ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Two anti-smoking bans are dueling it out for a spot on the November ballot. 5 On Your Side wanted to find out the difference between the two and if voters could see both at the polls.
As it stands, St. Charles County does not have a smoking ordinance. So, in theory, people can smoke in an office building, a bar, a restaurant, etc. There are two cities in the county that have already gone smoke-free: O’Fallon and Lake St. Louis.
Smoke-Free St. Charles County collected 34,000 signatures with the help of about 40 other community organizations, including the American Heart Association. It is trying to get a strong smoke-free ordinance on the November ballot.
"We believe that every worker has the right to breathe clean air while they're at their job,” said Ben Murray of Smoke-Free St. Charles County.
But this may not be the only smoke-free ban on the ballot come November.
“Will there be a competing measure? Let's see what happens Monday night,” said Murray. The St. Charles County Council meets Monday at 7 p.m. and could determine if both proposals make it on the ballot in November.
Some county councilmen are proposing their own smoke-free ban. The difference, though, is that their proposal has exceptions to the rule that would allow smoking in places like casinos and certain bars.
A councilman said that both bans could make it onto the ballot. It’s also possible that both could pass.
This is where it gets tricky. The councilman said he is not sure how something like this would be settled if both ordinances pass. We have reached out to election officials to figure out what would happen if both pass, but we have not heard back.