Monthly Archives: September 2010

P-D Editorial 9/13/2010: “Clearing up a secondhand smoke screen”

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Today’s first editorial takes aim squarely at ventilation as a way to allow smoking to continue in indoor venues, particularly those like bars and restaurants. Ensuring that smoking continues in hospitality venues, which also includes casino gaming floors, has long been the tobacco industry’s fall-back position. And one of its major arguments has been that smoking can be accommodated with appropriate ventilation: there’s no need for legislators to institute smoke-free air laws.

This has galvanized local pro-smoking activist, Bill Hannegan, who has made this a cause celebre, persuading numerous business owners to install ventilation systems rather than go smoke-free. He used to hold up a restaurant near his home in the Central West End as a model of ventilation as a solution, but that has recently been replaced by the Double D Lounge in Brentwood as having the most advanced system. I’m anxious to test it and verify Mr. Hannegan’s claims.

Clearing up a secondhand smoke screen

By The Editorial Board | Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010 9:00 pm | (44) Comments

As St. Louis voters prepared to cast their ballots on clean indoor-air laws last fall, opponents trotted out a familiar argument:

“Modern filtration systems have all but eliminated the dangers of secondhand smoke,” wrote Bill Hannegan, who headed a group opposing the smoking bans, in a letter to the Post-Dispatch.

It’s a seemingly compelling argument with an interesting provenance.

Unfortunately, it turns out not be true. Washington University researchers measured nicotine levels in 10 bars and 10 restaurants in St. Louis County. Their results were released last week: Places that allow smoking had 31 times more airborne nicotine than those that don’t.

Fully half of the establishments tested had ventilation systems. The ventilation systems didn’t help.

Bars and restaurants with ventilation systems actually recorded higher nicotine levels than restaurants and bars with no ventilation systems. Researchers suggested that may be because of the ventilation systems “recycling the air back into the same space.”

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers — the people who sell, design and install ventilation systems — wouldn’t be surprised at those results. The group issued a statement in 2005 saying that ventilation systems cannot protect against secondhand smoke.

A Tufts University study of restaurants and bars with state-of-the-art ventilation systems reached the same conclusion in 2006. That same year, U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona reported that filtration systems don’t work.

A 2008 study on nicotine levels in 10 St. Louis bars reported that indoor air pollution levels in bars that allow smoking were six times higher than in those that did not.
Notice a pattern here? Mr. Hannegan doesn’t. He told Post-Dispatch reporter Blythe Bernhard last week that he’s not willing to concede the point.

It turns out that the idea that ventilation is the solution to secondhand smoke came from the tobacco industry. We are shocked, shocked.

A 1988 strategy document prepared by the Tobacco Institute, an industry front group, laid out the rationale: “The argument of ‘freedom of choice’ with regard to workplace smoking is becoming increasingly difficult to sell. The concept of ‘indoor air quality’ (with an emphasis on science) has much more credibility and will draw a wider audience.”

That document is among thousands that became public after attorneys general from 48 states settled a lawsuit against the tobacco companies in 1998.

The Tobacco Institute’s report set out a strategy to “promote ventilation as the best solution to all indoor air-quality problems, including smoking.”

At about the same time, Philip Morris was launching its “ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) Strategy.” It’s goal, according to another document marked confidential, was to use “clean-air technology as a means of promoting smoking tolerance.”

The document lays out plans for downplaying the risks of secondhand smoke, as well as a plan of attack on what the company calls “‘politicized’ science.”

It’s no surprise that 20 years later, addicts and apologists are using the same playbook in their rear-guard defense of smoking. The surprise is that anyone would pay attention to them.

After all, since those strategic smokescreens first were dreamed up 22 years ago, 9.5 million Americans have died from tobacco-related causes.

P-D 9/9/2010: “Danger in the air”

The headline in the printed newspaper on the front of the Health section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was “Danger in the air” with the subheading “Ventilation systems don’t protect against secondhand smoke, study shows.” That got somewhat watered down in the on-line version, reproduced below. However, the results speak for themselves.

After posting this blog I received a long critique of the study results from Michael McFadden (please see below following article), pointing out alleged errors and failings with the study. Subsequently, I asked Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University School of Public Health for an opinion. Dr. Siegel is a stern critic of the tobacco control movement, which he frequently takes to task on his widely read blog, The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary, for exaggeration or misstatements in its claims about SHS. Here’s the reply from Dr. Siegel:

From: mbsiegel@bu.edu
Subject: RE: Secondhand smoke: Ventilation systems are not the answer, says new study
Date: September 10, 2010 3:31:28 PM CDT

Hi Martin,
The study is solid.
Mike

Michael Siegel, MD, MPH
Professor
Department of Community Health Sciences
Boston University School of Public Health
801 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02118

Study: Venues with smoking have more nicotine in air

BY BLYTHE BERNHARD • bbernhard@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8129 | Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:10 am | (96 comments at 1:32 pm)

9/8/10 Wednesday Kirkwood Server Rachel Kelly, 25, serves a customer at the Highlands Restaurant and Brewery in Kirkwood Wednesday afternoon. Kelly said that she really likes the smoking ban in Kirkwood. When she is out to eat, she will leave a restaurant if they do allow smoking. J.B. Forbes jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Ventilation systems in St. Louis bars and restaurants don’t protect employees and patrons from secondhand smoke, according to a new study.

The findings, which replicate studies done elsewhere, were released Wednesday by Washington University’s Center for Tobacco Policy Research.

The study involved placing monitors in a sample of 10 bars and 10 restaurants in St. Louis and St. Louis county for seven days in the summer of 2009 to measure nicotine levels in the air.

Venues that allow smoking had 31 times the amount of nicotine in the air compared to smoke-free establishments, the monitors showed. Bars and restaurants with smoke ventilation systems also had higher concentrations of nicotine, contributing to a long-standing theory that the systems just recirculate the polluted air.

“No, the results are not surprising, but we didn’t have this data specific to St. Louis,” said Sarah Moreland-Russell, the center’s research manager. Moreland-Russell said the numbers would be helpful in the push for more laws banning smoking in Missouri.

Researchers asked the owners of 68 establishments if they would participate in the study and remain anonymous before finding 20 to agree. Four of the participating businesses already had voluntary smoking bans.

Moreland-Russell said even though they did not test the air in most restaurants and bars in the area, she’s confident the study’s findings would be universal.

“Don’t go to an establishment that allows smoking, because you’re going to find the same results,” she said.

Ten of the venues had ventilation systems beyond air conditioning, but the study does not specify the type of system.

That’s a flaw in the study, said Bill Hannegan, who has fought against smoking bans in the area. Air purification systems can range from a simple fan to sophisticated machines that cost thousands.

The Double D Lounge in Brentwood has the area’s best purification system, Hannegan said.

“If the air is bad there, I’ll concede their point,” he said.

Researchers would not disclose which venues participated in the study. The cost of the study, funded by the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, was also not released.

Prior studies have shown that ventilation can redistribute the smoke throughout a building, limiting its effectiveness. Purification systems can remove the appearance and odor of smoke, but not all of the small particulate matter that can reach the lungs.

The Atlanta-based American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers put out a statement in 2005 saying that ventilation systems cannot protect against the health risks of secondhand smoke.

A report from the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General a year later said indoor smoking bans are the only effective way to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, and that ‘separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.”

An earlier study of 10 St. Louis city bars (including two that voluntarily banned smoking) showed that indoor air pollution was six times higher in the smoking establishments. That study, released in 2008, was funded in part by the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The latest study came a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the U.S. smoking rate, which has remained at 20 percent since 2005.

Missouri’s smoking rate, 23.1 percent, is higher than all states except Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Thirty states, including Illinois, have bans on smoking in restaurants, according to the CDC. Of those, 24 states have also outlawed smoking in bars.

John Postel, a manager at the Highlands restaurant and brewery in Kirkwood, said that city’s smoking ban has improved business, especially among families.

“We’ve seen an uptick in business overall,” Postel said at a news conference Wednesday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “The sky did not fall, and things keep moving in a good direction.”

P-D 8/9/2010 Selected comments on Wash. U. nicotine results

Note: For your comments to be considered for publication on this blog you MUST provide your full name. Pseudonyms and first names only are not acceptable. Thank you.

There were fewer comments than normal on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website following Wednesday’s smoking-related story – only 15 posted from 7:21 am thru’ 10:05 am when I posted my second and last comment. Since then it’s grown to 35 comments at 10:31 am today (Thursday).

I’ve selected just a few, including my own rebuttals. Many are the typical “nanny government” or attempts at redirection, e.g. what about more dangerous things like [alleged] food additives and chemicals in plastics? as in the first comment reproduced below.

