Great news on smoking bans (I think)!

The S.C. Supreme Court says Greenville’s smoking ban is OK after all — as in, NOT pre-empted by the usual legislative attempts to prevent local governments from governing as local folks see fit:

By MEG KINNARD – Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Cities and towns have the power to ban indoor smoking in public places, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday in a decision that anti-smoking advocates predicted will spawn more rules against where people may light up in South Carolina.
    The ruling upheld a ban against indoor, public smoking that the city of Greenville imposed last year. Dozens of bars and restaurants had sued, claiming their business would suffer. A judge then quashed the ban, ruling that local governments had to let the state lead the way when it comes to smoking bans.
    In the justices’ unanimous decision Monday, the high court said local governments can impose more stringent regulations…

So, does this mean that Columbia can finally pull the trigger on its prospective ban on smoking in restaurants (but, unfortunately, not bars). It would appear so, since the ban supposedly waited only on a court ruling. A number of other communities had gone ahead with bans of their own. Here’s a list.

The jury’s still out on a statewide ban. But as long as the Legislature doesn’t move to make SURE locals can’t do it (and don’t put it past them for a second; they HATE the governments closest to the people), at least the will of local communities can now be acted upon, and relied upon to stick.

48 thoughts on “Great news on smoking bans (I think)!

  1. Brad Warthen

    I just talked with Mayor Bob about this, and he says Columbia City Council will get briefed on the court decision Wednesday, and then decide where to go from there on the city’s restaurant smoking ban. He reminded me that the city had passed the ordinance on first and second readings, and had just put the third reading on hold pending the court’s decision.
    One of the decisions to be made is what start date to put on the city’s restaurant smoking ban. On that and all aspects, he advocates moving as conservatively as possible to make sure the city’s ban sticks, and doesn’t get hung up on a technicality. If that means going back and redoing the first two readings of the ordinance just to be sure, so be it.
    He says he would not advocate revisiting the substance of the ordinance — he would not, for instance, try to redo the debate to see if a bar ban could be included — but prefers to proceed with what the council had already agreed upon.
    His own take on the court decision is that it is “a very important legal holding,” and good news in light of the fact that increasingly, people in South Carolina “demand a smoke-free environment” in public places. He speculated that some day, SC may even do what Georgia has done already — pass a statewide ban.
    Speed the day, say I.

  2. Lee Muller

    Why should cities and counties be allowed to ban private, consensual business activities using legal substances like alcohol and tobacco?
    Can the cities outlaw all bars and the serving of alcholic beverages? No.
    Can the cities outlaw private consumption of beer and wine? No.
    Can the cities pass more restrictive laws on firearms ownership and use? No.
    It’s a damn good thing we have a Constitution. These prohibitionists show us just how quickly we ALL would lose our rights under pure democracy.

  3. Mike Cakora

    I blame Bush. They said that if Bush were re-elected we’d see the gradual diminution of our rights.
    They were right!

  4. david

    Brad, when tobacco use is ultimately stomped out by all you metro-sexual crusaders, I would like to know where funding will come from to support the government programs that tobacco taxes now support.
    There has never been an honest accounting by The State mullet wrapper concerning cost/benefits of smoking and life expectancy. Honesty hasn’t helped your case or furthered your agenda, and so hasn’t figured anywhere in your reporting. Typical.
    But have you the courage now to explain to people that they must shoulder a larger tax burden whenever the tobacco tax revenues dry up? Wouldn’t that at least be a good thing to do?
    Because it’s a cinch there won’t be any reduction in government spending, and CERTAINLY The State mullet wrapper won’t advocate spending cuts just because revenues shrink. David

  5. Wally Altman

    This is great news in my opinion. Those comparisons to alcohol consumption and firearms are flawed. Cigarettes are a public health threat even when used in the manner intended by the manufacturer, and smoking bans simply protect the right of non-smoking citizens to enjoy clean air when they participate in the normal activities of everyday life.
    What in the world is a “mullet wrapper”?

