Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who is Taverns Clearing the Air?

In the realm of public affairs and politics grassroots efforts are given more credibility because they are the people,they don't just claim to represent the people. That's why Progressives like Nancy Pelosi  try to label some grassroots efforts as Astroturf.

But in the case of "Taverns Clearing the Air" it is astroturf in every sense of the word.  First who they claim to be.  From their introduction page.


Taverns Clearing the Air is an organization led by Wisconsin Class B liquor license holders who supported a statewide smoke-free law. We are still looking for members, as always there's no cost to join!


The statewide smoke-free air law will level the playing field for all businesses by eliminating the patchwork of local ordinances that pit one town's laws against another's, and will promote healthier, cleaner workplaces.
The statewide smoke-free workplaces law is a good thing for Wisconsin.
With the statewide smoke-free law in place now we are here to help support our membership through any issues they may have. Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.

But who are they really?
Well a simple WHOIS search revels the following.

   Smoke Free Wisconsin 
   care of Network Solutions
   PO Box 459
   Drums, PA 18222

OK they are Smoke Free Wisconsin so what?
Well this bit of astroturf does not end there, this was a team effort between Smoke Free Wisconsin and RWJF the major stockholder of Johnson and Johnson.  Now RWJF tries to pass this off as educational material.  But do you see that disclaimer or any mention that they fronted this group?

Now Johnson and Johnson has a history of corruption and bribery most recent occurred this year.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the world’s second-biggest seller of medical products, will pay $70 million after admitting that the company bribed doctors in Europe and paid kickbacks in Iraq to win contracts and sell drugs and artificial joints.
Subsidiaries of J&J paid bribes to doctors and hospital administrators in Greece, Poland and Romania, the Securities andExchange Commission and Department of Justice said today infilings at U.S. District Court in Washington. The company alsomade illegal payments to Iraqi officials to win contracts underthe U.N. oil-for-food program, the filings said.
This is not an isolated incidence, they have a long history of these practices.

If you look at the efforts of Smoke Free Wisconsin almost all of their efforts favor their big pharma partners.  Just look at the e-cigarette.  they imply that they are extremely dangerous like this post.

In July, the FDA finally dispelled the rumors that e-cigarettes could be safer than regular cigarettes by releasing an analysis of the new product. The FDA's results: E-cigarettes are NOT a safe alternative to cigarettes.

The FDA study found that the products contain the poison Diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are human carcinogens, and other harmful tobacco-specific ingredients. In addition, of the advertised non-nicotine e-cigs the FDA tested, all but one still contained low levels of the drug.
A simple search of their blog reveals many more.  While they and their quit lines push the ineffective and potentially dangerous drugs pushed by their big pharma partners.  First the facts on the e-cigarette.

 This from former Tobacco Control member and one of the main trainers of Tobacco Control advocates, Dr Michael Siegel.
According to the American Lung Association statement: "There is no scientific evidence establishing the safety of e-cigarettes. The FDA has found that these products contain cancer-causing agents and toxic chemicals, including the ingredients found in anti-freeze."

The Rest of the Story

The rest of the story is that the American Lung Association is deceiving the public. The truth is that the level of "cancer-causing agents" (i.e., tobacco-specific nitrosamines) found in electronic cigarettes was miniscule. It was so low that it is in fact comparable to the level found in ...

... you guessed it: the nicotine patch!

According to the FDA laboratory study, the level of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarettes was so low that it could not be quantified. It was below the level of quantification for the laboratory method.

Laugesen reported that the level of NNK in electronic cigarette cartridges is 1.5 ng per gram.

Stepanov et al. have reported that the nicotine patch (Nicoderm CQ) contains 8 ng of NNK per gram.

Thus, the level of NNK in electronic cigarettes is actually less than that of the nicotine patch. The level of total tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarette cartridges is about the same as in the nicotine patch.
So how about the safety of big pharma's other drugs like the highly advertised Chantix.

Again from Dr Siegel;

Meta-Analysis: Chantix Causes One Heart Attack for Every Three Patients It Helps Quit Smoking; Anti-Smoking Groups: Keep Chantix, Ban E-Cigs

A new meta-analysis published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that the smoking cessation drug Chantix is associated with a 70% increase in serious adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, compared to placebo . . .
The Rest of the Story

The public health impact of these findings is substantial. According to one of the study authors, as quoted in MedPage Today: "'In absolute terms, it is a small difference,' first author Sonal Singh, MD, of Johns Hopkins, told MedPage Today. 'However, when you consider the difference from a population perspective, you get a very different picture. It is estimated that 7 million people in the U.S. were using Chantix last year. If you apply our results to the total number of users, I estimate that there were 62,500 cardiac events that were linked to use of Chantix. That is not a small number, by any standards.'"

