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. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.