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News Summary

House backs smoking ban

Publication Date: 2005-03-24
  • Publication:Helena (MT) Independent Record
Montana moved a step closer to becoming smoke-free Wednesday, as the House approved a bill that would ban smoking in all buildings open to the public starting this fall.

Casinos and bars open only to those 18 and older would have until 2009 to comply under the terms of the bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Dowell, D-Kalispell. Dowell said the bill was the result of long hours of talks between health groups, who have long pushed for a similar law and threatened a ballot initiative this fall if the bill failed, and those representing tavern and casino owners, who have long opposed attempts to regulate smoking.

"The agreement lasts only as long as the bill stays the way it is," Dowell said in urging the House to reject any attempted amendments.

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