2011-08-03 P-D: “Effort to end smoking ban exemptions continues”

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NOTE ABOUT THIS BLOG: A hinge on the lid of my Mac PowerBook G4 broke recently – it was originally purchased Dec. 23, 2004 – and I ended up having to buy a new MacBook Pro to replace it. I was then stymied by the lack of a cable to transfer files between the old and new computer. It arrived late yesterday so I’m now operational again. O:-)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, Margaret Gillerman, posted the following story about last night’s continued focus on the exemptions in St. Louis County’s smoke-free air ordinance during the public forum before council members. This time, it was the turn of Charley Gatton, who attended but did not speak at last week’s meeting. His presentation during the public portion is reproduced below, followed by the news story and also critical comments from Bill Hannegan posted on the Post-Dispatch.

Here is Charley Gatton’s council testimony:

Charles Gatton

“Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.

My name is Charley Gatton, and I live in Ballwin.

I would like to talk with you about the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance. Nearly two years ago, I led the citizen effort to pass this ordinance. Despite a small budget and limited time, we were thrilled when it passed by a two-to-one margin. It passed in every township in St. Louis County. As you know, it went into effect at the beginning of this year, seven months ago.

First the good news – in spite of all of the doom and gloom predictions, the sky didn’t fall. Businesses didn’t close by the droves. Many businesses have found that their customer count and revenues have increased. I hear almost weekly from county residents that are thrilled with the new environment, and employees I talk with are also thrilled. A recent survey done for the American Cancer Society showed that voters really like this ordinance and want it strengthened.

But not everything is great. While leading the campaign, I was repeatedly told that no more than 70 or so “drinking establishment” exemptions would be granted. This was based on the number of businesses that had liquor licenses that did not have Sunday permits. I understand that a Sunday sales permit requires a business to demonstrate that more than 50% of their business revenue comes from food. The Proposition N ordinance requires that to be considered for an exemption permitting smoking, a location must have less than 25% of their revenue from food.

Imagine my surprise when a great many businesses with Sunday sales permits applied for and got exemptions! I didn’t major in math but it would seem that they should be mutually exclusive. But as of last week, more than 150 establishments had received permits. I hear many complaints from people telling me this isn’t what they thought they were voting for. Business people complain about the process and about the unfairness of it.

I have heard many reasons why this happened. But clearly, the County has a problem. Too many employees and patrons remain exposed to dangerous levels of second-hand smoke.

I didn’t come here tonight to present you with a problem with no solution. The solution is simple. The Cancer Society survey points the way – a vast majority of the voters surveyed favor amending the ordinance to do away with the “drinking establishment” and casino exemptions. I urge you to take this action now.”

Bill Hannegan posted the following comment:

“Bill Hannegan said on: August 3, 2011, 1:08 am
Both Charlie Gatton and Barbara Fraser are now on the Board of Directors of Tobacco Free St. Louis. Should leaders of a charity 501c3 be lobbying the County Council like this? Post reporter Phil Sutin recently reported that O’Fallon Councilman Jim Pepper asked the IRS to investigate the heavy lobbying of Tobacco Free St. Louis when under the leadership of Pat Lindsey. Whatever became of that investigation? And is former County Councilman Barb Fraser in any way being paid for her current lobbying effort to remove County smoking ban exemptions?”

Following is reporter Margaret Gillerman’s Post-Dispatch report:

CLAYTON > Effort to end smoking ban exemptions continues • The campaign intensified Tuesday night to persuade the St. Louis County Council to even out the rules of the countywide smoking ban at bars and restaurants.
         Four speakers urged the council to remove an exemption that allows smoking at bars that get less than 25 percent of their revenue from food.
         Smoking is banned in bars and restaurants with larger percentages of their revenue from food.
         The speakers said the seven-month-old smoking ban did not provide a level playing field for businesses.
         Ken Breier is an owner of Schottzie’s Bar and Grill in South County, which does not have an exemption.
         “The health issue is the same for everyone, where there is smoking, no matter how much food is sold,” he said.
         Charley Gatton led the citizen campaign group to pass the county smoking ban. He called on the council Tuesday to “do away with the drinking establishment and casino exemptions. …          Too many employees and patrons remain exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke.”
         This was the second week of the campaign at the County Council meeting. Again the council took no action. Several speakers had ties to Tobacco Free St. Louis, but its new head, former County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, said people were speaking as individuals. Fraser addressed the County Council last week.

