Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've adjusted to smoke-free places. BUT...

...that doesn't mean I accept the fact even restaurants and taverns are smoke-free. I miss the days of when I could've been smoking while waiting for my meal. I definitely miss the days of smoking a cig afta eating at McDs and before leaving the joint.

I'm used to not seeing people smoke inside of those places. But I still hate it, and as long as those places remain smoke-free, I always will hate it. That's why I'm not interested in stepping foot into an IL tavern ever. If I knew the addresses of these Chicago taverns where off-duty cops smoke at, I wouldn't mind visiting one of those this summer.

Antis said it takes time to adjust to a smoking ban. Well, I'm adjusted to the fact no place is smoker-friendly within my town. But I still hate the fact that I gotta take it outside if I'm told to.

At least with spring around the corner, it's gonna actually feel more comfy smoking outside at all soon. I still believe smoking was meant for indoors. I'm sure tobacco products (including cigars and pipes) wouldn't exist at all if the companies imagined people smoking outdoors only.

Oh yeah, there are 2 places where you can't smoke outside this summer. The beaches and parks. Oh well....

(Actually, you can't smoke in the ballparks eitha. But Cub fans AND workers still smoked in the men restrooms. I wanna see how the Cubs plan to fight back against people sneaking smokes in the restrooms this year.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

OT Thought

I saw this racist cartoon published in the NY Post for myself afta I heard about it on the Blackplanet site. In connection with smokers, I hope I don't start seeing so-called political cartoons in the future where cops are inside a tavern and they waste a person for smoking in the tavern...that would be a lot similar to the controversial cartoon I saw where the cops simply murdered the colored individual (within the cartoon), and the cops had no sympathies for what they did.

I rememba seeing a political cartoon with a smoke-free tavern in it. And I think only 3 people were inside of that entire tavern. At least that cartoon with the smoke-free tavern shows the truth behind smoking bans. It would be so quiet in a smoke-free tavern, you could hear a pin drop.

But I hope future cartoons won't go as far as having smokers harassed or murdered within the cartoons. If goodie kids see that, that would teach em it's OK to get violent with ANYONE who smokes. And that's the wrong message.

The Smokers Rights Newsletter Issue

The United Pro Choice
Smokers Rights Newsletter

February 20, 2009 - Issue #517

"When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy,
it ceases to be a subject of interest."
- William Hazlitt
THE world's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect. The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organisation, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report.

Smoking out 'deniers' and 'dissidents' Anti-smoking activists are now comparing their critics to Holocaust deniers. It is a vile attempt to shut down debate.

Bill Hannegan. Hannegan says he's not "pro-smoking," but, rather, "pro-freedom." "I see it as a property rights issue for the owner or the bar or restaurant," he said. If they try to clear the air, he said, "they should be able to use their property as they see fit, including allowing smoking."

Happy Birthday! At the age of 102 great grandmother Bet Winder who lives in a care home still enjoys the occasional cigarette and likes a glass of sherry.
From The Mailbag
HI: Press Release on the Waikiki Beach Smoking Ban.
IN: John Nothdurft. A Hoosier smoking ban? What for?
KS: Salina Opponents start petition drive to vote.
KS: State ban goes to House. Many House members feel such decisions are best left to local governments.
VA: House of Delegates approved a watered-down version of a bill.
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter, read all the news.
Canada: Stand FAST Smoker's Lounge blog by The Old Rambler.
Austria: Cigarettes still burning holes and ignoring Austrian ban.
EU: Taxation and Regulation of Smoking, Drinking and Gambling.
Holland: Dutch cannabis smoker fined - for using tobacco.
UK: Discarded fag ends are a legacy of the smoking ban.
UK: The Wall Of Silence Is Crumbling. Watch the video.
PHIL WILLIAMS: Watch the new videos, Ashbusters... and more!
Join FREE - Home - Events - Forum - Videos - Please Help - ©

A Smoker's Poem

(For the record, I found this poem on the net. I'm not the author of the poem itself.)

