HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — A proposal to expand Berkeley County’s ban on smoking in public places to include bars and fraternal organizations is getting pushback from some business owners, like Gail Kesecker — the owner of the Long Branch Saloon and Grill in Hedgesville.

“This is the bars and you have to be 21 to enter.  There’s gambling.  We have the lottery machines here, so it’s a choice.  It’s a choice to enter,” argued Kesecker.  “If they choose to smoke, that should be an adult’s choice.”

Kesecker, who was a guest on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” was planning to be part of a public forum on the proposal, scheduled for Wednesday night, at the Robert C. Byrd Sciences Center in Martinsburg.

The public comment period for the ban’s expansion ends on Saturday.

Supporters have said the proposal could save lives by keeping non-smokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke.

But, Kesecker maintained, the more restrictive regulations are not needed.  “There’s non-smoking bars in the area.  They have places for people who don’t smoke to gamble and go to bars, but I think it should be our choice,” she said.

Members of the Berkeley County Health Department’s Board of Directors are expected to take up the proposed ordinance during a meeting on May 6.

A similar proposal is also being considered in Hancock County.

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  • Jim

    All of harleyrider1778 statements are from studies that were funded from the tobacco companies. Can't trust any facts put out by them.

  • harleyrider1778

    Illicit Lobbying
    Report: Local health departments illegally used federal stimulus money to lobby

    April 16, 2013 2:15 pm

    At least seven local health departments illegally used stimulus grant funds to lobby for greater taxes and restrictions on tobacco and unhealthy foods, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonprofit watchdog group.

    The stimulus-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program disbursed about $373 million intended to educate the public about tobacco use and obesity. Federal law prohibits grantees from using the funds for lobbying activities.

    According to the group Cause of Action, local health departments from Alabama to California used the funds to devise or promote legislation designed to curb tobacco use or combat obesity.

    The report detailing the allegations is the product of a 19-month investigation into the CPPW program.

    “[Cause of Action’s] investigation revealed that CPPW money went to support lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and high calorie products,” the report said.

    The report said illicit uses of CPPW grant funds “essentially transform[ed] the CPPW program into a conduit for lobbying for higher taxes and bans on otherwise legal consumer products.”

    Federal law prohibits grant recipients from using federal grant funds to influence “an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation.”

    Internal guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which administers the CPPW program, clarifies that the law applies “specifically to lobbying related to any proposed, pending, or future federal, state, or local tax increase, or any proposed, pending, or future requirement or restriction on any legal consumer product.”

    Cause of Action executive director Dan Epstein criticized the CDC for faulty oversight in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. He also said specific CPPW grantees may have “committed not just violations [of lobbying prohibitions], but fraud.”

    According to internal communications from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) obtained by Cause of Action through public records requests, DHEC officials altered meeting minutes in order to hide the involvement of officials involved in grant fund disbursements after CDC expressed concerns about the use of grant funds for lobbying activities.

    “The DHEC stated outright that the purpose of altering the minutes was to hide the fact that its CPPW program coordinator had directed illegal lobbying in the pursuit of smoke-free ordinances,” according to the Cause of Action report.

    The DHEC did not return a request for comment.

    DHEC grant activities, like those of other state health agencies examined in the report, were explicitly geared toward specific legislative goals. Its application for CPPW funding said it would use taxpayer funds to “increase the support for and adoption of comprehensive smoke-free laws.”

    While that proposal and similar ones from other states appeared to violate laws governing the use of federal grant funds, Epstein says the CDC has made no effort to effectively oversee the CPPW program.

    “It’s not just a sign of misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Epstein said. “In fact, there’s some indication that the CDC encouraged this to occur.”

    Previous investigations of the CPPW program have produced similar findings.

    According to the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC’s parent agency, federal guidelines for CPPW grant recipients “appear to authorize, or even encourage, grantees to use funds for impermissible lobbying.”

    Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce cited that report and apparent violations of the lobbying prohibitions in multiple communications with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the CPPW program. The committee’s investigative panel examined the program during a 2012 hearing.

    Annual CPPW disbursements are scheduled to grow to about $2 billion in 2015. When expenditures increase six-fold, Epstein said “we’re in a serious situation, because we’re going to undoubtedly see six times the fraud.”

