Monday, February 27, 2006

IRS says some charitable organizations are overstepping into politics

The full story is here.

I am curious what they have to say about RWJF, American Lung, American Cancer, American Non-Smoker's Rights....and the other non-profits who are lobbying lawmakers for their own special interests. Looks like improper use of funds for politicking to me.

The seventh sign?

Madison, WI. is looking to amend the smoking ban which has closed many local businesses, full story here.

Madison in my mind is second only to Berkeley California when it comes to liberal mind numbing rhetoric. And also apparently, when it comes to the millions of dollars the Nicoderm folks at RWJF are willing to spend in the local research universities for studies to influence, and mislead lawmakers.

http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/045383.htm#int_grantinfo

http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/024788.htm#int_grantinfo

http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/041530.htm#int_grantinfo

http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/034068.htm#int_grantinfo

http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/resources/grant.jsp?id=047139&iaid=143

http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/resources/grant.jsp?id=044070&iaid=143

Perhaps Madison council members are concerned about the number of businesses that have closed since their smoking ban, or they are realizing that Nicoderm interests at RWJF unfairly influenced and / or tainted the data they used to arrive at their ordinance decision, or perhaps they have seen the government data which showed secondhand smoke concentrations to be 500 -15 times safer than OSHA regulations.

Whatever the reason it is always promising to see a ray of common sense begin to shine through the heavy curtain of draconian smoking ban laws.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mayor Nicoderm puffs away in the cigar shop

For those of you not from here, Minnesota that is, Garage Logic is a local radio show, train of thought, lifestyle, concept etc. which can be summarized in two words "common sense". Which explains why nanny liberals tend to have a difficulty in grasping an appreciation for talk show host and Garage Logic Mayor, Joe Soucheray.

Suffice it to say Joe has no time for diversity training, political correctness, or whiny ass nanny proposed government intervention. And he loves to point out the hypocrisy of those on the other side of the aisle who seem to continually demand that the rest of us do as they say, not as they do.

Read his column which I have redubbed Mayor Nicoderm puffs away in the cigar shop.

Update: Craig Westover and the Pioneer Press follow up on this story as well.

The defeat of Virginia's smoking ban legislation was predicted by Dr. Siegel only days before

Is he some all knowing prognosticator? A seer of seers? Or did he sense that his colleagues at (ASH) Action on Smoking and Health had gone too far. From Dr. Siegel's post you will find the following statement:

ASH has now publicly ......(stated)....... that the ultimate aim of the smokefree movement is to try to ban smoking everywhere, even in private homes.

By boasting that smokefree advocates are trying to reach "right into the home," ASH has, I believe, taken an action that is going to contribute towards destroying the credibility of even legitimate efforts to provide workers with a safe, smoke-free workplace.

The good Doctor goes on to say:

ASH needs to be checked, and quickly, before it succeeds in completely destroying the credibility of smokefree efforts......

I say one shouldn't interfere with sublime (oxford defn. 2. arrogantly unruffled; extreme) revelation.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

This website helps track campaign contributions by special interest groups to state lawmakers

The site is Money in State Politics. And on it you can track the campaign contributions of any state lawmaker.

For instance Minnesota Representatives Latz and Meslow both introduced the smoking ban legislation into the House last session. Here, you can see that Rep. Meslow received $250 in 2004 from the American Medical Association (AMA). While the same contribution from the AMA to Rep. Latz is available here. In 2002 the MN. lawmaker who last session introduced the propsed smoking ban in the Senate, Scott Dibble received $500 from the AMA.

And here you'll find that Nicoderm interests at RWJF donated $10,896,463.00 to the AMA. The grant states:

RWJF supported the national program office at the American Medical Association with an addition $10 million in RWJF grants.....

Perhaps it is just coincidence, and perhaps many others feel this is an accepted way of doing business in our State capitol......however, when new air quality testing proves secondhand smoke levels do not rise to public health hazard levels necessitating government intervention, and yet certain politicians continue to push their special interest agenda......then the undue influence by those special interests ought to be brought to the public's attention.

If nothing else, it's a fun way to track the campaign contributions to state candidates......Now I'm off to find contribution sites to local county and city lawmakers, feel free to drop me a line if you know of any.

Friday, February 24, 2006

State lawmakers in Maryland and Virginia reject pharmaceutical nicotine interests

Lawmakers in both states voted to uphold the basic tenets of freedom. Full story here.

And I was more than happy to provide lawmakers with the facts from this air quality study to help them come to that conclusion.

Update: Here's another local government which rejected a smoking ban after receiving the OSHA / St. Louis Park air quality study.........coincidence?....I'd like to think not.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Government conducted air quality test results for secondhand smoke coincide with what OSHA has repeatedly stated, "what health hazard?"

Rather than update this blog on a regular basis, the information on this weblog, especially these first two posts are designed to be reference material for those battling proposed smoking ban legislation. Clearing the Air regularly provides the government air quality data regarding secondhand smoke in the post below to lawmakers around the country, and we encourage anyone else who stumbles upon this page to also provide this air quality information to lawmakers in your respective districts. Many organizations with ties to pharmaceutical nicotine interests are providing misleading and exaggerated data to lawmakers to benefit their own particular interests.....it's time to balance out the information lawmakers receive so that they can make an informed, unbiased, and fair decision.

In 2004 a municipal environmental health department quietly conducted air quality testing of secondhand smoke in all bars & restaurants in its jurisdiction. The purpose of this testing, no doubt, was to point out how hazardous secondhand smoke is. But what happens when that government air quality testing doesn’t support the pro-smoking ban agenda?

Air quality testing results:

Comparison of the St. Louis Park, MN. Environmental Health Department secondhand smoke air quality test results to OSHA guidelines, side by side:



Above is the partial OSHA table of permissible exposure limits, click to enlarge
1 milligram mg = 1,000 micrograms ug (full OSHA table can be found here)



Above is the St. Louis Park, MN. air quality test results of secondhand smoke concentrations click to enlarge (actual SLP results found here)

The upper table is the partial OSHA permissible exposure limit table (Standards - 29 CFR) for airborne contaminants ie. these levels are the safe exposure limits for humans. You'll note that the nicotine* safe level is 0.5 milligrams mg / cu. M (or 500 micrograms (ug) / cu. M).

The bottom table is the actual St. Louis Park test results for 19 establishments of measured airborne nicotine* levels during typical busy evenings. You can see the median establishment, Applebees, had a reading of 3.3 micrograms ug / cu. M.

Now let’s do the math, 500 ug (OSHA safe level) divided by 3.3 ug (median reading Applebees) = measured airborne nicotine* levels are 152 times safer than OSHA regulations. In other words NO HEALTH HAZARD as per OSHA workplace indoor air quality standards.

It is therefore disingenuous to implement smoking bans based on the argument that secondhand smoke is a health hazard, that argument has been scientifically proven false.

* (As per air quality researchers nationwide) Nicotine is the only unique or "trace" chemical in secondhand smoke. If you measured for formaldehyde, the carpet and other interior sources of formaldehyde would corrupt the test result, formaldehyde is formed naturally in our atmosphere due to photochemical oxidation. Benzene is given off from burning foods in the kitchen or diesel exhaust outdoors so again a false reading would be obtained. Therefore, nicotine is the ideal chemical to measure to determine secondhand smoke concentrations in the air. And then our comparison to OSHA guidelines is the logical manner in which to determine if secondhand smoke levels pose a health hazard, as you can see, according to OSHA, the authority on workplace safety, they do not. If you wanted you could measure every airborne chemical in secondhand smoke and then compare them to OSHA guidelines for each specific chemical, the results would be the same, if not more dramatic.

OSHA itself has stated regarding secondhand smoke:


"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."

-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Smoking cigarettes can be hazardous to the smoker, no argument there. However, secondhand smoke is not the deadly hazard pro-smoking ban groups claim. Which should lead one to question what is the real agenda, and why the hype?

