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Indiana House approves statewide smoking-ban bill

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The Indiana House voted Thursday night to approve a statewide smoking ban bill, setting up a vote Friday in the state Senate on whether the restrictions will be on their way to becoming law.

The House voted 60-33 in favor of the bill, despite opposition from health advocates who argue the proposal is too weak because it includes an exemption for bars and taverns.

Senate supporters of the bill were uncertain whether they had the votes to win passage for Indiana's first statewide smoking restrictions.

Democratic Rep. Charlie Brown of Gary, a sponsor of the bill, asked House members to send "a strong message" to the Senate in support of the measure, despite his reluctance to go along with the exemption for bars.

The Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air and the American Cancer Society asked lawmakers to reject the bill.

"The Legislature is making it impossible for health advocates and the general public to support a measure that has so many exemptions in it," said Amanda Estridge, a cancer society lobbyist.

The House earlier in the session approved a ban on smoking in most public places and businesses that gave an 18-month exemption to bars, while the Senate passed a watered-down version last week that gave bars a complete exemption.

The compromise version negotiated this week also exempts casinos, private clubs, tobacco stores and some in-home businesses, while it eliminates a Senate-approved provision prohibiting cities and counties from adopting tougher local restrictions.

Republican Rep. Eric Turner of Cicero, another sponsor of the bill, disagreed with health advocates on whether the bill should move forward.

"I think it does accomplish something and it does go a long way to making our state smoke free," Turner told the House.

Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he would sign a smoking ban bill into law.

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  • smoking ban is bad`
    What till the government takes more of your
    rights away. If you don't like the smoke, find another job. REMEMBER, right to work state!! Hope your boss doesn't make everyones life misserable becouse he wants to smoke. His place, his rules.
  • Nice!
    An intelligent post that invokes propositional logic. Very nice!
  • Sad times for Indiana
    It's a sad day for Indiana when this crap gets signed into law. Remember when this used to be a free country? Remember when we had property rights? Freedom of association?...no more, not in this state, nor many other of the states in this supposedly "free" country.

    The saddest thing is that there seems to be no place to go to escape this kind of tyranny anymore. The whole world is ruled by totolitarian governments.

    Well, at least they exempted bars, but for how long?
  • no smoking
    I hope it's not to late cause I have serious sinus problems from working in a business that allows smoking. Can't tell everybody how happy it makes me that this law was passed.
    • What's left?
      It would appear this bill seems to cover one group: K-12 students @ school.

      Groups who have chosen to go elsewhere because Indiana doesn't have a comprehensive smoking ban can save a lot of time & money by making a preliminary call: "Do you have a smoking ban?"

      "Sort of".
    • superkalifragilisticexpialidocious
      Even though the sound of it is atrocious, the state will be your nanny now and keep you safe and warm. We the state are no different than the current president, got to be everything for everyone. A spoon for of sugar helps these nanny laws go down in the most delightfull way. Sho be good!
    • What?
      Absurd is a great way to describe your post.
      The comparison makes no sense.

      The smoking in bars only effects the adults who decide to patronise or work in them.

      Your comparison effects people in their homes and the choice to move????

      Geez, absurd comparison. Try again.
    • Less regulation! More poisons!
      Hey, I'm thinking of pouring various leather tanning chemicals onto my land and the river that flows through my property. If you don't like it, you have the freedom to move to another watershed. Sorry you and your kids drank that water and got cancer, but this is my property, and you can't take away my freedoms!
      • Perfect
        As a free market pro-freedom, pro-property rights person I think this is the absolute extent to which the Property Rights Reduction bill (also known as the Smoking Ban)should go. I can sort of justify situations in which parents make bad decisions for their kids and bring them into smoky filled rooms etc. However Any venue (such as bars) made up of all individual adults making individual decisions, whether to work there or drink there, should be exempt from any ban.

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