A proposed statewide smoking ban for Indiana has been voted down by a state Senate committee.

The House-approved measure would have exempted casinos, bars, clubs and nursing homes. Some of those who voted ‘no’ said they opposed some or all of the exemptions.

Anti-smoking groups also pushed to have the bill defeated, saying it failed to protect thousands of workers from second-hand smoke.

Senate Public Policy Committee Chairman Ron Alting contended the exemptions were needed for the bill to win full passage.

“Any step that we can make to help non-smoking, or a smoke free environment to help the health of hoosiers is a positive one. But having said that, I’m going to lose this battle,” he said.

The Republican-led committee defeated the measure by a vote of 8-1.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."