And for the record, the answer to the original question:….what happens when the government air quality testing doesn’t support the pro-smoking ban agenda? It gets buried of course, never to see the light of day. As a matter of fact, the city which conducted the “nicotine disclosure” testing, recently removed these air quality test results from their website (probably under duress from certain pro-smoking ban groups). If it weren’t for backup copies on
“Clearing the Air” servers here, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press archive, the facts from this study would simply ……….go up in smoke.

Ventilation options do work, government air quality testing proof is
here.

Support our sponsor.Mark Wernimont

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pro-smoking ban lawmaker kills his own justification for smoking ban (health of employees) and his own bill in public testimony

Proof that lawmakers don't even believe the absurd health "hazard" claims the anti-smoking activists are espousing.

At this video link you will find the MN. House smoking ban author Representative Doug Meslow, killing the legislation all by himself.

Rep. Meslow and pro-smoking ban lawmakers around the country claim they are enacting smoking ban legislation for the health of employees. However, at the video link above at time counter interval 6:11 - 8:38 you will see and hear representative Meslow offering amendment A17 to his smoking ban bill H405, which will:

"...permit smoking in retail tobacco stores......"

Meslow goes on to justify this exemption by tripping all over his tongue with the ease and grace that only a politician can muster:

"......this bill is really about protection.....looking out for the health of employees and their exposure to secondhand smoke.....(however) individuals working in retail tobacco are people who are involved in that kind of business and process........these are people who are commonly already smoking on their own.....they don't have the same protection concerns....I don't have the same protection concerns for them......."

The above dialogue verbatim describes why bars and restaurants also need to be exempt from these abusive, unnecessary, draconian smoking ban measures. Bar and restaurant employees are also "...involved in that kind of business and process..." these individuals voluntarily chose the atmosphere they decided to work in......And furthermore, 80% + of hospitality workers "...are people who are commonly already smoking on their own...."

As far as I'm concerned the only thing better than having a government environmental health department prove secondhand smoke concentrations are 152 times safer than OHSA guidelines, is having a pro-smoking ban politician exemplify the very reason why we don't need their unnecessary legislation.

I never imagined I'd be thanking Rep. Meslow for his service in the MN. House....thanks Doug, now how about a pre-emption bill to nullify these local government smoking ban ordinances which you've illustrated are so unnecessary.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It seems I've attracted the ire of pro-smoking ban activists of sorts...

....from my comments here, here, and here on Dr. Siegel's weblog.

The lawyers, doctors, and researchers on the pro-smoking ban side of the aisle seem to be upset about the government air quality testing found here, which showed indoor secondhand smoke concentrations to be 500-15 times safer than OSHA air quality regulations for secondhand smoke.

But it is just as I have repeatedly told Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Johnson & Johnson company officials.......if they would have merely compensated those of us who are losing businesses and jobs, just as they have for their activists who spread fear mongering deceit and exaggerations, which they call "research studies"; they may have been able to steamroll their agenda thru unfettered.

But not even the powerful pharmaceutical nicotine interests can take away a person's life, livelihood and home without paying the price. Especially when that "taking" involves fabricated testimony and studies designed to deceive lawmakers in order to implement that agenda.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Air quality testing and secondhand smoke.....an update

In 2004 a municipal environmental health department quietly conducted air quality testing of secondhand smoke in all bars & restaurants in its jurisdiction. The purpose of this testing, no doubt, was to point out how hazardous secondhand smoke is. But what happens when that government air quality testing doesn’t support the pro-smoking ban agenda?

Air quality testing results:

Comparison of the St. Louis Park, MN. Environmental Health Department secondhand smoke air quality test results to OSHA guidelines, side by side:



Partial OSHA table of permissible exposure limits
click to enlarge 1 milligram mg = 1,000 micrograms ug (full OSHA table can be found here)



St. Louis Park, MN. air quality test results of secondhand smoke concentrations
click to enlarge (actual SLP results found here)

The upper table is the partial OSHA permissible exposure limit table (Standards - 29 CFR) for airborne contaminants ie. these levels are the safe exposure limits for humans for an 8 hour day, 40 hours per week. You'll note that the nicotine* safe level is 0.5 milligrams mg / cu. M (or 500 micrograms (ug) / cu. M).

