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Archive for July 7th, 2011

Village of Albion Opts for Tobacco-Free Policy

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

best virginia cigarettes onlineThe village of Albion has announced the first tobacco free park and recreation policy in Orleans County. With the adoption of the policy on June 28 and the delivery of the signs by Virginia Cigarette Smoke Free NOW, residents will enjoy cleaner air and reduced litter while visiting any one of the five village parks, said Kevin Keenan, coordinator for the Smoke Free NOW program.

Village trustees voted to pass the policy after John Grillo, chairman of the recreation committee, and other committee members unanimously recommended the initiative to the board at their bi-monthly meeting.
Fred Miller, village trustee for the parks, praised the board’s decision.

“Quitting smoking is the smartest thing I ever did,” said Miller, who kicked the habit in 1990. “I hope the adoption of the tobacco free parks initiative will inspire others to quit.”

The tobacco free parks and playgrounds initiative is part of a campaign sponsored by the tobacco control prevention program of New York State. Smoke Free NOW continues to assist other municipalities throughout Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties to adopt similar policies.

Appeal Against Cigarette Companies

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

discount pall mall cigarettes onlineJerry Weingart has been waiting more than a decade for the companies he believes killed his wife to be brought to justice. But at 89, the Boynton Beach man doesn’t have the stamina to spend the whole day in court. Holding a cane, he listened on Wednesday morning while one of his attorneys explained to a jury why three Pall Mall cigarette makers should be held responsible for his wife’s death. But Weingart headed home before tobacco attorneys launched their full counterattack

Like in the two other tobacco trials that have been held in Palm Beach County, millions of dollars are at stake.

The cases are among roughly 8,000 that were spawned statewide when the Florida Supreme Court in 2006 threw out a $145 billion jury verdict in a class-action lawsuit. While upholding the jury’s findings that cigarette-makers lied about the dangers of smoking, the high court ruled that each smoker had to prove how they were uniquely harmed by cigarettes.

Weingart’s attorneys said they are seeking damages for the years smoking took off Claire Weingart’s life. Instead of spending their “golden years” together, Jerry Weingart became widower in 1997 when his wife of 54 years died at age 73, attorney Hardee Bass told jurors.

A heavy smoker for roughly 50 years, she didn’t stop smoking even when lung cancer spread to her brain, Bass said. She began smoking in the 1940s when no one suspected smoking posed any health risks. She was powerless to stop because cigarette-makers R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and Lorillard — the companies that produced her brands of choice — turned her into an addict, he said.

“This case is about a promise the cigarette industry made to a generation of people — the World War II generation,” Bass said during opening arguments. “It’s about the lies they told a generation of smokers. It’s about the truth they hid from a generation of smokers.”

Using company documents, he showed how the companies orchestrated a misinformation campaign to counter growing evidence that smoking kills.

“Claire Weingart was an industry success story,” he said.

Tobacco industry attorneys countered that there is no evidence Weingart was influenced by the documents. Attorney Kenneth Reilly acknowledged that tobacco chiefs made some “wrong-headed” decisions. But, he said, there is no evidence Weingart knew about the statements or used them to justify her decision to keep smoking. Like millions of other smokers, she could have quit.

Tobacco Ads Changed

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

best virginia cigarettes onlineIn an effort to sanitise the Ganeshotsav, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to make it mandatory for Ganesh mandals to not accept sponsorship from gutka, tobacco and liquor companies.

They have also asked the Mumbai Police to not allow mandals to play anything other than religious music.

While last year mandals had vowed not to display advertisements of these companies, many that are sponsored by them were found putting up direct or surrogate advertisements.

Members of the Samiti had a meeting with BMC officials on Wednesday where the latter agreed to insert a clause in the permission letter it gives every mandal wanting to set up a Ganesh pandal in the city. The clause will make it mandatory for all mandals to not accept sponsorships from gutka, Virginia cigarette and alcohol companies and to not put up their advertisements, whether direct or surrogate.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta confirmed the development. “Last year, they were exercising self-prohibition on the display of such ads. This year, we are looking at making it a clause while granting permission,” he said.

The festival will be celebrated between September 1 and 11 and the number of mandals in the city is set to cross 12,500 from last year’s 11, 914.

Members have also asked the Mumbai Police — that gives NoC regarding noise levels — to ensure mandals don’t play non-religious songs. President of the committee, Naresh Dahibawkar, said most complaints were about vulgar and Bollywood songs being played at the pandals. “We have asked the police to give an NoC only if the mandal agrees to play devotional songs. They are yet to respond on the matter,” he said.

Portland Marijuana Policies

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

cheap camel cigarettes onlineMarijuana possession would be the Portland police department’s lowest enforcement priority under a proposed ordinance that a citizen’s group hopes to get on November’s city ballot.

A group called Sensible Portland turned in 2,100 signatures to the city clerk’s office Tuesday aiming to let voters decide whether Portland should have an ordinance directing police to “refrain from arresting or fining” anybody 21 or older for possession of small amounts of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia unless the person is committing a “violent criminal offense” or has prior convictions for violent offenses.

If the clerk’s office verifies at least 1,500 of the signatures, the Portland City Council will take up the issue. The council would have the option of adopting the ordinance, putting it on the ballot or putting it on the ballot with a competing alternate ballot measure.

Supporters say law enforcement resources can be spent better than arresting people over small amounts of pot.

“In collecting signatures we heard from people of all ages and persuasions and backgrounds who wanted to deprioritize this and get real about how we prioritize our resources,” said John Eder, a former state representative and a spokesman for Sensible Portland. “Furthermore, we want to stimulate a conversation about the end of prohibition of marijuana.”

Michael Sauschuck, Portland’s assistant chief, said he and the city’s legal staff are developing a policy position on the ordinance, but he said he didn’t have an opinion on Wednesday. Sauschuck becomes acting chief in August when the current chief leaves to take the top police post in Cincinnati.

Law enforcement agencies for the most part don’t make simple pot possession a high priority, said Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney, who once worked for the Bangor Police Department. The MDEA goes after drug traffickers, he said, and local police typically charge people with marijuana possession only when officers come across it when responding to other cases, such as assaults, thefts or drunken driving.

McKinney said he would respect the wishes of the community if it wanted to make possession a low priority, but would probably object if the ordinance called for legalization.

“It’s a whole different value if you want to make it legal,” he said. “That’s a whole other conversation.”

Maine is one of 13 states that have passed laws decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. In Maine, possession of less than 2.5 ounces is a civil violation with fines of up to $600.

Dozens of municipalities around the country have been passing “lowest law enforcement priority” laws in recent years, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML. Those ordinances include lowering fines for marijuana possession to zero, mandating that violations be settled in low-level courts or simply directing police to make pot possession a low priority.

“What Portland is trying to do here is part of a long-term national trend that has been accentuated over the past five or six years under this notion of lowest law enforcement priority,” he said.

Still, law enforcement agencies and organizations often oppose initiatives to ease marijuana possession laws — or any drug laws, St. Pierre said.

“Law enforcement is always the first to oppose these, at all levels, from state police to local police to county sheriffs,” he said.

Eder said he hasn’t heard of any organized opposition to the proposal in Portland. The ordinance won’t carry the weight of law but is merely a directive toward police, he said.

“We’re hoping that they would take into account the will of the voter,” he said.