Forbes recently unveiled its list of the best cities for smokers in the U.S. Not surprisingly, half of the list was represented by the tobacco-happy state of North Carolina, where it’s a key industry. But leading all cities — perhaps surprisingly — was St. Louis, Missouri, better known for its watered-down beer than any affiliation with the ciggies. From Forbes:
There are still some places for those who want to light up without being subject to scorn and ridicule, not to mention the rain and harsh temperatures that come with being forced out onto the street on bad weather days. Cities like St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Des Moines and Myrtle Beach, S.C., are havens for the smoking crowd.Politicians in those towns view the issue as a question of property rights, allowing owners of restaurants, bars and other private businesses to permit the market to determine smoking policy. No clusters of cigarette butts on sidewalks in these towns, no masses of huddled smokers booted outside the local bar.