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Westminster, Massachusetts outrage over proposed tobacco sales ban fuels talk of recall


Westminster, Massachusetts Board of Health
Westminster, Massachusetts -- In the aftermath of an emotional public hearing on the town's proposed tobacco-sales ban, some residents were discussing the possibility of recalling the Board of Health members who proposed the new policy.

If the residents did want to recall the Board of Health, Town Clerk Denise MacAloney said they would only be able to recall two of its members. Since 1995, the town has had a bylaw providing for recall elections, but the bylaw states that an elected official with six months or less left in his or her term is not eligible for recall.

"(Board of Health chair) Andrea Crete's term is up on April 28, so she wouldn't be eligible," MacAloney explained.

Comment: People are getting fed up. It seems like a tipping point is being reached. For more on this story, see:

First tobacco ban in U.S. proposed in Westminster, MA
Raucous town hall meeting on tobacco ban quickly ended

Smoking

First tobacco ban in U.S. proposed in Westminster, MA

© AP/Elise Amendola
Brian Vincent poses in front of a large display of tobacco products at Vincent's Country Store in Westminster, Mass., Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Local officials are contemplating what could be a first: a blanket ban on all forms of tobacco and e-cigarettes, leaving some shop owners fuming.
The cartons of Marlboros, cans of Skoal and packs of Swisher Sweets are hard to miss stacked near the entrance of Vincent's Country Store, but maybe not for much longer: All tobacco products could become contraband if local health officials get their way.

This sleepy central Massachusetts town of 7,700 has become an improbable battleground in America's tobacco wars. On Wednesday, the Board of Health will hear public comment on a proposed regulation that could make Westminster the first municipality in the United States to ban sales of all tobacco products within town lines.

"To my knowledge, it would be the first in the nation to enact a total ban," said Thomas Carr, director of national policy at the American Lung Association. "We commend the town for doing it."

Town health agent Elizabeth Swedberg said a ban seemed like a sensible solution to a vexing problem.

"The tobacco companies are really promoting products to hook young people," she said, pointing to 69-cent bubblegum-flavored cigars, electronic cigarettes and a new form of dissolvable smokeless tobacco that resembles Tic Tac candies. "The board was getting frustrated trying to keep up with this."

Citing a report from the U.S. surgeon general, Swedberg said that if tobacco use continues unabated, 5.6 million American children who are younger than 18 today will die prematurely because of smoking. Change, she said, "has to start somewhere."

Brian Vincent would rather it not start with his family-owned grocery on Main Street. Tobacco products, he said, make up more than 5 percent of sales.

A quarter of his customers purchase tobacco, Vincent said, and while they're there, they often pick up a gallon of milk or one of the fresh-baked maple-candied bacon chocolate chip cookies that are displayed by the check-out aisle.

Comment: Contrary to what the Board of Health and the American Lung Association sez, science does not support that tobacco is bad for you! See:

Let's All Light Up!

Let's all light up! What you don't know about tobacco

Smoking

Turbulent situation in the Middle East blamed for drop in Imperial Tobacco sales

© AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
The rise of Islamic extremism in the Middle East has disrupted sales growth at Imperial Tobacco, known around the world for its Davidoff and Gauloises cigarettes.

The world's fourth-largest cigarette company blamed the "turbulent situation in the Middle East" for falling cigarette and tobacco sales in Iraq, one of its key growth markets.

"It is difficult for distributors to get the product on the shelves. Roads are closed, some retailers can't get to their shop to open it," said Simon Evans, press officer at Imperial Tobacco.

"Security concerns are the main problem and affect the logistics of getting the product on the market there," he added. He confirmed that the current conflict in Iraq has had an impact on sales and stressed that they will continue to monitor the situation. Evans did not elaborate which areas have seen significant decreases in sales, as suppliers struggle to deliver cigarettes.

The firm's net tobacco revenue decreased by 1 percent to £4.75bn ($7.95 bn) in the nine months to 30 June.

"In several Middle Eastern markets, sales have been disrupted by the deteriorating security situation," Imperial Tobacco said in a statement.

The rise of the militant Islamic State (IS) group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, caused disruption to supply in the region. Road closures and damage to retail outlets are making it harder for Imperial's distributors to operate in affected areas, especially northern Iraq.
Smoking

British smokers being denied treatment by State-run healthcare service

Scotland's second largest health board, NHS Lothian, will not be giving further treatment to smokers for non-urgent cases, with referrals from GPs being refused.

Dr. Zahid Raza said: "In Edinburgh, we will not see patients at the clinic that are still smoking. Evidence shows that they would not do well with the treatment." He also went onto say: "We try to avoid intervention and, in around 80 percent of cases, a smoker's condition will improve just simply by stopping smoking and smoking other lifestyle changes."

Dr Jean Turner of the Scotland Patients Association said that she was "extremely disappointed", adding: "I'm really quite shocked. You should not refuse to see anybody and certainly not penalise patients who are smoking.

"It is very God like and highly unfair to refuse to see anybody referred...Doctors are there to see if they can help and relieve symptoms."

NHS Lothian is by no means unique. NHS Hertfordshire back in January 2012 also withdrew treatment to smokers and, as an ominous sign of the slippery slope, those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30 - i.e. the obese - are refused services too.

Smokers may well have a case of righteous indignation.

