Mishawaka says no to an inclusive smoking ban - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mishawaka says no to an inclusive smoking ban

Mishawaka says no to an inclusive smoking ban

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When it comes to an all-inclusive smoking ban in St. Joe County Mishawka says, sorry South Bend, but it looks like you're on your own.

Some South Bend Council members want all businesses, even bars, to eliminate smoking.  They're trying to get Mishawaka on board to level the playing field.

But for now Mishawaka is saying no.  South Bend Common Council Member Gavin Ferlic gave a presentation to the Mishawaka Public Health and Safety Committee Tuesday.  The Chair of their Public Health and Safety Committee tells me they aren't considering an inclusive smoking ban.

That's good news to some but bad news to others.

Rocco Zappia said, "I think it should be left up to the owner anywhere in this Country it should be left up to the owner, they own the businesses, they pay taxes, they know what's right for their business."

Zappia owns Roc's in Downtown Mishawaka.  He was forced to go smoke free a couple years ago because he was an all ages restaurant and bar.  He says 21 and over bars that still allow smoking shouldn't be forced to stop.  "It's gotta be left up to the business owners or the government will be closing, helping them, assist them in closing their business."

Several other Mishawaka Business owners agree and told the Mishawaka Public Health and Safety Committee Tuesday night.

Larry Wolfe the Owner of Blue Lantern said, "give the people of Mishawaka common sense that we know what we're doing and don't try to force anything on us."

But others say the health of the employees at local bars is too important.  Sandi Pontius said, "by continuing to allow toxins in their workplace essentially we treat their health as less valuable than the rest of our health."

That was the main point behind Ferlic's Presentation to the Mishawaka Committee.  He told them, "I think public health takes a precedence, and that's just in my own view, public health takes a precedence over a slight decrease in revenue for those businesses."

But ultimately, after the meeting, the Chair of Mishawaka's Public Health and Safety Committee, Michael Compton says he doesn't see Mishawaka passing an inclusive smoking ban anytime soon.  "The Mishawaka City Council does not have an ordinance or one planned and as we've heard the Mayor is not in favor of an ordinance so at this point I don't know that anything is going to come forward."

South Bend's Common Council is scheduled to vote on their proposed smoking ban July 14th.
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