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      Voters to decide smoking ban future in Hannibal

      Hannibal residents will decide Tuesday whether to ban smoking in many public places.

      Voters will have the chance lend their support or express their dissent over the Proposition 1 ballot question that would ban smoking in all indoor public places and in city-owned vehicles.

      The state of Missouri has no statewide ban, but instead requires individual municipalities to create their own rules.

      There are currently 20 places in Missouri that have passed bans that include all bars and restaurants including Kirksville, Kansas City and St. Louis, among others.

      There are also 10 other municipalities that restrict smoking in more specific ways. St. Louis County banned smoking in workplaces and restaurants but exempts certain bars, casinos and clubs.

      Teri Thompson and her family own and operate the Broadway Bar and Grill. She's afraid many of her customers won't come back to the bar if the smoking ban passes.

      " I'm hoping it's not going to stay that way," Thompson said. "But that's why we're so worried about it, because we've heard other communities there was a big decline in business and yeah it's got us all really concerned."

      Stephanie Thomeczek is a member of the group Breathe Easy Hannibal. She said her organization's research shows only one of four people in Hannibal actually smoke and that with only 25 percent of the residents lighting up. Breath Easy would like to see a ban in place so other people wouldn't have to deal with second hand smoke and other issues.

      " But due to the way our town is, because we're very independent and we all like to have a say, we are fine with it going to the ballot," she said. "We hope our community supports it of course because we want to protect the health of our community."

      Thompson hopes the ban doesn't pass so her business will not feel any of the financial affects she anticipates. Thomeczek hopes the issue passes so that Hannibal can be a healthier place according to her Breathe Easy Hannibal group.