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Legislature unlikely to toughen Ind. smoking ban

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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"I think they did a great job of coming to a compromise with that bill last year and I think we need to see how it works," Davis said Thursday. "Less than a year, I don't think, is enough time."

Anti-smoking advocates pushed for a tougher ban last year, arguing that its restrictions were weak because of the numerous exemptions. Owners of bars and casinos argued that including them in a mandatory ban would be devastating to their businesses.

Danielle Patterson, a lobbyist for the Indiana chapter of the American Heart Association, said she knew of few troubles with compliance with the current restrictions and that several cities around the state have adopted tougher bans.

"While we would like to see every workplace smoke free, it is difficult right now to try to get the casinos," Patterson said. "But it we feel that if we are able to remove the bar exemption, we will protect a significant number of workers. Our main goal is to protect as many workers as possible."

Brown said he might try later to include casinos in Indiana's ban since neighboring states with casinos are also taking that step.

"I think everybody will ultimately understand and appreciate that they need to do this," Brown said.