  6. david

    Wally, I can tell from the tone, tenor and content of your post that you wouldn’t get it if I attempted to explain the “mullet wrapper” comment so…never mind.
    I’m not being snooty. It’s just that one with your ideas about smoking bans is also probably a great fan of the local newspaper and if you are, I don’t see any point in engaging in lengthy discourse with you. I am NOT a fan of The State, and I certainly don’t look to Brad or his paper as authoritative sources of unbiased info or stalwart upholders of truth in journalism (term used loosely).
    And, although I do not use tobacco and find smoke offensive, I have views that are diametrically opposed to yours concerning banning its’ use. David

  7. weldon VII

    Wally, a mullet is is a fish.
    Newspapers not worth reading are sometimes called “fish wrap” or “birdcage liner.”
    One other excellent use for a newspaper that has become otherwise obsolete is shining the windows on your car.
    More than once I have used a newspaper as a makeshift, throwaway umbrella.

  8. Mike Cakora

    Wally (and Brad and Bob) –
    I guess I’m puzzled as to the issue: is it air quality or a form of nouveau Puritanism, the fear that someone somewhere might be having a good time?
    If it’s air quality, then set standards for particulate matter in restaurants and let those proprietors that can afford the expense of monitoring do what they want as long as they post in a prominent location the results of the monitoring. Lots of places won’t be able to afford to do so, so consumers will have fewer places in which to dine.
    Is it the smell and the fear that you’ll be harmed? Pork and its smell are offensive to some. Others regard specific foods – fatty foods, pate de foie gras, veal, etc. — as vile, whether they can smell these foods or not. There are more than a few places around town where smoking is not allowed, but the aura, shall we say, of cooking oils and the like is not only noticeable, but probably deleterious.
    I’m of the opinion that anyone with the gumption and capital to start and run a restaurant should be able to operate the kind of joint s/he desires. Heck, they’re the ones who have to attract a clientele, so let them do so with the minimum of regulation for sanitation and comportment.
    To do otherwise invites the lowest-common-denominator approach, wherein everything is regulated to the extent that only locally grown organic produce is on the menu.
    Why not just ban smoking? That seems to be your aim, so go for the gold!

  9. WC Salley

    Wally is right.
    The constitution, as interpreted by most courts, does not give the people the unrestricted right to do as they please, especially when the activity infringes on the rights of others. Even alcohol consumption and the bearing of firearms, which have their own amendments, are rights that are tightly restricted by some level of government.
    One would have to be an idiot to suggest we abolish alcoholic beverage laws (although they have gotten out-of-hand lately) or allow anyone to carry a handgun anywhere they choose.
    A ban on smoking in restaurants is as constitutional as any other law written to protect the public from the behavior or activities of others.
    By the way, cities can and do enact law restricting the consumption of alcoholic beverages AND the possession of firearms – look at the municipal code.

  10. Tom

    The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation –
    from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
    threat of “second-hand” smoke.
    Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
    cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
    throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
    government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of
    unlimited government power.
    The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
    menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
    indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
    reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
    people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
    their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
    people to make the “right” decision?
    Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
    attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
    tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.
    Loudly billed as measures that only affect “public places,” they have
    actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
    offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
    customers are free to go elsewhere if they don’t like the smoke. Some local
    bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
    negligible, such as outdoor public parks.
    The decision to smoke, or to avoid “second-hand” smoke, is a question to be
    answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
    of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
    every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
    or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
    or divorced, and so on.
    All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
    consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
    neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
    be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
    own judgment can guide him through it.
    Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
    smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
    unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
    power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.
    That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
    inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
    favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
    at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
    intrusion of government into our lives.
    We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.
    Thomas Laprade

