Kansas governor boosts state smoking ban but hurdles remain

TOPEKA | Health advocates believe efforts to ban smoking in public places in Kansas got a boost when Gov. Mark Parkinson endorsed the idea.

But big hurdles remain to a bill passing this year.

Parkinson called for a strong statewide ban in his annual State of the State address. He noted that a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars has taken effect in North Carolina.

The Kansas Senate passed two similar proposals last year to restrict smoking in public places. Both have stalled in the House.

Such proposals face opposition from business owners.

There's an additional wrinkle to Kansas' debate. Some critics don't think it's fair to impose a ban in restaurants and bars and exempt state-owned casinos, as both Senate measures did.