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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002 at 5:21 PM
California doctors want to raise smoking age to 21. At the same time, they do nothing to expose or condemn known toxic, cancer-causing, immune-suppressing, etc. industrial elements that are still permitted to contaminate typical cigarettes!
errorCalif. Medical Assn. members voted to urge the state to raise the smoking age to 21. This sounds so wholesome...but there are some serious problems here.
* The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally declared dioxin, deadly by-product of chlorine, to be a KNOWN carcinogen, the worst level. Dioxin is not only a cancer cause and a cancer promoter, it harms the immune system and causes learning disabilities, nervous system disorders, pregnancy disruptions, fetal damage and a pack of other maladies. The absolutely worst exposure is by inhalation. Dioxin is not on any cigarette warning label even though a typical cigarette (i.e., non organic) has chlorine-bleached paper, any number of chlorine pesticide residues, any number of contaminated agricultural additives and any of an assortment of contaminated industrial waste cellulose materials that are used in patented processes to make fake tobacco.
This is apparently OK to the doctors who, in apparent deference to various chlorine interests, have chosen to put the burden of law upon the uninformed, unprotected and insufficiently-warned victims.
* According to some very under-reported information from Physicians for a National Health Plan, top health insurance firms are happy owners of huge investment holdings in none other but top cigarette manufacturers! While these insurers pretend to be "anti-smoking", and while the so-called "tobacco settlements" seemed to hit Big Cig hard, the savings to the industry were enormous. No victims were compensated, no deadly non-tobacco additives were banned from cigarettes, no lists of non-tobacco ingredients was required and, to add insult to injury, the "settlement" money was taken from the victims via higher prices...as cigarette stock values soared.
Big Insurance, the top investment community on Wall St., doubtlessly invests in (and insures) the whole cigarette cartel...from the tobacco pesticides and fertilizers, to the paper, the chlorine, the agricultural additives, the pharmaceutical additives (flavorings, preservatives, scents, artificial sweeteners, AND pesticides), sugars, adhesives and advertising. Since many doctors work with and for Big Insurance, one can guess that the Hippocratic Oath may come in second to certain economic concerns. To ignore such a large-scale industrial poisoning is to DO harm.
* For Profit medicine uses a lot of chlorine. Chlorine in virtually every use is unnecessary and could be replaced by benign technologies. Chlorine, however, is cheaper and more profitable ONLY because the chemical industries have been successful in dodging liabilities and prosecution for the harms of chlorine and dioxin. If chlorine/dioxin is rightly indicted for the harms it has caused across the entire planet, concievably there would be enough money from penalties and civil suits to pay for a PUBLIC health program for the next two thousand years or more. One can guess some economic reasons here why doctors in this system would be reluctant to indict, or even mention, this. Easier to put regulatory burdens on the victims.
* There's radiation in typical cigs...from certain high-phosphate fertilizers that, despite the health problems, have NOT been banned! This radiation, though low-level, has been shown to be cause of most upper-bronchial cancers. If this element of typical cigarettes was properly addressed, it would cast a negative light on all radiation technologies...nukes, nuclear energy, radioacive waste, food irradiation and various medical procedures. Could it be that the professional doctors don't want to create concerns about radiation? Could it be that Health Insurers don't want their radiation industry holdings threatened? Could it be in a million years that they would utter a peep, despite the harms to victims, and thereby shoot themselves in their wallets?
* If age is raised to 21...does that mean police will have Probable Cause to stop and interrogate and search anyone up to about age 40 if they spot a cigarette? I don't know what California's police/smoking situation is but some states allow police to bust under-age smokers. Back East, some liquor stores have signs saying that they will check ID of anyone up to age 40. So...all the health and liability-dodging business aside, this "wholesome" age-limit change has the potential to vastly increase police power to stop and demand papers.
* The U.S. signed the POPs Treaty (Persistent Organic Pollutants) that will globally ban the 12 worst industrial pollutants. This list includes dioxin. That's how bad it is.
Interestingly, of these "Dirty Dozen" goodies, fully EIGHT have been or still are cigarette adulterants! Gov't regulators have ZERO grounds to plead ignorance about the extreme harms of dioxin. Same for the doctors. Same for the media. The only ones who know little or nothing are the victims...consumers and those who are downwind or downstream.
* Despite claims of "concern" about youth smoking, the very same officials who work to "crack down" on smoking still allow a host of sweet, flavorful, addiction-enhancing and irritation-numbing additives to be put, with top secrecy, into cigarettes. That is...the products are made to be as appealing and addictive as possible to kids...and then the kids are hit with violations for using the prooducts! Further, dioxins are particularly harmful to growing bodies, including fetuses, yet the good doctors of California (and elsewhere) don't seem to mind. The hypocrisy of the "concerned" anti-smoking legislators is equally appalling. Incidentally, these legislators may not accept contributions from the cigarette manufacturers (too obvious) but they have no shortage of economic links to the REST of the cartel...tobacco pesticide makers, paper industries, chemical industries, pharmaceuticals,ag biz, fertilizers, advertising, insuring and investing. These are all interests which do NOT want anything but the public-domain, natural, unpatentable tobacco plant accused of the crime. Notably, not ONE bit of "smoking" legislation in the entire country has ever included info on the expected or known harms (whatever they may be) of PLAIN, uncontaminated tobacco! That is...tobacco is being busted WITHOUT any evidence! This is called Scapegoating. Similar science-free legislation created the still devastating war on marijuana and hemp.
** Info on Big Insurance investments in Big Cig is publicly available at Securities and Exchange Commission web site...EDGAR data base. Contact Physicians for a National Health Program for help.
** Info and many links to cig adulterants issues is at
< http://rampages.onramp.net/~bdrake > Lots of info at U of Cal. SF....not that the "anti smoking" folks will ever publicize it.
** March 86 Reader's Digest (of all places) has info about the radiation in cigs studies.
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