cigarette.jpgIf the mayors of Clayton, Creve Coeur, Olivette, Overland and University City get their way, St. Louis County would ban smoking in public places.

The five adjacent cities in St. Louis County are giving it a go again even though a similar proposal failed 3 years ago.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported today that:

The council rejected a ban three years ago. Whether the new effort succeeds might depend on whether the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Charles County could enact a ban simultaneously. None of their leaders wants to go it alone and put their bars and restaurants at a disadvantage against competitors in a neighboring jurisdiction.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley opposed the last smoking ban ordinance. But he has “an open mind” about a ban if it covered St. Charles County and St. Louis as well as his county, Mac Scott, his spokesman, said Friday. Dooley prefers statewide action, Scott said.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay always has been against the city proceeding alone on a ban. In a statement Friday, he said he wished every restaurant in the city were smoke-free by its own choice. “With that said, I would support a national, statewide or city-county policy that restricted smoke in restaurants,” he said.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said he was unaware of any discussions about a simultaneous effort to ban smoking in public places.

The Post reports that St. Charles County leaders do not have the same ability to enact policies that affect the health of county residents. As a result, a ban on public smoking in St. Charles County might require a voter approved amendment.

Current St. Louis smoking bans:

Ballwin Smoking Ban:

Currently, the only municipality in the St. Louis area that bans smoking in all restaurants and bars is Ballwin. Ballwin also bans smoking in all workplaces including private clubs that have employees.

Arnold Smoking Ban:

Arnold has a more limited smoking ban. Smoking is banned in restaurants and restaurant-bars that seat 50 people or more unless they have a separately ventilated smoking room. Stand alone bars and restaurants that receive 70% or more of their revenue from alcohol sales are exempt.

I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this one, but I’m not a smoker and hate being subjected to secondhand smoke when I go out to eat. I hope the ban passes.