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.