Monday, January 26, 2009

Through the haze, I see the dawning of a Smoke-Free St. Louis

Is it possible that St. Louis will go smoke-free in public places? Can it be true? It's going to take joint leadership and political courage, but I smell it coming (pun intended).

Efforts to enact a public smoking ban have failed in the past, so the battle is nothing new. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today on the renewed attempt.

Whether the new effort succeeds might depend on whether the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County could enact a ban simultaneously. None of their leaders wants to go it alone and put their bars and restaurants at a disadvantage against competitors in a neighboring jurisdiction.

Not wanting to wait for government action on the issue, many establishments have decided to (gasp!) voluntarily go smoke-free, and kudos to them. St. Louis City has good representation of smoke-free places: the Royale, Erato, the Gelateria, Bailey's Chocolate Bar, the Gramophone (Y!- I know you're all over that one), the ChurchKey, etc, etc.

There are community efforts surfacing to make this happen. Check out Smoke-Free St. Louis City on Facebook or on their website. You can voice your opinion on KSDK's poll about a smoke free ban.

I think it goes without saying that smoking is unhealthy and poses a public health threat, so I'll leave it at that. Wouldn't it be great if this ban goes through and St. Louis does something moderately forward-thinking? Already 34 states have either full or partial smoking bans, and in those states without one, countless cities and counties have enacted their own. We definitely wouldn't be the first city, but we won't be last either!


Y? said...

It is definitely about time that this happened. This is a public health issue. Hopefully now that Obama has 'restored the place of science' we'll get this sorted out soon.

ps. Even though I'm easily excitable, the Blogger identity uses a question mark.

Unknown said...

thanks for linking us on your website! and yes, it is about time st. louis went smoke-free!!!!! we have a smoke-free happy hour and fundraiser tomorrow night (5:30-7:30pm) at The Royale if you'd like to come and donate to the cause. together, we can make st. louis smoke-free in 2009!

!JustDance said...

wow. Welcome to the 21st century St Louis. I loved eating in Cicero's last night in the 'non-smoking section' next to the woman breathing out cancer to share with us all.