Home » Featured »Politics/Policy »Smoke Free » Currently Reading:

One Year Smoke-Free

January 2, 2012 Featured, Politics/Policy, Smoke Free 151 Comments

The predictions of a few were dire a year ago as St. Louis City & County went mostly smoke-free. What happened? Like every year, some places closed and others opened.

Some places started off claiming they were exempt, posting the required sign to warn potential customers before entering.

ABOVE: Milo's Tavern on the Hill posted the required sign a year ago

I used the above photograph in a post on January 10, 2011 titled Smoking Allowed Here where I questioned the exemption for this establishment. Milo’s is owned by 10th ward alderman Joe Vollmer. Ald Vollmer told me that day, barely a week into the new law, that he and his business partner were considering making Milo’s smoke-free.

ABOVE: Milo's went smoke-free on February 7, 2011 (click for website)

I stopped in for lunch last month and confirmed they didn’t close because they went smoke-free nor did they go back to being a smoking establishment.

ABOVE: The sign in the window is now the one required for smoke-free establishments

I received the following message from owner Ald Joe Vollmer:

Overall business is up maybe 3 to 5 percent. We are seeing new faces and we are missing some of the old ones. The majority response is highly positive. We have embraced the change, and will always do whatever we can to make Milos a great experience.

I’m told other establishments weren’t so fortunate, non-smokers didn’t replace the lost smokers. Others said smokers wouldn’t buy much but sit for hours…smoking.

The Royale on Kingshighway went smoke-free in 2008, I asked owner Steve Smith if he noticed a drop in business once more bars were smoke-free:

Honestly I saw no real difference. We have had our strongest sales year to date, but we have gained consistently every year since we opened nearly seven years ago. We saw a bit of a bump when we went smoke free. We were smoking from the spring of 05 to the spring of 08. People certainly still smoke here, but they now just step outside. It has been seamless if even unremarkable. There is no more noise.

People’s mindsets for the most part have changed. It has been two years since I even posted a sign that we are smoke free anywhere in the place. It is expected now to be smoke free, and most ask the doorman before entering if they can smoke out back. We have had only a handful of instances when we started the policy in which someone unwittingly lit up indoors. Now people are just expecting to step outside to smoke.

I talked to MokaBe’s owner Mo Costello last week, she was glad they were forced to go smoke-free a year ago. To Costello the construction on Grand, the closed Grand viaduct and the economy have been bigger issues for her

Many places built nice outdoor patios in 2011 to accommodate smokers. The very smokey Riley’s Pub on Arsenal is in the middle of improving the space in front of their business.

ABOVE: Riley's Pub at Arsenal & Arkansas Ave on 12/26/2011

I have no idea what their plans are once this work is completed. I talked to friends that live within walking distance and they no longer patronize Riley’s because they now have so many smoke-free options. Hopefully they will opt to go smoke-free before the exemption expires. I found no mention of a patio on Riley’s Facebook page.

The last day of the exemption is New Year’s Day 2016, four more years to adjust and become smoke-free on 1/2/2016. I’m sure a few will cry fowl and say they didn’t  have time to prepare, to build patio space for their smoking customers. By then hopefully some places have smoke-free outdoor spaces as well, nothing ruins a meal like cigarette smoke.

– Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "151 comments" on this Article:

  1. Davidawoodruff says:

    Riley’s Pub is the closest place to my house.  We WANT to go there on a more regular basis – but often don’t because we don’t want to get into the smoke.  I hope they change their ways soon.  

     
  2. Davidawoodruff says:

    Riley’s Pub is the closest place to my house.  We WANT to go there on a more regular basis – but often don’t because we don’t want to get into the smoke.  I hope they change their ways soon.  

     
  3. Bill Hannegan says:

    We’re pushing for a pre-emptive statewide exemption for all “over 21” establishments like the one in place in Tennessee. After the close calls in St. Charles County this Fall, casinos are going to be looking for protection from possible municipal ordinances.

     
  4. Bill Hannegan says:

    We’re pushing for a pre-emptive statewide exemption for all “over 21” establishments like the one in place in Tennessee. After the close calls in St. Charles County this Fall, casinos are going to be looking for protection from possible municipal ordinances.

     
  5. Bill Hannegan says:

    It would be interesting to see which bars are actually keeping the ban. I think they all know the Health Department goes home at 5. A smoking ban isn’t going to hurt a business if it is not enforced.

    Joe Finn of Pat’s did keep the ban. He says that the ban cost him half his smokers and they were not replaced by new nonsmokers. 

     
  6. Bill Hannegan says:

    It would be interesting to see which bars are actually keeping the ban. I think they all know the Health Department goes home at 5. A smoking ban isn’t going to hurt a business if it is not enforced.

    Joe Finn of Pat’s did keep the ban. He says that the ban cost him half his smokers and they were not replaced by new nonsmokers. 

     
    • Chris says:

      Chances are that non-smokers had already become loyal to restaurants and bars that had already gone non-smoking.  I already patronized the Royale because it was non-smoking, so why should I bother giving Pat’s a chance when the Royale has already captured my loyalty years ago?

       
  7. Redmedicne says:

    We too used to love going to Riley’s Pub, but always hated the smoke. Now we do not go there since we have smoke-free options. I’ve talked to the owner in the past about it, and he agrees that the smoke is very intense and obtrusive, but he is afraid to scare off his cigar club regulars. I think Riley’s would fit into the same category of bar as The Royale to some degree. Riley’s seems to be afraid of the loud noises people might make, but in reality it probably would just be a quickly fading belch from this Hannegan guy.

     
  8. Redmedicne says:

    We too used to love going to Riley’s Pub, but always hated the smoke. Now we do not go there since we have smoke-free options. I’ve talked to the owner in the past about it, and he agrees that the smoke is very intense and obtrusive, but he is afraid to scare off his cigar club regulars. I think Riley’s would fit into the same category of bar as The Royale to some degree. Riley’s seems to be afraid of the loud noises people might make, but in reality it probably would just be a quickly fading belch from this Hannegan guy.

     
  9. Tonypalazzolo says:

    There are hundreds of establishments in the city.  Most are smoke-free some of which did voluntarily and some by force of law.  I’m not sure why a few people think they all need to be smoke-free.  What is wrong with having a few places that I can spend my money at when I would like a cigar and a drink. 
    I’ve never been to Riley’s so I can’t speak to the atmosphere.   He is catering to what a majority of his customers want.  If you don’t like smoke then he is not catering to you.  The Royale isn’t catering to me and I’m okay with it. 

     
  10. Tonypalazzolo says:

    There are hundreds of establishments in the city.  Most are smoke-free some of which did voluntarily and some by force of law.  I’m not sure why a few people think they all need to be smoke-free.  What is wrong with having a few places that I can spend my money at when I would like a cigar and a drink. 
    I’ve never been to Riley’s so I can’t speak to the atmosphere.   He is catering to what a majority of his customers want.  If you don’t like smoke then he is not catering to you.  The Royale isn’t catering to me and I’m okay with it. 

     
  11. Bill Hannegan says:

    If Riley’s puts smokers outside all night, he is going to have noise complaints from the neighborhood.

     
  12. Bill Hannegan says:

    If Riley’s puts smokers outside all night, he is going to have noise complaints from the neighborhood.

     
    • By January 2, 2016 Riley’s will be smoke-free indoors so they must begin to move in that direction. As it is, former regulars no longer patronize the pace because it is now too smokey for them, worse than before. I could see some smokers opting to go outside in nice weather so the interior doesn’t get as filled. In time they might get used to doing so and Riey’s can go smoke-free indoors. This is what other places should gave done before the new law took effect.

       
      • Chris says:

        I sadly had to stop patronizing Riley’s because their stance on smoking showed they were more concerned with keeping smokers than someone like me with asthma.  As I’m sure Bill or Tony would say, I took my business to restaurants that wanted my business.  I’ve picked up pizza a few times from Riley’s and I’m always met with a long line of glowering chain smokers slumped over the bar; it is indeed more smoky now than in the past. I hope the smokers tip well.

         
        • Bill Hannegan says:

          I always advocated that places like Riley’s put in exhaust fans/air filtration to get rid of the smoke so no one would be excluded from any establishment.

           
      • Wayne Burkett says:

        As always, the plural of anecdote is not data. I could tell you about all the people I know who frequent Riley’s because smoking’s allowed, but we’d just be trading meaningless stories. Beware of selection bias.

