The never-ending saga of the St. Joseph, Mo. smoking ban took one step towards a resolution when a judge rejected an injunction as part of a civil suit over the legality of an exemption granted to a casino.

The suit comes from the owner of a bar who argues that the exemption, which uniquely benefits the casino, is a violation of the state’s constitution.

In January, the city passed a smoking ban ordinance, but quickly turned over the fate of the ban over to its citizens. By a close margin, voters approved the smoking ban in April.

It covers all indoor smoking on grounds of employee safety, however, the city’s casino was granted an exemption. While the court case will likely not be resolved until late summer, the ban will now take effect June 7.

The city’s only hookah bar has announced it will be closing its doors to the ban.

Update (June 10, 2014) — At their June 9 meeting, the St. Joseph, Mo. City Council decided to change the minimum distance that someone must be from the entrance to a business if they are smoking from 15 feet to five feet. Details on that vote can be found via

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.