36 responses to “2011-08-03 P-D: “Effort to end smoking ban exemptions continues”

  1. There’s a very easy way to absolutely demolish bars’ ban opposition and get it passed quickly … if the smoke-free folks are telling the truth and those places will see their biz stay the same or increase.

    Simply set up a legally binding guarantee, out of the smoke-free groups’ funding and their leaders’ personal pocketbooks, that they will cover any business losses over the next three years incurred by newly banned bars. Wider confounding effects of the economy could be easily controlled for by comparing the books of a similar set of already smoke-free bars and then applying any needed adjustment.

    Easy as pie, the ban would be passed and it would be a win-win-win situation for all! Unless of course the Antismokers were lying about the effects the ban would have on business. It’s a simple challenge. Now… will they accept, or will they run faster than a little girl from a pack of tarantulas?

    My bet is on the little girl.

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

  2. I wish Bill Hannegan would have a sudden epiphany and become a firm believer in promoting clean air for our area, that would really seal the deal over current exemptions to unpolluted air in public establishments. I do of course realize that if wishes were horses, beggars would be riders.

  3. Mr. McFadden – You’ve put forward a ridiculous proposal. First, this isn’t about revenues…it’s about public health. Public health for all….Business owners, patrons and most importantly, employees. It is my opinion….yes, opinion…..that if the business owners would embrace the clean air…take it in…understand it…and then market to it….all would be good. If they stubbornly hold on to the notion that only smoking customers matter they should reap what they sow…….

  4. Pat Lindsey surveyed County bars that didn’t get an exemption and one was down 75 percent. Sounds like the sky fell for that establishment.

    I don’t mean to downplay the importance of Charley Gatton’s effort to promote the smoking ban, but the false claims circulated in the press just prior to the vote carried the day. If a smoking ban could cut the heart attack rate of community 40 percent or working 8 hours in a bar equals smoking a pack of cigarettes yourself, even I might vote for a smoking ban.

    Two more pressing current questions for Charley Gatton: where did the $500,000 the Post reported was given to Tobacco Free St. Louis end up. And are any of the TFSL Board of Directors paid to do lobbying by SLU?

  5. I believe this post verifies McFadden’s comment on carefully crafted polls. The anti-smoking activist brag about the popularity of the bans in one breath, and then call for a level playing field with the next. The free market is the ultimate pollster since it includes all the people and the words are not carefully crafted. Why is it that is not the bars with exemptions that are calling for a level playing field if the bans are as popular as advertised?
    http://peoplesrepubmadison.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/progressive-mythology-the-level-playing-field/

    Marshall P Keith

  6. How can Mr Gatton claim, on one hand the ban has not hurt business in establishments which have to comply, AND then, on the other hand, claim it’s unfair to allow some exemptions? He’s speaking with a forked tongue here.
    I patronize the exempt establishments, I can tell you that almost all the workers in them are themselves smokers. How can allowing smoking by patrons harm their health? Lastly, exactly who is complaining about the exemptions, as Mr Gatton claims? especially with so many choices of nonsmoking establishments now available in the County?
    No actually what we have now IS what the voters voted for. -Some places where people can still smoke.

    mogasp comment: Voters weren’t given that kind of choice, i.e.”Do you want to see some bars exempt or no bars exempt?”
    Voters were presented with a proposition with exemptions and voted for it because that’s the best they could get, which was viewed as a lot better than the status quo.

  7. Bill – You’re delusional if you think the yes voters on Prop N all voted because of what you call “false claims”. All of those involved with the effort to pass Prop N had heard repeatedly that there should be no exemptions and that they were in favor of clean air ordinances. You need to get over it and stop trying to defend your position with your false claims.

