Anti-tobacco group’s discussion will address secondhand smoke.

A pediatrician, a former Kokomo city councilman, a RN, a teacher and an asthmatic high school student will speak during the meeting. The event, sponsored by the Howard County Tobacco Coalition, begins 6 p.m. at Indiana University Kokomo’s Kelley Student Center, Room 130.

Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke

Shirley Dubois, coordinator for the tobacco coalition, said the discussion would be an informal way to inform people about secondhand smoke.

The tobacco coalition in 2006 was a lead public supporter of Kokomo officials’ decision to ban smoking in public buildings, except for bars and private clubs.

Dubois said the coalition would like the city to consider a comprehensive ban, which would prohibit smoking everywhere public.

“We want the community to be educated that all workers deserve the right to breath clean air,” she said. “With a comprehensive ordinance, we would protect all workers, not just some.”

This evening’s town hall-style forum isn’t a public meeting or hearing, Dubois said. It is intended as an information session.

The meeting comes two weeks after an Indiana Senate committee voted down a statewide smoking ban 8-1.

Groups, including the tobacco coalition and American Cancer Society, withdrew their support of the ban, saying the bill would have allowed too many exemptions. Under the proposed law, the ban would have allowed smoking at bars, smoke shops, casinos, fraternal clubs and nursing homes.

Dubois said the forum this evening would touch on the bill, but the focus would be more on secondhand smoke.

Doors for the event, which is free and open the public, should open about 5:30 p.m. The discussion should be 60 to 90 minutes, Dubois said.

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