Kirkwood voters to decide whether to snuff out smoking in public

Debra Cotten hopes nonsmokers in that city may soon be free to visit any indoor public place without being forced to suck in tobacco fumes.

Though patrons may, for example, sit in the nonsmoking section of a restaurant, smoke discount cigarettes from other areas still permeates the whole facility, said Cotton, who is co-chair and treasurer of the group Healthy Air for Kirkwood.

But Joe Toenjes, a cofounder of the group Choose Kirkwood, contends individual business owners should be allowed to decide if they’ll allow smoking or not.

“Our group feels that (Cotten’s group) never has wanted any real community dialogue or a chance to work out a reasonable compromise proposal,” he said.

The smoking issue, though, has moved beyond compromise.


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