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Indiana House OKs smoking ban with bars exempted

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The Indiana House on Monday approved a statewide smoking ban that includes exemptions for casinos, bars, clubs and even nursing homes.

Now the real work begins for ban supporters, who have to balance their desire to remove those loopholes with the political reality of trying to move the bill through the Republican-led Senate, where similar proposals have died before.

The Republican-led House voted 68-31 Monday to approve the bill on the same day that nearly 300 anti-smoking advocates gathered at the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to support the bill. Advocates in the House balcony applauded as the vote was taken, and clapped when House members said they wanted to tighten up the bill.

No one spoke against the bill Monday, though opponents have previously raised objections of too much government intervention and concerns of lost business.

Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, said people who work in smoke-filled environments shouldn't have to choose between their job and their health.

"The time has come," she said. "It is 100 percent about workplace safety."

Bill sponsor Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, said he hopes some of the exemptions are removed as the bill moves through the legislative process.

The exemptions for casinos and horse racing tracks were approved earlier in January after the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency said banning smoking in gambling establishments could cost the cash-strapped state about $190 million a year.

The House later voted to exempt bars that only admit adults over age 21 after some lawmakers argued that it was unfair to exempt casinos and tracks without exempting bars. They said bars located near casinos could lose business if smokers decided to hang out at casinos instead of at bars.

Lawmakers also made exceptions for nursing homes and fraternal clubs after some said veterans and those living in nursing homes should have the right to smoke in certain areas.

While some health advocates say they would not support a bill with so many exemptions, Brown says compromise is part of the legislative process. And the exemptions — especially those for bars and casinos — will give the bill a better chance of passing the Senate, said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

Long said last week that the smoking ban proposal will get a Senate committee hearing this year, which might be the bill's best chance of passing in years. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce supports a ban, and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels says he'd sign a statewide smoking ban into law if legislators approve it.

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  • ban?
    Excuse me. You cann't ban smoking in bars. That is a government commodity and taxes. You do not own bars. By the way, ius this why you can't replace destroyed government documnets. I'm a licensed bartender and bar owner. I'll shut down your alcohol sales in the whole state. I'll fax your attempt to overthrow the government to D.C..
  • what;s next?
    OK. Let's let the government dictate what we can and cannot do. Remember, it's better for all of our health. After this is passed, maybe telling us what we can eat, (based on our BMI index), is the next step to government control. Wow! All of the people then would be "Fat Free" and would not be as offensive to others when they stuff themselves with food! Oh yeah, don't forget an alcohol ban! All of a sudden, you won't have any "Rights"! Freedom of choice also includes the choice of not going to a smoking facility if it bothers you. Your automobile combined with all the others give off more damaging fumes than all the smokers combined. I personally do not smoke, but I don't like special interest groups telling me what I can and can't do, let alone the government! Come on America! Wake Up! Let's don't let Socialism take over our Country!
    • Smoking bans don't affect Business
      I remember when they first enacted the ban on smoking at IUPUI's campus. Everyone was making the same lame arguments about losing business, when in fact IUPUI's enrollement increased. Secondly, I just moved from Milwaukee where smoking is banned, and I couldn't find a bar that was empty because of the smoking ban. In fact, until I came back to Indiana, I was actually enjoying the clean air of the bars.
    • belated reply to 2 posts, including on Colorado
      I will note that for Colorado, there is NO DOUBT to me at all that their state smoking ban has definitely affected businesses statewide since 2006, regardless of the fact that the opinion that every last business should be no smoking is a selfish one, and spits upon private property rights. If there are a few adult-only bars and businesses that'd rather allow smoking in some sort of fashion, why shouldn't they be allowed that choice to decide their own smoking rules? As for that state, this person's reply conveniently overlooks letters and evidence that Colorado's state smoking ban(not to forget a later expansion of that state's ban, to include casinos in 2008), has hurt businesses statewide:

      http://www.davehitt.com/facts/badforbiz/2009/08/the-colorado-clean-indoor-air-act-smoking-ban-and-its-effect-on-billys-inn/

      How can you ignore letters about Colorado's smoking ban like this, when the bar owner cited in this letter(Billy's Inn, Denver, CO) lost 41% of his business, right after the ban went into effect in 2006? Within a year, the loss in business was enough that he had no choice, but to shut down. Also, his letter cites this: "63 bars, 478 employees(I'll asuume this is bar employees in the closed bars, he's referring to), 1 casino, 62 employees, 2 nightclubs, 46 employees, 1 bowling alley, 3 pool halls, and 16 bingo halls all closed. Number of employees un-known."

