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Smoking ban defeated in Louisville

Friday May 28, 2004

Media Release
For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
502.574.4137

Patrick H. Neely
502.574.1351

In an overwhelming victory for smoking ban opponents, the Louisville Metro Council defeated a Lexington-style smoking ordinance by a vote of 21-4, going across party lines Thursday night.

Councilman Doug Hawkins, who led the opposition, had introduced the ordinance last year specifically to have it voted down and demonstrate the unpopularity of such a measure in Kentucky’s largest city.

“It's a great day for individual liberty,” Hawkins said. “This shows when there is a fair and open debate, the facts simply don't support this kind of legislation. OSHA, which regulates workplace safety, does not regulate smoking in the workplace. The science just isn't there. We found that out in Louisville.”

Hawkins had also objected to the tens of thousands of dollars the Board of Health had given the Smoke-free campaign in Louisville to buy advertising and lobby government for a smoking ban.

“This is the end of the smoking ordinance." Hawkins said. “Our Board of Health has wasted tax money and neglected its real duties in pursuit of this political campaign. They need to get back to their proper work.”

Hawkins was complimentary of the few council colleagues who supported the ban, saying they had the courage of their convictions.

“But ultimately, if you cannot prove a health hazard, you should not restrict the freedoms of private businesses and individuals," Hawkins said.

The ordinance voted on was taken nearly word for word from the ordinance approved last year in Lexington, and sponsored by the Smoke-free campaign and Board of Health in Louisville.

For further comments- Councilman Doug Hawkins, 727-9197.

Sponsor(s)

Doug Hawkins (R)  25