Sunday, January 25, 2009

St. Louis and St. Charles don't want a smoking ban in bars!

Several St. Louis County mayors are calling for a smoking ban:

Do St. Louisans want a smoking ban? A 2007 survey by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services found that only 24.5 percent of St. Louis City residents favor banning smoking in bars and cocktail lounges. Support for such a ban in St. Louis County and St. Charles County is only slightly stronger at 30 and 31.2 percent. A ban on smoking in bars is favored by only 27.5 percent of Missourians overall. These local numbers line up with the latest Gallup Poll, which found that only 29 percent of Americans support a smoking ban in bars. This is pretty slim popular support for such a Draconian restriction of freedom and property rights.

Over the past four years since Odenwald's attempted ban, bars and restaurants across St. Louis that want to continue to allow smoking, though already compliant with OSHA air quality standards, have voluntarily installed air filtration technology that can make their air cleaner than the air outdoors. These St. Louis venues don't need a smoking ban. This talk of a smoking ban discourages their good efforts.