Tobacco

Texas Smoking Ban

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The Texas legislature is mulling a ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants. The opposition is not exactly inspiring. Philip Morris, which for a couple of years refrained from taking a stand on smoking bans, is lobbying against the bill. If the company thought its resistance to smoking bans was hurting its corporate image, it had things backward: Given the company's reputation for dishonesty and its lack of principle, its resistance hurts the resistance. The Texas Restaurant Association is not much better. Here is the opening position of its executive director:

Increasingly we see that cities are adopting bans….We have some concerns. One is, we want a level playing field—if you're going to ban smoking in restaurant bars that you don't allow smoking in bars. That's an ongoing equity issue with us.

In other words, if you're going to usurp our property rights, do it statewide and across the board.

Meanwhile, in a Washington Post essay, the toxicologist Gio Batta Gori outlines some of the problems with the scientific case against secondhand smoke. Here is one that's often overlooked:

Typically, the studies asked 60–70-year-old self-declared nonsmokers to recall how many cigarettes, cigars or pipes might have been smoked in their presence during their lifetimes, how thick the smoke might have been in the rooms, whether the windows were open, and similar vagaries. Obtained mostly during brief phone interviews, answers were then recorded as precise measures of lifetime individual exposures.

In reality, it is impossible to summarize accurately from momentary and vague recalls, and with an absurd expectation of precision, the total exposure to secondhand smoke over more than a half-century of a person's lifetime. No measure of cumulative lifetime secondhand smoke exposure was ever possible, so the epidemiologic studies estimated risk based not only on an improper marker of exposure, but also on exposure data that are illusory.

While Gori's criticism is welcome, the opening of his piece is weirdly anachronistic, reading as if he recently awakened from a decade-long nap:

Lately, people have begun to worry about the health risks of secondhand smoke. Some policymakers and activists are even claiming that the government should crack down on secondhand smoke exposure, given what "the science" indicates about such exposure.

You don't say. The problem is that "the science" never has been the real motivation for smoking bans. It is merely an excuse offered by people who support this policy for other reasons: activists who want to eliminate smoking and nonsmokers who want the "right" to avoid smoke wherever they choose to go, even on other people's property. 

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  1. You are right that the smoking bans were never about health issues. That was a canard to mask the real agenda of non-smokers to invent a right to not have to smell smoke wherever they go.

  2. Even though I think smoking bans on private property are a clear violation of property laws i must say I love them.

    And I must admit I feel there are questions as to who owns the “air.” Just as it would be criminal for factories to release dangerous toxins into the atmosphere perhaps smoking should be viewed as a “crime” against the community and an infringement on the basic property rights of the community at large. (i.e. littering)

  3. Smoking a pack of cigarettes probably does as much “damage” to the air as a bonfire does in half a second. You have to remember that by smoking a cigarette, you’re just speeding up the process of decomposistion that would normally result if you let the tobacco crops rot.

  4. perhaps smoking should be viewed as a “crime” against the community and an infringement on the basic property rights of the community at large. (i.e. littering)

    Stephen you continued unathorized usage of our air must cease immediately. Stop what you are doing or the proper authorities will be notified about this theft posthaste.

  5. Stephen,

    First of all communities do not have rights, IDIVIDUALS do. Communities are abstract and ever changing divisions in groups of people.

    Second even if communities did have rights, smokers are memebers of communities and are actually a community onto themselves.

    Third, the main argument here is that there is no science behind the claim that smokers release dangerous toxins into the atmosphere. Atleast not in a sufficient quantity for you to prove harm. Otherwise your daily activities such as driving a non-hynbrid car and heating your house with anything but solar would fall in the same category.

  6. Whoaaaaa now!!! The problem is not the secondhand smoke but the secondhand smokers. Cigarettes don’t kill, it’s the smoking of them that’s the problem. Just say “Hell No” to second hand smokers.

  7. And I must admit I feel there are questions as to who owns the “air.”

    Nobody does. And that includes the people who try to prohibit me from blowing smoke into it.

