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Legislators To Debate Over State's Smoking Ban

Last updated on Thursday, June 11, 2015

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Legislators will reopen the debate over Indiana’s smoking ban this summer.

A study committee will examine whether Indiana's three-year-old ban on smoking in restaurants and workplaces should expand to cover bars and casinos.

House Speaker Brian Bosma has said he doubts legislators are willing to revisit the debate in next year's session. And House Public Health Chairman Ed Clere, who supports a comprehensive ban, acknowledges the proposal has had difficulty overcoming projections that a ban would deal a financial blow to the gambling industry, though he notes Ohio's casinos are already smoke-free.

But Clere says legislators may be willing to take a closer look at another study topic: vaping, This year's General Assembly passed a law imposing health and safety standards on e-cigarette manufacturing. But a proposal by Attorney General Greg Zoeller to add vaping to the smoking ban and subject e-cigarettes to the cigarette tax went nowhere.

The committee will also review the fiscal impact of raising the cigarette tax. Indiana last raised the tax in 2007.

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