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Governor candidates: Change smoking ban

Publication Date: 2010-10-08
  • Author:Dion Lefler
  • Publication:The Wichita Eagle

Smokers left out in the cold by the statewide smoking ban had reason to hope Thursday, when all four candidates for governor said they want to change the law to allow for more local control over tobacco use.

In a made-for-television forum Thursday evening at KWCH-TV, Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland, Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon said they want changes in the ban, which prohibits lighting up inside almost all businesses and buildings open to the public...

The smoking ban--passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Parkinson earlier this year--contains some exceptions, including tobacco shops, buildings without roofs and rooms that are at least 30 percent open to the elements at all times.

But the most controversial exception relates to state-owned gambling casinos.

In response to a question about whether allowing smoking in casinos is hypocritical of the state, Holland said he opposes the statewide ban entirely.

"In the Legislature, I voted against the statewide smoking ban," Holland said. "I believe these issues are best left to local control, local units of government."