  11. James D McCallister

    It isn’t about controlling and manipulating behavior – it’s about protecting nonsmokers from the invasive nature of other people’s smoke. Remember the old saw, your rights end where my nose begins? Apply to this argument and all other considerations become mere semantics and obfuscation of the real issue, which is MY right to be free of someone else’s bad habit.
    Smoking is a drug addiction that kills half a million people a year. I quit smoking twenty years ago, and if I wanted to breath in smoke, by god, I’d go buy a pack of Marlboro Reds.
    And why aren’t you freedom lovers advocating the legalisation of cannabis along with your “right” to smoke tobacco whenever and wherever one pleases? Marijuana is a God-given plant that provides people with innocuous pleasure, has never been shown to kill a single person, is not physically addictive, would demonstrably impact the sale of alcohol (another ruinous drug responsible for the deaths of untold millions), and could provide an astounding new tax revenue stream that would allow the government to ease up on other types of taxes (not to mention the potential for the use of hemp in the area of biofuels, food production, paper products, etc etc etc). Put that in your pipes and smoke it.

  12. Bob Coble

    It is a public health issue. According to a comprehensive report issued June 27, 2006 by U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona of the Bush Administration secondhand smoke dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer in non-smokers. The Surgeon General concluded that secondhand smoke could only be controlled by making indoor spaces smokefree. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens, National Cancer Institute, and the International Agency for Research and Cancer have all reported that secondhand smoke is a Group A human carcinogen, a cancer causing substance, of which there is no safe level of exposure. Our ordinance is an attempt to protect the health of the public and especially the workers.

  13. Joe Camel

    Bob Coble: You’ve stated the Tobacco war in a nutshell. In one corner are those who quote (former) Surgeon General Richard Carmona as though he were Moses. In another are those who say he’s a corrupt politician who wants to stick junk science down the public’s throat for the sake of Big Health’s profits.
    Maybe the Bush Administraion can offer a clue. They booted Mr. Carmona, who now works for a health spa. His report has been taken to court by freedom lovers.

  14. Lee Muller

    No one is forced to eat in a restaurant. If the proprietor thinks he will have more business by catering to smokers, or if he just prefers to let his patrons decide for themselves, that is between him and his customers, and no one else. Those who want a different atmosphere can shop for a non-smoking establishment.
    The myth of “second-hand smoke” has was debunked long ago by huge medical studies of control groups of airline flight attendants and other workers.
    This is nothing but moralism, the new Puritanism wrapped in junk science, and topped with more taxes on the recreation of Other People.

  15. david

    Mike, exactly so.
    And you have deftly pointed out the bitter hypocrisy that lies at the center of all the sugary arguements made by the tobacco-nazis:
    If people in government (and on the editorial board at the mullet wrapper) truly believe smoking is a health issue, why not exhibit some moral courage and leadership and simply outlaw the offending substance?
    That is, instead of running around invading the privacy of club owners and patrons and truncating property rights and personal freedoms, why not just outlaw the cause of all the drama and be done with it? This would eliminate the tobacco health hazards and at the same time keep the long nose of government from further intruding where it does not belong.
    Surely the answer to this question is not that Mayor Bob has any qualms about the injury to freedom outlawing tobacco would cause…because he certainly has no problem skewering the freedom of bar owners and patrons and just plain old smokers right now.
    So, why not just go ahead and outlaw it? Hmm? (finger tapping thoughtfully on chin) Why not?
    Could it be that those who are in government are greedily and whorishly addicted to tobacco tax money? Ya think? I mean what else could it be? It has GOT to be either that, or else it must be about increasing the control of government over every possible aspect of private life. It can’t be health because anyone who was truly concerned about the health of smokers and non-smokers would do whatever they could to outlaw the dangerous substance.
    It boils down to two simple, evil things:
    Greed and the power of the state.
    No more complicated than that. And all of the shallow thinkers who jump on the bandwagon now because they happen to dislike tobacco will be rudely surprised very soon when their own pet freedoms are attacked and destroyed. What rationale could anyone have to believe that if government can do this to tobacco, it cannot do it to cheeseburgers or fast cars or anything else one might enjoy? David

