| We, as do (we suspect) most of you, find ourselves a bit
overwhelmed with the events of the last few weeks. The title of this issue, Priorities,
addresses the subject of how each of us attempts to define perspective in our lives. In
other words, what is truly important to us, especially in times as unusual (an
understatement) as these. As the editor of this publication, I personally found it very
difficult to decide what was important to share with our readers especially as to what the
cover article should address. Obviously the cover article should and usually does, at
least to some degree, attempt to set the tone for each issue. I like to have fun with this
page; and I prefer that fun to have a point. Not much fun out there right now. There are
many ramifications to the events of September 11 that go far beyond the tragedy itself. In
the context of this magazine, utmost in my mind are concerns for such personal rights as
privacy, travel, and commerce. More importantly, I am struck by the possibility of threats
to our right to publicly disagree with policies of our national, state, and local
governments. While most of us support our country's "War" on terrorism, there
are many unanswered questions as to how events like the WTC attacks could occur in a
country where many already feel that our government is too intrusive. We receive plenty of
e-mail and plenty of comments from other sources concerning government's intrusion into
our private lives. Many have felt for some time that "Big Brother" has an
uncomfortably keen vantage point into our most routine daily activities. And those same
many are frankly amazed that nineteen clowns with box cutters could pull off the kind of
operation that could leave an entire country devastated and in deep shock.
Early on we heard several highly placed federal officials express disbelief at the events of September 11, saying that no one could have dreamed of such an incredible scenario. Statements like this make me uncomfortable. For anyone who has watched the plenitude of an entire genre of films or read spy novels, especially the Tom Clancy genre, these events seem almost cliche - to the point that frankly, I am amazed that someone hasn't tried them before. Both Goldfinger and Dr. No, ilk of the James Bond series, had plans nearly as dastardly. Even the mad ex-police commissioner played by Herbert Lom in the Peter Seller's Film "The Return of the Pink Panther" took a lighthearted romp at vaporizing the UN building as a first warning if certain conditions (namely the assassination of Inspector Closeau himself) weren't met. In reality, I found Timothy McVeigh's mischief (another gross understatement) far more unpredictably creative than the hijacking of airplanes which, a couple of decades ago, was a fairly common occurrence. The only difference was that these hijackers were bent on suicide with the fanatic desire to take a whole lot of people with them. In the Pink Panther scenario, at least the bad guy warned the UN in time for a hasty evacuation prior to the attack. But in the painfully real world of September 11, such a pre-warning would have foiled the hijackers plot as military aircraft were already being dispatched to potentially shoot down the remaining hijacked airliners after the first one struck the WTC. Now just imagine the impact of shooting down a fuel laden commercial aircraft over New York. I am not sure that the results may have been even more horrific than what actually transpired.
Having probably already "bummed out" enough of you with the above, especially since we have all been subjected to 'non-stop" coverage of the event, there is no need to go on ad infinitum here but the succinct version is that our government or any government for that matter is, by its very nature of largess, a study in inefficiency and dangerously so. Too much time is spent by political systems in ruminating over politically popular (and financially profitable) yet rather insignificant policies; too much time is spent on examining the personal proclivities of politicians themselves, and much too much time is spent on trying to regulate the personal behavior of the citizenry in contexts where said behavior affects only those engaging in it.
