The Cult of Tobacco Control

Dr Michael Siegel is under attack from activist in scientific costumes yet again. I have disagreed with Michael on his conclusions on numerous occasions but I have never attacked his integrity.  Stanton Glantz on the other hand has no integrity and is driven solely on agenda.

Today Michael fends off yet another personal attack by Stanton.  I disagree with both based on facts and on principle.  The facts are that smokers do die younger and therefore the rational behind the Master Settlement are in fact false. From Wiki.

 The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related health-care costs, and also exempted the companies from private tortliability regarding harm caused by tobacco use.

The facts are that smokers indeed cost society less, not more so the entire premise of this hidden tax are invalid. And no matter how you spell it it is a hidden tax that funds the activism of the likes of Stanton through the American Legacy Foundation, so smokers are in fact forced to fund those who lobby against them.

Stanton’s argument that increased taxes is also false as proven all over the world and is admitted in another CBO report that although the consumption of cigarettes went down smokers chose other alternatives, this admission is prompting them to call for increased taxes on those alternatives.  This of course ignores the fact that even if enacted will cause a corresponding increase in smuggling, even CBS admits that tobacco smuggling has become so lucrative that drug dealers are trading guns and drugs for the highly profitable tobacco. Now who is more likely to sell to children, the small RYO shop down the block, or the drug dealer on the street corner?

Of course Stanton has publicly admitted that his research is agenda driven. Here is a statement made by Glantz . . .


that’s the question that I have applied to my research relating to tobacco: If this comes out the way I think, will it make a difference [toward achieving the goal]. And if the answer is yes, then we do it, and if the answer is I don’t know, then we don’t bother. Okay? And that’s the criteria.”

Written Transcript Of 3-Day Conference Called “Revolt Against Tobacco,” L.A., 1992

Now are those the words of an activist or a scientist?  Here is why I respect Dr Siegel even though I disagree with his conclusions, from his blog;

Dr. Glantz is correct about one thing. I am guided by ideology. My ideology is that science is about the pursuit of the truth, and that we have to seek the truth wherever it takes us, even if it sometimes turns out that the truth is not favorable to our advocacy positions. I believe, also, in honesty and transparency and believe that public health practitioners should not deceive the public or distort the science, even if doing so might garner more support for our policies.

Stanton on the other hand is an activist who will use any means to achieve his goal.  He is one of the founders of  Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights from WIKI.

Glantz has been a leading researcher and activist in the nonsmokers’ rights movement since 1978 , when he helped lead an unsuccessful state initiative campaign to enact a nonsmokers rights law  by popular vote. In 1983, he helped successfully defend the San Francisco Workplace Smoking Ordinance against a tobacco industry supported attempt to repeal it by referendum. The San Francisco victory represented the first electoral defeat of such a tobacco industry sponsored referendum, and is now viewed as a major turning point in the battle for nonsmokers’ rights. He is one of the founders of Americans for Nonsmokers Rights.

Of course the ad hominem attacks on Dr Siegel are not new, it is actually a tactic not only embraced by tobacco control but taught by them. They have compared opponents to smoking bans to “Flat Earthers” and “Holocaust deniers”.    Doctor Siegel had a problem with that comparison for good reason. What is interesting is the fact that it is tobacco control that uses the tactics of the flat earthers.  They Banished Dr Siegel from their list servers for holding to his principles.  They attempted to get both him and Dr Enstrom fired from their jobs.  Enstrom went into great detail on the attacks on him including those by Stanton Glantz.  Of course Dr Siegel commented on the Scientific McCartyism within the Tobacco control movement.  Of course those of us who have been active against Nanny Statism are quite familiar with the tactics of  Tobacco Control and it is interesting to note that Dr Siegel was a Lead Tobacco Control Trainer and acknowledged that these tactics are not only accepted but taught to it’s followers.

Which leads to the bigger question, should the government be involved in medicine or science at all?  When is it science or political agenda?  Dr Michael Crrichton warned about politicized science and how it is dangerous.

Senator Mitchel warned of the direction we are headed.

Think that is far fetched? From the summery of the CBO report that Stanton praises.

Such policies might include initiatives that discourage smoking or
excessive alcohol consumption, that promote better eating habits and physical activity to reduce obesity, or that encourage compliance with medical and dietary regimens for chronic conditions such as diabetes.


This makes the following warning from the ACLU more relevant.


About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
This entry was posted in Libertarian, Nanny State, Smoking Ban, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Cult of Tobacco Control

  1. marbee says:

    I’m not convinced smokers die younger than others, and doubt I ever will be.

  2. Donna (History Buff) says:

    I come from a family that has smokers and non-smokers. Fact is, the non-smokers ‘go’ first.

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