The bottom table is the actual St. Louis Park test results for 19 establishments of measured airborne nicotine* levels during typical busy evenings. You can see the median establishment, Applebees, had a reading of 3.3 micrograms ug / cu. M.

Now let’s do the math, 500 ug (OSHA safe level) divided by 3.3 ug (median reading Applebees) =equals measured airborne nicotine* levels are 152 times safer than OSHA regulations. In other words NO HEALTH HAZARD as per OSHA workplace indoor air quality standards.

It is therefore disingenuous to implement smoking bans based on the argument that secondhand smoke is a health hazard, that argument has been scientifically proven false.

* (As per air quality researchers nationwide) Nicotine is the only unique or "trace" chemical in secondhand smoke. If you measured for formaldehyde, the carpet and other interior sources of formaldehyde would corrupt the test result, formaldehyde is formed naturally in our atmosphere due to photochemical oxidation. Benzene is given off from burning foods in the kitchen or diesel exhaust outdoors so again a false reading would be obtained. Therefore, nicotine is the ideal chemical to measure to determine secondhand smoke concentrations in the air. And then our comparison to OSHA guidelines is the logical manner in which to determine if secondhand smoke levels pose a health hazard, as you can see, according to OSHA, the authority on workplace safety, they do not. If you wanted you could measure every airborne chemical in secondhand smoke and then compare them to OSHA guidelines for each specific chemical, the results would be the same, if not more dramatic.

OSHA itself has stated regarding secondhand smoke:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."

-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Additional AQ testing around the globe confirms secondhand smoke is NOT a health hazard:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-st-louis-aq-study-published-by.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2007/11/johns-hopkins-air-quality-testing-of.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2007/04/bmj-published-air-quality-test-results.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2004/04/american-cancer-society-test-results.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/02/air-quality-testing-and-secondhand.html

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2008/03/british-medical-journal-who-conclude.html

Smoking cigarettes can be hazardous to the smoker, no argument there. However, secondhand smoke is not the deadly hazard pro-smoking ban groups claim. Which should lead one to question what is the real agenda, and why the hype?

And for the record, the answer to the original question:

….what happens when the government air quality testing doesn’t support the pro-smoking ban agenda? It gets buried of course, never to see the light of day. As a matter of fact, the city which conducted the “nicotine disclosure” testing, recently removed these air quality test results from their website (probably under duress from certain pro-smoking ban groups). If it weren’t for backup copies on “Clearing the Air” servers here, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press archive, the facts from this study would simply ……….go up in smoke.

Update: We recently uncovered a secondhand smoke air quality test conducted by the American Cancer Society. It's result shows secondhand smoke concentrations are up to 25,000 times SAFER than OSHA standards for secondhand smoke. *And here's similar AQ testing conducted in Europe, peer reviewed and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Ventilation options do work, government air quality testing proof is here.

Proof of financial damage due to smoking bans found here:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2009/03/worldwide-economic-meltdown-and.html

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Virginia and Maryland Reject Ban On Smoking.

Lawmakers Loath To Force Businesses

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Ann E. Marimow
Washington Post Staff WritersFriday, February 24, 2006; A01

Flirtations with smoking bans in Virginia and Maryland came to abrupt ends yesterday, as legislative panels in each state rejected bills that would have made restaurants and virtually all other public places smoke-free.

In Virginia, a House of Delegates subcommittee unanimously rejected a bill that had won Senate approval despite the state's long-standing ties to the tobacco industry.

In Maryland, a House committee chaired by a Baltimore delegate whose downtown district is dotted with bars and taverns turned back a similar proposal by a narrow margin.

Health groups -- including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association -- lobbied extensively for the bans. Eleven other states have approved such prohibitions, as evidence mounted about the health risks of breathing secondhand smoke and more people stopped smoking.

Delegates in both states said that many business owners have prohibited smoking in response to customer demands but that those who wish to cater to smokers should be allowed to do so.

"The problem is, I want to have smoke-free restaurants and businesses. But in America, you don't pass a law to tell a private business owner who is paying rent or mortgage payments what he can and can't do in his own place," said Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax).

