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March 27, 2004
Subject: Chest Clinic..No 'proof' of Cancer!!
Secondhand smoke and cancer: Where's the proof?

CMAJ 1998;159:441-2
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See response from: A. Fennell, C. Gray, R. Ellis
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In her desire to refute a Daily Telegraph article that claimed secondhand smoke was noncarcinogenic, Charlotte Gray resorted to hyperbole in her own article, "Secondhand-smoke story goes up in flames" (CMAJ 1998;158[9]:1178-80 [full text). Some of the inferences that Victoria MacDonald drew from a World Health Organization (WHO) study were unjustified, but to say that she has "no understanding of scientific practices" appears manifestly untrue, if the subsequent rebuttal that appeared in the Mar. 15, 1998, issue of the Sunday Telegraph is any indication.
Gray describes the WHO study as a small, run-of-the-mill study involving exposure to secondhand smoke that consisted mostly of tobacco-lobby spin and a lot of egregious mistakes. To our knowledge, the study has not been published. How does Gray know about the egregious mistakes? Has she checked
the statistics? [On Mar. 9, the WHO released the following statement: "In February 1998, in accordance with usual scientific practice, a paper reporting the main study results was sent to a reputable scientific journal for consideration and peer review. That is why the full report is not yet publicly available. Under the circumstances, however, the authors have agreed to make an abstract available to the media." WHO also said that the media - the Daily Telegraph - had "completely misrepresented" the study and its results.-Ed.]

Our impression of the WHO and its published studies and statements is that they are carefully considered and contain sound science, although they sometimes lapse into "bureaucratese." In the study, the relative risk (RR) of a nonsmoker who lives in a house with a smoker was given as 1.16, with confidence intervals of 0.93 to 1.44. Thus, it is entirely possible that the RR would be less than that expected - below 1.0 - but it also could be appreciably higher than 1.16. This suggests that the figure is not statistically significant, but the statistical and epidemiologic fraternities prefer to give their results with the appropriate confidence intervals rather than tests of significance.

Gray also quotes Neil Collishaw of WHO's Tobacco or Health Unit, who points out that a major meta-analysis of 40 studies of passive smoking in lung cancer was published in the British Medical Journal in 1997. Unfortunately, positive studies are much more likely to be included in meta-analyses than negative ones. Meta-analyses need to concern themselves not only with published studies but also with other studies that for one reason or another have not been published. Much more importantly, meta-analyses need to review and check the raw data of all published investigations to ascertain whether the data have been analysed appropriately or manipulated to support a particular point of view.

In the hospital where we work, we see 5 or 6 new lung cancer patients each week, or about 250 a year. Yet over the past 20 years or more we have seen only 3 definite cases of primary lung cancer in life-long nonsmokers. It also needs to be emphasized that many smokers, especially those seeking compensation for work-related conditions, are economical with the truth when it comes to their smoking habits. One study indicated that 25% of the smoking histories obtained from subjects exposed to asbestos who were dying of lung cancer were completely incorrect.1 Many of the men denied smoking when applying for benefits, but an about-turn took place once histories were taken from relatives after the subjects died. It is highly probable that some such alleged nonsmokers are included in most epidemiologic studies.

We loathe and detest tobacco companies for their evasion, lies and attempts to trick adolescents and others into taking up smoking. However, the rejection of truth and the acceptance of unproven hypotheses to further one's concept of ethics or social justice is wrong too. Many studies involving secondhand smoke are not convincing, and answers about whether it causes lung cancer are far from established. Unfortunately, it has become customary to torture the data until they confess. We need more science, less hyperbole and less enthusiasm for unproven points of view. We support regulations banning smoking in airplanes, hospitals and public places, not because secondhand smoke causes lung cancer but because many nonsmokers suffer discomfort as a result of the habit.

Dildar Ahmad, MD
W. Keith Morgan, MD
Chest Diseases Unit
London Health Sciences Centre
London, Ont.



March 27, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade"
Subject: Popeye cartoons??

Dear Editor,

I understand that Mr. Glantz is trying to get restrictions 'R' on all the 'Popeye' cartoons, just because he has a 'pipe' in his mouth.

Oh my God, what will he think of next, in order to justify his job??

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



March 27, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade"
Subject: Peek -a- boo attitude??

Dear Editor,

What is this 'peek' a boo attitude about hiding cigarettes from teens??

Are you going to think they are going to take up 'smoking' right on the 'spot'?

If that is your 'thinking', you better start hiding those 'sex' books.

You wouldn't want the teens to have sex 'right' on the spot. now do you??

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



March 27, 2004
REBELLION HANGS IN AIR OVER IRELAND'S SMOKING BAND

Many pub owners expected to ignore new regulations on tobacco in workplaces.

"I won't be enforcing it, and I won't be telling my staff to enforce it, simple as that." If the customers refuses, the guidelines suggest calling the national police.

Police officers have reacted with outrage.

"Its not a funtion for a police force at all. We haven't resources to deal with far more serious issues, never mind dealing with obstreperous smokers"


March 24, 2004
----Original Message Follows----
From: "Thomas Laprade" thomaslaprade@hotmail.com
Subject: secondhand smoke and statistical analysis!!

