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Kirkwood to consider smoking ban

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Voters in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood will decide in November whether to ban smoking in most indoor public spaces.

The group Citizens for a Smoke Free Kirkwood gathered signatures to get the question on the ballot after the city council chose not to take up the issue.

The group's president Nancy Wamble says research has shown second-hand smoking causes disease and death.

She says Kirkwood cannot wait for the county or the state to pass a ban.

"One year, two years, five years for our children, our employees, the workers, the visitors to be exposed, that's unacceptable in my opinion," Wamble said.

The Kirkwood Restaurant Association opposes the smoking ban, in part because the group says it will drive business to neighboring communities.

Mike Duffy is the owner of the Mike Duffy's Pub and Grill and involved in the association.

"If they made a state-wide smoking ban the Kirkwood Restaurant Association would be all over it, but isolating or cherry-picking communities with a smoking ban we feel is really wrong," Duffy said.

Duffy says the wording of the proposition, which bans "combustible substances", would also outlaw fireworks and bar-b-ques.

However Wamble says the ordinance only addresses smoking.