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News Summary

Smoke ban signed

Publication Date: 2005-04-19
  • Publication:Helena (MT) Independent Record
Most Montana workplaces will be free of tobacco smoke starting Oct. 1, after Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Tuesday signed a bill calling for clean air in every place open to the public except bars and casinos.

Gambling establishments have until 2009 to comply with the law, which was the result of a compromise between tavern and gaming interests and several regional and national health groups…

Bronson Frick, associate director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights in Berkeley, Calif., said Montana is among several states that are considering smoke-free laws this spring, including Georgia and North Dakota...

Not everyone is happy with the compromise. While the bill had the support of the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society didn't lend its backing, because the bill prevents cities from enacting stronger laws during the four-year sunset period for casinos...

"We are concerned about that provision because the tobacco companies prefer to fight at the state level and we believe local communities should be allowed to make their own choices," he said.

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