Your letters Smoking ban negatively affects residents' liberty

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Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 11:45 pm | Updated: 2:24 pm, Mon Mar 31, 2014.

In a few days, the issue of banning smoking in St. Joe will be addressed by voters. I, for one, will be voting "no" on this ban. Certainly, I appreciate all arguments from those who advocate for this ban; but when all is boiled down, we must forever err on the side of liberty.

I am not a smoker — never have been. I’m fully aware of what smoking does to the health and well-being of the cigarette, cigar or pipe smoker. I also believe said smoker knows what their habit does to them as well. Folks who smoke go into it with eyes wide open — choosing to bring into their lives nicotine and all its consequences.

The health of a city is at the heart of the reasoning for the smoking ban. I would say, conversely, that the health of a city’s liberty is at the heart of the reasoning for voting against the ban. As it stands right now, businesses in this town can either ban or allow smoking of their own volition. This custom should remain. This is liberty.

The bottom line for me as a voter (and taxpayer for that matter), is I’m extremely wary regarding policies proposed that are presented as being in the interests of the public or the greater good. I see the actions by the proponents of this ban as a sort of “health policing,” and while their intents are indeed noble, the ramifications of their campaign, should it succeed, will be an unadulterated infringement upon liberty in this fair city.

Josh Clark,

St. Joseph

Join medical profession in voting for smoking ban

An important ordinance involving everyone’s health is on the ballot April 8.

The Mayo Clinic’s Health Letter states: “Heart attacks decrease with smoke-free workplace laws.” Their study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that smoke-free workplace laws are associated with one-third fewer heart attacks. The Mayo Clinic further states: “Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with coronary artery disease in non-smokers.” They advise: “Avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible, and if you have coronary heart disease, avoid secondhand smoke altogether.”

Legislatively, workers’ health and safety should trump all other considerations. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) has omitted smokers and secondhand smoke from this important law. Both parties, the Republicans and Democrats, gave in to powerful tobacco lobbies and workers’ health was ignored.

Everyone with respiratory problems such as asthma, COPD, emphysema and others, is adversely affected immediately by secondhand smoke. The medical profession has proven that smokers and secondhand smoke shorten lives.

I agree that everyone has the right to smoke, just not wherever they want. One inconsiderate smoker can endanger the lives of the young and old who have respiratory or heart disease.

Dr. Jane Schwabe is chairing the smoke-free initiative. All of the doctors I have talked to are voting for this ordinance. It is not perfect, but no ordinance is. Compromise and collaboration are part of the process.

I would have preferred that the casino be included, but it is not. The many health positives outweigh the one negative, however. I am voting for a smoke-free St. Joseph. Please join me.

Casey Meyers,

St. Joseph

Let businesses decide themselves

I believe it would be much more sincere if the same people (Smoke-Free St. Joseph) who are worried about others’ health due to cigarette smoke would put that same effort into saving the life of an unborn child. Their talk seems hollow when you look at it this way.

Each of us knows smoking is bad for our health, as are numerous endeavors we have to hurdle each day. As an adult in a free society, that decision is up to me, I choose not to smoke, but for me to set a smoking policy in another person’s building of any sort is wrong, in my opinion.

I do not enjoy the smell nor taste of cigarette smoke in my home, but it is not up to me to set policy in another man’s business. If I do not like certain policies such as dress codes or the music played in an establishment, I choose to not enter into it. Contrary to the fantasy situation created by Smoke-Free St. Joseph, if you do not like what is going on inside of a business, you’re free to go somewhere else (you will not be tied down by the owner or bartender and have a cigarette stuffed in your mouth) — simple as that.

St. Joseph voters, please think about the loss of your right to run your own business as you the person with your name (alone) on the bank note wants to operate it. I hope that all of my family and friends choose to abstain from smoking. I love them all, but it is not their job to tell others how to operate a free-to-enter-or-exit business.

Randy Jones,

St. Joseph

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • munchman posted at 2:11 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    munchman Posts: 1129

    Randy Jones, do you put as much effort to protect the children of the world who die daily from starvation and war and neglect and poverty, as you do to protect protoplasm in the womb. Do you protest outside the prisons when we the state kill a prisoner? As for setting standards and policies for business it is the job of government to do that for our protection and safety. I wouldn't wand to eat where there are no inspections from the health department. I wouldn't want to go to an establishment that served alcohol that was not controlled by the state or city regulations. I wouldn't want to eat a hamburger that wasn't USDA approved. Needless to say this whole issue will be rendered moot when the smoking ordinance passes.

