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Missouri lawmakers introduce statewide smoking ban

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | 5:51 p.m. CST

KANSAS CITY — A state lawmaker has filed a joint House-Senate resolution that would let voters decide whether to add to the state constitution a ban on smoking in public places.

State Rep. Joe Fallert, a Ste. Genevieve Democrat, says he's not sure the measure he introduced last week will gain much traction this session, but he thinks it's an issue important enough to put before voters.

"It's just kind of a blanket no-smoking resolution," Fallert said, noting there are no exemptions in the initial wording for places such as bars or casinos. "I know that if it gets anywhere, there's room for compromise."

The only other time a statewide smoking ban has been proposed in the legislature was last year, when a bill by state Sen. Joan Bray, a St. Louis Democrat, received little support and never got a hearing.

Several Missouri communities have instituted their own smoking bans in recent years, including Kansas City, the largest city in the state with such restrictions. Its ban includes bars and restaurants but exempts casino floors, where nobody under 21 is allowed.

Many other cities, including St. Louis, have rejected attempts to ban smoking in public places. Much of the anti-ban argument has revolved around the feared economic impact of such a measure, especially at bars and restaurants.

Before Kansas City's ban on smoking went into effect in June, the local Chamber of Commerce's board voted to support it, mainly for health reasons, said Pam Whiting, vice president of communication for the chamber.

"At the time we were considering the petition, a number of restaurant members expressed their concerns," Whiting said. However, since the city's ban was enacted, Whiting said she hasn't heard many complaints.

Theresa Ruiz, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society in Kansas City, said a statewide ban would help people whose workplaces allow smoking.

"We've seen such a large number of individuals coming in for programs and services we provide who had lung cancer and had never been smokers," Ruiz said. "Many of those people worked in restaurants and bars that usually don't provide insurance. That's one of the things that propels us to get involved."

She said the American Cancer Society is generally opposed to exemptions in smoking bans, such as the one for casinos. But when Kansas City's ban was up for debate, the national board felt "it was a step in the right direction," Ruiz said.


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Comments

Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:37 p.m.

-"Toxic Toxicology" Littlewood & Fennel

Coming at OSHA from quite a different angle is litigator (and how!) John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Banzhaf is on record as wanting to remove healthy children from intact homes if one of their family smokes. He also favors national smoking bans both indoors and out throughout America, and has litigation kits for sale on how to get your landlord to evict your smoking neighbors.

Banzhaf originally wanted OSHA to ban smoking in all American workplaces.

It's not even that OSHA wasn't happy to play along; it's just that--darn it -- they couldn't find the real-world science to make it credible.

So Banzhaf sued them. Suing federal agencies to get them to do what you want is, alas, a new trick in the political deck of cards. But OSHA, at least apparently, hung tough.

In response to Banzhaf's law suit they said the best they could do would be to set some official standards for permissible levels of smoking in the workplace.

Scaring Banzhaf, and Glantz and the rest of them to death.

Permissible levels? No, no. That would mean that OSHA, officially, said that smoking was permitted. That in fact, there were levels (hard to exceed, as we hope we've already shown) that were generally safe.

This so frightened Banzhaf that he dropped the case. Here are excerpts from his press release:

"ASH has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against OSHA...to avoid serious harm to the non-smokers rights movement from adverse action OSHA had threatened to take if forced by the suit to do it....developing some hypothetical [ASH's characterization] measurement of smoke pollution that might be a better remedy than prohibiting smoking....[T]his could seriously hurt efforts to pass non-smokers' rights legislation at the state and local level...

Another major threat was that, if the agency were forced by ASH's suit to promulgate a rule regulating workplace smoking, [it] would be likely to pass a weak one.... This weak rule in turn could preempt future and possibly even existing non-smokers rights laws-- a risk no one was willing to take.

As a result of ASH's dismissal of the suit, OSHA will now withdraw its rule-making proceedings but will do so without using any of the damaging [to Anti activists] language they had threatened to include."
-ASH Nixes OSHA Suit To Prevent Harm To Movement

Looking on the bright side, Banzhaf concludes:

"We might now be even more successful in persuading states and localities to ban smoking on their own, once they no longer have OSHA rule-making to hide behind."

