Indiana Senate panel sets vote on smoking ban


Indianapolis - Another rally took place at the Statehouse Tuesday. This time the rally was urging lawmakers to expand the smoking ban.

About 200 volunteers with the American Cancer Society spent the day urging members of the Senate Public Policy Committee to pass House Bill 1018, also known as the smoke-free air bill.  The protestors want it passed, but with amendments.

Lobbyists now want lawmakers to include bars and taverns, which are now exempt. They say if the bill is passed in its current form, employees in bars and taverns will not be protected.

"We really want to protect Hoosiers from secondhand smoke and it's a known fact that restaurant servers are 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than the average population," said ACS Volunteer Lucy Bruce-Whitaker.  

The bill cleared the House by a 68-31 vote in January. The Senate Public Policy Committee is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday. 

Committee Chairman Ron Alting of Lafayette has warned the ban's supporters that they could kill the bill by lobbying for a comprehensive ban that doesn't include wide exemptions.