A piece of legislation that would greatly expand Vermont’s smoking ban has passed the state House of Representatives and now heads to the state Senate, where it currently awaits a vote in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee.

House Bill 217 would effectively ban smoking in any indoor location accessible to the public, including bars, restaurants hotel and motel rooms and retail stores, which appears to include tobacco stores as no exemption has been made for them. It would also create 25-foot smoke-free zones around state-owned buildings and offices, including hospitals.

The bill also creates a ban on smoking in cars with children of car-seat age, as well as a ban on the use of tobacco products on public school grounds or at public school sponsored functions. Finally, the bill would ban smoking at child care facilities.

If passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2014.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.