City-County Council Republican to propose tougher smoking ban

The Republican president of the City-County Council in Indianapolis says his party plans to introduce an expanded smoking ban that would take effect before the Super Bowl.

Council President Ryan Vaughn told Fox59-TV that the proposal being introduced early next month would add bars, bowling alleys and hotel rooms to Marion County's existing smoking ban. It would exempt cigar and hookah bars, retail tobacco stores and not-for-profit fraternal groups.

Vaughn says the proposal, if passed by Dec. 19, would have time to be properly advertised before taking effect before Super Bowl activities begin in Indianapolis in late January. He proposed a similar bill two years ago.

Vaughn said Republican Mayor Greg Ballard supports the proposal.

Democrats assumed control of the council Jan. 1 by a 16-13 margin. They've been planning their own expansion of the smoking ban.

Democrat council member Angela Mansfield told Fox59 she is planning to propose a ban that includes just one exemption.

"It will exempt only retail tobacco shops that sell 85 percent or more tobacco products," Mansfield told Fox59.

Vaughn's proposal will go before the council Dec. 5 and be eligible for final passage Dec. 19. If passed, the new ordinance could take effect Jan. 22, two weeks before the Super Bowl.

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