Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mine is not a high horse

I gave up the Parliament Lights on November 13, 2007. Cold turkey. If I didn't have kids I'd still be a blazin'.

So, Illinois went smoke free in restaurants and bars. Will Missouri ever go this route? I doubt it. Missourians love their tobacco. We have the 2nd cheapest state taxes on cigarettes in the U.S. Here's my source.

New York $2.75/pack
New Jersey $2.58/pack
Massachusetts $2.51/pack
Mississippi $0.18/pack
Missouri $0.17/pack
South Carolina $0.07/pack

Damn, North Carolina and Kentucky even have higher taxes than the old Show Me state.

Anyhow, as time goes by I am tempted less and less by the smokes. Recently, I was actually turned off a couple times; yet, I am not one to judge how someone else should or should not spend their evening. I think smoking is a personal right that everyone has, just like drinking.

If you want to smoke or drink or whatever, knock yourself out. Smoking has become a club. So why not keep the club alive, and make it an exclusive one at that. Why not market smoking-friendly environments to smokers and smoke-free environments to nonsmokers?

Let's face it, a smoky bar has it's allure. Smoking is fun. Smoking is dirty, bad and rebellious. Smoking and drinking go hand in hand for many. So why not have Missouri bypass the whole ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, and opt for a smokers only or non-smoking only law?

If a bar choses to be hip and/or badass it could be a smoking establishment with a sticker/sign on the front door announcing this fact. If you are the hard core or casual smoker, enter and have fun. Let freedom burn. I likes me the smell of stale cigarettes at Courtesy. It makes the stale pie and coffee taste better. It makes the jukebox better.

If you are the healthy or high horse type, you can make your moral judgement call and eat/drink only in smoke free environments.

No place shall have a non-smoking section. The rules will be clear. Let's maintain our state's long history and love for tobacco. Let's embrace smokers.

I don't think St. Louis is in a position to be turning potential patrons/residents away. If the suburbs ban smoking, let's be the ones to (selectively) keep it alive.

I'm sure this is not a novel concept, but merely one that been on my mind.


  1. your "argument" does nothing to address the health issues that are a prime part of this movement. bars and restaurants have to comply with a variety of health codes. for instance, they have methods to stop the spread of hepatitis. why is it so hard to understand that cigarettes are the same type of thing? they spread disease. no one will stop you from drinking coffee, because you are the only one directly affected by it. secondhand smoke, on the other hand, directly affects the people around smokers.

    also, there's no reason there can't be an additional license fee for bars that want to be smoking. i believe this was done in NYC when it went smoke-free.

  2. ^something tells me you've never been to flavour country....

  3. St. Louis doesn't have smoking ban in part because St. Louisans took some time to look into the health claims groups like the American Cancer Society use to scare the public and pressure lawmakers into imposing bans. For instance, the main claim the ACS used to push a smoking ban in Illinois can still be found on the Smoke-Free Illinois website:

    "One 8-hour shift in a smoky workplace is equivalent to smoking 16 cigarettes."

    We looked into that claim and found it had no basis. We let St. Louis lawmakers know that they were being lied to by antismoking groups. Now St. Louis lawmakers are wary and much less like to vote for such Draconian restrictions.