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Bill Hannegan, a leading St. Louis-based opponent of smoke-free air who maintains the blog KEEP ST. LOUIS FREE! recently copied me on an e-mail accusing Smoke-Free St. Louis of making false claims in support of smoke-free air laws.
His e-mail was addressed to Diana Benanti of the Smoke-Free St. Louis City Coalition, and copied to the following local political leaders: Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein, St. Louis Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, City of St. Louis President Ald. Lewis E. Reed, and County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser.
Mr. Hannegan was again claiming that ventilation is an acceptable alternative to comprehensive smoke-free air laws. It is not, as indicated in my reply to Mr. Hannegan below:
Subject: Re: Smoke-Free St. Louis False Claim -> MoGASP begs to disagree
Date: July 2, 2010 4:31:31 PM CDT
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org & 9 more…
Thank you for copying me on your e-mail to Diana Benanti of the Smoke-Free St. Louis City Coalition.
As a physicist who has spent considerable time studying the effectiveness of ventilation systems at eliminating the risks posed by secondhand smoke I disagree strongly with your conclusion. Ventilation systems may reduce the risk but not to an acceptable level. Only a totally smoke-free environment in a building can do that.
I have the data to back this up, obtained by an independent environmental consulting company for Missouri GASP, but it has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. I hope to get around to submitting it as a paper one day, but I have no doubt as to its validity.
However, another peer-reviewed paper I coauthored that also relates to the effectiveness of smoking rooms and some of the same basic science was published in March 2004 by the British Medical Journal in it’s international publication Tobacco Control under the title “Airport smoking rooms don’t work” and may be found here:
Martin Pion, B.Sc.
President, Missouri GASP
On Jul 2, 2010, at 1:38 PM, Bill Hannegan wrote:
Smoke-Free St. Louis:
Smoke-Free St. Louis has lobbied the Clayton Board of Aldermen, the St. Louis County Council, and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen with a false claim still present on your website:
“While ventilation systems can help reduce the smell and sight of cigarette smoke, they are not capable of getting rid of all of the carcinogens. Most cancer-causing particles and all cancer-causing gasses are too small to be trapped by filters.”
Air filtration systems have (been) installed in Clayton, St. Louis City and St. Louis County bars and restaurants that are capable of removing all the components of secondhand smoke, including all carcinogens, from the air. No particle of any sort is too small to be captured. Can you provide some documentation of your claim?