Mayor signs tougher public smoking ordinance

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard signed an ordinance Thursday that puts more limits on public smoking in the city.

The ordinance, which takes effect at 6 a.m. on June 1, expands existing citywide restrictions against indoor public smoking to include bowling alleys, hotel rooms and most bars. Tobacco shops, hookah bars, existing not-for-profit private clubs and downtown's off-track betting parlor are exempt from the ban.

The ordinance does not include Speedway, Lawrence, Beech Grove or Southport.

The City-County Council voted 20-9 Monday night to send the proposal to the mayor, who had vetoed a previous attempt at a tougher smoking ban in February.


  • Loss of Rights
    The government is just taking another step in controlling our lives. If a person or business chooses to smoke or allow smoking in their business it should be their RIGHT. If people do not wish to work, visit or go to the establishment that is THEIR right. Get a life and STOP letting government DECIDE everything.
  • Who's paying for this?
    I had earlier suggested that the Mayor and Council back up their claims that the ban will not hurt business by legally signing a commitment to cover any business losses caused by the ban. After all, if they were telling the truth they'd have nothing to lose, right?

    Did they take up the suggestion? Of course not: they want the small business owners and the taxpayers to get soaked paying for this. Remember the next time you vote that part of your taxes will be paying for those not coming from lost businesses and laid-off employees.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  • Bananza
    Just like the Indiana casinos next to Chicago, the Indy ban will be a windfall. That's why the Senator from Gary backed down on casino bans in HIS area.
  • Bowling Alley Help
    To keep bowling alleys going, Illinois had to pass a law exempting them from "slip and fall" resulting from bowlers being outside in snow and rain.
  • avoidable Indy
    You don't need my business! Sad day fir Indy and freedom.
  • Were you inconvenienced?
    You were inconvenienced by having to figure out which were smoking and which weren't so you take the freedom from bar owners so that you don't have to check!

    Geez! It sounds like you don't want to inconvenience yourself at the cost of everyone who might disagree with you!

    Now smokers have to go outside everywhere. There are no "smoking is allowed here it causes cancer" bars for smokers to choose to enjoy.

    No, they are inconvenienced no because they cannot smoke in any establishment now so that you don't have to check.

    My problem and major fear is what else is inconveniencing you. What freedoms will you steal from people next to mold everyone into your vision of right, sound, healthy, etc. add nauseum! NAUSEUM! NAUSEUM!
  • Facts
    Who wants to try and figure out which establishment is smoking and which is not. There will be no guessing now in Indy and soon the whole state I am certain. Now for some facts, 19.3% of the population smokes and 9.9% of those with a college degree smoke. 3.9% with an advanced degree smoke, get the idea here? Smoking costs $96 billion dollars extra each year in direct medical costs and another $97 billion dollars from productivity losses due to pre-mature deaths associated with smoking. I don't care if you stop smoking or not just don't include me in your filthy habit.
  • oranges to apples
    Healthcare insurance does cost more for smokers as does life insurance.

    I'm fine with that it is a CHOICE.

    I think it would make since to charge more for healthcare for obese people.
    However, I think that is something that the insurance companies should do.

    Not the government. I don't need the government to govern every aspect of my life.

    personally, if I didn't want to smell like an ashtray, I would go to one of the many non-smoking establishments within the city. That choice has been available for non-smokers. They/you just weren't happy with having to choose and giving the right to choose to those who have differing opinions, they/you have decided that because you don't like going to establishments that allow smoking, no one should be allowed to go to establishments that allow smoking.
    • 100% Red
      i'm republican but fully support banning smoking in areas bars that serve food. hate going out for dinner and few drinks and coming home smelling like an ashtray.

      once everything goes non smoking there's no turning back. good luck to whoever was trying to start a rally of some sort against this rule. ha the poster before me got it right. small cities are going to start following the lead now that indy has made the change.

      i also believe if you smoke and are overwight you should pay higher rates for healthcare. why should the obese lady who lights up a pack a day pay the same amount as someone who eats healthy and goes to the gym. another topic for another day.
    • It could end up being a money issue
      I'll wait and see about whether they all follow suit.

      I'm putting my money on them enjoying the increased revenue of the new business that will travel a little more to enjoy a township that still allows the choice to go to a smoking or non-smoking bar.

      On June 1st anyone who was against this ban, meet in Speedway and I'll buy you a beer.
    • Nicotine is a dangerous drug..
      Lawrence, Speedway, Southport and Beech Grove were all waiting to see what Indianapolis does with the ban - they will all follow their lead.

