Indiana Senate passes smoking ban

March 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, March 9 (UPI) -- The Indiana state Senate approved a smoking ban Friday for most public spaces excluding bars and gaming facilities, officials said.

The Senate passed the measure by a 28-22 vote after the House's 60-33 approval Thursday, The Indianapolis Star reported.

"It's not everything we wanted," said House author Eric Turner. "But certainly, when this bill takes effect, thousands of Hoosiers will go to work in an environment that's smoke free."

In addition to bars and gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, retail tobacco stores, non-profit private clubs, and fraternal organizations will be exempted from the ban, which will take effect July 1.

Co-author Charlie Brown said he's happy the ban passed but he'd like to see it more widespread.

"If I am elected next year," he said, "yes I will be back, with ever fervor in my soul to try to strengthen this bill."

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