Kansas City’s ban on smoking in public places doesn’t violate state statute, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District ruled this morning.
The smoking ordinance, enacted last year, bans smoking in most public places, including bars, restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys and other establishments in Kansas City. An employee at JC’s Sports Bar was fined under the ordinance for allowing patrons to smoke inside the establishment.
The employee’s attorney argued that the ordinance conflicts with the state’s Indoor Clean Air Act, which specifically exempts small bars and billiard parlors from the definition of “public places.”
However, the court ruled that the act merely exempts bars from compliance with the state’s smoking regulations. It doesn’t make them immune from the local smoking regulation.
The decision affirms a ruling earlier this year by Jackson County Associate Circuit Judge Richard Standridge, who upheld the municipal charge.
The Indoor Clean Air Act was enacted in 1992 to prohibit smoking in most public places. However, the statute exempts bars, taverns, restaurants that seat fewer than 50 people, bowling alleys and billiard parlors, so long as they post signs stating ‘Nonsmoking Areas are Unavailable.’ ”
In a press release, attorney Jonathan Sternberg said he disagreed with the ruling against his client.
“We believe that the court’s decision incorrectly decided the law, and we are reviewing it to determine the course of further proceedings,” Sternberg said.
Judge Tom Newton wrote the opinion. Judges Hal Lowenstein and James Smart Jr. concurred.
The case is City of Kansas City v. Georgia Carlson, WD70576.