A bill to significantly expand exemptions to the statewide smoking ban was introduced today in the Kansas House.
House Bill 2219, would allow any private business to allow smoking provided it:
• employs only people age 21 years or older,
• posts signs stating that no one under 21 would be admitted, and
• posts signs stating that the business allows smoking.
The statewide smoking ban that began in 2010 currently exempts casino gaming floors, private clubs, retail tobacco shops, certain hotel rooms and designated spaces in adult long-term care facilities.
Chris Masoner of the American Cancer Society's Kansas chapter said the bill would do nothing to protect employees from the perils of second-hand tobacco smoke, which was one of the chief reasons cited by policymakers when they approved the public smoking ban.
"This could apply to any business, whether it's an office or manufacturing facility or anything else. It's written so broadly that it would really drive a truck through the law," Masoner said.
The measure was introduced by Rep. Randy Garber of Sabetha and 10 fellow Republicans.
The bill is similar to a bill introduced last year by Garber, which the House declined to debate.
Garber could not immediately be reached for comment.
The bill has not yet been referred to a committee.
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