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News Summary

Committee clears smoking-ban bill

Publication Date: 6/8/2006
  • Author:Will Sentell
  • Publication:The Advocate

Changes in legislation cause two major groups to drop their support

A bill to ban smoking in most restaurants cleared a House committee on Wednesday despite changes that caused two key groups to drop their support.

The measure, Senate Bill 742, won approval in the House Health and Welfare Committee, 13-1, and next faces action in the full House. It has already passed the Senate.

Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete and sponsor of the bill, said that, even with a weakening amendment added in the Senate, the legislation would ensure that up to 80 percent of restaurants in Louisiana would be smoke-free...

However, Marionneaux said he preferred that his proposal not include a Senate amendment that excludes enclosed bars in restaurants from the ban.

He said that change caused the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association to drop their support for the measure. Critics of that addition contend it would harm nonsmokers since restaurants generally rely on one ventilation system.