Wednesday at the Louisiana Legislature _lowres

Advocate file photo -- The Louisiana state Capitol building in Baton Rouge.

Smoking within 25 feet of the public entrance of a state office building would be banned under legislation that cleared a House committee Wednesday.

The House Health and Welfare Committee shipped House Bill 168 by state Rep. Frank Hoffmann to the House floor for further debate.

“It’s only a start,” said Hoffmann, R-West Monroe. “Second hand is a problem.”

Similar legislation cleared the House last year but died in the Senate.

Hoffmann stressed that the legislation only applied to smoking near state-owned office buildings. “If there’s another building owned by Louisiana, like the Superdome or the (New Orleans) Arena, it does not apply,” he said.