Interesting, a rodeo rider from Whitehall, Montana, has invented a kind of snuff that uses alfalfa and peppermint rather than any tobacco products. He eventually developed cancerous lesions in the mouth and lymphoma.
Now cancer-free and with his jawbone luckily still intact, Dave Holt, working with the University of Nebraska, has invented this tobacco-free snuff that he says is as tasty as the real deal. Holt claims his concotion also makes a nice tea and helps ward off colds (Well, we’ll take his word for it, the big thing is, it isn’t CARCINOGENIC.). The family is producing 600 cans a day of their product and are ready to start making more as demand for more tobacco-free products grows.
Here’s wishing them well. I’ll help give them a bit of free advertising. Here is their website:
Sorry, I just think that’s the funniest movie line. Ever.
Kentucky? and Indiana? are considering smoking bans? Well, I suppose I believe it when I see it, but a smoking ban did pass last year in a Republican-dominated Kansas, Virginia and North Carolina in the the last year or two, so anything is possible. I was actually genuinely shocked when Kansas passed a strong smoking ban. Very, very conservative state.
Kentucky and Indiana are obviously both Republican-dominated states, and Republicans are loathe to pass smoking bans, because many conservatives see them as infringing on small businesses (I’m sure all the campaign contributions Big Tobacco consistently shovels toward Republicans have nothing to do with it.). They also happen to have two of the highest smoking rates in the nation. Not coincidentally, they are also two of the 12 states left with absolutely no statewide smoking ban whatsoever. It will be interesting to see how far these bills proceed. After the bloody battles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states recently, I believe the tide has turned on smoking bans. The opposition is crumbling and there are fewer and fewer “black states” on the smoking ban map.
This is an interesting issue that drives the anti-smoking ban lobby crazy, but trust me, it’s real. You’ve heard of first-hand smoke, right? That’s the smoke the smoker inhales. Second-hand smoke? That’s the smoke hanging in rooms that non-smokers have to breathe.
There is also something called Third-hand smoke. And it’s real. That is the residue left behind in the walls, the carpet, the furniture, but cigarette smoke. And trust me, it stinks. When we had a chain-smoker move downstairs at the condo, the smoke got in the furniture and the carpet. After we got this smokestack to not smoke directly underneath us anymore, you could still smell it in the carpet and furniture. I had to have the carpet cleaned and the upholstery cleaned to get rid of the reek. I did not send him a bill, though I was tempted.
That thirdhand smoke not only stinks, it is genuinely bad for you. Several studies have pointed out, including a new one just came out this week from Israel, states that the residues in thirdhand smoke can cause respiratory problems and more. I can believe it. Before we had the condo cleaned, I felt constant irritation in my throat and nose from the residue, and I could feel those airways starting to clamp up from it. It’s not a joke, it’s real.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that the State Legislature does have the power to raid $250 million of the state’s tobacco funds. This is money from the 1998 $280 billion Tobacco Settlement Agreement between the states and Big Tobacco.
Several states have used these monies simply to balance their budgets. The states won the settlement initially because of the costs of smoking on state’s Medicaid programs. But, instead of using that money for anti-smoking education or health care, most states have simply thrown the money into their general fund pots so they can avoid raising property taxes. There’s nothing in the agreement that prevents states from doing this. And no one expected it or saw it coming. It was one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the 1998 settlement. So much more could have been accomplished with that money, but politicians wanted to be able to spend more money without raising taxes and it turned into an easy little windfall for a number of states.
So, Ohio actually set up a quasi-nonprofit quasi-public agency to run its anti-tobacco program. A couple of years ago, Gov Ted Strickland decided to raid the agency’s funds, and the agency fought back. The American Legacy Fund (a national anti-smoking organization) sued, saying the $10 billion Ohio received from the 1998 settlement was a trust that the state couldn’t simply raid.
After two years of the case winding through the courts (At one point a court ruled in favour of the anti-tobacco plaintiffs and against the state), the state Supreme Court ruled that what Strickland did was legal.
The Federal Drug Administration last month came up with a proposed rule for new — and occasionally highly graphic — packaging for cigarette packs. These graphic warnings are required by the new FDA Tobacco Control Act signed into law by Barack Obama.
The Brits and Canadians are way ahead of the U.S. on these graphic images, which have been shown to be effective in discouraging smoking. The UK has gone especially over the top with some of its graphics. Ugh. Some of these look like they could come right out of “Planet Terror.”
The FDA is supposed to make its final ruling on new cigarette packaging by June 2011. Here’s an example of some of the images they are looking at: