New Smoking Bans? City of St. Charles Now Considering "Smoke-Free Air Act"

Categories: News, Smoking Bans

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Is the city of St. Charles next?

In recent months, there has been a surge in proposals related to smoking bans at every level of government in Missouri from municipal ordinances to statewide efforts -- and now officials in St. Charles are soliciting feedback for a preliminary effort labeled the "Smoke-Free Air Act."

"This is a proactive opportunity for the city of St. Charles to explore this kind of legislation on our own as a city," Carol Felzien, director of communications for the city, tells Daily RFT. Starting next week, the city will be hosting a series of public hearings on potential local legislation -- and Felzien emphasizes that this is the first step in a long process.

Advocates that oppose sweeping bans, however, are already trying to organize businesses to come out and protest against any policy that they say could unfairly -- and selectively -- hurt some smoke-friendly restaurants and bars.

See also:
- Missouri Rep. Kathie Conway Proposes Penalty for Cities With Smoking Bans
- Statewide Smoking Ban? Maria Chappelle-Nadal Proposes Broad Restrictions
- Sorry, Clayton Smokers. You Still Can't Smoke in the Park, Appeals Court Rules

Bill Hannegan, a St. Louis resident and activist who keeps a close eye on local smoking proposals, this week sent off letters to 95 business owners in the city of St. Charles urging them to attend the hearings this month in regards to the smoke-free air act.

Hannegan generally opposes bans and argues that a policy that prohibits smoking for establishments that have patrons under the age of 21 is the only fair and uniform way to do it.


Promotional video for upcoming hearings in St. Charles.

"We've been burned a bunch of times," he says of past smoking ban proposals that initially had exceptions in place for businesses, but ultimately became much stricter. "I'll believe the bars are getting exempted when they get exempted."

His letter says in part:

City of St. Charles bar/restaurant owner, the threat to your establishment from this smoking ban is real....

If the Council hears from the patrons, staff and ownership of your establishment at the hearings, and in phone calls and e-mails, this smoking ban can be beaten!

"I'm alerting bars to the worst case scenarios," he adds.

Felzien says that there is no set goal at this point and that Mayor Sally Faith and the St. Charles City Council simply want feedback at this time as they begin to consider legislation that would govern smoking within city limits.

"This is about fact gathering and getting input from the community, both residents and businesses," she says.

The city and the county of St. Charles both currently do not have any smoking ban or smoke-free policies on the books, though at the county level, it has been considered in the past. Meanwhile, Missouri state lawmakers have offered proposals in recent weeks that could impact cities like St. Charles.

The city, Felzien says, is interested in being proactive and making efforts to set its policy.

Continue for more details on the policy under consideration in St. Charles.


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18 comments
James Wright
James Wright

Wow, such cry babies, in this day and age it's common courtesy to have a smoke free environment. I don't make you take a shot with me every time I have one, so why should I have a nasty cancer stick forced to me every time you want to slowly kill yourself? You want to smoke in the car with your infant, nobody is making you stop that torture. Just the people that can speak up for ourselves are the ones telling you it is disgusting and offensive that you are so small minded to think no one else is affected by your cancer plumes of smoke. Just flipping go outside get your fix and go back to the party. It's the only thing that anyone is doing in a public place, that affects every single person in the building.

Greg Hahne
Greg Hahne

if they want to ban smoking that's fine. They should also make it illegal to sell cigarettes and the state should not be allowed to collect the tax money from it either!

Shawn Sullivan
Shawn Sullivan

I just hope the government can soon tell me how to live in my own home because I am so lost as a person that I couldn't decide whether to walk into a place that allows smoking without the governments help.

Jay Smith
Jay Smith

I'm a musician and a non-smoker. After 20+ years of playing bars and ingesting God only knows how much 2nd hand smoke, it's REALLY nice to come home and not have to put my clothes outside to air out and not have my hair smell like the business end of a Pall Mall. LMAO at "rights and liberties". And spare me the "But liquor is OK?!?!?!" argument. No one has EVER gotten liver disease as a result of drinks I've personally consumed.

Kristi Lee
Kristi Lee

I used to think it was unfair but that's just because I was being a selfish jerk. I had surgery and quit smoking for a month and man, never realized just how bad it stinks and clings to everything. I feel bad for non smokers. Our smoking ban has been in effect for about 6 years now. Business slowed at first, but then all the butthurt people got over it. Business was back to great in no time. I try to be respectful, I know how unhealthy it is And how much it stinks, I try to avoid all people when I smoke. We, as smokers, are so used to imposing our nasty habit on everyone with a "deal with it"attitude that we don't like not being allowed to stink up everyone and everything. We know a lot more about the dangers of smoking. There's no excuse to put that in restaurants where children are And force them to breathe it, especially if their parents don't smoke. Time to stop being spoiled and selfish. You want to smoke, your choice. I try to limit who had to breathe it whenever I can. Til I quit. Next week. I hope. Ha.

Chris DiMercurio
Chris DiMercurio

I think the real question is if bars and restaurants get hit with the ban.... Why are casinos exempt? Small businesses can get hit pretty hard by this ban. So yet again the little guy is affected. I'm all for following the law to the letter.... Just as long as the other guys do too

Wayne Cardosi
Wayne Cardosi

Unfair. Should be up to the owner. I don't smoke. It's my choice if I want to enter a smoking establishment. And it's up to the employees if they want to work there.

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson

Should be decision of the property owner what legal activities happen in the premises.

James R Mueller
James R Mueller

Liberty n. pl. ies 1. freedom from opression, tyranny, or the domination of a government not freely chosen; political independence. 2. the state or condition of being free, as from confinment; release, as from bondage or slavery. 3. Freedom of thought or action, or exemption from forms of compulsion or indignity, regarded as a human right. 4. The ability or opportunity to act in accordance with one's own wishes or without repression or restraint by authority. 5. Permission to preform an action, make a choice, etc.: privilage. ...(The Reader's Digest Encylopedic Dictionary, Date page missing.)

Tony Brady
Tony Brady

Oh why not burn all books as well

James R Mueller
James R Mueller

Would that mean no smoking in the casino's? Wonder how well that will go over? Good thing it floats, they will move it, and go to where the money is. (i.e where their customers may enjoy regulation free entertainment.) However, I am sure the ones who are able to afford to not to have to go to work on election days will show up and the law will get past. I have one question, If we supposedly have Liberty, then why is it no one I ask can give me a definition of it?

Dave Nunes
Dave Nunes

Great!!! It's great to go into an Illinois restaurant & not have to wait 4 the NonSmoke side!! No business has been lost too!!

illinoisboy
illinoisboy

I am a longtime Republican Conservative and Business owner here in Illinois. I can vouch to veryone in Missouri that our five year old State wide Smoking Law has been good for health and good for business.  Recent polls show that over 84% of Illinois residents, including a majority of smokers, now support the Smoking Ban. Support is also strong among both Republican and Democratic State Legislators.  Congratulations to St. Charles and the many other Communities in Missouri that have went smoke free or are considering it.

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