Kansas Senate Advances Smoking Ban Bill

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Senate gives first-round approval to a bill banning smoking in most public places throughout the state.

Monday night's voice vote followed amendments to exempt the gambling floors of casinos and racetracks. Private clubs that were in operation on Jan. 1 of this year would also be exempt.

Places where smoking would be banned include bars and restaurants, workplaces and government buildings.

A final vote is expected Tuesday, and Senate leaders predicted the measure will pass and go to the House.

This is the third time Kansas lawmakers have considered a statewide smoking ban. Opponents argue that limiting smoking is best handled locally.

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