State Smoking Ban Means Little Change For Fort Wayne

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell
By Stephanie Parkinson

February 29, 2012 Updated Mar 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The State Senate passed the smoking ban bill Wednesday excluding bars from the proposed ban.

The bill already exempts casinos, cigar bars, tobacco shops and private clubs. Although lawmakers are working hard to pass this bill it could mean little change in Fort Wayne.

"As we understand it as it is today, it wouldn't effect what is already in place in Fort Wayne," said Frank Suarez, Director of Public Information, City of Fort Wayne.

The City has had a smoking ban in place for years. Their ban includes more places than the current state version. Right now, the legislation state lawmakers are looking at would exempt certain places, like bars and taverns.

"If you go to a bar and there is smoking there, and somebody doesn't smoke, that's on them, they want to go there, they want to breathe in the smoke, that's on them,” said Heather Kelley, Fort Wayne.

Some people think Fort Wayne's ban has been the perfect solution, others like the plan lawmakers in Indianapolis are working on better.

“Well they have got to give some exemptions, because there has to be some place to smoke,” said A.J. Stopperich, Fort Wayne.

“As a smoker, and I'm a smoker, and I wanna smoke when I'm in a bar but second hand smoke in critical, my uncle died from cancer, and cancer is serious,” said Gordache Fields, Fort Wayne.

“I think our policy has worked, I think it was tested through the court system, and it was successful,” said Suarez.

There is still more discussion going on in Indianapolis with this legislation but if the exceptions stay, it would mean the City of Fort Wayne's ban could stay in effect.

The deadline for lawmakers this session is March 9th.




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