2011/03/15 KMOV: “The Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) could soon be shut down”

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It seems that when members are used to puffing on their expensive cigars they also feel the law shouldn’t apply to them, even when it does.

Scofflaw members of the Missouri Athletic Club and an apparently quiescent management are putting that storied institution’s future in jeopardy by ignoring the new St. Louis City smoke-free air ordinance, effective since January 2nd this year, that requires the MAC to be smoke-free.

It would be a pity if this institution were to push its defiance of the law to the point where it is actually shut down, but that seems to be the direction in which it’s headed.

The story below is from KMOV.com but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also published a story the day before:

City inspects MAC again: Smoking continues, sources say

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 8:51 PM
Updated Tuesday, Mar 15 at 10:55 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — The Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) could soon be shut down.

Missouri Athletic Club, St. Louis City

After repeated complaints were made against the private club, the MAC is now under a strict watch by the City of St. Louis for violating the smoking ban.
         Earlier this year, the MAC was cited and fined by the city for violating the smoking ban, but the St. Louis Health Department has learned that the private club is still non compliant with the ordinance.
         While the MAC is a private organization, St. Louis officials say the club must obey the city’s smoking ban because it is a place of employment.
         Repeated violations could cause the City of St. Louis to shut down the MAC.

18 responses to “2011/03/15 KMOV: “The Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) could soon be shut down”

  1. I don’t know why there’s all the concern about shutting down this “storied institution” on the altar of a smoking ban. I’m sure dozens of small charitable organizations have shuttered their doors when bans dried up bingo funds, and most certainly hundreds (thousands?) of small community-based taverns which served as glue for their social communities have been closed in the wake of bans, so why should MAC be treated differently?

    It’s like talking about giving casinos an exemption simply because the State and the taxpayers lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue while the small bar owners are told they simply have to “suck it up and bear it.” The only change in the law should either be to abolish it or to hold the politicians and antismoking groups who promised no losses personally and legally responsible for covering those losses … both for the big guys AND the small guys.

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

  2. The loss of the MAC may cause St. Louis City political leaders to regret having signed on to the MOGASP agenda.

    mogasp comment: Mr. Hannegan is kind enough to give MoGASP more credit than may be its due.

  3. The smoke epidemic in St Louis is like a plague. Just now (11:48 PM) I’ve had to come out of my bedroom to sleep on the floor of my balcony to try and escape the toxic fumes filtering in from an adjacent unit. If it were bitterly cold I’d have no recourse. The law cannot protect me from this on-going torture of being forced to inhale other people’s addictive, poisonous, cigarette smoke.

  4. One mans Scofflaw is another mans patriot. What really is a pity is that groups of people think that they have the right to dictate what legal products can be used on private property that is not owned by them. A refresher on the constitution. The constitution does have a clause in the fifth amendment. “without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws (Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail).

    Smoking bans are nothing more than discrimination against smokers!
    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp comment: You evidently cannot distinguish between just and unjust laws. Discrimination on the basis of skin color is unjust on its face. A law that seeks to protect the public and private employees from readily avoidable indoor air pollution are just plain common sense.

  5. I’d imagine management are themselves smokers, which explains why they obstinantly refuse to obey the law. It reminds me of a TV cigarette commercial from the 60’s : “Us Tareyton smokers would rather die than quit”.
    Well, OK, it was actually “… would rather fight than switch”, but it’s basically the same idea: defend your addiction to the bitter end. Sort of like Kahdaffi (sic) willing to die rather than abdicate. Insane.

  6. mogasp comment: “You evidently cannot distinguish between just and unjust laws. Discrimination on the basis of skin color is unjust on its face. A law that seeks to protect the public and private employees from readily avoidable indoor air pollution are just plain common sense.”

    I clearly know the difference. Common sense dictates that it is avoidable. Don’t patronize businesses that allow smoking and don’t work for a smoking establishment. It’s called freedom of choice. But anti-smokers like you believe that you have more rights that smokers or the property owners which by definition is discrimination. You demand all businesses cater to you and throw the smokers outside, in another post you clearly show that you don’t want smokers outside either. No scientific basis just because you find it an annoyance.
    Your hero Repace is doing some heavy deflecting at the WSJ

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp reply: You know the difference but refuse to acknowledge it, instead adopting the tobacco industry’s propaganda about “freedom of choice.”
    In fact, for years R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. produced a newsletter called “Choice” specifically to counter smoke-free air laws with this kind of distorted message.
    One “Choice” cover shows smokers huddled outside a building smoking in the cold, intended to convey how unfair it was. However, the real message is how addictive nicotine is for smokers, and how hard it is to quit.
    P.S. Thanks for the WSJ link. James Repace seems to be holding his own perfectly well, as usual.
    Also, I notice one of your posts referencing a Fox News report “EPA scientists complain about political pressure” at http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Apr23/0,4670,EPAScientists,00.html published April 23, 2008. You hold this up as an example of SHS science being subverted at the EPA but that is entirely incorrect.
    The above occurred during the George W. Bush presidency, which was distinctly anti-science, especially when it had to do with climate change and other environmental issues adversely affecting its big business supporters. The EPA has been subjected to similar pressure by the tobacco lobby at earlier times when the industry tried to suppress the science of SHS.

