HB 1578, as recently amended, repeals employment protections for individuals who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, and passed the House Ways and Means Committee 19-4.
Committee Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) lowered the $1.50 cigarette tax increase in the bill to $1.00 and put it in the budget (HB 1001) along with funding for cessation. Additionally, the committee voted to remove the increase in smoking age from 18 to 21 from the bill and left in place only the repeal of the special treatment for smokers in the workplace. The Indiana Chamber and the Indiana Hospital Association testified in support of that provision.
The Chamber, along with other members of the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana, has been lobbying House members for votes. The Chamber also has been working to secure a Senate sponsor for the bill.