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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, with harms found in nearly every body organ from smoking. Tobacco smoke contains a mix of more than 7,000 chemicals, of which approximately 70 are recognized to cause cancer. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly 500,000 American deaths each year, including more than 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.
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The Smoke-Free Air Act of 2018 prohibits smoking within all enclosed public places in St. Charles County, including, but not limited to, places of employment, hotels, commercial vehicles and restaurants,unless the establishment meets an exemption. Municipal ordinances may be stricter than the County ordinance.
Complaints can be filed online by clicking SUBMIT A COMPLAINT and following the prompts.
Business owners must take steps to prohibit smoking in public spaces by:
Yes, smoking is now prohibited in all public places within St. Charles County, including places of employment, unless the establishment meets an exemption.
Yes, there are 10 exemptions to the Smoke-Free Air Act of 2018. To review these exemptions, please see St. Charles County Ordinance No. 18-070.
Smoking is prohibited in an outdoor are within a distance of 15 feet from entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of public enclosed spaces.
While passed by voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the ordinance did not take effect until Nov. 20, 2018 when the vote was certified by the St. Charles County Election Authority. Enforcement of the ordinance began on Jan. 28, 2019.
If the city or building owner allows it, yes, but only within the living quarters of the residence, per exemption number 8. However, smoking is not allowed in common areas of a residential facility, or within a residence used for child care, adult day care, as a group home, or health care facility.
As long as the area is fully open to fresh air, smoking is permitted in these settings. However, if the area is bounded on more than two sides by walls, doorways or windows — regardless of these items being open or closed — then it is to be considered an enclosed public space. Smoking is prohibited within any enclosed public spaces.
The Department of Public Health will check for compliance of the ordinance when performing mandated inspections of licensed establishments. The department will investigate complaints, and, along with local law enforcement and fire departments, will enforce this ordinance.
Penalties related to violation of this act will be enforced beginning Jan. 28, 2019, and are as follows:
The ordinance is clear, stating:“No person or employer shall discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate against an employee, applicant for employment, customer, or resident of a multiple-unit residential facility because that employee, applicant, customer, or resident exercises any rights afforded by this Section or reports or attempts to prosecute a violation of this Section. Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.”
Yes, smoking-related ordinances exist in some St. Charles County municipalities and can be more stringent than County ordinance. Review individual municipality ordinances for specifics.
The Missouri Tobacco Quitline is a free service available 24-hours a day for residents who want to quit smoking. For information, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Additional assistance is available through the American Lung Association.