So in addition to the more than 200 suicides that have been linked to Chantix, Singh is now estimating that Chantix causes 62,500 serious cardiac events (e.g., heart attacks) per year. This is all in the name of helping one person quit smoking out of every 30 who are treated.
Even the seemingly harmless nicotine gum has almost killed one kid.

Why Do Anti-Smoking Groups and Researchers Recommend Pharmaceutical Cessation Aids for Every Patient When Unaided Quitting is More Effective?

Not long ago, an NIH expert panel released a 2008 update of the clinical practice guideline regarding the treatment of tobacco use and dependence (see: Fiore MC, JaƩn CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008).

The guideline recommends that every patient who wishes to quit be treated with pharmaceuticals, unless medically contraindicated. The guideline also recommends the use of Chantix, despite concerns about its potential suicide risk, a risk that is currently being investigated by the FDA. Among the pharmaceuticals recommended by the panel are:
  • buproprion;
  • nicotine gum;
  • nicotine patch;
  • nicotine nasal spray;
  • nicotine lozenge;
  • nicotine inhaler;
  • Chantix; and
  • combinations of the above.
The expert panel was supposedly guided by scientific evidence in drawing its conclusions. It chose to recommend the use of pharmaceutical aids for every individual trying to quit smoking, presumably, due to research showing that drug-aided cessation is more effective than unaided cessation.

Many national anti-smoking groups have echoed the expert panel's recommendations. To be sure, pharmaceutical-aided smoking cessation is at the core of the national tobacco control movement's strategy and recommendations.

The Rest of the Story

But what does the scientific evidence show?

Those who have read the Clinical Practice Guideline on smoking cessation treatment may be shocked to find out that the scientific evidence clearly shows that unaided smoking cessation is substantially more effective than pharmaceutical-aided cessation.

New Research Article Confirms that Advising E-Cigarette Users to Switch to FDA-Approved Products Would Be a Grave Mistake 

An article published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Clinical Practice finds that the overwhelming majority of dedicated electronic cigarette users have already tried to quit smoking many times and most have tried and failed with FDA-approved smoking cessation therapies. The critical implication of this finding is that advising e-cigarette users to switch to FDA-approved drugs, as was recommended by authors of a New England Journal of Medicine commentary article last week, would have devastating public health consequences, as most of these ex-smokers would return to smoking due to their previous lack of success with NRT, Chantix, and other approved smoking cessation drugs.

(See: Foulds, J., Veldheer, S. and Berg, A. (2011), Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs): views of aficionados and clinical/public health perspectives. International Journal of Clinical Practice. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02751.x)

The research involved personal interviews with 104 experienced electronic cigarette users. The major findings were as follows:

  1. "Of all the e-cig users, 78% had not used any tobacco in the prior 30 days."
  2. "They had previously smoked an average of 25 cigarettes per day, and had tried to quit smoking an average of nine times before they started using e-cigs."
  3. "Two-thirds had previously tried to quit smoking using an FDA-approved smoking cessation medication."
  4. "Three quarters started using e-cigs with the intention of quitting smoking and almost all felt that the e-cig had helped them to succeed in quitting smoking."
The Rest of the Story

This study adds to a growing body of survey-based evidence that electronic cigarettes are being used successfully by thousands of smokers to quit smoking. The proportion of users who are successful in quitting is not clear because none of these surveys has obtained a representative sample of electronic cigarette users.

 Yet groups like Smoke Free Wisconsin push these Big Pharma products and even demand  govenment funding of these products.

This year Wisconsin’s tobacco control and prevention program was cut by 55 percent.  While cuts were expected during these difficult economic times, the programs affected, including the tobacco QuitLine, have proven successful at reducing tobacco use in Wisconsin.

And they use questionable polling methods to prove that these programs are popular.

A recent poll found strong, bi-partisan, statewide support for proposals to move alltobacco products behind the counter, close tax loopholes that allow some tobacco products to be taxed less than others and continue funding the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program to keep tobacco out of our kids’ hands
Why questionable.  Well you have to look at the poll itself.  They led off with three questions about concerns about children.

11193 WI Poll - Interview Schedule Page 2
May 4-7, 2011

2. On a new topic, how concerned are you about smoking and other tobacco use among young
people in Wisconsin?
35% Very concerned
39% Somewhat concerned
17% Not too concerned...or...
8% Not at all concerned?

Now that they have the sheeple  thinking in terms of children they ask the real questions and feed you into the cattle shoot.

4. How important is it to you to fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and provide help for
smokers who want to quit. ?
11193 WI Poll - Interview Schedule Page 3
May 4-7, 2011
5. Now, if a state legislator voted to preserve funding for tobacco prevention programs that prevent
kids from smoking and provide help for smokers who want to quit, would that make you MORE
LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to vote for that legislator for re-election?

There are a number of proposals our state policymakers might consider to reduce tobacco use in
Wisconsin. I am going to read a list of proposals. For each proposal, please tell me if you favor or
oppose that proposal.

6. Prohibiting the sale of candy and fruit flavored tobacco products such as cherry flavored smokeless tobacco or grape flavored little cigars
51% 44% 35% 17% 21% 23% 4% *

7. Closing the tobacco tax loophole so candy and fruit flavored tobacco products are taxed at the same rate as cigarettes
71% 26% 49% 21% 9% 17% 3% 1%

8. Requiring little cigars and candy and fruit flavored tobacco products to be placed behind the counter so they are less accessible to young people.
79% 18% 60% 19% 9% 9% 2% 1%

9. Now, if a legislative candidate had promised not to raise taxes while running for office, but then once elected, voted to close the tobacco tax loophole on products like candy flavored tobacco products, would that make you MORE LIKELY or LESS LIKELY to vote for that candidate, or would it make no difference in your vote?

3. Next, recently, the legislature voted to preserve funding for programs to prevent kids from
smoking and provide help for smokers who want to quit in the new state budget. Do you support or oppose the legislature preserving funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs?

4. How important is it to you to fund programs to prevent kids from smoking and provide help for smokers who want to quit. ?

The fact is that selling tobacco products to children has been illegal for years and it is not the young that are smoking them.  They are inferior products that taste like dog droppings.  Ask any retailer who is buying these products and you will find for the most part it is the elderly on fixed incomes.

The Rest of the Story

 They also don't tell you that this tax increase would effect non-flavored tobacco products, again a punitive tax on the poor.

Roll your own, avoid tax; you make the ‘smokes’ at local business

 The big wood-paneled box at Discount Smokes is a tobacco-rollingmachine. Into it go loose pipe tobacco and rolling tubes. With arattling and grinding of gears, out of it come "smokes" - 190guaranteed to fill a 200-count box and designed to match the flavorof popular cigarette brands.

The machine also is a number-cruncher. As it whirs and grates inside an East Wisconsin Street building that once housed an H&R Block office, it keeps out the state and federal excise taxes that go along with purchases of manufactured cigarettes.

 So again deception to force smokers to their big pharma partners.

Draconian taxes do not work!

As a matter of fact they promote black marketing and terrorism.  Even Michigan is seeing the light.

Michigan is beginning to see the light by lowering the cigarette tax by $!.00, this will have more of an impact on teen smoking then higher taxes ever will. Why you ask? Because it reduces smuggling and would force teens to go to legal vendors who would card them as opposed to criminal street vendors.
The study finds that in 2006 almost 35 percent of all the cigarettes consumed in Michigan (legal and illegal) were smuggled into the state, and smuggling is not the only unintended consequence of high state cigarette excise taxes. It has also contributed to crime ranging from vandalism to violence to terrorism.

This is taking place all over the world.

Store owners say high cigarette taxes drive black market

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 10:38 AM ET

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The owners of convenience stores in Quebec say it's the high taxes on cigarettes that are driving people to buy on the black market.
The depanneur owners want the federal and provincial governments to make serious cuts in the taxes so that a pack of 25 cigarettes would cost no more than $5.50, instead of the $8 to $10 it can cost now.
Three of the biggest groups representing convenience store operators launched a campaign Monday to inform the public of what they call the negative effects of excessive taxation.
The owners said that, far from discouraging smoking, high taxation levels on tobacco products simply persuade people to buy their smokes on the black market.
They pointed out that it deprives the governments of millions of dollars a year in revenues, and helps fund criminal organizations.
Meanwhile, the stores' bottom lines are suffering, with officials saying up to three depanneurs and small grocery stores are forced to close every day because of lost revenues.
Recent studies estimate more than 40 per cent of tobacco smoked in Ontario and Quebec is contraband.
Every day, the RCMP seize tens of thousands of dollars worth of contraband tobacco from boats loaded with cigarettes made on Mohawk reserves.
"We're losing around $2 billion each year because of contraband," federal Revenue Minster Jean-Pierre Blackburn said recently.

And of course like the drug dealer on the street they have no problem selling to children or to use children to sell their product.  So back to the original question do you want to keep tobacco out of children's hands?





  1. You should be aware of this bill


    This is a bill that is being introduced by Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) that would exclude e-cigs from the current smoking ban. So far it has 8 sponsors so has a chance to see the light of day.



  2. You might enjoy reading the FDA study analysis that composed part of the chapter "Of Vapors And Vapers" in TobakkoNacht! See: