Archive for Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Smoking ban more than a year in the making

May 5, 2004


A timeline of events leading to approval of a smoking ban:

  • November 2002: Salina voters approve a partial ban on smoking in bars and restaurants there; smoking is still allowed after 9 p.m.
  • April 2003: Then-Mayor David Dunfield appoints the Smoking Task Force, comprising health advocates and bar and restaurant owners. He says the committee will offer a range of alternatives but that the task force's work won't necessarily lead to a ban.
  • January: Task force members say they're close to providing a list of options: no action, ban smoking only during certain hours, or pass a complete ban.
  • February: Clean Air Lawrence, a 70-member group that was working behind the scenes, goes public in its effort to persuade commissioners to approve a ban. Members say secondhand smoke is a health risk that must be eliminated from public places.
  • March 2: Bar and restaurant owners gather at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds to hear about the work of the Smoking Task Force and to begin organizing opposition to a ban. The owners said a ban would hurt their business.
  • March 31: The Smoking Task Force makes its presentation to the Lawrence City Commission. It made no enforcement recommendations but offered testimony about the dangers of secondhand smoke and the possibility of hurting bar and restaurant business. A majority of commissioners say they are undecided on the issue.
  • April 20: Commissioners, by a 3-2 vote, refuse to approve a ban, instead saying they'll back efforts to put the issue on the ballot for a public referendum.
  • April 21: Commissioner Boog Highberger says he wants the City Commission to reconsider its action and indicates he may be willing to vote for a ban after all.
  • Tuesday: The commission approves the ban by a 4-1 vote.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.