Restaurant smoking ban moves forward in House
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A ban on smoking in restaurants and recreational facilities is heading to the House Judiciary Committee.
A subcommittee that's met for weeks approved a heavily amended version of the bill Wednesday - two days after Dana Reeve, the nonsmoking wife of late Superman star Christopher Reeve, died from lung cancer.
The panel had changed the bill Tuesday so that it now includes a variety of other locations, such as bowling alleys and bingo halls. The bill puts enforcement of the ban more in the hands of business owners and their staff.
Rep. Walt McLeod, D-Little Mountain, said it would be up to owners or staff to tell people to put their cigarettes, pipes or cigars out or ask them to leave. If they did neither, they'd be obligated to call police under trespass laws, McLeod said.
Violators would face at least a $50 fine in magistrate's court, he said.
If the restaurant owner didn't act on a patron's complaint, the patron could seek a warrant against the owner. That could result in a fine of not less than $50, too, McLeod said.
McLeod says it's unlikely the bill will make it out of the full Judiciary Committee.