David Kuneman, a spokesman for Keep St. Louis Free, just sent this letter to post. David is a retired Monsanto pharmaceutical chemist who in recent years has extensively researched issues concerning secondhand smoke and public health. In 2005, David convincingly argued on behalf of the Missouri Restaurant Association before the St. Louis County Council that secondhand smoke in St. Louis County bars and restaurants did not constitute a threat to public health. David's arguments made possible a responsible rejection of County Councilman Kurt Odenwald's proposed smoking ban by the St. Louis County Council. An updated version of this case will soon be sent by Keep St. Louis Free to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, the St. Louis County Council and the entire Missouri legislature.
David Kuneman's letter:
Your blog readers should remember that Kirkwood voters recently rejected a smoking ban.
Kirkwood voters voted 55/45 against the ban because they were aware of the David McArthur study which found severe economic loss due to the Balwin smoking ban.
If the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll had told the truth and informed the respondents that bans DO hurt business, it is doubtful their poll would have reported 61% in favor of a ban in bars, casinos, and restaurants. Also, if the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll had allowed respondents to separately state their preferences for smoking restrictions in bars, casinos, and restaurants, like the 2007 Gallup poll did, it is likely the Smoke-Free St. Louis City poll would have reported results similar to the 2007 Gallup poll.
Remember that Charles Gatton, who sponsored the Ballwin smoking ban, got voted out of office, and so did Kirk Odenwald, who sponsored the St. Louis County ban. In light of all this, it is highly doubtful the Smoke-free St. Louis City poll is an accurate reflection of how our region actually feels about smoking bans.