Columbia Snuffs Out Smokes
Last November the Columbia City Council voted to pass a smoking ban. The smoking ban affects restaurants, bars, health care facilities, stadiums, libraries, theaters and other establishments.
When the ban goes into effect at midnight, smokers will have few public places to light up. Restaurants and bars are still allowed to have a smoking section on patios and hotels can still have some smoking rooms.
Employees at Lucy's in Columbia were just as upset as the customers about the upcoming ban. They're worried about losing business. They have a group that comes in every morning for a cup of coffee and a smoke. But, this morning those customers said they won't be back on Tuesday.
If people are found smoking in places they shouldn't, a complaint needs to be filed with the Health Department. The department will issue a warning to the individual and not the business. If several warnings are issued, police can issue a fine of up to $200.
Some customers said they'll probably travel to Midway and restaurants outside Columbia so they can smoke while sitting at the table. Several other Missouri cities have some kind of smoking ban. On the eastern side of the state, Ballwin and Arnold have smoking bans. Over on the west side of the state, Maryville bans smoking in some restaurants. Both Independence and Lee's Summit will have bans similar to Columbia's go into effect in early March. And Springfield bans smoking in public places and work places, with a number of exemptions for bars and restaurants.