The citizens of St. Joseph, Mo. have approved a smoking ban, with a final total of 7,849 (52.75%) in favor and 7,031 (47.25%) opposed, according to multiple reports. Turnout for Tuesday night’s election was cited as being 32.2%.
Bars and restaurants within city limits now have 60 days to become compliant with the law, with the ban going into effect on June 7. There are some exemptions in the new law: the gambling floor of the St. Jo Frontier Casino, in 10 percent of hotel rooms and in private clubs, but only when employees are not present. To become compliant, businesses must post “No Smoking” signs inside and at entrances while removing all ashtrays. Fines for violation of the ordinance start at $100 for the first instance and progress to $200 for the second violation and up to $500 per subsequent violation within in a one-year term.
The proposal went to the voters after the city council was unable to come to an agreement earlier this year.