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      Columbia Library expands smoking ban

      An expanded smoking ban took affect on Monday at the Columbia Regional Library.

      No smoking is allowed anywhere on library property from this day forward.

      Columbia Public Library officials have always gone along with the City of Columbia TMs smoking ordinance, which means no smoking inside the library building or within 20 feet of an entrance.

      Over the past few years, parents of small children and some senior citizens have complained about thick clouds of cigarette smoke near the entrances and the parking lot. The expanded smoking ban makes the entire library property smoke free, except inside your own vehicle.

      Library Spokeswoman Mitzi St. John said, People who come to the library can smoke in their car. We just ask them to extinguish their smoking device before they get out.

      If a library patron or a library employee wants to smoke, they must cross the street and smoke on a city sidewalk.

      The main purpose of the expanded smoking ban is to protect small children from second hand smoke. Some say it also will make the library a lot cleaner.

      Many smokers flick their cigarettes on the parking lot pavement and landscape displays. The expanded smoking ban will help prevent litter and educate people about second hand smoke.

      Library Patron Richard Hill said, I think it will make people more aware of what tobacco can do for people. I TMm an ex-smoker. I quit in 1963. I know it TMs not good for you.

      Library officials say their expanded smoking ban will make their facility a healthy and safe place for everyone.

      The smoking ban adopted by the Daniel Boone Regional Board of Trustees does not apply to the Callaway County Public Library, Southern Boone County Library or the bookmobiles.

      Local ordinances apply in those locations.