House panel passes bill to ban smoking in public

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm •  Published: February 7, 2013
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The legislation now goes to the full House for consideration.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the measure, which would have been quashed in year's past, appears to have a shot at passage this year.

"It's an easy vote if you think about it, because most of our cities and communities ... particularly the big ones where all the votes are, already have smoking bans," Stumbo said.

While attitudes about smoking have changed, House Republican Whip Bam Carney said many lawmakers still believe the Legislature shouldn't be dictating smoking bans in local jurisdictions. He said some believe decisions about whether to allow smoking should rest with city and county governments.

State Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, is among lawmakers who haven't decided how they will vote on the issue.

"If I were to vote for that, I think I'd anger a lot of people," he said.

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The legislation is House Bill 190.