Smoking Ban

Indiana House and Senate lawmakers will meet Monday to hammer out the details of a final version of statewide smoking ban legislation.  For his part, Governor Mitch Daniels says he’s willing to help the cause.

The House passed a bill with exemptions for gaming facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and fraternal order clubs.  Bars and taverns were only exempted for the first 18 months.  The Senate added more, including a full exemption for bars, taverns and mental health and senior living facilities.

The Indiana Senate passed a statewide smoking ban Wednesday.  However, lawmakers still have work to be done before the bill can reach the governor.

The House has passed the ban six consecutive years, but Wednesday marked the first time it even got a vote in the Senate.  Opponents of the bill say it violates property rights and individual freedoms.

State Senator Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) says the smoking ban is government intrusion into business and he worries about the precedent it sets.

One author of the statewide smoking ban says the legislation has been butchered by the Senate. 

The Senate passed several amendments to the smoking ban Tuesday. 

With those changes, bars and taverns would now be totally exempt from the ban, as well as senior centers. 

And social clubs who allow smoking would now also be able to allow children into the facilities. 

Oldenburg Republican Senator Jean Leising authored several of the amendments. 

She says she wants to make sure bars and taverns are on a level playing field with other businesses.

Senate committee approves smoking ban

Feb 23, 2012

The Indiana Senate will take up a statewide smoking ban next week, for the first time ever.   

A year after killing an exception-laden smoking ban 8-1, the Senate Public Policy Committee approved a tougher version 8-2.    

Supporters contend the public health benefits trump any arguments against the measure.

The bill exempts gambling facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops, and social clubs. 

Bars and taverns are also exempt, but only for the first 18 months.


The Indiana House has added more exemptions to its statewide smoking ban, but supporters still think the bill can pass the General Assembly.

The bill originally exempted the gaming floors of gambling facilities, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco shops and social clubs.  But in order to help facilitate its passage, bill author State Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero) expanded the gambling facility exemption to incorporate the entire property, including any bars, hotels or restaurants.

Legislators are hoping a statewide smoking ban will finally get through the Indiana Senate by limiting exceptions to the rule in the 2012 version of the bill.

Only three entities would be exempt from the smoking ban: gaming floors; cigar or hookah bars currently in existence; and existing social clubs whose membership votes every two years to allow smoking. A statewide smoking ban has been passed out of the Indiana House for five consecutive years only to fail in the Senate.