Bill would ban smoking near hospital entrances

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to move smokers away from hospital entrances is on its way to a full Senate vote.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Tim Burchett, a Knoxville Republican, who says he wants smokers to move at least 25 yards away from any entrance or to smoke in their cars.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday advanced the bill on a 5-1 vote with two abstentions.

Sen. Mae Beavers, a Mt. Juliet Republican, says she cast the lone vote against the proposal because hospitals already have the right to restrict smoking on their property.

She says it should be up to businesses to decide where they want to allow smoking.

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