  8. michaeljmcfadden

    Jane, if it’s not about money, but just public health, then the antismoking groups would most certainly LOVE my proposal! It would guarantee the public health outcome they’ve been working for. Of course they might have to actually work as true unpaid volunteers for their cause for a number of years afterward, but if they believe what they’ve been publicly saying then they don’t have anything to worry about.

    Do you yourself have any connection with any of those organizations? Do you volunteer with one of them? Could you suggest the idea to them? It could result in a great leap forward for public health if your beliefs about the threat of secondary smoke are true!

    – MJM

  9. I guess I haven’t irritated you enough for you to remember me. I was a fellow alderman of Charley Gatton back when Ballwin’s good CAO was passed….the first CAO in St. Louis County. I have been paid NOTHING for my support of Clean Air Ordinances nor do I want to be. And, for the record, I am not anti-smoking which is a term you love to use. I think it’s a nasty, dangerous habit but I don’t care what the smoker does to him or herself personally. My care begins when this nasty habit contaminates the air…specifically indoor air…that we all need to breath. As for your proposal….I…of course….like mine better. If certain business owners cared about their employees and themselves rather than clinging to a dying addiction and enabling those addicted to continue…….we’d all be much healthier.

  10. MOGASP, the voters choice was no ban or a ban with exemptions. This was crafted by you antismoking groups because you know darn well an absolute ban would not have passed. BTW, most voters are senior citizens who do not partonize the exempt establishments aimed at the younger patrons. If the poll by the County Health Dept is correct, and only about 29% favor bar bans, then an absolute ban would have failed.

    mogasp comment: The voters choice was the status quo or smoke-free air with exemptions. and was the strongest language that former councilwoman Barbara Fraser could get a majority on St. Louis County Council to approve.
    Councilman Steve Stenger, the current council chairman, made his critical support conditional on exempting small bars and the casino gaming floor, which were the major exemptions in the weaker bill. Chairman Stenger is now supporting the removal of those exemptions.
    We don’t know for certain if the voters would have supported a stronger bill because they weren’t given the choice. This is all they were offered and they supported it by a 2-to-1 margin.

  11. Well, what we DO know, is that even among the majority of the Council, a complete ban was not popular. and we know the Co. health dept poll found a complete ban was not popular, so it’s most likely it’s the same with the voters.
    BTW, voters are not representative of patrons in the exempt establishments. Voters tend to be senior citizens most often, exempt establishment patrons tend to be young people who vote less often. So voters are not necessarily patrons. We also know sponsors of bans tend not to get reelected, and the Ballwin ban was a disaster. Fricks went out of business, some Greek place with belly dancers moved into that building and then went out of business, the French Quarter was sold and the new owner had to install a deck and extend it’s hours to make ends meet, and the Seventh Inn burned down suspiciously, and was never rebuilt. So claiming complete bans are popular is not supported by any real evidence.

  12. AND we know that the false claim that smoke kills 53,000 nonsmokers each year dates back to 1988. -and back then ya could still smoke on airplanes, in most work places, schools, and in all bars and restaurants all across America.
    AND we know that 23 years later, despite all the bans, antismoking groups still claim 53,000 deaths each year. If all this is true, then one thing we are sure of, is that smoking bans have not saved one life in the whole USA over the last 23 years. Thus bans are not effective evidence-based public health policy. Anyone who thinks eliminating the few remaining exempt places where one can smoke will suddenly start saving lives is just plain crazy.

    mogasp comment: Dave, what you are conveniently ignoring is the latency period before those exposed to secondhand smoke actually succumb to its effects, which is also true for active smokers. The latter don’t keel over and die after smoking for one year: it takes decades. Smoking and SHS are slow-motion killers.
    That is why I’ve been among the skeptics – Dr. Michael Siegel, who writes the blog “The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary,” being a leading exponent – of claims that secondhand smoke laws bring about immediate dramatic falls in deaths due to heart disease.
    Those drops are to be expected, but not straight away.
    What DOES happen immediately is a significant and measurable improvement in air quality. This is beneficial in numerous ways, most importantly to smoke-sensitive asthmatics, for example.

