Smoking ban brings groups together for rallies

To be smoke-free or not to be smoke-free is a question Jefferson City voters will decide on the upcoming November ballot.

Groups on both sides of the public ban on smoking rallied Wednesday to convince voters to vote "Yes" or vote "No".

If approved, smoking would be banned in most public places including restaurants, bars and retail stores.

"We would like Jefferson City to provide a safe environment for all workers and that includes people who work in restaurants and bars, Chairman for Smoke Free Jefferson City Felicia Poettgen said.

The group that for a smoke free city gathered Wednesday evening for a rally, and passed out freebies with their message on them.

"It TMs just the truth that second hand smoke is bad for you and it's unhealthy. Before ten years everybody in the country is going to be smoke free; it's just going to happen everywhere, Co-Chairman for Smoke Free Jefferson City Heather Brown said. We just need to get on board with it now and get it done."

A group against the smoking ban gathered Wednesday afternoon.

"It's taking away the rights of tax paying Americans. With this free enterprise, we should be allowed to run our business the way we are, as long as we are running them legally, Mortimer Kegly TMs Owner Jason Jordan said. This is not an illegal act. It TMs legal to smoke."

Jordan said their main concern is losing business in locally owned restaurants and bars.

"I know that our regular customers in large numbers come in because they enjoy smoking. We have discussed this with them and they will find other places, the Mission Co-Owner Jenny Robben said. It's hard to put a number, but it's enough to make me concerned."

Robben said they even tested going smoke free for one evening and her sales dropped.

Come November, it's up to Jefferson City voters to make the final decision

Numbers of communities, including Columbia and St. Louis, have acted recently to restrict smoking in public.

What do you think? Should cities go smoke-free in public places? Leave a comment below