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akron to be smoke-free….sort of

Yesterday, the Summit County Council (where Akron, OH is located) voted 6-5 to approve an ordinance to restrict indoor smoking in their county, including restaurants, bars, and workplaces (story here). I welcome this ordinance, though it is rather bizarre that a county council is the one putting it in place. Whatever happened to a vote of the people?

Unfortunately, people are already looking for loopholes in the ordinance, including Akron’s Law Director who says he believes his city’s less-restrictive Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, on the books since 1990, prevails in the city, which does allow for smoking in bars and restaurants (more info here, via Rubberbuzz). So it sounds like I’ll keep breathing in the smoke while this is battled out in the courts. Maybe I should just move to a more progressive city like Columbus or one of the 21 other cities in Ohio which have smoking bans.

There is hope though. An effort is going on currently to have a statewide ban placed on the ballot next year. Here’s to hoping I’ll be seeing that on my ballot next year.


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