Thursday, April 23, 2009

St. Louis City, smoke free? Is it possible?

I heard a piece on the news last night that talked about changing a law in the city of St. Louis to make all public places smoke free. Although I personally love this idea, I know alot of people are miffed about it.

Think about it though, would we allow any other toxic waste to fill the air in public places? I realize some bars and restaurants feel like they will lose business if this gets changed, but how much business are they already losing by allowing smoking now? I personally stay away from smoky places. I simply don't patronize places where my clothes and purse and hair and lungs are going to be drenched in cigarette smoke during and well after my encounter. It's harmful to my health and offensive to my sense of smell and negatively affects the taste of food. No thanks!

Besides, when are we going to consider the negative affects on the kids? Not only is it harmful to their health, it sends a message. A self indulgent message that it's ok to hurt someone else, because you have the right to do it to yourself. My father smoked with us kids in the car and in the house, my entire life at home. I ended up taking up the habit after he left. Perhaps I was 'conditioned' to regular doses of the nicotine and subconsciously craved it? Who knows. The point is, it wasn't good for us to be breathing that in for all those years but that didn't matter as long as he wanted to do it. It's everyone's choice weather or not they want to smoke, unless they are standing next to someone else's choice. Take a moment to read up on the effects of second hand smoke from the American Lung Association.

School nurses have to have like written permission from parents to give kids an aspirin at school but do they have your protection from breathing toxic waste into their lungs by just walking through the clouds just outside the entrances to theaters, malls, schools, restaurants, stores and many many other public places? If you want to smoke, keep it to yourself. Literally. Just like news of the best diet pill might spread fast, smoke gets around! It's your choice to smoke or not, but don't expect other people to enjoy being forced to suffer because of it. For shame.

And don't EVEN get me started on the part where the earth is just one ginormous ash tray! What do you think happens to that butt or empty pack? 'Someone' has to clean them up! They don't just disappear into thin air when you throw them out your car window! I'm done with this conversation.


Tina Kubala said...

I used to think the smoking or not issue should be left to business owners. All well and good when I lived in liberal states, Washington and New York, where public smoking was banned years ago. After living here in Missouri, I have changed my mind. Non smoking sections aren't enough when you are mere feet from toxic smoke. Plus, I'd hate to have to make the choice of unemployment or working in a smoke filled environment every day.

MO Tobacco Control said...

I totally agree. I hated going home and having to immediately wash my clothes and take a shower because of cigarette smoke. My mouth would be dry, I wouldn't breathe well after being around second-hand smoke...

I moved recently to a rural community, where they allow smoking everywhere. It is horrible! If I want to eat out, I have to get it To Go so I don't inhale toxic fumes that set my allergies off.

Most times, I, too, avoid businesses that allow smoking. It simply is not worth it to risk my health for a meal.

If you want to show support for smoke-free places, check out and click the GET INVOLVED graphic.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!