Friends Of Ours

On Facebook Walt has been reporting on new antismoking legislation passed by NYC city council. This from the Health Committee chair:

Dear Friends Of Ours,

Despite all the progress our City has made in curbing smoking, tobacco use kills an estimated 12,000 New Yorkers a year. In the United States, smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually, or 443,000 deaths per year.

This is not acceptable.

Today the NYC Council Committee on Health, which I chair, passed a package of legislation that will further curb tobacco use and second hand smoke in New York City. These bills will be voted on tomorrow by the full Council.

Introduction 1544-B, sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson, would establish a 10% tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, with proceeds being directed to public housing. It would also establish minimum prices and minimum package sizes for tobacco products other than cigarettes, and increase the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13.

Introduction 1547-A, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, would cap the number of cigarette and tobacco retailers at half the number at the time it goes into effect. This bill would also expand the cigarette retail dealer license to cover all tobacco products, requiring the license for the sale of these products.

Introduction 1131-B, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, would prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

Introduction 1471-A, sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson, would increase the fee for a license to sell cigarettes from $110 for the two-year license to $200.

Introduction 1532-A, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, would institute a licensure requirement for any store wishing to sell electronic cigarettes, and cap the number of electronic cigarette dealers at half the current number.

Introduction 484-A, sponsored by Council Member James Vacca, would expand the existing prohibition on smoking and use of e-cigarettes in common areas of apartment buildings with ten or more units to include apartment buildings with fewer than ten units.

Introduction 1585-A, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would require the owners or boards of rental, co-op, and condo multiple dwellings to establish a smoking policy for their building.

These new measures will save thousands of lives.

I tripped over the first two words – “Dear friends” – as I wondered whether the “chair” was actually addressing “friends” who were in any way “dear” to it. It seemed more likely that it was addressing a bunch of mafia thugs who were trying to put together a new protection racket. Or maybe extend an existing racket.

In fact the racket is pretty straightforward. They’re going to raise the price of tobacco products by 25%. And halve the number of licensed tobacco sales outlets. And double the license fee. And they’re extending licensing to e-cigarettes. The result should be an increase in money collected by the council mob running NYC. And it’s all going to be milked from the wallets of New Yorkers. It was a measure designed to slowly strangle the tobacco trade in NYC. All justified by the “estimated” 12,000 New Yorkers killed by their smoking habit.

I can only suppose that much the same thing is being done with other businesses in NYC, as the mob in government demands ever higher taxes, licence fees, upon an ever-widening range of products.

And I imagine Council Made Members Corey Johnson, Brad Lander,  Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca, and Ritchie Torres all walk with a swagger, and wear well-cut suits and Rolexes and gold bracelets and two-tone patent leather shoes, and are ferried around NYC in chauffeur-driven limos accompanied by their equally expensively-dressed gangsters’ molls. And they were probably all elected by illegal immigrants bussed in from Mexico for the purpose, and kept on government benefits in order to re-elect them next year, and the year after.  And the mayor – who used to be Michael Bloomberg – is just the boss of bosses of all the crime families in New York City.

And they’re slowly killing New York City in exactly the same way as other crime families are killing San Francisco and other large US cities, sucking them dry, driving out businesses and residents with their ever-mounting taxes.

I seriously doubt whether any New Yorkers at all are being killed every year by their smoking habit, never mind 12,000 of them. But it’s just as much an essential part of the racket as the illegal immigrants. It’s probably a number generated by the Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs SAMMEC computer model in which

The smoking-attributable fraction (SAF) is a critical calculation for the SAMMEC application. The SAF is used to calculate Smoking-Attributable Mortality (SAM) for 19 smoking-related diseases. The SAF is calculated using sex-specific smoking prevalence and relative risk (RR) of death data for adult current and former smokers age 35 and over. Infant mortality SAFs are calculated using maternal smoking prevalence and RR of death estimates for four perinatal conditions caused by smoking. The SAFs for each disease and sex are derived using the following formula:

SAF=[(p0 + p1(RR1) + p2(RR2))-1]/[p0 + p1(RR1) + p2(RR2)]


p0 is the percentage of adult never smokers in the study group (in this case,
Massachusetts residents), or with the maternal and child health calculations, the
percentage of maternal nonsmokers in the study group.

p1 is the percentage of adult current smokers in the study group, or with the maternal child health calculations, the percentage of maternal smokers in the study

p2 is the percentage of adult former smokers in the study group. This figure does not apply to maternal child health calculations.

