Friday, November 23, 2007

St. Louis Public Smoking Compromise

Let's keep St. Louis a free and tolerant city. What about a reasonable compromise concerning the public smoking policy in St. Louis? This possible public smoking law for St. Louis would keep secondhand smoke away from children and substantially protect workers from secondhand smoke, yet not favor one type of business over another:

Warning signs shall be put up within and at the entrances of any building when smoking is allowed in that building.

No minor shall be allowed access to any building when smoking is allowed in that building.

15 air changes per hour of air filtration and air cleaning, or some equivalent air purification process, shall be ongoing in any building when smoking is allowed.

This law is modelled on the compromise Tennessee public smoking law recently passed:

Air purification would not only remove tobacco smoke, but also viruses, bacteria, chemicals, pollen, dust, mold, fungi and, most importantly, radon decay products, which the EPA claims causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, seven times more than secondhand smoke is reputed to cause. Commercial and industrial air filtration machines are affordable and readily available. Venues thatallow smoking could be retrofitted without expensive ductwork or other construction costs. Please click here to see two HEPA and two electronic air filtration machines. (These technologies can be combined into a single unit.) These are the same machines that currently protect Missouri welders from much more dangerous smoke to OSHA safety standards, they can also protect bartenders from stray tobacco smoke.

The CDC even recommends that such air filtration systems be installed in buildings as a way of protecting workers from airborne chemical, biological or chemical attacks:

Furthermore, an air filtration solution to the secondhand smoke problem would not displace smokers to poorly ventilated private homes and cars. Research has shown that this displacement actually causes the secondhand smoke exposure levels of children to rise in communities in which a smoking ban has been imposed.

I am very concerned for business owners who have sunk their life's savings into their establishments. Smoking bans have hurt and killed many mom and pop businesses in other towns. But if St. Louis government brings truly clean air to smoking establishments thru contemporary air filtration technology, business in these establishments will not be hurt but would instead flourish as new patrons arrive who were kept away by the previous smoke.


  1. St. Louis lawmakers should be made aware of the FIVE pieces (1 magazine article, 3 papers and 1 op-ed),that all came out within about a week's time just a month ago that shared the same theme. This sudden concert of voices backlash at the anti-smoker movement deserves some spotlighting:

    Science and Secondhand Smoke
    The Need for a Good Puff of Skepticism

    By Sidney Zion
    Skeptic Magazine
    Vol. 13, No. 3, 2007, 20-27

    Warning: Anti-tobacco activism may be hazardous to epidemiologic science
    Carl V Phillips
    Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations 2007, 4:13 (22 October 2007)

    Defending legitimate epidemiologic research: combating Lysenko pseudoscience
    James E Enstrom
    Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations 2007, 4:11 (10 October 2007)

    Is the tobacco control movement misrepresenting the acute cardiovascular health effects of secondhand smoke exposure? An analysis of the scientific evidence and commentary on the implications for tobacco control and public health practice
    Michael Siegel
    Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations 2007, 4:12 (10 October 2007)

    Smoke & Mirrors
    Butts, Lies And Public Health

    Op-Ed by Jeff Stier (ACSH)
    NY Post - October 23, 2007

  2. In Hawaii our 4 am closing time bars are the only type of bars that have widespread compliance, they do most of their business after 2 am and compete only with each other.

    As a result of last year's ban, over 10% have closed. They are down 20% per the honolulu liquor commission, after years of slow and steady growth. They are down over 30% if you consider the the ban was only in place 8 out of the last 12 months.

    At least twenty 2 am bars are also out of business, three times the average rate.

    As for health, our death rate is UP! So much for a 40% decline in heart attacks as the AHA continues to lie about. Preliminary evidence also suggest few people have quit as a result. Tourism is down also.

    The anti-smoking lobby also got caught admitting only 38% favor a ban and they only get 85% if they load the question to cover EVERY workplace.

    Hawaii's smoking ban is a disaster and smokers are now militantly awaiting election PAC involvement.

    Note, I am not involved with the tobacco industry in any way.

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