Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously today to approve comprehensive smoke-free regulations for the City of St. Louis. The bill, which was introduced by Alderwoman Lyda Krewson and co-sponsored by Alderwomen Donna Baringer, Kacie Starr Triplett, Marlene Davis, and Alderman Shane Cohn, will regulate smoking in public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars - and soon as St. Louis county voters approve a less comprehensive smoke-free measure that will be on their ballots in November 2010. I believe that Committee’s decision is a very good one for the City.
There was plenty of talk that opponents would be able to kill the bill by saddling it with amendments that gutted it. In the end, they failed to do so. A single amendment, which gives very small bars five years to comply with the law, is a reasonable compromise to accommodate Mom, Pop, and whoever else owns existing bars smaller than 1,500 square feet that do not admit patrons under the age of 21.
Given the committee’s vote, I am confident that the full Board will take the matter up soon - and will pass it.