- Cape businessman known for starting NARS dies at 49 (2/23/17)9
- Man shot by police ID'd; witness shares his side of story (2/17/17)31
- MSHP: McLendon shot in side; autopsy refutes witness account (2/19/17)23
- Apparent punch at girls basketball game propels lawmaker into action (2/21/17)4
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)6
- Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access (2/22/17)47
- Annual father-daughter dance provides some fun bonding time (2/19/17)1
- SoutheastHEALTH, Washington University School of Medicine announce collaboration (2/24/17)16
- City issues precautionary boil order near Arena Park (2/23/17)
- $22M bond issue would alter Jackson schools (2/22/17)12
Smoking ban a health issue
Dear editor:The Dec. 12 article "Opposition to proposed smoking ban in Cape Girardeau heats up" focused more on the controversy of smoke-free policies than the reason for them -- the health of employees and patrons.
Despite overwhelming evidence of the negative effects of secondhand smoke on public health, the primary concern among some is the impact a smoke-free ordinance may have on business. Yet the consensus of credible, peer-reviewed studies is that smoke-free policies are not known to negatively affect business. Nonetheless, when considering smoke-free policies, some allow unproven concerns of economic losses to overshadow the proven health benefits to employees and patrons.
Health risks associated with secondhand smoke are well documented. Even Philip Morris acknowledges on their website, "the conclusions of public health officials concerning environmental tobacco smoke are sufficient to warrant measures that regulate cigarette smoking in public places." Stepping outside to smoke is not asking too much, especially when it protects the health rights of others.
Everyone should have a right to breathe safe air, including bar and restaurant employees who deserve the same health protections that other workers in our city have. They should not have to be exposed to secondhand smoke and harm their health in order to make a living. Smoke-free policies are clearly a public health issue.
Shelly Wood, Cape Girardeau