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Indiana House Approves Statewide Smoking Ban

Supporters of a comprehensive statewide smoking ban in Indiana say they'll ask the state Senate to remove exemptions included in a bill passed by the House Monday.The Republican-led House voted 68-31 for a smoking ban that excludes casinos, bars, clubs and nursing homes.Danielle Patterson chairs the Indiana Campaign For Smoke-Free Air."We are concerned with the current status of the bill. It is not as strong as we would like, so we’re hoping that once it goes to the Senate that we will have the time and our advocates reach their senators so we can strengthen the bill. We want to work on it. We feel that we can make it stronger," said Danielle Patterson, who chairs the Indiana Campaign For Smoke-Free Air. Leaders of the GOP-controlled Senate say they will give the bill a committee hearing. Previous bans have stalled in the chamber after winning House approval. Governor Mitch Daniels says he'll sign a smoking ban into law if legislators approve it.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.