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''Comparing the plight of smokers to the Jews under the Nazis is twisted"
Evidence from Hitler's anti-smoking campaign

To the Editor,

How appripo that on the day The Sun reports that the St.Boniface Hospital is going to start throwing bleeding people in wheelchairs,amputees,women who had just given birth and are bleeding out in the freezing cold to have a cigarette(their sister institution the H.S.C.did this at the same time they were systematically butchering babies because of their race.Remember the"Sinclair Inquiry Into The Baby Deaths"?)the Sun considers it"twisted"to compare these antics to Hitler.

There was a lot more to the Nazi agenda than just yellow stars and death-camps.Anti-smoking activism was one such area. Hitler's goal was a "secure and sanitary utopia".The anti-smoking campaign was one instance of the Nazi campaign for"racial and bodily purity".Before modern Canada Hitler embarked on a program of tripling taxes on cigarettes,draconian restrictions on indoor smoking,and a goofy, largely anti-semitic ,propoganda campaign against smoking.The results?Smoking rates actually increased 50% in Germany between 1932-39,while staying stable next door in France during the same period.(Although the prize packages from German academic medicine who testified before a tribunal about how non-Aryan babies were systematically slaughtered because of their race,when they weren't throwing bleeding people in wheelchairs out in the freezing cold to have a cigarette-Hitler for the most part allowed smoking in restaurants).

For the record Germany passed a law forbidding Jews from smoking in 1938.Jews were denied coupons nessesary to purchase cigarettes.(This was later extended to pregnant women and to all women under 25).Images of second-hand smoke invariably contained images of dollar signs and Stars of David.Nazi anti-smoking posters contained carictatures of Hasidic Jews trying to lure an "Aryan"youth to take up smoking.Smoking was depicted in posters as the vice of"capitalists,Jews,Africans,degenerate intellectuals,and loose women."Hitler in fact called tobacco"the wrath of Red Man against the White Man for having been given hard liquor."Smoking was considered"a genetic poison to the Aryan Race."

I would just like to quote The Sun a brief excerpt from The British Medical Journal(BMJ No 7070 Volume 313)by Penn St.historian Robert N Proctor"The anti-tobacco campaign of the Nazis:a little known aspect of public health in Germany,1933-45"

"Smoking was banned in many workplaces,government offices,hospitals and rest homes.The NSDAP(National sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)announced a ban on smoking in its offices in 1939,at which time SS chief Heinrich Himmler announced a smoking ban for all uniformed police and SS officers while on duty.The Journal of the American Medical Association that year reported Herman Goering's decree barring soldiers from smoking on the streets,on marches and on brief off-duty periods.Sixty of Germany's largest cities banned smoking on streetcars in 1941.Smoking was banned in airaid shelters,though some shelters reserved seperate rooms for smokers.During the war years tobacco rationing coupons were denied to all pregnant women(and to all women bellow the age of 25)while restaurants and cafes were barred from selling cigarettes to female customers.

From July 1943 it was illegial for anyone under the age of 18 to smoke in public.Smoking was banned on all German city trains and buses in 1944,the initiative coming from Hitler himself,who worried about exposure of young female conductors to tobacco smoke.Nazi policies were heralded as marking'the beginning of the end of tobacco use in Germany'."

At the conclusion of this e-mail I will forward a couple of cartoons in seperate e-mails,some anti-smoking cartoons from Julius Streicher's Der Sturmer that I found on a holocaust site on the Internet.Streicher who was hanged at Nuremberg said"Der Sturmer is not a Sunday paper."

Warren Klass

Hennepin chairman wants stricter smoke-free policy

Mark Brunswick
Star Tribune
Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Smoking would be forbidden on all county-owned property and for all on-duty county employees, even in their own cars, under a resolution introduced Tuesday by Hennepin County Board Chairman Randy Johnson.

The proposal drew immediate opposition from leaders of the largest union representing county workers, who, while reluctant to appear to be pro-tobacco, said the plan would unfairly infringe on workers' rights.

Smoking was banned inside all county-owned facilities in 1993. The latest resolution would designate a 15-yard smoke-free radius around every street-level entrance by Sept. 15. It also would forbid smoking on the section of S. 6th Street that is spanned by the Hennepin County Government Center.

By 2003, there would be no smoking on any county property, including the fountain area outside the Government Center, which is popular for the lunch-time smoking crowd. Nor could county workers light up in the field, even in their own cars "while paid by the county and performing county duties," said Johnson, who has been a leader nationally in antismoking policies at the county level.

Steve Marincel, business representative for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council No. 14, which represents about 5,000 county workers, said his union would object to the measure.

"You have to balance the rights of the [individuals] against each other," he said. "As long as it is on a regular break, an employee who wants to have a cigarette on county grounds should have the right to do so. It may be unhealthy, but smoking isn't against the law."

Behind the plan
County officials believe they have legal standing to restrict smoking on county grounds, including sidewalks, because of the threat of secondhand smoke as a recognized health hazard. They acknowledge that it will be more difficult enforcing the provisions in employee-owned automobiles.

The board did not vote on the proposal, advancing it instead to a June 13 meeting to encourage more discussion.

Board Member Mary Tambornino, chairwoman of the county's Health Committee and an advocate of antismoking campaigns, said stricter rules would send a strong message discouraging children from smoking.

"We tell them 'don't smoke,' and then we make it impossible to get into our building without running the gauntlet," she said.

While supportive of more restrictive smoking policies, Board Member Penny Steele said the ban in personal vehicles may go too far. "That's more than I think I can do," she said.

Sue Zuidema, director of the county's Community Health Department, which is supporting the stricter measures, said county officials conducted an informal survey to determine the extent of antismoking policies elsewhere.

There are no absolute prohibitions on smoking outside the State Capitol, city-owned buildings in Minneapolis or St. Paul, or on Ramsey County grounds, she said. She also said county officials knew of no other prohibitions restricting smoking in personal vehicles. In the private sector, Cargill prohibits smoking on its grounds, part of a larger corporate pattern, Zuidema said.

The stricter policies were designed to correct the misperception that smoking is prevalent in society, Zuidema said. Surveys show that youth believe that as many as 60 percent of the adult population smokes, when the figure is about 20 percent, she said.

A smoker's view
Hennepin County employees who smoke currently must step outside their buildings during breaks or at lunch. Crews performing work outside, such as public-works employees on highways, are permitted to smoke, but not in county-owned vehicles.

County employee Cate Wagner, a smoker for 30 years, stood outside the plaza on the Government Center on Tuesday, taking in a smoke. She works nontraditional hours in her job with community corrections, frequently away from the office, and said she believes parts of the proposed policy may be unenforceable. She smokes a pack a day, down from a high of three packs while living in North Carolina. She says she enjoys it.

"I wrote a note and asked them, 'Who's going to pay for all the smoking police to be watching people while they drive around in their cars?' " she said. "I didn't get an answer back."