Tag Archives: cigarettes

City Bans Puffing, Petting and Eating Behind the Wheel

Do we really need a law telling motorists they can't pet their dogs while driving? Nanny state bureaucrats in Troy, Mich., think so ...

Do we really need a law telling motorists they can't pet their dogs while driving? Nanny state bureaucrats in Troy, Mich., think so ...

One city’s efforts to ensure motorists stay focused on the road ahead seems like a bit of overkill, but we’ll let you be the judge:

Bagel-chomping motorists prone to texting while driving beware: Police in a Detroit suburb have officially begun looking for you.

Troy police began enforcing the city’s new driving while distracted ordinance, which went into effect Saturday.

The ordinance passed last year in the city about 15 miles north of Detroit aims to crack down on distracted drivers whose bad behind-the-wheel behavior includes using a cell phone, eating, grooming and interacting with pets. Motorists face fines from $75 to $200.

The newly enacted law targets motorists for fines if they “temporarily remove both hands from the full grip of the wheel.” While lighting and smoking cigarettes is not specifically cited in the law as a violation, “[v]irtually any activity could be included at the discretion of an officer,” writes the Detroit Examiner’s Richard Weaver.

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Happy Meal ‘Ban’ Wagon Arrives in Wisconsin City

Read the tagline. It's not just a city; it's how nanny state bureaucrats like Greg Mertzig think of themselves.

Read the tagline. It's not just a catchy slogan; it's how bureaucrats like Greg Mertzig think of themselves.

A nanny state bureaucrat in Superior, Wisc. is equating the lure of Happy Meal toys to candy cigarettes, claiming both types of novelty items encourage “lethal habits” that need to be controlled “at a very young age.”

“It was a marketing tactic by the tobacco industry to get kids to think it was cool to smoke at a very young age, develop these lethal habits at a very young age,” says City Councilor Greg Mertzig. “To a lesser extent, these toys in their Happy Meals kind of do the same thing. They reward kids and get them to think that it’s the okay thing to do at a very young age.”

Mertzig, an Iraq and Afghanistan war vet, told Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) that he’s firing at will upon fast food restaurants that, he says, are making America’s future soldiers too fat to fight. And, he claims his constituents support his efforts to determine how and what parents feed their own children:

“They don’t meet the physical requirements to join the military so there was an argument that it was actually a national security issue. And so through the dialogue with my constituents we decided and I decided that day that we needed to do something.”

Mertzig’s proposed ordinance would “ban free toys in meals with more than 600 calories, 10% fat and can’t have any trans fat. It could also require fruits or vegetables and whole grain foods,” reports WPR’s Mike Simonson.

The Happy Meal toy ban will be offered to the city council on Dec. 7. If Mertzig musters enough support, it will be voted on by the the council members at a later date.

Superior City Attorney Frog Prell told the local FOX News affiliate that Mertzig’s efforts to mimic San Francisco and Santa Clara County, Calif. will pose “an enforcement problem if this ordinance gets any momentum, for sure.”

Contact Councilman Greg Mertzig and tell him to back down in his war against parents and their right to determine what’s best for their own children to consume:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1065835578
(Click “Send Gregory a Message” below his cute profile picture)

Email: mertzigg@ci.superior.wi.us

Tel: (715) 392-1148

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Tobacco Added to Happy Meal Czar’s Naughty List

Ken Yeager's on a crusade to save citizens from themselves.

Ken Yeager's on a crusade to save citizens from themselves.

Big government bureaucrats in Santa Clara County, Calif., recently robbed kids of their beloved Happy Meal toys and today they came back for seconds, this time, bullying smokers and punishing tobacco retailers for selling a product that is still legal for adult purchase in all 50 states.

Supervisor Ken “Unhappy Meal” Yeager and his merry band of nanny state ninnies on Tuesday passed an ordinance that slaps tobacco retailers with an annual $425 fine vending permit fee. New retailers are also required to pay a one-time “permit application” fine fee, the San Jose Mercury reports.

The Board of Supervisors claims these new fines fees were established to extinguish teenage smoking, despite the fact that it is already illegal in all 50 states for tobacco retailers to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.

On Nov. 10, the Nanny State Liberation Front was among the first to report that Santa Clara County was “targeting smokers in their own apartments, condominiums and townhouses.” The American Lung Association commended the county for its’ ‘successful’ month-long assault on smokers’ rights, declaring their fascist crackdowns “among the toughest in the nation.”

Next up, Yeager & Co. will float a ban targeting flavored tobacco products that will likely include cigars and pipe tobacco. Will you fight back or watch another freedom enjoyed by responsible adults go up in smoke?

Contact Ken Yeager on Facebook (click “Send Ken a Message” below his picture) or get in touch with him the old-fashioned way:

Supervisor Ken Yeager
County Govt. Center, E. Wing
70 W. Hedding St., 10th Fl.
San Jose, Calif. 95110
P: (408) 299-5040
F: (408) 299-2038
Ken.Yeager@bos.sccgov.org

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Potential Reversal of Fortune for Snubbed Smokers in Illinois Casinos

A potential reversal of fortune awaits snubbed smokers in Illinois casinos.

A potential reversal of fortune awaits snubbed smokers in Illinois casinos.

Lawmakers and casino industry officials agree: Illinois’ nearly three-year-old smoking ban has cost the state $500 million in lost revenue as smokers travel across state lines to light-up and gamble to their hearts’ delight.

On Tuesday, a measure to exempt the state’s casinos from the smoking ban passed the House Executive Committee by a 9-1 vote, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

HB 1846, House Amendment 1 provides that smoking would be re-allowed in the state’s casinos “if smoking is not banned in gaming facilities located in the nearest neighboring state.” It continues, “This exemption shall no longer apply to a gaming facility on and after the date that smoking is banned in gaming facilities located in the nearest neighboring state.”

That said, Indiana State Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) said last week he will offer a bill in the coming legislative session that would ban public smoking without an exemption for any establishment, including casinos.

The full House of Representatives will now consider the measure and determine if it moves on to the Senate or goes up in smoke. If you live in Illinois and support re-allowing smoking in casinos, contact your state representative.

And, if you live in Indiana, you’ve been warned. There’s a smoking ban smoldering in State Rep. Charlie Brown’s office. It’s up to you whether it catches fire or gets extinguished.

State Rep. Brown’s email address: h3@in.gov
Tel: (317) 232-9600

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Comedian Mocks Nanny State Nonsense on Daily Show

Anyone else think it’s odd that The Huffington Post finds humor in a comedian’s rant against government intrusion in citizens’ lives? In and of itself, that’s funny enough, but watch Lewis Black systematically dismantle the nanny state with his sarcasm and wit if your pants are still dry.

Click image to watch video on ComedyCentral.com

Click image to watch video on ComedyCentral.com

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Taxpayers Choking on Big Govt’s “Whoppers with Sleaze”

Overlawyered.com’s Walter Olsen hits another one out of the ballpark today with his commentary in The Washington Times spotlighting the “growing aggressiveness of ‘public health’ officialdom in pushing scare campaigns about everyday consumption risks:”

The Puritans held that reminders of mortality had an edifying effect on the living, which is why they sometimes would illustrate even literature for young children with drawings of death’s-heads and skeletons. Something of the same spirit seems to animate our ever-advancing movement for mandatory public health. The Food and Drug Administration has just floated the idea of requiring cigarette packs to carry rotating pictures that would include corpses – yes, actual corpses – as well as close-ups of grotesque medical disorders that can afflict smokers.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s superactivist Health Department has begun public ad campaigns about the health risks of everyday foods, including a controversial YouTube video portraying soda drinkers as pouring globs of shimmery yellow fat into their open mouths and – just out – an ad showing an innocent-looking can of chicken-with-rice soup as bursting with dangerous salt. Whether or not you live in New York, you’re likely to be seeing more of this sort of thing because the mayor’s crew tends to set the pace for activist public-health efforts nationwide; the Obama administration, for example, picked Bloomberg lieutenant Thomas R. Frieden to head the influential Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why should government use our own tax dollars to propagandize and hector us about the risks of salted snacks, chocolate milk or the other temptations of today’s supermarket aisle? The Bloomberg-Obama camp seems to feel that government dietary advice is superior to other sources of information we might draw on because (1) it’s more objective, independent and pure of motive and (2) it can draw on better science …

Read the rest of Olsen’s commentary and share your comments on his blog.

