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Indiana House Passes Statewide Smoking Ban

Why this may be the year the measure finally passes the Senate.

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Smoke Free Indy says they are working with bars and restaurants that would be affected by a ban.

For the sixth straight session, the Indiana House passed a statewide smoking ban.

The bill exempts gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and social clubs whose membership votes to allow smoking. It also exempts bars and taverns, but only for 18 months.

The bill’s author, Cicero Republican Eric Turner, says he thinks the exemptions they’ve carved out will likely be enough to get the bill passed through the Senate. And he says getting a complete ban will have to be done in increments.

Turner, speaking on the importance of passing the bill, says the ban will protect employees at places like restaurants who are just trying to work for their families.

“And they’re having to choose between providing for their family and their own health,” Turner says.

South Bend Democrat David Niezgodski says he can’t support a bill that will eventually prevent bars and tavern patrons from smoking, but still allow casino-goers to light up.

“You’re, in essence, you’re saying, ‘I, or we, as a whole want to subject large numbers of people to killing over the almighty dollar,’” he says.

The bill passed 62-34. It will now get a shot at passing a Senate committee, which hasn’t happened in the last five years of House passage.

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