Ala. House panel passes smoking ban in restaurants

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A bill to ban smoking in restaurants in
Alabama has passed a House committee and moved closer to receiving
final passage.

The House Government Operations Committee approved the smoking
ban Wednesday on a voice vote after some debate on what definition
to use to differentiate between a restaurant and a bar.

The bill by Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile passed the
Senate last week. Figures has tried for several years to pass bills
restricting smoking in public places, but she has not had success.
She said she is trying again this year with a simpler bill that
only applies to restaurants.

Figure's bill defines a restaurant as a business that primarily
serves food. She said she would consider amending it on the House
floor to give a more specific definition.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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