The CIA and FBI may have blown this latest "sneak" attack as much as the FDR administration likely blew foreseeing the attack on Pearl Harbor. In fact, there is evidence that in both cases, then and now, quite a bit of information was obtained prior to the events that should have led to, at least, heightened scrutiny if not prejudicially decisive intervening action. Since the primary purpose of government is to provide for the peace and security of the nation, it would seem reasonable to expect that far more emphasis should have been put on that set of priorities rather than on the arguably nebulous hazards of smoking tobacco, or the use of marijuana, or cell phones, or sex or . . . well you get the idea. Not to put too fine a point on it, by way of illustration, the CDC, (Center for Disease Control) that bastion of our pandemic health protection safety net, seemed rendered nearly impotent when confronted with the Anthrax issue. The CDC has a tough job, no doubt, and they have requested increases for fiscal 2002 for Anthrax research but wait - Anthrax has been around a really long time and you'd think these experts would know pretty much all there is to know about this bacteria. Furthermore, with more cases of Anthrax being reported in people with no direct ties to the government or media, doesn't it at least seem possible that these "new" cases might be a "normal" occurrence of Anthrax that has previously been over looked. After all, the tests for Anthrax are fairly complicated and until September 11, few if any health agencies were even considering it as a possible factor in certain "flu-like" illnesses, many of which have nearly identical symptoms. We contacted several local hospital ER facilities and were told that prior to Sept 11, tests for Anthrax were simply not done. It was too rare and many people with symptoms similar to Anthrax would have been treated with similar drugs (antibiotics) anyway for these flu like symptoms.
Now here's some interesting numbers for you. The CDC's annual budget of 4 billion dollars allocates a little over 180 million dollars for bioterror, and the CIA's budget, at least that reported and reasonably accounted for (for reasons of national security), while a whole lot more than the 4 billion, devotes a relatively small portion to human intelligence gathering (gathering information on or infiltrating the bad guys before they can act). Sure they have a huge supply of techno-toys which does constitute a significant part of their annual budget, but these hardware based systems are ill suited in combating the fanatic acts of individuals. By contrast, the American Legacy Foundation (they are responsible for the the rather sick "thetruth.com" anti-smoking ads) gets in excess of 300 Million dollars every year for its anti-smoking propaganda efforts. This money is supplied by proceeds from the Master Settlement Agreement which is paid for by tobacco product producers and ultimately, people who enjoy tobacco. We are every bit as patriotic as the next guy but given current circumstances, we feel it is time for our elected representatives to set some real PRIORITIES - priorities based on logic and a realistic view of the world as it concerns our national security. It is past time to spend less time politicizing (and consequently legislating tax revenues) on issues that are clearly our own personal business.
The tobacco issue has, for some time, been an arena plagued by such political intrusions. In addition to attempts by various agencies and other forces within the US to regulate tobacco usage with taxes and other punitive strategies, of greater concern to us has been the amount of mis- or dis-information that is routinely published as fact regarding risk factors associated with smoking. The CDC is right there devoting a significant part of its resources to the anti-smoking dogma. The figure of 400,000 smoking related deaths has almost no current foundation in fact. The data on the CDC site is old, (from 1990) and is extremely vague as to how it was derived. For instance, if someone dies who smokes, in all but the most whimsical of cases (car crashes, falls, murders, etc.), you can bet their name is going to be included in the list of smoking related deaths. If you die of pneumonia and you smoke, then smoking has killed you. There is no correlation to non-smokers who die of pneumonia (a very simple data set that would have been quite easily included in the table), not to mention other pertinent related factors. The figure for Pneumonia/Influenza Mortality was about 13 per 100,000 population for the period of the mid 1990's. That comes to about 32,500 people per year who die from these ailments. Now not all people who die of Influenza die from pneumonia but the CDC attributes about 19,000 pneumonia deaths in 1990 to smoking. We haven't found the separate pneumonia figures for that precise era but I think you can see that even if a significant portion of the mortality rates reported in the later mid-90's period (when the population was greater than in 1990) were due to pneumonia we find it very hard to believe the 19,000 figure is smoker related alone. These kinds of statistics can be very misleading and we feel the CDC and other agencies should be held highly accountable for their methodology in determining how much smoking has to do with any disease.