         
        • Point taken, but here’s what I see happening. The majority of people are non-smokers but have long been tolerant of allowing smoking in restaurants & bars. But they’ve had a year now to get used to eating & drinking without having to breath smoke. Their bodies have adjusted and like the smoke-free air. People who were indifferent a year ago love smoke-free places and now have so many choices why would they even think of entering an exempt place? I found Riley’s air repulsive 4 years ago, I can’t even imagine how bad it is now. As 2015 comes to an end these exempt are going to be in a panic because they will realize that by that point 100% of their customers smoke. The casual smoker likely stopped going a year or two before because the place became too smokey for them. They will realize after they return to their office from lunch that co-workers complain about the string smell of smoke on their clothing. The places that stay exempt until the last day will be the ones that close up in 2016. Those that begin the transition now and retain the non-smoking customers they still have stand a better chance of surviving.

           
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            I think we will see a statewide “over 21” action to protect the casinos before then.

             
  13. It seems to me the ban, without government intervention, is working. So WHY does the government want to force the rest to go smoke free? First of all, the smoke free places say they have an edge. It doesn’t make any sense for the writer of this biased article, to suggest that those should have to compete with ones who DO NOT choose to be smoke free.  In fact, having a choice should pack in the non smoking venues. Why share your non smokers with the now smoking places who will be forced to go non smoking. Doesn’t make any sense.

    Now, Steve, go interview the ones who WANT to allow smoking. No? Why am I not surprised.

     
  14. It seems to me the ban, without government intervention, is working. So WHY does the government want to force the rest to go smoke free? First of all, the smoke free places say they have an edge. It doesn’t make any sense for the writer of this biased article, to suggest that those should have to compete with ones who DO NOT choose to be smoke free.  In fact, having a choice should pack in the non smoking venues. Why share your non smokers with the now smoking places who will be forced to go non smoking. Doesn’t make any sense.

    Now, Steve, go interview the ones who WANT to allow smoking. No? Why am I not surprised.

     
    • So many places wanted to be smoke free but didn’t want to do it on their own. If it weren’t for this law they’d still have smoking. Government had to step in.

      In the last year I’ve talked to many people about this. Several non-smoking bartenders and servers I know love it. One bartender I know that smokes wasn’t happy last time I talked to him, he couldn’t smoke during work anymore. He now had to take breaks and go outside to feed his habit.

      Ald Vollmer was very vocal about his opposition to the law, he voted against it. But once in effect and once he decided to not use his exemption he had changed his view. When I revisit this issue I will talk to more people but I won’t enter a smokey place to do so.

       
      • Tonypalazzolo says:

        I’m sure that a couple of places wanted to go smoke-free but wouldn’t do it without a law.  That’s not an excuse to have the government force you to do it.  I’m also sure that some employees don’t like smoke and like it better now.  Again, thats not an excuse to force a law on everybody.  Why don’t they look for different work.  Its not like if you wait tables, tend bar or cook that your skills aren’t transferable.  This is America and your not tied to one profession or one place of employment.  My degree is not tied to what I ultimately chose to do for a living. 
        I don’t feel sorry for people that don’t like their jobs for any reason and won’t do anything to change it.  If your not happy, then find a way to make yourself happy.  I’m not saying it will be easy, but no one is stuck. 

         
        • Branwell1 says:

          No one should have to change their employment in order to accommodate public consumption of a cancer-causing product. You advising people to “look for different work” is somewhat more presumptuous than them telling you they don’t wish to breathe your second-hand smoke while on the job. 

           
          • Tonypalazzolo says:

            No its not – people change work for a multitude of reasons.  You don’t like your boss – look for a different job.  Don’t like the hours, pay, type of work, location, fellow employees, customers, or even the smoking policy you look for another job.  Your advocating that there is this person who can only get a job in a bar (only one that allows smoking, somehow they aren’t qualified for a bar that doesn’t allow smoking).  This person may not leave that job no matter how unhappy they are.  It is the only job they will ever have. 
            If this person existed, then you would have a point.  This person doesn’t exist unless you can prove otherwise. 

            btw I guessing you don’t approve of public consumption of cancer causing products.   Are you proposing a ban on alcohol and red meat. 

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            >>Are you proposing a ban on alcohol and red meat.<<

            Of course not. You can sit next to someone and eat prime rib all day and that other person will not get colon cancer as a result of the proximity. You can sit in your house and chain smoke all day and that would also not affect others. That is the point.  

             
          • GMichaud says:

            But pollution from autos is much more prevalent and dangerous, where is the outrage against big oil? This whole discussion mirrors the same problem I have with abortion foes, when a child is born, what I hear is screw them, we don’t care what happens to that child, no health care, no education, no food, no problem.
            I’m a nonsmoker so I don’t have a horse in the smoking outcome, but continually dumping on smokers is absurd. The same principles and concerns should be applied with the same vigour to other equally dangerous pollutants.
            This hypocrisy of philosophy is broadcast for all to see. But of course this is America, it doesn’t matter what you say, no matter the truth.  Dante (The Divine Comedy) in his 8th circle of fraud condemns the sowers of discord and hypocrites.
            I guess what matters is that it is feasible to bully smokers in America today, but not so much big oil, so the self righteous do so without compromise and without restraint or morals. Welcome to present day America.

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            How is not wanting to breathe someone’s poisonous cigarette smoke bullying? I have said repeatedly that one may smoke and drink (excessively) in his own home. Just don’t expect to drive drunk without consequences or to assert some “right” to expose everyone else to your cancer snack in public.

            Everyone has a horse in the “smoking outcome”. Being a nonsmoker has nothing to do with it. If you do not wish to be exposed to carcinogenic fumes, there be your horse.

            The lofty accusation of hypocrisy is a bit presumptuous. The issues/abuses of big oil and tobacco are not mutually exclusive and it is reasonable to express concern about them individually. It seems more like bullying to me to denigrate people as hypocrites for not subscribing precisely to your priorities.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            LIke many non-smoking advocates, you raise the alleged health issues as the basis of your argument in much the same way GMichaud raises the alleged health issues to bolster his claims against the automobile.  The real issue, with both, aren’t the alleged health issues, it’s that you all simply don’t like smoke/smokers and cars/drivers, respectively, and you’re grasping for tangential arguments to justify why life should change to match your own personal preferences.

            I don’t like being around smokers, either, but there are times when I choose to be around them because they are friends, clients or customers.  In an “it’s all about me” world, there would be no smoking and no speed limits, but the world ain’t all about me, it’s about learning how to coexist with everyone else out there.  I’m sure that there are things that I do that drive other people crazy, and I wouldn’t want the government, through the tyranny of the majority, telling me what to do or not do, especially if it’s based on unproven, debatable, “scientific” studies.

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            “Alleged health issues”? So, smoking and cancer are unrelated? Please expand. Once again, I do not care if people smoke. Don’t do it around me. Why is this hard to grasp? 

            You may disregard what I actually write and presume instead to think you know what I arbitrarily like and don’t like, but that is intellectually dishonest behavior and beside the point in discussion. I would frankly have thought it to be beneath you. It is not, apparently.

            It would be the same if when you make your elaborate points about historic preservation and the sway of the almighty private market, your statements were disregarded by someone saying: JZ71, no matter what you say, you don’t care a whit about these alleged private market forces; you just hate old historic buildings and want to see them all demolished ASAP because it’s “all about you”.

            I suspect you would then strenuously object to having your explanations condescendingly disregarded by someone who presumes to tell the world what you like and don’t like.

             
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            “Once again, I do not care if people smoke. Don’t do it around me. Why is this hard to grasp?”
            You seem to presume that you have a right to be in the bar in the first place.

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            Wrong. There is nothing presumptuous about being in public or spaces open to the public.

             
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            It is fine for you to be there as long as it is OK with the owner.

             
          • JZ71 says:

            There is hard scientific evidence that smoking can cause cancer in smokers.  There is less conclusive evidence that second-hand smoke causes cancer – many environmental issues are potential causes (asbestos, general air polution, hereditary propensity, etc.) and it’s hard to isolate a single cause.  I don’t like being around smokers because they smell bad; I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that something will eventually kill me.  If it’s lung cancer, do I blame my parents, my former coworkers or riding my bike in urban traffic?

             
      • Bill Hannegan says:

        Ald Vollmer’s opposition was very mild and conflicted. Ortmann was the strong opposition. But Mayor Slay pulled out all the stops to get the ban passed. Once Mayor Slay started pushing for a ban 100 percent, we were doomed.

         
  15. So many places wanted to be smoke free but didn’t want to do it on their own. If it weren’t for this law they’d still have smoking. Government had to step in.

    In the last year I’ve talked to many people about this. Several non-smoking bartenders and servers I know love it. One bartender I know that smokes wasn’t happy last time I talked to him, he couldn’t smoke during work anymore. He now had to take breaks and go outside to feed his habit.

    Ald Vollmer was very vocal about his opposition to the law, he voted against it. But once in effect and once he decided to not use his exemption he had changed his view. When I revisit this issue I will talk to more people but I won’t enter a smokey place to do so.

