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News Summary

Smoking ban amended to allow tougher stand

Publication Date: 2/16/2009
  • Author:Mary Beth Schneider
  • Publication:Indianapolis Star

A bill that would ban smoking in many public places was amended by the Indiana House today to let communities pass a tougher ban if they want.

House Bill 1213, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, had been watered down in committee, but the House, on a voice vote, overwhelmingly voted to let cities and towns enact tougher smoking bans.

The amendment was offered by Rep. Peggy Welch, a Democrat who said her hometown of Bloomington bans smoking in all public places, and would not want to roll back those restrictions.

However, the bill also was changed to allow smoking at the horseracing tracks, their "racino"gambling areas and off-track-betting parlors. The bill had already exempted casinos. All the gambling facilities would be required, though, to set aside 20 percent of their space for non-smokers.