ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A proposal for a county-wide ban on smoking in enclosed public places in St. Charles County will go before voters during the November 6th election.
Monday night, members of the St. Charles County council decided to place the measure on the ballot. The anti-smoking measure calls for two separate ballot questions.
One asks voters whether they want to ban smoking in interior public areas and work places. The other asks if smoking should still be allowed in some bars and gambling floors.
If both pass, smoking would still continue in establishments where patrons are required to be 21 years of age to get in. People would also still be allowed to smoke on gambling floors at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles.
The proposed ban has ignited opposition from multiple groups. Some veterans say they have earned the right to smoke a cigarette in their own private clubs, while county council members say the idea is an attack on business owners.
“The laws are supposed to protect minorities,” said St. Charles County Councilmember Joe Brazil. “I am personally a nonsmoker, but I think this is a bad idea and I think it hurts minorities and small business owners.”
Both measures would apply to un-incorporated areas and cities, but municipalities could enact tougher laws. O’Fallon and Lake St. Louis are currently the only cities in St. Charles County with a ban on smoking.
One opponent said the bill is “government intrusion” on the rights of the “minority” of smokers and private business owners.
A week ago, a similar smoking ban was ruled off the November ballot by the director of county elections. Last week’s proposal fell short of the required 19,000 signatures needed.