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Last updated 9:44PM ET
September 27, 2021
Nebraska News
Nebraska News
Bill could stamp out smoking at work
(NET Radio) - Senator Joel Johnson of Kearney introduced the proposed ban along with seven others. Much of the discussion pivoted on the well-worn debate between public health versus individual rights. Medical experts cited statistics linking secondhand smoke to asthma, heart disease and cancer, along with the health care costs to the state - an estimated one-and-a-half billion dollars a year, according to the Nebraska Medical Association. Meanwhile lobbyists for alcohol and gambling interests say the statewide ban treats smokers as second-class citizens. But proponents of a statewide ban say it would avoid the difficulties faced by many Omaha bar owners, who express frustration with that city's partial smoking ban. The executive director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association, Jim Partington, says it has driven business toward those bars or restaurants that still allow smoking. © Copyright 2021, NET Radio