- Consider using laser therapy to quit smoking.

Smoking is censored – so, what’ll be next?

Steven Shainberg, director of the speculative Diane Arbus bio, Fur, has a story:

“I was developing a project for a studio, and the character was this totally messed-up guy. He was in his mid- to late 20s; he frequented whores; he took an enormous amount of Ecstasy, and in many, many scenes he would smoke.

“Well, the studio was obsessed with him not smoking. And I used to say, `The guy’s doing all these other crazy things, you’re worried about him smoking?'”

Very worried.

Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America announced that cigarettes will now be a factor in movie ratings. In a statement, the body responsible for those parental advisories – the PGs, PG-13s, Rs and NC-17s accorded for scenes of sex and violence, for profanity, drinking and drugs – noted that “depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of a historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating.”

Fine, smoking kills. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked movies to teen smoking, and health organisations, youth advocacy groups and outfits like Morality in Media have long lobbied Hollywood to kick those butts off screen. (Morality in Media wants any film featuring a lit cigarette to get an automatic R.)

“Think about it,” wrote consumer advocate and activist Ralph Nader in a Tobacco and Hollywood editorial. “The movies are glamorous, and they portray smoking as glamorous, whether or not it is a good guy or bad guy lighting a cigarette.”

With that kind of logic, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood officially ceded.

“Smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behavior in our society,” Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, said in his statement last week. “No parent wants their child to take up the habit. The appropriate response of the rating system is to give more information to parents on this issue.”

OK. But where is all this going? What’s next – an R rating for a scene of grade-schoolers scarfing trans-fat doughnuts? What about a movie that offends vegans – stars chomping on meat, wearing mink, stopping the Mr. Softee truck for a vanilla cone? And who’s going to protect the moviegoing public from all the other potentially destructive, addictive activities “glamourised” in the movies?

Source: The Star

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Post to StumbleUpon

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Smoking Ban Will Force Big Changes For Restaurants – Maryland

As Maryland State lawmakers close-in on a statewide smoking ban, restaurants are expecting changes on their end.

Warren Custis of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in Salisbury says bars and restaurants will miss out on a major part of their business.

“It’s wrong to try to tell someone where to smoke at,” said Custis.

Custis also mentions that businesses spend lots of money installing smoke eaters. This device sucks up the smoke when its in the air allowing for separate smoking and non-smoking sections.

“Restaurants and bars have them, now it’s useless,” said Custis.

“They tell me they’re expensive to run, some places run them and some don’t,” said Don Kersey.

The statewide smoking ban includes bars, restaurants, and private clubs. Lawmakers tentatively agreed to the ban last week, a formal agreement may be reached Monday. The bill then heads to Governor Martin O’Malley, who plans to sign it.

Maryland would join Washington D.C. and Delaware with statewide smoking bans.

Source: WBOC

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Post to StumbleUpon

Tags: , , , , , ,

Anti-smoking activist loses job in A.C. casino

An anti-smoking activist has lost his casino job at the Tropicana Casino and Resort after 26 years.

Vince Rennich, a table games supervisor, doesn’t buy the argument that his dismissal was part of a larger staff reduction as the new owners reorganize the property.

“They threw me under the bus,” the Somers Point man said Monday. “They took the opportunity to get rid of me.”

A Tropicana spokeswoman declined comment on the reason behind the layoff. But since Columbia Entertainment took over for Aztar Corp., a couple hundred employees have been let go.

“This is not an easy thing. We’re sensitive to the people who work here,” said Tropicana president and CEO Fred Buro The casino offered a six-week severance package, Rennich, 49, said.

Rennich sued the Tropicana last summer, alleging failure to protect employees against secondhand smoke on the casino floor. Rennich, a nonsmoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago and had part of his lung removed.

Rennich said he never saw the firing coming.

“I didn’t think they had the nerve to do it,” he said. “How can you do that to someone. I’m devastated. I have no job, no benefits. Health insurance will cost me $800 month. Who’ll hire a guy with lung cancer who is suing the casino industry?”

He also ruled out going to court to get his job back at the Tropicana “I don’t want them if they don’t want me,” he said.

Rennich said he will continue the fight for a full smoking ban on the casino floor. “This is not about me. It’s what’s happening in Atlantic City. It’s not OK for us to die.”

