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Today on the Hill

The Senate convenes at 2:00 p.m. ET and will proceed to cloture votes on H.R.1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The House meets at 12:30 p.m. to consider suspended bills. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Notable Committee Hearings:

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (5:30 p.m.)
Business meeting to consider the nominations of Rand Beers, of the District of Columbia, to be Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs, and Martha N. Johnson, of Maryland, to be Administrator, General Services Administration. S-216

House Appropriations Subcommittee Markup - Homeland Security (5:00 p.m.)
B-308 Rayburn

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 8, 2009; 7:22 AM ET
Categories:  Today on the Hill  
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Comments

I am a non-smoker, but not an anti-smoker. That is an especially-important distinction in today's world.

Here are some actions smokers can take to fight back:

1. If the FDA ends up requiring ugly-picture warnings on cigarette packs, simply get a cigarette pack holder. Many women already have these in their purses and the ladies' holders are large enough to hold a lighter, too. You can put your pack of cigarettes in the holder and then the warnings will be covered up and you will not have to look at them whenever you reach for a cigarette.

2. If there is a cigarette tax increase by a state, plan trips to other states to buy cartons at lesser prices.To punish your own state, spend your tourism and shopping and gasoline dollars in the other state, too. If the other state allows smoking in some or all of its casinos, spend your gambling dollars at those, too.

3. If the anti-smokers try to use a smoking ban to force you to quit smoking, realize this is a bait-and-switch by them. The smoking bans are supposedly there to address secondhand smoke, not first-hand smoke. We accused them of ulterior motives and they denied it, yet thereafter they tried to use the bans to force people to give up their right to smoke. If you want to quit smoking, fine, that's your right. But if you quit due to a smoking ban you'll be playing into the hands of the anti-smokers.

4. Studies have shown that smokers make less money than non-smokers. Watch for such discrimination at your workplace. It's illegal in Illinois to discriminate against someone for use of a lawful product.

5. If they ban smoking at a beach, walk a little bit out in the water to smoke. Voila! You're not on the beach any more.

6. When they try to pass rules to require r-ratings for movies where kids would see people smoking, point out their hypocrisy. They have forced smokers out of buildings to smoke out in the open, on the public sidewalks. There is nothing more public than smoking outdoors on the sidewalk, where everyone can see. Ask the anti-smokers if they're going to let smokers smoke indoors again, to keep the kids from observing smoking going on, when you hear them engaging in their little tirades about smoking in movies.

7. Understand that help from the government is on the way. The FDA is going to make cigarettes safer. When that occurs there will not be as many reasons to stop smoking cigarettes.

Posted by: Dannoday | June 8, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I am a non-smoker and an anti-smoker. Both of my parents died from COPD (emphysema) brought on by 50 years of smoking. Their deaths were slow, very uncomfortable and frustrating for both them and their loved ones. As their health declined they were less and less able to participate in life's joyful activities - like walking across the room.

I never started smoking because of the behavior of a public smoker (no smoking in church) I witnessed about age 8 or 9. As the rushed from the church building grasping for a pack of cigs in his pocket he exclaimed, "I thought that sermon would never end. I've been dying for a smoke." That convinced me that whatever might be "good" about smoking, it wasn't good enough for me and I never started.

So, if smokers have a tough time finding a place to light up, then that's too bad. Second hand smoke is a killer and I want neither myself nor my loved ones exposed to it.

There's a very appropriate old saying, "your rights end where my nose begins."

Posted by: wpbrown46 | June 8, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

S-216

Posted by: edtroyhampton | June 8, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Smoking bans never had anything to do with other people’s health.
There is plenty of literature out there to prove it but a good easy to understand start is Minnesota State Senator Tom Neuville’s article at http://www.tomneuville.com/archives/119 .

Smoking bans are designed to coerce smokers into quitting their habit by making their life as miserable as public opinion will permit. This coercion, combined with the fact that they have brainwashed smokers to believe that they are too severely addicted to quit on their own, profit the powerful pharmaceutical industry who makes billions selling nicotine replacement treatment throughout the world, albeit their dismal 1,6% rate of long term success. What better business partnership between governments who collect taxes, the pharmaceutical industry that profits from the repeat sales of nicotine replacement treatment and the killer drug Chantix, and anti-smoking activists who profit from the grants of both?

If you like to be played by corporate interests and by your own government with your own taxes continue believing the environmental tobacco smoke hoax that violates your free will and property rights. If however you believe in scientific integrity, property rights and the sovereignty of your own body, then fight back with all your might.

Posted by: Cyzane | June 8, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

the govt is growing too fast. these socialist pieces of crap we have for congressmen,and senators need to sit back and take a better look at people like me,who will not mind taking the time and a little money for signs on the side and back of my truck,with their pictures ,advertising them to be the marxist low lifes they are. they need to stop throwing all those millions of dollars to their relatives and friends at our expence,and stop worrying about ways to take away my rights.
if you dont smoke,thats your business,but dont demonize me,just crawl back in your communistic hole,and find something else to cry about.

Posted by: silusdogood | June 9, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

by the way, whats this homeland security all about? we have no security. the only way the americamn citizens are going to have security,is to appoint people to guard the southern borders,without govt assist. its going to look like old mexico here soon.

Posted by: silusdogood | June 9, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

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