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Indiana House Approves Smoking Ban

By a vote of 60 to 33, the Indiana House of Representatives has approved a watered down statewide smoking ban that contains numerous exemptions, including loopholes for bars and taverns.The compromise measure emerged today following several days of negotiations by House and Senate lawmakers.The Senate will vote on the measure tomorrow. That’s where the original bill was amended to include the exemption for bars, with leaders saying that was the only way it could advance out of the chamber.Lobbying groups such as the American Cancer Society say the bill is so weak now that they’re urging lawmakers not to vote for it.Governor Mitch Daniels has said he’ll sign whatever bill emerges from the legislature, but hoped it would contain as few exemptions as possible. Also exempt under the compromise ban are casinos, private clubs, tobacco stores and hookah bars.

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