Friday, February 8, 2008

House Continues To Ignore Majority Views on Smoking Ban

As expected, the House General Laws Subcommittee defeated all 8 House bills that would have regulated smoking in public. I am not surprised by the vote. But I am dismayed that House members, including Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, can be so confident in their position of political power, that they would continue to ignore the views of the vast majority of Virginian’s on this issue.

At the very least, this issue should come before the entire General Laws Committee. It is outrageous and a disservice to the citizens of this Commonwealth to prevent a fair hearing of these bills. But the voters may have the last laugh. They want this legislation and they will eventually elect legislators that will give it to them. That’s the beauty of our system.

Not only did the Subcommittee block the bills from a full hearing, the Chairman didn’t even play fair. Each side was given 30 minutes to speak. The tobacco lobby got their full 30 minutes. But the Smoke-Free coalition had half that time. The time used by the bill patrons to present was counted against the Smoke-Free coalition. This is absolutely unheard of. Patrons have to present their bills. Then you let the various individuals and groups speak for or against. This is the same type of dirty tricks used by Dickie Cranwell and the Democrats for years. And it was part of the reason they lost their Majority. The voters get tired of this stuff.

I’ve also gotten wind that Majority Leader Griffith is telling his colleagues in the House Republican Caucus that I lost my primary fight because of my support of Smoke-Free legislation. The subtle message is, you better vote against this, or you’ll be the next one to lose in a primary. He knows full well this is absolutely not true. This issue is supported by the majority of Republicans! In his attempt to keep his Indians in line, Griffith should be worried about how tight those wagons are circled. For him and our GOP House Majority, I hope this isn’t a last stand.


Karyn Kimberling said...

Liar, liar pants on fire! Each side was given 30 minutes, each group decided whom to let speak. The first Patron was told by the Chairman that his testimony would be subtracted from the 30 minutes. The patrons did not need to speak, they choose to speak.

There were no dirty tricks 30 minutes both sides period. Fair and square.

Since there are 15,000 restaurants in Virginia and 9,000 are smoke free there are plenty of places a non smoker and smoker can choose from.

It's that word CHOICE that you people can't stand! You believe that the citizens of this country are too stupid to make a choice, you are wrong pal! We kicked your butt out!

There are 55 million smokers in this country and we are getting fed up with people like you. We can kick you out of office and we can determine the next Presidential Race.

Stop being a cry baby Brandon, grow up, take it like a man and stop whining!

Virginians don't want a nanny state or should I call it a fascist state?

Brandon Bell said...


It is normal courtesy to not penalize a patron of a bill by taking his time to present his bill away from one side or another. Obviously courtesy is not a word you are particularly familiar with.

I love how some smokers like yourself think it is somehow your right to eject toxic waste (second hand smoke) from your lungs and expect every else enjoy your choice.

You don't own or have control over the air I breathe, babe. Your choice ends when you exhale. Here's to hoping you hold your breathe for let's say---eternity!

Zak Moore said...

Smokers are going to decide the Presidential race??? Talk about a bloated sense of self importance. Thanks KK for a little late night humor!

Canadian News said...

Hey its not just one smoker, anymore. IT is actually that smoker their families and the people who realize that property right losses and never ending "public funding" has to end.

Karyn Kimberling said...

No one here has ever looked at the research. Epidemiology "studies" are questionnaires, done by phone, to senior citizens in their 60's and 70's. They were developed in the 20's and used by Sir Austin Bradford Hill and Sir Richard Doll. They were never meant to be used to justify public policy. They were designed for scientists to test out a hypothesis, not to justify public policy. Hill's criterion also clearly states that these "studies" must be reproducible by a different group.

Just recently a British Study of 1.3 million women, who studied the effects of ETS and breast cancer, could not find any correlation. The study in the United States by the American Cancer Society claimed it did. Thun had egg on his face and could not explain why his study was so vastly different from the British study. Both studies should have yielded the same results.

This "science" is what every anti is using to justify smoking bans. It is not science it is a public opinion poll.

There is only one clinical study on ETS and that was done by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ORNL developed a tiny machine that waiters and waitress wore in 16 cities which measured the air quality inside smoking bars and restaurants. The result was 9.41 and 14.9 micrograms per cubic meter. OSHA standards are 5000 micrograms per cubic meter. Hence, OSHA has never issued regulations on second hand smoke or ETS because it is way below their standards.