  13. MOGASP,, it’s been decades since exposure began dropping. The FDA runs a program of monitoring nicotine in nonsmokers. They found between 1988 and 2000 that everage exposure dropped 70%.. It’s been 11 years since then. Since smokers’ heart attack risk supposedly drops 50% after about 5 years of abstenence, we should also see a 50% times .7 = 35% drop in the claimed 53,000 between 2000 and 2011 for nonsmokers. Sorry, your theoretical model simply does not work in the real world.

  14. Mr. Kunneman – You’re wrong about Ballwin…period. Fricks went out of business before the Ballwin CAO and one of the previous owners now supports CAOs….ask him if you know who he is. French Quarter is doing GREAT ! I go there every Tuesday as I promised I would when the CAO was passed. You’ve jumped on the wrong grapevine with your rumors. It’s not about revenue but just for grins…Manchester’s sales tax revenue from restaurants and bars went down twice as much as Ballwin’s since Ballwin’s CAO has been in place. French Quarter didn’t “have to” do anything. They chose to. As I said earlier…embrace it…market to it…logic will show you that non-smokers will patronize your establishment if you care about their health…..

  15. Jane, Since you insist on claiming that it is a health issue, do you believe in passing laws based on questionable science that wouldn’t hold up in a court of law?
    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/science-and-the-law/

    The methods used were questionable and the resulting RR’s so low that they have never been considered proof of anything. Ask your activist friends to name three causes of a disease that have been proven with equally low risks.

    Marshall P Keith

  16. Thank you for the response Jane! 🙂 The difference I see in our proposals is that yours (convincing 140+ bar owners that a ban will be good for them and their businesses without any guarantee) seems it would be much more difficult to bring about than mine (convincing a few folks at the head of the antismoking organizations to stand solidly behind what they promote and claim to be the truth — that the ban will not hurt business — with their own pocketbooks rather than with the pocketbooks of other people).

    Unless of course they are lying. If you believe they are NOT lying, then it would seem that my proposal is the one you should work on: after all, convincing a dozen or so folks to stand behind what they believe to be true *should* be easier than convincing 140+ folks to stand behind what they believe to be false.

    Unless, again, the dozen are lying.

    Also: you speak of the air “that we all need to breathe” but obviously we don’t “all need to breathe” the air in those 140 bars.

    – MJM

  17. Michael – You’re argument doesn’t make sense, respectfully. And I’ll disagree with your “all need to breathe” comment. For example, my son works in a restaurant, within a mile from home, and has for the last three years. He works there to help fund his college education. Working in a restaurant or bar is very typical for young adults his age. Does he HAVE to work…no……does he HAVE to work in a restaurant …. no …… but explain to me why he’s not entitled to clean air in his place of employment? Further, to make a broad statement such as “few folks …… to stand solidly behind what they promote and claim to be the truth–that the ban will not hurt business” ……. is just that ….. painting with a rather broad brush …. YOUR broad brush. I have never told a bar that clean air ordinances would not hurt their business. I strongly believe that some bar owners are addicted to their smoking customers ……. just as their smoking customers are addicted to cigarettes. They don’t see the benefit of a smoke free environment on the cost side …… only their perception of the revenue side. The smokers sit at my bar for hours and hours and therefore I need to keep them and ignore the potential non-smokers that might patronize my establishment. It’s pretty simple to me. Keep your blinders on ….. BTW, I don’t have deep pockets anyway …. remember? I support clean air because it’s the right thing to do.

  18. Jane, government does indeed tolerate health risks in the workplace in respect of competing goods. If that were not the case, the Pageant could not offer rock shows with volumes above 100 decibels. I wouldn’t want my kids to work at the Pageant due to the hearing loss workers might suffer. But I don’t want to take away the freedom of Joe Edwards to offer rock shows. Do you think government has the duty to enforce OSHA sound level limits at the Pageant?
    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=9735

  19. Mr. Pion, do you believe the business losses the Sports Page reports are due to the smoking ban or the economy? If smokers don’t abanadon smoke-free casinos to go to nearby casinos where they can smoke, why would they abandon smoke-free bars like the Sports Page?

    mogasp reply: An individual example of claimed business loss which I cannot verify doesn’t have much to do with an aggregate review of attendance at competing casinos in IL and neighboring states, in my view.

