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Measure Would Expand California’s Workplace Smoking Ban

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Aired 4/12/11

California bans smoking in most workplaces, but there are exceptions. A measure in the state senate would close those loopholes.

California bans smoking in most workplaces, but there are exceptions. A measure in the state senate would close those loopholes.

The bill would expand California's indoor smoking ban to include hotel lobbies, banquet rooms, and warehouses. It would also remove the exemption that allows smoking in tobacco shops and hookah lounges.

Tobacco retailers complain the measure would take away the one indoor haven where smokers can enjoy a puff.

Debra Kelley is with the local chapter of the American Lung Association.

"Yes, this may be an inconvenience for them, but it's not gonna' be as inconvenient as it is for somebody who dies of lung cancer," Kelley said.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill to expand the no-smoking ban in 2007. Supporters think they'll have a better chance with Gov. Jerry Brown.

Supporters say as it stands now, 25 states have more comprehensive indoor smoking bans than California's.