Americans are living longer than ever to an average age of about 76 years. There were approximately 2,400,000 deaths in the US last year. Over 1,800,000 were people aged 65 and older, the second largest group, nearly 700,000 being 85 or older. That leaves less than 600,000 deaths for all those younger than 65, the largest portion of that in the group 55-65. Seems to me a lot of the dying going on is probably age related. The tables are available by clicking here showing the categories of mortality for all of these groups as well as causes of death. (You will notice no category for smoking). The statement so often heard that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death needs to be revised to include the phrase "except for age." Now we, in all honesty, know not one bit more than the medical community about tobacco's role in disease. We continually stress that we DON'T know the long term health effects. What we do know is that an awful lot of people smoke for a long time without significant problems and most are smoking manufactured cigarettes. All we (and you should) ask is for much more accurate and comprehensive data on the PRECISE effects of what we smoke and how much. Were there not SO much money involved in promoting the negative connotations of smoking, such research would likely find the freedom (and resources) to be conducted.
Even more disturbing, the tendency to lump together all other forms of smoking with the use of manufactured cigarettes, we find distressing - to say the least. As previously stated, little or no new and more comprehensive research on tobacco's impact on health (tobacco - not cigarettes) is ongoing today. It would seem that the health community has pretty much made up their collective mind on this subject and this group shows little or no interest in expanding scientific study to include the differences in smoking high quality tobaccos that are relatively or completely additive-free - not to mention to what degree dosage is a factor to ensuing health risks. They have their figures (from1990) and seem more than satisfied to distribute them, to every entity who will post such things, as current fact.
The latest news (October 2001) from Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, is that: "Life expectancy for the U.S. population reached a record high of 76.9 years in 2000 as mortality declined for several leading causes of death, according to preliminary figures from a report released today by HHS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Americans on average are living longer than ever before, and much of this is due to the progress weve made in fighting diseases that account for a majority of deaths in the country, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. But we can do even more by eating right, exercising regularly and taking other simple steps to promote good health and prevent serious illness and disease.The report shows that age-adjusted death rates continued to fall for heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in the United States that account for more than one-half of all deaths in the country each year. Mortality from heart disease has declined steadily since 1950, while cancer mortality has been on the decline since 1990."
The above underlined passage is most interesting as, since these improvements have been noted over the last 10 to 50 years, why haven't the claims of 400,000 smoking related deaths been reduced, at least since 1990? It would seem reasonable to surmise that at least some (or a lot) of these reductions might well have to do with vastly improved industrial emission standards, work environments in general, as well as decreased hydrocarbon emissions from vehicles that affect every human in the United States. There are far fewer toxic substances in our environment than 10 or even 50 years ago. Nonetheless there are plenty still around and they need to be looked at, at least as aggressively as tobacco smoke.
We have often expressed our concern for this dogmatic, one-sided epidemiological approach as we feel that it is likely overlooking other environmental factors present in our civilization that may indeed be contributing or even primary causes for certain health condition now blamed on "smoking". The point is any complete mortality report should include a breakdown of the methods used in the collecting of these "statistics" as well as the other "possible" environmental data that may be contributing factors. A person who dies of a heart attack and weighs 500 pounds and smokes is invariably a smoking related death. The same person sans smoking would be classified as an obesity related fatality. This is not an accurate method of creating data sets from which we as individuals can determine our own personal risk related to tobacco use. The general public is not so dense that it cannot understand a more detailed analysis of a subject that seems so critical to so many.
