Smoke Free Joplin at polls to get petition signatures - KOAM TV 7

Smoke Free Joplin at polls to get petition signatures

Updated: April 5, 2011 05:18 PM CDT

Volunteers are at today's polls trying to get an issue on a future ballot.

The group Smoke Free Joplin has volunteers staked out at polling places across the city as the group works to get 5,050 signatures.

The petition would put a ban on smoking in public places on the ballot later in Joplin.

At the Association for the Blind, voter turnout has not been as high as Smoke Free Joplin had hoped.

Petition committee volunteers are also outside City Hall in Joplin, another polling place.

The effort can be tough with some people living outside Joplin and unable to sign.

While some just do not want to put a ban on something inside businesses.

Several say it should be put to a vote including a woman who has see the ban in action and says it would be good for Joplin.

"Smokers can smoke but in specific areas and not subject the rest of us to their smoke," says Patti Roberts.  "My husband died four years ago of lung cancer but even before that I didn't like smoking around my kids, my family, myself.  I want to be able to enjoy my food and the fresh air without having to smell somebody else's smoke."

Roberts says she moved here from Illinois which is smoke free.  She says businesses there had been concerned about losing customers but Roberts says smoking bans did not affect business as much as the down economy.

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