CMAJ 1999;160:180
In their letter about secondhand smoke and cancer,1 Dildar Ahmad and W. Keith Morgan correctly note that there is a lack of proof that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer. Indeed, there is growing awareness that many of the "facts" about environmental tobacco smoke have been exaggerated for what appear to be political purposes.
Publication bias is troublesome in meta-analyses based solely on the published scientific literature. The "publication threshold" for peer-reviewed journals appears to have fallen in recent years, especially for topics concerning public health and "risky" personal behaviour, because studies deemed to be "of great reader interest" are more likely to be reported in the mass media.

In addition, there is a selection bias favouring publication of positive results. Studies with no statistically significant association or a negative correlation are not published. Foreign-language publications, another wealth of material, are also frequently ignored. Responsible researchers should be urged to take the time and trouble to include these studies or to use "trim and fill" algorithms2 to account for their absence.

A larger problem is the troubling trend toward reporting "positive correlation" for relative risks of less than 2.0 - particularly when the lower bound is less than 1.0. In a press release3 accompanying publication of a study on breast cancer and abortion,4 the US National Cancer Institute noted that "In epidemiological research, relative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to chance, statistical bias or effects of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident." Thus, the relative risk of 1.16 (confidence interval 0.931.44) reported by the World Health Organization regarding environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer is meaningless.

Even the best and most rigorous calculations of risk are but shaky estimates, providing only an upper bound for the effect of a variable. Although it is possible to account for some confounders, multiple factors are often simply not recognized. Unrecognized confounders are important in the issue of environmental tobacco smoke as well as smoking itself, given that smoking or being in the presence of environmental tobacco smoke is often just one in a cluster of risky behaviours.

Anne Fennell
Littlewood & Fennell, P.A.
Independent Public and Health Policy Research
Austin, Tex.
annef@io.com



March 23, 2004
Dear Mayor and Council

In trying to understand the risks posed to human health by environmental contaminants, we have a limited range of research methodologies at our disposal. We cannot do randomized trials to test the effects of smoking, lead poisoning or the use of cell phones in cars. We're stuck with observational studies: always messy, confounded, susceptible to passion and open to dispute.

Do you think we are sometimes overzealous in our attempts to publicize and regulate small hazards.

It is impossible to control completely for confounding variables in observational studies. The smaller the risk estimate, the greater the chance that confounding factors will distort it and invalidate it. This is not to say that observational studies should be abandoned. Faced with the results of the recent study we can, as individuals, elect to change our behaviours and possibly our risk exposures. But, when interpreting the results and then championing public policy and legislation to regulate exposure, we must be doubly wary of tailoring statistics to fit the current fashion. We must be open with our doubts, honest in our interpretations and cautious in our recommendations. Exaggerated claims of risk will only erode the credibility and effectiveness of public health. - CMAJ

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258


March 23. 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade" thomaslaprade@hotmail.com
Subject: Owners should have the 'right' Isn't it their businesses??

Dear Mayor and Council,

Consider this thought when you are dealing with the smoking issue!

From a legal and common sense standpoint, how can city councils dictate what goes on inside restaurants, bars, taverns and bingos, especially when they are dealing with a legal product, such as smoking? If management has the right to refuse service to anyone for various reasons, then it should be up to individual owners what is allowed in their place of business (provided it is not a criminal offence).

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



March 19, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade" snowbird@tbaytel.net
To: letters@herald.ca
Subject: Tax money is wasted on promoting smoking bylaws

Dear Editor.

Hard earned tax dollars are wasted on promoting smoking bylaws.

Trying to stop or hinder grown adults to use a legal product on private property.

Aren't there more important issues in the health care system that need our money.

Please try to get your priorities straight.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
ph. 807 3457258


March 8, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade"
To: newsroom@trentonian.ca
Subject: Smoking by law..Live and let live!

Dear Editor,
Councilor Kevin Anderson

You have a 'conflict of interest' in this smoking issue. You own a fitness club?

How many customers and employees have been banging on your door and saying "please protect us from second-hand smoke'?

Were you elected to be the 'brothers keeper' of these people??

Economic concerns are unfounded??

Do you know better then the business owners themselves??

They should know their own businesses, do you know better?

Mr.. Anderson, you were elected to run the business of the city, not the cities businesses.

You are 'not' in the 'health' business, and you shouldn't be.

It is not a health issue, and it never was a health issue.

The only time it is a 'health' issue is when a person is not healthy in the first place.

Having said that, why would a person be in a situation where it is unhealthy for him.

If he wants to be in that situation, then that is his choice, not yours.

One case of an alleged case of cancer from second hand smoke???

Does one robin make a spring??

Because of 'one' case you must blanket the whole town with a smoking by-law?

Doesn't the owners have a 'say' in this matter?

It is their businesses, not yours.

Roy Ingram says 'there are a lot of people who support a smoking ban" Are you including the vast amount of people who do not or very seldom patronize the 'hospitality sector?

