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Smoking Ban Begins July 1
Updated May 5, 2013 1:07 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(BEDFORD) - The owner of Bedford's Breakfast Barn, one of a few restaurants in the county that will be affected by a statewide smoking ban, is upset about the new law which goes into effect July 1.

Tammie Coulter says the restaurant has a no-smoking section and the ban is unfair to her customers who smoke, which represents about 75 percent of her clientele.

As soon as a statewide smoking ban in eateries takes effect July 1, patrons will have to stand at least eight feet outside the diner.

The far-reaching ban, the first of its kind statewide, not only impacts restaurants but also the workplace, stores and shops and even imposes a "no smoking" zone within an eight-foot radius of the entryways.

For some area businesses, that means smokers who light up will teeter on the edge of the sidewalk, step into the street, or walk down the block - where chances are they will be too close to another businesses' doorway.

Kim Stigall, whose father David, opened the Golden Gables 40 years ago, says only time will tell if it will hurt business.

Stigall says business may pick up now that nonsmokers won't have to worry about the smoke.

Some locations, such as bars, social clubs, hookah bars, and race tracks will be allowed to continue smoking inside, though when cities such as Bloomington have more restrictive local standards, those will supplement and supersede state law.

Some bars and clubs, concerned over rising insurance rates, will voluntarily bar smoking or put the question of whether to go smoke-free to a vote of their members.

Employers must post signs detailing the smoking ban - or, in those locations exempt from the ban, must inform potential patrons smoking's allowed inside. Ashtrays must also be removed.

Those places which ban smoking must also ask those customers who light up to leave, or else face fines of up to $1,000 per incident.

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission serves as the primary enforcement authority. However, state and local health departments, hospitals, fire departments and police will also oversee the ban's enforcement.

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