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Metro Council passes stricter smoking ban ordinance and sets timetable for compliance

Friday October 13, 2006

Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
For More Information Contact:
Tony Hyatt:
574-4137/ 526-3622
For Immediate release:

Louisville -- In a vote of 19 to 5, Louisville Metro Council has eliminated most exemptions in the City’s smoking ban ordinance and set timetables for compliance in restaurants and bars.
 
“This has been a thorough process and we have done a good job of protecting public health while protecting businesses,” said Majority Leader Jim King (D) 10. “We have listened to the concerns of business owners and health groups in our review of the current law. I think what we have passed is very fair and moves Louisville toward our goal of improved health and a higher quality of life for smokers and non smokers.”
 
Under the new law, smoking will be banned in all restaurants and bars on July 1, 2007.  
 
The Council has provided an exemption for Churchill Downs. 
 
The historic race track on Central Avenue has over 600,000 square feet and on Derby and Oaks weekend can have 250,000 patrons visit from all over the world.  Implementation and enforcement of the ban at Churchill would be difficult at best. 

“It is very limited where you can smoke at Churchill Downs,” says Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3. “They have separate ventilation and also give employees an option to work in smoking areas.”
 
Woolridge, who chairs the Health and Human Services committee, said she is pleased with the new law and believes it will take care of concerns that have been expressed over the last year.
 
The revision to the ban was introduced in August by Councilman Ken Fleming (R). The Health and Human Services Committee began its review of the proposal in early September.
 
“I promised that we would handle this ordinance in a timely fashion,” she said. “The Committee did a good job of listening to the updates and I am pleased with what has been passed.”
 
Councilman George Melton (D) 15 first introduced a proposed smoking ban for Metro Louisville in 2003. The current law was passed on August 11 of 2005 and went into effect on November 15 of that same year.
 
Several other cities in Kentucky, including Lexington and Georgetown have passed smoking bans.
 
“This is a cultural change and while it has been an emotional issue for some, I believe we have been measured in our approach with the outcome being very reasonable.” said King.
 
The ordinance will soon be on its way to Mayor Jerry Abramson.

Sponsor(s):
Mary C. Woolridge (D) 3
Ken Fleming (R) 7
Jim King (D) 10
George Melton (D) 15