FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Tuesday night, Fort Wayne’s city council voted 6-3 to approve an amendment in the city’s smoking ordinance.
The smoking ordinance was passed in 2007 and banned smoking inside of public buildings and within 20 feet of the entrance of public buildings. Now, with a new amendment that was put forth by Glynn Hines (D-At Large), vaping is now included.
Councilman Hines got the idea from Indiana Smoke Free. He told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee this was the next step to improve the smoking ordinance and the quality of life in Fort Wayne.
“I think the primary benefit is the same way with smoking: it gives you the ability to go out in public and not be affected by second-hand particles. In the case of vaping, there’s a lot of dangerous particles, nicotine included, that’s in that vaping,” Hines said.
The three councilmembers who voted against the amendment were Paul Ensley (R-1st), Tom Didier (R-3rd) and Council President Jason Arp (R-4th). Hines believes this is because some members favor business owners and bar owners.
“The others think it’s restrictive, but they thought the same way [years ago] when it was 8-1, when we voted on the smoking ordinance. Those of us who are non-smokers that are pro public health safety, we think it makes sense,” Hines said. “There have been no citations as citizens respect the law and have not broken the law within 20 feet of a door or smoked indoors where it’s prohibited.”
The fine for an individual starts off as low as $25. For a business, there are progressive fines that start at $2500.
The amendment now heads to Mayor Tom Henry’s desk and will go into effect once he signs the ordinance.