The latest in the "War on Tobacco"; cigarette smokers in particular this time: non-smoking housing, apartments and condos are beginning to take hold: no smoking in your own home & in some cases, even in the common areas or on the property at all.
Tobacco in general and cigarettes in particular are a legal and highly taxed products: up to 80% of the retail price of a pack of cigarettes is local, state, and federal taxes.
Despite that, the article contains this quote from Betsy Feigin Befus, special counsel for the National Multi Housing Council: "No state or federal law protect a person's right to smoke and neither does the Constitution."
Wow! Using that logic concerning a legal product regulated by the US Government, what ELSE don't the American people have a right to? Fatty foods? Candy? Being over-weight? French Fries? Cookies?
Ms Feigin Befus has it backwards: Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Combined with Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
In fact, if you review the writings of the authors of the US Constitution, The 10th Amendment was specifically designed and included to prevent the Federal perversion of individual rights by Neo-Fascists such as Betsy Feigin Befus! Don't they teach Constitutional Law in the Law School she attended......or most others, for that matter any more?
Until cigarettes are made illegal and/or banned, and yes, that is coming; her statement just reinforces the stigma attached to Activist Lawyers and especially Judges; those "Guardians of the Constitution and the Law of the Land" who now create, through the Courts, laws to suit their own social and personal agendas, instead of following and interpreting the Law as it stands. The United States Constitution seems to be a particular target.
Does Ms. Feigin-Befus think it an accident that ARTICLE 1, SECTION 1, of the US Constitution states that All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Or that ARTICLE 1, SECTION 7 states, in part: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States. If he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law.
It's called the Separation of Powers: three distinct and equal entities to balance the power of the Federal Government between the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The Founders specifically created it to prevent any one branch of the Federal Government from encroaching on the Rights of the States and especially the Individual Citizen.
But for the last 30-40 years, that part of the Constitution has been too inconvenient for Activist Judges and Lawyers.
Like all too many today, they consider many laws a barrier to their personal agendas and simply choose to ignore what they don't like and make up new precedents to "create" and enforce non-existent laws. It often takes years, if not decades, for this bad law to be finally over-turned. Sometimes it never is.
Congress and the Executive Branch, through their continued inaction all these years, have ceded much of their legal authority to the illegal whims of the Judicial Branch.
That's probably more Constitutional law than Ms. Feigin-Befus and her ilk ever absorbed or, sadly, were even taught in most of today's Law Schools. Or perhaps it was an elective she did not take, opting instead for the series on Class Action Lawsuits or the very popular "How to Maximize Billable Hours"?
Notice I stated above that cigarettes are going to be banned; not tobacco products. This is why Camel, Marlboro and the other "American snus brands" introduced their so-called "snus" NOW: to begin getting smokers used to the concept of snus so when that day comes, they can re-engineer their products (especially in Marlboro's case) to ensure enough nicotine is in their "snus" to satisfy smokers nicotine addiction and the true migration will begin.
The days of (especially) cigarette smoking anywhere in America are coming to a rapid end.....no longer than ten years; more likely five.
But where having the Swedish Government regulate snus manufactured in Sweden is a positive situation, the motives of the American Food and Drug Administration are completely different and a health and economic negative for the tobacco consumer.
Unlike the Swedish version of the FDA whose goal is to make Swedish snus as "reduced-harm" (legal term) and safe for consumers as possible, the US FDA has one goal and one goal only: banning cigarettes.
Swedish snus has virtually no TSNA's- the tobacco elements that cause cancer- due to their strict requirements on product content and especially steam pasteurization during the manufacturing process. The Swedes regulate snus as a Food Product.
A 30 year study showed that Swedish men have the lowest rates of lung AND ORAL cancer in all of Europe.
American tobacco companies are under no such constraints. Nowhere on their website or in their literature does Marlboro or Skoal use the word "pasteurized". They just say it's "dry".... and of course spit-less. Until they prove otherwise, this says to me that Marlboro and Skoal snus is as dangerous a product as chew or dip when it comes to cancer.
Camel SNUS (they always use SNUS in all capital letters when describing their product and snus when talking about the characteristics of Swedish snus to avoid false advertising) does claim to pasteurize their SNUS, but does not release any information on the amount of TSNA's which may or may not remain, the ingredients, and deliberately and subliminally mislead viewers of their websites into associating Camel SNUS with Swedish snus. Camel SNUS and Swedish Snus are not the same.
Swedish snus or snus made to Swedish government standards or better is the safest and most practical replacement for cigarette smokers who are nicotine-addicted. Swedish Snus is 98% safer than cigarettes. I smoked for 30 years, tried to quit numerous times, but always came back. I started using Swedish Snus in 2007. After the first week, I had no desire for a cigarette and don't even think about cigarettes anymore. In fact, I'm snusing right now.
Unfortunately, that's not the FDA's agenda. The majority of Americans do not smoke but they vote in the same proportion as do smokers. There are only 46 million smokers. Politicians want to be re-elected. You do the math.
The only interest the Government has in smokers and tobacco users is getting as much of their money in the form of taxes as possible. Other than that, their greatest secret hope is we all drop dead before we're eligible for Social Security and Medicare.
Which leaves the big mystery for this upcoming Presidential election: is Barack Omaba; too afraid to continue publicly smoking: still his legal right, but "courageous" enough to admit he used illegal drugs during his youth; become a closet smoker or has he discovered Snus?
Activist Snus Guru
August 15, 2008