Cigarettes are well-established as having a record of being dangerous in terms of both ingredients and emissions:
|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)|| lead (8+ µg)
|| nickel (2,000+ ng)
|| radioactive polonium (.2+ Pci)|
|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|
SEAT BELT DISUSE
|H.R. 1130, A "FIRE-SAFE" CIGARETTES BILL|
CHEMICAL-SAFE CIGARETTES LAW
THE CHILD PROTECTION APPROACH
TENNESSEE CIGARETTE CONTROL LAW
|"Smoking as hazardous conduct," 86 N Y St J Med 493 (September 1986) (discusses workplace smoking as already illegal pursuant to OSHA's 29 CFR § 1910.1000 emissions limits, which cigarettes regularly exceed)|
|"[Indoor Air Quality] IAQ Already Regulated," 3 Indoor Air Rev 3 (April 1993) (discusses workplace smoking as already illegal pursuant to OSHA's 29 CFR § 1910.1000 emissions limits, which cigarettes regularly exceed)|
|"Alternative Models for Controlling Smoking Among Adolescents," 87 Am J Pub Health 869-870 (May 1997) (discusses prevention of smoking by doing as done for all other people: a law providing that only safe products be manufactured, given away, and sold)|
Workers' rights to safe job sites were sought in a September 1998 court case by a worker, Victor Eskenazi, in the State of Washington. Public assistance was solicited at his website, in his effort to set a precedent to protect all workers.
The Washington State Supreme Court is following what other courts have done. For example, judicial notice of cigarettes' "inherent" deleteriousness was taken over a century ago pursuant to an 1897 Tennessee law, in Austin v State, 101 Tenn 563; 566-7; 48 SW 305, 306; 70 Am St Rep 703 (1898) affirmed 179 US 343, 21 S Ct 232; 45 L Ed 224 (1900).
By upholding the worker-safety rule against tobaccoists' challenge, the court is helping protect us all from the various tobacco effects that doctors have cited. In fact, "creation of a smoke-free workplace is the best predictor of progress in smoking cessation [as it] reduces smoking prevalance by around 25% and tobacco consumption by about 20%." see S. A. Glantz, "Editorial: Preventing tobacco Use--The Youth Access Trap," 86 Am J Pub Health 156-157 (Feb 1996); S. Kinne, A. R. Kristal, E. White, and J. Hunt, "Work-site Smoking Policies: The Population Impact in Washington State," 83 Am J Pub Health 1031-1033 (1993), etc.
Some people are suspicious of the Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General data. They apparently feel that the many officials and Surgeon Generals 1964-to-present have some sort of bias. Solution. Look at the medical analysis approach fine-tuned since the 1500's and at books that are NOT about cigarettes, but simply about the chemicals themselves. For explanation of the deleteriousness of specific cigarette ingredients via such impartial non-cigarette-subject sources, see
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, pp II-237 and III-311-4 is rated a 6; coumarin, p 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; pp 130-132, tobacco and nicotine; pp 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 50 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.
The bottom line fact is that, due to cigarettes' deleteriousness, both in terms of inherent ingredients, and their emissions,
|"Over 37 million people (one of every six Americans alive today) will die from cigarette smoking years before they otherwise would,"--DHEW National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Research on Smoking Behavior, Research Monograph 17, Publication ADM 78-581, p v (Dec 1977).|
This number constitutes a "holocaust." Indeed, referring to the then mere "annual death toll of some 27,500," the Royal College of Physicians, in its book Smoking and Health Now (London: Pitman Medical and Scientific Publishing Co, 1971), p 9, used that exact word. They were much closer in time to the World War II holocaust than we are. So the web writer defers to their choice of word, respecting that their knowledge of appropriate words was likely greater than his now nearly three decades later. (Apologies for any offense that may be taken).
Cigarette deaths are "natural and probable consequences," a term defined in Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed (St. Paul: West Pub Co, 1990), p 1026, as events happening "so frequently as to be expected [intended] to happen again." Cigarette-caused deaths are not "accidents" ("unexpected" "unusual," "fortuitous" events), p 15.
TCPG's special concern is crime. Here is what courts say:
|"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).
"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; 113 S Ct 2475; 125 L Ed 2d 22 (1993) .
Subjecting people to a foreseeable hazard is already unlawful under the common law and other state and federal laws, in addition to the rule the Washington State Supreme Court upheld. This fact of other laws is well-established under several principles of law, e.g., the general protective law for the population, e.g., 18 USC § 1111 (the federal murder ban). Some laws are tailored to selected elements of the population, e.g., 5 USC 7902.(d) (the federal workers safety act), and 29 USC § 651 - § 678 (the Occupational Safety and Health Act).
Nowadays, the modern consumer protection concept of law puts personal responsibility on those with most knowledge of the substance (manufacturers and sellers), not on unwary consumers, often children. A well-reasoned consumer protection law covering cigarettes -- protecting both smokers' and nonsmokers' rights in one well-written sentence -- is an example for the nation, and for Washington.
As has been wisely said, and is certainly applicable in view of cigarettes' links to so many factors that can impact each of us (and it takes only one to do so, and even if you only find one fact here that you like), 'the life you save may be your own.'
As the Washington State Supreme Court is protecting worker safety, and following precedents (Shimp, Hall, Perkins, etc.) in doing so, it is to be thanked and commended for doing so.
Our ancestors observed a link between tobacco use and alcoholism and crime. Smoking causes suffering, thus about 90% of alcoholics are smokers self-medicating themselves, detailed at our Prevent Alcoholism site. Smoking is addictive, i.e., induces impaired reasoning, the link to crime.
Abortion was then more deemed a crime than now. There is a smoking link to abortion, due to the impaired judgment factor, and due to cigarettes' high toxic emissions.
In this context, the Washington State Supreme Court is, by upholding the pure air rights rule against on-the-job smoking, upholding moral values that seek to prevent abortion, alcoholism, SIDS, and crime. This, to many, unexpected side effect, is another reason to thank the Court for its wise decision. Many people criticize courts when they make decisons deemed contrary to values; here is a pro-values decision that deserves our support.
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Copyright © 1999 Leroy J. Pletten
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Copyright © 1999 Leroy J. Pletten