Utah will have the toughest public anti-smoking law in the nation if lawmakers agree with Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, who proposes banning smoking in all restaurants that don't have a state liquor license.
For restaurants with liquor licenses, the law wouldn't change - there would be smoking and non-smoking sections.But for all other restaurants - from the local burger place to the eateries lining the side of a shopping mall to your local "family" restaurant - there would be no smoking, period.
"Some cities, like Beverly Hills, have such strong ordinances for restaurants," said Hillyard. "But to our knowledge there are no states that have such restrictions."
Hillyard's bill argues that inhaling "second-hand" smoke, the cigarette smoke of another, is a definite health hazard and that there are no reasonable ways to exclude such smoke in crowded, public areas such as restaurants.
"I believe our family restaurants should be healthy places for everyone, including children who sometimes don't get to say where they eat," he said. "I expect a lot of discussion on this (bill)."