Arkansas Politician Tries to Make It Harder to Quit Smoking

One state rep has proposed jacking up taxes on e-cigarettes, discouraging a safer alternative for those looking to quit tobacco.


Arkansas has made progress at reducing smoking rates the last decade, but that could be halted if proposed legislation passes.

Democratic state representative Charles Blake last week announced that he was sponsoring the E-Cigarettes Tax Act, a bill that would impose a 7.5 percent tax per fluid milliliter of nicotine vapor and that he claims would bring in $1.5 million in taxes annually.

Tobacco companies clinging to their shrinking customer bases would certainly appreciate having a law on the books that imposes a harsh tax on their stiffest competition, especially since people often use e-cigarettes to help them quit tobacco.

The last thing Arkansas needs is to make it harder for people to stop smoking. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state has some of the highest tobacco use rates in the country:

Tobacco is especially prevalent among Arkansas high schoolers:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe previously tried to curb tobacco use by cracking down on secondhand smoke. In July 2011, he signed a law prohibiting smoking in a car with children under the age of 14, raising the previous limit from age 6. Only six other states (California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, and Utah) have similar laws.

Rep. Blake's proposed vaping tax, though, would undermine those anti-tobacco efforts. Vaping dispensaries too are understandably upset. Local vendor Jonathan Ross, who switched to vaping after 20 years of smoking so that he could spend more time with his kids, voiced his criticism in an interview with local news station KAIT:

"There's no reason why we should be taxed on this because it is not a tobacco product," Ross said. "That's what they are setting it as, as a tobacco product. We are not a tobacco product, we are a nicotine product but not a tobacco product. So we get into the simple fact of being taxed for something they don't know about and I don't understand why."

"We're not in it to make the money, we are in it to get people a safer alternative to cigarettes to keep them around a couple more extra years you know, to play with their families," Ross said. "It's a good business but it's a business to help people and they are pricing us out of being able to help people."

Ironically, one of the beneficiaries of the proposed vaping tax would be the Arkansas Division for Aging and Adult Services, which is set to receive a quarter of the revenues raised. That agency's efforts to help citizens live healthy lives as they age will probably be more effective if the state refrains from passing taxes that discourage a healthier alternative to smoking.

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  1. Taxes aren’t always about punishment or social engineering. Sometimes they just want more of your money.

    1. They why not tax bread, or milk? Sure, they want more of my money – but don’t think for a minute this isn’t about signalling.

      1. Well, obviously the basis has to be that you’re sinning. But that could just be for purposes of selling it.

  2. Lee Iaccoca: Why are you firing me?

    Henry Ford II: I never liked you…

  3. a bill that would impose a 7.5 percent tax per fluid milliliter of nicotine vapor

    the “per fluid milliliter” part is superfluous /pedant

    1. Probably meant “cent” rather than “percent”.

  4. Smoking Myths ? The Lies that kill everyone

    We are told that cigarette use is linked to a whole list of diseases. We are told that smoking reduces life expectancy. We have been brainwashed into believing that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease. Over and over again, people hear that thousands and thousands of individuals die every year because they smoke.

    Scientists at the Albert Einstein College in New York were recently studying the factors in the lives of 90 year olds that may have affected their longevity. These researchers discovered that 70% of the men over the age of 90 smoked. In the same age group, 30% of the women still smoked. In other words, roughly 50% of the people in the study were still using tobacco products.

    According to Statistics Canada, only 12% of the people over the age of 65 smoke.

    What happened to all of the nonsmokers between the ages of 65 and 90?

    1. Hint #1

      Smoke related diseases are created using a science called epidemiology which shows associations, not causes. Because it is associative, the science includes former smokers in the statistics ? a fact that has been omitted from public statements. An ex-smoker was described as an individual who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lives and remained a smoke related statistic for 20 years after quitting. In other words, a person who died of lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc., as much as 20 years after they had quit may have died because they had used tobacco previously. Everything we have been told about the dangers of cigarettes employs ex-smokers to inflate numbers


      DNA and biochemical studies, however, show us that within a year of quitting a person physically becomes a nonsmoker. Now, the epidemiological studies become tainted. Adding former smokers to nonsmokers in the studies, we find that nonsmokers have anywhere from a 200 to 400% greater chance of dieing from “tobacco related diseases”. These illnesses were never related to cigarette use.

      1. Smoke related deaths are calculated using a computer program called SAMMEC. The formula used relies on two epidemiological studies which, of course, contain the three cohorts (active, former, and non). Almost two thirds of these deaths are ultimately nonsmokers (former added to nonsmokers).

        Health Canada states that 37,000 people die from smoke related diseases every year. Almost 26,000 individuals in this group are ultimately nonsmokers (non plus former).

        Between 30,000 and 60,000 people die every year in Canada due to doctor error or hospital mishap. A large number of the 11,000 active smokers that die each year fall victim to doctor error. They are diagnosed and treated for disease they don’t suffer from.

        1. Hint #3

          In 2009, the Lung Cancer Alliance in the USA stated that 61% of the people that die of lung cancer are former smokers. The organization proceded to say that almost 80% 0f the individuals who die of lung cancer are nonsmokers. This group ultimately acknowledged the fact that a person’s DNA returns to normal after a year of not smoking and rejected the notion that ex-smokers should be added to active smokers.

