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.
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.
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.
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.
Cleanup efforts in Joplin will move ahead today when Gov. Jay Nixon says crews will begin hauling away debris left by a massive tornado that leveled a third of the city and killed 139 people.
Government officials say the rubble will be taken to three landfills - two in Kansas and one in Lamar, Mo. Environmental officials have said the debris must be handled carefully because it could contain asbestos used in the construction of older buildings and other hazardous waste.