Wednesday, December 01, 2010

St. Louis Smoking Ban Exemption Discussion

Dear Mayor Slay and Directors of the St. Louis City Health Department,

I attended the deliberations of the Health and Human Services Committee during which the exemptions to the St. Louis City Smoke Free Air Act of 2009 were crafted. During the 3 hour meeting, after proposing a bar exemption based on square footage, Alderman Craig Schmid explicitly rejected tying the exemption to any percentage of food sales, saying he wanted "to encourage lots of food" and not just drinking. Furthermore, the later exclusion of kitchen space by the full Board of Aldermen from the square footage totals clearly showed that the aldermen had in mind the exemption of venues with substantial food sales. It was clear to those present at the committee meeting and final deliberations of the full Board of Aldermen that the aldermen intended to allow smoking for five years in establishments in which drinking was the main attraction. Hence not restaurants. But they clearly believed such exempted drinking establishments might have food sales of 50 percent or more.


Bill Hannegan