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Happy Meal Czar Targets Citizens’ Freedom to Smoke

Ken Yeager can't resist the urge to keep citizens safe from themselves.

Ken Yeager is on a crusade to prevent citizens from harming themselves.

The originator of the nation’s first Happy Meal toy ban is now targeting smokers in their own apartments, condominiums and townhouses. Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager declared his intrusive anti-smoking initiative makes this ‘progressive’ California suburb, once again, a “national leader” in keeping citizens safe from themselves:

“The residents of this county deserve strong policies to safeguard their health,” said Board President Ken Yeager, who brought the ordinance to the Board of Supervisors. “These ordinances make Santa Clara County a national leader in blocking tobacco sales to minors and protecting residents from secondhand smoke.”

In addition to an ordinance prohibiting smokers from lighting-up within the confines of their own private residences, Yeager and his nanny state cronies also outlawed smoking at outdoor dining facilities, motels and hotels, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

A new licensing tax that would force tobacco retailers to pony-up “$425 a year for a license, plus a one-time $340 application fee” will be voted on at the board’s Nov. 23 meeting.

Do you support or oppose Ken “Unhappy Meal” Yeager’s continued efforts to dictate to citizens how they should best lead their own lives?

Share your thoughts with Ken Yeager on Facebook (click “Send Ken a Message” below his picture) or contact him the old-fashioned way:

Supervisor Ken Yeager
County Govt. Center, E. Wing
70 W. Hedding St., 10th Fl.
San Jose, Calif. 95110
P: (408) 299-5040
F: (408) 299-2038
Ken.Yeager@bos.sccgov.org

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NSLF’s Top 10 Least Wanted State and Local Bureaucrats

Editor’s Note: Candidates appear in no particular order.

Does trampling on citizens' rights and liberties count as "torture," Eric?

Does trampling on citizens' rights and liberties count as "torture," Eric?

1. Eric Mar | San Francisco Supervisor (D)* – Leading the city’s now infamous assault on children’s beloved Happy Meal toys, incumbent Supervisor Mar has also been busy in recent months trying to regulate citizen’s intake of soft drinks. “I’m proud that we protect the public’s health,” Mar says, even if he uses shoddy data to force his radical anti-choice agenda down the throats of citizens both young and old. When Mar’s not telling citizens what they can’t eat and drink, he can be seen pressuring pet stores to quit selling dogs and cats. *Mar’s not running for office right now, but it looks like he has his eyes on becoming the city’s next mayor. Don’t forget about him. And, trust us, we won’t let you.

Proud to be a jackass legislating in her own special interests.

Proud to be a jackass legislating in her own special interests.

2. Rep. Eileen Cody | Wash. State House (D-Seattle) – Washington State’s longest serving legislator is also its most predictable anti-tobacco foe, stopping at nothing to ensure smokers quit offending her. Earlier this year, Cody sponsored HB 2493 in a last ditch effort to tax cigarettes in to oblivion. “I really don’t care,” Cody said, about the potential for the state to actually lose tobacco sin tax revenue because cigarettes would no longer be affordable for most Washingtonians to purchase; her top priority, she proudly proclaims, is to “force people to quit smoking.”

Don't be fooled by Martin's 'family friendly' marketing schtick.

Don't be fooled by Martin's 'family friendly' marketing schtick.

3. Grier Martin | N.C. House (D-34) — Earlier this year, Martin was influential in passing a statewide ban on chocolate milk and juice products at child care facilities. Ironically, he says parents “can cram [their kids] with ice cream, sweets, 50-percent-fat milk, anything they want” after they get home from day care, perhaps as a symbol of goodwill between the nanny state and parents. Here’s our warning to concerned voters: Don’t accept candy from strangers and don’t think for a moment that Martin isn’t interested in ultimately controlling every aspect of your children’s lives from the cradle to the grave.