To view comments on-line and/or to add your own please click here: Discussion.

jinx1966

jinx1966 said on: September 8, 2010, 9:01 am

Also, once again it is easy to target things that are so visible, smoking, drinking, etc while letting the more insidious things continue that cause more harm to people on a much broader scale. If there was any true concern and an example of the gov looking out for ‘we the people’ instead of corporations, we’d ban dangerous food additives, chemicals in plastics, among just a few things that are downplayed and the media keeps a zipper on it.

Martin Pion, mogasp

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 9:34 am

I wasn’t aware of this study but I’m delighted to learn of it.
MoGASP has funded independent studies in Ballwin and Arnold restaurants and bars in the past but those results have not been published in peer-reviewed journals. These new studies of smoke-free environments vs. ventilation solutions would probably be a spur to submitting our result for publication.
In research, it’s important to obtain more than one set of data.
Martin Pion, B.Sc. President, MoGASP
mogasp.wordpress.com.

Tony Palazzolo

Tony Palazzolo said on: September 8, 2010, 7:54 am

He is right – this is a no brainer. You already know that this study is going show that nicotine levels are higher in places that allow smoking than not. Nicotine sticks to clothing hair etc which itself is not harmful in anyway. Even employees in a non-smoking environment will have detectable levels of nicotine in their hair and clothing.
If your truly trying to test if ventilation systems work than nicotine is about the most ineffective. Unless you already know what outcome you want.

My reply:

Martin Pion, mogasp

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 10:05 am

Tony Palazzolo wrote: “You already know that nicotine levels are higher in places that allow smoking than not …. nicotine sticks to clothing … which is not harmful in anyway.”
I’m baffled by your logic. Nicotine in the air is a unique surrogate for SHS. What research can you point to showing that the nicotine being measured in smoking-permitted environments is mainly or even partially due to clothing?
This is a red herring.
Martin Pion, B.Sc., President, Missouri GASP
mogasp.wordpress.com

Bill Hannegan

Bill Hannegan said on: September 8, 2010, 9:53 am

Very few St. Louis establishments have adequate air purification systems installed to deal with secondhand smoke. The Double D Lounge has the best system of any bar in St. Louis City or County. That system runs 24/7 and is scrupulously maintained. Wash U didn’t study the Double D Lounge. So what can this study tell us except that bars with lousy ventilation and no purification systems are smoky?

Michael McFadden

Michael J. McFadden said on: September 8, 2010, 9:59 pm

To show how crazy this is, note their statement that nicotine was 31 times higher in smoking bars than nonsmoking ones. This is the same as saying that levels of deadly chlorine gas are a hundred times higher in the school’s indoor pool area as in the administrative offices across the street. Are our children are being poisoned to death? Of course not: it’s a deliberately fake appeal to our fears–in simple substance, a lie.
Michael J. McFadden,
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

KMOV 9/8/2010: “Wash U study on secondhand smoke finds surprising results”

Note: For your comments to be considered for publication on this blog you MUST provide your full name. Pseudonyms and first names only are not acceptable. Thank you.

Wash U. has now posted a description of its nicotine study of numerous bars and restaurants in the metro St. Louis area on its website, as reported below by KMOV.com. The results confirm more limited unpublished nicotine monitor test results in the metro area conducted independently for Missouri GASP several years ago.

Wash U study on secondhand smoke finds surprising results
KMOV.com
Posted on September 8, 2010 at 7:54 AM
Updated today at 5:20 PM

(KMOV) — The results of a study about secondhand smoke in St. Louis bars and restaurants has been released.

This is the first study specifically looking at secondhand smoke in St. Louis area bars and restaurants.

Researchers from Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital used airborne nicotine monitors to determine the level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Researchers used airborne nicotine monitors at ten bars and ten restaurants. The study found that ventilation systems do not do a good enough job of cleaning the air for harmful smoke.

In one of the most surprising findings, businesses with ventilation systems that allowed smoking had higher nicotine concentrations in the air than businesses who did not filter the air.

The above linked to the following article on the Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom:

Secondhand smoke: Ventilation systems are not the answer, says new study
September 8, 2010
By Lee Phillion

Some of the effects of secondhand smoke on the cardiovascular system in nonsmokers are comparable to the effects of active smoking and occur within a half hour of exposure, says Joaquin Barnoya, MD, a research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.

