7:18 PM EST, January 31, 2012
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has said he will support a tougher smoking ban if it provides an exemption for private clubs. The City-County Council, meanwhile, approved a measure 19-9, that instead offers those businesses an option.
The ban would include bars, bowling alleys and hotel rooms. Private clubs could continue to allow patrons to smoke and keep patrons 18 and under out or go smoke-free.
"Essentially, we're finishing the job we started in 2005," said John Barth, City-County Council at-large member.
"I would love to not have any smoke in bars," said Alexandra Cowells, an Indianapolis resident.
"My grandfather actually died from lung cancer and emphysema so I'm a person who says no to smoking," said John-Payton Rowley.
Mayor Ballard can veto the measure. He will have to make a decision within 10 days of receiving the proposed ban on his desk.
If there is a veto, the City-County Council can put the proposal back on the agenda, re-vote and possibly override the mayor's decision.
"There are probably some establishments that smoking is probably part of their base," said Jason McGivern, a small business owner.
The measure could not go into effect before the Super Bowl unless the mayor pushes for emergency action on this particular ordinance. It's a move that is not expected to happen.
In the meantime, plenty of businesses like Old Pro's Table already have already taken the plunge and have gone smoke-free.
"Since we've been non-smoking we have been busier on the weekends," said Adam Wagner, general manager of Old Pro's Table. "It's also good too for your workers and for your employees. It provides a better work environment."
State representatives in the House passed a similar measure Tuesday afternoon. It will now go to the opposite chamber for consideration.
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