Smokers weigh in on possible smoking ban for Indianapolis

Tuesday, the City-County Council could not agree on a plan to butt out smoking statewide but supporters say a ban is still possible before the Super Bowl.


September 15 is Rob Hammonds' birthday.

"I feel 43," Hammonds joked. "You are only as old as you feel."

He celebrated with family, a few drinks, a game of pool and a cigarette. He has been smoking ever since he was 13. Hammonds knows there may not be many more nights when he can light up in public and he is okay with that.

"I respect the establishment enough to go outside if they do not allow smoking," Hammonds said. "It is as simple as that. It is not a big deal."

Tuesday, the City-County Council could not agree on a plan to butt out smoking statewide.

Thursday, Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said state lawmakers could step in and do what local decision-makers could not, pass a smoking ban.

"I think we should tell the rest of the country that we care about health, that we care about Hoosiers, that we care about people in the workplace," said State Senator Ron Alting.

Supporters said not having a ban in place by Feb. 5 could have a negative impact on the entire state. Supporters are confident a ban will be in place before the Super Bowl, though.

"Without a doubt," said State Representative Charlie Brown, "with the statements made by Speaker Bosma, I think that there are already plans afoot. It is something we need to do."

But long-time smokers, like William Mayo, say any kind of ban is not fair to people who choose to light up.

"You are supposed to come out to a bar, you are supposed to have fun, you are supposed to do what you want to do. That is why you come out," said Mayo. "You come out to enjoy yourself. I have no qualms having a non-smoking section, but just to take it completely out is not fair to the other half of Americans who do smoke. They are pretty much taking away your rights."




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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