Friday, November 28, 2008

11/28 edition of the United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter

This is the first time ever I tried posting a copy of the smokers rights newsletta from the Smokers Club Inc. as a blog post.

The United Pro Choice
Smokers Rights Newsletter

November 28, 2008 - Issue #505

"In any war, the first casualty is common sense,
and the second is free and open discussion"
- James Reston
The Competitive Enterprise Institute: The tobacco "Master Settlement Agreement" was signed by 46 state attorneys general and major tobacco companies. This video is a dramatization of how the deal was hatched. Watch the video.

TEN YEARS LATER, TOBACCO DEAL GOING UP IN SMOKE. "It just seems weird the idea that the tobacco (settlement) is going to go on forever," Baden said. "In the long run my suspicion is something will take out the settlement. The thing won't last forever."

WHO FCTC: Tobacco treaty signers close to adopting measure. By Vinnee Tong. Kathy Mulvey, policy director at Corporate Accountability International, said that earlier opposition from China and Japan -- which both have a stake in tobacco companies -- had dissolved.

KING BLOOMBERG: MIKE IS A MAYOR RUN AMOK. By Fred Siegel. Bloomberg says he's beyond politics. He's right. We're living in his monarchy, subjects to his unwavering faith in himself.
Health
Newly detected air pollutant mimics damaging effects of cigarette smoke. "Based on our work, we now know that free radicals similar to those in cigarettes are also found in airborne fine particles and potentially can cause many of the same life-threatening conditions. This is a staggering, but not unbelievable result, when one considers all of diseases in the world that cannot currently be attributed to a specific origin."
Health experts debunk passive smoking fraud. We hope that the voices of scientific decency will not be silenced.
MD Says Second-Hand Smoke Theory is Junk. By John Dale Dunn MD JD. They are propagandists, not scientists.
From The Mailbag
OH: Lobbyist argued two sides of issue. By Pam Parker.
SC: York County: Businesses Should Decide Smoking or Not.
WI: IPCPR Op-Ed on Proposed Statewide Smoking Ban.
USA: Celebrate Repeal Day, December 5th.
USA: Claims that FDA Bill Will End Addiction are Unfounded.
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter, read all the news.
Australia: Commissioner - Police won't enforce smoke laws.
Netherlands: Huge protest planned for November 29th in The Hague.
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Dropouts likely do smoke more than students who smoke and graduate

Drop-outs smoking more than actual students who smoke AND graduate from school makes sense to me. Since dropouts are the same type of teen smokers who are more like hood smokers. They tend to light up their cigs (and/or Js), ignore lots of rules, and get away with whateva they want, while ignoring the rest of society. I agree with part of that mindset when it comes to dealing with smoking bans

Unfortunately, the fact more dropouts smoke than graduates might make an anti think he/she is right on "Teens who smoke get low grades and/or drop out of school."

I don't think simply smoking cigs can cause a teen to drop out of school. Some people who smoke are actually smart people. But I think a dropout who smokes means the smoking is an aspect of that hood smoker's personality. Just like teens who drink and do the Js....yes a teen who likely has that kind of bad personality may likely be a dropout. But at least some of the goodie teens who actually graduate can be smokers too.

I do think the actual rate of adult smokers could be higha too. Since the adult smokers don't include those who started as minors and kept on smoking afta dropping out of school.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tobacco use rebounds in the US

http://www.connpost .com/breakingnew s/ci_11074914

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (AP) -- Lindsay Pasley is an eager young man in what used to be an older man's game -- tobacco farming.

He recently took 20 tons of his early prepared leaf to Clay's Tobacco Warehouse in Mount Sterling, due east of Lexington in the Appalachian foothills, where he said he earned enough to "have a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas."

The auctioneer's singsong chant still rings out at Clay's and a few other tobacco-selling sites stubbornly hanging on with limited sales, but not nearly as often.