     
  16. So many places wanted to be smoke free but didn’t want to do it on their own. If it weren’t for this law they’d still have smoking. Government had to step in.

    In the last year I’ve talked to many people about this. Several non-smoking bartenders and servers I know love it. One bartender I know that smokes wasn’t happy last time I talked to him, he couldn’t smoke during work anymore. He now had to take breaks and go outside to feed his habit.

    Ald Vollmer was very vocal about his opposition to the law, he voted against it. But once in effect and once he decided to not use his exemption he had changed his view. When I revisit this issue I will talk to more people but I won’t enter a smokey place to do so.

     
  17. By January 2, 2016 Riley’s will be smoke-free indoors so they must begin to move in that direction. As it is, former regulars no longer patronize the pace because it is now too smokey for them, worse than before. I could see some smokers opting to go outside in nice weather so the interior doesn’t get as filled. In time they might get used to doing so and Riey’s can go smoke-free indoors. This is what other places should gave done before the new law took effect.

     
  18. Tonypalazzolo says:

    I’m sure that a couple of places wanted to go smoke-free but wouldn’t do it without a law.  That’s not an excuse to have the government force you to do it.  I’m also sure that some employees don’t like smoke and like it better now.  Again, thats not an excuse to force a law on everybody.  Why don’t they look for different work.  Its not like if you wait tables, tend bar or cook that your skills aren’t transferable.  This is America and your not tied to one profession or one place of employment.  My degree is not tied to what I ultimately chose to do for a living. 
    I don’t feel sorry for people that don’t like their jobs for any reason and won’t do anything to change it.  If your not happy, then find a way to make yourself happy.  I’m not saying it will be easy, but no one is stuck. 

     
  19. Chris says:

    I sadly had to stop patronizing Riley’s because their stance on smoking showed they were more concerned with keeping smokers than someone like me with asthma.  As I’m sure Bill or Tony would say, I took my business to restaurants that wanted my business.  I’ve picked up pizza a few times from Riley’s and I’m always met with a long line of glowering chain smokers slumped over the bar; it is indeed more smoky now than in the past. I hope the smokers tip well.

     
  20. Chris says:

    Chances are that non-smokers had already become loyal to restaurants and bars that had already gone non-smoking.  I already patronized the Royale because it was non-smoking, so why should I bother giving Pat’s a chance when the Royale has already captured my loyalty years ago?

     
  21. Chris says:

    “I talked to MokaBe’s owner Mo Costello last week, she was glad they were forced to go smoke-free a year ago.”

    Could you expand on WHY she was so glad?

     
  22. Chris says:

    “I talked to MokaBe’s owner Mo Costello last week, she was glad they were forced to go smoke-free a year ago.”

    Could you expand on WHY she was so glad?

     
    • She said most smokers won’t smoke in their own homes but they want to smoke in her business where she had to scrub the smoke off the walls. Many business owners, some smokers themselves, were afraid to go smoke-free on their own. The city & county made them and their competition do it. Unfortunately both provided exemptions.

       
      • Bill Hannegan says:

        The exemptions are saving quite a few businesses right now. 

         
        • Really? Or is it making places so smokey that even some smokers won’t go there? Not a good way to attract the majority of the population. By the time January 2, 2016 arrives I bet more nasty exempt places will have closed than places that are now smoke-free.

           
          • Tonypalazzolo says:

            Why do you think that a business needs to market to the majority of the population?  You want to own a bar down on Kingshighway, its going to be a blue collar bar.  If thats your customer base then a majority of them are smokers.  Consumers  want more then one choice.  Thats why there are hundreds of different cars.  Some people want a Jeep that goes off road and some a minivan.  Why should bars have only one type?

             

             
          • Bars on Kingshighway are blue collar because of location? Blue collar people are smokers? What about a bar on north Kingshighway?

             
          • Smoking rates of blue collar workers are higher than the national average and for other worker groups but it’s completely false to say a majority of blue collar workers are smokers. See http://abcnews.go.com/Health/smoking-blue-collar-habit-cdc-researchers/story for some demographics.

             
          • Tonypalazzolo says:

            I stand corrected, I meant to say that a majority of their customers are smokers.  As are cigar bars that cater to cigar smokers (which has a very different demographic).  Why is it you want smoking banned in those places.  Places you probably would never enter. 

             
  23. She said most smokers won’t smoke in their own homes but they want to smoke in her business where she had to scrub the smoke off the walls. Many business owners, some smokers themselves, were afraid to go smoke-free on their own. The city & county made them and their competition do it. Unfortunately both provided exemptions.

     
  24. Bill Hannegan says:

    I always advocated that places like Riley’s put in exhaust fans/air filtration to get rid of the smoke so no one would be excluded from any establishment.

     
  25. Bill Hannegan says:

    The exemptions are saving quite a few businesses right now. 

     
  26. Bill Hannegan says:

    Ald Vollmer’s opposition was very mild and conflicted. Ortmann was the strong opposition. But Mayor Slay pulled out all the stops to get the ban passed. Once Mayor Slay started pushing for a ban 100 percent, we were doomed.

     
  27. Bill Hannegan says:

    Vollmer was not in town for the final smoking ban vote.

     
  28. Wouldn’t have mattered if he was.

     
  29. Really? Or is it making places so smokey that even some smokers won’t go there? Not a good way to attract the majority of the population. By the time January 2, 2016 arrives I bet more nasty exempt places will have closed than places that are now smoke-free.

     
  30. Bill Hannegan says:

    He should have gotten a better law out of the Health and Human Service Committee.

     
  31. Tonypalazzolo says:

    Why do you think that a business needs to market to the majority of the population?  You want to own a bar down on Kingshighway, its going to be a blue collar bar.  If thats your customer base then a majority of them are smokers.  Consumers  want more then one choice.  Thats why there are hundreds of different cars.  Some people want a Jeep that goes off road and some a minivan.  Why should bars have only one type?

     

     
  32. Bars on Kingshighway are blue collar because of location? Blue collar people are smokers? What about a bar on north Kingshighway?

     
  33. Smoking rates of blue collar workers are higher than the national average and for other worker groups but it’s completely false to say a majority of blue collar workers are smokers. See http://abcnews.go.com/Health/smoking-blue-collar-habit-cdc-researchers/story for some demographics.

     
  34. What about places like Brennan’s in the CWE? I know they still allow cigar-smoking. Is the whole bar exempt? Is just that section? Is it technically a second bar because of a seperate entrance/room?

    If they broke it up into technically two bars to please smokers and non-smokers alike, why can’t more places do that?

     
  35. What about places like Brennan’s in the CWE? I know they still allow cigar-smoking. Is the whole bar exempt? Is just that section? Is it technically a second bar because of a seperate entrance/room?

    If they broke it up into technically two bars to please smokers and non-smokers alike, why can’t more places do that?

     
    • Tonypalazzolo says:

      Brennan’s had to seperate one section which is now a private club.  I’m not sure how they got around the no employee rule.  As I understand it Herbie’s did the same thing.  They still have their cigar club. 

      Crusoe’s did just what your saying.  They moved the entire bar over to the other side of the building.  They opened that side as a another bar.  Smoking isn’t allowed in the restaurant and is in the bar.  I would think that more would do what you suggest but most are restricted by money and space. 

      As to pleasing smoker’s and non-smokers alike, thats not what they want.  It baffles me as well.  These people just don’t want anyone to smoke any place they don’t approve.   Some people just like to tell other people how to live.  I think its kind of a power trip. 

       
  36. Charley Gatton says:

    Steve, as you know a great many businesses that predicted they would be gone are not only still here but are thriving.  I always like to reference the French Quarter in Ballwin.  The former owner said they would be closed within three months of the Ballwin ordinance taking effect.  His family kicked him out of the business for unrelated reasons and they are now running at about twice the revenue level they were pre-ordinance.  Clayton recently reported the restaurant/bar business there is up.  Someone mentioned Pat’s in Dogtown.  I go there now when I’m in the area – I had stopped going years ago when I quit smoking (it was McDermott’s then).  My point – the water ain’t so bad once you get in…

     
  37. Charley Gatton says:

    Steve, as you know a great many businesses that predicted they would be gone are not only still here but are thriving.  I always like to reference the French Quarter in Ballwin.  The former owner said they would be closed within three months of the Ballwin ordinance taking effect.  His family kicked him out of the business for unrelated reasons and they are now running at about twice the revenue level they were pre-ordinance.  Clayton recently reported the restaurant/bar business there is up.  Someone mentioned Pat’s in Dogtown.  I go there now when I’m in the area – I had stopped going years ago when I quit smoking (it was McDermott’s then).  My point – the water ain’t so bad once you get in…

     
    • Bill Hannegan says:

      I thought Mike Probst left as part of an effort to get Alderman Gatton to delay imposing the dreaded smoking ban. I remember Alderman Gatton saying at a Ballwin meeting that he opposed a delay since Mike had testified against the County smoking ban. The new owners pleaded that Mike was no longer part of the business. Still a delay was not granted.

      The French Quarter did indeed experience the expected sharp down turn at the start of the ban. And lost its old staff. The bar had to undergo costly changes in order to become profitable again.

       
      • Chris says:

        …also known as capitalism; businesses change to new regulations or soon die.

         
      • Charley Gatton says:

        Bill, are you making up your facts again?  I KNOW why Mike Propst left.  I talk with the current owners (same family) all the time.  Have you even set foot in the place?  If you are only talking with Mike I suspect you may not be getting the real story.  I may disagree with Mike on this issue but I have no intention of washing his dirty laundry in public.  I will say again that his leaving had nothing to do with me or the ordinance.

        The French Quarter closed for renovations when the ordinance went into effect.  Expensive renovations?  They added an outside deck, just like Fast Eddie’s in Alton did.  Nobody made them do that.  Frankly, it usually isn’t that busy in the deck area.  If you ever do stop in, ask for Marilyn.  She’s one of those “old staff” members that you say are all gone.  One bartender quit – he was a heavy smoker and couldn’t imagine working in a smoke-free environment.  Ask Marilyn, if you go, why I use the past tense to refer to his smoking habit.

        They did decide to go for a younger customer base, and hired young bartenders and wait staff.  They also revamped the menu a bit.  Fresh thinking led to fresh approach led to fresh profits.  Closing to renovate – mostly repaint and replace yellowed ceiling tiles (I wonder why they were yellow?)  and remove some dead areas like the shuffleboard table.  They are still renovating – finally redoing the bathrooms – boy, was that overdue.

        I find it interesting that many commenters are predicting the eventual closing of smoky St. Louis bars because they are self-selecting smokers as their entire customer base.  Where will those smokers go when the 5 years are up?  Smokers are welcome everywhere, just not their tobacco.  Non-smokers clearly are not welcome at places like Riley’s.

         
  38. Tonypalazzolo says:

    I stand corrected, I meant to say that a majority of their customers are smokers.  As are cigar bars that cater to cigar smokers (which has a very different demographic).  Why is it you want smoking banned in those places.  Places you probably would never enter. 

     
  39. Bill Hannegan says:

    I thought Mike Probst left as part of an effort to get Alderman Gatton to delay imposing the dreaded smoking ban. I remember Alderman Gatton saying at a Ballwin meeting that he opposed a delay since Mike had testified against the County smoking ban. The new owners pleaded that Mike was no longer part of the business. Still a delay was not granted.

    The French Quarter did indeed experience the expected sharp down turn at the start of the ban. And lost its old staff. The bar had to undergo costly changes in order to become profitable again.

     
  40. Tonypalazzolo says:

    Brennan’s had to seperate one section which is now a private club.  I’m not sure how they got around the no employee rule.  As I understand it Herbie’s did the same thing.  They still have their cigar club. 

    Crusoe’s did just what your saying.  They moved the entire bar over to the other side of the building.  They opened that side as a another bar.  Smoking isn’t allowed in the restaurant and is in the bar.  I would think that more would do what you suggest but most are restricted by money and space. 

    As to pleasing smoker’s and non-smokers alike, thats not what they want.  It baffles me as well.  These people just don’t want anyone to smoke any place they don’t approve.   Some people just like to tell other people how to live.  I think its kind of a power trip. 

     
  41. marbee says:

    If it was such a great business model many more businesses would have voluntarily chosen non-smoking. There was never any law that said businesses MUST allow smoking, there shouldn’t be one banning it!  A compliance rate of law abiding business owners does NOT mean that a Prohibition law is LIKED by all bar owners.  Of COURSE anti-smokers don’t care that business owners lose their private property rights and citizens lose theirs for the legislatively forced preference of others, it’s a form of legal bullying! Of COURSE, they’re BULLIES!
    I know that legislators are scored based on the anti tobacco bills they introduce, support & pass. Their scores are tallied at the end of session and their campaign contributions from the anti’s are based on their score.  The politicians have been bought off and they don’t give a damn if all small businesses go out of business, so long as they get their campaign contributions. I am pretty certain it is the same nationwide, that is why the anti’s write the bills and can always count on one of their pre-paid minions in state government carry the bills.  
    It isn’t called SmokeGate for nothing, nor do they call global warming ClimateGate for nothing. They are BOTH a hoax to convince the sheeple that high taxes and bans will “save the planet and the people”.   I am astounded that people would allow others to lose everything they’ve worked for, for the preference of others who had nothing invested! 

     
  42. marbee says:

    If it was such a great business model many more businesses would have voluntarily chosen non-smoking. There was never any law that said businesses MUST allow smoking, there shouldn’t be one banning it!  A compliance rate of law abiding business owners does NOT mean that a Prohibition law is LIKED by all bar owners.  Of COURSE anti-smokers don’t care that business owners lose their private property rights and citizens lose theirs for the legislatively forced preference of others, it’s a form of legal bullying! Of COURSE, they’re BULLIES!
    I know that legislators are scored based on the anti tobacco bills they introduce, support & pass. Their scores are tallied at the end of session and their campaign contributions from the anti’s are based on their score.  The politicians have been bought off and they don’t give a damn if all small businesses go out of business, so long as they get their campaign contributions. I am pretty certain it is the same nationwide, that is why the anti’s write the bills and can always count on one of their pre-paid minions in state government carry the bills.  
    It isn’t called SmokeGate for nothing, nor do they call global warming ClimateGate for nothing. They are BOTH a hoax to convince the sheeple that high taxes and bans will “save the planet and the people”.   I am astounded that people would allow others to lose everything they’ve worked for, for the preference of others who had nothing invested! 

     
    • JZ71 says:

      You’re fighting against the tyranny of the majority.  Unfortunately, using terms like hoax, bullying, pre-paid minions and sheeple don’t do much to enhance your position.  Elections are won by making convincing arguments for what you believe in, not by telling the undecided that they’re stupid.

       
  43. Anonymous says:

    I’m kind of along the lines of Marbee, smoking and non smoking is one of many diversions from critical issues. A simple smoking, non smoking designation should work, what is with the bans, exceptions and so on?, but hey lets write the most obscure laws, with the most obscure legalese language possible to insure everyone is always breaking the law and under threat of unlimited detention at any moment. Yeah that is a great way to run a country.
    On a small scale, I have a choice, the real problem is the large scale monopolies who have no restraints. The corporations and their 24/7 propaganda machine run St. Louis and America.
    Smoking is bad in excess, but then again so is just about everything else, yogurt, oatmeal or alcohol included.
    The point is that it should be easy to restrict smoking without becoming extreme. Actually I would like to see the same zeal for restricting Americas addiction to oil. The Swedes in the 19th and early 20th century began to design more efficient wood stoves to prevent the decimation of their abundant forests for future generations and the children of those times. How is it that the finite resource of oil is not talked about in a similar manner?
    The analysis of the impact on nonsmoking on businesses is good. Still when is legislation too much or not enough?

     

     
  44. gmichaud says:

    I’m kind of along the lines of Marbee, smoking and non smoking is one of many diversions from critical issues. A simple smoking, non smoking designation should work, what is with the bans, exceptions and so on?, but hey lets write the most obscure laws, with the most obscure legalese language possible to insure everyone is always breaking the law and under threat of unlimited detention at any moment. Yeah that is a great way to run a country.
    On a small scale, I have a choice, the real problem is the large scale monopolies who have no restraints. The corporations and their 24/7 propaganda machine run St. Louis and America.
    Smoking is bad in excess, but then again so is just about everything else, yogurt, oatmeal or alcohol included.
    The point is that it should be easy to restrict smoking without becoming extreme. Actually I would like to see the same zeal for restricting Americas addiction to oil. The Swedes in the 19th and early 20th century began to design more efficient wood stoves to prevent the decimation of their abundant forests for future generations and the children of those times. How is it that the finite resource of oil is not talked about in a similar manner?
    The analysis of the impact on nonsmoking on businesses is good. Still when is legislation too much or not enough?

     

     
    • Branwell1 says:

      The issue of being exposed to the carcinogenic fumes of other people may be seen as a distraction in the “big scheme of things”, but it is nonetheless a legitimate public health concern. An analogy is drinking vs. drinking and driving. If I want to sit in my house and drink a quart of scotch every night, the law has nothing to say about it. People I know may disapprove and cite the dire health consequences, but the state cannot enter my home and take my scotch away from me or order me to stop drinking it. If I drink my quart of scotch and drive a car, the state rightfully has quite a lot to say about it, especially once I am pulled over by a cop. Is this controversial? Would I then be a “persecuted drinker” under the boot of the nanny state that will not simply let me drink and drive to my heart’s content?

