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Thursday, December 31, 2009

North Carolina's new smoking ban for private businesses

I wouldn't mind telling NC personally I hate communism. I'd tell em by blowing smoke in the face of the person/people who pushed for their new smoking ban in privately owned businesses.

At least blowing smoke in the face intentionally is a non-violent way of getting my point across. hee hee

Wha's the point of going out to hospitality businesses when I can't smoke i em? Dey don't mind taking my money by patronizing in the joint. Well if you gonna take my money, don't flip when I light up my cig. Don't get shocked like I walked in here and held up the place instead.

Dat "Dey" applies to ALL states with smoking bans. Not juz NC.

(Below is from Lynda Farley:The same smoking activist with her Liberty Van.)

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

Hi All, so sad, but starting January 2, I will begin boycotting North Carolina. On that day, they will secede from the United States of America, and join The People's Republic of America, when their unconstitutional ban of a legal activity in PRIVATELY OWNED business establishments takes effect.

I don't think it's FAIR for only the bars and restaurants to pay for the stoopid smoking bans, so I will also quit shopping at Food Lion, as they are based there. I will stop shopping ANYWHERE in North Carolina, as much as possible stop buying any products and produce FROM North Carolina, and stop buying gas there too.

If they don't like my smoke, they don't like ANY of my money. I hope lots of folks will join me in voting with their dollars, and everyone LET PEOPLE and ESPECIALLY BUSINESSES in N. Carolina know that you won't support COMMUNISM in the USA. I will update the BOYCOTT map on Jan. 2 www.aalf.ws/ SMOKERS-BOYCOTT/
You are welcome to forward and cross post this.
Lynda Farley

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flamboyant Bar Smoking Advocate Grabs Attention

ARTICLE LINK

By
Tony Rutherford
Huntingtonnews.net Reporter

Huntington, WV (HNN) – Temperatures hovered under thirty, a misty snow batted through the air, a frigid wind stung faces. Yet, about 100 outspoken community members squeezed into a Cabell County Health Department conference room for a public hearing on banning smoking in bars, video lottery establishments, and virtually any public venue

The vocal, yet restrained, standing room only audience yelled support for speakers against the ban. Those who spoke in its favor endured some hostility. Audience members demanded statistics to which one physician referred. Another man telling that his son plays in a band with asthma was jeered with a ‘tell him not to go to a bar’ styled retort.

Among the speakers, a flamboyant man wearing a white fur coat and pink seemed to take command of the crowd.

Kerry Ellison, owner of the Blackhawk Saloon in Kanawha County, traveled from Charleston to speak at the hearing. Ellison has become the poster man for defiant Kanawha County smokers. He has refused to ban smoking at his business.


SMOKERS WELCOME AT BLACKHAWK BAN OR NO BAN

A “Smokers Welcome” sign hangs outside the saloon, but Ellison has apparently been the only bar owner who has been charged with violation of the ordinance. At a February 2009 Kanawha Magistrate hearing, he defended himself telling the court, “I’m not the smoking police.”

He has been fined $400 each for violation of the ordinance in August and October; smoke still rises at the Blackhawk.

“I started as a county wide opponent and I’ve become an unwitting statewide opponent,” Ellison proclaimed.

The businessman stated, “it’s okay to have an ordinance, but let it make sense. The legislature has mandated that you can smoke in bingo parlors. It’s legal for them to do that. There’s no reason second hand smoke can go faster to the lungs in a bar than a bingo parlor.”

He continued, “You can take your child into a bingo parlor and smoke. In a bar, you have to be 21 years old to be in there. It’s a choice. Somewhere along the line we have to let the choice go to the people.” Ellison then asked, “do you remember the [proposed] Barbie ban,” referring to a state legislator who wanted to forbid the possession of Barbie dolls as they allegedly promote an unhealthy image for young girls.

“Keep in mind that whatever ordinance you put in place, it will diminish your revenue. The health inspector is looking for second hand smoke. If I come inside I’ll see smoke, I’m not going to see the rat feces in the bread door in the back. Let him put his efforts in the bread room [and kitchen?] where the customers can’t go.”

Calling enforcement a “nightmare,” Ellison stressed “you don’t need a law or an ordinance disguised as a law” when the issue can be “solved by choice. Over here, there’s a bar where they smoke. Over there, there’s a bar where they do not smoke. Go to whichever one you want to. This ordinance takes away individual’s rights.”

Admitting “I’m a nonsmoker. I’ve never had a cigarette in my life and I hate the nasty things,” the flashy dressed owner revealed. “If there’s a demand for a smoke free bar, they will pop up, this is capitalism.”


HEALTH CONSCIOUS PEOPLE DON’T GO TO BARS

“Bars are not where you go if you are health conscious ” Ellison declared to the delight of a majority of those in the room. “I keep hearing of employees, vendors, and inspectors that have to go in there. Same thing in the [coal] mines; they don’t shut the mines down.

Observantly, Ellison stated, “the way there county to county ordinances are written up, the smokers are not the violators. I come in here and smoke a cigarette; I did not violate anything. The bar owner gets busted.”

Instead of banning cigarette smoking for health reasons , he suggested “outlawing hand shaking. It’s unsanitary and unhealthy and it directly spreads germs,” Ellison said subtlety referring to the repeated H1N1 campaign to wash your hands to stop the spread of the flu. “If you see me after the meeting, salute me, but don’t shake my hand.”


WE HAVEN’T BACKED DOWN

Catching up with the defiant owner after the hearing, Ellison filled in HNN on his one year crusade against the Kanawha County Health Department’s ban.

“We haven’t backed down, we’re still doing the same thing we have been doing all along. They have written me up close to thirty times. I was convicted on one charge, and last week, I went down [to the court]. I pled guilty to one and they dropped the other four. I have two convictions at $400 apiece,” Ellison explained.

From the bar owner’s perspective, it’s a double insult for the Kanawha Health Department to “invoice me $25 every time [a] health department [inspector] comes in,” Ellison explained.

While health department officials in Charleston hope the convictions will encourage compliance, Ellison remains defiant and contends he has been selected out for enforcement. “I absolutely think I have been singled out. They are [still] smoking in all the bars. I’m the only one with a ‘smokers welcome’ sign up.”

Ellison who plans to appeal his conviction to Kanawha County Circuit Court does not know of the conviction of any other bar owner for violation of the ordinance. “I’m the only one they have convicted,” he said, adding that some owners have received “warnings” but no one has yet been cited except him.

