Smoking Ban: St. Louis County Council Considers Fewer Exemptions, Stricter Policy

Categories: News, Smoking Bans

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Under current St. Louis County policy, cigar bars, casino gaming areas and some drinking establishments are exempt from the ban on smoking. But that could all change if a recently introduced bill from St. Louis County Councilman Michael O'Mara passes. The proposal, full version on view below, would eliminate some existing exemptions and create an overall stricter policy.

As the Council debates the idea, activist Bill Hannegan is making an effort this week to alert every single establishment that would potentially be impacted by the changes to speak up about how bans on smoking could affect business.

"It's a very disorganized community," says Hannegan, who was featured in a 2009 RFT story. "I just want to let them know what's going on."

That's why he sent letters in the mail that should be arriving today to 135 different businesses.

Hannegan says that the current policy that gives exemptions to some has become confusing and arbitrary -- and in some cases unfair.

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"Some bars can allow smoking and some can't," says Hannegan, a painter who runs a blog called Keep St. Louis Free. "Some bars are really getting hurt by that."

Hannegan says he is glad that the policy is being revisited and thinks that O'Mara's proposal is a good opportunity for businesses to weigh in.

His letter, encouraging the businesses to attend the Tuesday County Council meetings and write to their representatives, says, in part:

St. Louis County bar owner, if you, your patrons and your staff protest the theft of your exemption, the chances are very good that Councilman O'Mara will restore your bar's exemption to his ordinance and the Council will vote down any law that does not exempt your establishment.

He says that ideally he would like to see a more uniform policy where businesses that allow patrons under 21 must maintain a ban -- but those that are 21 and older be allowed to permit smoking, if they choose.

"If you're gonna allow smoking, you have to kick the kids out," he says. "It's kinda commonsensical."

Continue for more details on O'Mara's proposal.

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Here's the instruction book, complete with a link to a pre-written model "smoking ban for dummies" on page eight.

Marie DeFer
Marie DeFer

No way, ban smoking indoors! Smoking smells awful, aggravates non smokers with asthma, and causes cancer. Why are non smokers' access to clean air second to smokers' when smokers can step outside to smoke and not subjet non smokers to gross smoke?


You people are nuts!

Wise up and quit smoking.


I am not a smoker and don't care to be in the presence of people that do but these nationwide smoking bans have always felt draconian to me.  They change the meaning and definitions of words and demonize a portion of the population for doing something unhealthy while failing to acknowledge legitimate choice and free will on how and where adults spend their time.  If I dislike secondhand smoke and don't want my children to be near it I can always go to another establishment that bans smoking and there are plenty.  Why in the hell should any government be allowed to make a law prohibiting the ability of smokers to meet freely in an establishment allowing it while ensuring that other adults and children understand as much?  There are too few people in this country left who remember prohibition and the falacy of popular enforcement of someone else's good judgement.  Proof positive that people don't change and history repeats itself.



This is really simple. The pharma who sells the patches and gums, know they don't work. So to get them used by the public and to get them onto Medicaid payout, the pharma invented the myth of second hand smoke. Then the pharma got their "philanthropic arm", to do the lobbying for laws to demonize and ostracize smokers. The pharma then sends the campaign money into local, state, and federal level candidates.

On the federal level, the pharma, and their "arm" got the CDC to say that the patches and gums are wonderful. Interesting that a Board member of the pharma is on the Board of the CDC Foundation also.

Anyway, this is how and why smoking bans are being pushed. These paid "non profit" lobbyists do not give a damn whether businesses close or people are put out of their jobs. They are paid to lie about business losses and that's what they do. They mix restaurant numbers with bar numbers. Bars are much smaller. WHen a bar closes there may only be one full time employee, while the rest are part time. So this is how they fudge those numbers.


How many nannies does it take to force a smoking ban down the throat of a community? Not many when they seem to own the media and the politicians! Why wouldn't the press be willing to present the truth about the pro smoking ban movement? Why won't elected officials actually read the "studies", which, by the way, do NOT show a link between second hand smoke and any disease? Has the pharma advertsising money become more important than the truth? Have campaign donations blinded elected officials?


Very well done!  Always good for people to see original documentation.  I was reminded of something interesting as I looked through the ban bill though.  Take a look at this:

Employee: "any person who performs services for an employer, with or without compensation" 

Try Googling that quoted material and you'll find that the definition of the basic word "Employee" has been rewritten all across the country SPECIFICALLY in order to target smokers and ONLY smokers.  Sound a bit too Orwellian to be true?  OK, try Googling that definition again in quotes, but then follow it with a space and 


That will let you see how often that definition has ever been used elsewhere.  That's just one of the propaganda tricks used by Antismokers in this game: there are many others.  To see some good examples, read my "Lies Behind The Smoking Bans" at

If there's anything in there that you find questionable, anything that you have specific, substantive questions or criticisms of, please share them here: I promise I won't mind, and I'll try to stop back to respond.  I think a discussion of those lies would help greatly in giving the Councillors more and better information for their decision.

Michael J. McFadden,

Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"


Hope they do too, but it isn't for the law to decide.

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