St. Louis Smoking Summit a Dud

Categories: Smoking Bans
We had imagined yesterday's "smoking summit" for St. Louis area officials would look something like this. Only instead of beer, the table would be full of ashtrays and mounds and mounds of those famously cheap Missouri cigarettes.

After a bit of frank discussion, the officials would sit back and relax (share the proverbial peace pipe, if you will) and agree to an area smoking ban with none of the hodgepodge of exemptions that currently exist.

That didn't happen.

As the Post-Dispatch reports this morning, representatives from St. Louis City and Jefferson County failed to make the meeting. (Lewis Reed, president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, apparently got tied up in another meeting. The chairwoman from the Jefferson County Council was out of town.)

So, the grand summit ended up being a few councilmen from St. Louis County and St. Charles County staring at each other over a conference table. The meeting wrapped up in fifteen minutes.

The group plans a future get-together, in which they hope for better attendance. On second thought, perhaps they should offer beer at that next meeting. It always seems to draw a crowd.

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Frank Grimes
Frank Grimes

If these politicians who made this 'ban summit' are so serious about health, why didn't they take the bold step 2 years ago to pass bills prohibiting the sale of ANY type of tobacco product whatsoever, in lieu of smoking bans that only discriminate against the wishes of the few private property owners that catered to smokers?

And also, why didn't those at this meeting agree to change the smoking bans their governing body enacted to permanently exempt adult-only establishments with NO sunset clauses whatsoever(i.e. the 5 year exemption Saint Louis city gave to small bars), providing they post proper clear exterior signage at each public entrance of their smoking policy, clearly disclosed in job interviews and on applications to potential employees their indoor smoking policy, and did not set different smoking rules for bars, casinos, and other types of adult-only businesses, regardless of how big or small they were in square feet? Never mind that I know no representatives from Saint Louis city were at this 'ban summit', and I'm only making too much common sense with this post!

Bill Hannegan
Bill Hannegan

Steve Stenger initially told us that he is a "free choice guy" and thinks smoking should be a choice in "over 18" venues. Now he is pushing this extended restriction of free choice. Why? Is he still trying to get revenge against Dan Lee?


Campaign contributions recently given to St. Charles County Councilmen Cronin and White need to be carefully look through for Ameristar influence in the next few days, well before the smoking ban vote at the end of the month. 

Bill Hannegan
Bill Hannegan

 Reed could never go along with a smoking ban on Lumiere Place and he didn't want to be perceived as breaking his promise to City small bars. No point in him showing up.


Interesting theory and does make more than a little sense.

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