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Readers: Let Small Bar Exemptions From Smoking Ban Law Expire In January 2016

August 5, 2015 Board of Aldermen, Politics/Policy, Smoke Free 4 Comments

Nearly three-quarters of readers think the 5-year exemptions from St. Louis’ smoking ban should expire, as scheduled, after January 1, 2016. Nobody selected the option to repeal the ban altogether.

Here are the results from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Small bars were exempted from St Louis’ smoking ban for 5 years, it expires in January. What should happen:

  1. Let the exemptions expire as scheduled 37 [74%]
  2. Extend the exemptions permanently 10 [20%]
  3. Other: 2 [4%]
    1. Extend the extension for smoke shops only
    2. ban smoking in casinos
  4. Extend the exemptions for 1-5 years 1 [2%]
  5. TIE  0 [0%]
    1. Repeal the smoking ban
    2. Unsure/no answer

I agreed with the one “other” answer that casinos should also be smoke-free.  I’m going to email this to all the aldermen, but I ask you to contact your alderman as well.  Please contact them to let them know the exemptions shouldn’t be extended.

Click here to find your alderman.

— Steve Patterson




Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    Banning smoking in casinos is going to take statewide action. Locally, two already do (ban smaking, unwillingly) and they’re both in Illinois (Casino Queen, in East St. Louis, and the Alton Belle, in Alton). Only one, Lumiere Place, is in the city. The other three are either in the county (River City and Hollywood) or St. Charles (Ameristar). As soon as / anytime that it’s proposed, the casinos roll out the “we’ll lose business” argument (with statistics to prove it), and the city or county caves, because casinos generate big tax dollars. Just look at the hit East St. Louis has taken on their budget – “For example, revenue from the Casino Queen was $900,000 below budget expectations last year.” http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/layoffs-to-gut-east-st-louis-police-force/article_dfb230c2-9bf3-11df-9731-0017a4a78c22.html . . The ONLY way to change this dynamic would be to follow Illinois’ lead and implement a statewide ban (and provide a level playing field).

    • The city & county could both amend their existing bans to include casinos, leaving only 1 in St. Charles as smoking. Politically I don’t see it happening.

      Would love to see a statewide indoor smoking ban in Missouri.

    • backprop says:

      What’s different between a casino saying it will lose business across the border where smoking is allowed, compared to the collective total of all bars, restaurants, and clubs saying the same thing? I’d wager that they contribute more to coffers in total than one casino.

      Not that I’m arguing for or against a statewide ban; just don’t get the logic that a casino is sacrosanct whereas the entire food and beverage industry as a whole is not.

      • JZ71 says:

        Because a) one or two big voices speak louder than the non-unified voices of hundreds of small businesses, b) casinos draw from a much larger area than a local bar or restaurant, and c) the massive amounts of revenue (into state coffers) generated by the 11 casinos in the state – so far, this year, over $255 million in taxes! Assuming that revenues would fall off by 10% if/when Missouri casinos go smoke free, that would be a $30-$40 million dollar hit to state revenues. States don’t embrace gambling (or just outlaw tobacco use) because they think they’re harmless endeavors, they do so because they generate piles of cash from people’s addictions.



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