Indiana Smoking Ban Becomes Law July 1
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Smokers and businesses will have about four months to adjust their habits before a statewide smoking ban goes into effect.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed House Enrolled Act 1149 into law on Monday during a ceremony at his statehouse office.
“Indiana has wrestled for a long time with the question of how to protect the public health and employees, in particular, in our public spaces against the hazards of secondhand smoke,” said Daniels.
Daniels said the bill’s passage showed the legislative system at its finest by finding a compromise on a difficult issue.
Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) pushed the legislation for years. His bill failed in the legislature each of the past six years.
Brown was thanked by Daniels during the ceremony, along with other key lawmakers such as Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) and Sen. Beverly Gard (R-Greenfield).
The law is set to go into effect July 1. It will prohibit smoking in enclosed areas of workplaces and areas within eight feet of public entrances. Conspicuous signs must be posted at entrances and within the building.
Exemptions were made for gaming facilities; cigar and hookah bars; fraternal, social, and veterans clubs; tobacco stores; bars and taverns; cigar manufacturer facilities; and cigar specialty stores; if certain requirements are met.
Brown was not happy with the exemptions, he indicated after the bill had passed the legislature.
“For now, the current bill will bring Hoosiers closer to a healthier state,” said Brown. “These exemptions are not what I intended for the bill, but it is a step in the right direction.”
The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission along with health departments and traditional law enforcement are tasked with enforcing the ban. A person who is caught on a first time violation can be charged with a Class B infraction, while anybody with three or more prior offenses will be charged with a Class A infraction.