Anti smoking group encourages ban around the lake area

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CAMDENTON - One group at the Lake of the Ozarks wants to make smoking laws stricter in Camdenton.

The group "Smokefree at the Lake" wants to ban smoking in all public areas.

The organization is trying to encourage communities around the lake to ban smoking.

Jill Wade, a member of "Smokefree at the Lake," said allowing smoking in bars and restaurants makes an impression with tourists.

"When you get a majority of your summer clients coming from states where they don't allow it, and all of a sudden it's in your face again, people say things," Wade said.

Camdenton Mayor John McNabb said he does not think the board of aldermen for the city will try to pass a ban.

"We kind of feel like this is something that's coming at some point, McNabb said. "It seems to be happening all over, but they felt like at this point it was best to leave that decision up to the business owners."

McNabb also said there are instances when going no smoking has helped certain businesses.

"From what I can see it has actually helped their business," McNabb said. "A lot of business owners are reluctant to do this on their own because they feel like it may put them at a disadvantage."

Lake area business owner Nicole Duggan made her businesses smoke-free at the lake years ago.

"It's just always been that people smoke here," Duggan said. "I think this maybe hurt business a little bit, but I feel like the people who are looking for the smoke-free environment will come to us just because of that."

If Camdenton city officials were to pass an ordinace prohibiting smoking, it would be the 30th city in Missouri to ban smoking in public places.