Advocates of a statewide ban of smoking in public places, criticized a new bill Wednesday that they said would overturn local anti-smoking ordinances, including the one in Lawrence.
“This undoes a decade of good public policy on the local level in Kansas,” said Jake Lowen of Clean Air Kansas. “This is the tobacco industry’s dream bill.”
House Bill 2642 would be a statewide smoking ban, but would allow smoking to return to inside public places with ventilated rooms, smoking and non-smoking sections, and hospitality establishments that pay a fee to allow smoking, Lowen said. It would prohibit local communities from having a smoking ban that is stricter than the statewide law.
The Senate has already approved a statewide ban and Gov. Mark Parkinson said he hopes to sign such a bill into law. The House has not passed the latest proposal.