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Senate Panel Hears Testimony On Indiana Smoking Ban

An Indiana Senate committee heard testimony on a proposed statewide smoking ban that includes exemptions for casinos, bars and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Alice Curry of Columbus urged the Senate Public Policy Committee to remove the exemptions to protect workers from second-hand smoke.Curry is battling lung cancer. She never smoked but suspects her illness was caused by years of exposure to smoke in the workplace. "By not passing a comprehensive clean air bill, you are giving me and thousands of other Hoosiers an early death sentence. I want you to stop that," she said. Bar owners and the casino industry say a comprehensive ban would hurt business. Long term care facility operators want their residents to be able to smoke in designated areas. The committee will re-visit the measure next week. Some lawmakers say a smoking bill won’t win approval without exemptions.

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