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Statewide Smoking Ban Would Have Some Exceptions

Legislators are hoping the bill can be passed before the Super Bowl.

Legislators are hoping a statewide smoking ban will finally get through the Senate by limiting exemptions in the 2012 version of the bill.

Only three entities would be exempt from the smoking ban: gaming floors, cigar or hookah bars currently in existence and existing social clubs whose membership votes every two years to allow smoking.

A statewide smoking ban has been passed out of the Indiana House for five consecutive years only to fail in the Senate. Cicero Republican Representative Eric Turner says the bill has the best chance of passage it’s ever had.

“I think the fact that the governor has included it as part of his agenda,” he says, “leadership on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate have expressed their support, certainly helps that.”

In the past, bars and taverns argued exempting casinos gave them an unfair advantage. If a person could smoke in a casino bar, regular bars would lose business.

Gary Democratic Representative Charlie Brown says limiting the exemption only to the gaming floor will hopefully limit that concern.

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