    Florida’s Miami-Dade County Health Department, one of the agencies singled out in Cause of Action’s report, denied any wrongdoing in a statement emailed to the Washington Free Beacon.

    The Department “did not utilize any of the CPPW funding for lobbying activities, nor does the Department have any reason to believe that any of its contracted providers did so either,” said spokeswoman Olga Connor. “The Department of Health’s contracts specifically bar any provider from utilizing the CPPW funds for any type of lobbying activities.”

    The CDC did not return request for comment. Miami-Dade County was the only local government highlighted by Cause of Action to return a request for comment.


  • harleyrider1778

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:


    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study...........................

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    • Jim

      Facts from a study funded by the Tobacco Companies.

  • harleyrider1778

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition


    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ''SAFE LEVELS''


    All this is in a small sealed room 9x20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    "For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    "Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    "For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  • northforkfisher

    If a bar or other commercial establishments invest in the new filtration system, then leave it up to them.
    When I used to drink, I knew if I went to a bar there would be smoking. Both are advertised together, show in the movies together, and usually picked on together.

  • Larry

    'Excuse me, Mr. Bartender-Man, I am trying to get drunk so I can drive home and have unprotected sex with some skank I just met tonight -- this guy's blowing smoke in my face. And some more deep-fried cheese, when you get a chance.'--Auggie Smith

    • DWL

      Maybe they are enjoying themselves. They are getting lucky, at least from your description. Unlike you, gettin' some stopped as soon as you said "I DO", 'cause she don't no more.

  • David

    Remember who the county commissioners are and vote them out of office!

    They are behind this and allow it to happen.

  • David

    Unelected officials have no right to make laws.

    It's that simple.

    Health departments have no constitutional authority to do this.

    • harleyrider1778

      Tobacco Control Scotland has admitted it has no record of any deaths or demonstrable harm caused to anyone from second hand smoke as the UK Govt pushes forward the idea of third hand smoke, aka Invisible Smoke, without any evidence at all.

      Bill Gibson, The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) chairman, was interested to know how many actual deaths and respiratory illnesses were recorded in Scotland from passive smoking, given the reported guesstimate 13,000 figure which is repeated parrot fashion year after year.

      He put in an FOI request and found that there wasn't one death or respiratory illnesses attributed to SHS or tobacco. Perhaps I should repeat that. Not one death has been recorded in Scotland as definitely related to tobacco smoking or passive smoking.

      If we did the same the world over we would get the same answer.

    • harleyrider1778

      Tobacco Control Scotland has admitted it has no record of any deaths or demonstrable harm caused to anyone from second hand smoke as the UK Govt pushes forward the idea of third hand smoke, aka Invisible Smoke, without any evidence at all.

      Bill Gibson, The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) chairman, was interested to know how many actual deaths and respiratory illnesses were recorded in Scotland from passive smoking, given the reported guesstimate 13,000 figure which is repeated parrot fashion year after year.

      He put in an FOI request and found that there wasn't one death or respiratory illnesses attributed to SHS or tobacco. Perhaps I should repeat that. Not one death has been recorded in Scotland as definitely related to tobacco smoking or passive smoking.


      If we did the same the world over we would get the same answer.

      Remember this story from last year:

      B.S. Study: 600,000 People Die Worldwide From Secondhand Smoke Every Year


    • harleyrider1778

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Zero Deaths From 2nd Hand Smoke
      Where are the deaths?
      If people who work in bars die from secondhand smoke, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last 4 years show ZERO DEATHS from exposure to harmful substances or environments?
      http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0259.pdf This data is for 2011. (pg38 of 53). Notice that 31 people died while working in a "drinking place"(which my bar is classified as). 27 deaths were by violent injuries by persons or animals(?). 2 died by fires or explosions. I don't know where the other 2 deaths are listed however, there are 0 deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
      So where are these deaths from SHS?
      Notice 2010 under this below. In 2010, there were 28 total deaths, 25 from violence and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
      0250.pdf (pg 18).
      In 2009, 32 deaths of bar workers. 31 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
      http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0241.pdf (pg 18)
      In 2008, 35 deaths of bar workers. 32 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
      http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0232.pdf (pg 18).
      They aren't crawling out and dying in the parking lots either. We would have noticed 'em."
      Sheila Martin

  • Shadow

    Somehow we have given unelected dictators to impose their will on private property. Hitler and Stalin would be pleased. This done under the old "We're from the Government and we are here for your health and safety.

