- Police: Cape man kidnapped woman, then raped, assaulted her (06/30/16)7
- Many Jackson students may face random drug-testing (06/26/16)41
- Jackson man accused of felony assault after attack at Cape bar (06/26/16)7
- Four men accused of roles in three robberies (06/29/16)3
- Coroner asks for grand jury in Poplar Bluff fatal hit-and-run case (06/28/16)1
- Southeast president to get his U.S. citizenship July 4 (06/30/16)34
- Cape murderer still will serve 2 life sentences; appeals court forced reduced charge (06/30/16)
- Cape detective who helped solve Krajcir case is retiring (06/28/16)8
- Officials: Ash borer less of a problem here than in St. Louis (06/27/16)
- Business notebook: Melting Co. adds to Cape's food-truck fleet (06/27/16)
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