      If a citizen wants to sit in his house and chain smoke, that’s his business. When he demands the “right” to do so next to everyone else, it isn’t. That may not be the most pressing concern facing the western world, but neither is it inconsequential or unimportant.  

       
      • gmichaud says:

        And I said it should be clearly stated where smoking is allowed or not, as Milo’s and other establishments have done. Problem solved!
        The comment about oil is also in reference to the pollution, especially in urban areas caused by oil, there is a health risk associated with that also, so much so there are signs posting days that have bad air quality. In the scheme of things it seems that should be at least as big of a concern as second hand smoke.

         
      • Tonypalazzolo says:

        When I get the chance, I enjoy a drink and cigar.  However, I don’t walk into a bar that doesn’t allow smoking and “demand” that I’m allowed to smoke.  I simply pick a place that allows it.  Likewise, you shouldn’t walk into a bar that allows smoking and demand that everyone stops.  It still comes down to this simple concept.  People that work and spend their money in that establishment “choose” to be there.  As citizens of a free society they should be allowed to do that.  Liberty is not inconsequential or unimportant.

         
        • Branwell1 says:

          So, one should be able to drive drunk in the name of “liberty”, right? If not, why not? In a free society, any boozehound should be able to drive down the road in pursuit of liberty without some cop or bureaucrat telling him how to live his life, right? After all, the negative effects of drunk driving are so exaggerated and controversial; who’s to say it’s really a problem at all? Just crabby people on a power trip and that silly Stevie Wonder song from the ’80s. Right?

          I hope you do not believe the dangers of second-hand smoke to be unproven. Research and irrefutable medical data regarding cancer and smoking go back decades. 

           
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            The health effects of secondhand smoke were wildly overstated by St. Louis City Health Director Pam Walker as the aldermen considered the ban. She claimed a nonsmoker working in a bar breathed the equivalent of  a pack of cigarettes per day and that the smoking ban could cut the St. Louis City heart attack rate by 40 percent.

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            Do you think that smoking tobacco causes cancer? 

             
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            Yes. And the more you smoke the greater your chances . But I do think that correct ventilation and filtration in a bar can greatly reduce any concern about secondhand smoke. I’ll bet at Riley’s it really builds up. No need for that.

             
          • Branwell1 says:

            So we agree on the cancer thing, “reduced”, “exaggerated”, or otherwise. The idea that the “right” of anyone to smoke publicly and thereby expose others (employees, patrons, man, woman, child) to cancer somehow outweighs the right of those others to not be so exposed is patently absurd. All the libertarian rhetorical contortions and cries of governmental meddling do not alter this. The wish to indulge in a life-threatening habit, however established by custom and enjoyment, is not a greater social priority than the reasonable expectation to not have one’s health undermined merely by being in a public space.  

             
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            But bars are private spaces, not public. Just because they are regulated does not make them public. If the Pageant were a public space, it couldn’t feature sound levels that threaten hearing and couldn’t charge you to enter.

             
          • The majority of bars are indeed open to the general public. You need to get this through your head, the case law is older than you are! The ADA can’t make you have a wheelchair accessible restroom in your residence but it’s required if a restroom is provided to the public.

             
          • Bill Hannegan says:

            The City of St. Louis could ban all smoking in private residences and require bathrooms in those residences to be wheelchair accessible.

            Indeed, I believe MOGASP favors a municipal ban on smoking in private residences when children are present.

             
          • Tonypalazzolo says:

            Here is what I believe about SHS.  It’s not healthy for you.  Thats not the same as saying its unhealthy.  There is risk, but its far less then actually driving (well anywhere).  For instance, they like to tell you that the chance of getting lung cancer is 30% higher for those exposed to SHS. 

            That number quite frankly is on the high end if you take all the worst studies.  Now that sound like a scary number.  When you push that in front of the general public it scares them.  Why, because they don’t understand probability.  You see, your chance of getting lung cancer from all sources is something like 1-10,000.  If you spend your adult working life and your home life with SHS your risk goes from 1-10,000 to 1.3-10,000. 
            Think of it this way.  If you buy a second lottery ticket you have increased your odds of winning by 100%.  That doesn’t mean you should start spending the money (unless you think that walking into a smoky bar will increase your chance of lung cancer by 30%).

             
  45. Branwell1 says:

    I live right around the corner from Riley’s. Owner Bill Kapes is the nicest guy in the world and does a great job running a friendly, neighborhood place. That said, I would not look for it to go smoke free.  

     
  46. Branwell1 says:

    I live right around the corner from Riley’s. Owner Bill Kapes is the nicest guy in the world and does a great job running a friendly, neighborhood place. That said, I would not look for it to go smoke free.  

     
    • Bill Hannegan says:

      I don’t think he has taken measures to deal with the smoke.

       
      • Branwell1 says:

        He has taken some measures, but they do not seem adequate for the volume of smoke. 

         
        • Bill Hannegan says:

          He need to run air filters with both HEPA and a ton of charcoal. I doubt he is doing that.

           
        • Chris says:

          That’s an understatement; that is the most disgusting bar I have ever been in.  It wasn’t before, and I enjoyed going there, but it is now.

           
          • Branwell1 says:

            I still go to Riley’s, though I admit that I dread the smoke. Sometimes I call in and order a pizza to go, but I still meet people there on occasion and hang out. When I get home, I run to the basement, throw all my clothes in the the wash, and then jump in the shower. If Riley’s went smoke free, I would be there a lot more, as would many other TGE residents. The Shaved Duck is a nearby smoke-free option, but it is a different atmosphere for sure. 

             
  47. Branwell1 says:

    The issue of being exposed to the carcinogenic fumes of other people may be seen as a distraction in the “big scheme of things”, but it is nonetheless a legitimate public health concern. An analogy is drinking vs. drinking and driving. If I want to sit in my house and drink a quart of scotch every night, the law has nothing to say about it. People I know may disapprove and cite the dire health consequences, but the state cannot enter my home and take my scotch away from me or order me to stop drinking it. If I drink my quart of scotch and drive a car, the state rightfully has quite a lot to say about it, especially once I am pulled over by a cop. Is this controversial? Would I then be a “persecuted drinker” under the boot of the nanny state that will not simply let me drink and drive to my heart’s content?

    If a citizen wants to sit in his house and chain smoke, that’s his business. When he demands the “right” to do so next to everyone else, it isn’t. That may not be the most pressing concern facing the western world, but neither is it inconsequential or unimportant.  

     
  48. Anonymous says:

    You’re fighting against the tyranny of the majority.  Unfortunately, using terms like hoax, bullying, pre-paid minions and sheeple don’t do much to enhance your position.  Elections are won by making convincing arguments for what you believe in, not by telling the undecided that they’re stupid.

     
  49. Bill Hannegan says:

    I don’t think he has taken measures to deal with the smoke.

     
  50. Branwell1 says:

    He has taken some measures, but they do not seem adequate for the volume of smoke. 

     
  51. Bill Hannegan says:

    He need to run air filters with both HEPA and a ton of charcoal. I doubt he is doing that.

     
  52. Anonymous says:

    And I said it should be clearly stated where smoking is allowed or not, as Milo’s and other establishments have done. Problem solved!
    The comment about oil is also in reference to the pollution, especially in urban areas caused by oil, there is a health risk associated with that also, so much so there are signs posting days that have bad air quality. In the scheme of things it seems that should be at least as big of a concern as second hand smoke.

     
  53. Tonypalazzolo says:

    When I get the chance, I enjoy a drink and cigar.  However, I don’t walk into a bar that doesn’t allow smoking and “demand” that I’m allowed to smoke.  I simply pick a place that allows it.  Likewise, you shouldn’t walk into a bar that allows smoking and demand that everyone stops.  It still comes down to this simple concept.  People that work and spend their money in that establishment “choose” to be there.  As citizens of a free society they should be allowed to do that.  Liberty is not inconsequential or unimportant.

     
  54. Branwell1 says:

    No one should have to change their employment in order to accommodate public consumption of a cancer-causing product. You advising people to “look for different work” is somewhat more presumptuous than them telling you they don’t wish to breathe your second-hand smoke while on the job. 

     
  55. Branwell1 says:

    So, one should be able to drive drunk in the name of “liberty”, right? If not, why not? In a free society, any boozehound should be able to drive down the road in pursuit of liberty without some cop or bureaucrat telling him how to live his life, right? After all, the negative effects of drunk driving are so exaggerated and controversial; who’s to say it’s really a problem at all? Just crabby people on a power trip and that silly Stevie Wonder song from the ’80s. Right?

