Ordinance says ‘most’ city businesses going smoke free

Sara Phillips, a senior from Floyds Knobs, Ind., smokes a cigarette at Tidball’s on Wednesday night. “I understand banning smoking in restaurants, but I think that small businesses should have the choice to allow smoking or not. Especially in places like bars,” Phillips said.

Aaron Frasier

An ordinance banning smoking in most public places in Bowling Green comes into effect 90 days from last Monday, when city commissioners passed the ordinance with a 3-2 vote.

It begs the question: What’s “most?”

According to the ordinance, no person will be allowed to smoke in any building or enclosed area, including but not limited to all office buildings and work places, with a few exceptions.

Exceptions include retail tobacco stores, homes and designated smoking areas mandated by the government.

Smoking near building entrances will be prohibited. Also, “no smoking” signs will be required in buildings, and ashtrays will be removed.

Jeff Zeman, manager of Overtime Sports Bar and Grill, said he doesn’t expect his business to be affected by the new ordinance.

“People aren’t going to stay home just because they can’t smoke,” Zeman said. “They didn’t come here just to smoke. We will have to make adjustments, but people are still going to come.”

Though opinions on the smoking ordinance have varied, Zeman said Overtime’s business should be fine.

“It’s what the community wants and through their elected officials, the majority has spoken,” Zeman said.

California senior Onica Robert, who regularly works in secondhand smoke in her job at Buffalo Wild Wings, said she likes the new ban.

“I’m not a smoker, and I think it is a good idea,” Robert said.

Louisville freshman Casey Park, a smoker, said she feels people who are on the edge of quitting smoking might be led to quit with this ban. However, she says those who aren’t trying to quit are still going to smoke when and where they want.

“It’s frustrating,” Park said. “I feel I should have the right to smoke if I want to. However, I understand non-smokers not wanting to be subjected to secondhand smoke.”

Parks thinks it will take years to completely enforce this kind of law. She joked that she would have to start looking for cops before she “lights up.”