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Watered Down Smoking Ban Approved by House

February 3, 2010

Smoking was the subject of legislation Tuesday as the Indiana House approved a bill aimed at putting an end to smoking in public places. Representative Charlie Brown of Gary, author of the bill, had hoped to institute a comprehensive smoking ban. But after several amendments added exemptions, including one that would exempt bars and taverns, the bill didn’t go as far as to end smoking in public places as Brown would have liked.

“Although over three fourths of white collar workers are covered by smoke free places, only forty three percent of the countries six point six million food preparation and service occupation workers benefit from no smoking.”

Opponents to the bill, like Representative Matt Bell of Avilla, said despite the exemptions, the bill was not right for Indiana. Bell believes that Hoosier businesses should be allowed to decide for themselves whether it is in their best interest to go smoke free, trusting that those businesses will have the best wishes of their employees and patrons in mind. The bill now moves to the Senate.

-Brian Flood

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