In a scientific study of secondhand smoke exposure in St. Louis bars and restaurants, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that ventilation systems and “voluntary” smoke-free policies do not protect employees and customers from exposure to nicotine in the air.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is an established cause of cancer, heart disease and serious lung ailments, according to the U.S. surgeon general.

Researchers from the Center for Tobacco Policy Research at Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work and at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine analyzed nicotine levels in randomly selected bars and restaurants in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, and in hair samples from employees of the monitored venues.

Ten bars and 10 restaurants participated in the study. Sixteen of the venues allowed smoking indoors, and four were smoke-free. Seventy-eight employees at the bars and restaurants provided hair samples and answered survey questions.

Passive sampling devices collected nicotine in each venue for seven working days during June, July and August 2009. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which has expertise in this type of monitoring, analyzed the samples using gas chromatography with nitrogen-selective detection. Concentration of airborne nicotine was calculated by dividing the amount of nicotine collected by the sampling device by the effective volume of air sampled.

Since airborne nicotine can only come from cigarette smoke, it is a reliable, scientifically accepted marker for assessing secondhand smoke exposure. While concentrations do not directly translate to health risk, a finding of nicotine indicates the presence of a carcinogenic and toxic mixture.

Although none of the restaurant or bar venues in the study were below level of detection, median airborne nicotine levels were 31 times higher in venues where smoking is allowed, compared with those that are voluntarily smoke-free. And, not surprisingly, as the percentage of smoking clients rose, so did the nicotine concentrations.

An interesting finding was that ventilation systems, a topic of debate in St. Louis, were not only ineffective, but restaurants and bars that had them actually had higher nicotine concentrations in the air than restaurants that didn’t have them, but where the number of patrons who smoked was similar.

This confirms the U.S. surgeon general’s statement that “cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.”

Hair nicotine was found in all bar and restaurant employees tested, both nonsmokers and smokers alike, although the concentration was higher for employees who smoke.

Employees in both smoke and smoke-free venues, however, reported smoking-related symptoms despite their smoking status, including coughing, shortness of breath and excess phlegm. Sensory health concerns for both smoking and non-smoking employees included red or irritated eyes, scratchy throat and runny nose.

Study author Joaquin Barnoya, MD, research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, says that the cardiovascular system is very sensitive to even low doses of tobacco smoke.

“Some of the effects of secondhand smoke on the cardiovascular system in nonsmokers are comparable to the effects of active smoking,” Barnoya says. “These effects occur within a half hour of exposure.”

In response to a questionnaire given to employees as part of the study, 62 percent of respondents stated a preference for working in a smoke-free environment. More than half of non-smoking employees questioned said that all restaurants, bars and nightclubs should be smoke-free, with a third of smoking employees in agreement.

Of employee responders who smoke, more than half said that smoke-free legislation would help them quit, while 70 percent of former smokers said that smoke-free workplace legislation would help them remain nonsmokers.

Results of the study were presented Sept. 8 at a conference held at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

The study, conducted by Barnoya along with Sarah Moreland-Russell, research manager for the Center for Tobacco Policy Research at the Brown School, was funded by the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation.

The Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health collaborated on the study.

P-D 9/8/2010: “Clayton notches another first in restricting smoking”

Note: For your comments to be considered for publication on this blog you MUST provide your full name. Pseudonyms and first names only are not acceptable. Thank you.

More stories affirming that smoke-free outdoor air is a good thing too! And contrary to the naysayers, it can be a significant source of air pollution, irritation, annoyance, and for hyper-sensitive individuals, including those with with asthma exacerbated by SHS exposure, a serious risk to health.

In line with Missouri GASP’s third stated goal:

Smoking should be between consenting adults in private,

and only when it harms no one else but the smokers.

Clayton notches another first in restricting smoking

BY MARGARET GILLERMAN mgillerman@post-dispatch.com 314-725-6758 | Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:00 am | (32) Comments

MIAMI – JUNE 22: Dorothy Baker smokes one of the Newport cigarettes she purchased at the Quick Stop store on June 22, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Today the Food and Drug Administration law banning the use of terms “light,” “mild” and “low” tar goes into affect in the marketing and sale of cigarettes. The new boxes have replaced those terms with lighter-colored packaging for light brands and switched to terms such as “gold” and “silver” to replace “light” and “ultra-light”. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Related Stories

Wash U to release study on secondhand smoke
Medicare expands coverage to help smokers quit

CLAYTON • Clayton is once again ahead of the pack on a smoking ban, becoming the first in the St. Louis area and one of the first in the state to enact an ordinance banning smoking throughout its park system.

