IBJNews

City-County committee nixes tougher smoking ban

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indianapolis City-County Council committee has snuffed out a stricter smoking ban for the city.

The City-County Council's Rules and Public Policy Committee voted 6-2 Tuesday night against sending the measure to a full council, with all three Democrats and three of five Republicans voting against the measure.

The Republican-introduced proposal would have banned smoking at all Indianapolis businesses except cigar and hookah bars, tobacco retailers and not-for-profit private clubs. The proposal received support from Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, anti-smoking activists and a group of Indianapolis bar owners.

But some Democrats argued the measure didn't go far enough. Supporters had been hoping to have the new rules in place in time for the Super Bowl.

Voting in favor were Republicans Michael McQuillen and Ryan Vaughn, who sponsored the legislation. Those opposed were Republicans Bob Cockrum, Angel Rivera and Robert Lutz and Democrats Monroe Gray, Angela Mansfield,  and Joanne Sanders.

An overwhelming number of citizens showed up in support of the smoking ban and left surprised by the final vote.

"I'm surprised. I'm really disappointed. I think we're going to be exactly where we are four years from now. It's frustrating. I don't understand why compromise is such a difficult thing to come by," Vaughn told Fox59.  

The ban would have reduced the number of local smoking establishments from 350 to 60, Fox59 reported.

"I am thoroughly disappointed that council Democrats placed partisan game playing ahead of a common sense smoking ban proposal for our city," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement after the vote.

The council could revive the proposal on a simple-majority vote on Monday at the request of the sponsors.

Council Democrats believe they can get an even tougher ban started next month after newly-elected Democratic council members begin their terms.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Smoking Banned In Milwaukee
    I spent the last year in Milwaukee, and I tell you coming here to smoke infested Bars was terrible.

    Banning smoking does not hurt business, if it did the bars and nightclubs in Milwaukee would be a bust.
  • Food
    Jenny, the issue with a public smoking ban is to protect the health of others, not to protect the health of smokers. So, while fatty foods may not be good for those who eat such a diet, their consumption of such foods does not have a direct impact on others, i.e. there is no such thing as second-hand cholesterol.

    In any event, I think MacDonald's and other such places are gradually (VERY gradually) getting the hint that people want healthier foods and they are adjusting their menus accordingly.
  • let the citizens decide
    Christine is right - bar owners need to get together and ban smoking in their establishments for the betterment of their workforce. I for one do not like the smoke filled bar room and therefore i do not go to them. There are already several bars that do not allow smoking, they get my business. But if you want to smoke up johnny and the bartender and owner do not care then fine.
    i will not patronize your establishment. isnt that the american way? Or fine pass a law because most of us do not like what you do. Oh by the way smokers it is winter and even if you smoke outside it sticks to your clothing and you stink.
  • Better prepared statements?
    "I am thoroughly disappointed that council Democrats placed partisan game playing ahead of a common sense smoking ban proposal for our city," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a prepared statement after the vote.

    Maybe they should wait to prepare their statements until after the vote...where, coincidently, 60% of republicans voted against. Personal note.. who elected this guy again?
  • Super Bowl Host Committee
    Someone should tell the Super Bowl Host Committee to stop planning smoking events at their two biggest events. NFL Media party at Motor Speedway and LUCAS/Hilbert Mansion "Donors" Party. Ironic they want smoking at their invite-only VIP party, but not for everyone else.
  • smoking ban indeed
    Mayor Ballard's statement of disappoint failure to pass"common sense smoking ban for our city" is anything but common sense. drive by the private American Legion in Broad Ripple and see the sign "open to the public" and then noting the time and day of santa's visit. think about it: a private club that isn't private; and an adult club that encourages family members and their children to come into a smoking establishment. irrational and as they used to say on Laugh In, very dumb.
  • How embarassing
    There are many giant cities where smoking has been banned indoors. To Jenny, Mcdonald's is a choice and doesn't affect anyone else besides the person eating it. The whole point of the smoking ban is to not subject those who have to work to maintain their livelihood to second hand smoke. It isn't fair for someone to put their life in danger in order to make a living. It worked for Bloomington, Chicago, and LA, why doesn't Indy get on board? I'd go out much more if it wasn't for the smoke. I think bar owners should just come together and ban smoking in their bars for the sake of their workers and customer's health. This decision makes our city look completely backwards. I would expect this from some city in the deep south, but not here.
  • Thank you Indianapolis City-County Council
    I for one am elated at the decision of the Indianapolis City-County Council. For the record I am an occasional Cigar Smoker. I am also a huge fan of equality. Either ban smoking for all establishments, or do not create a competitive advantage for several locations (60 according to this article). I hope someday smoking is not allowed in any indoor public places and I choose only to enjoy my cigars in outdoor locations as to not shorten anyone elses life span due to my personal choices protected by the US constitution. I call for equality. If bars cannot allow smoking, then no cigar bars, and especially no hookah bars.
  • Also..
    Can we please get so many McDonald's banned? The amount of overweight people in Indianapolis is embarrassing and a much bigger killer than the smokers.
    • CORRECTION. NOT 6 DEMOCRATS!!
      IBJ Your story on smokefree and the headline did a great disservice. Plus it's totally inaccurate. There are eight members of the Council's Rules Committee that considered the smoke free ordinance. FIVE (5) Republicans and THREE (3) Democrats. The three democrats did vote no. As did three Republicans. Two Republicans voted yes. IBJ is a fine newspaper. Far better than the Star. Please make the correction of fact in this story.
    • politics
      Republicans could have had this deal several years ago, but that was then. I totally agree with Democrats on this one. They know now they can get a tougher ban soon, so why rush.
    • WOW!
      Isn't "doing something" that will significantly reduce the number of smoking establishments better than doing nothing? Continuous improvement is better than holding out for the perfect plan. Come on government! Stop playing games!!!
    • Embarrassing
      All I ever hear is how our city leaders aspire for Indy to be considered a first class, world class city. If this is the case then why do they always insist on shooting themselves in the foot. How embarrassing to be a "smoker friendly" city. We are light years behind on this issue. We have enough against our FAT, non mass transit, fashion backwards, Colts sucking, smoker friendly selves.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

    2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

    3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

    4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

    5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.

    ADVERTISEMENT