Meanwhile, video game room owner and Chesapeake, Ohio, councilman Paul Hart made an inverse sign proposal for Cabell County.

Suggesting “we are signed to the max,” Hart first displayed warning signs for those under 21, for alcohol purchases, for identification warnings, warnings for pregnant women, and “gambling can be hazardous to your health” for lottery products. He complained that we can not advertise the lottery products to “get people to come through the door.”

“I had these made today,” Hart asked, displaying a sign that smoking is allowed inside along with a litany of health warnings regarding smoking. The crowd erupted with applause.

“There’s no ambiguity. Smoking is bad. Allow me freedom to make my own decisions, please, allow us freedom,” Hart concluded to another round of applause.

Note: The Cabell County Health Department will continue taking written submissions on the proposed ban. HNN will be printing a balanced article this week.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

December 25, 2009 - Issue #552


Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! "Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”
- Oren Arnold
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Watch: Merry Bloody Christmas.
By Phil Williams.

While normal people believe that in a free society, those that own property should be free to choose what legal activities to permit on their property, anti smokers believe that they should be free to dictate what property owners permit. Anti smokers have surrendered their freedom and are too stupid to realise it. If they bought their own pub, they could not CHOOSE to make it smoke free because they no longer have that choice. I campaign for everyone, freedom for all to own property (assuming they can afford it) and to choose for themselves how to run their own affairs. If they all CHOOSE to be smoke free, then tough s**t on me. But that's freedom.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa oughta get arrested for smoking?

Sounds like satire to me. But it still makes a good laugh for me. :)

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

It's obvious Santa Claus is an unrepentant smoker, because his clothes are all tarnished with ashes and soot.

He may also be a drunk driver. People are believed to leave alcohol for the old man to keep him happy. He has a sleigh drawn by eight reindeer. He may also be guilty of burglary. The image left shows him with a bagful of loot he's just about to take up an innocent householder' s chimney.

But it's the smoking the authorities really want him for.


If anyone sees him, please call 911. This man is dangerous.

* The NORAD tracking site is here.

http://www.tgdaily. com/business- and-law-features /45192-norad- tracks-down- santa-claus- for-smoking- on-the-job

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

I'd like to wish all of the readers of my blog Happy Holidays. I'm confident the 2010's decade might bring the first smoking bans to actually get revoked within the US.

I don't believe in Santa. Cause to me, if dere IS a Santa, he would deliver a few cases of Newports to my crib tomorrow night. And maybe an XL shirt with the Newport logo on it. I actually saw pics of dose old shirts on the net. I mean old shirts with Marlboro on em. As well as Newport and Kool shirts.

Maybe I do love smoking. Maybe I am obsessed with cigarettes. But at least I'm not a serial killer or a crackhead. I still got more sense than a lotta dumb men out here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bar owners seek way to fight smoking ban

http://www.herald- dispatch. com/news/ x300695548/ Bar-owners- seek-way- to-fight- smoking-ban



HUNTINGTON -- The idea of smoke-free bars and video lottery parlors is frightening for a group of business owners who will meet next week to discuss the Cabell-Huntington Health Department's proposed smoking ban.

Opposition to the ban among bar and video lottery parlor owners has gained momentum since the health department announced last month that it would consider an expansion of its existing smoking regulation, said Denise "Cricket" Hudson, who owns the Downstreet bar in the 2300 block of Adams Avenue.

"I know the health department wants to look after the health of people who work in bars, but how are my employees going to make a living if this ban passes and I'm forced to shut down my bar?" Hudson said.

Hudson has helped organize a meeting of bar and parlor owners, smoking patrons and anyone else who opposes the proposed ban at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, at VFW Post 1064, 920 7th Ave. The purpose of the meeting is to strategize how bar and parlor owners can reach a compromise with the health department, she said.

Hudson said the health department should be aware of the financial ramifications if it bans smoking in bars. She estimated more than 90 percent of her customers smoke, and many already have said they won't come back if they can't light up.

"I think I have about three or four regular customers who don't smoke," Hudson said.

Under Cabell County's existing regulation, smoking is banned in restaurants and all other public places. Bingo halls that have more than 100 cards, personal care homes and establishments where alcohol represents more than 80 percent of sales are exempt from the regulation.

The proposed regulation would extend the smoking ban to all bars and video lottery parlors. That includes outdoor patio areas that are attached to bars, said Dr. Harry Tweel, director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department.

The health department is taking written comments on the proposed regulation through Jan. 15 and will host a public hearing on it on Dec. 28. Feedback will dictate whether the Cabell-Huntington Board of Health votes on the measure at its Jan. 27 meeting or whether it needs more work, Tweel said.

Comments thus far have varied, but it's too early to gauge whether they lean to one side or the other, Tweel said. The health department, however, has received several requests this year from Marshall University students to ban smoking in bars, he said.

A potential negative economic impact is always used to oppose smoking bans, but the argument rarely pans out, Tweel said.

There are 19 other counties in West Virginia where smoking is banned in bars, and none has seen a significant decline in business after the regulations are adopted, Tweel said.

"The argument is always an economic one, but there's no true argument there," he said. "The primary concern of the health department is the health of individuals who frequent bars and the employees who work in them."

Gary Stanley, who owns three bars in the Huntington area, said a loss of business isn't his only worry about the proposal.

"How is this going to be enforced?" he said. "Am I supposed to call the police if someone lights up in my bar and refuses to put it out?

"I'll uphold the law to the point that I'm required to as a citizen and a bar owner, but the health department doesn't have the right to make me the Gestapo."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

December 18, 2009 - Issue #551

"Power is what men seek and any group that gets it will abuse it."
- Lincoln Steffens
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Court News: Tobacco companies win partial legal victory in Canada. A divided British Columbia Court of Appeals panel overturned part of a lower court's ruling that the federal government could not be drawn in by the industry as a third party defendant in cases over the health costs associated with smoking and the promotion of "light" cigarettes. The tobacco industry has long argued that government should share in any responsibility for damages because they were "partners" in the sale of tobacco by keeping it legal and collecting tax revenue from it.

The usual clueless complaints about spending on anti-smoking. By Carl V. Phillips. Of course it does not seem terribly likely that the activists clamoring for more state spending want any of it directed to THR since both they and the states have a history of wanting to just do more of what they have been doing even though the marginal value has diminished to zero.

