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Indiana Lawmaker Wants Smoking Ban

Andrew Nagy
Posted: December 13, 2010

Indiana state Representative Charlie Brown, D-Gary, has filed paperwork to introduce a bill at next year's General Assembly that calls for the prohibition of smoking in all public establishments with no exemptions for any businesses.

This includes bars, restaurants and casinos.

This is Brown's fourth attempt to instill a statewide smoking ban of some sort. Last year, his bill passed a vote in the House, albeit after numerous exemptions were added, but then stalled in committee before it could be voted on in the Senate.

In a report from the Indianapolis Business Journal, Brown said he would resist any amendments to the bill that would exempt businesses like casinos and bars.

"Once you start saying you are exempt because of these reasons," Brown said in the report, "then everybody's going to come up with a reason as to why they should be exempt as well."

Although Indiana does not have an official smoking ban on the books, the city of Indianapolis eliminated smoking in all places of employment, including bars and taverns that allow patrons under the age of 18 inside.

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Comments   5 comment(s)

colin little — Belle river, ontario, Canada,  —  December 14, 2010 12:04am ET

Dear Mr. Brown

It has come to my attention your recent battle against all smoking giants with regard to putting a state wide ban on any smoking in any public areas. I am aware of the many current issues concerning smoking and the long term effects of such an addiction. I also can concur with you and most opinions of public smoking. As smoking, as noise by-laws, sewage laws with regard to spilling in to your neighbors property and really any event from what you are doing to which may cause disruption on your neighbor. Subsequently, your views on this smoking ban may be somewhat disruptive to certain areas of business. I can agree and even condone laws to be in place on public places such as casinos and even bars or any area to which a smoker may have close contact to a non smoker. The issue of concern and where many Americans and even Canadians for that matter, who may enjoy a fine tobacconist company who solely operate a majority of complete tobacco sales, are being lumped in to a generality of tobacco laws. Several business' that are included in this generality are many of the fine tobacconists, cigar sales shops, specified cigar bars and other business' to which the majority of sales is tobacco, are being deeply effected. The majority of sales of all these particular business' are "cigars" and\or cigar related product. I believe the majority of people can relate based on reasonable grounds that a specified "cigar bar" is an area designated specifically for enjoying fine tobacco. A reasonable person would not attend that location and be aware of what type of establishment it would be; as for maybe just a "bar", or casino or a particular place with no specified tobacco advertisement. I realize the great length the country has gone to assist in the healthy lives of the people and most whom I have spoken to find it admirable to your position on the "smoking ban" This action clearly shows the courage and care you have for the people in the state of Indiana. We also realize the importance of this state being able to flourish in business and state relations. The heart of this great state and many other states is the small business sector and bringing up our future to encourage the same. There are over 168 tobacconists in the State of Indiana and thousands more across America. There are thousands in Canada as well with similar issues and have had multiple closures due to lack of business, bankruptcy and misguided publicity to push away a rash of regular clientele these business' depend on.

We realize the main health issue for your move toward a complete dissolve of tobacco, but history has shown over so many years, that society in all of America needs to decide for themselves and be lead by our great government to make the right decisions on our behalf. I believe most people can realize the totality of your decision and how difficult your position must be to terminate smoking in all public areas and I can as well. The percentage of lives that will be affected may be greater than expected. The fine tobacco industry employs a considerable amount of staff and owners may find this a difficult transition. I am also aware of the decline in fine tobacco sales over the last several years and any tobacconist would clearly out line their decline in sales over the last 5 years.

On a personal level, I believe it could be proactive to speak to specific tobacconist who sell fine tobacco and who have a specified business for selling a majority of tobacco and\or tobacco related product. I would like to create a different realm between the common cigarette and fine tobacco products, such as cigars, that do not have additives within them or do not have the same psychological and physical addictiveness. I am sure you are aware of all of these issues and have compiled much of the same information and you are well aware of the sensitivity to this particular subject. We would be reassured if your team could realize there is a difference between the subjects listed above and to not eliminate a specified business who solely operates on the specific sales of tobacco.

Mr. Brown and party, I would like to extend my appreciation to all you have done for the great state of Indiana and fully anticipate an amazing year to come in 2011. I can only imagine the responsibility and important issues at hand for the great state of Indiana, yet fully support the genuine effort on your part to make this state one of the greatest. I appreciate your time in reviewing this letter and look forward to your continued success. Thank you and please feel free to contact me anytime for any further information or if I can be of any assistance to this matter in the future. God bless you.

respectfully


Colin


Michael Brady — Gate City, Virginia, United States,  —  December 14, 2010 4:12pm ET

You're a block head, Charlie Brown. Merry Christmas every one.


Rick Hilton — Coventry, Rhode Island, USA,  —  December 14, 2010 5:52pm ET

I love this:

"Once you start saying you are exempt because of these reasons," Brown said in the report, "then everybody's going to come up with a reason as to why they should be exempt as well."
What a great thoughtful approach to considering all the impacts proposed legislation may have.

You introduced the legislation, own the legislation. Uou owe it to the people of Indiana to listen to and consider all impacts of the proposed law and draft appropriately.

Anything less is lazy.


stephen douglas — Columbia Falls, Montana, United States,  —  December 19, 2010 8:56pm ET

it is always disturbing to find how eager a few are to regulate the many, yet exempt themselves when they feel the need.
remember jFK who first collected all the cuban cigars he could get his hand on before he signed the embargo.


Jonathan Awad December 21, 2010 3:27pm ET

I am sorry but this is just another attempt in allowing the goverment to trump the rights of the person and the owner of the property as well as parrot the fabricated risks of second hand smoke. In 1999 the issue was put rest when the courts struck down the EPA report of ETS in 1999 because there is no way with any certainly we can measure just how dangerous passive smoking is to the non smokers. Infact it has been demostrated that you would have to expose a non smoker to thousands of cigaretters all at once in a AIRTIGHT ROOM that is 20 by 20 with a 9 foot ceiling. This is the only way to make the air toxic enough in order for the non smoker to be harmed.

No smoking ban should be in place citiing health reasons until proof is establised. Reason its just public health is because thats how the smoking ban have gone so far by trumping freedom of assembly and private property owners who should choose wether or not their office, mall, movie threater, bar or resturaunt should allow smoking.


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