Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson said the smoking ban he signed into law on Friday represented a win for the public and the process.
“Kansas won, special interests lost,” Parkinson said to cheering clean air advocates who crowded into the south wing on the second floor of the Capitol for the signing ceremony.
After four years of work, the Legislature approved the bill last month. Under the measure, smoking will be prohibited in most indoor public places, such as restaurants, bars and work areas.
The law takes effect July 1 and will replace many local bans, such as the one in Lawrence.
Unlike the Lawrence ordinance, a provision in the state law makes it illegal to smoke within a 10-foot radius of a doorway. That will likely ban smoking at many sidewalk dining and drinking areas and could impact smoking decks at several establishments.
Asked about this, Parkinson said he sympathizes with businesses adversely affected by government regulations, but said state officials have to focus on the “greater good.”
He said the new clean air law will improve the health of thousands of Kansans.
Parkinson said he disliked an exception to the ban for state-run casinos. “I think it’s hypocritical,” he said.