I find this situation ludicrous; to blanket the city with a smoking by-law, just because a few people don't like second hand smoke? What about the people who like to have a smoke after their meals? Don't these people count, in your final analysis.

What about the people who sunk their life savings in their businesses?

Don't they have a say in the matter?

The 'market' will decide changes in society, not 'forced' changes.'

If the hospitality sector don't change, they will go out of business.

IF IT'S NOT BROKEN, DON'T FIX IT!!

A 'true democracy' is to obey the will of the majority, but at the same time you must protect the 'rights of the 'minority'

In this case the minority is..the rights of the hospitality sector to use a legal product on 'private ' property.

The 'rights' of the smokers to use a legal product on 'private property (with the owners permission)

By appointing Mr.. Anderson to chair a public meeting, is like asking the fox to guard the chickens.

Some one who is neutral should be 'chairing' the meeting.

If you want to find out the 'real truth' about second hand smoke and the damage smoking bylaw has done to the hospitality sector.

Visit www.forces.org www.antibrains.com

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont..
Ph. 807 3457258



March 8, 2004
An open letter to Premier Gary Doer

A truly democratic government obeys the will of the majority, but at the same time it must protect the rights of the minority.

The 'rights' of the minority are as follows;

The rights of the hospitality sector has the right to use a legal product on private property.

The rights of the smoker has the right to use a legal product on private property(with the owner's permission).

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



March 5, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade"
Subject: The Truth is out!!! sent to wpg. sun and free press!!
An open letter to Dr. D. Dhaliwal

In March of 2003, I made a deputation on a smoking by-law in Thunder Bay, Ont.... on live TV.

Simon Hoad, the health promoter, Dr. J. Morris, Smoke free Thunder Bay, and you, Dr. D. Dhaliwal CEO of the Cancer Association, were sitting in the front row.

In part I said, "Not 1 death has ever been etiologically assigned as cause by second hand smoke."

"Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Morgan, from the Chest Clinic in London Ont.... has found no link between second hand smoke and lung cancer."

In the weeks that followed, you and your colleagues did not rebuff me or called me a liar.

Because of your silence, you knew I was telling the TRUTH!

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



March 2, 2004
Put power plant issue to plebiscite

A plebiscite is used for the sole purpose of the public deciding an issue that affects everybody, every day.

In the 60's there was a plebiscite on fluoridation. That issue affected everybody every day. The Ont.. medical and Dental associations approved of fluoridation. The public turned it down.

Reason: They didn't believe in 'mass' medication,' they believed in the freedom of choice.

A plebiscite must be held for the public to decide to accept or reject the SynFuel power plant.

The clean air issue affects everybody every day.

Thomas Laprade



February 25, 2004
Hi Guys,
I attended a 'grass roots' organization(natives) and also a big meeting about this Synfuel operation that is going to be built on Native lands.

It is not what the Co. told the people, but it is what they didn't tell the people.

Apparently the mayor and council gave them the go ahead to build their plant.

My feeling is, the council were intimidating the natives and went over their heads.

My feeling is there might be some 'silver lining in the pockets of the 'band leaders'

There was a woman who attended the 'big' meeting and the small grass-roots meeting.

She's originally from the states and has been in this area for about three years ,employed by the board of education..

I was quite impressed with her credentials concerning the environment. Apparently she was a special agent for the F.B.I. prosecuting refineries etc.

Her name is Christy L. Radbourne and work out of Minneapolis Min. as a Special agent for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agent, Criminal Investigation DivisionAccording to her this co. needs a special license to operate in the USA,Her e-mail addy dwaynera@shaw.ca
E-mail addy for more info GrassrootsCoalition@yahoo.ca
website: www.geocities.com/grassrootscoalition
My gut feeling is this co. seen this area for 'easy' picking' and they are running 'ship' shod' over the natives.

They have started 'digging' a bout a few years ago, hoping they will get clearance from the federal and provincial gov'nt

The liberal government want to get rid of 'coal' run hydro plants and told the local MPP Mr.. Mauro to speed up this 'plant'

Combining the two issues smoking by-law and the "Power plant we can literally blow this council to kingdom-come!!

Contact Christie for more info..she is good a t the technical end of this Charade.



February 19, 2004
From: "Thomas Laprade"
RE: Lies and more lies, Marathon Breathe Easy Group

I sent this letter to the Mayor and council. The mayor is contemplating a plebiscite in the fall. The mayor and two aldermen have to make that decision. The other aldermen have a conflict of interest.

Mayor and aldermen cao@town.marathon.on.ca

Dear Mayor and councilmen,

Lie # 1: "Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is responsible for sickness and poor health in children."

The Truth: Every one of these claims regarding children's health was "VACATED" null and void) in a landmark 92 page judgment by U.S. Federal Court Judge William Osteen on the basis of vast epidemiological evidence (Osteen, North Carolina; 93V00370, 17/July/98).

