TOPEKA — Legislation banning smoking in many public places in Kansas has been signed by the governor.
"The journey of passing a statewide public smoking ban has been long and hard, but today we are able to cross the finish line knowing that we have built a better future for generations to come," said Gov. Mark Parkinson in a statement this morning.
"With this legislation, our state takes the necessary steps to save Kansas lives by reducing cancer, tobacco-related diseases and teen smoking."
The ban, which will take effect July 1, will ban smoking in bars, restaurants, libraries, theaters, retail stores and most work places. It overrides weaker bans like Wichita's partial ban.
Supporters contend the restrictions will protect public health and reduce deaths from cancer and other diseases.
Critics argue the limits will hurt businesses. They also note the bill exempts the gambling floors of state-owned casinos as well as tobacco shops, private clubs and designated areas of nursing homes.