Ballard to veto tougher smoking-ban proposal

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard plans to veto a proposed ordinance that would expand the city’s public smoking ban, his spokesman confirmed Thursday.

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Jan. 30 voted 19-9 in favor of expanding the citywide ban to include bowling alleys, hotel rooms and most bars. Tobacco shops, hookah bars and over-18 private clubs would be exempted.

“As the Mayor has said since since it passed, this proposal does not meet his requirements,” communications director Marc Lotter said in an e-mail. “By law, he must return the proposal to the clerk of the City-County Council by Saturday. “

Ballard said he couldn’t support the proposal because it makes private clubs and fraternal organizations choose between allowing smoking on their premises or allowing patrons younger than 18 to enter.

The ordinance would pose a dilemma for not-for-profit groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which raises money through family-oriented and children’s events at VFW posts. Local American Legion posts are also opposed to the proposal.

The measure would need one more yes vote from the council to become veto-proof or it could be re-written.

Ballard said he would back the ban if the language about private clubs was rewritten.

Smoking-ban advocates said they aren’t happy with Ballard’s decision.

“Smoke Free Indy is strongly disappointed with Mayor Ballard's decision to veto Proposal 18,” the coalition said in a prepared statement Thursday. “We encourage the City-County Council to keep working on behalf of the people of Indianapolis to pass the strongest law possible that protects employees and patrons in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars.”


  • Another Nickname
    I have an idea for another nickname for Indiana:

    How about - "The last bastion of Freedom"

    A place proud of it's people and their ability to choose what's right for themselves without the government "DICTATING" What's right to them.
  • fair trade
    I view smoking as a mental disorder and it would certainly be unfair to take away the rights of smokers to kill the rest of us. In fact, alcoholism is also an addiction so is it not unfair to make drunk driving illegal? Lets hear it for drunk driving rights people!
    Just as nobody is forcing you to go to a business that allows smoking, no one is forcing you to share the roads with the poor abused drunks either. In fact lets abolish all laws so people can have the rights that they personally believe they are entitled to regardless of thier mental state. And as an added bonus we can come up with a
    America's Ashtray.
    Something to be prouud of!!
  • I am so suprised
    Why not exclude all places that cater to the rich. Private clubs should not have rules: rules are for the serfs only. In fact, we should subsudize the private clubs, they should not pay property or sales taxes. You go rich and powerful, rules are not for you.
  • Health concerns in bars?
    The concern for a healthy environment in a bar is soooo ironic. Ironic that the concern for harm from second-hand smoke overshadows the fact that bars serve unhealthy alcoholic beverages and the possibility of their immediate impact of death by drunken driving. Why not just ban bars? (sarcasim)Why are these people so intent on denying the rights of others because they dislike a particular habit?
  • thank you mayor
    Thanks mayor. sincerly it is the individuals responsibility and choice.
    Now to the VFW and LEgion, I too was a smoker and i too believe it is our right to partake in smoking inside in our club or anywhere that does not object. However WE NEED TO DO THIS VOLUNTARILY. We need to go non smoking for ourselves. The reason our membership is sinking is because the perception of a smokey bar is not appealing to our younger members. Guess what some of our older members who are paying their dues of smoking for years, cant enter our establishments because it is difficult to breath.
    Lets look to the future and try to figure out a happy medium -
    If not the clubs will die on their own, because the younger crowd will not join and those of us established members will eventually die off (probably from smoking related illnesses).
  • it's about everyone who wants to smoke
    The stop sign idea only works if you do it in a place where only you would be driving with other people who do not want stop signs.

    I would fully argue your right to have that place for you and anyone else who feels the need to drive around without stop signs.

    As long as I have a choice to drive where there are stop signs.

    That's what infuriates me about this whole argument. There are bars to go, to both work and to enjoy as a patron, that do not allow smoking.

    What is being pushed onto everyone is keeping the freedom for those who want to go to non-smoking establishments but taking away the freedom for a smoker to go to a smoking establishment.

    What's wrong with a "smokers only" bar. It would only hurt smokers.

    But that doesn't work with Health argument does it. Because along with supporting this you are probably also supporting the laws they are trying to enact on the amount of sugar in sodas.

