Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good news for IL smokers

Judge rules circuit courts have no jurisdiction in smoking-ban cases



ARTICLE LINK



PRINCETON —

A Bureau County judge essentially made the Smoke Free Illinois Act unenforceable Tuesday by ruling that circuit courts had no jurisdiction to handle violations of the act.

The decision by Associate Judge Cornelius Hollerich, combined with the rejection of proposed regulations for the statute by the state earlier this year, appears to leave no recourse for the prosecution of smokers cited for lighting up indoors in public places.

The ruling came in the long-delayed case against Duane Alexander, who was ticketed for allegedly smoking in a Spring Valley tavern in February.

Alexander’s lawyer, Peoria attorney Dan O’Day, said the ruling has immediate, far-reaching implications for the smoking ban.

"This ruling, if it’s correct — and we think it is — is that there’s no way to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act right now," O’Day said. "There should be no more arrests for smoking."

Bureau County State’s Attorney Pat Herrmann declined to comment after the ruling Tuesday, though he could appeal the decision to the Third District Appellate Court.

A charge against a bartender at the tavern at the same time as Alexander was dropped earlier this year because Herrmann said he didn’t believe the statute required business owners or employees to prohibit smoking.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said the department disagreed with Herrmann’s decision about the bartender and the judge’s ruling Tuesday. She also said the law remains in effect and that it has been "successfully enforced in other circuit courts," though she could not immediately provide examples.

Hollerich, who called the act "a little clumsy" and "drafted somewhat poorly," largely relied on the state health department’s own proposed rules in his decision that cases brought under the act should be handled administratively by the department and not by courts.

"It does appear to the court, based on the filings here, that the Legislature intended for the assessment of the fines to be imposed by an administrative agency," Hollerich said. "The statute itself does not contain the type of language one would normally find in the criminal code… or motor vehicle code."

Those proposed rules were barred from taking effect by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in January because they lacked sufficient due process for people given citations under the act. The health department later voiced its intention to file amended rules for consideration, but never did so.

Arnold said the department has since been attempting to clarify the law through legislation, but none of those attempts have reached successful votes.

If you wanna quit smoking, use a cell phone

I got a cell phone, and I'm still able to buy cigs,and my consumption on cigs hasn't decreased.

That IS a crazy article. Especially when I've seen people with cell phones in one hand and cigs in the otha hand.

Just cause you got a cell doesn't mean you can quit smoking. I might decide to not talk as much on the cell. But there's no Fkin way I'm gonna cut down on the amount of cigs I smoke.


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http://www.ncpa. org/sub/dpd/ index.php? Article_ID= 17077

WANT TO QUIT SMOKING? TRY A CELL PHONE

Tobacco already kills 5.4 billion people a year, and the number of
smokers is likely to skyrocket as the vice catches on in developing
countries. So, how to prevent a plague of cancer deaths? You could
spend $500 million on an antismoking campaign, or you could sign
everyone up for a cell phone.

According to a new World Bank study, cell phone ownership could
affect tobacco consumption because individuals might pay for their
communication with money they would have spent on tobacco. Using
panel data from 2,100 households in 135 communities in the
Philippines collected in 2003 and 2006 -- just as cell phones were
catching on -- researchers found that that the percentage of
households owning a cell phone more than quadrupled.

Moreover:

Cell phone ownership led to a 20 percent decline in monthly tobacco
consumption.

Among households in which at least one member smoked in 2003,
purchasing a cell phone leads to a 32.6 percent decrease in tobacco
consumption per adult over the age of 15.

This is equivalent to one less pack of 20 cigarettes per month per

adult.

They conclude that tobacco and cell phones have a special

relationship: cash-constrained household have to make a trade-off
between the two luxuries, and the social status once signaled by
burning up your money on smokes can now be conferred by yapping away
on a flashy new phone.

Monday, September 29, 2008

PA kicks cigs off of college campuses

Pennsylvania Kicks Cigarettes Off College Campuses
September 23, 2008 12:44 PM ET | Jessica Calefati | Permanent Link

Nicotine addicts can no longer light up anywhere on any of Pennsylvania's 14 state university campuses following the state higher education authority's decision to ban on-campus smoking, the Associated Press reported late last week.

Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education notified students of the ban last Wednesday, the day before a statewide ban on smoking in most workplaces and public spaces took effect. Chancellor John Cavanaugh told the AP that the state law means a smoking ban on all campus grounds, not just academic buildings or residence halls, and that he put the campuswide bans in place accordingly.

Though the American Lung Association said more than 130 colleges and universities across the county have enacted similar no-smoking policies, creation of a completely smoke-free state university system is unprecedented. Pennsylvania's 14 state universities serve about 110,000 students.

Smoking and nonsmoking students who disagree with the ban's merit organized peaceful protests on at least three Pennsylvania campuses last week. About 60 students at Clarion University protested the ban by marching to the campus library and lighting up upon arrival.

"We're simply asking for some compromise, like one or two designated (smoking) areas on campus," 20-year-old freshman Steve Dugan told the AP. "It would have been better if there were more warning given and a chance to put in our own ideas."

