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News Summary

Legislators argue over exemptions in smoking ban

Publication Date: 3/24/2005
  • Author:SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
  • Publication:Providence (RI) Journal-Bulletin

The Labor Committee had convened last night to consider three bills amending the state's smoking ban just a little more than three weeks after it took effect. The new law prohibits smoking in virtually every indoor public place including restaurants, bars, office buildings and bowling alleys.

Chairman Joseph L. Faria, D-Central Falls, sponsored a bill that would permanently exempt any bar that does not serve food. Along similar lines, a bill by Rep. David E. Laroche, D-Woonsocket, would permanently exempt any bar where the sale of food accounts for 10 percent of revenue or less.

A third measure, sponsored by Rep. Jan P. Malik, D-Warren, would -- as of Sept. 1 -- remove the temporary exemption for some establishments that have class C or D liquor licenses. The bill also would have created a new permanent exemption for charitable and nonprofit organizations who hold "cigar nights" as fundraisers.