Supporters for smoking ban in Cape encouraged after St. Louis County passes ban

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) – Voters in St. Louis County recently passed a ban on smoking in most public places, and that has folks pushing for a similar ban in Cape Girardeau excited.

The folks Heartland News talked to believe they can work with city leaders to pass a similar ordinance down the road to ban smoking in most public places.

It’s a proposal that’s so controversial it gets people fired up no matter how they feel.

You may soon have to put out your cheap cigarettes in restaurants, bars and workplaces if two local groups have their way.

Cape Breathe Easy and SEMO PASS (Peers Advocating Smoke Free Solutions) want you to sign a petition calling for restrictions on smoking.

“We are looking at how it affects people who work, eat and shop in Cape, not seeking anything outdoors,” said Terry Baker with Cape Breathe Easy. “It’s logical that those who work in Cape have a smoke-free environment to work in. That’s what we are trying to see how many people would support an indoor smoke free law.”

Many restaurants in Cape have already snuffed out smoking. A sign at Quiznos lets people know they can’t light up here.

“In almost eight years we had one lady come in, not even realizing it was smoke free and I said something to her,” said Quiznos owner Eileen Gates. “We have tables outside, people sit there and may smoke. But really there have been no issues at all.”

Others call the idea of a ban – smoking!

“I don’t know if it would pass. I want it to pass. Smoking is disgusting. It stinks. It’s bad for you,” Chelsea Dale said.

“I think it will be beneficial to the city and residents,” said Doug McIntosh.

Most smokers though, want people pushing for restrictions to “butt out.”

Marcellus Jones is an assistant manager at Buckner Brewing Company. He says the restaurant has even lost business on occasion because smoking isn’t allowed until the later evening hours.

“To please everyone they should make certain areas, certain places, to be allowed to smoke, and if people don’t like that, there would be choices to go there or not.”

If Cape Girardeau did end up adopting a law that restricted smoking, they would join 17 other municipalities across the state that have already passed similar bans.

The local groups pushing for change say they don’t have a time frame in mind, but they would like to hear from you.


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