LOGANSPORT — Though the statewide smoking ban has been in effect for almost a month, the Logansport area is seeing little change.
The Indiana Smoke Free Air Law, which went into effect July 1, prohibits smoking inside all businesses, excluding private clubs, bars, casinos and retail tobacco shops. While some business in Logansport have seen a rise in business due to the law, neither the police department nor the Cass County prosecutor’s office have records of any citations.
An individual who smokes in an establishment not exempt from the law may be ticketed with a class B infraction. The offense is bumped up to a class A infraction if that individual has three prior violations of the smoking law.
At the moment, Logansport Assistant Police Chief Carl Swan said, his department is not actively looking for violators of the law, but will respond if a business or individual calls and complains.
“It’s pretty much reactive, not proactive right now,” Swan said.
Swan said he did not believe the department had received any calls thus far. But he said the officers had been educated to respond to calls or complaints in the appropriate manner.
According to the smoking statute, the state department of health, a local health department, a health and hospital corporation and the division of fire and building safety established within the Department of Homeland Security, may also enforce the law.
However, Cass County Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Achey said his office had received no citations. Workers in the Cass County clerk’s office also said they had yet to receive any tickets.
On the business end, Ron Bullard, owner of Bullshippers Cafe at 830 E. Main St., said he had been pleased with the effect on business at his restaurant.
“It hasn’t hurt us at all,” Bullard said. “In fact, it helped us.”
Bullard said even the customers who smoke had continued to come back to Bullshippers.
To prepare for the smoking ban, Bullard said the restaurant washed and painted the walls in the half of the restaurant that previously permitted smoking, so that the smoke smell and residue are now gone. These changes have garnered many positive comments and new clientele, Bullard said.
“We should have done this a long time ago,” he said.
At Amelio’s & Ike’s at 431 S. Fifth St., floor manager Derick Hall said he had seen no change in clientele.
“They’re going to come and get the food whether there’s smoking or not,” Hall said.
The entire building, including the back patio, went smoke free for the ban, Hall said.
The law also requires businesses to post signs at public entrances stating that smoking is prohibited within eight feet of the entrance. Businesses not covered by the law must post signs stating that smoking is allowed in the establishment.
Dick Farrer, Cass County tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator, said his task force would provide information and education for businesses having trouble adjusting to the change.
But Farrer said he had yet to be approached by any businesses.
The task force also provides literature for residents hoping to quit smoking.
And while Farrer acknowledges that the smoking ban will take some time to be in full effect, he said he feels just the implementation of the ban will greatly improve the quality of life in Cass County.
“People are going to live healthier lives,” he said.
• Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.