Photo: Andrew (Flickr)
A statewide smoking ban is headed to the governor’s desk for his approval. The General Assembly passed the bill after weeks of debate and compromise, but many legislators are not satisfied with the results.
The final version of the ban exempts bars and taverns, gaming facilities, tobacco shops and private clubs, and it does not prevent local governments from passing stricter bans.
During Friday’s Senate debate, several legislators raised objections to the specific language of the bill, saying it could lead to unintended consequences. Oldenburg Republican Jean Leising says she is worried about the bigger issues involved.
“I’ve never smoked a day in my life, you’ve all heard me say that,” she says. “But we have a terrible infringement upon the rights of individuals who own property in Indiana.”
Ellettsville Democrat Vi Simpson says the legislature also needs to consider the rights of non-smokers, and she says she would have liked the ban to be even stronger.
“There are exemptions in it. I wish there weren’t, but we know it will save lives and it will save families from the tragedies of heart disease and cancer,” she says.
The Senate passed the bill 28-22.