A bill sponsored by Louisiana Senator Fred Mills that would allow employers to hire and fire employees based on if they smoke has narrowly failed in a Louisiana Senate committee.

Tobacco lobbyist Randy Haynie says giving businesses ability to fire a worker because he or she smokes is a bad idea. Haynie says there's been no push from businesses around the state to repeal the Louisiana's prohibition of smoking discrimination in the workplace.

Sen. Mills says 21 states have laws that gives employers that ability. "These employers should be allowed the right to develop workforce policies which may improve...health and increase productivity among employees. This would result in healthcare cost savings for both the employer and employees."

Oschner Health Systems CEO Pat Quinlan says the proposed law would have lead to a healthier Louisiana.

The Louisiana Senate Labor Committee rejected the measure by a three to two vote. A similar Louisiana House bill, sponsored by Louisiana Rep. Herb Dixon, is still alive and awaiting hearing in a House committee.

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