  7. In an earlier post:


    Horacio Prada compared exposure to smoke in a park to George Harrison’s smoking and cancer. I showed the comparison was really only accurate if you went to smoking parks every day and spent a full hour walking 18 inches behind behind smoking people. Assuming they didn’t turn around and hit you, it would take you literally TEN MILLION YEARS to get a dose equivalent to that which Mr. Prada feels caused George Harrison’s cancer.

    Repeating here since he seems to have missed it on the earlier thread and evidently still believes he is being “poisoned” by a smell. Regarding his apartment, using EPA figures as a base combined with Bohac’s 2011 study of inter-apartmental smoke transfer, it would take him roughly 200,000 years to get LC from the ETS.

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

  8. mogasp reply:”You know the difference but refuse to acknowledge it, instead adopting the tobacco industry’s propaganda about “freedom of choice.”
    Actually I use the “Constitution” not propaganda from big tobacco or tobacco control. Freedom of association and property rights are fundamental to our free republic. Nowhere in the Constitution does it make exceptions to these fundamental rights. You claim that the ban is for the benefit of the workers but OSHA is the governing body in that dept. and they found the so called science seriously lacking.
    That link showed that the EPA is still corrupt, funny you had no comment on the first link.

    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp reply: Not everything pro-tobacco commenters submit, even when approved for publication, deserves a reply.

  9. MoGasp, you’re off-base accusing Marshall of “adopting tobacco industry propaganda” re the use of “Choice.” I was using that term in that way in this fight long before RJR got involved. If someone says “I have a right to breathe!” should I accuse them of “adopting antismoking industry propaganda”? (Don’t claim it’s not an industry: *you* may not be involved with the hundreds of millions spent annually on “Tobacco Control” activities but a lot of other people are.)

    Secondly, re: language use and that “Choice” cover: If I was writing a blog on it I could take your statement and rephrase it as the cover showing “how enjoyable smoking is,” that smokers are happy to do it even if they “have to huddle out in the cold” to smoke.

    You’re correct about the Bush/EPA timing, but I think Marshall’s point, correctly, is that the EPA *can be* and *has been* subverted in the past by political powers. Marshall, I, and many others believe that’s exactly what happened in the EPA 1992 Report.

    – MJM

    mogasp reply: The statements I made are not being amended, except to note that if you came up with the idea of “Choice” before RJR they should have paid you royalties.
    The tobacco lobby and its supporters have perverted words to further their efforts to defeat smoke-free air laws: “choice” and “freedom” are good examples. “Choice” is no longer nicotine addiction. “Freedom” is the freedom to pollute the air others breathe.

  10. I went to the WSJ article and didn’t find James Repace quoted or mentioned. What did I miss?

    mogasp reply: You failed to review the many comments the article generated. I will probably be posting Repace’s and some others on this blog.

  11. Orwell: “If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

    “Poisoning” describing the simple existence of something in the environment is an example. The claim that a $1 addition to a price is not a “tax” but a “user fee” is another. “Volunteers without compensation” are now defined as “Employees” to justify bans “protecting workers.” “Addiction” has moved from withdrawals killing screaming writhing victims to being something that mainly gets people annoyed and bitchy. 17 and even 20 year olds have become “children” while 68 year olds are “middle aged.” Nicotine transmutes from a stimulant like caffeine to being a “neurotoxic poison” like nerve gas.

    And then we have Shawn Cox of the ACS in N. Kentucky saying of their total bar/restaurant/workplace ban proposal, “This is not a smoking ban.” Finding three clean ashtrays on a shelf behind a desk is “tantamount to the potential that people are permitting smoking.”

    And $14 million becomes “no money” -NJBreathes

    mogasp response: I cannot judge the validity of your statements but some seem extreme, e.g. “Nicotine transmutes from a stimulant like caffeine to being a “neurotoxic poison” like nerve gas.” Nicotine is well-known as being highly addictive, making it hard for many/most of those with a strong desire to quit to do so.

  12. mogasp reply:” Not everything pro-tobacco commenters submit, even when approved for publication, deserves a reply.”
    Perhaps you should sit on Dr Siegel’s knee and have him explain the facts of life. I have no ties to any tobacco company. I favor freedom of choice, I do not promote or push tobacco use. If you read my blog you will find that I use the same Freedom of Choice arguments when fighting all of the Nanny State Laws. BTW I already posted a blog entry on the exchange with James (tornado Repace)
    Marshall P Keith

    mogasp reply: For my benefit and that of others visiting this blog please list all those other Nanny State Laws to which you object.

