Citizens of Marshall, Mo., are discussing a possible ordinance restricting smoking in businesses and public areas.
At a Tuesday, Oct. 15 meeting, Breathe Easy Marshall, an organization of citizens, business owners and healthcare professionals, presented facts about secondhand smoke and findings from Missouri communities with smoke-free ordinances already in effect. The panel discussed the potential effects of a smoke-free policy on general health and local businesses.
Business owners in Sedalia say the city’s smoking ban is having an impact on their businesses. The ban, that went into effect one month ago, bans smoking inside restaurants and bars within city limits – private clubs are exempted from the ban.
At last week’s city council meeting, Sedalia council members heard from local business owners expressing concerns. Michael Gross is general manager at The Endzone Bar and Grill. He said employees are feeling the impact of the ban, which has led to changes in revenue.
The University of Missouri in Columbia has wrapped up its first week as a smoke-free campus.
The ban on smoking, which took full effect on July 1, had been in the works since 2009 when Chancellor Brady Deaton announced a plan to become a smoke-free campus within five years.
As part of the transition, the school began allowing smoking only in designated areas in 2011. The Smoke-Free Mizzou website says the move was meant to give smokers time to quit or "make necessary adjustment to their smoking patterns."
The smoking ban in restaurants and bars in Washington, Mo., officially came into effect on Monday, April 15. Members of Breathe Easy Washington, the group that pushed for the ordinance, celebrated that day at a local restaurant.
But since 2007, about two dozen municipalities in Missouri have enacted a comprehensive smoking ban in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. This Monday, rural Washington, Mo., joins that list. The City Council voted to pass the ordinance to ban smoking back in January.