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City-county councilors look to expand smoking ban to include Indianapolis parks

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A group of city-county councilors say they want to expand the smoking ban in Indianapolis and Marion County. This time, the expansion would include all city and county parks.

Councilors plan to introduce the bipartisan backed proposal Monday night. The current ban in place prohibits smoking in places like bars, restaurants, hotels and workplaces.

The new proposal would expand the ban to include any public park owned or leased by the city or county.

“I think it’s a great idea to try and ban cigarettes as a whole wherever people are,” said resident Johnny Sims.

Councilor Jeff Miller, one of the proposal’s sponsors, says he supports the proposal as a means ensuring “everyone” can enjoy public property.

“I’m not one that wants to expand the smoking ban forever. I want people to have areas where they can smoke if that’s what they want to do. But in a public space that is owed by all of us, the public, you ought to be able to go out and enjoy it without worrying about smoke,” he said.

Violators of the ordinance would be subject to the same penalties that exist anywhere smoking currently isn’t allowed. If the bill passes, Miller says one of the focuses of the council will be to provide ample warning time and signage letting people know of the change.

“This is really just adding one more place to the smoking ban where smoking is not allowed,” Miller said.