Smoking Ban Passes with 53 Percent of Vote

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 04/08 2014 08:00PM

Updated 04/10 2014 12:40PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) After months of controversy, campaigns and debate, a smoking ban in St. Joseph has been approved by voters.

The final vote was close with 7,849 (53%) in favor of the proposal and 7,031 (47%) against it.

The approval means within 60 days, bars and restaurants within St. Joseph's city limits will have to ban smoking indoors. The casino floor is the main exemption to this law with a few other exemptions.

Smoke Free St. Joe led the charge to gather support for ballot initiative. The group raised more than $43,000 to push the measure forward. The organized opposition, Citizens for Fairness in Missouri, spent a little more than $100,000 on direct mail and advertising.

"I'm thrilled I just think it brings us to a more modern era," said Dr. Jane Schwabe with Smoke Free St. Joe. "I know it's going to be difficult because change is hard and those people are passionate on the other side, but we will help as best we can anybody who wants our help trying to help them get to the non-smoking phase and we have two months to transition."

The smoking ban will go into effect June 7th.

A transitional phase will last for 60 days.

Scott Tucker, a representative for Citizens for Fairness, said the voters have spoken and the group will move on.

Related stories:
Both Sides of Smoking Ban Issue Campaign in Final Weeks
Smoking Ban Sparks Debate Among Supporters, Non-Supporters
Smoking Ban Campaigns Work to Gather Support

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.