ethel’s words

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Probably because of my essays regarding smoking tobacco and what I shall now call “Urban Myths” (which may or may not be basically factual) I have had the privilege of reading a letter to the Utah State Legislature written by Philip Tomassian, I believe a private citizen. His letter is at

Reflecting upon that letter, and my subsequent reading of the decision of U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen, that smashes present belief in the “evidence” of damage from “second-hand smoke”, I am amazed that I was shocked. I, the cynic? I who rather quickly rejected the pronouncements that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer/cancer, on the basis that the reports lacked, not only intellectual vigor, but any real information on the endless “studies”. I still have not rejected the possibility that smoking may cause cancer. I reject the attempts to convince with evidence drawn from a tiny portion of possible carcinogens.

I am incredulous that I have not seen facts about the faulty Environmental Protection Agency report, documented by Judge Osteen, in any publication that I read. They include magazines that may try to emulate Ramparts Magazine of the Sixties, but utter only a mutter where Ramparts shouted. So maybe there really was something truly special-distinctive-about the protestors of The Sixties: Courage.

While Judge Osteen may be prejudiced, it would hardly balance the prejudice on the other side--religious, blind faith with no need for facts. Actually, there is reason to believe that Judge Osteen’s words were free of prejudice; he has found in favor of government in other tobacco cases. When his decision was reversed, it was on procedure; there has been no challenge to his substantive facts.

Who has read those decisions and stayed mum? Am I, in my admittedly old age (I am an openly elderly woman of 84), isolated from the uncensored news sources in my country? Where, what, should I be reading? Was there censorship? In my Civil Libertarian view, nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies censorship. (Security matters are secret, not censored.)

My essays rejecting the reports that smoking causes (any) cancer are entirely lacking in primary sourcing. I write for fellow-citizens (hoping that at least some of my words might reach them) who read news reports and anti-smoking advertising, and should, I believe, find the same holes in the reports that I thought I found. My first raging denunciation of the incessant warnings about smoking was in November, 1993. Before that, I complained about the lack of concern about general air pollution combined with the obsession about cigarette smoke as one of numerous violations noted in a challenge to Bonneville International, Inc. (KSL complex) broadcasting license renewal.

I still can hardly believe that so stunning a decision as Judge Osteen’s, could be kept hidden from the general public. Was it for sure, or am I simply lost at the wayside? That a science-based, health-protecting Federal government agency, charged with “environmental protection” would falsify a study (conclusion reached before the research was done) was shocking to me. Other reports that did not satisfy me I simply considered inadequate, not (most of them) dishonest.

What else is so successfully covered up by the “corporate media”, who are slaves to the “corporate advertisers”, who are totally devoted to money-grubbing and have no inkling that some humans have, and respect, ideas of ethics? What else?

Ethel C. Hale