Last night, the Louisville Metro Council passed a more stringent indoor smoking ban.
Effective immediately upon the approval of Mayor Jerry Abramson, who is expected to sign the measure this morning, the ordinance will eliminate smoking in all public and work spaces in Kentucky's largest city, including restaurants and bars. This is a stricter version of the ban passed in 2006, which went into effect in July and was repealed in December. The sole exemption included in the new law applies to tobacco businesses that generate 75 percent or more of total gross revenues from the sale of tobacco.
The hotly debated exemption for separately ventilated smoking rooms within establishments was excluded in the new law. In addition, Kentucky Derby site Churchill Downs, which was previously exempt, will now go completely smoke-free.
Penalties for infractions will also rise. The minimum penalty, previously no less than $50, will increase to no more than $100, and the maximum penalty will swell from $500 to $1,000. Violators who refuse to extinguish their smokes after being asked to could face prosecution for criminal trespassing.
The Louisville Metro Health Department will be charged with enforcement of the ordinance.
Click here for more on the Louisville smoking ban.
Also, see an article on the Louisville smoking ban debate in the current issue of Cigar Insider.