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News Summary

Snuff out that cigarette

Publication Date: 2008-01-27
  • Publication:The (Annapolis, MD) Capital

Eight months after Maryland's governor signed a statewide smoking ban into law, it's finally here. The ban takes effect Friday, spurring Annapolis businesses owners like Mr. McGovern to plan renovations, scrub down walls and slap on a fresh coat of paint...

Signed into law on May 17, the state's Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007 prohibits anyone from smoking in indoor places such as bars and restaurants, taxis, offices and motels among other areas where people are employed. The law was designed to protect the health and environment of state residents and bar and restaurant staff.

This is the second blow in a one-two combination targeting the state's smokers. On Jan. 1, Maryland added another buck to the sales tax on cigarettes, taking the per pack cost of most brands over $5.

It follows years of attempts to ban smoking at the state level. Smoking bans already have been passed in Washington, New York City and several Maryland counties including Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's.

"We are catching up," said Del. Barbara Frush, D-Beltsville, the lead sponsor of the legislation. "Seven years ago when I started this process, we were among the first. But they've all passed us by. However, we needed the right governor and the right timing. For the last four years we've had a governor that threatened to veto it ... If I don't accomplish anything else in Annapolis, I feel that I have done something very good for the people of Maryland."

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