The author of the second-hand smoke harms children myth, Dr. Fernado Martinez, Director of Respiratory Sciences at the University of Arizona, and author of chapters of the infamous E.P.A Report whose work was "VACATED" by Judge Osteen (see above) has recanted his previous assertions. Dr. Martinez now believes smoking bans and hyper-sterilized surroundings are responsible for inducing the epidemic of childhood asthma. Its called" Lazy Lung" where kids lungs are not given the proper needed exercise, and thus become susceptible to allergies.



Here is what Dr. Martinez recently said: "Like most people, I assumed tobacco smoke and pollution were the problem-this was the politically correct way to think. But these factors turned out not to play a major role...Clearly something else was involved." Does Civilization Cause Asthma, Atlantic Monthly, May, 2000.



Lie # 2: "Ending exposure to second-hand smoke reduces your families risk of getting heart disease, lung cancer, and other diseases."The Truth: there is not one iota of evidence to substantiate these claims. The recent British Medical Journal study using American Cancer Society data involving hundreds of thousands Californians over a 40 year period showed no difference. In addition to the BMJ study there is a mountain of evidence at the Forces evidence archives that shows what a lie this is.



Lie # 3: "Shortly after a restaurant goes smoke-free, the lung function of the staff improves significantly"

The Truth: This hyped claim comes from the California EPA, which found a negligible difference which has been hyped to a gullible media. The most comprehensive study on the question comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Oak Ridge researchers spent years replicating the prolonged effect of second-hand smoke on 173 non-smoking bartenders, waiters and waitresses. After years of measurement using state of the art equipment, the U.S. Department of Energy's peer reviewed study concluded that exposure to "respirable suspended particulable matter" which includes second-hand smoke, was LESS than one-sixth of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Safety and Health Administration's allowable level.



Some other myths dispelled by the Oak Ridge study (the longest and most comprehensive in recorded history): none of the 173 non-smokers showed any difference in lung function, no asthma, no bronchitis, no pneumonia, no lung cancer, no heart problems, no inner ear infections, no heartbreak of psoriasis, no leprosy. Nothing!

What the Oak Ridge study did find was that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) used spiked data in their studies to push for smoking bans. Although its not mentioned in the propaganda Thomas sent me, the anti-smoking nuts claim that hospitality personal are exposed to the equivalent of as much as 36 cigarettes over an 8 hour shift. This claim was made recently by some brilliant broad in Calgary-one Yvette Penman of something called" Smoke-Free Calgary" (Forces Canada June 19, 2003) who sure had her facts straight. The correct answer according to the Oak Ridge study is 2-3 cigarettes a YEAR-not 36 a day.



Lie # 4: "Only one in four, 28% of people in the District of Thunder Bay are daily smokers."

The Truth-The question of minority rights was decided hundreds of years ago at The Treaty of Westphalia. In a civilized country (not to be confused with Canada) the principle was established that a majority should NEVER be allowed to vote on minority rights. The U.S. Constitution calls this principle "Self-Evident." If minority rights were subject to popular whims the Anglos in Quebec would have no rights. The French outside of Quebec would have no rights. Non-white immigration would not be allowed. The list is endless. This is an axiomatic truth civilized countries learned centuries ago.



Lie # 5: "There is no evidence that smoke-free bylaws reduce restaurant or other sales or that they reduce tourism. Usually sales remain the same or sometimes they increase."

The Truth-A REAL WHOPPER. Just recently in Ontario in the past couple of months, Forces Canada reported on 40% declines in Sudbury, Kingston, and Belleville, Ontario. There is a mountain of evidence on this question on both the Forces Canada and Forces archives.

The B.C. Supreme Court threw out the Province wide smoking ban PRECISELY because of economic devastation. Here is what B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein wrote in overturning B.C's ban: "When the impact is so significant as to pose a risk to the private economic interests, and where the impact is so onerous as to impose a policing function upon employers coupled with severe penalties for non-compliance-then public debate is of paramount importance." The B.C. Supreme cited the loss of 730 jobs and 6 businesses after just 3 months! (Source-The National Post front page "B.C. Supreme Court throws out restaurant smoking ban. Cites Economic Interests on Business and Workers." March 23,2000).



Lie # 6: "There is no ventilation system that gives complete protection from second-hand smoke. The only solution is smoke-free spaces."

The truth-ANOTHER WHOPPER. Honeywell has ventilation systems that are 99.9999%effective.New modern ventilation systems can even remove poison gas. There is a mountain of evidence in the Forces evidence archives on this question.

ThomasLaprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258


February 19, 2004

Dear Mayor and Aldermen,

The Breathe Easy group argues that a ban is necessary to protect the rights of nonsmokers to be in smoke-free environments. But ban proponents misunderstand the nature of rights in a free society.

I have a right to smoke, and I also have a right not to smoke. But I only have those rights when I'm on my own property. When I voluntarily walk into someone else's bar or restaurant, my right to smoke or not to smoke is no longer an issue, because I'm on his property, not mine. If a bar owner chooses to allow smoking on his property, that's his choice. He has every right to allow smoking, just as he has every right to serve apple pie.

A smoking ban is an attack on freedom and an attack on property rights. Proponents of the ban want government to grant them the power to walk onto someone else's property and have things exactly the way they want them. And that means sending the police after business owners who do not bend to their will. Property owners who refuse to comply will risk fines and jail time.

