On Tuesday night voters in Casper, Wy. approved a full smoking ban, picking the harshest and most anti-smoking option presented to them in a special election, bringing what should be an end to a debate that has spanned the past three years.
Approximately 54% of the 6,200 people who voted in the election cast votes in favor of the ban, according to the Natrona County Elections Department as of late Tuesday night.
The current back-and-forth about the city’s smoking ban dates to 2012, when smoking in all public places–including bars and restaurants–was banned. In 2013, an amended ban was passed that allowed people to smoke in drinking establishments, which resulted in a group of anti-smoking citizens petitioning to bring back the full ban. That process was complicated by a number of signatures being disallowed by the former city clerk. That debate ended up going all the way to the Wyoming Supreme Court, which forced the city council to take up the issue. While it appeared they would return to the amended version of the ban in September, they changed course and decided to put the matter to voters, resulting in Tuesday’s election that cost the city an estimated $30,000.
Casper is the state’s second largest city with a population of nearly 55,000 residents.