  8. California owns the air. Didn’t you know that?

  9. It’s starting to look like a ban is right around the corner in Pennsylvania too.

    As an ex-smoker, I must admit that if this happens, it will do a lot to help quell my unhealthy urges, but the anger I feel over the abrogation of property rights is ultimately the much stronger feeling.

  10. Face facts, 25% of the people smoke and want to smoke wherever they damn well please, 5% of the population is libertarian and think people should smoke whereever they want. 25% of the people are zealots who think nobody should smoke anywhere, and the remainder are people who don’t care if you smoke but don’t want to be bothered by it. These smoking bans pass because of the people in the middle. The pro smoking industry needs a strategy to appeal to the middle or they will inevitably live in a world of smoking bans.
    Clearly there is a demand for non smoking establishments which is not being met by the free market(99% of bars allow smoking when given the choice), otherwise the bans wouldn’t pass.

  11. the remainder are people who don’t care if you smoke but don’t want to be bothered by it

    People don’t think about the rights they’re giving up in order to gain a little bit of convenience. Maybe it will become clearer to them as the bans move ever closer to home (fats, sugars).

  12. Clearly there is a demand for non smoking establishments which is not being met by the free market(99% of bars allow smoking when given the choice), otherwise the bans wouldn’t pass.

    People who want to ban smoking will keep going until it’s banned, regardless of the free market.

    Where I live we currently have 89 public places to eat. 89 of them have smoke-free areas to eat in. 86 of them are completely smoke free. Three (3) have separate smoking areas, and one of those is outside and can’t be used in bad weather.

    We also have a group pushing legislation to ban smoking in the remaining restaurants.

  13. Stephen,

    You are correct that there are valid questions about who owns “the air.” However, as pointed out eloquently in this article from Regulation magazine (http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv29n4/v29n4-4.pdf), we’re only talking about the air INSIDE someone’s private business, which very clearly belongs to that business-owner. If anything, forcing people to go outside to smoke only pollutes the “communal” air more.

    “Pollutes” is too strong a word, of course, but you get my meaning…

  14. This is an issue, where, although I oppose it philosophically, I do enjoy the benefits of smoke freeness. Regardless of the health consequences, places that are smoke free are generally more pleasant for me to go to (especially as I can leave without smelling like an ashtray) and very few bars i’ve been to would have volunteered to become smoke free, for fear of business dropping. However, when all bars are smoke free, revenue won’t drop, because people don’t go to bars to smoke, they go to socialize and I doubt many would give up socializing just for a 5 minute drag.

    Having said that, if anyone asked me to vote on it, I would vote against the ban.

  15. Smokers have a right to smoke, nonsmokers have a right to clean air.

    If an area is ventilated, the air is as clean as outside air, but
    tobacco nazis say there are a few molecules of poison left and
    are fanatically intolerant of same.

    Does anybody realize the implications of Rule by Fanatics?

  16. I think Capt. Morgan is spot-on … most people (those not smokers, not zealously anti-smoking, not rabidly pro-property rights) don’t much care. They’ll go to bars and restaurants, and to varying degrees be bothered by the smoke, depending upon their moods today, upon how much carbon monoxide they’ve inhaled today, etc., but it’s not usually all that big a deal to them. If suddenly all these establishments became non-smoking, they wouldn’t care all that much … wouldn’t care that they aren’t inhaling others’ smoke, and wouldn’t care that someone’s property rights may have been abridged. They’ll just knock a few back, enjoy their meal, and not worry about it.

