Amended Smoking Ban Could Face Final Vote Today

Several exemptions have been included in a statewide smoking ban the state legislature is debating.

cigarette

Photo: Raul Lieberwirth (Flickr)

Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban smoking in most public places.

The state’s proposed smoking ban would now exempt some veteran’s establishments and small bars under changes made Monday on the floor of the Indiana House. Though he told bill co-author Charlie Brown he was not aware of the specifics of smoking bans in place in Michigan and Illinois, Pleasant Lake Republican Dick Dodge sounded a familiar theme – if casinos are to be exempt from the proposed ban, a similar exemption should be granted to family-owned bars.  That logic frustrated East Chicago Representative Scott Pelath…

“These casinos are ruining this entire issue.  If it wasn’t for these casinos, I’m pretty sure we would already have a comprehensive smoking ban in this state,” said Pelath.

Passing alongside Dodge’s amendment were two from Brookston Representative Don Lehe which would allow smoking in veteran’s retirement homes and buildings belonging to other veteran’s organizations.  An amendment which would have allowed any smoking bans currently in place – even those which would be less restrictive than the state ban – failed to pass.  So too did one which would have added recreation areas of public parks to the ban.  The bill could come up for a final vote Tuesday.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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