Jace Smith, director of Missouri State Advocacy for the American Heart Association, in his News-Leader June 26th op-ed, "Support Workplace Smoking ban in Springfield", cites a study published last October in Journal of the American College of Cardiology which found that smoking bans cut heart attack rates 17 percent in communities that impose them. But the Kansas University researchers who conducted that study now admit they made a mistake and have published a correction of their study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The corrected rate of decline is 8 percent. Boston University researcher Dr. Michael Siegel points out that 8 percent is "a rate of decline not significantly different from the levels of decline in heart attacks that are being observed in the absence of smoking bans, which have varied between 5 percent and 10 percent per year in many communities." http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/full/54/20/1902-a http://kansas.watchdog.org/2777/smoking-ban-advocate-says-some-claims-just-smoke/
Springfield Councilmen, smoking ban proponents in both St. Louis and Springfield argue that only strict smoking bans should be passed in order to cut heartattackrates. I wanted to let you know that the most comprehensive study yet conducted concerning the public health effects of smoking bans has found that smoking bans do not decrease mortality rates, hospital admissions orheartattackrates in communities that impose them. The study was conducted by researchers from the Rand Corporation, Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin and the Congressional Budget Office. The National Bureau of Economic Research has already circulated this study, CHANGES IN U.S. HOSPITALIZATION AND MORTALITY RATES FOLLOWING SMOKING BANS, as a working paper, and it will soon be published in a major medical journal. http://www.nber.org/papers/w14790 Please find this study attached.
The researchers summarize their study:
"U.S. state and local governments are increasingly restricting smoking in public places. This paper analyzes nationally representative databases, including the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, to compare short-term changes in mortality and hospitalization rates in smoking-restricted regions with control regions. In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that workplace bans are not associated with statistically significant short-term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases. An analysis simulating smaller studies using subsamples reveals that large short-term increases in myocardial infarction incidence following a workplace ban are as common as the large decreases reported in the published literature."
I also want to alert you to the October publication of a major heartattack study in the European Journal of Epidemiology. The study also found no association between heart attacks and smoking bans. Please find this study, ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SMOKING BANS AND INCIDENCE OF ACUTE MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION, attached to this e-mail. Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health says of this study:
"Importantly, this published study was not considered by the Institute of Medicine committee which reviewed this issue and released its report in October of last year. It was also not considered in published meta-analyses on this topic. Because of the high sample size of this study, it is likely that inclusion of this study in the previous meta-analyses would have negated their results." http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/01/published-study-finds-no-effect-of.html
Councilmen, when St. Louis City and County were considering a smoking ban last summer, we asked Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who conducted the largest secondhand smoke study ever done, completed too late to be included in Surgeon General Carmona's 2006 Report, to summarize his secondhand smoke research as it relates to smoking bans. Dr. Kabat wrote to the St. Louis County Council:
"Yet, since the available evidence suggests that the effects of environmental tobacco smoke, particularly for coronary heart disease, are considerably smaller than generally believed, lawmakers may therefore have greater latitude than generally believed to consider the segregation of smokers and nonsmokers and the use of air filtration as adequate and responsible ways to address the health concerns of ETS in workplaces such as bars and restaurants. If it is possible, through segregation of smokers and nonsmokers and the use of air filtration, to reduce all components of environmental tobacco smoke in establishments where smoking is permitted to the level of the air in non-smoking establishments, there is reason to believe that any risk would be undetectable."
Bar owners across Missouri fear the 11 percent business loss experienced by bars in Columbia. The best science does seem to indicate that workplace smoking can be tolerated by lawmakers if proper ventilation and air filtration is in place.
Keep St. Louis Free is a group that fights to protect the personal freedoms and property rights of St. Louisans from dumb government intervention and harassment. We are willing to help anyone in St. Louis whose freedom and property rights are threatened. We have worked to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse and strongly support the gun rights of St. Louisans. But we have had our greatest success during the past 7 years defending the freedom and property rights of St. Louis City and County business owners from an unjustified smoking ban.
Keep St. Louis Free works to elect and support political leaders who respect the freedoms and property rights of St. Louis citizens.
If you care about St. Louis freedom and property rights, please join. We have fought against all sorts of unjust and irrational theft and restriction by government in St. Louis over years. Our campaign really began with a protest against the taking by St. Louis University head Fr. Biondi of our beloved music venue 20North back in 1999. Though many of our members have a special dislike for smoking bans and a reputation for defeating them, YOU DON"T HAVE TO OPPOSE SMOKING BANS TO JOIN!
My family has lived in St. Louis since the 1840's. I got interested in defending St. Louis freedoms and property rights from dumb government intervention after Father Biondi and the St. Louis Board of Alderman took away my friend's bar, 20 North, just after I had restored its exterior, to tear it down and plant grass. I started "Keep St. Louis Free!" to fight Kurt Odenwald's attempt to put a smoking ban on bars in St. Louis County. I don't want my kids to smoke but I also don't want them to grow up in a country, or a city, where it is illegal for a man to smoke a cigar in a bar. City officials should always err on the side of freedom and property rights.
Contact me at: