The City-County Council on Monday approved an ordinance that will -- with some exceptions -- ban smoking in restaurants and indoor workplaces in Indianapolis.
The 18-9 vote capped two years of efforts by some on the council to restrict smoking in the city.
Starting March 1, the city will ban smoking in indoor workplaces and businesses that allow people under the age of 18.
Businesses that limit admission to people 18 or older, as well as bowling alleys and private clubs, can apply for exemptions.
The ordinance also bans smoking in what it calls "public places," including the following:
Health care facilities
Licensed child care and adult day care facilities
Lobbies, hallways, and enclosed areas in the common areas of multiple-unit residential facilities
Public transportation facilities
Restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways and other common-use areas
The ordinance is less restrictive than it was when initially proposed. Sponsors agreed to eliminate a provision that would have banned smoking within 10 feet of a building's entrance.
Monday's vote was met by cheers. Some opposing council members had made their positions clear, saying they worry the ban will be difficult to enforce, and will be a burden to the health department and policing agencies. But council members sponsoring the measure say the victory isn't theirs but the community's.
"There is so much community input, so many people involved, everyone worked very hard. I think that what's good to know about that is how much our community can come together when it's an important issue like this," Democratic council member Greg Bowes said.
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