Statewide smoking ban advances

February 23, 2012

An Indiana Senate committee voted 8-2 Wednesday to approve a proposed statewide smoking ban despite objections over exemptions for casinos and private clubs. The approval advances one of the most contentious issues remaining for lawmakers this year, sending the bill to the full Senate for debate. The House has approved the plan, which exempts casinos, racetrack slots parlors, off-track betting locations, tobacco stores, hookah bars and private clubs such as VFW halls. Supporters and opponents alike called the carve-outs bad policy. The proposal's authors said it was the best they could do given the state's political atmosphere and the gambling industry's clout in the Statehouse.