The latest emissourian poll shows people are almost equally divided on St. Clair’s proposed smoking ban.
Of the 471 people who participated, 48 percent said the city should pass a public smoking ban ordinance, while 52 percent were against it.
The smoking ban is akin to the ban passed in Washington back in January 2012. It prohibits people from smoking in all public facilities within city limits, including restaurants, bars, businesses and service organizations.
The proposed ordinance defines smoking to include both tobacco smoking and electronic cigarettes, commonly called e-cigs.
A public hearing was held at the July 9 board meeting, where a majority of the 30 or so individuals who voiced their opinions were against the ban, and of those people, the majority who opposed the ban were from bars or service organizations.
During the meeting Monday night, aldermen are not expected to vote on the ban. However, it is slated as an item for discussion under unfinished business.
Lance Jackson, who owns Smoke It Up Vapors in St. Clair, said he and his wife will attend the meeting, along with other members of the “vapor community.”
Jackson, who opened his e-cig store in August of last year, said he thinks the ordinance will eventually pass, and he plans to close up shop and move his business to Gray Summit Aug. 1.
Jackson said it is nearly impossible to sell his e-juice, the liquid that goes into an e-cig, without letting customers sample the flavors.
“Even if someone wanted to buy a flavor blindly I encourage them to try it first,” he said. “It might sound good to them, but not be to their liking.”
City officials decided to include e-cigs in the smoking ban because of data they obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which tested devices from two leading manufacturers.
According to the smoking ban ordinance, the FDA concluded that samples tested “contained not only nicotine, but also detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals ... ”
The ordinance also states that the use of e-cigs in public places could cause “concern and confusion” and “leads to difficulties in enforcing the smoking prohibitions.”