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Indy Smoking Ban Proposal Shot Down

Last updated on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indianapolis smoking ban proposal that would prevent people from lighting up in local hotel rooms, bowling alleys and most bars has been defeated by the city county council’s rules & public policy committee.

The group voted 6-2 Tuesday to reject Council President Ryan Vaughn's plan after listening to more than an hour of testimony from residents on both sides of the issue.

Although the full council could revive a smoking ban at its Monday meeting, the rejection is a setback for advocates of the latest proposal.

Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield says the amendment to allow minors in VFW's and private clubs outside smoking areas is what killed it. The proposal previously garnered support of Mayor Greg Ballard and Smoke Free Indy.

During the hearing, Dr. Robert Saywell, an IU professor of family medicine, presented councilors with a study by the Bowen Research Center, indicating secondhand smoke costs Marion County residents at least $195 million per year in medical costs.

Mansfeld expects to revisit the issue next year after Democrats regain control of the full council.

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