A day for which we’ve certainly been waiting! The St. Louis County seat of government and a major business center in the metro area, the City of Clayton finally went smoke-free in most indoor public places and private workplaces today.
Thanks again to the following elected Clayton representatives for their leadership on this issue:
Mayor Linda Goldstein and her fellow Aldermen, Judy R. Goodman, Andrea Maddox-Dallas, Michelle Harris, Cynthia Garnholz, Alex Berger III, and Steven E. Lichtenfeld.
Thank you all!
This story, as it appeared on the front page of the printed St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had the following odd headline, followed by a more innocuous subheading:
Tobacco now taboo in Clayton
Smoking ban in restaurants, most other businesses takes effect today.
It certainly isn’t tobacco, per se, that’s the problem: it’s burning it and the resulting air pollution that’s the issue! Somebody cottoned on to that when it was posted on-line. Whoever that was at the Post-Dispatch: Thank you!!!
A full description of the places which are now smoke-free in Clayton can be found on-line here: http://www.ci.clayton.mo.us/index.aspx?location=842
Here are the exceptions:
• Private residences
• Private clubs of non-profit organizations that do not allow
the general public and do not allow “membership” upon
payment of a nominal fee
• Private or semi-private rooms in nursing homes and
long-term care facilities
• Retail establishments where more than 70 percent of sales
includes tobacco and tobacco-related products
• No more than 20 percent of Clayton hotel rooms
• Outdoor public dining areas
• Cigar bars in operation prior to the enactment of the
It would have been nice if outdoor patios had also been made smoke-free, but maybe that level of enlightenment will come later. Current Americans for Nonsmokers Rights model ordinance language is also stricter, exempting only private residences and no more than 10% of hotel/motel rooms.
Starting today, Clayton goes smoke-free
by MARGARET GILLERMAN • firstname.lastname@example.org >
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 12:00 am
CLAYTON • After a hectic day in court Wednesday morning, two Clayton lawyers relaxed with Marlboro Lights after lunch at Barrister’s restaurant and bar.
If Charles F. Teschner and Nathan Collins did that today, they would be lawbreakers.
Clayton, the county seat, goes smoke-free today, a year after a smoking ban ordinance got the unanimous approval of the Board of Aldermen.
Smoking will be banned in all restaurants and most other businesses, with some exemptions. Patrons may still light up on outdoor restaurant patios.
Teschner savored his last cigarette at Barrister’s, but he’s taking the new prohibition stoically.
“We live in a republic where people get to choose,” he said, noting that most people in the county favor a ban. “I have a right to smoke, but I don’t have the right to smoke when it bothers other people.”
Besides, he added, “I go to a restaurant to eat, not to smoke.”
Collins said he didn’t like the ban.
“I like to go out for a couple cigarettes, a couple iced teas and then go back to work,” he said.
Collins said he may head to the Central West End for lunch until a St. Louis city ban takes effect Jan. 2.
But Collins broke into a smile on hearing he could smoke on patios in Clayton.
“I’m a little relieved.”
Mayor Linda Goldstein said Wednesday that the city’s most important priority was “protecting the health of our residents, the visitors who patronize our businesses and the employees who work in our community.”
She added that prohibiting smoking in the long run would attract more customers to Clayton restaurants and businesses.
Initially, the city’s proposal for a ban faced staunch resistance from some business owners who said it would harm their revenue, and from some people who believe it’s the right of the individual or business owner to make the decision on smoking.
After Clayton’s move, St. Louis County voters in November approved a countywide ban by a 2-1 ratio. That also triggered a St. Louis city ban that was dependent on county approval. Both bans take effect Jan. 2.
Kirkwood went smoke-free Jan. 2. Chief Administrative Officer Michael G. Brown said Wednesday that Kirkwood had seen no drop in restaurant tax receipts.
On Wednesday at Molly Darcys Celtic Pub in Clayton, manager Mike Watry said that he believed the public was ready for a county ban, based on the strength of the countywide vote.
Some “happy hour regulars” may not like it, he said, but he expects they’ll just step outdoors, where it’s permitted.
“We’ll also have Thursday Night Cigars in the Courtyard,” he said.
Myra Lynch, manager at Barrister’s, said that although some smokers may not like the ban at first, she figures that “people will get used to it.” And it may bring in more customers, she said.
“We do have people who come in and say it’s too smoky in here,” she said. “I think it will be fine.”
Customer Matt Watkins, a nonsmoking lawyer, said he believed the decision should have been up to business owners; another customer, Michelle Lott, welcomed the ban.
“I can’t stand it when someone next to you is smoking and you’ve got your children with you,” she said. She and her husband and two young children were eating lunch outdoors on the sidewalk patio.
John P. Fields is one of the heavier smoking bar and restaurants in Clayton.
Lori and Johnny Hultquist got married at the courthouse Wednesday and headed over to Fields to celebrate. Both smoked Camels and were enjoying tequilas and beer.
Lori Hultquist, of Chicago, said she had gotten accustomed to the ban in Illinois and supported it even though she smoked. She doesn’t like her children around secondhand smoke.
Johnny Hultquist, of Union, said: “If I go to a bar, I like to smoke, but it’s bad for you. I don’t have a problem with going outside for a cigarette.”
Clayton resident and nonsmoker Ed Stoner sat nearby watching the Cardinals game. Stoner said he was eager for the cleaner air.
“It will be nice,” he said.
Most restaurants in Clayton and many elsewhere in the area are already smoke-free. The Pageant theater in St. Louis banned smoking recently.
A violator of the Clayton smoking ban may face a fine of not more than $1,000 or incarceration of 90 days or less. Kirkwood officials report nearly total cooperation. They said only one citation has been written so far.
Clayton Police Chief Tom Byrne said he assumed the restaurants would help enforce the ordinance.
If an individual refuses to stop smoking when asked, police will warn the customer and issue a summons if necessary.