Public place smoking ban revived

State Rep. Charlie Brown’s bid to ban smoking in all public places across Indiana has been revived.

The House of Representatives added the statewide smoking ban language Wednesday to a Senate bill dealing with public health laws.

The ban would apply to public places, enclosed areas of employment and all state-owned vehicles.

House lawmakers endorsed the bill on second reading, and a final vote could be taken today.

“Everyone in here has to know about the dreaded disease of second-hand smoke,” Brown, D-Gary, told his colleagues.

The ban exempts casinos, a move Brown said he made to avoid a defeat by gaming lobbyists.

If the statewide smoking ban passes, he said he will later try to add casinos to the ban.

But first Brown must overcome objections in the General Assembly.

The bill containing the smoking ban language already passed the Senate without that provision.

If the bill now passes in the House, its differences will be worked out by a conference committee. Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said weeks ago it isn’t time for Indiana to pass a smoking ban.

Long cited the harm it could do to Hoosier businesses in a difficult economy.

Rep. Dave Frizzell, R-Indianapolis, argued the decision to implement smoking bans belongs with local governments.

“Let them decide,” Frizzell said.

Brown said allowing local governments to establish their own smoking bans would create confusion, as smokers wouldn’t know whether they are violating the law as they move from town to town.

These medications can help you quit smoking.

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