Fox2 News reported on the first day of the smoke-free air ordinance in Kirkwood yesterday, which appeared to have gone off without a hitch, at least at Spencer’s Grill, where ashtrays had disappeared overnight. There was some grumbling and concern expressed over impact on profits, and a server was interviewed taking a chilly cigarette break outside. But two customers interviewed were decidedly happy.
You can view the 2:28 minute TV report by clicking the following link: http://www.fox2now.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=bc26de8c-cb0d-4d3c-9838-f9dc9e3e2884&src=front
Clicking the title below also takes you to the page with the story copied below.
Kirkwood Smoking Ban Takes Effect Saturday
By Reporter George Sells
January 2, 2010 KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) – Starting Saturday, smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants and bars in Kirkwood, MO. All this comes one year before a smoking ban takes effect St. Louis County and City wide.
Voters overwhelmingly approved Kirkwood’s Clean Air Act on November 3. Kirkwood is the second County municipality to go smoke-free; Ballwin is the other. Clayton goes smoke free in July. Arnold in Jefferson County has had a smoking ban for several years.
(mogasp: Arnold’s ordinance is far more limited in scope, and was amended to exempt restaurants/bars with separately ventilated indoor smoking rooms, which later we had independently tested and proved to be ineffective.)
The entire state of Illinois went smoke free two years ago. At Spencer’s Grill on Kirkwood Road, the only smoke Saturday morning was coming off the grill.
They’ve been serving up breakfast since 1946, but Saturday was the first time in those six plus decades, that a cigarette was not an option with that cup of coffee. The ash trays here, like all businesses in Kirkwood, are obsolete.
Jeanette Brueggemann favors the ban. She says, “The fact you can go anywhere you want to go and not have to worry about the air being so polluted you can’t hardly breathe or taste your food.”
There are obvious health benefits as well, but some worry about a different kind of health. The financial health of businesses who, for the next year, have to compete with others just miles away who can still allow customers to light up.
Spencer’s Grill owner Chip Powers says,” There’s bars up the street. I think its gonna hurt them. To me it’s a little unfair to them. Or they should have waited a year where it’s a level playing field for everybody. ”
Some who voted against the ban feel the same way. Tom Huber doesn’t even smoke.
Huber says, “I think it puts businesses at a real disadvantage. You have businessmen who come in and invest in Kirkwood with the rules being x and we change the rules to y. I think it’s a real disadvantage to those businessmen.”
Though some argue non smokers will be drawn to Kirkwood rather than the other way around.