Friday, April 10, 2009

Cig robbers arrested in nY


ARTICLE LINK

STAFFORD — Three New York men have been arrested for an armed robbery that took place Thursday at Cigarettes Unlimited on U.S. 17 in Stafford.

Ariel Peisahovish, 25, of Staten Island, N.Y., Vyacheslav Elentulch, 24, of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Dmitry Khavkin, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y. were each charged with two counts of robber, two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of abduction.

Just before 8 a.m., the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a robbery. The caller, an individual in a suite next to Cigarettes Unlimited, said that three white men had robbed Cigarettes Unlimited at gunpoint and fled in a white van with New York license plates. The caller reportedly heard the clerk yelling from the cigarettes store, and was able to obtain a license plate number as the suspects left.

The New York men also secured the clerk to a chair with heavy tape, locked her in the store and threw the keys outside the store, according to police. Then men were in the store for more than 30 minutes loading boxes of tobacco into the van they were driving.

Stafford deputies Chris Armitage and Josh Truslow stopped the van at mile-marker 150 along Interstate 95. Cigarette cartons valued in total at $50,000 were in the vehicle, along with a fully loaded 40-caliber handgun and a fully-loaded pistol grip 12-guage shotgun. The three men were taken into custody.

“This is just another example of citizens working hand in hand with the sheriff’s office to apprehend dangerous criminals,” said Stafford Sheriff Charles Jett. “Because of the witness’s willingness to get involved and the ability of the deputies to anticipate the actions of these criminals, the deputies were able to make a quick apprehension.”

The Cigarettes Unlimited clerk was taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg as a precautionary measure. She was treated and released.

Antismoking commercial

Earlier today, I saw a lil bit of a game on TV involving the Yankees and the Royals. When they had the commercial break in-between innings, I rememba seeing this NY-based antismoking commercial with Mom and Dad laughing while watching TV. Both of em were smoking too. And off to their side (off to their right from their view) was their son, who looked like a baby. And their son picked up that device asthmatic folks use to (I guess) get oxygen by putting it in his mouth.

While the kid used the device in his mouth, the commercial said the message of "Second hand smoke causes children to get asthma."

Considering that game was coming from a NY-based station, and if NY baseball fans who smoke gotta put up with watching sh!++y antismoking commercials like the one I saw, then I'm glad I don't live in NY!

It's funny NY is a serious antismoking state. But IL stations won't go as far as putting antismoking commercials on TV. The closest antismoking commercials I've seen locally are those Nicoderm/Nicorette commercials.

If SHS can cause a kid to get asthma, then how come I neva developed asthma myself from living with a mom who smoked around me all the time ever since I was born? I bet NONE of those antis in NY can answer dat Q.

Doctors urged to get aggressive with smokers

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/hscout/2009/04/08/hscout625669.html

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- To truly help people quit smoking, doctors need to treat the habit as a chronic disease that might require repeated or intensive interventions, including pharmacotherapy and counseling, say two new studies.

One study included 750 people who smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day. They were randomly assigned to pharmacotherapy (nicotine patch or bupropion), pharmacotherapy supplemented with up to two calls from trained counselors, or pharmacotherapy and up to six counseling calls. The two-year study found that people in the high-intensity counseling group had the highest quit rates.

The findings "show the importance of taking a disease-management approach to smoking," the study's lead author, Dr. Edward Ellerbeck, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas, said in a news release from the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study is in the journal's April 7 issue.

"We found that smokers are willing to make repeated medically-assisted attempts at quitting smoking, resulting in progressively greater smoking abstinence. Physicians should talk to their patients continually about quitting and should facilitate access to a smoking cessation medication," Ellerbeck said.

The second study, also published in the journal, included 127 smokers with chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They were randomly assigned to use a nicotine patch for 10 weeks or a combination of a patch, a nicotine oral inhaler and bupropion for as long as required. After six months, about 35 percent of those in the combination therapy group had quit smoking, compared with 19 percent of those who used only the nicotine patch.

"Medically ill smokers are often highly addicted and at great risk for complications from continued smoking," the lead author, Dr. Michael B. Steinberg, from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, said in the news release. "Our trial demonstrates that intensive treatment with a triple combination of medications could work well for them."

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Followup link on smoking being treated as a chronic disease: CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Society costs smokers money in two ways

Society is certainly costing smokers money in the sense of several smokers being forced to sacrifice stuff in order to afford buying their cigs (like cutting down on their eating/alcohol habits in order to have "cig money").

I know Elizabeth's point on society costing smokers money was based on smokers who believe the lies and antismoking propaganda...me can see this as "costing smokers money" in the sense of society controlling the smokers' minds.

There might be a smoker out there who believes the antismoking lies 100 percent, that once he/she quits smoking...instead of getting "betta health" as the mothaFkin antis preach, that ex-smoker is feeling pain in a mental sense...almost like somethang is missing in that ex-smoker's hand and/or mouth.

Me read online before on how some smokers reported eating more food and getting colds more often when they did try to quit. But those same smokers said they actually felt a HE!!UVA LOT BETTA when they started smoking again.

If a smoker believes his/her health will get betta as part of quitting smoking, think again. I rarely get any colds at all as a smoker myself. Sure, taking care of your hugiene is important in avoiding the flu. But despite antis themselves saying smokers get colds a lot more often, this hasn't been the case for me in my life as a smoker. Seems like when I get colds now (if I get some at all), it might be like only 1-3 times per year.

And eating less as a smoker is actually a good thang. I dunno about antis. But I'd ratha look average for the rest of my life instead of walking around with a fat tummy as a nonsmoker.

I'm surprised cigs are being sold in C-stores around me at all

I saw somethang I haven't seen in years yesterday. Me saw a sista with a pack of menthols OTHA THAN Newports. It's still been 10+ years ago since the last time I saw a black smoker with a REG pack of cigs.

I was in the hood C-store, and I bought two packs of choc. chip cookies. The sista behind me bought a pack of Virginia Slims Menthol Lights, and I was surprised she could afford dat price at all.

She not only sounds like an offline smoker who ain't aware she can buy menthol light cartons online that taste a lot like Va Slims but the price is much lower...but she sounds like a "smoking version" of Michelle Obama. A sis who actually makes good money to afford a pack of menthols that cost more than even Newprts around here.

There are smokers like her who give into price increases by thinking like "Well, I can't quit. And I hate paying almost $10 for my Va Slims. So I guess I might as well buy a pack while I'm in this store."

(I didn't wanna ask her if she ever uses the net, cause I didn't wanna make myself look rude to her while she's in the middle of making a purchase)

But I refuse to quit myself for several reasons. And I'd hate the price for my own menthols too. But she is one of MANY offline smokers who would be surprised at how good a lot of smaller-name menthols taste if they ever get on the net one of these days and visit smoke shops. Maybe she is a lil bit aware of why the cig prices went up. But she likely has the attitude of "Who cares if I'm putting funds into SCHIP by buying menthols? I NEED my cigs, and this is the ONLY WAY I can get menthols period, motha!"

If a lady around here told me those words, I'd say "Wrong sista. You can actually buy Va Slims and I can buy Newports ONLINE if we want. There are even some menthols that are cheap but taste darn good for a cheap brand. If you ever get on the net next time around and learn about smoke shops online, you might be surprised at how many quality menthols are out there. You can send Philip Morris a lesson about abusing your money by trying some smaller-known menthols for a change where you can SAVE money. And don't assume just cause a menthol carton is only 25 bucks, that means those menthols taste like sh!t unlike Va Slims and ports.....that assumption would be WRONG!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

American Smokers Party

This is a note from Lynda, one of the very active smoking activists I was fortunate enough to meet in person a few times in the past. I got a look at her Liberty Van once while she was in Chicago.

*******************
Hi, just letting you know, if you already went to see - or if you didn't, that
we've already had a new STATE Coordinator volunteer!
I added Louisiana to the States page, and the new Coordinator, David Sapia (THANK YOU SO MUCH!).
I also found a good website for Iowa, to repeal their ban, so I added that as well.
I also added a few more graphics, including the GIANT bumper sticker I made for the TEA parties. I'm sending it with this email, too, just for fun.
I also added a couple more small articles, and the link to the Petition to stop drug company TV advertising.
Everyone, please promote www.americansmokersparty.com . If you have a website or webpage, you are welcome to post the link there. There are graphics on that site you may use, and also links there to more free graphics for smokin' people. Enjoy - and let's get the Revolution GOING : )
Lynda Farley

A victory against tobacco

ARTICLE LINK


IT IS an odious victory, yet a victory nonetheless. After millions of premature deaths from cigarettes since the first surgeon general's warnings on packs in the mid-1960s, the House voted last week, 298-112, to give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco.

Henry Waxman, the California crusader on this issue for nearly three decades, called the vote historic, though "it has taken us far too long to get to this point . . . FDA is the only agency with the right combination of scientific expertise, regulatory experience, and public health mission to oversee these products effectively. "

The measure now heads to the Senate where it will be championed by Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who has declared tobacco "the most lethal of all consumer products."

Kennedy will face some opposition by tobacco-state colleagues such as North Carolina's Richard Burr. But even the number one recipient of tobacco campaign contributions on Capitol Hill, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, acknowledged earlier this year the tidal wave of health concerns about tobacco, citing public no-smoking ordinances throughout his state. "While we are still an important tobacco state, it is not as pervasive as it used to be," McConnell said. ". . . The tobacco culture has largely ended in Kentucky."

The odious part is that tobacco culture is not going away anytime soon. Tobacco still has its tentacles reaching insidiously into state and local politics. Take North Dakota, for instance. Last month, a bid to ban tobacco products on state college campuses failed and last week, the North Dakota House voted down a bill to ban smoking in cars by adults if children under 16 are inside. The law was proposed by middle school children in Williston. One Republican, Representative Darrell Nottestad of Grand Forks, supported the bill saying, "An infant in a smoking car has no one to speak for it."

Congress and the Obama administration have done a great service by jacking up the federal cigarette tax this month by 62 cents a pack. As many studies have shown, raising taxes cuts smoking rates. But that still leaves plenty of poor countries to prey on and despite tobacco-control initiatives in many countries, smoking-related deaths are currently on track to rise from its current 5.4 million a year to 8 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization. The CEO of Philip Morris International, Louis Camilleri, earned $37 million in compensation last year, a 68 percent raise. Unlike Detroit car executives who were shamed out of their corporate jets, Camilleri's compensation includes personal use of the company jet, the Associated Press reported last month.

The bill passed by the House would limit more than ever outdoor advertising near schools, ban remaining sports and entertainment sponsorships, ban deceptive "light" and "mild" descriptions of cigarettes and allow the FDA to limit the amount of key ingredients such as nicotine and limit or reduce other ingredients such as menthol or candy-like flavors.

But in order to reduce political roadblocks that could easily be put up by an industry that has thrown $62 million in campaign cash at congressional and presidential races since 1990, the legislation would grant the tobacco industry nonvoting status on a new tobacco products scientific advisory committee.

Tobacco manufacturers would get two seats and tobacco growers would get a third. Seven of the nine voting members would be scientists, doctors, or otherwise from the healthcare field.

That understandably rankled the most ardent of tobacco control advocates, but it was enough for Philip Morris to break ranks with lesser cigarette makers to support the legislation, and still retain the support of groups like the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. That Philip Morris or someone from the tobacco industry is about to become an official arm of the government is annoying, but it is better than the endless arms race of lawyers, false advertising, and feel-good cigarette sponsorships. The tobacco bill means of course that cigarettes themselves will not be banned. But America has moved one step closer to blunting the influence of Big Tobacco.

Monday, April 6, 2009

IL: Cigarette taxes spark anger


PEKIN, Ill. -
The new federal tax on cigarettes and the proposed $1 state cigarette tax increase has some smokers up in arms as they try to figure out how they will deal with the higher cost.

“I think it’s wrong taking away our cigarettes,” said Donald Bogart, 69, of Pekin, as he stood outside the Boardwalk Tavern on Court Street smoking a Doral. “And that’s what they’re doing to a lot of people.

“This wouldn’t have happened 30 years ago. I’ve been smoking for 50 years and I’m not going to give them up. They’re taking a part of people’s lives away from them. It’s a bunch of baloney — people come back from fighting a war and have to pay $50 for a carton of cigarettes. That’s wrong. And I’m 69 years old and can’t sit in a bar and have a cigarette with my beer.”

Bogart, who is on Social Security, said the new tax will hurt people on fixed incomes. When he started smoking, he paid 10 cents for a pack, he said.

