People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The End of Smoking Bans?

Health experts around the country for many years faced a dilemma. Studies revealed that those who regularly smoked cigarettes brought on an elevated risk of cancer, emphysema, etc. compared to non-smokers, and those same studies supported the premise that smokers lived markedly shorter lives. But in this society of ours, a person is permitted risky behavior - and a shorter life - as long as no one else is harmed. At least to a degree.

As long as no one else is harmed ...

Knowing that they were getting nowhere, about twenty years ago the experts adopted a new tactic. A strategem as it turned out. Statistics were revealed showing that non-smokers suffered from the effects of cigarette smoke inhalation too. The postulate could not be supported in the laboratory (and still can't) but it was handed off to statisticians to prove. And they did. Non-smokers who were "exposed to" cigarette smoke were more likely to develop cancers, emphysema, etc, than were non-smokers who were not exposed to cigarette smoke. Somehow.

Thus was born the "second-hand smoke" campaign. And the tobacco industry in the USA has been in retreat ever since. Neither the industry nor its customers could make the "it's a matter of personal choice" argument any longer. Non-smokers who found themselves in a room full of cigarette smoke could not, after all, choose to not breathe.

As a result, restaurants and workplaces around the country have been made "smoke-free" by government decree. Workers these days find themselves banished to back alleys and parking lots should they feel the need to light up, even on the most frigid and forbidding of days (which makes one wonder about the anti-smoking zealots' compassion argument).

Well, something is about to punch a gigantic hole in the second-hand smoke argument.

Analyst: Reynolds will unveil smokeless tobacco at Daytona 500
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

The Citigroup analyst who first predicted that Reynolds American Inc. would introduce a smokeless tobacco product this month reiterated her prediction Friday in a note to investors.

"We increasingly believe (Reynolds American) will be entering the smokeless market at the Daytona 500 this Sunday," analyst Bonnie Herzog wrote in a note to investors. "Our trade contacts indicate (Reynolds American) has developed a product and will enter the market with Camel." (link)
A cigarette that emits no smoke.

If Reynolds' scientists are able to perfect a cigarette (and apparently they have) that gives off no smoke and, therefore, does not emit carcinogens into the air and, therefore, produces nothing that a non-smoker might injest, can the argument about second-hand smoke contamination hold up?

The answer is no (anti-smoking zealots will continue to answer yes despite all evidence to the contrary).

The tide is about to turn.

I will sit back and watch this trend unfold with a sinful amount of glee. I don't smoke so I have no dog in this fight. But if there has ever been a more mean-spirited prohibition campaign in my lifetime (closely resembling Victorian-era prudish moralism in extremis), I don't know what it might be.

Anti-smoking crusaders have been vicious in their treatment of smokers in recent decades. They were able to get away with it because their argument that smokers kill non-smokers was always a powerful one. That argument - that weapon - is about to be taken away from them.

Let's see what their weapon of choice becomes now. In an effort to show compassion, let me be the first to offer one up:
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost who is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Now There is a powerful weapon.

What Am I Missing?

From NRVToday:
February is Abstinence Promotion Month (link)
What are we supposed to promote the other eleven months of the year?

A Story Within a Story

The New York Times has an article this morning about President Bush meeting Michael Crichton in the White House at some point in time long ago and talking to the author about his latest book, "State of Fear," a novel that does a superlative job of making the world's environmentalist organizations look like the sinister - and misguided - panic-mongers that they are. Apparently the environmentalists have their biodegradable undies in a bunch over the fact that the President would have the gall to even talk to Crichton. But then their undies bunch often these days. ("Bush's Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists")

What caught my attention, though, was this:
Mr. Crichton, whose views in "State of Fear" helped him win the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' annual journalism award this month, has been a leading doubter of global warming and last September appeared before a Senate committee to argue that the supporting science was mixed, at best.
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists has an annual journalism award.

Is that a prestigious award? Shouldn't you have to write something about oily rocks in order to qualify for the award? What do you get when you win? Do they have an awards banquet? A Best Poetry award? Do they have a dance contest as well?

Making the study of dirt and rocks exciting and fun. I think I'm in the wrong business.

Who Stole Our Global Warming?

It is 8° outside.

Thank God I've got a wife who does all the farm chores ....