Some exemptions are sought in Md. smoking-ban package


A legislative committee is asking the Schaefer administration to make several minor changes in proposed regulations that would virtually ban indoor smoking in Maryland except in private homes.

The proposed new rules -- which could take effect as early as next month -- would ban smoking in almost all indoor workplaces. While the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee does not have authority to force changes in the proposal, members asked the occupational safety and health agency yesterday to exempt hotel rooms, vehicles used for work and offices in private homes.

The committee also asked that smoking be permitted in plays and filming of movies when smoking is part of the action.

The panel considered -- but rejected -- a motion to ask that smoking also be permitted in bars and restaurants.

"This is a slap in the face of the restaurant and tourism industry," Bruce Bereano, lobbyist for The Tobacco Institute, said after the committee rejected the motion on a 5-2 vote.

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