In The Pocket of ASH

Too sleepy to even think tonight. So here’s Dick Puddlecote on ASH’s latest wheeze:

Paul Burstow is a particularly oleaginous, one-track minded anti-smoker who is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health. This group is secretaried by ASH and acts as the political arm of their lobbying operation.

With this in mind, here is what Burstow presented to Westminster yesterday on the subject of George Osborne’s proposed annual levy on tobacco companies (which he stole from Labour).

The potential benefits to public health can be fully realised only if the levy is used to fund tobacco control action, which is designed to increase the rate of quitting tobacco use over and above what might otherwise be expected as a result of price rises.

If the programme of research proposed in this Bill were carried out, it would show that the recurring cost of tobacco control activity at every level – local, regional and national – could be met from the proceeds of the levy.

Or, to put it another way, the government should steal money from legal businesses and hand it to Burstow’s pals at ASH and other already state-funded fake charities and lobbying quangos.

This latest wheeze was revealed by Philip Davies MP, who said:

The point is that this is just the latest campaign from ASH. Every time it advocates the introduction of another measure, it tells us that that is what the Government need to do to tackle tobacco, but as soon as it is implemented we are told that actually it was a load of old cobblers and now we need something else. It is like those companies that tell us their washing powder is absolutely magnificent, only to bring out a new one a couple of years later and tell us that the previous one was actually terrible and that really we need to buy the new one. ASH cannot now hand over the keys to the company car; it has to keep going and justifying its role. It will keep coming up with new, innovative solutions to try to keep its jobs, which no doubt the Government will accept, because they do not have a mind of their own and just have to do what ASH tells them to do.

And that’s the awful and depressing truth of the matter: the government will always do whatever ASH tells them to do.

About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to In The Pocket of ASH

  1. waltc says:

    OT (sorry) Forgive the writer for his opening analogy . He doesn’t apparently realize how this censorship of opposing views on shs and the gov’t funding of TC research are the real parallels. Nonetheless he does expose the thinking and funding of the global warmists

  2. prog says:

    They’d be banking on tobacco companies not passing on the burden to consumers, which would normally happen in most situations (e.g I believe the green tax levy imposed on energy companies is paid by consumers). The reason being that it’s not in ASH’s and the government’s interest to price too many smokers out of the market or force them to buy smuggled baccy. ASH will be concerned about loss of careers/funding and it’s obvious that government would want to maintain the £12 billion pa cash cow. Most concerned parties currently want to keep us smoking on their terms. At least whilst the vaping debacle continues. Once the dust has settled, smokers will pass on the baton to vapers.

  3. Lawyer Suing Neighbor for Smoking Is Defender Of Corporations Accused Of Toxic Smoke

    There’s been recent media coverage of how two Washington DC lawyers named Brendan and Nessa Coppinger have sued and convinced a local judge to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting their neighbor, Edwin Gray, from smoking in his Capitol Hill row house, which adjoins theirs.

    Gray has lived in his home for 51 years; the Coppingers moved into theirs last fall. The Coppingers say that cigarette and marijuana smoke is seeping into their bedroom and their child’s bedroom. The Washington Post quoted Nessa Coppinger, 38 and pregnant with the couple’s second child, as saying, “This is a health concern. We don’t smoke. We don’t allow smoking in our home.” They are seeking $500,000 in damages from Gray and his sister, who owns the house.

    I don’t begrudge the Coppingers for seeking to be free of harmful smoke. And they say they tried to reach agreement with their neighbor to fix the ventilation situation before filing suit. (Gray’s sister says she didn’t like the terms the Coppingers presented.)

    What interested me about the case was that the Post and other media sources described Nessa Coppinger as “an environmental lawyer.” In Washington, that could mean a number of things. So I looked her up. For Nessa Coppinger, a principal of the 95-lawyer firm Beveridge & Diamond, it means that some of her accomplishments are explained on the firm’s website like this:

    Nessa Horewitch Coppinger’s practice focuses on complex environmental litigation, including multi-district litigation and multi-party product liability, toxic tort, and class action matters… She has achieved favorable results for states, counties, and corporate clients, including Fortune 100 companies … Examples of Ms. Coppinger’s experience include: Defending numerous products liability and toxic tort cases related to alleged groundwater contamination involving a gasoline additive in both federal and state courts….

    In other words, some of Coppinger’s work involves trying to defeat the legal claims of people who contend they have been harmed by toxic pollution.

    One example: According to court records, since March 2014, Coppinger has been one of two lead attorneys representing Suncoke Energy, Inc., a billion dollar corporation that calls itself “the largest independent producer of high-quality metallurgical coke in the Americas,” and its subsidiary Haverhill North Coke Co. in a suit brought by Glenn and Kelly Graff and Hildreth and Peggy Maddox, four residents of Franklin Furnace, Ohio. The lawsuit, filed in 2009, alleges that:

    sludge-like deposits, strong odors, particulates, lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, creosote, coal tar pitch, coal tar pitch volatiles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (e.g., benzo(a) pyrene and chrysene) (“PAHs”), sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, dioxins, volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”), hydrochloric acid (“HCL”), volatiles, carbon monoxide, benzene, flue gas, chemical clouds and haze, other solid and hazardous wastes, other hazardous substances and pollutants, and mixtures containing such substances (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Noxious and Hazardous Substances”) have been and continue to be released from the Haverhill North Coke Company plant into the environment at and about the plant. Such Noxious and Hazardous Substances are known to be associated with and to result from coke oven operations.