Cigarette packets with serious health warnings could actually encourage people to continue smoking, research suggests. According to a study, smokers who are continually confronted with warnings that cigarettes kill actually develop coping mechanisms to justify continuing their habit. Comparatively, if smokers are shown warnings suggesting the habit could make them unattractive, they are more likely to give up.
From The Mailbag
NY: Law prohibits chewing tobacco at Oneida County properties.
TN: Tennessee smokers could face more restrictions.
USA: U.S. adult smoking rate rises slightly. Cigarette smoking rose slightly for the first time among Americans in almost 15 years.
USA: Video: Congressional candidate Lt. Col. Allen West. You'll be glad you did. If this doesn't get you charged, nothing will.
USA: Video: Jimmy Vaughan - Down with Big Brother.
UK: Video: Message to smokers from Keep Britain Tidy.
UK: Video: Save Our Pubs And Clubs. Thanks to the smoking ban, thousands of pubs and clubs in Britain are under threat of closure.
Ban Damage Hurts Everyone
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! CA: South San Francisco man stabs roommate over smoking. Castro pulled out a folding knife and began attacking his roommate, Lee said. He was stabbed about eight times in the head, neck and face.
OH: Babysitter guilty of burning boy's fingers. She had burnt the boy’s fingers as a punishment for smoking cigarettes. The child victim’s mother, 37-year-old Michelle M. Worthington of Wilmington, previously was sentenced in the incident to four years in prison for permitting child abuse. Her boyfriend, 39-year-old William L. Ballard of Wilmington, was sentenced in the incident to one year in prison for permitting child abuse. Worthington and Ballard reportedly witnessed the finger-burning, according to Clinton County Prosecutor Rick Moyer.
PA: A Dover man who stepped outside of a downtown York restaurant to smoke a cigarette was robbed at gunpoint.
More Ban Damage: Deaths, Injuries, Rape, and more! How many people have to die or be hurt before the Antis realize that smoking bans are a bad idea, and dangerous to people?
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights!
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Reminder about comments being moderated on here

I notice traffic at my blog has picked up over the past month. Dis blog might crack 10,000 hits before the new year. 10,000 hits in less than 3 years of my blog's existence is good.

I see more antis are attempting to leave comments on here. But dey won't appear on here unless I approve them. Which means in otha words, if you an antismoker who doesn't make any sense, you wasting your time in writing the comment on here. Since I'll reject the comment.

If you want to use your freedom of speech where antismokers ain't censored, go to Topix. You very welcome to post. But selfish people who believe in a smoke-free world ain't welcome here when it comes to commenting on here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Iowa: Bill seeks to prevent cig sales to minors

Here's a stupid-arse page from the Des Moines Register if you in the mood to read words dat in support of the PACT Act.

CLICK DIS LINK
for the page.

Kids don't necessarily have to buy cigs off of the net anyway. Dey can buy single cigs (or actual packs) from folks in the streets who sell cigs illegally. I know seeing people sell even individual cigs to teens is common around me. Teens over the years have asked me for cigs before when dey saw me smoking Newports. It ain't a big deal to me if I give a cig to a teen who asks for one. Dere are more important issues out here than underage smoking.

The PACT Act will not prevent kids from getting cigs. Don't forget about the bootleggas with packs out here and the cig black market in general.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Michael McFadden's 2009 recap for smokers rights

(Posted with permission.)

***************
I also want to wish everyone, all "our glorious allies and comrades in the struggle" as Jeremy likes to say, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful and hopefully comfortably warm winter! :)

We've had a rough year in some ways: We lost one of the founders of the modern Free Choice movement, Gian Turci, to a brain hemorrhage, and also our Illinois State Coordinator for the Smokers' Club, Garnet Dawn, who died unexpectedly and peacefully in her sleep early in the year. We've also lost a number of significant smoking ban battles (e.g. the recent sudden loss of Michigan) but we've had victories too:

1) We beat the Antis to a bloody standstill in Indianapolis, a victory they had expected to walk away with in their pockets with barely a bat of an eyelash. Heh... they are NOT happy about it. One of their biggies, Tim Filler, sent out a note to a big private Anti mailing list trying to make hay out of the fact that I filled out a web form ten years ago at the RJR site and asked them if they had any sources of information for researchers. He simply ended up embarrassing himself though as Dr. Siegel took up our cause and blasted the Antis' tendency to fight with mud rather than with facts.

2) We got some surprising news from Atlantic City where the City Council seems to have promised to back off from pushing a full Casino ban for two years (now if we could just convince the casinos to back a campaign to liberate the state's bars.... ) The Antis have had increasing problems convincing legislators to ban casino smoking. The reality - as illustrated at:
is just too hard to ignore, and the politicians do NOT like losing tax money.

3) We had what superficially appears as a loss in St. Louis, but in a situation similar to Indianapolis the efforts of a few dedicated people gutted the efforts of the Antis. They got their ban through, but with bars exempted for a full five years. Hopefully we'll be seeing a very different landscape out there five years from now and the threatened ban will disappear in a puff of smoke. We've also seen small, but symbolically important, "Ban Failure" type victories, hospitals - http://www.cambridg e-news.co. uk/cn_news_ home/DisplayArti cle.asp?ID= 349896 and http://www.smokersc lubinc.com/ modules.php? name=News&file=article&sid=5089 - and schools (such as the PA State University's 14 campuses) backing away from previously imposed bans. We've even seen some victories in entire countries as the German courts seem to have ruled that a nationally imposed ban is invalid, as Croatia backed away from its temporary ban http://www.monsters andcritics. com/news/ health/news/ article_1505971. php/Croatia- softens-smoking- ban-after- just-five- months and as Wiel Maesson led the Dutch cafe owners on a national revolt that has returned tobacco to many of the smaller cafes throughout the Netherlands! Some local government bans in the US seem to have had their problems as well - such as

and a hard fought victory by Sheila Martin and friends in Hutchinson, Kansas where she managed to pull a unanimous vote against a total ban out of their City Council! Kansas is going to be a battlefield over the next few months, so if you know anyone there try to get them in touch with Sheila at: anono1955@yahoo. com

