Ald. Greg Carter’s Health & Human Services committee will meet in two weeks to consider a "Clean Indoor Air" ordinance for the City of St. Louis. Under discussion will be a bill introduced at the Board of Aldermen by Ald. Lyda Krewson earlier this month.
As I have written here before, I think that a law making most public places smoke-free is inevitable, and that the law we end up with - like most such laws across the country - will certainly contain compromises that address most community concerns.
A compromise that I support is one that exempts outdoor areas, such as parks and patios, from any ban. And I also support exempting the gaming floor of a casino. I oppose any exemption that treats bars and restaurants in casinos differently than other bars and restaurants.
One element of Ald. Krewson’s bill that has already drawn a lot of discussion is the provision that it would only go into effect when St. Louis county passed the same restrictions. My staff is continuing its discussion on this issue with St. Louis county exec Charlie Dooley, whose position is obviously important. But, we have also begun conversations with individual mayors and with other officials.
I still believe that the fairest and most useful restrictions would be national, statewide, and regional. But, I am not willing to wait forever for everyone to reach the same reasonable conclusion.