News: OH Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association

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Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association Update…

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
Volume 18 Number 4 Winter 2013
Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Several recent articles report that a new nationwide study,1 commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and funded by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, had found that smoking bans don’t hurt the bottom line of bars and restaurants. As a regional director of Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, I’ve watched friends lose their bars and some their homes under a 2006 statewide smoking ban, so I question the objectivity of this study.
First, in announcing this study in a 2011 press release, CDC Director Thomas Frieden stated as established truth that smoke-free policies “don’t hurt business,” and promised to use the coming study to counter the perception that smoking bans “might negatively affect restaurant and bar business.”2 At the time, Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health questioned “how objective the research process can be if the agency conducting the study has already drawn a conclusion.”3 Imagine the pressure on these researchers to interpret the data to support the claim their boss had already made about their future findings.
This study was funded by Pfizer, which stands to profit from its anti-smoking drug Chantix when smokers can no longer light up in their favorite establishment. And the study was conducted by RTI International. In a 2010 interview, RTI CEO Victoria Franchetti-Haynes stated, “Alcoholism and smoking are all health issues in which behavioral interventions can go a long way toward reducing their impact and lowering total healthcare costs.”4 Might that introduce a bias?
The studies showing no economic loss to businesses are commissioned by tobacco control or government agencies, both with the same agenda. Other studies do not support their conclusions. Michael Marlow analyzed the claimed health benefits and economic impact in this journal.5 Some businesses show statistically significant losses.6 Economist Jonathan T. Tomlin of LECG critiqued the statistical methodology in various studies, concluding that there is often significant economic harm to bars and restaurants.7
With a pre-announced conclusion, smoking cessation product funding, and execution by a research company friendly to “behavioral interventions” for the sake of health, any hope for an objective, independent economic study was doomed from the start.
Bar owners already suffering under bans simply want a truly open-minded, independent economic investigation of smoking bans before more of these destructive laws are passed. This new CDC/Pfizer/RTI smoking ban study just can’t be trusted. The CDC is yet another rogue federal agency attempting to drive policy and justify increased funding through junk science.
Pam Parker
Grove City, Ohio
Read the article.?

From: Pam Parker
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 2:41 PM
To: ‘pcdeditor@cdc.gov’
Subject: Economic Study – smoking bans on bars and restaurants
Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association is outraged at this so-called study.? Employment for bars and restaurants were separate indicators but sales were combined – a common trick used when needed to validate what the CDC announced as an OUTCOME at the time they announced the upcoming study in a press release.? Trick is, separate data when it helps support a predetermined outcome, combine the data when it doesn’t.
The attached letters and request for investigation were sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.? When a federal government agency announces the outcome of a study before the study begins, that’s fraud.? When a biased research company (see interview with RTI CEO in complaint attached) conducts that study knowing what the outcome is supposed to be, they look for whatever numbers they can use to support the predetermined conclusion, thus the combination of sales data for bars and restaurants.? Exactly WHY were bars combined with restaurants for sales?? Chantix maker Pfizer funded the study.? Biased RTI International conducted it.? They separated data when it benefited them but combined it when they needed to.? DRINKING PLACES sales ARE coded separately and those figures could easily have been used but were not.
And why is it that this study is only published in a CDC journal?? Was it peer reviewed by unbiased sources?
We will NOT let this go unchallenged.?? Our organization’s members HAVE been adversely affected by the smoking ban in our state of Ohio.? We’ve discredited an economic study done in Ohio whose researcher used the same sales tactics.? She did not factor in increased prices of goods of between 6.05% and 26.27% nor a 5.7% increase in the number of drinking places over the time studied.? The Ohio Governor’s Office admitted our numbers showed a much different picture.? I’m in touch with an attorney in Indianapolis who represents bar owners in a lawsuit because of smoking ban losses.? The Indianapolis City Attorney, after reviewing these bars’ books for sales, STIPULATED to the losses.? Interesting that RTI found differently.?
Is this an attempt to validate some funding need for the CDC?? Did sequestration cut your budget?? OUR bar owners have learned to live with less money, thanks to the smoking ban.? So can the CDC.
We are tired of the lies about losses to bars after smoking bans.? We will be calling Chairman Issa’s office until we get an investigation.

