The Smell of (Excessive) Fear
Author: Andrew Phillips
21 January 2009
It is refreshing to read in a major newspaper an editorial that deals with the ongoing demonization of people who use tobacco products by the use of fear tactics. What is most notable is the correct stance that what goes on in people's homes is in their domain, and only their domain, to either agree to or to refuse. I would never presume to light up in someone's home without asking their permission. After all their home is their private property and ownership gives them the authority to call the shots.
As with many of these so-called studies and/or reports such as the one mentioned in the Paediatrics journal it has not been unusual in the past to see no statistics, no authors' names, and perhaps most importantly no names of who funded the study. More often than not the expression "the experts" appears or there are references to other reports, but never who conducted the studies that lead to the reports' being written. I for once would like to see some names so I can research who they are and perhaps where they are getting their funding for these studies. That last question is something everybody should be asking: who's backing them?
One of the other things that has always bothered me is that, when someone comes out and tries to talk rationally about this whole issue, the anti-smoking lobby starts bleating that their critics are fronting for big tobacco. The only group I know that got money was the MyChoice.ca group and they were always right up-front about it; they never denied it. This funding has now ended and they will rely on public donations to continue in the future.
Well let's take a look at one such group, shall we, that always cries foul about the Big Tobacco connection: the Non-Smokers' Rights Association (which by the way has an office at 130 Albert Street here on Ottawa on the 19th Floor; pretty expensive digs for a private non-profit group.) As late as 2006 they received $333,125.00 from Health Canada. I wonder how long this little arrangement has been going on. (Some documentation here.) Far more documentation of the financing of the "grass root" antismoking movement in this section fo the FORCES Scientific Portal.
I wonder what people would think if they knew a federal agency is backing a group trying to get people evicted from rental accommodations or even denied housing, a basic need. See here http://www.nsra-adnf.ca/cms/page1433.cfm (stored copy)as to how this group operates. Check out the new national site dedicated to doing the same thing http://www.smokefreehousing.ca/ . * You have to ask yourself one thing: if their stance is so popular why do they need handouts, especially federal handouts, and why aren't they up-front about where they get their money from while accusing others of backroom financing from big tobacco?
By the way while I enjoy tobacco I'm not "a smoker" and I ask that you do not label me as such. I'm a Canadian citizen because I have a passport that says I am. I do appreciate the Ottawa Citizen editorial which points out that they have segregated 6 million citizens in this country based on irrational fear. If the stuff is that dangerous, ban the salee of it, and the whole issue ends.
Andrew Phillips - Ontario Libertarian Party - Libertarian Party of Canada
Link to original article
Link to stored article
* NOTE BY FORCES International - Please note the Canadian flag proudly displayed on the upper right corner of this site, and please know that the Canadian chapter of FORCES Canada, no now longer in existence but still stored in our archives in pristine form, was ordered by the Canadian government not to display the flag. That was because FORCES Canada was defending the right to smoke of 6 million Canadians. Jews in Nazi Germany were not allowed to display the German flag either, which speaks volumes about the political and moral attitude of the Canadian government.