On February 12, 2007, I issued a call for the total eradication of the tobacco industry from the face of the planet.

In addition to being the top story on the homepage of the Airspace website, press releases were sent out, worldwide. I also repeated the call on several subsequent radio talk shows...and in [published] letters to the editor, etc.

The response: Literally dozens of good, positive and supportive comments...to ZERO negative comments.

In addition, I issued a challenge, to anyone, to debate any and all tobacco control issues, up to and including the total eradication of the tobacco industry. Again, ZERO response!

One would think that our detractors -- including the tobacco industry itself, as well as its many well-paid puppets -- would be chomping at the bit to debate the issue, but not a peep out of any of them! So I decided to issue a few personal challenges. The list of detractors I contacted, directly, is long and...well, not terribly distinguished (in fact, extinguished is much more appropriate). Just a few of the more high-profile tobacco whores I contacted and challenged to debate:

- Nancy Daigneault, former president of mychoice.ca, Canada's biggest "smokers' rights" group, established and funded -- to the tune of at least $2.5 million (that we know about) -- by Imperial Tobacco. Despite initially claiming that she was ready, willing and able to debate the issue with anyone, anywhere and any time, over a period of several months, her office claimed she was "too busy", then she had a child, then she was just "too busy"...again...and again...and again!;

- Michael Szymanczyk, President and CEO of Philip Morris, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world. This challenge was quickly and flatly rejected simply because my e-mail was...wait for it..."unsolicited.";

- Richard E. Ralston, executive director of a junk science and flat earth pro-tobacco organization called "Americans for Free Choice in Medicine" (sounds pretty official, doesn't it?). After I described Ralston's organization as nothing more than a front group for the tobacco industry (in a letter published in a mid-Oct, 07 issue of USA Today), Ralston got his back up and demanded (and got) a correction published in the paper, prompting my challenge. Ralston's response: He simply continued to deny that he and/or his organization is pro-tobacco, despite a great deal of damning evidence (including his letter to the editor) to the contrary;

- Joe Jackson...yes, the singer/songwriter...and no, I don't know if he has a brother named Peter! Go to his website -- www.joejackson.com -- and click on the "SMOKING" link at the top of the home page! Whether he likes it or not, Jackson is somewhat of a "star"...and a "role model"...and, as such, he bears much more responsibility than your average "Joe Six-Pack" (to borrow an old Peter Warren [former CKNW talk-show host] expression). Jackson, a smoker, has spent a great deal of time and energy "researching" tobacco issues and, like all tobacco whores, denies he is pro-tobacco. And, like most of them, he denies being paid to espouse his B.S. too! Bottom line: After multiple efforts to contact/challenge him, I finally got a response from his staff: Joe was "too busy", both before and after his May 5 Vancouver concert (which Airspace is planning to protest), won't have time for such a debate, blah, blah, blah; and, last but definitely not least...

- a few nasty -- and anonymous, I might add -- Canadian tobacco farmers. For the last few weeks, I've been participating in a mostly civilized 'chat' with several Canadian tobacco farmers from southwestern Ontario. I say "mostly civilized" because most tobacco farmers have read the writing on the wall...and have accepted the facts, unpleasant as they may be. But a very small minority of the farmers can't or won't do that; they want to stand their ground, grab some government hand-outs and keep growing the crap!

THE CALL FOR THE TOTAL ERADICATION OF THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY FROM THE FACE OF THE PLANET CONTINUES...AND MY CHALLENGE, TO DEBATE -- ANYONE...ANYWHERE AND ANY TIME -- ANY AND ALL ASPECTS OF TOBACCO CONTROL STANDS! IT IS NOT A LIMITED-TIME OFFER!

AS ALWAYS, I WON'T HOLD MY BREATH WAITING!

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