Monday July 11, 2005
For Immediate Release
For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
Patrick H. Neely
Councilman George Melton today released an amendment strengthening the proposed smoking ban in Louisville by prohibiting smoking in all workplaces and most public buildings. Councilman Melton said he would offer the amendment when the full council considers the smoking ban ordinance during its regular meeting on Thursday.
A council committee last Wednesday approved a ban that would prohibit smoking in day cares and restaurants. Melton's amendment would extend that ban to all workplaces, although it would continue to allow smoking in 'freestanding bars' - businesses that serve alcoholic beverages but are only open to patrons 21 years and older.
In addition, under Melton's amendment, restaurants would be defined as establishments that receive at least 50% of gross receipts from food sales, instead of the 75% approved in committee.
Melton, D-15, said the changes would strengthen the ordinance, and ease enforcement of the ban in restaurants and bars by basing it on the same criteria for which they receive an ABC license. Also, the amendment places enforcement responsibility with the Metro Health Department.
"We have studied the impacts of a smoking ban for nearly two years, and one fact is clear: every day that we delay in passing a comprehensive smoking ban is one more day we endanger the health of our citizens," Melton said. "We need to act immediately to protect the well being of Louisville residents."
Other exemptions to the ban would include:
- A dwelling, except in common areas;
- A room or hall used by a person or group for a private social function;
- A retail tobacco store;
- A theater where smoking is part of the performance;
- Indoor smoking areas provided in governmental workplaces;
- Facilities operated by private organizations;
- A tobacco warehouse;
- Any facility licensed and regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
George Melton (D) 15