ACS/ALA/AHA compromise--Springfield, MO

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ACS/ALA/AHA compromise--Springfield, MO

Postby JustJulie » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:41 pm

Springfield voters passed a smoking ban last year, a rather stringent one that also included e-cigarettes. Live Free Springfield, which originally fought the ban, managed to get enough signatures on a petition to force the Springfield City Council to reconsider the issue.

Faced with the possibility of the City Council actually reversing the smoking ban, the antis are finally willing to agree to some compromises . . . one of them would be to remove e-cigarettes from the smoking ban. Seems reasonable to me since I doubt most voters realized that e-cigarettes--which don't produce smoke--were included in the smoking ordinance to begin with. ... |FRONTPAGE

Below is the email sent to the Springfield City Council, and I've uploaded copies of the documents referenced in the email.

From: Stephen Hall []
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 1:57 PM
To: Oneal, Jim; Council
Cc: Jace Smith; '' (; 'Leah Wiggs' (
Subject: Proposed Route to Compromise on Smoke-free Issue
Importance: High

Please see the joint letter (attached and pasted below) from the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and One Air Alliance regarding a route to compromise on the smoke-free issue. Attached, you’ll also find a joint media statement that is being released to state and local media later today. We look forward to your response.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Mayor O’Neal:

The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and One Air Alliance have been working on the smoke-free issue in Springfield for years, committing our resources to achieving a comprehensive ordinance that protects workers and preserves the right of all people to breathe clean indoor air in public venues. Those efforts were validated by voters at the polls last April, as a majority of Springfield voters turned out to show their support for public health.

After participating in City Council’s public hearing on Monday evening regarding the status of the smoke-free ordinance, our groups were surprised to learn on Tuesday of council’s intention to move forward with a workshop on March 22 and carve out exemptions for a number of entities. This unexpected process could result in new language that completely undermines the will of voters and the rights of workers. We want to ensure that the voices of voters are respected, employee health is protected, and public health organizations are not excluded from this process. Therefore, we propose a route to compromise contingent on several conditions.

To allow a compromise to move forward, we ask Live Free Springfield to withdraw its repeal petition. Once that occurs, the following amendments could then be carved out from the current voter-approved smoke-free ordinance using the provided language attached to this letter. These amendments would need to be approved with a unanimous vote of the council, as outlined in the city charter:

The removal of current language pertaining to e-cigarettes, which also allows theater groups additional options for on-stage performances.
A new exemption for private clubs, when not open to the public, and that have no employees present. (Please see the attached definition language.)
A new exemption for retail tobacco shops with a minimum of 70% of tobacco-related sales. (Please see the attached definition language.)

This is our final attempt to compromise on this issue. No additional exemptions or amendments would be agreeable from our perspective. Furthermore, we stand by our previously-stated legal opinion that the city charter protects voter-approved ordinances from amendment or repeal by the council with anything less than a unanimous vote. Should you move forward on approving amendments or fully repealing the current law without that unanimous vote, we reserve the right to pursue immediate legal action.

We would appreciate a written response to this request for compromise via email by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. We will also follow-up to answer any questions you may have and gauge the progress on the effort to compromise. Ultimately, if a compromise cannot be reached, we ask that you return this issue to the voters, where it originated, so that their will can be expressed again.

Please be advised that this letter has been copied to all members of the council and will be released simultaneously to state and local media.


Misty Snodgrass
American Cancer Society

Jace Smith
American Heart Association

Leah Wiggs
American Lung Association

Stephen Hall
One Air Alliance


Stephen D. Hall
Communications Director
Out-State Missouri & Wichita, Kansas

American Heart Association
Midwest Affiliate
2446 E. Madrid
Springfield, MO 65804
417.881.1128 - phone
417.551.1645 - cell
417.881.8972 - fax

(25.5 KiB) Downloaded 467 times
Official Statement - 03.16.12 - FINAL.doc
(94.5 KiB) Downloaded 451 times
Joint Letter to Mayor O'Neal - 03.16.12.doc
(96.5 KiB) Downloaded 423 times
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Re: ACS/ALA/AHA compromise--Springfield, MO

Postby JustJulie » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:37 am

Live Free Springfield rejected the compromise 3/20:

Live Free Springfield expressed that while it appreciates One Air Alliance's effort, the amendments aren't quite good enough.

"They are good and we thank them, but it completely ignores businesses and people who have lost their jobs and it continues to ignore hardships upon business owners and the city in terms of sales tax revenue," says Dave Myers.

Even so, the mere fact that the ANTZ agreed to a compromise is telling.

It is often best, to walk away with nothing rather than to support a perceived “step in the right direction” approach. Along the way, never accept a compromise that will prevent you from reaching that ultimate goal of 100% smokefree indoor public places and workplaces. Preemption, ventilation, smoking rooms, age provisions, and “accommodation” compromises, for example, create roadblocks to achieving 100% comprehensive smokefree workplace laws in the future. In some cases, where the community is not fully educated on the issue, taking incremental steps (starting with smokefree workplaces first, then restaurants, then stand alone bars) is a wise approach. But as we take these incremental steps, take great care to ensure these laws are still effective. In other words, areas covered under the law should be smokefree in their entirety. Remember the goal is to pass and implement a smokefree law that brings about true health protections and social norm change.

The above is a quote from "Fundamentals of Smokefree WorkPlace Laws," downloadable here:
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