  13. (1) The Hohenstein press release of their new study on smokers’ clothing poisoning babies through the “neurotoxic poison” in ETS was picked up by Banzhaf of ASH who headlined it in his own press release in the first paragraph as

    “Parents who do not smoke in the presence of their children…nevertheless put their children at serious risk of “massive damage” to both skin and nerve cells, since a neurotoxin in thirdhand tobacco smoke penetrates the child’s skin.”

    Banzhaf doesn’t mention that the “neurotoxin” is simply a scary term for “nicotine” until his 4th paragraph – which of course is often ignored by the time the story hits the news. To be fair,the original H. Institute release did not play up the term as strongly as ASH.

    Re nic being “well-known as a being highly addictive,” that’s a perfect example of what I’d just said about language corrupting thought. Go back to old issues of the “Journal of Addiction” & see how many articles you’ll find about nicotine before the 1980s.


    mogasp comment: You are engaging in “guilt by association,” and I don’t even HAVE any direct association with ASH. But, if nicotine is a neurotoxin, which I hadn’t heard of before, then it’s legitimate to describe it as such.
    I’m not sure what the relevance is to old issues of the Journal of Addiction prior to 1980, which I’ve not checked, and nicotine as being highly addictive.
    I’ve just pulled out my USSG report “The Health Consequences of Smoking – Nicotine Addiction,” released in 1988. The tobacco industry responded with strenuous objections to nicotine being compared in its addictive properties to cocaine and heroin because of the negative connotation, but I don’t recall ever having seen a respected scientist in the field questioning this conclusion.

  14. Can you explain why there aren’t thousands of people jonesing for tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant etc etc etc? If nicotine was so addictive people would be addicted to those too. Can you explain that cold turkey is far more successful than any of those pushed by big pharma.

    Marshall P Keith

  15. Following the conversation concerning nicotine on clothing, I find it odd that one can eat it and feed it to their children (potato, tomato, cauliflower, green pepper, chili’s and egg plant for example) . There must be a big business behind the smoking ban hype, one that profits. They probably give out grants to those that help with their promotion and do research to fit their agenda, or should I saw scam.

  16. mogasp reply: For my benefit and that of others visiting this blog please list all those other Nanny State Laws to which you object.

    Bottled water,trans-fats,incandescent bulbs,happy meals etc etc etc.
    As a registered Libertarian I am an avid reader of Reason and follow their webcasts. Here are just some of the videos that I have compiled.
    I have no problem with the government informing people on these issues, I do have a problem with the government dictating the choices that people have. It goes against every principle our country was founded on.

    Marshall P Keith

  17. Mogasp, don’t forget my other main point though: the misuse of language in scaring people with “neurotoxic poison” causing their children’s skin to fall off (more or less … think Raiders of the Lost Ark!).

    Re the relevance of Addiction Journal: What I’m reminding you of is that this whole “everyone knows nicotine is highly addictive” thing is NOT something “everyone knew” until it kept getting repeated over and over by antismoking advocates. I tabulated the articles in the Addictions Journal for 1975, 85, and 2005 to see if my memory was correct. The first # next to the date is the total # of articles for that year. The second # is the number that addressed tobacco/nic/smoking in their title.

    1975 – – – 54 – – – 1

    1985 – – – 56 – – – 5

    1995 – – – skipped: too many, tired eyes!

    2005 – – – 282 – – – 61 (includes 2 supps, one w/ 9 tob. arts.)

    Progression roughly 2%, 9%, ??%, 20%

    {counts a bit sloppy, bigger job than expected w/ slow browser! Redo if you want w/ just Res. Rpts}

    mogasp comment: Are you using “Antismoking advocate” as a pejorative term? Every US Surgeon General would qualify, if so, as might every researcher into the addictive properties of nicotine, for instance.

  18. “Are you using “Antismoking advocate” as a pejorative term? ”

    LOL! Not at all MoGasp! 🙂 I’m actually using it as a polite form of “Antismoker” and a more accurate term than the “Antismoking Lobbyist” that I’ll sometimes use when the Antis start throwing the “Tobacco Lobbyist” term around.

    A researcher into the addictive properties of nicotine is not necessarily an antismoking advocate any more than a researcher into the addictive properties of caffeine or sugar would be an anti-coffee or anti-candy researcher. BUT… if they designed their research and public statements consistently in a way to exaggerate in a pejorative manner the “addiction” components that they found… then, yes, they would be anti-coffee etc.

    – MJM

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