Monthly Archives: November 2010

Remembering my late sister, Lilian

My sister, Lilian, died of lung cancer on November 11, 1988, in Brighton, England, just a few weeks before her 58th birthday on December 1.

This is the time of year when that day and other bitter-sweet memories of her come flooding back.

I wrote extensively about her on this blog here last year. Please click that link to read more.

2010/11/24 P-D OpEd:”Cigarette Taxes – Missouri can’t afford to be last”

Yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a well-argued OpEd from Rep. Mary Wynne Still (D), Columbia, in favor of legislation to raise Missouri’s cigarette excise tax from its current low of 17 cents a pack, but one very unlikely to make any headway in the legislature. It isn’t merely because of Republican control: it was the same when the Democrats were in charge when the chairs of critical committees were smokers themselves.

The last time the cigarette tax was raised in Missouri was in 1993 as a result of a political deal between former Missouri House Speaker Bob Griffin, a Democrat, and the tobacco lobby. As part of that deal the Speaker agreed to oppose any future tax increases.

A good review of the whole sordid story of how the tobacco industry has successfully opposed good public policy at the state level in Missouri appears in a well-researched study by Michael S. Givel, PhD, and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, titled:

The Public Health Undermined: The Tobacco
Industry’s Legacy in Missouri in the 1990’s

The study was published in November 2000 and is now available on-line by clicking the above link. Below are relevant excerpts from the study pertaining to the tobacco excise tax issue:

From 1990 to 1992, Missouri’s tobacco excise tax on packs of cigarettes was 13 cents per pack. There was an effort in the 1991 Missouri Legislative Session to raise this tax rate, which was vigorously opposed by John Britton [at the time, tobacco lobbyist for the now-disbanded Tobacco Institute] and the rest of the tobacco lobby. ……

By December 1992, this situation was about to change when Missouri House Speaker Bob Griffin (1991-1992 tobacco industry contributions $2,450) announced that he was contemplating a cigarette tax increase to fund a health care bill, which would increase preventive health care in clinics and schools and provide affordable health insurance to employers with 50 or fewer employees. In reaction to this, by April 1993, John Britton and the tobacco lobby had made a deal with House Speaker Bob Griffin to accept a four-cent increase in cigarette taxes. In return, according to an internal Tobacco Institute document, the industry received the following:

    Attached is a copy of the amendment we plan to offer the committee [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee] that will cap local taxes in Missouri. According to John Britton, we have the votes to get the amendment adopted in Committee.
    As you know, both Britton and Roger Mozingo [Vice-President State Government Relations, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company] have spoken to the Speaker about this issue. The Speaker has told them both that he will support our amendment. The Speaker also points out that he feels locals do not have the power to tax cigarettes under Missouri’s constitution.
    I want to make sure that you are aware that we will not oppose HB [House Bill] 564 if our amendment is adopted and stays in the bill.
    Also, you need to be aware of the possibility of a rash of attempted local tax increases prior to October 1, 1993, which is the effective date of the bill. We have looked at Missouri’s law very carefully and can find no way to close this four and one half month window. An emergency clause on the cap section is the only possibility.
    Britton has told me it would be impossible to get a two-thirds vote for an emergency clause given the controversial nature of the topic.

The legislation was subsequently adopted by the Missouri legislature with the preemption clause banning local adoption of new cigarette taxes remaining intact. Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan signed the bill into law on July 1, 1993.

Despite the party political upheavals in Jefferson City, the fundamental situation hasn’t changed much as regards tobacco control and the issue of cigarette taxation, so despite Rep. Mary Wynne Still’s arguments in her OpEd below, I don’t expect any progress on this issue.

Cigarette Taxes – Missouri can’t afford to be last
It’s time for smokers to pay their fair share.

