Covering Louisiana

May 22, 2013 5:39 PM by AP

Smoking ban near state-owned buildings advances

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A bid to ban smoking within 25 feet of the entrances to state-owned office buildings, as a way to lessen exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke, continued to advance Wednesday in the Louisiana Legislature.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee backed the proposal (House Bill 111) without objection, sending it to the full Senate for debate. The House already has approved the bill, a similar version of which has run into opposition from senators in past sessions.

Louisiana prohibits smoking in restaurants, public places, public buildings and many places of employment. Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, wants to extend the ban to within 25 feet of state office buildings' entrances and to their wheelchair ramps.

Violators would face a $25 fine the first time, a $50 fine for a second offense and a $100 fine for subsequent offenses.

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