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NYC Smoking Ban


Jaymes
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You have discovered something new - a constitutional "right to stink".

...

I've got another test case for you.  Chew 12 cloves of raw garlic.  Have a friend forgo bathing for a week while visiting the gymn regularly.  Have a third friend mousse her hair with rancid fish oil.  Then visit a bar as a group and see what happens.

When they kick you out, sue.  I look forward to hearing the results of your day in court.

so i can kick someone out of my bar if they wear a lot a perfume? cool. i hate perfume. it stinks.

Unlike tobacco, perfume in limited amounts is considered a pleasant scent. Of course it's a question of degree, but a woman who poured a bottle of the stuff over her head would be unwelcome in most venues. So by all means, throw her out.

And what's your position on this new constitutional "right to stink"? Theres an active thread on this very topic here - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...ST&f=1&t=20532&.

The kick off post was:

"Last night at dinner the sommelier had a particularly rank odor, as if he hadn't showered after playing 4 hours of soccer. There's no good way to deal with this so we grinned and bore it. We left a nice tip as well, because the server's service was excellent. What would you have done?"

According to cinghiale, the sommelier was merely excersing his constitutional rights. The other people on the thread perceive it to be a problem.

Edited by Lex (log)
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The greater good is what is at issue here, and by focusing our lens to narrowly, we lose sight of this.

As J.S. Mill pointed out long ago, "the greater good" often operates as a euphemism for "tyranny of the majority."

When I'm playing a gig around smokers, it's the smokers who are oppressing me. For that matter, this is also true when I'm walking on the street and someone is smoking upwind from me.

There is no constitutional right to smoke. Tobacco is simply a harmful drug that has not been illegalized. People who shoot up heroin or snort cocaine bother me a lot less than smokers because there is no secondary effect of shooting up or snorting on the air I breathe. Sorry, but while I don't believe in putting drug abusers in jail, I have no sympathy for addicts who would rather impose their habit on others.

Now, as for Europe: Each country is different. When I travel, it's obvious that, as a guest, I have to operate within the laws and customs that exist in whichever country I'm visiting. That has no bearing, however, on what policies I support in the place where I do have a vote. Suck eggs, smokers. :biggrin::laugh::laugh::raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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There is no constitutional right to smoke. Tobacco is simply a harmful drug that has not been illegalized. People who shoot up heroin or snort cocaine bother me a lot less than smokers because there is no secondary effect of shooting up or snorting on the air I breathe. Sorry, but while I don't believe in putting drug abusers in jail, I have no sympathy for addicts who would rather impose their habit on others.

Or for those who drink and drive and kill others. :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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.

Referring to the anti-smoking lobby as "tyranny of the majority" is a wonderful thing.  50 years ago, anti-smokers were quite the minority.  I still find it odd that the liberal-elite who are pushing anti-smoking bills (compared to conservative-Republicans who subsidize the tobacco farmers while dropping bombs on cocaine farmers), are considered by anyone the majority.

What goes around, comes around. Smokers are in the minority - now. Notice how the seventies are making a comeback?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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There is no constitutional right to smoke. Tobacco is simply a harmful drug that has not been illegalized. People who shoot up heroin or snort cocaine bother me a lot less than smokers because there is no secondary effect of shooting up or snorting on the air I breathe. Sorry, but while I don't believe in putting drug abusers in jail, I have no sympathy for addicts who would rather impose their habit on others.

You don't mind fucked up coke heads getting in your face for whatever reason strikes them at the time? Or heroine addicts who'll sell all of your belongings for a few fixes. That last one is a stretch, but it's happened to many friends of mine. Smokers are so much easier to avoid.

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Most of the price of coke and heroin is due to its being illegal, and all the attendant risks, costs, and destruction and confiscation of crops, n'est-ce pas? In any case, while theft should remain illegal, I see no good reason to put drug abusers in jail, even if the drug they're abusing happens to be illegal, rather than cigarettes or alcohol.

No, I don't think that smokers are easier to avoid. And while I wholeheartedly agree with your condemnation of drunk driving, I fail to understand the context, in this case.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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shew.  i now have new reasons to hate things.  good thread.  keep it coming.

Unfortunately, eGullet doesn't support some of the latest HTML tags so I'm forced to leave in the raw tags.

[AITICON] (Am I Tongue-In-Cheek Or Not?)

tommy,

In the interest of protecting your emotional health, I'm offering two new things to hate with your new reasons to hate! Don't squander those new-found talents!

1. Wood smoke--let's ban it!

Think Zuni Cafe will win another Beard award when the wood oven disappears?!