By Mary Wynne Still | (3) Comments | Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:00 am

In many categories, Missouri has the lowest taxes in the country. The 2010 Morton Quitno State Rankings Book lists Missouri as:
    • 47th lowest in per-capita taxes;
    • 46th lowest in corporate income tax;
    • 40th lowest in general revenue sales tax.
    Now Missouri has a record low. As of July 1, when South Carolina raised its cigarette tax to 55 cents a pack, Missouri became the state with the lowest cigarette tax in the nation. Missouri’s 17-cents-a-pack tax on cigarettes is now well below all the tobacco-producing states and all surrounding states. In fact, Missouri could raise its tax by 12 cents a package and still be the lowest — with tobacco-producing Virginia still above Missouri at 30 cents.
    In other words, Missouri could double its cigarette tax and be the second lowest. Right now, when adjusted for inflation, Missouri’s cigarette tax is actually lower today than it was in 1961.
    If this is a race to the bottom, we win.
    But, what is the prize?
    • More smokers. Already we rank fourth in the country in the percent of adults who smoke.
    • More citizens suffering from lung cancer. We rank fifth in the nation in the number of new lung cancer cases, and we have the seventh-highest lung cancer death rate.
    • More pregnant women smoking. Already, 31 percent of women in Missouri who are apregnant and on Medicaid smoke. This results in lower-birth weight babies at significant costs and with terrible illnesses.
    But, forget for a moment the tragedy of these deaths and illnesses. And forget that our state is in the deepest budget hole since the Great Depression, which requires all of us to tighten our belts.
    Let’s look at this simply from a position of fairness. Citizens who smoke are costing our state a bundle. Missouri now pays $738 per pregnant woman to treat tobacco-related problems. The Missouri Budget Project estimates that smoking-related illness cost the state’s Medicaid system $641 million in 2009 of combined federal and state funds, of which $256 million was state general revenue.
    It is time to ask citizens who smoke to do their part in helping us cover their expenses.
    A 12-cent increase in cigarette taxes — that’s less than a penny a cigarette — would raise about $68 million. Our Constitution restricts the amount of new taxes the legislature can impose any given year without a vote of the people. Because a 12-cent increase produces a revenue increase well below the ceiling mandated by the constitution, this amount could be imposed directly by the Legislature.
    An alternative would be to send this issue directly to the voters. Let the voters decide if they would support a greater increase. A $1-a-pack increase would net $570 million revenue gain, but keep Missouri well below the national cigarette tax average and in line with its border states.
    Either proposal moves Missouri ahead — both on health and well-being of our citizens.
    Either proposal improves our ability as a state to balance our budget and would increase revenue to protect our investments, improve our economy and maintain our crumbling infrastructure.
    Either proposal serves as a user tax, allowing citizens who smoke to contribute their fair share of the costs placed upon our state.
    The race to the bottom is one we can’t afford to win. I will work this session with like-minded legislators to address this issue of fairness and personal responsibility.

State Rep. Mary Still, a Demcorat, represents Columbia in the Missouri House.

2010/11/19 P-D: “Compromise rejected on O’Fallon smoking ban effort”

Proponents of a strong smoke-free air ordinance in O’Fallon dug in their heels and rejected as unreasonable council compromise proposals which would exempt some businesses, like small bars.

Both St. Louis City and County ordinances, effective January 2, 2011, contain such exemptions, as well as an exemption for casino gaming floors, but if smoke-free air proponents in O’Fallon feel they have community support for stronger legislation they should stick to that position. No one should have to be exposed to secondhand smoke in order to hold a job.

Compromise rejected on O’Fallon smoking ban effort

By Mark Schlinkmann • mschlinkmann@post-dispatch.com > 636-255-7203 | (22) Comments | Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010 12:25 am

Related Stories
ST. PETERS > (Tobacco) Spitting ban passed

O’FALLON, Mo. • A leader of the group that petitioned for an April 5 citywide smoking ban vote says members aren’t interested in negotiating a compromise version with the City Council.

“We’re very comfortable with what we’ve got,” Craig Boring of Smoke-Free O’Fallon said in an interview after he and others presented their plan to the council Thursday night.
He said it would be “disingenuous” to switch to a different measure after more than 1,900 people signed petitions seeking an election on the group’s proposal.

The proposal would ban smoking in most enclosed public places, including all bars and restaurants.

If election officials verify that at least 788 valid signatures of registered voters were submitted, the city charter gives the council the option of allowing the public vote or passing the group’s plan into law without an election.

City officials say a third option also is possible — the council could enact a compromise crafted by the council and the petition group. The petition plan could then be withdrawn from the ballot if at least two of the three people who formally started the drive agreed. Boring is among the three.

During Thursday’s council work session, Councilmen Bob Howell and Jeff Schwentker suggested that all the parties involved get together to work out something. “We ought to try doing it right,” Schwentker said.

More specific was Councilman Mark Perkins, who said the measure should have more detail on enforcement. He said he worried that taxpayers would have to bear that cost.
Boring responded by saying cities with such bans typically have to issue few citations.

