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Friday, January 28, 2005

Smoking ban bill receives hearing in House

The propose smoking ban bill received a hearing yesterday in the Health Committee, where it was scaled back by Rep. Jim Abeler. The bill was stripped of everything except the ban on smoking in restaurants; in particular, it removed the ban from bars an, very odd to me, hotel lobbies. Why would hotel lobbies want to be full of smoke?

Abeler is one of those pretend moderates who likes to talk bipartisanship but isn't there when it counts, such as on this bill. If the carcinogen being banned were, say, asbestos, I doubt he would be offering an amendment to allow hotels to blow asbestos around their lobbies. But he did it here all the same.

Listen, it doesn't matter where it is: workers who work in smoke-filled environments are having their health endangered. We have worker protections for other harmful substances, we should have them for secondhand smoke.

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