smoking ban

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

If there’s one constant about the sometimes-unpredictable St. Louis County Council, it’s that a bid to expand the county’s smoking ban will always be tabled. 

That’s not hyperbole. Members of the council have held Councilman Mike O’Mara’s proposal at every meeting since February 2013 – a pretty significant length of time to table a bill in any legislative chamber.

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

For the third year in a row an effort to create a smoking ban in St. Charles County is underway.

The St. Charles County Council began considering a bill Monday night that would restrict indoor smoking, but exempt any establishment that requires customers be at least 21-years-old. That provision would mean people could continue to light up in many bars and gambling areas.

(scroll down to ready a copy of the bill)

Councilman Joe Cronin is the bill’s sponsor and said a ban is critical to protecting public health.

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

The owners of more than three dozen restaurants and bars in St. Louis County filed into the County Council chambers in Clayton today with one request - please let us continue to allow smoking.

The owners were there at the request of Councilman Mike O'Mara, who's introduced a bill eliminating nearly all the exemptions in the county's smoking ban. Currently, bars that make less than 25 percent of their revenue from food may receive an exemption. Bowling alleys and casino gaming floors are also exempt.

Flickr Creative Commons user SuperFantastic

Republican members of the Missouri House who smoke will still be able to, while Democrats won’t.

A new rule adopted today by the full House allows each party caucus within the House to set its own rules for such things as whether a lawmaker can smoke in his or her own Capitol office.  Shelley Keeney (R, Marble Hill) chairs the House GOP Caucus.

“I do think it was a good compromise," Keeney said.  "Clearly there were a wide range of views and opinions on the issue.”

Flickr Creative Commons user SuperFantastic

Missouri House Democrats can no longer smoke in their own offices at the Capitol.

The decision was not made by the entire caucus, but by the seven Democrats who make up the caucus’ leadership, including Minority Floor Leader Jake Hummel (D, St. Louis).

(via Flickr/seannaber)

The Missouri Supreme Court will not hear a legal challenge to Springfield's smoking ban, officially ending a lawsuit filed by a bar owner.
 
Attorney Jonathan Sternberg says the state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a legal challenge by Jean Doublin, owner of Ruthie's Bar in Springfield.
 
In June, an appeals court rejected Sternberg's argument that the Springfield law conflicts with the state's clean air act. He says a provision in the state law allows smoking in bars and taverns, which overrides the Springfield law.
 

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Three people killed on Grand Bridge following early morning police chase

The Grand Bridge was closed for several hours early Thursday morning as the result of a vehicle crash that left three people dead and another person critically injured.

The crash happened as the car was fleeing police.

SuperFantastic / Flickr

Representatives for Ameristar Casino say they will file a lawsuit Tuesday morning to block a November ballot question on whether or not to ban smoking in St Charles County. 

According to casino representatives, if passed, the ban could put it at a disadvantage because patrons at other casinos in the state can light up when they gamble.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ill. Gov to take action on gambling bill today

UPDATE: As of 9:25 a.m., Quinn has vetoed this bill.
Gov. Pat Quinn isn't giving any hints about what he'll do with a gambling bill that Illinois lawmakers sent to his desk. Today is the deadline for Quinn to take action on legislation that would establish five new casinos in the state. It would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

St. Charles County voters could face two anti-smoking ballot measures

St. Charles County voters could face not one but two ballot measures in November that would restrict smoking.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Nixon will announce budget cuts today

Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to announce today if he’ll make any reductions to the state budget – ending weeks of speculation for university and social service program administrators.

Nixon this week signed legislation funding public schools and the state departments of health and mental health without making any cuts.

(file photo)

Anti-smoking advocates want more smoking bans

Groups against smoking are urging the St. Louis County Council to make changes to the smoking ban that went into effect last year.

Currently, businesses whose food sales result in 25 percent of gross sales including food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are eligible for an exemption from the smoking ban. There are 145 businesses that currently allow smoking in the county.

SLPRnews

In the year since St. Louis City and County banned smoking in most bars and restaurants, some business owners say that exemptions to the ban have hurt their bottom line more than the ban itself.

Marty Ginsburg, owners of the Sports Page Bar in Chesterfield, says bars where smoking is permitted have an unfair advantage.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Smoking bans were implemented in several areas in St. Louis in 2011, including in the city and county.

Sarah Shelton, a data analyst with the Center for Tobacco Policy Research at Washington University in St. Louis, told St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach as part of our series “A Good Year” that, overall, it’s been a good year for non-smokers.

(via Flickr/danieljordahl)

Smoking opponents are back to the drawing board in St. Charles County

(via Flickr/Drongowski)

A higher percentage of Missouri's workers are exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke than in any other state.

A 2007 telephone survey funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health looked at the tobacco use, health, and demographics of close to 24,000 indoor Missouri workers.  About 12 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke, compared to about 7 percent of workers nationwide.

(via Flickr/shnnn)

St. Louis County's "Indoor Clean Air Code" - also referred to as a smoking ban -has been in effect since Jan. 1. But in contains exemptions for some bars, banquet halls, and casinos.

The American Cancer Society opposed the measure because of those exemptions. And shortly after it took effect, Charlie Dooley called the 110 exemptions that had been handed out "unacceptable." But there's been no movement yet on tightening the language in the ban, approved by voters last November.

The ACS is hoping that a poll it commissioned and released today moves the needle a bit on that effort.

(via Flickr/curran)

Starting Friday, there will be no smoking on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.

In November 2010, the University General Assembly approved the policy which bans smoking on all campus property, both indoors and outdoors.

Bob Samples is vice chancellor of marketing and communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He said the new policy is part of a national movement.

St. Charles County Executive Vetoes Smoking Ban Proposal

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has blocked a countywide smoking ban proposal from going on the November 2012 ballot. Ehlmann said Tuesday that he vetoed the bill because it would have unfairly exempted casinos, cigar bars and certain hotel rooms.

The council in the St. Louis-area county voted 4-2 in favor of putting the ban on the ballot, with one opponent absent. It would take five votes to override the veto.

(via Flickr/curran)

A bill to put the decision about a county-wide smoking ban on the 2012 ballot in St. Charles County was vetoed today by County Executive Steve Ehlmann, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

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