Under the new smoking ban law, Indiana will now protect 95 percent of people while at work and also allow citizens to eat at any restaurant in the state without having to encounter cigarette or cigar smoke. That’s a huge positive step—one some media and smoking ban proponents failed to acknowledge.
Many Hoosier towns are not part of a metro area and did not have a non-smoking ordinance in place. It’s this new state law that will protect residents in those locations. Also now covered are companies that wanted to make their workplaces smoke-free but couldn’t due to existing labor agreements. Meanwhile, local governments still can enact stricter ordinances and the ones already passed remain in effect.
Smoking has such direct financial ramifications for all businesses that offer health care insurance and the employees who are covered, on top of the serious health implications for those who unavoidably encounter secondhand smoke. It was imperative that the Legislature act and it did.
The ban that passed was the strongest possible at this time and nothing short of a major accomplishment.
Kevin M. Brinegar, president and CEO
Indiana Chamber of Commerce