Comment: Doctors and health services in general nowadays are way past contraventions (minor legal infraction) of any ethical oath to protect its clients, they are in criminal neglect of it! As for real data on smoking, so much have been suppressed:


Also read:
Dr. Relic's sure-fire no-risk unequivocally-guaranteed method to completely eliminate the pain and stress of quitting smoking!

Smoking

Scientists stumble across the obvious treatment for Ebola: tobacco

A cocktail of antibodies cooked up in tobacco plants may provide an emergency treatment for Ebola virus, one of the deadliest viruses known, researchers reported Wednesday.

The treatment provides 100 percent protection to monkeys when given right after exposure. But it also helps even after symptoms develop, the researchers report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 and causes an especially frightening and deadly form of hemorrhagic fever. Patients die of shock but may bleed internally and externally. Depending on the strain, it kills between 25 and 90 percent of patients.

There is no existing treatment and no vaccine. "It is horrifying," says Gene Olinger of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), who worked on the study.

Various strains of the virus pop up unpredictably across Africa, perhaps as people venture into forests to hunt wild animals, especially monkeys and apes, known as bushmeat. The virus infects apes and monkeys and it infects people who are exposed to bodily fluids, such as blood.

Comment: We hate to say we told you so, but...

New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

Comets, plagues, tobacco and the origin of life on earth

Pestilence, the Great Plague and the Tobacco Cure

Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus

Beneficial tobacco: Monoclonal antibodies derived from tobacco thwart West Nile virus

Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

Don't wait around for the vaccine, get smoking!


Monkee sez: 'I'll pass on the vaccine, thanks. Gotta light?'


Family

Father of six dies after New York police place him in chokehold for selling untaxed cigarettes

© RawStory
A Staten Island man died Thursday after police placed him in a chokehold as they attempted to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.

According to authorities, Eric Garner, 43, went into cardiac arrest and died at Richmond University Medical Center following the arrest that was filmed by several witnesses, the New York Daily News reported.

In the video, Garner can be seen telling police that he had not been selling cigarettes, repeatedly saying, " I didn't sell anything," before insisting, "I'm minding my own business, please leave me alone."

After a standoff, five officers tackled the 400-pound Garner - with one placing him in a chokehold - and wrestled him to the ground as they attempted to put handcuffs on him.

As Garner lay on the ground, with one officer pushing his head into the pavement, he can be heard saying, "I can't breath. I can't breath," over and over.

As the video ends, Garner appears to be unconscious as police clear onlookers while waiting awaiting paramedics.

Comment: See also:
  • NYPD Twitter campaign backfires, flooded with photos of police abuse
  • US is the Worst Police State in the World - By the Numbers


Smoking

Let's all light up! What you don't know about tobacco

Everyone knows that smoking is a health hazard. Even Big Tobacco behaves in a way that screams 'GUILTY!'

Historically, smoking various plants was believed to be beneficial. But today, we know better, right?

Assuming smoking is unhealthy, the science should therefore support 'what everyone knows'.

But, as the following Sott.net-produced video shows, it doesn't.

Smoking

British Medical Association seeks to permanently ban cigarette sales to everyone born after the year 2000

cigarettes
© Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
A shopkeeper reaches for a packet of cigarettes in a newsagent in London
British Medical Association (BMA) doctors have voted to demand a permanent ban on selling cigarettes to those born after the millennium - i.e. kids who are currently 14 or under. The group's ambitious plan is to make British society tobacco free by 2035.

The motion was passed at a meeting on Tuesday.

"It is not expected that this policy will instantly prevent all people from smoking, but [rather it will] de-normalise cigarette smoking," said London research assistant in academic public health, Dr Tim Crocker-Buqué at the meeting. "The level of harm caused by smoking is unconscionable."

The decision was made at the British Medical Association's annual representatives' meeting on Tuesday. The doctors' voting in favor means that the doctors' union will push for the British government to introduce the ban.

Comment: "Sensationalist"? Maybe. Fascist? Most definitely.

Smoking

Surprise! Mental health problems found to lower life expectancy more than heavy smoking

A serious mental health problem can reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years, according to a new analysis by psychiatrists.

In comparison, the loss of years due to heavy smoking is around 8 - 10.

Researchers from Oxford University analysed studies which included 1.7 million people, reporting 250,000 deaths to compare the effects of smoking and serious mental health problems (Chesney et al., 2014).

Comment: While smoking is constantly being demonized, it is not as injurious to health as is portrayed, and it does not cause lung cancer. Smoking commercial cigarettes with the toxic additives and fire-safe paper is not recommended, but pure tobacco has been found to be an anti-inflammatory agent, can prevent and treat Alzheimer's and delay the onset of Parkinson's disease. For more information see:

Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

'World No Tobacco Day'? Let's All Light Up!

Smoking

The long forgotten healing properties of tobacco

tobacco
© unknown
Tobacco's genus, Nicotiana, covers over 70 species. The name tobacco usually refers to most famous and widely used Nicotiana Tabacum and its shorter but more potent cousin Nicotiana Rustica, both native to the Americas.

Although it's hard to pinpoint when and where it was first cultivated, it is sure tobacco has been used for several thousand years before the time Christopher Columbus reached Americas in 1492, and after that it spread to the whole world.

Although in present-day society associated with a myriad of health issues, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, this plant has been used for medicinal, as well as ritual purposes for millennia. Only in the last decades tobacco has been aggressively proclaimed harmful. Up until the '50s they even had doctors promoting them. Why it is so?

Comment: See also:

'World No Tobacco Day'? Let's All Light Up!

Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

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