      Not to forget, the decision of the Colorado Legislature to expand that state's ban to casinos, affected them as well. Read this report from the Colorado Gaming Association, that shows among some things, that state gaming taxes paid by Colorado casinos went down by just over $15.5 million, and $15.6 million in indirect business taxes related to pre-casino smoking ban revenue went uncollected, due to economic multiplier effects from lower business:

      http://coloradogaming.com/web-documents/Economic%20Impact%20final.pdf

      As for statistics don't Lie's February post, it doesn't matter that something like 30 states have instituted bans. My big annoyance about them is that consistently, you can count on anti-smoking groups to LIE, LIE, and LIE about the effects of bans on the few establishments permitting smoking. There is no doubt to me that if the free market could've worked in those states(like it already has worked in Indy to drive a decent percentage of bars to ban smoking, and over 2/3rds of businesses in Northern Kentucky), that similar results would play out in all those 30 states(a majority prohibiting smoking, but with a limited number opting to be smoking establishments). I remember a study that was released during a failed effort to stop Evanston, IL's city council from expanding their ban to all restaurants and bars in 2006(the Evanston smoking ban that was in place inbetween 2004 and 2006 just covered regular workplaces), that 2/3rds of restaurants and bars(then exempt) had voluntarily banned smoking on their own. Save Indiana Bars already cited that 99% of private establishments are non-smoking, so why is it wise to go after the last 1% of Indy/Marion County adult businesses permitting smoking? And what would be the good in forcing many employees in those few establishments(if not all) out of a job? Every adult can read a 'this is a smoking establishment' sign(as Indy/Marion County's current ban requires on businesses opting to permit smoking), so I don't see a need to ban it in all businesses. If you still think it's a good idea, talk to bar and other business owners in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana communities with total bans(Bloomington, West Lafayette, Fort Wayne, etc.) who were affected by total bans, with some bars very quietly choosing to be 'smokeasies' just to not close their doors.
      • Non-smoking Businesses Survive
        When Colorado enacted its ban of smoking inside any business--including *casinos*--the demise of many businesses was predicted. Didn't happen. The casinos still make money, as do the restaurants. Non-smokers like me were free to go into businesses we'd avoided due to smoking. Some restaurants went under (esp those who only survived that long as smokers' refuges), but more flourished and reported increased profits after a few months of slump.
        Get over it, smokers. Non-smoking laws do not mean a business apocalypse.
        • smoking should be banned everywhere
          this should apply to all public places as well and to the person that said that business' are failing due to smoking ban, you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm from NY/NJ/PA area and the bars and restaurants are doing just FINE. besides second hand smoke is being linked to all sorts of defects in children not to mention it kills the person who's doing it. this shouldn't even be a debate and you should all be ashamed of yourselves for even TALKING contrary to this idea.
        • Should not be a law
          It should be a choice not a law. You Republicans want the government out of your life than why a law against smoking?
        • Kansas allows smoking in private clubs and casinos
          We are also working on a Bill that will allow smoking back in places that sell Lottery tickets. So your facts are incorrect. And four states are looking at creating more exemptions as businesses are failing.
        • Force
          I do not believe that force is the solution. Seriously, the majority of citizens in this country/state have quit smoking and fewer and fewer people are starting up. Why, cost it is expensive and most importantly education.
          Come on we understand that the habit is bad for your health and others, just be patient, dont use force and fines to reach your objective. The education is working and look the poeple that allow it will in their business will be gone in 10 years (either through economics of lost revenue or lung cancer).