RR1 is the relative risk of death for adult current smokers relative to adult never smokers, or with the maternal and child health calculations, the relative risk of death for infants of maternal smokers relative to infants of maternal nonsmokers.

RR2 is the relative risk of death for adult former smokers relative to adult never smokers. This figure does not apply to maternal child health calculations.

Fill in the numbers for p0, p1, p2, RR1, RR2, and crank the handle, and out will trickle some number that can be used to show that exactly 12,341 New Yorkers died of smoking-attributable deaths per annum. The same programme could just as easily be used to generate doughnut-attributable or custard-attributable or grapefruit-attributable deaths. In fact it probably actually is being used for exactly that purpose.

And it’s all planned and organised and calculated and managed by Friends Of Ours.

And that’s why the chair referred to them as “friends.”

Perhaps it was a mistake for the chair to have named several of those “friends of ours”? For there might come a day when Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Fernando Cabrera, James Vacca, and Ritchie Torres are all in a court somewhere facing multiple RICO charges, and very long prison sentences – maybe even the electric chair.

Unless of course the judges are “friends of ours” as well.

About Frank Davis

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24 Responses to Friends Of Ours

  1. Dirk says:

    Dear Frank, I simply do not understand why you don’t send your magnificent analysis straight to the culprits. Why limit yourself to just blogging? Please mail your comments to the Mayor of NYC, to ASH, etc.
    If you don’t do it, I will copy/paste all your writings and mail it to the relevant enemies.

  2. slugbop007 says:

    Is that 12,000 figure for the state of New York or just New York City? If it’s just NYC it’s not much more than the Province of Quebec claim that 10,400 now die every year from tobacco-related deaths. NYC and the Province of Quebec have similar population numbers: 8.538 million (2016) for NYC and 8.4 for the whole of Quebec but Quebec is about 100 times bigger than NYC. They never state how old these dead smokers were when they died, that would burst their SAMMEC bubble. The Public Health Mafia has taken over government, aided and abetted by Bloomberg, the R Wood Johnson Foundation and an ill-informed, lazy citizenry.


  3. slugbop007 says:

    Quebec is 1,000,000 square miles, NYC is 304.6 square miles.  A lot more concentrated. The Premier of Quebec calls smoking a scourge. The Plague was a scourge. Unfortunately the opposition parties are just as stupid as he is. For many years I voted for the Federal New Democratic Party but they, too, have become infected with Nannyitis. I replied to one of their emails recently, telling them that if they didn’t change their anti-tobacco policy they would lose my vote.


  4. Timothy Goodacre says:

    What a crap place New York has become because of these nasty anti libertarian bullies just like Australia. What has happened to both New Yorkers and Australians that they put up with these mobsters .

  5. Clicky says:

  6. C.F. Apollyon says:

    World Happiness Report –

    Ironic that there are losers and winners in a “Happiness Report”. We just pile it on. A heaping helping of misery smeared all over happiness.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Interesting find, Apollyon.
      I looked at it but could not find the countries in which “unhappiness” is treated long term with “happy” pills.
      I do believe there are an awful lot of youngsters signed off sick long term with rather unhappy-making mental illnesses world-wide.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    Fill in the numbers for p0, p1, p2, RR1, RR2, and crank the handle, and out will trickle some number that can be used to show that exactly 12,341 New Yorkers died of smoking-attributable deaths per annum.
    There is something important missing; the ages of the “smoking-attributable dead” – and their death certificates. I assume that a lot of these will state ‘congestive heart failure’ as the direct cause of death. To attribute the direct cause of death to smoking is just a convenient assumption made by the minority hell-bend on ruling over us all. Perhaps the medical establishment would check who finances the anti-smoking “research” and begins to ask itself what the definition of INDEPENDENT research is. By the last 30 years experience I wouldn’t expect the political establishment to be capable of doing that as there only numbers (largely in £££ etc.) appear to make an impression.

    BTW, if a marathon runner (all ages) collapse and die of heart failure it’s ALWAYS attributed to an undiagnosed heart problem these people inherited.

