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Taking liberties Once again, personal choices are under attack by good-for-you government.

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Calculating the `Big Kill'

Smoke and Mirrors: The EPA's Flawed Study of Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer













A civil debate


Your head has been buried very deeply and for a very long period of time if you have not heard the shrill anti-smoking warnings coming from a seemingly endless assortment of politicians, health professionals and government funded anti-tobacco lobbyists. Using an equally copious supply of statistics these doomsayers would have us believe smoking is a catastrophic epidemic killing billions around the world. A worrying undercurrent swirling within this “War on Tobacco” is a tactical campaign to marginalize smokers as stupid, yellow-toothed addicts with mental health problems whose selfish, littering ways kill those around them, burden our health care system and waste our health care dollars.

1436448993_s.gifThis slimy campaign of constant repetition and social ostracism is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate smokers into quitting their ‘filthy’ habit. Simply put, smokers can no longer be tolerated in our society.

Now the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and a variety of other anti-smoking dens (1,2) have taken us to a new and dangerous low.  They are displaying on their Myspace websites a No Smoking symbol (shown above) depicting a smoker being punched. Sure, they'll tell you it was posted by a 'friend' but how long would a 'friend's' depiction of a woman being punched, a pornographic picture or a swastika stay on the sites they control?

We don’t tolerate this bald-faced bullying in schoolyards or workplaces. Why do we seem all too willing to accept it from the anti-smoking crusaders?

Parents, governments, educators and employment experts all recognize the serious adverse effects of bullying in schools, workplaces and the community at large. And while these groups work diligently to prevent bullying the anti-tobacco movement happily encourages it.

We all hold dear civility, privacy and individual liberties. Yet anti-tobacco crusaders demand we abandon these core values for their greater good. If they weren’t so obsessed with both their undying hatred of tobacco companies and their self-righteous belief that they know what is best for all, perhaps, just maybe they’d see the damage their hatred is doing to a caring, tolerant society.

Let’s pull the reins back on those so consumed with controlling tobacco that they don’t recognize an open dialog is based on truth. Let’s remind them of the differences between education and indoctrination. Tell them in no uncertain terms that civil debates do not include bullying and drowning out reasoned arguments just to get one’s way. And, of utmost importance, let’s remind them that individual choices are just that. They are not some medical condition in need of an ‘intervention.’

Let’s bring civility and sanity back into the tobacco control debate.