No opposition at Senate statewide smoking ban hearing

Monday, February 22, 2010 | 9:08 p.m. CST; updated 8:54 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 23, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — No opposition came before the Senate Judiciary Committee to protest a proposed statewide smoking ban Monday evening.

The bill would prohibit smoking in public places, including restaurants, shopping malls and sports arenas. It is more comprehensive than the smoking ban that was passed in St. Louis City and County, which exempts casinos and bars where food sales are less than 25 percent of overall sales.

The state ban would supersede any city bans.

"Secondhand smoke is a toxin," said Jason Sharp, Phelps County Regional Medical Center's director of radiation oncology.

He was one of many who pushed the negative effects of secondhand smoke at the hearing.

Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Jackson County, who chairs the committee, asked if eating french fries should also be banned because it negatively impacts taxpayers who have to pay for Medicaid costs related to obesity.

"Because that's the slope were on," he said. Bartle said he finds smoking offensive and would support the bill but is concerned that a de facto ban on smoking might lead to banning other habits.

Other proponents of the bill also pointed to increased Medicaid and Medicare costs related to diseases caused by smoking and the minimization of social smoking to those trying to quit.

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Marlene Bakken February 22, 2010 | 9:26 p.m.

You know that surgeon general's report that you would give up freedom for?
Health Facts And Fears
Everything else:

Much like the newly exposed global warming debacle, which is nothing but an excuse for the government to legitimize the extreme taxation it would bring, the second hand smoke issue is nothing more than a way to control a huge segment of the population, perhaps as much as 1/2 of it or more. The newly created obesity 'crisis' that has kids feeling guilt, not love, is nothing more than a way for big pharma's controlled FDA to further limit our choices and thus our very freedom! Another state I will never again visit!

(Report Comment)
Marlene Bakken February 22, 2010 | 9:28 p.m.

Let's hope that the next Congress and Senate will have the guts to shut down this kind of rubbish! If they don't we WILL find some who will! This nannying from ANY anti this or that group must stop! I know many professionals (educated) who will NOT work under smoke-free rules and have quit! So how many of the brightest and best has the professional world lost due to the preference of those less educated? How many business owners will have lost everything due to those with their snobby anti-smoker bullying?

(Report Comment)
Marlene Bakken February 22, 2010 | 9:41 p.m.

""Secondhand smoke is a toxin," said Jason Sharp"
Let's just tell the rest of the story here!
Some of the carcinogenic substances found in trace amounts in tobacco smoke are also in food!
Tar - smoked foods.
Arsenic - Because arsenic is so widespread, many foods contain significant amounts of
arsenic. For most humans our greatest single exposure source is through food and
water. Foods may contain 10 to 100 ug of arsenic per kilogram (ppm). The
normal dietary arsenic intake is about 25-50 ug per day.
Cadmium and nickel - Fruits and vegetables, especially grains, potatoes and leafy vegetables like spinach, grown in soils with high levels of cadmium, may contain elevated levels of cadmium. Shellfish and organ meats, like liver or kidney, often contain more cadmium than other foods.
Green, brown and white beans are high in nickel, as are kale, leeks, lentils, lettuce, spinach, peas and sprouts made from beans and lucerne, figs, pineapples, prunes and raspberries, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, wheat bran and other fiber products including muesli. Fiber tablets and multigrain breads also have high amounts of nickel. Most meats, poultry and fish are fine for consumption in regard to nickel content. Shellfish like prawns and mussels, however, contain high amounts of nickel. High amounts of nickel can be found in food items that include almonds, linseed, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds and large amounts of baking powder. Sweets that contain chocolate, marzipan, nuts and strong licorice may also have a high nickel content. Same with beer, wine (especially red), herring, mackerel, tuna, tomatoes, onions, carrots and citrus fruits
Vinyl chloride - Vinyl Chloride is a gas that is used in the production of vinyl chloride homopolymer and mixed polymer resins. Low levels of the monomer (up to 1 ppm) may be present in the polymer used in food packaging.
Creosote - The major sources of human exposure to coal-tar creosote are contaminated hazardous waste sites, wood treatment facilities, and wood products treated with creosote.

(Report Comment)
Marlene Bakken February 22, 2010 | 9:41 p.m.

Formaldehyde - A major source of formaldehyde that we breathe everyday is found in smog in the lower atmosphere. It is also used as a preservative in some foods, such as some types of Italian cheeses, dried foods, and fish. Formaldehyde is found in many products used every day around the house, such as antiseptics, medicines, cosmetics, dish-washing liquids, fabric softeners, shoe-care agents, carpet cleaners, glues and adhesives, lacquers, paper, plastics, and some types of wood products.
Polonium 210 - Plants fertilized by rock phosphates contain polonium-210.
Other irritant toxins that are found in cigarette smoke are:
Ammonia - People suffering chronic liver disease are usually advised to reduce their consumption of foods that typically produce ammonia in the bloodstream. These include:
Cheese, Buttermilk, Hamburger, Potatoes, Peanut butter, Chicken, Gelatin, Ham, Onions, Salami.
Acetone - Acetone can be found as an ingredient in a variety of consumer products ranging from cosmetics to processed and unprocessed foods. Acetone has been rated as a GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) substance when present in beverages, baked goods, desserts, and preserves at concentrations ranging from 5 to 8 mg/L.9 Additionally, a joint U.S-European study found that acetone’s "health hazards are slight.
Acrolein - Foods, such as fried foods and roasted coffee, may contain small amounts of acrolein.
Hydrogen cyanide - Hydrogen cyanide is found in nature in some vegetable substances, e.g., bitter almond, peach stones, cherry and cherry laurel leaves, and sorghum; it is usually combined in glycoside molecules (see sugar ) and is released when they are broken down by enzymes during metabolism.
Carbon monoxide - Meat packagers have received a green light from the FDA to use carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is used in modified atmosphere packaging systems in the US, mainly with fresh meat products such as beef, pork, and fish to keep them looking fresh.
Toluene - Toluene can be taken up into fish and shellfish, plants, and animals living in water containing toluene.

(Report Comment)
Bill Hannegan February 22, 2010 | 9:59 p.m.

St. Louis groups opposed to smoking bans knew nothing of the hearing. Were smoking ban proponents from St. Louis at the hearing?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 23, 2010 | 8:56 a.m.

Marlene Bakken wrote:

"Foods may contain 10 to 100 ug of arsenic per kilogram (ppm)."

Actually that's ppb (parts per billion). Ppm is mg/kg, or ug/gram.

A lot of heavy metals that are taken in through foods are not absorbed. In places where human feces are used as fertilizer, cadmium can build up in foods because it keeps getting returned to the soil in feces.

I agree the health hazards of second hand smoke are often overstated. There are many other sources of the chemicals in tobacco smoke, and in tiny amounts, have never been shown to be significant health hazards.


(Report Comment)

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