  • beelog posted at 3:53 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    beelog Posts: 2745

    At this point, I am ready to accept either outcome.

    I do not smoke and never have. However, I have experienced long-term lung problems.

    Each time I visit my doctor I receive what they call my "Obama papers" listing my health problems.

    After the last visit I noticed that those papers state "former smoker". That is not true, but I wonder if some bureaucrat will read that at some point and deny me treatment on the basis that I created my own problem?

  • beelog posted at 4:15 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    beelog Posts: 2745

    Munchman---I am assuming you consider yourself "protoplasm" that was allowed to live. Are you happy with your mother's choice not to discard the "protoplasm"?

    Independent cell division occurs immediately following conception. Independent cell division is termed "life". It is not "protoplasm" by any definition.

  • Munchkin posted at 6:07 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Munchkin Posts: 4168

    Casey Myers , you should really be ashamed of yourself. The hyperbole and fear mantra is really beyond the pale. Do you get satisfaction creating such fear that is wholeheartedly exaggerated ? Pathetic.

  • socialfingered posted at 7:11 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    socialfingered Posts: 1992

    And if it doesn't pass do you think it will be "moot"? The nannies in this town will go on a crying spree.

  • socialfingered posted at 7:12 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    socialfingered Posts: 1992

    There is no law stating a business owner MUST allow smoking so I don't see the need for one that says he or she CAN'T allow it.

  • Content posted at 7:31 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    Josh Clark - I think the millions of people that live in all the cities like Kansas City, St Louis, Springfield, Columbia and everywhere else in Missouri that have smoke- free cites - - have positively and undoubtedly improved their LIBERTIES AND HEALTH.

    Casey Meyers - I am joining you!

    Randy Jones - Oh please...nice try - but no cigar!

    munchman - Good reasoning.

    I believe St. Joseph residents are ready to move up in the world / State by joining the other successful Smoke-free cities.

  • smartin posted at 8:51 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    smartin Posts: 230

    The same people are smoking in St Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia, that were smoking before smoking bans. They are smoking at home and on sidewalks, not in bars where only adults go.

    A smoking ban is NOT anti smoking, it is anti free market, anti free choice, anti property rights.

    The only people claiming that health is improved by smoking bans are PAID to produce pro ban junk science. You really need to read studies instead of parroting junk science.

    I recall the closed door meeting with Mr Woody, Ms Scwabe, and the casino people, where the deal was made for the casino. No member of the Council was invited, nor were any people that certainly have as much a financial interest in this as the casino.
    This is what is sad about St Joseph.

    Does the City REALLY think that the casino is going to rebuild downtown for them? Is it worth it to destroy any appearance of fairness? Is this hypocracy really what St Joseph wants to show the world?

    I know that content doesn't care about small businesses that he has no intention of ever going into. Perhaps he really does believe that he is "saving the world" for babies, puppies, and kittens.

    They don't go to bars, Content. Adults do. Adults who can READ a sign that says "smoking allowed".

  • Content posted at 9:21 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    smartin - It appears you wish to stay behind the times and let St. Joseph become that dirty little town in Missouri where the smokers are plentiful - free and reduced lunches for children are one of the highest in the State - and cancer skyrockets.

    It is mentalities like yours that hold this city back. Go down the road 45 miles to Liberty or Parkville or Platte City where they are thriving with a smoke-free ordinance.

    You cry babies that don't wish for smoke-free remind me of children who scream and go to the doctor kicking and whining.....only to say while leaving the doctor....Oh, that wasn't so bad.

    Vote YES on April 8th.

  • ZRHtoNRT posted at 9:40 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    ZRHtoNRT Posts: 206

    Several bars and many smokers in Springfield are defying the ban and exercising civil disobedience.

  • 73 card posted at 10:23 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    73 card Posts: 15

    First of all I have no dog in this fight - but I still cannot understand if we as a city are going to do this ban why is it not "all or nothing"? At what point does a bigger business trump the smaller ones and get an exception from the proposed ban? If we truly want to do this ban isn't this sending the wrong message to the smaller business owners that you don't have enough pull to get an exemption? If your going to stand and fight - stand and fight fairly across the board.

    Being afraid of a big business taking their ball and going home should be second to the fairness of all.

    .Let the "chips" fall where they may........

  • county4what posted at 10:41 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    county4what Posts: 327


  • Content posted at 11:28 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    It is the GAMING FLOOR ONLY that smoking would be allowed....NOT the entire Casino.

