Smoking banned on Columbia Public Library grounds

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 10:48 p.m. CDT; updated 12:25 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 17, 2010

* This article has been changed to correct the number of Callaway County Library District Board representatives present at the meeting and a misspelled name. A previous version of this story said there were only two representatives from the Callaway County Library District Board.
*This article has been changed to correct the number of the final vote. A previous version of this story misstated how many people voted in favor of the measure. Mike Luebbert's name spelling has also been changed.

COLUMBIA – The Daniel Boone Regional Library Board on Thursday voted  10-3 in favor of banning smoking on Columbia Public Library grounds.

Columbia Public Library Board trustee Rosie Gerding initiated the ban, which she said she thought would be good for everyone.

"I would just like to see us be a leader and out front with this," Gerding said of the ban. "There were enough customer complaints about this issue that it was time to move forward on it."

Gerding originally filed a motion to ban smoking on all Daniel Boone Regional Library grounds, which would include facilities in Ashland and Fulton. Further discussion raised the issue of the indoor smoking ban on Fulton's November ballot and whether the board should make a decision about smoking on behalf of Fulton.

While Fulton was represented by four* board members at the meeting, the board agreed smoking was a "hot topic" in Fulton.

"If we pass this now, it's for all the properties," Mike Luebbert* of the Callaway Library Board said of the original proposal during the discussion. He noted that smoking is still legal in coffee shops and bars in Fulton.

Callaway Board member Tonya Hays-Martin also objected to a smoking ban in Fulton.

"We haven't had the problem," she said.

After Gerding's* original motion failed 5-9, Columbia Board member David Webber filed a motion to ban smoking on all Columbia Public Library property, leaving Ashland and Fulton smoking bans to be decided at a later date.

This motion passed *11-3.

Columbia Board member Susan Breyfogle said she didn't vote for the overall ban because "it's a very hot topic in Fulton right now, and we're letting them decide what they want to do."

Although she doesn't know when the ban will come up for debate in other libraries, Breyfogle said she believes "eventually the whole country will be smoke-free."

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Gregory Brown September 17, 2010 | 10:45 a.m.

Is there money in the Library budget for enforcement of the ban? Or will patrons now rat out the smokers huddled around cars in the lots? Maybe the coffee kiosk can sell nicotine gum to enable temporary puff respites. I, too, would like to live in a totally smoke free county but would be willing to cut some slack for the addicts.

(Report Comment)
John Erkle September 18, 2010 | 6:47 a.m.

They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France ...

I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor ... but not greater than pollen!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 18, 2010 | 1:47 p.m.

("John Erkle September 18, 2010 | 6:47 a.m.
They have created a fear that is based on nothing")

Whether it's fear, concern, or just addressing common courtesy and good sense towards nonsmoking adults and children, I and others find inhaling cigarette smoke from the mouths of strangers as offensive, negligent, and an intrusion on my person and senses.

Individuals engaged in public smoking is more dangerous than public spitting and less offensive than public urination.
It does however become a hazard to others perpetrated by the cancer stick burner.

Inhaling the smoke from another person's cigarette makes it more difficult for me to breathe, gives me nausea, sets off my asthma, makes my eyes tear,makes my heart race and triggers a migraine.

If a puffer can't control where their smoke goes and it impacts my health and peace of mind, should I not be able to accuse them of some kind of assault on my person and psyche?
If I can not, then I rely on the private land owner to ensure that there is a no smoking policy on their private property.

And while spitting in their direction would be unhealthy, unsanitary and illegal, it should be legal for me to use a water pistol to shoot a stream at the tip of their cigarette if they are allowed to ruin my breathing experience. Afterall, it's only a little harmless water...
("Study Confirms Dangers of Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Outdoors")

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 18, 2010 | 2:54 p.m.

Well, as a person who quit smoking 13 years ago, I should be in the ranks of the "never want to smell tobacco smoke again" crowd. But I'm not.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, of which (a)benzpyrene (Google is your friend) is a prime example, are the most carcinogenic compounds known. They have been conclusively shown to be the carcinogenic agents in cigarette smoke. It takes, on the average, 20 years of mainstream (not secondhand) exposure to these chemicals to cause cancer, and still, only 1 in 6 lifelong smokers get lung cancer.

If youi don't like the way cigarette smoke smells, than avoid it. But occasional exposure to it is not a health hazard.


(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 18, 2010 | 3:41 p.m.