  16. david

    And again, I do not use tobacco in any form, and I find tobacco smoke offensive.
    But you know what? Whenever I find myself being exposed to something I don’t like, I can move. Isn’t freedom a wonderful thing? If I find tobacco smoke in an establishment to be offensive, I simply stop patronizing that establishment. And at some point, if the proprietor loses enough business, he’ll modify his smoking rules. Meanwhile I am free to find good places to go where smoke is not a problem, and the property rights and personal freedoms of the proprietor and his patrons are preserved.
    Wow. What a concept. David

  17. david

    You know, as I ponder on this, it seems obvious to me that what is wrong (as far as Brad and Mayor Bob are concerned) with the concept I’ve outlined above is that it places the rights and freedoms of individuals above the power of the state.
    Where ELSE have I heard about the power of the state being limited and the freedoms of individuals being essentially unfettered? I know there was an old document somewhere I read about…
    Oh well, it’ll come back to me I suppose. David

  18. Bill C.

    These cigarette smokers are funny, they as soon let you slap their mama than take away their cigarettes. It must be horrible to be at the mercy of that little white stick.

  19. Wally Altman

    The myth of “second-hand smoke” has was debunked long ago by huge medical studies of control groups of airline flight attendants and other workers.
    Almost all health authorities disagree with you. Here are just a few:

    It wouldn’t be fair to say that there aren’t some studies which show that secondhand smoke isn’t harmful. Oddly enough, those tend to be the ones paid for by tobacco companies. Check it out.

  20. david

    Bill, tobacco isn’t good for you to be sure.
    But whatever its’ deleterious effects may be, the freedom to choose to use it without invasive government intervention is WAY more important.
    This isn’t just about tobacco. It is about fat foods, and soda pop, and guns, and cars, motorcycles and tanning beds. It is assuredly about any and everything that any group of do-gooders and zealots decides they don’t like you enjoying. And it is about their enlisting the power of the government to see to it that your behaviour either meets their standards, or that you pay whatever they decide it ought to cost you to enjoy whatever it is.
    And it is about greedy people in power-grabbing governments doing whatever they please, freedom and liberty notwithstanding.

  21. weldon VII

    Requiring smoking and non-smoking sections for restaurants should be enough.
    And, for once, I agree with James McCallister about something: in the name of freedom, legalize pot.
    But take that a step farther and legalize the other recreational drugs, too. Destroy business for the drug dealer. Create a new revenue stream for the government. Stop prison growth. Let those who would destroy their lives with drugs do so legally and openly.
    Driving at night might be a little tense, but I’m sure that after a while we’ll get used to the bobbing and weaving. After all, it probably wouldn’t be much worse than things are now.

  22. dh

    Does anyone know if bowling alleys will be subject to the ban? I used to bowl @ Royal Z on Two Notch in NE Cola. The smoke and smell became so bad that I stopped bowling there and no longer bowl. I’d love to start again but won’t until there is a smoke free place to do so.