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

Light up and Live

People say it is bad for your health
But in my life it provides great wealth
To enjoy the feeling as I inhale
The pleasure I feel is as big as a whale

Now the government has made it illegal
Almost like the bark of a beagle
I understand it could be bad for others
But this poem is for my smoking brothers

To think that we all will die sometime
And extend the mountain we must climb
But since nobody can defeat our death
It is my choice to choose my breath

Second hand smoke is no joke
For those of us who choose not to smoke
I do respect their imperative right
But there is something wrong with this fight

Everyone will die someday
It is just the price we pay
But smokers have been revoked the right
To choose their own perilous plight

The government thinks they have the answer
To what actually causes lung cancer
So answer me this as I say
Those non-smokers that die every day

Many non-smokers have died of the disease
That non-smoking facilities supposedly ease
In America we should embrace
Let restaurants and bars make the choice

So many bars have faced tough encounters
To take the ashtrays off of their counters
Let all Americans make their choice
But no one seems to hear our voice

An owner of a restaurant or bar
Should not have to go so far
To say that patrons cannot smoke
The thought of it all is truly a joke




Let non-smokers patronize non-smoking places
While those who smoke can show their faces
At a public place that makes the choice
To let us smokers empowered to rejoice

The fact that we have the ability to choose
To circumvent the owners that must face to lose
Their customer base that chooses to smoke
The rights of citizens that politicians revoke

Our new president is a smoker indeed
So how do we smokers follow that creed?
Make our voice to be heard
With every single smoker's word

Establishment owners have been hurt
The need is to have politicians convert
To a situation where there is a choice
Lets rally together and have a voice


Light up and live
It must be one’s choice
Unfortunately we have no voice

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Virginia has a new statewide smoking ban

This might be a topic in this week's newsletta. But you can welcome VA to the State Smoking Ban Club. I heard this week that tobacco state passed a smoking ban statewide. The VA smoking ban goes into effect December 1st of this year.

The ban does permit smoking in private clubs and in places that have separately ventilated enclosed smoking rooms.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peoria cops cracking down on owners violating smoking ban

I guess afta a year, antismokers decided to threaten the Peoria cops to do their job and go afta bar owners violating the smoking ban.

"They just bombarded us like four weekends in a row," she said. "The time before last when they gave me a ticket, there wasn't even anybody smoking. They said they smelled smoke. . . . It's crazy."

She's right on the money. Giving a bar owner a ticket only cause a cop smelled smoke inside despite nobody smoking inside IS crazy. I'd ask that cop if you sure you smelled tobacco smoke. That smell in the air could've been trash odor.

I know it's possible for a nonsmoker to still end up with tobacco smoke on his/her clothes from being outside.

I came across one comment for this article. If an anti actually has nothang betta to do but to call the cops if he smells smoke in a tavern so he can get the owner in trouble, maybe he oughta visit a Chicago tavern and try getting away with that up here. If antis smell smoke, they betta keep their mouths shut to put it nicely.
************************
ARTICLE LINK

PEORIA —

After a year of all but ignoring the state's smoking ban, Peoria police appear to be assuming a much more aggressive stance toward bars where people still puff.

More specifically, police are focused solely on bar owners and bartenders, rather than the smokers themselves. While the Smoke Free Illinois Act purportedly prohibits the public at large from smoking in all types of businesses and operators of those establishments from allowing it, police purposefully aren't citing smokers. Only tavern operators are being handed violations for the alleged actions of patrons.

That's because the city isn't actually enforcing the state statute, but is instead attempting to regulate smoking through a "catch-all" provision of the municipal liquor ordinance, an unofficial policy unveiled last year but apparently not put into action until the last couple of months.

About 10 bar owners and bartenders have been cited since then for allowing "illegal acts on premises" - a violation spelled out in a single paragraph under Section 28 of the municipal liquor code that casts a wide net over the responsibility of tavern owners and employees to assure laws are followed on the property.

"It's kind of a catch-all," said Peoria Police Officer Scott Jordan, the liquor investigator for the city. "(Citations) are not written for smoking, they're written for illegal activity on premises."

