Group wants to get rid of laws that offer legal protections to smokers

Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 22:36:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- A group of Indiana health and business organizations are pushing for a repeal of some legal protections given to smokers.

The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana wants to get rid of state law that bans employers from screening job candidates for tobacco use.

The group supports a bill introduced by Republican Sen. Liz Brown of Fort Wayne to repeal the 1991 law. The measure would allow companies to require employees to stop using tobacco products, even when not on the clock.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce says smoking is the only voluntary action that state law protects during the hiring process.

Indiana is among more than 20 states that have smoker-protection laws. Some Indiana employers complain that smokers raise their insurance costs.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate committee on pensions and labor. The committee told the chamber of commerce there would likely be a hearing about the bill around January 31. 

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