COULD SMOKING BE COMING BACK TO RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN MONTANA?
We are learning today that proposed legislation has been introduced in the Montana Legislature to again allow smoking inside places like restaurants and bars.
The bill, LC1967, has been introduced by Great Falls State Senator Jeremy Trebas. In his bill it would allow indoor smoking if certain stipulations are met. First local health officials would have to sign off on each establishment wanting to bring back inside smoking. another stipulation would require establishments to post signs that smoking is permitted inside.
The bill could clear the way for smoking to come back in places such as restaurants, bars, stores, and public and private office buildings including state government buildings. And the proposed legislation does not stop there. It would also include trains, buses, public transportation, health care facilities, community colleges, and buildings in the Montana university system.
Those opposed to the plan says it would nullify the clean indoor act approved by state legislators back in 2005. They also say the bill does not provide the means to fund compliance mandates.
The proposed bill would also allow for smoking to occur in auditoriums, arenas and assembly facilities should the owner want smoking inside.
Another smoking related bill has to do with cigars. SB 122 would reduce the tax on cigars to ten cents per cigar. That would put the tax on cigars at a much lower rate than other nicotine products. Those opposed to the bill say providing a cheaper smoking product will cause those under 18 to gravitate towards cigars.
We will keep you updated on how this bill progresses.
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