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Bars, hotel owners blast smoking ban bill

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BISMARCK -- Hotel and bar owners in North Dakota are getting tired of coming to the Legislature to defend people's freedom to smoke, they told a legislative committee Thursday.

But backers of House Bill 1213, a proposal to ban smoking in all hotel rooms and bars, said it's a matter of savings lives now being lost to second-hand smoke.

The opponents far outnumbered supporters at the hearing that went on for more than two hours.

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