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Hardly a shill

Chris Salmon
Eagle-Vail

I am not:

– Employed by any tobacco company.

– A stockholder of a tobacco comapny.



– In any way associated with any tobacco or other interest in the matter

– A recipient of a “form letter” to send to the editor. (I wrote the letter on my own with some Internet research, which I shared and would be happy to research more with anyone who’s interested.)

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



– Much of a smoker, maybe a pack a month at most.

– A locally interested party, bar, restaurant owner, etc.,

I do believe people like Arn Menconi are much more a menace to my child than secondhand smoke, and I’m not beholden to anyone for my opinions on the matter.



Here is the basic thing, ignored by the anti-smoking interests: I and other pro-choice folks don’t wish to use the government’s police power to enforce our opinions on them.

They have always had the power to have their own non-smoking restaurants, non-smoking bars, etc. That has never to my knowledge been against the law. I wouldn’t want a law controlling the lives of non-smoking folks, or folks who just didn’t like it for whatever reason.

They’re free to patronize establishments that cater to their likes.

The problem comes when the people in the anti-smoking movement want to impose their beliefs on others. They want only their opinions to be the rule. There is no room for disagreement or living a life other than what “they” decide is best for “you!”

Rather than exercise their freedom to open a non-smoking bar and prove their theory that it’s better economically, they want to force all bars and restaurants to engage in a giant anti-competitive collusion to eliminate consumer choice. Oh, I’m sorry, they call that a “level playing field” now. In most businesses, it’s just called “a felony” to agree with competitors to all be the same or charge the same!

I believe that both sides of the question can be accommodated and that adults can be allowed to choose for themselves. I wouldn’t want the world to all agree with me. I believe bar and restaurant owners know best what to do with the private property they own or pay for.

Those in the anti-smoking industry just don’t feel that way. Folks like Menconi are dead sure that they know better than the rest of us, and we all need their guidance and wisdom, and that’s just not true.

The folks jumping to the anti-smoking industry’s tune are not truthful, and that’s a fact, and I proved it in my essay previously.

I have a great scientific, statistical challenge to the anti-smoking industry here in the valley. It’s a very simple study, shouldn’t take too much effort, time or money:

– How many bar and restaurant staff have worked here in the valley in the last 40 years?

– That number would be helpful in making a decision; 40 because that’s the life of the first resort here, approximately.

– Out of that number, how many have contracted some kind of tobacco-related illness? How many nonsmokers among these folks have DIED who have had this ETS exposure? Remember the claim that it’s a risk to your life! Let’s verify that claim!

– Obviously that’s the key to the question. The claim is that “lives are at stake”! (Oh my God! DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!) Well, show us the lives. That’s not too much to ask. Show us the real-world risk, not something in a propaganda pamphlet from the EPA! Is that number significantly different from a similar population without ETS exposure?

Well, is it? Or isn’t’ it? “Lives are at stake,” according to these people. Well, show us all the death toll from ETS in the valley. Put up or shut up, and that opinion is not funded by big tobacco.


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