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Smoking ban introduced in the city

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has begun the often slow process of considering a near total ban on smoking in the city's public places.

Under legislation introduced Friday by Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, smoking would be outlawed in almost all public places, including bars, restaurants and casinos. Only certain tobacco stores, private clubs that have no staff and are not being used for a public event, and some hotel rooms would be exempt.

The proposal would not take effect until legislation with similar language passes in St. Louis County, where it has not been introduced. But, Krewson, said, someone had to make the first move.

"We're in the bottom half of the states even beginning to address this now," she said. "Nine cities in Missouri already have smoking bans. This isn't necessarily even progressive at this point."

The bill is already running into opposition from fellow alderman, including Kenneth Ortmann, who with his wife owns the Cat's Meow in Soulard, where smoking is allowed.

"I don't think that we should legislate managing any type of business," Ortmann said. "As long as it's a private building and inside of there, you should manage your own establishment."

Two other aldermen also have business interests in establishments that would be affected under the ban.


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