St. Louis County - voters to decide in November on weak smoking ban..

August 30, 2009 - St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley signed a bill Friday morning, August 28th that will let voters decide on November 3 whether to ban smoking in most indoor public places. "I think it is imperative that the people of St. Louis County deserve to be heard at the polls," Dooley said before signing the bill in his office at the county administration building.

The bill, passed Tuesday night, August 25th by the County Council, exempts casino floors, the smoking lounges currently in operation at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and "drinking establishments" whose income from food is 25 percent or less of gross income.

The exemptions prompted some groups, including the American Cancer Society, to urge Dooley to veto the measure. Dooley, a former smoker, said he recognizes that "this is not a perfect bill." "But at the same time, I recognize as well that people should have the opportunity to vote on this important health issue."

If passed St. Louis County would go smoke-free in January 2011.

Next month the The City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen will resume consideration of a bill that would create a smoke-free St. Louis, triggered by a measure in St. Louis County. Hopefully the existence of the ballot item in the county will help the city measure pass. In turn, Steve Patterson hopes a passed city ordinance would motivate county voters to pass their measure. If anything the fragmentation in our region may stretch the opposition forces thinly. Now is the time for officials in St. Charles County and Jefferson County to push their own measures.

Related news briefs: Premium Cigar Store Owners Unite to Fight Proposed St. Louis County Smoking Ban Vote..; Missouri - some cities becoming smoke free but NOT the state..; West Saint (St.) Louis County - NO Smoking - firefighters or EMS personnel...

Reference: Dooley signs smoking bill, voters to decide, Smoke-free Saint (St) Louis, 8/28/2009; Let the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) Campaign Begin, Steve Paterson, UrbanReviewSTL, 8/30/2009.



August 30, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Be careful of the fine print on the ballot. The tax exempt American Cancer Society tricked the voters of Ohio into voting for a ban with exemptions, only to have them removed AFTER they were voter approved. If they got away with it once, you know they will do it again. It may be weak upfront just to get votes. Thank you American Cancer Society, we never knew all you do. The private vets clubs of Ohio who thought they were exempt according to the ballot learned what they do. I'm sure they are remembering them with with their donations and estate plans.