Kokomo, Howard County officials approve bar smoking ban

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Officials in a central Indiana county have approved a ban on smoking in all bars and private clubs.

The Howard County commissioners and Kokomo City Council voted separately Monday to approve a ban that includes e-cigarettes and is set to take effect countywide on April 1. The new ordinance will also prohibit smoking at outdoor events in city parks beginning July 1. The commissioners approved the proposal unanimously and the council passed it 5-4.

City Councilman Tom Miklik said Howard County is in the lower half of Indiana's health rankings and needs to embrace healthier actions, the Kokomo Tribune reported. Councilman Mike Wyant opposed the ban, saying he believes it will force bars out of business.

Several cities around the state have local ordinances tougher than the statewide smoking ban adopted in 2012 that exempts bars and casinos.

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