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Columbus City Council Expected To Vote On Smoking Ban

After tabling the measure last month, the council will likely vote on the smoking ban Tuesday.

ashtray, smoking, cigarette

Photo: Lago A. R. (Flickr)

The ordinance would ban smoking in all businesses within Columbus city limits.

The Columbus City Council has been considering a smoking ban for months. After tabling the vote last month, the council could vote on it Tuesday.

The ordinance would ban smoking in all businesses within Columbus city limits. That is stricter than the state law passed, which provides exemptions for bars, taverns and clubs.  Fourth Street Bar Owner Kurt Schwarze says he’s in favor of the ban.

His establishment already went smoke free in August because of requests from his customers. But he also says when cities have individual smoking laws, it can make business more complicated.

“It would be great if the state of Indiana would pass a uniform comprehensive anti-smoking bill that would apply to the entire state,” Schwarze says. “It would put everybody on a level playing field.”

Columbus City Council President Jim Leinhoop says the council has heard from several business owners, health officials and residents have taken their concerns into consideration.

“There are some people who understand the presence science with respect to smoking and the effects that it has on public health,” Leinhoop says. “And then on the other hand you’ve got folks who are very protective of their personal liberties.  And so you just listen to what both sides have to say and try to make a decision based on their input.”

Lienhoop says the council could decide to push back the date the ban would be implemented, giving businesses more time to adjust.

Shameka Neely

Shameka Neely, a native of Nashville, Tennessee enthusiastically joined WTIU as Senior Reporter/ InFocus Producer in the news department. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Marketing and Masters of Arts Degrees' in Administrative Dynamics and Communication all from Western Kentucky University. Shameka also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Indiana University.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Johnson/100001533026147 Bob Johnson

    Why does the term “level playing field” exist when supposedly, bans don’t affect business?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Johnson/100001533026147 Bob Johnson

    ONE bar owner say he favors the ban. Why are the others being ignored?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sheila-Martin/100000104130795 Sheila Martin

    Is that bar owner a ding bat? Let the other bars allow smoking and his bar should be absolutely swamped with customers! I think he’s lying, and I think he knows that given a chance to choose, most customers will go to the other bars. So HE wants to wipe them out. If not allowing smoking is so great then he should do it and leave other businesses alone. Why is it that the media sucks up to these control freaks? $$$? If the government doesn’t want people smoking then stop licensing the selling of tobacco. Oh, but they don’t want to lose that revenue do they? What a bunch of hypocrits!

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