    • beobrigitte says:

      And it’s all planned and organised and calculated and managed by Friends Of Ours.
      This prompted me to find out the Italian gun laws. Until now I had assumed (being an EU country) that Italy has the same strict gun law that e.g. Germany has.
      Much to my surprise I found this blog advocating common sense when handling a gun.
      Italy had 798 gun deaths in 2010- about 1.31 per 100,000. Most of their gun deaths, as in the U.S. are due to suicide. There were only 53 unintentional gun deaths in Italy in 2010. There are some gun manufacturers located in Italy.
      Most of their gun deaths, as in the U.S. are due to suicide.
      Food for thought.

      Having used the gun law example Germany, yes, only the police force openly has guns. It always had but that didn’t make them scary to me. When I was stopped (usually for speeding) I got a ticket and had to send the cash in and that was it. Occasionally I overdid it and paid more + earned 3 points in Flensburg. (It’s Cardiff in England; I got 3 points 5 years ago – for speeding… and paid a hefty fine).
      Nevertheless, this:

      did happen despite a strict gun law.

      About 7 million Italians own guns.
      Having spent quite a lot of time in Italy I must say that I never saw any guns being flashed. (Neither have I in America)
      Perhaps the people owning them didn’t want to show them or they just left them at home in a safe place?

      At this point I feel I must point out that I have no desire to own and shoot a gun.

  8. garyk30 says:

    Those,or any of their, mortality figures always include deaths to ex-smokers as being ’caused’ by smoking.
    But, as many as 70% of ex-smokers have quit for 10 years or more and they have the same risk for those diseases as never-smokers.

    Therefore, their deaths can not be said to be ’caused’ by smoking.

    Vapers are ,for the most part, just ex-smokers and their deaths will be attributed to smoking anyway.

    In general, smokers are about 20% of adults and another 20%(or more) are ex-smokers; so, we have have about 40% of adults accounting for only 20% of deaths.

    Thus, 80% of deaths happen to the 60% of adults that are never-smokers.

    If anything, their numbers show that smoking prevents deaths.

  9. slugbop007 says:

    The new and improved Fascist Public Health Politically Correct Mobsters have replaced the old style borough mobsters and they think that the Angels are on their side.

    I’m really ticked off right now because I just went to the post office and found out that my shipment of tobacco from the Pipe-Shop had an extra 200 Euros duty and customs taxes added to it by Canada Post and the Province of Quebec. That’s the first time that happened.


    • nisakiman says:

      Bummer! How many packs of tobacco was that? €200 is a lot of money to have to find on top of the purchase price.

      • Joe L. says:

        No kidding! Another question is, “why?” Slugbop: Did they randomly open the shipment, determine it was tobacco and tax it exorbitantly accordingly? Did they give you an explanation?

  10. waltc says:

    I think I was on his mailing list for that “friendly” diatribe because I’d submitted by email a written comment to the original health committee “hearing” back in late April (which, I believe, I reported about on some thread here). IiRC, while no smokers were 3-D present at the hearing, only 2 or 3 submitted written comments–of which there were well over 200 from various Expert TC activists. Therefore, his “friends” were the select group of smoker haters.

    When I posted his memo on fb, i left out his closing paragraph:

    “As someone who struggles personally with tobacco addiction, I know firsthand the grip that this substance can have on our lives. I also know that together, we can loosen its grip and win the battle against Big Tobacco.”

    As for the rest of this guy’s ( chair of the NYC Council Health Committee’s) bio, he’s also a self-admitted recovering coke addict and a homisexual with AIDS. This is “health” Gotham-style and entitles him to dictate what’s healthy to the rest of us. I don’t know what the council salary is, but clearly he can afford the $13 so his own grip won’t be loosened at all. (tho it has to be said that, as it is, you can’t find cigarettes in Manhattan for less than $12.50–not the stated $10.50; maybe less in the boroughs).

  11. beobrigitte says:

    “As someone who struggles personally with tobacco addiction, I know firsthand the grip that this substance can have on our lives. I also know that together, we can loosen its grip and win the battle against Big Tobacco.”

    As for the rest of this guy’s ( chair of the NYC Council Health Committee’s) bio, he’s also a self-admitted recovering coke addict and a homisexual with AIDS.
    If I was this guy I wouldn’t worry about tobacco. He is terminally ill with having been infected with the HIV virus which went rampant in the (male) gay community at first. (I don’t hold his homosexuality against him, it’s his orientation and none of my heterosexual oriented business.) The bi-sexuals then brought HIV to the females. (The HIV safest sexual orientation must be gay female) And he’s probably bitter and scared.

