CRA News Alert - January 6, 2010

ALL IN VEIN: This page from the New York City Department
of Health's "How-To" guide--at a cost to taxpayers of $32,000
and gives addicts the ins and outs of how to shoot up.

TOBACCO: The New York City Department of Health now requires this poster to be displayed at all tobacco retailers.

New York City Department of Health Attacks Cigar Enthusiasts, While Offering Heroin "How-To" Guides At Taxpayer's Expense

By: Glynn Loope, CRA Executive Director

 


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We often write about how government has lost its direction and purpose, or makes decisions that are not advantageous to the cigar enthusiasts of the United States. Then there are moments like this week, where a governmental agency takes an action, promotes a policy, or advocates what would be considered less than common sense, and you realize, we are indeed fighting for a just cause.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently mailed posters to the premium tobacconists of New York, mandating their placement “where tobacco is sold.” Well in a tobacco shop, that's everywhere. The significant point is that these are not just your standard “Stop Smoking” posters.

They are graphic (and large) depictions of decayed lungs and teeth. Their very nature, shall we say, does not mesh with the décor and ambiance of some of the world's great cigar shops that you can find in New York City .

In addition, there is a $2,000 fine for failing to post these “informational pieces,” as noted in a letter from Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

The exact same New York Department of Health just spent $32,000 to print 70,000 sixteen-page "How-To" guides on the safety procedures of using...heroin!
(Above, you can see the poster comparison).

 

 

 

 

 
As recently reported in the New York Post, as well as on, CNN, CBS News, the Associated Press and various health websites, the New York Department of Health educates citizens on the proper methods, including “shoot correctly to avoid infection,” “warm your body to show your veins,” and of course, “don't always inject in the same spot.” Amazing.

Local officials are, shall we say, disturbed. New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. called the brochure “sick.” The head of the New York office for the Drug Enforcement Administration stated, “It's basically a step-by-step instruction on how to inject poison.”

The fundamental point we make is, non-elected bodies such as local health departments and boards (and now the US Food and Drug Administration) from Boston to West Virginia and other parts of the nation are making public policy without the vetting process of a legislative body.

To say the least, we are deeply disturbed that the same agency seeking to harm professional tobacconists and mandate dreadful images before their discerning adult patrons, is issuing literature that instructs one on the safe means to use a drug like heroin.

Cigar Rights of America is working with the professional tobacconists and consumers of New York to address this, and related issues that hinder the enjoyment of premium cigars throughout the State of New York .

But this is also a case study for the nation. Over the course of the last twelve months, CRA has confronted too many incidents where non-elected health agencies are developing and implementing public policy, which should have been matters of legislation, not regulation. At least through the legislative process, we have the opportunity to be heard, make our case, and round up votes. Such is not always the case when confronting health agencies, and the regulatory process.
 



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