The measure calls for city employees to monitor compliance when doing routine inspections and for the city administrator or someone he designates to oversee enforcement.

Smokers violating the ban would face fines of up to $50. Business managers or owners could be fined up to $500 and face a possible suspension or revocation of operating permits.

After the session, Councilman Jim Pepper said in an interview that he would like to exempt bars serving a small amount of food. Such provisions are in a St. Louis ban and a ban in St. Louis County set to take effect Jan. 2.

He also wants to give O’Fallon businesses more time to comply. The petition group’s proposal would take effect in June.

During the council session, supporters emphasized that the ban is aimed at protecting public health.

“Secondhand smoke is essentially involuntary smoking,” said Wendy Prakop, one petition group member. “The danger is real, the science proves it and the solution is simple.”

Pepper argued that the measure would violate the rights of smokers and businesses. He added that tobacco is a legal product and its growers get federal subsidies.
“If you want to stop smoking, stop the subsidies,” he said.

Bans already are in effect in Lake Saint Louis, Clayton, Kirkwood, Arnold and Ballwin and in Illinois statewide. New municipal bans will start Jan. 1 in Brentwood and Jan. 2 in Creve Coeur.

2010/11/18 P-D: “A win for smoking foes in O’Fallon”

More good news for those wanting to breathe smoke-free air in public places and the private workplace. The success in Lake St. Louis earlier this year evidently gave an assist to folks in another metro community and hopefully we will continue to see progress on the health and welfare front.

One thing I noted about the article is its emphasis on “banning” smoking, which gives this a negative connotation and smacks of the “Prohibition Era,” rather than the positive, by referring to smoke-free air.

I’d much prefer to have seen the headline “A win for smoke-free air in O’Fallon” or “Smoke-free air could be on O’Fallon, Mo. ballot in April,” because smoke-free air is what it is!

And why are smokers cast as “outcasts?” in the photo caption below? It’s the smoking which is antisocial and a danger when others are exposed to it, no different from drunken drivers who don’t just imperil themselves.

Note also the use of key words and phrases by legislators, originated by the tobacco industry in its long battle against smoke-free air laws:

Freedom” and “Choice,” and the recent argument about a level playing field enshrined in the need for a countywide, or better, a statewide law (which we already have, only it’s as weak as dishwater).

Smoking ban in O’Fallon, Mo., could be voted on in April

BY Mark Schlinkmann • mschlinkmann@post-dispatch.com > 636-255-7203 | (45) Comments | Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 9:30 am

Smokers could soon be outcasts if any number of anti-smoking efforts gain traction. Erica Burrus photo

O’FALLON, Mo. • Smoking ban territory could expand to O’Fallon if voters in April approve a citywide ballot issue.

Smoke-Free O’Fallon has turned in a petition for the ballot issue and will brief the City Council today on its proposal to prohibit smoking in most indoor public places — including bars and restaurants.

If election officials verify that enough valid signatures were turned in, the council will have the option of allowing the public vote or passing a smoking ban itself. More than 700 signatures of registered voters were required but the petition group says it got in excess of 1,900 — all outside polling places at the Nov. 2 election.

Myrtle Chidester, the group’s chairwoman, said the main issue is secondhand smoke.

“We want our kids to be in a healthy environment; we want our workers to be in a healthy environment, ” said Chidester, a former smoker who has lung cancer.

Among critics is Councilman Jim Pepper, who said a smoking ban would infringe on the rights of business owners and potential customers to make their own decisions.

“What happened to our freedoms?” Pepper asked. “What happened to choice? Nonsmokers can either support or not support (a business) by whether they visit.”
Another skeptic is Mayor Bill Hennessy, who fears restaurants and bars in his city of more than 78,000 people would be at a disadvantage with competitors in nearby communities that allow smoking.

“I just feel it should be countywide, if not statewide,” he said.

The O’Fallon proposal is similar to a law that went into effect Oct. 1 in Lake Saint Louis, a much smaller city that was the first in St. Charles County to adopt a comprehensive smoking ban.

The County Council has talked about putting a countywide ban on the April ballot, but Chairman John White said Wednesday that probably won’t happen because of the county government’s current financial crunch. He said the county can’t afford the cost of running polls countywide in April.

O’Fallon already must have an election then to fill six council seats. White predicted that the County Council would put a countywide proposal on the ballot at a later election, perhaps in 2012.

A regional anti-smoking coalition official, Pat Lindsey, said O’Fallon was chosen for the petition drive because it has the biggest population in the county. Getting a ban passed in the largest city could spur other municipalities to follow, she said.
Hennessy said despite his opposition, he wouldn’t veto a ban passed by the council. He and Pepper also said it’s conceivable that the council might try to negotiate a revised version with the petition group. Pepper said, for example, he might support a bill allowing a longer phase-in period for businesses. The ballot issue calls for the ban to take effect in June.

In addition to Lake Saint Louis, bans are in effect in Clayton, Kirkwood, Arnold, Ballwin and in Illinois statewide. Bans in St. Louis County and St. Louis take effect Jan. 2. More restrictive versions go into effect in Brentwood on Jan. 1 and Creve Coeur on Jan. 2.

2010/11/17 P-D: Illinois pondering returning smoking to casinos

The following story, published on page 6 of today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was the first I’d heard of any effort to weaken the Illinois Smoke Free Air Act, which went into effect in January, 2008.

This comprehensive law was unusual in that it also required casinos to be totally smoke-free. It was a major accomplishment on the part of the supporters of the law when Illinois included this broad provision which included casinos.

Often, as in St. Louis County and City ordinances passed last year which go into effect on January 2nd next year, such laws will exempt casino gaming floors and allow smoking on them. That is done not for health reasons but because it’s the path of least resistance, and avoids a fight with well-funded gaming interests.

Independent research funded by Missouri GASP into the impact of the Illinois Smoke Free Air Act on casino revenue, covering a full year before the law went into effect plus a full year afterwards, and comparing those results with neighboring states with no restrictions, is nearing completion. It provides important unbiased scientific data and conclusions on this issue, and should be carefully considered before any precipitous action is taken by the Illinois legislature.

Illinois pondering returning smoking to casinos

BY KEVIN McDERMOTT > kmcdermott@post-dispatch.com > 217-782-4912 | (93) Comments | Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 10:17 am

Illinois lawmakers return to
Springfield for veto session.

UPDATE, 3:10 pm — The measure to exempt the state’s casinos from the smoking ban passed the House Executive Committee today on a 9-1 vote. Several of the “yes” votes specified that they have problems with the bill and were merely voting to send it on for a full floor debate, a common practice. It now goes to the full House.

Among the witnesses was a Casino Queen lobbyist who argued, as other proponents do, that Illinois has lost some $500 million in two years to competition from neighboring states where smoking in the casinos is allowed. They revealed that about 20 state lawmakers toured the Queen and Lumiere in St. Louis on Monday to see for themselves the difference in foot traffic.

Speaking against the measure was the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the Illinois Department of Public Health, which argued that it’s not clear the smoking ban is responsible for the revenue loss — and that, in any case, it’s peanuts next to the $4 billion-plus in health care costs to Illinois from smoking. They also argued the exception would be unfair to bars and others that would still be under the smoking ban.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers this afternoon are expected to take up a bill that would roll back the state’s new smoking ban in gambling establishments.

Illinois recently banned smoking in all public indoor venues, including gaming facilities. The gaming industry claims that ban has put Illinois casinos at a competitive disadvantage with those of neighboring states like Missouri.

A bill expected before the Illinois House Executive Committee this afternoon (HB1846, House Amendment 1) would re-allow smoking in the state’s casinos, “if smoking is not banned in gaming facilities located in the nearest neighboring state.”

The measure goes on to state: “This exemption shall no longer apply to a gaming facility on and after the date that smoking is banned in gaming facilities located in the nearest neighboring state.”

The Legislature is back in Springfield today for the first day of its fall veto session. It will go for part of this week and then in the last week of the month.

2010/11/09 P-D: Creve Coeur gets stricter than county with smoking ban

More good news, with Creve Coeur emulating the City of Brentwood by enacting a stronger local ordinance than St. Louis County’s soon-to-be-effective smoke-free air ordinance.

A weakness in this ordinance is the exemption added for existing private clubs, such as the American Legion. Makes sense that, in return for their valor, we should make it easier for such individuals to die prematurely from smoking-induced lung cancer, heart disease, or emphysema.

Note also the drumbeat of the need for a “statewide smoking ban” by Council member Robert Haddenhorst.

Why this insistence?

We have a statewide Clean Indoor Air Act, enacted in 1992, the best thing about which – thanks in part to Missouri GASP’s past consistent stance against preemption – is that it permits stronger local ordinances, just like the ones we are seeing enacted now. Let’s continue that welcome trend.

Creve Coeur gets stricter than county with smoking ban

BY CYNTHIA BILLHARTZ GREGORIAN • cbillhartz@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8114 |
Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:20 am

CREVE COEUR • The City Council voted 5-0 Monday to pass a stricter smoking ban than the St. Louis County one.

Both measures will take effect Jan. 2.

Creve Coeur’s ban goes beyond restaurants and includes all public places with employees, such as casinos, bars, assisted living facilities and private clubs, but only clubs that open after Jan. 2.

Councilwoman Beth Kistner, sponsor of the ordinance, said “considerable angst among some council members and residents” prompted her to reluctantly revise her original proposal to grandfather in existing private clubs, such as the American Legion and the Elks.

Kistner proposed the ordinance in an effort to close what she called loopholes in the countywide ordinance, which bans smoking in all restaurants that earn 25 percent or more of their gross sales from food but exempts bars that make more than 75 percent off sales of liquor.

“Exemptions, by nature, make laws like this unfair because they serve special interests,” Kistner said. “Every time you drop one in, you have someone else calling wanting one, too. The only way to protect all workers in all places is to have no exceptions.”

Councilwoman Jeanne Rhoades was unable to attend the meeting but sent a letter opposing the ban. She said that it’s ironic to ask those in military service to go off to war where they were exposed to bombs, artillery fire and dangerous chemicals and then deny them cigarettes in order to protect them from smoke.

Several residents echoed that sentiment. But the measure also had supporters at the meeting.

Voters passed the countywide ban in November 2009 by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1.

More than half a dozen municipalities have passed smoking bans stricter than the county ordinance. They include Clayton, Kirkwood, Brentwood and Ballwin. St. Louis city has adopted the same smoking ban as St. Louis County.

Council member Robert Haddenhorst added that he hopes passing the ban will send Jefferson City a message that Missouri is ready for a statewide smoking ban.

2010/11/03: Smoke-free air victories in Jefferson City and Fulton, Mo.

Important gains on the smoke-free air front were made in Missouri yesterday with approval of local initiative petitions in both Jefferson City and Fulton after the respective city councils failed to act.

Jefferson City has special significance as home of the State Capitol, where smoking continues in some legislators’ offices and lounges, despite it being the “People’s House.”

These victories undoubtedly didn’t come easily but were the result of hard and dedicated efforts by many individuals and groups working to improve public health and welfare over entrenched opposition.

Congratulations to all those involved!

Smoking ban approved
By Ben Yarnell ben@newstribune.com
November 3, 2010
News Tribune
(http://epaper.wehco.com/daily/skins/JeffersonCity/ for subscribers only)

Stephen Brooks/News Tribune Stan Cowan writes down numbers as Felicia Poettgen receives the final results of Fulton’s vote at the Smokefree Jefferson City watch party Tuesday at O’Donoghues Steaks & Seafood.

When the dust settled after Tuesday night’s election, Jefferson City voters made it known that they want clearer air in their bars and restaurants by passing the city’s smoking ban with 58 percent of the vote.

The ban, which will officially go into effect in February, passed by a 7,208-5,248 margin, according to complete, but unofficial, results.

Felicia Poettgen, project coordinator for Smokefree Jefferson City, said the mood at the watch party at O’Donoghue’s Steaks & Seafood was one of excitement.

“The feeling is really good, we are really excited,” Poettgen said. “My phone has been ringing constantly with people calling after seeing the results.”

Adding to the excitement of the group’s success was the passage of a similar ban in Fulton, making it a win-win night.

“Everyone is just ecstatic over the news that Fulton passed along with Jefferson City,” Poettgen said.

Poettgen said she thought there was one aspect, in particular, that made the difference in passing the ordinance.

“I think the hard work of many volunteers pushed us over the top,” Poettgen said. “There were so many volunteers involved in this, people passing about this issue.

“I think it was just people talking to people and getting the word out.”

From here, Poettgen said she and her colleagues will spend the 90 days before the ban goes into effect on Feb. 2, 2011, working with restaurants and bars that currently allow smoking to transition into compliance.

For Jason Jordan, spokesman for the opponents of the ban, it will not be as simple as just removing ash trays and telling people that they cannot smoke in his establishment.

“The biggest thing we have to do is change our business plan and figure out how to make money whenever a percentage of our customers quit coming in,” Jordan said.

