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Metro Newsroom

Public Health & Safety Committee votes against smoking ban

Wednesday May 19, 2004

Media Release
For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin

Patrick H. Neely

The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Health & Safety Committee voted unanimously against a smoking ban today.

The ban, which was introduced by Councilman Doug Hawkins, R-25, was originally filed in September. Hawkins said he introduced the ban because ban supporters couldn’t find a sponsor, and he wanted the vote to occur before paid advertising and push polling tainted public opinion.

The committee gave the proposed ban a negative recommendation, and the entire Council will vote on the issue at its next meeting on May 27.

“I am glad that the committee gave this ban a negative recommendation and that the full council will finally have an opportunity to vote on it,” Hawkins said. “Local government should not infringe on business owners and regulate a legal product. Smoke-free establishments should be the choice of the business owners. Smoke-Free Louisville has a quote from a restaurant owner saying it was the best business decision he ever made. That is the perfect example that the marketplace works.”

The smoking ban ordinance would: include all restaurants, bars, businesses and nonprofit organizations; prohibit smoking within 25 feet of any entrance to a bar or restaurant; issue fines of $50 for a person who smokes in prohibited areas as well as fines for owners/operators who fail to comply. The fines would be $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for all subsequent offenses; and take effect July 1, 2004.

There is still another smoking ban ordinance in the committee. The ordinance, which would ban smoking in child-care facilities and most restaurants, was tabled. The committee will continue its discussion on that ordinance at its next meeting on June 2.


Doug Hawkins (R)  25