Springfield City Indoor Smoking Ban Question (April 2011)

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A Springfield City Indoor Smoking Ban Question was on the April 5, 2011 ballot in the city of Springfield, which is in Greene County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 11,201 (53.35%)Approveda
  • NO 9,795 (46.65%)[1]

Since the smoking ban was approved, the city will have it implemented by June 6, 2011. Those who were opposed tot he measure noted that they intend to mount a legal battle to allow businesses to remain smoking friendly.[2]

Background

This measure was brought to the ballot by a successful petition drive which collected 1,227 signatures to get this approve for the ballot. The measure asked voters to ban smoking in all indoor public places including bars, workplaces and restaurants. Council members had proposed a smoking ban but it was rejected, leading to the petition drive to get the issue on the ballot.[3] Some council members noted that although they voted in favor of putting this on the ballot for voters to decide it did not necessarily mean they supported the ban.[4]

The group Live Free Springfield had been formed to encourage voters to vote against this measure, noting that this was about property rights of residents and was another way of government intrusion. Clean Air Springfield was the group supporting this measure, noting that while people are free to do what they will that freedom stops when it includes inflicting harm on others, in the case of second hand smoke. They argued that it was about public health and the right to breath clean air.[5]

A public debate held before the vote about the issue brought up issues on both sides, those for the ban again reiterated the right to breathe clean air and the public health risk of second hand smoke. Those against the ban noted that restaurants can choose to be non-smoking or not and know what customers they would get if they chose either choice.[6]

Additional reading

References