NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (FOX 55) - Current Lndiana laws only prohibit smoking in workplaces and restaurants, leaving it up to cities and towns to take things further.
The town of North Manchester is looking to do just that. The town council is passing the "North Manchester Smoke-Free Air Law of 2018." The comprehensive ordinance aims to improve the health of the citizens.
"We feel, I believe, at least I do, that it promotes the general welfare. There's no doubt on the research about the harmful effects of tobacco, the harmful effects of smoking, and the harmful effects of second-hand smoking," said James "Jim" Smith, the 6th District town councilman in North Manchester.
The 10 page document includes no smoking in private clubs, bars, public buildings and 15 feet outside of public buildings. School bus stops and town festivals are included as well, among other locations.
The town ordinance doesn't just address the use of normal tobacco products inside businesses, they're also talking about e-cigarettes as well.
Dan Gray, the director of the Wabash County Tobacco Free Coalition has been working with the town council on the ordinance since january. He believes it's important to include e-cigarettes in these ordinances.
Gray says, "people are deceived when it comes to the e-cigarette. The e-cigarette, the chemicals that are put into that, as they are heated up it gives a tin-like particle which is an aerosol. So, they're inhaling an aerosol into their lungs and they're exhaling the aerosol, so you have a second-hand aerosol that gets in the environment which affects the health of those who breathe it in."
Most people living in North Manchester agree the ordinance is a good thing, including Lisa Lengel who lost a friend a few years ago due to smoking complications.
"It's such a health issue and if we could just get people to see that and understand the complications that you could have from smoking. I think it is a really good idea," Lengel said.
Council have heard some negative feedback as well about them infringing upon people's rights, but Gray says it's not about that.
Gray said "your right does not override the right of someone to have clean air to breath. The whole thing is about health. We're just promoting and encouraging better health for the citizens of North Manchester."
The ordinance still needs two more readings at town council meetings until it becomes law, but the ordinance looks likely to pass.
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