Wednesday, June 28, 2006


U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona couldn't make it any clearer. Secondhand smoke kills 3,000 nonsmokers a year. Nonsmokers have their chances of developing heart disease or lung cancer increased by 25 to 30 percent just from secondhand smoke. The only way to protect nonsmokers is to get the smoke completely out of the building. And nonsmoking cities are not seeing their business get flushed down the toilet...nonsmoking restaurants are profiting. That evidence makes opinions like this seem downright childish.

However, one argument deserves some mention. The nation is moving toward a nonsmoking trend already. Why bother passing a law for something that will happen on it's own time?

Baby bird needs a nudge out of the nest, that's why. 3,000 dead nonsmokers a year, from cigarette-related deaths. Smokers are killing nonsmokers. Isn't that reason enough?

I used to think the it-will-hurt-our-business-crowd had a point. Then Springfield passed a smoking ban and I realized I loved it. And it only makes sense that business should improve. Think about it: why cater to one-fifth of the population? Even if, say, half of your customers smoke, you're only drawing that half from 20 percent of the total population.

If you ban smoking, you have good reason for the other 80 percent of the population to show up MORE and thus make up for the initial hit.

Much as I hate the idea of banning all under 21s from downtown bars, I can't help but wonder if more older folks would come out of the woodwork if the "youngins" were gone.
Missouri totally needs to catch on to what we've done here in New England--BAN smoking in buildings in the entire state!! If you can't smoke in any bars or restaurants anywhere in the state, then smokers just have to suck it up and move on with life. The only business who might have to worry are those located near the border of a smoking state, but I'm not sure we have any of those left around here. I can't move back home until y'all do something about that hazy situation.
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