South Bend Common Council votes in favor of smoking ban

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

With a 6 – 3 vote in favor, the South Bend Common Council passed the Clean Air Act during their meeting on Tuesday, March 29.

The vote followed more than three hours of presentation and debate on both sides of the issue, including dozens of local bar and tavern owners, as well as vape shop owners.

The Clean Air Act would ban smoking at all workplaces in the City of South Bend, including bars and private clubs.

The ordinance was written by Council member Gavin Ferlic, who has said that he believes the issue comes down to the health of employees and patrons alike.

Business owners who spoke at the meeting expressed concern that the ordinance would send smokers to bars and clubs in St. Joseph County or Mishawaka and therefore hurt their businesses. Some vape shop owners were upset their products were lumped in with tobacco products.

The ban will take effect in January 2017.