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Published: Friday, 6/20/2003

Panel members back smoking ban

When it comes to a proposed smoking ban for public buildings, the easiest thing would be to keep smoke out, Stu Kerr, northwest Ohio coordinator of Tobacco Free Ohio, said during a taping of The Editors television program.

“That way, you don't have to spend any money to try to get it out once it's in,” said Mr. Kerr, who is a member of a task force formed by Toledo City Council in February.

Council is considering a proposed ordinance that bans smoking inside public places, but that allows an establishment to set up a smoking room with a separate ventilation system.

“There have been some concessions on all sides, and I think we've learned a lot about the other people's perspectives,” Mr. Kerr said. “So I think this is a fair ordinance.”

Another task force member, Ken Pompora, owner of Jed's Barbeque & Brew, called the proposal “much more reasonable than many of the other bans across the United States that just ban it entirely.”

The ordinance would allow smoking in private clubs and at such by-invitation-only events as wedding receptions.

“I really believe that people need to understand that this is a wave that's sweeping the nation that you just cannot stop,” Mr. Pompora said. “What we've done is not try to shove it down anyone's throat. We've tried to make something that's fair, knowing that it's going to happen anyway.”

Mr. Pompora, Mr. Kerr, and Toledo City Council President Louis Escobar were questioned by Thomas Walton, vice president-editor of The Blade.

The Editors will be broadcast at 9 tonight on WGTE-TV, Channel 30, and at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WBGU-TV, Channel 27.

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