As far as what that plan might look like, Jordan said he doesn’t have any idea yet.
“I wasn’t going to plan for it until I knew I had to do it.”

Jordan said even though the decision comes as a vote of the people rather than a determination by the City Council only, it does not make it any easier to him and his fellow business owners to accept.

“It’s still the same thing, in my mind,” Jordan said. “Any time you have people telling you how to run your business who don’t have anything to do with your business, it is the same. It doesn’t matter if it is 20,000 people telling you that or if it is 10 people telling us that.”
—————————————————————

Fulton approves smoking ban
By Katherine Cummins
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Fulton Sun

Patrons of Fulton businesses soon will be breathing smoke-free air after Fresh Air Fulton’s question to prohibit smoking in enclosed places of employment — including restaurants and bars — won a close race Tuesday with 53.85 percent of the vote.

“I knew it was going to be close, so I’m thrilled,” said Fresh Air Fulton organizer Linda Stevens, who also is the wellness program director at Westminster College. “We’ve been working so hard to make strides (toward a healthier community).

“I’m proud Fulton citizens have shown they are ready to change health in the city.”

The question of whether or not to ban indoor smoking in Fulton businesses has been a hot topic over the past year, and that conflict of interests was reflected in responses from voters exiting the polls Tuesday.

“I voted yes because I have allergies and it would be nice to go out and not stay up all night coughing,” said Josh Pierce.

“I’m a non-smoker and when I go to Columbia and there’s not smoking in the restaurants, I enjoy it,” agreed Carey Case.

Mark Burton also referenced the indoor smoking ban in Columbia, observing “it doesn’t make a difference in the financial situation over there and it shouldn’t make a difference here.”

Mike Diekamp said he voted yes for the ban because “I think it’s a good idea; I really do.” “I don’t smoke, and I don’t want my kids around it if I don’t have to,” he said.

Jeff Mayne said he thinks it makes sense to ban smoking indoors.

Christy Slizewski agreed, noting “definitely second-hand smoke has very bad medical side effects.” “It’s just a healthier environment,” she said.

Her husband, Michael Slizewski took an opposing view.

“I voted no, first, because I’m a smoker. The places that allow smoking, if you know they have smoking you don’t need to go in there,” he said. “It’s by their choice. Most places have smoking sections anyway and some places already don’t allow smoking.”

For most who opposed the indoor smoking ban, it was a question of infringing on the rights of the business owners.

“I don’t think the rights should be taken away from the businesses,” said Jay Bass, who noted he is not a smoker. “I think it’s the right of the businesses.”

“The establishment owners should be able to determine whether to allow it or not,” agreed Becky Bachmann, also a non-smoker. “It’s observed in areas where there is no smoking, revenues go down.”

Acknowledged smoker Melissa Nigh said she opposed the ban for the same reason.

“I voted no, not because I’m a smoker, because there are way too many laws driving into people’s rights,” Nigh said. “I think the businesses should have a right to choose.”

Tom Maupin, a leader with the Fulton Hospitality Association and manager of the Fulton VFW Post No. 2657, said he was not surprised at Fresh Air Fulton’s victory Tuesday.

“If we’d have had $247,000 to spend I think it would have been closer,” he said, referencing the grant that was secured by the group. “We had a good run at them. My concern is, what’s coming next?”

According to Stevens, what is next is to continue promoting Fresh Air Fulton’s various smoking cessation programs.

“Our next step is funding resources for people that are ready to quit smoking,” she said. “We’re working on a cessation program with the county health department.”
—————————————————————

Fulton smoking ban passes
by Newsdesk KRCG
Posted: 11.02.2010 at 11:08 PM

Yes- 1,439 vote; No- 1,233 votes

FULTON, MO. — Voters passed the Fulton smoking ban with 54 percent voting yes and 46 voting no.

The vote will ban smoking in public places, including restaurants, bars and retail stores, within the Fulton city limits.
—————————————————————

Jefferson City, Fulton approve smoking bans
Nov 3, 7:57 AM EDT
KMIZ

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Smokers will have to step outside if they want to light up in public in Jefferson City and Fulton.

Voters in both central Missouri cities approved smoking bans on Tuesday.
In Jefferson City, a ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants, bars and retail stores, passed with 58 percent of the vote. The ban will take effect in February.

Fulton residents approved a similar ban with 53.8 percent of the vote.