Cigar and Pipe Association Denounces Proposed Smoking Ban in St. Louis County


Ever hear of the IPCPR? No?

Well, they're not quite the NRA, but they do lobby hard for what they believe is a fundamental right for all Americans: the right to smoke in public.

Today the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association sent out a release alerting media that it will fight a bill that would have residents of St. Louis County vote on an indoor smoking ban for bars, restaurants and other businesses.

"We want to go on record as being against this proposed ban and any legislated smoking ban, for that matter," states IPCPR's legislative director, Chris McCalla. "Government should stay out of private business decisions like this. If a business owner decides to prevent smoking on the premises, that's fine. It's his or her individual right to do so."

McCalla continues that "anti-smoking forces" use misinformation and "junk science" to arrive at bogus claims about the true risks of second-hand smoke.

"They say there are no safe levels for secondhand smoke. Not true," says McCalla. "OSHA has set safe levels for secondhand smoke that are exponentially higher than the air quality found in average restaurants and bars."

What impact -- if any -- IPCPR's involvement will have on the smoking-ban debate in St. Louis County remains to be seen.

IPCPR acknowledges that it has fewer than 40 members in the entire state of Missouri. Also, if the county smoking ban follows a similar ordinance approved in Clayton, smoking will still be allowed in cigar and tobacco shops.

Whatever the case, I just gotta say that I love the way the cigar and pipe association abbreviates its name as IPCPR. There are just too few tobacco lobbies these days with enough moxie to choose an acronym ending in CPR.

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