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Jensen urges legislators to reject bill to weaken indoor smoking ban

Publication Date: 5/3/2012
  • Author:Scott Rothschild
  • Publication:Lawrence Journal World

Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the Kansas University Cancer Center, on Thursday tried to snuff out a proposal to weaken the public indoor smoking ban and other tobacco-related measures.

Jensen said weakening the smoking ban could hurt KU's efforts to get National Cancer Institute designation for the Cancer Center.

And, he said, it would be bad for the health of Kansans.

"We simply cannot go backwards," Jensen said during a briefing of legislators on KU's application for NCI designation.

Earlier this week, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a bill that would allow smoking in Kansas bars. The measure, now before the full House, would allow smoking in any private business that has only patrons and employees who are at least of legal drinking age.

Kansas banned smoking in most private businesses in 2010. "Tobacco cessation has clearly been identified as the No. 1 thing we can do to improve the health of citizens," Jensen said.