Monday, February 28, 2011

Time for (MSA) taxpayer funded ClearWay MN to be dissolved & its assets distributed to Minnesotans whose lives have been destroyed by smoking bans

ClearWay MN 2010 annual report shows end of year assets of $110,793,337.00. Within their executive summary report to Ramsey County District Court they explain:

From inception through June 30, 2010, nearly $56.9 million has funded (smoking) cessation.....Through our QuitPlan programs....(by) June 2010, these programs had helped nearly 18,000 Minnesotans successfully quit....

At a taxpayer cost of $3,111.11 for each new ex-smoker..(remember MSA funds were awarded to state taxpayers to offset "tobacco related healthcare costs").....surely there are more cost effective ways for smokers to kick the habit that won't cost taxpayers a penny. But the outrageous measures that ClearWay MN uses to justify their gravy train existence, doesn't end there. ClearWay MN funded a "research" paper by Dr. Elizabeth Klein that claimed the smoking bans they funded and lobbied in favor of:

had no economic impact on bar business. Using state data on hospitality businesses, Dr. Klein found no significant change in employment for Twin Cities bars after their smoking bans took effect.

However, regular readers of CTA know that the Twin Cities area and surrounding Minnesota cities have seen a massive, unprecedented record number of hospitality closings (nearly 500 local closings by our detailed list) since smoking bans went into effect in the land of 10,000+ unemployed hospitality workers. So when we confronted Dr. Klein via email, her response showed an obvious "research" flaw:

"If you read the release, you'll note that our study used employment in hospitality businesses, not business closure. In addition, the research was conducted during 2003 to 2006."

So the study did not take into account the nearly 500 local hospitality closings and estimated 10,000 job losses after smoking bans were enacted here. But even more important, the study ended long before Minnesota's statewide smoking ban even went into effect. Therefore, this "study" cannot purport to measure the effect of smoking bans on hospitality was merely old, irrelevant propaganda pure and simple. many millions of dollars did ClearWay MN waste on that "study"?

In fact the Minnesota Auditor's Office filed a report in 2008 that showed one year after the statewide smoking ban went into effect, bars on average, lost 31.9% revenue.

CTA has over the years detailed the financial devastation to Minnesotans who've suffered job losses, foreclosure etc. by perhaps once well intentioned organizations. But in their zeal to lobby for self-serving legislation their bogus claim of "smoking bans are good for business" has proven not just to have been an outright lie, but a death sentence to hundreds of once profitable local businesses, and tens of thousands of livelihoods.

So once again, we appeal for the dissolution of ClearWay MN, and their massive coffers to be redistributed as recompense to those of us who've paid dearly for their gross negligence and disregard for the livelihood of others.
As CTA proposed years earlier:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

if lawmakers are hellbent on enacting a statewide ban, then an amendment needs to be added to the law which sets aside a $100 million dollar fund to compensate for the business and job losses which result from a smoking ban.......that fund will be financed by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, MPAAT (ClearWay MN) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF is the pharmaceutical nicotine organization which funded most of the preceding groups, a rent seeking ploy designed to increase sales of their Nicoderm, Nicorette, Nicotrol product line).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lawmakers and smoking ban activists who point to decreased cigarette sales as sign that smoking bans & tax increases work....should think again

Fellow freedom activist Audrey Silk used to smoke Parliament brand cigarettes made in Virginia, now she smokes a very limited, exclusive vintage grown in Marine Park, NY......Silk brand tobacco, fresh out of her appropriately named garden...."Bloomberg gardens".

Ms. Silk would have spent more than $1,000 had she bought nine cartons in parts of New York City. Instead, she spent $240, mostly for the trays, the buckets and plant food.

Ms. Silk, 46, a retired police officer and the founder of New York City Clash (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), a smokers’ rights group, it is not just about the money. It is about the message. In the state with the highest cigarette taxes in the country, in a city that has become one of the hardest places in America to find a place to smoke, Ms. Silk has gone off the grid, growing, processing and smoking her own tax-free cigarettes from packets of seeds she buys online for about $2. She expects to produce a total of 45 cartons after planting two crops — the first in the summer of 2009, the second last summer — and estimates that she will have saved more than $5,000.

“It’ll make the antismokers apoplectic,” said Ms. Silk. “They’re using the power of taxation to coerce behavior. That’s not what taxation is supposed to be for.”