          A couple of years ago, an article appeared in Canadian newspapers showing research that suggested that smoking doubles the risk of a woman dieing suddenly of heart disease. The actual numbers in the study showed 75 active, 128 non, and 148 former smokers. We know from biochemical studies that it only takes a single year for the heart to return to “normal”. The conclusions in the research were therefore wrong. When you add the proper cohorts together you find that a nonsmoking woman has 4 times the risk of dieing suddenly of a heart attack. Almost 80% of the women who read this article felt they were safe when in truth the were not.

          1. In 1970, 1 in 5 people experienced cancer. By 2002, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women were affected by cancer in their lifetimes. In other words, cancer doubled during the time period described. The smoking rate, on the other hand, declined by 50%. This pattern is called an inverse effect and proves that active smoking does not cause 30% of cancers. Only by inflating numbers adding ex-smokers can you create a significant association in smoke related diseases. As suggested in the LCA numbers, most of the individuals dieing of these diseases are nonsmokers.

            Hint #4

            The Whitehall Study (1968 ? 1998) studied the effects of smoking in the lives of 14,000 British bureaucrats. In order to do this, the scientists divided the subjects into the three cohorts: active, former, and nonsmokers. The researchers discovered NO difference in life expectancy in the three groups. Their statistics also showed that former smokers died of certain cancers twice as often as other people. This study also eliminated heart disease as a smoke related illness.

            1. Hint #5

              By 1990, the smoking rate had dropped to 30%. It became increasingly more difficult to create links to cigarette use even when ex-smokers were added to the statistics. In 1992, occasional smokers were then added to the numbers. The question was asked: Do you smoke, but not on a daily basis? Once again numbers were inflated. The occasional smoker was the individual who would have 2 or 3 cigarettes while out with friends on a Saturday night. The grandfather who stepped outside to smoke a cigar at his granddaughter’s wedding would fall into this category as well, even though his total consumption in a year might be only 5. Quantity was no longer an issue. Changing the rules of a debate in the middle because your arguments don’t hold water is unacceptable and quite devious. Occasional should never be included with active smokers.

              Hint #6

              Cigarette smoke is 95% water vapour. The remaining 5% containing chemicals measure between 2 and 10 microns or 2 to 10 millionths of a gram. Simply look at the toxins on the side of a cigarette package and follow the decimal point to the realization that the units are actually in mcg’s or millionths. Now factor in the moisture, not just in the air, but in a person’s mouth.

              1. If you were to focus on the smallest chemical in a cigarette, a person would have to sit in a closed room and smoke 246, 000 cigarettes in an HOUR to reach a level considered dangerous. If you were to measure the largest chemical, then a person would have to sit in that same room and smoke 3 cigarettes every second for an hour in order to reach the dangerous concentration measured in micrograms.

                A recent study out of Louisiana shows that those toxins in cigarettes are already in the fresh air we breathe but coming from other sources. These chemicals, however, are 300+ times concentrated than when found in a cigarette. In a single day, everyone is breathing in the equivalent of 12 to 15 packages of smokes. A child on a playground is inhaling the equivalent of roughly 20 cigarettes an hour. (Don’t be fooled by government studies focussing on particulate matter. The toxins in our bodies double every generation and it’s primarily because of the air we breathe.) According to the FDA the air in our homes is even worse.

                1. So what happened to all of the nonsmokers between the ages of 65 and 90?


                  In 1969, Pfizer purchased nicorette gum from a Swedish company, Pharmacie. Studies had to be funded in universities creating the illusion that nicotine was the addictive chemical in cigarettes. Other research had to be funded to create the dangers the company’s product would cure. Once again, universities, colleges, and research hospitals were used to hide pharmaceutical involvement in the studies.

                  1. In 1991, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals invented the nicoderm patch. The dangerous epidemiological studies increased.

                    In order to sell their products, the two drug companies needed “advertisers” to spread the “word” creating a market. A lot of individuals have profited from the campaigns intended to sell goods at the expense of lives.

                    Pharmaceutical companies handed money out to the following:

                    ? medical associations,
                    ? medical schools to fund courses guaranteeing that new doctors met the needs of the companies,
                    ? non-profit health organizations and other NGO’s,
                    ? universities and research hospitals,
                    ? WHO, “an independent organization?”,
                    ? governments and government agencies like the FDA and the CDC.

                    1. Drug companies used names like MacNeill Family Healthcare and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation to hide the gifts. The RWJF owns 1.23 million shares in Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals. This $5.4 billion holding makes the foundation the largest shareholder in the company. In other words, the Foundation IS the drug company that now holds the rights to both the nicorette and nicoderm trademarks.

                      In 2006, the RWJF handed out the following gifts:
                      ? $82 million to the AMA,
                      ? $84 million to the Association for Smoke-Free Kids ($240 million over a four year period),
                      ? $99 million to ACS, AHA, and the ALA.
                      Altogether the foundation handed out $420 million to a variety of groups all of whom produced progams benefitting Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals.

