The anti-smoking industry - National Cancer Society, American Lung Association of Illinois/Iowa, McLean County Health Department, etc. - is trying to further its own interests by using the big lie to sway the debate over whether to ban smoking in Bloomington-Normal.
These zealots have convinced themselves that the health hazards associated with exposure to secondhand smoke are so dire that they are justified in lying to us. Unfortunately, the things they are lying about are the health hazards associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. The EPA declared secondhand smoke a class A carcinogen. According to a federal court, the EPA lied, they cheated on the science. Yet the results of the EPA study are quoted incessantly by the rest of the anti-smoking industry. They perpetuate a lie.
Dr. John C. Bailar III of the University of Chicago is against smoking, but he is also honest. Following is his conclusion as published in the New England Journal of Medicine: "…I regretfully conclude that we still do not know, with accuracy, how much or even whether exposure to environmental tobacco smoke increases the risk of coronary heart disease." The state of the science is much the same for lung cancer, asthma, etc.
There is no moral high ground in this debate. It is about only this: Some of the people who don't like the smell of tobacco smoke want the government to make it go away, regardless of the cost to anyone else.
I am personally opposed to a government-mandated smoking ban. If it goes the other way, I can live with it. But let's at least have an honest debate. We don't have that now.