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Smoking ban for Jefferson?

Already, 27 W.Va. counties make  tobacco a no-no in public areas

CHARLES TOWN – Last week’s vote by leaders in the Northern Panhandle to ban smoking in public places has some asking whether Jefferson County will follow suit.

Over the vehement objections of officials from Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, Hancock County became the 27th of West Virginia’s 55 counties to forbid tobacco use in public areas. The new rules take effect next July.

In the Eastern Panhandle, designated smoking areas are becoming less prevalent, too. Berkeley County’s ban took effect two months ago and just this week, Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson and other properties owned by West Virginia University Healthcare went smoke-free.

Lyn Widmyer, a Democrat who serves on the Jefferson County Commission, said she remembers when smoking was allowed even in hospital labor and delivery areas. “We’ve come a long way and I think we should keep on going,” she said. “From a health perspective, I think it should be banned everywhere you go because smoking is not healthy in any shape, way or form.”

Widmyer, who will leave the commission in January after opting not to seek another term, said she doesn’t believe a smoking ban has ever come before the Jefferson County Commission. She said she does see advantages for counties that ban tobacco, including as a strategy for spending less on medical care.

A ban on smoking in public places “is just another way to create a healthier workforce and country,” Widmyer said.

Tom Trumble, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Health, said board members focusing on addiction and other more-pressing health matters right now.

He also sees the trend moving toward smoke-free even without a countywide ban. “Individual businesses are adopting a smoking ban as they see fit,” he explained. “You cannot smoke in any government buildings. There is a no-smoking area in most restaurants. By and large, if you want to avoid smoking you can. It’s up to the individual to do so.”

Trumble describes himself as a “recovering smoker.”

“I understand the issue,” he said. “The county health board is a small group and we can only do so much ourselves. Right now we are concentrating on the principal health issues in our county – drug addiction, mental illness, diabetes and obesity. Clearly those are the top four.

“We are concerned also about getting all children inoculations before they go to school. We need to pick and choose based on our resources and the community’s needs. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do.”

For many, the question of whether to allow smoking comes down to economics. “The major change that a [county-wide] smoking ban in public places would have would be at [Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races],” Trumble said.

Matte Hancock, who owns Charles Town’s Longshots Billiards and La Mezzaluna Café, said that if Jefferson County adopted a smoking ban in all public places, her businesses might suffer.

“We allow smoking at Longshots because it’s a private club,” she said. “I think we would only be negatively impacted by a smoking ban in public places if a neighboring county still allowed it – or if a similar class of business within the county, like the race track, was able to keep smoking while the smaller clubs had to give it up.”

More than 50 years after the Surgeon General first warned of the tie between smoking and cancer, lung disease and other woes, West Virginia has the second-highest rate of smoking in the nation, according to the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings.

The report states that 28.2 percent of adults in the West Virginia – some 409,000 people – smoke.

The latest numbers from the state Department of Health and Human Resources found that 22.6 percent of Jefferson County residents were smokers in 2012.

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4 Responses to Smoking ban for Jefferson?

  1. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  2. What proof of smoking caused disease there is none

    JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS”
    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  3. The Anti-Tobacco Racket: History Revisited

    Anti-tobacco/smoking has had a long, sordid, 400+ year history. Pretty well all of the antismoking crusades have been prohibitionist, usually banning the sale/use of tobacco. There was one notable exception – King James I (‘tis he who commissioned the King James Bible translation) in the early-1600s. Jimmy did a few things. He penned the antismoking piece, “A Counterblaste To Tobacco”, a work loaded with inflammatory drivel written in ye olde English. It was important to clearly indicate moral outrage because this provides the pretext for taking action on the tobacco “issue”. But Jimmy didn’t prohibit tobacco/smoking. Armed with the appearance of moral high ground, he did a few things. He banned the growing of tobacco in England and arranged for the importation of tobacco from Virginia, USA. Banning the growing of tobacco in England reduced the risk of locally produced contraband. So, King Jim manufactured a monopoly on tobacco (entering through imports) in England. And didn’t Jimmy have a field day with the monopoly. He set a ration on the sale of tobacco per person and super-inflated the price of tobacco. He was robbing his tobacco-users blind. What a good “Christian” king. Unfortunately the racket had a limited life. The mass-scale robbery invited contraband. Tired of losing revenue to contraband, Jim eventually relented and lowered his price.

