On April 8, 2008, voters approved a smoking ordinance that eliminates smoking in bars and restaurants, in addition to all other enclosed workplaces except for casino gaming floors. This ordinance went into effect June 6, and enforcement began at 12:01 a.m. on June 21, when a temporary restraining order was lifted.
The purpose of the smoking ordinance is to protect those working in Kansas City, Mo., from the dangers of secondhand or environmental tobacco smoke.
It does not regulate what anyone does on their own personal time, in their own homes or cars (unless they are being used as a public business, for example a day care or taxi) or outside.
Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed workplaces, including bars and restaurants. The respsonsibilities of the business owners, proprieters and managers are detailed in the ordinance under Section 34-474.
Violations of the ordinance may result in a fine of up to $50 for the person smoking in an enclosed workplace. If the establishment where the smoking takes place does not enforce the ordinance, it may be fined up to $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and each subsequent violations; each day a violation occurs is considered a separate violation.
Violations are reported to both the Health Department and to Regulated industries, and bars with multiple repeat violations over time risk losing their liquor licenses, in addition to the ordinance penalties.
Hotels may designate up to 25 percent of rooms to be smoking rooms. They may also designate a higher percentage temporarily if they are more than 75 percent booked for a convention or meeting, provided they clean those additional rooms afterwards sufficient to remove odor and "particulate residue" before allowing them to be occupied again.
Casino gaming floors are currently exempted until other metropolitan area casinos are covered by similar smoking ordinances.
The Smoking Ordinance does not currently address e-cigarettes. They are not considered tobacco products and there is no second-hand smoke.
In the future
In the long run, this ordinance will also help businesses and protect business owners. Cities and states that have had smoking ordinances in place for several years have seen a decrease in employees calling in sick and lower costs for health care as a result. Employees in those states, even regular smokers, have noticed that they can breathe easier and go longer without getting out of breath, and those who have tried to quit smoking and still want to do so find it easier to do when smoking isn't allowed at work.
For more information...
- Our Environmental Health Services Division handles education on and enforcement of the ordinance. For more information on the ordinance, please feel free to contact them at 816-513-6192.
- Learn more about our tobacco use prevention program; you also may call
816-513-6211 for more information on quitting.
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