Bill Hannegan | St. Louis Public Radio

Bill Hannegan

Daniel Gallagher holds up a sign outside of the St. Louis County Administrative Building in Clayton. Gallagher says he opposes a bill raising the age to purchasing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:50 a.m., Sept. 7 with council approval - The minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping equipment in St. Louis County is about to change. The county council has voted in favor of an ordinance increasing the age from 18 to 21.

Smoking-ban supporters try again for statewide action

Feb 13, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 13, 2011- Year after year, public-health advocates have lamented political inaction on tobacco-related policies. But they might have found an effective spark plug for statewide action on public smoking: Start local.

With help from these advocates, jurisdictions large and small, liberal and conservative have approved more than a dozen public smoking bans across the state in the past two years, many of them comprehensive. And on Jan. 31, a strict smoking ban went into effect in Missouri's capital, Jefferson City.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 9, 2010 - The Creve Coeur City Council voted Monday to approve a public smoking ban with far fewer exemptions than an upcoming smoking ban in St. Louis County, making the city the fifth to pass a stricter ban than the county's and bringing smiles to advocates' faces.

With the council's 5-0 vote, Creve Coeur joins Clayton, Ballwin, Kirkwood and Brentwood as the fifth city in St. Louis County. The ban takes effect Jan. 2.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 29, 2009 - The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday postponed further debate on a smoking-ban referendum bill until at least next week after people complained the council was rushing the process.

"We want more time to show this bill to bar and restaurant owners across St. Louis County and to study it ourselves," said Bill Hannegan, head of the Keep St. Louis Free coalition, a group that opposed a ban, in an interview after the meeting. "It's been very rushed, and that makes it very difficult for us to deal with it."