angelweave

June 25, 2005

Dumbing Down


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch edited my letter to the editor into blas├ędom.

The original:

Clay Barbour's article "Smoking bill is coming in St. Louis County" had a strange sentence in it worth some commentary. It's in this paragraph:

"After months of study, debate and negotiations, a final draft of the proposed St. Louis County indoor smoking ban is expected to be introduced next week to the County Council and it appears that bars and restaurants will be hardest hit."

The hardest hit. By what? By whom? Legislation, sure. The possibility of my business, yes, that, too.

For more than a year now I haven't paid money to a local facility that allows smoking. My allergies (face it - we live in St. Louis and all have them) are significantly less, and I'm a far less vituperative diner. No more do I have to answer "eradication" to the befuddled host or hostess who asks "smoking preference."

Survey says that even in MO, the third heaviest smoking state, that only a quarter of us smoke. For some reason there's this overhanging cloudy assumption that these smokers have all the money and wouldn't dare step outside for a cigarette indulgence. All their business would therefore go [insert place with no smoking restrictions here]. The sister assumption is that the smoke produced indoors by these same 25%, the polluters, doesn't drive off business. It's the status quo. So long as we all have lived and dined (and breathed and subsequently coughed), there's been smoking in restaurants. And yea verily thus it must remain so?

Why? Why does it seem such a hardship to finally recognize the 75%+ of the state's population and our choice to not smoke, a choice many of us make for health reasons. That's what it really comes down to. Non-smokers. Yeah, they don't smoke, not even second hand by choice. Ever. Certainly some don't mind the byproducts of others' cigarettes. Some are strange radicals like me (I'll disclose that I'm a conservative distance athlete and 14-year cancer survivor) who avoid it altogether, and for good cause.

Smoking in restaurants? No problem. So long as the smoker contain the smoke for himself/herself. More smoke, more enjoyment - it's a win/win. Some entrepeneur should get right on the space suit design.

Until then, applause to the council in advance for making the right decision. Long list of restaurants I've not seen the inside of for more than a year?

Hope to see you soon. Too bad I can't go bowling.

P-D at least leaves the word "eradication" - vocab word for the high schoolers?

The article "Smoking bill is coming in St. Louis County" (June 22) said, "...it appears that bars and restaurants will be hardest hit."

The hardest hit? By what?

For more than a year, I haven't paid money to a local facility that allows smoking. My allergies are significantly less, and I'm a far less vituperative diner. No more do I have to answer "eradication" to the befuddled host or hostess who asks "smoking preference?".

There's an assumption that smokers have all the money and wouldn't dare step outside for a cigarette indulgence, so their business would go elsewhere. Another assumption is that the smoke produced indoors by the the polluters doesn't drive off business.

So long as we all have lived and dined, there's been smoking in restaurants. Must it remain so?

Why is it a hardship to recognize the 75 percent of the state's population who don't smoke?

Heather Noggle
Maryland Heights
Lost a little kick, no? I was practically yawning.

hln

Posted by hln at June 25, 2005 05:16 AM | Health
Comments

Snoooooozer... (theirs, not yours.)

Spending many hours a week editing other people's writing, I know how hard it is to keep the flavour of a piece when having to shorten it, but they could have at least tried!

P.

Posted by: Light & Dark at June 25, 2005 12:56 PM

Thanks for the reminder of why I don't bother to read the paper anymore!

RCS

Posted by: Robert C. Seifert at June 28, 2005 08:08 AM
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