City Council defeats vote on Smoke-Free proposal

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(JOPLIN, Mo.) The Joplin City Council voted unanimously to not vote on the ‘smoke free’ proposal they had been considering for weeks. The ordinance that was on the table would have banned…

Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston speaking to reporters after the Council’s Monday night meeting. (TFJ Photo/Eli Yokley)

(JOPLIN, Mo.) The Joplin City Council voted unanimously to not vote on the ‘smoke free’ proposal they had been considering for weeks.

The ordinance that was on the table would have banned smoking in all businesses, other than in private clubs and businesses in which more than 70% of their sales is tabacco.

Mayor Mike Woolston, one voice opposed to the ordinance, said the failure of the proposal was a win for private businesses, and that he didn’t feel it was the government’s place to act.

Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg said,  “We came to an agreement. The smoke free group is not in agreement with us.”

Krista Stark, Co-Chairman of the Smoke Free Coalition, said, “We’re disappointed with the results, and we understand that the referendum petition is an important part of the process.”

For the proposal to be placed on a ballot, supporters would need over 5000 signatures of registered voters in Joplin. Signatures would have to be submitted by early January in order to be placed on the April municipal ballot.

A source with the Smoke-Free coalition expects the coalition to vote in their meeting next week to seek referendum signatures for an upcoming ballot.

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