Smoking ban at state office buildings wins passage

After years of trying, a West Monroe lawmaker has successfully persuaded the full Louisiana Legislature to ban smoking within 25 feet of a public entrance to a state-owned office building.

The state Senate gave final passage to Republican Rep. Frank Hoffmann’s House Bill 168 with a 31-6 vote Wednesday.

Hoffmann has pushed the proposal for years as a way to lessen exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke but previously ran into opposition from senators.

Gov. Bobby Jindal will next consider making the bill a law.

A person caught smoking within 25 feet of a public entrance to state office buildings or a wheelchair ramp leading to an entrance would pay $25 for the first offense, $50 for a second offense and $100 for subsequent offenses.