Even if a majority of the Marathon public favors the ban, that does not change the basic fact that a ban violates the rights of property owners. Canadian founding fathers understood the dangers of unfettered majority rule. The Charter of Rights, contains numerous direct and indirect provisions for the protection of property rights against democratic majorities.

A truly democratic government obeys the will of the majority, but at the same time it must protect the 'rights' of the minority.

Government buildings are different, because they are not private property. Individuals have little choice about whether to enter a government structure. If you're like me, you do not go voluntarily to the Motor Vehicle Division to get a new license or to the courthouse to fight a traffic ticket.

We could talk about the importance of property rights to the economy. After all, Marathon restaurant and bar owners have invested time, money and energy building their businesses, and they made those investments because they expected government would respect their property rights. If society is to remain productive, government cannot arbitrarily take away people's rights to use their property as they wish. But the real issue is freedom: government cannot be allowed to infringe on the property rights of individuals.

We could also talk about the health of workers exposed to secondhand smoke, and the scientific research that has attempted-in vain-to find a link between environmental tobacco smoke and cancer. But even if environmental tobacco smoke were proven to cause substantial health risks, there would be no cause to regulate it in private establishments. When you walk into a smoky restaurant or bar, you can tell immediately that smoke is present, and you can choose to stay or leave. For comparison, it is infinitely more difficult to detect the presence of salmonella in a chicken sandwich, so a stronger case can be made for regulating the cleanliness of restaurant kitchens.

If you are looking for a smoke-free restaurant, you are in luck. Almost all restaurants nowadays choose to have separate smoking and nonsmoking sections, if they allow smoking at all. That is the product of the free market: Over the last 40 years, as smoking has declined in Canada, nonsmokers have demanded smoke-free restaurants, and business owners have supplied them.

If you are looking for a smoke-free bar, you will have a more difficult time. But if a bar is too smoky for you, go to another one, or open your own bar and cater to nonsmokers. Either way, you have no right to use government to force an owner to make his private property smoke-free. By imposing such restrictions, the proponents of a smoking ban risk causing more harm to society than secondhand smoke could ever do.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Pf. 807 3457258



February 3, 2004
Desire verses Rights

Dear Mayor and Aldermen,

When debating the pros and cons of smoking bans, we need to ask whether it makes sense to protect and defend private individuals' rights to their property. If we agree that private property rights should be protected, then we should make a clear distinction between private property and public property.

Omitting legal jargon and using common sense, private property belongs to a private owner, and public property belongs to the public or to some government entity that represents the interests of the general public.

Those who favor smoking bans prefer to consider bars and restaurants to be public property simply because the public is invited to visit those establishments. However, opponents of smoking bans recognize that the invitations to the public are by the graces of the private owners, and the
property remains private property.

Let's consider for a moment that you own a home and that you consider your home to be your private property. Do you give up your private property rights when you tell someone to, "Drop by any time?" What if you also tell that person to, "Bring some other folks along?"

Have you just issued a standing invitation to the public? Is your home no longer private and now considered to be public property? Where do we draw the line?

There is confusion between public property and private property primarily because some people, such as anti-smoking proponents, want to elevate their desires to the level of being legal rights. They choose to ignore what should be a clear distinction between private and public property so they can pretend that private businesses are actually owned by the public, thereby giving the public the right to control the use of the property while preventing the true property owner from controlling the use of his own property. Many business owners who take the risks and pay the price of ownership of their business property are suffering in areas of the country where smoking bans have been put into force. Those who promote smoking bans fail to see (or don't care) that their desires for sweeping smoke-free environments are causing hardships for honest, hard-working people and their families. They fail to see (or don't care) that their desires should be secondary to the rights of others.

Those supporting smoking bans know that they have the option of not supporting businesses that allow smoking. They know that they may patronize businesses that choose to ban smoking. But that is not enough for them. Do they not recognize the importance of respecting people's right to control their own property? Do they not recognize the value of freedom?

The desires of anti-smoking groups should not take precedence over the rights of private citizens. When one person's desires are allowed to trump another person's rights, then all our rights can easily be swept away, and we have no protection from the tyranny of the majority.

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



January 17, 2004
Winnipeg Sun

Where there's smoke ...

Why would the anti-smokers lie to us?

That is the question often asked when the science behind smoking bans is challenged.

The answer lies in a United Nations plan from 1975: To eliminate smoking worldwide it would first be essential "to foster an atmosphere where it was perceived that active smokers would injure those around them."

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.



November 20,2003
YOU ARE SICK AND IT"S ALL YOUR FAULT. SMOKERS COST TOO MUCH??

Dear Editor,

A Winnipeg doctor has announced that he will no longer treat patients who smoke.

In that decisiion, and the logic that supports it, lies the remedy for all that ails the nation's troubled health care system.

There are two central principles at work in the doctor's decision which, if followed with rigor and consistency, will, in an instant, reduce the demand for universal health care, unburden its staff and facilities, and save immense buckets of money.

The first principe is patients culpability. Are you sick or injured because of something you did? Wrap your car around a tree because you were on the cellphone?

