People Ban: AL State Proposed Smoking Ban

Alabama Proposed Smoking Ban Update…

PR Firm Leads $13.3M Campaign Against Citizens’ Rights, Says Premium Cigar Group
Birmingham, Alabama? September 6, 2011 – A $13.3 million federally funded anti-smoking campaign led by a Birmingham public relations firm aimed at making Alabama a smoke-free state will result in a loss of businesses, jobs, tax revenues and citizen rights, according to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
The PR firm cites recent successes in small Alabama towns which passed no-exception or near no-exception smoking ordinances recently.? The firm is next targeting larger communities such as Birmingham, Bessemer, Gardendale, Hoover and Homewood, according to published reports.
“Federal and state governments are relying on tobacco tax revenues to fund SCHIP – State Children’s Health Insurance Program – which provides healthcare for children, yet they are doing their best to put tobacco out of business,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR.
“The bottom line is Alabama citizens want choice and, most importantly jobs, not Big Brother,” McCalla said.
“These are the very same career politicians – many who no doubt ran on a jobs creation platform — now spending tax dollars to pay a PR firm to kill those very same jobs, right in the middle of one the worst economic downturns in the state’s history,” he said.? “Will someone please explain how that makes any sense?”
McCalla said that the claims of prohibitionists should be challenged as to their source and back up information.
“The 2010 Surgeon General’s Report does question even occasional exposure to secondhand smoke, but those claims have proven to be wildly exaggerated and unsubstantiated. Look it up. They are also contrary to the standards established by another government agency, OSHA – the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA set safe levels for secondhand smoke that are up to 25,000 times higher than the air quality levels found in the average bar or restaurant where smoking is permitted,” McCalla said.
The IPCPR says the well-funded tobacco prohibitionists have been buying breakfasts, lunches and dinners for Alabama opinion leaders in Dothan, Montgomery, Gadsden, Anniston, Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Mobile in hopes they will pressure Alabama state and local legislators to deprive business owners of their rights to decide for themselves what their smoking policies should be.
“Legislated smoking bans, for whatever reason, are unnecessary and inexcusable. They deprive business owners their right to make such determinations on their own.? Business suffers and jobs are lost under legislated smoking bans.? Beyond that, however, the anti-tobacco forces attempt to falsely justify their claims based on bad science, overreaching conclusions and ridiculous assumptions,” said McCalla.
“The PR firm – The Modern Brand – should be ashamed of itself for taking the people’s money to manipulate them out of their constitutional rights while jeopardizing their businesses, jobs, and state and federal tax revenues,” McCalla said.
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Contact:?????????
Tony Tortorici
tony@tortoricipr.com
678-493-0313


Alabama Opinion Leaders Urged to Seek Truth in Secondhand Smoke Claims
Birmingham, Alabama February 9, 2011 – The anti-tobacco forces in Alabama are gearing up to launch a well-orchestrated effort to spread their questionable claims regarding secondhand smoke, according to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. The IPCPR says the well-funded tobacco prohibitionists are buying breakfasts, lunches and dinners for Alabama opinion leaders in Dothan, Montgomery, Gadsden, Anniston, Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Mobile this month in hopes they will pressure Alabama legislators to deprive business owners of their rights to decide for themselves whether or not to allow smoking in their establishments.
“Legislated smoking bans, for whatever reason, are unnecessary and inexcusable. They deprive business owners their right to make such determinations on their own.? Beyond that, however, the anti-tobacco forces attempt to falsely justify their claims based on bad science, overreaching conclusions and ridiculous assumptions,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, an association of some 2,000 tobacconists and related small business owners.
McCalla cited several examples of such misstatements expected to be raised at the various meal events.
“The United States Surgeon General’s office claims that ‘even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease…’ and ‘inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.’ These statements are simply not true and there is certainly no evidence to support them,” said McCalla.
McCalla also cited claims made by the University of Kentucky that “even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack….” and that “non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke for just 30 minutes experience hardening of the arteries,” as claimed by the Florida Department of Health.
“Those are outright lies,” he said. “If those or any other points are brought up by the anti-tobacco people, do not accept them outright without seeing the evidence on which the statements are based. For too long, the general public has been duped by wild accusations which, made often enough, are accepted without challenge.”
McCalla added, “Business suffers and jobs are lost under legislated smoking bans.? That was proven by the Federal Reserve Bank based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.? Also, safe levels of secondhand smoke have been set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and they are 25,000 safer than actual air quality levels normally found in bars and restaurants that allow smoking.”
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Contact:????????
Tony Tortorici
tony@tortoricipr.com
678-493-0313


