Cigarette anyone?

The Competitive Enterprise Insitute, a DC-based “think” tank is in full crisis mode today after being fingered heavily in a Union of Concerned Scientists report linking ExxonMobil's underhanded PR tactics to deny the realities of climate change to the tobacco industry campaign to claim that smoking (and more recently, second-hand smoke) isn't bad for us.

But even as they deny being a hired shill for big tobacco and big oil, CEI proudly features a package of cigarettes on its home page, along with a criticism of smoking bans in public places. The CEI headline screams: “District smoking ban threatens economic liberty.

Well, it could put a crimp in CEI's “economics,” especially if the big funders finally realize that CEI is no longer functioning as an effective astroturf group.

While we wait, it will be fun to watch how long it takes before CEI slips the cigarette image off to the same now-distant page where it's hiding the TV commercials that claim CO2 is good for you.


Yup, it’s down. These guys are so busted. Congratulations and shame on the information subversives.


As a resident of San Luis Obispo when the city enacted the US’ first ban on smoking in offices, restaurants, bars, etc; I have heard all the smoking lobbies arguments. They warned about restaurants and bars losing business, individual freedoms, ad nauseum.

The reality was that even though people could have driven a few miles to neighboring town without smoking restrictions, they did not do it. Restaurant business increased the year after the ban.

Several years after the ban went into effect, a Cal Poly student did a study of public sentiment about the San Luis Obispo indoor smoking ban. Not only did the study show that a huge majority of the overall sample support it, but it was also supported by 60% of the smokers!

The success of smoking bans in San Luis Obispo and other California cities lead to a statewide indoor smoking ban serveral years later. Each time new restrictions on smoking are proposed, we hear the same old arguments about doom and gloom for restaurants and smokers’ rights.

Here in Canada many places followed californias smoking ban and to the same effect - little loss to business and people, event smokers, very happy with the change. This type of garbage from the CEI just shows how out of touch they are on contemporary issues like smoking and climate change. This think tank represents an old and dying coporate view. Hopefully Exxon agrees and cuts off their money train!

Being a smoker of sorts, I am actually not threatened by the smoking ban. Although it is my right to smoke, I don’t feel that I have the right to jeopardize other peoples health by smoking in public places. Just as if someone decided to light themselves on fire, I should not get burnt b/c of their decision. I have however found that electronic cigarettes are a win-win for smokers. They do not release any second hand smoke, and can be smoked anywhere including bars, restaurants, and even planes. It is also much safer for me to smoke than normal tobacco cigarettes.

Johnny Blaze