- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)5
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Cape councilman Bob Fox to run for mayor (4/21/17)5
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Without city record, Marie Street residents on hook for thousands in sewer repairs (4/19/17)7
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
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