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Senate kills bill to get rid of airport smoking rooms

The Senate killed a bill Wednesday that would have banned any new smoking rooms at the Salt Lake International Airport.

HB288, sponsored by Rep. Carl Saunders, R—North Ogden, also would have eventually phased out those that already exist.

Senators called the measure "mean-spirited" and punitive before voting it down 17-10.

"I've been through the airport a million times and it's never been offensive to me," Sen. Leonard Blackham, R-Moroni, said.

Sen. David Steele, R—West Jordan, who carried the bill in the Senate, said Utah has fallen behind a nationwide trend toward smoke-free airports.

"This is not designed to be discriminatory in this sense: This is a national standard," he said. "It's interesting Utah would be so diligent in its opposition against it."