Ray, unfortunately that link is to a story about a study and not the actual study itself, so it doesn't resonate with me. I find it hard to believe that someone can be so deathly allergic to secondhand smoke that a brief exposure while walking into a building causes such a profound reaction (that's not to excuse those smokers who can't puff their cancer sticks somewhere else).

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 18, 2010 | 10:16 p.m.

("I find it hard to believe ...")

If you believe I'm just blowin' smoke, read on.
If you believe breathing in noxious fumes have no effect on my well being, then there's little I can do to convince you otherwise, unless you'd like to sit in with a visit with my doctor or hang out with me for a couple of days. There's a reason why Services for Independent Living and other agencies protect sensitive folk from smoke and other "trigger smells."
There are physical/mind/emotional connections as it relates to second hand smoke, its chemicals and odor.
And when a smoker asks me if I mind if they smoke, I might say I don't mind...but I'm just being nice to their addiction...I really do mind.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 19, 2010 | 2:19 a.m.

Page 1 of 10 REASONS FOR BANNING SMOKING IN CERTAIN PUBLIC OUTDOOR AREAS * 1. Careful scientific studies - based upon both highly accurate mathematical modeling techniques as well as actual real-life measurements - have shown that concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke in many outdoor areas are often as high or higher than in some indoor areas and that the [1] risks posed by such outdoor exposure, while small to most individuals, are well beyond generally accepted norms when large numbers of people are involuntarily exposed.
4. In cases where drifting tobacco smoke was present and a nonsmoker suffered a heart attack, asthmatic attack, or other similar problems, the municipality which owns and operates the beach, park, playground, etc. could be liable since it was on notice of the known health dangers but failed [9] to take the "reasonable" step of banning smoking as taken by many other outdoor areas.
6. Even aside from health hazards, being forced to breathe tobacco smoke is annoying and irritating to most people, especially the almost 100 million Americans who have chronic conditions like [12] asthma and bronchitis which make them especially susceptible to tobacco smoke, and young [13] children who are also especially sensitive. It should be noted that many activities are banned in [14] public places simply because they are annoying or irritating, even if they do not pose a health hazard. Common example are playing loud music on portable radios or boom boxes, engaging in [15] sexually provocative activity, using profanity, dressing in inappropriately scanty attire, drinking alcoholic be verages, etc. 7. Many of the 96 million Americans who have chronic conditions like asthma and bronchitis which make them especially susceptible to tobacco smoke have been held to be entitled to protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA]. Thus, if their medical conditions mean that they [16] cannot enjoy lying on a blanket at the beach or in a park for a concert where smoking is generally permitted, they may be entitled by law to a reasonable accommodation, presumably one which protects them from drifting tobacco smoke. * Prepared as a public service by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) , 2013 H St. , NW, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 659-4310. ASH is a national tax-exempt legal-action organization concerned with the problems of smoking and protecting the rights of nonsmokers.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 19, 2010 | 2:29 a.m.

"Careful scientific studies - based upon both highly accurate mathematical modeling techniques as well as actual real-life measurements - have shown that concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke in many outdoor areas are often as high or higher than in some indoor areas"

I don't have time to track down the report (other than the one immediate link I saw at the link you posted) at this time, but the claim that concentrations of secondhand smoke in outdoor areas is higher than indoor areas seems false on its face. What I saw in the link from the link you posted ( made it seem like all of the measurements were hours-long and not the brief exposures that would occur walking into a building.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 19, 2010 | 2:30 a.m.

("HUD’s Non-Smoking Policy Notice for Public Housing Could Stamp Out Tobacco for Good:
AAHSA views this as an encouraging development given that, as HUD noted, elderly populations — which make up 15 percent of the residents living in public housing — are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of smoking.
Source and more:
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 19, 2010 | 2:45 a.m.

As of yet, I have been unable to find any reports, studies or ascertations that breathing in the smoke from other people's tobacco cigs is healthy, prefered or desireable by the second party.
If I find any, I'll let you know.
Until then, have a good weekend.

(Report Comment)
john erkle November 4, 2010 | 10:47 p.m.

Repace is a nut job.........his mathematics has a long way to go to be right.......jacob grier I believe it was tore repaces numbers apart.....repace even claimed it would take tornadic winds to remove tobacco smoke......the man should be hospitalized......Its repace who you will find signed onto nearly every govmnt second hand smoke study out there and even after his federal govmnt career.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.