva switched to making her own."

Maine should really give her a bonus check for being a real smoker who neva fell for poisonanda.

I guess we can all keep on dreaming about ANY state rewarding the serious smokers, including the rollie/cigar/pipe tobacco smokers.

The best thang ANY state can do for smoker s is not ban smoking. But apparently, money from the ACS talks LOUD! And the states do the walk when they get those bribe checks!

Me ain't surprised if it's true the ACS bribes states as much as at least $25k as a way of convincing the state to ban smoking. Like last year, the ACS probably gave Rod Blago-B!+CH (the IL Governor) a bribe check of $100k to sign the SMOKERS-Free IL Act into law.

And me heard this week, an Iowa SMOKERS' Ban barely passed, and will go into effect on July 1st. Me bets the ACS paid the Iowa House/Senate reps 1000s of bucks as a way of forcing em to vote YES on the ban.

It pees me off that anti orgs like the ACS will go as far as paying a politician, governor, or mayor moolah as a way of getting a SMOKERS ban passed.

Me picked up that "Smokers ban" term from someone in my group. Because a smoking ban doesn't apply to bans of ovens, stoves, lit candles, etc. It only applies to tobacco items. Therefore, in the case of now Iowa, Iowa is basically banning smokers from enjoying life as of July. But you can still smoke in Iowa casinos. That ain't big to me, cause not all smokers gamble. So I guess smokers are gonna go to the Iowa casinos JUST to smoke?? Probably, but the casinos will force em to waste moolah from those wallets/purses.

The Iowa taverns and small businesses got a HUGE strikeout this week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My best day ever on smoking outside

For the first time ever, me smoked close to a pack while I was out in public all day. Me was lighting up as soon as me got off of outdoor elevators, as soon as I walked up the stairs, and I even stepped on a NO SMOKING sign while waiting for a Metra train.

I still care about my life. I no longa give a sheet about what ANYYONE thinks about me smoking. I live only once, and I might as well light up and enjoy my life. Even if this is "a slow motion of suicide." (LOL at that F'ked up suicide lie) The only people who approached me at all were two brothas and one sista all asking me for a cig. I'm sure antis would've approached me today if this was a state like Maine. But antis who approach me in the Windy City are stupid. And they know beta than to approach a Black smoker since they know very well "we" can lose it if we get insulted.

It was a nice day earlia. But then it was colder and windy as heck lata on in the day. It was SO windy out there, the wind even attempted to pull the cigs out of my mouth a few times. That was a lil funny.

Now a person pulling a cig out of my mouth.....nah, I ain't going there. But I will say I don't blame those smokers for getting outraged, based on the few times I recall hearing about antis pulling cigs outta smokers' mouths. I neva saw that happened before in person. And I know why....it has a lot to do with living in a big city where people get violent when getting mad at anyone.

If antis think they can get away with insulting smokers in a town like this, they oughta get familiar with city life period (and with all due respect in regards to antis used to living in small, quiet towns). A person from "our community" doesn't have to be a smoker in order to get outraged and violent at an offensive person.

I'm sure if you tried telling a nonsmoking and obese sista "You look too fat," her reaction would be no different from my reactions towards antis.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Iowa legislature narowly approves smoking ban

Bad news for smokers/owners in Iowa, and equally bad news for smokers in IL who live near Iowa.

ARTICLE LINK


The title speaks for itself, and Iowa's state smoking ban goes into effect July 1 of this year.

No exemptions for the Iowa casinos, so you can't smoke and waste your money in Iowa casinos anymore (no offense towards gamblers who smoke...but Indiana, Missouri, and WI still have smokey casinos).

>>>“It’s one of the most significant, if not the most significant, public health measures ever passed in the history of Iowa,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines, said.

This Iowa smoking ban IS significant in the economy's history of the state. As long as Iowa still has obese people living, this ban is not gonna improve the Iowa public health watsoeva!

Betta savior these last few months if you work in an Iowa casino. Because afta July 1, it won't take long for you to be unemployed. :(

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Enforcement of new smoking ban still unclear

ARTICLE LINK

Enforcement of new smoking ban still unclear


By TOM COMPTON
Daily News

Four months after a new Illinois law made it illegal to light up in public places, the smoke still hasn't cleared.

Bar and restaurant owners say they don't know how far they must go to stop customers from smoking. Police and some local health officials say they're not sure how to enforce the ban.

And prosecutors in some Illinois counties say they won't take up smoking-ban cases until what they call loose ends in the law are tied up.

'Many of the state's attorneys I've discussed this with agree that there are significant problems with the language in the statute,' said St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida, who has told police that he won't prosecute violators until the problems are fixed.

The Smoke-Free Illinois Act outlaws smoking in public places and within 15 feet of their exterior doors and windows. People and establishments that violate the law can be fined up to $250.

But that's as clear as it gets.

Crawford County State's Attorney Tom Wiseman says he has been in contact with other state's attorneys through e-mails and other correspondence about enforcing the smoking ban. He said each county seems to be doing its own thing when it comes to enforcement. He has also talked with local law enforcement, but no formal criteria for issuing a fine has been established here.

Darla Tracy, director of the Crawford County Health Department, said they have had a few complaints but no citations have been issued yet. When a complaint is received it is investigated by the health department, then a "friendly reminder" letter is sent with a checklist of non-compliance.

Former Crawford County State's Attorney Jay Holtzhouser sees lots of problems with the law.

"There is no enforcement procedure dictated," Holtzhouser said. "The language of the law provides nothing in the way of a hearing or appeal."

Holtzhouser explained that the way the law reads, it only "prohibits" smoking and does not make it unlawful. "A criminal statute says 'It shall be unlawful,'" he explained.

He also pointed out that a police officer could walk up to you, say you are within 15 feet of a entrance, and issue you a fine without any due process. Bar and restaurant owners say the law does not spell out how they're supposed to enforce the ban.

'All we can do is say there is no smoking allowed,' said Mary Woodward, owner of Woody's bar in Joliet, where police cited some smokers earlier this month. 'I guess the people who were here that day chose not to go outside. I didn't see them; what do you do?'

Some bar owners mistakenly thought they also had been cited at the same time, Will County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Charles Pelkie said. Smokers who violate the law are given citations, similar to a traffic ticket, while police are writing up longer reports on businesses and sending them to prosecutors, he said.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that the state has not yet adopted rules detailing how the ban is supposed to work.

The General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has rejected draft rules, saying they lacked any means for people who've been cited or fined to appeal. The committee could take up the rules again at its next meeting, April 15.

When some of the smokers cited at Woody's and another Joliet bar, Paulie's Pub, went to court this week - where they protested outside, complaining the law deprives them of the right to smoke - the judge told them to come back next month.

Pelkie said the judge was concerned that citations were being given case numbers identifying them as misdemeanors, which would have made anyone who pleaded guilty appear to have a criminal record.

Nobody knows how many people or businesses around the state have been cited for violating the law.

The Illinois Department of Health isn't tracking the number of violations, and the law, while giving the agency the responsibility to enforce the ban, doesn't require it to track how often it's enforced, department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

The department is only tallying the number of complaints it has received about smoking - more than 2,600 as of Tuesday, Arnold said.

Beyond enforcement issues, though, it's difficult to tell what the economic fallout has been.

Some casinos claim it has taken a significant bite out of their business. Harrah's Metropolis Casino in Metropolis, in far-southern Illinois, reported a 23 percent drop in revenue the first two months of the year, and blamed the smoking ban for 30 layoffs.

But the American Cancer Society, one of the ban's strongest backers, argues that the sluggish economy probably played a role.

'It's a bit silly to assume that a public health law is the driving factor behind a certain sector of the economy doing bad at a rough economic time,' the Cancer Society's Mike Grady said.

Lawmakers who opposed the ban, particularly those whose districts include casinos, say they'd like to create exemptions for service clubs like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or perhaps allow businesses that want to allow smoking to pay for permits to do so.

Grady says the American Cancer Society would fight any measure to water down the law, and the handful of attempts made so far have gotten nowhere.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, one of the ban's most vocal opponents, doubts he or any of his colleagues can win exemptions anytime soon.

'I tend to look at those (proposed changes) as what I call feeding and amusing the voters,' said the Moline Democrat, whose district includes a riverboat casino. 'You can't pass an exemption bill through the Legislature. There's just not the will to do that right now. Maybe next year.'

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

IL casinos slump continues in March

This slump will end up being FOUR months in a row afta April is over. The only way a casino slump gets snapped is wheneva the IL smoking ban gets revoked.

ARTICLE LINK

The tough times for Illinois casinos showed no signs of ending in March, with revenue and admissions down sharply from the same period last year, according to new figures from the Illinois Gaming Commission.

It was the third straight month of nearly across-the-board losses since the statewide smoking ban took effect Jan. 1, and in many cases those losses deepened relative to the same period last year.

Just fewer than 1.35 million people visited Illinois’ nine casinos in March, down 9 percent from the same month in 2007. They spent $147.7 million, down from $184.3 million last year.

