P-D 8/17/2010: “Brentwood hops on the no-smoking bandwagon”

More good news from the front lines in the St. Louis metro area with another more comprehensive smoke-free air ordinance being passed, this time in Brentwood. This movement to remove loopholes which the county ordinance contains should ultimately provide the strong protection that everyone deserves, regardless of where they work.

Bill Hannegan’s attempt to derail this effort by trying to sell the council on “air purification” instead of smoke-free air fell flat.

Congratulations to everyone who helped achieve this very positive result!

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Brentwood hops on the no-smoking bandwagon
Move opposed by 3 bars that would’ve been exempted by county

BY MARGARET GILLERMAN mgillerman@post-dispatch.com 314-725-6758 | Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:05 am

BRENTWOOD • A tough ban that will snuff out smoking inside all bars and restaurants here won nearly unanimous approval from the Board of Aldermen on Monday night.

The 7-1 vote followed some strong opposition, including from the owner of the Double D Karaoke Lounge and Bill Hannegan, an area leader in the battle against smoking bans.

Supporters included local representatives of some of the nation’s largest health associations that have been involved in the front lines against secondhand smoke: the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, the American Lung Association and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Kathi Harness, director of government relations for the Lung Association here, called Brentwood’s ordinance “healthy progressive policy.”
“This is a public health issue,” Harness said. “And so far, 35 states and thousands of municipalities have promoted the public health of their citizens by enacting smoke-free laws.”

Before the vote, St. Louis County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, who introduced and pushed St. Louis County’s indoor clean air act, encouraged the aldermen and mayor to pass the more restrictive smoke-free ordinance.

The countywide ban, which has more exemptions, will take effect Jan. 2, a day after Brentwood’s ban. A smoking ban similar to the county’s takes effect in St. Louis the same day. Bans are already in effect in Clayton, Kirkwood, Arnold and Ballwin and throughout the state of Illinois. A ban in Lake Saint Louis takes effect Oct. 1.

Fraser said that in six months or a year, she hopes to look again at the county ban and see how it can be made stronger.

Fraser said she originally had proposed a comprehensive ordinance like Brentwood’s but that it was defeated by the County Council. Then she proposed the less stringent countywide act that was approved by a 2-1 ratio by St. Louis County voters.

Fraser said the Brentwood ban would promote “a healthier environment for workers and customers” at bars and restaurants. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Brentwood, like Clayton and Kirkwood, will ban smoking at all bars, restaurants, places of employment and public places, with exemptions for some hotel rooms and for private residences, private vehicles and tobacco shops. Patrons of bars and restaurants would be allowed to smoke outside and on patios.

The Brentwood ban prohibits smoking in three establishments that would have been exempted by the county: Double D Lounge, Sideline Bar and Grill and the American Legion Hall.

The county exempts bars where income from food is 25 percent or less of gross receipts. It also exempts casinos.

City Administrator Chris Seemayer said Brentwood’s ban is modeled after the ordinances in Clayton and Kirkwood, which took effect earlier this year.

Mayor Pat Kelly, who had initiated the push for a stricter ban in Brentwood, said the city’s ban would “level the playing field” by including all bars. Otherwise, he said, “customers could literally walk across the street” to another business to smoke.

But Donna Wideman, owner of Double D and a leader of the fight against Brentwood’s ban, said her business and the two others were being penalized unfairly.

The lone opponent on the board was Alderman Andy Leahy.

“I don’t think it’s fair to penalize these three little businesses,” he said.

Over at the Sideline Bar late Monday, nearly every customer was smoking.

Owner Bob Townsend said: “This will probably kill my business. My customers will leave.”

Harley Lintner, 76, a longtime customer opposed to the ordinance, said: “I don’t smoke, but it doesn’t bother me a bit. Let the dang people smoke. If some people don’t like the joint, they don’t have to come in to the joint.”

Customer Larry Joyce complained: “We don’t have a vote. Eight people are making the decision.”

Bill Hannegan has fought bans across the metro area and has written to elected officials and published statements on his website against Brentwood’s proposal.

“The ‘over 21’ Double D Lounge has spent a great deal of money installing the most effective air purification system of any bar in St. Louis City or County,” Hannegan wrote. “Don’t they deserve an exemption? Sidelines is an old-timer’s bar not bothering anyone. Why bother them? And can’t the war veterans at the American Legion Hall make their own decisions? Why put Brentwood through all this trouble and expense just to restrict three adult establishments?”