    And what’s wrong with that? The extremist libertarian position espoused by Val that “communities do not have rights” would roll right off these people, and for good reason. We live in communities, anyone who’s half-way observant recognizes that. Man is undeniably a social animal, whether you think some supernatural deity or evolutionary forces made it so. To pretend that we are simply a collection of individuals who happen to live in close proximity to one another is asinine. The trick is in how and where to draw the lines that maximize individual rights while recognizing that some of those individual rights are going to be sacrificed for the sake of the community. If the majority of people just don’t give a damn one way or the other about whether smoking is banned in public establishments, then it comes down to which side that does care has more political and economic clout. The fact that it has nothing to do with health doesn’t matter any more than the fact that it really doesn’t have anything to do with property rights either. It’s all about which elements of the community can impose their will on the rest of the community most effectively. Libertarians will continue to be marginalized on all these types of questions as long as they continue to pretend that communities are unimportant, don’t have rights, don’t exist, are always in all things secondary to the individual, etc., etc. Time to start living in the real world.

  17. People don’t think about the rights they’re giving up in order to gain a little bit of convenience. Maybe it will become clearer to them as the bans move ever closer to home (fats, sugars).

    Smoking bans seem more analogous to loud-noise bans than to any prospective bans on fats and sugars. Just as it is reasonable to demand that I not have to hear annoyingly loud or disturbing sounds (such as from mufflerless vehicles), it is reasonable to demand that I be able to go out in public without having to breathe smoke and come back smelling like an ashtray.

  18. I guess another question is do I personally own the air within say one inch of my body? Do I have rights to personal space? Can a build a balcony overlooking my neighbor’s property? Can I build a bonfire directly next to my neighbor’s property and allow smoke to blow onto his, potentialy destroying property in its path?

    I’m just trying to indicate that things are not as simple as smoking bans violate property rights, it’s a question of extremes and there are lots of variables such as the true damage of cigarette smoke. Just as you can’t pollute public property like rivers and ponds perhaps you should not be able to pollute public property like the air?

    I’m speaking from a purely philosophical position and not a legal one.

  19. and i didn’t mean to declare that the public owns the air in that last post, just insinuate that perhaps they do.

  20. stephen–As I put it to someone once who noted that my right to swing my fist ended at the tip of her nose, if I were swinging my fists on my property with no one around me that didn’t want to be and it were painfully obvious that I were doing this, and your nose walked into my fist, then who should feel sorry for you?

  21. Ethan, you say you have a right to demand to go out without smelling like an ashtray from somebody in a smoking section ten feet or more away. And never mind just going to a nonsmoking restaurant.

    If your nose is that sensitive, how come you don’t squawk about
    smelling like sweat and stale beer?

    The answer is that you like the ego trip of kicking smokers around.
    You’re gonna get it back double, pal.

  22. I’m just trying to indicate that things are not as simple as smoking bans violate property rights,

    Your examples:

    Do I have rights to personal space?

    No, not really. There may be some precedent somewhere.

    Can a build a balcony overlooking my neighbor’s property?

    Yes, probably. Hopefully he has a hot wife who like to sunbathe. A lot. Naked. With equally hot and naked female friends. With a hot tub. I’m sorry, what was the question again?

    Can I build a bonfire directly next to my neighbor’s property and allow smoke to blow onto his property, potentially destroying property in its path?

    That depends. Is anyone home? What damage? Smoke damage? Then no. Fire damage? Definitely not.

    If I’m home and the smoke is clearly out of control, in Maryland I’m within my rights to come onto your property and put out the fire. But that only applies to “loss of use and enjoyment” to *my own* property, not someone else’s that I want to go on or into.

    Then again, do I need to point out that a cigarette is not a bonfire?

    Ethen–

    it is reasonable to demand that I be able to go out in public without having to breathe smoke and come back smelling like an ashtray

    But a bar is not public. It is private. You choose whether to go in there or not; you are not compelled to so so. And is it reasonable that you demand that everyone else submit to your personal demands? You have no responsibilities of your own to avoid such things? Who died and left you king of all you survey?

  23. All this talk about who has what rights makes me tired.

    The Tobacco War is the work of the World Health Organization. They don’t give a damn about anybody’s rights– they want to replace tobacco with prescription drugs at ten prices and they are rich enough to bribe any politician.

    They won’t stop with smoking.