Several towns in Texas and elsewhere also voted down stricter bans. Dave Pickrell of Smokers Fighting Discrimination at: sfdsmoke@hal- pc.org is a good source for more information if you have friends in Texas. And Hawaii is continuing a very hard fight that has had the Antis scrambling like mad to hold on to the legal semblance of a ban while they seem to have largely just given up on enforcement when it comes to bars. More on that from Dave Crowley at: kawikc@aol.com Folks in Ohio have been digging steadily at various foundation stones of their state ban and their most recent excavation is showing some real promise: they examined the petition process used to get the ban vote on Ohio's ballot and discovered that at least 47 of the petitioners were convicted felons - a very big no-no for signature gatherers... 'specially since some of them seem to have been FORGERS! LOL! Sheeesh. More on Ohio from Pam Parker at transamgranny@ wideopenwest. com

There are many more good people and good fights going on out there and I feel kind of bad not mentioning them all, but I don't want anyone missing Christmas morning because they're still reading this email. Read the Club Newsletter every week and you'll keep up with what's happening. Visit the Club Forums and Forces Tavern and F2C and you'll be able to slide your activist tendrils just about anywhere you wish: all three organizations are going strong and sending Antis to cower in cold dark corners when their light is shining on them! The "Ban Failures section of the SmokersClub. com newsletter contains multiple examples of good news, and the weekly articles of the Old Ramblin' Man at: http://fightantismo kertyranny. blogspot. com/ are always worth reading and commenting on. Finally, you can keep your finger on the pulse on a daily basis if you send an email to Tom Laprade at snowbird@tbaytel. net for his daily digests of news stories and active comment boards and join CanadianSmokersRigh ts@yahoogroups. com for Gordon Finlay's choices as well! And if you're tooling around Canada fighting the Antis don't forget to look up Steve Hartwell at stevehartwell@ rogers.com and check in with Iro Cyr and Dan Romano at C.A.G.E. http://www.cagecana da.ca/

4) Newspapers seem to be increasingly reporting stories about bars ignoring bans in places like New York and Chicago, and this past year saw at least one, and possibly two court rulings against the involuntary servitude of unpaid, untrained bartenders as law-enforcement officers. http://toledoblade. com/apps/ pbcs.dll/ article?AID= /20091016/ NEWS24/910160365 /-1/NEWS and As bar owners become more aware of their responsibility to simply inform customers of the laws rather than having to act as agents of the State we may see the more blatantly unjust bans more widely ignored.

5) The passage of the SCHIP bill was a loss for us, but the playing field of "poor sick children" vs. "Evil Big Tobacco" was obviously unwinnable no matter what we did. The loss also had some arguable elements of victory: the 2,000% tax increase on one of the poorest minority groups in America, those forced to roll their own cigarettes from scraps of paper and shreds of tobacco, certainly must have served to wake some folks up; and Obama's outright lie about his taxation policies on national TV - http://pro-choicesm okingdoctor. blogspot. com/2009/ 07/obama- in-bare-faced- lie.html - probably added some folks to our side as well.

6) Following on from 5, I believe I have seen two trends on message boards out and around the net: more support from neutral nonsmokers who believe that things like outdoor bans have just gone too far, and an increasingly apparent level of the lowest sort of nastiness from the Antis, both in random message board postings and in organized productions like http://pro-choicesm okingdoctor. blogspot. com/2009/ 09/violence- against-smokers. html While that sort of thing certainly isn't pleasant to run across it DOES help show the wider public what the antismoking movement is made of and in the long run I believe it wins us support. Check out the rest of GasDoc's site while you're there and jump into his blog!

7) We had our first "International Conference Against Prohibition" (TICAP) in Brussels and are in the midst of planning a second one for March 2010. See http://antiprohibit ion.org/ticap_ pages.php? q=12 for some great videos! And be sure to sign the Brussels Declaration on Scientific Integrity at: http://brusselsdecl aration.org/ pages/home/
8) We also had a VERY noteworthy year in the birth of THREE brand new books on our side, the rebirth of an old one, and a much-needed and still slightly-in- progress brand new cover for one of my favorites... ;> ! I won't attempt to review them here in any depth but will briefly describe each one:

A) "Rampant Antismoking Signifies Grave Danger: Materialism Out of Control" by Vincent-Ricardo Di Pierri of Australia. This is a huge blockbuster of book that came out in 2003 but was out of print for several years until its recent resurrection in e-book format. Not a book for the faint-hearted or those looking for a quick, light read: Rampant is almost 600 pages long and packed solid! Rick has decided to make it freely available for download from his site at: http://www.rampant- antismoking. com/ and I would **HIGHLY** recommend downloading it and giving it a try. If you're like me you'll want a hardcopy eventually: 600 pages of online reading is a bit rough. :> If you want one though you'll have to send him an email and hope he gets enough demand to resurrect it: it's currently out of print!

B) "Smoke Screens: The Truth About Tobacco" by Rich White of the UK. Rich White carefully and competently modernizes and extends with his own unique British twist the sort of arguments made in Lauren Colby's "In Defense Of Smokers" that the health risks of smoking for smokers themselves have been greatly overstated. Not everyone will agree with his conclusions, but he argues them well and states them clearly! http://smokescreens .org/

C) "The War On Smokers And The Rise Of The Nanny State" by Theodore King. Theodore King gives an educational and enjoyable overview of how we've gotten to where we are now and where we're headed. His voice and concern shows through, and there's enough information in the book to give a new reader to the field a solid background without feeling overwhelmed while also introducing a number of new details for even folks who've been in the battle for quite a while! http://www.iunivers e.com/Bookstore/ BookDetail. aspx?BookId= SKU-000110740 (also available as an e-book!)

D) "Velvet Glove, Iron Fist: A History of Antismoking" by Christoper Snowdon. Chris Snowdon may have titled his book "A History.." it goes far beyond that. Chris offers a detailed examination of the politics, science, AND the history of the antismoking movement, its tactics, and its claims. While I like all the three previous books noted here, Chris's has been my favorite in terms of being a natural complement to Brains. Our main arguments and approaches are similar, but the different perspectives offered by a historian and a psychologist (well, ok, I'm not a "psychologist" per se, but close enough for jazz) work well together and there's surprisingly little overlap of actual information. http://www.velvetgl oveironfist. com/index. php?page_ id=1

E) And finally, just another reminder: If you liked Brains and want to get a copy for a friend or a favorite bar I'd certainly recommend it, but don't buy another one for yourself thinking that the new cover means there's new material inside. It's the same old good, solid, well-written- by-a-handsome- and-charming- author Brains that it always was - just sporting a snazzier cover to attract the Amazonphiles! Best to order direct from Amazon unless you're getting multiple copies: http://www.amazon. com/Dissecting- Antismokers- Brains-Michael- McFadden/ dp/0974497908/ ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241953484&sr=8-1

Amazon's supersaver-guarante ed-by-Christmas- shipping ends on Wed. evening, but my general experience has been that Amazon delivers better than it promises: A Thursday order will likely go through just fine. (Provided Amazon gets the goldurn "Temporarily Out Of Stock" problem fixed... it was *supposed* to be fixed today!)

OK! That's all for now and to all a good night and very MerryHappy and HappyMerry Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter!

:)
Michael
Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
http://TheTruthIsAL ie.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

December 11, 2009 - Issue #550

"Mind Your Business"
- The very first motto on a U.S. Minted Coin
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Croatia: By Euan Ferguson. What have the Balkans ever done for us? Until I saw this picture, I would have said pretty bloody little. Anger, wars, vampires, evil food, poisoned rivers, dictators, distrust, revenge and fear and it still features the only part of the world – mad northern Albania – where I've been offered a handgun for protection in a hotel because they'd lost the bedroom key. But Croatia rebelled against its bar/cafe smoking ban and simply kept on smoking. The ban has now been revoked. Plucky little Balkans. There is hope.
From The International Mailbag
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! The Brussels Declaration on Scientific Integrity: The Declaration is a Statement of Principles calling for the return to the Scientific Method as the guiding qualifier for the definition of a study as scientific. It centres around epidemiology and toxicology and covers topics such as alcohol, obesity and passive smoking.
Canada: Supreme battle brewing. A generous offer by one of Canada's weightiest law firms has reinvigorated the central figure in an eight-year crusade against anti-smoking legislation.
South Korea: Bans smoking in public places from 2011.
Wales: Report Claims that Smoking Ban Reduced Heart Attacks But Fails to Present Data, Which Show an Increase in the Expected Number of Heart Attacks.
The World: David vs Goliath: Tobacconists Condemn Irresponsibility of W.H.O. Report on Smoking. The anti-smoking report was issued in Istanbul, Turkey by WHO, a ‘specialized agency’ of the United Nations. The agency receives more funding from the private sector than it does from the UN. Private sector funding of WHO includes pharmaceutical interests, including those that manufacture and sell smoking cessation products and benefit from anti-smoking efforts. WHO does not reveal its funding sources on its website.
From The USA Mailbag
AK: Sarah Palin, "Instead of supporting a much-talked-about smoking ban at the time, though, I just stopped going to that restaurant. It eventually went smoke-free on its own, which is the way things like that should work."
IL: Joliet smoking conviction reversed by higher court. Now pending cases will have to be dismissed.
IN: Indianapolis says NO to bar and workplace smoking ban.
MI: State Rep. Matt Lori is working with a bipartisan group of House lawmakers to figure out a new strategy for getting a smoking ban signed into law.
MI: Lawmakers pass smoking ban; casinos exempt. The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
MS: Study that Reported a 27% Decline in Heart Attacks in Starkville Due to Smoking Ban Wasn't Actually a Study; Analysis Hasn't Yet Been Conducted. Instead, what happened is that the researchers disseminated a pre-determined conclusion about the effect of the smoking ban, without having the patience to wait for the actual data and conduct the analysis. "To go public with results now, before the data is even collected, is a corruption of science for the pursuit of political ends and unfortunately all too typical for today's anti-smoking movement."
USA: Bars say it's 'good business' to ignore smoking bans.
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights!
USA: State "Smoker Protection" Laws. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws in effect elevating smokers to a protected class.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Court Reverses Joliet Smoking Conviction

I rememba hearing about dis chick getting convicted for smoking. I'm happy for her she got justice. If antismokers think smoking in a bar is a crime, then wha would you call mofos in the same bar who get drunk AND dey try to drive around? I guess "serial killers" in comparison to what a smoker does in a bar?


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

http://www.suburban chicagonews. com/heraldnews/ news/1928086, 4_1_JO09_ SMOKING_S1- 091209.article


JOLIET -- Late last year, a Will County jury found a Joliet woman guilty of violating the state's smoking ban.

Now a higher court has reversed that decision.

Daniel O'Day, the Peoria lawyer who has represented several local residents and others around the state who have been charged with violating the 2008 law, heard the news Tuesday morning. And he certainly was pleased.

"For a year and a half or more, smokers in Illinois were terrorized by threats of arrest for misdemeanors or petty offenses," O'Day said Tuesday afternoon. "That turned out to be bogus, according to the Illinois Appellate Court."

His client is Kathleen Kane, 56, of 702 Ingalls Ave., Joliet.

One day in March 2008, she was at Woody's, 1008 W. Washington St., Joliet. At the time, Kane worked tending bar there, but she wasn't on the clock when the arrest happened, O'Day said. A Joliet police officer and a representative from the Will County Health Department stopped at the bar and ticketed Kane and others for smoking inside the building, O'Day said.

After Kane was convicted, O'Day filed an appeal.

The higher court ruled Monday that Kane's case should have been handled administratively, not as a criminal matter in the court system.

The fine and court costs totaling $231 will be refunded, O'Day said.

With local co-counsel Ted Hammel, the Peoria lawyer has several similar cases pending in Will County. They'll be in court Dec. 16, he said.

"Now they will have to be dismissed," O'Day predicted.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My letta to Senator Kohl

Here's a copy of a letta I sent to Senator Kohl. And the crazy part is it bounced back to me cuz his "inbox is too full."

************************************
Hello Senator Kohl,

I'd like to address two points you brought up on the PACT Act.

1) You said the PACT Act will prevent terrorists from buying cigarettes online. And this can help cut down on cigarette smuggling, as well as create a decrease in cigarette black markets. Where these terrrorists would re-sell the packs in streets and areas where they (as well as the people who buy the cigs from the terrorists) can't get caught.

First of all, if any terrorist wanted to buy cigs and then re-sell the cigs illegally, they wouldn't necessarily have to buy their stock of cigs online. The terrorist can STEAL cartons of cigs offline instead. I notice this year, I read about more robberies/heists involving cigarette cartons than I did over the past 3 years combined. And if it becomes illegal to buy cigs online, that is NOT gonna stop terrorists from smuggling in cigs. They will just rob more places with cig cartons. Or they can even smuggle in cigs into the US by flying overseas to get cigs and then bring those cartons back into the US with the intent of re-selling the cigs illegally.