Indians were the first people to smoke tobacco

When did people start smoking tobacco?

Tobacco was smoked in the Americas long before its organized cultivation began somewhere around 5000 to 3000 BC. Tobacco use was ceremonial and ritualistic for the natives with the leaf not only being smoked, but also chewed, drunk, taken as snuff and even given as enema. Tobacco was considered as a means of communicating with the supernatural world and was also believed to have medicinal properties. Mayans considered it a divine plant and many Mayan gods are depicted smoking. The name tobacco came from a misunderstanding of the Spaniards who thought the dried leaves were called tobacco when the indigenous name tabaco actually meant the tube or pipe in which the natives smoked the leaves. Tobacco was introduced in the court of Catherine de Medici in 1560 by Jean Nicot. The word nicotine was coined.

How did tobacco spread to the rest of the world?


Following the 'discovery' of America by Columbus in 1492, tobacco smoking reached Europe from where it spread to the rest of the world. From Europe, smoking spread to the Ottoman empire and from there to Asia and Africa. Arabs took to tobacco in the form of hookah, which spread throughout Persia (Iran) and into India and then into China, south-east Asia and Africa by the end of the 17th century. By the mid 19th century, smoking tobacco had become prevalent throughout the world.

Why did tobacco become so popular?

When tobacco came to Europe it was believed to have many therapeutic properties, but was just as popular for the general sense of well being and feeling of comfort and ease it gave. In the late 16th century, a Spanish doctor claimed that tobacco alleviated hunger, acted as a relaxant and a painkiller and was even a cure for cancer. It was also believed to help treat syphilis which was spreading rapidly. However, it was the perception of tobacco as an elite and fashionable past time indulged in by the aristocrats and rulers that helped it spread faster. Tobacco consumption changed from just pipe smoking to cigars, snuff and chewing.

Why was tobacco banned in many places?

Ottoman Sultan Murad IV (1623-40) is believed to be among the first to ban smoking as it was seen as a threat to morals and health. In China, the Chongzen emperor (1627-44) of the Ming dynasty issued an edict prohibiting tobacco smoking. The following Manchu dynasty emperor also continued this prohibition. In 1634, the Patriarch of Moscow forbade the sale of tobacco and those caught smoking had their nostrils slit or were whipped severely. During the same time, papal bulls were issued against smoking and snuff. However, over time the church created a tobacco monopoly and forbade the distribution of anti-tobacco literature in its parishes. In England, James I condemned tobacco smoking calling it a barbarous custom. However, as prohibition was not successful in suppressing smoking, rulers turned to controlling the tobacco trade through state monopoly.

How did cigarettes become the dominant form of tobacco consumption?

Initially, cigarettes were a luxury item meant only for the urban elite of Europe as they were expensive and handmade. The cigarette rolling Bonsack machine, patented by the American James Bonsack in 1880 made it possible to mass-produce inexpensive cigarettes. American industrialist James Buchanan Duke founded the America Tobacco company (ATC) in 1890 and used this machine to manufacture cigarettes. In 1883, Henry Wills started using the machine in Britain. Cigarettes became big business with large companies churning out hundreds of billions of cigarettes every year. China National Tobacco Corporation became the largest cigarette company in the world. There was a public outcry as minor boys started taking to smoking. However, the two World Wars stemmed criticism of young men smoking as soldiers found it easier to smoke cigarettes than pipes in the trenches and there was official recognition of tobacco helping to relieve the physical and psychological stress of war. By the mid 20th century smoking became an acceptable social behaviour.

How did public opinion turn against cigarettes and smoking again?

In 1958, the British medical journal Lancet for the first time raised fears about the effect of smoking on health. By 1960, the British Medical Journal too published evidence of a link between lung cancer and smoking. In 1964 the US Surgeon General announced that smoking caused lung cancer and soon a law made it mandatory to carry the warning against smoking on every cigarette packet.

In UK, the government banned cigarette advertisements on television and by 1970 the US followed suit. Soon a series of restrictions on smoking followed. The 1990s saw a slew of restrictions on smoking and simultaneously the tobacco companies had several law suits filed against them. Finally, in 1998 tobacco company executives testified before the US Congress that nicotine is addictive and that smoking could cause lung cancer.

(Source: September 29, 2008 - An article posted in the India Times News)


NYC sues reservation smoke shops for bootlegging

I know how this new Indian War can end fast.

Bloomnerd can visit those shops and suffer some extreme pain so to speak from the Natives themselves.

When you need money, you look for excuses in order to stop Natives from selling tax-free cigs? Bloomnerd oughta rob a bank if he needs money so bad. But in all seriousness, he OUGHTA visit those Natives and give em a warning. And I hope they'll have their OWN warning prepared to greet that SOB.

You can shut down the Natives selling tax-free cigs. But how are you gonna stop smugglers and bootleggas and criminals from selling packs (tax-free packs of course) in those NY streets? Bloomnerd is the worst mayor in the USA.

