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News Summary

Statewide smoking ban clears panel, but isn't likely to get House vote

Publication Date: 2012-03-13
  • Author:DeborahYetter
  • Publication:The Courier-Journal

A bill to impose a statewide smoking ban in public places passed the House Health and Welfare Committee Tuesday, to the jubilation of supporters who noted it was the first time such legislation has cleared a committee.

“This is an historic day, and I am so grateful,” said Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl, a Lexington physician who testified in support of House Bill 289.

But despite widespread backing by a coalition of business, health and advocacy groups, HB 289 appears to have reached the end of the road this legislative session. Similar bills have died in committee in recent years.

Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat and sponsor of HB 289, said she doesn’t expect it to be called for a vote on the House floor this year in order to give supporters more time to lobby lawmakers in both the House and Senate.

“I’m not someone who wants to shove something down someone’s throat,” Westrom said.

But Westrom said she expects to bring the measure back next year with more support.

“It’s just the beginning for our wonderful volunteers,” she said...