Anti-smoking advocates unhappy with 18-month exemption given to Indiana's bars in statewide smoking ban bill; exemption bans smoking in nearly all public places, businesses, except casinos, private clubs, retail tobacco stores

INDIANAPOLIS , February 9, 2012 () – Anti-smoking advocates aren't happy about an 18-month exemption being given to Indiana's bars in a statewide smoking ban bill and don't want the proposal weakened any further as it moves through the state Legislature.

A state Senate committee is expected to act within a couple weeks on the bill that was approved the House last week. That proposal prohibits smoking in nearly all public places and businesses while still allowing smoking at casinos, private clubs and retail tobacco stores.

Danielle Patterson of the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air says it would be difficult for the group to support the proposal if more exemptions are added.

Senate public policy committee Chairman Ron Alting says he believes the current exemptions are needed for the bill to win legislative approval.

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