While new here, about 400 cities across the country already have such bans, says Patty DeForrest, Clayton director of parks and recreation.

Clayton Mayor Linda Goldstein, who led the effort last year for a ban on smoking in most public buildings, said that many residents wanted to go further than that ban.

“Not only have I received no complaints or criticism from any residents,” Goldstein said in an interview, “I have had several parents tell me how happy they are that their children can enjoy a healthy afternoon at a playground breathing fresh, smoke-free air.

The ban on smoking in most public buildings went into effect July 1. The parks ban goes into effect Jan. 1.

It will bar lighting up in city-owned parks, on playgrounds and all other city-owned or leased facilities. That includes city-owned parking garages and lots.

The law will allow smoking on sidewalks, streets and alleys. Outdoor smoking is also allowed at privately owned restaurants or bars but not indoors.

On some recent visits to Shaw Park, the largest and busiest of Clayton’s 10 parks, no smokers could be found. One person eating her lunch said she smoked but had rarely seen other smokers lighting up in the park. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said that smokers typically stayed in their cars and smoked in the parking lot — “maybe to protect the children,” she said.

Several nonsmoking park visitors welcomed the ban.

Mike and Renee Solverud of St. Charles, who were picnicking Friday at Shaw Park with their daughters, 2 and 4, said a ban in the parks would be good for the children’s sake. Mike Solverud’s grandmother and grandfather both developed emphysema about 20 years after they had stopped smoking. His grandmother died of it.

“People can smoke in their own house or car,” he said. “I’ve seen the results of smoking. It’s not good for the public health.”

One afternoon, members of the Clayton High School’s cross country team stretched and warmed up in the park.

Bianca Vannucci, 16, a junior at Clayton High, said she knew that some students smoked in the park — but no one on the cross country team. She likes the ban.

“The principle is good,” Bianca said. “A park is definitely not the place to smoke. Plus a lot of kids are on the playgrounds.”

‘SOCIETAL VENDETTA’

The ban is not without critics. Bill Hannegan, a longtime opponent of local government-imposed smoking bans in bars and restaurants, said Clayton is more concerned with its public image than public health.

“It’s more like a societal vendetta against smoking,” he said. “It’s very hard to get these lawmakers to talk about public health. A lot of the time it’s about personal reasons, like, ‘yeah, my dad died of cancer.'”

Hannegan said the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke in open spaces like parks and parking garages is so minimal, it has no impact on public health. He cautioned that Clayton might be increasing the public risk of second-hand smoke exposure by forcing smokers onto heavily traveled sidewalks.

“I grew up in Clayton and it’s hard for me imagine not being able to light a smoke anyplace in Shaw Park,” he said. “It seems authoritarian.”

Alderman Alex Berger III has led the push to go smoke-free on all city property, including parks, both last year and this year.

“The essence of it is health and safety,” he said.

Berger also said that it made no sense to teach children the dangers of smoking at school and then allow adults to smoke while coaching the children at the park.

The citizens Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the new ban, and a survey of Clayton residents was heavily in favor of it.

Among other cities in Missouri, Kirksville’s strong ordinance bans smoking on all city property including parks. Liberty’s smoke free ordinance bans smoking in parks except on the parking lots. Lee’s Summit, a suburb of Kansas City, recently adopted a policy banning smoking within 50 feet of ball fields and many parks facilities. Ballwin, among others, has signs posted asking people to refrain from smoking. And Columbia’s ban extends to the area around park buildings but not the entire park.

After Clayton enacted its indoor smoking ban ordinance last summer, St. Louis County, the city of St. Louis, Kirkwood, Brentwood and Lake Saint Louis all enacted bans of varying degrees.

Hannegan said he suspects Clayton’s crackdown on open spaces will lead to stricter anti-smoking ordinances in other cities.

Nancy Cambria of the Post-Dispatch staff contributed to this story.

P-D 9/8/2010: “Wash U to release study on secondhand smoke”

Note: For your comments to be considered for publication on this blog you MUST provide your full name. Pseudonyms and first names only are not acceptable. Thank you.

I fortuitously noticed this story on-line earlier this morning (it’s not in the printed version of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch yet) and after reading it checked out the comments. Sure enough, they’re overwhelmingly negative, panning the researchers’ conclusions even before knowing them, and putting forward spurious reasons why this research will be flawed.

Only one comment at the time I checked supported smoke-free air:

David Hartstein said on: September 8, 2010, 8:40 am

I agree that even with proper ventilation, it seems obvious that second hand smoke would still negatively impact the health of others in the space. I support the smoking ban and personally have stopped going to places that are smokey. To me, when one person’s choices impact the health and well-being of others, it is reasonable to restrict that activity to the privacy of one’s own home.

David Hartstein
JG Visual
http://www.jgvisual.com

The on-line story is pasted below. To read comments please click here. I’ve added a couple of comments (please see below following story) and invite you to do likewise.

Wash U to release study on secondhand smoke

By MICHELE MUNZ mmunz@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8263 | Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 5:41 am | (14) Comments

Researchers at Washington University are expected to announce today the results of the first study to monitor secondhand smoke exposure in St. Louis area bars and restaurants and whether ventilation systems work in purifying the air.
The study was a joint effort between the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and the Center for Tobacco Policy Research at Washington University. Researchers looked at airborne nicotine levels, nicotine levels in employees’ hair samples, employees’ health, employees’ knowledge about smoke-free policies and the effectiveness of ventilation systems.
Key players are scheduled to discuss the findings at a 1 p.m. press conference. John Postel, marketing and entertainment manager of the Highlands Brewing Co. in Kirkwood, where a smoking ban went into effect over nine months ago, is also on the list to speak.
A smoking ban in public places in St. Louis and St. Louis County takes effect Jan. 2. However, casino floors, some hotel rooms, private clubs (mainly veterans and fraternal organizations) and tobacco stores are exempt. The county also exempts bars where income from food is 25 percent or less of gross receipts.
In the city, small bars — less than 2,000 square feet where food sales are “incidental” to alcohol consumption — have five years to comply with the ban.
Bans are already in effect in Clayton, Kirkwood, Arnold, Ballwin and Lake Saint Louis and throughout the state of Illinois. Some of the municipal laws, such as one that goes into effect Jan. 1 in Brentwood, ban smoking in all bars.

My comments posted to date on the Post-Dispatch:

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 9:34 am

I wasn’t aware of this study but I’m delighted to learn of it.
MoGASP has funded independent studies in Ballwin and Arnold restaurants and bars in the past but those results have not been published in peer-reviewed journals. These new studies of smoke-free environments vs. ventilation solutions would probably be a spur to submitting our result for publication.
In research, it’s important to obtain more than one set of data.
Martin Pion, B.Sc. President, MoGASP
mogasp.wordpress.com.

Martin Pion said on: September 8, 2010, 10:05 am

Tony Palazzolo wrote: “You already know that nicotine levels are higher in places that allow smoking than not …. nicotine sticks to clothing … which is not harmful in anyway.”
I’m baffled by your logic. Nicotine in the air is a unique surrogate for SHS. What research can you point to showing that the nicotine being measured in smoking-permitted environments is mainly or even partially due to clothing?
This is a red herring.
Martin Pion, B.Sc., President, Missouri GASP
mogasp.wordpress.com
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Larry Fiquette, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reader’s Advocate

Columnist, Bill McClellan, writes a sometimes sage, and frequently humorous column several times a week in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I often read it and generally agree with him, except when it has to do with smoking. Then Mr. McClellan reveals his Libertarian tendencies, and often writes what I feel are rather biased and ill-founded columns.

Today’s column is about Larry Fiquette who was St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reader’s Advocate for several years. According to the column, Mr. Fiquette is seriously ill with pneumonia in De Paul Health Center surrounded by his family, and his prognosis is poor.

I wrote to Mr. Fiquette after the newspaper published an article featuring complaints from smokers about workplace smoking restrictions. I pointed out that smokers are actually privileged, being allowed smoking breaks for example. He wrote a column on the subject, which I reproduce below.

Some years later I was invited to give a pre-service presentation about Missouri GASP at the Ethical Society of St Louis on Clayton Road. Mr. Fiquette attended and came up to talk to me afterwards to thank me, noting that he supported ASH (Action on Smoking & Health).

I thought he provided a valuable service to readers of the Post-Dispatch and I was sorry when he retired and was not replaced.

(Please CLICK image below to enlarge.)

SLPD Readers Advocate column: 1994_2_27