P-D Letters 9/24/2010: Ernie Wolf & Rich Brown respond to Bill Hannegan

Letters to the editor, September 24
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 12:00 am

All cleared up

Bill Hannegan, in his letter to the editor “Systems test” (Sept. 21), questions the validity of the system tests in a Washington University study quoted in the editorial “Quelle surprise!” (Sept. 12), about the ability of air purification systems being able to remove all remnants of secondhand smoke from an indoor environment. Mr. Hannegan even alludes to support for his position from a 2006 surgeon general’s report.

Fortunately, this whole issue is well documented by study published June 25, 2008, by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc.

These are the people who are best able to develop and test the systems their employers wish to promote. Their conclusion is that there is no system available that can safely remove all remnants of secondhand smoke. With their best engineering efforts, they fail to do so. Anyone with Internet access can access this information at http://www.ashrae.org/docLib/20090120_POS_ETS.pdf. The paper’s first three pages are a summary of the report. Mr. Hannegan may wish to read the whole report, as may those restaurant and bar owners who have been led to believe that their ventilations systems remove all remnants of environmental tobacco smoke.

Have they been subjected to a hoax?

Ernest Wolf • Ladue

Merchants of death are getting the message

In a letter to the editor (“Systems test,” Sept. 21), Bill Hannegan, who promotes air filtration systems to combat secondhand smoke, decried the methodology of the testing reported in the editorial “Quelle surprise!” (Sept. 12). While it is entirely possible that he is correct in his criticism, he misses the point. The point is that the tobacco industry will use any excuse to promote the use of its poison.

As ban after ban is enacted, it must be disheartening for Big Tobacco to realize that it has lost the hearts and minds of the vast majority of the public, even among addicts, who wish they could stop smoking. The merchants of death have been lying for so long about their products, they have lost all credibility. The message is we don’t want your smoke— firsthand, secondhand or near our kids. We want clean air for ourselves and future generations.

Now if only Republicans would get the message. U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, is in a tizzy because a member of the Carnahan family is getting stimulus money for a wind-energy business, a business in which he has been involved for half a decade. Wind energy cuts air pollution from fossil fuels and cuts dependency on foreign oil and, thus, keeps money from going to governments that support terrorism.

This is the same Mr. Blunt who tried to sneak favorable tobacco legislation into the Patriot Act in the middle of the night. He is married to a former tobacco lobbyist.

Rich Brown • St. Louis County

6 responses to “P-D Letters 9/24/2010: Ernie Wolf & Rich Brown respond to Bill Hannegan

  1. Smoke from a handful of crushed leaves and some paper that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is harmful to your health??
    If anybody believes that, then I have some ocean-front property in Ohio I would like to sell them


  2. Paul Austin, Mt. Vernon
    The bigger question I have of MoGASP and Mr. Pion is whether the positions stated by Mr. Wolf and Mr. Brown are in agreement with the stated mission of your organization. Is it?

    • Mr. Austin, Please read our three primary goals, which are published on this website:

      • Smoke-free air for nonsmokers.
      • Smoke-free lives for children.
      • A society where smoking is done only between consenting adults in private.

      You can decide for yourself whether they are in agreement or not. And bear in mind that we generally don’t censor comments, even if in disagreement, although we reserve the right to shorten them or refuse them if they are too wordy or repetitive, for example.

      • True enough. I’ve assumed your organizations goals include the concepts of accommodation and compromise by all parties to achieve progress. As for Mr. Wolf and Mr. Brown, their content speaks for itself.
        Paul Austin, Mt. Vernon

      • Paul Austin, Mt. Vernon: It’s interesting that you use the word “accommodation” in your comment. “Accommodation” was the name of a Philip Morris Cos. program aimed to head off meaningful smoke-free air efforts in the past. There are plenty of references to it on the web, including efforts to promote ventilation instead of smoke-free air.

  3. Tobacco smoke is poisonous. People have been killed by it for decades. As an example, just look up “Yul Bryner” in YouTube. Nicotine addiction is almost as bad as drug addiction. Do your body a favor and kick that horrendous habit.

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