More at NY Times here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blowhardberg signs outdoor smoking ban. No doubt sea levels will recede, heavenly hosts will rejoice & unicorns will again frolic in Central Park

“We can raise an entire generation of New Yorkers who are free from the dangers of nicotine addiction,” said Bloomberg, a former smoker, at the bill-signing ceremony Tuesday.

Except of course for the pharmaceutical nicotine products that he and his buddies at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) want New Yorkers (and all Americans) to be addicted to...Nicoderm, Nicotrol, Nicorette, Commit, etc.

RWJF profits from sales of alternative nicotine products when smoking bans are implemented...which is the reason RWJF has provided $446+ million to lobbyists who promote smoking bans.
.....Bloomberg's reason???

You may note a tone of sarcasm from CTA, that's because outdoor smoking bans are so comical in that the "dangers" are non-existent. A few years ago the California Air Resource Board conducted air quality testing of secondhand smoke outdoors......the results? Outdoor secondhand smoke levels are 50,000 times SAFER than OSHA permissible exposure limits.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flasback 2006: MSA funded anti-tobacco group ClearWay MN proves smoking bans eliminate business & jobs

Reprint from CTA posting 11/2006

State funded anti-tobacco group proves that smoking bans eliminate business....will lawmakers heed the lesson

Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco (MPAAT) now ClearWay MN, proved that smoking bans eliminate on average nearly 40% of a private businesses' customers; with the most dramatic decrease in business of nearly 90%.

click to enlarge
"customers before" was count before smoking ban
"customers after" was count after smoking ban

Clearing the Air covered this story a few months back, but as more cities, counties, and states cave in to extortion-like tactics by the non-profit special interest smoking ban groups; it is important to remember the lessons that even the activists can't deny.

Update 2008: Minnesota Auditor's Office report finds that smoking ban decreased revenue 31.9% in bars and taverns just one year after smoking ban was implemented.

What's even more incredible is that air quality testing of secondhand smoke proves the "heath hazard" claim is a bold faced lie, and international hoax. Couple that with the new revelation by Dr. Siegel, that epidemiological studies which smoking ban activists' based their very existence upon were manipulated and/or fixed to support a pre-determined agenda, and you've got very sound reasoning why lawmakers should send the smoking ban charlatans not only packing, but making reparations to all the individuals and businesses harmed.

Update to Clearway MN study above:
3 years later we know for fact that ClearWay MN was correct, nearly 500 Minnesota bars and restaurants have closed since smoking bans were enacted in the land of 10,000 lakes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

26,000 Minnesotans lost their homes to foreclosure in 2010, local smoking ban restrictions contributed to it by way of business closures & job losses

The 2010 foreclosure rate story is here.

No doubt this rate of foreclosure was exacerbated by the massive number of nearly 500 local bars & restaurants and approximately 12,000 jobs eliminated since smoking bans were enacted here.

More reading on the subject as CTA reported back in 1Q 2009:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flasback 2006: Pro-smoking ban lawmaker nullifies justification for smoking bans

Proof that lawmakers don't even believe the absurd health "hazard" claims the Nicoderm funded, 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 6:05 - 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 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 workplace permissible exposure limits, is having a pro-smoking ban politician exemplify the very reason why we don't need their unnecessary legislation to begin with.

More reasons to repeal smoking ban:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Smoking bans take the profit from legitimate the smoking and drinking continue at home

THE days of being able to enjoy a cigarette and a drink at your favourite pub are a thing of the past.

But Michael Castle has rebelled against the smoking ban by setting up a bar at home where his family, friends and neighbours are free to light-up with gin and tonic in hand....

Proving once again that smoking bans are destructive to businesses and jobs in the hospitality industry:

3,382 UK pubs closed after nationwide smoking ban

South Dakota's smoking ban, just one month old, has already cost the state, charities, and local hospitality businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue

1,000-2,000 US bars & restaurants closed after various smoking bans were enacted

Nearly 400 Mpls / St. Paul bars & restaurants closed after smoking bans were enacted

Casino revenue losses in Colorado & Las Vegas after smokingbans

Washington State gambling revenues fall sharply due to ban

Trump & Atlantic City casinos lose significant revenue after smoking ban

Illionois smoking ban eliminates revenues in casinos

900 Pennsylvania bars and taverns have been reported closed since their smoking ban passed

-economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have released analysis that says Illinois lost over $200 million in state and local revenue by placing the smoking ban on state-licensed casinos.

Meanwhile, the bans do little, if anything, to actually reduce smoking rates:

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  • WHO report secondhand smoke doesn't cause cancer
  • 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?
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