Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prohibition Returns to Kansas

smokingprohibitionLate last week, Marvin Kleeb, former Johnson County Republican Party treasurer, crossed the aisle to join with other Kansas we-know-better-than-you Democrat and Republican politicans to pass a state-wide smoking ban.

REPUBLICANS VOTING YES: Pat Colloton, Leawood;  Barbara Bollier, Mission Hills; Jill Quigley and Ron Worley, both of Lenexa; Mike Kiegerl, Olathe; Sheryl Spalding and Marvin Kleeb, both of Overland Park; and Kay Wolf, Prairie Village.

REPUBLICANS VOTING NO : Anthony Brown, Eudora; Owen Donohoe, Shawnee; Lance Kinzer, Rob Olson, Scott Schwab and Arlen Siegfreid, all of Olathe; Ray Merrick, Stilwell; and Connie O’Brien, Tonganoxie. 

REPUBLICANS NOT VOTING: Kevin Yoder, Overland Park. 

DEMOCRATS VOTING YES: Lisa Benlon, Dolores Furtado and Gene Rardin, all of Overland Park; Cindy Neighbor, Shawnee; Mike Slattery, Mission; Milack Talia, Merriam; Melanie Meier, Leavenworth; Valdenia Winn, Louis Ruiz, Margaret Long, Broderick Henderson, Stan Frownfelter, Tom Burroughs, all of Kansas City; Marti Crow, Leavenworth.

DEMOCRATS VOTING NO: Mike Peterson, Kansas City.[1]

Many Kansas cities have already enacted ordinance banning the completely legal act of smoking under the guise that bans improve health standards.  Proponents of bans quickly jumped on on the news of a recent study by Dr. David Meyers of KU Medical Center which appeared to show a 17% reduction in heart attacks in cities with smoking bans in order to push for a state-wide ban.

However, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology soon issued a retraction after the mass publicization of the study.  It seems that the data was skewed because of of an incorrect value carelessly entered into a single field.  The result of correcting the data lowered the reported reduction in heart attack rates from 17% to 8%, a virtually identical rate of reduction to those cities with no smoking ban at all.  The retraction went unreported by those same mass media conglomerates that trumpeted the original findings.

Another study by the European Journal of Epidemiology found absolutely no link with heart attacks and smoking bans.

Meanwhile, a new study is being circulated among leftwing media outlets that says Kansas would stand to benefit, to the tune of $74.7 million a year, if they were to enact a tax increase on cigarettes.

So on one hand Kansas politicians are telling you that you are too dumb not to protect yourself by not smoking or going to place that cater to smokers and they therefore have to ban the use of cigarettes, but on the other hand they would like that extra money from a new tax increase on cigarettes so it appears they are okay with going ahead smoking as long as they don’t have to see it.

Everyone knows that once a tax is enacted it never goes away.  And the result of raising taxes on cigarettes will give the state government new source of revenue that they will quickly spend and be unwilling to do without.  While they are actively trying to eliminate the use of smoking through bans, the consequence of which will be to also eliminate the new source of income they’be become addicted to, which will ultimately result in increases of taxes to compensate.

If Kansas do-gooder politicians truly believed that smoking was that bad for your health and that only banning smoking would get you to quit, the only correct course of action would be an outright ban on tobacco sales in the state of Kansas.  But then if they did that, they would lose out on the tobacco tax gravy train they are trying to use to fill all the budget holes in the sinking ship they call the Kansas government.


Anonymous said...

smoking sucks.

Anonymous said...

you're retarded, james.

Anonymous said...

Smoking should be just like sex. What you do in private is just fine with us.
It is always interesting the ridiculous arguments those opposed to the smoking in public bring out. You missed property rights, btw.
This is strictly a health issue. None of you supposed libertarians object to health inspections of restaurants, or rules requiring employees to wash their hands upon leaving bathrooms. The same stupid arguments you make could be used in those cases, but you never no that.

James said...

I'll gladly say it... health inspections, liqour boards, etc. are needless government regulations/bureaucracies. And if you know anything of the history of Kansas City, ones that have been notoriously used and controlled by organized crime. Just look into the River Quay.

If a business isn't clean, gets employees sick, the civil court system is there to make them pay for that.

You don't hear any arguments about it, because its been that way for so long.

Once the fight moves away from defending our rights and back to expanding them, you might. Until then libertarians and anyone else concerned with their freedoms are too busy trying to protect what little freedoms they have left.

Tony Palazzolo said...

Smoking does suck and so does overeating, drinking to excess, over doing physical activity and driving too fast.

Keep up the good work James. Don't you love how these people will take a shot at you and never give you their name. That reminds me, there is another thing that sucks - cowards.

Anonymous said...

WHo IS guilty of organized crime is the pharma companies who finance this propaganda, through their grants for lobbying to the American Cancer Society, the Heart Associations, the Lung Association, and Tobacco Free Kansas. These companies are all in the "family" of Johnson and Johnson Companies, and their "philanthropic arm" is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The last grant, to our once reputable charities was $99,000,000.00 dollars and the last to TFK was $1,200,000.00. The money for all the full page newspaper ads came into Kansas through grants from RWJF into the Kansas Health Foundation, in WIchita, and the Kansas Health Institute. Grants from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation paid for a three day junket, by the Steering Committee of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, to the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago. The Senators on the Committee came home and voted for a smoking ban. WHat the nicotine replacement companies are doing should be investigated under the RICO Act, and probably would be if they were not also pumping money into the campaign coffers of almost every politician in Kansas, including the State Democratic Party, the Insurance Commissioners campaign, and others. As long as the grant sponges are sucking in the dough, this effort to demonize and ostracize smokers onto the Chantix and Nicoderm and Nicotrol and Nicorette of the grantors who sell it, will never cease. They will also NEVER lobby to wtop the selling of tobacco products as that would turn off the spigot.

Anonymous said...

So how are you going to enforce your smoking ban? Ohio courts have ruled that the SMOKERS get fined, that you can't hold a business responsible from someone else's actions, if the owner tells them they can't smoke. That means your health department people will actually have to ENFORCE the ban themselves. They'll have to approach the smoker, who's had a few beers, interrogate them and then ask their name so they can fine them. Let me know how that's working for you!

Anonymous said...

You are not going to end smoking any more than you are going to end marijuana use.

Instead if you keep raising taxes people are going to go underground and purchase black market cigarettes like they already do with drugs.

Then the government won't get the tax revenue, but the underworld gangs will.

Anonymous said...

Jan Pauls, Democrat from Hutchinson Kansas did NOT vote for the smoking ban! She stood up for the rights of small business people. Do not label her with the bought off sheep people!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Easiest way to settle this issue without restricting smokers would be to make all business who allow smoking put up a huge sign that reads. "!!! Caution!! We allow smoking!!!". But I bet that would be fought over tooth and nail too.