Don’t Believe Everything You Read, Cigar Association Warns Pelham Mayor
Pelham, Alabama October 19, 2010 – The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association strongly suggests that Pelham Mayor Don Murphy and the Alabaster City Council change their reading habits to include factually balanced materials when it comes to smoking bans and secondhand smoke.
That position was taken by the IPCPR when Mayor Murphy, who announced this week he is considering a citywide ban on smoking in public places, was quoted as saying “Everything I am reading (is) about how bad secondhand smoke is for everyone.” At the same time, down the road, the Alabaster City Council is holding public hearings on a public smoking ban in its city.
“These people are either out of touch with reality or they are limited their reading to the extremely biased and falsely slanted materials provided by prohibitionists,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, an association of some 2,000 tobacconists, largely small businesses engaged in the manufacturing and retailing of premium cigars, pipes, tobacco and related accoutrements.
McCalla said no studies exist that support the prohibitionists’ wild claims that secondhand smoke represents any health risks indoors, let alone outdoors.
“Sometimes lawmakers feel obliged to give the appearance that they are doing something to justify their existence when all they are doing is wasting everyone’s time on silly matters like this,” said McCalla.
?“Surveys show that legislated smoking bans ruin more businesses than they help,” he said. “That’s why we are against any form of legislated smoking bans and urge civility and courtesy between smokers and non-smokers. This is nothing but ‘control creep,’ where prohibitionists grab a piece at a time at our rights to run our own lives.”
McCalla cited regulations of OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor – that declared safe levels of secondhand smoke to be up to 25,000 times safer than air quality found in the average bar or restaurant.
“Many restaurant and bar owner already declare their premises as non-smoking and that’s just fine,” McCalla said. “However, when their rights as property owners are usurped by petty legislation that is based on false information, it’s just not the way things should be. Whether you are a smoker or not, you should be against legislated smoking bans because the deprivation of this basic, inherent right is the first step down the slippery slope of loss of rights in other areas of our lives.”
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Contact:??????????????
Tony Tortorici
678-493-0313
tony@tortoricipr.com


Mobile Health Inspectors ‘Out of Bounds’ Says Premium Cigar Association
Mobile, Alabama April 29, 2010 – When a county health department conducts a restaurant inspection, should it deduct points if the restaurant allows smoking on the premises? No, says the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
The Mobile County Health Department is considering a plan to automatically deduct four points from the health rating of any restaurant where smoking is permitted. A separate proposal under consideration is the placing of a decal on the front door of any restaurant that allows smoking. The sticker would warn patrons about the so-called dangers of secondhand smoke.
“They are way out of bounds with these draconian measures,” says Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, a not-for-profit organization comprised of some 2,000 members, mostly owners of small, family businesses that manufacture, distribute or sell at retail premium cigars and pipe tobacco products and related accoutrements.
“The well-heeled anti-tobacco forces would have you believe that evil things will befall you if you occasionally take a whiff of tobacco smoke in a restaurant, bar or other place of business. If that were the case, wouldn’t you think that OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – would be all over it? The fact is that OSHA has set safe levels for smoking that are up to 25,000 times higher than normally found in an average bar or restaurant that allows smoking,” McCalla said.
“First, when a government regulatory agency penalizes restaurant owners for exercising their right to decide how to run their business, it is exceeding its authority and acting unconstitutionally. It is attacking the rights of smokers and non-smokers, alike. Second, businesses will suffer and jobs will be lost if such penalties would be allowed to stand.”
According to McCalla, many of the IPCPR’s retail members sell their premium tobacco products to restaurants who, in turn, sell them to their customers. To ‘punish’ smoking in restaurants will severely reduce these sales which will translate into reduced excise, sales, and business income tax revenues for Mobile County and the state of Alabama, he said.
“And the saddest part of all of this is that it is so unnecessary,” McCalla said. “Secondhand smoke air quality testing by groups like Johns Hopkins and the American Cancer Society shows that health claims regarding secondhand smoke are greatly exaggerated.”
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Contact:?????????
Tony Tortorici
tony@tortoricipr.com
678-493-0313


Proposed Smoking Ban for Alabama Restaurants Deemed ‘Ludicrous’
The smoking ban for all Alabama restaurants currently being considered by state representatives is discriminatory, will cost jobs and tax revenues and is unnecessary, says the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association which labeled the legislation as ‘ludicrous.’.
Montgomery, AL (Vocus) April 21, 2010 — The smoking ban for all Alabama restaurants currently being considered by state representatives is discriminatory, will cost jobs and tax revenues and is unnecessary, says the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association which labeled the legislation as ‘ludicrous.’
Senate Bill 541, which proposes to ban smoking in all restaurants throughout the state, passed the Alabama Senate last week, is currently being reviewed by the House and is expected to be voted on during the last night of the session on April 22.
“This is perhaps the most ludicrous piece of legislation any state legislature could waste its efforts on during these troubling economic phase in our history,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, a not-for-profit organization that represents some 2,000 tobacconists and small business owners throughout the United States.
McCalla went on to explain his position.
“First, when government takes away from restaurant owners their right to decide how to run their business, it is exceeding its authority and acting unconstitutionally. It is attacking the rights of smokers and non-smokers, alike. Second, business suffers and jobs are lost under legislated smoking bans. That was proven by the Federal Reserve Bank based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Third, safe levels of secondhand smoke have been set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and they are 25,000 safer than air quality levels normally found in bars and restaurants that allow smoking.”
According to McCalla, many of the IPCPR’s retail members sell their premium tobacco products to restaurants who, in turn, sell them to their customers. To ban smoking in restaurants throughout the state will severely reduce these sales which will translate into reduced excise, sales, and business income tax revenues for the state of Alabama, he said.
“And the saddest part of all of this is that it is so unnecessary,” McCalla said. “Secondhand smoke air quality testing by groups like Johns Hopkins and the American Cancer Society shows that health claims are greatly exaggerated and that secondhand smoke levels in restaurants are up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA workplace air quality regulations. Additionally, it has been proven that the effect of legislated smoking bans is near fatal to businesses, jobs, and our economy as a whole.”
McCalla urged Alabama voters to contact their representatives and urge them to vote against the unnecessary smoking ban and for legislation that would save jobs and promote business statewide.

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2008:? Another Ban Failed: AL Proposed state smoking ban goes up in smoke.

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