Don’t Leave Public Health to Public Health Experts

H/T Harley:

West Virginia lawmakers have county smoking bans in their crosshairs.

For the second consecutive year, Republican legislators are moving bills that would allow county commissions across the state to revoke clean indoor air regulations and other public health board rules.

“This legislation would effectively turn health issues into political issues,” said Jack Woodrum, a Summers County commissioner.

State lawmakers say they just want to hold county commissioners and health departments accountable — not necessarily wipe out smoking bans.

“If the county commissions appoint these health officials, then the county commissions should also be responsible for their actions,” said Delegate Larry Faircloth, R-Berkeley. “Right now, it’s like giving a kid the keys to the car and saying, ‘Here you go.’”

Of course smoking bans are political in character, because they affect a great many people’s lives, and they ought to be able revoke regulations which are over-intrusive or otherwise destructive.

But of course the health zealots disagree:

“This legislation would be a huge step backward for West Virginia,” said Juliana Frederick, who heads the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network in West Virginia.

As written, the bill would allow counties to revoke any health regulation — and require the commission to approve any new rules.

“It sets a dangerous precedent when you have an elected body of non-medical individuals with the potential to veto or overrule or eliminate regulations related to clean water, quarantines, immunizations, food safety and clean indoor air,” said Dr. Dan Foster, president of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. “Leave public health to the public health experts.”

The dangerous precedent is to hand the car keys to ‘experts’, and fail to consider the wider ramifications of health proposals.

In what other areas of life is everything left in the hands of ‘experts’? Is war-fighting, for example, ever left entirely to the military? Nobody ever gives them a completely free hand. Instead the military are always subject to civilian supervision, so that wider political considerations other than purely military ones are debated.

Why should health be any different? And given that smoking bans are both deeply socially divisive and economically destructive, these wider political considerations really ought to be discussed, and if necessary, health proposals rejected.


About Frank Davis

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28 Responses to Don’t Leave Public Health to Public Health Experts

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    The public health bureaucracy does not see itself as part of government, It sees itself as over and above government. In addition, since they view health as a special issue beyond government control they see no need for transparency and public input. Of course transparency would subject their dictates to scrutiny and they could no longer use false and manipulated studies and propaganda to enact bans and regulate lifestyle.

    No arm of government–especially those with regulatory and enforcement authority (that is coercive police powers) should operate without democratic control. Public health and tobacco control are not beyond the normal checks and balances. In fact given their track record of lies and suppression of dissent, I think the case for tight regulation of public health has already been made.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      SL they couldn’t even do it before because in order for the health depts. to initiate a decree or regulation they have to prove harm and since nobody can prove harm from smoking or shs they have no power to do it.

      So they went thru regular legislative law to push thru their bans……..

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        SL WV like many states gave legislative approval to pass edicts or regs under public health issues when such issues directly impacted health. Thing was that was for MEASLES FLU ETC ETC epidemics to contain contagion locally. They never meant or even dreamed such authority extended to basically prohibition. Thats what happened in ky and the health depts were found they did not have that authority to just pass a ban because they wanted to. Thats what happened in NKY counties a few years back.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could not even produce evidence that passive smoke is harmful inside, this is what they wrote prior to the smoking ban in article 9 OC255/15 9 “The evidential link between individual circumstances of exposure to risk in exempted premises will be hard to establish. In essence, HSE cannot produce epidemiological evidence to link levels of exposure to SHS to the raised risk of contracting specific diseases and it is therefore difficult to prove health-related breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act”. The reason the ban was brought in under the Health Act 2006, and not by the HSE, because no proof of harm was needed with the Health Act 2006, and the HSE have to have proof, seems the DM has lost rational thought about anything smoke related.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    public health only ever had one job and it sure wasn’t lifestyle policeman……its was simply keeping food safety standards and that’s it. Nothing more nothing less. In fact the office of shit locator or otherwise known as environmental coordinator for septic systems isn’t even needed. 400 Bucks here they charge for a fucking permit fee. I paid one once and then they are gone we don’t even have codes here save for one inspection on your water line to make sure a back flow diverter isin place. No building inspections or even building permits. We can do what we want after the initial shits done for electrical or septic or water. Ive installed about 16 55 gallon drum septic systems since we moved here 5 years ago and that’s with dry line septic field lines. Its just to easy.

