Another round of discussion on smoking ban exemptions

Tuesday night, Hannibal residents made their voices heard for the second time on the smoking ban that voters approved in March

UPDATED: May 1 at 9:30 p.m.

The City of Hannibal is a step closer to a city-wide smoking ban.

Tuesday night, the Hannibal City Council heard a first reading on the ordinance, which bans smoking in all public indoor places and any place that would have indoor employees, according to WTAD News.

The only exception would be if one of those private organizations were to have a private meeting in which no member of the public was invited and no employees were working.

Private clubs, such as the VFW Post # 2446 in Hannibal wanted an exemption from the ban.

The post says the issue should be a choice at a private facility.

Voters approved the smoking ban in March.

ORIGINAL STORY: May 1 at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Hannibal residents will make their voices heard for the second time on the smoking ban that voters approved in March.

The Hannibal City Council will discuss proposed exemptions to the ban Tuesday evening, similar to its last meeting on April 17.

VFW Post # 2446 in Hannibal has voiced its opinion on the matter, saying it should be a choice at a private facility.

The ballot issue only asked the general question if there should be a public smoking ban. So now, the Hannibal City Council must draw up the specific ordinance that will outline what will be allowed and what won't be allowed in the city once the smoking ban is active.

KHQA asked the man behind the smoking ban what he thought of certain exemptions.

"Certain organizations are wanting exceptions because they are private clubs, like the VFW and others. I'm afraid the problem with that is, we can't be guaranteed that, as a city, the only people that will be in there are private club members. They have weddings and receptions and Bingo and a number of things so, I think we have a bit of work to do," Dr. Richard Draper said.

Hannibal resident Shandi Adkinsson agrees there should be some type of exemption.

"I believe it's our right whether we smoke or not. We do not make anybody else go out and smoke. We do not push our cigarettes on anybody else. If you're a non-smoker, understandable, you know, in restaurants and places with children, but it's our right. It's our freedom to be able to smoke cigarettes that we pay for, that we pay taxes on and we buy," Adkinsson said.

Hannibal City Councilman Barry Louderman says Tuesday's meeting will center on the discussion of exemptions rather than an immediate decision.