Smoking bans pass in 3 Mo. towns, fail in 1

A ban in Cape Girardeau was defeated by a narrow margin.
A ban in Cape Girardeau was defeated by a narrow margin.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS/AP) - Three more Missouri towns are going smoke-free, but one isn't.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that three towns gave approval to smoking bans in Tuesday's election. But a ban in Cape Girardeau was defeated by a narrow margin.

O'Fallon voters approved the measure by a 3 to 1 margin. Springfield adopted a ban, and Webb City voters endorsed a measure in a nonbinding referendum, though the Joplin Globe reports that the mayor expects the city council to enact the ban.

Smoke Free Cape, one of the group's that supported the smoking ban, said it's not sure what the next step will be.

"It is really too soon to comment about next steps for Citizens for Smoke-Free Cape," spokesperson Dale Humphries wrote in a statement.  "Per Cape's city charter, the subject cannot be brought forth via an initiative for at least a year. Obviously, our group and partners will continue to work to raise awareness about the health hazards of secondhand smoke in our community."

While Smoke Free Cape is disappointed the smoking ban passed, others say they're happy individual businesses will be in charge of making the decision whether or not they want to be smoke free.

"We need our non-smoking customers and our smoking customers," said Doc Cain, owner of Port Cape.

Cape Girardeau is only the second city in the state to reject a smoking ban by public vote.

Kirkwood voted down a smoking ban back in 2006, but approved the measure in 2009.

After last night's vote, there are now 19 cities in Missouri in which smoking is banned in bars and restaurants, none of which are in southeast Missouri.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.