St. Louis County Voters Embrace Future; Vote "Yes" for Smoking Ban

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That crisp, clean air you're smelling this morning? Ladies and gentlemen, that's progress!

That's (dare we say it?) the future!
 
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Yes, like a scene out of a movie, yesterday the George McFlys of the world stood up to the bully Biffs and victoriously took back our future.

By an overwhelming margin of nearly 2-to-1, voters in St. Louis County stood up to the tobacco lobby and folks who'd prefer to keep this region a 1950s backwater and passed an indoor smoking-ban for restaurants and a great many bars. The vote in the county means that a similar measure in St. Louis City will also go into effect. 

The lopsided vote (89,701 in favor of the ban vs. 47,585 against) suggests that Councilwoman Barbara Fraser could have drafted an even tougher smoking ban.

The bill approved by voters will still allow smoking in county casinos and taverns that earn 75 percent of their revenue from liquor sales.

In Kirkwood, voters yesterday approved a blanket smoking ban that prohibits smoking in any business. Voters there also passed the measure by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

Oh, and that Kirkwood vote also won somebody a bet with anti-smoking-ban crusader Bill Hannegan. (I'll take that case of Schlafly Pale Ale whenever you get a chance.)

One last note: The city and county smoking bans don't go into effect for another 14 months -- January 2011. So, smoke 'em while you can.

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