Anti-smoking advocates in Indiana are hoping the state Senate will strengthen a smoking ban passed by the House Tuesday.
The ban includes several exemptions that would allow smoking in bars, casinos and tobacco stores. Jessica Kelly is the Manager of Advocacy for the Indiana Chapter of the American Lung Association. She says the association is working with state Senators to remove the exemptions and pass a comprehensive smoking ban.
“We have a couple sponsors over there who are devoted to making this a comprehensive bill,” she says. “And, again, we know this is a matter of process, we know it came out of the House as it had to to get out, but we look forward to changing it on the other end.”
She says the revised ban would face opposition if it returns to the House, as many lawmakers contend a tougher statute will hurt businesses.
“People seeing those, or a smoking ban as affecting those negatively, but we hope that we can continue the education and we hope that the confidence that the Senate puts in the bill in making it comprehensive will allow the House to see that it is going to be fine for Indiana,” she says.
Kelly says she hopes the ban can be revised and pass both chambers before the legislature adjourns in March.