    Fast-forward some 400 years to the island nation of Australia. Since the early-1900s, growing tobacco in Australia has required a government permit. The only ones issued these permits were tobacco companies.

    Australia bought into the antismoking hysteria in the 1980s. The leaders of the current antismoking crusade are prohibitionists. Their goal, as it was in early-1900s America, is to destroy the tobacco industry. The prohibitionists have brought to the table the “moral outrage”. Having partnered with the prohibitionists, the moral outrage permits the government to act on the tobacco “issue”. The beginnings were small. The goal was to put the heat on the “evil” tobacco industry – banning of advertising, constantly referred to as the “merchants of death”, etc. By 2014, the tobacco companies have been chased out of Australia. The tobacco companies no longer contract tobacco growing and their last, small manufacturing plant is about to close. All tobacco products are now imported into Australia. The growing of tobacco in Australia, based on early-1900s law, is effectively banned; tobacco-growing permits are not issued to individuals. If someone wants [legal] tobacco, they have to buy the officially-imported, government-tax paid stuff. The Australian government finds itself in a manufactured position not unlike King James. It has a monopoly on [imported] tobacco in Australia and has complete control over its price through excise tax. Unlike Jimmy, the government hasn’t even had to get its hands dirty sourcing imports. It uses tobacco companies as offshore growers/manufacturers that then import tobacco products into Australia. And, just like Jim, isn’t the Australian government having a field day with the monopoly. It just keeps jacking up the taxes on tobacco. It’s, again, mass-scale robbery.

    It’s important to note the collusion between government and zealot prohibitionists. The prohibition sought this time is not the sale of tobacco but to effectively ban smoking in all the places that people typically smoke. Taxation is also a “punitive” tool. Important is that the same step is interpreted differently by prohibitionists and the government. Increased taxation is viewed by the zealots as a coercive tool to antismoking conformity, whereas the government views it as a means to increased revenue (through robbery). To maintain the appearance of a moral “high ground” the government needs the moral outrage of the zealots. It doesn’t matter if the moralizing zealots are constantly lying in their claims. All that matters is the moral outrage and the appearance of moral high ground. To keep the zealots on-side, it has to appease the antismoking whims of the zealots, e.g., smoking bans, plain packaging. In doing so, it legitimizes what are baseless claims by the zealots. The government can then claim that extortionate taxes, which it’s really interested in, are necessary to “help” people to quit. The fact of the matter is that those who smoke are being fleeced by baseless, ever-increasing taxes. The government knows that most won’t quit smoking and it counts on increased revenue from tax hikes in its budget forecasts. It’s robbery based on the moral fraud of antismoking rhetoric. It’s a racket. Worse is that some of the zealot prohibitionists want kick-backs in the form of funding to further “educate” the public, advance their careers, and remain in comfortable employment.

    This results in the utterly perverse situation that those who smoke are further and further marginalized through baseless antismoking laws, smoking deemed “unfit” for normal society while they’re also being robbed through ever-increasing extortionate taxes. Smokers are forced to pay for their own “denormalization” and further fleecing. And this is occurring not in the autocracy of 1600s England but in a one-time relatively free society like Australia where the government is supposedly a servant of the people (which includes those who smoke). It’s the government in its partnering with zealot prohibitionists that is conducting itself like a criminal entity.

    Bring on the contraband.

  4. The world will always have hate,hate should never be outlawed its an emotion. Its when hate motivates action that we have the problem. Take smoking bans its a hate driven industry and it criminalizes its victims. That’s a HATE CRIME.

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