Once again, the Anti-Smoking Movement reveals that it's true motive is basically Prohibition (stopping smokers from smoking; making them "social outcasts") --not "safe air."

And the attitude seems to be, as Stanton Glantz says, if the science doesn't "help" you, don't do the science.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:37 p.m.

Using EPA figures on the emissions per cigarette of everything measurable in secondhand smoke, they compared them to OSHA's PELs.

The following excerpt and chart are directly from their report and their Washington testimony:

CALCULATING THE NON-EXISTENT RISKS OF ETS

"We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained--very few, of course, because it's difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS.

"We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.

"Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.

"Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.

"For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published "danger" threshold.

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

"At the lower end of the scale-- in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?

"Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room -- a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we've been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.

"It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat."

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:38 p.m.

THE AIR ACCORDING TO OSHA

Though repetition has little to do with "the truth," we're repeatedly told that there's "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

OSHA begs to differ.

OSHA has established PELs (Permissible Exposure Levels) for all the measurable chemicals, including the 40 alleged carcinogens, in secondhand smoke. PELs are levels of exposure for an 8-hour workday from which, according to OSHA, no harm will result.

Of course the idea of "thousands of chemicals" can itself sound spooky. Perhaps it would help to note that coffee contains over 1000 chemicals, 19 of which are known to be rat carcinogens.
-"Rodent Carcinogens: Setting Priorities" Gold Et Al., Science, 258: 261-65 (1992)

There. Feel better?

As for secondhand smoke in the air, OSHA has stated outright that:

"Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded."
-Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

Indeed it would.

Independent health researchers have done the chemistry and the math to prove how very very rare that would be.

As you're about to see in a moment.

In 1999, comments were solicited by the government from an independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:39 p.m.

Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger
Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D.
Published In: Environment & Climate News
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is an unpleasant experience for many nonsmokers, and for decades was considered a nuisance. But the idea that it might actually cause disease in nonsmokers has been around only since the 1970s.

Recent surveys show more than 80 percent of Americans now believe secondhand smoke is harmful to nonsmokers.

Federal Government Reports

A 1972 U.S. surgeon general's report first addressed passive smoking as a possible threat to nonsmokers and called for an anti-smoking movement. The issue was addressed again in surgeon generals' reports in 1979, 1982, and 1984.

A 1986 surgeon general's report concluded involuntary smoking caused lung cancer, but it offered only weak epidemiological evidence to support the claim. In 1989 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged with further evaluating the evidence for health effects of SHS.

In 1992 EPA published its report, "Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking," claiming SHS is a serious public health problem, that it kills approximately 3,000 nonsmoking Americans each year from lung cancer, and that it is a Group A carcinogen (like benzene, asbestos, and radon).

The report has been used by the tobacco-control movement and government agencies, including public health departments, to justify the imposition of thousands of indoor smoking bans in public places.

Flawed Assumptions

EPA's 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.

Even so, the EPA report was cited in the surgeon general's 2006 report on SHS, where then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona made the absurd claim that there is no risk-free level of exposure to SHS.

For its 1992 report, EPA arbitrarily chose to equate SHS with mainstream (or firsthand) smoke. One of the agency's stated assumptions was that because there is an association between active smoking and lung cancer, there also must be a similar association between SHS and lung cancer.

But the problem posed by SHS is entirely different from that found with mainstream smoke. A well-recognized toxicological principle states, "The dose makes the poison."

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:39 p.m.

Accordingly, we physicians record direct exposure to cigarette smoke by smokers in the medical record as "pack-years smoked" (packs smoked per day times the number of years smoked). A smoking history of around 10 pack-years alerts the physician to search for cigarette-caused illness. But even those nonsmokers with the greatest exposure to SHS probably inhale the equivalent of only a small fraction (around 0.03) of one cigarette per day, which is equivalent to smoking around 10 cigarettes per year.

Low Statistical Association

Another major problem is that the epidemiological studies on which the EPA report is based are statistical studies that can show only correlation and cannot prove causation.

