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      Hannibal becomes smoke-free Sunday

      The city of Hannibal is now smoke-free.

      A city-wide smoking ban took effect Sunday after 56 percent of voters voted in favor of the ban on the April 3 ballot. The new law bans smoking in all indoor public places and in city-owned vehicles. The Hannibal City Council passed the ordinance by a 4-3 vote in May.

      More than two dozen Missouri communities have enacted smoking bans in recent years, including St. Louis, St. Louis County and Kansas City.

      About two weeks ago, the American Cancer Society stepped in to make sure area businesses were ready for the change.

      Staff held an open house at the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce for residents who wanted help preparing their businesses to become smoke-free.

      People that stopped by received a guide on the new ordinance, as well as ways to address the issue with customers and staff.

      "A lot of people are asking questions about, 'where do I put the signs,' things like that, and also, we've had a lot of people interested in smoking cessation classes, like how they can help their employees if they'd like to quit, because this is a great opportunity to quit," Dana Blaze with the American Cancer Society said.