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Lawmakers Look At Smoking Ban Again

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For the second time this session, the Assembly is advancing legislation today that would make California the only state to ban smoking by anyone under age 21.

Backers say the bill is needed because similar legislation previously approved by the Assembly appears stalled in the Senate. The Assembly Wednesday amended a second bill and sent it back to committee.

But some Democrats say the effort is a smoke screen to divert attention from Assembly Republicans´ opposition to a proposed tax increase on cigarettes as part of Democrats´ plan to bridge the state´s $23 billion budget gap.