Governor Mitch Daniels says supporters of a statewide smoking ban accomplished about 90 percent of their goal as he signed the ban into law Monday.
Smoking will officially be prohibited in public places when the legislation takes effect July first. The ban exempts gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and social clubs that take votes every two years to allow smoking.
Despite opposition from the bill’s authors, it also fully exempts bars and taverns that require patrons be 21 or older to enter. Some smoking ban advocates say if the ban doesn’t encompass everything then there’s no reason to have it. But Governor Daniels says getting 90 percent of the goal is a success.
“I don’t think the chances of getting to a percentage in the higher 90s would have been improved by throwing out, away all this hard and working and starting all over next year,” he says.
Daniels says he hopes the exempted organizations will begin to ban smoking on their own as the law takes effect. The governor also signed three local government reform bills Monday.