July 14, 2010 - Topeka is now officially under two different smoking bans: the state-wide smoking ban which when in to effect July 1 and the city smoking ban which went to effect December 4. City council members were presented tonight, July 13th with a revised smoking ordinance that would combine the two smoking bans, but they voted it down, which means both the city and state's bans are in effect.
The question now is which one will apply? City Council members say the ban with the stricter policy will be the only that one apply. For example, under the city's ordinance: violators face administrative fees. But under the state law, violators face criminal charges. Because the state's policy is stricter, it will be the one applied.
However, the state exempts casinos from the ban while the city has no exemptions. Therefore if a casino were to be built in the city limits, it would have to be smoke free.
"It can be very confusing. This would have simplified it. It would have made it easier for law enforcement," says councilwoman Debra Swank. Councilwoman Debra Swank proposed the failing ordinance.
She says city's ordinance is the stronger of the two and will prevail in most cases.
The only time the state law will prevail will be with the criminal charges and the distance a smoker can be from any entrance to a building. That distance is 10 feet.
The City of Wichita, Kansas has a similar problem.. Wichita, Kanaas - city's smoking ordinance more stringent than state law..
Reference: Topeka under 2 smoking bans by Syed Shabbir, 49News KTKA.com, 7/13/2010.
Related Kansas news briefs:
Kansas - goes smoke-free on July 1, 2010..;
Wichita, Kansas - city's smoking ordinance more stringent than state law..;
Kansas - governor signed into law the Clean Indoor Air legislation..;
Kansas - public smoking ban effective July 1, 2010..;
University of Kansas (KU) bans sale of tobacco starting July 1, 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas - opponents of smoking ban may drop petition drive..;
Kansas - cigarette tax hike likely in 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas - some petitions to overthrow smoking ban missing..;
Topeka, Kansas - smoking ban takes effect Friday, December 4, 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas to ban public smoking indoors and at places of employment December 4, 2010..;
Kansas - cigarette makers fined, failed to pay into escrow accounts..;
Kansas City, Missouri - court upholds smoking ban..;