Last year, the state enacted a smoking ban, but exempted the casinos for fear of an economic downturn. Atlantic City council introduced its own ordinance to close the loophole, but last month backed off, approving an amendment to permit separate smoking areas on 25 percent of the casino floor. Plans for the separation must be submitted to the state Department of Community Affairs by mid-September, five months after the ordinance takes affect April 15.

The state has since revisited the exemption. Last week, the Senate Health Committee approved a measure to ban smoking on the gaming floor. Rennich testified at the hearing.

Tropicana’s Buro last week said the casinos would likely go smoke-free by installing gaming-free smoking lounges.

“That seems to be the most practical way,” he said.

Rennich supports the move. “We pitched that idea to them. This is all about worker’s safety. We’re not trying to get people to stop smoking. But no one should have to die to earn a paycheck,” he said.

Source: Courier Post

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Post to StumbleUpon

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Confusion Over Smoking in Public Places

Consumers are confused about details of the impending smoking ban in England and Wales.

Nearly six out of 10 people do not know when the restrictions come into force, according to trade magazine The Publican.

A survey of nearly 1,000 people found 41 per cent thought smoking would still be allowed in private members’ clubs. And 19 per cent believed the ban would not apply to pubs which did not serve food.

The ban comes into force on April 2 in Wales, April 30 in Northern Ireland and July 1 in England.

The ban will affect virtually all enclosed workplaces and public places, including pubs, restaurants and membership clubs.

The ban is likely to have some positive benefits for the pub trade, the survey showed. One third of the non-smokers questioned expected to visit pubs more often as a result. Some 37 per cent of all respondents – and 51 per cent of non-smokers – were more likely to eat in a pub.

Daniel Pearce, deputy editor of The Publican, said: “There is an urgent need for more information otherwise pubs will have to face up to unhappy customers when they discover they can no longer smoke in their local.”

Source: The Bolton News

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Post to StumbleUpon

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Texans Fight Over Smoking Ban

A proposed ban on smoking in all bars, restaurants and work sites across the state is igniting a big-money fight at the Texas Capitol.

Anti-smoking forces are lining up against the tobacco industry and some restaurant owners, with lobbyists from both sides seeking to win over lawmakers.

“We’ve got a lot of national resources that are focusing on this,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat who proposed the legislation. “Texas is a trendsetter state on so many issues.”

Sixteen states, including California and New York, already have comprehensive smoking bans; 13 others are considering them. Houston, Austin, El Paso and other Texas cities already have comprehensive smoking bans.

Ellis’ proposal is aimed at eliminating secondhand smoke in indoor public places. It would ban smoking in government offices, private workplaces, restaurants, bars and the seating area of outdoor entertainment events. It also would prohibit smoking within 15 feet of the entrances to those places. The bill proposes a fine of up to $500 for violating the ban.

The bill, which was filed Tuesday, must survive legislative committees before facing a vote from lawmakers during the legislative session, which ends May 28.

Smoke-Free Texas, a coalition of the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association and Texas PTA, is pushing the measure.

The American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society High Plains Division, which sponsored the poll, have 11 lobbyists for the legislative session, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.

Leading opposition to the ban is tobacco giant Philip Morris USA Inc. Spokesman David Sutton said the company advocates helping people avoid secondhand smoke in public places, but wants business owners to have flexibility in accommodating them.

There are ways to protect nonsmokers short of a complete ban, he said, such as separate rooms for smokers and high-quality ventilation.

“Total bans on indoor smoking fail to respect the comfort and choices of both smoking and nonsmoking adults,” he said.

The Texas Restaurant Association also figures to be a major player in the debate.

“Increasingly we see that cities are adopting bans,” said executive director Richie Jackson. “We have some concerns. One is, we want a level playing field — if you’re going to ban smoking in restaurant bars that you don’t allow smoking in bars. That’s an ongoing equity issue with us.”

Joining a throng of health officials to promote the legislation were Dallas restaurant owner and executive chef Kent Rathbun and Austin-based blues musician Marcia Ball.

Ball, a former smoker, said while smokers can make their own choices about whether to light up, waiters, entertainers and non-smoking patrons don’t have a choice about breathing secondhand smoke if it’s in the air. Customers won’t stop going to bars and restaurants if they can’t smoke inside, she said.

“They, we, can adapt,” she said

Source: Am New York

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Facebook Post to Google Buzz Post to StumbleUpon

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,