By Steve Bell
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City Council passed what the majority of its members called a tougher smoking ordinance yesterday, leaving one smoking ban proposal on the April ballot, not two. Councilman Ed Ford, who has been critical of the initiative version from the start, said his version, which will go into effect in a little over a week, is based on protecting the young and letting adults make their own choices.
"If you're under 21 you would not be exposed to second-hand smoke in Kansas City," Ford said.
The ordinance basically permits indoor smoking only on casino gaming floors and in bars that are only allowing people 21 and over on the premises. Smoking would be permitted in restaurants within bars if they are in a separate room with its own ventilation system.
Opponents say the ordinance will actually end smoking in few places where it is now permitted. Supporters called it a good compromise between health advocates and tavern owners.