Smoking Bans, Shoddy Science,Taxes and RYO.


Finally an admission from a former member of Tobacco Control.  Dr Michael Siegel believes in smoking bans but has the integrity to stand on what he believes is sound science. Dr Siegel worked for the CDC and was a tobacco control trainer.  He was forced out of the Tobacco control list server because he would not ad hear to dishonest smear tactics.  He also has spoken out about the Scientific McCarthyism within the tobacco control movement.  This morning I read his blog on the court’s ruling on the FDA’s graphic warning labels and found this comment especially pertinent.

 

What does this all mean?

What it means is that the anti-smoking movement’s use of shoddy science has finally caught up to it. While the lack of rigor in its recent use of science to support its policy positions may be good enough to convince policy makers, it is not good enough to convince the courts.

The Court did not fall for the argument that studies have demonstrated an effect of graphic warning labels on smokers’ attitudes about quitting. The Court wanted to see studies showing that these labels actually led to smokers quitting, but such evidence was not forthcoming. The Court essentially laid bare the lack of scientific evidence behind the “international consensus” that graphic warning labels are effective.

 

I have made this argument on the smoking bans in general.  I wrote the following on the Zeno’s case in Ohio.

 

The Ohio Supreme Court delt a blow to liberty and property rights. They made no rulling on the key issue based on a technicality.

Lanzinger’s opinion noted that the bar argued “that prohibiting smoking in an adults-only liquor-licensed establishment, such as Zeno’s, is unduly oppressive and amounts to a taking.” She said that was “an as-applied challenge” that suggested their unique circumstances made the law unconstitutional for them.

The legal issue was disregarded because it had not been raised in earlier phases of the case.

I was afraid that the lawyers didn’t make enough of an issue out of the “junk science” behind the ban and that seems to be the case.

Ohio Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, in authoring the opinion, wrote, “The goal of this legislation is to protect the health of the workers and other citizens of Ohio.”

From the rulling;
Because medical studies have conclusively shown that exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco causes illness and disease, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness, smoking in the workplace

Problem is the above statements have never been proven in a court of law, as a matter of fact the opposite is the case.

The only time the science was ochallenged in court it failed miserably and rightfully so if you know about science and the law.

Of course that too was overturned based on a technicality. (jurisdictional grounds) But the fact remains that the prohibitionist continue to use the same flawed methodology.(meta-analysis) So I am quite sure that we will see this revisited. As a matter of fact after reading the rulling I am sure of it.

Future Application of Smoke Free Act to Zeno’s

{¶ 35} Although appellants are foreclosed from challenging the violations already issued, we agree with appellants that their declaratory judgment/injunction action also sought to prevent future enforcement of the Smoke Free Act. Appellants raised an as-applied challenge and, therefore, must prove by clear and convincing evidence that future enforcement of the act would violate their constitutional rights.

 

We have seen these modern day prohibitionist team up with their sworn enemy in order to shut down RYO shops as I have recently reported. I will report more on that when I can but I do not want to disclose anything that will harm their case.  I will say that smokers themselves should start suing the government. The MSA, and draconian taxes imposed on smokers violate every principle that our country was founded on.

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee last week sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), raising serious questions about the possible misuse of federal stimulus taxpayer dollars to lobby for higher sugar taxes, increased tobacco taxes, restrictions on restaurant zoning, setting restaurant standards, and changing relative prices of health and unhealthy food items. Under federal law, it is illegal to use funds appropriated by Congress to influence in any manner a member of Congress or an official of any government regarding any legislation, law, or policy.

 

This has not only taken place at the national level but has taken place at the state and local level.

DENVER (AP) – Auditors on Monday questioned whether Colorado health officials are following the law by giving money from tobacco taxes to help local initiatives barring smoking in public beyond what’s already prohibited by state law.

 

In Wisconsin these lobby groups use dishonest tactics to garner public support.

By allowing RYO shops to not pay taxes, we give children the idea that sometimes smoking can be okay. When we allow the promotion of unhealthy habits we, in turn, get an unhealthy generation that we have to foot the bill for. In fact, we already pay the price—each year Wisconsin pays $2.8 billion dollars on tobacco health care costs.

 

The last statement by smoke free has been proven time and time again to be a lie.  Smokers cost taxpayers less money not more. On the taxes it is even a bigger lie. The state makes more money on just the tobacco alone then the farmers,vendors and RYO shops combined. This is just the tax on the tobacco. not the tubes, income tax, sales tax etc etc etc.  This from the Wisconsin department of revenue.

 

 

Tax Type
Prior to January 1, 2008
January 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009
September 1, 2009 and thereafter
Tobacco Products

 

 

25% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors

50% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors

71% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors
Moist Snuff $1.31 per ounce 100% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors
Cigars Lesser of 50% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors or $0.50 per cigar Lesser of 71% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors or $0.50 per cigar

 

Is not the role of taxes to get everyone to pay their fair share for services from the government? Can you name any other industry where their product is taxed at 71%, and that is just the state tax on the product! and yet Smoke Free Wisconsin produces dishonest polls like the following.

A recent poll found strong, bi-partisan, statewide support for proposals to move all

tobacco products behind the counter, close tax loopholes that allow some tobacco products to be
taxed less than others and continue funding the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program to keep
tobacco out of our kids’ hands. 

 

Remember this from Hitler writes from the grave when you look at the actual poll.

Finally, dear Julius, you will remember what I frequently said and wrote in “Mein Kampf”: “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the peoplevii.” I said that as long as we explain how the government is working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.

 

Now here’s question 2

On a new topic, how concerned are you about smoking and other tobacco use among young
people in Wisconsin?

Question 3

Next, recently, the legislature voted to preserve funding for programs to prevent kids from
smoking and provide help for smokers who want to quit in the new state budget. Do you support
or oppose the legislature preserving funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs?

 

Question 4

How important is it to you to fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and provide help for
smokers who want to quit. ?

 

Question 5

Now, if a state legislator voted to preserve funding for tobacco prevention programs that prevent
kids from smoking and provide help for smokers who want to quit, would that make you MORE
LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to vote for that legislator for re-election?

As you can see the poll is highly skewed to use the “for the children” sentiment ignoring the fact that there is an abusive tax imposed on smokers that are not imposed on any other segment of society which is a clear violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.  Again the role of taxation is to get the populace to pay their fair share of services received.

The battle for these small Mom and Pop RYO shops is far from over. And the unholy alliance between Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and the Convenience Store lobbyist will not last.  The question is when will the American public wake up and say enough, we want freedom!

 

 

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About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
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2 Responses to Smoking Bans, Shoddy Science,Taxes and RYO.

  1. “By allowing RYO shops to not pay taxes, we give children the idea that sometimes smoking can be okay. ”

    I noticed a funny omission in the poll that you outlined. Perhaps they should run another poll, and this one could specifically the a and had a representative sampling of children, perhaps third-graders since third-graders more or less fall in the middle of what most people consider to be children. The poll could simply ask them, “Did you know that roll your own shops do not have to pay taxes?” If the majority of children said that they were indeed aware of that then they could be asked if they thought that that meant that smoking was okay. if, overall, the majority of children responded affirmatively to both of those questions, then indeed perhaps the Antismokers have a point. Somehow I doubt that that would be the result.

    – MJM

  2. I agree Michael, For those who don’t know Michael he is the author of Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0974497908/

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