19 responses to “P-D 8/17/2010: “Brentwood hops on the no-smoking bandwagon”

  1. marbee (aka Marlene Bakken)

    This is anything BUT good news. The ‘level playing field’ is just more propoganda, if it was so lucrative to go smoke free, there was never a law that bars MUST allow smoking and everyone would have done it! In 1998 the American Cancer Society finally retracted their 53,000 death from SHS statistic, stating in a press release: “The American Cancer Society will no longer use the statistic because we too have been unable to acquire the documentation to support this citation.” In other words, it was a lie. Wonder why the figure is still being used? They simply can’t stop.
    Bans are not business owners preferences, it their RIGHTS! Their rights trump patrons preferences by the U.S. Constitution! Ohio is rethinking a ban, there’s has been in place for over 3 years with disastrous results to the small business and state economy. Michigan’s new ban has also been disastrous to the Veteran’s clubs and the hospitality industry. Minnesota has not recovered, and Wisconsin’s ban that began July 5th will most likely be repealed as soon as competent leadership takes the reins. In truth, this SHS scams land on the heads of incompetent politicians. Free enterprise is in dire jeopardy.
    This campaign to demonize 1/3 of the population must stop. Because of all the anti-smoking propoganda articles someone developed an online game, Smoker Sniper! This has gone too far! With the violence shown to happen to smokers who have been forced outside all over the world from beatings, rape, and murder, why is this kind of hate crime allowed to happen?
    Here’s the thing about enacting unconstitutional laws by using surveys and polls, especially those funded by tobacco CONTROL. Survey says: 51% of the population want to kill the other 49%. Should we allow this by a law of the majority? Now that they’re dead, we decide that wasn’t such a good idea in the first place. How ’bout we abide the U.S. Constitution and leave our property owners THEIR rights to run their business as they see fit, and let taxpaying smokers enjoy public spaces too? Get rid of these bans!

    • Marlene, This is full of inaccuracies, efforts to undermine the basic science, or arguments designed to redirect the conversation. It’s disappointing to see you keep trotting this stuff out. But then, why not?
      The original estimate of adult mortality due to SHS among American non-smokers was 46,000 death per year, in the ground-breaking paper by Dr. A. Judson Wells in 1987. (See blog I wrote https://mogasp.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/17/) The higher number was in a later paper by Glantz et al of UCSF. Whether that is no longer accepted by the American Cancer Society I don’t know – your ref. dates to 1998 – but there is bound to be some uncertainty in these estimates. Just the generally accepted number of 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year attributed to SHS exposure of nonsmokers is enough to warrant the steps taken to protect public health and private employees.
      You’re right out of the textbook pro-smoker who is constantly trying to undermine the science, bend the facts, or focus on the least little bit of uncertainty. Secondhand smoke is a major public nuisance, a big problem for people with acute breathing problems exacerbated or caused by SHS, and unquestionably a potential cause of disease in some exposed nonsmokers.

  2. harleyrider1978 aka John Erkle

    So martin I gather your jumping for joy and dancing a jig!

    Good for you, now just how much joy can be had in shutting down 3 venues………..you know you want to shutem all down……..in the entire country….alcohol was an extra feather in the cap of tobacco control…….now lets outlaw mcdonalds,wendys,hardees……..force em all to be vegan places……..its all the same wackos!

  3. Shame on Bill Hannegan for continuing to push a ventilation system that he knows will not clean the air of secondhand smoke contaminants. Sadly, the owner of Double D Lounge was duped out of thousands of dollars, but that is not cause to exempt her establishment from a good, comprehensive law that will protect the health of all employees in Brentwood.
    Congratulations to the Brentwood Board of Aldermen for being leaders in health in St. Louis County. I hope they will challenge the other municipalities to follow suit and provide that level playing field for everyone.

  4. I was always under the impression that the Mayor and Council were elected to run the business of the city, not the city’s businesses

    Prohibtion makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
    A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which
    our government was founded.

    Abraham Lincoln(Dec. 1840)

  5. As Hank Williams Jr. once said..You mind your own business and you won’t be minding mine

    http://fightingback.homestead.com

  6. The level playing field results in people buying a 30 pack and heading over to their friends houses. While this is great for folks saving money, it is not good for revenue to the State. And there has NEVER been ANY scientific evidense that SHS causes cancer. EVER!

    The taking away of the right to assemble is the most horrific part of this to me. Yes, fellow Americans, smokers have a right to assemble. And they have a right to do it on private property with the consent of the owner of said property.

    It amazes me how cheaply Councils are bought off and bullied by the huge out of area paid off “experts” of the Cancer Society and the Lung Associations. When I found out that they were simply now lobby groups for Johnson and Johnson, I and all my friends decided that we would never contribute to either of them again.

    God bless America, what’s left of it, and to those who are willing to fight for our right to assemble and our right to run our private property.

    To those who wish to take those rights away because of your personal preferences and/or misguided assumptions, or your pay check from pro ban, I wish you failure. It is your lying about business losses and the dangers of second hand smoke that has forced once proud, tax paying small businesses to now stand in unemployment lines.

