Lawrence Council Passes Smoking Ban

Ban Goes Into Effect Oct. 1

The Lawrence Common Council passed a smoking ban Monday night with a 5-3 vote.

The extended smoking ban, which mirrors Indianapolis' ban with its inclusion of hotels and bars and exclusion of private clubs, will go into effect Oct. 1.

Councilman Tom Shevlot voted for the ban.

"I was listening to prospective businesses that were looking at moving into Lawrence and Marion County, and this was important to them," Shevlot said. Councilman Carl Barnett voted against it.

"The ban as it is, I didn't believe gave the private businessman a choice," Barnett said.

A spokesperson for Mayor Dean Jessup said the mayor supports the ban for many reasons, including the public health benefit for Lawrence residents, especially those who work in bars and hotels.

"And, we wanted to match the Indianapolis ban so there's a simple connection policy [and] people won't be confused," said Keith Johnson, Jessup's chief of staff.

Bartender Brian Richardson said he doesn't think the smoking ban will be much of an adjustment for bar patrons.

"I don't think it's really going to affect much of the business," Richardson said. "People are starting to get used to [smoking bans], especially since Marion County started it off."

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