Thursday, January 15, 2009

House passes bill to raise fed tobacco taxes

Here's an update, and it's a sad update on the SCHIP topic for smokers. :(

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ARTICLE LINK

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to raise federal tobacco taxes and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The $33 billion bill would raise federal taxes on cigarettes, cigars, rolling paper and other tobacco products to help fund the expansion. Cigarette taxes would rise from 39 cents per pack to $1.

Congressional Democrats previously pushed to extend the program to uninsured middle-class children, but efforts were vetoed by President Bush, who wanted the federal program geared toward the poor. President-elect Barack Obama is expected to sign the SCHIP expansion if it gains Senate approval.

House Democrats backed the expansion saying it will bring health insurance to more uninsured children.

The federal tobacco tax increase, however, faces criticism from economic conservatives.

“Tobacco tax increases over the years have resulted in less smoking and therefore a decline in tobacco tax revenue. Tying the expansion of a government program to a declining revenue source is the sort of backward thinking that makes taxpayers scratch their heads,” said Steve Voeller, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

A group of conservative economic groups wrote members of Congress earlier this month saying continued tobacco tax increases scapegoat smokers and hurt retailers and other small businesses by sending buyers online where they often can avoid such taxes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maine wants to ban smoking at beaches

ARTICLE LINK

I see Maine wants to join the ranks of banning smoking at beaches. But listen to this so-called reasoning for banning smoking at a Maine beach.

"Some of my constituents called me, saying they're tired of not being able to put their kids down on the beach because they crawl along and put cigarette butts in their mouths," Nutting said.

That sounds like irresponsible parenting to me, to put it nicely. If I sit a kid down at a beach, I expect eitha me or the kid's mom to watch him. I dunno how no parent can't notice a kid "playing with butts" in the sand. That parent needs to tell the kid to DON'T MOVE!

So we should ban smoking at Maine beaches just cause parents can't watch their own kids? If a parent is too lazy to keep an eye on his/her kid at a beach, suppose someone kidnaps him without being seen? That would be a he!!uva lot worse than a kid playing with cig butts.

"Also, at some of the big beaches on the coast, people are packed in as tightly as if you were sitting in an auditorium, but you can just smoke away. … Why should you go sit on a beach if three feet away someone is smoking a cigar?"

Here's a betta Q. Why the he!! did you go out to that auditorium-like beach if you don't like smelling cigars? It's no different from the days of smokey taverns in Maine (or here in IL for that matta). If you don't like smelling cigar smoke in the tavern, keep your OWN butt at your crib. Likewise, don't go to a packed beach where you know you likely gonna smell "stinky" tobacco smoke.

So we should ban smoking at Maine beaches just to please that anti-friendly state. Whateva! It's a wonder why tobacco is still legal period in that state, based on the numba of smoking bans I heard of up there. If Maine ever bans smoking in cribs and vehicles, well sh!t, you antismoking Mainers might as well be the first state to ban tobacco sales. What's the point of selling tobacco if you ban smoking in all vehicles and all homes/apartments? There would be no otha places to smoke at in that CA-like state.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I neva lied about smoking not being addictive

Before antis call me a liar for saying in the past "Smoking aint addictive" but I confessed in several places on the net I still smoke a few Newport cigs even with me enjoying Native brands more...I don't think I lied about smoking not being addictive.

The addiction you guys are thinking of is physical...where a person chainsmokes or smokes a lotta packs per day. I neva smoked 2 packs per day on a daily basis. But some call 1.5 Newport packs per day a lot.

I'm no longa "addicted" to my brand in that sense. If I WAS "addicted" to Newports, I dunno why I only enjoy a few of them per day instead of at least a whole pack daily. Maybe it's cause my taste for cigs has changed since switching to Natives. Although I still got a taste for the flava I started smoking wth (menthol).

I think the reason why I still smoke a few Newports per day is cause it's all psychological to me. It's sorta similar to someone buying a beer with their hot dog at a ball game even if he ain't an everyday drinker. He buys the beer to fit in with the rest of the fans at the ball game. And that's particularly why I smoke my brand while outside the most now, so I can fit in with fellow smokers. Newports will always be my brand (no matta what otha brands I like), since that cig defines me as an urban smoker.

That doesn't describe an "addiction" to me...cause I'd be smoking only Newports again afta trying Native brands for a few weeks (if it WAS an addiction).

I'm sure social smokers smoked only at smokey taverns in past years, cause they wanted to fit in with the otha smokers in there. But those social smokers could easily avoid not smoking for the rest of the week....that's anotha example of how smoking can be a psychological habit.

Obama picks antismoking advocate for his team

I think this article confirms Obama ain't a true smoker. I know I would neva pick antismokers to be part of my team if I was in his shoes. He's more of a hypocrite for showing his true colors towards smoking and the tobacco industry. But yet he shows support for the industry by smoking.

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http://www.nytimes. com/2009/ 01/14/us/ politics/ 14appoint. html?_r=1&ref=politics


WASHINGTONPresident-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday that he had chosen the head of a leading anti-tobacco organization to be the No. 2 official at the Department of Health and Human Services.


