Dismantling The Misinformation Age

Educate yourself. Learn the facts. The information on smokescam.com comes from multiple sources and a concerted effort to track down what seemed and proved to be outrageous statistics. Don't count on non-profits supposedly concerned with health to be presenting an accurate view of secondhand smoke (ETS: Environmental Tobacco Smoke). Too often, I discovered, they have an agenda that fills their coffers and has little to do with the truth.

Perhaps I need to say the following: I have no ties to and have received no money from the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical industry, any government agency and/or the non-profits involved in the Nicotine Wars. I am a writer, teacher and journalist with a degree in secondary education and two teaching fields, government and English.

I became involved in February (2005) when a group petitioned our city council to ban smoking here. My boss and I disagreed on the ban, and he said, "Go to the city council. Speak out. State your views." And I thought, "I will, but first I have to search for the facts."

I began my search without knowing what I would find, but as a reporter I knew to check multiple sources. So I did. The more I searched, the more concerned I became. Then I became incensed.

When I taught seventh grade English, I would tell my students that freedom is not free. The price of freedom is vigilance. Many have paid and are paying even now with their lives so that we can have the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.

As I moved through the convoluted war on tobacco, I became deeply concerned about the trend toward more and more government intrusion into private business and private lives that I saw occurring in our republic today. You will find that concern reflected in my letters and reports.

At the bottom, you will find links to two studies, one in the U.S. and one in Canada, that show the business losses due to smoking bans.

The following links are to three letters I sent to the city council, mayor and city attorney in my city when those members were considering a smoking ban patterned after the El Paso, Texas ordinance. I hope they will help you formulate your own letters in opposition to smoking bans to your city council, mayor, city attorney, city manager or state representatives. I was told by several voting members after the city council had its second reading and voted on the smoking ordinance (which is NOT a ban) that my reports made a difference.

For those of you who oppose government intervention in private business and private lives and are looking for help in opposing smoking bans, you may use what will work in your situation as long as you do NOT distort the material. Be accurate.

For those who have read this far and are in favor of banning smoking, do NOT use any of this material.

The first letter was long and you will find most of it on this Web site on the Report pages. In presenting the letter, I also prepared one evidence notebook that contained all the studies, articles and court actions referred to in the report. The evidence notebook is between 300 and 400 pages. The mayor read most of the material. The others did not, but it was made available to them on more than one occasion.

First letter

Second letter (also long. Sent right before the open meeting. OSHA's court ruling can be found through www.forces.org.)

Third letter (Sent Friday before the final vote the following Tuesday)

I have also included the talk I gave before the open meeting held to discuss the issue. Each side was given an hour to speak. Talks were limited to two minutes, and the mayor asked that everyone hold their comments throughout the time period. My talk was the only one that drew applause. I was told later by the press and others there that the reason for the applause, despite the mayor's instructions, was that I was the only one who came prepared and actually stated facts.

Talk given before city council (This talk changed as I listened to others speak and added material that I felt was relevant to the comments being made by the other side.)

It is vital to get accurate information to those making legislative decisions. It is also important to inform the public, which has been so misinformed through decades of propaganda. For the latter, I prepared two flyers, had 7,500 copies printed, and, prior to the opening meeting, a friend personally took them to restaurants, tobacco shops, bars, VFW and American Legion halls and other places he felt would be interested in the information. We used (Astrobrights) bright yellow and bright orange paper for color.

Flyer 1, Side 1 (much like illustration on Home page. The type faces are, from top down, Quigley Let (Western), Bernard MT Condensed and Arial Narrow (Western).

Flyer 1, Side 2 (This side is full of words and one illustration. Takes longer than side 1 to load. Both have a space near the bottom to insert a line for a meeting, etc. The type faces are, from top down, Britannia Bold (Western), Arial Narrow (Western), Placard Condensed (Western) and Arial Narrow (Western).

Flyer 2, Side 1 (A half page, standard size sheet of paper. Print two to a page. Type faces, from top down, Quigley Let (Western) and Arial narrow (Western). Loads more quickly than Flyer 1.

Flyer 2, Side 2 Type faces, from top down, Quigley Let (Western) and Dom Casual BT (Western). Also loads more quickly than flyer one.

For those looking for statistics regarding the impact of smoking bans, click here. In this study, David W. Kuneman and Michael J. McFadden use statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For additional statistics, this time on Canada, click here. The study was conducted by economist Michael Evans, Ph. D., a former advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NASA, U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. Treasury. Evans was also a Professor of Economics at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He used Ontario Ministry of Finance sales and tax receipts data between 2000 and 2003 to ensure the veracity of his report. The study has been verified by Wade Cook, Ph. D, Associate Dean of Research, Schulich School of Business. Evans concluded, "Government data clearly demonstrates smoking bans materially reduce sales in bars and nightclubs. The evidence is quite clear. To suggest that smoking bans don't have a dramatic negative impact on bar sales would be an opinion - not fact."

Best regards.

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