Don't, repeat don't, dial 911. If the illness or injury is your fault, the pain is your own, the suffering belongs just to you, and your doctor may shut the doors of medicare in your face.

Smokers' illnesses are their own fault. And cutting off smokers from the health-care system will immediately eliminate 30 per cent of its clients.

But, though smokers are legion, they are only a subject of the addicted class. Alcohol addiction is a gold seam of maladies and injuries, both physical and mental. Cutting off the alcoholics will trim the lines in the emergency room and an overburdened health-care system will finally start to hum and buzz like the hygienically oiled machine it's meant to be.

If one addiction takes you off the health-care rolls, obviously, another will as well. The hard and soft narcotics, pain-killers and cough drops, prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, the rock of hash and the kick of crack--all of these have an energetic and toxic following. There are whole armies of doped and hooked people out there, whose pursuit of their own addiction brings them to the waiting rooms of our clinics and the taxed attention of clean-living medical staff all over the country. Off with the addicts.

The good doctor's wisdom extends beyond addiction. Culpability for one's own malady is the rule.

AIDS is a demanding disease. We will have to discriminate among AIDS victims. Those who suffer its affliction through unsafe sex clearly fall into the category of "those who have brought it on themselves." Under this new regimen, "Go home and moan" will be the watchword.

It is too easy to list the obese , the reckless, the sedentary, the fast-food junkies and the extreme sports freaks--but they fall into the grab bag of those who bring pain, injury, misery and unwellness unto themselves.

To the fat cardiac or the maimed snowboarder, let the call go out: "The doctor is not in."

And here is the second principle: physician rule. Sick people have had the run of the health-care system for too long. Medicine, like war, should be left to the professionals. Doctors, acting on their own, should decide which of the sick and dying are worth their time.

A doctor-centered health-care system, one that leaves the doctor to make a preliminary moral decision on those who stumble or fall at his door-- before engaging his attention or calling on his skills--is so much clearer, so much cleaner than this dreadful relic of state-supported, universal, taxpayer-borne, free-for-all, patient-centered freakshow that we have now.

Before a patient is even asked for his or her medicare card, the scrupulous physician will bend over the maimed and the halt, with just one critical inquiry. "Is this your own fault?"

A "yes" answer, and the wailing hulk is wheeled out to agonize untended, and rage alone at the dying of the light. Cruel, some might say--buts what's a continent of cruelty against a doctor's right to choose?.

There's only one refinement I can think of to improve on its near perfection. Our nation's hospitals, paramedics and psychiatrists should push this artful reform one more mile.

The sick are the No. 1 burden on health care. The Eastern mystic and the Western psychiatrist have long suspected that the sick are complicit in their own sad condition. Doctors should-- and on the principles outlined here, they will be on solid ground--refuse to treat anyone but the completely healthy. Medicare for the healthy--don't you like the sound of that? It's so tidy.

Well, maybe "treat" is not the right word. How's "mingle with"? In this brave new Hippocratic world, the hospitals and clinics will be near empty. Doctors and the very well will have to invent reasons to see each other. I suggest a weekly part. A smugfest. They'll have the space.

The poor socialists, they thought health care was for the sick people, doctors served patients, and medicine for those in pain. Damn deluded socialist.
Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph.807 3457258



November 15,2003
Dear Editor,
In 1997, Dr. Norris, M.D., Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario, said, "There is not a shred of evidence that "secondary smoke" damages health.
Personally, I think mobile (cell-phones) are a far greater threat to society.



November 14, 2003
Dear Editor,

I have attended many smoking forums concerning smoking by-laws.

I have found that in every case, there are about 90% of Lung Ass. Heart and Stroke Association. Cancer Association, and their friends. A few smokers and some of the hospitality sector also attend.

It was logical that these forums were "stacked".No wonder the % from these forums are 'high'. These same people never or very seldom patronize the hospitality sector.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade


November 12, 2003
Desire verses rights
Dear Editor,

When debating the pros and cons of smoking bans, we need to ask whether it makes sense to protect and defend private individuals' rights to their property. If we agree that private property rights should be protected, then we should make a clear distinction between private property and public property.

Omitting legal jargon and using common sense, private property belongs to a private owner, and public property belongs to the public or to some government entity that represents the interests of the general public.

Those who favor smoking bans prefer to consider bars and restaurants to be public property simply because the public is invited to visit those establishments. However, opponents of smoking bans recognize that the invitations to the public are by the graces of the private owners, and the property remains private property.

Let's consider for a moment that you own a home and that you consider your home to be your private property. Do you give up your private property rights when you tell someone to, "Drop by any time?" What if you also tell that person to, "Bring some other folks along?"

Have you just issued a standing invitation to the public? Is your home no longer private and now considered to be public property? Where do we draw the line?

