Restaurants and most bars in St. Louis go smoke free -

Restaurants and most bars in St. Louis go smoke free

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By Jacob Kuerth By Jacob Kuerth

(KMOV) -- With the ringing in of the new year comes new smoking laws for restaurants and most bars in St. Louis city and county.

All restaurants and most bars in the St. Louis are now smoke free thanks to a voter approved smoking ban back in 2009.  The ban went into effect at the beginning of this year.

Some bar owners are embracing the ban saying it will bring in customers who do not want to smell like smoke when they leave the bar.  Other bars are seeking exemptions and if granted, signs would have to be posted at every door to the facility explaining that the bar allows smoking. 

A bar must make less than 25% of its revenue from food sales in order to apply for an exemption.  Casinos and private clubs are already exempt.

The ban also includes Lamber Airport.  The smoking lounges once found near the entrance of the airport are gone and smokers must go outside to smoke.  That means going through security again on the way back in.

St. Louis County is also spending $7.6 million in federal grant money for a public awareness campaign and smoking cessation programs including a hot-line where smokers could talk to someone about quitting.

Click here for a list of the bars that have received exemptions to the ban in the county

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