          Despotism forces - Democracy teaches.
        • Agree
          I agree...I don't go to bars and resturants that have smoking. It's when we are visiting a new place, and after we walk in, it reaks of smoke so we have to then leave (that makes it different.) When we travel to Michigan we don't have to worry about it...just go in and enjoy.
        • SOOOOO
          So if it's 100% About Work Place Safety then what about those who work in bars, casinos, etc? They just don't count?
        • Level Playing Field
          I own two bars. One of them is smoking, one of them is non-smoking (by choice.) They are in different areas, therefore calling for different things. If I made the first bar non-smoking, it would kill our business. On the opposite end, my non-smoking bar does great partially because it is non-smoking. It should be a choice, not a law. And if you are going to exempt casinos and nursing homes, you can't leave out bars. If second hand smoke really bothers you that much, you'll go somewhere else and my business will suffer. The more that happens, the more bars will go non-smoking voluntarily. Basic supply and demand people.
          • Were not the first
            I moved back to Indy from DC and Chicago where smoking was banned in bars/restaurants. Smokers AND non-smokers were happier without all the second-hand.

            Let's be honest, smokers just have to go outside and will not be less likely to visit a bar. What a sad argument by bar owners that their business will suffer. It would be a level playing field accross the board. You go to casinos to gamble and bars to drink/socialize NOT to smoke.
          • 80% States have exemptions
            That is nice to list 30 states, however you are wrong about smoking bans and exemptions. Do your due diligence before you post lies. IE Michigan allows casinos and "tobacco" bars to remain smoking.
          • Legislators Have No Shame!
            How can the Indiana State Legislators, in good conscience, exempt bars and casinos from the ban on smoking in public places? When last I looked, there is no smoking allowed in the legislators workplace! I guess they feel that some workers (themselves) deserve a safer environment than other workers (those who work in bars and casinos)! Shame on the Indiana State Legislators who have bowed to the pressure casino and bar lobbyists! Also shame on them for not looking out for the best interests of state finances and the health of constituents. The long term cost of Medicaid would go down with a complete ban and our state would be more competitive in the efforts to attract new business. Alas, our lawmakers ignore long term gains over short term gratification.
          • Mind your own business
            Non smoker here and dont like being in a smoked filled room but... why are our elected leaders waisting time on this when we have real issues effecting all hoosiers. Business owners should have the right to run their business as they see fit. As a consumer its our choice if we want to patronize a place that does or does not allow smoking. It should NOT be the governments decision.
          • I misspoke about the second list
            The first list is of states who have completely banned smoking in Bars:
            1. Arizona
            2. California
            3. Colorado
            4. Connecticut
            5. Delaware
            6.Hawaii
            7. Iowa
            8. Illinois
            9. Kansas
            10. Massachusetts
            11. Maryland
            12. Maine
            13. Michigan
            14. Minnesota
            15. Montana
            16. North Carolina
            17. Nebraska
            18. New Hampshire
            19. New Jersey
            20. New Mexico
            21. New York
            22. Ohio
            23. Oregon
            24. Puerto Rico
            25. Rhode Island
            26. South Dakota
            27. Utah
            28. Vermont
            29. Washington
            30. Wisconsin

            Only the states with laws that do not allow separately ventilated smoking rooms and do not have size exemptions are listed above. 100% smoke free.

            The second list should read:
            Plus many states who have not enacted a COMPLETE state wide ban, such as SC, KY, TX, MS, MO, WY, AK, MO, IN, GA, AR, and AL, have implemented bans in BARS in most major cities. (For example: Indiana has already banned smoking in all bars in Bloomington, Cumberland, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Franklin, Greencastle, Hancock County, Lowell, Monroe County, Plainfield,
            West Lafayette, and Zionsville.)


            • The statistics don't Lie
              All those states you listed have exemptions, dont lie to prove a your point.
            • Bandersnatch, I Doubt It
              It is funny, but 50% the people in the U.S. do not smoke (only about 21% of the U.S. population smokes), nor are half of the people who dine out smokers. Also, there are many smokers who patronize non-smoking establishments (many of my own friends and family members included). While I realize the rate of revenue increase is not perfectly tied to the number of consumers, I would question the validity of the mysterious 2005 "studies" you mention, but conveniently do not provide any citations to.

