Smoking Ban: St. Louis County Small Businesses Fight For Exemptions, Fear Major Revenue Loss

Fallert and other opponents of the proposal argue that there is a loophole in the exemption policy that says businesses in which food sales are less than 25 percent of total sales are allowed to continue smoking. That means that larger establishments can take advantage even though the exemptions were supposed to target smaller businesses that would suffer from an all-out ban.

The Brew House, which was established in 1983, is only 1,750 square feet, notes Fallert.

She says she believes businesses should generally be able to allow smoking if they want, but if Council leaders are considering a ban because so many bigger establishments have taken advantage of exemptions -- bars of her size shouldn't also be impacted.

"I think people should be able to choose -- period," she says. "I don't want to remove exemptions for any bars."

But, she says, "If they are gonna remove exemptions, don't remove them for the small, neighborhood bars."

Some have also floated a proposal that would ban smoking from any place that allows patrons under the age of 21.

There is a hearing scheduled today from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the Chamber of the Council for the bill, which comes from Councilman Michael O'Mara. Daily RFT has left him several messages.

Here's the draft bill.

Bill No. 8, 2013

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