The city adopted the approach after the Illinois Department of Public Health failed to deliver an acceptable set of regulations for the Smoke Free Illinois Act to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in January 2008, after the ban took effect.

JCAR's rejection ultimately left municipalities and local law enforcement agencies to fend for themselves in deciding how to enforce the fledgeling statute, leading to challenges to the law and the way it was being handled in circuit courts around the state.

Those rounds of legal action eventually forced lawmakers in Springfield to reconsider some of the law's peculiar language, and an amendment to the state ban that conceivably fixes its most glaring shortcomings was signed into law last month.

The amendment in no uncertain terms calls for smoking violations to be handled through administrative hearings hosted by the state health department, but also requires rules for those proceedings to be approved by JCAR. A new set of regulations has not yet been proposed to that body.

Once that happens and protocol for processing violations has been established, city police will follow those procedures, Jordan said, and cite smokers as well as owners. Until then, the enforcement approach through the liquor code will continue.

"I don't know any way to go about it at this point until we get something from the Illinois Department of Public Health," said Jordan, stressing that a vast majority of the bars in the city are complying. "I wish the state would have come up with a better way to do this, but it didn't and we have to do something about it."

The recent round of enforcement efforts was initiated by complaints of bar owners who told police they were losing business to competitors who continued to allow smoking in their establishments.

Those who have been ticketed potentially face two punishments: a fine from the municipal ordinance violation and a hearing before the city's liquor commission where sanctions could be imposed.

"Ultimately, a bar could lose its license if it refuses to follow the law," said city attorney Randy Ray, who noted that no one recently cited for allowing smoking was in immediate danger of losing a license for it. "You can not have a liquor license and not enforce the smoking ban."

One of the bar owners recently cited was Dixie Behm, who operates Dixie's Dungeon at 1227 NE Adams St. She said patrol officers have been checking her bar regularly since the beginning of the year, usually late on a Saturday night, and issued smoking-related violations three times.

"They just bombarded us like four weekends in a row," she said. "The time before last when they gave me a ticket, there wasn't even anybody smoking. They said they smelled smoke. . . . It's crazy."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Driver gets ticket for smoking in car with minor, but the teen smokes herself!

The funny thang about this guy getting a ticket for smoking in a car with a minor is his daughta smokes herself. And in my eyes, a 15 year-old ain't a kid anymore. That teen is more like a young lady.

I wonder what would happen if a smoke cop saw the driver AND the "minor" both smoking in the car.

Oh yeah, why is this article in the "crime" section? Smoking a legal product in a car with a minor who smokes herself is part of life to me, not a literal crime.

EDIT: I will correct myself. That young lady ain't his daughta. But it would be interesting to see a dad's reaction if he and his own teen daughta (or son) are both smoking in a car and he gets pulled over.

A smoke cop would have to be prepared for anythang if he tried pulling a driver over near me for smoking in a car with a minor, regardless if that minor is a smoker and/or is actually related with the driver.

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

ARTICLE LINK


Ticket for driver smoking with minor in car raising eyebrows
February 16, 2009
THE CANADIAN PRESS

PORT HOPE–The latest case of an Ontario driver nabbed by police for smoking in a car carrying a minor is raising eyebrows about the new law.

A 20-year-old Port Hope, Ont., man has been ticketed for smoking in a car in which a 15-year-old girl was one of his passengers.

While Tory Ashton was waiting for his $155 ticket, the girl – a smoker herself – got out of the car and legally lit up a cigarette of her own.

The provincial politician representing the riding says this may represent a glitch in the law and wants it be examined.

Liberal Lou Rinaldi is asking for a meeting with the province's health promotions minister later this week to find ways to improve the fledgling law.

Rinaldi says one improvement might be changing the age limit on how young the passenger has to be for the smoking ban to kick in.

"In 99.9 per cent of cases, the legislation is doing the job," he said. However he described as a "glitch" the scenario where a 20-year-old could be fined for smoking while his 15-year-old passenger could stand by the side of the road and light up.

