Smoking Ban Campaigns Work to Gather Support

Published 03/03 2014 06:09PM

Updated 03/03 2014 10:52PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) "Selfies" are popping up all over social media.

Now, a local campaign is getting in the act. The group known as Smoke Free St. Joe is encouraging followers on Twitter and Facebook to post a selfie with a sign that reads "YES April 8." They want the pictures to include the hashtag #SmokeFreeSelfie.

"We just thought that would be a fun way for people to show their support," says Jane Schwabe, heart surgeon and supporter of the ban.

Schwabe says with the race a month away, the social media campaign is a way to get people talking.

"We started yesterday with our first. Selfie Sunday is what we're calling them and it really went very well," added Schwabe.

On the other side, those against the ban are still organizing their campaign.

Scott Tucker with Citizens for Fairness says it's not fair that St. Joe Frontier Casino is not included in the ban.

"Allowing them to smoke there and not here and pushing people from here down to there to help their business and that's not fair," said Tucker, Belt Sports Complex.

Tucker says his business along with others will lose 15 to 20 percent of their customers if the ban passes.

"Doesn't work very well this time of year when people are in here bowling and they can't stop to go outside in sub-zero weather," added Tucker.

Meanwhile, both sides in the smoking debate are collecting cash for a campaign fight.

According to reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, smoke-free advocates and those against the smoke free ban have each raised about $7,000.

Citizens for a Smoke Free St. Joe collected the bulk of its money from Heartland Health and employees who work at the hospital.

Citizens for Fairness - the official name of the group formed opposing the ban - has raised most of its money from local bar and restaurant owners.

Both sides say we will see more active campaigning as we get closer to the April 8 election.

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