Talk Before City Council Open Meeting

We are here today to talk about choices and about the legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren. Do we want an ever more restrictive government or do we want to leave them a government founded on the principles our forefathers set forth?

When I began investigating secondhand smoke on anti-smokers sites, smokers sites, government sites, non-profit sites, medical sites and a whole host of others, I didn't know what I'd find. And frankly, the anti-smokers burned themselves. I tracked down their so called statistics and found mostly hot air.

Then I recalled what my international relations professor at Texas Tech said about war – and they do call this the nicotine war – trace the money. there never has been and never will be a war fought on the face of the earth as long as man is alive that is about anything but money and marketplaces. The cause is what those in control use to get others to die for them.

So I traced the money. That led me directly to the pharmaceutical industry and a number of non-profits, including the American Cancer Society and others like it. Did you know the American Heart Association's healthy heart emblem is purchased by companies wanting to use it in their advertisements? One of the biggest players in this anti-smoking war is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has spent multi-millions on selling anti-tobacco. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the single largest stock holder in Johnson and Johnson. In 1991, the FDA approves a nicotine patch as a prescription drug. In 1991, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiated its anti-tobacco grant program. That's just the tip on the iceberg.

(Here I inserted the total amount paid out by the RWJ Foundation 1991-1999 and some information from your article regarding the amounts received by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and Washington DOC)

My search led me to Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, who discussed the difficulties in finding those to peer review studies because of conflicting interests. Her book, "The Truth About the Drub Companies" is quite enlightening. And frightening.

I learned how to read the studies and had a medical doctor look over them to see if I was on the right track. He said, "I knew they were jiggling the numbers I just didn't realize how much." (Association is NOT causation, but apparently many who write about eh studies don't realize that. The flawed EPA report stated a 1.19 percent (that's 19 percent since 1 is ground zero) association with at a 90 percent confidence level. Not cause. I cite the following only to make a point. The relative risk of drinking whole milk and cancer is 2.14 at a 95 percent confidence level. Are we going to ban whole milk?

(I inserted information from the WHO study: read the conclusions: "ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Our results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk. No clear does-response relationship could be demonstrated for cumulative spousal ETS exposure. Vehicles and public indoor settings did not represent an important source of ETS exposure.")

I also had an attorney look over the court cases to see if I understood them correctly. I did.

Osteen threw out the report on secondhand smoke as flowed and he said faced with the ugly possibility thatt the EPA began with its conclusion and then went about trying to prove it. The EPA challenged the ruling and the court of appeals also noted the lack of an industry representative a t the table and said no court had jurisdiction because the EPA had no legislative ability. It did not rule on the contents of the report because no court had the jurisdiction to do so. This is good and bad. IT means that reports form the EPA can't be challenged in court and that the EPA can say just about anything it wants to without having ot worry about being called into court. (Also goes for other reports)

The question to ask yourself is do I want my children and my grandchildren to have choices. Do I want them to learn how to make their own decisions. Do I want them to claim the responsibility for themselves or do I want them to be blaming others for their state of affairs? Do I want their decision made for them by a government entity?

Don't imagine this issue today is about children unless you believe the state is better equipped to raise children than they parents. Parents don't take their children where they believe there is a harmful element.

We are talking about private businesses that are open to the public. The public is at choice in entering the business. If someone has a complaint, the correct person to address is the manager or owner, not some government entity.

(Did not say this due to time constraints: What about diesel? What about asphalt? What about grilling meat? What about fireplaces? What about wood dust, like that that comes off those wood pieces so many use in their yards? Are we going to ban all those from our cities? The list is endless....)

The government that can do everything for you and it can take everything away form you.

When a city votes a ban on smoking, the pharmaceutical industry and paid specialists in the world of anti-smoking laugh all the way to the bank.

Do you want them in control of your life?

Your children's?

Your grandchildren's?

These are serious questions and the answers to them will determine if freedom and choice and liberty survive the 21st century.

End of prepared talk:

When I gave this talk, the pro-ban side had doctors and folks who got up and talked about how their relatives had died of lung cancer. So, I did add that the people I love, including my father, had died of alcoholism, and you would not see me in front of any government body asking for ban on alcohol. I knew the difference. Alcoholism is an illness. Drinking is not.

I was also told I mentioned that alcoholism has killed more people and destroyed more families than smoking.

I also cited the results of the WHO-IARC study.

Some physicians and some other folks on the pro-ban side had talked about asthma. So I did say that my mother suffered from asthma as a child. That she had two cousins who also suffered from asthma and developed pneumonia and died before they were 21. She smoked her adult life and did not have asthma come back on her as an adult until she stopped smoking. She lived to be 90.,copyright 2005, S.M.P.,