A bill that would bar tobacco companies from distributing free cigarettes as advertising promotions was warmly debated at a meeting of the House Business and Economic Development Committee.

David Sonnenreich, a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, said the bill would violate federal laws that allow tobacco companies to use promotional tactics.Lawmakers watched a film provided by the state Health Department showing how free cigarettes often are distributed at rock concerts. They decided to postpone a decision until they study whether the bill would stand up to court challenges.