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.
BY CYNTHIA BILLHARTZ GREGORIAN • firstname.lastname@example.org 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.