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Panel backs plans to ban smoking on government property

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RALEIGH -- A House committee is backing three measures designed to curb smoking on government property. The House panel approved plans Tuesday that would restrict smoking around government buildings, and give community colleges and local governments more power to prohibit smoking on their properties. Smoking would be forbidden in state vehicles and within 50 feet of state government buildings. Local governments would be empowered but not required to ban smoking in their fleet and to create buffer zones. Community colleges also would be given the power to vote themselves smoke-free. The plans now go to another House committee for consideration. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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