Monday, January 26, 2009

Kudos to Five Mayors Willing to Stand Up to Smoking Bullies

Posted By on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Congratulations to the mayors of Clayton, Creve Coeur, Olivette, Overland and University City. Last month they sent a letter to the St. Louis County Council and other municipal mayors asking for a county-wide ban on smoking in public places.

These five mayors did so despite the loud and vitriolic protests of the smoking minority and the real threat of losing votes to business owners who say a smoking ban would cost them customers. The latter concern has some merit should the ban take place only in St. Louis County, but efforts are also afoot to prohibit smoking in public places in St. Louis City.

As I wrote a few weeks back, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has suggested he'd pursue a regional smoking ban that included St. Louis County. Still, smoking opponents face one possible -- and very significant -- roadblock.

Dooley, I say to you: Butt out!
  • Dooley, I say to you: Butt out!
I'm not sure if St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is still a cigarette smoker, but he was back in 2005 when former council member Kurt Odenwald suggested a bill that would ban smoking in public places in the county. Dooley snuffed out Odenwald's proposal like a stale Pall Mall, and non-smoking bar patrons and employees in the county have been paying the price ever since.

Let's hope that this time around Dooley is more receptive to the majority of his constituents. Having to step outside to smoke a cigarette is not persecution.

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