A proposal to ban smoking in Sioux City bars and restaurants will come before city leaders for the first time tonight. The ban is based on one instituted in Ames, and was proposed by a city councilwoman that works for the Cancer Society. Sioux City Mayor Craig Berenstein says he’s not ready to sign on to the ban just yet.He says he’s willing to listen to the discussion, and hasn’t formulated an opinion on whether he favors a ban or not. Berenstein says the ban could hurt local businesses.He says it could hurt the restaurant and entertainment trade, and the last thing they want to do is make a negative impact on the restaurant and bar trade. He says Sioux City’s case is a little different than Ames as they’re in competition with South Dakota and Nebraska, and any ban could send people to those other states for entertainment. Berenstein says there are good arguments on both sides of the issue.He says there are clearly public health concerns and clearly concerns about the impact on the business community and those people who’re smokers. The council will discuss the ban at its regular meeting tonight.
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