ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - Officials in St. Joseph are taking initial steps toward a possible ban on smoking in public places.

The St. Joseph News-Pressreports a City Council public session on the topic drew about 50 people this week. Many were owners of bars and restaurants who say banning smoking would hurt their businesses.

The idea is in very early stages. Council members decided to have the city's health department draft an ordinance before any more public meetings are held on the topic.

Among the issues the City Council would have to decide is whether a ban would be imposed by local ordinance or put to a public vote.

St. Joseph Mayor Bill Falkner says any proposal would be open for changes, including possible exemptions for some kinds of businesses.


Information from: St. Joseph News-Press,

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