              Also, I don't profess to be an expert in Nebraska law, but unless you are claiming that opponents of the smoking law in that state are making some federal statutory or Constitutional argument about exemptions, then what happens in Nebraska is of little relevance to Indiana since Indiana has its own separate laws and state constitution. Moreover, I would find a federal constitutional challenge to a smoking ban, even with exemptions, to be a very difficult case to bring. There is no right to smoke and states have police power to enforce health and safety rules. Also, states can and do enforce special standards to protect minors, so it would be quite reasonable for a state to ban smoking in any establishment open to an individual under 21 years old.

              In any event, I think this is a good step. If individuals wish to smoke, then they are free to do so in their own home or car, or in an establishment serving individuals over 21, such as a bar or casino.
            • Facts
              In 2005 studies over a ten year period, bar and restaurant revenue in smoking ban states increased at HALF of the rate that smoke friendly states had, applied at a per capita rate. Smoke-ban states consistently lag smoke-friendly states in bar/restaurant revenue increases, all across the board.

              Those figures don't come from bogus Anti-Tobacco fairy tales. Those are from state tax revenue reports.

              BTW, Nebraska exempted bars, tobacco establishments and some other establishments. Now the antis are questioning in court whether ANY exemptions are unconstitutional. One more reason NOT to pass these idiotic laws. Let the marketplace â?? customers who vote with their wallets, and business owners â?? make these decisions, not government nannies.
              • Bars do better without smoking
                If you look at the statistics around the United States in the first few months after a full ban bars earn less than their year over year average. After sixth months, on average, business recovers to normal or higher levels. There are absolutely no credible objective studies that show that there are any negative impacts in the long run.

                If you look at the states and commonwealths who have banned smoking in bars:
                1. Arizona
                2. California
                3. Colorado
                4. Connecticut
                5. Delaware
                6.Hawaii
                7. Iowa
                8. Illinois
                9. Kansas
                10. Massachusetts
                11. Maryland
                12. Maine
                13. Michigan
                14. Minnesota
                15. Montana
                16. North Carolina
                17. Nebraska
                18. New Hampshire
                19. New Jersey
                20. New Mexico
                21. New York
                22. Ohio
                23. Oregon
                24. Puerto Rico
                25. Rhode Island
                26. South Dakota
                27. Utah
                28. Vermont
                29. Washington
                30. Wisconsin

                Plus many states not listed here who have not enacted a state wide ban... including most major cities in SC, KY, TX, MS, MO, WY, AK, MO, IN, GA, AR, AL...

                Not one of them can show a negative impact on their bars and most show a positive impact within a year. The truth is that smokers will keep going out and keep spending money. The non-smoking, majority population is on average more educated and more wealthy which means they have more disposable income.

                Further, when a major company investigates where it wants to locate new operations they look at the quality of life in a city. Smoking laws are a major factor in quality of life. This means that the city as a whole values health, which encourages healthy employees and the business insurance rates go down. If a business has a choice and the only difference is smoking or not 100% of the time they will make the smarter economic decision to go where smoking is not catered to. Wake up to the future, the longer this battle is fought, the more we lose as a state.

                Smoking outside is not asking very much for all of the positive benefits. I guess some people are just really selfish are not willing to give something back to their city. I guess it's ok, the next generation will get there chance to do what is right as the demographics shift over the next few years.




              • You bet it's ridiculous
                There is not one single place that business has rebounded in bars after a smoking ban to pre-ban levels. Non-smokers NEVER make up for the loss of smokers business, ANYWHERE. New York lost 225 bars in the five years after their ban. The UK is closing 3-4 pubs nationwide every single week since their national ban was passed. Smokers spend more, socialize more, linger in bars and restaurants more, have bigger bills, tip bigger (that's why your daughter works in a cocktail lounge around smokers, in case you didn't get it). Non-smokers give off with all of this talk time after time to get their way and their anti-business, anti-property owner laws passed. Then they declare the war won, and stay home.

                Do NOT pass this restrictive and unneeded law. Let the free marketplace decide. Let a business be all-smoking or all non-smoking, post warning signs, and put a stop to this legislative jihad.

                (Formerly "Frumious" until my screen name was hijacked by an impostor)
              • Ridiculous
                What a joke. Lets get these idiots out of office. We need real legislators to stand up and do their jobs!

                We need a comprehensive smoking ban that includes bars! If you want to see the bar business flourish we need a smoking ban! More people don't smoke than do, and smokers can still just step outside and light up.

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