I didn’t spot this in yesterday’s print version of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch so I have to thank Mr. Bill Hannegan for alerting me to it! In his on-line comments following the story Mr. Hannegan posted this:
This is a last ditch effort on the part of Tobacco Free St. Louis. Their Obama Stimulus money runs out in March.
“The grant for the project runs out in March 2012.”
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/4c3pwb9The story aroused a LOT of reader response on-line. Some were from familiar names, such as “harleyrider1978” who uses a helmeted GI with a cigarette drooping from his lips as his logo. There were the usual arguments that private property rights trump public health, which is nonsense on its face, but that doesn’t stop incessant repetition by opponents of smoke-free air. Here’s the story by Post-Dispatch reporter, Margaret Gillerman.
BY MARGARET GILLERMAN • firstname.lastname@example.org > 314-725-6758 | Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 6:59 am | Comments (141 as of January 27, 2012, 2:10 pm)
A physician with St. Louis University, a representative of a North County church group and a business owner in University City were among those who spoke at a news conference this morning. They said that the smoking ban exemptions endangered the health of patrons and employees. They also presented an analysis showing that the largest number of exemptions are in communities including North County, where the incidence of heart attacks and respiratory diseases is high.
“The rate of exemptions is higher in the districts where health disparities are highest – making a bad health situation worse,” said Dr. Stuart Slavin, who is a board member of Tobacco-Free St. Louis and associate dean of the medical school St. Louis University. “The Clean Air Act was a positive and necessary first step to creating a less toxic environment for St. Louisans. But we’re failing those who need it most.”
The news conference was at Three Kings Public House in University City.
Derek Deaver, owner of Three Kings Public House, said, “To have some establishments playing by one set of rules and others by a different set of rules has created confusion, and an unlevel playing field. The exemptions have to go.”
Tobacco-Free St. Louis is a grassroots coalition that educates citizens, provides resources, and supports policies to eliminate the use of tobacco.