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News Summary

Statewide smoking ban changes await House approval, Gov. Richardson's signature

Publication Date: 2007-03-09
  • Author:Walter Rubel
  • Publication:Farmington (NM) Daily Times

The New Mexico Legislature has moved to ban smoking in virtually all indoor workplaces in the state, including bars.

The Senate voted 27-9 Thursday to pass House Bill 283, which had cleared the House unanimously earlier in the session. The bill now likely heads to Gov. Bill Richardson for his signature.

Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the governor has not yet taken a position on the bill, and will study it once it reaches his desk.

Sen. Cynthia Nava, D-Las Cruces, carried the bill in the Senate. She said 53,000 people die every year as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke.

The bill bans smoking in most indoor workplaces, as well as the entrances and exits to those buildings. It would not apply to casinos and bingo halls. Nava said they were excluded so there would be parity with facilities on tribal lands that do not fall under state law.

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