Legislation Week In Review Volume X

Each week we share some of the news that comes across our desk about upcoming legislation.. This week we have stories from Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Alaska – On Wednesday the state moved closer to becoming the thirty-first state with a statewide ban on smoking in public places, as the Senate approved S.B. 1, 15-5. The bill which is sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, would render smoking tobacco or using e-cigarettes in any enclosed public place, including places of employment, apartment buildings, hotels, and at schools and universities via KTUU.

Indiana – This football season will be the last you can light up a cigar and drink a beer as the South Bend Common Council has voted to pass a bill that bans smoking in bars and clubs in a 6-3 vote via WNDU.

Kansas – In Bonner Springs, the City Council approved an ordinance raising the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 in a vote that was unanimously passed 9-0 via KMBZ.

Massachusetts – In Pittsfield, the Board of Health has approved a draft of tobacco regulation changes. Included is a raise of the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. The city will hold a hearing on May 4th and should the measure pass the new regulations will take effect on Aug. 1 via Berkshire Eagle.

Nevada – With IPCPR months away one of the largest sports books in Las Vegas has banned smoking inside the venue. According the Westgate Vice President, the sports book is looking to keep up with the times as the request for non-smoking spaces gets louder via Honolulu Star Adviser.

New York – The use of tobacco and related products is prohibited on all city property in the town of Jamestown. The City Council this week approved an amendment that bans the products from parks, city owned buildings, and vehicles owned or leased by the city via WRFA.

A lawsuit against the state of New York by a smokers right group who felt New York City overstepped their bounds by banning smoking in park was rejected by the states highest court via Las Vegas Sun.

North Dakota – North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger (Republican) has approved circulation of a petition to put on the ballot a measure that seeks to increase the state’s tobacco tax on cigars by up to 58%.
Jaeger on Tuesday said the measure’s backers must gather about 13,500 qualified signatures by July 11 to put it to a statewide vote in the November general election via KFGO.

Ohio – In some good news New Carlisle rejected a ban on smoking in parks. According to Councilman Ethan Reynolds, “Smokers, they pay taxes too so why are we telling them they can’t enjoy the park?”. We say kudos to you for being a voice of reason via Dayton Daily News.

Pennsylvania – In Wilkes-Barre city leaders are looking to ban smoking outside the transportation center which currently allows people to light up outside the red-zone away from the entrance. The measure is being proposed under the misguided notion of second-hand smoke via PAHomepage.