A case in point: Some time ago, we came across some research data that addressed the issue of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). We were led to the data by a headline on an anti-smoking site that stated, ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) Causes SIDS. There was a link there that led to the Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) from which a subsequent link needed to be followed to find the actual research data. Our interest in the subject had been aroused by a barrage of statements from various governmental, health, and anti-smoking groups linking ETS to SIDS. As we looked at the specifics of the research, we found that the entity that wrote the conclusionary part of the study had left out certain pertinent facts. Specifically, the research dealt with the presence of certain macrophages (large white blood cells), other white blood cells (leukocytes), and enzymes that were evident in SIDS victim's pulmonary tracts, and whose prevalence was "possibly" influenced by a number of environmental factors including tobacco smoke. The study, published in France in 1996, included a very small number of randomly selected SIDS individuals (16). Nowhere in the data was ETS named as THE cause of these increased number of macrophages. The research was undertaken to show the increased presence of these cells in SIDS victims when compared to an even smaller control group of non-SIDS infant deaths. The "possibility" that ETS was involved as a factor was shared equally by other "non-exclusive" factors that may or may not have had anything to do with ETS. Further, not only was the specifics of the tobacco smoke source (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.) omitted, as well as data revealing concentrations of the "supposed" tobacco smoke, but no indication that the victims were ever exposed to ETS was revealed. In fact, ETS was mentioned only once in the entire document and only as a "possibly" non-exclusive factor. The study conclusion, issued not by the researcher but by the anti-smoking organization, nonetheless stated, that second-hand tobacco smoke was the primary factor leading to SIDS, a conclusion now parroted by many other anti-tobacco organizations including the CDC and the American Cancer Society. Now that seems to be a pretty large leap of faith to us. Even the Nicorette Gum site has links to these kinds of findings. (Click here to see the details of a 1998 lawsuit filed against Nicorette's manufacturer - a very profitable pharmaceutical company, of course - successfully litigated by several state's Attorneys General). Research needs watchdog groups to assure reliability (The Shelby Amendment of 1998, by the way, now makes it a requirement that all research that leads to legislation, including taxation, must be made part of the public record and further, the researchers can be made accountable to defend their findings, in front of Congress, if necessary). It is no wonder that since this amendment was passed, little new research on tobacco has been conducted, even though the claims continue. Again, please note that our position is not that ETS has no involvement with some SIDS events, but that research distortions like these, that are so weak on facts, may overlook much more pertinent environmental or sociological factors. Consider the following.
A couple of years or so later the subject of SIDS became the subject of several television based news magazines but this time for an alarmingly different reason. It seems that many "other" factors were, in fact, overlooked in SIDS research including the age and relative stability of the victim's parents (especially the mother). A condition referred to as Munchausen's Syndrome, where mothers (usually not fathers) partially smother their infant children until the child passes out or has other pathological "medical" symptoms, had recently become the subject of heightened media scrutiny. These abusive events were linked to both age of the mother and the need for attention by the mother. It was discovered that many of those caught in the act of inflicting this abuse on their own kids (by hidden cameras in Emergency Rooms) were very young mothers and an inordinately large percentage of those guilty of this practice who were older had previous histories of children succumbing to SIDS when they were younger mothers. In most cases covered, the appearance of being basically unprepared or undesirous of motherhood was evident. It was apparent that these women committed the abuse as an attention-getting device. Now, a very good argument can be made that SIDS, therefore, enjoys an increased risk factor among very young mothers, whether they smoke or not, and among those women who need attention because of personal dissatisfaction with their lives as parents. It is true that many people who are frustrated, unhappy, and anxious, smoke, including many prospective mothers who even fail to refrain from such activities as smoking during pregnancy. Could this basic lack of concern for the fetus portend future problems with motherhood not directly linked to environmental tobacco smoke itself but to a more general problem of stability? Chances are that the SIDS problem lies as much with attitude and mental health of some parents as tobacco smoke in the child's environment. More likely the propensity may be genetic or some other environmental factor such as crib and mattress design. So, is SIDS too often the result of a parent who is actually committing an abusive and dangerous act against her child? We may never know as long as those in charge of such investigations have tobacco as the pre-determined scapegoat.
For an interesting look at the ETS issue, read Junk Science's ( http://www.junkscience.com ) Steven Milloy regarding his adventure into the statistical world of EPA studies by clicking here. Our thanks to Fox News for keeping the article available for a while, at least. Also of interest is Steven's elevated ride on the back of the CDC's Public Health Turkeys. Steven Milloy's book "Junk Science Judo" is an enlightening look at the business of Health Scare for Profit. It is available by clicking the book graphic at right. A great read!
