Skip to comments.Smoker Fumes & Fights Back Defending right to light up
Posted on 05/27/2002 5:47:40 PM PDT by ozone1
Smoker Fumes & Fights Back Defending right to light up
By GREG WILSON Daily News Brooklyn Bureau Chief
Brooklyn cop Audrey Silk says she is out to arrest the tobacco police while protecting fellow smokers from unfair taxes and the pariah treatment.
Unabashed smoker and cop Audrey Silk's lobbying group has recently taken on the anti-tobacco movement with a complaint to the IRS. In her off-duty time, Silk, 37, founded Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) to stick up for folks who light up.
The group recently served a formal complaint to the Internal Revenue Service challenging the tax-exempt status of the New York-based anti-smoking group SmokeFree Educational Services Inc.
Silk says the group is one of many nonprofits that take public money and illegally lobby for their causes.
"As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, they clearly cannot have lobbying as the substantial part of their activities, and that's all they do," Silk said.
Joseph Cherner, founder of SmokeFree Educational Services and a leading tobacco opponent, said in an e-mail from Europe that his group merely wants to promote smoke-free public places and work sites, so people who don't light up don't have to breathe secondhand smoke.
Lobbying Rap Rejected
He denied Silk's charge that his organization lobbies improperly.
"SmokeFree Educational Services is an all-volunteer organization," Cherner said. "There is no paid staff. Like everyone else, I work as a volunteer.
"We spend little or none of our very small budget on lobbying."
IRS spokesman Kevin McKeon would not comment on SmokeFree's activities, but said the law allows some lobbying by charitable organizations, though not much.
"In general, if a substantial part of their activities is lobbying, they could lose their exemption," he said. "There's no set percentage."
Silk received a reply from IRS officials citing the agency's "ongoing program of examining exempt organizations to ensure compliance with the applicable provisions of the internal revenue code.
The information you submitted will be considered in this program."
Smoking Activist Has Had It
But Silk, who says her organization has no ties to the tobacco industry, said Cherner's group is just one of many making life miserable for smokers.
"Adults who choose to smoke have had enough," Silk said.
"It's a daily attack on smokers. Excessive taxation and increased restrictions at the hands of the bullies, the social engineers and the greedy can no longer go unchallenged."
Silk cites as an example a measure passed by the Montgomery, Md., county council that would have allowed residents to be fined for smoking in their homes if fumes spread to a neighbor's residence.
That measure was vetoed by the county executive after a worldwide backlash. But Silk said it shows how far anti-smoking forces are willing to go.
"We're the only class left for people to vent their fury on," Silk said. "It's the same technique used by Goebbels and the Nazis."
Exactly! Pretty smart, I say!
I have been expecting for a long time to see smokers wake up and fight back. The rules, regulations, and laws prohibiting smoking in almost EVERY public place have been creeping up on us for years and almost without even a whimper from the smokers themselves. The unreasonable taxes and penalites for smoking have been passed while the smokers held their tongues. But, when they finally DO wake up and decide to do something about this mess, it is gonna be hell to pay for the nazis who started it in the first place. Just a matter of time, what goes around comes around.
The risks and costs of smoking are well known. If an informed adult chooses to smoke, so be it.
So do I, but AFAIK they're not getting anywhere- all of the big money for the extor..., er, litigation has gone to the lawyers and governments.
Probably be an urban legend, but several years ago I heard a story about a guy who rolled his car, then sued the manufacturer because there was no warning in the owner's manual about the hazards associated with cornering at high speeds.
Or the allegedly factual lawsuit about the character who bought a new Winnebago-type "motor home" -- you know, one of those 30-foot monsters. This guy supposedly got onto the freeway, set his cruise control, and got out of the driver's seat and went in the back to make a pot of coffee!! Of course, the motor home left the freeway at tne next curve and rolled over...and he sued the manufacturor for not making clear warnings not to leave the driver's seat while the vehicle was in motion!!
The cute part was that he won the lawsuit.
I read this on one of those "craziest lawsuit" (the Rachel prize, or something like that) threads.
Smoke all you want but don't make me inhale this garbage.
Let us hope that this group is the first of many. Enough is enough. We've been harassed, penalized, over taxed and forced into being pariahs. Enough is enough. We are shown more hatred and disrespect than most felons.
Do you work on the loading dock and are you forced by your duties to be around Marlboro country?
It's just a matter of time before some slick lawyer figures out how to use the tobacco suits as precedent to sue the makers of candy bars. Overweight people will claim that candy manufacturers took advantage of them and therefore should be made to pay for their greed.
It's not the tobacco that's the problem. The problem is the lawyers and the politicians who are making their careers on the anti-smoking campaign.
And the anti-smokers wonder why we call them nico-nazis.
If they read their history books they would understand.
The noise has been made - but in comparison to the anti-smokers, you're correct it's just a whimper.
In the little tiny state of Delaware, this guy Cherner and his organization sent out 10,000 post cards about the smoking ban.
They've got the money to do it. smokers don't have it - and the tobacco companies don't care
Amen! I quit smoking for five years and unfortunately took up the habit again. However, I respect the feelings of others--I would not presume to light up in the home of a non-smoker, have no problem with the no-smoking rules in the workplace. However, when these Nazis start whining about someone smoking in a home 200 yards away, they have gone over the edge.
My bronchial tubes can deal with cigarette smoke a lot easier than they can tolerate someone drenched in cologne. Maybe we should start an initiative against the cosmetic industry!
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