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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor, Community Leaders Urge Smoking Restriction

Wednesday August 10, 2005

Doctors, business leaders, ministers and citizens today joined Mayor Jerry Abramson in urging the Metro Council to pass an ordinance restricting smoking in Louisville.
“This is a matter of doing the right thing for the health and the future of our hometown,” Abramson said at a news conference at a Waterfront Park playground.
“The most important reason to restrict smoking in public places is to protect the people behind me - our children. Thousands of children in our community are exposed to second-hand smoke every time they walk into a restaurant or a store or a public building in our community.” Abramson has said he supports the strongest smoking restriction that can be passed by the Council. He said one proposal being discussed - a measure allowing restaurants to pay a tax to post a sign indicating smoking is permitted - would not protect the public’s health.
“When you’re talking about choice - and a person’s rights - what about the children who have no choice in what restaurants or businesses they visit with their parents? Parents need the help of our elected leaders to create safe places we can take our children to enjoy a meal as a family, to go bowling or see a movie, to run errands like picking up dry cleaning or a new set of spark plugs.” Abramson was joined at the news conference by Terri Holt a bartender for 20 years. She e-mailed the mayor two years ago asking him to support a smoking ordinance.
“I have worked as a bartender almost half of my life, and my job almost cost me my life in 2003,” said Holt. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my doctors said second-hand smoke may have increased the risk of the disease by 40 percent.”

Also at today’s news conference speaking in support of a smoking restrictions were:
Dr. David Bizot, president of the Jefferson County Medical Society
Dr. Donald Miller, director, James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville
Rev. Clay Calloway, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition, who is working with Health Department Director
Dr. Adewale Troutman in addressing minority health disparities
Eddy Roberts, chair of Greater Louisville Inc.-the Metro Chamber of Commerce. GLI, the city’s largest business organization, has endorsed a smoking ban.
Mike Nasier, Louisville restaurateur who works with the Grisanti family, which owns a number of non-smoking restaurants
Marty Bell, Deputy Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools.

The Metro Council is expected to consider a smoking ordinance at a meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.