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Smoking faces executive ban


OCEAN CITY -- Smoking in all state buildings controlled by the executive branch of government will be banned under an order Gov. William Donald Schaefer says he intends to issue within the next few days.

In a surprise announcement yesterday during his speech at the annual Maryland Association of Counties meeting here, the governor said the no-smoking order was part of his effort to expand programs to prevent diseases.

The order will note that state courts or other buildings controlled by either the judiciary or legislative branches of government will not be affected. Smoking would be banned, for example, in portions of the State House controlled by the governor, but the legislature would exercise its control over other parts of the building.

The order, however, is expected to ask the judiciary and legislative branches to follow the executive branch's lead.

In a grim Schaefer speech primarily about the state's finances, the announcement on smoking was the only one that drew applause.

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