Branson West Leaders Praised for Passing Smoke-Free Bill

Branson West Aldermen pass a clean air ordinance. The bill, passed on March 10th makes Branson West a smoke-free and vape-free community.

A number of area health proponents lauded the board’s efforts in a release to the media. Organizations include: Cox Heath, the Stone County Health Department, and the Tri-Lakes Clean Air Alliance.

The complete text of that release appears below:

Congratulations to the Branson West City Council on Passing Smoke-free Ordinance!

Proponents Cite Major City-wide Health and Business Benefits

Preparing for a positive impact on future development, the elected officials of the Branson West City Council, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, formally adopted an ordinance calling for a smoke-free and vape-free city in workplaces and public places. 

City Council members reviewed the foundations for restrictions, including studies cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing exposure to secondhand smoke creates disease and premature death among non-smokers, and that there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke. 

Cox Health in Branson West and the Stone County Health Department could not be happier with the results to help improve population and public health in our community. Way to go Branson West City leaders!

Data was provided in an educational packet provided by members of the Tri-Lakes Clean Air Alliance to the council.  A 2012 study of smoke-free ordinances on eleven Missouri cities showed eight cities had increased sales at their local restaurants and bars. Kansas City and two other cities in Missouri all reported no change in business activity once smoke-free rules were established.

The new ordinance will go a long way in protecting the health and safety of employees and patrons.  As implemented, the law prohibits smoking in all workplaces, restaurants, and bars – including use of e-cigarettes.  Smoking will be allowed on outdoor or patio areas, but is not permitted within 25 feet of an enclosed area. Private residences would not be covered by the ordinance unless the residence is being used for child or adult daycare. People smoking on sidewalks outdoors would not be ticketed.

Education and enforcement provisions are included – specifying that all applicants for a business license will receive a copy of the ordinance to encourage compliance. The ordinance was approved unanimously by the council and will go into effect on April 11, 2020.  The absence of opponents present to protest the ordinance was observed and noted by the council.

“The vast majority of residents and visitors of Branson-West are non-smokers and this move to protect the health and safety of everyone, no matter where they work, will save lives.” said Monica Mueller of the Stone County Health Department.

Teri Harr, Chairperson of the coalition commented “As the Tri-Lakes Clean Air Alliance Chair and a Stone county resident, I am so pleased with the actions of Branson West City Council to pass a clean air ordinance!”

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