Monday, August 03, 2009

James Repace and County Casinos

Dear Councilman Fraser,

Last meeting, Mr. Pion presented a study by James Repace to the Council arguing that a certain number of casino workers would die each year if the Council does not intervene.

Please take any death toll put forward by James Repace with a grain of salt. Shortly after Dr. Repace completed his Pennsylvania casino study, I caught him floating conflicting press releases three days apart, one claiming 44 Pennsylvania casino workers would die annually due to secondhand smoke exposure and another claiming merely 8. The Pennsylvania Business Times asked me to write an editorial challenging Dr. Repace on the disparity. Shortly afterwards, Reason Magazine had a bit of fun with the affair. I

I don't like to be mean-spirited toward Dr. Repace, but please don't rely soley on Dr. Repace's calculations when considering a smoking ban for County casinos. According to Martin Pion, Repace today only claims 6 deaths per year. Don't base a ban on smoking in St. Louis County casinos on research as shaky and confused as this.

Bill Hannegan