St. Louis County rethinking smoking ban exemptions -

St. Louis County rethinking smoking ban exemptions

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A St. Louis County councilman plans to offer a proposal next week to end all of the exemptions to the county's smoking ban, including on the gambling floors if two local casinos.

Councilman Mike O'Mara says the measure he will present Tuesday is an effort to level the playing field for businesses that must comply with the ban, and it's also a matter of health.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( reports 135 establishments in the county have exemptions. Among them are the River City Casino and Hollywood Casino St.- Louis.

Casinos have fiercely opposed smoking bans on gambling floors because forcing patrons to walk outside to smoke takes them away from their gambling endeavors.

County voters approved the smoking ban in 2009, and it took effect in January 2011.

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