    The suit contends that these toxic substances have polluted the plaintiffs’ air, soil, surface water, and groundwater. The Graffs and Maddoxes assert that the plant and coke ovens operated by Coppinger’s now-client “emitted and released blue/gray Noxious and Hazardous Substances-containing clouds or haze” that reached the plaintiffs’ property. As a result:

    Plaintiffs and other property owners are generally subjected to foul odors that include burnt-rubber odors, sulfur odors, a rotten egg odor, chemical odor, coal odor, tar odor, and coke oven odors. Visible Deposits have accumulated on the neighboring properties, including Plaintiffs’ properties, after these events….

    Plaintiffs and other Franklin Furnace residents have repeatedly experienced and continue to experience burning sensations in their eyes and throats, sore throats, headaches, problems breathing, and/or have been subjected and continue to be subjected to extremely strong odors….

    The Graffs and Maddoxes further allege — and, to be clear, all of these claims are yet to be proven — that the emissions from the plant operated by Coppinger’s now-client have forced them to restrict their outdoor activities. And they say they “are concerned and apprehensive about risks to their and their family members’ health from their past and ongoing exposure to said substances.”

    In contrast to the prompt court order that the Coppingers, who are represented by a lawyer in Nessa Coppinger’s firm, obtained from a DC judge to halt Edwin Gray from smoking in his house, the lawyers for the Graffs and Maddoxes have spent more than five years skirmishing in court with SunCoke’s legal team, which now includes Ms. Coppinger, over what documents must be exchanged.

    I have emailed Nessa Coppinger to seek her comment, and particularly to ask whether her family’s situation with smoke in their home had in any way altered her perspective on the toxic tort defense work she does. She hasn’t responded yet.

  4. c777 says:

    Oh dear, this ones a doozy, its got more junk in it than scrapyard challenge.

  5. A proposed statewide ban on smoking in private workplaces and public indoor spaces has been halted indefinitely, after the Kentucky Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee declined to accept the bill for consideration.

    Bridgewater State University Professor of Philosophy Aeon Skoble says smoking bans like the one being proposed are unfair to property owners, like bar or restaurant owners.

    “Not only is that not fair, it fundamentally overrides their property rights and their rights to determine how to run a business. It’s not just a matter of having a right to run a business, it’s also a matter of local knowledge,” he said.

    What’s Best for Customers

    Skoble says business owners know what their customers want, and have incentives to please their customers.

    “The individual proprietors of these establishments are in a better position to determine whether it’s better for their customers to allow smoking, ban smoking, or have separate areas. Legislators and bureaucrats can’t just know a priori what the one-size-fits-all solution is,” he said.

    Increasing business owners’ power to set policies for the use of their property is more efficient than setting statewide policies, Skoble says.

    “The trick is to let the individual proprietors figure out for themselves which is best for their businesses, which will resonate with their clientele,” he said. “What I’d expect to see, without any laws on this matter, would be some of each kind.”

    ‘They’re a Hypocrite’

    Cato Institute Center for Constitutional Studies research fellow Trevor Burrus says supporters of smoking bans may unwittingly hold contradictory views.

    “If they’ve ever smoked, drank, or eaten fast food, then they’re a hypocrite. If they’ve had a mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks, they’re a hypocrite,” he said.

    Burrus says public health bans are often politically motivated.

    “All ‘public health’ bans end up grandfathering in politically-connected exceptions or exempting large numbers of equally harmful things,” he said. “These bans are also often class-based: for example, banning big sodas in New York City—something, increasingly, that mostly lower class people drink—while exempting Starbucks concoctions and other ‘high class’ consumables.”

    Burrus says allowing people to make decisions for themselves is the best solution.

    “The simple rule that property owners get to decide whether smoking is allowed does not suffer from those problems,” he said. “Adults are not children.”

    Internet Info:

    “The Economic Losers from Smoking Bans,” Michael L. Marlow, Cato Institute,

    • The above says the right thing but he uses the wrong connection and explanation. Those other things are not harmful either because we all know food drink coffee etc etc the air we breathe contains the exact same things as tobacco………you cannot seperate that fact.

  6. Crown Street Mall’s smoking ban nets no fines

    Illawarra Mercury

    Hundreds of smokers continue to flout Crown Street Mall’s non-smoking rules, despite a 50 per cent drop in the recorded number of rule breakers …

  7. Waynesville to drop back and punt on no-smoking zones

    Smoky Mountain News

    A public hearing on whether to ban smoking in public spaces in Waynesville — including outdoors — was held Tuesday night (March 24), after the …

    • waltc says:

      How can you ban smoking in a place called Smoky Mountain? Shouldn’t they change the name to No-Smoky Mountain?

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