Excelsior Springs to vote on smoking ban before ordinance is written

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. - Excelsior Springs residents will vote on a smoking ban on April 2. The ban would prohibit smoking inside enclosed work places and enclosed public spaces, but other details are still hazy. That's because an ordinance isn't even written.

Wabash BBQ owner Cheri McCullough wonders why.

"I hope there are more details prior to the elections so that the residents of Excelsior Springs (are) informed on exactly what they're voting on," McCullough said.

Her restaurant has always allowed smoking. It even has two separate entrances for the smoking and non-smoking sections.

"We have customers that come in that don't even know we offer smoking sections," McCullough said.

That's why she believes non-smokers have enough options in town and that business owners should be able to decide if they want smoking.

The Mill Inn restaurant allowed smoking forever, until December 1, 2012. That's when owner Evelyn Cowsert decided to make a change to ban smoking.

Cowsert said while she has lost regulars, she has also gained new customers.

Life-long customer Tish Vest welcomed the change.

"When I left, you could smell it on me and I'm not a smoker," Vest said. "I think it's best for everyone to be non-smoking."

Excelsior Springs City Manager David Haugland said if the ordinance passes, the City Council will hold public hearings and receive input before a final version is enacted.

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