Martin Pion an anti-smoking activist and President of MoGASP posted a blog entry entitled “What motivates smoke-free air opponents so strongly? Bid to repeal O’Fallon’s new law latest example.” Many things of course. What I found interesting was the reply and comments by Daniel K. Duncan, Director of Community Services at the St. Louis chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA-St. Louis). Of course he played the normal addiction card

For decades we have seen the exact same phenomenon as it relates to any substance of abuse or addiction, whether it be tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs.
Why is this?
I think it pertains to the dynamic of denial and the self-protection that is part and parcel of any addiction. This self-protection mechanism is how an addiction survives. Challenge any kind of
addiction in any way and you can expect a strong, passionate (for lack of a better word) response.

But more interesting were his comments on greed.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that those who support efforts to address addictions are less passionate, it’s just that there is not such an immediate or close perception of attack on something they want or need to perpetuate.
Same thing essentially pertains to greed. Attack greed and see what happens. The individual who has greed and feels they have something to lose (that being money) is likewise going to push back if you do anything that might in any way cause them to have or generate less money. Protect the supply applies here, as well.
I would say there are three basic groups or ‘types’ of individuals who are going to protest smoke-free efforts, that would be:

1) those addicted to nicotine
2) those who make money off of those addicted to nicotine
3) those individuals who genuinely feel their overall ‘rights’ are being attacked (although it’s obvious some of the addicted or those making money off the addicted will use the ‘rights’ ploy as a means to gen up rancor and support).

To which I submitted the following video of Phil Donahue intervening Milton Friedman.

To which Mr Duncan responded,

Well, if either you or Friedman really don’t understand what greed is I think most would agree it would be defined as an excessive desire for wealth; an example of excessive being wealth accumulated at a cost to or detriment of others. I think an example of this is those who make money off the production and sales of tobacco and fight any restrictions thereof…their actions over the years have laid out a very clear picture. They operate out of greed, plain and simple.

Now personally I think Milton Friedman has a firm grasp on the definition of greed let’s see what Mr Webster has to say on the subject. “A selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed.” Well excessive is a subjective term, who decides what is excessive. Every one is a bit selfish and looks out for their self interest. I would submit that in fact that it is the anti-smokers that are greedy. They demand through force of that all business cater exclusively to them and their lifestyle and desires to the exclusion of all others. They do not want me as a smoker to have a right to tailor my business to cater to like minded individuals. To me that fits the definition of both excessive and GREEDY. Now Mr Pion attempts to dismiss this as smokimg is not job related.

mogasp response: Where to begin? Your arguments bear little or no relationship to reality. Smoking is not part of any job description of which I’m aware. Tell me one?

To which I responded:

There is an inherent risk with all Jobs. You can argue what is necessary but then the same argument can be made that nothing is necessary. That ozone emitting photocopier and laser printer is not necessary in the office environment. Bars are there to cater to those willing to take the health risks involved in drinking alcohol. Those employees are at much greater risk from intoxicated patrons then they ever would be from second hand smoke.

Furthermore the low risk ratios associated with second hand smoke are so small that no substance in history has been considered toxic at such levels. Care to name a few? There are none.

mogasp response: If the risk is job-related that is one thing, but an employee behavior which puts fellow employees at risk, or creates significant indoor air pollution, is another entirely. And it IS significant for some individuals, so don’t try and dismiss it because it doesn’t bother you.

I have repeatedly shown Mr Pion studies that show cooking fumes have the same risks, is public cooking really necessary. I submit that the invention of the wheel is the greatest risk known to man. The wheel has caused more deaths that active smoking ever will. I propose that anything with equal or greater risk as that of second hand smoke be banned outright and if any of any of the anti-smoking activist disagree they are being hypocritical and greedy. They want it their way. This is not about health concerns, They use very weak statistical findings and claim a health risk. This is not a new tactic. Mark Twain wrote a piece on the subject over 100 years ago. “The Moral Statistician ” Originally published in Sketches, Old and New, 1893

While on the subject of GREED, the anti-smoking activist do not donate their own money to fund these efforts. They demand shares of the MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) and they also expect a share of the cigarette taxes to fund their efforts. I found one in particular quite humorous. Smoke Free Wisconsin was trying to claim that the cuts in funding resulted in a higher smoking rate but what the graph showed is as funding fell so did smoking rates. It was when funding stabilized that smoking rates increased.

Of course I commented on their lack of ability to read a graph, I also pointed out that taxing smokers to fund the anti-smoking groups is akin to taxing blacks to fund the KKK. Of course my comment will never appear. Of course Mr Pion also dismisses Big Pharma’s involvement.

mogasp reply: My point was that these real issues or words have been misappropriated. The “Big Pharma” argument appears to be propaganda, pure and simple, generated to counter “Big Tobaccos” efforts spanning decades.

Of course I have many blog entries on the subject two of the more memorable ones were on J&J and the RWJF and where I exposed them of creating fake grass root groups. And Mr Pion is on the shadow panel with Dr Michael Siegel who has written many times on Big Pharma influence. Dr Epstiene exposes big pharmas influence on the American Cancer society in his book. and in his blogpost on theAmerican Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest “Nonprofit” Institution So if the anti-smoking activist want to talk about greed they need look no further then their own closet, they will find many skeletons there.

About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
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2 Responses to GREED

  1. mogasp says:

    This is a long post and I’ve only scanned it briefly. I would take issue with your description of me in the opening sentence: “Martion Pion an anti-smoking activist …” Two errors right off the bat:
    1. First name misspelled o:-), but more important,
    2. I’m not an anti-smoking activist: I’m a smoke-free air advocate. The distinction is critical because the former would logically mean I’m in favor of banning the sale of cigarettes, for example, and I’m not.
    The distinction isn’t always acknowledged by those who disagree with me but it’s real and important.
    Martin Pion

  2. Marshall says:

    Sorry for the misspelling it was unintentional. You frequently refer to us fighting the ban as pro-tobacco. While you feel that you are not an anti-smoker many of your stances suggest otherwise. You are not an ideolog or a zealot as some are but your stance on things such as e-cigarettes suggest otherwise and I quote

    “Even if the evidence concludes that they pose no health risk to exposed non-smokers, they should still not be allowed wherever smoking conventional cigarettes is prohibited. To do otherwise would create serious smoke-free air enforcement problems.”

    I understand your passion and your sincerity, I also understand that you are from Europe and they have a different standard when it comes to property rights.

    What you fail to understand is the words of Dr Elisabeth Whelen the science behind smoking bans very scanty.

    If you actually called for a ban on everything with equal or grater relative risk I would buy your argument. But since you target tobacco smoke I fail to see the distinction.

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