2010/11/09 P-D: Creve Coeur gets stricter than county with smoking ban

More good news, with Creve Coeur emulating the City of Brentwood by enacting a stronger local ordinance than St. Louis County’s soon-to-be-effective smoke-free air ordinance.

A weakness in this ordinance is the exemption added for existing private clubs, such as the American Legion. Makes sense that, in return for their valor, we should make it easier for such individuals to die prematurely from smoking-induced lung cancer, heart disease, or emphysema.

Note also the drumbeat of the need for a “statewide smoking ban” by Council member Robert Haddenhorst.

Why this insistence?

We have a statewide Clean Indoor Air Act, enacted in 1992, the best thing about which – thanks in part to Missouri GASP’s past consistent stance against preemption – is that it permits stronger local ordinances, just like the ones we are seeing enacted now. Let’s continue that welcome trend.

Creve Coeur gets stricter than county with smoking ban

BY CYNTHIA BILLHARTZ GREGORIAN • cbillhartz@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8114 |
Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:20 am

CREVE COEUR • The City Council voted 5-0 Monday to pass a stricter smoking ban than the St. Louis County one.

Both measures will take effect Jan. 2.

Creve Coeur’s ban goes beyond restaurants and includes all public places with employees, such as casinos, bars, assisted living facilities and private clubs, but only clubs that open after Jan. 2.

Councilwoman Beth Kistner, sponsor of the ordinance, said “considerable angst among some council members and residents” prompted her to reluctantly revise her original proposal to grandfather in existing private clubs, such as the American Legion and the Elks.

Kistner proposed the ordinance in an effort to close what she called loopholes in the countywide ordinance, which bans smoking in all restaurants that earn 25 percent or more of their gross sales from food but exempts bars that make more than 75 percent off sales of liquor.

“Exemptions, by nature, make laws like this unfair because they serve special interests,” Kistner said. “Every time you drop one in, you have someone else calling wanting one, too. The only way to protect all workers in all places is to have no exceptions.”

Councilwoman Jeanne Rhoades was unable to attend the meeting but sent a letter opposing the ban. She said that it’s ironic to ask those in military service to go off to war where they were exposed to bombs, artillery fire and dangerous chemicals and then deny them cigarettes in order to protect them from smoke.

Several residents echoed that sentiment. But the measure also had supporters at the meeting.

Voters passed the countywide ban in November 2009 by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1.

More than half a dozen municipalities have passed smoking bans stricter than the county ordinance. They include Clayton, Kirkwood, Brentwood and Ballwin. St. Louis city has adopted the same smoking ban as St. Louis County.

Council member Robert Haddenhorst added that he hopes passing the ban will send Jefferson City a message that Missouri is ready for a statewide smoking ban.

9 responses to “2010/11/09 P-D: Creve Coeur gets stricter than county with smoking ban

  1. Hello Martin! Been a while – I hope you are well!

    I have a bone to pick with thee good sir! I think you’ll agree the strongest case for the three diseases you mention is the one for LC. But EPA itself predicts only one extra LC per 40,000 years of worker exposure. Hopefully there aren’t too many veterans who hang out drinking in their posts for 40,000 years, but even if it was so, should gvt be coming in and throwing those old folks out into the snow and rain simply because such miniscule statistics indicate such? Remember: quality of life is not SOLELY dependent upon its extent. As I’m sure you’re aware, the opportunity to relax with friends over a drink or a meal is a very important factor in overall quality of life as one ages.

    You might say “Well, some vets might not WANT smoke.” But why are you against allowing those who don’t mind such exposure the opportunity of having a few small spaces of their own for freedom?

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  2. So MoGasp is still insinuating that smoking bans in adult venues cause all these illnesses, but smoking at home does not? The MOMENT Mogasp lobbies to ban the LICENSING of the selling of all tobacco products is when I will believe that he cares about anyone’s health. Until that time, this is pure hypocrasy. Sending people home or outdoors to smoke does not cure anything. I also challenge Mogasp, and other pro ban forces to convene a Grand Jury, and put second hand smoke on trial. And ALL persons who testify will do it under oath. We really would like to know if all this pro ban funded “science” would stand up in court. The truth is more important than the propaganda to sell nicotine replacement.