The prospective nominee, William V. Corr, is executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a nonprofit group that seeks to reduce tobacco use among children and adults.

As a member of the Obama transition team, Mr. Corr has led efforts to review and evaluate the work of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Obama has selected Tom Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader, to be secretary of health and human services. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Corr would be the deputy secretary. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Corr worked as chief counsel and policy director for Mr. Daschle, when Mr. Daschle was minority leader.

The new Congress is expected to move aggressively against the tobacco industry, by increasing federal regulation of cigarettes, raising taxes on tobacco products and approving an international tobacco control treaty.

As a senator, Mr. Obama, an intermittent smoker, was a co-sponsor of a bill that would have given the Food and Drug Administration broad authority to regulate "the manufacture, marketing, and distribution" of tobacco products, including cigarettes.

On its Web site, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says its goals are "to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke."

In reports filed with Congress, the campaign has listed Mr. Corr as a lobbyist and said it lobbied not only Congress, but also federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Trade Commission.

The anti-tobacco group reported lobbying expenses that totaled $2.4 million from 2003 to 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group that tracks the influence of money on politics and government policy.

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama often criticized the influence of lobbyists in Washington. But some of his strongest allies here have worked as lobbyists for consumer groups, labor unions, environmental groups and civil rights organizations.

In the Clinton administration, Mr. Corr was chief of staff at the Department of Health and Human Services, where he worked for Secretary Donna E. Shalala.

Before joining Mr. Daschle's staff, Mr. Corr worked for two liberal Democrats known as tenacious investigators and consumer advocates: Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum of Ohio, who was chairman of the antitrust subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, and Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, who was chairman of the health subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Mr. Waxman was the chief sponsor of a bill passed overwhelmingly by the House last year that would have empowered the F.D.A. to regulate tobacco products. The Senate did not act on the measure.

As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the new Congress, Mr. Waxman will play a major role in efforts to provide coverage to the 46 million people who have no health insurance.

Before coming to Washington, Mr. Corr worked at several community-run primary health care centers in Appalachia. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.

"Reforming our health care system will be a top priority of my administration and key to putting our economy back on track," Mr. Obama said Tuesday. "Under the leadership of Tom Daschle and Bill Corr, I am confident that my Department of Health and Human Services will bring people together to reach consensus on how to move forward with health care reform

Monday, January 12, 2009

Antis are thugs too

I guess you can call antis "thugs" too, although they certainly don't act like people in my community 100 percent.

Society calls a lotta us that term since we rude, and selfish, and we don't give a sh!t about W's in particular, as long we we get what we want...especially $$$.

That actually describes antis. Antis are rude when talking to smokers. They also rude in the sense of letting their side talk more than the smokers' side during smoking ban debates.

Antis are selfish too. Do you think they care about smokers suffering outside in the cold and seeing owners lose $$$?

Antis don't give a sh!t about anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, especially smokers. Smokers are more like a "fascist version" of a W person to antis.

But at least antis don't steal $$$ from smokers, nor do antis beat up smokers. However, antis DO steal money from smokers via tobacco taxes. That might change with FSCs making BT cigs very unpopular. An anti probably would go as far as beating up and murdering a smoker if he's a hardcore anti....the opposite version of me.

There are actually two thug groups in society. Us, and antis. And antis are actually worse. Cause as long as you smoke or hate smoking bans, they (antis) don't care about your looks. Antis wish ALL smokers were dead. And I wouldn't be surprised if some antis are hoping smoking kills me a lot more sooner than lata. LOL at them!!!

IL Smoking Ban Amended

Violations of the smoking ban are treated as criminal complaints? When the he!! did smoking a legal product become a crime in IL anyway?

If some areas of this state is gonna treat smoking ban violations as criminal reports, I REALLY hope the cops don't go as far as putting an innocent smoker in cuffs.

If anyone in IL thinks violating a smoking ban is a crime, then sounds like you live WELL outta Chicagoland.

Betta make sure you call 911! I'm committing a crime by smoking a cig while visiting a bar. Maybe I'll be on the FBI's Most Wanted list not for murdering a chick...but for smoking a Newport. At least I don't have a gun in my pockets. LOL!!!

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ARTICLE LINK

Statewide smoking ban amended

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The Illinois House today gave thumbs up to legislation that would amend the state's year-old smoking ban, addressing enforcement problems that have arisen primarily in rural counties and Downstate.

The bill clarifies that violations of the law will be treated as civil matters and handled through a administrative process managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Currently, violations are typically treated as criminal complaints and brought before county courts. But in October, a Bureau County judge ruled that the smoking ban could not be enforced through the courts because administrative rules laying out a process for handling violations hadn't been finalized.

In rural counties where the law was never popular to begin with, state's attorneys stopped pursuing complaints.

Under the amended law, state's attorneys would no longer have a role in enforcing the smoking ban. The bill goes to the Senate this week, and supporters say they are cautiously optimistic about its prospects.

Under Illinois' ban, smoking is prohibited in nearly all public places, including restaurants, bars, indoor theaters, concert halls, educational facilities and auditoriums. Fines are $100 to $250 for smokers and $250 and up for business owners.