Coalition wants to make Poplar Bluff smoke free

By Tyler Profilet - bio | email

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A new coalition in Poplar Bluff is trying to pass a non-smoking ordinance for restaurants and bars, and businesses in town seem to be in support.

Chamber of Commerce President Steve Halter said most businesses he spoke with said they are behind it, as the owners don't think it will have much effect if any on their bottom line.

Wine Rack general manager Jim Scherer is a smoker, even though smoking isn't allowed in his restaurant.

He says he's torn on the current proposal of making bars and restaurants smoke-free.

"I think solely bars should be able to be the business owners choice. Restaurants, on the other hand, it's almost a logical choice to be non-smoking," he said.

Scherer says his restaurant is one of the few that doesn't allow smoking in Poplar Bluff, but thinks it's good for business.

And even for the places where it won't be good for business, Dr. Ron Webb of Mt. Calvary Church says it's still worth it to cut down on smoking.

"I believe our health is more important than money. People are gaining wealth but they're losing their health," said Webb.

Scherer points out that fast food restaurants and other stores don't allow smoking, so it probably won't be as big of an inconvenience for smokers like him.

"I can always step outside and smoke outside," he said.

That is what he and other smokers will have to do if the coalition gets its way.

The ordinance has not yet been drafted.

The next meeting for the Breathe Easy Poplar Bluff coalition is September 14 at 1 p.m. at the Twin Towers in Poplar Bluff.

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