The Surgeon Generals report in 2006was a meta-analysis (which means he chose what "studies" to use and which to leave out, he also combined "studies" on smokers along with "studies" done on second hand smoke in smoking household, one person smoked the other didn't. By mixing two separate types of studies together under a meta analysis it made his study invalid. However, if one chooses to believe his study is relevant in his executive summary he listed 64 items, of which 44 did not have statistical significance. The 20 that he claimed were significant were studies done on individuals who smoked, they were not on second hand smoke. One has to read the entire 770 page report to find that out.

It is also very interesting that Carmona was fired less than three weeks after his report was issued?
Coincidence, maybe but the timing certainly is peculiar. He currently is the resident Doctor at a fat farm in Arizona, not exactly a prestigious position.

Brandon, the KKK reference - just adorable. I failed to mention that the first individual to use epidemiology studies to justify public policy was Hitler. What does that make you?

I have worked on Presidential Campaign, anyone else here done that? Smokers as a voter block could indeed change the outcome of an election.

There is nothing that I have stated that cannot be verified on the internet.

If we were really concerned about air quality we would find an alternative to fossil fuel. The air we breathe each day is filled with carcinogens, alternative fuels would help the planet, global warming and in general the health of everyone on this small planet which we all share.

Again there is no clear evidence that second hand smoke is harmful to anyone, the clinical evidence shows it is not, therefore, as long as it is a legal product we are all equal under our Constitution smokers have the same
rights as everyone else.

This issue has never been about health it is about money. Who stands to gain? Big Pharma. Who is funding the anti-smoking agenda? Big Pharma.

Nothing is simple, and if you all want to be "true believers" and ignore the evidence that is your choice. I prefer to know the truth.

Brandon Bell said...

Ok so putting the science aside it just stinks. So the next time I see you in a restaurant and I get a whiff of your smoke, it will be my choice to vomit in your lap, huh?

Zak Moore said...

KK-I love it when you guys talk about science and in particular, your comment about how we can prove what you write by looking on the "internet"--I think that comment speaks for itself.

But back to the science. You can breath all the toxic chemicals you want. I will choose not to and we'll see who comes out better in the end. That being the case, you can keep your stinky, nasty, toxic smoke to yourself. No thanks!

Karyn Kimberling said...

Very juvenile, Brandon. You behavior might be one of the reasons you lost your seat.

Karyn Kimberling said...

You can find the studies published in the Journal of Epidemology, British Medical Journal, etc.

We all breathe toxic chemicals every day from fossel fuels and other emissions from industry.

What do you think has caused a hole in the ozone, second hand smoke, dream on.

Brandon Bell said...


That's just it KK. You guys are rude. If you went to someones home you wouldn't lite up without asking first--at least I hope you wouldn't. But you don't think twice about breathing your fumes over everyone in a restaurant. Next time you enter a restaurant be sure to ask all the non smokers if they would be offended if you smoked. If you get all no's then be my guest and fire it up.

It's interesting that you think you know so much about my primary loss when you aren't even a voter in the 22nd District. Your original line "We kicked your butt out" and you don't even vote here. Who's the liar now?

NotTrixieA said...

Oh Karyn, I see they let you out of the loony bin. How nice for you.

I want to thank you so much for your comments at the hearing the other night, they kept the smoke free side smiling for several days. Now at the next hearing you be sure to take as MUCH time as you like, don't you let the big boys tell you what to do, you just keep on talking.

Have to disagree with you about the patrons though, I think they may know more than you and they certainly do not share your thoughts on the subject.

As for Brandon's loss I believe your judgement is getting a little cloudy again, er, maybe it's all that smoke?

Debbie Bell said...

Dear Karyn,

I usually do not respond to juvenile name calling and childish behavior, but since you are speaking to my husband in this manner, you will now listen to me.

Your sanctimonious and self-righteous attitude regarding studies on the effects (or lack thereof) of second-hand smoke are less than impressive.

Now that you've displayed such enthusiasm over your scientific discoveries, here's my scientific fact: Two years ago, my 18 month old baby cousin was found lifeless in his crib. I watched my family lay his little body into the ground and bury him. The cause of death? Second. Hand. Smoke.

Get off your hind legs. You are appearing like a fool. The world is not all about you.

Cass said...

Lots of conversation. Getting back to your original statement.

I was at the hearing and I did not hear any testimony from tobacco companies. The people who testified were owners of restaurants or related trade associations.

Were you there?

Brandon Bell said...


I didn't say tobacco companies but tobacco lobby. The big tobacco companies had numerous representatives in the room. They don't stand up and testify themselves but find proxies for their position. This Smokers Alliance is an example. It is funded by tobacco companies. I believe Karyn is or has been a representative of that group.

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