    It may interest people to know that 297,000 in this country die every year from medical mistakes in hospitals. It would seem to make more sense to ban hospitals than ban smoking in bars.

    • Sheila, Your comment is riddled with erroneous and unsubstantiated statements. A private business is subject to various safety codes and requirements as soon as it opens its doors to the general public. A private office is subject to similar laws. They are designed to ensure safety of the occupants or members of the public. There’s nothing new about any of that and it’s a normal part of any modern civilized society.
      The American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, while I’ve sometimes disagreed with them on policy, are NOT simply a lobbying arm for johnson & Johnson. That’s simply nonsense.
      I don’t trust your figure of 297,000 deaths from hospital error, although I have seen large numbers mentioned in the media, as high as 100,000, so I agree it’s a serious problem. But suggesting banning hospitals is a dumb remark, but making places of employment and those to which the general public are invited, like bars, smoke-free certainly makes sense.

  7. Those who beligerantly defend “the right to smoke” are pitiful slaves to nicotine. Do yourself a favor, overcome the addiction. You will feel so free and happy, as I did 25 years ago, you will never again speak in favor of cigarettes.

  8. Ms. Lindsey, the owner of Double D Lounge paid for an air filtration system that would hugely reduce the presence of all ETS components in the air of establishment and also rid her indoor air of toxins and pathogens common to bars and restaurants. How was the owner of Double D Lounge “duped” and why should I experience shame for “pushing” such an excellent technology?
    Do you know what you are talking about? Please do a little research before you make such charges.

  9. Permit me to be the first to stand up and proclaim my pride in “ALL” of my addictions to legal non-narcotic products available for purchase and my enjoyment as guaranteed in the 9th bill of rights amendment.

    My addictions to coffee with my cigarette, diet Cokes, tea, greasy hamburgers, fat and salty hot dogs etc. is what I enjoy and its who I am, I will not change who and what I am to satisfy anyone else or any pharmaceutical company in a nicotine war with the tobacco co.

    “I AM NOT FOR SALE”!!! Now excuse me while I enjoy a great smoke.

    • Glad to learn you’re not for sale, but what has that to do with this blog? And if you want to smoke in private where it doesn’t affect the health and welfare of anyone else, Missouri GASP certainly doesn’t object. Just don’t pollute the air others must breathe, that’s all.

  10. Marlene Bakken (aka marbee)

    [Note from mogasp: Please provide your full name when submitting a comment for consideration. I looked back and found that information but I don’t have time to do that routinely. Thank you.]

    Smoking bans absolutely devastate the tavern industry. People stay home to drink when they can’t smoke. Over 300 bars closed the first year alone of the smoking ban. There are 327 documented closings due to the smoking ban in the Minneapolis area including the last VFW there. Most of the bars affected are privately owned, and these bans trample private property rights. Most small bars are not affiliated with big chains, they are mom and pop bars that become virtually worthless after a ban. Close to 90% of the weight of tobacco smoke is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and plain water (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80). This mix is usually called “fresh air.” For this we take away property rights? So that someone’s smoke-free preference can trump an owners rights? Smokers Welcome, Non-Smokers Welcome, Anti-Smokers Buy Your Own Business!

  11. marbee (aka Marlene Bakken)

    [Note from mogasp: Please provide your full name when submitting a comment for consideration. I looked back and found that information but I don’t have time to do that routinely. Thank you.]

    A “study” was performed at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health by Liz Klein Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Promotion, Ohio State University funded by ClearWay Minnesota, a non-profit organization that funds Minnesota tobacco control, but her study was done before a ban even began and included restaurants! This study ignored an earlier study by the same organization that showed drastic customer reductions in 7 out of 10 bars in publicly shared data. An Ohio Senator has since asked her to separate restaurants and bars since she clearly had such data. She refused. These studies by tobacco control have results favorable to their cause. They are not done by economists. In many cases, the results are determined before a study is even begun, they are paid for.

  12. Marlene Bakken (aka marbee)

    The CATO Institute (The Second-Hand Smoke Charade http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php…) and Sloan Kettering (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/12463.cfm) contradict tobacco control’s findings, alot! Smoking rates have decreased considerably, yet asthma rates have skyrocketed 500%! The global warming “crisis” looked like a sure thing too until it was blown out of the water by those who knew this was a scam. Obesity is another CREATED “crisis” beneffitting pharma. Anyone looking at all, contrary to MOGASP, can see this second hand smoke nonsense has also been completely debunked. Have to give it to pharma though, it IS a brilliant marketing scam using our own uneducated government officials against We The People.

  13. I think Smoke-free ordinance will decrease smoking in Brentwood, maybe a little. so, good luck

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