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News Summary

Sen. Vivian Figures' smoking ban nears final passage

Publication Date: 4/15/2010
  • Author:George Altman
  • Publication:Press-Register

A bill to ban smoking in restaurants, but not bars, neared final passage Wednesday, sailing through a House committee on a voice vote and avoiding an amendment that the sponsor said could have doomed its chances of becoming law.

The bill by Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, has already passed the Senate and can now go before the full House. If approved there, it would need only the signature of Gov. Bob Riley.

The measure is more modest than some of Figures' past proposed bans, which would have barred smoking in restaurants, bars and most other public places...

Ginny Campbell, government relations director for the American Cancer Society, said Figures' current bill "really does not do anything" and she will lobby lawmakers to broaden the ban when the bill is before the full House.

"The tobacco lobbyists control the legislators, and it's just a shame," Campbell said.

Still, she said lawmakers should work for a more comprehensive smoking ban to protect the health of bar and restaurant employees.