2. Cities--let's ban 'em!

[/AITICON]

Check the following for less heat & more light . . .

NYC CLASH

Forces International

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  • 4 weeks later...

Fellow smokers, join me in Kentucky.

Kentucky is the most tobacco-dependent state in the United States. Although North Carolina grows more tobacco than Kentucky, tobacco accounts for a larger percentage of Kentucky's agricultural income.

Tobacco currently accounts for around 50% of Kentucky's crop receipts and 25% of Kentucky's total agricultural cash receipts, yet tobacco uses 1% of the farmland in Kentucky. The latest Census of Agriculture (1992) revealed that tobacco accounted for more than 40% of the net cash return from agricultural sales in Kentucky.

We're hanging on to our smoking rights with yellowed teeth and fingernails :raz:

Just off the top of my head, i'd say about 10% of the fine dining establishments in Louisville are smoke-free. I certainly don't refuse to patronize those (i can go through a whole meal without having to step outside), but believe me, when the meal is over, we retire to a bar, all of which, i believe, still allow smoking.

Edited by zilla369 (log)

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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It strikes me as silly and a bit strange that people will rant about the alleged health concerns about smoking in bars and miss the mark. Prolonged alcohol use will kill you faster than smoking ever will. People give up heroin and still smoke! Like the heroin user I don’t think most hardcore smokers ever started smoking to be addicted, I didn’t.

Bars, offices and malls are not by strict definition public places. Parks, streets and government buildings are. OK, so you can’t smoke in court, big deal. You go out side and puff. Unless you are the presumed innocent defendant in a criminal mater; the Sheriff is not going to be accommodating even though you have the right to make the choice, you are in custody.

I love the people that are quick to say how good the government is for enacting this legislation but still condemn them for other actions that they do not agree with. The taxes that smokers pay fund the coffers. A government wants you to be able to pay as much in taxes that you can without revolting. It will pick on “sin” as a way to levy tax on the sinner. My personal favorite is the person with one vice that deplores all other quote vices. Sure, drink like a fish but don’t smoke. In a place that will serve you a sandwich that contains enough fat, calories, nitrates and chemicals to feed a family of 4 and rework a boat.

Be honest, how many well-meaning vegonazis won’t eat a grilled cheese sandwich but smoke some obscure brand with less additives? Nicotine is an addictive substance and yet the same people that fight for Marijuana reform or free speech are willing to throw smokers under the proverbial bus.

So some single mother in Manhattan looses her job and we all think the worst. Some uninformed slut with a defective male. How do we know that? Could she have been an unconventional partner supporting a husband in medicine killed before he could draw a life insurance policy? Like most you choose to think the worst.

It is not the government’s job to protect us from all ills; the left may try to make that claim. The government is there to perform the jobs illustrated in the documents that founded this nation. Or don’t you read that type of stuff?

Living hard will take its toll...
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It strikes me as silly and a bit strange that people will rant about the alleged health concerns about smoking in bars and miss the mark. Prolonged alcohol use will kill you faster than smoking ever will. People give up heroin and still smoke! Like the heroin user I don’t think most hardcore smokers ever started smoking to be addicted, I didn’t.

I'm sure you didn't.

But the rationale for the prohibition on smoking in bars in California was that it is a workplace safety issue for the bartenders and wait staff. They don't have to drink to excess (data show that moderate drinking can be healthful, by the way, as you'd probably agree) and don't have to shoot up, but if people smoke in their face, they smoke too, willy-nilly.

I sympathize with your difficulty in overcoming an addiction, but I still think that the basic concept here is that your freedom (and I don't think there's any kind of basic freedom to smoke) stops when your fist hits my face. For many of us, smoke going into our respiratory system is really comparable to getting hit hard in the throat and chest. To many of you, too, I daresay, but - to put it bluntly - that's your problem, as long as you don't inflict it on others. The other stuff you talked about isn't inflicted on strangers in the same way as smoking.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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One thing I’ve noticed, especially downtown, is being much more comfortable walking home or back to the car very late than pre-ban. With people congregated on every sidewalk with a bar it’s almost like a citywide neighborhood watch program.

Thankfully I quit smoking (cold turkey) a few weeks after the ban took effect. Not having to watch my friends smoke at the bar took away my most likely trigger for relapse. Not to mention I’m saving about 50 bucks a week. I’m down with the ban now :wink:

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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govt should step in as a last resort, and even then precariously.  if they would arrange a structure which allows the market to decide, it would be much easier on us all.

non smoking bars should happen by choice.  as a perhaps future bar owner, i would have no problem owning 2 bars, one for the smokers, one for the nonsmokers.

Hey Herb!

Business people don't run non-smoking bars for a reason. The market is speaking; I can name only two non-smoking bars in Philadelphia, Brigids (which is more of a restaurant) and McNally's Chestnut Hill (which has very strong food business). Two out of thousands, the market has spoken. There is a nitch for non-smoking bars. Brand new establishments should consider being non-smoking, but few existing bars are going to throw away some of their most loyal customers for the possiblity of new non-smokers. Having separate bars in the same establishment would destroy the interactive social dynamic.

Smokers may be a minority overall, but in the bar business they are the majority, which I suspect is due to social smokers, who only smoke in bars or similar environments.

As a non-smoker, I'd love for bars to be non-smoking.

As businessman I know that ain't happening voluntarily; I also know there will be serious, serious short term pain. Another concern is do I invest $5k in air purifying equipment only to find it obsolete in a year if an anti-smoking bill is passed in Philly? That would be a double loss, out $5K and a serious, serious drop in business. There is an irony here that the potential of an anti-smoking bill may keep certain bars smokier in the short term.

Good bars are social experiences. Losing smokers causes a domino effect in the business. Fewer friends and acquaintances in the bar will result in current non-smoking customers leaving sooner, which causes others to leave sooner, which causes...

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Hmmmm, Here in houston we don't have the smoking ban in bars, well not yet anyway... But then again the ban has not affected me. I am a user of smokeless Tobacco. Specifically, I use Copenhagen, I can use it anywhere, even on an airplane and never hear a complaint one. I even tried to get T.B. to try it one evening (I don't think he like it though). So I think all the smokers should convert to smokeless tobacco in order to get that nicotine fix.

JTL

Is a Member of PETA..."People Eating Tasty Animals"

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It strikes me as silly and a bit strange that people will rant about the alleged health concerns about smoking in bars and miss the mark. Prolonged alcohol use will kill you faster than smoking ever will.

I don't think it misses the mark at all. If one goes into a bar every day and has a pint or a glass of wine or shot or a cocktail, research is telling us that this is actually good for your health. So, no, prolonged alcohol use will not kill you. Prolonged alcohol abuse will kill you. These are two different things. And I think I can say without fear of contradiction that occasional smoking -- be that first-hand or second-hand -- will kill you faster than prolonged moderate alcohol consumption.

As for second hand smoke in the bars... again, if I visit a smoke-filled bar every day and have a drink, it is an absolute fact that the second hand smoke is a far greater danger to my health than the alcohol consumption -- probably right in line after those bikers shooting pool who keep looking at my girlfriend. That said, the laws against smoking in bars aren't really meant to protect the customers anyway, they are meant to protect the employees. And, contrary to your assertion, it is, in fact, the government's business to protect employees in the workplace from as many ills as possible.

I do think the smoking ban will affect business at many NYC bars, at least temporarily, and anectotal evidence tends to support this. This is because a lot of alcohol addicts are also nicotine addicts, and because of "social smokers."

--

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I would have to agree with slkinsey, to some extend, but if everyone were "dipping", there would be no smoke. However, I am sure there is someone out there that would argue against that as well.

JTL

Is a Member of PETA..."People Eating Tasty Animals"

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Just off the top of my head, i'd say about 10% of the fine dining establishments in Louisville are smoke-free.  I certainly don't refuse to patronize those (i can go through a whole meal without having to step outside), but believe me, when the meal is over, we retire to a bar, all of which, i believe, still allow smoking.

Couldn't help but point out here that most smokers I know also manage to get through the entire night - sleeping about eight hours or so - without having to arise from their bed every hour to go have a cigarette.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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. . . it is an absolute fact that the second hand smoke is a far greater danger to my health than the alcohol consumption

"If repeated often enough, a lie will become the new truth."

What?!

Are you trying to suggest that this isn't true? Let's see.... All research points to the conclusion that moderate drinking to the tune of one drink a day is good for your health. Research also points out the health risks associated with inhaling second hand smoke. Hmmm... one thing is good for you, the other is bad for you. This, in my book, makes it a fact that the second hand smoke inhaled in a smoky bar is a greater danger to my health than the alcohol in the one drink I am consuming.

So where is the lie exactly? Do you think all people who drink in bars are abusing alcohol? Or that all the health risks associated with tobacco smoke are somehow magically absorbed only by the smoker and that exhaled smoke is risk free? Or are you just talking out of your ass because you don't want to believe there's anything wrong with second hand smoke? Do you have anything to offer that contradicts the above?

--

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Or are you just talking out of your ass because you don't want to believe there's anything wrong with second hand smoke?  Do you have anything to offer that contradicts the above?

Let's leave my ass out of this. :raz:

When I read or hear phrases like "absolute fact" I'm compelled to reach for my gun. If only I had one. (Well, I have a "gun" but not a weapon. Whatever. Let's leave that out of this, too.)

I, too, used to believe that it was an "absolute fact" that secondhand smoke was extremely dangerous. Just like I used to believe that ingesting any form of fat was extremely dangerous. I find it interesting--and somewhat perverse--that when it comes to food science & nutrition, eGulleters are nuanced & quite literate about dispelling common myths concerning issues like fat & nutrition.

However, when it comes to secondhand smoke, this thread pushed me to spend a bit of time researching things like mogsob's infamous "California studies" on secondhand smoke, etc. Well, it turns out that these "studies" aren't all they're cut out to be. The "studies" are heavily funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. What's the RWJF? It's the largest single shareholder in Johnson & Johnson.

Draw your own conclusions, I'm still drawing mine. But I do have to weigh the evidence that the "war over smoke" is really a battle over which nicotine delivery system will be the most profitable--the delivery systems of the tobacco companies or the delivery systems of the pharmaceutical companies.

I haven't made up my mind yet. But I hardly think the issue can be boiled down to "absolute fact."

One source of information is Forces International.

As I've called for earlier: less heat, more light.

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I, too, used to believe that it was an "absolute fact" that secondhand smoke was extremely dangerous.  Just like I used to believe that ingesting any form of fat was extremely dangerous.  I find it interesting--and somewhat perverse--that when it comes to food science & nutrition, eGulleters are nuanced & quite literate about dispelling common myths concerning issues like fat & nutrition.

Ah... Well, I certainly don't believe that secondhand smoke is nearly as dangerous as firsthand, or that it is a surefire ticket to cancer and heart disease. I agree that some of the dangers of secondhand smoke have been exaggerated. But I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that secondhand smoke is bad for you, and most studies I have read seem to confirm that secondhand smoke negatively impacts one's health. Just how much of a negative impact it has is hard to quantify, especially as it is hard to properly gauge how much secondhand smoke a person is exposed to. Nevertheless, if you sit in a bar inhaling lots of secondhand smoke for an hour every day while you polish off a pint of Guinness, there is enough evidence to say it is an "absolute fact" that the smoke is a greater danger to your health than the alcohol... if for no other reason than the fact that the alcohol is supposed to be good for you and the smoke, regardless of how bad for you it may be, is still bad for you.

One of the most interesting studies I read recently, and which recieved a fair amount of press, showed that cats living with owners who smoked (i.e., exposed to secondhand smoke) were far more likely to develop cancer than cats living with nonsmokers. Furthermore, "risk increased with both duration and quantity of exposure, with evidence of a linear trend." (Bertone ER, Snyder LA, Moore AS.; Environmental tobacco smoke and risk of malignant lymphoma in pet cats; Am J Epidemiol 2002 Aug 1;156(3):268-73). This, in my book, is pretty strong evidence that passive smoke inhalation and other kinds of exposure to secondhand smoke (skin contact, etc.) increase the risk of developing certain cancers, and that the more one is exposed to secondhand smoke the greater the risk factor. In light of that, it strikes me as reasonable to protect bar and restaurant employees from this risk.

My apoligies if I overreacted earlier, as I am not used to seeing things I write characterized as a lie, although I understand now that your comment was more to the popular view of secondhand smoke than my post per se. Best regards to your ass as well. :smile:

--

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Thanks, slkinsey. I had a hunch (based on your other posts) that we might be able to dialogue about this. :smile:

You're right, I was focusing on common understandings of secondhand smoke.

Again, I've not made my mind up about this. Yet I'm particularly interested--given the topic of this thread--about regulation & public policy concerning secondhand smoke.

You noted an Am J Epidemiol article concerning the effect of secondhand smoke on cats. Here's an excerpt from an earlier article from the same journal . . .

"[N]umerous studies of the effects of environmental tobacco smoke have studied the lung cancer risk of nonsmoking wives as a function of their husbands' smoking habits. In these spousal studies, husbands' smoking is being used as a surrogate for [ETS] exposure. The majority of these studies have largely ignored the possibility of confounding from either direct occupational exposure of the subjects or paraoccupational exposure through their spouses. Studies such as that by Fontham, which have made some attempt to control for occupational exposure of the subjects, have used job classification as a surrogate for occupational exposure. If an attempt were made to control for paraoccupational exposure of the wives by their husbands, a somewhat different set of job groupings would likely be used as a surrogate for paraoccupational exposure. In either case, we have a situation in which the exposure variable and the confounder are both being estimated through surrogates, and failure to take this into account in the analysis could lead to erroneous or misleading results..." [ Source: "Recovering True Risks When Multilevel Exposure and Covariable Are Both Misclassified," Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:886-91.]

Note that last sentence: "In either case, we have a situation in which the exposure variable and the confounder are both being estimated through surrogates, and failure to take this into account in the analysis could lead to erroneous or misleading results..."

Same journal. The 1999 article points out the problem with moving from exposure in the home, etc. to exposure in the workplace. Yet the 2002 article (apparently) makes the same mistake.

Is secondhand smoke dangerous? Yes. But the interesting question--and more important as to public policy--is "how dangerous is secondhand smoke in workplace environments?" And so on & so on . . .

I've no answers. I just think that public policy & secondhand smoke are not as clear-cut as prima facie evidence might suggest.

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Note that last sentence:  "In either case, we have a situation in which the exposure variable and the confounder are both being estimated through surrogates, and failure to take this into account in the analysis could lead to erroneous or misleading results..."

Same journal.  The 1999 article points out the problem with moving from exposure in the home, etc. to exposure in the workplace.  Yet the 2002 article (apparently) makes the same mistake.

Is secondhand smoke dangerous?  Yes.  But the interesting question--and more important as to public policy--is "how dangerous is secondhand smoke in workplace environments?"  And so on & so on . . .

I've no answers.  I just think that public policy & secondhand smoke are not as clear-cut as prima facie evidence might suggest.

I think there are several things here. It does indeed get more complicated with human beings reporting behavior, and it is possible that the subjects are exposed to lung cancer risks other than secondhand smoke from their husbands. That said, just because the human element "could lead to erroneous or misleading results" does not necessarily mean one should throw the baby out with the bathwater and automatically discount all results from all studiesinvolving data of this kind. This is one reason why the cat study is a good one. These are indoor cats which have pretty much the same cancer risk as all other indoor cats except for the varying levels of exposure to secondhand smoke from their owners. The only way to get a tighter experiment would be to set up controlled groups of cats and have smokers breathe varying levels of secondhand smoke into their environments.

As for public policy and secondhand smoke, I think one has to understand the variables and make some reasonable assumptions. We know that secondhand smoke is bad for you. Just how bad it is, we don't know, but studies have demonstrated that nonsmokers (both people and animals) who live with smokers are at increased risk for certain health problems. I think most of us would agree that this is the case. Now, think about the amount of smoke a nonsmoker living with a smoker is exposed to... What, maybe 20-40 cigarettes a day, maximum? A bartender could easily be exposed to 40 cigarettes an hour throughout the length of a shift. Given the foregoing, some public policy changes seem reasonable to me. Now, as other people have pointed out, any time changes are made there are going to be some losers. There were losers when the government stopped the use of asbestos. It is possible that Tony Bourdain's working class bar may never recover economically from the smoking ban. This is too bad, but strikes me as somewhat inevitable. My feeling is that most bar smoker/drinkers will adapt and learn to live with it, and most businesses will rebound. I also appreciate his somewhat romantic take on bars as a place where one goes to do bad things to one's health, and it is too bad that his archetype may die out altogether. This too is inevitable, and the same thing happened to other subcultures when refrigeration came in and the health standards for meat were raised, etc., etc., etc.

To me, the fundamental difference between smoking and most other unhealthy pursuits is that I can sit next to an alcoholic and not be forced to suffer for their addiction (ok, discounting breath). And I for one am glad to be able to go out and destroy my liver without destroying my lungs at the same time. :smile:

--

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Thanks for the response, slkinsey.

I'll make just one last comment on this & go back to food! :smile:

My primary concern regarding secondhand smoke & public policy is that said policy should *not* be driven by "science" that is still inconclusive. From what I can tell, the actual risk of secondhand smoke on non-smokers is very much in dispute among epidemiologists. For instance, here's a recent article.

Perhaps I'm cynical but I'm increasingly viewing this issue as ultimately a war for money, not health. Again, whose nicotine delivery system will prevail? I think the answer is obvious--the pharmaceutical companies will win & thus enjoy a long run in a very lucrative market.

I'm not much of one for slippery slope arguments, but I'll trot one out anyway. If this type of "science" continues to influence public policy where will food be in, say, twenty years? Will ConAgra ignore the potential profits that they would reap if they engendered the lessons laid bare by the pharmaceutical companies creation of new nicotine delivery systems?

Bah! I'm going to go eat a porterhouse, drink a martini, & . . .

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