New Albany mayor urged to sign smoking ban

Supporters of a New Albany ordinance to prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars and other enclosed public places tried Friday to keep pressure on Mayor Doug England to sign the measure, which was passed 5-4 by the City Council.

England has said he will announce Tuesday whether he will sign or veto the smoking ban.

Some who want him to sign it held a news conference on a corner in front of the City-County Building in downtown New Albany on Friday. Afterward, Jamey Aebersold, a jazz musician and smoking opponent, took a copy of a full-page newspaper ad bought by the American Heart Association and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights to the mayor’s office.

England wasn’t there, but his secretary accepted the ad, which urges the mayor to sign the ordinance.

During the news conference, Tim Filler, who works for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, a state agency funded with tobacco settlement money, said there would be “no better way” for England to “honor the workers of New Albany” during the Labor Day weekend than by signing the ordinance.

Gary Creamer, a New Albany resident, said the city is losing restaurant business because residents have so few smoke-free places to go for meals.

Creamer said he and a group of friends eat together once a week and spend $17,000 to $20,000 annually. He said he and his friends have gone to New Albany restaurants only twice during the past year because so few are smoke-free.

Representatives of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society also spoke, citing scientific evidence that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and other illnesses.

But an opponent of the ordinance said yesterday he remained unconvinced.

William Miller, manger at Shooters Saloon in New Albany, said he continues to oppose the ordinance.

Owners of some restaurants and taverns have said they fear the ordinance will hurt business.

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