    I hope you do not believe the dangers of second-hand smoke to be unproven. Research and irrefutable medical data regarding cancer and smoking go back decades. 

     
  56. Bill Hannegan says:

    The health effects of secondhand smoke were wildly overstated by St. Louis City Health Director Pam Walker as the aldermen considered the ban. She claimed a nonsmoker working in a bar breathed the equivalent of  a pack of cigarettes per day and that the smoking ban could cut the St. Louis City heart attack rate by 40 percent.

     
  57. Branwell1 says:

    Do you think that smoking tobacco causes cancer? 

     
  58. Bill Hannegan says:

    Yes. And the more you smoke the greater your chances . But I do think that correct ventilation and filtration in a bar can greatly reduce any concern about secondhand smoke. I’ll bet at Riley’s it really builds up. No need for that.

     
  59. Wayne Burkett says:

    As always, the plural of anecdote is not data. I could tell you about all the people I know who frequent Riley’s because smoking’s allowed, but we’d just be trading meaningless stories. Beware of selection bias.

     
  60. Point taken, but here’s what I see happening. The majority of people are non-smokers but have long been tolerant of allowing smoking in restaurants & bars. But they’ve had a year now to get used to eating & drinking without having to breath smoke. Their bodies have adjusted and like the smoke-free air. People who were indifferent a year ago love smoke-free places and now have so many choices why would they even think of entering an exempt place? I found Riley’s air repulsive 4 years ago, I can’t even imagine how bad it is now. As 2015 comes to an end these exempt are going to be in a panic because they will realize that by that point 100% of their customers smoke. The casual smoker likely stopped going a year or two before because the place became too smokey for them. They will realize after they return to their office from lunch that co-workers complain about the string smell of smoke on their clothing. The places that stay exempt until the last day will be the ones that close up in 2016. Those that begin the transition now and retain the non-smoking customers they still have stand a better chance of surviving.

     
  61. Bill Hannegan says:

    I think we will see a statewide “over 21” action to protect the casinos before then.

     
  62. Chris says:

    …also known as capitalism; businesses change to new regulations or soon die.

     
  63. Chris says:

    That’s an understatement; that is the most disgusting bar I have ever been in.  It wasn’t before, and I enjoyed going there, but it is now.

     
  64. Anonymous says:

    I’m truly conflicted on the whole issue.  Philosophically, I don’t like the government or the majority telling me what to do with my body or my business, but, as a non-smoker, I like the wider range of options now available to me.  I’m also a big believer in both the Law of Unintended Consequences and the need for honesty in government.  Forcing smokers outdoors on days like today doesn’t really bother me, but when the weather’s nice, I miss the “good old days” of relatively-smoke-free patios and decks.  I also have a problem with government following a parallel path of both raising taxes on tobacco and increasing restrictions on its use.  Either it’s a dangerous product that should be kept out of the consumers’ hands or it’s a safe product that shouldn’t be seeing increasing restrictions.  We’ve reduced VOC’s in paint and we’re on track to eliminate most incandescent bulbs, so what’s so hard about making tobacco, a known carcinogen, illegal, as well?  Could it be that it’s both highly addictive (but so is meth and herion) and a cash cow for cash-strapped governments (ding, ding, ding!)?

     
  65. JZ71 says:

    I’m truly conflicted on the whole issue.  Philosophically, I don’t like the government or the majority telling me what to do with my body or my business, but, as a non-smoker, I like the wider range of options now available to me.  I’m also a big believer in both the Law of Unintended Consequences and the need for honesty in government.  Forcing smokers outdoors on days like today doesn’t really bother me, but when the weather’s nice, I miss the “good old days” of relatively-smoke-free patios and decks.  I also have a problem with government following a parallel path of both raising taxes on tobacco and increasing restrictions on its use.  Either it’s a dangerous product that should be kept out of the consumers’ hands or it’s a safe product that shouldn’t be seeing increasing restrictions.  We’ve reduced VOC’s in paint and we’re on track to eliminate most incandescent bulbs, so what’s so hard about making tobacco, a known carcinogen, illegal, as well?  Could it be that it’s both highly addictive (but so is meth and herion) and a cash cow for cash-strapped governments (ding, ding, ding!)?

     
    • Tonypalazzolo says:

      At what point do you want the government to regulate products such as tobacco.  Coffee and soda both contain caffiene which is highly addictive.  Neither are very good for you (although coffee has many health benefits).  Should the government ban those as well?  (A doctors group has proposed a tax increase on sugary soda to help curb its use.  They also proposed that all the taxes go to them you know,to help offset cost). 

       
      • JZ71 says:

        That’s my point.  Everything has some level of danger – too much water can kill you, but you sure can’t live without it.  Personally, I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke, nor do I like the fact that it makes my clothes and hair stinky.  Before the bans, I was satisfied with non-smoking sections, enjoyed patronizing establishments that chose to be smoke free and avoided establishments that were too smoky.  Now that the bans are in place, I, as part of the majority, have more options, and I like that.  Should I fight against them out of principle or should I just sit back and enjoy a better life?  Even if it means infringing on the assumed “rights” of smokers?  I lean libertarian, but I also have seen many abuses occur in the “free market”.  Obviously, there is no one set standard for what is the “right” amount of government intervention.  Both Prohibition and the 55 mph speed limit are examples of government gone too far and the people pushing back, successfully.  Bottom line, I have no clear-cut answer.

         
        • Bill Hannegan says:

          Back in college I used to work in a totally enclosed parking garage as a parker for Blues hockey games. The garage had exhaust fans running or I would be dead now. Do the equivalent for bars. Seems pretty simple.

           
  66. Tonypalazzolo says:

    No its not – people change work for a multitude of reasons.  You don’t like your boss – look for a different job.  Don’t like the hours, pay, type of work, location, fellow employees, customers, or even the smoking policy you look for another job.  Your advocating that there is this person who can only get a job in a bar (only one that allows smoking, somehow they aren’t qualified for a bar that doesn’t allow smoking).  This person may not leave that job no matter how unhappy they are.  It is the only job they will ever have. 
    If this person existed, then you would have a point.  This person doesn’t exist unless you can prove otherwise. 

    btw I guessing you don’t approve of public consumption of cancer causing products.   Are you proposing a ban on alcohol and red meat. 

     
  67. Tonypalazzolo says:

    Here is what I believe about SHS.  It’s not healthy for you.  Thats not the same as saying its unhealthy.  There is risk, but its far less then actually driving (well anywhere).  For instance, they like to tell you that the chance of getting lung cancer is 30% higher for those exposed to SHS. 

    That number quite frankly is on the high end if you take all the worst studies.  Now that sound like a scary number.  When you push that in front of the general public it scares them.  Why, because they don’t understand probability.  You see, your chance of getting lung cancer from all sources is something like 1-10,000.  If you spend your adult working life and your home life with SHS your risk goes from 1-10,000 to 1.3-10,000. 
    Think of it this way.  If you buy a second lottery ticket you have increased your odds of winning by 100%.  That doesn’t mean you should start spending the money (unless you think that walking into a smoky bar will increase your chance of lung cancer by 30%).

     
  68. Branwell1 says:

    So we agree on the cancer thing, “reduced”, “exaggerated”, or otherwise. The idea that the “right” of anyone to smoke publicly and thereby expose others (employees, patrons, man, woman, child) to cancer somehow outweighs the right of those others to not be so exposed is patently absurd. All the libertarian rhetorical contortions and cries of governmental meddling do not alter this. The wish to indulge in a life-threatening habit, however established by custom and enjoyment, is not a greater social priority than the reasonable expectation to not have one’s health undermined merely by being in a public space.  

     
  69. Tonypalazzolo says:

    At what point do you want the government to regulate products such as tobacco.  Coffee and soda both contain caffiene which is highly addictive.  Neither are very good for you (although coffee has many health benefits).  Should the government ban those as well?  (A doctors group has proposed a tax increase on sugary soda to help curb its use.  They also proposed that all the taxes go to them you know,to help offset cost). 

     
  70. Branwell1 says:

    I still go to Riley’s, though I admit that I dread the smoke. Sometimes I call in and order a pizza to go, but I still meet people there on occasion and hang out. When I get home, I run to the basement, throw all my clothes in the the wash, and then jump in the shower. If Riley’s went smoke free, I would be there a lot more, as would many other TGE residents. The Shaved Duck is a nearby smoke-free option, but it is a different atmosphere for sure. 