    And he wants to give his misery some sense in that he now is trying to “save lives”. Over here Debbie would home in on a guy like that and Bloomberg&friends did just that.
    Not a person needed in a Council Health Committee. Who needs a Council Health Committee, anyway? Aren’t they supposed to pay poor peoples’ medical treatment rather than driving – especially the elderly – into suicide?

    There is no “Big Tobacco”. There is Big Pharma and Big Anti-tobacco.

    • Joe L. says:

      There is no “Big Tobacco”. There is Big Pharma and Big Anti-tobacco.

      I agree. “Big Tobacco” is nothing more than a boogeyman and a distraction from the real criminals in the pharmaceutical and Anti-smoking industries.

  12. Joe L. says:

    Kind of on-topic: Another case of overzealous propagandists caught making shit up to push their agenda.

    The New York Times Botches a Climate-Change Story

  13. Rose says:

    Lung cancer rising, but not from smoking
    August 11, 2017

    “Chinese health authorities are trying to figure out the reason for the rapid rise in a form of lung cancer that develops deep in the lung and is not associated with smoking.
    China has seen a sharp increase in the disease over the past 10 to 15 years, hitting groups traditionally not susceptible such as women and nonsmokers, said Xue Qi, deputy director of thoracic surgery at the Cancer Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, also the country’s National Cancer Institute.

    “It might be related to the long-term exposure to air pollution, particularly PM2.5,” he said, referring to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less.
    China’s top health authority has been watching people’s health in relation to air pollution since 2013, said Mao Qun’an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

    “We need more research over a longer time to figure out the long-term health effects of air pollution,” he said. “Cancer is developed over a long period, not overnight.”
    Latest cancer statistics from the government showed China recorded nearly 4.3 million new cancer patients in 2015, and more than 730,000 of them had lung cancer, accounting for nearly 36 percent of the world’s total.

    “There are two major types of lung cancer – lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, experts said. The latter is closely associated with smoking.
    Of newly detected lung cancer patients each year, the cases of adenocarcinoma – involving more females and nonsmokers have exceeded that of smoking-related carcinoma, even though the smoking rate in China has not declined, Xue said, citing figures from the nation’s cancer registry.”

    • Joe L. says:

      “We need more research over a longer time to figure out the long-term health effects of air pollution,” he said. “Cancer is developed over a long period, not overnight.”

      This is complete bullshit, and I can disprove it with three words: children develop cancer. If cancer was only developed over long periods of time, there would be no such thing as childhood cancers, period.

      This is what happens when progress in science has been stunted and regressed due to propagandized pseudoscience. These idiots are scrambling for an answer as to the cause of these cancers because pseudoscience has run rampant, and God forbid they question prior theories. They’re looking in all the wrong places because they’re not allowed to use the scientific method–that would require them to question “settled science.”

      • Rose says:

        I agree, when everybody smoked they could get away with it, then they invented secondhand smoke and covered the anomalies, but now it’s wearing very thin and they are lost.

  14. Great post as always Frank and comments. Rose- DR Steenis has know about PM2.5 for many years,
    he is all over the net –

  15. slugbop007 says:

    The woman at the post office told me that it was like a roll of the dice. I have already had dozens of parcels sent to me and never had to pay extra duty. When I called the Border Customs whatever, they didn’t have a category for personal goods on their voice mail multiple choice list so I didn’t get through to anyone. I plan to call back on Monday. What was most interesting was that the sales tax from Quebec, which is about twice that of the Federal tax, was seventeen times higher than it should have been. It should have been around 15 British pounds, but was around 120 British pounds. Again, the woman at the post office told me that Quebec has their own rules for sales tax. They must either be very flexible, or based on a whim. I looked for the website that might explain this exaggerated difference in sales tax rates and couldn’t find anything. I ordered some more tobacco when I got home but a smaller amount. i originally purchased 20 30 gram pouches = 600 grams. I read somewhere that over 400 grams is considered One Unit, so It’s possible that the size of the box rubbed them the wrong way so they decided to teach me a lesson.


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