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 room when smoking is allowed in that room.
12 air changes per hour of air filtration and air cleaning, or some equivalent air purification process, shall be ongoing in any room where 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 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:http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2003-136/
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.