  24. 1. My point for the overlooking balcony was that the balcony was actually over my neighbor’s property, occupying the air over his property but not actually the ground.

    2. As to the bonfire and smoke damage, that’s my point that cigarettes potentially do damage to other people’s property i.e. their lungs.

    Of course the argument is always that you willfully choose to have your lungs damaged by entering the bar. But perhaps all you really agreed to was to enter the bar and have a drink with the bartender, you made no such agreement with the patrons to have your lungs destroyed.

    What if instead of cigarettes were talking about marijuana, where there is no question that second hand inhalation can potentially get you high?

    In any case this just raises interesting questions. I believe people should be able to smoke in bars and resturants but i’m happy they can’t, and these are the best arguments i can find within a libertarian framework for such bans.

  25. 1. My point for the overlooking balcony was that the balcony was actually over my neighbor’s property, occupying the air over his property but not actually the ground.

    Then no. He has a right to the air over *his* property. However, you are making strained scenarios to try and draw a comparison to smoking. A better example would be if you bought property that was on top of a abandonned mine and was clearly labeled as a cave-in risk. You built your home regardless, in spite of repeated warnings, and the ground caved in. Should you be able to claim damages against the former mine owner?

    Of course, he may not care about your balcony if you approach him and ask. Rights can be waived, both explictly and implicitly.

    2. As to the bonfire and smoke damage, that’s my point that cigarettes potentially do damage to other people’s property i.e. their lungs.

    Yes, but you are creating strawmen and not comparable ones at that.

    Of course the argument is always that you willfully choose to have your lungs damaged by entering the bar. But perhaps all you really agreed to was to enter the bar and have a drink with the bartender, you made no such agreement with the patrons to have your lungs destroyed.

    Of course you did. You did so explicitly when you walked in, saw smoking was going on and sat down. It’s called assumption of risk; people do it all the time. (Let’s forget the fact that a single exposure destroys nothing.) You have as much right to turn around and get the hell out of there as you do to come in. See fists swinging and noses, moving next to airports and complaining about he noise, etc.

    If they were blaring the music and didn’t care and in fact liked it that loud, do you have a right to tell them to turn it down, assuming there are no one outside is bothered? What if you didn’t like the taste of the food? Should you go into Hooters and complain about the waitresses, ahem, uniforms?

    Any resonable person would just tell you to STFU and quit looking for something to outraged over, but clearly the age of reason (and resonableness) is behind us.

  26. Nonsmokers have a 3 to 1 advantage over smokers in the Tobacco War, so they’re bound to emerge victorious.

    Then we can see how smart you were to make mortal enemies of 25 per cent of the population.

  27. “But a bar is not public. It is private. You choose whether to go in there or not; you are not compelled to so so.”

    Then I take it you have no problem with outdoor smoking bans, or are people expected to stay entirely on their own air tight private property in order to avoid the smoke?

  28. You antismokers enjoy spewing your “filthy habit” crap, but you’re antagonizing one person in four.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  29. Then I take it you have no problem with outdoor smoking bans, or are people expected to stay entirely on their own air tight private property in order to avoid the smoke?

    Let’s leave aside how silly it is to ban smoking outside.

    Outside. In the wide open spaces. Next to the street where cars and their internal comustion engines roam. I’ll let that sink in for a sec.

    A ban on on private property? A big problem with that. On public property? A problem with it? Yep.

    The question you should be asking is which society you would rather live under: one that is more free or less?

    Heck, even Jerry Ford figured out that the govt that can give you everything can take it all away too.

  30. The reality is that government wants to burn this issue at both ends. At one end, they want to keep smoking legal to collect taxes. For those of you really opposed to smoking, You should be opposed to the government collecting blood money for smoking. At the other end, they want to ban it everywhere.

    At somepoint the two ends will meet. They can not afford to fully ban smoking, States need the tax money, however at some point a mix of Bans (work, home, car, buisnesses, outdoors) will make it virtually illegal everywhere. But they will not make the sales illegal, they will still allow stores to sell it because they want the taxes. Then when you light one, you will get a fine, that’s more money for the state.