  20. Jane, while your talking points about employers not caring about their employees health makes a good sound bite, it has little basis in fact. Dave brought up the fact that smoking bans have been in effect for decades and yet the numbers never go down. Minnesota enacted the indoor clean air act in 1975 and their numbers are no better then any other state. If you want to talk about the relative risks of ets, they are essentially the same as the cooking fumes that your son was exposed to, actually higher!
    http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/9/4961.abstract

    And they did not have to cheat and use meta-analysis to get rid of the 1 in the confidence interval.

    Marshall P Keith.

    mogasp comment: Minnesota’s statewide Clean Indoor Air Act was the first to be enacted, and the only one to catch the tobacco lobby off-guard. (After that they determinedly opposed them very effectively.) But it was a very weak law by current standards, to my knowledge, so it doesn’t in any way help to make your case.

  21. Well MoGASP, not everyone in MN is happy with the CIA Act:
    http://mankatofreepress.com/latestnews/x1975979785/Bills-aim-to-bring-smoking-back-to-bars
    as Marshall mentioned. You can find even more damage done to the hospitality venues here:
    http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/
    281 char

  22. Tony Palazzolo

    What drives me crazy is this: Proban people will advertise a smoking ban as being business friendly. You pull out economic study after study (not done by economist) that prove your point. You’ll likewise dismiss any data done by an economist (he is a libertarian or he/she was wrong). Then you get your ban (I know not exactly what you wanted) and now your parading business people that have been hurt by the ban in front of the council.

    Your telling the council that they are hurt by the ban and you need to get rid of the exemptions. Yet when asked “did the ban hurt them” you won’t answer. You’ll say this is about public health or we don’t know. Why then are you taking them in front of the council.

    Of course I shouldn’t be confused. You feel as if its your right to do what every you need to do to protect people from themselves. You feel your smarter then the people who risked their futures to start a business.

  23. The obvious solution is of course not even discussed. Why this seems to be a feature of democracies packed with super freedom granules is a complete mystery. Simply shut down the affected businesses and the problem solves itself. All boats are raised. Austerity is increased for everyone and menacing second hands made of smoke turn into cotton candy.

    There seem to no serious and civil minds capable of comprehending basic fairness. Perhaps by turning over the chessboard the answer can be found. Mandated consumption of no less than three cigarettes per hour, exempting children of course who can simply eat a couple as a snack, a new consensus can arise. Then again perhaps the predictable recurring appearance of obsessive puritans determined to destroy even the slightest bit of unearned joy experienced by others should be rejected as it always eventually is now rather than after endless rounds of grief.

    What happens when people are deprived of even the hope of the tiniest moment of pleasure? Dysfunctional and angry people and violence. But as we live in a civil and serious democracy, evident from the very liberal Obama and the loyal opposition acting in unison as reactionaries, whatever I say should be totally ignored. Because we live in the best of all possible societies and have so much freedom we can throw the excess away.

    Remember what May Day was all about? Me neither. Thank Christ. So whose next? Whose freedoms improved next? I can’t wait. More austerity, please!

    mogasp note: 1,485 characters. Please see your next post for my comment on your submissions.

  24. MoGasp, brilliant. Like MoTown and MoMoney. Have you trademarked it? It’s strong and smart! USA! USA!

    Smokers and Obama are actually quite the same, both are included in the discussion and yet entirely irrelevant and marginalized. Obama is the ultimate free market response to politics. He is novel and shiny so you buy the product but when you get it home, yeah it’s pretty homogenous and contains no real value and holds no real values. So back to the shop for an equally vapid and interchangeable zero.

    The tobacco phobics are great too. They get firsthand experience with learning how to look at another human being and see nothing at all, no humanity, a non-entity without value, feelings, etc. And merrily the downtrodden (armed with absolute power, zero empathy and absolute moral authority) go destroying businesses for the children including those which exclude children completely.

    Public relations is now so invisible and pervasive that people are entirely unable to discern which impulses are theirs and which have been instilled upon them by the marketplace of ideas. Its staggering how in less than 100 years the American mind has been completely destroyed and freedom gets bigger and bigger. How do alternative thoughts get in. They don’t stand a chance. It’s super neat!

