A new smoking ban is coming to Owensboro, Ky., as the city commission voted unanimously to enact legislation that will ban smoking in city parks and outdoor dining areas, but preserves an exemption for bars currently in business to allow their patrons to smoke. New bars, however, will have to be smoke-free.
Ordinance 23-2014 has been in the works since July of this year and appeared destined for a vote last month before objections were raised. The amendment to allow existing bars the option of letting their patrons smoke was seen as a compromise that minimized the affect the change would have on businesses while still making the city a healthier place.
An amendment to exclude e-cigarettes and vaping from the ordinance means that those products are still allowed .
The ordinance will go into effect on October 15, with fines for violations starting at $100 before escalating to $250 for each subsequent offense within one year.
Owensboro has just over 58,000 residents and is located about 100 miles southwest of Louisville. WFIE-TV was among the first to report news of the ordinance passing.