The South Bend Common Council voted down a smoking ban in bars on Monday night. The vote was held after the proposal was tabled in May.
Valerie Schey, one of the original co-sponsors, dropped support last week. “At [the] request of South Bend bar owners, I will not be supporting this bill,” the South Bend Tribune‘s Erin Blasko quoted Schey as saying. Schey cast the deciding vote.
At the end of the day, economic interests won out. The 5-4 vote against the ban is a blow to public health advocates, who point out that second hand smoke is more dangerous than firsthand smoke. The American Cancer Society explains on their website:
Secondhand smoke (SHS) is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). SHS is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco:
- Sidestream smoke – smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar
- Mainstream smoke – the smoke exhaled by a smoker
Even though we think of these as the same, they aren’t. Sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) and is more toxic than mainstream smoke. And, it has smaller particles than mainstream smoke. These smaller particles make their way into the lungs and the body’s cells more easily.
Votes against the ban were Henry Davis, Oliver Davis, Derek Dieter, Valerie Schey and David Varner. Votes in favor of the ban included Dr. Fred Ferlic, Gavin Ferlic, Tim Scott, and Karen White.
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