COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - The Columbus City Council approved a smoking ban Tuesday night stricter than the state's — banning smoking in bars, taverns and private clubs with no exceptions.
There was plenty of support for the smoking ban.
But for one Columbus sports bar owner against the proposal, the vote means he'll have to make some changes.
At Scores Sports Bar & Grill in Columbus, patrons can eat, drink and take in a game of pool; they can also smoke inside. The establishment is one of 12 in the city of Columbus that was exempted from a statewide smoking ban. But Tuesday night the Columbus City Council changed that.
Council members voted 4-2 in favor of banning smoking in all Columbus establishments. That means the five private clubs and seven bars in the city will soon become smoke free.
Mark Wilcox owns one of the bars affected.
"I disagree with it. I feel that it was stated in there a few times that it's people's choices; it's taking away their freedom of choice to decide what they want to do," he said.
"In Columbus, we have bars that are non-smoking, so people do have that choice. If they want to go out to a bar and not be around smoke, there's bars here that accommodate that," said Mark Bowlby of Columbus.
Bowlby is a smoker and works at Scores Sports Bar & Grill.
"You're not going to be able to enjoy your bar experience as a smoker like you get to now," he said, "People are not going to either not come to the bar anymore or they are going to come and drink maybe one beer and then leave."
Wilcox left the council meeting not surprised by the vote, but hoping the outcome would be different. He's now thinking about how to move forward.
"I think initially, it's going to have a big impact on us; we're going to have to find a good action plan from here on what to do and what to do to survive," he said.
The ordinance goes into effect immediately, but the 12 establishments exempt under the state smoking ban now have until June 1, 2013 to comply with the city ban.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation of Bartholomew County will be helping those establishments transition to become smoke free.
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