As long as we are on the subject of instability and anxiety, worthy of note here is the Surgeon General's Report of 1964, which was the keystone start of governmental involvement in tobacco (yes, I've read it - many times and so should you). In this lengthy document, though certain elevated health risks were extrapolated from some pretty iffy data to show that tobacco usage was a major causative factor in certain diseases, pipe and cigar smokers actually showed decreases in such ailments when compared with those who never smoked at all. Of course, the SG report basically throws out this data considering it anomalous. This is, unfortunately, the fate of most data that disagrees with anti-smoking biased research. However, given such semi-discarded data, a logical assumption could be made that those who smoked pipes and cigars, did so as part of a more leisurely paced lifestyle which tended to be holistically more relaxed in general. So once again, while it is not our intention to sing the praises of smoking, it seems with reasonable logic one could assume that those who enjoy the flavor of great rolling tobaccos and manage their use responsibly would probably fit more in the category of the pipe or cigar smoker than the obsession driven multi-pack a day cigarette addict. Our extrapolation above admittedly contains a lot of "could be's", assumptions, and "maybe's", though certainly no more than most risk assessment researches into tobacco and health. The point is, MUCH more unbiased and scientifically sound research needs to be done on the very specific effects of tobacco smoke. Don Oakley's book, "Slow Burn" is a must read for those who would like a very clear, alternative look at the other side of Tobacco and Health studies conducted over the last few decades and specifically, takes a look at who has gained financially from the results. We have no "fixed" position on smoking and health. We assume that smoking has risk to some unknown degree but have seen far too little responsible data to irrationally fear the moderate use of high quality tobacco.
At times like this, reading can be very therapeutic, and materials, that provide insight as to how issues, that affect us all are manipulated to a certain point of view, are downright fascinating. For instance, a book by a highly respected science fiction author contains a number of interesting essays on subjects as varying as the Ozone Layer to HIV - AIDS. The author, James P. Hogan, is a master storyteller as well as a respected physicist. He is also an avid researcher in the field of exposure of fact-free science. His book (one of many) "Rockets, Redheads, and Revolution" is a combination of fact and fiction that makes for a truly entertaining read. Especially check out the section entitled "AIDS Heresy and the New Bishops". It will provide a sumptuous banquet of foods for thought for those of you who are still convinced that the "Truth Is Out There". It is incumbent for every human being to question the findings of those who have something to gain from their point of view, especially when that gain is pecuniary. Check out the website http://www.junkscience.com and subscribe to their newsletter. You will be amazed at how much is taken for granted as fact in the world of so called "research."
As you must certainly know by now, we stringently believe in moderation in all activities both physical and philosophical. I think it plain that the planet already has more than enough extremists of all disciplines to go around nicely. After all, it is under the guise of fanatical religious differences that most of the world's battles have been fought. Every religious doctrine that I know of has (I do not claim to be an expert here but I do read a lot) clearly conflicting philosophies of peace and violence. And even though territoriality is a highly contentious human trait, people can agree on boundaries far more easily if they are of the same "faith". I have seen extreme levels of fanaticism with Mac -vs- PC computer users, and equally and absurdly dangerous encounters between disciples of the Ford -vs- Chevy -vs- Mopar crowd. These analogies can easily be expanded to the subject of smoking. It has aroused in the last forty years a near religious fervor from both sides of the issue. My father used to advise that I should never discuss politics or religion with strangers and only VERY diplomatically with friends. Certainly not an original thought here, but the point is that smoking has become every bit as controversial a subject and I find this more than ridiculous. Given the events of the last few weeks, it has now reached the level of the sublime. My best advice is as always, if you wish to smoke, don't impose it on those who are not "believers" and for your own enjoyment, take it out in the fresh air when possible. And by all means find the best quality tobacco you can afford and moderate, enjoying the flavor, not the obsession.
