Jefferson City mayor vetoes city smoking ban

Monday, December 22, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mayor John Landwehr has vetoed a ban on smoking in the city's restaurants, calling the issue one of fairness.

"The city ... must not burden or restrict some businesses while others of the same kind remain unaffected," Landwehr said Monday.

The ban generally prohibited smoking in restaurants. However, restaurants that make at least half their income from alcohol sales could have still allowed smoking, as could rooms leased for social functions, bowling alleys and pool halls.

Landwehr said the measure would not have improved public health much, and that people can choose to eat at the restaurants in the city that are already smoke-free.

The ordinance was to take effect in six months, and the city council can override the mayor's veto. The council's original vote for the ban was 6-4 in favor; it takes seven votes to override the mayor's veto.

The cities of Springfield and Maryville also have enacted restaurant smoking ordinances.

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