- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
Across the nation, city, county and state governments are imposing smoking restrictions of one kind or another. Many business owners also are making choices, with some going smoke-free, some offering designated smoking areas and others allowing smoking.
Breathe Easy Cape Girardeau is a group that hopes to raise awareness about the issues of public smoking. Its website, capebreatheeasy.com, includes a petition advocating smoke-free public places and workplaces.
Smoking bans are not new to Cape Girardeau. A 1991 ordinance banned smoking in grocery stores. In 1992, a Missouri law required smoking and nonsmoking areas to be separated. Both hospitals ban smoking. Schools are smoke-free. But many businesses say they want to continue to offer a smoking area for their customers. They are concerned that a total smoking ban in the city would mean fewer customers. And they don't want the government to tell them how to run their businesses.
At the heart of the debate over smoking in public places is the health impact. Medical studies indicate both smoking and breathing secondhand smoke can have serious health consequences.
Determining the public's sentiment about the smoking issue and providing information is one goal of the Breathe Easy coalition.