  • Jim

    Part of an Article from Time.

    Areas that restrict public smoking saw a prompt and sustained decline in both hospital admissions and deaths from a variety of causes related to smoking, including heart disease, stroke, and many lung conditions. In these regions, the UCSF researchers showed an average decline in heart attack hospitalizations of 15% — less than the Mayo Clinic study, but, the California authors note, their analysis took an average of hospitalizations; some regions may have benefited from far fewer health effects attributable to smoking, while others saw slighltly less benefit.

    “All people should avoid secondhand smoke to the extent possible, and people with coronary heart disease should have no exposure to secondhand smoke,” the authors of the Mayo Clinic study wrote, noting that many of the heart-related health problems of smoking occur in non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke. They say that their data should support continued expansion of smoke-free laws.

    • harleyrider1778

      Heart miracles are impossible
      It's good to see Dr. Carl V. Philips back and blogging over at Ep-ology. In his last two posts he has been discussing the North Carolina heart miracle 'study', which is as bad a piece of advocacy-driven junk science as you will ever see.

      In particular, he makes a point which I have tried to made before, which is absolutely fundamental to all the heart miracle studies. The results they report—of heart attacks falling by 17%, 21%, 40% or whatever—are simply impossible.


      The North Carolina smoking ban/heart attack hoax


      Carl V Phillips
      I am a researcher and consultant in areas related to epidemiology, scientific epistemology, and social research. I spent most of my career as a professor of public health and now work independently, primarily through Populi Health Institute and the Institute's major project, TobaccoHarmReduction.org.

      Absurd claims about the effects of smoking place restrictions, North Carolina edition (Part 1)


      Is that a fact?
      The big lie has returned. From NPR:

      When smoking is banned in bars and workplaces, the number of people who suffer heart attacks and die drops within months, according to two new studies.

      They found benefits not only in saving lives, but in lowering the cost of medical care for heart attacks, stroke and other smoking-related illnesses. It's the best evidence yet demonstrating big, swift health improvements when secondhand smoke is banished.

      "We should now accept this as fact," says Richard Hurt, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic who led one of the studies. Tobacco industry arguments that secondhand smoke isn't a major risk factor for heart disease, he says, are "just nonsense," because the only risk factor that changed in those 18 months was secondhand smoke. People's cholesterol and blood pressure stayed the same, and obesity rates increased.

      And the man who invented this fraudulent field of pseudoscience is on hand for a comment of his own:

      "It's just a gigantic effect," says Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF, and a leader on the study. "There's nothing else you can do that's going to have that big an effect that fast."

      Forgive my scepticism, Stanton, it's just that every time hospital admissions data are publicly available, they show these 'heart miracle' studies to be castles made of sand.

      The latest effort focuses on Olmstead County, Minnesota, where the heart attack rate fell by 33 per cent between 2001 and 2009. All the ingredients of a heart miracle scam are in place.

      Yes, these—ahem—'findings' were published by press release a year ago.

      Yes, it's another small locality.

      Yes, there's no control group to compare it to.

      Yes, the timeframe studied is peculiar (the smoking ban was enacted in 2007).

      Yes, heart attack rates have been falling all around the world with or without smoking bans (in the UK, for example, the heart attack rate fell by 50 per cent between 2002 and 2010.)

      And yes, once again, the hospital admissions data make a mockery of the claim that the smoking ban 'caused' the fall in heart attacks. As Michael Siegel showed yesterday, the heart attack 'plunged' by a similar rate in the rest of Minnesota. And today, he has found data which show that the heart attack mortality rate which was falling steeply before the ban and then rose after it. Oh dear.

      Thus, it is clear that the observed 33% reduction in heart attacks in Olmsted County during the study period is not attributable to the smoking ban.

