So did the Surgeon General's report tell us anything new?Of course not, he simply reviewed old studies and old data to conclude: ".. see this is why you local governments need to pass smoking bans..." It was a political ploy plain and simple, hoping to revitalize and attempting to bring some credibility to a tobacco control movement seriously lacking any credibility.
Part of the credibility problem for the pro-smoking ban movement is who has provided funding to them. Accepting funding from an organization and pharmaceutical company with direct ties to a product (Nicoderm & Nicoderm CQ) which is designed to be a replacement product for the one to be banned....tobacco, would seem to be a conflict of interest. And indeed it is, so much so that all sorts of paid "studies" are exaggerated, and fabricated to meet the desired outcome that RWJF and Johnson & Johnson Company require for product sales goals.
Another credibility problem for the pro-smoking ban movement is their lack of knowledge of science and indoor air quality. Two studies that come to mind are the American Cancer Society air quality testing of secondhand smoke in NY, and the city of St. Louis Park, MN. Environmental Health Department. These arrogant pro-smoking ban groups started to feel so confident in what they were preaching they decided to conduct their own air quality testing. No doubt when they were finished they strutted around congratulating each other on quantifying just how deadly secondhand smoke was. Their error of course was in not analyzing the data to indoor air quality regulations. Because when "Clearing the Air" analyzed both organizations' test result numbers to OSHA indoor air quality regulations for secondhand smoke, we discovered IRREFUTABLY that in the case of St. Louis Park secondhand smoke concentrations indoors are up to 500 times safer than OSHA air quality workplace regulations; and that the American Cancer Society testing determined that secondhand smoke concentrations indoors are up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA air quality workplace regulations for secondhand smoke.
Still one of the greater credibility problems for the pro-smoking ban movement are the lies that they've perpetuated in public testimony all around the country. They stand before city council members, county commissioners, state lawmakers and promise "....there will be no financial harm to the hospitality business......in fact people will be bustin' down the doors to get at all that fresh clean air in your bars and restaurants..." But in fact the opposite happens, in Mpls., St Paul 74 establishments out of business after barely a year of a smoking ban.....yet the year before (2004) without the bans only 15 failed. In Ireland 200+ pubs closed immediately after their smoking ban. And around the US we are approaching 1,000 closed hospitality venues after passage of smoking bans, with perhaps tens maybe a hundred thousand lost jobs.
So did the Surgeon General accomplish his goal of attempting to breath new life into the issue, only time will tell. One things for certain many lawmakers will continue to vote for smoking bans because they think it's a no brainer. It's a numbers thing really with roughly 75% of their constituents being non-smokers a vote for a smoking ban would seem to be a sure re-election bid. But as more of the facts come out, and as more non-smokers begin to see through the smokescreen of the pro-smoking ban argument to see the facts on the other side of the issue, the more likely we can get to a more common sense and equitable solution.