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Alderman Questions Smoking Ban Exemptions

County councilman who drafted legislation to place smoking ban on the ballot wants public to know all the exemptions included in the smoking ban.

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It is promising that five of seven St. Charles County council members and County  Executive (Steve) Ehlmann want public places in our county to be smoke-free.

Unfortunately, for now, a consensus cannot be reached regarding the bill's  exemptions.  was incomplete in that it listed only 3 of the 7 exemptions contained in the bill.

Since Mr. Ehlmann cites "too many exemptions," I believe all of the exemptions  should be reported by the media for public discussion.

  1. Allows smoking in private residences except when used for childcare, daycare or healthcare.
  2. Allows smoking in 20 percent of hotel rooms when isolated from smoke-free rooms.
  3. Allows smoking in nonprofit private clubs with no employees present when not open to the public.
  4. Allows smoking in outdoor work places.
  5. Allows smoking in cigar bars whose sales include at least 25 percent of cigars.
  6. Allows smoking in tobacco stores whose sales are 70 percent of smoking items.
  7. Allows smoking only on the gambling floor of the casino as long as our neighboring counties allow it.

These exemptions were well researched over five months and are similar to exemptions contained in smoke-free laws both in Missouri and our nation.

Mr. Ehlmann states that he doesn't like to "pick winners and losers" as a reason for his veto of this bill. But by his veto, he has picked the winner and the loser. The winners, for now, are the folks who think it's too great of inconvenience to step outside for a smoke. The losers are the 70 percent of St. Charles County residents who want to breath clean, healthy air in the public places of this county. And that is very unfortunate.

Joe Cronin

St. Charles County Council District 1

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