    Electrical I have a ky state liscence already draw my own permits if needed. But why!

    Anyway its time Public health was put back in the can and made to do what its suppose to do and wipe out the political hacks that now inhabit it.

  3. waltc says:

    But when those same elected officials pass ban laws, of course they’re trustworthy geniuses.

    I’ve been at “hearings” ( scare quotes bec the legislators never listen to our side) where semi-literate dunces (elected officials) challenge any documented science we present with a snarky “and what medical school did you go to?” as tho our not being “experts” disqualifies our judgement of any and all evidence, but their not being experts doesn’t stand in their all.

    As for unaccountability, IIRC, both the then-FDA head David Kessler and some other health bigshot famously refused to take the solemnly sworn oath to tell the truth and nothing but when they testified to congess about horrors of tobacco. Somebody else here will more keenly recall the details.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      waltc many if not most of the state bans and even city bans were attached with some sort of loss of federal aid like roads were with the fed MANDATED SEATBELTS or the 55 mph. Always when the liberals got power in Washington they did the shakedown on the states to get what they want.

    • Some French bloke says:

      @Walt. Koop and Kessler refusing to take oath is one of many fascinating episodes in “the incredible saga of the 1998 master tobacco settlement” (in the words of Robert A. Levy), itself the mere logical culmination of decades of collusion which, being largely unsuspected, was thus allowed to go unhindered.
      Here’s a link to a short FORCES article, “Objecting to Oath, 2 Smoking Foes Cancel Testimony”, apparently now only available via the Wayback Machine:

      You may also want to have a look at this comment MJM posted at Junican’s place:

      • waltc says:

        Thanks, French bloke, for the useful link and the fact that the second weasel was Koop. Are you familiar with the infamous Kessler-Koop report? Somewhere on my computer–I’m on ipad now–I likely have a link, I remember I once subtitled it The Final Solution To The Smoker Problem.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

  5. harleyrider1978 says:
  6. So if the public health commission decided that driving deaths in W. Va. could be greatly reduced by lowering the state’s speed limit to 10 miles per hour, they would have the authority to do so simply because it affects “public health”?


    • prog says:

      The irony is that such a reduction WOULD reduce risk of serious injury or worse.

      • nisakiman says:

        Of course. Likewise legislating that nobody is allowed to do any DIY would save a huge amount of visits to A & E.

        Mind you, they’re starting on that one already. As I understand it, any electrical work done in UK has to be done by a qualified electrician now. Last house I had in UK I completely re-wired myself. Just got an electrician mate to check all the circuits when I’d finished. Saved me a fortune.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          You wouldn’t believe some of the electrical installs Ive seen thru the years that woulda blown up if powered. I mean literally. I saw one guy who didn’t know shit try to repair 480 volt 3 phase battery chargers. I showed him how to ohm them out thru the plug and trouble shoot it to the bad components. I left and went to tell the boss at perelli tire the kids gonna get hurt. I hadn’t hardly got to the office an KABOOOM half his hand was gone plugging up a already red tagged charger……… shit.

          Boss yelled at me for leaving the fool alone. I said he is contract labor he doesn’t have to listen to us. I hated for the kid but damn,whatcha gonna do when you see it going to happen and the dumbass does it anyway.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Its about as productive as forced child safety helmets on bikes……..How did we ever survive growing up.

  7. smokingscot says:

    Taking the reaction by politicians and those with a vested interest in the VW affair, there does seem to me to be double standards on display.

