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BLOOMINGTON - The debate on regulating smoking in the Twin Cities moves to the Bloomington City Council next week.

The council will have a work session at 6 p.m. Monday at Bloomington City Hall before the council's regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Community discussion on the issue heated up last week with a public forum at the Normal Theater.

The debate included representatives of tavern and restaurant owners, business owners and health professionals.

Bloomington's Downtown Bar Owners' Association has been meeting with tavern owners from other parts of Bloomington since discussion began.

Bar owner Scott Tuggle said previously he doesn't want anyone telling him how to run his business.

"I'm afraid of losing my business," said Tuggle, co-owner of Ride the Nine/Shooter's in Bloomington. "I've done this for 30 years. I know how to run a successful place."

But secondhand smoke's effect on people's health worries Dr. Chae Chu, a Twin Cities pulmonologist who spoke at the forum at the Normal Theater.

The Bloomington council already has met with the Normal City Council on a proposed smoking ban but the meeting Jan. 30 ended without a consensus between the two cities.

Several Bloomington aldermen, including Steven Purcell and Kevin Huette, said they wanted more information before making a decision.

Alderman Jim Finnegan said he would like to see the public "vote with their feet" and use their patronage to decide whether businesses should be smoke-free.


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