IBJNews

Advocates want no weakening of Indiana smoking ban

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Anti-smoking advocates aren't happy about an 18-month exemption for bars that's included in a bill for a statewide smoking ban, and said Thursday they are aiming to prevent the proposal from being watered down any more as it moves through the Indiana Legislature.

A state Senate committee is expected to act within a couple weeks on the bill that was approved the House last week. The proposal prohibits smoking in nearly all public places and businesses while still allowing smoking at casinos, private clubs, retail tobacco stores, and cigar and hookah bars.

Opposition from health advocates last year to a House-approved bill that included a bar exemption without an end date contributed to its defeat in a Senate committee after its chairman argued the provision was needed to win Senate passage.

Danielle Patterson, co-chairwoman of the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air, described the current proposal as a "tad bit better" than last year's total exemption for bars.

"If we could have bars included without the phase-in that would ideal, just as long the bill doesn't get weaker at this point," she said. "It will be tough for us to support it if it gets any weaker than it currently is."

The bill would permit bars that currently allow smoking to keep doing so until September 2013. House members also added a broader exemption for the state's 13 casinos that would allow smoking anywhere on their property, not just on gambling floors as originally proposed.

The Indiana House has approved statewide smoking limits six times in recent years, but the Senate has never voted on those proposals.

Senate public policy committee Chairman Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, said he believes the current exemptions are needed for the bill to get through the Legislature before this year's session ends by mid-March. He said adding other exemptions — such as for nursing home residents — could be considered by the committee.

"To think you're going to go nonsmoking throughout the entire state of Indiana without any exemptions, history has told us in the years that it's come out of the House that it has always had those exemptions," Alting said.

The House voted 62-35 in favor of the bill, although some legislators maintain the state shouldn't mandate smoking policies to business owners.

Republican Rep. Eric Turner of Cicero, who sponsored the ban in the House, said he believes growing public awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke and support for a statewide ban from Gov. Mitch Daniels gives the proposal its best chance so far of making it through the General Assembly.

"My goal is to minimize the number of exemptions but maximize the number locations that would be smoke free and still get a bill passed," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • This is complete BS
    If you are going to pass a smoking ban, which I am in favor of and am myself a smoker, then pass a smoking ban. I don't get why casino's are exempt. I can smoke in a casino since the are so heavily taxed and hurting. I am extremely dissapointed to our legislature for not inacting fair laws. I hope this bill gets killed.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

ADVERTISEMENT