The slump continued at the two St. Louis-area casinos, the Casino Queen and the Argosy Casino-Alton.

The Queen, which opened major new renovations last summer but has been facing the smoking ban and new competition from Lumiere Place casino downtown, saw revenue off 8.9 percent from last year. Visits, however, were up 11.9 percent, which casino operators have taken as a sign that people are still coming but spending less time playing since they must leave the casino floor to smoke.

Up the river in Alton, revenue at the Argosy riverboat plummeted 28.8 percent, with visits down 18.2 percent.

The full Illinois report is available here. Similar figures for Missouri casinos are due out later this week.

Monday, April 7, 2008

There really needs to be a rally in front of the same folks in Springfield who turned down those exemption requests for casinos. They need to hear from each individual smoker in response to "Why are you guys against the ban? I want to hear from ALL of you individually. "

If one of those Springfield folks wanted to listen to my reason on why I hate the smoking ban, I'd say:

Well first of all, the smoking ban has NOT made every single smoker quit, and I still see kids smoking in my community. Now, I understand what goes on in my community doesn't represent ALL communities in Illinois. But based on what I see in my neighborhood, I seriously doubt this ban is making ALL smokers in Illinois quit. And I believe there are SOME kids in IL who are still smoking up. You might argue I see kids smoking only in my community, and if I lived in anotha community, I wouldn't see even one kid or teen smoking cigs. You might be right. But I thought this state ban is supposed to make EVERY kid and teen in IL avoid touching a cig. The ban isn't working in that case, since smoking is still normal in my community alone!

You probably heard a lot of smokers mention businesses losing money with the ban. But my otha reason for being against the ban is the fact smokers AND owners in taverns are ignoring the ban. And I know for a fact smokers and owners ignoring the ban ain't limited to my community in Chicago. I actually heard of IL taverns outside of Chicago where the tavern owners actually allow people to just smoke in the restrooms. And I heard of owners using empty beer cans as ashtrays for the smoking customers.

Thanks for listening. But don't say somethang to yourself like "You Blacks are the only ones who ignore the smoking ban just like any otha law. You guys don't represent all of the smokers and owners in IL, so your argument is invalid." Trust me bud. There are more smokers in this state who are not following the ban than you may think. And those smokers ain't brothas or sistas! They are smokers who believe that smoking in the state of IL is a freedom, just like my freedom to live in America. And if I'm free to live in America, ALL residents of IL should be freely allowed to smoke in NON-hood fashion. You know, by innocent people sneaking smokes in places? We don't need smokers in IL acting like hood people in that sense. If owners were freely allowed to allow smoking, then we can cut down on giving smokers citations. And we can focus on more important issues.

Info on the Olney, IL Rally

Back on April 5th, there was a smokers rally in Olney, IL.

An article on the rally can be found by CLICKING THIS.

HERE'S A VIDEO LINK on the rally.

And here are the comments me had to say on the Olney rally.

*************************

Me just watched the vid.

Gary is right (I think that's the guy's name at the start of the vid....he organized the rally). On Dec. 31, and even 20 years ago, smokers were innocent citizens, and most of em obeyed the laws in America. Now, if you smoke in a building, that makes you a fugitive so to speak.

If someone actually thinks a smoker is a criminal for real, then that person IS living in a fantasy world. LOL!!!

That lady named Sheila...she's the anti, and she sounds like a lil girl in a woman's body. "What about my rights?" What ABOUT em? You have NO (bleepin) RIGHTS when it comes to seeing smokers in public! Otha than the right to choose where to visit if you don't like places with smokers. Whatcha gonna do if I smoke around you, chick? Sue me for blowing smoke at you? LOL!!

That was a nice vid. Smokers may be portrayed as criminals. But we need more smokers to prove to the state that smokers are Americans too.

I wouldn't be afraid to call that antismoking chick the REAL names I thought of when I saw her and listened to her talk like a third grader. She can go to "bell!"

That antismoking B sounds like a little p'sy to be more honest.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Wanna read about a smoker who has lived for more than 120 years?

http://www.dailymai l.co.uk/pages/ live/articles/ technology/ technology. html?in_article_ id=557656&in_page_id=1965

Few years ago I held the hand that had served Vincent van Gogh with the paints he used to create his greatest masterpieces.

I was at the 121st birthday party of Madame Jeanne Calment, officially the oldest person who has ever lived. When she was a teenager, she had worked in her father's shop in Arles in the south of France.

The day may soon come when death is no longer inevitable, says Desmond Morris

Vincent came in to buy his paints, but she wasn't that keen to serve him, she said, because "he was ugly as sin, had a vile temper and smelled of booze".

