Smoking ban proposal advances to City-County Council

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Supporters of a stronger Indianapolis public smoking ban cleared their first hurdle Tuesday night.

The City-County Council’s Rules and Public Policy Committee voted 6-2 in favor of the stronger ban. The proposal could be voted on by the full council at its April 16 meeting.

Councilors Angela Mansfield, John Barth and Pamela Hickman, sponsors of the proposal, think the version they’ve introduced will have a better chance of gaining Mayor Greg Ballard’s approval.  

Ballard snuffed out the council's last attempt at a stronger ban when he vetoed the proposed ordinance Feb. 11.

The new proposal is nearly identical to the last measure except that it no longer bans smoking at existing private clubs. New private clubs, those founded after April 1, would have to go smoke-free.

The 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 have been exempted. The bipartisan vote fell one short of being veto-proof.

Ballard, however, said he couldn’t support the proposal because it made private clubs and fraternal organizations, including military-veterans groups, choose between allowing smoking on their premises or allowing patrons younger than 18 to enter. The ordinance, he said, posed an unfair 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.

The new proposal does not include Speedway, Lawrence, Beech Grove or Southport. It also added an exemption for downtown's off-track betting parlor.


  • E-cigs, you're totally right-on w/your comment
    The fact e-cigarettes are still included in Proposal 136, and were included in the final version of Proposal 18(which of course vetoed by Mayor Ballard), just goes to show the anti-smoking activists DO NOT care about treating businesses fairly, but about imposing their elitist views over others. If these smoking bans were truly about fairness(or health), you would think the CCC members aligned with anti-smoking activists would just propose a ban that'd treat all businesses under it(rather than just a few businesses(i.e. private clubs, OTB/gaming businesses, etc, at the expense of neighborhood mom and pop bars). The fact the newest smoking bans include e-cigarettes, also further proves smoking bans have NEVER been about health or for any logical reason, and never will be. You would think these misguided CCC councilors would just leave Indy's existing ban alone, and let every adult-only business decide their smoking rules for themselves. Can't forget that dozens of adult businesses that could permit indoor smoking right now if they wanted to, have imposed voluntary bans with NO unnecessary government mandate necessary! Or that smoking bans in other cities and states, have caused decreased business, and employee tips in areas where they have been imposed, and have at times led to the closures of numerous private businesses(very often neighborhood mom and pop bars) throughout the country.

    Further proof too how extreme anti-smoking activists are, when one of the most major groups(Americans for Non-Smokers Rights) has a model smoking ban ordinance, which basically only exempts private residences from it, and eliminated an exemption for motel/hotel rooms as of 2011, and eliminated exemptions for private clubs and tobacco/cigar/hookah bars in the previous years before that:

  • four legs good two bad
    WHy is it that we are all equal but some of us OTB and Casinos are more equal than the rest of us?
    Why is it that the old lawn mower shop owner who chews on a cigar all day is now a criminal but if he had slot machines well that is different. I call BS,, use your freedom to choose where to patronize and where not to.
  • Important issues
    Why don't these dumbocrats work this hard on something that is important. Everyone is born with cancer cells, and second hand smoke is not causing as much cancer in people in the midwest as are the chemicals that go on the fields every spring and fall! This is another attempt by dumbocrats to control everyone. However, we all know that dumbocrats are much smarting than everyone else.
  • What?
    I read that this ban would also include Electronic cigarettes?????

    Is second hand water vapor fairly dangerous?

    Or do the freedom haters who back these bans on the freedom of private business owners hate the look of someone smoking too?

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............