Board Proposes Smoking Permits

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The Lincoln-Lancaster Board of Health wants businesses that are exempt from Lincoln’s newly passed smoking ban to apply for a special permit.

Health Director Bruce Dart says the board needs to know what businesses allow smoking in order to enforce the law.

“It’s kind of hard to enforce the ordinance unless we know who is doing what in the community. Once we do that it makes it fairly easy for us to go out and enforce,” said Dart.

So far the City Council has rejected any changes to the smoking ban, but Councilman Ken Svoboda says this proposal could be different.

“I think this is a very reasonable approach. This does not change the intent of what the council passed a couple of months ago,” Svoboda said.

Under the smoking ban ordinance any business that makes les than 60 percent of their profit from food is exempt from the ban. Businesses have to sign an affidavit to that effect. One bar owner thinks that should be enough.

“I think it is an attempt by the Health Department to have control over the permit process and they decide who can be smoking and who would have to be non-smoking,” said Brewsky’s owner, Brian Kitten.

The smoking permit would cost businesses between $200 and $300. The City Council must approve the proposal.