Clean Indoor Air - Now is the Time

Last week I was in Jefferson City attending a social function for a friend. The dinner was held in a popular downtown restaurant. It was so good to see old friends but I could not get over how difficult it was for me to eat in a restaurant that allowed smoking. Jefferson City is not a clean air community and as soon as I opened the door of the restaurant, the nasty smell of cigarette smoke filled my senses.

As I returned to Kansas City, I couldn’t help but notice the smell of cigarette smoke in my clothes and in my car. As soon as I got home I took a shower and washed my clothes.

The Kansas City region has done a good job a supporting clean indoor air laws. However, recently two local communities have passed clean indoor air laws that have big loopholes in them. These loopholes allow most bars and restaurants in their community to continue to allow for smoking.

Recently, the Kansas Health Institute issued a research paper studying the economic effects of the smoking ban on bars and restaurants in Lawrence, Ks. The results of this research are similar to virtually every other study conducted in different communities who have implemented a smoking ban . These studies all showed that business at bar and restaurants were not adversely affected in the long run.

The health of our community is too important to allow cigarette companies, bars and restaurants to use economic excuses to explain why a smoking ban is not warranted. As KHI and other studies show – these economic excuses are simply not true . Now is the time to implement state wide clean indoor air smoking bans.


I had the same issue. Luckily I has a vehicle ionizer in my car to wear off the smell before I got home.

Clean indoor air is thankfully being strongly considered in the Kansas legislature - Steve, please weigh in for those of us across the state line! Maybe you can help us start a good trend

Steve Glad to see that your blog is being read on a local and national level… I have no doubt you will be global soon. I agree with you that the health of our very valuable community is too important to allow cigarette companies, bars and restaurants to use “economic excuses” to explain why a smoking ban is not warranted. This smoking ban is long over due and more than warranted. One only has to look at all the studies regarding second hand smoke, smoking at home with a child, etc, to see that smoking, WHERE EVER it maybe, is bad for public and private health. I am optimistic that when my children are old enough to go out to bars, clubs, and restaurants, they will not spend their advocacy energy fighting this battle… they will move on to bigger and better issues that are complex and aren’t so clear cut like this clean air battle. I think we are on this path Steve, and thank you for helping us along!!!

Protecting people's health should be our elected official’s first concern when making the decision about clean indoor air policy to eliminate secondhand tobacco smoke danger. Unfortunately, decision makers are not getting a strong enough message from Missouri residents that this issue is important to them. Because of the extreme lack of funding in Missouri, public health has not been able to conduct the educational media/policy advocacy programming and media campaigns that drive public opinion like the states surrounding Missouri. It is truly sad that Missouri is living up to its name, the Show Me State, in comparison to our neighbor states of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and soon Kansas that protect public health with clean indoor air policy.

After over a year of experience here in Chicago, now that the fanfare has worn off and the lobbyists have moved on to other states, it's clearly obvious that trying to ban smoking in small neighborhood "shot and beer" bars is pretty useless. Many small bars in my area ignore the ban to keep their customers, neighbors, and local police (many are patrons when off duty) satisfied. In areas where real crime is an issue, the problem of undesirables being attracted by groups of people outside the bars and causing disturbances on the PUBLIC street, property that the owner has no control over, far outweighs the issue of people peacefully smoking inside a bar, bothering absolutly no one, Bars ignoring the ban also result in fewer kids being exposed to more smoke than ever before at home when adults gather at their homes, instead of at a local bar. Having kids exposed to smoke at home just gives the ban fanatics a reason to want to ban smoking in private homes, which is already happening in California. Once started, these bans never stop.

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About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.