    It should be as simple as smoking is legal or it is not. If it’s really that bad for you, the government should outright ban the sales.

    All you anti-smokers should petition the government to ban the sales of tobacco outright. You’ll be disappointed. They are not interested in your health. They are interested in the money and stringing you along to aid their banning crusade to get their revenue by fines.

  31. Smokers often claim that anti-smoking rules/laws are curtailing their freedom, but their right to freedom does not include curtailing the rights of others. In this case, when smokers exercise their freedom, they are taking away my right to breath without choking on their smoke.

    If they weren’t intruding into my throat, I would have no problem with them smoking.

  32. The Congressional Research Service, an apolitical arm of Congress,
    found no scientific basis for the notion that “secondhand smoke”
    endangers health. This pronouncement is inimpeachable and easily investigated on the Internet.

    Any and all statements to the contrary are a fraud, bought and paid for by international drug companies who seek to replace tobacco–the best antidepressant known to man– with prescription drugs at exorbitant prices and ultimately to effect a pervasive dictatorship
    of the international medical establishment.

    Go for it, sheep.

  33. First: disclaimer.

    I do not support the banning of smoking on private property or outside. I think the government can do whatever they want on their prooerty, including banning smoking.

    Second: substantive point. About the scientist quoted in the original post, oh, so many comments ago. Basically he is making the point that the health effects of second hand smoke are hard to measure (Actually he is implying they are over estimated) because the data on second hand smoke exposure is sortof anecdotal, based on recollection and probably crappy.

    With all due respect, that is called “measurement error in the independent variable.” It is a pretty common problem in statistical analysis, and in general it biases the effects “down” (towards zero). That is, if you had a better measure of second hand smoke consumption, the effects would probably get bigger, not smaller.

    I mean, c’mon, put enough ufiltered smoke into someone’s lungs, it is likely to have SOME effect, even if it is not large.

    The point is that a bar owner, restaurant owner, brothel owner, cafe owner or bookstore owner should be able to dictate the rules on his own property, at least if they make these rules public. (For instance, an undisclosed “I get to feel your breasts” rule might run afoul).

    All this discussion of smoking is bringing back nice memories, though. I may go buy a pack! Thanks guys!

  34. Ethan, you say you have a right to demand to go out without smelling like an ashtray from somebody in a smoking section ten feet or more away. And never mind just going to a nonsmoking restaurant.

    I didn’t say I had a right, re-read what I wrote.

    If your nose is that sensitive, how come you don’t squawk about
    smelling like sweat and stale beer?

    Because the sweat is either my own or that of people I allowed to touch me. And I will leave you to spot the disanalogy between smoke and stale beer.

    The answer is that you like the ego trip of kicking smokers around.You’re gonna get it back double, pal.

    Your psych evaluation notwithstanding, I stand by my claim that “your” freedom ends when it makes my clothes stink, with some exceptions I won’t go into here.

  35. To Ethan:

    May I ask if smoke “stink” turns you all colors, why don’t you go to nonsmoking restaurants? I know the answer.

    It’s pretty arrogant of you to say when my freedom ends. Today’s tobacco hysteria didn’t originate with you or your kind. It was dictated at the global level by corrupt politicians, and not because it makes your clothes stink.

    Those politicians don’t care if your clothes stink and neither do I.
    Who the hell are you, the Queen Mum?

  36. Those politicians don’t care if your clothes stink and neither do I.

    I didn’t say they did, or that you do. I was merely pointing out a possible defense (my defense) of smoking bans.

    May I ask if smoke “stink” turns you all colors, why don’t you go to nonsmoking restaurants?

    I do. All the restaurants here are smoke-free. It’s great. You can go to the restaurant of your choice and where clothes you like.

    It’s pretty arrogant of you to say when my freedom ends.

    I don’t see how it is arrogant. It’s similar to a very common libertarian construction: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.”

    It was dictated at the global level by corrupt politicians, and not because it makes your clothes stink.

    I didn’t say otherwise. Just because a policy is created for bad reasons doesn’t imply that it is a bad policy, for there may exist a good reason for it.

    you or your kind and Who the hell are you, the Queen Mum?

    These are ad hominems.

  37. But a bar is not public. It is private.

    It’s a public accommodation.

  38. Again, to Ethan.

    If all your restaurants are nonsmoking, just where do your clothes pick up a stink? I wonder about you, pal.

    The notion that millions must suffer nicotine withdrawal because a few like you don’t like the smell is the height of arrogance. Is there
    anything else you don’t like? You’d better start wearing a six shooter.

  39. If all your restaurants are nonsmoking, just where do your clothes pick up a stink?

    They don’t, thanks to the law. But they used to. When smoking was allowed in restaurants, there were no nonsmoking restaurants. And try as they might to have “nonsmoking” areas, restaurants couldn’t keep the clingy, creepy smoke of cigarrettes from ending up in these areas. Ordering mashed potatoes in such places was a misstep.

    The notion that millions must suffer nicotine withdrawal because a few like you don’t like the smell is the height of arrogance.

    I don’t see how the nicotine withdrawal of millions (or even of one person) follows from my position. I never said smoking itself should be illegal. You can smoke all you want, but you don’t have the right to smoke around me inside a building.

    Is there anything else you don’t like?

    Yes, plenty of things. But it not merely my “dislike” of cigarettes that leads me to support restaurant and bar bans. You should realize that from having read what I have written thus far.

  40. Ethan,we should be emailing each other. We may be boring people.

    As they say, you’re the kind of guy who’ll argue with a traffic light.
    So you don’t like cigarettes and support smoking bans. Well good for you. But the people responsible for smoking bans don’t care
    what you like and don’t need your support.

    You’re strutting around badmouthing smokers because you like the ego trip of it, and you’re doing it because the political climate allows it. You should get a life.

  41. As they say, you’re the kind of guy who’ll argue with a traffic light.

    They? I don’t see why defending my position means I would “argue with a traffic light.”

    So you don’t like cigarettes and support smoking bans. Well good for you. But the people responsible for smoking bans don’t care
    what you like and don’t need your support.

    See my earlier comments for what’s wrong with the first bit of your comment here. Also, I don’t pretend that anyone needs my support. I am having a discussion with you, not with them. I am simply pointing out that smoking bans are analogous to loud-noise bans in certain important ways. If that disturbs you, you are free to ignore me or , better yet, actually address my arguments. What doesn’t count as a rational response are things like this:

    1. You’re strutting around badmouthing smokers

    2. you like the ego trip of it

    3. you’re doing it because the political climate allows it

    4. You should get a life

  42. I haven’t had a chance to look at all the replies, but I will say a few things. First let’s not overlook the fact that if you’re not a smoker, sooner or later they will take away a RIGHT you enjoy. How will you handle that?

    Second, I find it alarming that to pass a law through the proper channels takes months, and sometimes years. Whenever it comes to smoking it takes weeks, and sometimes days. I thought this country was founded on capitalism. Every turn the Gov. gets they tie the hands of the cigarrette companies. They won’t deem them illegal. We know what happens when they do that. (Prohibition) But after years of squeezing the companies, now they squeeze us instead. Here in TX they dropped property taxes, and raised cigarette taxes. Hopefully your not a smoking homeowner right. 😎 now they are planning to ban them everywhere. People will almost certainly be forced to quit, and TX looses tax dollars. Soon enough they’ll raise property taxes again. It’s a dominoe effect once they take away our civil liberties.

  43. Also I’d like to add that if anyone here knows where to find a petition against the Texas smoking ban, I’d like to know.

    PS. I’m not even a smoker. Just someone who believes in the rights of the people for which this country was founded.

  44. See http://southwestleftcoast.blogspot.com/ for some interesting facts about Gori’s background…

    (Do they necessarily mean he is wrong? No. And even if he is, smoking bans in places which people can easily avoid if they want to–e.g., bars–would stil be wrong IMO. But I do think the potential biases of experts have to be taken into account, even when I happen to agree with the experts on *policy* matters.)

  45. Of course the facts about Gori’s background are relevant, not least this from a 1998 St. Paul Pioneer Press article:

    >>Between December 1992 and July 1993, Gori was paid $20,137 for two letters to the Wall Street Journal, one letter to the British medical publication The Lancet, one letter to the NCI Journal and one opinion piece to the Wall Street Journal, the records show.

    >>The opinion piece was rejected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal, but that didn’t stop Gori from billing the law firm of Covington and Burling $4,137.50 for it.

    >>Gori, now a private consultant for tobacco in Bethesda, Md., said he didn’t particularly remember the letters. “This is six years ago. Who the hell remembers those things?” he said.

    >>He said there was nothing wrong with getting paid to write the letters. That’s his job, he said.

    >>”Are you getting paid for what you’re writing?” he asked. “We’re all out there working.”

    Gori’s extensive tobacco work is common knowledge. He appears quite often in Judge Kessler’s excoriation of the tobacco industry and its campaign to dispute the science of secondhand smoke. Here’s just one menton:

    >>3823. In 1999, B&W funded a book by Luik and fellow industry consultant Gio Gori through a third party, the Fraser Institute. Blackie WD, 143:6-12. The book, titled Passive Smoke: The EPA’s Betrayal of Science and Policy, alleged scientific misconduct on the part of the EPA in conducting its Risk Assessment. JDX2781834-1954 (JD 067661). The authors did not acknowledge tobacco industry funding. Blackie WD, 143:10-17.

    –http://coop.dcd.uscourts.gov/99-2496-082006a.pdf

    Apparently, getting secretly paid to write funder-favorable items is not an ethical issue for him.

    So the question is, did he get paid by tobacco to write the WP article too? It seems such an obvious issue that the WP should have at least asked.

    Instead, WP solely cites his work for NCI–all of 30 years ago(!) WP fails to mention any of Gori’s more recent tobacco work.

    It takes some doing–a conscious effort, actually– to ignore a contributor’s resume since 1976. So was the WP just plain blitheringly ignorant? Or did it deliberately hide the facts?

    Either way, is the Washington Post guilty of gross dereliction of duty to its readers? Of course. But was it too paid?

  46. Few laws actually affect where we live and breathe, this proposed legislation is not only overdue, but totally about the health of the people. I don’t want to pay for smoker’s medical bills and certainly do not agree that smoking is a right. Kudos to the Restaurant Association and to law makers for standing up for the majority for a change.

  47. R. Mendez Wrote:
    Few laws actually affect where we live and breathe, this proposed legislation is not only overdue, but totally about the health of the people. I don’t want to pay for smoker’s medical bills and certainly do not agree that smoking is a right. Kudos to the Restaurant Association and to law makers for standing up for the majority for a change.

    It’s not about like or dislike. It’s about the rights of the people. Scientific test have been botched to make these laws happen. I for one don’t think it’s someone elses job to take care of me. If you need laws to make you a healthy happy human being, that’s sad. I seriously don’t think that is what you meant, but I don’t know you from Adam. It’s a person’s responsibility to take care of themselves. Whether it’s the smoker that’s dying of lung cancer, the drinker dying of liver cancer, or the person standing next to the smoker, who somehow is in bad shape. All cases are natural selection, and their right to natural selection. I have never been to a bar with JUST non smokers. I’ve even seen non smokers light one up for the fun of it, but the day you take away their right to have a LEGAL substance, you make this country like all the rest in the world. I’d like to think we’re better than that. If you’re from another country, and participating in this conversation, I hope you don’t take that last bit wrong. I’m sure you feel the same way about your country.

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