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Abramson Signs Smoking Ordinance

Tuesday November 15, 2005

Louisville’s Smoking Restrictions Take Effect

Mayor Jerry Abramson today signed into law an ordinance restricting smoking in more than 20,000 Louisville businesses, including more than 2,500 restaurants. The law, passed by the Metro Council last week, will take effect Nov. 15. “Louisville will be a healthier hometown on November 15,” Abramson said.

The mayor has asked the Louisville Metro Health Department to develop plans for implementation and enforcement within the next several weeks. “We will be communicating with Louisville businesses and citizens to help them prepare for the change,” Abramson said. The Health Department will help provide information on enforcement guidelines, signage requirements and tips on how businesses can communicate the change to their customers.

Abramson encouraged restaurants, bars and other businesses that are exempted by the law to “do the right thing for the health of our community” and voluntarily ban smoking. More than 1,200 restaurants and thousands of other workplaces are currently smoke free.

Abramson also urged smokers to use Nov. 15 as a target date to stop smoking. “Sometimes you just need to set a date, and work toward it as a goal to quit… and November 15 will be a perfect day for that,” Abramson said.
 
The Health Department also will be providing smoking-cessation programs both for individuals, and for businesses wishing to assist employees’ efforts to stop smoking. For information, call 574-STOP or MetroCall at 311.
 
Key facts About Louisville’s Smoking Ordinance

Which buildings are covered?
Smoking will be prohibited in most of the 20,000 workplaces and thousands of public buildings in Louisville including:
· More than 2,500 restaurants and eating establishments
· Retail stores
· Shopping malls
· Factories
· Offices

Which buildings are not covered?
· Houses
· Bars (about 250)
· Bar/restaurants where alcohol accounts for more than 25 percent of sales (estimated 300) · Private clubs and rental halls
· Retail tobacco stores and tobacco warehouses
· Horse racing tracks
· Enclosed rooms that have completely separate ventilation systems
· Hotel rooms (but not common areas such as lobbies)
· Indoor smoking rooms of government buildings (required by state law)

How many restaurants and eating establishments will be smoke free?
People will have twice as many choices for smoke-free dining once the ordinance takes effect. The ordinance will prohibit smoking in an estimated 2,500 of the 3,100 eating and/or drinking establishments in Louisville.
Currently, about 1,200 restaurants have chosen to prohibit smoking.

When will the restrictions take effect? November 15, 2005

How will the ordinance be enforced?
The Louisville Metro Health Department is responsible for enforcing the ordinance. The Health Department will respond to complaints from citizens.

What are the penalties for violating the ordinance?
Building owners, lessees and business managers face the following fines for allowing smoking in prohibited buildings:
· First offense - $50 to 100 fine
· Second offense - $150 to 250 fine
· Third and subsequent offenses - $350 to 500 fine

Smokers who refuse to stop can be asked to leave the premises and charged with criminal trespass if they refuse.
 
View complete ordinance here.