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County Council To Consider Stricter Smoking Ban

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Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOX) - St. Louis County is considering extending its ban on smoking to more places, including casinos and all drinking establishments.

Councilman Mike O’Mara introduced the bill at the County Council meeting last night but told the dozen people who came to speak against it that he was creating a committee of local business owners to discuss it before it goes any further. He says the goal is to make the smoking ban “more fair.”

“That’s my intentions of this bill: to sit down with these interested groups, work out a compromise, and hopefully bring it back to the council for approval,” he said.

The smoking ban passed in 2009 allowed for some bars to be grandfathered in but O’Mara wants to change that. His bill would end those exemptions and many people aren’t happy about it.

“St. Louis County voters approved the smoking ban that included an exemption for adult businesses like bars, casinos, and cigar shops. Please don’t scrap the exemptions County voters voted for,” resident Bill Hannigan said.

A few business owners thanked O’Mara, such as Marty Ginsberg who owns the “Sports Page” in Chesterfield.

“I can’t tell you how many people come into my bar and say ‘why can’t you smoke in here and I go to other bars in West County and you can smoke?,'” he said

O’Mara says it will be several weeks before the County Council takes up the smoking ban again.

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