Thursday, June 11, 2009
If someone is gonna say "All smokers should die," then a woman like this betta not run into a smoker like me. Especially since I saw her pic!
I wouldn't want this B training nurses in my area, dat's for sure!
WASHINGTON – Congress struck the government's strongest anti-smoking blow in decades Thursday with a to give regulators new power to limit nicotine in cigarettes, drastically curtail ads and ban candied tobacco products aimed at young people.
Cigarette foes say the changes could cut into the 400,000 deaths every year caused by smoking and reduce the $100 billion in annual health care costs linked to tobacco.
The legislation, one of the most dramatic anti-smoking initiatives since the U.S. surgeon general's warning 45 years ago that tobacco causes lung cancer, would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
"This legislation represents the strongest action Congress has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States," declared , president of Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.
The 79-17 Senate vote sends the measure back to the House, which in April passed a similar but not identical version. House acceptance of the Senate bill would send it directly to President Barack Obama, who supports the action. said that "from what I have seen so far, I believe it will be possible for us to accept their bill and send it right on to the president."
Obama's signature would then add tobacco to other huge, nationally important areas that have come under greater government supervision since his presidency began. Those include banking, housing and autos. Still to come, if Congress can agree: health care.
Supporters of FDA regulation of tobacco have struggled for more than a decade to overcome powerful resistance — from the industry and elsewhere. In 2000 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the agency did not have the authority under current law to regulate tobacco products, and the George W. Bush administration opposed several previous efforts by Congress to write a new law.
Thursday's legislation gives the FDA power to evaluate the contents of tobacco products and to order changes or bans on those that are a danger to public health. The agency could limit nicotine yields but not ban nicotine or cigarettes.
Regulators could prohibit tobacco companies from using candy or other flavors in cigarettes that tend to attract young smokers, and restrict advertising in publications often read by teenagers. Rules on sales to minors would be toughened, as would warning labels. Tobacco companies would have to get FDA approval for new products, and would be barred from using terms such as "light" or "mild" that imply a smaller health risk.
Costs of the new program would be paid for through a fee imposed on tobacco companies.
"This is a bill that will protect children and will protect America," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a leading supporter. "Every day that we don't act, 3,500 American kids — children — will light up for the first time. That is enough to fill 70 school buses."
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that FDA regulation could reduce underage smoking by 11 percent over the next decade. There are more than 40 million smokers in America.
The bill, said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, "provides a tremendous opportunity to finally hold tobacco companies accountable and restrict efforts to addict more children and adults."
The , contended Durbin, has long been the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, "and they managed to create an exemption in virtually every law so that no federal agency could take a look at them and regulate them."
But the industry has also taken hits in recent years as the dangers of smoking became more apparent and states moved to limit smoking in public places. In 1998 the industry agreed to pay the states $206 billion to help cover health care costs, and this year Congress raised the by 62 cents, to $1.01 a pack, to fund a health care program for children.
The nation's largest tobacco manufacturer, Philip Morris, USA, has come out in support of the legislation. Its parent company, Altria Group, said in a statement that on balance, "the legislation is an important step forward to achieve the goal we share with others to provide federal regulation of tobacco products."
Its main rivals, however, have voiced opposition, arguing in part that FDA restrictions on new products will lock in ' share of the market.
Lawmakers portrayed the bill as a major first step in bringing down health care costs, an essential goal of the health care overhaul legislation that is the top priority of the Obama administration this year.
"This bill may do more in the area of prevention, if adopted, than anything else we may include in the health care bill in the short term," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who managed the legislation on the Senate floor in the absence of the ailing , D-Mass., who has long promoted FDA regulation.
Opponents, led by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of the tobacco-growing state of North Carolina, argued that the FDA, which is in charge of ensuring the safety of food and drug products, was the wrong place to regulate an item that is injurious to health.
He also contended that the bill would restrict tobacco companies, including several based in his state, from developing new products that might be less harmful to users. He unsuccessfully proposed the creation of a new agency that would both regulate tobacco products and encourage efforts to make cigarettes less harmful.
The bill is H.R. 1256.
On the Net:
Congress: http://thomas. loc.gov
I wouldn't know how to define a tobacco usage-related death. Lots will pass off the death of dat MI lady from the tavern as a "tobacco-related death," with SHS being her killer. But dat ain't a TRUE tobacco-related death to me. Since she was asthmatic, she shouldn't have been working in a smokey environment in the first place.
I wonder if antis would pass off store clerk murders as "tobacco usage-related deaths" when the motive behind the murders is folks stealing packs and cartons particularly.
There's no such thang as a tobaco usage related death to me. Cause if it was, smokers would be dying within only 5 years of starting. Tobacco oughta be killing smokrs in a flash based on how antis make smoking sound. Dat lie on using tobacco doesn't explain how a smoker can live for as long as 100+ years, but a nonsmoker will be lucky to live for 75 years.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
*** URGENT ACTION NEEDED ***
THE SITUATION: Right now there is legislation pending in the United States Senate - the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009 ("PACT Act") (S.1147) which contains, among other bad ideas, a provision to make ALL cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products non-mailable.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU: By making all cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products non-mailable, the Senate is ensuring you will no longer be able to purchase these products by mail-order, telephone order, and/or the Internet because the United States Postal Service will be prohibited from delivering your orders to you. Taking away your options means forcing you back to buying over-priced tobacco products from your local retailer once again.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP: Native American cigarette and tobacco sellers are committed to doing everything we can to stop the PACT Act but we need your help. Your Senators work for you and as their constituents, it is your voice and your vote that counts!
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your Senators and tell them not to pass the PACT Act. Your Senators should be protecting your interests, but it is up to you to let them know what you think about the PACT Act. There are three easy ways to contact your Senators - by telephone, email, or regular mail - all of which are explained below. Every state has two Senators - please remember to contact BOTH Senators for your state. At this point time is a big factor, so a phone call is by far the best means to use.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: As an American Citizen, it is your right to let your Senators know how you feel about any action Congress takes. You elected your Senators to represent you and they can only do this if you tell them what you want. When you contact your Senator you do not need to identify yourself as a smoker or as someone who purchases cigarettes and/or smokeless tobacco products by mail-order, telephone-order, and/or the Internet. You only need to identify yourself as a resident of the state they represent.
SOME CONCERNS ABOUT THE PACT ACT TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR SENATORS:
THE POSTAL SERVICE: The price of stamps is being raised practically every year. The PACT Act will take an entire class of legal, non-hazardous goods and make them non-mailable. What this means is a huge loss of business (potentially hundreds of millions of dollars) for the Postal Service. Will they continue to raise the price of stamps and other mail services to compensate for their lost income? The United States Postal Service is already suffering a fiscal crisis due to the downturn in the economy. If the PACT Act is passed and millions of dollars of revenue are taken away, there could be serious consequences for consumers, including reducing the number of delivery days from 6 per week down to 5 or perhaps only 4 days per week.
COST: When the PACT Act of 2003 (S.1177) passed the Senate, the Congressional Budget Office prepared a Cost Estimate for the Bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the PACT Act of 2003 would cost about $140 MILLION over the 2004-2008 period to enforce. $140 Million over four years - and that estimate is already six years old. How much will the PACT Act of 2009 cost to enforce? Isn't there a better way to spend our tax dollars?
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SENATORS:
1. Tell your Senators that you are one of their constituents and provide an address so they know where in the state you are from. Since anyone can contact a Senator, it is important that you let your Senators know that you live and vote in their home state. Because the Senators receive so much communication, calls and mail from their constituents always takes priority.
2. Make it clear to your Senators that you DO NOT want them to pass the PACT Act of 2009 (S.1147). Let your Senators know that if they don't support you - you won't support them.
CONTACT YOUR UNITED STATES SENATORS
|North Carolina||Richard Burr||202-224-3154||http://burr.senate.gov/|
|North Carolina||Kay Hagan||202-224-6342||http://hagan.senate.gov/|
|North Dakota||Kent Conrad||202-224-2043||http://conrad.senate.gov/|
|North Dakota||Byron Dorgan||202-224-2551||http://dorgan.senate.gov/|
|New Hampshire||Judd Gregg||202-224-3324||http://gregg.senate.gov/|
|New Hampshire||Jeanne Shaheen||202-224-2841||http://shaheen.senate.gov/|
|New Jersey||Frank Lautenberg||202-224-3224||http://lautenberg.senate.gov/|
|New Jersey||Robert Menendez||202-224-4744||http://menendez.senate.gov/|
|New Mexico||Jeff Bingaman||202-224-5521||http://bingaman.senate.gov/|
|New Mexico||Tom Udall||202-224-6621||http://tomudall.senate.gov/|
|New York||Charles Schumer||202-224-6542||http://schumer.senate.gov/|
|New York||Kirsten Gillibrand||202-224-4451||http://gillibrand.senate.gov/|
|Rhode Island||Jack Reed||202-224-4642||http://reed.senate.gov/|
|Rhode Island||Sheldon Whitehouse||202-224-2921||http://whitehouse.senate.gov/|
|South Carolina||Lindsey Graham||202-224-5972||http://lgraham.senate.gov/|
|South Carolina||James DeMint||202-224-6121||http://demint.senate.gov/|
|South Dakota||Tim Johnson||202-224-5842||http://johnson.senate.gov/|
|South Dakota||John Thune||202-224-2321||http://thune.senate.gov/|
|West Virginia||Robert Byrd||202-224-3954||http://byrd.senate.gov/|
|West Virginia||John Rockefeller||202-224-6472||http://rockefeller.senate.gov/|
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS
TELEPHONE: You can directly dial your Senators' office using the number shown for them above, or you can dial 1-202-224-3121 (this is a toll call, there is no toll-free number to Congress) to be connected with a Capitol Switchboard Operator. Simply ask the Operator to connect you with your Senators' Office.
Time is crucial at this point, so a phone call is by far the best choice for contacting your Senators.
EMAIL: Simply go to each of your two Senators' websites shown above and find the Senators' contact form. Fill in the required information, type your message and click the "Send" button.
REGULAR MAIL: Send a letter to your Senator at their LOCAL offices nearest you. You can find the addresses for local offices on the Senators' websites or by looking in your telephone book's government section. It is important that you send your letter to your Senators' local office since mail often takes months to reach a Senators' Washington, DC office due to increased security at the Capitol.
EVERY EMAIL, TELEPHONE CALL AND LETTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
YOUR SENATORS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE.
Monday, June 8, 2009
You can sue the tobacco companies and your state's politicians for passing the FSC law. But good luck in trying to win a lawsuit against politicians who's main motive with FSCs is to make all smokers quit.
Raising the cig prices over and over doesn't work in making smokers quit. Some smokers will just look into stealing their cigs or buy them underground in the same way weed is bought.
Or as one smoker said on the online petition, smokers won't quit just because of high prices. They'll make adjustments in how they spend money so they'll have enough cig money instead.
Politicians feel since raising the prices over and over on cigs ain't working in making ALL smokers quit, they feel making all cigs FSCs by 2010 will work. Since millions of smokers obviously hate the taste of FSCs, including myself.
Sure you can buy NON-FSCs online from some smoke shops. But unless you contact your Senators and tell them to vote NO on the PACT Act (which would make it illegal for the USPS to deliver cigs from online), your right to buy NON-FSCs online might be gone soon.
Politicians AND Big Tobacco wanna force you to spend lots of money for cigs offline that ain't real cigs to begin with. Or the only option is to quit smoking if you don't wanna even protect your right to buy non-FSC cigs online.