No tax is too sweeping or absurd for Basnight and Hackney.

No tax is too sweeping or absurd for Basnight and Hackney.

4 & 5. Marc Basnight | N.C. Senate (D) and Joe Hackney Speaker | N.C. House of Representatives (D)These two big government bureaucrats colluded in 2008 to propose a revenue-generating scheme that would monetarily penalize motorists for driving too much. Family vacations and weekend getaways, if vehicles’ owners were already over the limit, would warrant a “Vehicle Miles Traveled” tax to compensate the state for needlessly clogging roadways.

"Please tell Michelle I love her recipe for controlling citizens' diets."

"Please tell Michelle I love her recipe for controlling citizens' diets."

6. Dean Florez | Calif. Senate Majority Leader (D) – Florez has a knack for citing alarming nationwide statistics to boost the credibility of his statewide anti-soda crusade. Perhaps, that’s because he is a puppet of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA), who Florez even admits are the soda tax bill’s “sponsors.” While the CCPHA describes itself as a “nonpartisan” public health organization, its Board of Directors includes The Huffington Post’s Joel Epstein, a partisan journalist who makes no efforts to inform readers of his affiliation with the organization he advises in its ongoing war against consumers and the beverage industry. One thing is certain: Neither Florez nor his CCPHA cronies trust citizens to make the ‘right’ choices when it comes to the food and beverages they consume.

'Reality' is a lost concept in Hieftje's big head.

'Reality' is a lost concept in Hieftje's big head.

7. John Hieftje | Mayor, Ann Arbor, Mich. (D) – DailyKos.com, the virtual mouthpiece of the radical Left, calls Ann Arbor “one of the most liberal cities in the U.S.” And, by their account, “Mayor John Hieftje is doing a good job,” so that should be reason enough to include him on our “Least Wanted” list. According to his campaign website, Hieftje boasts, “I led City Council in setting the policy for the complete re-organization of the City bureaucracy, now saving taxpayers over $15 million per year.” As A2Politico.com’s Margaret Wong points out, Hieftje reduced staff, but wages increased. “We’re paying more for less,” Wong reveals. “We’re getting less for more.”

Squeaky clean good looks can be deceiving.

Squeaky clean good looks can be deceiving.

8. Greg Fischer | Mayoral Candidate, Louisville, Ky. (D) – When Greg Fischer announced in late September that he would make his administration “the most open, honest and transparent in the nation,” he probably wasn’t expecting anyone to take him to task on that promise before he got elected. A few short weeks later, citizen watchdogs and even the local media were raising concerns about an emerging ‘pay-to-play’ scandal in which Fischer allegedly offered “a position of influence in city government” in exchange for the endorsement of a third party opponent who quit the race.

Vince wants big government to raise D.C.'s kids until they're completely dependent adults.

Vince wants big government to raise D.C.'s kids until they're completely dependent adults.

9. Vince Gray | Mayoral Candidate, Washington, D.C. (D)According to Gray’s campaign website, “We need a mayor who will focus on the entire birth-to-24 education process.” If you think that sounds like another big government cradle-to-the-grave entitlement program, you’re right! Gray’s education plan includes all of the trendy code words you’ve come to expect from “community organizers” like President Obama and ‘progressive’ leaders like House Speaker Pelosi who think they can solve all of our problems, even if we don’t want their help! Want a “community buy-in” with “community as a part of the solution” to your child’s educational pursuits? How about making learning “sustainable?” Let’s not forget that everyone’s going to be “valued and empowered!” And, top it all off with some “accountability” and Gray claims there’ll be no more “bureaucracy” in D.C. Public Schools. But first, you must elect Gray so you can see what’s really in his education plan.

Mahan is a 'go along to get along' big government bureaucrat who can't be trusted to legislate in the people's best interests.

Mahan is a 'go along to get along' big government bureaucrat who can't be trusted to legislate in the people's best interests.

