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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - The first in a series of public hearings on a proposed smoking ban in St. Joseph showed how divisive the issue is likely to be.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports about 40 people turned out for Tuesday's hearing in the City Council chamber. Sixteen people spoke - half in favor of the proposal, the other half against.
All comments will be reviewed by the City Council, which will decide whether to pass the proposed ordinance limiting indoor smoking, amend the proposal or put it to a public vote.
The current draft would ban indoor smoking in public places except bars with fewer than 50 seats and the gambling floor of the St. Jo Frontier Casino. Larger bars could allow smoking in specially ventilated areas.
Six more hearings are planned.
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