South Bend to consider comprehensive smoking ban - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend to consider comprehensive smoking ban

South Bend is considering a comprehensive smoking ban ordinance that would prevent people from smoking in any indoor business, including bars and clubs.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon Councilman Gavin Ferlic said, "this ordinance will create clean air for workers and members of the general public."

With that the new "Clean Air Ordinance" was introduced.  Councilmember Gavin Ferlic is one of four South Bend Common Council members already supporting the legislation.  "First, it creates a healthy and safe work environment for all employees in the city of South Bend.  2nd I think it makes us a more attractive community," said Ferlic.

Smoke Free St. Joe and supporters were also on hand for the announcement.  Lindsay Grace with the American Lung Association of Indiana said it's about time, she said South Bend is the largest city left in the state that doesn't have an all-inclusive smoke free law.  "Tobacco and second hand smoke is a known killer against workers.  If you're working in an environment working 8-10 hour days in smoke that's just not healthy."

The South Bend Council tried passing something like this almost two years ago, but it never went through.  Grace and Ferlic both said public opinion has changed in that time.  "When you survey students or you survey young professionals overwhelmingly they want to have a clean air environment when they go out to bars or taverns," said Ferlic.

But on the streets of South Bend Wednesday afternoon opinions were mixed.  David Gibney said, "It's bad for people's health, that's all there is to it.  There's no beneficial factor about smoking."  While Brenna Conway said, "I just feel like that's nonsense, I feel like people are gonna smoke, they're gonna do what they want to do."

The proposal will be introduced at the Common Council meeting on April 28.

Ferlic said if all goes well it would pass in mid-May and go into effect 60 days after that, so mid-July

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