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Smoking Ban Supports Hoping To Gain Momentum

Last updated on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

(UNDATED) - Smoking-ban supporters hope to gain momentum from Delaware County’s decision to go smoke-free.

Delaware is the third county in Indiana to go completely smoke-free, joining Hancock and Monroe.

Eight cities and towns also have comprehensive ordinances.

When Terre Haute becomes the ninth next summer, 13% of Hoosiers will be covered by comprehensive smoking bans.

The list includes six communities which are college towns first: Terre Haute and Muncie are joining Bloomington, West Lafayette, Greencastle and Franklin.

Tim Filler with the Hoosier Faith and Health Coalition predicts as more people live under smoke-free laws, the more their neighbors will demand the same.

He suggests college students could become especially significant evangelists for the cause as they return home from smoke-free campuses to be jolted by smoke-filled bars.

Filler's theory could get an early test next month, when a ban takes effect everywhere in Vanderburgh County except the city of Evansville.

Filler's hoping that leads to an ordinance in the city as well.

Supporters haven't given up on a statewide ban, but a lopsided defeat in a senate committee this year has them focusing on local governments for now.

1/3 of Hoosiers are covered by some form of smoking ban.

About two dozen cities or counties have ordinances which either exempt bars, as Indianapolis does, or create other exemptions.

Until Tuesday's action, Delaware County was one of four counties with smoking bans that allowed separate smoking rooms.

Health groups don't even count those as bans, on the grounds that smoke can easily drift into the "nonsmoking" section.

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