  23. Robert Cook

    Every time this subject rears its ugly head, I’m amazed at the number of people who show up to support it. We wonder how totalitarianism takes hold? This is how.
    Of course the corporate-owned press supports it. It has to. In this Corporatocracy the United States has become, the big corporate interests stick together. Any reporter who tried to write a series contrary to the opinion Brad Warthen has expressed here would find himself relegated to the mail room. There is no “vast conspiracy.” You either take the hint and join the choir, or you don’t succeed.
    Most of us know this–more every year–which is why people are turning away from Mainstream Media in droves.
    Fact is, the “science” proclaiming second-hand smoke to be dangerous is as phony as the “Reefer Madness” propaganda of the ‘thirties, but you’ll never get most people who are annoyed by tobacco smoke to admit that. They’ll seize any reed they can grab, no matter how feeble, to get behind Big Brother in his continuing campaign to take away every last freedom remaining in the U.S.
    But the “science” misses the point. This is a private property issue, not a health issue. Another property right is being stripped away, and the bleating sheeple are down with that.
    In the end, this has everything to do with increasing the wealth and power of the Health Cartel, especially Big Pharma, and nothing to do with reality. “Reefer Madness” was a hoax perpetrated by greedy corporate interests and a government agency (at the time, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics) expanding its power. This hoax is the same, except now, it’s Big Pharma’s turn. In the end, it wants to be the only industry permitted to dispense nicotine.
    How do I know that? I simply followed the money. There’s nothing “grass roots” about this movement. It comes from shills like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a “non-profit” front for Johnson & Johnson. There are many more.
    The sheeple, God bless ’em, will always fall for any scare the (now global) Corporatocracy foists on them. They’ve even been sold on the idea that the U.S. is a “Democracy” instead of a Republic.
    Actually, it is neither. It is now a corporate fascist state where the sheep are told how to vote by the corporate media, and a majority can be depended upon to do it.
    Supporters of smoking bans–and all other such finicky legislation–have forgotten what the word “freedom” means.

  24. Richard L. Wolfe

    When the history of the twenty-first century is written I fear it will be known as the century of the BIG LIE. A time when scientists, politicians and the mass media conspired to misguide, defraud and enslave the general public.
    The latest “crisis” is the claim that global warming is caused by human activity. Before that it was the harmful effects of second hand smoke. I read in the Post and Courier that scientists have decided that antioxidants contain no health benefit.
    What could the scientists hope to gain by pushing such obvious junk science on the public as truth? MONEY! All they are asking is that you give up your faith, reason, freedom and wealth to them. In return they will make every choice. They will plan your life and provide you with what they decide you need.
    Has anyone noticed the stunning amount of prescription drug commercials on television lately? If you sneeze, snore, scratch or get indigestion , etc. you need to see a doctor and ask him about the “ drug du jour.”
    What is happening? Well to steal from and rephrase a famous politician, it is “safety” stupid. There is nothing new here. The new world order is simply the old world order going high tech.
    Yes, the twenty-first century will be the century of the BIG LIE. But, it will never be written that way because those in power will be the ones doing the writing. They always have been you know.

  25. Lee Muller

    The goal of the statists is to maximize tax revenue, and to that end, they must demonize tobacco in order to raise taxes again, but just enough to keep the right mix of demand to optimize revenue.
    The “environmentalists” have stopped talking about “global warming”. Now they use “climate change”.
    The latest 2 scientific studies of 10 years show no global warming.
    Study 1 found no change in deep ocean temperatures, indicating no increase in stored thermal energy.
    Study 2 used satellite imaging to measure the surface temperatures all day every day for 10 years, and found temperatures decreasing since 2001.

  26. Richard L. Wolfe

    1. Protect and defend the Constitution and its citizens from all enemies foreign and domestic.
    2. Administer the law equally and fairly to all citizens.
    3. Get out and stay out of the social behavior modification business.
    4. Stay out of our bedrooms, classrooms and our back pockets.
    5. Be as small and limited as humanly possible.
    6. Impeach judges who create law instead of settling law.
    7. Keep the nation out of treaties that harm the citizens of the United States.
    8. Hold corporations accountable when they do injury to the United States. Make them responsible for their actions.
    9. Hold other nations to their agreements and treaties whether they are allies or not.
    10. Put an end to the two party rule. It is absurd that 300 million people can be served by two parties.
    11. End the IRS once and for all. It is unconstitutional to tax peoples wages and unfair for all those loopholes to go to special interest.
    12. Stop trying to rule the world. This is neither biblical or constitutional.
    13. Restore the Bill of Rights.
    14. Promote the family structure the foundation of all government.
    15. Leave the press, the churches and the schools alone unless they violate the Constitution.