Clay's is the last tobacco warehouse still conducting auctions in Mount Sterling, once home to four auction warehouses. Owner Roger Wilson, who has watched as longtime growers have switched crops or quit farming altogether over the years, hopes to sell more than 2 million pounds this season, comparable to last year but down about half from the days before Congress pulled the plug on a Depression-era buyout program.

Yet Pasley, 28, wants to quadruple his acreage. He has a contract to sell 10 times as much to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. as he did at the auction.

A decade ago, tobacco seemed destined to wither as cigarette companies shelled out tens of billions to settle lawsuits with states. Smoking bans then swept the country and -- worst of all for the small-time grower -- Congress cut off the quota system four years ago.

As a rebound in production this year shows, however, Big Tobacco and individual growers alike have proven

as resilient as their leaf, aided by a boost in exports primarily to Germany and Switzerland and by new marketing tactics emphasizing smokeless options.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, production of all tobacco varieties fell 27 percent to 640 million pounds in 2005, the first year without the price support program, which entitled license-holders to a quota of the total tobacco crop capped by the USDA each year. The venerable program was reeling from steep declines in tobacco demand due to anti-smoking efforts.

This year, production climbed to 805 million pounds -- within 10 percent of the 2004 level of 882 million pounds. That 2004 output was half the production in 1997 and a third of 30 years earlier. The bottom came in 2005, when growers produced 645 million pounds. The uptick has coincided with the increasing consolidation of growing onto fewer farms.

Production of burley leaf, which accounts for about a quarter of all tobacco production in the United States, has lost about three-fourths of its growers since the buyout, Snell said. Yet some operations now cover hundreds of acres, a big undertaking when much of the work is still done by hand.

In 2004, the last year of the federal price-support program, there were nearly 26,000 farms with quota licenses to grow the more common flue-cured tobacco in North Carolina, still the nation's top tobacco-growing state. By this year, that was down to 2,500 to 3,000 farms, said Scott Bissette of the state agriculture department's tobacco marketing division.

U.S. tobacco production was valued at $1.3 billion in 2007, off from $1.75 billion in 2004, according to the USDA. Domestic cigarette sales are falling by 3 percent to 4 percent a year, a decline that has worsened since the quota system ended. Smokers have felt increased pressure to quit due to smoking bans and higher prices, on top of the longstanding health concerns and the social stigma.

The top two U.S. cigarette makers -- Philip Morris USA and Reynolds American Inc. -- are aggressively searching for a smokeless product that consumers will like. They are focusing on cigars, moist snuff, chewing tobacco and snus, which comes in tea bag-like pouches that users stick between the cheek and gum.

To move beyond cigarettes, Altria Group Inc. bought John Middleton Inc., the maker of convenience- store staple Black & Mild cigars, last year. Its pending acquisition of UST Inc., whose Skoal and Copenhagen brands make it the U.S. market leader in smokeless tobacco, is expected to close during the first week in January.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds bought the Conwood smokeless tobacco business in 2006 and sells moist snuff under the Grizzly brand.

Richmond, Va.-based Altria, which also owned Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International, spun it off as an independent company in March. It has since shifted the production of 57 billion cigarettes to overseas factories, but it still buys tobacco grown in the U.S., spokesman Greg Prager said.

Prager said Philip Morris International, the world's biggest nongovernmental tobacco company, also buys tobacco from Brazil, Malawi, Italy, Greece, Turkey and other countries. He said U.S. tobacco remained a key component of the company's international blends, though he declined to specify how much is bought from U.S. sources, citing competitive reasons.

Exports of U.S. tobacco have played a big role in the crop's rebound. Foreign sales peaked in 1978 at 700 million pounds, but the price supports meant American farmers were undercut by developing countries such as Zimbabwe and Malawi selling tobacco for as little as a third of the U.S. cost. U.S. exports slid to about 339 million pounds in 2005 before rising again to 398 million pounds in 2006, the USDA said.

The rebound was due to a weak dollar and rising currencies overseas, said Blake Brown, a North Carolina State University agricultural economist.