There is confusion between public property and private property primarily because some people, such as anti-smoking proponents, want to elevate their desires to the level of being legal rights. They choose to ignore what should be a clear distinction between private and public property so they can pretend that private businesses are actually owned by the public, thereby giving the public the right to control the use of the property while preventing the true property owner from controlling the use of his own property. Many business owners who take the risks and pay the price of ownership of their business property are suffering in areas of the country where smoking bans have been put into force. Those who promote smoking bans fail to see (or don't care) that their desires for sweeping smoke-free environments are causing hardships for honest, hard-working people and their families. They fail to see (or don't care) that their desires should be secondary to the rights of others.

Those supporting smoking bans know that they have the option of not supporting businesses that allow smoking. They know that they may patronize businesses that choose to ban smoking. But that is not enough for them. Do they not recognize the importance of respecting people's right to control their own property? Do they not recognize the value of freedom?

The desires of anti-smoking groups should not take precedence over the rights of private citizens. When one person's desires are allowed to trump another person's rights, then all our rights can easily be swept away, and we have no protection from the tyranny of the majority.

Thomas Laprade




November 3, 2002
No Need of a Smoking By-law
Dear Mayor and Council,
We are well on the way to reaching a smoke-free environment. We just don't need more government regulations to impose it on everyone.
In my view all smoking policies, should be set at the discretion of the private property owners.
This is where the radical ant-smoking faction misses the point. Smoking bans are an unreasonable intrusion into private enterprise.
Restaurants, bars and the like are not truly public spaces. They are private property where the owner invites the public.
They think private restaurants and bars are no different than true public places such as civic pools, arenas, etc…
But restaurants and bars that are on private property have a lot more in common with your own private residence.
Would many people support a law banning smoking in private residence? I think not!!
Tobacco is still a legal product in Canada and the U.S.A. from which the federal government earns billions of dollars in taxation.
How hypocritical is it when one level of government sells a product to the public and another level of government bans it's use?
A city council should not undermine such a basic, sacred right as a person's freedom to choose.
It could be very simple. If you don't want to go to a restaurant that allows smoking, stay away.
If you enjoy smoking before and after a meal, find a place that allows it.
Sincerely Yours,
Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



November 1, 2003
Printed in the weekly paper The thunder Bay Source:

SMOKING PLEBISCITE UNDEMOCRATIC

The plebiscite is undemocratic, slanted, bias and wrong. If the plebiscite is passed it means it is against the law to use a legal product on private property. This is ludicrous and the by-law is wrong.

The majority (non-participants) of the hospitality sector can impose their morals on the participants(minority) hospitality sector. In a true democratic government the will of the majority must be obeyed, but at the same time the rights of the minority must be protected.

As our Prime Minister has said, if the minority rights are not protected, you are stepping on dangerous grounds.

Thomas Laprade



October 28, 2003
Dear Editor,

I find that a smoking bylaw is quite ludicrous:

"It is against the law to use a legal product on private property"

What is next? Perfume by-law, Alcohol bylaw, Obese(Fat) bylaw?

Thomas Laprade



October 28, 2003
Dear Editor,

Some doctors call it child abuse--when they refer to second-hand smoke, in the homes.

Do the same doctors call it child abuse, when some children suffer from obesity!!

Sincerely Yours
Thomas Laprade



October 24, 2003
Dear Editor,
Plebiscite slanted on purpose!!

The problem with the first plebiscite question is that it asks persons whether they are in favour of banning smoking in public places.

Most persons associate "public places" with libraries, schools, arenas etc and believe that "Joe's Bar" is not a public place. But - for the purposes of the by-law - it is, and that is where this question is misleading and unfair - especially when a yes vote will likely put "Joe's Bar" out of business.

Polls both in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as a Gallup Poll in the US, have shown that a large majority of persons, if asked, are in favour of a compromise smoking solution for bars. This is the question that should have been posed. Instead, the whole plebiscite is deliberately slanted in favour of the antis - assuming of course that over 50% of the electorate turn out.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas Laprade



October 23, 2003
Dear Editor,
A truly democratic government must obey the will of the majority, but at the same time, it must protect the rights of the minority.

The rights of the hospitality sector - to allow a legal product to be used on their property.

The rights of the smoker--to use a legal product on private property (with the owner's permission)

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas Laprade



October 17, 2003
Chronicle-Journal

From a legal and common sense standpoint, how can city council dictate what goes on inside restaurants, bars, taverns and bingos, especially when they are dealing with a legal product, such as smoking?

If management has the right to refuse service to anyone for various reasons then it should be up to the individual owners what is allowed in their place of business. (Provided it is not a criminal offence.)

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



September 11, 2003
Dear Editor,
Here are some facts to give to Bill Smith, your knowledgeable mayor.

Littlewood & Fennell,P.A. Independent Public and Health Policy Research center Austin, Texas, Study Report Sept. 1999:

In a Sealed room of approx.100 cubic meters, or 20 feet square by 9 feet high, to reach the EPA published ETS danger levels requires the following # of cigarettes being smoked--simultaneously:

Benzo(a)pyrene......222,000 cigarettes

Acetone.............118,000 cigarettes

Acetaldehyde.........14,000 cigarettes

Hydrazine............14,000 cigarettes

Hydroquinone..........1,500 cigarettes

Toluene...........1,000,000 cigarettes

This Means it is Essentially Impossible Any Health Risk From Second Hand Smoke when Patronizing Your Favorite Hospitality Spot.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



September 9, 2003
'COFFEE HOUSES GOT TO POT'
Globe and Mail
Dear Editor,
And the Purists want to get rid of Second-hand Smoke in coffee shops and Restaurants??
'Smoking by law and Pot Law.'
This second hand smoke is the biggest joke of the century!!

