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News Summary

Smoking ban dodges bullet in committee

Publication Date: 2008-05-08
  • Author:GEORGE R. ALTMAN
  • Publication:Mobile (AL) Press-Register

A bill to ban smoking in restaurants and other public places across Alabama survived a House committee Wednesday by a single vote, moving it closer than ever to becoming law.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, passed the Government Operations Committee unanimously but only after an amendment that Figures said would have "gutted" it failed by a 6 to 7 margin.

The Alabama Restaurant Association opposes the bill, warning that the provisions give bars an unfair advantage over restaurants...

The bill would prohibit smoking in sporting arenas, restaurants, bars that make at least 20 percent of their money from food sales and other indoor areas.

The failed amendment would have allowed smoking in restaurants if the establishments had barriers or ventilation systems and followed limitations on how much space could be designated for smoking.

Figures said that if the amendment had passed, she would have asked the committee to kill her bill.