     
  71. Branwell1 says:

    >>Are you proposing a ban on alcohol and red meat.<<

    Of course not. You can sit next to someone and eat prime rib all day and that other person will not get colon cancer as a result of the proximity. You can sit in your house and chain smoke all day and that would also not affect others. That is the point.  

     
  72. Bill Hannegan says:

    But bars are private spaces, not public. Just because they are regulated does not make them public. If the Pageant were a public space, it couldn’t feature sound levels that threaten hearing and couldn’t charge you to enter.

     
  73. The majority of bars are indeed open to the general public. You need to get this through your head, the case law is older than you are! The ADA can’t make you have a wheelchair accessible restroom in your residence but it’s required if a restroom is provided to the public.

     
  74. Bill Hannegan says:

    The City of St. Louis could ban all smoking in private residences and require bathrooms in those residences to be wheelchair accessible.

    Indeed, I believe MOGASP favors a municipal ban on smoking in private residences when children are present.

     
  75. Anonymous says:

    That’s my point.  Everything has some level of danger – too much water can kill you, but you sure can’t live without it.  Personally, I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke, nor do I like the fact that it makes my clothes and hair stinky.  Before the bans, I was satisfied with non-smoking sections, enjoyed patronizing establishments that chose to be smoke free and avoided establishments that were too smoky.  Now that the bans are in place, I, as part of the majority, have more options, and I like that.  Should I fight against them out of principle or should I just sit back and enjoy a better life?  Even if it means infringing on the assumed “rights” of smokers?  I lean libertarian, but I also have seen many abuses occur in the “free market”.  Obviously, there is no one set standard for what is the “right” amount of government intervention.  Both Prohibition and the 55 mph speed limit are examples of government gone too far and the people pushing back, successfully.  Bottom line, I have no clear-cut answer.

     
  76. Bill Hannegan says:

    Back in college I used to work in a totally enclosed parking garage as a parker for Blues hockey games. The garage had exhaust fans running or I would be dead now. Do the equivalent for bars. Seems pretty simple.

     
  77. GMichaud says:

    But pollution from autos is much more prevalent and dangerous, where is the outrage against big oil? This whole discussion mirrors the same problem I have with abortion foes, when a child is born, what I hear is screw them, we don’t care what happens to that child, no health care, no education, no food, no problem.
    I’m a nonsmoker so I don’t have a horse in the smoking outcome, but continually dumping on smokers is absurd. The same principles and concerns should be applied with the same vigour to other equally dangerous pollutants.
    This hypocrisy of philosophy is broadcast for all to see. But of course this is America, it doesn’t matter what you say, no matter the truth.  Dante (The Divine Comedy) in his 8th circle of fraud condemns the sowers of discord and hypocrites.
    I guess what matters is that it is feasible to bully smokers in America today, but not so much big oil, so the self righteous do so without compromise and without restraint or morals. Welcome to present day America.

     
  78. Branwell1 says:

    How is not wanting to breathe someone’s poisonous cigarette smoke bullying? I have said repeatedly that one may smoke and drink (excessively) in his own home. Just don’t expect to drive drunk without consequences or to assert some “right” to expose everyone else to your cancer snack in public.

    Everyone has a horse in the “smoking outcome”. Being a nonsmoker has nothing to do with it. If you do not wish to be exposed to carcinogenic fumes, there be your horse.

    The lofty accusation of hypocrisy is a bit presumptuous. The issues/abuses of big oil and tobacco are not mutually exclusive and it is reasonable to express concern about them individually. It seems more like bullying to me to denigrate people as hypocrites for not subscribing precisely to your priorities.

     
  79. Anonymous says:

    LIke many non-smoking advocates, you raise the alleged health issues as the basis of your argument in much the same way GMichaud raises the alleged health issues to bolster his claims against the automobile.  The real issue, with both, aren’t the alleged health issues, it’s that you all simply don’t like smoke/smokers and cars/drivers, respectively, and you’re grasping for tangential arguments to justify why life should change to match your own personal preferences.

    I don’t like being around smokers, either, but there are times when I choose to be around them because they are friends, clients or customers.  In an “it’s all about me” world, there would be no smoking and no speed limits, but the world ain’t all about me, it’s about learning how to coexist with everyone else out there.  I’m sure that there are things that I do that drive other people crazy, and I wouldn’t want the government, through the tyranny of the majority, telling me what to do or not do, especially if it’s based on unproven, debatable, “scientific” studies.

     
  80. Branwell1 says:

    “Alleged health issues”? So, smoking and cancer are unrelated? Please expand. Once again, I do not care if people smoke. Don’t do it around me. Why is this hard to grasp? 

    You may disregard what I actually write and presume instead to think you know what I arbitrarily like and don’t like, but that is intellectually dishonest behavior and beside the point in discussion. I would frankly have thought it to be beneath you. It is not, apparently.

    It would be the same if when you make your elaborate points about historic preservation and the sway of the almighty private market, your statements were disregarded by someone saying: JZ71, no matter what you say, you don’t care a whit about these alleged private market forces; you just hate old historic buildings and want to see them all demolished ASAP because it’s “all about you”.

    I suspect you would then strenuously object to having your explanations condescendingly disregarded by someone who presumes to tell the world what you like and don’t like.

     
  81. Bill Hannegan says:

    “Once again, I do not care if people smoke. Don’t do it around me. Why is this hard to grasp?”
    You seem to presume that you have a right to be in the bar in the first place.

     
  82. Branwell1 says:

    Wrong. There is nothing presumptuous about being in public or spaces open to the public.

     
  83. JZ71 says:

    There is hard scientific evidence that smoking can cause cancer in smokers.  There is less conclusive evidence that second-hand smoke causes cancer – many environmental issues are potential causes (asbestos, general air polution, hereditary propensity, etc.) and it’s hard to isolate a single cause.  I don’t like being around smokers because they smell bad; I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that something will eventually kill me.  If it’s lung cancer, do I blame my parents, my former coworkers or riding my bike in urban traffic?

     
  84. Bill Hannegan says:

    It is fine for you to be there as long as it is OK with the owner.

     
  85. John says:

    You’re all welcome to have academic discussions of whether and how dangerous second-hand smoke is, but for me personally, I don’t need scientific studies to know how it affects me.  My nose immediately starts to fill with mucus, my eyes water, I begin to cough and eventually is gets so bad I begin to sneeze uncontrollably.  I will feel like shit for at least a day afterwords.  I will not tolerate being around cigarette smoke anymore, because it makes me sick almost immediately.

    One thing I agree with Bill on: I will not patronize bars that allow smoking; they can earn their living off of cigarette smokers because they sure as hell aren’t getting any money from me.  In fact, I only patronize a couple of places that allowed smoking until the ban went into effect; I reward establishments that went non-smoking earlier with my business.

    I actually went to Pat’s this week to check it out and see why business might be down.  There was a respectable crowd in there, but honestly, the place didn’t really provide anything that special that I couldn’t get somewhere else.  Also, the food wasn’t really that good, but I will say the staff was very friendly.  Could that possibly be contributing to the decline in business?  Have they made ANY effort to market themselves after they lost smoking customers?  Many people rave about their fried chicken, but have they made any effort to capitalize on that.  You know, some neighborhood institutions can get tired after sixty plus years in business.

     
  86. John says:

    You’re all welcome to have academic discussions of whether and how dangerous second-hand smoke is, but for me personally, I don’t need scientific studies to know how it affects me.  My nose immediately starts to fill with mucus, my eyes water, I begin to cough and eventually is gets so bad I begin to sneeze uncontrollably.  I will feel like shit for at least a day afterwords.  I will not tolerate being around cigarette smoke anymore, because it makes me sick almost immediately.

    One thing I agree with Bill on: I will not patronize bars that allow smoking; they can earn their living off of cigarette smokers because they sure as hell aren’t getting any money from me.  In fact, I only patronize a couple of places that allowed smoking until the ban went into effect; I reward establishments that went non-smoking earlier with my business.

    I actually went to Pat’s this week to check it out and see why business might be down.  There was a respectable crowd in there, but honestly, the place didn’t really provide anything that special that I couldn’t get somewhere else.  Also, the food wasn’t really that good, but I will say the staff was very friendly.  Could that possibly be contributing to the decline in business?  Have they made ANY effort to market themselves after they lost smoking customers?  Many people rave about their fried chicken, but have they made any effort to capitalize on that.  You know, some neighborhood institutions can get tired after sixty plus years in business.

     
    • Excellent points, I too feel the affects of smoke immediately. I haven’t been to Pat’s and have no desire to try it or some many other places where the owner just thinks nonsmokers will suddenly appear. Business doesn’t work that way. Successful restaurants/bars work very hard to stay relevant. The formerly smoking businesses that fail do so not because of the ban but because the owner thought the law would get overturned or that somehow nonsmokers would fill the void.

