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Advocates Fail To Make Indiana Smoke Free

Last updated on Monday, May 11, 2009

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Anti-smoking advocates failed in their quest for a statewide smoking ban. Now they have redoubled their efforts to strengthen bans one city at a time.

Tim Filler with Smoke Free Indy says it would have been great for state legislators to adopt a comprehensive law that covers all workers, but says they haven't done that.

Franklin passed a smoking ban last week, and Westfield is scheduled to vote on one June 8.

Supporters have been running ads and holding town meetings in Indianapolis, trying to build support for repealing an exemption for bars in Marion County's current smoking ordinance.

Filler notes 15 of the 29 city-county council members are new to the council since that ordinance passed in 2005.

He says backers are in the process of contacting council members, and won't push to introduce a tougher ordinance until they're confident they have the votes to pass it.

The Indiana house passed a smoking ban in the just-concluded session, but with exemptions for bars and casinos.

Backers pulled the plug after it became clear the senate wouldn't pass a ban without similar exceptions.

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