  27. Joe Camel

    So your idea of dealing with smoking restrictions is to outlaw it entirely? While you’re at it, give us your solution to car wrecks. No doubt putting us on bicycles. If food were illegal except for bran flakes there would be no more fatness. And God help us, your solution for overpopulation would be to outlaw the cause of it.
    I’ve heard this kind of thing repeatedly of late. I suspect you’re a tobacco Nazi who’s jumping the gun. If so,I wish you the worst of luck.

  28. ruintuit

    I can’t say it any better than what others have already stated. The opposition to this has nothing to do with smoking. It has to do with telling PRIVATE business owners what they can and can’t do within their own space regarding a LEGAL activity. What’s next..telling them what they can and can’t cook? Oh wait..that’s already been done by the government, too.
    For those who are so quick to hail this as a good thing, beware of what comes next. It’s already proven that obesity is the number 1 cause of most health problems. The Gov’mint will protect you though. It’s only a matter of time before all that artery-clogging food is a memory. It has already made the all-knowing Surgeon General’s warning list…and we see what comes next.
    Be afraid, people…be very afraid. Soon we’ll have the health nazis making everyone who dares unwrap a Little Debbie cake banished to the “unhealthy eaters” area and you’ll be sneaking out from work to eat your fried potato chips in the car.

  29. Richard L. Wolfe

    The smoke nazis have neo-conned the public.
    Anyway, I plan to test this smoking ban tonight. I am going to the S.C. vs Citadel game at Joe Riley Stadium. It is suppose to be nonsmoking but the last time I checked it is outside in the open air so there is no reason not to smoke.
    I have already called my lawyer!

  30. James D McCallister

    No, no, no and no. Consuming other types of substances that are deleterious to one’s health like soda pop or fried chicken is different. You are polluting the air that we all share. Why is this so hard to understand? Your rights end where my nose begins.
    And Wolfie, you sound like a sociopath of the first order. I suggest therapy to get off the nicotine, and then another program to help you deal with your deep seated misanthropy.

  31. david

    You’re a nitwit Joe. I din’t say the way to deal with smoking restrictions is to ban tobacco. Maybe you’d like to go back and read what I did say before you get all weird.
    Or else maybe that is too difficult for ya. Either way, you’re still a nitwit. David

  32. david

    The sum, substance and sentiment of everything I’ve written thus far in this string is that smokers should be free to enjoy tobacco without molestation by government or other anti-freedom agitators. I’ve said that government is greedily addicted to tobacco tax revenue and the expansion of its’ power. I’ve said that do-gooders, zealots and socialists like Brad and Bob Coble will not stop at tobacco once they are successful in their efforts to limit property rights and individual freedoms starting with tobacco.
    The ONLY thing I’ve said about banning tobacco is that if Coble, Warthen and others were truly and seriously concerned about the harmful effects of tobacco, then they’d advocate an outright ban of it. And that they do NOT do so belies the fact that this is truly about the expansion of government and the mutilation of constitutional rights.
    Joe, if you are too dense or unintelligent to go back and see that these are the things I’ve really said, then you are certainly and embarassingly too dense to carry on any kind of meaningful converstaion about it. David

  33. Joe Camel

    You mentioned outlawing tobacco as a way to solve the health hazard a total of three times. So these mentions were rhetorical–they still suggest outlawing tobacco would serve a good purpose.
    You really should learn to write. Your long winded, convoluted
    style doesn’t sound as smart as you think it does.
    I don’t believe a word tobacco nazis say about the “health effects” of tobacco. You do. Who’s the nitwit, nitwit?

  34. david

    OK Joe. Have it your way. You’re a nitwit who willingly get’s it wrong to make some sort of obscure and meaningless point that still escapes me. I think my points were pretty clear. Is that too “convoluted for you? David

  35. david

    Oops. “convoluted” Anyway…you probably get my points very well and just haven’t the courage or confidence to admit it. I’m ok with that. I’ll try to write down to your level from here on out. You can’t help that you’re a product of public schools I suppose. David

  36. Joe Camel

    If a gang of corrupt politicians were to outlaw tobacco, they’d
    remove the source of their corruption and that would be a disaster. I believe they say it would create a black market.
    You’re a little touchy there, fella. When it comes to “tobacco control” I have all the courage and confidence I need. I know the
    antitobacco movement is the Fraud of the Century.
    It’s a relief that you’re willing to write down to my level, Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

  37. david

    I changed my mind…buy a thesuarus. I’m gonna write my opinions like I always do and you can ram it if you don’t like it.
    So there.

