House bill would extend smoking ban

Nov. 7, 2011 at 7:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- A bill proposed Friday by five U.S. House Democrats would totally forbid smoking in and around all federal buildings.

The Smoke-Free Buildings Act, proposed by Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., and four Democratic Party colleagues, would expand a 1997 executive order that shut off smoking in most portions of federal buildings while setting aside certain sections for the habit, The Hill reported.

"President Clinton's order was a great first step," Davis said. "But it's time to take the next step and eliminate all smoking in federal buildings. Despite setting aside certain areas for smoking, we know that people still get exposed to secondhand smoke."

The bill prohibits smoking in or within 25 feet of all federal buildings. The ban would take effect 90 days after enactment, allowing for each agency to decide how to enforce the ban and to accommodate exceptions, such as "research that may benefit public health," The Hill reported.

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