Stricter proposed smoking ban passes committee

A stricter proposed city-wide smoking ban passed out of committee Tuesday. The plan will now head to the full council.

Indianapolis

The Indianapolis City-County Council is trying to take on the smoking ban again. A city-wide smoking ban targeting bars passed out of committee Tuesday. The plan will now head to the full council.
 
Proposal 136 seeks to strengthen the already existing statewide ban. The ban is not comprehensive as the initial attempt, but was written with the mayor's wishes in mind.

"This proposal crafted tonight is a victory for the mayor. It also represents a loss for children," said Councilor Brian Mahern, D-District 16.

The mayor vetoed the first attempt after it passed council.  In hopes of getting it passed, Proposal 136 provides exemptions for private residences, retail tobacco stores and fraternal clubs. Private homes cannot be used as a licensed child care, adult day care or healthcare center in order to qualify.  Members of fraternal clubs must also vote to allow smoking before the club will be considered exempt.

Wanda Goodpasture a bar owner told councilors, "It's going to devastate our business. We're close to Beech Grove and Beech Grove is not in this proposal. They'll go right across the bridge to Beech Grove."

Joe Wilson, another bar owner, feels as if bars are being picked on, "I wish you people would just go all the way or not at all."

Carol Ackerman spoke to councilors stressing the importance of doing something. She has lung cancer, "I am not a smoker, never have been a smoker. I worked in offices with heavy smokers."

Ackerman asked councilors to do what they could to help other nonsmokers like herself

"I'm in pain. I'm on oxygen most of the time. I don't know if I'll make it through the year."
 
The proposal passed 6-2. It was sponsored by Councilors Angela Mansfield, John Barth and Pamela Hickman.

"We're hopefully that we'll at least be moving forward with the other establishments. It's not ideal. But we realize that this is the best we can get passed right now," said Angela Mansfield, D-District 2.

Lindsay Grace with Smoke Free Indy said she's been in contact with the mayor's office and is hopeful this ban will get the mayor's approval.

"The conversations are positive. All signs are pointing to yes and we are willing to work with him to get this law implemented."

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