The proposed ban attracted particular attention in Virginia, the nation's No. 3 tobacco-growing state. The Senate's narrow approval of the bill was interpreted by many as a sign of the loosening of the industry's hold in a state that is home to the worldwide headquarters of Philip Morris. The Senate sponsor, a Roanoke Republican, presented his measure as a public health necessity, arguing that science has proved the dangers of secondhand smoke.

"The bottom line is that we're not talking about a smoker's right to smoke indoors," said Sen. J. Brandon Bell II. "We're talking about my right not to breath in 4,000 chemicals and 60 known carcinogens that are associated with secondhand smoke. "Many lawmakers had predicted a quick death in the Virginia House, which has a long history of rejecting measures its members say amount to government nannyism.

The smoking ban failed its first legislative test in the body, dying in a six-member subcommittee of the General Laws Committee. "This is the wrong way to go about forcing this on businesses," Del. John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) said during the hearing. "People have to take some type of personal responsibility and not expect the state to do it for them."

Under House rules, the subcommittee vote means the bill dies for the year unless the full committee's chairman agrees the 22 members should hear the measure as well. In this case, Chairman Del. John S. "Jack" Reid (R-Henrico) said he does not intend to hold such a hearing. Bell said he was not surprised. "There's always a resistance to change," he said.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has not been supportive of the measure either. In Maryland, three counties -- Montgomery, Talbot and more recently Prince George's -- have banned smoking. But efforts to extend the prohibition statewide failed yesterday for the fourth consecutive year when the measure fell two votes short in the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Legislators in Annapolis were bombarded with e-mails, phone calls and petitions from representatives of both sides of the debate.

"People who walk these halls complain about the high cost of medical care, and here was a golden opportunity to do something about it," Eric Gally, a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, said after the 11 to 11 vote. "Once again, we've taken a pass."

Melvin Thompson, lobbyist for the Restaurant Association of Maryland, applauded the outcome as a sign that legislators had heard the message that "smoking bans are most damaging to smaller restaurants and bars."

Prospects for passage dimmed with the departure of John Adams Hurson (D) of Montgomery County, the former House health committee chairman who represented a jurisdiction that had passed a local ban. The new committee chairman, Del. Peter A. Hammen (D), represents an area of downtown Baltimore that he said is home to nearly half the liquor licenses in the city. Ties to Maryland's tobacco-growing past also appeared to play a role in the bill's defeat.

Missing from the vote yesterday was Del. Sue Kullen (D-Calvert), a Southern Maryland lawmaker whom health care lobbyists considered critical to the outcome. Kullen, who stopped by the committee room shortly before the vote, said she had a scheduling conflict with another hearing. "We were trying to monkey around with the schedule, but it didn't work out so well," she said. "I had an excused absence."

During a hearing on the bill last week, Kullen said the issue was a difficult one for legislators from more rural parts of Maryland. "For me, it's the tobacco legacy I'm wrestling with. It's just not good to demonize the tobacco leaf," she said. "But it does have health implications."

After the committee meeting yesterday, Kullen would not say how she would have voted.
"I was leaning in favor of the bill," she said, "but was still concerned about the effect on business."

Staff writer Chris L. Jenkins contributed to this report

Also visit our sponsors at bottom of webpage
  • Why a Non-Smoker Fights the Pro-Smoking Ban Lies
  • Is RWJF, a 501(c)3, violating IRS rules by funding pro-smoking ban lobbyists?
  • RWJF funds and promotes universal healthcare policies which are the basis for and primary objective of Obamacare
  • Boycott these special interests (J & J) who destroyed the hospitality industry & jobs
  • Is the smoking ban movement fueled by pharmaceutical nicotine interests?
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  • How do smoking ban lobbyists profit from smoking bans?
  • Pharmaceutical interests project the alternative nicotine marketplace to be $4.6 billion +
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  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? NO
  • Do smoker's cost society more money than non-smoker's? Part 2
  • Why does UCSF researcher Stanton Glantz support smoking bans?
  • OSHA standards prove SHS is not a health hazard
  • Tired of the nanny-state, big, socialized, corrupt, government legislation coming out of our state and federal capitols these days? Vote Republican in November 2010 & 2012