In recent months, a strengthening dollar along with a rebound in tobacco production in South America and Africa are causes for concern for export prospects, Snell said. And profit margins remain tight for farmers because of rising costs, Snell said. Whether tobacco companies offer price incentives will be crucial in determining how much U.S. tobacco is grown, he said.

"Today's farmers are not like yesterday's farmers -- that since they grew tobacco last year they're going to grow it next year," Snell said. "These farmers will look at the market opportunities year to year."

Still, the U.S. is expected to remain the world's fourth-largest tobacco grower throughout this decade, trailing China, India and Brazil, according to the United Nations. Not only has tobacco production expanded outside the Southeast to places like Pennsylvania and Missouri, but farmers are feeling better about their prospects.

In 2004, 69 percent of North Carolina growers in one survey said they saw a future in tobacco. Two years into the buyout experience it was 76 percent, according to the research conducted under National Cancer Institute grants. About a third of farmers said in 2006 they would advise their children to grow tobacco, up from about one-fifth in 2004.

Pasley said he expects to produce about 500,000 pounds of burley this year, and that he would have produced another 150,000 pounds if he'd gotten more rain.

"My goal is to sell 1 million pounds before I turn 30," he said.

As he sees it, the best thing tobacco has going for it is demand.

"People always chew and smoke," he said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A smoker-friendly blog worth mentioning

This blog is worth mentioning, since it's one of those few smoker-friendly blogs online.

LINK TO BLOG


Smoking outside doesn't make me feel proud at all. Smoking outside makes me feel like I'm a worthless piece of sh!t to society, but F society is all I can say to that. I am sincerely sorry for those American smokers who ain't used to the Black-like treatment they get for their choice to smoke. At least the American smokers who still have common sense and can see the actual 2nd class treatment. Unlike us when we used to have marches, rallies, and literally fight against opposition in the old days, brainwashed smokers actually accept the 2nd class treatment. And that's pitiful.

I don't believe in accepting 2nd class treatment of ANY kind. I already know how to defend myself against fascists since they no different from racists. But I wish more smokers weren't brainwashed and knew how to fight against opposition. Challenging smoking laws is one obvious way to fight back in a non-violent manner.

At least the way I grew up played a role in me being prepared to see those who hate me for my choice to smoke. Although I would've laughed as a lil boy on smokers being treated like us. It ain't no laughing matta now for sure.

An original post from myself

If Obama thinks he's gonna take MY tax money to help pay for his daughtas' school tuition, he's crazy. He oughta try asking Oprah, his biggest fan, for that help.

I see more and more taverns in Southern IL are ignoring the smoking bans, and the law ain't being enforced down there. I'm sure the taverns are ignoring the law in Chicago too, although I neva heard any news story on ANY local hospitality business ignoring the smoking ban. I'm sure there's a reaason for that. It the local news gave attention to a Chicago tavern where customers are still lighting up cigs/cigars at, then several smokers around here would storm to that tavern, myself included. I'll visit a hoapitality business ignoring the ban if I ever hear about it on the news.

But like I said, the news anchors don't wanna give a Fkin cool business like that free publicity.

It was interesting to hear some of those tavern customers in Chicago that smoke are off-duty cops.

I had a dream once where I was outside in the winter cold. And then John Walsh approached me with a photo of a bro. John asked me "Have you seen this man who's armed and dangerous?" I said "No I haven't seen him." As John left mw alone, I turned around and saw a billboard with a Newport Kids ad. I was like "NEWPORT KIDS?"

The ad in my dream had a pink background and white text similar to those Newprt Stripes ads in the late 1980's. The Newport Kids brand were bubble gum-flavored Newport cigs...the type of cig flava that would attract kids to smoking as antis say. I'm actually surprised bubble gum ain't a real cig flavor. I heard of vanilla, frost, chocolate, and there was a cherry-flavored Kool brand once in 2002 I believe.

While I miss seeing cig ads on billboards IRL (in real life), it would've been funny to see an actual cig ad that focuses on targeting kids for real. I know I ain't interested in trying bubble-gum flavored cigs. Unless there was bubble gum mint-flavored cigs.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Want mrre smoking related with Obama talk?