10. Patricia Mahan | Mayor, City of Santa Clara, Calif. (D) – Mayor Mahan has remained silent on Santa Clara County’s recently enacted ordinance banning toys in children’s Happy Meals, but the fact remains that parents residing in her city remain affected by the county’s nanny state crackdown on their freedom to determine what their children consume. According to the City of Santa Clara’s website, “Santa Clara is a family oriented and business friendly city, with an award-winning ethics program and a commitment to fostering public trust.” If Mahan won’t stick-up for families and businesses that are being treated unfairly in her city, then she must support nanny state bureaucrats like Supervisor Ken Yeager who feel entitled to dictate how and what parents feed their own children.

Don’t see a candidate listed? Spotlight the offender of freedom and liberty on our Facebook page’s Wall or Twitter page.

View NSLF’s additional “Top 10 Least Wanted” lists:

1. U.S. Senate (Oct. 27)
2. Governor (Oct. 28)
3. U.S. House (Oct. 29)

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Congressman Tells World Series Players to Go Cold Turkey

Rep. Pallone says players would be "doing a great service to our country" by not chewing tobacco.

Rep. Pallone says players would be "doing a great service to our country" by not chewing tobacco. Sound-off below if you agree or disagree.

Anti-tobacco crusader Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is urging players on the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers who chew tobacco to go cold turkey during the World Series, citing his concerns for the children watching — not his desire to topple the tobacco industry once and for all.

“Asking @MLB World Series teams to ban chewing tobacco. It hurts more than players when so many young ppl watch & are influenced by players,” Pallone posted on Twitter yesterday morning.

Pallone has long been targeting the tobacco industry with overbearing nanny state regulations. On the first anniversary of the Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that he successfully ushered through Congress in June 2009, Pallone bragged,

Because of this law, tobacco products are now subject to the same scrutiny and government oversight as consumer products like toothpaste and toys – as they should be – which is a win-win for our nation’s health.

In April 2010, Pallone called for the expulsion of smokeless tobacco from Major League Baseball (MLB) during a congressional hearing. Despite nationwide legal age restrictions on the sale of tobacco products to minors, he is convinced underage children will find ways to mimic baseball players who chew tobacco.

Yesterday, Pallone sent a letter to Rangers President Nolan Ryan and Giants President Larry Baer, informing them that a “ban of smokeless tobacco while players are in uniform would be a great service to this country.”

Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt remarked after the April hearing that congressional meddling in MLB dugouts stinks of the nanny state, and he doesn’t even use smokeless tobacco.

“If it’s legal in the United States of America, you can’t say someone can’t do it,” Affeldt said. “It’s a free country. You start going down those roads, taking away freedoms this country is based on … I think we are seeing signs of more and more of that happening and we need to back off.”

Who should be responsible for ensuring underage children steer clear of smokeless tobacco — Rep. Pallone and his fellow anti-tobacco crusaders in Congress or parents?

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NYC Councilman Proposes Outdoor Refuges for Smokers

Brief exposures to secondhand cigarette smoke aren't what's going to kill NYers -- air pollution from cars, buses, taxis, limos, trains, subways, businesses, etc. will get them first.

Brief exposures to secondhand cigarette smoke aren't what's going to kill NYers -- air pollution from cars, buses, taxis, limos, trains, subways, businesses, etc. will get them first.

Seeking a compromise on New York City’s proposed smoking ban at parks and beaches, one city councilman is floating the idea of establishing refuges for smokers to catch a break from another one Mayor Michael Bloomberg nanny state laws.

Today, city council members are expected to entertain Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.’s plan that would designate about 20 percent of city parks as smoking refuges that would not disturb or offend non-smokers.

Bloomberg and his anti-smoking cronies contend that Vallone’s proposal will still put non-smokers’ health at risk because “even brief exposure to secondhand smoke” can harm them.

Note to Bloomberg: Residents of your city are already inhaling the toxic exhaust fumes from more than 50,000 taxi cabs, buses, and other vehicles for hire every time they step outside. If you’re so concerned about what people breathe, perhaps you should distribute gas masks to motorists before they get stuck in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels at rush hour. A quick whiff of cigarette smoke in a public park is probably some of the freshest air people can breathe in NYC.

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