      • Next target
        A friend who lived in Fort Wayne said that the bars opened outdoor areas when the ban took effect and within the year they were scheduling and placing there bands and entertainment in that area.

        Which means that, most likely, the non-smokers will still have to follow the smoke if they want to go where the entertainment is.

        I personally smoke and used to patronise a bar that had really great pizza down on the Southside of Indy. They added a patio and made you go outside to smoke. I went back once after they did that and was not happy with the incovenience. I will go to Speedway, Lawrence, Southport, or Beech Grove.

        • Rude
          Has it ever occured to any of you smokers that it is just rude to light up next to someone eating or drininking at a bar or restaurant? Do you not care that others may not want to be a part of your nasty, life shortening habit? Smoke outside or at a private club. Better yet, start your own "Black Lung" society and smoke up.
        • Still don't get it.
          I still don't understand why we couldn't have both smoking and non-smoking establishments.

          People could choose.

          By the way, I went to a bar/restaurant in Orlando (of course they are way more progressive there) and they had a fire eating belly dancer. Wasn't exactly a flame thrower though.

          Non-smokers you won this one. I have fully supported your right to go to non-smoking facilities and I fully support your right to address your grievances with the governement and ask them to step into this part of the citizens lives and dictate it. That is the way our government works.

          However, if you are a smoker and are outraged, you too can fight this like the non-smokers have fought.

          Let's get together. One suggestion, an outdoor festival for a couple of days that has beer gardens and top chefs and during that time we can boycott businesses that now can't allow smoking.

          While I hate to do that to the bar owners who were chief among this fight, I feel it would send a good message that when you have a democracy even the minority can (20%) can fight back and cause a scar or two even if the ban isn't repealed. I think there are a few companies who would help with sponsorship of events like this where we ask all smokers to boycott reastaurants and bars in the area effected by this ban.

          Let's get together and do this.
        • ABOUT TIME !
          Get ready for this new ordinance to be the bain and source of doom and gloom and demise of bars and restaurants. Ft Wayne isn't often ahead of the Circle City but they were on this issue. The quality of life for residents to go "tilt one back" and enjoy dinner without smoke will seem strange before it becomes the norm. The restaurants and bars will build new outside dining (smoking) areas and all will be good for the smoker and diner/patron. Yes the weak bar fly dives will close is that really a bad thing?
        • June 1st
          I cannot wait until June 1st. Finally, our government did exactly what they are required to do. They are protecting the public. In the same way they enact those "freedom stripping" building codes and speed limits to protect the public, they are now protecting the at large public from a PROVEN and FACTUAL toxic chemical. It is the air people, you cannot escape it, section it off, purify it, or filter it. You can't have a special section in a public establishment for those that want to play with flame throwers and gasoline, I know, how dare the government limit the private business owner's choice to not allow a 4 table flame thrower section, so why do you think you should be allowed to have a special section that allows smoking. Wake up, you are in Indiana, less than 21% of the people here smoke. Kudos to our elected officials for protecting 80%+ of their constituents. As well as for increasing revenue at local bars, as myself and my wife and the other 80% of the population will now spend freely at all establishments.
        • OTB
          Downtown's off-track betting parlor is exempt from the ban? Seems odd... So our government doesn't care about the health and well-being of its employees as much as that of other bars and restaurants? Surely that decision couldn't have been .....[dramatic pause]..... financially motivated?!? Nah, politicians have never been known to put money ahead of people.
        • Sick of this statement in this argument
          I'm so sick of the dull headed ban supporters that keep throwing out how we aren't as progressive as California or Florida or New York.

          Move there then. I am very proud of Indiana and the freedoms they have kept for us as long as they have.

          Maybe you didn't see the article about the Superbowl village being a requirement for cities hosting Super Bowls...????

          We are a great state, better than California, better than Florida, and better than New York in a million ways.

          Well, now with the smoking ban group taking this freedom, let's call it 999,999 ways.

          Be proud of who we are in Indiana and understand that we love freedom, we love hard work and the benefit from the hard work - not like Cali and the great idea that the government knows best for it's citizens.

          These places you mentioned are progessively inching toward socialism and government control in every facet of citizens lives.

          That is not in my idea of positive progress.

          This is a great state and any one out there who is for starting a grass roots movement to end this ban, please make some posts so we can fight back and get this repealed.

