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News Summary

Panel OKs smoking ban with escape clause for ventilated bars

Publication Date: 2/19/2007
  • Author:MARTIGA LOHN
  • Publication:The Examiner

Bars with ventilation systems designed to whisk away cigarette smoke could escape a modified statewide smoking ban approved Monday by a Senate business panel.

Another clause added to the bill would make the state's smoking policy trump local restrictions, potentially undoing strict bar smoking bans in cities including St. Paul, Mankato and Bloomington.

DFL Sen. Kathy Sheran, the Senate sponsor of the Freedom to Breathe Act, said she was disappointed and will try to reverse the changes before the full Senate votes on the bill.

"There's nothing that really supports that ventilation will be able to provide protection to the public," Sheran said.