And as far as making it illegal to buy cigs online so we can put an end to black cig markets, believe me, this Act won't stop that either. Gangbangers across the US (not just "terrorists") will still get away with selling packs in the streets. And if they can't buy the cartons online, no problem. They'll just organize and pull off their OWN version of cig heists offline. It's bad enough the federal tobacco tax hike back in April played a role in increasing crimes related with cigarettes in general.

2) You said the PACT Act will prevent kids from getting their hands on cigarettes. Well, based on the urban area I live in, kids can still get their hands on cigs by buying packs from cig dealers in the streets, they could ask older friends/siblings (or even their parents) to buy cigs for them, and they can even ask strangers for cigs if they see the man or woman smoking. And believe me, I have seen adults give single cigs to teens before. I know some clerks in my area who actually sell packs to teens without checking their ID's. It's common to see particularly teens smoking in my community and at least within my area.

And BTW, most online smoke shops require new customers to submit a govt-issued ID as proof the new customer is at least 18. Otherwise, if the ID ain't valid, the shop will not process orders for the new customer. Some smoke shops even require new customers to be at least 21. So if the drivers license/state ID shows the kid is under 21, the kid will still be out of luck in buying cigs online.

You could say "What if the kid has a FAKE ID they submit to the shop for verification?" Well, even if the kid has the type of fake ID that looks very real, he/she better have a real voided check with his/her name and address (and signature) on it. And the name/address on the check better match with the name/address on the kid's supposedly-real ID. Because new customers gotta submit proof of a checking account under their own name. I'm sure if the check address is different from their ID's address, the online smoke shop will still refuse to process the new customers' orders.

I didn't mention how the PACT Act will make the unemployment rate go up even more. Since online smoke shops are businesses that will be forced to close down if this Act officially passes. But I guess as long as terrorists and kids can't get their hands on cigs, you don't care about the workers at these smoke shops losing their jobs, am I right?

Jay

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bill to Restrict E-Cigs passes

http://njtoday. net/2009/ 12/08/bill- to-restrict- so-called- %E2%80%9Ce- cigarettes% E2%80%9D- advances/

TRENTON – A bill to restrict the use of electronic smoking devices, sometimes referred to as “e-cigarrettes,” was approved 6-0 Monday by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

The bill, a Senate committee substitute for (S3053/S3054) , would expand the definition of “smoking” to include e-cigarettes. It would define smoking as the burning or inhaling of tobacco or any other matter than can be smoked or inhaled, or the inhaling of smoke or vapor from an electronic smoking device. This would allow provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act,” which ban smoking in public places or the sale of smoking products to minors, to apply to the electronic smoking devices

The bill is sponsored by state senators Bob Gordon (D-Bergen) and Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) .

“E-cigarettes are stainless steel tubes designed to look like real cigarettes,” Gordon said. “They have a glowing tip and contain nicotine like a cigarette. When a user puffs on it, a computer-aided sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a solution, which usually contains nicotine, in the mouthpiece.”

The heated solution produces a mist, which comes in flavors like chocolate or cherry and can be inhaled. A light-emitting diode at the end of the tube simulates the glow of burning tobacco. The device is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

“The battery warms the liquid nicotine and propylene glycol from a replaceable plastic cartridge when a person inhales the device,” Vitale said. “Propylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze, is the liquid that vaporizes when a person exhales and produces a mist that is nearly identical in appearance to tobacco smoke. According to a 2009 statement by Health Canada, the Canadian federal government agency with regulatory jurisdiction over health issues, inhaling propylene glycol is a known irritant.”

The “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” already prohibits the smoking of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked in indoor public places and workplaces.

“Our bill would define an electronic smoking device to mean an electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, or pipe,” Gordon said.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused entry to shipments of e-cigarettes coming into this country on the grounds that these are unapproved drug device products; however, these devices have made their way into this country and are sold online and in some shopping mall kiosks.

Under the bill, the penalties that currently apply to a person who smokes tobacco in an indoor public place or workplace would apply to a person who uses an e-cigarette: a fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has called for the federal Food and Drug Administration to remove e-cigarettes from the market. The ban on e-cigarettes is also supported by The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Monday, December 7, 2009

I hate smoke-free hospitals!

I got my first-ever taste of being at a hospital where you can't even smoke outside anywhere on the campus. I was at Oak Forest Hospital.

All I can say is if lots of hospitals/colleges have smoke-free campuses now, I'm glad my student days are over.

I waited for almost 6 hours juz to see a thyroid doctor for a 10 am appointment. By the time it got to be 2 pm, the only thang on my mind was finding a way to have a cig. I was feeling very impatient while waiting, and the fact I needed a cig made me wanna get rude if someone wanted to talk to me.

Since I couldn't even smoke outside, the only option I had was simple. Find the nearest restroom in the area of the hospital dat's very quiet. It sure is funny I had to sneak a smoke in a restroom in criminal fashion. Which included me using the tall trash can in the room and prop it up against the door from the inside.

When I lit dat baby up, it felt d@mn good, and I thought I was in heaven. I was surprised I smoked almost a whole cig in only 2-3 mins. And when I was done, I put the trash can back where I found it, and I looked both ways before leaving the room. And I left it in normal fashion, like nothang happened.

I actually did feel bad a lil bit being a "bad boy." But hey, dat cig was a must for me if anyone in the hospital wanted to talk to the Good Jay I am on a normal basis. I can go 2 hrs without smoking easily. But going 5 hrs without smoking means I need one if anyone doesn't wanna see me get rude and arrogant. I felt like myself again afta I had dat cig.

I wish smokers' hospitals existed. I dunno wha's wrong with smokers having their own businesses since there was a time where "we" lived in segeration (very smilar to segeration among smokers in the 21st century) but businesses specifically for Blacks still existed.

I guess to Big Daddy, the difference between me as a smoker and as a so-called American is "You can't quit being black. But you CAN quit smoking."

Well with all due respect, based on the way I was enjoying the cig in CO fashion at the hospital, smoking is a part of me juz like my color. Some politicians need to try living in a smoker's shoes one day. A CIG smoker's shoes dat is since politicians still smoke cigars.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

December 4, 2009 - Issue #549

"In America, through pressure of conformity,
there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from."
- Peter Ustinov
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Should Smoking Be Banned Outdoors? But as public support for the bans continues to grow, some people are questioning how far the government should go to protect nonsmokers. “The general public should have the right to decide what they’re going to do on private property,” says Gary Nolan, regional director of Citizens Freedom Alliance, a group that opposes smoking bans. He believes it’s reasonable for the government to ban smoking in government buildings but not at parks or privately owned businesses. Adds Nolan: “We’re giving away the right to self-determination.”

Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Second Hand Smoke and Health. By Terry Simpson, M.D., F.A.C.S. The most devastating opinion about the EPA’s decision to classify second hand smoke as a class A carcinogen, came from Federal Judge William Osteen who interviewed scientists for four years and in 1998 opined, The Agency disregarded information and made findings based on selective information… [The EPA] deviated from its risk assessment guidelines; failed to disclose important (opposing) findings and reasons; and left significant questions without answers… Gathering all relevant information, researching and disseminating findings, were subordinate to EPA’s [goal of] demonstrating [that] ETS was a Group A carcinogen… In this case, the EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency’s public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act’s authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme…and to influence public opinion. While doing so, [the EPA] produced limited evidence, then claimed the weight of the Agency’s researched evidence demonstrated ETS causes cancer. (Osteen, 1998)

Smoke Screens: The Truth About Tobacco

By Richard White
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

US adult smoking rate's decline hits a wall

Dis is a repost, and the full article should be on here.

I still stand by my words on health officials being full of sh!t if dey think serious smokers will not think of lighting up. Serious adult smokers will make sacrifices in order to buy cigs (including buying em underground) .


And who said certain adults gotta "buy" cigs anyway? LOL

ARTICLE LINK


Survey suggests decline in smoking has 'hit a wall'

Rate rose slightly in 2008 amid discount pricing and curbs on cessation campaigns

By Mike Stobbe
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cigarette smoking rose slightly in 2008 for the first time in almost 15 years, dashing health officials' hopes that the U.S. smoking rate had moved permanently below 20 percent.

A little under 21 percent of Americans were current cigarette smokers, according to a 2008 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up slightly from the year before, when 19.8 percent said they were smoking. It also is the first increase in adult smoking since 1994, experts noted.

The increase was so small, it could be just a blip, so health officials and experts say smoking prevalence is flat, not rising. But they are unhappy.

"Clearly, we've hit a wall in reducing adult smoking," said Vince Willmore, spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization.

There's a general perception that smoking is a dying public health danger. Feeding that perception are indoor smoking laws, higher cigarette taxes and Congress's recent decision to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco.

But health officials believe gains have been undermined by cuts in state tobacco control campaigns. Also, the tobacco industry has been discounting cigarettes to offset tax increases and keep smokes affordable, Willmore said, citing tobacco industry sales data.

The adult smoking rate has been dropping, in starts and stops, since the mid-1960s when roughly two of every five U.S. adults smoked. Now it's one in five. However, federal health goals for the year 2010 had called for bringing the rate down to close to one in 10.

Adult smoking hovered at about 21 percent from 2004 to 2006, then dropped a full percentage point in 2007, said Matthew McKenna, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. The 2007 drop gave CDC officials hope that U.S. smoking was plummeting again. "Now that appears to be a statistical aberration," McKenna said.

The new figures, published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, come from in-person interviews of nearly 22,000 U.S. adults. CDC also released state-by-state results on smoking from a different survey, conducted by telephone, of more than 400,000 adults. West Virginia and Indiana had the highest smoking rates, at about 26 percent; Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee had rates about as high.

Utah had, by far, the lowest smoking rate, with only about 9 percent of Utah residents describing themselves as current smokers.

Many of the states that have the lowest smoking rates are those that have been the most aggressive about indoor smoking laws and about state taxes that drive up the cost of cigarettes, said Thomas Frieden, CDC's director.

Health officials are optimistic that more and more smokers will be discouraged from lighting up by escalating cigarette taxes, including a 62-cent federal tax that took effect in April. Perhaps the recession will have an impact, too.

"In general, when people have less money, they smoke less," Frieden said.

-- Associated Press

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Enforcement of VA smoking ban is hazy


http://hamptonroads .com/2009/ 12/enforcement- virginia- smoking-ban- bars-and- restaurants- hazy

VIRGINIA BEACH

Quietly signs went up Tuesday signaling to customers that things had changed.

On the first day of the state ban on smoking inside restaurants, police didn't storm into bars, snuffing out cigarettes and doling out $25 fines. And state officials didn't troll for lawbreakers, writing up health-code violations for restaurant owners to address.

Things were more subtle - the absence of ashtrays and a new box for health inspectors to check when evaluating restaurants. Diners should have been able to breathe a little easier, said officials with the Virginia Department of Health.

But enforcement of the law was largely left to business owners and customers, said Larry Hill, regional spokesman for the state Health Department.

"This is something that's just started, and what we're looking for more than anything else is self-compliance, " he said.

Because violating the ban carries a civil fine, not a criminal charge, police weren't out looking for people lighting up inside restaurants, said Officer Jimmy Barnes, a police spokesman. And because health department officials aren't authorized to write fines, they weren't actively patrolling either, Hill said.

Rather, over the next three months, health inspectors will be focusing their efforts on restaurants and bars listed as smoking establishments, said Gary Hagy, director of the Division of Food and Environmental Services for the Virginia Department of Health.

If they find infractions, they'll write a health-code violation and work with the business owner to address it. If they refuse to comply, police can write a court summons, he said.

If customers report a noncompliant business, inspectors will investigate, as with other types of complaints, Hagy said.

And if a smoker refuses to leave a business, the owner can call the police and report them for trespassing, Barnes said. But that's a "worst -case scenario," he said.

Employees at several bars, including the Regal Beagle Taphouse & Grill at the Oceanfront and A.J. Gator's Sports Bar & Grill on Holland Road, said they didn't have any problems enforcing the new rules Tuesday.

The General Assembly approved the ban in February. It prohibits smoking in businesses that serve food unless there's a separate ventilation system for smoking areas. Private clubs are exempt.

Overall, Hagy said, they're relying on the honor system to keep the air clear.

"We anticipate that most restaurants are going to do the right thing," Hagy said. "And they're going to be respectful of the citizens, respectful of their patrons, and comply with the law."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The list of Senator fax numbas are still on here

You need to click the "11/22 - 11/29" blog archive link. And then once you click it, you'll see the "How to FAX the US Senators" link. Dis link will take you to the post and the list of numbas directly.