There is no law prohibiting a 15-year-old from smoking. It is only illegal to purchase or sell tobacco to anyone under 19 years of age.

The law, which took effect last month, is designed to shield children from highly concentrated levels of nicotine while they are being driven in cars.

Rinaldi, who represents the Northumberland-Quinte West riding in eastern Ontario, also said he'd like to discuss the law with Port Hope police to see what challenges they've had in enforcing it.

Statistics on how many charges have been laid since the law's inception Jan. 21 won't be available for several weeks.

But reports have surfaced about people being fined, including separate incidents involving a 29-year-old Sarnia-area woman and a 53-year-old Kingston man. Both where nabbed at RIDE spot checks which normally check to see if a driver has been drinking.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For smokers interested in buying cigs online

A smoker keeping a low profile when buying cigs online is a lil funny, since I ain't new to keeping "low profiles" offline. Smokers can't let the govt trace their tobacco online orders in the same way I keep my identity hidden from certain people while out in public, cops included.

But with the upcoming tax increase on cigs, and since buying cigs online is the best way to go as of April to save money...smokers keeping low profiles online is sadly the truth.

I hope when more smokers DO get into the habit of buying cigs online, they:

1) Avoid shopping at a smoke shop where the reps sound like a bunch of liars. Trust me, I actually started buying cigs online 10 years ago at esmokes...a shop most online smokers heard of....and they ended up being phat liars to me. Some smoke shops may say "We don't report orders" but unless they specifically say this on their site, there's no tellin if they not actually playing with you.

2) Avoid shops that offer referral commissions. Where you earn credits on future orders if you refer a smoker to the shop. These shops sound suspicious to me. Smart Smoker.com had a ref program I heard of (and so did esmokes). And Smart Smoker actually reports orders...they say so on their site.

3) Do not buy cigs from overseas-based smoke shops. I heard of smokers getting their orders seized from overseas shops. And some have said before while Marlboros are cheapa at these shops, European Marlboros don't taste the same as USA Marlboros.

4) Avoid smoke shops that tell you to send a copy of your govt ID by snail mail. I can understand showing my ID as a new customer. But sending it by snail mail is dangerous. Most shops allow you to scan your ID and send the copy by email.

5) If there's a smoke shop online that allows credit cards as a payment option, DO NOT BUY CRAP FROM THAT SHOP! Credit card purchases are the EASIEST way for the govt to track your orders down without actually contacting (or suing) the shop first.

No matta where you shop online, I'd try some of the cheapa cig brands (including Native brands) if I was you. You might be surprised on how good a lot of these cheap brands taste. And besides, the BT brands are gonna be just as expensive online as they are offline when April comes.

Lorillard raised their cig prices too

I just heard Lorillard is anotha BT company that raised their prices up....10 cents per pack and 1 buck more for a Newport carton.

Thank goodness I got a new taste for smoking regular cigs thanks to cheapa cig brands! Those brands are still gonna be cheapa to smoke even when the fed tax increase goes into effect.

But welcome to the black market age for cigs. Since the #1 menthol is going up in price before the April price increase, I hope those convience stores install some very good security systems, and they betta hide some guns somewhere for self-protection purposes.

If the greedy politicians actually like the idea of more cig-related robberies, then this nation is screwed up. Raising prices will not make ALL smokers quit.

One sista told me "If I found a Newport carton on a bench outside d@#n! That's like hitting a jackpot! And I WILL fight for it. I have beaten someone up over Newports before, and I ain't afraid to do it again the next time I find an unopened pack of Newports."

If an anti thinks it's funny smokers will fight over a pack of cigs found in the streets, welcome to reality. That shows there are some smokers out here will do ANYTHANG to get cigs.

But if someone around here is willing to beat someone up over an unopened pack of Newports, then imagine what's gonna happen in more convience stores throughout the nation. And I'm sure cig-related heists won't be limited to within our community eitha.

And if politicians actually like the idea of cartons being stolen, then they're just about as bad as the actual robbers. If politicians want peace in the US, raising tobacco taxes won't cause peace for places that sell cigs, I guarantee you that!