    That is statewide (for now).

  • Housemouse posted at 11:30 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Housemouse Posts: 5

    Content: The large restaurants will survive the ban at the expense of the small bars, they rely on their food sales, the small bars don't! Shame on you for being so narrow minded that you can't see this!

  • Content posted at 11:33 am on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    Yeah, but there are laws against hauling drunks to voting polls.

    Our city is unfortunately slipping with a poor city council - a poor SJSD - a poor mentality when it comes to health and safety for its residence - and poor city streets.

    We have a lot of work to do. Vote YES on April 8th.

  • Content posted at 12:09 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    Quit worrying Housemouse. It has been a good thing everywhere it has been adopted.

    Even with small bars, it will shake out just fine....the way it should.

  • Ckc posted at 1:04 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Ckc Posts: 56

    Housemouse- Beware! While I too have no dog personally in this fight, I have good friends who are business owners. Any valid or reasonable question you ask or statement as to personal responsibility and ability and variety of options to CHOOSE (gasp) where you go,will in turn only get replied with an insult to your character by people who do not know you.

    Any references made to the fairness of the casino exclusion will be ignored, but I think we all know the real answer to that. Although, you can read Dr. Schwabe's comment regarding that on their FB page- which she did explain why they had to include the exemption for the greater success in their cause and it is a valid explanation for them, it does not however reasonably explain the unfairness to the business owner nor explain the argument that it is for a protection to all customers and employees.

    You will hear how the city council of 9 individuals (a small % of the city's population) is weak because they decided not to make a choice like this for everyone, but passed it onto the voters. Then be told that the health issues of a "small % of the population" with even more dining limitations and requirements(due to food allergies, children with severe peanut allergies, which can now be legally considered a disabilty in education institutes) are not even comparable because it does not affect everybody and " They would just have to learn to deal with it". Otherwise, they apparently have more ability to go eleswhere to eat.

    If you do not agree to vote the same way they do, you will be called an low information voter. If you are a smoker, you will be only considered as a poor, lazy, unemployed litterbug who crams small children into compact cars as you drive across state smoking away, laughing as they gasp for air.

    So there should be no worries about the ban passing, because the smokers will be too lazy and stupid (and now apparently drunk) to get to the polls. Then again, I have seen many FB posts and spoken with many nonsmokers who do not believe in this ban and vow to vote no.

    Perhaps, to save us all from oursleves, we should do away with city council and voting on any issues and let the two or three gentlemen on here with their inarguable infinite wisdom make all the decisions for the city. Hmmm there is name for that, but I just can't think of it. If only I wasn't so ignorant...

  • Content posted at 1:54 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Content Posts: 11218

    C'mon...we are as smart - as important - as capable - as good as all the millions of people in all of these other great cities in Missouri that are smoke-free, aren't we?

    Vote YES on April 8th.

  • munchman posted at 3:12 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    munchman Posts: 1129

    BL I consider myself protoplasm that did become viable. After birth I was still a non-thinking being responding only to stimuli. I didn't become me until my thought processes developed. Did you ever wonder why you can't remember your birth. At no time did I get zapped with some imaginary soul. I guess you could say I am "soulless" I am the some total of every stimuli that I encountered in my life that is stored in the billions of cells in my brain. And I fear not death like the myth believers who need some synthetic hope that their life is so much more important to the cosmos then anything else. The essence me will absorb back into the universe (the molecules of my body and the electrical charges of my brain) and I won't know it or give a flying fork.

  • smartin posted at 3:31 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    smartin Posts: 230

    If content doesn't get his smoking ban, "St. Joseph become that dirty little town in Missouri where the smokers are plentiful - free and reduced lunches for children are one of the highest in the State - and cancer skyrockets."

    Content, why don't YOU... "Go down the road 45 miles to Liberty or Parkville or Platte City where they are thriving with a smoke-free ordinance". It would be a community service.

    A City that respects property rights and common sense is beautiful. Not a City run by yapping control freaks. Or crooked City Halls.

    Second hand smoke only causes cancer in your head. Read the Stanford study of 76,000 women over 10 years which shows NO cancer link to passive smoking. I know you won't read it, but I thought I might suggest it anyone.

    You can lead a horse to the water but you can't make him... jump in.

  • munchman posted at 3:40 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    munchman Posts: 1129

    Casey, you should wear Munchkn calling you pathetic as a badge of honor. She is hopelessly delusional.

