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Letter to the Editor: Ehlmann Has Picked the 'Winners' by Vetoing Smoking Ban

Councilman who drafted legislation to place smoking ban on the ballot wants public to know all the exemptions included in the smoking ban.

Opinion

Letters to the Editor

It is promising that five of seven St. Charles County council members and County  Executive (Steve) Ehlmann want public places in our county to be smoke-free.

Unfortunately, for now, a consensus cannot be reached regarding the bill's  exemptions.  was incomplete in that it listed only 3 of the 7 exemptions contained in the bill.

Since Mr. Ehlmann cites "too many exemptions," I believe all of the exemptions  should be reported by the media for public discussion.

  1. Allows smoking in private residences except when used for childcare, daycare, or healthcare.
  2. Allows smoking in 20 percent  of hotel rooms when isolated from smoke-free rooms.
  3. Allows smoking in nonprofit private clubs with no employees present when not open to the public.
  4. Allows smoking in outdoor work places.
  5. Allows smoking in cigar bars whose sales include at least 25 percent of cigars.
  6. Allows smoking in tobacco stores whose sales are 70 percent of smoking items.
  7. Allows smoking only on the gambling floor of the casino as long as our neighboring counties allow it.

These exemptions were well researched over five months and are similar to exemptions contained in smoke-free laws both in Missouri and our nation.

Mr. Ehlmann states that he doesn't like to "pick winners and losers" as a reason for his veto of this bill. But by his veto, he has picked the winner and the loser. The winners, for now, are the folks who think it's too great of inconvenience to step outside for a smoke.  The losers are the 70 percent of St. Charles County residents who want to breath clean, healthy air in the public places of this county.  And that is very unfortunate.

Joe Cronin

St. Charles County Council District 1

Bob June 17, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Why are private residences included in the exemptions? This is absurd.
Elizabeth June 20, 2011 at 04:57 PM
What is truly unfortunate is Mr. Cronin implying that somehow private property is now public property. You know what else is unfortunate, Mr. Cronin forgetting his own statements to the press regarding smoking bans prior to his election to the County Council.... http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stcharles/article_aac7bde8-c0fe-11df-9f68-00127992bc8b.html "It's just another infringement on a lot of folks' rights," said Cronin" "Cronin asserted that if the council does put a ban on the ballot, it should not include any exemptions." It's also unfortunate that Mr. Cronin doesn't know how to exercise his right to go to a non-smoking place. He only knows how to be a self-righteous bully. Why should a business owner have to "step outside" of their own building? Guess what, I have the right not to spend my time or money at Mr. Cronin's Western Lawn Equipment store in O'Fallon on principle just as Mr. Cronin has the right not to enter a bar that allows smoking. LIBERTY IS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE!

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