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http://news. moneycentral. msn.com/provider /providerarticle .aspx?feed= AP&date=20080929&id=9203527

Eight smoke shops that sell tax-free cigarettes on a Long Island Indian reservation are under fire from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is suing the shops because he said New York City is being cheated out of millions in tax revenues.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, accuses the small cluster of shops on the Poospatuck Indian Reservation of breaking state and federal law by selling massive quantities of cigarettes to bootleggers, who then smuggle the cartons off the reservation and resell them throughout the metropolitan area.

The shops are permitted to sell untaxed cigarettes to reservation residents, but the city contends that sale records indicate something else is going on. The numbers show that each Poospatuck resident would have to be smoking 960 packs a day to consume the quantity of tax-free cigarettes sold in those stores.

The practice has existed for years, but Bloomberg said it costs the city $195 million per year in tax revenue, and the state is also losing millions. He said at a City Hall news conference on Monday that those losses matter even more now in a financial crisis.

"Selling these untaxed cigarettes to the public is a clear violation of the law, with real costs to the people of New York City," he said.

Bloomberg also took aim at Gov. David Paterson, and his predecessors, for failing to enforce the state's tax laws for cigarettes sold on reservations.

"The governor should go to the reservations and say, 'As of tomorrow morning, stop this practice,'" Bloomberg said. "And if it requires law enforcement, that's what the governor has the state police for, to enforce the law."

Paterson, along with former Governors Eliot Spitzer and George Pataki, didn't enforce the law passed by the Legislature that could have provided hundreds of millions of dollars a year more to the state. All have said they sought negotiated settlements instead, and closed-door talks have gone on for years.

The issue has lon! g been o ne of Albany's most difficult. Tribes held violent protests in 1995 when the state tried to collect the tax on sovereign land using state police. Conflict with state police briefly closed the Thruway, leaving some of it scorched by protesters burning tires.

Tribal authorities have long acknowledged that smuggling is a problem, but they have defended the right of the shops to sell cigarettes without collecting state tobacco taxes.

Reservation cigarette dealers have also claimed repeatedly that any bootlegging happens without their knowledge, but in its lawsuit, the city accused the Poospatuck shops of being willing partners in such schemes.

It said the shop owners actively structure and conceal illegal bulk sales, help load contraband cigarettes into vans headed for New York City, and even make their own bulk deliveries off the reservation.

City lawyers are seeking an injunction barring the shops from selling untaxed cigarettes in any quantity to people who aren't members of their tribe.

The suit also seeks money damages equal to the lost city tax revenue. It doesn't specify an amount, but the total could be in the millions, based on state sales figures.

The per-pack tax on cigarettes is $4.25; $1.25 is a city tax and $2.75 is state.

The lawsuit is the latest salvo in a legal battle that New York City has been waging against reservation cigarette dealing for several months.

It has already sued several tobacco wholesalers that supply the tribes, arguing that they are also knowingly fueling an illicit trade.

State law requires wholesalers to collect excise taxes on cigarettes shipped to reservation stores, but the rule has never been enforced, either for the Long Island shops or on tribal lands upstate.

The eight shops named as defendants in the suit are the Golden Feather Smoke Shop, the Kimo Smoke Shop, the Smoke and Rolls Smoke Shop, Monique's Smoke Shop, the Red Dot and Feather Smoke Shop, the Smoking Arrow Smoke Shop, TDM D! iscount Cigarettes and the Peace Pipe Smoke Shop.

Shop owners did not immediately comment on the suit.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Random thoughts

Me read a blog from I guess an anti who said he doesn't understand why the USA doesn't have pics of black lungs on cig packs (as they do in Canada). And he implied USA smokers ignore those small warnings on the packs.

I wonder why smokers in the USA ignore those warnings. Is it cause smoking is a pleasurable habit? Is it cause smoking ladies like the feeling of holding lit cigs? Maybe it's cause ladies think smoking cigs make good weight loss tools.

I pay sh!t attention to those warnings myself. I can think of thangs in this world that are REALLY dangerous to my health.

And what makes antis think the higha you make the price of a pack, then the more ex-smokers you'll have? The higha you make the pack price, the more you encouraging smokers to get contrabrand cigs in the black market.

Tobacco is gonna stay here 4-eva, A pack could cost as much as 20 bucks. But that ain't gonna stop criminals from selling cigs in the streets. I even heard on TV that contraband packs are sold in PRISONS too.

A law isn't gonna stop teens from smoking. That's evident in Canada when I read about those folks picking up butts around a Canadian high schools, and when they learned kids buy contraband packs up there.

So what makes antis think raising the tobacco taxes will make ADULTS stop smoking? I even read about this African country called Niger where they actually lock up people in prison for smoking. I read about it on the FORCES forum.

I oughta see the US smoke cops try that one. If they see one of "us" smoking in public, they just gonna lock the bro/sis up for simply smoking a legal product?

I bet that idea over there in Niger will backfire with those African smokers using weapons to defend themselves from smoke cops. Arresting someone for robbing a crib is understandable. But arresting someone for simply smoking tobacco is F-ked up. And I wouldn't blame a bro/sis for firing away at a cop like that.

Smokers ain't violent at all. It's the govts, smoking laws, and dumb@$$ ideas (like locking me up for smoking) that make smokers violent.

Whateva happened to the days when I could've smoked in public places with peace??