    Thanks Edward Bernays and a high five to Walter Lipperman. More austerity, please. And more derision, bring the scorn, let the freedom reign. America has finally gotten it right. Now time to pivot to jobs!

    mogasp comment: First, I’d like confirmation that Dr. Brian Oblivion is your real name since that is the first requirement to have a comment accepted.
    Second, you should be aware that comments must be limited to 1,000 characters, including spaces, for consideration. You have submitted two in quick succession that are well over that, the first being 1,485 characters and this one being 1,488 characters.
    You could have easily edited them down if you had kept them on point: they tend to ramble all over the place.
    This is meant as a friendly notice. Please keep these requirements in mind if you wish any further comments to be considered for approval.
    (mogasp comment: 653 characters, including spaces)

  25. Jane, Fricks was indeed still in business the day the Ballwin ban took effect. The French Quarter suffered post ban which is why Probst sold it. The new owners had to install a deck to keep smoking customers—period. Otherwise why would they endure the expense of construction plus the operating the heaters????? maybe Manchester did worse than Ballwin, but the rest of the County did better than ballwin. —you cherry-picked your control for your study.

  26. Martin,
    Yes Minnesota was weak by today’s standards, but it drastically reduced exposure to second hand smoke, and that was almost 30 years ago and yet it did not cut the estimated deaths or diseases. So while you say it does nothing for my case, I suggest otherwise. It shows that a reduction of exposure has done nothing to improve the health of non-smokers and shows that the entire movement for the fraud that it is. You were the one that said that it would take decades to notice a difference, it has been 3 decades.

    Marshall P Keith

  27. Dave, Mike Probst sold the French Quarter to relatives after the ban passed but before it was imposed. The French Quarter sought a further delay in the imposition of the ban and would not get it from Charley Gatton if Mike owned it.

  28. Well, by the time they endured the expense to build the deck, and heat the area, we all have to admit that profit margins had to suffer. I was talking about Fricks, all us opponents went there for a sympathy beer the night the ban passed. So I know Fricks was still in business shortly before the ban took effect. I just searched the Seventh Inn– post ban, owner Elsa Barth said she lost 35% of her business.

  29. Mr. Kunneman – As you state…you went there for a beer when the CAO was passed…that was before it took effect as Bill Hannegan correctly pointed out. Thank you Bill. I know Mike Probst and as I understand it….the “family” did not agree with his rigidness on the clean air issue. Frank or Rick would both tell you that Frick’s was hurting far before the CAO went into effect regardless. I did not do the comparison of sales tax figures….someone curious about the claims that Ballwin was hurt by the CAO wanted to know the TRUTH. In my opinion, because of the exodus of business to Chesterfield Valley, the restaurant/bar business as well as the retail business along Manchester Road (thru the heart of Ballwin) has seen a steady decrease since the valley was developed. Back to French Quarter…you keep talking about “new owners”….it stayed within the family as Bill Hannegan also clarified. Yes, I knew “Bones”……yes, I know Mike Probst. As for Elsa…..going into her establishment was like walking back into time. No change in menu, no change in decor, but a lot of change…also in the Chesterfield…drawing business away. Elsa said a lot of things but she never brought any proof before the Board despite repeated requests. Elsa said I’m “Going to lose” 10, 15, 25, 35 %. I can’t recall the timing of the suspicious fire that burned her leased restaurant to the ground but the CAO had certainly not been in effect long enough (if at all) to make noticeable difference. Like her clientele, she was stuck back in the 70’s when there was not much out in west county. I was around back then to know.

    mogasp comment: 1,626 characters, so this significantly exceeds the 1,000 character limit but I’ll allow it this time, especially since I’ve allowed several other equally long replies recently.

  30. Tony – I wonder if Marty of the Sports Page feels…as you suggest…that he is being “paraded” in front of the Council. It’s what is called Free Speech…Tony. I am confident that the Clean Air Advocates that speak on this subject are not arm twisting anyone to speak before the council. I’ve spoken many times…gladly. The half truths about Ballwin is what caused me to speak up. I did my research as did others….no one along Manchester Road did “better than Ballwin” after the CAO. New development, yes. But pray tell…why did Senor Pique leave Manchester AFTER the CAO? Why did the Sky Bar Music Lounge locate in Ballwin? I heard it straight from Bob Wilhite’s mouth…..we know about the CAO and it’s not a problem. We don’t want our bands to play in smoky conditions. Market to it…embrace it…CAOs logically should help a bar/restaurant if 75% are non-smokers. In Ballwin, the number is probably 80% or 85%.

    mogasp comment: Good! character count = 902

  31. This is from an old article in the Webster-Kirkwood Times: McArthur was president of the Kirkwood chamber of commerce, and this is his testimony before the Kirkwood Board of Aldermen.
    To learn how a smoking ban has affected Ballwin restaurants, McArthur sought input from seven establishments along Manchester Road including AppleBee’s, Fritz’s and French Quarter.
    “Six of the seven reported losses in the bar of 35 to 50 percent,” McArthur said. He added that restaurants like Longhorn Steakhouse reported bar losses of over 50 percent and no increase in restaurant sales and it now closes an hour earlier everyday.
    McArthur also noted that one bar and two restaurants have closed since Ballwin instituted a no-smoking ban.
    P.S. The 7th Inn fire was definitely after the ban took effect.

  32. Mr. Kuneman –
    With all due respect to Mr. McArthur, he talked to employees at Longhorn….the story was different when you talked to a manager. Now you’re cherry picking info. Talk to Applebee’s TODAY, Talk to Brian at the French Quarter TODAY. The article you’re citing is probably 5-6 years old and the “survey” or “input” was sought by an individual…Mr. McArthur…well known for his opposition to clean air ordinances. While you’re at it…consider the passage of the clean air ordinance in Kirkwood where Mr. McArthur’s business was back then…..and check out how the voters felt. Since that time, the research regarding sales tax earnings for Ballwin versus Manchester used actual sales tax data. The drop in sales tax earnings for Ballwin was consistent with the prior few years…since Chesterfield Valley was developed. Manchester’s, however, dropped twice as much as Ballwin’s SINCE the CAO – 8% down in restaurants and bars versus 4%. With Mr. McArthur you get “selective questions and selective hearing”. I’ve given you hard data and logical explanations which you’ve chosen to ignore.

  33. Well, then let’s see the whole study…. you can email it to MOGAASP, and he can forward it to me. The whole region was in an economic upswing following the 9-11 recession. I think you cherry-picked your comparison city. Also, I know that other than Ballwin, there was no bar and restaurant mayhem going on up and down Manchester Rd.
    Lastly, McArthur, is a nonsmoker, and did not allow smoking in his bakery delli at that time. Mc Arthur only came out against bans following his survey of Ballwin business impact. AND Kirkwood voters soundly defeated that ballot ban- so that’s how the Kirkwood voters felt. Similar happenings in Arnold cause them to greatly weaken thier ban and make it a wall-off ordinance. Similar happenings recently caused the whole state of Nevada to essentially repeal thier ban. The truth is coming out.

  34. Jane
    Most of not all people in a parade do it voluntarily. You didn’t answer my question. I asked why Marty Ginsberg would turn from someone very much against a ban to someone who wants to exend the ban. Its not because he is a champion of clean air. Its because he has been hurt by the ban. He is losing income because he can no longer offer what his customers want.
    I find it amazing that so many educated people can’t grasp the simple concept of supply and demand. St Louis County was 70% +smoke-free because there are more non-smokers than smokers. The ban increased the supply but it didn’t increase the demand.
    Are you spending more money now that all restaurants are smoke-free? Did you stay home before but now feel you can go out?

  35. yes, the former USSR finally learned that free markets work best. When will antismokers learn that same lesson?
    Tony, I remember, here, a few months ago, even the president of MOGASP admitted that he and his wife are not going out more or spending more money.

  36. In the August 9th edition of the St. charles Patch, even Joe Cronin admits that a poorly crafted county smoking ban could cause over 300 job losses –just inside the city of St. Charles.

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