  38. Joe Camel

    David/ Lee Muller;
    You silly clowns can jump up and down and holler all you want but you neither know or care about facts.
    If you do, let’s hear some, With proof.

  39. Robert Cook

    Wow. I’m heartened. It looks like this smoking ban isn’t quite as popular as the Mainstream Media like to pretend it is.
    I had checked back on this blog with trepidation, but it looks like all the opinions written since my last one have been against the ban. Even the skirmish between David and Joe amounts to a misunderstanding. They both appear to be on the same team.
    Joe, David simply asked why the nitwits in government don’t outlaw tobacco entirely. He wasn’t advocating that. He was merely pointing out their hypocrisy: they’re not going to do that because robbing smokers through unfair taxation is too lucrative. You guys are on the same side.
    I see that most of the posts from supporters of the ban have dried up. That’s probably because the anti-tobacco movement is well-organized, and they’ve simply moved on. I certainly hope a few politicians are still reading this column and seeing that the ban isn’t anywhere near as popular as the Mainstream Media is making it sound.
    Incidentally, I alluded to this before, but I hope there are a few journalists still reading this column as well. Years ago, I turned off the TV, cancelled the paper, and turned to less conventional internet sources for my news. Media cheerleading for this specific issue (smoking bans) was a major reason for that. I have known the mainstream media have been lying about the popularity of these bans for a long time–designing slanted polls, reporting only one side. The junk they write about it isn’t worth the cheap paper it’s printed on. They lost one listener/viewer/reader because of it: me.
    I don’t believe for a second that I’m unique. I know how ideas propagate through society. Where there is one, there are many more who remain silent.
    Enjoy your fall, media owners.

  40. Robert Cook

    A minor correction to my post above: the last sentence in my fourth paragraph above should have ended, “Mainstream Media ARE making it sound.” I realize that “media” is plural, as one can see from the rest of that post.
    Hey, sorry folks! I was writing fast, and I don’t have an editor.
    -Robert Cook

  41. Brad Warthen

    Good for you, Robert! And at least you had it right on your first reference…
    By the way, we accept the abbreviation MSM here.
    As to the substance of your comments above — you DO understand that people who post comments on blogs are not representative of the general public, don’t you? You can always rely on folks who spend a lot of time on blogs being WAY more libertarian than most people in the general public. So if you’re expecting some big public uprising against smoking bans, you’re going to have a long, long wait.
    But you shouldn’t have been a bit surprised by the comments here; these are what one grows to expect in the Blogosphere.

  42. Joe Camel

    Robert Cook / David:
    David states–at least I think he does– that smoking or smelling it is harmful. I’ll believe that when somebody proves it and I’m not holding my breath.
    He speaks –again, I think so–of local politicians as though they are debating the ban business when in fact smoking bans originate at the global level and they’re just following the orders of the WHO.
    He says he is offended by the smell of smoke, I’m not.
    Finally asking and debating the reasons local politicians don’t outlaw smoking is about as dumb as a question gets. And it’s best left unasked because it might give some Nazis ideas.
    So other than that– and the fact that I’m a better writer–I guess we are on the same side.

  43. Lee Muller

    Remove the taxation component of the anti-tobacco campaign and see how quickly it withers to nothing.
    There’s been a lot of money made by crusaders.

  44. chris

    Japan, Austria and Greece all have higher rates of smoking than the US. Interestingly enough, they also have longer life expectancies. If smoke were all that deadly, they’d be dropping like flies in those places.


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