Monday, May 19, 2008

Smoking ban proponent asks, "Can we compromise?".

A smoking ban proponent has started a thread on Smoking Topix called "Can we compromise?" that seeks discuss moderate public smoking laws that will serve cities like St. Louis better than a strict ban. So far this thread has attracted over 800 posts.

This same smoking ban proponent just posted an excellent comment under my recent online ventilation letter to the Post-Dispatch. I wish the antismoking movement had more members like this fellow! Here is his St. Louis Post-Dispatch comment:

I have to admit that I am definitely pro ban. I believe that second hand smoke is harmful. I also believe that some type of compromise is possible. Although air filtration systems and ventilation have faults, they do clean the air. There will be some residual second hand smoke but there will be less radon and less pollutants from sources such as auto exhaust. I do not think that children (anyone under the age of 18) should be subjected to second hand smoke. I also think that it is important for people to be able to go out to eat without having to be subjected to second hand smoke. It would be nice if the market forces took care of that, but unfortunately it is not happening on a large enough scale. Many of us have to eat where smoking is allowed (in the smoking section). It would be great if we did not have to do that.

I feel that filtration and ventilation could be used to allow smoking provided that there was a measure of the level of nicotine or another component of second hand smoke and this level was kept below a certain level. I would further submit that the venues that allow smoking only be accessable to individuals 18 or over regardless of whether alcohol is served or not.

This would give St Louis smokers a place to congregate and smoke. At the same time it would provide places to go for those of us who feel that the evidence that second hand smoke is harmful.

Obviously this is a compromise that will not sit well with the hard liners on either side of the smoking ban issue, but will probably suit the needs of the vast majority of voters who would welcome lawmakers who had the foresight to look over the rabid comments from either side and come up with a fair and equitable solution for all.

— Nick
8:25 pm May 19th, 2008