      Note that even if one looks only at hospital admissions for heart attacks in Minnesota, there was a 23% decline in these admissions between 2001 and 2006 alone (the data is not provided by HCUP past 2006). However, if one extrapolates to the year 2009 based on the secular rate of decline in the 2001-2006 period, the estimated number of hospital admissions for heart attacks in 2009 represents a drop of 34% from 2001.

      In other words, in the absence of a smoking ban, heart attack admissions in Olmsted County would have been expected to drop by 34%. In the presence of the smoking ban, heart attack rates dropped by 33%.

      Thus, it appears that the observed decline in heart attacks in Olmsted County is roughly representative of the overall trend in heart attacks in the state as a whole. In this light, the present study hardly supports a conclusion that the Olmsted County smoking bans produced a 33% decline in heart attacks.

      If these are "definitive" results, I'd hate to see what "tentative" results look like.

      Quite. Frankly, this is getting boring. It's the same crude trick again and again. Stop it.

    • DWL

      Isn't "Time" bankrupt? Seems it was publishing any garbage they thought would sell their rag. They failed!

  • DWL

    Why not ban coffee in all workplace environments? The effects of caffeine seem to adversely affect humans! The government has their hands in our pockets, our wallets, ease drop on our phones and social conversations, and now they administer a proctology exam to everyone, whether we wanted it or not. The health department has turned into yet another Gestapo agent of the crime organization called government.

    • Jim

      DWL peoples coffee consumption does not hurt others around them. However smoking hurts those around them not just the user. Simple concept if you think about it. Secondhand smoke kills.

      • Sam

        Neither does smoking. Actual effects of second hand smoke are negligible unless your source of info is TC (RJW Foundation funded) propaganda. That's not the point though. The point is that you, as an adult, have free will and can choose not to enter private property where people smoke. Smoking is a legal activity. There is no excuse for banning it on private property or within private establishments. It's rather arrogant of people to think that all private property should be to their personal preference at the expense of the rights and freedoms of their fellows.

  • epeer

    It should be the owners choice. When my girlfriend and I make a choice to go to a bar and socialize, we go to Maryland. No smoking there, just many, many people enjoying themselves without smoke.

    • Jim

      Why should it be the owners choice to kill the people that come to his or her bar that do not smoke. And don't say it is a choice to go there. The guy delivering the beer has no choice to go in if he is not a smoker. Not to mention the health inpector that has to go in to do his job. Or what about the band he may have booked. What about them?

      • Sam

        Kill people? That's a bit histrionic but then it's typical of the cult of anti-smoking. Hyperbole and emotional rhetoric is not a valid argument.

      • jlk40

        Beer delivery is made through the kitchen to a walk in, a non smoking area. A band knows if an establishment is smoking or not. They do not need to play at a smoking establishment if they do not want to be around smoke.

  • jlk40

    The smoking ban is about people losing their rights and the government controling private businesses. Smoking is a legal activity, banning it from bars is as ridiculious as banning alcohol and gambling from bars. All of these activities can have negative affects on people's lives. However, it's my choice to go into a bar and be around smoke.

    • harleyrider1778

      Springfield Business Journal: Smoking Ban Taking a Toll

      Lauren Matter


      8:59 p.m. CDT, October 2, 2011
      Four months into Springfield's city wide smoking ban, some businesses are seeing a decline in revenue.

      The owner of one Springfield bar, Tailgaters Pub and Eatery on South Scenic Avenue, says they have been losing $1,000 a week since the ban went into effect and had no choice but to close the first weekend of October.

      Other pubs and restaurants are seeing a revenue decline as well.

      The numbers range from 25% to a 45% drop in the amount of money they're bringing in now compared to before the ban.

      Owners say it's difficult to manage cash flow and employment levels.

      What's More Dangerous: The Effects of Smoking or a Smoking Ban?
      Some local business owners are not pleased with the effects of the city's smoking ban.

      It has affected us in a bad way," he confesses. "We have lost probably 15-20 percent of our business since the smoking ban has gone into place. We used to get a late crowd of people ordering drinks and maybe an appetizer, but we don't have that anymore.

  • taylorcollins

    Oh, just something else someone has to control and feel they have some power over. good way to lose a lot of customers.

  • Mary W

    Why don't they go ahead and ban alcohol consumption in bars as well? I've never heard of anyone killing a family in a car crash because they had just smoked a cigarette.