Kansas City, Missouri - court upholds smoking ban..

June 24, 2009 - The State of Missouri does not have a smoking ban in place. Missouri's Clean Air Act signed into law in 1992, permits "bars, taverns, restaurants that seat less than 50 people, bowling alleys and billiard parlors," among a variety of other areas including "private residences," not to maintain any indoor nonsmoking area at all.

On April 8, 2008, voters in Kansas City, Missouri approved a smoking ordinance that eliminates smoking in bars and restaurants, in addition to all other enclosed workplaces except for casino gaming floors. This ordinance went into effect June 6, and enforcement began at 12:01 a.m. on June 21, when a temporary restraining order was lifted. The purpose of the smoking ordinance is to protect those working in Kansas City, Mo., from the dangers of secondhand or environmental tobacco smoke.
(Kansas City, Mo., Smoking Ordinance.)

On January 21, 2009, a bartender at a small bar and billiard parlor in Kansas City (JC's Sports Bar) appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals from a decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County upholding Kansas City's smoking ordinance and finding her guilty of violating it. (Press Release - KC Smoking Ban Appeal - BH Copy - 01-21-2009.

Under a ruling issued on June 23, 2009 by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Kansas City can continue to ban smoking from its bars and restaurants. The court affirmed Kansas City’s comprehensive smoking ban.

Jonathan Sternberg, the attorney representing the bar, had argued that Kansas City is not allowed to regulate smoking in bars, billiard parlors and restaurants that seat fewer than 50 people because state law permits smoking in such places. He said Kansas City’s strict smoking restrictions are in conflict with state law and violate the Missouri Constitution.

But the city successfully argued that state law does not “permit” smoking in bars, small restaurants and billiard halls; it simply leaves those places unregulated, and cities can still impose smoking restrictions there. The court of appeals agreed, saying that Kansas City’s authority to enact the ban was not denied by other laws.

Reference: Appeals court upholds KC’s smoking ban, Lynn Horsley, KansasCity.com, 6/23/2009.