    I most definitely agree that any public servant should be held accountable for their statements and actions. Except when given in good faith (‘because no one’s perfect). So:

    1) Non-smokers will take the place of smokers following a ban. (Such as we saw recently in New Orleans)

    2) 70% smokers say they regret starting smoking and want to quit.

    3) There’s no safe level of cigarette smoke.

    4) There is no ventilation system capable of delivering clean air.

    5) A ban on smoking is the ONLY solution.

    These have all been proven to be bogus – and the list goes on and on and on.

    I sincerely hope this initiative takes wings and hops the pond.

    Do to our lot what they’ve done to the folks in VW,

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Go have a look at DPs page on plain packs,it appears the wrong outcome couldn’t be shown that plain packs reduced smoking rates. So the Nazis extended the testing period and changed the outcomes to be shown……………lol

      Seems BTs study done last year on rates was correct no change in smoking due to plain packs and NZ just cant wait to jump on in the pond of BS too.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    The Netherlands also wants EU referendum | AECR

    The Netherlands also wants EU referendum February 22, 2016 More than half of the Dutch population want a referendum on the EU membership of their country, well-known Dutch pollster Maurice de Hond showed in a recent survey. According…

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Ukip general secretary calls for NHS to be privatised and compares it to Nazi Germany

    In a serious of astonishing remarks, Nigel Farage’s top aide Matthew Richardson condemned the NHS as “the biggest waste of money in the UK”

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Love democracy?

    Then leave the EU

    Why optimists, radicals and progressives should vote out of the EU

  11. Frank, any of your readers who appreciate this particular blog entry would likely also greatly appreciate Carl Phillips’ recent entries at his blog and the comments that follow them. This particular link is the second half of an entry he did several weeks ago, but it’s fine to work backward for reading!


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mike any of their so called air monitoring is bogus as hell. EPA outdoor detectors. Remember repaces readings in a non smoking courtroom……….lmao

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Schuman’s Expert Witnesses Testify in Secondhand Smoke Trial

        The plaintiff’s expert witnesses spoke up on day three of David Schuman’s case against his housing cooperative, Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI), for its failure to prohibit the nuisance created by his townhome neighbors, the Popovics’, secondhand smoke.

        Courtroom and Plaintiff’s Townhome Register Similar Carcinogen Levels

        But, an incident from Repace’s testimony Thursday came back into play Friday during cross examination. Goecke pointed out that on Thursday, while demonstrating the carcinogen monitor, Repace had measured the concentration of carcinogens in the court room — which is in a smoke-free building — and the amount he recorded there was similar to what Repace had reported recording in Schuman’s townhome in July of 2011.

        As you can see even in a smokefree courtroom the same so called levels were read in Schumans own Kitchen in his house! The so called scientist was none other than a fellow prohibitionist and JUNK SCIENTIST,Tornado Repace!

      • ” Remember repaces readings in a non smoking courtroom” Yes. It would have been WONDERFUL to have actually BEEN there for that! It ranks right up with the table that was published by the main Anti group in Minnesota or Michigan a few years ago that showed lower levels of smoke in bars after their ban. Aside from the obvious “Of COURSE there’s less smoke when no one is smoking!” observation, the table they published let slip some OTHER information they’d have preferred to keep hidden: the number of patrons present at each of their reading periods.

        The number of patrons in the bars several months after the ban were about HALF what they had been when the sniffers did their measurements in the months before the ban! LOL! They hadn’t realized what they were revealing when they published the table entries, and after it was pointed out they scrambled around making statements about how their selection wasn’t really representative (which kinda begs the question of why they presented an “unrepresentative” selection as “evidence” in the first place) and then refused to release the entirety of their observations to support their claim.

        It’s always fun when the cockroaches have to scurry back into the corners to hide their lies.

        – MJM

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Mike they were reading PM levels not chemical levels. Id love to have seen those readings. LOL human breath versus a smoked in room with human breath combined,now thatd be a hoot how would they explain it.

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