This article by reporter Mark Schlinkmann, published in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch on page A3, appears to signal the end of the effort by smoke-free air opponents to overturn O’Fallon’s recently-approved ordinance via a petition drive.
I received this comment on the article from a smoke-free air supporter which he permitted me to share:
“… I thought Pepper actually had helped our cause. You’ve got to admit, the guy is so wacko that I suspect some voters voted for the ordinance in reaction to him.
He has become a sideshow, kinda like Hannegan. Maybe the voters will put him out of his misery next time he’s up…
The idea that voters didn’t know what they were voting on is also specious. There was lots of publicity, and Pepper had been howling like an old yellow dog for a month or more.”
Readers comments on-line include the following from some opponents and supporters:
Bill Hannegan said on: April 26, 2011, 2:36 am
The O’Fallon smoking ban conflicts with definition of public places established by Missouri state law. I hope Councilman Pepper brings that up to the Council. … Most St. Charles County residents favor exemptions for smoking in bars and cocktail lounges, which this law does not allow.
Shrill Flanagan said on: April 26, 2011, 8:51 am
Hey ClydesdaleFan and Wandering Hebrew, me and Bill Hannigan (sic) don’t care what the voters think or what the science says. We want to smoke where we want to smoke. We will use the “business’ right to choose” argument until the very end. Second hand smoke is a myth. Anyone can fake being sick. We can’t help it if we are addicted to tobacco. After all, nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man – so don’t blame us! When you see us smoking, have a heart.
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
edantes1701 said on: April 26, 2011, 11:06 am
Harleyrider… apparently the Surgeon General disagrees with the acting head of OSHA. Does the acting head of OSHA have a medical degree?
In 1986, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that exposure to SHS can cause disease, including lung cancer, in non-smokers; simple separation of smoker and nonsmoker within the same air space does not eliminate exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke. (3)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Health Promotion and Education, Office on Smoking and Health, 1986. DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 87-8398.
I’d personally be interested in seeing a copy of the letter from Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA, quoted by harleyrider1978 above.
BY MARK SCHLINKMANN • email@example.com > 636-255-7203 | Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 12:20 am | Comments (27 as of April 26, 2011, 11:09 am)
O’FALLON, Mo. • City officials Monday blocked an attempt to spur a second election on a smoking ban passed by voters three weeks ago.
City Clerk Pam Clement said the city charter and ordinances don’t allow gathering of signatures for a referendum on a law passed through the initiative petition process, such as the smoking ban.
”The power of referendum … encompasses only ordinances enacted by the City Council.” Clement said in a letter to Carrie Ellis of a group called Repeal the Ban. “It does not extend to ordinances enacted directly by the people of the city through initiative.”
Clement issued her decision after consulting with City Attorney Kevin O’Keefe.
Ellis said last week that many residents weren’t aware how far-reaching the ban was before this month’s election. The ban passed with almost 73 percent support.
Ellis on Monday said “we will review our options and decide at that point how best to proceed.”
However, Jim Mueller, a leader in a Veterans of Foreign Wars post who planned to work on the referendum effort, said, “We feel we’re kind of dead in the water.”
The ban takes effect June 16.
City Councilman Jim Pepper, an outspoken critic of the ban, repeated that he’ll try to get the council to make changes. He said it’s possible that critics would mount an initiative drive to amend it.