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House Approves Statewide Smoking Ban

February 25, 2010

Smoking would be banned in public places statewide if a bill passed by the Indiana House of Representatives today becomes law. A relatively small heath bill turned into a big topic Wednesday when the house decided to add in the statewide public smoking ban authored by Representative Charlie Brown of Gary. After much discussion for and against the ban, Legislators passed the bill by a slim margin, bringing Indiana one step closer to being the twenty seventh state to pass a comprehensive smoking ban. Opponents of the bill, like Representative Gerald Torr of Carmel, say they don’t believe the state should tell business people how to run their establishments, while others asked that exceptions be put in for private clubs and veteran’s organizations. But Representative Brown says people in the state are ready to put those arguments to rest.

“Indiana is progressive. Indiana is concerned about its fellow Hoosiers. Indiana is willing and ready to take that step and say second hand smoke is not good for Indiana.”

The ban has exemptions for casinos and racinos. Brown says he will consider other exemptions in conference committee. Several Indiana municipalities have already passed smoking bans, but this is the first time a statewide ban has been passed by either chamber of the legislature.

Brian Caoimhghin Flood

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