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News Summary

Ban of public smoking

Publication Date: 4/6/2009
  • Author:Catherine Grace
  • Publication:PUC Chronicle

A ban of public smoking may be the topic at a Senate Committee hearing Wednesday.

Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) is the original author of the House bill which passed 70-26 with an amendment exempting bars and casinos. However, the fate of the bill lies in the hands of Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Public Policy, & Interstate Cooperation Committee.

"Major advocates such as the American Heart Association have informed me that they support the original bill and have asked me not to hear the amended version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives." Alting said. "Therefore, if I cannot get the majority votes in Committee for Senator [Gary] Dillon's (R-Pierceton) amendment [to remove the exemptions for bars and casinos], I will consider not hearing the existing bill."

Should the bill be left unheard next week, the legislation to ban public smoking will die in committee. Supporters of the bill say they are concerned with public health as well as the rising costs of treating secondhand smoke-related ailments.