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

November 27, 2009 - Issue #548

"If you make any money, the government shoves you
in the creek once a year with it in your pockets,
and all that don't get wet you can keep."
- Will Rogers
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Taxing "Sin Foods": Obesity Prevention and Public Health Policy. Obesity thrives in low-income communities where the quality of food and built environments is poor. Interventions that have been shown to improve those environments include subsidies to farmers’ markets and more healthful school lunches, as well as investments in the creation of bicycling and walking trails. If taxes on sodas or similar foods were delinked from the presumed effects of these taxes on obesity or health care costs — effects that manufacturers may well dispute — they could instead be implemented on the stronger grounds that these foods impose societal costs, so those who profit from them should repay society by investing in the populations most affected by obesity. We believe that a revenue-generating approach that redirects “sin taxes” toward improving the food and built environments of low-income populations has the greatest potential both to lead to healthier food choices overall and to reduce disparities in obesity rates.

THE ANTI-TOBACCO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
1. Choose an industry.
2. Regulate the industry.
3. Tax the industry.
4. Sue the industry.
When one source of money dries up,
return to Step 1 and repeat.
By S. Phillipe
From The Mailbag
GA: State bans smoking in mental hospitals. Some mental health experts challenge the wisdom of taking away a coping mechanism from a person already in emotional distress.
IL: Chicago Bars letting patrons smoke despite state law banning it.
NY: Six Years After Ban, Smoking Returns to NYC's Bars and Clubs. The worst kept secret in New York nightlife is that smoking is now allowed in numerous nightspots.
NY: NYC Council Bans "All" Flavored Tobacco Products; Well... Not Exactly... Exempt are the Products Which are Actually Used by Thousands of New Yorkers. By Michael Siegel.
OH: Fuming Over Fines. In the three years Ohio has been smoke-free, not a single building has qualified for the ''private club'' exemption, according to state officials, leaving some clubs like the VFW Post 1090 in Warren expressing outrage and frustration.
USA: Miss Kitty has been Cigar Dave`s Assistant Producer for over 13 years. Dial the Show and ask a question dealing with Cigars at 1-888-Smoke-This.
USA: Watch: What is America's true form of government?
UK: December 1, 2009 at Boisdale Belgravia, Cigar aficionados light up while they bid over £150,000 at UK cigar auction.
UK: December 7, 2009 Saving The Great British Pub. Freedom2Choose will be joining the protest march in London.
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trib: Chicago bar ignores smoking ban


>>>Sabrina Lockett, a veteran restaurant worker with asthma, said she lost a friend to cancer, and he didn't smoke. She said she regretted that all bars don't follow the law. "I wished it was passed sooner," she said, saying the law may have saved her friend's life.

So lemme get dis straight. A lady believes SHS in bars is what caused her friend to get the LC and of course die.

When a nonsmoker dies from LC, juz blame it on SHS in a bar. Dat logic is full of sh1t. And if anyone wants to talk about saving lives in public, I think a smoke-filled bar should be a nonsmoker's least worry.

I AM confident SHS in a bar didn't cause dat chick's friend to get LC.

(*****************************************************
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-smoking-bars-25-nov25,0,5531427.story

The air was hazy and the ashtrays were full on a recent night at the Crowbar Inc. tavern on the Southeast Side, despite Illinois' nearly 2-year-old indoor smoking ban.

Patrons say they like it that way. They're even willing to pay a little extra to light up.

Owner Pat Carroll said his customers -- smokers and nonsmokers alike -- contribute to a "smoking fund" canister that often sits on the bar, to subsidize the fines he's incurred for flouting the law.

Carroll said he's been ticketed twice and paid at least $680. He fears that if he forbids smoking, his cigar-and-cigarette crowd would switch to bars that permit smoking just a few blocks away in Indiana.

"So guess what, everybody can smoke in here," he said, fingering a lit cigarette balanced on an ashtray. "I'm not losing my customers."

The Tribune and WGN-TV found patrons smoking at several Chicagoland bars, defying the Smoke-free Illinois Act that has prohibited smoking inside public places since Jan. 1, 2008.

Bar patrons and owners seen smoking indoors had varying explanations for ignoring the law. At Boem Restaurant in Albany Park, where one visit found the room filled with smoke, the bar's owner said the place was booked for a private party, which exempted it from the law. But it doesn't, officials say.

The public can lodge complaints against establishments that skirt the law, triggering a site inspection. Violators face fines that can grow steeper with each infraction, starting at $250 for a business and $100 for an individual smoker.

"We think it would become very expensive to continue to rack up fines," said Kelly Jakubek, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. "That would become very burdensome."

Health officials say smoking-ban scofflaws are the exception and that indoor smoking in public has drastically decreased over the last two years. Jakubek added that she hopes Indiana and other states that allow indoor smoking in public places pass a ban similar to the one in Illinois, evening the field for competitive business owners such as Carroll.

"There are always some bad apples out there who will try to get around the law," said Tim Hadac, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Public Health. "If you look at the big picture, compliance is widespread."

For example, in Chicago, which has its own smoking ban similar to the state law, an accused violator gets several warning letters, then an inspection. Last year, there were 603 complaints and 24 inspections, which led to nine tickets. So far this year, those numbers were down to 286 complaints and 18 inspections, resulting in four tickets, Hadac said.

He said data showed warning letters generally spurred compliance.

Soon "it will be as socially unacceptable and even unthinkable to smoke in a bar or restaurant as it currently is in a movie theater," he said in an e-mail.

Katie Lorenz of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago said she was disappointed that some bars weren't complying; she added that the secondhand smoke harms employees and non-smoking patrons. "This is a health issue, and it affects every single person who happens to be in the bar," she said. "What's in the best interest of everyone is to not inhale those toxic fumes."

Sabrina Lockett, a veteran restaurant worker with asthma, said she lost a friend to cancer, and he didn't smoke. She said she regretted that all bars don't follow the law. "I wished it was passed sooner," she said, saying the law may have saved her friend's life.

But some smokers say they'll support any tavern that gives them sanctuary. Laura Pugh said she contributes $5 a month to Crowbar's smoking fund, considering it akin to membership fees at a private club. If she couldn't smoke there, Pugh said she'd probably go to a bar in Indiana.

"I respect Illinois law," she said. "However, I feel that if an Illinois bar wants to allow smoking, there should never be a problem if it's willing to abide by the fine."