I specifically enjoy writing this publication because I truly appreciate typically the subject matter. Usually my greatest challenge is to decide which products to review. Of course, this is seldom a problem and those pages for this issue were completed on time. And a fine group of products they are. However, late in coming, regrettably, are this Cover page, the Review section, which this time features an interesting biographical sketch on Arnold Kastner, whose father founded CTC (the Central Tobacco Company - now Clinton Tube - Supermatics, etc.), and the Editorial Section which continues its look at our "personal" experience in the world of retail. All will be finished soon. At times like this, although normalcy may be good therapy and politically correct, I could not help but be distracted continually by the balance between my concern for issues variously relating to tobacco and the larger canvas of world events. And I found myself writing volumes, switching from the personal to the larger view, wandering, at times aimlessly, from issues of personal freedom to those of extreme sensitivity to the pain, concerns, and rights of individual humans I will never know and may not ever agree with.
As a writer, I have the luxury of getting things that bother me off my chest. This I find to be very therapeutic even in a normal world. The problem I had this time was that every time I would write this opening cover, something new would happen or another issue would crop up and strike me forcibly enough to find myself, once again, changing directions. Consequently I have written nearly 100,000 words in the last month or so that were intended for only this opening page - naturally, most of which I will keep for future meanderings.
It is vital for those who managed to read this far to understand than I am, by nature, an optimist. However, I am equally a skeptic and when it comes to large institutions whether they be governments, corporations, or tax-exempt foundations, only a fool would put unquestioning trust in any one of them. Our government has some truly talented and ethical people within its infrastructure and some real boneheads as well. The point is none of these entities have all of the answers and none are perfect so before we allow them to continue to attempt to regulate our private lives, we had better remain vigilant, ASK a lot of questions, DEMAND accurate, complete data, and INSIST on having a say in any action such data generates. If logical conclusions are not forthcoming on issues that gravely affect the body politic, then lawful change is not only our right and our duty but may well determine our very survival as a nation. Now is NOT the time for we as voters to support people who are dogmatically asleep at the switch no matter the subject.
Now that I have relieved most of my own anxiety and hopefully NOT increased yours, lets return to the issues this magazine is really concerned with. Advertising continues to increase as do sales at our experimental tobacco shop. Rather than further commiserating with cathartic ramblings about my view of the world and the impact that terrible events had on me personally and on those I communicate with frequently, let me simply say this. The Rolling Tobacco/MYO industry is healthier than ever. In times of economic woes, Tobacco has always done well. The laudable courage that Americans have shown by continuing to support the economy is magnified by the cost-effective proposition that the RYO/MYO industry has to offer. Except for a couple of days immediately following September 11, our mail has been at an all time high. Retailers who contact us are selling more than ever and we get many more letters from those who are considering opening a tobacco related business. (There are unfortunately quite a large number of people who have recently found themselves looking for new jobs). Americans (entrepreneurs that they) are always on the lookout for new and potentially profitable products that might free them from the bonds of employment at the whim of others. The fact that this country produces citizens of diversity with a real desire for independence, (despite what certain polls would indicate), has always been a integral factor in the focus of this magazine and I feel it should remain so no matter what traumas the world has to offer.
With the holidays approaching be sure to visit our Buyer's Guide by clicking on the graphic link at left. You will find many new things to enjoy. In this special section, you will find all of the bargains and interesting items we come across or that our readers tell us about. The section will be continually updated as new information arrives and, as there are literally hundreds of unusual, practical and hard to find items in the world of RYO, it is our intent to bring them to your attention with links to make your explorations easier. The Buyer's Guide remains a big hit with our readers and to make it increasingly effective, we need your continued input. So retailers, manufacturers, distributors and readers take notice. If you find any interesting items or bargains that you feel worthy of sharing with your fellow readers (and us, of course), please e-mail RYO Magazine with your suggestions. Everyone concerned will appreciate the benefit derived from the vast resources our readership can provide.
We would especially like to thank all of our advertisers who sell and manufacture a diverse array of high quality accessories and tobacco products, as well as the huge influx of e-mail concerning all aspects of the subject of RYO smoking. This magazine has received little opposition from the anti-smoking forces mainly due to the fact that we, as often stated, are not proponents of smoking but proponents of the public's right to smoke. We recognize the problems that tobacco ABUSE (like any other kind of abuse) can cause, and stress continually our belief that tobaccos in the purer forms found in RYO products contain far fewer, if any, of the additives that increase health assessment risks. We further stress the quantitatively sensible usage of tobacco as an occasional diversion that we, as smokers, can actively manage. There is no physiological reason that the enjoyment of quality tobacco need become an uncontrollable habit. For those who enjoy it, tobacco is a pleasurable substance that has a number of benefits to awareness and mood that, when used intelligently, can provide positives unavailable from other substances. But, if you are a four pack a day smoker (or even two), the sheer irritation to your lungs and cardio-vascular system is likely to cause you grief, much like the reaction your system would have if directly inhaling the equivalent amount of smoke from a campfire or other conflagration. Smoking is not a health-oriented practice, at least physiologically. But many forms of entertainment, which seem crucial for our day to day enjoyment of life, pose risk. Moderation is the key in all such endeavors, including tobacco use. If you are going to smoke tobacco, it seems only logical to enjoy the highest quality, most additive-free products available. We strive to make available information on just such products but remember, if you feel you should quit, then do it. In most cases, it can be done quite easily with a little creative replacement therapy without filling the huge coffers of the pharmaceutical driven nicotine supplement industry.
Well, there are lots of new products to look at, so we hope you enjoy your visit here this time and wish all of you a most prosperous and enjoyable 2002. Now let's get to the good stuff.
Check out the links below and keep abreast what is happening in the tobacco wars. It directly effects you and your right to smoke and other endangered freedoms more and more every day. - the ed.
1. http://www.smokersalliance.org - The National Smokers Alliance
2. http://www.forces.org - FORCES - A national smoker's rights organization
3. http://www.smokers.org - The American Smoker's Alliance
4. http://www.fujipub.com/fot - Friends of Tobacco - A Tobacco and Smoking information clearing house
5. http://www.junkscience.com - A highly entertaining site exposing fraudulent and expensive scientific extrapolations.
6. http://thomas.loc.gov - Current, past, and pending legislative actions, bills, and sponsors - a huge resource.
7. http://tobaccolovers.com - A new and growing resource for tobacco related, history, techniques, and links.
8. http://www.smokerscorner.al.ru - A new Eastern European site with a variety of informational sections & services
9. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-366es.html - a "White" Paper produced by the CATO Institute covering the Shelby Amendment which requires that all aspects of research whose findings lead to legislation being enacted be made part of the public record available to all. Fascinating reading.
Also, most of the news services (CNN, Fox, ABC, MSNBC, etc.), have extensive archives of smoking related articles both pro and con. They are great resources for both sides of the issue. Their websites are easily found in search engines or by URL (i.e. cnn.com).
Without a doubt, even though we are being redundant, we strongly suggest you read what should be the handbook for the smoker's rights enthusiast, Don Oakley's "Slow Burn" - an incredibly well researched, powerful history of the facts and fallacies (mostly) of the anti-smoking movement from its organized inception in the early 60's to present - is available at Amazon.com (click the book graphic at right to purchase it immediately online from Amazon.com (highly recommended). This book is filled with detailed accounts of the step-by-step conspiracy that has created the anti-tobacco environment we all suffer today as well as many portents of the dangers of attorney driven campaigns to change the ways our basic rights are defined. It's all about money and it will make you angry . . . AND. . . you will be amazed at how much wool has been pulled over the eyes of the American sheep population.
Below are some
additional links to sites with some in-depth information on the colorful
1. Jim Shaw's Burnt
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
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