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Hawkins files smoking ban ordinance

Friday September 12, 2003

Media Release
For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
502.574.4137

Patrick H. Neely
502.574.1351

Louisville Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins, R-25, filed Smoke-Free Louisville Coalition’s smoking ban ordinance today.

“I believe this issue should be voted on soon – before special interests begin spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to sway public opinion,” Hawkins said. “The way people feel right now is a true reflection of community sentiment. Waiting until the political campaign begins advertising, push polling and telemarketers will taint public opinion and give us a false reading of what the community wants. In addition, we should not be spending government money to lobby ourselves. That is exactly what the Health Department is doing by committing $88,000 to this political campaign.”

The ordinance, which would take effect July 1, follows the requirements of draft ordinance prepared for the Health Department and Smoke-Free Louisville. The ban would include all restaurants, bars, businesses and nonprofit organizations; prohibit smoking within 25 feet of any entrance to a bar or restaurant; and 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.

The ordinance will receive its first reading at the Council meeting Thursday and is expected to be assigned to Public Health & Safety Committee.

“The goal of the Smoke-Free Louisville political campaign is to persuade the government to ban smoking, but. I believe that money could be better spent,” Hawkins said. “Every dollar spent in this campaign is one dollar less for smoking prevention and cessation efforts. By taking a vote this fall, we can ensure that those dollars are spent to stop illegal activities such as teen smoking. We could help reduce the number of pregnant women who smoke – a problem that is more prevalent in Kentucky than in other states.”

Sponsor(s)

Doug Hawkins (R)  25