******************

Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 1:59 PM
To: ‘freust@post-dispatch.com’; ‘letters@post-dispatch.com’
Subject: Letter to the Editor
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editor:
A Post-Dispatch article published last week reported that a new nationwide study, commissioned by the CDC and funded by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, had found that smoking bans don’t hurt the bottom line of bars and restaurants. As an Regional Director of Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, I’ve watched friends lose their bars and some their homes, under a 2006 statewide smoking ban so I question the objectivity of this study.
First,? in announcing the advent of this study in a 2011 press release, CDC Director Thomas Frieden? laid it down as established truth that smoke-free policies “don’t hurt business”? and promised to use this yet-to be-conducted study to counter the perception that smoking bans “might negatively affect restaurant and bar business”.??? At the time, Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health questioned “how objective the research process can be if the agency conducting the study has already drawn a conclusion.” Imagine the pressure on these researchers to arrange and interpret the data to support the claim their boss had already made about their future findings!
Furthermore, this study was funded by Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that makes Chantix. Pfizer stands to profit when smokers can no longer light up in their favorite establishments due to smoking bans. And the study was conducted by RTI International.? In a 2010 interview, RTI CEO Franchetti-Haynes admitted “…alcoholism and smoking are all health issues in which behavioral interventions can go a long way toward reducing their impact and lowering total healthcare costs.” Sounds like that might introduce a bias?
With a pre-announced conclusion,? smoking cessation product funding,? and execution by a research company friendly to “behavioral interventions” for the sake of health, any hope for an objective, independent economic study was doomed from the start.? Bar owners already suffering under bans simply want a truly open-minded, independent economic investigation of smoking bans before more of these destructive laws are passed. This new CDC/Pfizer/RTI smoking ban study just can’t be trusted.
Pam Parker
Grove City, OH

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August 2, 2013
Congressman Darrell Issa
Congressman,
Attached is a copy of a complaint we filed with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform back in December, 2011. Briefly, the CDC announced in a press release that they were going to conduct economic studies of the impact of smoking bans on bars and restaurants and in the same press release, CDC Director Thomas Frieden announced the OUTCOME of these studies.
We were outraged then, are outraged that your Committee did nothing and are now even more outraged that these studies are now completed and, surprise of all surprises, the results are what was announced in the 2011 press release.
Our organization represents hundreds of bar, restaurant and bowling alley owners. We KNOW the devastating affect smoking bans have had on our members. This is absolute abuse of government power to have pre-determined outcomes validated. If you know what the outcome of studies are supposed to be, it’s not hard to find numbers (if you look hard enough) to support those claims.
We asked for an investigation then and we are asking for one now.
Any questions can be directed to our media person, Pam Parker at 614-565-6560.
Thank you.
Patrick Carroll
President of Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association

********************

Future CDC Study on Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Policies on Bars and Restaurants

