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Metro Newsroom

Mayor, Leaders Fight to Continue Smoking Ban

Friday December 21, 2007

Mayor Jerry Abramson, County Attorney Irv Maze and a bipartisan group of Metro Council leaders announced they will work together to ensure Louisville’s comprehensive smoking ban continues despite a court ruling today.

A circuit court judge this morning struck down the six-month-old smoking ban based on legal technicalities and an exemption for racing facilities that has already been repealed by the Metro Council.

Maze will ask the court to reconsider the ruling and seek a stay to keep the ban in effect until the matter is resolved.

Abramson will call a special meeting of the Metro Council for next week so members can give first reading to a comprehensive and complete smoking ban with the goal of passing the ordinance at their Jan. 10 meeting.

“The ban has made Louisville a healthier, safer place for all people, especially our children,” Abramson said. “We have come too far as a progressive, forward-thinking city to let legal technicalities stand in our way.”

Abramson met with Maze and council leaders this afternoon to develop the strategy to respond to what he called an “unfortunate and untimely ruling” that threatens to expose people to second-hand smoke just as they are packing restaurants and stores for holiday celebrations.

Council President Rick Blackwell, Democratic Caucus leaders Jim King and David Tandy and Republican Caucus leaders Robin Engel and Kevin Kramer helped develop the unified approach.

In addition to the legal and legislative responses, Abramson issued a direct appeal to business owners and citizens to continue abiding by the smoking ban.

“This is a special time of year – a time when people are supposed to think a little more about other people than their own self interests,” Abramson said. “It’s a time to show goodwill toward all our citizens.”