St. Louis County to Crack Down on Smoking Ban Exemptions

Categories: Smoking Bans
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Charlie Dooley
The Post-Dispatch this morning follows up on an issue Daily RFT has been monitoring closely: the staggering number of bars and restaurants attempting to work their away around the new smoking bans in St. Louis and the county.

The daily's story today adds a new wrinkle to the rankle over who is -- and isn't -- exempt from the smoking ban. According to the Post-Dispatch, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley will meet this week with the county council in an effort to rid the law of loopholes that has restaurant chains like Hot Shots believing they're exempt from the law.

"Something has gone astray," Dooley tells the paper. "What the County Council had intended when they crafted the smoking ban legislation has produced some unintended consequences. The result we have right now -- 110 exemptions -- is simply unacceptable."

We think Dooley meant to say: "Something has gone ashtray."

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They need to level the playing field, plain and simple. I think it would go a long way towards finding the intent of the ban if there were direct, known consequences for simply pencil whipping an application... Like losing one's liquor license. As of now, I'd say a fairly high percentage of exempt locations have done just that, and it's not fair to those who are playing by the rules. But hopefully this will be indicative of the exempt venues not getting their Sunday license renewed in July...


They have had a year to get this right and make the ban fair for all business and our leaders say "Something has gone astray,"


I understand that some people and most people don't smoke any more and SOME non-smokers are bothered by smoke from smokers but I still believe that if a business owner wants to allow smoking in there establishments than they should have the right to do so. Make them post a sign that smoking is allowed and if a person that is bothered by smokers then thay can CHOSE to go somewhere else and dine or drink. If business owners find that non-smoking establishments are attracting more buisness then they can CHOSE to be non-smoking.


Hot Shots, along with many other currently exempted establishments, might not keep that exemption. But why pick on Hot Shots when the Voodoo Lounge just got an exemption?


110 businesses out of thousands operating in St. Louis County. What is that? One percent? Two percent? That's more effective than most laws on the books. Move on, Charlie. Nothing to see here.

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