One statistical method used to compare the rates of a disease in two populations is relative risk (RR). It is the rate of disease found in the exposed population divided by the rate found in the unexposed population. An RR of 1.0 represents zero increased risk. Because confounding and other factors can obscure a weak association, in order even to suggest causation a very strong association must be found, on the order of at least 300 percent to 400 percent, which is an RR of 3.0 to 4.0.

For example, the studies linking direct cigarette smoking with lung cancer found an incidence in smokers of 20 to around 40 times that in nonsmokers, an association of 2000 percent to 4000 percent, or an RR of 20.0 to 40.0.

Scientific Principles Ignored

An even greater problem is the agency's lowering of the confidence interval (CI) used in its report. Epidemiologists calculate confidence intervals to express the likelihood a result could happen just by chance. A CI of 95 percent allows a 5 percent possibility that the results occurred only by chance.

Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology's gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19--an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality--the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:40 p.m.

EPA Study Soundly Rejected

In November 1995 after a 20-month study, the Congressional Research Service released a detailed analysis of the EPA report that was highly critical of EPA's methods and conclusions. In 1998, in a devastating 92-page opinion, Federal Judge William Osteen vacated the EPA study, declaring it null and void. He found a culture of arrogance, deception, and cover-up at the agency.

Osteen noted, "First, there is evidence in the record supporting the accusation that EPA 'cherry picked' its data. ... In order to confirm its hypothesis, EPA maintained its standard significance level but lowered the confidence interval to 90 percent. This allowed EPA to confirm its hypothesis by finding a relative risk of 1.19, albeit a very weak association. ... EPA cannot show a statistically significant association between [SHS] and lung cancer."

In 2003 a definitive paper on SHS and lung cancer mortality was published in the British Medical Journal. It is the largest and most detailed study ever reported. The authors studied more than 35,000 California never-smokers over a 39-year period and found no statistically significant association between exposure to SHS and lung cancer mortality.

Propaganda Trumps Science

The 1992 EPA report is an example of the use of epidemiology to promote belief in an epidemic instead of to investigate one. It has damaged the credibility of EPA and has tainted the fields of epidemiology and public health.

In addition, influential anti-tobacco activists, including prominent academics, have unethically attacked the research of eminent scientists in order to further their ideological and political agendas.

The abuse of scientific integrity and the generation of faulty "scientific" outcomes (through the use of pseudoscience) have led to the deception of the American public on a grand scale and to draconian government overregulation and the squandering of public money.

Millions of dollars have been spent promoting belief in SHS as a killer, and more millions of dollars have been spent by businesses in order to comply with thousands of highly restrictive bans, while personal choice and freedom have been denied to millions of smokers. Finally, and perhaps most tragically, all this has diverted resources away from discovering the true cause(s) of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

Dr. Jerome Arnett Jr. (jerry.arnett@gmail.com) is a pulmonologist who lives in Helvetia, West Virginia.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:41 p.m.

FOX NEWS ARTICLE
March 8, 1998

Passive smoking doesn't cause cancer - official
By Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent

THE world's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect.

The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organization, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report.

Despite repeated approaches, nobody at the WHO headquarters in Geneva would comment on the findings last week. At its International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon , France , which coordinated the study, a spokesman would say only that the full report had been submitted to a science journal and no publication date had been set.

The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) - and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups.

Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer. The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:42 p.m.

The results are consistent with their being no additional risk for a person living or working with a smoker and could be consistent with passive smoke having a protective effect against lung cancer. The summary, seen by The Telegraph, also states: "There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood."

A spokesman for Action on Smoking and Health said the findings "seem rather surprising given the evidence from other major reviews on the subject which have shown a clear association between passive smoking and a number of diseases." Roy Castle, the jazz musician and television presenter who died from lung cancer in 1994, claimed that he contracted the disease from years of inhaling smoke while performing in pubs and clubs.

A report published in the British Medical Journal last October was hailed by the anti-tobacco lobby as definitive proof when it claimed that non-smokers living with smokers had a 25 per cent risk of developing lung cancer. But yesterday, Dr Chris Proctor, head of science for BAT Industries, the tobacco group, said the findings had to be taken seriously. "If this study cannot find any statistically valid risk you have to ask if there can be any risk at all.

"It confirms what we and many other scientists have long believed, that while smoking in public may be annoying to some non-smokers, the science does not show that being around a smoker is a lung-cancer risk." The WHO study results come at a time when the British Government has made clear its intention to crack down on smoking in thousands of public places, including bars and restaurants.

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:49 p.m.

Its amazing what a touch of the truth can do to a propaganda story like this.....dont feel alone these bans are paid for by johnson and johnson pharma thur the robert wood johnson foundation where they use the american cancer society and the american lung association as theyre political action groups to force the bans thru so that big pharma can make billions off of smoking cessation drugs....
The smoke free groups target a state,they run a scam poll to try and prove the population overwhelmingly supports a smoking ban law....They get the local liberal news outlets to come on board to spread the psudo-fake poll and then the horror stories of second hand smoke garbage gets spun acroos the air waves for weeks prior to the vote....All your getting is propagandized by psudo-science and liberal-progressive medical professionals paid to endorse smoke free policies.....even surgeon general carmona had to take back his claim of no-safe level when he couldnt provide not one single death due to supposed shs/ets.........he came back and said the 60,000 a year deaths were computer generated just like his story of no safe levels.......Its all a bunch of crap science meant to scare people into submission....Dont be fooled by SCARE TACTICS........Learn the truth........and the govmnt sure isnt spreading the truth much less these folks at prohibition central...they even want to outlaw obese people from eating in restaraunts.....

(Report Comment)
Harley Ryder January 26, 2009 | 6:50 p.m.

Mississippi Legislature
2008 Regular Session
House Bill 282
House Calendar | Senate Calendar | Main Menu
Additional Information | All Versions

Current Bill Text: |

Description: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.

Background Information:
Disposition: Active
Deadline: General Bill/Constitutional Amendment
Revenue: No
Vote type required: Majority
Effective date: July 1, 2008

History of Actions:
1 01/25 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Judiciary B

----- Additional Information -----

House Committee: Public Health and Human Services*, Judiciary B

Principal Author: Mayhall
Additional Authors: Read, Shows

Title: AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FROM SERVING FOOD TO ANY PERSON WHO IS OBESE, BASED ON CRITERIA PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO PREPARE WRITTEN MATERIALS THAT DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN THE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS OBESE AND TO PROVIDE THOSE MATERIALS TO THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO MONITOR THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

----- Bill Text for All Versions ----
| As Introduced (Current)

Information pertaining to this measure was last updated on 01/29/2008 at 11:24
End Of Document
.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 26, 2009 | 7:12 p.m.

I'd almost be inclined to say I love you, Harley Ryder..... LMAO!

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 26, 2009 | 7:49 p.m.

As ray shapiro said here before and elsewhere your smoking rights cease to exist when that noxious smell permeates my nose and my personal space.

If I allow you to smoke in my personal space that is a privilege but when you rudely blow that nasty noxious air into my face we have an issue.

Yes there are alot of considerate smokers out there that actually have manners but for every single individual good one there are 100 who are just plain rude. Those are the ones that make it bad for all.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 26, 2009 | 8:44 p.m.

Well then Chuck, I suggest that you make sure that you bathe every day too, because that same principle applies to those that have have a foul BO.....

So, do you want o pass an ordinance against people that don't bathe daily? Maybe the homeless?

Same principle, since you seem to concede that here are no health concerns with second hand smoke.....

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 26, 2009 | 8:59 p.m.

Hey Rick:
You don't need to be a bloodhound to appreciate this one...
(Farting in Public is Now Illegal in America | Harry Nads HeadquartersSep 25, 2008 ... Nevertheless, it is now illegal to fart in public in America. Police in Virginia have arrested a man and charged him with battery for ...
http://www.harrynads.com/farting-in-publ...)
***Who's to say BO isn't next for the smell police?***

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 26, 2009 | 9:15 p.m.

Actually Ray, farting in public has been illegal for a long time.. Do you know what Disturbing The Peace REALLY means?

Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 574
Offenses Against Public Order
Section 574.010

August 28, 2008

Peace disturbance--penalty.

574.010. 1. A person commits the crime of peace disturbance if:

(1) He unreasonably and knowingly disturbs or alarms another person or persons by:

(a) Loud noise; or

(b) Offensive language addressed in a face-to-face manner to a specific individual and uttered under circumstances which are likely to produce an immediate violent response from a reasonable recipient; or

(c) Threatening to commit a felonious act against any person under circumstances which are likely to cause a reasonable person to fear that such threat may be carried out; or

(d) Fighting; or

(e) Creating a noxious and offensive odor;

(2) He is in a public place or on private property of another without consent and purposely causes inconvenience to another person or persons by unreasonably and physically obstructing:

(a) Vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or

(b) The free ingress or egress to or from a public or private place.

2. Peace disturbance is a class B misdemeanor upon the first conviction. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, peace disturbance is a class A misdemeanor. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, a person shall be sentenced to pay a fine of no less than one thousand dollars and no more than five thousand dollars.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1984 S.B. 602, A.L. 1993 S.B. 180)

(1987) Where paragraph (c) of subdivision (1) of subsection l of statute contemplates punishing a person for any and all utterances that if carried out would constitute criminal offenses under Missouri law, no distinction is made as to the degree of criminal activity, that portion of statute is overbroad and is facially invalid. State v. Carpenter, 736 S.W.2d 406 (Mo. en banc).

Read definition (e).

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 3:18 a.m.

Maybe we should also go so far as to set laws against internet harassment such as goes on around alot of local forum boards by those who think they run those sites and chase others off who do not agree with their one sided opinions. Oh wait there are those laws in place already.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 4:21 a.m.

Oooh, a legal threat from Chuck because he's getting owned on the Trib Board...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 27, 2009 | 2:25 p.m.

Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 3:18 a.m.

Maybe we should also go so far as to set laws against internet harassment such as goes on around alot of local forum boards by those who think they run those sites and chase others off who do not agree with their one sided opinions. Oh wait there are those laws in place already.

Or, maybe we should just let the majority rule on those issues, Chuck........ LOL!

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 27, 2009 | 3:24 p.m.

Back on subject of the thread itself:

I hope it does pass even if it is a tight vote and if it does not pass it keeps going back again and again and again until it does one way or the other.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 27, 2009 | 3:31 p.m.

If the proposal even makes it out of committee, I will be surprised. State legislators seem to have a little more sense about this than some of the local legislators around the state. The amount of press this issue received is amazing considering the bill from the last session didn't make it out of committee either.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 27, 2009 | 7:18 p.m.

Bill Pass? NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 27, 2009 | 7:21 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ian Griffith June 19, 2009 | 5:19 p.m.

I found an Electronic Cigarette that allows me to smoke in banned areas and I really like it. The reason is because when you exhale there is no smoke only vapor and they allow you to choose the level of nicotine that you want. Friday on CNN they did a piece on the Electronic Cigarettes and said the same thing plus a number of other positive points.
If you want to check it out go to this link

http://myinlife.com/smokeelc

(Report Comment)
sharon bankson February 18, 2010 | 10:09 a.m.

The anti-smoking laws do not prohibit smoking. There are many places I and most of my friends cannot go because of the liberal anti-smoking laws that Springfield Mo has enacted that still allows smoking in bars and some restaurants. We miss many dancing and music venues as well as the opportunity to sit with friends over a beer or mixed drink. Why should we be unable to go to these places because a smoker wants to smoke inside. The results of non-smoking laws in restaurants and other inside venues has proved that it does not affect their business. Since Springfield enacted its non-smoking in restaurants (not all restaurants but many) we have eaten out more than ever before. It is not an infringement on smokers rights but rather an infringement on non-smokers and those who have quit because of the medical problems smoking has caused. Do not pretend there is no danger. My father died of emphysema, my brother died of lung cancer as did my uncle. They were all smokers. My mother has COPD and has never smoked but lived in an era when avoiding smoke was nearly impossible. Everyone should be able to enjoy going wherever they wish without having to "smoke"! I choose not to smoke, actively or passively and should have that right!

(Report Comment)

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