20 May 2009

Glenn Grothman: votes for cancer and emphysema and against smoking ban.

Hi everyone,

Sometimes it writes itself.

In the Journal.

State Legislature passes smoking ban - WKOW

And in the Sheboygan Press

Blogwise, some observations from WAG THE DOG.



mbakken said...

Take cigarettes. It's often asserted that smoking costs society more than $100 billion. Peer-reviewed studies from economists such as Vanderbilt University's Kip Viscusi and Willard Manning of the University of Chicago, however, demonstrate that nearly all of the costs of smoking - healthcare, higher insurance premiums, lower productivity at work - are borne by smokers themselves, not the larger society. Some experts even calculate that smoking yields net cost savings. Yet higher cigarette excises keep coming - exceeding $5 per pack in some locations - far more than could be justified as a corrective tax.
Even President Obama - a man known to have indulged an occasional smoke himself - couldn't resist. He has more than doubled the federal cigarette excise, breaking his campaign promise not to raise taxes on people making less than $250,000.
To maintain fairness, and protect minorities, society should rely on broad-based levies on income, property and sales. All who benefit from services would pay for them.
Remember: one man's sin is often another's little piece of heaven on earth. Our ability to control the personal details of our lives is rare and precious. What a shame if the Statue of Liberty no longer held up a torch of liberty but instead a ruler to whack citizens across the knuckles when they reach for a treat.
Patrick Fleenor is chief economist of the Tax Foundation.
"Voting is FORBIDDEN by the ban lobbyists. It’s on page eight of the ban lobbyist handbook by Johnson and Johnsons (makers of cessation products) RWJ Foundation handbook, Here it is.
www.no-smoke. org/pdf/CIA_ Fundamentals. pdf "

Don't be fooled. Drug companies want to monopolize nicotine products. Nicotine has been shown to be beneficial for certain diseases. Drug companies want Control. They have been doing all the research that smokers have paid for and found nicotine benefits. God forbid people are able to use without a PAID ( to docs, drug companies, insurance companies, all profit) Prescription!
Please ask where the money has come from behind all of the anti-smoking bans ?
RJRF: Makers/sellers of nicotine products.
Would you really believe that profit is not the motive ?
Would you really believe all of this is done for altruistic purposes ?
Non smokers die everyday. People not exposed to SHS die everyday.
People who don't smoke or live with smokers get lung cancer, have heart ailments, diabetes, asthma, etc., and can be identified.

mbakken said...

Senator Grothman has this very right!
Sin is big, at least in the minds of federal and state lawmakers. The U.S. Senate is currently considering a soda tax to help pay for healthcare reform. In New York, Gov. David Paterson (D) wants a sin tax on non-diet sodas, and West Virginia Delegate Margaret Staggers (D) supports "a heckuva junk food tax." Nationwide, Democrats and Republicans have proposed higher taxes on alcohol and especially tobacco.
Such politicians are often called "nanny-staters" because they think the proper role of the state is to scold the people in the same way a nanny scolds children. Don't touch that chocolate!
But it's probably not politicians' love of scolding that keeps these tax hikes coming - it's their love of money. They want to spend more, and they'll take whoever's money is easiest to grab.
Sin taxes are easy to get enacted for several reasons, but the biggest is that each allegedly sinful product is consumed by a minority of the public. So it's the classic danger of democracy that Alexis de Tocqueville warned about two centuries ago: the tyranny of the majority.
Fleecing the minority is made much easier by an army of busybodies who make a comfortable living feeding "studies" to the media, proclaiming that Americans eat the wrong foods, drink the wrong beverages, don't exercise enough, and are generally sinful. These modern-day Carrie Nations' denunciations of nearly every commonplace pleasure - from Girl Scout Cookies to movie theater popcorn - are fodder for the nightly news.
To dispel the notion that their sin taxes go too far, the nanny-staters rely on a clever sleight-of-hand: Instead of pitching the tax as a punishment for sin, they claim they're merely compensating society for costs imposed by bad habits. These claims are often unsupported by science.

Mpeterson said...

By a strange twist of libertarian logic I agree entirely about using sin-fees to make money for the state. Adding fees to cigarettes to discourage smoking among teenagers, hell yes... but not to raise money for the state -- and for exactly the reason you cite.

The fairest way to pay for what we need is through a progressive tax on income. I'm putting together a column on this... it's where I part company with the Gov.

On the other hand, you did know that cigarettes actually cause cancer, right? and that the studies indicate second hand smoke does too?

You say that the financial costs may be said to be born by the smokers themselves? Interesting, but I'd need to see what that really means. Everyone's insurance goes up when people have to use their insurance and if you have a group actively engaged in health damaging activity, it's hard to imagine that this wouldn't have an impact on the rest of us.


mbakken said...