  3. Hello mogasp! 🙂 Just two quick questions regarding the above:

    (1) One of your goals is to “A society where smoking is done only between consenting adults in private. ”

    So does that include private clubs, even ones with a nominal fee, where smoking would be allowed and only consenting adults would enter?

    mogasp: This has always been taken to mean the private home.

    and

    (2) You mention MOGASP’s “consistent stance against pre-emption.” Is it really consistent though? Would you fight against a state law that said sub-regions should have the right to enact milder bans? Or is your stance perhaps not as consistent as you think?

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

    mogasp: What is your question? Milder bans than what?
    Pre-emption was a tobacco industry strategy used very successfully in many state legislature’s where the tobacco industry is highly influential. The aim was to pass a very weak state Clean Indoor Air law which would override any stronger local ordinance. It tried this tactic in Missouri in the 1987 session and very nearly succeeded.

  4. Re “only taken to mean the private home.” So does that mean that you would want to forbid consenting adults from smoking in a private club that they bought or built themselves and only allowed themselves in?

    You’re correct about the history of pre-emption. The TCs wanted something called “a level playing field” without a whole patchwork of little laws. The Antismokers fought very hard against that — but then switched sides and argued for a “a level playing field” with statewide bans so businesses with bans wouldn’t suffer by having people flee next door. But now they’ve switched sides a THIRD time and want the laws to promote a NON level playing field once again with stricter local recommendations.

    In terms of consistency is a problem. It’s like saying “We’re going to make the pay scale even throughout the industry. Oh, except for those places that want to pay more (to keep employees) or perhaps those who want to pay less ( to maximize profits) <= take yer pick!

    • Michael, in response:
      First, don’t lump MoGASP in with “Antismokers.” That’s an unfair characterization which I take to be intended to simply demonize us.
      Second, MoGASP has consistently supported local action after discovering the hard way that the tobacco lobby exerts control over the state legislature.

  5. Mogasp, didn’t mean to make it sound like I was lumping you in with them although I guess it’s true I would have assumed you supported state laws. My criticism was for the Antismokers who have flitted back and forth: initially against state laws because they’d be too weak and pre-empt local laws, then after having pushed for local laws doing an about face and saying that a strong state law was needed to “level the playing field.” Similar to their back and forth on referendums in yesteryears.

    Did you have a response for my first question though:

    ===
    {Referring to goal: One of your goals is to create “A society where smoking is done only between consenting adults in private. ”}

    You’d noted that the above is meant to “only taken to mean the private home.” So what would your stance be on forbidding forbidding consenting adults from smoking in a private club that they bought or built themselves and only allowed themselves and their consenting adult friends to enter?
    ===

    – MJM

    • Michael, In principle you could argue that a private club for adults who smoke and which no nonsmokers ever need to enter could be exempted as well as a private home. However, this raises tricky issues, since such “clubs” with very nominal memberships have been created for the express purpose of trying to circumvent smoke-free air laws. And any nonsmoking employees are again being put at risk. If the purpose is to circumvent a smoke-free air law in this way mogasp would probably be opposed to it.

  6. MoGASP, I don’t think it’s fair to say that someone who is following a law is “circumventing” a law. If the law was written to allow for such private gatherings there’d be no circumventing at all.

    As far as the employees go, there have been some recent studies indicating that about 40% of bar employees smoke. Unless private clubs began taking up more than 40% of the business in an area there’d be no reason why nonsmoking employees would work in them.

    The law could even require smoke-club employers to follow the same behavior rules that Antismokers have applauded in companies and such who insist on “nonsmokers only” and simply require “smokers only” on their applications.

    Just for consistency’s sake you might say.

    ;>
    MJM

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