Second-hand smoke claim came from biased source

I am assuming that Barry Schwartz must be a smoker, but it really doesn’t matter if he is or not. To turn your back on all the studies that second-hand smoke is a real health hazard and rely on one doctor’s opinion is clearly a self-serving, myopic view of the issues. I watched my mother die of lung cancer, and, yes, she smoked. My father quit 10 years before my mom did, had a clear lung xray, and 10 years later developed lung cancer and also died. My daughter kept developing pulmonary issues when my ex-wife’s mother was staying with us and smoking in the house. The doctor told us to stop her from smoking, so we did and problem solved!

You talk about a money trail? Look up your good doctor’s affiliations. He is with the Hearland Institute, which is a Libertarian organization with funding from Exxon/Mobil solely to garner evidence against climate change, and Phillip Morris, to develop a strategy to debunk the second-hand smoke issue. Heartland was hired to distribute Phillip Morris studies and just summarized what Phillip Morris developed. Not real scientific there, and certainly on Phillip Morris payroll. They are and have been a major contributor to Heartland since the early 1990’s.

Heartland is also a lobbyist in Phillip Morris’ name in Washington to fight anything that has to do with anti-smoking, for example, excise taxes, etc.

Even divorcing oneself from the obvious money trail to Heartland, we all have certain rights. Smokers have a right to smoke, if they want, but non-smokers have rights to not have to be around the smoke. After all, smoking is a choice. Breathing is not. And the warnings on the cigarette packages are there to try to help protect people. It is information, nothing else. What the smokers do with it is their choice. But I, as a former smoker, do not have to be sitting enjoying a nice dinner and then have second-hand smoke wafting over my table ruining my meal. And when I did smoke, that cigarette at the end of a meal, or with drinks was really good. But when you don’t smoke, it is way different.

Freedom to smoke is still a freedom you have, but others have freedoms as well.
Rob Balch
Nuevo Arenal

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