          Let's start fighting back against the slow removal of our freedoms.

        • Bars aren't just for smokers
          Thank God...now us non smokers that are alergic to smoke (and I doubt that I'm the only one out there) can go to a bar, enjoy a drink and listen to some music instead of being forced to stay out of those places. Smokers CAN still go. It's just that now we ALL can go and enjoy the atmosphere.
        • Bars aren't just for smokers
          Thank God...now us non smokers that are alergic to smoke (and I doubt that I'm the only one out there) can go to a bar, enjoy a drink and listen to some music instead of being forced to stay out of those places. Smokers CAN still go. It's just that now we ALL can go and enjoy the atmosphere.
        • Flawed argument
          Joe, your argument is flawed on so many levels. First of all your premise that the "government is responsible for the public health...etc" is, of course, true, but just because they ARE does not mean that they SHOULD be. You then state that you end up with serious health conditions through no choice of your own. By your logic a bar owner has put a gun to your head and forced you to go to his bar. If this is happening the bar owner should be arrested. But of course this is not happening. It is actually your choice to go to the bar. This is really about you just being inconvenienced by smoke at a bar you wish to patronize. People of your ilk believe they have some sort of magical rights that guarantee them the ability to go to a smoke free bar. I looked through the Indiana constitution and I could find no such right. But that's ok, because the Mayor just created one out of the blue. How nice for you. Lastly, te best part of your post is the end when you state that a number of bars VOLUNTARILY went smoke free a number of years ago. You do realize you have just contradicted your entire argument about needing government control to prevent smoking in bars? No, the sad thing is you probably don't realize it.
        • Health, Safety and General Welfare
          The government has not overstepped their power. They are responsible for the public's health, safety and general welfare. A private business must still comply by fire codes, building codes including ADA access and health codes. I am sure everyone on this forum has benefited from these mandates that are government provided. Smoking isn't the same as food choice. If you eat chocolate, I don't have to be subject to your decisions. If you smoke, I can end up with serious health consequences through no choice of mine. There is a difference between a private home and a private business. The business is owned by someone, but must still be accesible to the general public. This is why private clubs are exempt. They can limit who eneters through membership. Those who think you are high and mighty need to settle down. A number of businesses downtown voluntarily went smoke free a while ago.......and they have all been packed. Go climb under your rock again.
        • Stuff That Butt
          These comments are laughable. Florida, New York, California and other states have had even stricter bans in effect for years. As usual, we're years behind the times. Get over it. The bars business will increase over time as people realize they can go out and have a civilized drink without inhaling a load of crap.

          Now, go the rest of the way and ban it in enclosed areas and patios where food is served as other cities have as well. Let's lead for once for heavens sake.
        • thanks for controlling
          I am so glad that the government will make decisions for me. Hmm sho be good!

          Let those filthy veterans continue to smoke in their private clubs that are private not like that bar that is owned by a private citizens who,, wait what is the difference?
        • Great idea!
          I like the sugar and chocolate idea, to take it a step further, I think that we should outlaw meat in general to lower the risk of heart attack, and lets get rid of stress too Ballard, lets make that against the law.
        • NO TIP FOR YOU!
          Ok so if the star wants to do a good story start listing the only places in town that allow smoking please, as I dont smoke, but I really hate a fascist. We all knew this was coming. When they started the smoking ban and EVERYONE stopped going to restaurants and bars that banned smokers they lost TONS of money, I hear a few have had to lay off workers. So they started to cry about the fact that their decision to exclude paying customers cost them money they thought they would just stick it to everyone so that people would come back... just a heads up, we wont be coming to ANY place now. Looks like the back porch bar and grill are going to be open ALL summer long, and I would encourage everyone who smokes or doesnt to take this summer to help Mr. Ballard and the other fine people of Indianapolis who helped make this ban possible understand the full extent of what their actions mean. So stay home and eat in the kitchen or on your patio. You dont have to tip a bartender or waitress there :D
        • smoking in bars
          i have been a none smoke and i smoke now so the mayor can just shove it you no were because if i want to smoke in a bar i well if they want to fine they can i wont pay it i think that the mayor is a two face because i no him
        • Sharon
          Should government be allowed to dictate to business owners? Has the government again overstepped its bounds?

          The elected persons making these laws are paid by tax-payers that do not want a government gestapo.

          Sugar and chocolate could be their next attack.

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          1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

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