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Columbus City Council adopts citywide smoking ban

The Columbus City Council Monday voted to ban smoking in public places citywide. That would include restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and bingo halls.

City Council voted 5-1 with Mike Mentel absent to approve the ban which takes effect in 90 days. Business owners face a fine of $150 if they are caught allowing customers to smoke.

Supporters of the measure cheered its passage, saying it will save the lives of restaurant and bar workers forced to breath second hand smoke.

Bar and restaurant owners denounced the vote, saying it will drive some of them out of business.

The issue still could go to a vote of the people.

Opponents have 30 days to collect about 5,000 valid signatures of registered voters to put it on the November ballot.

The signatures would have to be in and verified, and a ballot issue submitted by 4pm on August 19th for a November vote. After that, it would be bumped to the May primary.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.