December 13, 2011
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.? 20515
Attention: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Michael Turner, Congressman Jim Jordan
Re: Future CDC Study on Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Policies on Bars and Restaurants
Dear Honorable Ohio Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
This letter serves as a formal request for an investigation into the CDC and CDC Foundation by the Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, representing several hundred liquor permit establishments in Ohio.?
On November 30, 2011, the CDC and CDC Foundation put out this press release[i] which clearly shows that this study, which has yet to be conducted, has a predetermined outcome.? It is funded by Pfizer, maker of Chantix.
The press release states, in part: “the CDC Foundation and CDC have launched a new initiative to study the economic impact of smoke-free policies on restaurants and bars in nine states… While the health benefits of smoke-free policies are clear, the perception that they might negatively affect restaurant and bar business can pose a barrier to the broader introduction and acceptance of these policies.”? Further into the press release, Director Thomas Frieden is quoted as saying “Making worksites, restaurants, and bars smoke-free saves lives, increases productivity, reduces health care costs, and doesn’t hurt business.”? The article also states “As part of Pfizer’s commitment to addressing important public health needs, we are proud to partner with the CDC Foundation on this research initiative,” said Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D., FAPA, chief medical officer and executive vice president, Pfizer… “We hope that the results of this analysis will advance efforts to reduce secondhand smoke and the serious health risks it poses to nonsmokers.”?
Dr. Michael Siegel[ii], tobacco control specialist and Professor with the University of Boston, writes in his December 7, 2011 blog: “If smoke-free laws do not hurt business, then haven’t we already answered the question? This statement by CDC’s director seems to imply that we have answered the question before having started the research. If that’s the case, then what’s the point of doing the research? Isn’t this a waste of Pfizer’s money?? What’s most interesting to me is not that CDC appears to have answered the question before starting the research, but that no one even attempted to hide that fact. The CDC director comes right out and tells us the answer to the research question, before Pfizer’s money is even put to work.? This also raises the question of how objective the research process can be if the agency conducting the study has already drawn a conclusion.”
This is an outrage!? Our organization has watched as members and friends have depleted their lifelong savings to keep their doors open to their bars, bowling alleys, etc. after Ohio’s draconian smoking ban.? Some of these small business owners have sold their businesses at a loss while others have lost not only their bars but their homes through bankruptcy.? To read that the CDC and CDC Foundation are complicit in covering up these facts is sickening.? How is RTI International going to reach any other conclusion than what the CDC has already announced?? Now that they know what the CDC expects the finding to be, all they have to do is search until they find numbers they can use to meet the CDC’s expectations.
This November 20, 2011 article,[iii] titled “Statisticians Can Prove Almost Anything, A New Study Finds” shows how statistics are manipulated to reach an outcome by these researchers proving a false-positive.?? The article states “In effect turning the weapons of statistical analysis against their own side, the trio managed to prove something demonstrably false, and thereby cast a wide shadow of doubt on any researcher who claims his findings are “statistically significant.”? In “many cases, a researcher is more likely to falsely find evidence that an effect exists than to correctly find evidence that it does not,” they write.
More than likely, some of the regular tricks of the trade will be applied to the CDC study such as combining restaurants and bars using unemployment data, knowing restaurants outnumber bars 5:1 while restaurant employees outnumber bar employees 10:1.? Or perhaps they’ll use the trick of sales tax data while factoring in nothing for increased prices of goods, which is partially passed off to consumers.? This trick was used in Ohio with no factor for a 28% bottled beer increase or 41% keg increase.? Anyone who owns a business knows sales taxes to not reflect profits or losses.
It is a travesty that a federal agency has taken the lead in this fraud.? Our government is covering up the losses these government mandated policies are having on an entire segment of the hospitality industry.? Bar owners in states across this country are tired of the lies and manipulation from our government in promoting policies that not only destroy their property rights, but they keep them from feeding their families while bankrupting many mom and pop businesses that have been in families for generations.
As Ohio members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it falls within the realm of your Committee to investigate government abuse and fraud.? If this study reports any results other than the truth that bars lose up to 60% of their revenue after the passage of a smoking ban, we will trot in bar owners from all over the United States to testify before Congress.
?
It’s time the lie that “smoke-free policies do not harm businesses” ends.? The plain facts are that there is economic harm to many bars, bowling alleys and even some small family restaurants.? We expect a full investigation.
Sincerely,
Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association
3850 Montgomery Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45212
Prepared & signed by Pam Parker, Regional Director, BLPHA (614)565-6560 (media contact for this complaint)
Signed:
Patrick Carroll, President, BLPHA
Jim Hurd, Vice-President, BLPHA
Press Release

Dr. Michael Siegel

“Statisticians Can Prove Almost Anything, A New Study Finds”

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