Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Royale success explained

According to a reporter who is a regular, the Royale smoking ban success, though real, can't be extrapolated to the rest of St. Louis bars. The Royale, he explained, sponsors events for liberal political groups like Planned Parenthood and the Obama campaign whose membership is heavily nonsmoking. The Royale is clearly not a typical St. Louis bar. The reporter also pointed out that the Royale smoking ban began in April. He questioned whether the Royale could keep the ban throughout the next St. Louis winter.

Royale owner Steven Fitzpatrick Smith is wrong to help Smoke-Free St. Louis City create the impression that a citywide smoking ban won't hurt many St. Louis bars. The free publicity Smith has gotten so far won't be worth the resentment he will get if a St. Louis smoking ban ever come to pass.