Bill To Reduce Smoking In Resteraunts Defeated
The House defeated a bill that would have required restaurants to set aside half of their dining space for nonsmokers. The debate preceding the vote pitted health concerns against business owners' rights to manage their restaurants. Bill sponsor Representative Hugh Holliman, (D-Davidson), cited studies declaring second-hand smoke a carcinogen that leads to thousands of deaths each year. He also said that fourteen states have banned smoking in restaurants, bars, workplaces or some combination of such bans.
The original bill would have banned all smoking in restaurants. By its second appearance in a House judiciary committee last week, the proposal was amended to require gradual changes. Bill supporters are hopeful that the issues raised in the bill can be considered at a later date.