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News Summary

N.H. Smoking Ban Could Be Broadened

Publication Date: 12/9/2013
  • Author:Ben Leubsdorf
  • Publication:Concord Monitor

Since 2007, smoking has been banned at every New Hampshire bar and restaurant save American Legion halls, Veterans of Foreign Wars post canteens, fraternal club lodges and the like.

The Legislature will decide in 2014 whether to end that exception and apply the state's indoor smoking ban to those clubs -- an idea sure to face opposition from smokers and their defenders...

Twenty-four states ban smoking in all restaurants, bars and workplaces, according to the American Cancer Society’s advocacy arm, the Cancer Action Network. An additional 12 states, including New Hampshire, have less strict indoor smoking bans on the books.

The Granite State's ban was enacted in 2007, a year after a similar ban cleared the House but failed in the Senate by a single vote.

It banned smoking in bars and restaurants but exempted "buildings owned and operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations when used by the membership of the organization, their guests or families," among other locations.

That means smoking is still allowed at the VFW Post 1631 on Court Street in Concord, "unless the public is invited in, like for a memorial service or something like that," said Paul Lloyd, the post quartermaster.

But that could soon change. Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, plans to introduce a bill next year that would expand the indoor smoking ban to include social, fraternal and religious clubs...