SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield City Council Monday agreed to some exemptions to the city's year-old ban on smoking in most public indoor spaces. Those exemptions are for bingo halls, cigar bars, tobacco shops and private clubs where no employees are working. Electronic cigarettes used in theatrical productions also will be allowed, and theatrical productions themselves would be exempt from the ban.
The city council's unanimous consent to the exemptions come a month before voters in Springfield will consider whether to repeal the ban altogether. Voters approved the initiative petition-proposed smoking ban in April 2011 and it went into effect in June.
The issue is back on the special election ballot next month because of another initiative petition. If it passes, the ban on smoking would revert to what it was before June 2011. Basically, bars that derived most of their income from alcohol, not food, and having fewer than 50 seats were exempt from the smoking ban.