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News Summary

Brown turns up heat on bill to ban smoking

Publication Date: 2/11/2010
  • Author:JON SEIDEL
  • Publication:Gary (IN) Post-Tribune

Media blitz across state will criticize 'protectionism'

A media blitz could start as soon as today to revive a statewide smoking ban bill believed to be dead in the Indiana Senate.

Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, wrote the statewide smoking ban bill that was watered down with amendments before it passed the House of Representatives early this month. Brown said Wednesday some of his colleagues are more interested in serving special interests than their own constituents.

"We have too much protectionism here," Brown said.

Danielle Patterson, advocacy director for the American Heart Association, said her agency will join a coalition of at least 26 groups in the anti-smoking blitz. They will write letters to Indiana newspapers and put the word out to anti-smoking advocates.

"We need to put pressure on the Senate," Patterson said. "We need for them to send a strong bill back to the House."

The bill to ban smoking in public places currently includes exemptions for bars, fraternal organizations, family businesses and tobacco shops. It also exempts casinos, an exception written into the original bill by Brown.