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258



August 27, 2003
The Chronicle Journal
HOSPITALITY SECTOR HASN'T GOT A CANDIDATE

I am totally amazed that the hospitality sector is not running a candidate, who is business friendly, for councilor or mayor.

Thomas Laprade



August 13, 2003
Dear Editor,

Concerning the smoking by-laws in Canada.

From a legal and common sense standpoint, how can city council dictate what goes on inside restaurants, bars, taverns and bingos, especially when they are dealing with a legal product, such as smoking?
If management has the right to refuse service to anyone for various reasons than it should be up to the individuals owners what is allowed in their place of business. (provided it is not a criminal offence)

Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258


July 30, 2003
The Chronicle Journal

Dear Editor,
Would the mayor and council still want a plebiscite if 80 per cent of the public were smokers, especially near election time?
Thomas W. Laprade



July 25, 2003
Dear Editor,

I am totally amazed, that the Mayor and Council do not know the truth about second-hand smoke.

I thought everybody knew that--not 1 death has ever been etiologically blamed on second hand smoke.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade



July 21, 2003
Dear Mayor and council,

How would you feel if legislators said you could no longer drive your car on town streets because it endangers pedestrians? What if lawmakers decided you can't eat dessert at public restaurants because it can lead to health problems, including high cholesterol and obesity?

Or if they outlawed sunbathing at public beaches, because such exposure might cause skin cancer?

Legislators would never pass such laws, because too many people drive cars, eat dessert and sunbathe, despite the well-documented dangers and the high number of deaths each activity has caused.

Banning adults from engaging in a legal activity is a dangerous precedent to set, as is banning a private business owner from allowing a legal activity to occur within his establishment.

Let's assume, for a moment, that the lawmakers have good reason to ban smoking. Let's assume that second-hand smoke actually causes lung cancer. If it does, then lawmakers are trying to protect innocent individuals from that danger. They are saying, in effect, that my right as a non-smoker to hang out in a local bar and not be put at risk by smoking is greater than a smoker's right to engage in this legal activity.

But where does the bar owner's right enter into this equation? As the proprietor of a business, doesn't he or she have the right to decide how to operate that business?

Where do personal choice and the rule of the marketplace enter into the equation? Nowhere does Canadian law stipulate that I must visit local bars. I choose to do so, and if that means putting up with smokers, that's my choice.

Anyone who does not want to be exposed to smoke at a bar or restaurant should not patronize that bar or restaurant. There is no such thing as an inalienable right to eat out.

If non-smokers stopped patronizing establishments that allowed smoking, then more and more owners of bars and restaurants would choose on their own to ban smoking. Such market forces are the heart and soul of capitalism and a free market economy.

Look at it another way: I don't enjoy loud dance music or hip-hop. Many people I know don't enjoy it either. We would enjoy going to a dance club, but don't because of that music. Should we lobby our legislators to ban loud music and hip hop at dance clubs because we don't enjoy it?

You may say loud music doesn't create a health risk, as second-hand smoke does. But the volume at which most dance clubs blast their music has been proven to damage hearing, and yet no legislation is being passed to ban that health threat.

I also have a problem with the state telling local bar owners to restrict their patrons' right to smoke. Banning a legal activity in select places smacks of an abuse of power.

Lawmakers supposedly are banning smoking in bars to protect non-smoker's health, both for patrons and bar workers. (Banning people from driving to bars would save far more innocent lives, but of course that is politically untenable.)

Second-hand smoke may slightly increase health risks to non-smokers, and smoking itself is certainly a dangerous habit we should urge people to quit. But before lawmakers start restricting citizens' behavior by banning legal activities in privately owned establishments, they should make sure that such a dangerous, Orwellian precedent is based on fact, not fiction.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade



July 11, 2003

Dear Mayor and Aldermen,

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation - from New York City to San Antonio - has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbors. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbors, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behavior.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited intrusion of government into our lives.

Sincerely
Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade



July 9, 2003
From the Winnipeg Sun:
Dear Mayor and Council,

Any politician who uses the excuse that he wants to hold a plebiscite on
the smoking issue, is actually using the demise of the hospitality sector as
a stepping stone to his re-election.

The demise of the hospitality sector is almost guaranteed by way of a
plebiscite because the massively funded lobbying campaigns of the
antismoking
organizations will ensure a vote in favor of a ban. Unless you want to
mandate fair and equal spending by both sides on this issue?

The role of a democratic government is not only to represent the wishes of
the majority, but also to ensure that the rights of the minorities are
protected.

Sincerely Yours,
Thomas W. Laprade


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Thomas W. Laprade

480 Rupert St.
Thunder bay Ontario
P7B3Y1 Canada





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