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Council member proposes smoking ban in Goshen

GOSHEN, Ind. - 

Smokers in Goshen may soon have fewer places to light up. A city council member is proposing a smoking ban in the city.

According to the Elkhart Truth, Julia Gautsche brought up the idea Tuesday, saying it was time the city step up smoking laws. She says there is no safe level of second-hand smoke.

The proposed ban would apply to all bars. It would also include e-cigarettes and tobacco.

It has been 10 years since the city made an effort to restrict smoking. A previous ban was overturned when Indiana passed a statewide ban in 2012.

Since then Goshen has been using the state’s ban.

Several county health officials are in favor of the ban, saying it might help prevent some of the thousands of deaths happening every year from second-hand smoke.

Mark Potuck, tobacco treatment specialist at Goshen Hospital, says more restrictions could possibly make people want to quit smoking, and discourage kids from starting.

But some council members disagreed with the ban, saying it could interfere with businesses’ freedom and personal choice.

One pointed out that people make the choice to work in a place where smoking is allowed.

Council members did support the idea of extending the ban to local parks, however.

It has not been decided when the ban would start, if it passes.

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