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2000 – Smokeman (a.k.a. Brian Salmi) — a self-described superhero — arrived in Prince George from Vancouver Tuesday to defend the rights of smokers against the “tyranny of the Workers’ Compensation Board.”

Prince George Citizen (Prince George, B.C.)
June 14, 2000
Page 1</b
Holy smokes, it’s.…
SMOKEMAN!
Johny Caribou

Faster than a struck match. Stronger than the aroma of pipe tobacco. Able to leap a carton of Player’s in a single bound. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s someone from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. No!

Look! At the end of the bar — it’s Smokeman — complete in striped green tights and two-inch disco heels.

Smokeman (a.k.a. Brian Salmi) — a self-described superhero — arrived in Prince George from Vancouver Tuesday to defend the rights of smokers against the “tyranny of the Workers’ Compensation Board.”

A WCB panel is meeting Thursday at the Civic Centre to discuss the pros and cons of smoking in the workplace.

“I hate social engineering,” Smokeman said to a small, earnest crowd. “That’s what this is. It has nothing to do with workers’ health. It’s behaviour modification.”

Smokeman says smoking is being targeted as socially less acceptable in public places. He says smokers are meant to feel like pariahs because of their habit and that bars and restaurants are the last bastion for them to light up in comfort.

“The WCB’s job is to get people to quit,” said Smokeman. “Well they can’t. The governments can’t criminalize tobacco for being harmful for your health. What’s next? Booze? Cheeseburgers?”

Smokeman says there is no consensus within the scientific community regarding second-hand smoke being a risk to workers’ health.

The WCB panel is travelling to Prince George, Kelowna and Nanaimo to hold hearings on smoking in the workplace. Smokeman will be at all three seminars at the Civic Centre, scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

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