Substance Abuse

Indiana Smoking Ban Takes Effect

As the state of Indiana ushered in the month of July, it also marked the official start of the statewide smoking ban.

The new law bans smoking in restaurants, hotels, building lobbies, and places of work in Indiana. While Lindsay Grace, spokesperson of the American Lung Association (ALA), described the ban as “a step in the right direction,” the ALA would have preferred that the state pass a complete ban. The current law still allows smoking in bars, taverns, casinos, retail tobacco shops, cigar and hookah bars, or private membership and fraternal clubs.

The law that is being implemented, according to Grace, makes too many exemptions and leaves out too many workers, although it should still be able to help reduce the number of deaths per year that could be attributed to second hand smoke. Bar and restaurant workers, for instance, have more than 30 percent higher chance of developing lung cancer, because of their exposure to smokers.

For those places covered by the new law, however, the ban extends even outside of impacted establishments. Smoking is also banned within eight feet of the door, and businesses are required to remove ashtrays that have been set up near the entrance.

Danielle Patterson, spokeswoman for the Indiana Campaign for Smoke-Free Air, said: “Some ventilation systems, if they have open air vents, that’s drawing the smoky air into the establishment… you have a number of establishments that open up their windos, or may have patio doors.”

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