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Smoking ban up for debate again in city, county

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Alderwoman Lyda Krewson has drafted a bill to ban smoking in all city restaurants and businesses.

Unlike previous attempts to ban smoking, Krewson says she is confident that opinions on the Board of Aldermen have finally shifted on this issue. She plans to introduce the bill in two weeks.

Krewson says St. Louis is well behind the times in passing a smoking ban, and its time the states largest city took more of a leadership role.

"You have Kansas City, Columbia, Kirksville, Nixa and a half-dozen others who already have a broad smoking ban on the books, so I think there is a lot of support for this," said Krewson.

Krewson's ordinance would not go into effect unless a similar law is approved in St. Louis County.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley says he would support a smoking ban if the city as well as St. Charles and St. Louis Counties all passed similar ordinances.

The county council voted 4-3 against a smoking ban in 2006. But now, County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser says public opinion on this issue appears to be shifting.

"Our neighbors in Illinois, and Iowa and Nebraska and Arkansas all have smoking ban and smoke-free legislation," said Fraser. "So, if the city passes one, there is no doubt in mind that the county council would be under more pressure to pass a ban."

Business owners and casinos in the city and county claim a smoking ban would harm their businesses.

Kansas City banned smoking in public places in June of last year.

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