Creve Coeur Passes Smoking Ban with Exception of Crotchety, Old-Man Clubs

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Put that in your pipe, and smoke it.

Such was the message at last night's Creve Coeur council meeting where council members voted unanimously (5-0) to pass a strict new smoking ban for all public places -- with the notable exceptions of the local American Legion Post and Elks Club. 

Patrons of those private clubs had attacked city leaders for trying to deny them the right to smoke. As the manager of the American Legion Post told the council, the military veterans who belong to his organization fought wars to secure such personal freedoms.

Council woman Beth Kistner, the sponsor of the bill, admitted yesterday that "considerable angst" from fellow council members and residents forced her to grandfather the American Legion and Elks clubs out the law against her better judgment. 

The legislation, which goes into effect January 2, prohibits smoking in bars, assisted living facilities and any new private club in Creve Coeur. A more lenient smoking ban for all of St. Louis County goes into effect the same day and prohibits smoking in restaurants.

Anti-smoking-ban activist Bill Hannegan, said last night that he was pleased with the exemption for the American Legion and the Elks, although he'd also hoped to exclude the Creve Coeur tavern, The Hive. That didn't happen.    

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