August 16, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Smoking Ordinance Exemptions Now Complete

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has completed the process of granting exemptions to the City's indoor smoking law, following changes made by City Council in May. Council voted unanimously to amend the Smokefree Air Act of 2011 in order to allow indoor smoking in pre-existing bingo parlors, private clubs, cigar bars and retail tobacco stores that meet certain definitions based on criteria such as activities, revenues and the sale of alcohol or tobacco.

Seven locations were granted exemptions; including one bingo parlor, one cigar bar and five retail tobacco stores. The exemption allows indoor smoking so long as no paid employees are present in the smoking areas, and the smoking areas are clearly labeled as such.

The exempted facilities are:

The health department is charged with granting exemptions and enforcing the ordinance. The exemption process includes checking profit-loss statements for revenue requirements and an on-site inspection in some cases. Routine follow-up inspections are not required. The ordinance is enforced on a complaint-only basis.

If the owners or operators of any further locations or businesses feel they are eligible for the new exemptions, they are encouraged to contact Karen McKinnis, Division of Administration with the Health Department, at (417) 864-1623.

Springfield voters approved the Smoke Free Air Act in April 2011 and reaffirmed the law by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in June 2012. More information about Springfield's indoor smoking laws, including a detailed FAQ, can be found on the City's website at: www.springfieldmo.gov/smokefree.

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov