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Mayor proposes citywide smoking ban

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City and county government and business leaders were on hand Thursday morning for the announcement of a proposed smoking ban in Springfield.

Springfield Mayor Jim O'Neal and Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Kevin Gipson joined Metropolitan Grill owner Pat Duran and leaders from the One Air Alliance to announce plans to introduce a proposal to change the city's smoking ordinance by banning smoking in all public indoor spaces, according to a One Air Alliance news release.

The city passed a ban on smoking in restaurants in 2003, but left exemptions in place for several classifications of eateries, including those that earn more than 50 percent of their revenue from alcohol and those that have separate smoking sections with separate ventilation systems.

Those exemptions extend to 61 restaurants in Springfield.

One Air Alliance contends that smoking venues are too dangerous to those who work there, exposing them to 2.5 times the Environmental Protection Agency-recommended limit for toxicity, according to the release.

"This decision was made after the completion of local indoor air quality testing, a detailed review of the city’s current policy and an extensive and ongoing dialogue with individuals from all walks of life,” O’Neal said in the release. “We have a moral obligation to protect people from what we know causes cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory disorders."

The proposal could appear on Springfield City Council agenda as soon as its June 28 meeting, according to Alliance spokesman Stephen Hall.[[In-content Ad]]

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