A 61-cent cigarette tax increase, which took effect on Wednesday, was instituted by the federal government to fund health care. On the heels of that, the Illinois Senate Thursday approved a bill that would raise the state cigarette tax by $1 to help fill an $11.5 billion budget deficit. The state tax is now 98 cents.

The new tax is not affecting just smokers. Local businesses are noticing the effects as well.
“We’re paying for everything,” said Mike Gardner, owner of two Ace Liquor stores in Pekin. The city recently instituted a 2 percent sales tax on package liquor.

“I just got notice from the federal government that I have to pay $6.01 for every carton of cigarettes I have in stock,” Gardner said. “That’s a lot of money. Cigarettes accounts for 20 percent of my business at my Fifth Street store. I can’t sell cigarettes at the Derby Street store because of my lease agreement. The landlord has an agreement with a cigarette store in the plaza that no other business would be allowed to sell them.”

Gardner, who did not know about the proposed state tax increase until the Daily Times asked him about it Friday, said those on fixed income will suffer the most. He said he has seen two male smokers who “are beside themselves” about the new tax.

“Jeez — another dollar,” he said. “If sales drop, that is definitely going to hurt businesses.”
Gardner sees a drop in sales every time the tax on cigarettes increases, he said, but sales pick back up after a while.

“It’s sticker shock,” he said. “After a while, people will get used to the price and buy again. I’m sure when the city liquor tax starts May 1 many people will gripe, but after a while they will get used to it.”

Lucky Mart Manager Amy Habal said she only sold five packs of cigarettes Thursday after Wednesday’s federal tax increase. In an effort to bring in customers, she dropped the price of a pack of Marlboros from $5.50 a pack to $4.79.

“Sales are down about 60 percent,” she said. “It really cuts into our business.”

Sales at Discount Tobacco, on the other hand, have been up. The shelves behind the sales counter were virtually bare Friday as the store awaited two new shipments. Manager Vickie Frost said she had customers lined up looking for bargains Friday. People came in to stock up before the federal tax started, she said, and she sold her last carton of Kools Friday afternoon.
“We’ve had a lot of people coming in buying ahead,” she said. “On March 31 we were pretty much wiped out of everything.

“The price for roll-your-own products went up the most. People are paying $10 for a 6-ounce bag of tobacco.”

Frost said she also took advantage of the lower prices before the federal tax went in effect. The price of a carton of small cigars was going up by $10 a carton on Wednesday, she said, so she bought 10 cartons for her husband and put them away.

Habal said she has heard the same things from customers that she has always hears after a tax increase: People want to quit.

American Heart Association President Dr. Timothy Gardner said the recession and the higher taxes could help people see the need to give up cigarettes.

The tax increase “is a terrific public health move by the federal government,” he said. “Every time that the tax on tobacco goes up, the use of cigarettes goes down.”

About one in five adults in the United States smokes cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking results in an around 443,000 premature deaths each year. Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease, cancer and lung disease, and it costs the economy $193 billion in health care expenses and lost time from work.

Pekin resident Dan Weaver, a smoker of 12 years, said the tax is not fair. He said he smokes because it relaxes him and relieves stress.

“I think if they are going to tax anything it should be something everybody uses — not just the users,” said Weaver. “It does kind of p— me off.

“I have a friend that said a couple of years ago cigarette taxes were used for road projects. He said, ‘If I’m paying for it I don’t want nonsmokers driving on my roads.’”

Just to be on the safe side regarding his income, Bogart said he bought nicotine patches Friday in case he changes his mind.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 15 is the day for a National TEA party

Have you been taxed enough already (TEA)?

Well then, you might be interested in attending a Tea Party in your local city. In this link below, you can contact the organizer in the location nearest to you and find out how you can help out with the event in your location.

LIST OF 4/15 TEA PARTY ORGANIZERS


Here's anotha site I found in relation to the Tea Party Day.

Tax Day Tea Party.com

Here's a special note from the Tax Day Tea Party site.

Here at TaxDayTeaParty.com we have a page with a full list of known Tea Party events for April 15th. You can check that page to ensure there isn’t already an event happening in your city/town.

You’ll also want to search Facebook “Tax Day Tea Party” or “April 15 Tea Party”, along with the name of your city/town, to see if an event has already been set up.