"Another question is what effect a president desperate for a cigarette and trying to quit might have on your life expectancy and mine."

It should have no effect on me whatsoeva. I agree Obama ain't no Fkin Superman. He ain't Martin Luther King eitha. I rememba some politicians comparing him to MLK afta he gave his victory speech on Election Day. I thought that was immature.

As far as Obama not being able to quit goes, what's the big deal? If he enjoys cigs, let him smoke. He ain't affecting my life just cause he can't quit. I hope he keeps on enjoying his cigs. So he can teach Black antismokers that smoking can be enjoyed by people of all races. That's the only thang I see in him if I wanna pretend he's a bro.

It is unfortunate that he doesn't enjoy menthols though. While I know not all bro/sis smokers smoke menthols, I think I was in my early 20s on the last time I saw a sista smoking a reg cig brand. I honestly have NEVA seen a bro smoke a reg brand in my life, outside of this bro in the UIC dorms who smoked a Marlboro Light that I saw in '97.

I hope I mentioned Obama is a hypocrite for enjoying cigs, but yet the a-hole supports tobacco regulation and the fed smoking ban. A "bro" who enjoys smoking would neva think of banning smoking nationwide and banning different cig flavas.

If he thinks he understands "our" culture by now, he's got a LONG way to go. If you wanna act Black, switching to menthols could help. And not to mention stop showing support for tobacco regulation and smoking bans. You believe in having Big Daddy control Americans' lives. I don't want cops and the govt telling ME how to live. I can make my own decisions in life.

It's nice you wanna share wealth....a lot of bros/sis would ratha DEMAND wealth instead of GIVING wealth. But a lot of Americans don't like the way your PLAN of giving wealth sounds.
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http://www.411mania .com/politics/ columns/91051/ Will-President- Obama-Stand- Up-for-Smoker% 5C%5Cs-Rights? .htm

Last week, Michael Kinsley wrote a column in the L.A. Times in which he speculated that president-elect Barack Obama hasn't been able to quit smoking. Rather than chastise Obama for setting a bad example or for not trying hard enough, Kinsley tut-tutted his fellow journalists for not raising the issue. He also offered a charitable view of the 44th POTUS' unfortunate habit:


Now, I have been enjoying Obama euphoria as much as anyone. Without it, the prospect would be depressing indeed. But where is the skepticism? If Obama actually has accomplished the miracle of giving up cigarettes at the apogee of a presidential race, he should be happy to let us know this and add to his superman image. And if he hasn't? Well, if he is straight with us about it, we should forgive him. So he's not a superman. Neither are we...

Another question is what effect a president desperate for a cigarette and trying to quit might have on your life expectancy and mine. Obama's steely calm is now one of our country's major assets. If he needs an occasional cigarette to preserve it, let's hand him an ashtray, offer him a light and look the other way.
I certainly appreciate Kinsley's willingness to look the other way - if only our elected representatives had such an open-minded attitude. Thirty-five U.S. states have enacted statewide smoking bans that apply to most workplaces, regardless of the business owner's preference. The state of California is particularly hostile to cigarette smokers - for example, as of 2008 it's a misdemeanor to smoke a cigarette in a moving vehicle if a minor is present. At the local level, smoking bans are usually even more strict, and can include banning outdoor smoking within 25 feet of any place of employment.

Barack Obama is one of millions of Americans who participate in a legal activity that harms no one other than themselves. Our president-elect is in the unique position of having a pulpit from which to denounce the gross exaggerations and outright lies about the da! nger of second-hand smoke. If he were so moved, Obama might cite this 2003 study from the British Medical Journal that concluded, "The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed."

As a representative of this historically oppressed minority group, Obama has the chance to open up a serious dialogue on equal rights for patriotic American smokers. At the very least, he could politely suggest that state and local governments stop treating smokers like second-class citizens.

In related news, here's a short video from reason.tv that examines the draconian smoking ban in the city of Belmont, CA, which covers not only private businesses, but some private residences (apartments and condominiums) as well.