In a five to two vote the Lincoln City Council approved the controversial ban that will make most places in the city smoke free.
However, any business that makes less than a 60% profit from food will be exempt from the ban. A victory for bar owners.
“I’m excited. I think it was a good compromise. I think the democratic process was followed,” said Brian Kitten co-owner of Brewsky’s Bar.
The state Health Department and the Smoke Free Lincoln organization were opposed to anything but a complete ban.
Councilman Ken Svoboda voted against the measure. He said it is too watered down and added that it may be unfair to restaurants.
“We’re probably going to see some lawsuits from certain individuals or groups of individuals because we have now set a precedent that we are favoring one industry over another,” he said.
Councilman Jon Camp says he agrees that second hand smoke is deadly. He also said that individuals should take some responsibility.
“No question in my mind that smoking is bad. But I think the answer needs to come from the individual and not the government,” said Camp.
Smoke Free Lincoln said they will appeal to the Mayor to veto the ordinance.