With all of the negativity regarding smoking brought about by the pharmaceutical companies, and the war against the tobacco companies that directly benefit the big pharmas who market their own brand of nicotine, and the knowledge about the benefits of nicotine, why would the big pharmas want control of this? MONEY!
Over the past decade, new research has taught us more about how nicotine affects the brain and the body. Some of it is good news -- for example, a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease in smokers. Research has pointed to a compound called acetylcholine as the reason. Nicotine is structurally similar to acetylcholine, a naturally-occurring compound that serves as a neurotransmitter. Nicotine binds to nerve receptors and makes nerve cells fire more frequently. In one study, a group of Alzheimer's patients were given nicotine patches, while another received a placebo. Those with nicotine patches maintained their cognitive abilities longer and sometimes even recovered lost cognitive function. A follow-up study indicated that nicotine may also boost cognitive abilities in elderly people who aren't suffering from Alzheimer's but who are experiencing the typical mental decline associated with old age.
A 1982 study revealed that patients with ulcerative colitis had fewer flare-ups when taking nicotine. However, side effects proved nicotine to be a poor long-term treatment.
In 2000, a study performed at Stanford revealed surprising results about nicotine's effects on blood vessels. Contrary to popular opinion, the study showed that nicotine actually boosts the growth of new blood vessels. The discovery may lead to new treatments for diabetes. Many people with severe diabetes experience poor circulation, which can lead to gangrene and ultimately, limb amputation.
Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute published a study in 2002 that revealed a connection between nornicotine -- a chemical found in tobacco and also created when the body breaks down nicotine -- and a reduction of Alzheimer's symptoms. However, nornicotine is toxic, pointing to the need for a nontoxic substitute.
­­­­In 2006, Duke scientists found that people with depression who were treated with nicotine patches reported a decrease in their depressive feelings. The results were perhaps not surprising for a drug associated with imparting a "buzz." However, the research also showed a direct link between nicotine and an increase in the release of dopamine and serotonin, two vital neurotransmitters. A lack of dopamine or serotonin is a common cause of depression.
The variety of conditions being studied reflects the excitement felt in the scientific community for the potential of nicotine: anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and schizophrenia.

mbakken said...

We have become a nation of drug addicts, whether legal or not, with the Pharmaceutical industry as the supplier, and
ethically challenged organizations like the American Cancer Society acting as the pusher for profit while our government
looks the other way and pretends that it’s not happening. Turn on a television during the day and count the PRESCRIPTION
drug commercials, which is a OBVIOUS attempt at targeting the elderly to pick up their phones to ask their doctors why
they’re not on the newest drug. Smoking Bans are not about improving the health of anyone. The only health concern here,
is first and foremost about a healthy bottom line for the Global Pharmaceutical industry. They’ve bought the media, a PR
firm, and our elected officials. This is the biggest fraudulent marketing strategy ever conceived. They want socialized
medicine and in order for it to be affordable, they want non-smoking, non-drinking (2009 initiative), non-obese (RWJF
pledged $500 million) American citizens. Where will it end? Will they take overweight children from their parents or from
their smoking parents? This has to stop!!

How is it legal for a Johnson & Johnson “non profit” foundation, who makes its money from the
60,000,000 shares of Johnson & Johnson stock, to create a world-wide situation for which THEY
have the answer? (Nicoderm, Nicoderm CQ, Nicorette, Chantix). Over one million boxes of NRT were sold in January,
2008. Chantix: “For the full-year 2007, Chantix revenues were $883 million compared with $101 million in 2006, the year it was
launched.” http://seekingalpha.com/article/61585-pfizer-s-chantix-poised-for-blockbuster-sales?source=financialcontent

Mpeterson said...

Hi mbakken,

Sorry, but I'm not going to post up all 30 pages of your reply! Why don't you simply refer everyone back to your own website?

But are you really under the impression that big pharma is responsible for waging war against smoking just so that they can sell their nicotine replacement patches?


mbakken said...

Undoubtedly! Do you know that a non-profit foundation funded most of the bans? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation paid just through 2005 over 446 MILLION DOLLARS for tobacco control? 99 million to the ACS, ALA, AHA for bans. 84 million to create/fund Tobacco-Free Kids. RWJF was created by the founder of Johnson & Johnson. RWJF owns tens of millions of shares of J&J stock. J&J sells Nicotine Replacement Therapy products (CESSATION). Michael Fiore received grant money from RJWF; Fiore helped write federal mandate that doctors tell patients they MUST use drugs, not to quit cold turkey and yet, NRT products have a FAILURE RATE OF 98.4% for one year or longer quitting. And you wonder why these groups are opposed to anyone selling nicotine products besides the drug companies? Did you know a study was done showing 80% of the time, minors were able to buy NRT products with no ID? And how about Nicorette's "minty fresh" gum with teeth whiteners or "cinnamon burst" gum? Hypocrisy. It's ok for the drug companies to sell alternative nicotine products? What a scam this whole thing is.