Yet, as a dutiful daughter, she had taken his money and handed him the paints with which he would create Sunflowers and many of his other most famous works.

I was attending her birthday because I wanted to understand how any human being could survive for such a long time. Her answer was that it was due to her calmness.

"That's why they call me Calment," she chuckled, with a twinkle in her now almost sightless eyes. But there was much more to it than that. I discovered from her doctor that, amazingly, she had never had a day's illness in her entire life.

What an immune system she must have had! It had protected her against every virus going. If only medical science could have extracted its essence and injected it into the rest of us.

In addition to being genetically blessed with this extraordinary defence mechanism, she had also, by her nature, retained a cheerful outlook on life and an irrepressible sense of humour.

She was particularly amused that, aged 120, she had made her first music record, a funk-rap number called Mistress Of Time.

In these health-conscious days of carefully balanced diets, fitness regimes and workouts, it is worth asking what kind of lifestyle the astonishing Madame Calment had enjoyed for so long.

The answer comes as a shock. It turns out that she was a gourmet who liked alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates and sweets.

As well as her sweet tooth, she was fond of cheap red wine, fois gras and a rich local stew.

When she reached the age of 117, doctors advised her to give up drinking port and they tried to stop her smoking.

Somehow she managed to fool them and was caught by a photographer puffing away on a cigarette the following year.

I argued with her doctor that it was mean to start interfering with her small pleasures, which had obviously stood her in good stead.

He replied that he wasn't forcing her to stop drinking, merely trying to persuade her - now that she was a national treasure - to drink a more expensive, better red wine.

Jeanne Calment died the year after that party (perhaps missing that rough red wine she had enjoyed for so long). And though I never saw her after that initial meeting, I think of her often - especially now that I am into that part of the human lifespan which my friend and fellow octogenarian Sir David Attenborough laughingly calls "injury time".

It's not that I confront my own mortality with dread. It's simply that as the indignities of the ageing process become harder to deny, I find myself wondering about the best means of adjusting to that reality.

A quarter of a century ago, I wrote a book about the ageing process. Now that I am 80 years old, I regret havingbwritten that book because I know too much about the physical decline of the human body as the years pass.

Like other animals, we have a built-in obsolescence. As we grow old, the efficiency of cell-replacement declines and our bodies become weaker until eventually something comes along to which we no longer have sufficient resistance, and we die.

There is nothing mysterious about death, it is simply a way of keeping each species genetically flexible. Each of us is a temporary container for our immortal genes.

We come to an end, but they go marching on - through our children - and, in the process, each generation sees a mixing of the genes that keeps offering new possibilities and enables our species to adapt to changing conditions.

Sadly, this system works only if we as individuals are discarded after we have bred and reared our offspring. Or, as the saying goes: "Nature with its frugal eye asks only that we mate and die."

We all have to face this, but it would be preferable if there were a system in which we remained strong all our lives and then dropped dead, rather than slowly wearing out. What is worse, the wearing out process is uneven.

With some of us, the brain goes first. The last time I saw Iris Murdoch her body looked in good shape, but she had no idea where she was or what year it was.

With others, the body goes into decline, but the brain stays sharp and bitterly resents the fact it can no longer command the limbs to sprint or climb.

I belong to this second category. My body is beginning to creak, but I am still working until 3am or 4am every night. Brain cells hate being idle. It is a case of: "If you don't use it, you lose it."

If you stop challenging yourself, your mental processes decay rapidly. The very concept of "retirement" is lethal.

Society should find other forms of occupation for its older members - not trivial hobbies, but serious challenges that require experience and ingenuity. Facing them would keep the brain from rusting.

But if society should change its attitudes to ageing, then so too should individuals. And there are important lessons here that can be learned from people like Madame Calment.

The first and most important one is that she had outlived everyone else on the planet by not worrying about her health.

Until the doctors got at her, in her final years, I doubt if she ever gave her health a moment's thought.

She ate the rich food she liked, she drank the cheap wine she liked, she smoked the strong cigarettes she liked and - as she said - she kept calm.

Had she worried about her health and taken steps to improve it, the anxiety caused by stirring up fears about ill-health would themselves have reduced the efficiency of her immune system.

She would have then probably succumbed to the afflictions that plague so many people.

Another important point is that she didn't do any extreme exercise, but she did take a lot of the milder type. She was still riding her bicycle at the age of 100.

When I made a study of the lifestyles of people who lived to be 100 and over, I found this applied to most of them.

They nearly all had a regular, mild form of body activity that kept them moving. Cycling, walking and gardening were three of the most popular - done not to keep fit but for pleasure.

And, like Madame Calment, they almost all retained a wry sense of humour and cheerfulness.

Surprisingly, among the very old, Jeanne Calment was not alone in her love of cigarettes.

The actress Estelle Winwood was still smoking 60 a day aged 100; a woman named Edith Beck gave up smoking on her 103rd birthday because she felt it was time to start looking after her health and promptly died.

It seems horribly unfair, but there appears to be a gene that protects certain individuals from the ravages of smoke-filled lungs.

They also enjoy their food and drink. When she was 100, Estelle was drinking sherry and regularly dining out.

Katherine Plunket, who lived to be 111, enjoyed feasting on game and always tucked in to turkey, plum pudding and champagne on her many birthdays.

The oldest man who ever lived, Mr Izumi of Japan (who made it to 120), enjoyed his daily saki (rice wine) and said his secret was "not worrying".

Eubie Blake, a U.S. jazz pianist, said at his 100th birthday party: "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."

The irony is that it was probably his not worrying about his health that enabled him to live that long.

It seems that if you wish to live an unusually long life, you need to eat and drink what you fancy, keep as mobile as possible, have a lively interest in the world around you, avoid introspection and, above all, do not waste time worrying about your health.

Food faddists, couch potatoes, solemn bores and health fanatics all seem doomed to earlier graves. Studying the over-100s, it seems advisable to avoid intensive health regimes.

I often look at the faces of joggers as they go past to see whether they are happy joggers or miserable joggers.

Happy joggers - enjoying a gentle pace and the pleasure of getting out from behind a desk - are on the right track. They are keeping mobile without becoming anxious.

They would be better off (at least their knees would be) if they went for long walks, but they at least come into the "regularly mobile" category that seems to go with long life-spans.

By contrast, those joggers who stumble past with agonised faces, saying to themselves "Gotta get fit, gotta get fit", are probably reducing their chances of a long life.

The couch potato goes to the other extreme. The secret is moderation.

Another source of health-destroying anxiety is food faddism. Diets that are supposed to make you live longer are forever being offered to the gullible by the cynical.

Every day, we are told that we should eat more of this or less of that.

Then, later on, we are told that, sorry, it is the other way around: you should eat less of this and more of that. What is good for you today will be bad for you tomorrow.

There are three truths concerning human feeding behaviour.

The first recognises that we evolved as omnivores, succeeding where others failed because we consumed a wide range of foods.

One of the reasons we are now living longer than we did in the past is that the shelves of supermarkets display a truly astonishing variety of food from all over the world.

The second truth, which renders all diet books superfluous, is that the more you eat, the fatter you get, and the less you eat, the thinner you get. End of story.

But whether you are eating more in order to put on weight or eating less in order to lose it, it is always important to keep the range of foodstuffs as wide as possible.

The final food truth is that you should enjoy what you eat and take time to relax while eating it. Speed and anxiety ruin digestion.

It really does seem that if you eat, drink and are merry, you have a good chance of not only having an enjoyable life, but a long one too.

But there may, one day, be an even more efficient way of improving your odds against the Grim Reaper. Despite the old saying about death and taxes, there is nothing inevitable about death.

If we could find a way of genetically interfering with the biological imperative that instructs our cell replacement to become increasingly inefficient we could, in theory, live for ever - as long as we are not knocked down by a No74 bus.

If such a discovery were made, it would create a population explosion that would make our current global warming look like a trifling matter.

Eventually, there would have to be a breeding licence that permitted a new birth only when a lethal accident had occurred.

It is unlikely genetic manipulations will have advanced enough to enable us to cheat death in the near future - and certainly not in my lifetime.

The point I am making is not that it may happen, but that it could do.

The advance of medicine is so rapid that things that may seem fantastical today could be commonplace within a few decades.

While it is impossible to say how some future discovery may impact on those being born into the world now, it is safe to assume people like Madame Calment will be much more usual in the not-too-distant future.

Two years ago, in the glaring sun of the Namib Desert, I suddenly noticed that I was the only person not wearing sunglasses.

The lenses of my eyes had darkened with age. So when I returned home I had surgery to replace the old, discoloured lenses with artificial ones.

I now have the eyes of a teenager again - the world is bright and beautiful once more.

Returning for a check-up, I asked the eye surgeon who had given me my new eyes if, perhaps, he could manage a whole-body transplant.

If only I could have my brain inserted into the skull of a healthy young man who had died of brain damage, but who, in all other respects, was in good order, I could start all over again and enjoy another spell of life on this fascinating little planet of ours.

My surgeon grinned: "Not yet." No, not yet. But maybe one day.