       
    • JZ71 says:

      I agree completely with your second paragraph.

      Intellectually and personally, I would have no problem if the government instituted an outright prohibition on tobacco products, given their well-documented cancer risks and their addictive properties.  But I also know how well (or poorly) prohibitions work – look no further than efforts to outlaw other drugs, be they alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, meth or heroin.  Users will always find a way to score.  Given that reality, my libertarian side kicks in, and it seems to make more sense to regulate and tax than it does to outlaw and incarcerate.  And reading the Post-Dispatch’s coverage of our state’s budget woes reinforces that position, with 40%+ of the people incarcerated in our prisons there for drug crimes.

      That said, the bans do seem to be both self-enforcing and successful in modifying most smokers’ behavior – stepping outside to smoke is now an accepted fact of life in most public places.  The challenges that remain are primarily those venues that mix addictions – smoking and drinking and/or smoking and gambling.  These addictive, potentially self-destructive activities complement each other, so it’s hard to argue that one’s better or worse in the long run.  What it boils down to is arguing about how your addiction impacts my ability to enjoy my addiction.  I’d much rather vote with my feet and my money when it comes to bars and casinos.  My drink of choice is a beer – a Bud is a Bud, no matter where it’s served, and all our local brewpubs are smokefree.  If some corner bar wants to cater to smokers, so be it, I’ll just go somewhere else!

       
    • Bill Hannegan says:

      Chris, I never said if you don’t like the smoke go somewhere else. I always pushed owners to clear the smoke to the point where everyone could be comfortable and enjoy the venue.

       
  87. Excellent points, I too feel the affects of smoke immediately. I haven’t been to Pat’s and have no desire to try it or some many other places where the owner just thinks nonsmokers will suddenly appear. Business doesn’t work that way. Successful restaurants/bars work very hard to stay relevant. The formerly smoking businesses that fail do so not because of the ban but because the owner thought the law would get overturned or that somehow nonsmokers would fill the void.

     
  88. Anonymous says:

    I agree completely with your second paragraph.

    Intellectually and personally, I would have no problem if the government instituted an outright prohibition on tobacco products, given their well-documented cancer risks and their addictive properties.  But I also know how well (or poorly) prohibitions work – look no further than efforts to outlaw other drugs, be they alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, meth or heroin.  Users will always find a way to score.  Given that reality, my libertarian side kicks in, and it seems to make more sense to regulate and tax than it does to outlaw and incarcerate.  And reading the Post-Dispatch’s coverage of our state’s budget woes reinforces that position, with 40%+ of the people incarcerated in our prisons there for drug crimes.

    That said, the bans do seem to be both self-enforcing and successful in modifying most smokers’ behavior – stepping outside to smoke is now an accepted fact of life in most public places.  The challenges that remain are primarily those venues that mix addictions – smoking and drinking and/or smoking and gambling.  These addictive, potentially self-destructive activities complement each other, so it’s hard to argue that one’s better or worse in the long run.  What it boils down to is arguing about how your addiction impacts my ability to enjoy my addiction.  I’d much rather vote with my feet and my money when it comes to bars and casinos.  My drink of choice is a beer – a Bud is a Bud, no matter where it’s served, and all our local brewpubs are smokefree.  If some corner bar wants to cater to smokers, so be it, I’ll just go somewhere else!

     
  89. Bill Hannegan says:

    Chris, I never said if you don’t like the smoke go somewhere else. I always pushed owners to clear the smoke to the point where everyone could be comfortable and enjoy the venue.

     
  90. Martin Pion says:

    Congratulations on an informative blog, Steve, and for the “healthy” discussion it generated! There were too many comments for me to read them all but I’ll just add a few notes of my own. 

    The evidence is incontrovertible, to my mind, that ventilation is not an adequate alternative to a place being entirely smoke-free. That is not just based on the scientific literature but on studies that our organization, Missouri GASP, has undertaken or funded. There may be some debate about what level of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure may cause lung cancer or other potentially fatal diseases in the long run but typically, if a known carcinogen can easily be removed from the environment at little cost, that is the course taken with little public debate. 

    It is because nicotine is highly addictive for many smokers, and they have been persuaded that it’s their right to smoke, that we have had opposition from smokers to smoke-free air laws.

    SHS is not just a cancer risk but it’s also a public nuisance, and like many others which are regulated or not permitted, it’s reasonable to address it as such. Anyone who is smoke sensitive can attest to it meeting that definition, and it’s especially true for smoke-sensitive asthmatics, for example.

    I find Bill Hannegan’s proposal to exempt venues that cater to those 21 and older from smoke-free air laws unacceptable. Here’s the Tennessee law definition of an exempted venue, which Mr. Hannegan is championing as a Missouri statewide law requirement (see http://health.state.tn.us/smokefreetennessee/faq.htm ):

    “Venues that restrict access to persons who are 21 years of age or older at all times”

    Why should those working in such places have to put up with being exposed to SHS as part of their job description? 

    Further, to be consistent, every workplace employing only those 21 and older would also fall under this definition of a venue. Office workplaces, for example, would again be smoking-allowed if you’re going to apply this uniformly!

    If you want to smoke, fine, but do it in such a way that you only risk your own health.

    Martin Pion, president, MoGASP. http://www.mogasp.wordpress.com 

      

     
  91. Martin Pion says:

    Congratulations on an informative blog, Steve, and for the “healthy” discussion it generated! There were too many comments for me to read them all but I’ll just add a few notes of my own. 

    The evidence is incontrovertible, to my mind, that ventilation is not an adequate alternative to a place being entirely smoke-free. That is not just based on the scientific literature but on studies that our organization, Missouri GASP, has undertaken or funded. There may be some debate about what level of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure may cause lung cancer or other potentially fatal diseases in the long run but typically, if a known carcinogen can easily be removed from the environment at little cost, that is the course taken with little public debate. 

    It is because nicotine is highly addictive for many smokers, and they have been persuaded that it’s their right to smoke, that we have had opposition from smokers to smoke-free air laws.

    SHS is not just a cancer risk but it’s also a public nuisance, and like many others which are regulated or not permitted, it’s reasonable to address it as such. Anyone who is smoke sensitive can attest to it meeting that definition, and it’s especially true for smoke-sensitive asthmatics, for example.

    I find Bill Hannegan’s proposal to exempt venues that cater to those 21 and older from smoke-free air laws unacceptable. Here’s the Tennessee law definition of an exempted venue, which Mr. Hannegan is championing as a Missouri statewide law requirement (see http://health.state.tn.us/smokefreetennessee/faq.htm ):

    “Venues that restrict access to persons who are 21 years of age or older at all times”

    Why should those working in such places have to put up with being exposed to SHS as part of their job description? 

    Further, to be consistent, every workplace employing only those 21 and older would also fall under this definition of a venue. Office workplaces, for example, would again be smoking-allowed if you’re going to apply this uniformly!

    If you want to smoke, fine, but do it in such a way that you only risk your own health.

    Martin Pion, president, MoGASP. http://www.mogasp.wordpress.com 

      

     
  92. Charley Gatton says:

    Bill, are you making up your facts again?  I KNOW why Mike Propst left.  I talk with the current owners (same family) all the time.  Have you even set foot in the place?  If you are only talking with Mike I suspect you may not be getting the real story.  I may disagree with Mike on this issue but I have no intention of washing his dirty laundry in public.  I will say again that his leaving had nothing to do with me or the ordinance.

    The French Quarter closed for renovations when the ordinance went into effect.  Expensive renovations?  They added an outside deck, just like Fast Eddie’s in Alton did.  Nobody made them do that.  Frankly, it usually isn’t that busy in the deck area.  If you ever do stop in, ask for Marilyn.  She’s one of those “old staff” members that you say are all gone.  One bartender quit – he was a heavy smoker and couldn’t imagine working in a smoke-free environment.  Ask Marilyn, if you go, why I use the past tense to refer to his smoking habit.

    They did decide to go for a younger customer base, and hired young bartenders and wait staff.  They also revamped the menu a bit.  Fresh thinking led to fresh approach led to fresh profits.  Closing to renovate – mostly repaint and replace yellowed ceiling tiles (I wonder why they were yellow?)  and remove some dead areas like the shuffleboard table.  They are still renovating – finally redoing the bathrooms – boy, was that overdue.

    I find it interesting that many commenters are predicting the eventual closing of smoky St. Louis bars because they are self-selecting smokers as their entire customer base.  Where will those smokers go when the 5 years are up?  Smokers are welcome everywhere, just not their tobacco.  Non-smokers clearly are not welcome at places like Riley’s.

     

Comment on this Article:

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

3 days ago  ·  

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe