Statement for 28 Sep 1998 Hearing
On Increasing the Penalty
for Selling Cigarettes

     I. Publications by the Witness
   II. Why A Crime Prevention Group Is Interested
  III. Rebutting the Myth That Tobacco Companies
         Don't Want Children to Smoke

  IV. Rebutting the Myth That Cigarettes Are Legal
   V. The Rat Poison Issue
  VI. References on Deleteriousness
        of Specific Cigarette Ingredients

 VII. Cigarettes Deleteriousness Kills
VIII. Michigan Leadership
   IX. Conclusion

I. Publications
           The author

           (a) reported tobacco's cost to the nation as over $120 billion, triple the then estimate, thus led the way for the Attorney General litigation, see "Are You Missing $omething?" 26 Smoke Signals 4 (Oct 1980);

           (b) cited cigarette emissions as illegal pursuant to federal law 29 USC § 651 et seq., see "Smoking as Hazardous Conduct," 86 N Y St J Med 493 (Sep 1986) and "[Indoor Air Quality] Already Regulated," 3 Indoor Air Rev 3 (April 1993); and

           (c) cited felony criminal law against poisoning people, as a means to prosecute cigarette sellers, "Alternative Models for Controlling Smoking Among Adolescents," 87 Am J Pub Health 869 (May 1997).

II. Why A Crime Prevention Group Is Interested

          Ahead of any health issue, cigarettes constitute a mind-altering drug, cause abulia, and are in essence delivery mechanisms for the original "rape drug." The result is foreseeable—90% of criminals are smokers, started on that drug-crime path by the gateway (starter) drug.

A. Modern cigarettes are a Confederate product. Cigarettes' toxic chemicals impair self-defense, impulse, and ethical controls (the term is abulia). Cigarettes are the delivery agent for nicotine, the dangerous gateway (starter) drug on which children are first hooked (average age 12). Alcohol follows, average age 12.6; then marijuana, average age 14. See:
the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) book, Research on Smoking Behavior, Research Monograph 17, page vi; Fleming, et al., "The Role of Cigarettes in The Initiation And Progression Of Early Substance Use," 14 Addictive Behaviors 261-272 (1989); and the Department of Health and Human Services book, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General (1994). Page 10 warns that "Illegal sales of tobacco products are common."

B. Once the foregoing abulic mind-altering process occurs, tobacco's role in crime results. This role has been cited many times by law enforcement officials, judges, and doctors since the Auburn Report (1854), e.g., by Jackson, 1854; Hodgkin, 1857; Ellis, 1901; Lindsay, 1914; Torrance, 1916; Brum, 1924; Danis, 1925; Healy and Bonner, 1926; Crane, Dawson, Pollock, and Shaw, 1931; Wood, 1944, etc. America-hating Confederates enraged by Civil War defeat wanted to kill Yankees and re-enslave blacks. They saw the tobacco-crime link, and that tobacco makes an ideal chemical warfare weapon. They altered the tobacco formula to increase its abulia-causing power. The result is foreseeable:
"Nowhere is the practice of smoking more imbedded than in the nation's prisons and jails, where the proportion of smokers to non-smokers is many times higher than that of society in general." Doughty v Board, 731 F Supp 423, 424 (D Col, 1989).
As cigarettes' toxic chemicals cause abulia, acalculia, and anosognosia, impairing impulse and ethical controls, most crime is committed by smokers.
"Nationwide, the [ratio] of smokers [to non-smokers] in prisons is 90 percent." McKinney v Anderson, 924 F2d 1500, 1507 n 21 (CA 9, 1991) [affirmed and remanded, 509 US 25 (1993)].

           C. The Confederate goal is killing more Yankees yearly as in the entire Civil War (360,000). The out-of-uniform Confederates known as cigarette sellers, target minorities to sell disproportionately to them. See Klonoff, Landrine, and Alcarez, "An Experimental Analysis of Sociocultarial Variables in sales of Cigarettes to Minors," 87 Am J Pub Health 823-826 (May 1997), and the 1998 Surgeon General Report. So it is mostly black smokers in prison. We need to severely criminalize this discriminatory process.

III. Rebutting the Myth That Tobacco
Companies Don't Want Children to Smoke

          Tobacco ads target children to replace the 3,000 of their best customers killed every day, as 1998 Warren City Council President James Fouts says, "to find replacements for the adults they lose due to tobacco-related illnesses." Tobacco company intent/action when unrestrained by law is shown by this pre-restraint example of smoking: 30% of 6 year old boys; 50% of "boys between 9 and 10"; 88% of boys over 11. See Dixon, On Tobacco, 17 Canadian Med Ass'n J 1531 (Dec 1927).

IV. Rebutting the Myth That Cigarettes Are Legal

          The truth is, cigarettes are not legal, triply not legal, in Michigan.

          A. It is illegal to provide people the means—e.g., a deleterious substance—to injure or kill. People v Carmichael, 5 Mich 10; 71 Am Dec 769 (1858); People v Kevorkian, 447 Mich 436, 494-6; 527 NW2d 714, 738-9 (1994). It is illegal even if death is slow, takes years. People v Stevenson, 416 Mich 383; 331 NW2d 143, 145-6 (1982).

          B. Cigarette emissions violate federal law, i.e., 29 CFR § 1910.1000. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare book, Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, PHS Pub 1103, Table 4, p 60 (1964), has examples:

Cigarette ChemicalEmission Level
"Speed Limit"
acetaldehyde 3,200 ppm 200.0 ppm
acrolein 150 ppm     0.5 ppm
ammonia 300 ppm 150.0 ppm
carbon monoxide 42,000 ppm 100.0 ppm
formaldehyde 30 ppm     5.0 ppm
hydrogen cyanide 1,600 ppm   10.0 ppm
hydrogen sulfide 40 ppm   20.0 ppm
methyl chloride 1,200 ppm 100.0 ppm
nitrogen dioxide 250 ppm     5.0 ppm

(Due to acalculia, impairment of mathematical comprehension and reactivity,
and due to abulia, impairment of willpower, and self-defense, impulse and
ethical controls—lay word is "addiction"—and due to anosognosia, lack of
comprehension of their impairments, smokers cannot understand the danger
that these numbers depict, in effect, going far above the chemicals' "speed limit.")

          C. Cigarettes are specifically illegal pursuant to Michigan law MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, which bans deleterious and adulterated cigarettes. All cigarettes are inherently deleterious. The warning label admits it. Grusendorf v City of Oklahoma City, 816 F2d 539, 543 (CA 10, 1987). The Department of Health and Human Services book, Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: a Report of the Surgeon General, Publication CDC 89-8411, Table 7, pp 86-87 (1989), lists examples of deleterious ingredients including:

acetaldehyde (1.4+ mg)arsenic (500+ ng)benzo(a)pyrene (.1+ ng)
cadmium (1,300+ ng)crotonaldehyde (.2+ µg)chromium (1,000+ ng)
ethylcarbamate 310+ ng)formaldehyde (1.6+ µg)hydrazine (14+ ng)
nickel (2,000+ ng)lead (8+ µg)radioactive polonium (.2+ Pci).

          Tennessee in 1897 saw the danger, and banned cigarettes. The 1897 Tennessee cigarette ban was challenged, and upheld in court, Austin v State, 101 Tenn 563; 566-7; 48 SW 305, 306; 70 Am St Rep 703 (1898) aff'd 179 US 343 (1900). Michigan saw this, and passed its cigarette ban soon thereafter, in 1909. Many people still alive then remembered that Confederates—the source of tobacco—had fought for the right to torture and kill. That right, which underlay slavery, had been repeatedly upheld in Southern courts, e.g., Commonwealth v Turner, 26 Va 678 (1827); State v Mann, 13 NC 263 (1829); Neal v Farmer, 9 Ga 555 (1851); and Commonwealth v Souther, 48 Va 673 (1851). So in 1909, there was prudent suspicion that they wanted revenge, and would manipulate and flavor the product so as to torture and poison Northerners. There was evidence of poisoning.

V. The Rat Poison Issue

          Cigarettes have long been adulterated with coumarin, rat poison, from trilisa odoratissima plants. "[I]t is largely used as an adulterant of smoking tobacco . . . [for its intoxicating, addicting effect]. Hence . . . cigarette-smoking . . . is assuming the proportions of a great national evil." Laurence Johnson, M.D., A Manual of the Medical Botany of North America (NY: William Wood & Co, 1884), pp 170-1. The 1897 Tennessee law upheld in Austin v State, supra, was thereafter passed.

          "It] has been used commercially for many years—mainly in cigarettes . . . harvest of [it] is expanding . . . The composition of one flavoring extract that includes [it] was patented in 1961. . . . About two million pounds of cured plants are harvested annually. . . . Because [it] is a perennial and the roots are not harvested, maintaining populations is not a problem. A decrease in plant populations has not been noted." Source: Krochmal, Trilisa odoratissima, 23 Econ Bot 185-6 (1969).

           "Leaves of [the plant] . . . are used in the tobacco industry, particularly in cigarette mixtures. . . . It appears that the . . . constituent most desired by the tobacco industry is coumarin." Source: Haskins, et al., Coumarin in Trilisa odoratissima, 26 Econ Bot 44-8 (1972).

           "Leaves used to flavor pipe and cigar tobacco and cigarettes . . . and as a moth repellant . . . may cause hemorrhage and liver damage." Source: James A. Duke, Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985), p 491.

          In one of the cigarette litigation cases, Mike Moore, Attorney General ex rel State of Mississippi v American Tobacco Co, et al, No 94-1429, Jeffrey Wigand, Ph.D., an ex-tobacco company scientist, admitted coumarin (rat poison) in tobacco. See Philip Hilts, Smoke Screen: The Truth Behind The Tobacco Industry Cover-Up (NY: Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1996), pp 161-163. Flouting the above public domain data, tobacco company attorney Thomas Bezanson objected, not as untrue, but "on trade secret grounds." Such attorney concealment appears to be obstruction of justice, attorney misconduct, to fraudulently conceal the fact of the data having long been published and in the public domain.

VI. References on Deleteriousness of Specific Cigarette Ingredients

          A. Gosselin, Smith, Hodge, and Braddock, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, 5th ed (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1984). Page II-4 lists toxicity levels of 1-6 (1, "practically non-toxic"; 4, "very toxic"; 6, "super-toxic"). Nicotine, item 772, pages II-237 and III-311-4 is rated a 6; coumarin, page II-257, item 861, is a 4.

          B. Robert Dreisbach and William Robertson, Handbook of Poisoning: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment, 12th ed (Norwalk, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1983 and 1987). Pages 35 and 259-263 cover carbon monoxide poisoning; pages 130-2, tobacco and nicotine; pages 385-7, anticoagulants, e.g., coumarin and warfarin.

          C. Sondra Goodman, Director, Household Hazardous Waste Project, HHWP's Guide to Hazardous Products Around the Home, 2d ed (Springfield, MO: Southwest Mo St Univ Press, 1989). Page 99 covers poisoning by carbon monoxide, of which cigarettes emit 42,000 ppm , exceeding the 29 CFR § 1910.1000 average safe limit of 35 ppm).

           D. Jay Arena and Richard Drew, Poisoning, 5th ed (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Pub, 1986). Pages 216-217 cover nicotine; pp 308-312, carbon monoxide; p 999, which lists coumarin, says, ominously, "see Warfarin," p 1007.

VII. Cigarettes Deleteriousness Kills

          "Over 37 million people (one of every six Americans alive today) will die from cigarette smoking years before they otherwise would." See U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare book, Research on Smoking Behavior, Research Monograph 17, DHEW Publication ADM 78-581, page v (Dec 1977). Such deaths are "natural and probable consequences," a term defined in Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed (St. Paul: West Pub Co, 1990), page 1026. Deaths from cigarettes' deleteriousness occur so frequently as to be expected to happen again and again, hence meet the definition. "Cigarette Makers Get Away With Murder," says Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sc.D., The Detroit News, p 4B (14 Mar 1993).

       VIII. Michigan Leadership       

          Our deleterious cigarette ban MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, follows the wise nineteenth century concept of criminalizing fraudulent sales, snake-oil sales, etc., not the buying. The concept was that criminalizing buying and use makes too many criminals, promotes disrespect for law, and punishes the victim of the fraudulent sale. This is especially true with children, below the age of maturity and consent to even make contract decisions. We criminalize leaving one's refrigerator outside with the lock on (MCL§ 750.493d, MSA § 28.761(4)), not the unsuspecting children who fall prey to it. By banning the gateway drug, not a post-gateway drug such as alcohol, MCL § 750.27, MSA § 28.216, avoids the error of Prohibition, and puts personal responsibility on those with most knowledge of the contraband substance (manufacturers and sellers), not on unwary consumers, often children. Michigan's well-reasoned law is an example for the nation.

IX. Conclusion

          TCPG supports enforcing current penalties, and increasing them, for selling cigarettes, making it a felony with penalties like those for other poisonings of people, others' out-of-uniform killing civilians, and specifically a penalty greater than for the drugs that kill fewer people, e.g., crack cocaine, heroin, the mild "rape drug," etc., all pursuant to the precedents that the penalty should be life in prison for poisoning people.


          Governor John Engler and his staff have been supportive and are trying to halt cigarette smuggling, issuing five memoranda on the subject.

Exec Order 1992-3 Law Support Letter # 1 Anti-Cigarette Smuggling Finding Law Support Letter # 2 Governor's Overview

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