    I hope they protect and coddle you and I hope that we colonise the moon so that there might be a new frontier where freedom is still an option and freedom seeking pilgrims can get away from the never ending stripping of the right to make personal choices.

  • It's all about Me!
    Yes, and let's take down all the stop signs, speed limits, anything that prevents me from having my own way.
  • Smokers Only
    I think what we need, to finally get this passed, is a small amendment that allows for "Smokers Only" bars. The employees and patrons all "must smoke" in order to use these bars.

    That way the "minority who don't care about their health" can go and enjoy the freedom amongst other smokers - patrons and workers -.
    I think a large sign can be part the requirements of this amendment that reads like the warnings on a cigarette pack about how dangerous it is to enter or work at this "Smokers Only" Bar.

    I'm willing to invest in one of these "Smokers Only" bars as soon as the bill passes.

    It will be a gold mine and all non-smokers can go to all the other bars, they just can't take their healthy attitudes into the "Smokers Only" bars.
  • Smoking Ban
    When so many states have enacted a full smoking ban, I think it is terrible for the Mayor of Indianapolis to strike down a ban on a health issue what has now been shown to cause death, cancer, emphasema, deterioration and arthritic issues of the joints. If someone wishes to smoke then let them but don't let them do it around others, no matter what their club or other affiliations are. They are endangering others and what about the families, children and workers in those clubs who do not smoke and wish to belong or need the job they have. Get wiht it Mayor Ballard. You are a nioce guuy and an ex-marine and maybe you smoke, but don't impose your personal feelings and wishes on those who are now in the majority and care for their health.
  • Trade freedom for that safety!
    Here we go again. Please, government, protect us from ourselves!

    Let's trade our freedoms for some more safety. Our government can be our parent. Some of us obviously aren't capable of living in a free society where we have choices, so please save us!

    We don't need all this freedom any way!
    We need a government to DICTATE what and when and where and how we can live!

    I'm sickened by the weak who think they need this. Don't worry, I'll still fight for your freedoms.
    • smoking
      Mayor Ballard is the worst mayor Indy has had in long time. He can't sign a smoking bill or get behind Mass Transit. He bringing the city down. I'll be glad when he's out of office.
    • What about safety
      Why have a smoking ban? Well, second hand smoke has been proven to be dangerous and unsafe. So, is it fair that employees of an establishment be subjected to an unsafe condition? One can make the argument that they don't have to work there. But that is not a good argument. That would be like saying a hospital doesn't need to protect its employees from blood borne pathogens because they could go work somewhere else. Ballard veto = a man who doesn’t care to provide safe work environments!
    • This isn't about smoking
      This ordinance is less about smoking than it is about expansion of government power. There are dozens of hazards that endanger people, but that people can avoid by not going where those hazards exist. Men die every year of prostate cancer, which if detected early by examination can be cured. Does this mean that, ipso facto, government has the right to require all men to report their respective physicians to get goosed? Such a law would save lives, undeniably. But like the intrusive smoking ban, that law would impinge upon individual sovereignty. Collectivists can charter a one-way cruise to Singapore if they want the government poking its nose into every facet life.
    • smokers rights
      The council is going too far telling every body where they can and can not light up. This should be a decision left to individual business owners of the over 18 crowd. I personally don't smoke and care less if others do or don't. Smokey bars or lounges don't bother me and I don't like special interest groups forcing their morality on everyone else.
    • Continue to follow or lead
      Progressive cities passed no smoking ordinances years ago. The current proposal is a reasonable compromise which gives private clubs a choice while protecting children. Let's get this behind us so we can build on the Superbowl momentum and focus on initiatives to drive Indianapolis to the forefront of progressive cities.
    • Smoking hurts us all
      It should be outlawed everywhere, except for Hookah bars, cigar bars,and establishments deemed strickly for smoking.

      I do not need second hand smoke and neither does anyone else.
    • Sorry about your luck
      Mayor Ballard , you have just won my vote for re-election!
      As for you, Bryan Cayen; Many of us served and were decorated.
      I did not fight to have rights taken away, I fought to KEEP the rights we have.
      If you CHOOSE NOT to smoke, fine, go elsewhere!
      Most of us vets want to have a drink and maybe a cigarette.

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