  • munchman posted at 3:46 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    munchman Posts: 1129

    There are no laws that say you can smoke anywhere you want, but plenty that say you can't. Get over it you old wasp ( or c) dinosaur. It pangs not be in charge anymore doesn't it.

  • Marty_Chuzzlewit posted at 3:49 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Marty_Chuzzlewit Posts: 1806

    What a total waste of protoplasm.

  • Housemouse posted at 3:58 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Housemouse Posts: 5

    Uhmm, beelog, are your long-term lung problems caused by going to those "smokey bars" in the past or something else? And when the government gets into health care, they own you!

  • modvd posted at 4:08 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    modvd Posts: 5679

    Question, why do small bar owners say "last call" at the end of the night?

  • modvd posted at 4:09 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    modvd Posts: 5679

    Why do small bar owners apply to get their liquor license?

  • modvd posted at 4:10 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    modvd Posts: 5679

    Why do small bar owners pay their taxes?

  • Munchkin posted at 5:38 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Munchkin Posts: 4168

    I talked to a college student who came in to tan today. She is a non-smoker and plans to vote NO as many other college students plan to do. Even this bright young woman at 22 knows this is an assault on freedom and property rights. Apparently many other college students understand this as well , which makes me proud that we have such wonderful, freedom lovers at WMSC.

    The students know about this control issue as the students were told to vote to ban smoking on the campus . Their vote passed but the college banned smoking anyway which upset many of them. Consenous won in banning smoking not the will of the students.This is a wonderful learning experience for those who share the flame of liberty.

    This ban is unfair to small business. It is unfair to those who wish to enjoy a LEGAL product . It is unfair to employees. It is unfair to those who use E-Cigarettes which emit water vapor. This is all about stigmatizing smokers . Voters who support this ban are only enabling and empowering the Nanny State !

  • county4what posted at 6:22 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    county4what Posts: 327


    .........VOTE NO.......


  • Marty_Chuzzlewit posted at 6:30 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Marty_Chuzzlewit Posts: 1806

    So the missus will know about when she can expect you home?

  • 64503 posted at 1:12 pm on Sun, Mar 30, 2014.

    64503 Posts: 437

    VOTE NO on April 8th. This is not a true smoking ordinance it is one which picks winners and losers. It allows the casino to allow smoking on the gaming floor but does not allow a bar to allow smoking in their business. And before someone says well the employees are subject to second hand smoke well are the casinos employees not subject to second hand smoke since they will allow smoking?
    This proposed ordinance goes to far intruding into people life's business owners rights and on and on. And ban electronic cigs what is the theory behind that in this proposal?
    This town is already 80% smoke free in public places you cannot tell me the people supporting this are not wise enough to make choices and not go to a place that allows smoking.
    As a person with lung issues I do not support this because of how intrusive it is. I am smart enough not to go to a business that I know is going to affect me and my breathing issues or potentially harm me so you all should be as well. I hope you all get a slap in the face when the voters reject this and tell you to mind your own darn business. All you supporters who want to infringe on people and businesses rights might want to make a move to a country that allows dictatorship.

  • bjy50 posted at 2:42 pm on Sun, Mar 30, 2014.

    bjy50 Posts: 2

    I understand the argument about the freedom of bar/restaurant owners being violated...but there is no complete freedom any where. It is simply not possible. Laws are made to protect as many people as protect the community. For instance, bar owners probably would like to sell alcohol to people under 21, they could make more $. However, the law says they cannot, for the good of the community. I bet bar/restaurant owners do not like health inspectors coming around to see how clean and sanitary their establishments are. However, most people agree these inspections are a good thing for the community. Bar/restaurant owners don''t want a smoking ban but it is the best thing for our community. The smoke in these places is just as dangerous as unsanitary food conditions. Sometimes individual freedoms are limited for the good of the majority.

  • guitarguy posted at 4:11 pm on Wed, Apr 2, 2014.

    guitarguy Posts: 153

    Define thriving. Does that include the bars that lost so much business they had to shut down?

  • guitarguy posted at 4:14 pm on Wed, Apr 2, 2014.

    guitarguy Posts: 153

    But CASJ could have included the casino in the proposed ban. They chose not to because the casino has deep pockets to fight it. Instead they cut a deal for even stronger than original language exempting the casino.

    The statewide reasoning is a bit of a double-standard. The St Joe ban includes e-cigs, where other cities they are not included. So you could say that the St Joe ban is more punitive than bans in KC, etc.


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