                      The USA is not alone when it comes to pharmaceutical control of its healthcare. Please refer to the World View page.

                      The program persists: Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. The real truth, however, will save lives.

                      So ??.What happened to all of the nonsmokers between the ages of 65 and 90?


                      Why did these people die unnecessarily?


                      The people who have lost the most over the years ? nonsmokers and their families.

  5. EPA & FDA: Vapor Harmless to Children

    The primary ingredient of concern to those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned is the propylene glycol vapor, which has been studied for over 70 years.

    I recently came across a document titled, “Reregistration Eligibility Decision For Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol”, which was created by the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).

    1. research that had been done in 1942 by Dr. Robertson regarding the antibacterial properties of vaporized propylene glycol, but I had never heard that the FDA wound up approving it for the purpose of an air disinfectant in hospitals.

      Indoor Non-Food: Propylene glycol is used on the following use sites: air treatment (eating establishments, hospital, commercial, institutional, household, bathroom, transportational facilities); medical premises and equipment, commercial, institutional and industrial premises and equipment; (page 6, paragraph 2)

      1. Method and Rates of Application


        Air Sanitizer

        Read the directions included with the automatic dispenser for proper installation of unit and refill. Remove cap from aerosol can and place in a sequential aerosol dispenser which automatically releases a metered amount every 15 minutes. One unit should treat 6000 ft of closed air space? For regular, non-metered applications, spray room until a light fog forms. To sanitize the air, spray 6 to 8 seconds in an average size room (10’x10′). (page 6, paragraph 6)

        A common argument used to support the public usage ban is that, “Minnesotans have become accustomed to the standard of clean indoor air.” However, according to the EPA and FDA, so long as there’s a “light fog” of propylene glycol vapor in the air, the air is actually more clean than the standard that Minnesotans have become accustomed to.

        1. General Toxicity Observations

          Upon reviewing the available toxicity information, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol. This conclusion is based on the results of toxicity testing of propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol in which dose levels near or above testing limits (as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines) were employed in experimental animal studies and no significant toxicity observed.

          Carcinogenicity Classification

          A review of the available data has shown propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol to be negative for carcinogenicity in studies conducted up to the testing limit doses established by the Agency; therefore, no further carcinogenic analysis is required. (page 10, paragraphs 1 & 2)

          1. 2. FQPA Safety Factor

            The FQPA Safety Factor (as required by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996) is intended to provide an additional 10-fold safety factor (10X), to protect for special sensitivity in infants and children to specific pesticide residues in food, drinking water, or residential exposures, or to compensate for an incomplete database. The FQPA Safety Factor has been removed (i.e., reduced to 1X) for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol because there is no pre- or post-natal evidence for increased susceptibility following exposure. Further, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies conducted near or above testing limit doses as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines. Therefore, quantitative risk assessment was not conducted for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.

            1. In a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr. Robertson in April of 1946, Robertson cites a study published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, which was conducted in 1944:

              The report of the 3 years’ study of the clinical application of the disinfection of air by glycol vapors in a children’s convalescent home showed a marked reduction in the number of acute respiratory infections occurring in the wards treated with both propylene and triethylene glycols. Whereas in the control wards, 132 infections occured during the course of three winters, there were only 13 such instances in the glycol wards during the same period. The fact that children were, for the most part, chronically confined to bed presented an unusually favorable condition for the prophylactic action of the glycol vapor.

              An investigation of the effect of triethylene glycol vapor on the respiratory disease incidence in military barracks brought out the fact that, while for the first 3 weeks after new personnel entered the glycolized area the disease rate remained the same as in the control barracks, the second 3 week period showed a 65 percent reduction in acute respiratory infections in the glycol treated barracks. Similar effects were observed in respect to airborne hemolytic streptococci and throat carriers of this microorganism.

  6. Medicinal Smoke Reduces Airborne Bacteria ? 2007

    “This study represents a comprehensive analysis and scientific validation of our ancient knowledge about the effect of ethnopharmacological aspects of natural products’ smoke for therapy and health care on airborne bacterial composition and dynamics, using the Biolog? microplate panelsand Microlog? database.

    In this study, we have designed an air sampler for microbiological air sampling during the treatment of the room with medicinal smoke. In addition, elimination of the aerial pathogenic bacteria due to the smoke is reported too.

    1. We have observed that 1 h treatment of medicinal smoke emination by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan s?magri = material used in oblation to fire all over India) on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 h in the closed room.

      Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonassyringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens inthe open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment.

  7. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.
    Work has implications to use the smoke generated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferousand medicinal herbs, within confined spaces such as animal barns and seed/grain warehouses to disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner.
    Work indicates that certain known medicinal constituents from the havan s?magri can thus be added to the burning farm material while disposing unwanted agriculture organic material, in order to reduce plant pathogenicorganisms.

  8. To put it bluntly weve been lied to for 3 generations.

  9. “a bill that would impose a 7.5 percent tax per fluid milliliter of nicotine”

    I think you mean “cent” not “percent”. The way it’s written it means you have to pay the tax in nicotine which would be sort of cool if true.

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